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View Diary: The ugly collusion between 'religious faith' and bigotry (91 comments)

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  •  Note I said religious extemism. NT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, irishwitch, Matt Z

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:44:45 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I DID note that, and I wonder: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RhodeIslandAspie, irishwitch

      is liberal religion "extreme"?

      Let me tell you a story. The Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, and African-American, was the first Anglican Bishop who was also, incidentally, a woman. In the entire Anglican Communion (though in the ECUSA). Twenty years later, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson became Bishop of New Hampshire, and he was a queer as Christmas.

      THAT is religious extremeism, and it's also JUSTICE.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:53:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough. (4+ / 0-)

        Martin Luther King WAS an extremist not just to the unabashed defenders of segregation, but to defenders of the status quo who thought he was pushing too hard and should be more patient.

        And we could say much the same about the abolitionists. Or the Catholic social justice movement.

        And we could carry things all the way back to William Wilberforce, who was likewise considered extreme by those he thought shouldn't interfere with something as profitable as slavery.

        I probably should have said "let's not forget that the same ilk has in the past used religion to justify racism."

        Thanks for pointing this out. I really should have worded things better.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:13:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't apologize. (4+ / 0-)

          It's a good conversation. Thanks for engaging.

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:23:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I remember the sorrow among the liberal (3+ / 0-)

          professors when Martin Luther King came out against the Vietnam War. (Contrary to popular belief, the war commanded about 70% support until the Tet Offensive.)
             Their view was that he had gone too far and would lose the support of well-meaning whites.

          •  I'm young enough to have missed the war, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            but old enough to remember the later years of it well.

            And yet, from where those white liberals stood, it seemed a perfectly reasonable assumption. Yet, history tells us Dr. King was right to do what he did. It was gutsy. And extreme. And it was the right thing to do. Yet, perhaps Dr. King himself agonized over whether to cross this Rubicon.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:34:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The religious people, like MLK, who (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caoimhin Laochdha

          fought for civil rights, etc. had to think outside of the bible in order to pursue their humanistic instincts. The bible is not a civil rights manual, nor is it anti-slavery, nor is it for all human rights.  It is a specific manual for a specific group of people who are "favored" by a deity, either in the guise of Yahweh, or the god of Jesus, who also excluded those who don't accept the salvation scheme.

          Sure, King was able to cherry pick passages to bolster his arguments (as anti civil rights people were able to do), but if one looks at the overall themes in the bible, the authority for pushing human rights is not there.

          •  You're my favorite troll, Fishtroller. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Caoimhin Laochdha

            Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

            by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:44:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If MLK cherry picked and came up (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Caoimhin Laochdha, commonmass

            with the sermon on the mount, I'd say he picked himself some pretty wonderful cherries.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:05:16 AM PST

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            •  I think our resident anti-theologian (0+ / 0-)

              has forgotten that most of the New Testament was written by Paul, and there are only passing mentions of Jesus.
              Though I really want to give him some credit here: at least he knows it wasn't written by RAND Paul.

              Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

              by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:57:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ummmm.... (0+ / 0-)

                The New Testament is comprised of the four gospels, the acts of the disciples and the letters of Paul and others. Only passing mentions of Jesus?  Paul wrote "most of the New Testament"?  I think you just flunk confirmation class.

                However, you might find the The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty enlightening on the topic of Paul.

            •  Oh I can find lots of stuff in that whole (0+ / 0-)

              "sermon" that I totally disagree with.  Pluck out your own eye??? Plus I seem to remember MLK praying all over the place in public... he must have skipped the part about the lord's prayer.

              •  Unless one is a strict literalist here, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jarbyus

                the carpenter's kid was talking metaphor, with regard to the eye plucking.

                I know it will come as a surprise to you FT01, but humanity wasn't forced by space aliens to adopt religion. Religion is a creation by humanity searching for answers. And just like any secular philosophy, it will be imperfect as humanity itself, and also be misused as a tool to manipulate and control the masses.

                Are we supposed to say that atheism is fundamentally evil, because Stalin and Mao, two of the biggest, if not the two biggest mass murderers in history were avowed atheists? There are religionists and atheists who preach hate and seek to control and exploit others; there are religionists and atheists who search for truth and answers to the great questions of life.

                Religion is a tool, as I like to say. I have nothing against tools. I have a room full of tools. You can do some great things with tools. You can build and repair things with tools, if you have the right tools and materials, and you know how to use them. And in the hands of a person who doesn't know or care what they are doing, tools can do great damage. And the right tools in the wrong hands can be used for great evil. Tools are not good or evil, it's how you use your tools.

                Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:13:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why would you think that I wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

                  understand where religion comes from?  Kind of judgemental of you, don't you think?

