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  1. #101
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Really, I don't think your discussion with MT showed he was a jerk. The sense of historical Christian privilege and entitlement shone through though - and that's the mindset borne of a broken system and not someone being a jerk.
    What I mean by "jerk" is someone who is wrong on the issue (as in we both disagree with them). So the fact that there are people who hold wrong perspectives on the issue is not a problem that I concern myself with.

    So some of your arguments are not something that I find to be of legitimate concern. So that person is wrong. So that person thinks we should live in a theocracy. People have the right to think we should live in a theocracy and even try to establish one for everyone has the right to influence their government. Jerks will be jerks. Not my concern.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I should have qualified that typo I made that there is no valid argument. I spent a good chunk of time discussing homosexuality with Christians here in one period and they don't have much of an argument. There was even one that was OK saying terrible things behind their back but felt it was bad to say terrible things about people with mental issues. You can't get more entitled than that I'm afraid.

    So don't pretend to me that these are valid arguments in anyway. They have resorted to mainly discredited lies because they can no longer use their religious convictions. I wish they would - at least then the arguments would make sense!
    I'm not saying they are valid arguments. I'm saying they are secular arguments (the ones that are forwarded in the courts, that is). In other words, religion is not being directly invoked in the current legal struggle against gay marriage.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I already did - what was wrong with what I said already?
    I'm saying it's inappropriate to ask me to read the article to find the part of the article that supports your position. You need to cut and paste the pertinent part of the article into your post.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I think there are jerks - that's what the WBC a are. What I disagree with is the characterization that just because people are arguing from a Christian perspective that makes them jerks. They truly believe in it so there's no malice in it. I think your jerk argument doesn't really hold up.
    I don't argue that all Christians are jerks. What I'm saying is that some of your argument is just saying "these people are jerks". Alright, they are jerks. But just being jerks who want privilege does not mean that they will get privilege and therefore their very existence does not create Christian privilege.

    Like I said, there are racist jerks who would want to reinstate Jim Crow laws. But since they can't make that happen, their existence does not create White Privilege.

    Likewise Christian jerks do not create Christian Privilege just by their very existence.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There have been many polls that have shown that people won't vote for an atheist politician and they don't trust them. In fact, atheists are the least likely to be voted for purely based on their lack of belief. And this is across the political spectrum.
    Okay. But what do you want to do about it? Do you want to do away with Democracy?



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    First, fight actual Christian privilege and remove it wherever possible. Those are all the legal battles we have discussed; whether they are overtly religious or not is irreverent - if the source is Christian then it needs to lose.
    And as I said, we've pretty much accomplished that already.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Then we need change the cultural landscape to be more like Europe, to be a little more inclusive and less other-ism. I forget where you ended up with MindTrap but the elephant in the room that he doesn't see is that secularism is gaining power.
    Right. The cultural landscape is changing on its own. So we don't need to do anything.

    But I happen to respect the right of Christians the same as non-Christians. So while I don't think Christians should be privileged in a legal sense I respect their right to have as much influence in politics and the culture as anyone else. Everyone gets one vote and if 75% of the population is Christian then 75% of the votes will be made by Christians. That likewise applies to culture. Everyone has "one vote" in our culture and if there are more Christians then they will have the largest influence and I accept that.

    I don't think I should get more votes in politics or culture when compared to any one Christian.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post

    They are supposed to be equal under the law but in actuality they aren't. That's why we have these fights. And yes, sometimes it just takes a bit of publicity and the FFRF to poke its head up and they will fold. But they aren't going to stop trying. You do realize that less than half the country believes that evolution is true don't you? You do understand that we have senators on the science committee that have referred to a trust in the bible over scientific evidence, right?
    But the LAW "pretty much" forbids the teaching of creationism in our public schools. So the LAW does not grant Christians privilege in this area.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    And public meetings often are opened with a Christian prayer and others have sometimes been forbidden. There are many examples where people just are not being jerks per se but they are living under an enormous sense of entitlement and do not understand that what they have are privileges that reach deep into our psyche.

    These are not small skirmishes!
    Actually that is a small skirmish. It doesn't really effect anyone if a city council chooses to open with a prayer. I'm not saying that it's not a technical violation of the separation of church and state or that it should not be opposed but since it does not actually infringe on anyone's liberty in a concrete way (as in effects how one lives his life) it definitely fits in the category of a small skirmish.

  2. #102
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    What I mean by "jerk" is someone who is wrong on the issue (as in we both disagree with them). So the fact that there are people who hold wrong perspectives on the issue is not a problem that I concern myself with.

    So some of your arguments are not something that I find to be of legitimate concern. So that person is wrong. So that person thinks we should live in a theocracy. People have the right to think we should live in a theocracy and even try to establish one for everyone has the right to influence their government. Jerks will be jerks. Not my concern.
    That may well be but you can't call people a jerk just because they happen to be wrong. If just thinking that the world should be the way we want it makes one a jerk, then we're all jerks. It's just not a convincing argument at all. I think the WBC are jerks but I wouldn't say that Catholics are being jerks - they following a religion (that happens to be wrong on a bunch of issues) and doing what they're told.

    I'm not saying they are valid arguments. I'm saying they are secular arguments (the ones that are forwarded in the courts, that is). In other words, religion is not being directly invoked in the current legal struggle against gay marriage.
    That's also true but you are ignoring that the source of these suits are religious.

    I'm saying it's inappropriate to ask me to read the article to find the part of the article that supports your position. You need to cut and paste the pertinent part of the article into your post.
    OK to repeat, the notion of a Christian persecution complex is not new: The Evangelical Perspecution complex suggests some recent examples of it in popular culture:


    • The wildly successful Left Behind books tell a similar narrative of persecution.
    • in the last year, two films have been released which depict brave Christians standing up against a hostile, violent, and corrupt world. Godís Not Dead tells the story of a Christian college student who is forced to sign a paper declaring that God is dead or debate his arrogant, atheist philosophy professor, played by Kevin Sorbo.
    • Even more explicit is the recently released Persecution, a thriller about a pastor who is framed by the government for murder because he tries to stop the passage of a federal bill to restrict religious freedom.


    It goes on to explain that the reason for this is embedded within the religion itself:


    • The Christian church itself has a long history of telling stories of martyrdom and persecution. The stories of saintsí lives often center on their sufferings for Christ. For example, Foxís Book of Martyrs is a popular and classic text recounting notable martyrdoms throughout church history.
    • And that is the real problem with many persecution narratives in Christian culture: They fetishize suffering.


    Note that this is mostly talking about American Christians' perspective; not the actual persecution of Christians in the Arab world or in China. So my point remains that not only is Christian privilege woven into the fabric of our society but also that any perceived attack is met with a religious-fervor that fetishizes persecutions: thus making said 'persecuted' Christian feel a little more Christ-like. And there's nothing like the injustice of killing an innocent to put fire in those bellies.




    I don't argue that all Christians are jerks. What I'm saying is that some of your argument is just saying "these people are jerks". Alright, they are jerks. But just being jerks who want privilege does not mean that they will get privilege and therefore their very existence does not create Christian privilege.

    Like I said, there are racist jerks who would want to reinstate Jim Crow laws. But since they can't make that happen, their existence does not create White Privilege.

    Likewise Christian jerks do not create Christian Privilege just by their very existence.
    That's not my point though. My point is that these 'jerks' are only able to do so in the public arena because of a pre-existing Christian privilege that is taken for granted. Compare this to racism, which is totally unacceptable. Being a Christian jerk should be just as socially unacceptable.

    There is no cultural fabric of racism (anymore) that make racism socially acceptable; whereas Christians enjoy unfettered and unchallenged proselytization due to cultural privileges that we have inherited from our past.


    And as I said, we've pretty much accomplished that already.
    No, you have established that the Constitution exists and that some legal battles have been won. Others, e.g. Hobby Lobby, we have lost.

    Right. The cultural landscape is changing on its own. So we don't need to do anything.
    Err, we are society. If you want to sit back and do nothing further then that's your right but you're denying the problem much in the same way MindTrap did in your discussion.


