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  1. #1
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    Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Religious zealotry over the centuries has been directly responsible for countless deaths, imprisonments, needless suffering, torturings, and the oppression of people on grounds of sex, race, colour, sexuality or belief.

    A few obvious examples :

    The Crusades.
    The Inquisition.
    Witch trials in Europe and America.
    The Divine right of Kings (valid until killed by another Divinely-appointed King).
    Missionaries destroying/converting smaller, "heathen" religions and cultures.
    The demonization of other religions, e.g. Christianity demonizing Pagans ("They're devil-worshippers!"), the Romans demonizing Christians ("They're atheists and cannibals!").
    Persecution of Heretics - e.g. Galileo for daring to suggest that the Earth orbits the Sun.
    Children dying because their parents refused them medical treatment on religious grounds; relying instead on faith-healers and prayer.
    Slavery, supposedly supported by scripture ("Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, just as you would obey Christ.", St.Paul, Ephesians 6:5)
    Holy wars - followers of different faiths (or even the same faith) killing each other in the name of their (benevolent, loving and merciful) gods.
    The destruction of great works of art considered to be pornographic/blasphemous, and the persecution of the artists.
    Censorship (often destructive) of speech, art, books, music, films, poetry, songs and, if possible, thought.
    Persecution/punishment of blasphemers (Salman Rushdie still has a death sentence on him), and blasphemy laws in general.
    The requirement of theism in order to stand for public office or to testify in court.
    Serial killers believing they are doing the work of Satan (or sometimes Jesus).
    Often-fatal exorcisms by priests believing they are destroying the work of Satan.
    People suffering dreadful injury or death in the belief that their faith has made them invulnerable (e.g. people climbing into lion enclosures at zoos, with a Bible as protection).
    Whole societies divided by minor differences in belief or doctrine, often resulting in violence.
    Mass suicides of cult-members following a charismatic leader who believes the world is about to End (most recently, the Heaven's Gate and Solar Temple cults.
    The attempted genocide of followers of a particular faith (e.g. the Jewish Holocaust, "ethnic cleansing" in former Yugoslavia).
    Blood sacrifices to appease the Gods, or to ensure a good harvest. (The Aztecs made daily human sacrifices to ensure that the Sun would rise. Or did they? )
    The practice of "female circumcision" (more accurately termed genital mutilation).
    The discouragement of rational, critical thought (resulting in young-earth creationists, for example).
    Uncontrolled population growth caused (or at least helped) by churches prohibiting birth-control and abortion. (You can also add : unwanted pregnancies, ill-fated forced marriages, and pregnant teenagers condemned to a life in mental institutions to avoid embarrassing their families.)
    The spread of sexually transmitted diseases (e.g. AIDS) due to churches prohibiting the use of condoms.
    Believers whipping, impaling, poisoning or crucifying themselves during religious festivals as a demonstration of their faith and piety.
    Suicide bombers taught to believe that martyrs go straight to Paradise.
    The indoctrination of children into the religion of their parents, giving them an arbitrary, life-long belief that is almost entirely dependent on their place of birth.
    Women treated as second-class citizens or even slaves (article : Islam's Shame).
    Pentecostal snake-handlers (Augusta Chronicle news article)
    Persecution of homosexuals (Genocide of gay and lesbian youth)
    Abuse of power, authority and trust by religious leaders (for financial gain or sexual abuse of followers and even children).
    Minor religions ("cults") stockpiling weapons to defend themselves from the Armies Of Satan (i.e. the police and the government).

    "Ah, but that was all years ago." you might say. Yes, it was. Unfortunately, a lot of these things still go on today. Look through the Freethought Today Newsletter for "In the News", "Religious Violence", and "You won't believe you're reading this" articles. You might be surprised at how many children are killed each year by well-meaning parents trying to exorcise demons, or people killed/imprisoned by fundamentalists for trivial infringements of "holy laws". People still persecute and kill each other safe in the knowledge that God is on their side, and that they are in the right, fighting for Holy Truth and Divine Justice.

    It should be noted that many of these atrocities are caused as a direct result of religious belief - if the person did not follow a particular religion, or did not believe quite so strongly, then they simply would not have acted as they did. Not only is religion used to reinforce/justify a person's prejudices, it may also cause someone to commit an act of violence that they would otherwise have considered abhorrent (i.e. the mother who spent several hours beating her young daughter in order to force out the devil that was making the child playfully turn cartwheels in the house - resulting in the death of the child).