                  Also, don't you think if this Jesus person was truly a "divine" entity and not fully human, he would abide by his own sermons?  For example, he says that when someone insults you or attacks you, you should turn the other cheek.  So what did he do when faced with towns and villages that rejected his preaching (and his disciples'attempts to visit and preach)?  He cursed them to the fate of Sodom and Gemorrah and threatened them with everlasting punishments too.  Doesn't exactly look like pacifistic turning of the other cheek to me. Plus, one man's metaphor is another man's directive. And that's the basic problem.

                  By talking about the bible as a tool that can be used well or abused, you miss the whole point of my comments. This book is revered as being the end all of moral teachings and representing a loving god (and his kind ecumenical compassionate son).  None of that is true.... well, let's say it's true in some passages and not in others.  The book and the characters and the stories contradict each other constantly.  But we still call it a holy book.  Mankind is capable of good and bad acts whether religious or not, but the danger is when the bad acts are bolstered by pointing to a "sacred" text as justification.  Eliminate the texts, and the bad actors have to face the laws of humanity.  A major example of this is the whole history of the catholic church.... such evil and suffering in their hands, and yet not a single pope down thru the ages and up to today has ever faced a court of laws.

                  I won't even touch the old chestnut about Mao and Stalin....

                  It's time for humanity to move beyond these texts and the ideas they represent. Many of today's atheists applaud the ideas in books by Sam Harris, Robert Ingersoll, and a host of freethinkers current and past, but no one calls them divine or uses them to swear upon in court or other ceremonies.  It is religion that elevates texts to an improper level and hence has been the root of more evil than good in mankind's history.

                  •  Who says I'm telling people to go get saved? (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm an agnostic.

                    But using a sacred text and the words of prophets as the one and only reason to do a certain course of action is exactly the misuse I am talking about.

                    If you take a look at modern mainline Protestantism, and even current day Catholicism, and how they view the Bible, it's a bit different than you paint it. The writers of the books of the Bible are seen as divinely inspired people, who nonetheless, were affected by the prejudices of their times. Even the accounts of the life of the carpenter's kid in the Gospels are viewed in the same way. When I was a freshman in a Catholic high school in 1972-73, a priest, who was quite conservative in his world view called St Paul quite narrow minded in many of his views.

                    As I said, I am an agnostic. I don't know. But I'm open. But for me to demand believers stop believing is like a believer demanding that I start believing.  As I've said earlier, there are monsters in the worlds of belief and non-belief, and there are truly great people in both worlds also.

                    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                    by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:46:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't see where I accused you (0+ / 0-)

                      of telling people to get saved or even mentioned that topic. Maybe you misunderstood me?

                      I don't "demand" that believers stop believing. Since I moved from belief to non-belief, I know that it is a path that individuals have to figure out for themselves. But I don't hesitate to confront the ideas of religions (all of them) and challenge them when presented in a public forum. I consider religious claims and ideas as just the same as political ones.... if they make no sense or have no facts to back them up or are simply obvious magical thinking, I comment.  There is a constant drumbeat about pope Francis that I find appalling, so I comment. There are claims made everyday on Daily Kos about the "true" nature of the character called Jesus that consistently ignore what I call the "dark side" (any character that endorses hell to me has a morality issue). So when I see that going on, I challenge it. It's up to the claim makers to take that into account or not.  There are unfortunately many on here who do not think I have the right to do that.

                      And if religious institutions or their representatives say things or take actions that affect my life or fly in the face of a Constitutional democracy, I get pretty grumpy about that also.

                      Of course there are good and bad people in both camps of belief or non-belief. I don't go after the characters of the people who believe, but I do challenge their ideas when expressed.  Some people can't separate the two, so they really get insulted and feel personally attacked, when that is not what is happening.  Others simply think religious ideas live on an untouchable level, which I totally disagree with.  

                      •  We can deconstruct Christ all we want, (0+ / 0-)

                        but there will still be Christians. I prefer Christians who want to follow the Jesus of the Beatitudes than Christians who want to Jesus who came to plant a sword.

                        I find hell to be a rather bizarre concept myself. Why would a just god torture anyone for eternity. But then, many Christians have a totally different concept of hell than the traditional view flames and anguish - it's more like being in the low rent district forever.

                        Francis represents a drastic change of tone if not doctrine. He is actually willing to have dialogue with those who disagree with him instead of consigning them to hell. I welcome that change.  He looks like he's giving the anti-abortion agenda much lower priority, and getting away from the homophobia of the church. He also seems to be bringing back the Catholic concern for those on the bottom of the heap, something that became big in the twentieth century, at least in the American CC, but disappeared as JPII and Benedict stacked the deck with right wing bishops. I welcome the change in tone, I stand by to see if there will be some real changes in the CC or if this is just a rearranging of the furniture.

                        We'll see what transpires there.

