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  1. #121
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Not if Christians insist on pushing their religious views on non Christians.
    The people of a society are responsible for almost everything in their culture including holidays. Society (the people) as a whole are also responsible when they lose something that they don’t defend.

    Yes, and? It is a culture of privilege for Christianity and we need to remove those privileges.
    Fundamentally, America is a culture primarily of believers including believers of different faiths, Christianity being one of the main ones.

    When the people who make up a culture (the masses) in a free society want change, change will most likely take place if it is well supported and defended, but more importantly if we are living the change. I realize you’re interested in the “good” verses “bad” of the consequences of living in a nation primarily of believers – which you observe as Christian privilege. I’m not that interested in the good versus bad argument. I’m more interested in what gives rise to something that we may perceive as good or bad. When we understand what gives rise to something that we may think is good or bad, its cause, that can often give us a bigger perspective and more understanding. The good vs. bad argument generally operates within a very thin margin of our awareness and is often subject to our personal filtering system.

    As far as Christmas being a Federal holiday in America -- what sustains this Federal holiday for the most part since around the 1840’s is the American people as a whole, which are primarily believers and even non-believers who just enjoy the spirit of family celebration. Now, I realize people may want to label the celebration of Christmas as a “good or bad,” but again, our holidays, our culture, our federal and state laws are, at a fundamental level, a reflection of its people. If and when enough people within a society, any society, change, that will most likely begin to reflect in its culture and holidays. In America we also have a process to change our laws.

    And we have the Constitution to make sure that one religions' beliefs are not imposed on others.
    That’s what the guarantee and protection of the freedom of religion and expression is all about in the First Amendment: Americans and those who come here from other countries are free to practice their faith freely. And btw, sometimes the expression of that faith can get very creative.
    Last edited by eye4magic; September 23rd, 2014 at 11:37 PM.
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  2. #122
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    I have posted multiple examples of Christian privilege. Please review at least the OP and I have posted a few more examples of it.
    Your OP does not even define Christian privilege. If you were making an argument, that's probably the first thing you would want to clarify, and I would ask that you clarify it now.

    Likewise, no examples of "Christian privilege" are provided in the OP--it is just a number of assertions without support.

    Your next "example" is Christmas. This has been discussed at greater length, but here is the bottom line: If you can demonstrate that the government has enacted laws that give Christians benefits that others of different faiths cannot enjoy, then you have successfully demonstrated a legally-sanctioned "Christian privilege". Of course this is not possible as the government is providing this benefit to all citizens and not just those who call themselves Christian.

    Apart from that, what examples have you provided that show Christians getting special privileges conferred on them from the government? I haven't seen any, which is why I made that statement. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    It is three fold. One is that they are even trying shows that they believe the country to be Christian. That's the tip of the Christian privilege iceberg. Underneath that are the tax privileges Christians enjoy just because they happen to believe in a deity; then there is the default assumption that their values are necessarily good ones.
    A few observations/questions:

    1. U.S. citizens are permitted to voice opinions and participate in the political process. You are free to disagree and likewise participate in the political process. Your "tip of the Christian privilege iceberg" could easily be turned on its head--the opinions you have expressed in this thread could lead some to believe that you believe this country should be atheist. Is this the tip of the Atheist privilege iceberg?

    2. What tax privileges do Christians (and only Christians--this is a thread about Christian privilege after all) enjoy?

    3. What does "the default assumption that their values are necessarily good ones" have anything to do with the government conferring special privileges to citizens who call themselves Christian?

    Still no sign of a coherent argument, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Finally, they have won in some areas - notably Hobby Lobby and some of the States which have still banned gay marriage. This needs to stop of course and the way to do it is in court and public opinion.
    Hobby Lobby challenged that the law as applied was unconstitutional. That isn't under question. What is questionable is that they won the ruling because the owners are Christian. That is what you have to demonstrate in order to provide an example of "Christian privilege"--which of course has not been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    The problem is Christian privilege in society and the political actions pushing Christian agendas.
    What does this sentence even mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    I didn't grow up in a Christian household; although, of course, there was Christianity smeared over everything in a way to make it unavoidable. We are just beginning to clear this all up (eg the Air Force withdrawing their pledge to God) but there's still lots of work to be done.
    Sorry, it seems that you would like to have your cake and eat it too. You claimed the following:

    Besides, I suspect that our friend either grew up a Christian or was/is otherwise highly influenced by Christian culture such that it seems 'normal' to invoke Christmas, even though he may no longer believe. I didn't and continuing to call it Christmas stands out like a sore thumb. So it's not that I can't enjoy the period, I certainly do but it is grating to call it Christmas when I have zero interest in the religion or any religion.
    -JimJones

    I find it difficult to differentiate between "our friend" and Jim Jones. Jim Jones didn't grow up in a Christian household, but he did grow up in a culture highly influenced by Christianity, which by your own admission that "Christianity was smeared over everything in a way to make it unavoidable" should likewise mean that it should seem "normal" for Jim Jones to invoke Christmas. I'm fairly certain you weren't complaining about December 25th being called "Christmas" when you were 8.

    This means that you have developed over time the viewpoint that calling December 25th "Christmas" is "grating" and "stands out like a sore thumb". That's fine. You can't expect nor demand that others around you do the same, though--and that's the bottom line. Your "argument" as such has less to do with so-called "Christian privilege" and more to do with "I don't like that people have different opinions than I do".

  3. #123
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    An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The people of a society are responsible for almost everything in their culture including holidays. Society (the people) as a whole are also responsible when they lose something that they don’t defend.
    OK. That's kinda obvious. And hopefully just like Europe, Christians will, someday, respect other faiths and belief systems in such a way so as not to force others to have to participate in it. Or at the very least stick to the Constitution we all live under!

    Note that your religion, or rather one of the denominations, Mormonism, has famously tried to 'convert' dead people, including people of other faiths. Although, pointless from an atheist perspective, it is galling and insulting to the memory of the dead. Christianity also has a history of pushing their beliefs onto others, especially Evangelicals and the 'born-again' and the JW's and many other denominations. And they do it within a society steeped with their symbols and traditions, thus giving them a foundation to build on; emboldening further incursions via a tacit cultural and legal framework imbued with Christian references.

    So I agree that your religion is responsible for our culture - that is not the debate that is going on. The roots of where we are are very obvious. My point is that it needs to change.

    Fundamentally, America is a culture primarily of believers including believers of different faiths, Christianity being one of the main ones.

    When the people who make up a culture (the masses) in a free society want change, change will most likely take place if it is well supported and defended, but more importantly if we are living the change. I realize you’re interested in the “good” verses “bad” of the consequences of living in a nation primarily of believers – which you observe as Christian privilege. I’m not that interested in the good versus bad argument. I’m more interested in what gives rise to something that we may perceive as good or bad. When we understand what gives rise to something that we may think is good or bad, its cause, that can often give us a bigger perspective and more understanding. The good vs. bad argument generally operates within a very thin margin of our awareness and is often subject to our personal filtering system.
    You have the right to turn a blind eye to the 'bad things', just as MindTrap in his arguments fails to see the 'elephant in the room', but all that is happening is the perpetuation of a society that you want to live in whilst ignoring that there are others that actively do not wish to do so. Christian self-interest in this matter doesn't change the fact that we have a Constitution that should have prevented a lot of the Christian privilege to happen. And it is only fairly recently that we are now able to roll back some of these privileges.

    So it's not a matter of 'good vs bad'. It is firstly a matter of ensuring that we live up to the Constitution that this country is built upon. And secondly to normalize the cultural to respect and acknowledge other belief systems and remove Christian dominance over everything.

    Being able to sneak in your religion in the past has gotten too much of a free pass that the sense of privilege has turned into a sense of persecution and entitlement. See the Pew poll I refer to at the bottom of #120 to Mican - it is slathered with a Christian majority whining about how hard done by they are not to be able to impose their religion our politics. It is a terrible thing to see.

    I think you would think differently if we had a Muslim majority (horrors) and you were a minority Christian. Or look over at other Islamic countries and how they treat Christians, you'll see what it feels like from a non-Christian perspective. Unfortunately, you haven't and in perpetuating your own Christian privilege, you fail to understand one of Jesus' most famous lessons: to treat others as you wish to be treated.


    As far as Christmas being a Federal holiday in America -- what sustains this Federal holiday for the most part since around the 1840’s is the American people as a whole, which are primarily believers and even non-believers who just enjoy the spirit of family celebration. Now, I realize people may want to label the celebration of Christmas as a “good or bad,” but again, our holidays, our culture, our federal and state laws are, at a fundamental level, a reflection of its people. If and when enough people within a society, any society, change, that will most likely begin to reflect in its culture and holidays. In America we also have a process to change our laws.
    At the same time famously and distinctly shutting out Jews and Muslims who have zero interest in the religion. You'll note that it is more correct to call it a holiday period these days - all we need to do is to change the name Christmas to something else that fully respects all religions and not allow one religion to rule over others.

    That’s what the guarantee and protection of the freedom of religion and expression is all about in the First Amendment: Americans and those who come here from other countries are free to practice their faith freely. And btw, sometimes the expression of that faith can get very creative.


    ---------- Post added at 04:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:39 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Your OP does not even define Christian privilege. If you were making an argument, that's probably the first thing you would want to clarify, and I would ask that you clarify it now.
    If you didn't know what you were arguing against then you really should have started there!

    Christian privilege is the fact that Christians in this country freely impose their religion onto people that do not share their faith.

    This has manifested itself in the public arena despite a Constitution that should have prevented it. And it manifests in our culture where Christianity assume that their religion is the dominant one that can displace others.

    Now that we have the FFRF and other groups checking rolling back these Christian symbols and ideas from our secular government and military and also preventing further incursions, Christians now feel 'persecuted' when all that is happening is that the privileges they previously enjoyed and granted unopposed at the time.

    Along with political power, cultural dominance is a sense of entitlement. Eye manifests this by justifying it in terms of numbers; MindTrap uses a historical precedent and tradition. It is the idea that just because Christian dominance is there then it needs to stay.

    Examples are:

    1. Christmas - a one day federal holiday that needs to be renamed. Most people should be calling it a holiday period anyway. Yes, I know that holiday is short for Holy Day - but that sense is lost but Christmas is still very much about Jesus' birth.