    But I happen to respect the right of Christians the same as non-Christians. So while I don't think Christians should be privileged in a legal sense I respect their right to have as much influence in politics and the culture as anyone else. Everyone gets one vote and if 75% of the population is Christian then 75% of the votes will be made by Christians. That likewise applies to culture. Everyone has "one vote" in our culture and if there are more Christians then they will have the largest influence and I accept that.
    Sure - that's called Christian privilege!

    But the LAW "pretty much" forbids the teaching of creationism in our public schools. So the LAW does not grant Christians privilege in this area.
    Hmm, then you are unaware of the Texas School Board's almost annual attempt to stop YEC from changing our country's text books?


    Actually that is a small skirmish. It doesn't really effect anyone if a city council chooses to open with a prayer. I'm not saying that it's not a technical violation of the separation of church and state or that it should not be opposed but since it does not actually infringe on anyone's liberty in a concrete way (as in effects how one lives his life) it definitely fits in the category of a small skirmish.
    But it's not just one council - when you multiply this across the country of thousands of councils then that is a huge problem.

  3. #103
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That may well be but you can't call people a jerk just because they happen to be wrong. If just thinking that the world should be the way we want it makes one a jerk, then we're all jerks. It's just not a convincing argument at all. I think the WBC are jerks but I wouldn't say that Catholics are being jerks - they following a religion (that happens to be wrong on a bunch of issues) and doing what they're told.
    I think you are missing the point of me using the term "jerks". The point is that certain people, we agree, are in the wrong on this issue and if it confuses the debate to apply the term "jerks" to them, then you are free to suggest an alternative term and we'll use that instead.

    But what I mean by "jerks will be jerks" is to agree with you that these people are in the wrong on this issue but just being in the wrong doesn't matter very much in and of itself. They have to actually post some kind of valid threat before I do something other than shrug and say "Okay, so these people are jerks (wrong). People have the right to be wrong."


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That's also true but you are ignoring that the source of these suits are religious.
    Actually, I think the ultimate source of the suits are "ick".




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    OK to repeat, the notion of a Christian persecution complex is not new

    Note that this is mostly talking about American Christians' perspective; not the actual persecution of Christians in the Arab world or in China. So my point remains that not only is Christian privilege woven into the fabric of our society but also that any perceived attack is met with a religious-fervor that fetishizes persecutions: thus making said 'persecuted' Christian feel a little more Christ-like.
    But this is just another instance of "jerks being jerks". It certain bestows no concreter privilege upon Christians.

    To be clear, in this debate I am only concerned with actual legal privileges, not "jerks" wishing they had privilege or feeling that they should have privilege. Again, racists can want the return of Jim Crow laws which means that they are jerks. It does not mean that I should be legitimately concerned with legalized White privilege.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That's not my point though. My point is that these 'jerks' are only able to do so in the public arena because of a pre-existing Christian privilege that is taken for granted. Compare this to racism, which is totally unacceptable. Being a Christian jerk should be just as socially unacceptable.
    Again, let's separate legal privilege from social privilege.

    There certainly was a pre-existing legal privilege for Christians but it's "pretty much" gone now.

    As far as social privilege, it's generally borne of being the majority and I can't say that any POV is inherently superior to another. I know which POVs I personally prefer and it's similar to yours (we are both secularists). But Christians have just as much right to influence the culture as they desire to as we have. So while I prefer the culture heads in a more secular direction, I can't argue that it must in any objective sense. I can only state what I prefer. So I accept a certain Christian social privilege because they have the right to seek that kind of privilege, just as you have the right to seek an atheist social privilege.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    No, you have established that the Constitution exists and that some legal battles have been won. Others, e.g. Hobby Lobby, we have lost.
    The significant ones have been won. The losses are minor and possibly temporary. Congress has the power to reverse the Hobby Lobby decision.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Err, we are society. If you want to sit back and do nothing further then that's your right but you're denying the problem much in the same way MindTrap did in your discussion.
    I deny the problem because I don't think there's much of a problem. That's the point of this debate.

    A war that we've "pretty much" won already is not a big problem. And jerks being jerks is just a reality that I accept.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Sure - that's called Christian privilege!
    No, it's called MAJORITY privilege. If the numbers were reversed and atheists had the kind of majority, then atheists would have the advantage, but not because they are atheists but because they are the majority.

    So unless you have some better system than majority privilege, I don't see a problem that won't be fixed by instituting something worse.

    Just like "jerks being jerks", some things about this reality that you don't like should be accepted.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Hmm, then you are unaware of the Texas School Board's almost annual attempt to stop YEC from changing our country's text books?
    If you are calling them "attempts" I assume that means that they have not succeeded. So again, jerks will be jerks.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    But it's not just one council - when you multiply this across the country of thousands of councils then that is a huge problem.
    No. It's a minor skirmish and "our side" is clearly winning. The florida case you mentioned was from ten years ago.

    In more recent times, though, it appears that sectarian prayer has been ruled unconstitutional at public meetings.

    2012-JAN-17: U.S. Supreme Court decided to not accept two appeals.

    Both the North Carolina municipal case described above and the Delaware school board case described in another essay were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices declined to accept either appeal.

    Katy Parker, legal director for the ACLU’s North Carolina chapter said:

    "The law is now settled, and we are very happy that nobody in Forsyth County or anywhere else will feel like a second-class citizen because of what they believe." 4

    For the time being, it would appear that sectarian prayers in municipal government meetings and at school board meetings are considered unconstitutional as a matter of settled law.


    http://www.religioustolerance.org/sep_c_st4a.htm

    So this is just another minor skirmish that we've already pretty much won.
    Last edited by mican333; September 21st, 2014 at 10:52 AM.

  4. #104
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I think you are missing the point of me using the term "jerks". The point is that certain people, we agree, are in the wrong on this issue and if it confuses the debate to apply the term "jerks" to them, then you are free to suggest an alternative term and we'll use that instead.

    But what I mean by "jerks will be jerks" is to agree with you that these people are in the wrong on this issue but just being in the wrong doesn't matter very much in and of itself. They have to actually post some kind of valid threat before I do something other than shrug and say "Okay, so these people are jerks (wrong). People have the right to be wrong."
    I think that just saying they are wrong is sufficient enough! To also call them jerks brings on connotations of deliberate and false malfeasance which I don't believe is the case here. Look, if you can honestly call MT a jerk for putting his points forward then I'll concede on this point but since I doubt you can, you'll just have to settle on another way of describing the issue that people of faith tend act on their faith! Which is my point - these people are not jerks they are doing what their religion is telling them do and what their upbringing has made them believe is true: that America is a Christian country. I suspect that you probably had a Christian upbringing too so you don't really see it.

    Actually, I think the ultimate source of the suits are "ick".
    I know, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    To be clear, in this debate I am only concerned with actual legal privileges, not "jerks" wishing they had privilege or feeling that they should have privilege. Again, racists can want the return of Jim Crow laws which means that they are jerks. It does not mean that I should be legitimately concerned with legalized White privilege.
    Um, you do know where the phrase checking your privilege comes from don't you? It actually is from White privilege. But if you don't believe any of these are 'real issues' and you wish to turn a blind eye to it then let's be clear that is what you're doing; you are not saying these aren't issues. The legal framework only provides a lowest boundary of behavior that we can sink to and if you're happy with the minimum society we can create rather than the best then that's fine too.


    The significant ones have been won. The losses are minor and possibly temporary. Congress has the power to reverse the Hobby Lobby decision.
    You're talking about the religious-right GOP majority right? Good luck with that.



    I deny the problem because I don't think there's much of a problem. That's the point of this debate.

    A war that we've "pretty much" won already is not a big problem. And jerks being jerks is just a reality that I accept.
    Yet, almost every week there are 'jerks just being jerks'. That reality I can't accept.


    No. It's a minor skirmish and "our side" is clearly winning. The florida case you mentioned was from ten years ago.

    In more recent times, though, it appears that sectarian prayer has been ruled unconstitutional at public meetings.

