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One Nation Under God?

RhinoRhino MemberFull Members
edited February 2003 in Miscellaneous
Out of curiosity, who here was outraged by the recent 9th Circuit Court's descision to remove "under God" from the pledge? If someone doesn't believe in God, then by no means are they required to say so, or any other part of the pledge. Just don't ruin it for the rest of America. Let me ask you all two questions.

1. Do you believe in Thor, the Norse god of thunder?

2. Do you feel uncomfortable with the fifth day of the week being called "Thursday?"
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Comments

  • DeshDesh Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    *Must...... restrain....... fists........GAH!*
  • FF_Freak_4_LifeFF_Freak_4_Life Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    (holds Desh back) Whoa, young stallion! Restrain!
  • StingrayStingray Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    The way I see it, if you really don't believe in any kind of god, then seeing the word, reading it, or even saying it should not be offensive. How can something someone does not believe in be offensive? I'll explain.

    Rhino's questions on this point are valid, however generalized. Thor does not exist; the name Thursday does not offend me. However, I am not offended because the Norse pantheon is not a threat (for lack of a better term). However, when the gods or deified people do become a threat, then the names of those gods or deified people can be offensive (notice, I said can be, not necessarily will be). For instance, I would consider the Hindu pantheon threatening. It is a living and growing religion, still I am not offended by the use of the name Shiva in any of the Final Fantasies.

    The point of this is, if the name God is offensive to the father who is an atheist, he must view this God (be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever) as a threat to his own world view. This must lend some sort of credence to that which he feels threatened by (most likely Christianity, I believe that's what he's complaining about).

    Personally, as a Christian, I laugh at his attempt (or that of any atheist). No matter how much they try to stifle religious language (which, by law, they are allowed to attempt), my faith remains strong, and I know, when all is said and done, the truth will prevail.
  • DeshDesh Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    *breaks FF_Freak_4_Life's grip*

    OK, I'll try to respond to this is civil as I possibly can...

    First off, the premise of "offense" is not the strongest nor most effective way of creating a change in this direction. Nor was the timing great for this, as the subject came about during the so-called "War on Terror" and scandals with Enron and Worldcom. However, there is another more appropriate way of bringing about change.

    One of the main ideals that the United States was built upon was the separation between Church and State, mainly that of the Christian church, but others as well. It was supposedly the goal of the founding fathers to create a secular form a government, and they succeeded to a great degree. The first amendment even states that no religion will be given preference over another as far as the government is concerned.

    However, the United States of America has a very Christian government. Under God was just one instance. The mindset for using blacks as slaves in plantations was justified by the Bible, although slavery has been abolished (thankfully). When you take an oath in court, you must swear to God, whether that figure has any meaning to you or not. The prayers spoken for soldiers lost or for victims of tragedy, such as that of September 11. And Congressional meetings start off with a very Christian prayer. There exists a cognitive dissonance. The US claims to be secular, when there are many instances that contradict that claim.

    So, if we are to clear issues up, we as a nation must make a choice - make our government run in a completely secular way by removing instances of God and other things, or pick a national religion. The first is merely a matter of paperwork and small adjustments; the second could become a civil war. If some people got over their stubbornness, the first could be easily achieved. The second will not occur without the world noticing and making great criticism. So, shall we remove the cognitive dissonance existing in the text of our government documents, will many in the community get over their stubborn adherence to tradition, or will their be a heavily criticized social revolution? It seems some people prefer cognitive dissonance.

    There, I was pretty civil, wasn't I? I could've said much worse.
  • FF_Freak_4_LifeFF_Freak_4_Life Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Good, Desh! Civil, but direct and hard hitting! I'm proud of ya!
  • wyvernlordwyvernlord Banned Banned Users
    edited September 2002
    ... We need our freedom of belief... There is no "God" in my beliefs... In my beliefs, Hell is the good place and Heaven the bad... Please don't bring up religous topics or else you may start flame wars.........
  • StingrayStingray Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Desh, nice essay, but not entirely correct.

    The first amendment does not state that the government will not favor any religion, though that is inherent in what it does say. It states that it will not establish a national religion. As with everything written in our Constitution, we in the 20th (now 21st) century have expanded upon their meanings.

    One could say that Christianity was the founding relgion of this country. I mean no disrespect to the Native Americans, but they did not found the United States of America, English, Spanish, and French settlers did (some Dutch, German, and Irish came in to, but mostly those first three). But they came and a problem developed. There were Roman Catholics in Maryland, Quakers in Pennsylvania, Puritans and Congregationalists in Massachusettes, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, Dutch Reformed and Anglican in New York, etc., and a few Deists to "spice it up a bit." Fast forward a few hundred years. In each of the colonies, these were the "state religions," but this did not work in this new nation where these former colonies now called states were to be in union with each other. The two choices in front of them was to establish a national religion or enact a law that would prohibit this from happening. Of course, this is generalized, but about how it happened.

    This idea of seperation of church and state is a later phrase, I'm willing to bet (though I may be wrong). To bring a little bit of levity to this topic: did you know that church and state are not seperated in Eugene, OR? They intersect in the central west side of the city. HAHAHA, okay, not funny, back to the topic...