    2. The Air Force's now retracted forcing of an airman to invoke God in his pledge.

    3. The young man 'desecrating' a statue of Jesus by posing lewdly is now actually prosecuted for a religious crime! Goodness knows why this is on the books but along with 'sodomy' and 'heresy' and 'blasphemy' should be thrown in the legal dustbin.

    4. Various legal battles such as Hobby Lobby and gay marriage are examples of Christians imposing their will onto others.

    5. Prayers at the beginning of the council meetings.

    6. Tax breaks even as far as getting tax free housing for priests.

    7. Texas school board attempts to push Creationism and other Christian rewrites of history.

    The Pew poll that came out yesterday (post #125) shows that what I say is true. That Christians believe that our laws and government and politicians should be more Christian. And that they feel persecuted for their beliefs.

    I will ignore the rest of the post for now. Feel free to raise them again if they are still pertinent.

  4. #124
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Christian privilege is the fact that Christians in this country freely impose their religion onto people that do not share their faith.
    That's a good starting point. The problem I see is with "freely impose". You refute your own argument when you state the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Now that we have the FFRF and other groups checking rolling back these Christian symbols and ideas from our secular government and military and also preventing further incursions, Christians now feel 'persecuted' when all that is happening is that the privileges they previously enjoyed and granted unopposed at the time.
    If Christians are able to "freely impose"--which by definition means that there are no barriers to imposing Christianity in the U.S.--then why do you state the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    This has manifested itself in the public arena despite a Constitution that should have prevented it.
    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Now that we have the FFRF and other groups checking rolling back these Christian symbols and ideas from our secular government and military and also preventing further incursions, Christians now feel 'persecuted' when all that is happening is that the privileges they previously enjoyed and granted unopposed at the time.
    Clearly you need to further define what you mean by "freely impose", as by the common definition of the phrase I understand it to mean that there are no barriers, while you indicate that there are indeed barriers (such as the Constitution) and that groups such as the FFRF have successfully ensured that these barriers remain intact. If there are barriers for Christians being able to impose their religion, then your argument that Christian privilege exists is self-defeating by definition.

    So your actual argument as I understand it is that Christians have been able to "impose their will" in spite of the barriers put in place. Fair enough, let's move on to your examples:

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones"
    1. Christmas - a one day federal holiday that needs to be renamed. Most people should be calling it a holiday period anyway. Yes, I know that holiday is short for Holy Day - but that sense is lost but Christmas is still very much about Jesus' birth.
    So you are arguing that one term with historically religious underpinnings ("holiday") is fine to continue using by your assertion that the original meaning has been lost, yet argue that "Christmas"--which has as much a muddied meaning (and arguably more so), as it is now associated with gift-giving, evergreen trees with lights, Santa Claus, family get-togethers, etc. (which have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus)--should not be used because...? Where do you draw the line and why isn't this an example of a Slippery Slope?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    2. The Air Force's now retracted forcing of an airman to invoke God in his pledge.
    ...which isn't necessarily in reference to the Christian deity. Your argument is that there is Christian privilege so unless you can demonstrate that the term "God" in this case explicitly references the Christian God, the example provided cannot be used to support your argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    3. The young man 'desecrating' a statue of Jesus by posing lewdly is now actually prosecuted for a religious crime! Goodness knows why this is on the books but along with 'sodomy' and 'heresy' and 'blasphemy' should be thrown in the legal dustbin.
    Source?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    4. Various legal battles such as Hobby Lobby and gay marriage are examples of Christians imposing their will onto others.
    Hobby Lobby was a case where the courts ruled portions of the ACA to be unconstitutional, so I am not certain how you could construe this as a means by which Christians are imposing their will onto others. Regarding Gay Marriage: this would be true (according to your line of argumentation in this thread) if only Christians opposed gay marriage, which isn't the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    5. Prayers at the beginning of the council meetings.
    What council meetings?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    6. Tax breaks even as far as getting tax free housing for priests.
    Source?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    7. Texas school board attempts to push Creationism and other Christian rewrites of history.
    Key word here is "attempts".

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    The Pew poll that came out yesterday (post #125) shows that what I say is true. That Christians believe that our laws and government and politicians should be more Christian. And that they feel persecuted for their beliefs.
    That's nice and all, but it doesn't support your point regarding Christian privilege. A public opinion poll is not law. Whether or not a certain group of people think the US should "be more Christian" has no impact or meaning until it actually happens.

  5. #125
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    But it's not just being wrong, it is being persistently wrong - and yes, when a group of people continues to do wrong things then they need to be stopped. When we find that our kids can't do arithmetic then we need to fix that with education. I am all for making a fuss about it purely because they are making a fuss themselves. If it isn't a big deal then they need to shut themselves up.
    And I'm only particularly concerned when they are infringing on my freedoms. If you want to complain about others complaining, that's up to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    We already concluded that debate about a year ago - he's of the historical precedence persuasion, a Christian conservative who by definition would prefer to keep things the way that he likes it. Nevertheless, the point was of my list was to show you that he is doing more than 'making observations about our legal system' not to relitigate the point.
    All you can say for sure is that he is arguing a certain position in a debate forum. Any statements about his actual motivation is unwarranted and uniformed.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yes, but defeating them doesn't happen by itself. And the more their non-legal attacks happen without challenge then the braver they will get. Each and every attempt must be challenged and thwarted so that it doesn't get raised to the level of seriousness.
    But any attempt to infringe on our freedoms is challenged. It's challenged by a legal system that does a good job of preserving our freedoms and any attempted infringement upon them is automatically challenged and almost always defeated.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yes, there is - it is a public event from the a secular Air Force making fun of the beliefs of atheists.
    I said "legal privilege". It's not a privilege to be able to mock others. It's a right that everyone has, Christian and Atheist alike.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Sure, for a private event, that's fine but this is the official military of the country, holding an event that mocked atheists.
    The event itself does not mock atheists. The comment was not the slogan of the event or officially sanctioned by the event but instead was just an off-hand comment by the announcer. And now that I read the article again, I do not think the intent of the announcer was to mock atheists. I think he was comparing the run to war and making a variation on the common term "there are no atheists in the foxhole".

    And I think the person who took so much offense might be suffering from the atheist version of Evangelical Persecution Syndrome.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I see, but the source of this is not ickiness per se - it is that they don't engage in it themselves. It's kinda like the dog in the manger story - where the dog refused to let the cow eat the straw, because he couldn't. You rapidly see Christians change their minds when they are either personally affected by it or a loved one turns out to be gay.
    When I say "icky" I mean a personal discomfort with it. And yes, once one gets to know some gay people their discomfort can decrease. So if people's attitudes towards gays change when the discomfort decreases, then the clearly the discomfort was the primary source of the homophobia.

    If scripture was actually the source of their homophobia, then getting to know gay people would have no effect on decreasing homophobia since getting to know gay people does not effect scripture.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There are dozens of quotes that Christians use to justify their beliefs; and yes, they are contradictory or hypocritical in doing so. I can't explain why people still use the bible as an authority but that they do.
    But that this completely validates my point. They are using scripture to justify their already-existing opposition to homosexuality, not opposing homosexuality primarily because there's something in scripture against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    This new survey confirms a lot of what I have been saying all along - the war is certainly not over at all!
    It depends on what the "war" is. If the war is a legal one where the goal is to have the law treat all faiths equally, that war is pretty much over.

    If the war is to get everyone to see things the way you do, that war is not over. But I'm not concerned about that war. Even though I generally agree with you, I respect the right of others to disagree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    And one more thing, to confirm also what I have been saying about the weird persecution complex that Evangelical Christians - they actually believe they are treated worse than anyone else:
    Some do. But then jerks will be jerks (Or people who are wrong will be wrong). Not really my concern.
    Last edited by mican333; September 24th, 2014 at 11:09 AM.

  6. #126
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    That's a good starting point. The problem I see is with "freely impose". You refute your own argument when you state the following:

    If Christians are able to "freely impose"--which by definition means that there are no barriers to imposing Christianity in the U.S.--then why do you state the following:

    Clearly you need to further define what you mean by "freely impose", as by the common definition of the phrase I understand it to mean that there are no barriers, while you indicate that there are indeed barriers (such as the Constitution) and that groups such as the FFRF have successfully ensured that these barriers remain intact. If there are barriers for Christians being able to impose their religion, then your argument that Christian privilege exists is self-defeating by definition.
    You are right to challenge that phrase but it has historically been true and only recently less true. I will modify it to 'historically freely imposed and only recently seeing more challenges succeed".

    That said, Christians also 'feel' as if they are free to impose their religion onto others. And this is brought about by centuries of power and being able to get away with it for so long. Unchecked it has brought about this sense of Christian privilege even though the Constitution was in place. And now it has morphed into a feeling of persecution.

    So your actual argument as I understand it is that Christians have been able to "impose their will" in spite of the barriers put in place. Fair enough, let's move on to your examples:
    Yes, that's a good way to put it. Thanks for confirming - it helps to be on the same page. Moving on ...

    JJ: 1. Christmas
    So you are arguing that one term with historically religious underpinnings ("holiday") is fine to continue using by your assertion that the original meaning has been lost, yet argue that "Christmas"--which has as much a muddied meaning (and arguably more so), as it is now associated with gift-giving, evergreen trees with lights, Santa Claus, family get-togethers, etc. (which have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus)--should not be used because...? Where do you draw the line and why isn't this an example of a Slippery Slope?
    Yes, only because there is no equivalent word I can think of; whereas there are better words for Christmas that don't have to reflect on a particular deity. And just because the non-religious aspects are shared it doesn't mean that the purpose of the day is to honor the birth of a human/deity is in any way diminished. The fact that most people, at least those that acknowledge that there are other Holy Days during that period, will call it a "Holiday Period", proves that it is favoring one religion over another.

    If there is a slippery slope, it isn't in the direction of continuing to call it Christmas; it would be towards calling "holidays" something else. Removing Christmas is a good first step.