    2012-JAN-17: U.S. Supreme Court decided to not accept two appeals.

    Both the North Carolina municipal case described above and the Delaware school board case described in another essay were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices declined to accept either appeal.

    Katy Parker, legal director for the ACLUís North Carolina chapter said:

    "The law is now settled, and we are very happy that nobody in Forsyth County or anywhere else will feel like a second-class citizen because of what they believe." 4

    For the time being, it would appear that sectarian prayers in municipal government meetings and at school board meetings are considered unconstitutional as a matter of settled law.


    http://www.religioustolerance.org/sep_c_st4a.htm

    So this is just another minor skirmish that we've already pretty much won.
    We shall see - I doubt we will have long to wait for another example of such actions.

  5. #105
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I think that just saying they are wrong is sufficient enough! To also call them jerks brings on connotations of deliberate and false malfeasance which I don't believe is the case here. Look, if you can honestly call MT a jerk for putting his points forward then I'll concede on this point but since I doubt you can, you'll just
    have to settle on another way of describing the issue that people of faith tend act on their faith!
    I think you misunderstood what I mean by "wrong". I don't mean "incorrect" but those that are trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Those are the people you are complaining about and I think they are all jerks and when they take action to impose their beliefs they are being jerks. Do you actually disagree with me on that? Do you think they are not being jerks?

    And just presenting an argument for their side on ODN does not make one a jerk - they have to show intent to force their beliefs on us. So MT is not a jerk.

    And I"m not saying that that is the only way one can be a jerk, but that one qualifies as a jerk when they do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Which is my point - these people are not jerks they are doing what their religion is telling them do and what their upbringing has made them believe is true: that America is a Christian country.
    I don't think they are jerks for just thinking that. I think they are jerks when they try to force their beliefs onto others.

    And I don't see the point in trying to challenge this. I'm just using a term to use on those who you disparage in your arguments. We can use any term but why not settle on "jerks" since it's already been introduced.

    On a comedic side-note, this reminds me of a "Whitest Kids You Know" sketch. I don't know what kind of sense of humor you have so I can't say for sure you'll like it but here it is. NSFW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe4dC10PqlU





    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I know, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.
    Actually, I've supported that their feelings are not ultimately rooted in religion with the Leviticus argument. Since one cannot point to scripture as the basis of anti-gay attitude and the fact that some non-theists are also homophobic, it cannot be reasonably forwarded that homophobia is ultimately rooted in religion.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Um, you do know where the phrase checking your privilege comes from don't you? It actually is from White privilege. But if you don't believe any of these are 'real issues' and you wish to turn a blind eye to it then let's be clear that is what you're doing; you are not saying these aren't issues. The legal framework only provides a lowest boundary of behavior that we can sink to and if you're happy with the minimum society we can create rather than the best then that's fine too.
    That's not the issue. The issue is legal privilege which means that we are only concerned with the minimum boundary. If the boundary gives Christians privilege then we have a problem with Christian legal privilege. If it does not give them privilege, then there's no problem with Christians receiving legal privilege.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yet, almost every week there are 'jerks just being jerks'. That reality I can't accept.
    But people have the right to be jerks.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    We shall see - I doubt we will have long to wait for another example of such actions.
    I didn't say that all of the skirmishes have been fought yet.

  6. #106
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Actually I think I've offered both in this post. Hope so anyway.
    The major problem I have with your objection/doubt is that I find it terribly unreasonable and unwarranted.

    The way I see it, you are challenging the idea of Gravity (IE a long standing well established idea for causation of an action) as being the current cause for the same effect.
    In response I drop an apple and say "Yup.. gravity still working".
    Then you point out that it doesn't necessarily logically follow that the apple falling was due to gravity, that it could have changed to some other cause .. which is true.
    But in the face of the long history It should take an increased reason to justify further inquiry, and a dropped apple (IE single measure that is unchanged) is enough to reassure the passing thought.
    Simply saying "I doubt it" is not cause for others to be interested or reasonably suspect.

    Which leads to the second problem I have with your repeated call.
    You have brought doubt, and I have offered "support", and you have simply shown that there is a "logical possibility" that the measure I used was not sufficient.
    But that is not a positive reason to think it is not.. not without some further evidence or cause for doubt.
    It's a giant begging the question. Why should we think that the continued love affair has some other cause? .. you certainly haven't offered any reason, and we do have A reason to think otherwise.

    So... lacking some reason to doubt as you do, your doubt is duly noted and my argument can stand on it's own.

    A good example is the exchange which ended with you saying this
    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But the base of relevant knowledge is not minute. I believe it is so large that it's not reasonable that the average person would know every relevant aspect of it so by extension it is very unlikely that you know every relevant aspect.
    You offer no example or support of how it is so unobtainable.. you have done nothing but log the existence of your disbelief.
    What part of the relevant base is not summed up in popularity?
    Point is, your doubt is both uninteresting and unfounded. People are generally aware of their culture. (take below for example)

    Let me offer a different example. There is a fishing rodeo at a local beach every year, has been for a long time.
    You suggest that people are no longer going to the beach that week for the rodeo.
    I say.. well everyone is bringing fishing poles.
    You point out that it doesn't necessarily follow that they are bringing poles for the rodeo(for those unfamiliar it is typically an event that counts as a "hight point" of the rental and visitor season), they could be using it for some other reason.
    ... That is true I say, but the fact that they have been doing that for years is a pretty well established expectation. If you think they are bringing them to decorate their cabins or some other reason then the long standing reason... then you really need to come up with something better than the a logically possible alternative, you have to actually show a reason to even suspect a change.

    I believe my responses in the thread are sufficient for the reader and I am content to leave it at that.

    I believe I have challenged the idea that a christian privilege exists at all in relation to Christmas.
    That there is any constitution problem with the gov using well established social terms such as Christmas
    and a few other things.
    anyway, I'm just saying the thread contains my argument to be read. I'll leave it at that.


    P.S. I tried to work on a summary to straiten out some of our talking past each other... I simply don't have the time to do it justice.
    I would prefer to leave this on a positive note, and would like to point out that I think your strongest point to my mind is the idea of using a religious term. Just as I would object to schools calling "lunch".. "communion" and having all the students go to the front to be hand feed their first bite of bread and apple juice.
    My only problem is that I don't see "Christmas" as a religious term. I mean it isn't like the terms of "holy spirit", or "marriage" or "communion" which have biblical established meanings(for the christian).
    If Christmas was to be put on an equal standing with those things, I would have to take offense to using "Dec 25th" in it's place.
    But that is just IMPO.
    Thanks for your time.
    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.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I think you misunderstood what I mean by "wrong". I don't mean "incorrect" but those that are trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Those are the people you are complaining about and I think they are all jerks and when they take action to impose their beliefs they are being jerks. Do you actually disagree with me on that? Do you think they are not being jerks?
    I don't think that people imposing their religion on other people are being jerks at all! They're just following in the religion that they believe in. Luckily for us secularists, we live in a secular country based on a secular constitution. So basically, everyone else is 'wrong' in that respect. If they lived in a Vatican City then I'd have no objection because that is clearly a Christian country. America is not - and therefore, they are wrong.

    And just presenting an argument for their side on ODN does not make one a jerk - they have to show intent to force their beliefs on us. So MT is not a jerk.
    Actually, in your sense, he is because he doesn't see any problems with the way the world is. In continuing Christian privilege, he is actually forcing his beliefs on us. (I of course, disagree with your definition of jerk)


    I don't think they are jerks for just thinking that. I think they are jerks when they try to force their beliefs onto others.
    Right, and that come in three flavors - the first actually trying to get more privileges than they already have, the second to preserve the status quo of privilege, and the third to prevent change.

