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DocLightning
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CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:47 pm



Quote:
(CNN) -- America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayof...religion.less.christian/index.html

Your comments?

The article says:

Quote:
One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey.

The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.

"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

So the question is: which way is it gonna go? Will society polarize? Will one group or the other lose out? I think that in that case, the religious folk stand to lose ground in the long run.

There is a reason the Bible preaches that pride is a sin. The problem, as I see it, with evangelical Christianity is that it emphasizes pride way too much. Makes people haughty and arrogant and that will ultimately be the end of it. Alternatively, it will continue to attract a certain element of society.
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mbmbos
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:58 pm

My hunch is that much of organized religion as we know it today in the U.S. is fading in a big way. That's not to say that religion won't continue, but I think for most people, the metaphors and rules that organized religion are based on are archaic and not meaningful in our modern world.

Joseph Campbell addressed this including in his series with Bill Moyers. He suggested that organized religion would have to refresh its metaphors before it would once again take hold as a seminal force in our world.

This is not to say that spiritual thoughts and feelings are not relevant or will cease to be important in people's lives. I'm merely saying that most organized religion is, at best, a system that enforces Victorian standards on people. It's no longer useful in peoples' lives as it stands today.
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StarAC17
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:20 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
The problem, as I see it, with evangelical Christianity is that it emphasizes pride way too much. Makes people haughty and arrogant and that will ultimately be the end of it. Alternatively, it will continue to attract a certain element of society.

This is a good thing for the biggest reason is that the religious right will lose its very strong political influence which is has no place being, as well it is evidence that more and more people do not require to practice a religion to be moral and lead a decent life. Also I think people are beginning to realize the hypocrisy that occurs with organized religion and when someone like Ted Haggard did what he did he loses all the credibility he has.

A big flaw with religion is that it is taught you are asked to adhere to a set of rules which some are in the book which it is based such as the bible but far too many of them are set by the preacher of that church or even as high as say the pope which is essentially made my man. An example being that the Catholic's are dead set against birth control where as a non-denominational church might actually encourage the use of it if you are married.

Also the claim is usually made that all the rules are from god and can't be questioned even thought that is never really said. I know first hand the kind of snide looks and smugness that comes from questioning the argument of a person of faith and its not fun for you unless your objective is to embarrass or discredit them.

Another thing that happens is that the people who fail to follow the rules set out by their specific congregation become depressed and feel worse about themselves and the ones who succeed often become smug and develop a superiority complex towards the ones who can't and non-believers.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:24 pm

I have to agree that Evangelical christianity is a major turnoff. On the bright side, at least they don't blow stuff up, but I know I cannot stand having someone around talking about how she's been saved. How do you know you've been saved? Shut up and keep suc&ing...

 devil 

Sorry.

Seriously, modern society is a challenge to spirituality. Evangelism is a business, not a religion, to me. The more you have to talk about it, the more money you have to give to it, the less spiritual it is.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:41 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
On the bright side, at least they don't blow stuff up, but I know I cannot stand having someone around talking about how she's been saved.

Gee, it appears they managed to get a President elected to blow stuff up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They just have more money than the Muslims, so they can afford fancy weapons to do it the "civilized way."

I feel that the increased vehemence of the Religious Right is a reaction to a collective sense of threat.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:52 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
There is a reason the Bible preaches that pride is a sin.

I will never understand how a religious organization with so much power and influence can look at the number of innocent people being slaughtered in the name of religion, worldwide, then look at the "problems" created by gay marriage.......and then decide to spend as much time, money, and effort as they do condemning the act of two people loving one another and providing a loving, supportive home to children.

I'll also never understand how, to so many curchgoers, there is absolutely zero room for interpretation when it comes to "one man and one woman", but when it comes to "thou shalt not kill", it's somehow ok to do so while wearing a military uniform.

To me, there's simply too much hypocrisy to take many of these people (or their beliefs) very seriously.