    JJ: 2. The Air Force's now retracted forcing of an airman to invoke God in his pledge.
    ...which isn't necessarily in reference to the Christian deity. Your argument is that there is Christian privilege so unless you can demonstrate that the term "God" in this case explicitly references the Christian God, the example provided cannot be used to support your argument.
    AFAIK, most religions call their deity something else. Besides, it was capitalized so clearly it was referring to the One 'True' God and not 'a god' in general.


    JJ: 3. The young man 'desecrating' a statue of Jesus
    Source?
    This was mentioned in this thread already but here you go:
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...-statue-675432
    SEPTEMBER 10--A Pennsylvania teenager has been charged with desecrating a statue of Jesus after he posted Facebook photos that showed him simulating a sex act with the statue.
    The teenager, who was not identified by cops, was charged yesterday with desecration of a venerated object, a misdemeanor. His case will be handled in juvenile court.


    JJ: 4. Various legal battles such as Hobby Lobby and gay marriage are examples of Christians imposing their will onto others.
    Hobby Lobby was a case where the courts ruled portions of the ACA to be unconstitutional, so I am not certain how you could construe this as a means by which Christians are imposing their will onto others. Regarding Gay Marriage: this would be true (according to your line of argumentation in this thread) if only Christians opposed gay marriage, which isn't the case.
    Of course it is - who else cares about restricting contraception other than Catholics? And yes, I agree that not ALL Christians do this but it is still symptomatic of Christians enjoying the privilege of being to modify the law of the land in order to conform to their specific religious foibles.

    Regarding gay marriage, I don't think only Christians oppose gay marriage, I'm sure the odd non-religious bigot is out there. Those very minor exceptions, even if they exist, which I'm not entirely convinced they do, doesn't reduce the fact that the groups opposing gay marriage and LGBT equality in general are 99% Christian in some way shape or form. There may be other religions also that have arguments against it but they aren't sufficient to hit the radar either.

    JJ: 5. Prayers at the beginning of the council meetings.
    What council meetings?
    Glad you asked:
    A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer, even if it plainly favors a specific religion.
    The court ruled 5 to 4 that Christian prayers said before meetings of an Upstate New York town council did not violate the constitutional prohibition against government establishment of religion; the justices cited history and tradition.
    “Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court’s conservative majority.

    Clearly, the Constitution is insufficient to push back Christian privilege either. I hope that this will be addressed further.


    6. Tax breaks even as far as getting tax free housing for priests.
    Source?
    Here you go:
    (RNS) A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their salary from federal income taxes is unconstitutional.
    The clergy housing exemption applies to an estimated 44,000 ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and others. If the ruling stands, some clergy members could experience an estimated 5 to 10 percent cut in take-home pay.


    Not sure where the state of this is but it is clear there is a favoritism towards Christians and other religious leaders.

    JJ:7. Texas school board attempts to push Creationism and other Christian rewrites of history.
    Key word here is "attempts".
    That is not a key word that helps you though - it emphasizes that Christians belief they can continue to get away with it.

    JJ:The Pew poll that came out yesterday (post #125) shows that what I say is true. That Christians believe that our laws and government and politicians should be more Christian. And that they feel persecuted for their beliefs.
    That's nice and all, but it doesn't support your point regarding Christian privilege. A public opinion poll is not law. Whether or not a certain group of people think the US should "be more Christian" has no impact or meaning until it actually happens.
    It supports everything I have said. The feeling of Christian privilege, the feeling of actual persecution when they don't get to impose their will on others, and then the continual requirement for a Christian political class!

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I'm only particularly concerned when they are infringing on my freedoms. If you want to complain about others complaining, that's up to you.
    If it were just complaints, I would agree with you. If it were ineffectual attempts to change the law, I would agree with you. But in some cases, that is not true - the Hobby Lobby case, the case where the Supreme Court is allowing prayers in council meetings and many other 'wins' are showing that it isn't just moaning. The Pew poll is showing that there is a great deal of interest in getting more political power.

    All you can say for sure is that he is arguing a certain position in a debate forum. Any statements about his actual motivation is unwarranted and uniformed.
    I am not saying anything about his motivations either other than it correlates very well with other right-wing Christian conservatives. It's no insult to say that this is what he is! I've debated him enough to know the true character that is revealed in many discussions. Nevertheless, this is still not my point - which is that whatever his motivations, his arguments aren't just 'observations on the law'!


    But any attempt to infringe on our freedoms is challenged. It's challenged by a legal system that does a good job of preserving our freedoms and any attempted infringement upon them is automatically challenged and almost always defeated.
    Actually, it is NOT challenged by our legal system at all! There are no policemen knocking on doors when this happens. There are no politicians decrying this over-reach of Christian privilege. And there is certainly no voices from other religions, who really should be complaining more than atheists.

    The fact is that it is organizations like the FFRF that fight these cases within the legal system. Their motivation is what is 'preserving our freedoms and any attempted infringements'. The law is a static common ground that allows these fights to take place. The fights are between the atheists and right-wing Christian groups for the most part.

    I said "legal privilege". It's not a privilege to be able to mock others. It's a right that everyone has, Christian and Atheist alike.
    Not in a public event from a secular army.

    The event itself does not mock atheists. The comment was not the slogan of the event or officially sanctioned by the event but instead was just an off-hand comment by the announcer. And now that I read the article again, I do not think the intent of the announcer was to mock atheists. I think he was comparing the run to war and making a variation on the common term "there are no atheists in the foxhole".

    And I think the person who took so much offense might be suffering from the atheist version of Evangelical Persecution Syndrome.
    So you think it's OK for the same guy to make a similar statement about black people?


    When I say "icky" I mean a personal discomfort with it. And yes, once one gets to know some gay people their discomfort can decrease. So if people's attitudes towards gays change when the discomfort decreases, then the clearly the discomfort was the primary source of the homophobia.

    If scripture was actually the source of their homophobia, then getting to know gay people would have no effect on decreasing homophobia since getting to know gay people does not effect scripture.
    I actually think that it's reason over religion as opposed to less ickiness. I feel just ask icky about homosexuality as I ever did - just watch some gay porn if you need a refresher that the ickiness is still there! So therefore, ickiness has nothing to do with it.

    But that this completely validates my point. They are using scripture to justify their already-existing opposition to homosexuality, not opposing homosexuality primarily because there's something in scripture against it.
    No it doesn't - their opposition and ickiness is still there. It is that they realize that their new found view of the world supersedes religious law - they all have to continue to say that it is a sin but they feel that Jesus' actual teachings are about love and tolerance over-ride it.


    It depends on what the "war" is. If the war is a legal one where the goal is to have the law treat all faiths equally, that war is pretty much over.
    No it is not - here is another The Supreme Court voted to allow prayers in council meetings:
    Supreme Court upholds legislative prayer at council meetings
    A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer, even if it plainly favors a specific religion.
    The court ruled 5 to 4 that Christian prayers said before meetings of an Upstate New York town council did not violate the constitutional prohibition against government establishment of religion; the justices cited history and tradition.
    “Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court’s conservative majority.
    If the war is to get everyone to see things the way you do, that war is not over. But I'm not concerned about that war. Even though I generally agree with you, I respect the right of others to disagree with you.
    I understand you view but it isn't a disagreement on something harmless - it is things like the Creation Museum getting tax breaks, an erosion of the education system, actual persecution by actual Christians made legal (e.g. see the Pew vote for allowing discrimination against LGBT). These are terrible fights and aren't just a matter of agreeing to disagree. These are actual fights to ensure the Christian is diminished.


    Some do. But then jerks will be jerks (Or people who are wrong will be wrong). Not really my concern.
    That's fine. As I said, this is clearly something you don't feel important to fight against because it doesn't harm you directly. I don't know why it needs to reach the level where it has to hit you on personal level before you do something but I feel that in ignoring these issues or minimizing them as you do is just as dangerous.

    The core of my criticism about your views here is that you believe that the 'legal system' is taking care of it whereas the reality is that there are people who are actively fighting these battles. It's like you realize there are terrible things happening but because it somehow doesn't come to fruition then everything must be OK and you needn't bother about it all. Is that a fair summary of your views?

  8. #128
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    OK. That's kinda obvious. And hopefully just like Europe, Christians will, someday, respect other faiths and belief systems in such a way so as not to force others to have to participate in it.
    Christmas is a public/national holiday in England also, just as it is a national holiday in more secular countries then America.. And just as in the U.S., English atheists or other people from different faiths are not compelled to observe the celebration in England if they don’t want to.

    Christianity also has a history of pushing their beliefs onto others, especially Evangelicals and the 'born-again' and the JW's and many other denominations. And they do it within a society steeped with their symbols and traditions, thus giving them a foundation to build on; emboldening further incursions via a tacit cultural and legal framework imbued with Christian references.
    Overall, most Christians in America are not fundamentalists; this doesn’t mean fundamentalists don’t exist in the U.S., but they are marginal, just like extreme humanists are marginal. Most Christians in America, in general are quite respectful of other people’s faiths.

    Nearly across the board, the majority of religious Americans believe many religions can lead to eternal life: mainline Protestants (83 percent), members of historic black Protestant churches (59 percent), Roman Catholics (79 percent), Jews (82 percent) and Muslims (56 percent).

    By similar margins, people in those faith groups believe in multiple interpretations of their own traditions' teachings. Yet 44 percent of the religiously affiliated also said their religion should preserve its traditional beliefs and practices.

    "What most people are saying is, 'Hey, we don't have a hammer-lock on God or salvation, and God's bigger than us and we should respect that and respect other people,'" said the Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/06...way-to-heaven/

    So I agree that your religion is responsible for our culture - that is not the debate that is going on. The roots of where we are very obvious. My point is that it needs to change.
    Well, from an atheist point of view, though not all atheists would necessarily agree, I can understand why you might want to change the cultural norms of a nation primarily of believers. Though the argument of good verses bad doesn'tinterest me. A nation of believers who gave rise to a culture, norms, holidays and laws, one of which protects your freedom of conscience to be an atheist without persecution.

    You have the right to turn a blind eye to the 'bad things', just as MindTrap in his arguments fails to see the 'elephant in the room',
    Your perception of bad (negative) is not my perception of negative. I do not think Christmas being a federal holiday is a negative.

