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Religion - is it actively under attack?

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Faith is believing that God created the heavens and earth, not 7000 years ago has quoted by many. Science can only takes us so far with explainations on how and why we are here, it's not blind belief as you so eloquently put it. As for irrational viewpoints on homosexuality, that's a matter of opinion and belief in what's right and wrong, again this is down to personal beliefs and I for one don't expect others to think alike and nor would I enforce my views others. Can the same be said for those who oppose religion though?

Your definition of faith is very poor, maybe you're thinking of the Christian faith alone? You state that your beliefs are personal and you would not enforce your views on others, yet the way you derailed the thread on gay marriage suggests otherwise. 

Edited by sn0wman

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atheists are the minority 

 

Maybe in how people respond to a Census they may be but in reality how many of those that consider themselves to belong to a faith actually actively practice that faith? Is it enough to have born into a faith to claim you belong to it or to you need to actively believe in it's teaching and attend meetings/churches in practice of that faith?

 

In a census return I'm sure my wife would classify herself as Christian (CofE) but in al the time I've know her I've never known her to attend a church service outside of a wedding/funeral/christening. Myself, I was baptized into the Church of Scotland and went to church most Sundays up to at least my mid teens. However I'd now classify myself as an atheist and can't recall ever having really believed in 'God' even as a child. That doesn't mean though that I don't agree with many of the teachings and morals from the bible and religion in general (I've lived a damn site more morally acceptable life than many 'religious' people but that's a whole different set of questions).

 

To answer the main thread title....No, religion isn't 'actively under attack', however it is declining, especially the Christian religion in the UK.

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There is hope, however, and I would urge all on here who have no belief in God to at least give it a chance and remember Jesus's words..

 

 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"

 

The church is in a lot of trouble if it still believes quoting such lines from scripture will convert the unconverted. My observation is a general one of how  churches in particular 'market' themselves.

 

I work in advertising, I understand a bad promotional exercise when I see one.

 

For those with little or no familiarity with christianity that line is incomprehensible to understand and first impressions suggest cruelty ( sacrifice and damnation ). Not a helpful way to promote oneself as an attractive option.

 

My brief background. I grew up in a christian family.. and decry the fact that I was led to accept many fanciful and damaging untruths as 'fact'. BornFromTheVoid covered it nicely. My parents too also eventually saw the 'light' and dissociated themselves from this religion which probably started to lose it's way soon after it's inception.

Edited by Styx

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Your definition of faith is very poor, maybe you're thinking of the Christian faith alone? You state that your beliefs are personal and you would not enforce your views on others, yet the way you derailed the thread on gay marriage suggests otherwise. 

Not at all , may I suggest you reread what I said, though you are right on  my thoughts being based on Christian faith alone. My views on gay marriage and homosexuality are mine and mine alone, I think it's unnatural and wrong, others are entitled to think otherwise and I've no problem with that. However it does appear that my thoughts on this are a problem for others in accepting.

Edited by Sceptical Inquirer

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I agree Churches have, but I fail too see how's it's made a huge difference in their life as most of them aren't religious to start with.

 

Humanae Vitae: Catholic Birth Control Decree Remains Controversial

 

http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/02/12/humanae-vitae-catholic-birth-control-decree-remains-controversial

 

Pope Francis denounces 'horror' of abortion

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25723422

 

Spain abortion: Challenge to bill fails in parliament

The new bill would reverse the changes of 2010, only allowing abortion in cases of rape or where women can prove that having a child would pose a severe risk to their physical or mental health.

 

"No right is unlimited," Mr Ruiz-Gallardon said.

 

The Catholic Church endorsed the new bill at a Mass late last year

 

Posted Image

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26151422

Edited by knocker

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Not at all , may I suggest you reread what I said, though you are right on  my thoughts being based on Christian faith alone. My views on gay marriage and homosexuality are mine and mine alone, I think it's unnatural and wrong, others are entitled to think otherwise and I've no problem with that. However it does appear that my thoughts on this are a problem for others in accepting.

