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View Diary: Romney/Ryan Lies Now Extend to Church Groups (99 comments)

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  •  This is messed up (13+ / 0-)
    A pastor moves into a poor neighbor, begins a church, ordains his family, and promotes himself to Bishop.
    Promotes himself to Bishop? Safe to assume some/most/all of these guys apponted themselves as "pastors" to begin with? Just becasue they went to church a lot?

    The constitutional right to freedom of religion is one thing, but to be a religious leader is something else. Some kind of minimally rigorous licensing ought to be required, same as for many other trades and pratices.

    I can't tell you precisely what that test might include beyond a thorough mental evaluation, but it's undeniable an unfit religious leader can be as damaging to a community as an unfit teacher, an unfit electrician, or an unfit doctor.

    A side story about untrained pastors-

    I had a 2nd cousin on mom's hillbilly side of the family who was married to a preacher who had his own church. She invited me to come one Sunday.

    Tiny little church, weren't more than a dozen people there, and it turned out it I was related to all of them. It was my second cousin, her husband the preacher, my great aunt, and my second cousin's litter of kids.

    It was weird. Her husband up there ramblin' and yammerin' and literally slobberin' and amen'in' and praise the lordin' in between nearly every other sentence. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 04:10:46 PM PDT

    •  Phelps clan another example n/t (10+ / 0-)

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 04:21:14 PM PDT

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    •  just no. (8+ / 0-)
      Some kind of minimally rigorous licensing ought to be required, same as for many other trades and pratices.
      Runs right up against the first amendment - if that wouldn't be an establishment of religion I don't know what would be.

      Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

      by nickrud on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 04:53:28 PM PDT

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      •  Yup... If you license preachers (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nickrud, madgranny, mrsgoo, skrekk, mmacdDE, madhaus

        in a way, the government is then taking a position that they are preaching the truth.  And... the government has no business deciding whether there is a god or not, or who speaks for Him/Her.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 04:59:12 PM PDT

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        •  It's not about approving a theology, it's about (0+ / 0-)

          making sure madmen don't lead people into the jungle to drink from tubs of cyanide laced kool-ade.

          Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

          by JTinDC on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 05:26:19 PM PDT

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          •  Let's see here... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skrekk

            There was a pastor who was named to a major city's Human Rights Commission for his work in bringing whites and blacks together in a city not known for such things.  He gained the support of the governor and lieutenant governor of a different state, the mayor of a different city, some assemblymen and supervisors.  

            His name was Jim Jones.  The Human Rights Commission was in Indianapolis and the rest of the plaudits came from his political and social work based out of San Francisco, California.  

            Peoples Temple wiki

            "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

            by Yamaneko2 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 06:27:36 PM PDT

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            •  What's your point? (0+ / 0-)

              These city and govt officials apparantly weren't looking out for right signals of danger, now were they. Shame on Mayor Moscone and shame on Harvy Milk for their blind defense of Jones and their denunciation of investigations that could have saved lives.

              Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

              by JTinDC on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 06:46:49 PM PDT

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              •  My point... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skrekk

                Your example of why such licensing might be useful involves a minister who received a string of honors from politicians at the local, county and state level.  It indicates that such a license would not necessarily protect the general public from wolves in shepherd's clothing.

                "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

                by Yamaneko2 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 07:08:11 PM PDT

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      •  Part of pastoral duties is to provide counseling. (0+ / 0-)

        That ought to required some kind of proficiency. If you can't see that then, yikes.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 05:23:20 PM PDT

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        •  doesn't matter (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare, mrsgoo, mmacdDE, madhaus

          it's spiritual counseling. Licensing spirituality is expressly forbidden by the first amendment. Do you really want christian boards determining which hindu priest is legitimate? Because believe you me, if spiritual regulation got back into the government's hands that's exactly who'd be dominating those boards. It wouldn't be some dispassionate atheistic psychologists.

          Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

          by nickrud on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 05:30:51 PM PDT

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        •  We can't do that, for the First Amendment reasons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud, mmacdDE

          listed.  It does scare me, though, to think of folks with little to minimal training counseling folks.  I'm reasonably trained, and feel comfortable with the basics, but my church carries professional liability insurance on me, as they should.

          Training, however, is not a guarantee of competence.  See the Roman Catholic priests who molested children.

          Five years after I chose my username, happily living somewhere else.

          by Tenn Wisc Dem on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 08:14:04 PM PDT

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          •  nor, obviously, is the size of the institution (0+ / 0-)

            Many large, well known, in existence for centuries, institutions have abused people.

            There's no guarantees in life. You can invest your money with a respected financial professional, even ran the NYSE, and lose everything because he's a crook running a ponzi scheme. You can send your kids to a well established, respected catholic school and they get abused by the priest. You can send them to a well respected charity a that works with a large, well known and respected university and they get abused.

            Or you can not even bother checking things out, and get the kindest, most awesome teachers, the best financial planner, and help from unexpected sources.

            Luck of the draw, sometimes. Though you SHOULD do some checking, it's no guarantee that everything is right.

    •  No, please no! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, mrsgoo

      Putting states in the position of licensing pastors is a very dangerous game:  place (insert state of your choice) in charge of determining who's fit to be the imam of a mosque and watch the excitement.  

      The effect of this hands-off approach, unfortunately, is that any sociopath or huckster can rent a storefront, put out a shingle and preach to his heart's content.  He can also file for non-profit status and the various benefits:  nontaxable "housing allowance", ability to evade a draft and the respect of politicians too scared, crafty or ignorant to know better.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 06:14:32 PM PDT

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    •  I am not in favor of this kind of licensing but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trotskyrepublican

      I could see that to qualify for tax exempt status one should have to show some things like a minimum number of church members, a place of worship separate from the home (like a home office when working from home) etc.

      I don't care who wants to preach what, but I would like some minimum standards for tax exempt status if they don't already exist.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 08:18:52 PM PDT

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    •  Oil and water. (0+ / 0-)

      Surely you have noticed by now that religion is the antithesis of accountability, proof, and professional rigor.  

      It routinely attracts the most gullible, uninformed and undereducated people in society -- and that, in turn, attracts those who prey on the poor and the ignorant and the credulous.  

      The government should play no part in this sad saga.  Yes, it is terrible when religious charlatans prey upon their fellow believers, but you can look at is as a sort of tax for embracing superstitition in the first place.  

      •  Quite honestly, if it could be used to bring about (0+ / 0-)

        the demise of religion, I'd be all for it, horrifying as that may sound. My heart aches and breaks at the very thought of the slightest thougt of human suffering, but I have nothing but contempt and hostility for ignorance, superstition, and mythology taken as literal truth. Morality requires no supernatural assistance.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 06:28:45 AM PDT

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