    And secondly to normalize the cultural to respect and acknowledge other belief
    America respects and allows other religions to practice their faith here.

    Islam
    The Fourth Annual Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Conference entitled, Expressions of Islam in Contemporary African American Communities
    http://harvardafricanamericanmuslims.wordpress.com/
    http://www.beautifulmosque.com/mosqu...ichigan-u-s-a/

    Judaism
    http://forward.com/articles/186698/w...ews-now/?p=all
    http://www.reformjudaism.org/practic...reform-judaism

    Buddhism
    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/855278/thu...-640x468.jpg?4

    http://longquanzs.org/eng/articlecontent.php?id=182

    Hindu
    http://www.pluralism.org/articles/pe..._hindu_temples
    http://www.nycreligion.info/asian-am...indian-hindus/

    Sikhism
    http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/14349
    http://caamedia.org/blog/2008/03/05/...s-in-may-2008/

    I think you would think differently if we had a Muslim majority
    If I went to live in a country that was primarily populated by Muslims [which I have visited], I would not attempt to change their culture. How wise would that be? We cannot change a culture, JJ. We can change ourselves. When people change, the culture will eventually change. If a culture is practicing human rights violations in the modern era, we now have international aid workers that can go in there and they understand that they have to educate from the ground up (help people change) in order to get lasting change in the culture, while they try to help those being persecuted.

    America is a culture/society primarily of believers, many of which are Christians. But it is also a culture of religious tolerance and cooperation, for the most part, as this is foundational to our existence. That’s one reason many people from different faiths around the world come here, in addition to economic opportunity -- to practice their faith without persecution. So in that we are a nation primarily of believers, that belief seems to work for us because we are a nation that thrives, so much so that other nations around the world sometimes ask for our help in different areas and we often give it.

    At the same time famously and distinctly shutting out Jews and Muslims who have zero interest in the religion.
    Jews and Muslims are free to practice their faith in America and they do.

    And some Muslims in America enjoy celebrating Christmas also:

    As the population of Muslims in American rise, so has the number of Muslims celebrating Christmas with friends, colleagues and neighbors, the Religious News Service reported on Tuesday in an article carried by the Huffington Post.

    While the holiday may have seemed intimidating and a time of exclusion decades ago to the diminutive number of Muslims population, the rapidly rising Muslim population which now has reached 5.3 million according to a 2011 Pew study regularly engages in the Christian holiday.

    Many Muslims point to the significance of Jesus’ life in the Quran and in their faith for why they celebrate Christmas.
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life...Christmas.html
    Last edited by eye4magic; September 24th, 2014 at 10:53 PM.
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  9. #129
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Christmas is a public/national holiday in England also, just as it is a national holiday in more secular countries then America.. And just as in the U.S., English atheists or other people from different faiths are not compelled to observe the celebration in England if they don’t want to.
    Again, that's not what is under debate. It is the fact that they would have to take efforts to ignore something that should not be there in the first place. The UK is a poor example anyway since it is pretty much a Christian country with its Monarch the head of the Anglican Church.


    JJ: Christianity also has a history of pushing their beliefs onto others, especially Evangelicals and the 'born-again' and the JW's and many other denominations. And they do it within a society steeped with their symbols and traditions, thus giving them a foundation to build on; emboldening further incursions via a tacit cultural and legal framework imbued with Christian references.

    Overall, most Christians in America are not fundamentalists; this doesn’t mean fundamentalists don’t exist in the U.S., but they are marginal, just like extreme humanists are marginal. Most Christians in America, in general are quite respectful of other people’s faiths.
    Straw man - I'm not talking about fundamentalists at all here. Most Christians are indeed respectful of other people's faiths except for the scary Muslims in Fox TV-land want to impose their Sharia law in this country (as-if) or atheists whom they have declared to distrust even more than Muslims or Gays.

    All this respect is nothing but platitudes as Christians enjoy their unearned privileges of religious and cultural dominance in areas beyond the boundaries set by our country's Constitution.


    Well, from an atheist point of view, though not all atheists would necessarily agree, I can understand why you might want to change the cultural norms of a nation primarily of believers. A nation of believers who gave rise to a culture, norms, holidays and laws, one of which protects your freedom of conscience to be an atheist without persecution.
    Umm, I believe that this 'protection' is because you guys can't figure out which of the million denominations and flavors of Christianity should be dominant over another. Or rather the Framers determined that no such dominance is possible. And this protection was hardly a self-less act - most of the original religious groups wanted to ensure they continued to enjoy the freedom to express their own brand of Christianity having escaped from Europe in order to do so.

    That atheists happen to be included is purely an accidental side-effect and one barely tolerated by some and one only recently coming to the public fore. That you point this out as if it weren't a original selfish act to preserve Christianity is a little galling.

    I do not credit Christianity for any of my freedoms. It is a religion of little tolerance as evidence by the declaration that those of us who do not share your beliefs, who will not bow to your deity or acknowledge his existence, who have our own beliefs; we are actually condemned in your eyes. This platitude that we have freedom of conscience is marred by the fact we know that you think we are condemned to an eternity of whatever Hell is supposed to be.


    Your perception of bad (negative) is not my perception of negative. I do not think Christmas being a federal holiday is a negative.
    Of course you don't! And nor would I expect you to understand being a minority that is persecuted in word and deed in ways that you likely will never experience. You justify yourself by declaring your numerical supremacy, by suggesting how lucky I am not to have been born in another country, by the placations of fake tolerations and finally by ignoring that my complaints are valid. If that isn't Christian privilege speaking loud and clear, I don't know what is!

    One only needs to imagine the kind of arguments in our History's dark past of slavery: that White men are more in numbers, stronger, smarter, better educated and clearly morally superior. That at least the Black man has a home rather than scrabbling around in the desert; at least he is fed daily. How dare he complain of having to pay his dues by working the fields for his masters. And now they still complain after getting all the freebies from the government; what a terrible people these are! See: White supremacy sounds very much like Christian supremacy and privilege doesn't it?


    America respects and allows other religions to practice their faith here.
    Platitudes - none of the faiths laws supersede the existing secular laws.


    If I went to live in a country that was primarily of Muslims [which I have visited], I would not attempt to change their culture. How wise would that be? We cannot change a culture, JJ. We can change ourselves. When people change, the culture will eventually change.
    Rubbish - we live in a country that has already changed a great deal. The fact that we are having this conversation means that the change has already begun and groups like the FFRF that fight against Christian over-reach are the biggest agents for that change. We are on opposing sides of this cultural change - you wish to at least preserve, if not extend Christian culture; and I wish to diminish it. I don't believe that you, or anyone here, has yet justified your positions whilst, I have shown that Christian privilege is indeed deep indeed - see Mican's denial that this is really an issue.


    Jews and Muslims are free to practice their faith in America and they do.
    This is a straw man argument and a platitude. Being able to practice your own faith is foundational to the Constitution, it is not a consolation prize because one's own religion doesn't have dominance. That yours does is a problem because not only does it strike at the heart of the separation of Church & State, but it has built an entitlement culture around Christianity that feeds upon its persecution complex in defending its over-reaches; thus making it harder to retract some of the privileges that have somehow slipped through in the intervening years since the Constitution's creation.

    So this isn't about other religions being able to enjoy Christian traditions - it is that they either have to, or feel left out, or feel they have to consciously and conspicuously not partake in activities otherwise forced into their lives with no invitation or warrant.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 25th, 2014 at 03:25 PM.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    You are right to challenge that phrase but it has historically been true and only recently less true. I will modify it to 'historically freely imposed and only recently seeing more challenges succeed".
    Historically been true where and when? What do you mean by "recent"? The Constitution has been hanging around for about 227 years so unless you are arguing that 1787 is "recent", your definition is still self-defeating as the Constitution is a barrier to Christians being able to "freely impose" their religion in the U.S..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    That said, Christians also 'feel' as if they are free to impose their religion onto others. And this is brought about by centuries of power and being able to get away with it for so long. Unchecked it has brought about this sense of Christian privilege even though the Constitution was in place. And now it has morphed into a feeling of persecution.
    Please support that all Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Yes, that's a good way to put it. Thanks for confirming - it helps to be on the same page. Moving on ...
    So just to confirm, you are conceding your definition of Christian privilege, correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Yes, only because there is no equivalent word I can think of; whereas there are better words for Christmas that don't have to reflect on a particular deity.
    So because Jim Jones cannot think of an equivalent word, it might as well stay the same (i.e. this is a matter of inconvenience).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    And just because the non-religious aspects are shared it doesn't mean that the purpose of the day is to honor the birth of a human/deity is in any way diminished. The fact that most people, at least those that acknowledge that there are other Holy Days during that period, will call it a "Holiday Period", proves that it is favoring one religion over another.
    Sorry if I have trouble following your line of thought, but you stated that "holiday" was perfectly acceptable because the meaning had been lost over time, whereas "Christmas" is unacceptable because...? Where are you drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    AFAIK, most religions call their deity something else. Besides, it was capitalized so clearly it was referring to the One 'True' God and not 'a god' in general.
    Again, please support that the use of "God" in this instance is an explicit reference to the Christian deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    This was mentioned in this thread already but here you go:
    How was this a "religious crime"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I agree that not ALL Christians do this but it is still symptomatic of Christians enjoying the privilege of being to modify the law of the land in order to conform to their specific religious foibles.
    The law was found to be unconstitutional. Christians have the same right to challenge laws in courts as members of the FFRF. Your line of argumentation could again be turned on its head and still be true:

    "I agree that not ALL Atheists do this but it is still symptomatic of Atheists enjoying the privilege of being [able] to modify the law of the land in order to conform to their specific religious foibles."

    It appears as if you think Christians should not have the same rights as others to challenge laws. Am I correct in thinking this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Regarding gay marriage, I don't think only Christians oppose gay marriage, I'm sure the odd non-religious bigot is out there. Those very minor exceptions, even if they exist, which I'm not entirely convinced they do, doesn't reduce the fact that the groups opposing gay marriage and LGBT equality in general are 99% Christian in some way shape or form. There may be other religions also that have arguments against it but they aren't sufficient to hit the radar either.
    If you agree that it isn't only Christians who oppose gay marriage, then you have defeated your own argument. The reason this defeats your argument is that you are operating in absolutes. You are arguing that Christians are able to freely impose their will on people in the U.S., but if other groups/peoples agree with those Christian groups, then it isn't really just Christians imposing their will, is it? Your argument hinges on it being true that only Christians have this privilege, which is completely undermined if other groups side with these Christians.