I won't accept bigots, and think it's wrong to be like that - the thing about these sorts of people is that they choose to be like that. I'm sure bigots wouldn't accept my view and may not even recognise themselves as such, but I suppose that's up to them.  But there lies the rub - why should people accept your views on homosexuality, they're based on prejudice and ignorance, they're directed at a group of people who didn't choose to be who they are and rightly most people don't share your type of 'opinion' any longer.  It's not other people's problem that they don't like what you have to say, it's yours. You are the person who claims to be religious, yet will happily pedal hateful bile on here without a care or thought for the people reading it who may be more than a little upset to see someone sharing such opinions - surely you can see the hypocrisy in that - where in the bible does it suggest being so selfish and ignorant? That's the problem with people like you, it's all about you - your religion, your opinion, your apparent right to express whatever you please without thought or consideration for anyone or anything, merrily picking and choosing the elements of the bible you want to take notice of and ignoring the rest, it's ridiculous.  So before you reply, before you come back to pedal more thinly veiled bigotry, go away and look in the mirror then ask yourself at what point you allowed yourself to form opinions based on ignorance and prejudice, as just like everyone else you were born without those traits and have obviously picked them up somewhere along the way. You are right in one respect though, it's not god, not the bible, and not religion forcing you to have those views, the only person to blame for your prejudices is you.

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“One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.†

Or

 

“Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.â€

 

Or

 

“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuriesâ€

 

Richards Dawkins, "The God Delusion".

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I won't accept bigots, and think it's wrong to be like that - the thing about these sorts of people is that they choose to be like that. I'm sure bigots wouldn't accept my view and may not even recognise themselves as such, but I suppose that's up to them.  But there lies the rub - why should people accept your views on homosexuality, they're based on prejudice and ignorance, they're directed at a group of people who didn't choose to be who they are and rightly most people don't share your type of 'opinion' any longer.  It's not other people's problem that they don't like what you have to say, it's yours. You are the person who claims to be religious, yet will happily pedal hateful bile on here without a care or thought for the people reading it who may be more than a little upset to see someone sharing such opinions - surely you can see the hypocrisy in that - where in the bible does it suggest being so selfish and ignorant? That's the problem with people like you, it's all about you - your religion, your opinion, your apparent right to express whatever you please without thought or consideration for anyone or anything, merrily picking and choosing the elements of the bible you want to take notice of and ignoring the rest, it's ridiculous.  So before you reply, before you come back to pedal more thinly veiled bigotry, go away and look in the mirror then ask yourself at what point you allowed yourself to form opinions based on ignorance and prejudice, as just like everyone else you were born without those traits and have obviously picked them up somewhere along the way. You are right in one respect though, it's not god, not the bible, and not religion forcing you to have those views, the only person to blame for your prejudices is you.

Excuse me where I've I pedalled hateful bile. Just because I don't approve doesn't make me a bigot, as for cherry picking parts of the bible well if you read the part regarding sodom and gomorrah and also about the roles of a man and woman in matrimony I think you'll find my views are well balanced. I find your post filled with hate and prejudice towards those who don't think like you, whereas  I already stated I wouldn't enforce my views on anyone else you are doing just that. Have you ever read the Bible and by read  mean all of it not just the bits you like throw out of context. 

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Surprisingly enough the Romans had a tolerant attitude towards different religions - that is with the exception of Christianity until Constantine decided, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', then he took charge and chaired a meeting of bishops who decided what should go in and what should not go in the new Testament of the Bible and I understand there were many to choose from, so it is quite likely there was a bit of 'cherry

 

However I am still suspicious of Constantine's motives - I can't help but think he realised what a wonderful way to control the masses - and the rest my friends is history.

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Hateful bile or just expressing an opinion? Strong one at that. 

 

Does one exclude the other?

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Surprisingly enough the Romans had a tolerant attitude towards different religions - that is with the exception of Christianity until Constantine decided, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', then he took charge and chaired a meeting of bishops who decided what should go in and what should not go in the new Testament of the Bible and I understand there were many to choose from, so it is quite likely there was a bit of 'cherry

 

However I am still suspicious of Constantine's motives - I can't help but think he realised what a wonderful way to control the masses - and the rest my friends is history.

Indeed Mike, I too view the New Testament with suspicion as like you say many testaments disappeared at that time. 

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I'm just firmly in the freedom of expression camp knocker, whether I agree or disagree with any points raised or just take a more neutral viewpoint - a moderate perhaps?Like I said earlier, all too well throwing the toys about and blaming religion per se. When you suddenly realise that the vast majority aren't out vowing for the blood of non-believers, atheists, other religions or their counterparts.There's enough crap in this world to last us all a life time. Better we perhaps pulled together as a collective than fall for the bait eh? Put our differences aside..You know your history knocker, I am sure of that.

Now that I do agree with.

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Excuse me where I've I pedalled hateful bile. Just because I don't approve doesn't make me a bigot, as for cherry picking parts of the bible well if you read the part regarding sodom and gomorrah and also about the roles of a man and woman in matrimony I think you'll find my views are well balanced. I find your post filled with hate and prejudice towards those who don't think like you, whereas  I already stated I wouldn't enforce my views on anyone else you are doing just that. Have you ever read the Bible and by read  mean all of it not just the bits you like throw out of context. 