2H4

[Edited 2009-03-09 15:53:42]
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ALexeu
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:24 pm

People have to understand that ''mega churches'' and other protestant denominations are not churches actually. There is only one Holy, Apostolic, Church which some view as Orthodox Church and others as Catholic, while all other denominations are not churches in real sense.
 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:32 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
On the bright side, at least they don't blow stuff up,



You sure about that?
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:51 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 6):
People have to understand that ''mega churches'' and other protestant denominations are not churches actually. There is only one Holy, Apostolic, Church which some view as Orthodox Church and others as Catholic, while all other denominations are not churches in real sense.

*hands you a flamesuit*

I'm not touching that comment with a very long pole...
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:44 am

Quoting AlexEU (Reply 6):
People have to understand that ''mega churches'' and other protestant denominations are not churches actually. There is only one Holy, Apostolic, Church which some view as Orthodox Church and others as Catholic, while all other denominations are not churches in real sense.

What do you mean when you say 'churches in real sense'? They are churches in that they are bodies of people, often but not always with associated buildings which subscribe to the teaching of the Bible and call themselves Christian.

What you rather suggest is that you do not believe in their doctrinal basis and legitimacy outside the confines of the movements that you agree with (incidentally one of the key criticisms one could level at the fundamentalist Christians we find it so easy to bash).

[Edited 2009-03-09 17:44:47]
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:02 am



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
I will never understand how a religious organization with so much power and influence can look at the number of innocent people being slaughtered in the name of religion, worldwide, then look at the "problems" created by gay marriage.......and then decide to spend as much time, money, and effort as they do condemning the act of two people loving one another and providing a loving, supportive home to children.

I'll also never understand how, to so many curchgoers, there is absolutely zero room for interpretation when it comes to "one man and one woman", but when it comes to "thou shalt not kill", it's somehow ok to do so while wearing a military uniform.

To me, there's simply too much hypocrisy to take many of these people (or their beliefs) very seriously.

 checkmark   highfive 

Couldn't possibly say it better than that.

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 7):
You sure about that?

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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:04 am



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 6):
People have to understand that ''mega churches'' and other protestant denominations are not churches actually. There is only one Holy, Apostolic, Church which some view as Orthodox Church and others as Catholic, while all other denominations are not churches in real sense.

People don't have to understand any such thing. That's a very subjective point that you made, and I'm sure many millions would disagree with you, in many ways.

If you want to believe that, that's perfectly fine. But no one else has to believe it.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):

Well said. As someone who believes strongly in gay marriage, it's incredibly frustrating....literally just makes me want to cry sometimes.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

So the question is: which way is it gonna go? Will society polarize? Will one group or the other lose out? I think that in that case, the religious folk stand to lose ground in the long run.

I sincerely hope that we don't see a full-fledged polarization of society. I really don't think it has to come to that. Whether it will or not...well, I can't really say. But the spirit of compromise seems to have been lost somewhere. Or more like the spirit of "hey, I may not see the world in the same way as you, but who cares - I'll buy you a beer anyway."
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:26 am

Great that progress is being made!  thumbsup 
 
767Lover
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:08 pm

This is not a new phenomenon...I posted awhile back a similar study that said the same thing, that Americans as a whole were becoming less, not more, religious. This is currently in the news because results from the new survey were recently issued.

There was another survey done about a year ago that said Americans on average change their religion multiple times over their lifetime...that we are a nation of experimenters when it comes to religion and seeking peace with a faith. And that a large percentage of people move away from the religion that they grew up with.

There are also an increasing number of people who affiliate themselves with a church merely for a sense of community moreso than a practice of faith. One of the big mega churches here is more of a non-denominational meeting place largely for singles to interact and hear programs on dealing with relationship conflicts, etc., from a spiritual perspective.

Truth is, the "burn in hell" crowd is at lot smaller than people think. They are the most visible in the media because they are the most controversial. Most true Christians on the other hand are aware that no one lives a perfect life (however that is defined in one's mind) and no one expects anyone to.