    One cannot also overlook something called the Manifest Destiny. People came to the new world, specifically the eastern coast of what is now the United States, with the idea that they would establish the Kingdom of God on this soil. What does this mean? They hoped to hasten the return of Jesus the Christ

    On to the slavery issue then. The Bible itself does not justify slavery, at least in the form in which it was found in our country's history. The slaves in the Bible -- that is, the slaves of the Hellenistic world -- are closer in form to our definition of endentured servants. They were slaves willingly! What the slave owners of our country's history did was use this to justify themselves. No book has been more abused and misused than the Bible; inevitable given its longevity.

    Yes, Desh, you were very civil. People can be in discussions of religion.

    Ciao!
  • BoomerangBoomerang Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Now the fun begins...

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"One of the main ideals that the United States was built upon was the separation between Church and State, mainly that of the Christian church, but others as well.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Sure, but why do you say "mainly that of the Christian church?" Where are you getting this? Also note that "separation of church and state" does not indicate a truly secular government.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"It was supposedly the goal of the founding fathers to create a secular form a government, and they succeeded to a great degree.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Here's where it gets interesting. The founding fathers are the ones who put references to God in most of the places where those references are now disputed. I'm just noting that because it has a bearing on the rest of this argument. I guess the question is, if the goal of the founding fathers was to have a government devoid of all references to religion, why did those same men include a number of references to God in the documents which shaped our nation?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"The mindset for using blacks as slaves in plantations was justified by the Bible, although slavery has been abolished (thankfully).[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    This is ludicrous. If you're going to make an allegation like that, at least back it up with some evidence. You obviously have a very basic conception of biblical theology and of the historical factors that really led to slavery in America.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"There exists a cognitive dissonance. The US claims to be secular, when there are many instances that contradict that claim.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Let's have a look at the First Amendment:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    What that tells me is that the government won't favor one religion over another. The use of the word "God" certainly doesn't favor Christianity over Islam, or Islam over Judaism, because each of these religions, and many more, have a monotheistic conception of spirituality that calls for a central "God." The term "under God" in the pledge in no way advocates a specific religion.

    Additionally, the majority of the founding fathers themselves were religious. It's only natural that we find traces of these beliefs in the important documents that they wrote which formed our country.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"So, if we are to clear issues up, we as a nation must make a choice - make our government run in a completely secular way by removing instances of God and other things, or pick a national religion. The first is merely a matter of paperwork and small adjustments; the second could become a civil war. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    This is mildly amusing, in what way does the presence of the words "under God" effect the very procedures by which our government is "run?" The process that we go through to create laws is quite secular regardless. It's not like members of Congress pray for a judgement from God every time they have a dispute. I think that this is a pretty important point, a couple mentions of God in random texts have absolutely no bearing on how the United States functions.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If some people got over their stubbornness, the first could be easily achieved. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Funny, I was about to say that if people who feel like a reference to an unspecified God is tantamount to some kind of Christian conspiracy would get over their stubbornness...

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"So, shall we remove the cognitive dissonance existing in the text of our government documents, will many in the community get over their stubborn adherence to tradition, or will their be a heavily criticized social revolution? It seems some people prefer cognitive dissonance.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    So, according to Desh, we have two options: Remove all references to God, or fight a Civil War. Gee, I never realized that this issue was that simple! I guess our country is on the brink of disaster if we don't burn all those wretched 200 year old documents containing references to God that have been brainwashing our children for all that time! C'mon, really.

    When you bring up a term like Cognitive Dissonance you should probably define it because most people are unfamiliar with the theory. For those not in the know, CD is essentially the idea that a person or a government or whatever will say or believe something that is obviously not true. If I'm wearing yellow shoes and I believe that I'm wearing red shoes, the theory applies to me. That definition is rather basic.

    The idea of CD has no place in this debate. From the beginning, the US government has been inundated with references to a higher power. The standpoint of the founding fathers is not that God doesn't exist, it's that people should be free to worship in any way they want IF they want. The presence of the term "under God" in no way inhibits the ability of an individual to practice his or her religion, if they want to at all. I don't see the dissonance. If you're trying to say that the founding fathers wanted to create a God-less government free of any reference to spirituality, you're wrong.

    What I personally prefer is the Status Quo, where people are able to tolerate harmless references to God, and where we as Americans are respectful of the tradition that makes this country as great as it is.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"The prayers spoken for soldiers lost or for victims of tragedy, such as that of September 11. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    In the post 9/11 world, the idea that there is a God watching over our country and protecting us has given peace of mind to millions of Americans. If people are finding comfort in a difficult world from phrases like "United we stand under God" then I say that the people trying to eradicate such phrases from being mentioned in many areas are being quite selfish; they're not thinking of the majority who are deriving happiness from such simple words.
  • The AthenianThe Athenian Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    For the record...
    1. I agree with Desh for once.
    2. I am Canadian.