    And I don't see the point in trying to challenge this. I'm just using a term to use on those who you disparage in your arguments. We can use any term but why not settle on "jerks" since it's already been introduced.
    I'm challenging only because of the additional connotations which I don't think you really mean and aren't true in any case. I don't need to disparage Christians or people attempting to get more influence than they have; it's perfectly natural. It's just that in this specific country, it is not Constitutional so they shouldn't do it; they shouldn't prevent people from removing privileges they gained when they were more powerful and resistance to religion less tolerated; and they certainly shouldn't feel as if they are being personally singled out - we are just getting the country back where it should be, per the Constitution.

    On a comedic side-note, this reminds me of a "Whitest Kids You Know" sketch. I don't know what kind of sense of humor you have so I can't say for sure you'll like it but here it is. NSFW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe4dC10PqlU
    :-)

    Actually, I've supported that their feelings are not ultimately rooted in religion with the Leviticus argument. Since one cannot point to scripture as the basis of anti-gay attitude and the fact that some non-theists are also homophobic, it cannot be reasonably forwarded that homophobia is ultimately rooted in religion.
    Of course you can - there's tons of references to sex outside of marriage, etc. It's totally rooted in religion. There isn't a single Christian that says it is NOT a sin for two people of the same gender have sexual intercourse! These people really believe this stuff and it does help that their deity is just as homophobic as they are - but that only strengthens their convictions.



    That's not the issue. The issue is legal privilege which means that we are only concerned with the minimum boundary. If the boundary gives Christians privilege then we have a problem with Christian legal privilege. If it does not give them privilege, then there's no problem with Christians receiving legal privilege.
    Then I guess we have to just keep raising that minimum boundary and not leave it where it is.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Luckily for us secularists, we live in a secular country based on a secular constitution. So basically, everyone else is 'wrong' in that respect
    Actually, you live in a country that allows you, as a secularist, to live without persecution. I might suggest not taking that for granted. Atheists face the death penalty in some countries. But mostly, you live in a country that protects the right to freedom of religion and expression from government interference. That's in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, by the way.

    Then as far as freedom of expression, this consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief.

    So in that our laws/government are secular, which works well with our three branches of government, the far majority of the country, the people, believe in God and/or a higher power and they have for the last 230+ years. The Founders knew this. It is this mass of people – the majority, that the American Founding Fathers created the principle of the freedom of religion in the First Amendment; it was created to protect the rights of the masses in America to practice their faith/conscience freely and insure the freedom of expression of their faith (whatever that faith be).

    So secularists live in a country where the freedom of religion in the First Amendment protects their right to practice their freedom of conscience without persecution.

    The First Amendment was adopted to curtail Congress' power to interfere with the individual's freedom to believe, to worship, and to express himself in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, and the Fourteenth Amendment imposed the same substantive limitations on the States' power to legislate. The individual's freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority. Moreover, the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.

    Justice John Paul Stevens, Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985).
    Last edited by eye4magic; September 21st, 2014 at 11:56 PM.
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    An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Actually, you live in a country that allows you, as a secularist, to live without persecution. I might suggest not taking that for granted. Atheists face the death penalty in some countries. But mostly, you live in a country that protects the right to freedom of religion and expression from government interference. That's in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, by the way.
    I am fully aware that I live in a 20th century modern Western country. I am fully aware of restrictions that religious countries put on people that prefer science over magic and clarity of thought of obscure mysticism and most importantly freedom of thought. But that is irrelevant - this discussion is about Christian privilege in America.


    I am also aware that these rights are under attack constantly from the religious (of all political stripes but mostly the right) even extending to the notion that "free of religion" does not necessarily mean the "freedom from religion".

    Believe me, I am fully aware of the power of the rights of the Constitution - it's been my argument against religious attacks all along.

    Then as far as freedom of expression, this consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief.
    It should be noted that I get this as a by-product of the recognition of a failure of any particular religion to assume power! Europe, which took longer to recognize secular thought perhaps, seems to have reached there from a more direct view: that secularism is the best way to recognize the diversity in all our thoughts.

    So in that our laws/government are secular, which works well with our three branches of government, the far majority of the country, the people, believe in God and/or a higher power and they have for the last 230+ years. The Founders knew this. It is this mass of people Ė the majority, that the American Founding Fathers created the principle of the freedom of religion in the First Amendment; it was created to protect the rights of the masses in America to practice their faith/conscience freely and insure the freedom of expression of their faith (whatever that faith be).

    So secularists live in a country where the freedom of religion in the First Amendment protects their right to practice their freedom of conscience without persecution.
    The First Amendment was adopted to curtail Congress' power to interfere with the individual's freedom to believe, to worship, and to express himself in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, and the Fourteenth Amendment imposed the same substantive limitations on the States' power to legislate. The individual's freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority. Moreover, the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.

    Justice John Paul Stevens, Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985).
    Yet you fully ignore the point of this thread! That individual freedom of conscience does not mean the ability to persecute others. It means that a secular army shouldn't force people to invoke some deity; that a secular government should recognize that same sex couples should be allowed to marry; or a kid can take a lewd photo of a statue of some other religious symbol.

    Your rights are not infringed by other people exercising their own rights. We have a right not to recognize your deity or to be forced to interact with artifacts, rituals and traditions of your religion. It's a very simple point that Christians keep missing. Check your privilege!
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 22nd, 2014 at 07:45 AM.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    First off, going by your post, it appears that you are mistaken about my objection to your argument. As far as I can tell your argument is that there have been no relevant changes and you are using the fact that society’s love of Christmas has not changed between now and then as your support. Put in 123 terms, it would read
    1. FACT – Society’s love of Christmas has not changed
    2. CONCLUSION – Therefore there have been no relevant changes in the rationale of the government officially recognizing Christmas.

    And to be clear, I do not challenge 1 nor have I ever expressed any doubt that it is true. I argue that it does not logically lead to the conclusion so I reject the conclusion. And I have, in my last post, offered arguments for my position so I did not just say “I doubt it”.

    First I offered my reasoning for why the argument fails.
    I think your argument has a serious logical flaw and therefore does not provide a reason to believe.

    I used the analogy before and I will repeat it. If you have factors A - F and prove that factor A has not changed, one cannot reasonably conclude that A-F have not changed since B-F could have changed and no evidence has been provided that they did not. So to apply the analogy to our current argument, showing that the love of Christmas has not changed does not reasonably lead one to conclude that there have been no relevant changes at all.


    And I also offered my personal reasoning for doubting your conclusion.

    I think there is a relevant change between now and then, which is our societal/legal understanding of the separation of church and state. I won't go into details of why I believe a relevant change in that area has occurred right now but given my belief that sufficient change has occurred the argument that our societal love of Christmas has not changed in no way gives me reason to alter my belief on the matter so I don't agree that you have given me a reason to believe that no relevant changed has occurred.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The major problem I have with your objection/doubt is that I find it terribly unreasonable and unwarranted.

    The way I see it, you are challenging the idea of Gravity (IE a long standing well established idea for causation of an action) as being the current cause for the same effect.
    In response I drop an apple and say "Yup.. gravity still working".
    Then you point out that it doesn't necessarily logically follow that the apple falling was due to gravity, that it could have changed to some other cause .. which is true. .
    I would consider, in the analogy, “Gravity” is point 1 “Society’s love of Christmas has not changed”. I do not doubt or challenge point 1 so your analogy is incorrect.
    It’s the conclusion you draw from point 1 that I doubt so holding to that analogy, if you were to draw the conclusion that all dropped objects fall when dropped because, as you demonstrated, apples fall when dropped, I would doubt that conclusion for there could be, and I believe are, certain objects that do not fall when dropped.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Which leads to the second problem I have with your repeated call.
    You have brought doubt, and I have offered "support", and you have simply shown that there is a "logical possibility" that the measure I used was not sufficient.
    But that is not a positive reason to think it is not.. not without some further evidence or cause for doubt.
    It's a giant begging the question. Why should we think that the continued love affair has some other cause? .. you certainly haven't offered any reason, and we do have A reason to think otherwise.
    Straw man argument. I never argued that our societal love affair with Christmas has “some other cause”.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You offer no example or support of how it is so unobtainable.. you have done nothing but log the existence of your disbelief.
    What part of the relevant base is not summed up in popularity?
    Point is, your doubt is both uninteresting and unfounded. People are generally aware of their culture.
    And you apparently don’t realize that I provided a good reason to believe that you have failed to realize a significant change between then and now in my last post. Here it is again:

    I think there is a relevant change between now and then, which is our societal/legal understanding of the separation of church and state. I won't go into details of why I believe a relevant change in that area has occurred right now but given my belief that sufficient change has occurred the argument that our societal love of Christmas has not changed in no way gives me reason to alter my belief on the matter so I don't agree that you have given me a reason to believe that no relevant changed has occurred.