    The benefits of religion (all of which may be achieved without religious belief) can include spiritual well-being, charitable works, a sense of meaning and purpose, the bringing together of communities, comfort in times of distress and the (unconfirmed) promise of eternal life after death.

  2. #2
    TheWorker Guest

    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    look to bhuddism, i hear its quite spiritually refreshing, and violence is associated with them!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWorker
    look to bhuddism, i hear its quite spiritually refreshing, and violence is associated with them!!!!
    Go ahead, you sound like you would fit in quite well, but I think they would rather their form of religion be called "Buddhism".

  4. #4
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    UserName,
    Your title to this thread says it all.

  5. #5
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    I half-agree with UserName. I think zealotry has to go, but I disagree that religion has to go.

    For example, if I read you some statistic that said: "Black and latino males produced this percentage of crime in North America", I would say: "We should get rid of the crime."

    But what you're proposing is both. You want to get rid of the crime, and the black and latino males. I think that's just dumb. It's bad logic. It's also malicious and racist.

    See, you're being racist against Christians. I wonder if there's a term for that. Religiocist?

  6. #6
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    I half-agree with UserName. I think zealotry has to go, but I disagree that religion has to go.
    There are various forms of zealotry... religious, political, commercial, secular and so on. Any belief system is subject to fall victim to it. This thread refers to the damage, shown throughout history, that religious zealotry can do. Were seeing it today from the Islamic world, as well as, in the radical-conservative religious right faction in the US. They want to turn the US into a Christian Theocracy. This statement is not meant to defame actual Christians who want to get on with their lives and help their fellow man as best as they can while following the teachings of Jesus the best they can... as you many times profess you are.
    This is about the Christian nut-case... whose beliefs are just as strong as yours are and are convinced of their justification just as strongly as you are of yours. However, they want to take it to the next level and dictate their interpretation to the rest of us... you included. Not evangelize and willingly convert... rather 'force-feed'.

    In this context, religious zealotry does not, cannot and must not be permitted to mix with secular politics.

    I went down that path 30 years ago... in retrospect it was not pretty. I was fortunate in "seeing" what was going on, being able to discern the difference and getting away from it..

  7. #7
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    I half-agree with UserName. I think zealotry has to go, but I disagree that religion has to go.
    For example, if I read you some statistic that said: "Black and latino males produced this percentage of crime in North America", I would say: "We should get rid of the crime."
    But what you're proposing is both. You want to get rid of the crime, and the black and latino males.
    You have a point, but if they are part and parcel, the argument falls apart. Can you say religion can exist without zealotry? Without excessive zeal or fanaticism? Not from evidence of the last 6000 years.

  8. #8
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    There are various forms of zealotry... religious, political, commercial, secular and so on. Any belief system is subject to fall victim to it. This thread refers to the damage, shown throughout history, that religious zealotry can do. Were seeing it today from the Islamic world, as well as, in the radical-conservative religious right faction in the US. They want to turn the US into a Christian Theocracy. This statement is not meant to defame actual Christians who want to get on with their lives and help their fellow man as best as they can while following the teachings of Jesus the best they can... as you many times profess you are.
    This is about the Christian nut-case... whose beliefs are just as strong as yours are and are convinced of their justification just as strongly as you are of yours. However, they want to take it to the next level and dictate their interpretation to the rest of us... you included. Not evangelize and willingly convert... rather 'force-feed'.

    In this context, religious zealotry does not, cannot and must not be permitted to mix with secular politics.

    I went down that path 30 years ago... in retrospect it was not pretty. I was fortunate in "seeing" what was going on, being able to discern the difference and getting away from it..
    I believe 'obtrusion' is a good definition of such religious 'zealotry'. Not only have the religious right infiltrated American politics, they also support other organizations that undermine America. You can't tell me when someone is rolling around on the floor and frothing at the mouth while "receiving the spirit", is a sane choice for American politics. These are the rabid abreactions we can expect from these insane asylum lunatics that were permitted to refrain from wearing their strait jackets just because they were 'born again'.

