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Delores Stariana

Religious Freedom

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@ Ananas, the USA has never been a christian state, and christianity is not the social norm for the USA now, more like being a homosexual is. 

"Christian state" is irrelevant. (And I didn't say it was, just for the record.)

 

But you cannot say that it is not the norm; there is simply no support for that claim. The majority of the population claims Christianity (no state is less than 50% Christian) and a very large majority of elected officials claim Christianity. The only way I've ever heard this argued is by "no true scotsman" logic.

 

The issue is that fundamentalist Christianity is fueled by opposition and it needs to find/create something to retaliate against to affirm its radical fear based ideology.

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Just because you say you are doesn't mean that you are a christian. Washington is not a "50% or more" christian state. xp 

Pretty sure that the elected officials (see?) who claim to be christians do so in fear of judgement so as not to lose their christian voters.

 

Edited by paraskeve

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Just because you say you are doesn't mean that you are a christian. Washington is not a "50% or more" christian. xp 

Pretty sure that people who claim to be christians do so in fear of judgement so as not to lose their christian voters.

That further goes to prove my point. Your statement means that the nation is certainly friendly enough to Christians that it is necessary to pander to them in order to get elected. If that is "not really friendly to Christians" then the only way a nation could be more "friendly" would be to like, put God's name on money and public buildings...oh, wait.

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That further goes to prove my point. Your statement means that the nation is certainly friendly enough to Christians that it is necessary to pander to them in order to get elected. If that is "not really friendly to Christians" then the only way a nation could be more "friendly" would be to like, put God's name on money and public buildings...oh, wait.

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...you do realize that Christianity is the social norm in the US, right?

 

"Christian state" is irrelevant. (And I didn't say it was, just for the record.)

 

But you cannot say that it is not the norm; there is simply no support for that claim. The majority of the population claims Christianity (no state is less than 50% Christian) and a very large majority of elected officials claim Christianity. The only way I've ever heard this argued is by "no true scotsman" logic.

 

The issue is that fundamentalist Christianity is fueled by opposition and it needs to find/create something to retaliate against to affirm its radical fear based ideology.

 

That further goes to prove my point. Your statement means that the nation is certainly friendly enough to Christians that it is necessary to pander to them in order to get elected. If that is "not really friendly to Christians" then the only way a nation could be more "friendly" would be to like, put God's name on money and public buildings...oh, wait.

All of this misses an important point. While it is certainly and clearly true that our society completely accepts and generally encourages identification as a "Christian," and has legacy sentiment towards some basic (mostly superficial) elements of the Christian faith, by and large the culture has moved on. The term "Christian" remains dominant, and society still wants to be "Christian" in some sense, but the material content of Christianity has been entirely abandoned by the people and culture. There is no part of the wider culture which aligns with a particularly Christian ethic, anthropology, worldview, or ideal. I would suggest rather that the ambient values of Western people are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to Christianity. They assume entirely secular and anti-Christian conceptions of the individual, from which a great deal of consequences follow.

Your point must be granted that the American world continues to pledge some kind of allegiance to Christianity, but it only takes a moment's glance to see that this is no more substantial than the allegiance of a hypothetical Zionist activist who for some reason associates himself with Nazism.

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All of this misses an important point. While it is certainly and clearly true that our society completely accepts and generally encourages identification as a "Christian," and has legacy sentiment towards some basic (mostly superficial) elements of the Christian faith, by and large the culture has moved on. The term "Christian" remains dominant, and society still wants to be "Christian" in some sense, but the material content of Christianity has been entirely abandoned by the people and culture. There is no part of the wider culture which aligns with a particularly Christian ethic, anthropology, worldview, or ideal. I would suggest rather that the ambient values of Western people are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to Christianity. They assume entirely secular and anti-Christian conceptions of the individual, from which a great deal of consequences follow.