    Re: Council meetings:

    This doesn't appear to support your argument at all, given that the invocation/prayer at these council meetings does not have to be Christian in nature--and that is what was defended. All of the Supreme Court Justices agreed that the government does not have to be a religion-free zone. That the majority of the prayers were led by Christians is simply a matter of the local demographic makeup--which is mostly Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Not sure where the state of this is but it is clear there is a favoritism towards Christians and other religious leaders.
    How is this favoritism when it states in the very quote that you selected: "A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their salary from federal income taxes is unconstitutional."? This does not support your argument, it undermines it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    That is not a key word that helps you though - it emphasizes that Christians belief they can continue to get away with it.
    How exactly are they "getting away with it"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    It supports everything I have said. The feeling of Christian privilege, the feeling of actual persecution when they don't get to impose their will on others, and then the continual requirement for a Christian political class!
    Now it's a "feeling" of Christian privilege instead of "actual" Christian privilege. Way to shift the goal posts.

  11. #131
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    An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Historically been true where and when? What do you mean by "recent"? The Constitution has been hanging around for about 227 years so unless you are arguing that 1787 is "recent", your definition is still self-defeating as the Constitution is a barrier to Christians being able to "freely impose" their religion in the U.S..
    I mean that Christianity has been getting a free pass historically. The Constitution, as I pointed out to eye, only prevented any brand of religious from being established over any other (in particular Christianity). If its purpose was to 'limit' Christianity's cultural influence in general I don't think that was challenged until fairly recently - maybe the last few decades?


    Please support that all Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others".
    It's part of the religion to prosthelytize and evangelize and convert. Does every single Christian in the entire of Christianity believe so? No, of course there is a range a feelings but that doesn't lessen the idea that Christianity is a religion built to be spread.


    F:So your actual argument as I understand it is that Christians have been able to "impose their will" in spite of the barriers put in place.
    JJ:Yes, that's a good way to put it. Thanks for confirming - it helps to be on the same page. Moving on ...

    So just to confirm, you are conceding your definition of Christian privilege, correct?
    No, what I said was modified and what you say is also true.

    So because Jim Jones cannot think of an equivalent word, it might as well stay the same (i.e. this is a matter of inconvenience).
    It's just not that important at the moment.

    Sorry if I have trouble following your line of thought, but you stated that "holiday" was perfectly acceptable because the meaning had been lost over time, whereas "Christmas" is unacceptable because...? Where are you drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable?
    When favoring one religion over another is a good start.


    Again, please support that the use of "God" in this instance is an explicit reference to the Christian deity.
    I already did - point out what is wrong with what I had said.


    How was this a "religious crime"?
    The use of the term desecration is a crime against a religious object:
    verb (used with object), desecrated, desecrating.
    1.
    to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.

    2.
    to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose.

    3.
    to treat with sacrilege; profane.


    The law was found to be unconstitutional. Christians have the same right to challenge laws in courts as members of the FFRF. Your line of argumentation could again be turned on its head and still be true:

    "I agree that not ALL Atheists do this but it is still symptomatic of Atheists enjoying the privilege of being [able] to modify the law of the land in order to conform to their specific religious foibles."

    It appears as if you think Christians should not have the same rights as others to challenge laws. Am I correct in thinking this?
    Yes, if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence.


    If you agree that it isn't only Christians who oppose gay marriage, then you have defeated your own argument. The reason this defeats your argument is that you are operating in absolutes. You are arguing that Christians are able to freely impose their will on people in the U.S., but if other groups/peoples agree with those Christian groups, then it isn't really just Christians imposing their will, is it? Your argument hinges on it being true that only Christians have this privilege, which is completely undermined if other groups side with these Christians.
    Not at all. I could be wrong but a majority of the groups actively opposing The Gay are Christians. My argument doesn't rest of them being the only religious group doing so but that they are the ones gaining the most traction.

    Re: Council meetings:

    This doesn't appear to support your argument at all, given that the invocation/prayer at these council meetings does not have to be Christian in nature--and that is what was defended. All of the Supreme Court Justices agreed that the government does not have to be a religion-free zone. That the majority of the prayers were led by Christians is simply a matter of the local demographic makeup--which is mostly Christian.
    Right, so a Christian court decides that Christians can invoke their prayers over a minority that doesn't want to share in that. It's a perfect example of Christian privilege all the way up to SCOTUS.


    How is this favoritism when it states in the very quote that you selected: "A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their salary from federal income taxes is unconstitutional."? This does not support your argument, it undermines it.
    No. It doesn't undermine the fact that it was already in place due to historical Christian privilege and now when challenged is no longer available. Someone has to actively work at undoing the wrongs of the past and every undoing is not an argument against my case at all. Maybe when all the fights have been won then you'll have a point. All this is pointing out is that in some cases, the Constitution will argue in favor of Christian privilege (e.g. the prayers in council meetings) and others times against.


    How exactly are they "getting away with it"?
    By them being able to attempt force their religion onto others with no fear of public retribution and shame for doing so. Or at least none that has any effect.

    Now it's a "feeling" of Christian privilege instead of "actual" Christian privilege. Way to shift the goal posts.
    It's not shifted at all. It is both - as I pointed out the argument is 3 fold:
    1. Historical privilege with unfettered spreading of the religion. This actual privilege creates an atmosphere of Christian dominance emboldening them.
    2. Feelings of persecution when they are challenged for their position and not understanding the minority positions; the latter you can witness from others responding here.
    3. Attempting to gain more ground and actively resisting challenges.

    There's at least 3 goalposts and nothing has been conceded or defeated.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 25th, 2014 at 02:23 PM.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I mean that Christianity has been getting a free pass historically. The Constitution, as I pointed out to eye, only prevented any brand of religious from being established over any other (in particular Christianity).
    What do you mean when you state that "Christianity has been getting a free pass historically"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    If its purpose was to 'limit' Christianity's cultural influence in general I don't think that was challenged until fairly recently - maybe the last few decades?
    The purpose of the Constitution was/is not to limit Christianity's cultural influence--that is absurd on its face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    It's part of the religion to prosthelytize and evangelize and convert. Does every single Christian in the entire of Christianity believe so? No, of course there is a range a feelings but that doesn't lessen the idea that Christianity is a religion built to be spread.
    Your statement was that Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others". Merely stating that Christianity is "built to spread" does not support that all Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others". It simply does not follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    It's just not that important at the moment.
    My point exactly. You aren't forwarding an argument as much as you are just complaining about people disagreeing with you. If you were actually consistent in your argumentation, you would be calling for all religious trappings to be eliminated from the public sphere, down to the changing the names of days (Monday is "moon day"--which is pagan, Tuesday is "Tiw's Day"--which is from Norse mythology, Wednesday references the Roman god Mercury, Thursday is "Thor's day"--also Norse, Friday is "Frigg day" an Old English goddess, Saturday in reference to the Roman god Saturn).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    When favoring one religion over another is a good start.
    This has already been refuted. New York City schools also get Lunar New Year, two Muslim holidays and Diwali off. Why? Because that's how Democracies work--the laws are a product of the local population. Christians are in the majority in the U.S. so you should not be surprised that Christmas is a holiday.

    Speaking of holidays:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    The UK is a poor example anyway since it is pretty much a Christian country with its Monarch the head of the Anglican Church.
    List of countries in Europe where Christmas is an official holiday:

    -Sweden
    -Norway
    -Finland
    -Denmark
    -Belgium
    -Austria
    -France
    -Greece
    -Hungary
    -Iceland
    -Ireland
    -Italy
    -Switzerland
    -Spain
    -Germany

    Let's pause at Germany for a second (because I'm getting tired).

    Germany's holidays are primarily dictated by the federal states which make up the nation. What kind of official holidays are celebrated in these states?

    -Epiphany
    -Good Friday
    -Easter Monday
    -Ascension Day
    -Whit Monday
    -Corpus Christi
    -Assumption Day
    -Reformation Day
    -All Saints
    -St. Stephen's Day

    That the United States--which has a much larger Christian population--only has Christmas day is pretty weak when Germany--a decidedly secular nation--has explicitly Christian holidays. These aren't holidays that have largely lost their meaning (e.g. Christmas), they are remembering specific events in Christian history.

    All this to say that it should be expected that in a culture or society that is predominately of one particular religious persuasion, you should likewise expect that the culture or society be heavily influenced by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I already did - point out what is wrong with what I had said.
    You stated the following:

    Besides, it was capitalized so clearly it was referring to the One 'True' God and not 'a god' in general.

    Please support that by capitalizing God that this automatically refers to the Christian God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    The use of the term desecration is a crime against a religious object:
    The actual law, however, includes more than just religious objects:

    5509. Desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the
    second degree if he:
    (1) intentionally desecrates any public monument or
    structure, or place of worship or burial;
    (2) intentionally desecrates any other object of
    veneration by the public or a substantial segment thereof in
    any public place;
    (3) sells, attempts to sell or removes with intent to
    sell a veteran's marker as described in section 1913 of the
    act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as The County
    Code. This paragraph shall not apply to the sale of veterans'
    markers authorized by statute; or
    (4) intentionally receives, retains or disposes of a
    veteran's marker or item decorating a veteran's grave knowing
    that the item has been stolen, or believing that it has
    probably been stolen, unless it has been received, retained
    or disposed of with the intent to return it to the owner.
    (a.1) Historic burial lots and burial places.--A person
    commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if the person
    intentionally desecrates a historic burial lot or historic
    burial place.
    (b) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
    words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
    subsection:
    "Desecrate." Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise
    physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will
    outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or
    discover the action.