    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Let me offer a different example. There is a fishing rodeo at a local beach every year, has been for a long time.
    You suggest that people are no longer going to the beach that week for the rodeo.
    But that is not analogous to any argument I’ve made so the analogy fails.
    I NEVER argued that the societal love of Christmas has changed so to attack that argument of “mine” is to resort to a strawman argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I believe my responses in the thread are sufficient for the reader and I am content to leave it at that.
    And I am content with the fact that I sufficiently rebutted all of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I believe I have challenged the idea that a christian privilege exists at all in relation to Christmas.
    And I have provided a supported argument that Christmas is a celebration centered around Christianity.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That there is any constitution problem with the gov using well established social terms such as Christmas
    and a few other things.
    anyway, I'm just saying the thread contains my argument to be read. I'll leave it at that.
    Alright.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    P.S. I tried to work on a summary to straiten out some of our talking past each other... I simply don't have the time to do it justice.
    I would prefer to leave this on a positive note, and would like to point out that I think your strongest point to my mind is the idea of using a religious term. Just as I would object to schools calling "lunch".. "communion" and having all the students go to the front to be hand feed their first bite of bread and apple juice.
    My only problem is that I don't see "Christmas" as a religious term. I mean it isn't like the terms of "holy spirit", or "marriage" or "communion" which have biblical established meanings(for the christian).
    But a significant portion of society does see Christmas as a religious holiday so that is how it must be considered for debate purposes. In a society, words mean what society believes they mean.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If Christmas was to be put on an equal standing with those things, I would have to take offense to using "Dec 25th" in it's place.
    But that is just IMPO.
    Thanks for your time.
    All right. Have a good one.

    ---------- Post added at 04:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I don't think that people imposing their religion on other people are being jerks at all! They're just following in the religion that they believe in. Luckily for us secularists, we live in a secular country based on a secular constitution. So basically, everyone else is 'wrong' in that respect. If they lived in a Vatican City then I'd have no objection because that is clearly a Christian country. America is not - and therefore, they are wrong.
    I happen to think it's always wrong to trample on others' religious freedom. And having a theocracy is no excuse for everyone has the right to not be forced to live by someone else' religious beliefs so just because you have governmental authority to force your religious beliefs on people (because the country is a theocracy) does not make it right.

    So I think anyone who does not respect others right to freedom of religion is a "jerk". If you disagree and think it's alright to want to infringe of others freedom of religion, we apparently disagree on an issue I assumed we do agree on.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Actually, in your sense, he is because he doesn't see any problems with the way the world is. In continuing Christian privilege, he is actually forcing his beliefs on us. (I of course, disagree with your definition of jerk)
    Voicing an opinion does not force anything on anyone. Nor do I believe he was condoning anything but just making an observation about our legal system.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Right, and that come in three flavors - the first actually trying to get more privileges than they already have, the second to preserve the status quo of privilege, and the third to prevent change.
    Well two and three are pretty much the same but I don't disagree with you in general.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I'm challenging only because of the additional connotations which I don't think you really mean and aren't true in any case. I don't need to disparage Christians or people attempting to get more influence than they have; it's perfectly natural. It's just that in this specific country, it is not Constitutional so they shouldn't do it; they shouldn't prevent people from removing privileges they gained when they were more powerful and resistance to religion less tolerated; and they certainly shouldn't feel as if they are being personally singled out - we are just getting the country back where it should be, per the Constitution.
    First off, I am not saying that Christians in general are "jerks". I'm not singling anyone out at all. In some of your arguments, you are referring to certain people who are actively trying to violate others religious freedoms by gaining privilege for their religion above others. And I'm saying those people are jerks. I mean you ARE complaining about them so I can assume that you disapprove of their activities.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Of course you can - there's tons of references to sex outside of marriage, etc.
    But I'm saying one cannot rationally point to scripture for an anti-gay position. If you disagree, then show me how one can do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There isn't a single Christian that says it is NOT a sin for two people of the same gender have sexual intercourse!
    I disagree. There are plenty of liberal Christians and I'm sure many of them don't consider homosexuality sinful.





    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Then I guess we have to just keep raising that minimum boundary and not leave it where it is.
    But since we have almost reached the point where there is no legal Christian privilege, we don't have far to raise it. I assume we agree that when no faith (including atheism) has privilege over any other faith, the boundary has been reached.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I think there is a relevant change between now and then, which is our societal/legal understanding of the separation of church and state. I won't go into details of why I believe a relevant change in that area has occurred right now but given my belief that sufficient change has occurred the argument that our societal love of Christmas has not changed in no way gives me reason to alter my belief on the matter so I don't agree that you have given me a reason to believe that no relevant changed has occurred.
    First I have read that reason offered in this thread.
    sorry if I missed it.
    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.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I happen to think it's always wrong to trample on others' religious freedom. And having a theocracy is no excuse for everyone has the right to not be forced to live by someone else' religious beliefs so just because you have governmental authority to force your religious beliefs on people (because the country is a theocracy) does not make it right.

    So I think anyone who does not respect others right to freedom of religion is a "jerk". If you disagree and think it's alright to want to infringe of others freedom of religion, we apparently disagree on an issue I assumed we do agree on.
    I think we largely agree but why would you stop at the State imposing a religion? Why not call religions themselves jerks for making their own children follow them? Or even causing self-hating gays as evidenced by the number of anti-gay leaders that have turned out to be gay? That's just as harmful.

    At some level, we all belong to a religion or a country that imposes its religious values on every citizen. In the US the Constitution prevents some of that and in Europe, many countries are already secular. But let's not digress into other countries that their particular problems. We should focus on the US only - and here, I still think the term you choose to use has connotations that are unnecessary. I prefer to think of them as being wrong viz-a-viz the constitution.


    Voicing an opinion does not force anything on anyone. Nor do I believe he was condoning anything but just making an observation about our legal system.
    He was doing much more than that:
    1. He ignores that we are no longer the Christian America that he (like other conservatives) yearn for. Eye, earlier this morning, in reciting her view, does the same thing when she assumes that our secularism is a 'privilege'.
    2. He assumes that history and tradition is a reason to continue doing something - this is of course, the basis of Conservatism. However, in doing so Christianity gets an automatic advantage
    3. Point 3 has never been defended because it strikes directly at both points - that not only are we are no longer the nation we used to be but we want to be different in a direction that is towards secularism.

    First off, I am not saying that Christians in general are "jerks". I'm not singling anyone out at all. In some of your arguments, you are referring to certain people who are actively trying to violate others religious freedoms by gaining privilege for their religion above others. And I'm saying those people are jerks. I mean you ARE complaining about them so I can assume that you disapprove of their activities.
    Yes, but they aren't doing so out of personal animus - they are doing so because they are used to their Christian world-view, presumably not having much experience outside of their religion or perhaps they see secularism/atheism as inferior. They are doing so with impunity because their community also supports the persecution of non-Christians.

    Here is a story from reddit, describing how openly atheists are mocked, in the Air Force no less:
    This weekend I went to watch a family member run the U.S. Air Force Marathon. There was an announcer at the finish hyping up the crowd and providing inspiration to runners. Most of his comments were purely motivational like, "You can do it! You're almost there!" with the occasional joke. The comment that stuck out to me was when enthusiastically said, "Everyone remember, there are no atheists at mile 26!" (A marathon is 26.2 miles.) To which the crowd cheered.
    At first I felt insulted by the blatant insult to non-believers, but it quickly turned into inspiration and now Iím considering training for a marathon next year. Iíve run a few 10-mile races (that my wife convince me to run), but haven't kept up with running in a number of years and am now quite out of shape.
    I've noticed there tends to be a large religious presence at races, and a lot of churches encourage their members to sign-up and represent their faith. There are countless people wearing shirts with bible verses or other general statements like, "running for jesus!"
    Has anyone here completed a marathon? Ultramarathon? Ironman? How do you deal with the overwhelming religious tone at the races?