    This sure is an ugly topic, but ignoring a problem won't make it go away.
    Boomerang: "The use of the word "God" certainly doesn't favor Christianity over Islam, or Islam over Judaism, because each of these religions, and many more, have a monotheistic conception of spirituality that calls for a central "God." The term "under God" in the pledge in no way advocates a specific religion. Additionally, the majority of the founding fathers themselves were religious. It's only natural that we find traces of these beliefs in the important documents that they wrote which formed our country."
    I was hoping someone would say this. Yes, the word "God" DOES imply a specific religion, or at least a specific set of American state religions, as you mentioned. Do you really think the founding fathers put in the word God so it would be in accordance with Islam, Judaism, and other monotheistic religions? The word God, today, may technically also be applied in some way to other religious figures. But at the time it was written, you KNOW it was exclusive. And how about polytheistic religions? Are these to be ignored as well?
    You admit that we DO find traces of the founding fathers' beliefs in such documents. Do you think we should just keep everything the way it was, or what? We don't need to cling to old personal preferences when they exclude many of the country's citizens. Why should there be any pressure to humour some dead old men, when there are people alive today who are being officially shunned because of it?
    Here's how I see this issue... We don't need a history lesson to understand it. Nor should we be offended by the concept of "God" if we don't believe in it. But this kind of offense isn't the problem, because, as you say, "people are able to tolerate harmless references to God."
    The real offense is that, on some level, if you do not believe in God you are not a part of the United States. Sure, you may have the choice of whether to recite the pledge or not, but you CAN'T recite it exactly unless you admit to having faith in God. You don't have to believe in God on your own, but if you want to be a card-carrying member of the America Club, you sure do. If you don't believe in God, you are officially an outsider, on some level, no matter how small.

    Boomerang: "in what way does the presence of the words "under God" effect the very procedures by which our government is "run?" The process that we go through to create laws is quite secular regardless. It's not like members of Congress pray for a judgement from God every time they have a dispute. I think that this is a pretty important point, a couple mentions of God in random texts have absolutely no bearing on how the United States functions."
    Well, if the words "under God" really don't mean anything, then why object to their removal? There seems to be more reason to remove them than to keep them.
  • BoomerangBoomerang Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I was hoping someone would say this. Yes, the word "God" DOES imply a specific religion, or at least a specific set of American state religions, as you mentioned. Do you really think the founding fathers put in the word God so it would be in accordance with Islam, Judaism, and other monotheistic religions? The word God, today, may technically also be applied in some way to other religious figures. But at the time it was written, you KNOW it was exclusive. And how about polytheistic religions? Are these to be ignored as well?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    What I know or what you think I know has no bearing on this discussion. The three religions I mentioned all share the same God by the way, they simply differ on the specific elements. Christians believe Jesus is the Savior, Muslims believe that he was a great prophet who performed miracles.

    Who says certain religions are going to be "ignored?" The law applies to all citizens, and the founding fathers made sure that everyone would be equal regardless of what religion they practiced. If certain people have enough time to nitpick, whine and complain that the term "under God" is offensive because it doesn't include polytheistic religions, those people need something to do with their lives. They're far too obsessed with being politically correct for their own good.

    Religion has played an integral role in the formation and development of our country, trying to deny this by wiping out all references to it is simply stupid.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"You admit that we DO find traces of the founding fathers' beliefs in such documents. Do you think we should just keep everything the way it was, or what? We don't need to cling to old personal preferences when they exclude many of the country's citizens. Why should there be any pressure to humour some dead old men, when there are people alive today who are being officially shunned because of it?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Religion as I just noted has been an important note in our country. America, the greatest nation in the world, has a strong sense of tradition, and with good cause. If you want to strip a couple words from old documents because a couple people find them offensive, then why not go through the whole Constitution and rewrite it? Nobody is being officially shunned by a little couplet, that's blowing things way out of proportion.

    Did you ever think about the people who want the words to remain? These words have profound meaning to a great number of people. The problem with leftists who obsess over pleasing everybody is that they step on far more toes than they realize.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"The real offense is that, on some level, if you do not believe in God you are not a part of the United States. Sure, you may have the choice of whether to recite the pledge or not, but you CAN'T recite it exactly unless you admit to having faith in God. You don't have to believe in God on your own, but if you want to be a card-carrying member of the America Club, you sure do. If you don't believe in God, you are officially an outsider, on some level, no matter how small.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I don't know where to begin here...Let's see, there are a number of laws that our government actively enforces that I strongly disagree with, and a number of laws that I would like to see in place that are non-existent. My view on some of these issues is unpopular, but does that mean that I've been "shunned?"

    What you're saying, Athenian, is that because certain people disagree with certain parts of our historical documents, they are outsiders and aren't truly accepted as Americans, when you know that the law extends full protection over them and accords them the same rights and privileges as everyone else. So if I disagree with a certain law that the majority believes should stay, that somehow makes me an outsider because I don't believe in certain aspects of our justice system.

    So to you, everyone is an outsider, because everyone has some kind of disagreement with the way things are run. So I guess there are no true Americans in your book.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Well, if the words "under God" really don't mean anything, then why object to their removal? There seems to be more reason to remove them than to keep them.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I didn't say the words have no point, I said they have no bearing on how our governmental systems function. The words do have meaning to hundreds of thousands of people who lost friends and family on 9/11.
  • LulusLittleSisterLulusLittleSister Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    First of all, no, I didnt really read those incredibly long essays. I may later. Secondly, I am NOT Christian (thank goodness).

    I am very proud of the person who took that to court. It always bothered me that in class we had to thank "God" for keeping us united under Him. Well... put yourself in my shoes (or the shoes of a person of any other religion [or lack of] in America or American schools). Would you really want to be forced into that situation? I wouldnt think that you would, but if I'm wrong, I apologize for assuming. I dont like having a daily reminder about Christianity in this world. If I wanted that I'd become a Quaker and go to mass everyday.