    Source

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Yes, if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence.
    Just to be clear: You are stating that a specific group of people should be denied rights based solely upon their belief in a particular religion "if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Not at all. I could be wrong but a majority of the groups actively opposing The Gay are Christians. My argument doesn't rest of them being the only religious group doing so but that they are the ones gaining the most traction.
    It most certainly does rest on Christians being the only religious group opposing gay marriage, as your argument is that Christians are able to freely impose their will. As soon as you include other groups in the equation--including certain Jewish sects, Muslim sects, atheists--it starts to undermine your assertion that Christian tenets are at the root of the opposition. If Christian tenets aren't the only source of why people oppose gay marriage, then how can you then go on to say that Christians are imposing their views on others?

    You can't--this isn't a black and white issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Right, so a Christian court decides that Christians can invoke their prayers over a minority that doesn't want to share in that. It's a perfect example of Christian privilege all the way up to SCOTUS.
    That isn't what was decided. The agreement among the SC Justices was that the government does not have to be a religion-free zone. Likewise, if an atheist wants to give an invocation in a court that is also allowed. That it does not happen that often is simply because atheists make up a very small percentage of the population.

    You cannot deny rights to people just because they adhere to a specific religion--and that includes Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    No. It doesn't undermine the fact that it was already in place due to historical Christian privilege and now when challenged is no longer available. Someone has to actively work at undoing the wrongs of the past and every undoing is not an argument against my case at all. Maybe when all the fights have been won then you'll have a point. All this is pointing out is that in some cases, the Constitution will argue in favor of Christian privilege (e.g. the prayers in council meetings) and others times against.
    So far all of your examples have shown that the Constitution when applied has been universally in favor of stamping out special privileges granted solely on the basis of religious belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    By them being able to attempt force their religion onto others with no fear of public retribution and shame for doing so. Or at least none that has any effect.
    So what is your solution to stop people from merely attempting to force their religion onto others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    It's not shifted at all. It is both - as I pointed out the argument is 3 fold:
    1. Historical privilege with unfettered spreading of the religion. This actual privilege creates an atmosphere of Christian dominance emboldening them.
    Challenge to support a claim.Please support that the spread of Christianity was due to historical privilege.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    2. Feelings of persecution when they are challenged for their position and not understanding the minority positions; the latter you can witness from others responding here.
    I would challenge you to support that all Christians fail to understand minority positions, but just like many of your claims here it is impossible to support because it is so broad as to be meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    3. Attempting to gain more ground and actively resisting challenges.
    I guess I could bring up the fact that there has been a stark shift in Christian support for gay marriages. But that would probably be too much nuance to work into your black-and-white style of argumentation.

    In fact, that is my primary issue with your line of argumentation. It's too simple. It's too black and white. It leaves absolutely no room for any intellectual consideration of root causes, history, differences between regions, differences among different age groups, and on and on. If you are truly interested in eliminating every last vestige of this so-called "Christian privilege" in this country, perhaps you should consider trying to understand the opposition to see if your characterizations are even valid (hint: they aren't).

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    What do you mean when you state that "Christianity has been getting a free pass historically"?
    I mean they have been able to thrust their religious artifacts onto our public square, their particular morality into our laws and the customs and practices into our culture in the past without any serious challenges until recently.

    The purpose of the Constitution was/is not to limit Christianity's cultural influence--that is absurd on its face.
    Why?

    Your statement was that Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others". Merely stating that Christianity is "built to spread" does not support that all Christians "feel as if they are free to impose their religion onto others". It simply does not follow.
    But not ALL Christians are doing imposing their religion in an un-Constitutional manner - I'm sure there are plenty that just live their lives without any overt political action. On the other hand, from the Pew poll a majority of them want more religion in their politics.


    My point exactly. You aren't forwarding an argument as much as you are just complaining about people disagreeing with you. If you were actually consistent in your argumentation, you would be calling for all religious trappings to be eliminated from the public sphere, down to the changing the names of days (Monday is "moon day"--which is pagan, Tuesday is "Tiw's Day"--which is from Norse mythology, Wednesday references the Roman god Mercury, Thursday is "Thor's day"--also Norse, Friday is "Frigg day" an Old English goddess, Saturday in reference to the Roman god Saturn).
    Yes, if this weren't about Christianity (it's in the thread title) and more importantly, if the old religions held any political power, I would indeed include them. Indeed, if there were Muslim or Jewish or Hindu laws I would oppose them in the same way but even if there were, they are less important at this stage.


    This has already been refuted. New York City schools also get Lunar New Year, two Muslim holidays and Diwali off. Why? Because that's how Democracies work--the laws are a product of the local population. Christians are in the majority in the U.S. so you should not be surprised that Christmas is a holiday.
    That's still favoring those religions over all the others. So it doesn't refute anything. And yes, I am not surprised that Christmas is a holiday - and yes, the cultural reach of the majority has taken us to this point. But to do it in a manner that the whole country has is forced to participate (including having to actively opt out) needs to stop. What if we had to wear magic underpants like the Mormons? Would that be fair?

    Speaking of holidays:

    List of countries in Europe where Christmas is an official holiday:


    Germany's holidays are primarily dictated by the federal states which make up the nation. What kind of official holidays are celebrated in these states?

    That the United States--which has a much larger Christian population--only has Christmas day is pretty weak when Germany--a decidedly secular nation--has explicitly Christian holidays. These aren't holidays that have largely lost their meaning (e.g. Christmas), they are remembering specific events in Christian history.

    All this to say that it should be expected that in a culture or society that is predominately of one particular religious persuasion, you should likewise expect that the culture or society be heavily influenced by it.
    OK and when those starts enforcing Christianity on others AND if they have a Constitution that can be used to argue against those over-reaches then you can have this point. Again, historical precedence doesn't mean anything in this argument that we are having about what is happening in the US, with its First Amendment.

    You stated the following:
    Besides, it was capitalized so clearly it was referring to the One 'True' God and not 'a god' in general.

    Please support that by capitalizing God that this automatically refers to the Christian God.
    I already did. The other deities are usually referred to by other names: Yahweh, Allah, Brahmin.


    The actual law, however, includes more than just religious objects:
    5509. Desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects.

    "Desecrate." Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise
    physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will
    outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or
    discover the action.

    Source
    And the law is being chosen to be applied to a religious object, which is also my point. Where was the statue, defaced, or damaged or polluted or physically mistreated?


    Just to be clear: You are stating that a specific group of people should be denied rights based solely upon their belief in a particular religion "if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence"?
    No, I am saying they need to stop, not 'be stopped'.


    It most certainly does rest on Christians being the only religious group opposing gay marriage, as your argument is that Christians are able to freely impose their will. As soon as you include other groups in the equation--including certain Jewish sects, Muslim sects, atheists--it starts to undermine your assertion that Christian tenets are at the root of the opposition. If Christian tenets aren't the only source of why people oppose gay marriage, then how can you then go on to say that Christians are imposing their views on others?

    You can't--this isn't a black and white issue.
    My argument isn't ALL Christians and it isn't ONLY Christians. It is that Christianity is the biggest player and the most important one to stop. This is straw man and very black and white way of look at it. You do realize that the half for gay marriage are also Christian, right?


    That isn't what was decided. The agreement among the SC Justices was that the government does not have to be a religion-free zone. Likewise, if an atheist wants to give an invocation in a court that is also allowed. That it does not happen that often is simply because atheists make up a very small percentage of the population.

    You cannot deny rights to people just because they adhere to a specific religion--and that includes Christianity.
    Yes, but if the prevailing religion is Christianity then it becomes the de-facto religion of that council. And there are examples of Christian councils refusing others to speak:

    Testing the efficacy of city invocations discusses how a Christian council is refusing an atheist group to be added to the rotation list because:
    In explaining the decision to deny Metroplex Atheists Rowlett members Chad Aldridge and Susette Geissler an opportunity to give the invocation, Mayor Todd W. Gottel talked about what it means to give a real invocation.
    He defined it as “appealing to a higher power,” something an atheist doesn’t do.
    “An atheist would disqualify himself or herself from being able to faithfully carry the due responsibility of performing an Invocation for the blessing and benefit’of the City Council,” offered the Rev. Shane Pruitt, of Connection Community Church, when given the last word on the subject at the Sept. 16 meeting.

    So now they have their way, atheists are still marginalized.


    So far all of your examples have shown that the Constitution when applied has been universally in favor of stamping out special privileges granted solely on the basis of religious belief.
    And?


    So what is your solution to stop people from merely attempting to force their religion onto others?
    Keep fighting it. Keep it in play in discussions such as this. Make it a shameful thing and a thing that is blatantly unfair and disrespectful. I wouldn't go as far as making it illegal but it would un-PC to do so. That would be a start.


    1. Historical privilege with unfettered spreading of the religion. This actual privilege creates an atmosphere of Christian dominance emboldening them.
    Challenge to support a claim.Please support that the spread of Christianity was due to historical privilege.
    I didn't say it was! I am saying that the they had historical numbers when the country started and that gave them a sense of privilege thus spreading it further.


    I would challenge you to support that all Christians fail to understand minority positions, but just like many of your claims here it is impossible to support because it is so broad as to be meaningless.
    Well, to be clear then, I am not talking about ALL Christians and my argument doesn't rest on ALL of them being terrible people. Rather, I am saying that the right-wing Christian conservatives, if you want a more specific grouping are doing this. (Though even there, there were Black Democrats that voted against gay marriage too). Either way, it is still Christian morality at play here.


    I guess I could bring up the fact that there has been a stark shift in Christian support for gay marriages. But that would probably be too much nuance to work into your black-and-white style of argumentation.
    Err yeah - I already mentioned that way back when. The country is 75% Christian I think.