Interestingly, three of my gay male friends attend church regularly (one is an organist at a Baptist church and two others are Catholic) and they feel very at peace with their faiths. So to paint religion with a broad brush that it's "us vs them" is just wrong.
 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:31 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Will one group or the other lose out? I think that in that case, the religious folk stand to lose ground in the long run.

Look at the gains made by them so far. They have taken over an entire political party and started to get people to believe that party is the only party of Christianity. Some people even find it shocking that I am a Christian yet am registered to vote as a Democrat.

Quoting AlexEU (Reply 6):
People have to understand that ''mega churches'' and other protestant denominations are not churches actually.

So, from that statement, the entire Old Testiment should be disregarded as should the Gospels. After all, they have no basis in "orthodox" (read: Catholic) religion. The church I belong to practices in the most basic way. The way Jesus did. Simply gathering, teaching, praying, and go home. No jumping around. No Power Point presentations. No bling. Do I think Pentecostals, Catholics or Lutherans are wrong and will burn in hell? No. They are Christian too. I feel as long as they show their faith outside of church, not by words but by actions, they will enter the Kingdom. But, that is just me.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:09 pm



Quoting Mbmbos (Reply 1):
My hunch is that much of organized religion as we know it today in the U.S. is fading in a big way.

Yes and drug use , violent crimes , parent-less children , STD , confusion and disillusionment also continue to rise. In my opinion people will look for deeper meaning to thier lives ... and they may soon recognize that a life without faith can be a dark place. They will fill it with something .. most likly short term graitification ..to chase those demons away...

I don't know if there is a parallel ... but just thinking somehow there may be a connection.  stirthepot 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:02 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 15):
I don't know if there is a parallel ... but just thinking somehow there may be a connection.

Good luck trying to prove it, you little pot-stirrer.

 Smile

But seriously, I don't think you'll come close to demonstrating a correleation between, say, actively participating in an organized religion and reduction in STD rates, drug use, broken families, etc. There is a chance you may find the opposite is true.

But this has been a standard, hackneyed accusation put forth by social conservatives - that those who don't believe in God have no morals, live in spiritual darkness and seek only immediate gratification.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:10 pm



Quoting Mbmbos (Reply 16):
But seriously, I don't think you'll come close to demonstrating a correleation between, say, actively participating in an organized religion and reduction in STD rates, drug use, broken families, etc. There is a chance you may find the opposite is true.

Look hard enough, and you will find what you are looking for. Take Catholic priests that abused boys. It happened and it is a shame it happened. Did every single priest abuse boys? No. Was it limited to the Catholic church? No. Should we never trust any person of the cloth with our children? There are many priests/pastors/rabbis that are very capable of caring for children. Likewise, sure, there are some adulterers in congregations. Sure, there are some alcoholics in congregations, drug abusers, spouse abusers, and so forth. Does that make every person in every congregation bad? Absolutly not.

Some people get so caught up in religion they start to believe what they do is shameful. As such, they do more of it because hiding it is a rush or thrill. Or, they keep denying themselves to the point where they take it out on someone else or themselves in harmful ways.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:14 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 14):
Look at the gains made by them so far. They have taken over an entire political party and started to get people to believe that party is the only party of Christianity. Some people even find it shocking that I am a Christian yet am registered to vote as a Democrat.

They may have taken over said political party but their actions while at the helm of it have been one of the main reasons that party is less popular than it has been in generations.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 15):
Yes and drug use , violent crimes , parent-less children , STD , confusion and disillusionment also continue to rise. In my opinion people will look for deeper meaning to thier lives ... and they may soon recognize that a life without faith can be a dark place. They will fill it with something .. most likly short term graitification ..to chase those demons away...

I bet if you looked into it, the states with the highest levels of religious people are also the highest in the things you listed also add in teen pregnancy and divorce. These are much more common in places that have a larger proportion of people that say they are religious or attend church.