    Go to a Pentecostal church sometime and you will witness the "spirit" that dwells therein. These are the same that endeavor to grab power in America, and will continue to push no matter how many times they are rejected or set back. No matter the consequences, or waiting period they endure, they WILL never abstain. In order to keep America secure from these loonies, we need to deny them at every turn. Remember, if these loonies grab complete power, the persecution of the 'un-believers' will be reminiscent of the Roman empire in times past.

    One of these loonies is currently the president and the cheerleading squad here on this forum support him blindly not recognizing the danger.
    franKg - "Since God was ok with Moses, Joshua and David burning cities to the ground and killing all the civilians I think he would be ok with us splashing a little water on some terrorists."

    Dr poormouth - "Exackly;
    It's not "waterboarding", it's "extraordinary baptism""

    Quote Originally Posted by carlbenator
    As discussed in a previous thread, this IRRATIONAL HATRED for the Jews and their RIGHT to SURVIVE is one of the many PROOFS of a God, AND a Devil.

  9. #9
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Americanadian
    I believe 'obtrusion' is a good definition of such religious 'zealotry'. Not only have the religious right infiltrated American politics, they also support other organizations that undermine America. You can't tell me when someone is rolling around on the floor and frothing at the mouth while "receiving the spirit", is a sane choice for American politics. These are the rabid abreactions we can expect from these insane asylum lunatics that were permitted to refrain from wearing their strait jackets just because they were 'born again'.
    These people are the "followers" or supporters. The real danger lies in the leadership who teaches them this idiotic behavior is what is expected. Whom, sadly to say, they support. This simply validates my previous statement regarding their strength of belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by Americanadian
    Go to a Pentecostal church sometime and you will witness the "spirit" that dwells therein. These are the same that endeavor to grab power in America, and will continue to push no matter how many times they are rejected or set back. No matter the consequences, or waiting period they endure, they WILL never abstain. In order to keep America secure from these loonies, we need to deny them at every turn. Remember, if these loonies grab complete power, the persecution of the 'un-believers' will be reminiscent of the Roman empire in times past.
    Been there/done that. It is a gross generalization to lump all radical-right Christians into that group. However, I understand your point and see no need to "split-hairs".
    Quote Originally Posted by Americanadian
    One of these loonies is currently the president and the cheerleading squad here on this forum support him blindly not recognizing the danger.
    I don't view GWB as the religious fanatic type. You might say otherwise, but that's ok.

  10. #10
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Do you remember Bush's nominee for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor, Jr., who deems it "acceptable to execute the mentally retarded," replace the Constitution with the Bible, and asserts that "We derive our rights from God and not from government." This is what religious zealotry can do to America.
    America assuredly doesnï't want an Islamic state in Iraq, yet DeLay openly stated that God assigned him to promote "a biblical worldview" as a guide to his political actions as House Majority Leader. Meanwhile, John Ashcroft told us that "we have no King but Jesus" and Commerce Secretary Don Evans revealed to us that God told George to wage war on Iraq. This is what religioious zealotry does to Politics.
    Since God is more elusive than government, the likelihood of outrageously subjective interpretations of God's will can only run rampant. We've seen it here at SCAM and has been amply demonstrated in such stupidity as to let your child die for want of a simple blood transfusion. This is what religious zealotry does to people.

    It just doesn't work anywhere.

  11. #11
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    I've read up a bit on Mr. Pryor since you mentioned him... thanks.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Pryor%2C_Jr.

    I have no problem rephrasing my opinion to... I do not feel the need to bash GWB on his religious beliefs. If some of his appointees are a bit off the deep-end (quotes and statements can be published out of context) they won't be around very long.
    Basically, we're still in agreement... at least in my opinion anyway.

  12. #12
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    I've read up a bit on Mr. Pryor since you mentioned him... thanks.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Pryor%2C_Jr.

    I have no problem rephrasing my opinion to... I do not feel the need to bash GWB on his religious beliefs. If some of his appointees are a bit off the deep-end (quotes and statements can be published out of context) they won't be around very long.
    Basically, we're still in agreement... at least in my opinion anyway.
    I certainly don't disagree, and have even thought that Dubya is more of a pawn than in control. My problem lies in the fact that he has not said or done anything to make me believe he does not agree with the zealots in his camp. With a government of religious conservatives locked in a polarising mindset of us-them and good-evil, the threat it poses is not just to American freedom, but to the world’s.