    PS: Yes, this is a VERY bitter subject for me. Sorry if I offended.
  • DeshDesh Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"This is ludicrous. ?If you're going to make an allegation like that, at least back it up with some evidence. ?You obviously have a very basic conception of biblical theology and of the historical factors that really led to slavery in America.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Well, first let me say that I did not say that slavery came about because of what the Bible has to say, merely that the idea behind enslaving blacks could find justification in the bible. ?If you don't believe me, James Baldwin wrote an interesting essay that touches on that very subject. The essay is called "Down at the Cross," and it is sitting here right in front of me in my college Literacies text. ?If you want other ways to find it, it was released in The New Yorker as "Letter from a Region in My Mind" November 17, 1962. ?It was also published in a collection called The Fire Next Time in 1963. ?It's actually a very interesting read, with that point included. ?I would recommend it to many people who would promise to approach it with an open mind.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Who says certain religions are going to be "ignored?" ?The law applies to all citizens, and the founding fathers made sure that everyone would be equal regardless of what religion they practiced. ?If certain people have enough time to nitpick, whine and complain that the term "under God" is offensive because it doesn't include polytheistic religions, those people need something to do with their lives. ?They're far too obsessed with being politically correct for their own good.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Not only are you being extremely insulting, you are also conveniently forgetting that there are people who live what you might call "alternative" lifestyles, and they are just as much US citizens as you are. ?You have no problem following the set protocol, because it has some meaning to you, but for the people who do not believe in your faith, it is a violation towards their lifestyle. ?They feel forced to give it some kind of meaning because it effects their very lives. ?Why should they have to legally recite something that is supposed to have meaning to them when it really doesn't?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Did you ever think about the people who want the words to remain? ?These words have profound meaning to a great number of people. ?The problem with leftists who obsess over pleasing everybody is that they step on far more toes than they realize.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    What do you think of the movement that worked towards abolishing slavery? ?Didn't those people step on a whole slew of toes? ?But, if you look at it today, it now seems to be the more humanitarian ideology. ?And as for the people who want the words to remain, they can go to their place of worship to hear their precious words spoken. ?Everybody else does. ?Why are you more important?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"This is mildly amusing, in what way does the presence of the words "under God" effect the very procedures by which our government is "run?" ?The process that we go through to create laws is quite secular regardless. ?It's not like members of Congress pray for a judgement from God every time they have a dispute. ?I think that this is a pretty important point, a couple mentions of God in random texts have absolutely no bearing on how the United States functions.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    When in court, you are required BY LAW to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth SO HELP YOU GOD. ?To a person who finds no meaning in those last words, the oath means nothing and may as well not exist. ?It is babble to them. ?By saying that they have to find meaning from it, is to cram God down their throats.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"One cannot also overlook something called the Manifest Destiny. ?People came to the new world, specifically the eastern coast of what is now the United States, with the idea that they would establish the Kingdom of God on this soil. ?What does this mean? ?They hoped to hasten the return of Jesus the Christ.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    How about my ancestors, who fled to America so that they could freely practice Judaism? ?It was not all to establish the so-called "Kingdom of God" on this soil. ?It was for a very basic religious freedom, and Christianity neither did nor does hold a monopoly on that.


    Lastly, I would like to add that you seem to hold the values and opinions of other people in very low regard, and that makes me absolutely furious. ?I'm surprised that I have not gone on a religious rampage yet, but if I am pushed to, I very well might. ?And I'm very capable of doing so. ?So, you can sit in the safety of your assurance and see what happens.

    EDIT: Oh, don't I hate making typos



  • The Chosen OneThe Chosen One Banned Banned Users
    edited September 2002
    I'd join in the debate but im too lazy to read Deshy's ultra long-combo posts tounge.gif
  • Captain VittlesCaptain Vittles Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    A preface to my comments:

    1: I'm a Canadian, and thus not in the grip of Ultra-Americanism.
    2: I'm a scientist, and believe only in what can be seen and proven.
    3: I agree with Desh and Athenian, so religious people (well, ultra-Christians) aren't gonna like me.

    Since the basic case for removal of the words was made quite eloquently by Desh, I won't rehash those points. In fact, I really don't want to get too deep into this debate - I swore a long time ago not to get too deeply into any religious debates ever again, as the zealots have pushed me away. But a there are a few points I feel I must address.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Personally, as a Christian, I laugh at his attempt (or that of any atheist). No matter how much they try to stifle religious language (which, by law, they are allowed to attempt), my faith remains strong, and I know, when all is said and done, the truth will prevail.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Stingray, I respect your beliefs, I admire your intelligence and I am awed at the depth of faith which I can only imagine, but the arrogance and finality of this statement sums up the reasons why I haven't gone to church in years.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"One cannot also overlook something called the Manifest Destiny. People came to the new world, specifically the eastern coast of what is now the United States, with the idea that they would establish the Kingdom of God on this soil. What does this mean? They hoped to hasten the return of Jesus the Christ.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Funny, I thought the 'New World' was discovered and colonized because European monarchs, merchants and clergy were powerful and greedy.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What I personally prefer is the Status Quo, where people are able to tolerate harmless references to God, and where we as Americans are respectful of the tradition that makes this country as great as it is.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    The 'Status Quo' takes many forms. It can mean accepting that egomaniacal professors can fail you on a whim, that black people are inferior to whites, that rape victims ask for it, etc. Just because a lot of people are Christian doesn't mean everyone should be forced to endure it. Last time I checked, maintaining the Status Quo was a *BAD* thing.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What that tells me is that the government won't favor one religion over another. The use of the word "God" certainly doesn't favor Christianity over Islam, or Islam over Judaism, because each of these religions, and many more, have a monotheistic conception of spirituality that calls for a central "God." The term "under God" in the pledge in no way advocates a specific religion.