    So that's a lot of 'jerks'. The real story of course, is that they are culturally inclined to laugh at atheists - much in the same way we used to laugh at homosexuals, women and black people. I don't think calling them jerks accurately describes how pervasive and normal these kinds of attitudes are. They are not being 'mean' deliberately but they are unaware of other people's feelings and therefore think it's OK to gently mock them. That's the essence of the privilege they enjoy and it is no different from Minstrel show or shows from the fifties that assumed women's position is in the home.


    But I'm saying one cannot rationally point to scripture for an anti-gay position. If you disagree, then show me how one can do that.
    It's sodomy for a start and it's sex outside of marriage (fornication) and it's promiscuity. These are all based on various quotes from the Bible (http://www.openbible.info/topics/sodomy):

    Jude 1:7 ESV / 24 helpful votes

    Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Galatians 5:19-21 ESV / 37 helpful votes

    Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    And so on - there's tons of examples of what I'm saying.

    I disagree. There are plenty of liberal Christians and I'm sure many of them don't consider homosexuality sinful.
    Any left-leaning Christians out there? I'd be surprised if they say it is not a sin - it's very clear it is. I don't know why you're arguing this point. They justify it in the same way that they they allow sex outside of marriage and all sorts of other turning a blind eye on things.

    But since we have almost reached the point where there is no legal Christian privilege, we don't have far to raise it. I assume we agree that when no faith (including atheism) has privilege over any other faith, the boundary has been reached.
    I think I agree with that thought. We haven't fully tested this line properly yet.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Monday's story of Christian Privilege comes from a story about the Texas Education Board, famous for the last few years with various attempts to remove evolution or to teach the 'controversy' or to add a right-wing bent to education: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ng-father.html reports now that one of their latest attempts to rewrite history taught in schools is to make the claim that Moses was a 'Founding Father' of the US:

    The problem began when the SBOE evicted Enlightenment thinkers from the World History standards and substituted a list that included Moses, Aquinas, Calvin, and Blackstone. Figures from that grab-bag list also made their way into the requirements for United States history and government. Never mind that Aquinas and Calvin were theologians, or that Blackstone believed all societies should require some form of absolute, unchallengeable sovereign power. The real issue turned out to be Moses.

    Careful analyst by Justine Esta Ellis (a scholar who was not part of the TFN group) finds the strategy of starting with Moses is aimed at presenting the United States as a unique ďredeemer nation,Ē predestined among all others to act out Godís will. Arch-conservative David Barton, who has no historianís credentials but who nonetheless has had a huge impact on TEKS, maintains that verse after verse from the Bible is quoted ďverbatimĒ in the Constitution. Checking Scripture demonstrates quickly that this is just not so. The language and the ideas do not match. Any professor of history teaches history majors not to make that kind of mistake.

    But the State Board of Education wanted nothing to do with professors. More than a dozen from Texas colleges and universities volunteered to take part in reviewing texts this past summer. Almost all were turned down.

    One of those historians, my colleague and former Southern Methodist University department chair Kathleen Wellman, testified at the SBOE public hearing this month. She told the SBOE that the effect of the TEKS requirement to find biblical origins for the Constitution would be to make Moses the ďfirst American.Ē Some historians give that honor to Benjamin Franklin. Whoever might merit it, Moses definitely does not qualify.

    So now we're resorted to arguing against people that may never have even existed!

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Believe me, I am fully aware of the power of the rights of the Constitution
    Well then you should be set.

    The ebb and flow of the American experiment that’s lasted over 200 years all works within the context of the U.S. Constitution and this grand principle of freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience is an interesting aspect of our life if you really think about it. I think, it's a rather enlightening principle because it gives us the opportunity to be "mentally free" from what may be troubling us; from what we don't understand; from what we may perceive to be unjust, whatever that is. Technically though, mental freedom can also be realized by people in communist countries, also, or even in prison. But it’s much harder because freedom of conscience naturally gives rise to mental freedom. Otherwise it’s a difficult struggle.

    What does this have to do with “Christmas Day and certainly Easter should be removed from the Federal calendar as a National Holiday?” -- it has to do with the fact that you are mentally free in America to not celebrate or acknowledge those holidays or why they are celebrated. Some atheists, as noted on this thread, actually enjoy the holiday spirit of such holidays. In other words, they are mentally free to enjoy the spirit of the holiday and not be troubled or affected by the reason for the celebration.

    As far as your comment: "I am fully aware of the power of the rights of the Constitution," bear in mind that in that our laws/government are secular, they all function within a society who are primarily believers. Our laws, our holidays, our culture in America reflects its people, primarily who are believers. They are not laws, holidays and a culture that operate within a vacuum. They work within the framework of the society they govern and which has given rise to that culture – in America that’s a society primarily of believers.

    Christmas, btw is recognized and celebrated nationally in about 160 countries around the world, some of which are far more secular then America. How could that be? Because, America is no longer the only country that champions freedom of conscience.
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Well then you should be set.
    Well, if only your right-wing Christian conservative brethren would just live by the Constitution then I would be set. However, Christian privilege remains a stubborn problem to fix.

    The ebb and flow of the American experiment thatís lasted over 200 years all works within the context of the U.S. Constitution and this grand principle of freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience is an interesting aspect of our life if you really think about it. I think, it's a rather enlightening principle because it gives us the opportunity to be "mentally free" from what may be troubling us; from what we don't understand; from what we may perceive to be unjust, whatever that is. Technically though, mental freedom can also be realized by people in communist countries, also, or even in prison. But itís much harder because freedom of conscience naturally gives rise to mental freedom. Otherwise itís a difficult struggle.
    All humans want freedom and despite religious scripture and restrictions, we are getting it. More importantly, we are getting our freedom without having to apologize for it or feel guilty for having it. Or getting punished, insulted, maligned, discredited, laughed at, or disenfranchised. I think religion is an anathema to true freedom.

    What does this have to do with ďChristmas Day and certainly Easter should be removed from the Federal calendar as a National Holiday?Ē -- it has to do with the fact that you are mentally free in America to not celebrate or acknowledge those holidays or why they are celebrated. Some atheists, as noted on this thread, actually enjoy the holiday spirit of such holidays. In other words, they are mentally free to enjoy the spirit of the holiday and not be troubled or affected by the reason for the celebration.
    Yes, and they are partly responsible for supporting Christian privileges over other religions who are also having celebrations at the same time. A Jewish person would be celebrating Hanukah - they don't need to call that period, 'Christmas', because it honors a religion that has borne them great harm.

    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.

    As far as your comment: "I am fully aware of the power of the rights of the Constitution," bear in mind that in that our laws/government are secular, they all function within a society who are primarily believers. Our laws, our holidays, our culture in America reflects its people, primarily who are believers. They are not laws, holidays and a culture that operate within a vacuum. They work within the framework of the society they govern and which has given rise to that culture Ė in America thatís a society primarily of believers.

    Christmas, btw is recognized and celebrated nationally in about 160 countries around the world, some of which are far more secular then America. How could that be? Because, America is no longer the only country that champions freedom of conscience.
    Interesting that 'freedom' means that your particular viewpoint takes a primary spot and that your measure of freedom is how far your religion has spread! Or is it really because it is an accident of history coupled with cultural conquest that has caused its spread.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Well, if only your right-wing Christian conservative brethren would just live by the Constitution then I would be set.
    Youíre mentally free regardless of what Christians do or donít do. Circumstances do not determine your freedom of conscience in America; nor do circumstances determine your happiness
    or your state of being.