Your point must be granted that the American world continues to pledge some kind of allegiance to Christianity, but it only takes a moment's glance to see that this is no more substantial than the allegiance of a hypothetical Zionist activist who for some reason associates himself with Nazism.

 

I don't think the culture has moved on in any real sense; rather, certain groups have become polarized and now cast themselves as persecuted.

Christianity is still the norm in US society. That is only false if you define Christianity as only select denominations, rejecting all others. (Or otherwise making the criteria based on non-essential issues that aren't ubiquitous among Christians.)

 

The main point is that being a Christian in the US is as easy as it is anywhere because the country is very friendly to Christians, views them in a positive light, and a majority of the people consider themselves Christian as well.

 

I have a difficult time arguing against "the ambient values of Western people are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to Christianity" because I think that most Christians are diametrically opposed to the values of Christianity :P Most strongly so is the Christian Right that is so up-in-arms about their persecution. (But that's a different discussion lol)

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I don't think the culture has moved on in any real sense; rather, certain groups have become polarized and now cast themselves as persecuted.

I'm not sure these are mutually exclusive. I'd be curious in particular how you would suggest that contemporary culture still has any interest at all in Christianity, besides legacy use of the term "Christian" or nebulous reverence for Jesus.

Christianity is still the norm in US society. That is only false if you define Christianity as only select denominations, rejecting all others. (Or otherwise making the criteria based on non-essential issues that aren't ubiquitous among Christians.)

You can slice it in different ways without going "No true Scotsman" (not that I find that critique particularly useful). I think even sociologically there is something to be said for subtracting certain kinds of nominal Christians, i.e. those who identify as Christian but do not give any weight at all to church, Scripture, or anything else historically considered basic parts of Christian existence. For example, if you call yourself a Christian but have no association whatsoever with any church, or any religious organizations or institutions, or Scripture, or Christlike service, and would basically answer almost any question in the world the same way that a non-religious person would, I don't see harm in dropping you from the statistics, and this ultra-minimalist qualification would already eliminate thousands and thousands, if not millions, of people.

 

The main point is that being a Christian in the US is as easy as it is anywhere because the country is very friendly to Christians, views them in a positive light, and a majority of the people consider themselves Christian as well.

This I would still more or less agree with.

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@ Ananas, the USA has never been a christian state, and christianity is not the social norm for the USA now, more like being a homosexual is. 

Correct, separation of Church and state exist, therefore it is not a christian state. Christianity is not necessarily a social norm, I don't think you're using the right terminology here either though. But no matter, Christianity is definitely more common than being a homosexual. 

 

I think what many Christians see as their "rights" being "taken" away, is simply that America is becoming more accepting of other religions, and as time progresses we are seeing more equality. 

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I'm not sure these are mutually exclusive. I'd be curious in particular how you would suggest that contemporary culture still has any interest at all in Christianity, besides legacy use of the term "Christian" or nebulous reverence for Jesus.

War Room and God's Not Dead making millions of dollars and selling out theaters.

The Republican party capitalizes on being the party supportive of Christian values.

Churches are given billions of dollars annually.

 

 

Not that I think there isn't large secular parts of US culture, but the level of faith in culture is not minuscule in any way.

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War Room and God's Not Dead making millions of dollars and selling out theaters.

The Republican party capitalizes on being the party supportive of Christian values.

Churches are given billions of dollars annually.

 

 

Not that I think there isn't large secular parts of US culture, but the level of faith in culture is not minuscule in any way.

I feel like this fits perfectly into my assessment that the connection between the predominant culture and Christianity is limited strictly to the superficial level.

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It is funny you all say America is not a Christian country considering the country was built by Christians and Theist. Theist acknowledge a God, they just think the world runs on its own now.

 

Also "In God We Trust"

"Under One God" (pledge of Allegiance)

 

oh yeah and the whole point America existed is because England was persecuting any Christian faith not Angelican, so the Puritans came here looking for "A City on the Hill"

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It is funny you all say America is not a Christian country considering the country was built by Christians and Theist. Theist acknowledge a God, they just think the world runs on its own now.