    Who says certain religions are going to be "ignored?" The law applies to all citizens, and the founding fathers made sure that everyone would be equal regardless of what religion they practiced. If certain people have enough time to nitpick, whine and complain that the term "under God" is offensive because it doesn't include polytheistic religions, those people need something to do with their lives. They're far too obsessed with being politically correct for their own good.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Muslims call God Allah, and would probably be very offended at having Allah generalized as God. One of my Jewish friends in high school told me that she was taught to never write God, but rather to use G-d so as not to take His name in vain. So I doubt they appreciate God being written out either. And don't get me started on anyone I know who is Wiccan, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. Those two words have a very specific meaning.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If you want to strip a couple words from old documents because a couple people find them offensive, then why not go through the whole Constitution and rewrite it?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Isn't rewriting the Constitution what your government does every day with all those amendments?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I didn't say the words have no point, I said they have no bearing on how our governmental systems function. The words do have meaning to hundreds of thousands of people who lost friends and family on 9/11.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Don't go bringing 9/11 into this. When Desh mentioned it, it was for the purpose of noting that public ceremonies are predominantly Christian. But what you're saying is the words should be left because a lot of mourners are Christian. So what if their *PERSONAL* beliefs are predominantly Christian - that in no way supports the true argument here.

    I know some of my statements aren't made in the best debating style, but I'm too tired to proofread. And I'm sure I pissed off some people, but I feel it's only fair as the entire subject pisses me off. I wish Rhino had never started it - these sorts of topics can be very divisive and this is such a nice, tight-knit online community. But as I said, I couldn't let some things go.
  • keele864keele864 Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Sorry, I don't have time to read this whole thread... school work. I think that this topic may eventually become somewhat irrelevant. Almost all decisions made by the 0th Circuit Court are repealed. They're very liberal and the Supreme Court often doesn't like what they have to say... As for me, I go to a Catholic school, so I'm sure that I'll continue saying the controversial bit of the Pledge. I probably will throughout my life. I don't however, think that the offending line is needed- I'm all for religous pluralism.
  • BoomerangBoomerang Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Well, first let me say that I did not say that slavery came about because of what the Bible has to say, merely that the idea behind enslaving blacks could find justification in the bible. ?If you don't believe me, James Baldwin wrote an
    interesting essay that touches on that very subject. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I'm not interested in the opinion of some author I've never heard of, because I can provide the same source for you of the opposite opinion. What I'm interested in is a direct quote or quotes from the Bible that would justify enslaving another race, if you can find one such quote. You said something pretty controversial and borderline offensive, so I want you to back up that statement with something beyond a reference to a random article you read.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Not only are you being extremely insulting, you are also conveniently forgetting that there are people who live what you might call "alternative" lifestyles, and they are just as much US citizens as you are. ?You have no problem following the set protocol, because it has some meaning to you, but for the people who do not believe in your faith, it is a violation towards their lifestyle. ?They feel forced to give it some kind of meaning because it effects their very lives.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Mmmm, I just figured that if you were playing hardball you could take it if someone else felt like doing the same thing. Know what's also insulting? Telling a Christian that the Bible justifies slavery, especially when you say this without any analysis or more importantly evidence whatsoever. I certainly didn't forget that people have alternative lifestyles and viewpoints(I registered under a third party), I believe that diversity is healthy for a democracy. But I also believe that whining about something until you get your way, regardless of how ever many people wish the opposite as you, is a pretty bad way to go through life. If the occasional mention of God is so inherently offensive, then why doesn't it cause even the majority of atheists to get angry(most atheists simply don't care)?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE" Why should they have to legally recite something that is supposed to have meaning to them when it really doesn't?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    And why should I have to obey laws that are supposed to have meaning to me but really don't?

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What do you think of the movement that worked towards abolishing slavery? ?Didn't those people step on a whole slew
    of toes? ?But, if you look at it today, it now seems to be the more humanitarian ideology. ?And as for the people who want the words to remain, they can go to their place of worship to hear their precious words spoken. ?Everybody else does. ?Why are you more important?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Why is the minority more important? And please, let's not insult our collective intelligence by comparing the mention of God in the pledge of allegiance to slavery. There's a pretty obvious difference.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"When in court, you are required BY LAW to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth SO HELP YOU GOD. ?To a person who finds no meaning in those last words, the oath means nothing and may as well not exist. ?It is babble to them. ?By saying that they have to find meaning from it, is to cram God down their throats.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Who says that people have to derive meaning from those words? I think you just answered your own question: ?"To a person who finds no meaning in those last words, the oath means nothing and may as well not exist."