 

So just to clarify, I give my opinion on your views and I'm enforcing my view on you.  Yet you give your opinion and you're not enforcing your view on anyone, not entirely sure how that works..

 

My post is not hateful it's solely filled with disbelief and anger that people such as yourself continue to pedal their view and expect people to accept it - you're welcome to your view if that's what you want to believe, you're even welcome to share it if you really want to, but don't blame others for finding it unacceptable as it is imo deeply unpleasant. 

 

I'm not judging you or your views based on any prejudice, I'm simply basing my opinion on what I've seen you write. Unfortunately for you, you seem to want to let your prejudices blind you - gay people are still humans, you probably know a few although I'm guessing they're unlikely to tell you that based on your opinions of them. I just don't see how you can go about telling people that because they're the person they were born as that they are 'wrong' and that you won't 'accept them' - honestly how can you think that's acceptable? And also, how do you think a gay person reading that is likely to feel?

 

It all feels a bit un-Christian to me, loving thy neighbour, showing tolerance etc. How can you be tolerant of someone if you're saying that you don't accept them and consider them to be wrong?

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Evil is only a personal decision, a person must decide they want to be, or perform an act of such, religion, faith or otherwise has no bearing on that.  They are free to choose, but they and they alone make that choice, if they get coerced into it via some faith then I would question not the faith but the one behind the coercion.

 

How a person follows faith, dresses, sexuality etc is never the problem, but perception can be.

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So just to clarify, I give my opinion on your views and I'm enforcing my view on you.  Yet you give your opinion and you're not enforcing your view on anyone, not entirely sure how that works..

 

My post is not hateful it's solely filled with disbelief and anger that people such as yourself continue to pedal their view and expect people to accept it - you're welcome to your view if that's what you want to believe, you're even welcome to share it if you really want to, but blame others for finding it unacceptable as it is imo deeply unpleasant. 

 

I'm not judging you or your views based on any prejudice, I'm simply basing my opinion on what I've seen you write. Unfortunately for you, you seem to want to let your prejudices blind you - gay people are still humans, you probably know a few although I'm guessing they're unlikely to tell you that based on your opinions of them. I just don't see how you can go about telling people that because of they're the person they were born as that they are 'wrong' and that you won't 'accept them' - honestly how can you think that's acceptable? And also, how do you think a gay person reading that is likely to feel?

 

It all feels a bit un-Christian to me, loving thy neighbour, showing tolerance etc. How can you be tolerant of someone if you're saying that you don't accept them and consider them to be wrong?

I've never shown anything but tolerance towards others as I spent 20 years as a Mental Health Nurse and not once have my views come into conflict with my work, in fact I've nursed some of societies  worst  ranging from rapist, pedophiles and murders and all things in-between, not that I'm suggesting that gay people are anything like those for one minute. These are my views and I wouldn't discriminate against gays in either work or social life, it still means I don't approve of same sex partnerships and if that makes me a bigot in todays intolerant liberal society then so be it.

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I'm just firmly in the freedom of expression camp knocker, whether I agree or disagree with any points raised or just take a more neutral viewpoint - a moderate perhaps?Like I said earlier, all too well throwing the toys about and blaming religion per se. When you suddenly realise that the vast majority aren't out vowing for the blood of non-believers, atheists, other religions or their counterparts.There's enough crap in this world to last us all a life time. Better we perhaps pulled together as a collective than fall for the bait eh? Put our differences aside..You know your history knocker, I am sure of that.

 

I understand what you are saying Triple but as for respecting other people's views a simple true story.

 

Not many years ago the boss at the station I was at commented to me that he would vehemently oppose women or gays being posted to his station. Being quite appalled I asked him why. He said women normally have to have a couple of days sick every month and gays just caused disruption. It took me half a second before telling him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him and his opinions and ended by suggesting he escalate (it was the in word then) his opinion up to line management.

 

So in a nutshell, he had every right to make that personal observation and hold that opinion but I sure as hell didn't have to agree with it. Personal opinions of this nature do have consequencies.

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Please, don't let this thread become a bear-baiting session.

I said it would end badly.

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I understand what you are saying Triple but as for respecting other people's views a simple true story.

 

Not many years ago the boss at the station I was at commented to me that he would vehemently oppose women or gays being posted to his station. Being quite appalled I asked him why. He said women normally have to have a couple of days sick every month and gays just caused disruption. It took me half a second before telling him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him and his opinions and ended by suggesting he escalate (it was the in word then) his opinion up to line management.