Also I disagree that life without faith is a dark place. It can be for some but most people I know that are not religious hardly have the demons you speak of, I would actually argue to the contrary because someone of faith who fails can fall into that pattern as well especially if they think everyone around them is succeding.

Most of us obtain our ethics from the actions our friends and parents and can develop our own moral code as we mature, where as some might need religion and faith (neither of these is right or wrong). I went to church as a teenager and it did very little if anything to dictate to me what is right and what is wrong. What it did is made me feel guilty about when I was doing wrong, and being the type who questions things didn't help either.
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ALexeu
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:17 pm

I didn't say that Pentacost's, Baptists, Adventist will not enter the Kingdom of God, but simply they are not part of the real church, they are sects or heretics It is excellent that they have love for God and that they praise gospel, but they are not the body of Christ like the real church is.

Just because somebody opens a ''self-declared church'', and reads the Gospel doesn't mean that it is a church.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 11):
If you want to believe that, that's perfectly fine. But no one else has to believe it.

They don't have to believe it, but they are not the truth church that comes from Christ and his Apostles.

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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:52 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago

Good.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:02 pm



Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 18):
bet if you looked into it, the states with the highest levels of religious people are also the highest in the things you listed also add in teen pregnancy and divorce

And shatter further the fragile edges of my illusions ! haha not a chance .

I know that religion alone will not change anything . I come from a religious family .. and I have a sibling who ended up pregnant and addicted to drugs.

I don't know the answers to these issues .. but they are draining our system and society with no end in sight.

I know what I do.. I talk to my kids about everything potentially awaiting to ensnare them in life.... drugs , sex , violence . And for some reason it always leads me back to how I was raised by my religious parents. I am not religious now , I party , I do all the things a average adult does .. but I try to teach my kids to be patient ..they will have plenty of time to have fun.

As adults , we should work to involve ourselves in young people lives somehow. Volunteer , try to get involved ..if you can save one kid think of the reward. I think it is up to us to help.
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DocLightning
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:46 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 15):

Yes and drug use , violent crimes , parent-less children , STD , confusion and disillusionment also continue to rise. In my opinion people will look for deeper meaning to thier lives ... and they may soon recognize that a life without faith can be a dark place. They will fill it with something .. most likly short term graitification ..to chase those demons away...

Except drug use, violent crime, and teen pregnancy are all falling. As are STD rates.
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kiwiinoz
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:55 am

Thank goodness

History has shown, and will continue to show that a society that bases it's culture and personality primarily on religion, whatever religion it is, is destined for moral failure.
 
ual777
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:02 am



Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 23):
Thank goodness

History has shown, and will continue to show that a society that bases it's culture and personality primarily on religion, whatever religion it is, is destined for moral failure.

When has the US ever done that?
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:59 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
Except drug use, violent crime, and teen pregnancy are all falling. As are STD rates.

Alright Doc ,, no worriers then. I guess all we ever hear is the bad news anymore. Its true the violent crimes have fallen a bit since last year but they have doubled in the last 20 years.
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ALexeu
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:22 pm



Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 23):

History has shown, and will continue to show that a society that bases it's culture and personality primarily on religion, whatever religion it is, is destined for moral failure.

It's the other way around. Failure is happening because people are leaving the church and religion.
 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:44 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Quote:
(CNN) -- America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

Thank god.


Does the majority of Americans still believe or have they already started thinking?
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Mir
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:58 pm



Quoting Thorben (Reply 27):
Does the majority of Americans still believe or have they already started thinking?

Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:43 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 25):
Its true the violent crimes have fallen a bit since last year but they have doubled in the last 20 years.

Are you looking at the crime rate, or the total number of crimes? The total number will, of course, climb as the population grows, so the rate would be a more accurate number to examine.

2H4
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:01 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 13):

I agree wholeheartedly with your entire post….well said!