    I think religion is an anathema to true freedom.
    Then you might consider this: The 8 best countries to be an atheist

    Yes, and they are partly responsible for supporting Christian privileges over other religions who are also having celebrations at the same time.
    Society, its people, are responsible for everything in their culture, laws, holidays.

    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
    You donít have to have an interest in religion to be mentally free of the reason for Christmas.

    The writer and evolutionary biologist told singer Jarvis Cocker that he happily wishes everyone a Merry Christmas - and used to have a tree when his daughter was younger.

    Dawkins, one of the most famous atheists in the world, was interviewed by Sheffield born Cocker when he stepped in as a Christmas guest editor on Radio Four's Today programme.

    'I am perfectly happy on Christmas day to say Merry Christmas to everybody,' Dawkins said. 'I might sing Christmas carols - once I was privileged to be invited to Kings College, Cambridge, for their Christmas carols and loved it.

    'I actually love most of the genuine Christmas carols. I can't bear Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and you might think from that that I was religious, that I can't bear the ones that make no mention of religion. But I just think they are dreadful tunes and even more dreadful words. I like the traditional Christmas carols....'

    Dawkins said his family had a typical Christmas celebration each year like so many others.

    'We are not kill joys, we are not scrooges,' he said. 'We give each other presents and when my daughter was a bit younger we would have a tree. We don't now.

    'We go to my sister's house for Christmas lunch which is a lovely big family occasion. Everybody thoroughly enjoys it. No church of course.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/ar...#ixzz3E6ijsM6Y

    Interesting that 'freedom' means that your particular viewpoint takes a primary spot and that your measure of freedom is how far your religion has spread!
    The American society, our culture is a reflection of its people as a whole. Itís not disconnected. Our culture is the sum total effect of its people Ė which are primarily believers, that includes believers of different faiths.
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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    JimJones, I'm fairly certain that you are more upset that the majority of U.S. citizens call themselves Christians than any actual examples of Christian privilege, of which you have none. You even said the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    My main point is regarding Christians using the privilege of majority to impose their religious viewpoints onto others, in a way that isn't Constitutional.
    This is an interesting statement. The first half is a complaint against certain Christians trying to impose their viewpoints (key phrase: "trying to"), yet your last half negates your argument entirely when you say "in a way that isn't Constitutional". There is already a system in place to prevent the former from occurring--so what is your actual argument?

    People should not be faulted for electing people to political office who share similar values and interests, which is what you appear to be doing here. As long as the laws that are actually enacted are legal (i.e. "Constitutional"), then you have no argument. You cannot claim there exists some nebulous concept as "Christian privilege" if the system put in place by a society that was and still is mostly Christian prevents by design such "privilege" from occurring.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    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.
    If you grew up in the United States, then you were by default living in a society highly influenced by Christian culture. Did you grow up in the United States?

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Youíre mentally free regardless of what Christians do or donít do. Circumstances do not determine your freedom of conscience in America; nor do circumstances determine your happiness or your state of being.
    Not if Christians insist on pushing their religious views on non Christians.

    Then you might consider this: The 8 best countries to be an atheist
    Irrelevant, let's focus on the USA.

    Society, its people, are responsible for everything in their culture, laws, holidays.
    Yes, and? It is a culture of privilege for Christianity and we need to remove those privileges.



    You donít have to have an interest in religion to be mentally free of the reason for Christmas.

    The writer and evolutionary biologist told singer Jarvis Cocker that he happily wishes everyone a Merry Christmas - and used to have a tree when his daughter was younger.

    Dawkins, one of the most famous atheists in the world, was interviewed by Sheffield born Cocker when he stepped in as a Christmas guest editor on Radio Four's Today programme.

    'I am perfectly happy on Christmas day to say Merry Christmas to everybody,' Dawkins said. 'I might sing Christmas carols - once I was privileged to be invited to Kings College, Cambridge, for their Christmas carols and loved it.

    'I actually love most of the genuine Christmas carols. I can't bear Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and you might think from that that I was religious, that I can't bear the ones that make no mention of religion. But I just think they are dreadful tunes and even more dreadful words. I like the traditional Christmas carols....'

    Dawkins said his family had a typical Christmas celebration each year like so many others.

    'We are not kill joys, we are not scrooges,' he said. 'We give each other presents and when my daughter was a bit younger we would have a tree. We don't now.

    'We go to my sister's house for Christmas lunch which is a lovely big family occasion. Everybody thoroughly enjoys it. No church of course.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/ar...#ixzz3E6ijsM6Y
    Again irrelevant - let's stick to the US and Chrisitian privilege here.

    The American society, our culture is a reflection of its people as a whole. Itís not disconnected. Our culture is the sum total effect of its people Ė which are primarily believers, that includes believers of different faiths.
    And we have the Constitution to make sure that one religions' beliefs are not imposed on others. It's one thing to say there is a Christian majority, and to some extent that cannot be hidden. It's wholly another when that is taken for granted and the line between practicing one's own faith turns into imposing it onto others.

    ---------- Post added at 04:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:19 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    JimJones, I'm fairly certain that you are more upset that the majority of U.S. citizens call themselves Christians than any actual examples of Christian privilege, of which you have none.
    I have posted multiple examples of Christian privilege. Please review at least the OP and I have posted a few more examples of it.


    This is an interesting statement. The first half is a complaint against certain Christians trying to impose their viewpoints (key phrase: "trying to"), yet your last half negates your argument entirely when you say "in a way that isn't Constitutional". There is already a system in place to prevent the former from occurring--so what is your actual argument?
    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.

    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.


    People should not be faulted for electing people to political office who share similar values and interests, which is what you appear to be doing here. As long as the laws that are actually enacted are legal (i.e. "Constitutional"), then you have no argument. You cannot claim there exists some nebulous concept as "Christian privilege" if the system put in place by a society that was and still is mostly Christian prevents by design such "privilege" from occurring.
    I didn't say the Constitution is the problem though. That appears to be mostly doing its job. The problem is Christian privilege in society and the political actions pushing Christian agendas.

    If you grew up in the United States, then you were by default living in a society highly influenced by Christian culture. Did you grow up in the United States?
    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.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I think we largely agree but why would you stop at the State imposing a religion? Why not call religions themselves jerks for making their own children follow them? Or even causing self-hating gays as evidenced by the number of anti-gay leaders that have turned out to be gay? That's just as harmful.

    At some level, we all belong to a religion or a country that imposes its religious values on every citizen. In the US the Constitution prevents some of that and in Europe, many countries are already secular. But let's not digress into other countries that their particular problems. We should focus on the US only - and here, I still think the term you choose to use has connotations that are unnecessary. I prefer to think of them as being wrong viz-a-viz the constitution.
    And I think you are missing the point of my "jerks will be jerks" argument. Defining what exactly is and is not a jerk is completely unnecessary. The point is to differentiate between those who are "wrong" and those who are actually infringing on our freedoms. If one is just wrong, then they are wrong. But people just being wrong isn't really a problem (at least a problem that warrants a solution of some kind) and therefore warrants a "so what?" when one points out that they exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    He was doing much more than that:
    1. He ignores that we are no longer the Christian America that he (like other conservatives) yearn for. Eye, earlier this morning, in reciting her view, does the same thing when she assumes that our secularism is a 'privilege'.
    2. He assumes that history and tradition is a reason to continue doing something - this is of course, the basis of Conservatism. However, in doing so Christianity gets an automatic advantage
    3. Point 3 has never been defended because it strikes directly at both points - that not only are we are no longer the nation we used to be but we want to be different in a direction that is towards secularism.
    If you want to debate him on these points, then respond to his posts.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yes, but they aren't doing so out of personal animus - they are doing so because they are used to their Christian world-view, presumably not having much experience outside of their religion or perhaps they see secularism/atheism as inferior. They are doing so with impunity because their community also supports the persecution of non-Christians.
    And it's only a real problem if they have a reasonable chance of succeeding in infringing on our rights. If they want to infringe but cannot, then they are just being wrong (I will use "wrong" instead of "jerks from now on since the latter term apparently caused confusion).