    In fact, that is my primary issue with your line of argumentation. It's too simple. It's too black and white. It leaves absolutely no room for any intellectual consideration of root causes, history, differences between regions, differences among different age groups, and on and on. If you are truly interested in eliminating every last vestige of this so-called "Christian privilege" in this country, perhaps you should consider trying to understand the opposition to see if your characterizations are even valid (hint: they aren't).
    I think you are putting a black and white spin on this. "root causes, history, differences between regions and age groups" are largely irrelevant because the prevailing effect is still that there is Christian privilege. It still exists despite all this.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    It doesn't matter where it was from - it is still horrible and needs to stop. There must also have been someone in the AF to make the decision to push the point.
    I already pointed out that it wasn’t a person in the Air Force, it was the Constitutional Convention. That is where the oath of enlistment derives from (which apparently you were unaware of). The Air Force was just complying with the law in following that decision. It was a legal opinion by Air Force JAG (hardly a group known for their religious predilections) as to what was required by Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

    A difference in legal opinion on a matter is hardly Christian privilege.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Nope.
    Yeah, not really that surprising. You are making an argument here for which you possess none of the relevant back ground facts or explanations. You simply saw a story line that you felt matched your talking point and viola, it was added. Research would help a little bit, this wasn’t even a particularly hard thing to research.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I mean they have been able to thrust their religious artifacts onto our public square,
    Which is to be expected when most of the people that make up the public square call themselves Christian. As mentioned earlier, government buildings are not required to be religion-free zones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    their particular morality into our laws
    Can you support this claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    and the customs and practices into our culture in the past without any serious challenges until recently.
    I don't understand this comment--our culture is a reflection of the people in it. If the majority of people in society are Christian, then you will probably have more Christian influence on the culture than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Why?
    The purpose of the Constitution was to establish a federal system of government in the United States. If you are going to claim that the purpose of the Constitution was to limit Christianity's cultural influence, then you're going to have to support that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    But not ALL Christians are doing imposing their religion in an un-Constitutional manner - I'm sure there are plenty that just live their lives without any overt political action. On the other hand, from the Pew poll a majority of them want more religion in their politics.
    So what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Yes, if this weren't about Christianity (it's in the thread title) and more importantly, if the old religions held any political power, I would indeed include them. Indeed, if there were Muslim or Jewish or Hindu laws I would oppose them in the same way but even if there were, they are less important at this stage.
    So it's only a problem if the particular religion has political power. Am I understanding you correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    That's still favoring those religions over all the others. So it doesn't refute anything. And yes, I am not surprised that Christmas is a holiday - and yes, the cultural reach of the majority has taken us to this point. But to do it in a manner that the whole country has is forced to participate (including having to actively opt out) needs to stop. What if we had to wear magic underpants like the Mormons? Would that be fair?
    You are forced to participate in Christmas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    OK and when those starts enforcing Christianity on others AND if they have a Constitution that can be used to argue against those over-reaches then you can have this point. Again, historical precedence doesn't mean anything in this argument that we are having about what is happening in the US, with its First Amendment.
    The problem here is that you stated the following in a response to eye:

    "And hopefully just like Europe, Christians will, someday, respect other faiths and belief systems in such a way so as not to force others to have to participate in it."

    So if in Europe more Christian holidays are celebrated, by your line of argumentation the Christians there are even worse than their American counterparts--or am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I already did. The other deities are usually referred to by other names: Yahweh, Allah, Brahmin.
    Confident answer when one has to resort to "usually referred to" when putting together the support. Regardless, I did not ask you about other deities. I asked you to support that by capitalizing God, it automatically refers to the Christian God. Stating that the other deities are "usually referred to" by other names does not support your assertion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    And the law is being chosen to be applied to a religious object, which is also my point.
    No, otherwise you would have stated as much. Your point was that this was a religious crime (i.e. subject to religious laws), when it clearly wasn't. The object might have been religious in nature, but that does not make the law which prohibits defacement of said object religious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Where was the statue, defaced, or damaged or polluted or physically mistreated?
    The guy mounted the statue in a sexually provocative manner and had one of his buddies take his picture and post it publicly. His actions thus fall under the "otherwise physically mistreating [the statue] in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    No, I am saying they need to stop, not 'be stopped'.
    I said: "It appears as if you think Christians should not have the same rights as others to challenge laws. Am I correct in thinking this?"

    To which you replied: "Yes, if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence."

    Now you state that they just need to "stop". OK. Opinion noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    My argument isn't ALL Christians and it isn't ONLY Christians. It is that Christianity is the biggest player and the most important one to stop. This is straw man and very black and white way of look at it. You do realize that the half for gay marriage are also Christian, right?
    Christianity will always be the biggest player as long as most of the people are Christian. If you are stating that Christians are the biggest player, then go on to say that the half for gay marriage are Christian, then why aren't you pulling out your hair to put a stop to their influence?

    Right--it's because that would be inconvenient to your agenda to have to incorporate nuance into your characterizations of your opponents. It's just much easier to lump everyone you disagree with under the same banner.

    The problem with this is that this is a terrible way to formulate a solid, defensible position--especially when you are trying to argue that something exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Yes, but if the prevailing religion is Christianity then it becomes the de-facto religion of that council. And there are examples of Christian councils refusing others to speak:
    These are "Christian councils" inasmuch as a council in which most of the members are fans of a particular sports team (for example the Seattle Seahawks) are "Seahawks councils".


    So far all of your examples have shown that the Constitution when applied has been universally in favor of stamping out special privileges granted solely on the basis of religious belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    And?
    This challenges your statement: "All this is pointing out is that in some cases, the Constitution will argue in favor of Christian privilege (e.g. the prayers in council meetings) and others times against."

    You have thus far not shown that in Constitutional cases that the courts have decided in favor of Christian privilege.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Keep fighting it. Keep it in play in discussions such as this. Make it a shameful thing and a thing that is blatantly unfair and disrespectful. I wouldn't go as far as making it illegal but it would un-PC to do so. That would be a start.
    Of course when people demonstrate that it isn't shameful, it isn't actually unfair nor disrespectful (as the case in this thread), then what? You have failed to demonstrate any of these things as true. You sound exactly like the Fox News analysts you love to criticize.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I didn't say it was! I am saying that the they had historical numbers when the country started and that gave them a sense of privilege thus spreading it further.
    You just restated it in a different way. Please support that the spread of Christianity was due to this sense of privilege (e.g. historical privilege).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    Well, to be clear then, I am not talking about ALL Christians and my argument doesn't rest on ALL of them being terrible people. Rather, I am saying that the right-wing Christian conservatives, if you want a more specific grouping are doing this. (Though even there, there were Black Democrats that voted against gay marriage too). Either way, it is still Christian morality at play here.
    The way you have phrased the argument up until this point most certainly does require all Christians to be part of the problem. You have painted with an extremely broad brush and as a result your argument is incoherent and weak. That's OK--rephrase the argument and restate it. The more specific you are, the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I think you are putting a black and white spin on this. "root causes, history, differences between regions and age groups" are largely irrelevant because the prevailing effect is still that there is Christian privilege. It still exists despite all this.
    You have to first demonstrate that Christian privilege actually exists, of course. Your examples are the primary issue, and if your examples are problematic, then you undercut the main argument, which is that Christian privilege exists. Thus "root causes, history, etc." are indeed important especially if they are used to refute the examples that you have provided.

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  17. #136
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I already pointed out that it wasn’t a person in the Air Force, it was the Constitutional Convention. That is where the oath of enlistment derives from (which apparently you were unaware of). The Air Force was just complying with the law in following that decision. It was a legal opinion by Air Force JAG (hardly a group known for their religious predilections) as to what was required by Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

    A difference in legal opinion on a matter is hardly Christian privilege.


    Yeah, not really that surprising. You are making an argument here for which you possess none of the relevant back ground facts or explanations. You simply saw a story line that you felt matched your talking point and viola, it was added. Research would help a little bit, this wasn’t even a particularly hard thing to research.
    But all that is still irrelevant. OK So the Air Force isn't responsible directly but at some point there was a person or group of people that decided that it was a good idea!

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Freund:

    This is getting nowhere. I just spent 30 minutes and lost all my changes due to an expired token and I don't feel like answering any more points.

    I think you should pick one point that you feel is the strongest argument against my position and let's move on from there. I've answered half your points - the rest seemed to me that I was repeating myself.

    Also, feel free to re-raise any other points. I feel your main weakness is that you haven't been able to decouple Christianity from any of my examples and you keep going back to explaining why we are where we are. Neither really defeats my case, and nor does the fact that there are other Christians who feel that abiding by the Constitution is a good thing.

    JJ


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Which is to be expected when most of the people that make up the public square call themselves Christian. As mentioned earlier, government buildings are not required to be religion-free zones.
    Neither history nor social activity are under dispute here. There is no point continuing to go through 'how' we got to the terrible state that we're in - we are here now. And for the latter point, if Christians hold up their side of the bargain and not just use this as an excuse to exclude others then, yes, I agree, that issue is resolved. But as I have shown, it isn't.

    Can you support this claim?
    All the anti-homo-gay legislation.


    JJ: and the customs and practices into our culture in the past without any serious challenges until recently.
    I don't understand this comment--our culture is a reflection of the people in it. If the majority of people in society are Christian, then you will probably have more Christian influence on the culture than not.
    Sure, but if they have self-limited to those expressions for their own self-preservation (via the Constitution) then they should honor it for all beliefs. That they only stick to that agreement when the majority of Christians agree (e.g. XMas) shows Christians are only OK with it so long as they are protecting their own denominations.


    The purpose of the Constitution was to establish a federal system of government in the United States. If you are going to claim that the purpose of the Constitution was to limit Christianity's cultural influence, then you're going to have to support that.
    Its purpose is to limit Christianity to be established as an official religion. This includes specific moral foibles (e.g. anti-homo-gay), bizarre understandings of science (e.g. evolution, climate change), festivals (Christmas, Good Friday), and cultural symbols (10 commandments, crosses, etc.); all placed into the public square where it does not belong.


    JJ: But not ALL Christians are doing imposing their religion in an un-Constitutional manner - I'm sure there are plenty that just live their lives without any overt political action. On the other hand, from the Pew poll a majority of them want more religion in their politics.
    So what?
    It means that the battle is still continuing and need to defeat them.


    So it's only a problem if the particular religion has political power. Am I understanding you correctly?
    They all have political power but it is Christianity that exercises the most over others (in the USA).

    You are forced to participate in Christmas?
    Yes, of course. The annual tradition of being publicly accused by Fox News of participating in a war on Christmas drags me in every year.



    The problem here is that you stated the following in a response to eye:

    "And hopefully just like Europe, Christians will, someday, respect other faiths and belief systems in such a way so as not to force others to have to participate in it."