I do think our country is going more away from the pigeon-holed denominational focus on religion and more of a focus on spirituality. It’s rather paradoxical, because I see a country that needs spiritual healing now more than ever and the community of a church is a big part of that, but there is also a simultaneous rejection of the outdated and, quite frankly, nonsensical dogmas of organized religion.

People are indeed tired of having religion drive the train, but still I think clamor for an honest acknowledgement and place of faith in society. So many of the major religions and denominations have MANMADE constructs, rules and theologies that are in reality against the very relationship with God that we should be trying to have.

Faith is both personal AND congregational. Groups and a family of worshippers is an important part of growing spiritually (it’s Biblically mandated in fact) but I think we’re seeing a backlash against the over-reliance on what has become a “time clock punching” exercise… I know Catholics like that that just go to Mass like so many robots, but inside are starving spiritually (not picking on Catholics per se, just was the first to come to mind).

So the atheists giggle with glee when they read this, but I don’t see it as bad news necessarily. I think there is a great reawakening going on. In fact, I think with the state of the world now, the economy, people are getting back to fundamental things and back to basics…recognizing that our lives are far more than technology, jobs, modernity. It’s our families, it’s people, it’s our giving back to others, our community and trying to grow in our faith. Any manmade crap that’s ladled on top of that is nothing more than what the Pharisees did—and Jesus fought against that.
 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:07 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Will society polarize?

You mean this is not happening already?

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Will one group or the other lose out?

Yes.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I think that in that case, the religious folk stand to lose ground in the long run.

Depends on what you think religious folks are losing and you definition of long run. What do you think is going to be "lost"?

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
"thou shalt not kill"

Actually, its "Thou shalt not murder". It is an important distinction.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
To me, there's simply too much hypocrisy to take many of these people (or their beliefs) very seriously.

You will always be able to find fault with how people practice their faith, particularly if you look for the worst examples. People are flawed like that. However, I can suggest plenty of good examples with whom you will find no hypocrisy. People always want to drag out the pedophile priest or drug using pastor and ignore those who, because of their faith, commit great acts of charity and selflessness.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:15 pm

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 31):
People always want to drag out the pedophile priest or drug using pastor and ignore those who, because of their faith, commit great acts of charity and selflessness.

People are flawed like that.

Actually what soured my religious experience early on were members of my family. Like my conservative Jewish paternal grandmother who would call every white stranger "honey" and "dear", never missed even a Shabbat service, prattled on about the equality and love inherent to Judaism, but would routinely make comments like "when the Iranians are finished taking over Beverly Hills, it'll be a hole in the city" and refused to hire a black person to do even yard work (much less park her car for her) yet had no problem having a Latina woman named Maria clean her house for 20 years. Loved the woman to no end, but never understood her blatant hypocrisy and self-deception.

[Edited 2009-03-11 09:16:22]
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:29 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 26):

It's the other way around. Failure is happening because people are leaving the church and religion.

Describe one great civilization that was a repressive theocracy.

I can think of none.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:49 pm



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 32):
Actually what soured my religious experience early on were members of my family.

Can you not think of any positive examples of devout Jews? I did not have any significant religious influences in my life growing up. Maybe that made me freer to try and seek the best examples.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:50 pm



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 31):

Depends on what you think religious folks are losing and you definition of long run. What do you think is going to be "lost"?

I'll tell you what I think. I think the religious folks want power and money. Power in the form of political power, power to dictate behavior to others, power to pass repressive, theocratic, laws. Power to invade other countries that practice a different religion than we do and call it "liberation."

And money. Lots of money. I give you the Vatican. How much money do you suppose the treasure of the Vatican are worth? I am sure that the sale of those treasures would pay off the U.S. national debt. These mega-churches, do you realize what a gigantic industry they are? The LDS church demands that every family pay 10% of their income to the Church! The coffers of these religious organizations are filling up like nobody's business and they seem to be recession-proof!

Charity? You want me to believe that a church gives to charity? Oh, they sure do, but what percent of my donation to a church goes to charity as opposed to the donations I make directly to the charity itself?