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    So that's a lot of 'jerks'. The real story of course, is that they are culturally inclined to laugh at atheists - much in the same way we used to laugh at homosexuals, women and black people. I don't think calling them jerks accurately describes how pervasive and normal these kinds of attitudes are. They are not being 'mean' deliberately but they are unaware of other people's feelings and therefore think it's OK to gently mock them. That's the essence of the privilege they enjoy and it is no different from Minstrel show or shows from the fifties that assumed women's position is in the home.
    But I don't see any legal privilege in that (which is the point of the debate).

    Nor do I see any real privilege at all. Being able to mock the other side with a degree of acceptance of such mockery within one's group is not a privilege that Christians uniquely have. As far as I know, atheists are just as inclined to accept other atheists mocking Christians.




    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It's sodomy for a start and it's sex outside of marriage (fornication) and it's promiscuity. These are all based on various quotes from the Bible (http://www.openbible.info/topics/sodomy):
    I agree that they are in the bible but my point is that the original source of homophobia is not from the bible.

    If the bible were indeed the original source, then it would stand to reason that Christians would be just as concerned with all of the other sins that are mentioned in the bible along with homosexuality. But they aren't nearly as concerned with heterosexual sodomy as they are with homosexual sodomy. They aren't nearly concerned with heterosexual sex outside of marriage as they are with homosexual sex within marriage.

    So obviously, Christians are NOT basing their anti-gay attitudes with a rational and even-handed interpretation of scripture or else they would be much more concerned with other "sins" or less concerned with that one particular "sin".



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    And so on - there's tons of examples of what I'm saying.

    Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    "fits of anger"? So have you EVER heard of a Christian speaking out against fits of anger? And yet there it is - the bible is even more explicit against "fits of anger" than they it is against homosexuality which is not even specifically mentioned in that list (one has to assume that it falls under one of the other sins so it's not even bad enough to mention specifically, unlike fits of anger). So again, it's beyond obvious that Christians are not basing their homophobia based on an unbiased reading of scripture.

    Instead what they are very, very likely doing is cherry-picking the particular verses that mention homosexuality to justify their irrational dislike of homosexuality.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Any left-leaning Christians out there? I'd be surprised if they say it is not a sin - it's very clear it is. I don't know why you're arguing this point. They justify it in the same way that they they allow sex outside of marriage and all sorts of other turning a blind eye on things.
    I think it's questionable that they consider it a sin as one is not obliged to literally agree with everything in the bible in order to be a Christian. But even assuming that they believe homosexuality is a sin, just like sex outside of marriage, they are apparently very tolerant of both and see no reason to look down upon or infringe on the rights of sinners. So at least they are consistent with their approach to scripture - they either ignore it or don't use it as a reason to look down on others.

    And again, those who are strongly against homosexuals are inconsistent in the approach to scripture for they clearly oppose homosexuals more than fornicators. They might disapprove of sex before marriage, but they certainly do not speak out against such things or seek to oppose it with the intensity they oppose homosexuality. So again, the idea that they are just basing their views on scripture seems very unlikely.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I think I agree with that thought. We haven't fully tested this line properly yet.
    I would say the "skirmishes" test the line. I would say the stakes are generally small, as in losing won't really do us much harm, and likewise in most cases victory is assured. Which is why I say the war is "pretty much" over.

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    Re: An End To Christian Privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And I think you are missing the point of my "jerks will be jerks" argument. Defining what exactly is and is not a jerk is completely unnecessary. The point is to differentiate between those who are "wrong" and those who are actually infringing on our freedoms. If one is just wrong, then they are wrong. But people just being wrong isn't really a problem (at least a problem that warrants a solution of some kind) and therefore warrants a "so what?" when one points out that they exist.
    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.

    If you want to debate him on these points, then respond to his posts.
    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.

    And it's only a real problem if they have a reasonable chance of succeeding in infringing on our rights. If they want to infringe but cannot, then they are just being wrong (I will use "wrong" instead of "jerks from now on since the latter term apparently caused confusion).
    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 I don't see any legal privilege in that (which is the point of the debate).
    Yes, there is - it is a public event from the a secular Air Force making fun of the beliefs of atheists.

    Nor do I see any real privilege at all. Being able to mock the other side with a degree of acceptance of such mockery within one's group is not a privilege that Christians uniquely have. As far as I know, atheists are just as inclined to accept other atheists mocking Christians.
    Sure, for a private event, that's fine but this is the official military of the country, holding an event that mocked atheists.


    I agree that they are in the bible but my point is that the original source of homophobia is not from the bible.

    If the bible were indeed the original source, then it would stand to reason that Christians would be just as concerned with all of the other sins that are mentioned in the bible along with homosexuality. But they aren't nearly as concerned with heterosexual sodomy as they are with homosexual sodomy. They aren't nearly concerned with heterosexual sex outside of marriage as they are with homosexual sex within marriage.

    So obviously, Christians are NOT basing their anti-gay attitudes with a rational and even-handed interpretation of scripture or else they would be much more concerned with other "sins" or less concerned with that one particular "sin".
    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. Then they rationalize that it really is a 'minor' sin after all.

    It doesn't become less icky when that happens but it does become part of their new moral calculus. So it's clear that it is the Bible that is making them think it's OK to rail against homosexuality. Their personal ickiness seems to be easier to overcome.


    "fits of anger"? So have you EVER heard of a Christian speaking out against fits of anger? And yet there it is - the bible is even more explicit against "fits of anger" than they it is against homosexuality which is not even specifically mentioned in that list (one has to assume that it falls under one of the other sins so it's not even bad enough to mention specifically, unlike fits of anger). So again, it's beyond obvious that Christians are not basing their homophobia based on an unbiased reading of scripture.

    Instead what they are very, very likely doing is cherry-picking the particular verses that mention homosexuality to justify their irrational dislike of homosexuality.
    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.


    I think it's questionable that they consider it a sin as one is not obliged to literally agree with everything in the bible in order to be a Christian. But even assuming that they believe homosexuality is a sin, just like sex outside of marriage, they are apparently very tolerant of both and see no reason to look down upon or infringe on the rights of sinners. So at least they are consistent with their approach to scripture - they either ignore it or don't use it as a reason to look down on others.

    And again, those who are strongly against homosexuals are inconsistent in the approach to scripture for they clearly oppose homosexuals more than fornicators. They might disapprove of sex before marriage, but they certainly do not speak out against such things or seek to oppose it with the intensity they oppose homosexuality. So again, the idea that they are just basing their views on scripture seems very unlikely.
    Not just scripture but it begins with scripture: from their weekly Church meetings, their parents teaching them such, religious school, and other ways religious people get indoctrinated with ideas.

    I think that homosexuality and gay marriage is actually are biblical but that debate ended without resolution too. That doesn't stop Christians from using it to justify their intolerance of others though.

    I would say the "skirmishes" test the line. I would say the stakes are generally small, as in losing won't really do us much harm, and likewise in most cases victory is assured. Which is why I say the war is "pretty much" over.
    There was a Pew poll released today regarding religious views on politics: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/09/22/p...nce-waning-2/:



    Scarily:

    Two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants (66%) now express support for having churches speak out on social and political issues, up from 56% in 2010. Nearly six-in-ten black Protestants (58%) also say churches should express their political views, as do roughly half of Catholics (48%) and white mainline Protestants (49%).


    This new survey confirms a lot of what I have been saying all along - the war is certainly not over at all!

    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:


    From: http://thedailybanter.com/2014/09/wh...-jews-muslims/

    Notice that of white evangelicals, white mainline Protestants, black Protestants, white Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, and those who are unaffiliated with any religion, it’s white evangelicals who are much more likely to think “there is a lot of discrimination” against them, with 50% believing their demographic is discriminated against “a lot.”

    Amazingly, white evangelicals believe there is more discrimination against them than there is against Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and atheists.


    Tone. Deaf.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; September 23rd, 2014 at 07:21 PM.

 

 
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