    So if in Europe more Christian holidays are celebrated, by your line of argumentation the Christians there are even worse than their American counterparts--or am I missing something?
    Yes, you're missing that 'Europe' has no constitution. The US does. The Constitution is the check on Christian power but it is being continually eroded. You're also missing that Europe nor any other country has anything to do with this debate.

    JJ: I already did. The other deities are usually referred to by other names: Yahweh, Allah, Brahmin.
    Confident answer when one has to resort to "usually referred to" when putting together the support. Regardless, I did not ask you about other deities. I asked you to support that by capitalizing God, it automatically refers to the Christian God. Stating that the other deities are "usually referred to" by other names does not support your assertion.
    Yes, it does because that is what is normal. If you want to find some corner cases where God is used to apply to other religions' deities then that doesn't defeat my point.

    JJ: And the law is being chosen to be applied to a religious object, which is also my point.
    No, otherwise you would have stated as much. Your point was that this was a religious crime (i.e. subject to religious laws), when it clearly wasn't. The object might have been religious in nature, but that does not make the law which prohibits defacement of said object religious.
    It was a religious crime - that is exactly my point. It is taking, what you're saying is a secular law, and forcing it to be applied in a religious context. Though, I have to challenge you that this is indeed the specific law they are referring to - none of the harm you mention applies.


    The guy mounted the statue in a sexually provocative manner and had one of his buddies take his picture and post it publicly. His actions thus fall under the "otherwise physically mistreating [the statue] in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action."
    How is it being 'mistreated'?


    I said: "It appears as if you think Christians should not have the same rights as others to challenge laws. Am I correct in thinking this?"

    To which you replied: "Yes, if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence."

    Now you state that they just need to "stop". OK. Opinion noted.
    This is the full path:
    The law was found to be unconstitutional. Christians have the same right to challenge laws in courts as members of the FFRF. Your line of argumentation could again be turned on its head and still be true:

    "I agree that not ALL Atheists do this but it is still symptomatic of Atheists enjoying the privilege of being [able] to modify the law of the land in order to conform to their specific religious foibles."

    It appears as if you think Christians should not have the same rights as others to challenge laws. Am I correct in thinking this?

    Yes, if they are attempting to do it to favor their own religion and strengthen its cultural influence.




    So I modify my answer to yes, as far as the Constitution allows.









    Christianity will always be the biggest player as long as most of the people are Christian. If you are stating that Christians are the biggest player, then go on to say that the half for gay marriage are Christian, then why aren't you pulling out your hair to put a stop to their influence?

    Right--it's because that would be inconvenient to your agenda to have to incorporate nuance into your characterizations of your opponents. It's just much easier to lump everyone you disagree with under the same banner.

    The problem with this is that this is a terrible way to formulate a solid, defensible position--especially when you are trying to argue that something exists.



    These are "Christian councils" inasmuch as a council in which most of the members are fans of a particular sports team (for example the Seattle Seahawks) are "Seahawks councils".





    This challenges your statement: "All this is pointing out is that in some cases, the Constitution will argue in favor of Christian privilege (e.g. the prayers in council meetings) and others times against."

    You have thus far not shown that in Constitutional cases that the courts have decided in favor of Christian privilege.



    Of course when people demonstrate that it isn't shameful, it isn't actually unfair nor disrespectful (as the case in this thread), then what? You have failed to demonstrate any of these things as true. You sound exactly like the Fox News analysts you love to criticize.



    You just restated it in a different way. Please support that the spread of Christianity was due to this sense of privilege (e.g. historical privilege).



    The way you have phrased the argument up until this point most certainly does require all Christians to be part of the problem. You have painted with an extremely broad brush and as a result your argument is incoherent and weak. That's OK--rephrase the argument and restate it. The more specific you are, the better.



    You have to first demonstrate that Christian privilege actually exists, of course. Your examples are the primary issue, and if your examples are problematic, then you undercut the main argument, which is that Christian privilege exists. Thus "root causes, history, etc." are indeed important especially if they are used to refute the examples that you have provided.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 27th, 2014 at 12:16 PM.

  19. #138
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    One of my favorite examples of the arrogance exhibited by Christian Privilege is how some of them whine about being 'persecuted'. This rallying cry, invoking the built-in fetish for suicide (or martyrdom), emanates mainly from the Christian right, where they have been on the losing side of many a social and legal battle. So in today's Values Voter Summit we have a trifecta of the narrative to gin up the crowd; an injection of self-annointed martyrdom:

    The first claim about the young girl who was supposedly told she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch turned out to be totally false, as it was a story that was completely ginned up by Liberty Institute, Todd Starnes, and the man in charge of marketing Starnes’ latest book about ant-Christian persecution.

    The second incident Shackelford cited is a myth that has been floating around Religious Right circles for nearly twenty years and was debunked nearly as long ago when school officials explained that the student in question was disciplined for fighting in the lunch room, not for praying.

    The final claim about Sgt. Phillip Monk is something that Shackelford has been promoting for several years now, mainly by fundamentally misrepresenting what actually took place
    Palin is back with:

    Sarah Palin: Christian conservatives are ‘the most slandered group in America’
    “I’m speaking to the most slandered group in America today,” Palin said during her appearance at the Value Voters Summit. “Join me in telling the lamestream media, then, that we wear your scorn with pride.”
    Palin accused critics of “pulling the race card” to avoid debating conservative ideas regarding economic and political policies from not only herself, but former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his father Rafael, and Fox News contributor Ben Carson.

    “You can’t defeat our argument, so all you can do the subject,” she said. “So we win.”

    Palin also attempted to allude to the White House, but botched the address.

    “You don’t retreat — you reload the truth,” she said. “Which I know is an endangered species at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, anyway, truth.”

    The actual address for the White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. A local hotel, the Willard, stands at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    Moe such nonsense at http://www.rightwingwatch.org/ whose Front Page has many other fun examples of how Christian Privilege manifests itself through politics.

  20. #139
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    One of my favorite examples of the arrogance exhibited by Christian Privilege is how some of them whine about being 'persecuted'. This rallying cry, invoking the built-in fetish for suicide (or martyrdom), emanates mainly from the Christian right, where they have been on the losing side of many a social and legal battle. So in today's Values Voter Summit we have a trifecta of the narrative to gin up the crowd; an injection of self-annointed martyrdom:

    Religious Right Leader, Unable to Find Actual Examples of Christian Persecution, Cites Three Debunked Ones
    The first claim about the young girl who was supposedly told she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch turned out to be totally false, as it was a story that was completely ginned up by Liberty Institute, Todd Starnes, and the man in charge of marketing Starnes’ latest book about ant-Christian persecution.

    The second incident Shackelford cited is a myth that has been floating around Religious Right circles for nearly twenty years and was debunked nearly as long ago when school officials explained that the student in question was disciplined for fighting in the lunch room, not for praying.

    The final claim about Sgt. Phillip Monk is something that Shackelford has been promoting for several years now, mainly by fundamentally misrepresenting what actually took place
    I don't know what "evidence" an investigation was supposed to find of a conversation between two people.
    but bottom line the link does not support your assertion here. It was not "totally debunked" or shown to be false.
    They just didn't find evidence of it occurring. .. and again I re-state my question, what evidence were they supposed to find that not finding any equates to false?

    There is of course a difference between demonstrably false, and unsupported.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  21. #140
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't know what "evidence" an investigation was supposed to find of a conversation between two people.
    but bottom line the link does not support your assertion here. It was not "totally debunked" or shown to be false.
    They just didn't find evidence of it occurring. .. and again I re-state my question, what evidence were they supposed to find that not finding any equates to false?

    There is of course a difference between demonstrably false, and unsupported.

    It's not really my assertion - I'm just quoting from the link. However, going straight to the Right Wing Watch source, I don't see any particular problems with it:
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/conten...ch-least-three


    The first claim about the young girl who was supposedly told she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch turned out to be totally false, as it was a story that was completely ginned up by Liberty Institute, Todd Starnes, and the man in charge of marketing Starnes' latest book about ant-Christian persecution.

    So let's check out the first one. A girl that was told she was not allowed to pray. This story, was debunked here:
    Todd Starnes Gets Definitively Debunked

    A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about the amazing coincidence that was at the center of one of Todd Starnes' recent columns about a young girl who had allegedly been told that she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch in her elementary school lunch room.

    As it turned out, the young girl just so happened to be the daughter of the man who is the Vice President of Sales at the Christian publishing house that is publishingStarnes' next book, which just so happens to be all about how religious liberty is under attack in America.

    Even after this rather curious connection was pointed out and the school said there was no evidence that the incident had even happened, the parents and their lawyers at the Liberty Institute continued to demand an investigation and an apology from the school; at one point even arranging a line-up of school employees so the girl could identify just which teacher had allegedly told her that she was not allowed to pray.

    The school at the center of this "controversy" bent over backwards to satisfy the parents and conducted a full investigation into the incident. Yesterday, the school district announced its findings and, as expected, found the allegations to be completely bogus:

    School officials said Wednesday that they can't find any evidence to suggest that a kindergartner was told not to pray in a Seminole County elementary lunchroom.
    But the school district apologized anyway, and a lawyer for the girl's parents said they are satisfied with the outcome.
    "We found zero evidence an incident ever occurred," said district spokesman Mike Lawrence. "There's no proof whatsoever."
    ...
    As for the identified staffer, a school-district investigator has concluded that "there is no way possible that person was anywhere near the lunchroom" that kindergartners and first-graders use. In addition to the student and her family, the district has interviewed staffers, the accused adult and Gabriella's classmates, Lawrence said.
    Predictably, the parents and their right-wing attorney are trying to use the fact that the school issued a perfunctory apology to spin this as a victory:
    In a statement, Jeremy Dys, the family's attorney, said, "We are grateful for the apology offered by Seminole County Schools. The Perez family gladly accepts this apology, along with the assurances to the community by the School Board that students in Seminole County School are free to exercise their First Amendment freedoms while at school."

    Which seems like a pretty open and shut case. To me, that the daughter of a VP of Christian literature, likely selling more books when there is persecution involved seems immediately suspicious. And there was a full investigation including a line-up for the girl to identify the teacher.

    Do you have any reason to doubt that it never happened? Or is something telling that it is likely true?
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 27th, 2014 at 08:53 PM.

 

 
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