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Lastly, I would like to add that you seem to hold the values and opinions of other people in very low regard[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    You seem to hold Christians in a low regard...don't confuse my disagreeing with your opinions as my believing that you shouldn't be expressing them.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"that makes me absolutely furious. ?I'm surprised that I have not gone on a religious rampage yet, but if I am pushed to, I very well might. ?And I'm very capable of doing so. ?So, you can sit in the safety of your assurance and see what happens.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Great, Desh, great, you've scared everybody but me into a state of abject terror!
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    I don't really want to read this whole discussion, and frankly, I don't care that much. ?What I think is that you should get to choose whether you say the offending phrase or not, or possibly even be able to replace it with other phrases. ?If you find comfort in the phrase "Under God", then go ahead and say it. ?But what if you're, say, Hindu? ?"Under Vishnu" or "Under Brahma" or whatever. ?Shinto? ?"Under [insert name of your favorite Kami here]" should work. ?What if you're not religious? ?Well, you could just not say it, or you could say "Under science" or something. ?Okay, maybe this isn't turning out to be such a good idea, but oh well.........



  • keele864keele864 Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Boomerang, in Leviticus or Deuteronomy, there is command to genocide. Though obviously nobody really supports killing evryone in a particular race. Other laws are about the treatment of slaves.
  • DeshDesh Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Gee, I TRY to keep things civil...

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I'm not interested in the opinion of some author I've never heard of, because I can provide the same source for you of the opposite opinion. What I'm interested in is a direct quote or quotes from the Bible that would justify enslaving another race, if you can find one such quote. You said something pretty controversial and borderline offensive, so I want you to back up that statement with something beyond a reference to a random article you read.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Well, the essay I read, which was written by a rather famous name in literature who spent his earlier years in the church, did indeed quote the Bible for points like that, but, as you said, you are not interested in reading the writing of an influential writer with great credentials, that's your loss. And even then, you would call his interpretations and opinions "wrong," and we already had that discussion. Thus, as is always formed in discussions relating to religious snobbery, there can be no change to hope for. It requires open minds on both sides, and this requirement is clearly not met.
  • BoomerangBoomerang Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    DESH:

    Well, now that I'm over that scare you gave me...

    What you said is good enough for me. ?But I'm not sure you have an open mind yourself...your post, like mine, was a defense of your opinion, not a query designed to cultivate and discover other opinions. ?You were never open to the idea that others might have good reasons for defending the word "God" as it appears in certain texts. It's very difficult to have an open mind on religious issues.

    This is apparent by the anger you displayed at Rhino for mentioning an opinion that was different from your own. ?Or you could prove how open minded you are compared to me by reading a few pages from "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis. ?

    Incidentally, the reason I wasn't interested in reading the article you mentioned was because I didn't want to go out of my way for the purpose of a debate. There's nothing holding you back from quoting that article in your post anyway...I propose we just drop the issue and agree to disagree, because neither of us is going to change the other's mind.



  • AlienaAliena Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I am very proud of the person who took that to court. It always bothered me that in class we had to thank "God" for keeping us united under Him. Well... put yourself in my shoes (or the shoes of a person of any other religion [or lack of] in America or American schools). Would you really want to be forced into that situation? I wouldnt think that you would, but if I'm wrong, I apologize for assuming. I dont like having a daily reminder about Christianity in this world. If I wanted that I'd become a Quaker and go to mass everyday.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I know I should keep my mouth shut because in my experience, when I step forward with my opinion, I end up ticking people off. *sigh* Anyhow, put yourself in my shoes...I AM a Christian and my faith is extremely important to me. And little by little, I've seen what I hold the most dear become "offensive." Prayer was taken out of school, we almost didn't have Baccalaureate Senior year due to the protestation of let's see...one student, no more prayers at the football games, and now "under God" taken out of the pledge?

    Put yourself in my shoes...I turn on the news every day and see new evidence that what I believe is "wrong" and that it doesn't belong in my world. It seems if you say you're a Christian, all of the sudden, you're branded as narrow-minded and about a dozen other negative things. And your faith is picked apart by people who don't truly live it, but have only read about it. So for those of us who experience it day by day, it's basically being degraded into something less. Being Christian isn't about being Quaker or simply going to mass every day (I don't think Quakers even go to mass). It's so much more than that...

    I'd like to applaud Stingray, Desh, Boomerang, and Athenian, who seem to be trying to discuss this intelligently but civilly. I'm glad you guys are backing your arguments up. All i can do is urge ya'll to continue to keep it civil. I, obviously side with Stingray and Boomerang on this one, but still it's interesting to read what ya'll have to say. I can't get involved in this discussion because it hits too close to home with me and I'm too emotional when it comes to people degrading my beliefs. It really upsets me when people ridicule my faith, though especially online it seems, I should be used to it. So I'm stepping back now. I probably won't turn to this thread again.