Mother Theresa is an example of something great that a church did, but at what cost? Did she really need the Church to do what she did?

I'm sorry, but I am a very ethical person and my decision to decline to participate in any organized religion does not diminish that.

So what do religious people have to lose? Power and money. The two things they're supposed to avoid, anyway.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:12 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
So what do religious people have to lose? Power and money. The two things they're supposed to avoid, anyway.

Its a valid point ... like I have said before .. even communism sounds good until you add the human element too it. All human endeavors seem to get corrupted over time... religion in America has certainly done that.

The same corruption will happen to the "liberal mantra" as well... it may well end in complete anarchy (for lack of a better term). The old saying applies if you give em enough rope they will hang themselves.

Something will replace the human need for organized "moral" guidance. I believe it is a ingrained human instinct to "trust" in a higher power . I also believe it is a human trait to want to join with others who also believe in a high power of some type. This drives the need to bring more people to your group ..partially for validation and of course ..power.

And before you guys start grinning like the cat that ate the bird ... Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world and in the US. May make Evangelicals look good ...
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:35 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 36):

The same corruption will happen to the "liberal mantra" as well... it may well end in complete anarchy (for lack of a better term). The old saying applies if you give em enough rope they will hang themselves.

But no "liberal mantra" has ever set itself up as a unified organization with the sorts of power over ideology and theocracy like churches have. At least not in this country.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 36):

And before you guys start grinning like the cat that ate the bird ... Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world and in the US. May make Evangelicals look good ...

I doubt that very much. I think that if the situation were reversed and the Arab nations had the power and wealth that the Christian nations currently have, we would be housing a bunch of rag-tag religious zealot terrorists, too.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:45 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 33):

Describe one great civilization that was a repressive theocracy.

I can think of none.

Who said it has to be repressive? There are many great civilizations that were religious.

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):

Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

In his mind they are.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:33 pm



Quoting UAL777 (Reply 38):

Who said it has to be repressive? There are many great civilizations that were religious.

Yes, there were. And almost all of these civilizations practiced great religious tolerance, as well.

Hint: the Dark Ages were presided over by none other than the Catholic Church. The Enlightenment occurred when Church Dogma began to get questioned.

The Arabs enjoyed a period of spectacular technological, academic, intellectual, and economic growth during a period of time when they were also very tolerant of other religions. They invented the telescope, among other things.

But a repressive theocratic government accomplishes very little, but that's what the "Religious Right" wants.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 37):
I doubt that very much

You may ... but check CIA world fact sight . Christianity and Islam are # 1 # 2 as far as size.... Christianity is declining (at least in the USA) according to some .. and Islam is growing.

Interesting the number of "converts" on both sides ...

http://fastestgrowingreligion.com/numbers.html
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:41 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 40):

You may ... but check CIA world fact sight . Christianity and Islam are # 1 # 2 as far as size.... Christianity is declining (at least in the USA) according to some .. and Islam is growing.

Interesting the number of "converts" on both sides ...

I wasn't doubting the numbers. I was doubting that the Evangelicals are any better than the Islamists.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:11 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):


I wasn't doubting the numbers. I was doubting that the Evangelicals are any better than the Islamists.

I think they are. Although Islamic countries are generally poorer, there are poorer Christian nations as well that don't have the same brand of extremism.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:04 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 19):
Just because somebody opens a ''self-declared church'', and reads the Gospel doesn't mean that it is a church.

...

They don't have to believe it, but they are not the truth church that comes from Christ and his Apostles.

Isn't the current catholic church headed by the pope a creation of a roman emperor ( forgot his name) in the 4th century AD ? There were multiple churches till that time, and multiple interpretations of the bible. The roman emperor decided to control religion and so he designated one church as the official one, which has continued to be the current catholic church.