 

Also "In God We Trust"

"Under One God" (pledge of Allegiance)

 

oh yeah and the whole point America existed is because England was persecuting any Christian faith not Angelican, so the Puritans came here looking for "A City on the Hill"

That's very true.

Edited by Delores Stariana

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It is funny you all say America is not a Christian country considering the country was built by Christians and Theist. Theist acknowledge a God, they just think the world runs on its own now.

America was built by deists, theistic rationalists, and heretics.

 

Also "In God We Trust"

"Under One God" (pledge of Allegiance)

Those were only made part of America a few decades ago.

 

oh yeah and the whole point America existed is because England was persecuting any Christian faith not Angelican, so the Puritans came here looking for "A City on the Hill"

That's a drastic oversimplification.

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Honestly, after my reading of the history of America's formation, I have come to the conclusion that it's best to not even bother trying to connect it with religion, and just call it a product of the enlightenment.

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I feel like this fits perfectly into my assessment that the connection between the predominant culture and Christianity is limited strictly to the superficial level.

This is an important distinction, although I think it's venturing into an adjacent (and more interesting) topic.

The largest and loudest groups in fear of "losing religious freedom" are only concerned about this superficial level; while topics that are theologically important may be discussed, most people in the "religious freedom" discussion are only concerned with theology on a superficial, clan-identity level.

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The largest and loudest groups in fear of "losing religious freedom" are only concerned about this superficial level; while topics that are theologically important may be discussed, most people in the "religious freedom" discussion are only concerned with theology on a superficial, clan-identity level.

This is probably mostly true. Not always, and I would hold that there are deeper nefarious forces against religious liberty at work right now (though the dramatic use of adjectives here might or might not be warranted), but your point is certainly true for a great deal of people (esp. the "War on Christmas" crowd).

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This is probably mostly true. Not always, and I would hold that there are deeper nefarious forces against religious liberty at work right now (though the dramatic use of adjectives here might or might not be warranted), but your point is certainly true for a great deal of people (esp. the "War on Christmas" crowd).

I don't particularly disagree, but rather I think that the category of "nefarious forces against religious liberty" includes a lot of powerful Christian leaders (among others, obviously, but I think this is the relevant issue in the US today). For instance, Franklin Graham's horrific statements against Muslims. 

Which leads to the problem seen in the common American Christian identity being founded in fear, resulting in Christians perpetuating the very evil they ought to resist.

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I don't particularly disagree, but rather I think that the category of "nefarious forces against religious liberty" includes a lot of powerful Christian leaders (among others, obviously, but I think this is the relevant issue in the US today). For instance, Franklin Graham's horrific statements against Muslims. 

Which leads to the problem seen in the common American Christian identity being founded in fear, resulting in Christians perpetuating the very evil they ought to resist.

It seems we have a decent amount of agreement here.

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One example I will cite is the Little Sisters of the Poor being forced to pay for birth control under ObamaCare. They're nuns! They don't even need it! There's a reason they have to keep asking for donations. They aren't swimming in dough here. What's next? Priests will be forced to perform gay "weddings". It's not the government forcing them that I'm worried about. It's the people forcing the Church to "conform" and the government not protecting the priests from having their rights infringed on. The ACLU is already suing Catholic hospitals over not murdering children. There is something coming and it's not good. It may not be in our life time, but there's a storm coming and I don't like it at all.

In all honesty, I'm worried about what will happen in the future. How long until Catholic hospitals are forced to murder children in the name of women's rights? I've seen people be harassed mercilessly at my university because they dared to pray the Holy Rosary outside of the annual drag show. You know why this scares me? It's a Jesuit University! They're a Catholic priests and they let this happen on their campus? Sorry for the micro rant. Tough day.

Edited by Anima Christi

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