    Good day.
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    I can definately see it from your point of view, Aliena. Not all religious people are closed-minded, not by a long shot. Faith can help people accomplish things that seem impossible and get them through hard times. In fact, if there was an organized religion that fit my beliefs, I would immediately subscribe to it. But most religions seem to disagree with me in most spiritual and political issues, so I tend to call myself an "agnostic". Hmm... a test on selectsmart.com (cool site) said that "Unitarian Universalism" fit my beliefs best, followed by "Liberal Quakers". Maybe I should look into those. If you're interested, the one that fit my beliefs least was "Roman Catholicism".
  • Holy DragoonHoly Dragoon Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    *Is not going to touch this subject with a 20ft pole*

    My devout Catholic side pulls me one way, my law student side pulls me the other.
  • RhinoRhino Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    See what I mean? Does anyone here recognize the possibiliy that taking God out of the pledge is also offending people? Accoring to a recent USA Today poll, 70% of Americans believe God belongs in the pledge. So who would you rather offend? The 70% who want Him there, or the 30% who don't?
  • keele864keele864 Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Aliena, I'm a very devout Christian as well (Roman Catholic).

    I think that it sounds like some of you haven't had the best experiences with Christians. Please don't think that all Catholics or Christians are narrow-minded bigots. I myself have Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist friends. I would never refuse to associate with a reasonable person because of their religous beliefs.

    Boomerang, you mentioned C.S. Lewis. I'd say that he qualifies as ann open-minded Christian. He even wrote an entire book from a devil's point of view (The Screwtape Letters). Also, he was originally an atheist. which I think implies something about Christianity- he wasn't Christian because he was born so.
  • StingrayStingray Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Captain Vittles @ Sep. 24 2002,14:45)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Personally, as a Christian, I laugh at his attempt (or that of any atheist). ?No matter how much they try to stifle religious language (which, by law, they are allowed to attempt), my faith remains strong, and I know, when all is said and done, the truth will prevail.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Stingray, I respect your beliefs, I admire your intelligence and I am awed at the depth of faith which I can only imagine, but the arrogance and finality of this statement sums up the reasons why I haven't gone to church in years.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Okay, my apologies. ?I in no way meant for this to be taken as arrogance. ?Yes, there is finality in it. ?My faith states that on the last day, the sheep (believers) will be seperated from the goats (unbelievers). ?To the goats, Jesus will say (and I paraphrase), "I'm sorry, you had your chance, but you continued to reject me." ?To the sheep, He will say (again, I paraphrase), "Your reward is in heaven." ?Yes, that's final; there's no denying that.

    However, the laughing I do is to myself. ?I don't point fingers and laugh at anyone I know to be an atheist attacking my faith. ?I laugh because I know that no matter how much they attack my faith and try to tell me I'm wrong (by trying to stifle religious language), my faith is sure. ?If you wish to discuss this further, please PM me because this is more personal than this topic is asking for, though I am still willing to discuss it.

    Boomerang, I don't believe Desh was trying to say that the Bible justifies slavery. ?See my earlier response to his same statement. ?It is true however that slave owners have used to Bible to justify themselves in owning slaves. ?One verse in particular comes to mind. ?1 Corinthians 7:24, "Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that [condition] in which he was called" (NASB). ?The slave owners would use that verse to say to their slaves that since they became Christians as slaves, they should remain slaves (that was their condition in which they were called [Christians]). ?This saddens me. ?This appalls me. ?It saddens and appalls me because of the way so many people have generalized Christians because of a few "bad apples" (as can be seen in the posts of a few people here). ?The same stigma applies to the Crusades, terrible, bloody events in world history committed by Christians. ?It also applies to the horrible injustices committed by Church leaders throughout history. ?It's the same thing that happens with all Muslims because most terrorists are of the Muslim religion. ?It's the same thing that happens to Jews who are stereotyped as good money handlers or being very rich. ?It's not fair, and it's not right. ?Now, because I'm Christian, I am labeled evil because of the evil acts of slave owners, popes (et al), and Crusaders. ?These are not my sins; I was never a slave owner, pope ("et al"), or Crusader. ?That's wrong. ?Not all Muslims are terrorists. ?Not all Jews are skilled in usery.

    Desh and Captain Vittles, allow me to defend my Manifest Destiny statement. ?Desh, did your ancestors who fled to this country flee and help in the founding of this country? ?Probably not. ?No offense to them or you, but to freely practice Judaism is not what this land was colonized for. ?The fact that they could was and is a wonderful result of colonization. ?CV, yes, the colonies were established because of power and greed. ?Thanksgiving is a holiday in which we celebrate our thanks (expanded upon in Christian circles, I'm sure also in others) for our freedoms. ?It is a recognition of some of the first settlers upon this soil, the Pilgrims: Puritans who were persecuted by power hungry monarchs who would have nothing to do with their religious views and came to this land to practice freely and establish what they believed to be the Kingdom of God and hasten the Christ's second coming.

    I hope I have redeemed myself. ?I don't hate anyone because of their beliefs or views. ?Please don't hate me because of mine. ?I tried to keep this short, but I know I failed. ?I also tried to keep it in sections. ?Read it all or just the section that interests you. ?Or, don't read it at all, I won't be offended.



  • StingrayStingray Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (keele864 @ Sep. 24 2002,19:12)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Also, he was originally an atheist. which I think implies something about Christianity- he wasn't Christian because he was born so.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I'm gonna correct you, it's in my nature, sorry. Read his book Surprised by Joy. He was actually a Christian first who converted to Atheism (he would even say Antitheism), to Agnostic, to Theist, back to Christian. It's a good book if a tough read, but I highly recommend it.
  • DeshDesh Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    I promised myself I wouldn't put any more in this thread, but I feel I have to clarify some stuff about me personally.