Regarding your 2nd statement above, does it matter if a protestant says that "jesus is a messiah" or a catholic says that? If it is the truth that jesus was a savior, why should it depend on the messenger, whether it is catholic or protestant or a nameless church? truth will be absolute! It is not like one church is preaching kindness, truth and honesty while the other is preaching wanton killings.
 
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:47 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
I was doubting that the Evangelicals are any better than the Islamists.

They both have issues .... but for me I will hang with the evangelicals anytime. I understand that you have a major life issue add odds with them , and I don't know what the answer is too that. But they certainly are not suggesting that you be stoned to death for your choices.

I also do not trust large blocks of organized religious groups ... they will corrupt and they will impose there ideals on others in order to gain power.

basically we humans are screwed either way .
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:22 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
Mother Theresa is an example of something great that a church did, but at what cost?

Wrong question. The question you should be asking is if she would have done it without her beliefs?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
These mega-churches, do you realize what a gigantic industry they are?

I do. One of several reasons I avoid them.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
You want me to believe that a church gives to charity?

No shortage of facts in evidence for that.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
but what percent of my donation to a church goes to charity as opposed to the donations I make directly to the charity itself?

That is certainly a valid question to ask of any charity. Fortunately these guys have done much of the leg work for you. http://www.charitynavigator.org/ You can find plenty of good and bad examples there.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
The two things they're supposed to avoid, anyway.

No we are not. Common misconception. We are only supposed to avoid the temptations and downfalls that accompany them. It is better to be poor if you are unable to do so. With money and power comes the responsibility to use them wisely, also known as good stewardship. Were it not for material success, some charities would have never gotten started.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:43 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 33):
Describe one great civilization that was a repressive theocracy.

It doesn't have to be repressive. There are no great civilizations in any point (not only religious)

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
Yes, there were. And almost all of these civilizations practiced great religious tolerance, as well.

Religious tolerance is necessary. If Islam is a truth, they would have no reason for extremism. If you convert from Islam to Christianity you can get death penalty, but in vice verca there is no need for such a thing, because loosing Christianity is a death penalty in itself.

Quoting Blrsea (Reply 43):
Isn't the current catholic church headed by the pope a creation of a roman emperor ( forgot his name) in the 4th century AD ? There were multiple churches till that time, and multiple interpretations of the bible. The roman emperor decided to control religion and so he designated one church as the official one, which has continued to be the current catholic church.

RC church broke away from Orthodox Christianity in 1054. Before that Pope was just a Patriarch of Rome.

Quoting Blrsea (Reply 43):
Regarding your 2nd statement above, does it matter if a protestant says that "jesus is a messiah" or a catholic says that? If it is the truth that jesus was a savior, why should it depend on the messenger, whether it is catholic or protestant or a nameless church?

I am not a Catholic (I am an Orthodox Christian), but as I said before, it is great that Protestants praise the Lord (When I say Protestan I think mainly of new denominations, not Anglican or Lutheran). However real church is the body of Christ. Protestant churches don't have Holy Communion. I am not a theologist, so it is very hard to explain this...
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 46):
Protestant churches don't have Holy Communion

The Church of England does. In fact the liturgy and service orders in the High Anglican tradition bear almost alarming similarities to their modern Catholic counterparts.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:22 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Gee, it appears they managed to get a President elected to blow stuff up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I often get the impression that many people in the US treat politics as a form of religion with the president as some sort of god head (but only if he belongs to their own church of Republican or Democrat). The vituperative responses one sees when a president is criticised are incredible. Quite different to Australia, where all politicians are regarded as untrustworthy bastards no matter what colour of politics they subscribe to.

Then again, I see religions everywhere, from the blind worship of capitalism or communism to the fans of Star Trek.
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RE: CNN: America Less Christian

Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:50 am



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 46):

Religious tolerance is necessary. If Islam is a truth, they would have no reason for extremism.

So the Catholic Church had no need for those torture chambers? Or bishops who excommunicate doctors who perform a life-saving abortion on a 9yo girl?
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