  13. #13
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    There are various forms of zealotry... religious, political, commercial, secular and so on. Any belief system is subject to fall victim to it. This thread refers to the damage, shown throughout history, that religious zealotry can do. Were seeing it today from the Islamic world, as well as, in the radical-conservative religious right faction in the US. They want to turn the US into a Christian Theocracy. This statement is not meant to defame actual Christians who want to get on with their lives and help their fellow man as best as they can while following the teachings of Jesus the best they can... as you many times profess you are.
    This is about the Christian nut-case... whose beliefs are just as strong as yours are and are convinced of their justification just as strongly as you are of yours. However, they want to take it to the next level and dictate their interpretation to the rest of us... you included. Not evangelize and willingly convert... rather 'force-feed'.

    In this context, religious zealotry does not, cannot and must not be permitted to mix with secular politics.

    I went down that path 30 years ago... in retrospect it was not pretty. I was fortunate in "seeing" what was going on, being able to discern the difference and getting away from it..
    I'd like to make comments on this.

    First of all, UserName was being what I'd like to call "religiocist". He is attacking religion. I know he is doing this because he fails to talk about the zealotry athiests and agnostics have shown over human history. Hitler was agnostic. Stalin was athiest.

    You don't have to be religious to be a zealot. Our problem isn't religion, but zealotry. The title to this thread should have been "Zealorty has no place in politics". I guess the non-religious zealotry is okay with him.

    Please read between the lines when he writes this stuff.

    As well, I do support the separation of church and state, but here's why - the church failed. They don't deserve power until they prove in undeniable outstanding numbers that they are the most moral and compassionate people that walk the Earth. That doesn't mean they never rebuke people like dchristie, but it means they get off their asses and do something about the 30 000 children that starve to death every day. I know a few Christians help out a lot, and many help out more than average, but if we're going to be trusted, we need to do 10 times as much at least. Our lives are nowhere near as holy as what they should be.

    Christians need to work hard to set themselves apart from the crowd and do great deeds. Until they demonstrate much more that they truly do live by the spirit of the message of Jesus Christ, then they're always going to whine about how they lost power. They'll never get it back to the way it was before until they make that change, I believe.

    But when I come online and say we should illegalize prostitution, I'm not saying do it so we can set up a Christian government, which is pretty Christian anyway. I'm saying do it because a) It's the right thing to do for everyone, and b) God will prosper us if we make that decision.

    You may not believe in b), but a) is still a good reason to do it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Americanadian
    I believe 'obtrusion' is a good definition of such religious 'zealotry'. Not only have the religious right infiltrated American politics, they also support other organizations that undermine America. You can't tell me when someone is rolling around on the floor and frothing at the mouth while "receiving the spirit", is a sane choice for American politics. These are the rabid abreactions we can expect from these insane asylum lunatics that were permitted to refrain from wearing their strait jackets just because they were 'born again'.

    Go to a Pentecostal church sometime and you will witness the "spirit" that dwells therein. These are the same that endeavor to grab power in America, and will continue to push no matter how many times they are rejected or set back. No matter the consequences, or waiting period they endure, they WILL never abstain. In order to keep America secure from these loonies, we need to deny them at every turn. Remember, if these loonies grab complete power, the persecution of the 'un-believers' will be reminiscent of the Roman empire in times past.

    One of these loonies is currently the president and the cheerleading squad here on this forum support him blindly not recognizing the danger.
    I disagree. I don't believe George Bush Jr. is Christian. I believe if he were, he would have said just once: "Hey, America, go out and take care of the poor in your country. Help them out."

    Conservative policy just seems to say: "Help yourself, you bum."

    I think Bush is more of a conservative than he is a Christian. And even the Pope criticized him for the Iraq war, called it evil, and urged him against it. Things aren't always what they seem.

    If you think George Bush is Christian, then you must also think of Osama Bin Laden as a Muslim. Just because they say they are doesn't mean you have to believe it. Decide for yourself.

  15. #15
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Politicians just pander to the lowest common denominator, you are never going to change that. If religious zealotry works, they will use it.

  16. #16
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    Re: Religious zealotry has no place in Politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald
    If you think George Bush is Christian, then you must also think of Osama Bin Laden as a Muslim. Just because they say they are doesn't mean you have to believe it. Decide for yourself.
    I think that's the smartest thing I've heard you say in a while. I really don't mean that sarcastically.

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