    Everybody on my mother's side of the family, except for my mother, is Christian. All of my friends that I know in person are Christian, mostly because I live in white-bred Maine and there is very little diversity here. There are definitely good and bad people who are Christians, and there are definitely good and bad people who are not. People are people, and I don't judge them on their religion. I like the people, not their religion.

    Now, in reference to my life, my mother grew up Baptist, and when she discovered Judaism, she decided to convert. There was no pressure to have her join; in fact, she had to work very hard to become a part of the religion. I think that says something for Judaism, and other religions for that matter. Of course, it is not part of my religion to recruit people, so don't get the impression that I am.

    I'm really very tolerant of different religions!
    ... just not very tolerant of them pushing on me...
  • Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Religion breeds war. That's it that's all.
  • The AthenianThe Athenian Member Full Members
    edited September 2002
    Wow. This topic has succeeded in supremely ticking me off -- mostly due to Boomerang, as usual. The things that come outta that boy's mouth I will never understand.

    Boomerang: "If certain people have enough time to nitpick, whine and complain that the term "under God" is offensive because it doesn't include polytheistic religions, those people need something to do with their lives. They're far too obsessed with being politically correct for their own good."
    If I had to respond to this point (and most of your posts) with only one sentence, it would be simply "THAT'S EASY FOR YOU TO SAY." The majority can be happy about things, because they are getting service with a smile. The rest are just getting service. The "under God" line is a subtle way of looking down on those who are different, as if to say "You don't fit in, and you never will."
    So what is your advice, Boomerang? We should just grin and bear it? We should say the "under God" line all the time, even if it has no meaning to us? We should be reminded every day that we are different -- no, scratch that -- INFERIOR to most other people? We should pay lip service to YOUR faith just to keep YOU happy?
    So instead of taking the "time to nitpick, whine and complain" we should just smile and be quiet while being forced to say things we don't believe in?
    By the way, it may interest you to know that I am the only male in my painting class at university. Everyone else, obviously, is female. Let's say, hypothetically, that there was a chant at the beginning of each class that went: "We women promise to paint well." Would I be "nitpicking" or "whining" if I objected to this?
    I realize that life is often unfair. This is a sad reality, though, and not an excuse to be exploited so that the preferred demographics can sit high on the mountaintop in the warm comfort of their happy little "Status Quo."

    Boomerang: "Religion has played an integral role in the formation and development of our country, trying to deny this by wiping out all references to it is simply stupid."
    HAS PLAYED, Boomerang. Past tense. We don't need it anymore. For cryin' out loud, you interpret and make changes to the Bible -- why can't you do the same for a few legal documents? That's partly why they exist, after all. While you're at it, erase that "right to bare arms" bit -- but that's another topic.

    Boomerang: "Did you ever think about the people who want the words to remain? These words have profound meaning to a great number of people."
    I suppose this point is different from my "complaining" and "whining" somehow?
    Besides, no one is saying that Christians can't express their faith in their own personal ways. Like Desh said, everyone else does. Why can't you? "History" and "majority" do not impress me, as you may have guessed.

    Captain Vittles: "Last time I checked, maintaining the Status Quo was a *BAD* thing."
    Exactly. That's why I like to argue AGAINST people all the time, and attack their arguments. If we're ever going to arrive at real truth, it will be at the end of a long road covered in ashes. As Kefka once said, "Destroy, destroy, destroy!!!" (metaphorically speaking of course, for all the loonies out there)

    Aliena: "Put yourself in my shoes...I turn on the news every day and see new evidence that what I believe is "wrong" and that it doesn't belong in my world. It seems if you say you're a Christian, all of the sudden, you're branded as narrow-minded and about a dozen other negative things."
    I'm sorry you feel that way. But it's not your faith that is a problem -- it's the fact that it's advertized so aggressively. It's sort of like a teacher telling his/her students to drink Coke every day. There may not be anything wrong with Coke, but why should these young kids have to be subjected to it so much?

    Rhino: "Does anyone here recognize the possibiliy that taking God out of the pledge is also offending people? Accoring to a recent USA Today poll, 70% of Americans believe God belongs in the pledge. So who would you rather offend? The 70% who want Him there, or the 30% who don't?"
    So what you're saying is that 30% of the American population is dissatisfied. This is supposed to be acceptable?!

    keele864: "Boomerang, you mentioned C.S. Lewis. I'd say that he qualifies as ann open-minded Christian. He even wrote an entire book from a devil's point of view (The Screwtape Letters). Also, he was originally an atheist. which I think implies something about Christianity- he wasn't Christian because he was born so."
    It doesn't say anything about Christianity, it says something about C.S. Lewis.

    Desh: "Now, in reference to my life, my mother grew up Baptist, and when she discovered Judaism, she decided to convert. There was no pressure to have her join; in fact, she had to work very hard to become a part of the religion. I think that says something for Judaism, and other religions for that matter."
    Same as the last point, I think. It says something about your mother, not Judaism.

    Dosed: "Religion breeds war. That's it that's all."
    People say that talking about religion is bad, and causes hatred and violence. This kind of statement angers me -- it's the LACK of discussion and understanding of religions that brings about hatred and violence.

    And for what it's worth, I should say that I am technically supposed to be a catholic. I've technically been catholic all my life, and frankly I'm sick of it.
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