                        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                        by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:43:12 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I just saw someone on another thread in the (0+ / 0-)

                          last couple of days post a very recent quote from Francis that again condemned homosexual marriages just as he did in Argentina that puts the issue on the front burner again.

                          I don't trust him and I don't trust all these declarations he is making.  Plus the RCC has never really been on the side of the poor. They use them just like Mother Teresa did. Lots of good PR for the church and no actual care for the poor.  How can you be "concerned" for the poor when you won't let women control their fertility?  That is one of the biggest causes of poverty.  In the US, Catholic charities get 60% of their funds from us taxpayers.  It's easy to be concerned for the poor when you can get a government to allow you to slap your brand on their charity dollars, isn't it? Condemning capitalism is really rather cynical when your institution is steeped in capitalistic investing and money laundering for the mafia. The RCC's real estate holdings are mind blowing.  When the pope lectures people on materialism, it make me nauseous, and yet the world applauds it.  I don't get the gullibility and it worries me greatly.  It means that much of the media and general population have not learned one single lesson when it comes to the RCC.

                          There have been no changes made or even suggested by this pope in the religious and ethical directives that prohibit abortion or even best medical practices for reproductive issues for women in US catholic hospitals, so saying he's putting the abortion issue on the back burner is meaningless.

                          The only way people in my view are even able to trust what Francis is saying and doing is if they are totally oblivious to the history of (and current status of) this incredibly corrupt institution.   My mistrust for Francis and the RCC is backed up solidly by evidence and I'm standing with it.

                          •  Who "trusts" him? (0+ / 0-)

                            Many of us are happy with the change of tone. You think I trust the CC with  the abuse I experienced in a Catholic grammar school? The high school was actually decent, but those first eight years gave me a permanent distrust of the institution.

                            Religion isn't going away anytime soon. It serves a want that many people have. People gravitate towards the religion they want. They cannot just turn off their sense of belief anymore than I can turn off my sense of non-belief.

                            Is it surprising that there would be a lot of barbaric stuff in scriptures that are thousands of years old with the oldest stuff dating to the bronze age? But on the other hand, there are sincere people of faith who try to be true to their faith, but make it work in a modern world. It may take a bit of cognitive dissonance to say on one hand, slavery is an affront to God, but it was OK thousands of years ago. But I'd rather see them doing that than saying that slavery is OK today, or for that matter, that it was OK in 1860.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:44:10 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In my view, Pope Francis is changing (0+ / 0-)

                            the "tone" of the RCC in the same manner the GOP is changing its "tone" when it comes to matters of race, gays and women.... in other words, its a ruse.

                            Who "trusts" the new pope?   The media. And that's put him way ahead of the new game he is playing. Actually it's not a new game... PT Barnum named it a long time ago.

                            I had a sense of belief. I turned it off by educating myself. It can be done.

                            Have a great New Year!

                          •  Neither one of is a practicing Catholic. (0+ / 0-)

                            I left them a long time ago. I don't get obsessed about the CC until it starts sticking it's nose in government. You seem to be obsessed.

                            I like the change in tone, but I don't expect any big change, just maybe a little more tolerance. But either way it is what is.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 02:42:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you call people who (0+ / 0-)

                            are passionate about environmental issues "obsessed"? What about democrats who write and comment constantly about the right wingers... are they obsessed?

                            In my area of the country, the catholic church has taken over major hospital systems, including a university teaching hospital.  We are seeing a huge curtailing of reproductive services to women and "little" details like not giving condoms to men who come into the emergency room with STD's or HIV.   If you are not "obsessed" with the hold that this institution has on at least our medical systems, then you are not paying attention.  Look up Merger Watch.

                            As for me, I will continue to post information that is being ignored by both the media and people who are adding to the creation of a Francis fan club by ignoring what is really going on.

                          •  And FT01, we are on the same page on this. (0+ / 0-)

                            If the CC wants to join a league, you've got to play by the rules of the league.

                            But I think it's over the top to be obsessed with every word of some ancient scripture and cherry pick to ridicule people of faith. Like I said before, it's what they do with the tools that count. I don't care what ancient scriptures state about Jesus, Paul, Mohammad, or Isiah saying or doing. I care what current day people of faith do in the name of their religion. If they want to pull society backward, I will oppose them. If they want to advance society, I will stand with them.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:05:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

            You should read it again; you've missed stuff...quite a bit, actually...

            Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

            by awesumtenor on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:22:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  They never stopped n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RhodeIslandAspie
          "let's not forget that the same ilk has in the past used religion to justify racism."

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:19:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            It's just not their top priority these days. The Scary Gay Agenda scares them much more than Scary Dark Skinned people do. If they can bully the gay people back into the closet, they'll probably get back to their roots and get back full time into working to turn back the clock on civil rights.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:17:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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