 

So in a nutshell, he had every right to make that personal observation and hold that opinion but I sure as hell didn't have to agree with it. Personal opinions of this nature do have consequencies.

That for me is a no no, what a person does behind closed doors or there gender has no bearing in the workplace or like.

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A secular society is one made up of a variety of groups, including religious ones. As such and by definition, religious groups and secular society are not incompatible.

 

I find it interesting that anyone would view secular society as in any way opposed to religion for that reason. I find it interesting rather than surprising, because it suggests to me that those who would advocate the case that Christians in the UK are being persecuted are in fact declaiming any alternative to a religiously led society, which is not so much a problem with secularism, but rather, a problem in observing the declining power of religion in our society, and the emergence of other forms of influence and philosophies. In fact, the cry of "that's immoral because the bible says as much, and so we must oppose government legislation allowing it" is only further evidence of this idea.Stilll, on the other side of the coin, you do have some atheists seeking an entirely non-religious society as an ideal - but that's not the same as a secular society and is, in fact, somewhat on a par with those Christians calling for a return to "traditional moral values" (otherwise known as (selectively) what the bible says).

 

... so, in terms of secular society, I would suggest that the problem is not one of whether religion is welcomed in it - and in our society that is especially true of Christianity. Of any religion, christianity is vastly over-represented within our supposedly secular society. No other religion is headed by the head of state, has a major say in the making of statute legislation, can directly influence the Government by legal means through direct channels, has a church in just about every villiage, is the go-to source of various moral matters on breakfast news, etc, etc, etc. After all, in a secular society, all groups are equal.What, in fact, I would say is going on is that the Christian religion, and perhaps the CoE more specifically, has been vastly privileged over other groups until recent times, and in fact still is. As society becomes more secular, it is necessary for the playing field to be leveled, and that it is in fact this that is being perceived (wrongfully) as persecution. Is it OK that suicide victims should have the same burials as other people? Yes... and as services have become more secular and less religious, this became increasingly possible. Marriage has been increasingly performed as a non-religious ceremony with many forgoing it altogether. Certain atheists have achieved (commercial) public platforms on a par in fame with those of archbishops, thus giving them the ability to effectively respond and argue back... etc, etc.I would argue that far from being an issue of secularism vs religiosity (which is a straw man argument), it's more of a rough negotiation of secular boundaries, and a fight for the baseline of how a secular society should operate. Personally, I would argue that an entirely a-religious perspective is the best fit for this baseline as a religious one would not only favour one religion over another, but would also place unfair restrictions on those with no religious beliefs.... meanwhile, those with such personal philosophies and beliefs as religion are perfectly at liberty to live their private lives as they desire without imposing upon others - we all, after all, have both a private life and a public life which each operate on different levels and with different rules and conventions.Unfortunately, however, people of a more religious bent may or may not have a different perspective on it... one such perspective being that "religion is a great moral force", to which the counter perspective is that "you don't need religion to be moral" ... but, of course, you do if your idea of a good moral code is religiously based! ... hence the conflict.

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These are my views and I wouldn't discriminate against gays in either work or social life, it still means I don't approve of same sex partnerships and if that makes me a bigot in todays intolerant liberal society then so be it.

 

Firstly, that's "gay people" - it's a verb, not a noun. They're people.Secondly... your views don't make you a bigot ... but publicising them and then complaining when somebody tells you that such views are abhorrent to them could be construed that way, rightly or wrongly.

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I think everyone is entitled to have their own views upheld and respected, whatever they are.

Aye, so long as they accept the responsibility of not imposing their views on others.  Which is, of course, where the Abrahamic religions went wrong, IMO.

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Not too dissimilar to stereotyping you mean? Seeing for example somebody wearing a veil and automatically assuming they're in some way evil? Or a perceived threat.Makes you wonder why..

 

No sorry, what I meant was is that a lot of people who may have an aversion to a Muslim under a veil, or to men that are homosexual, will pull-out the christian defense that this is a "christian country" or a person's sexuality goes against christian teachings, when in fact those people that are doing the judging don't live a christian lifestyle via word or deed at all - they are for all intensive purposes atheist or agnostic - except when it comes to trying to justify their irrational uncomfortabilities of differences in others.

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I've never shown anything but tolerance towards others as I spent 20 years as a Mental Health Nurse and not once have my views come into conflict with my work, in fact I've nursed some of societies  worst  ranging from rapist, pedophiles and murders and all things in-between, not that I'm suggesting that gay people are anything like those for one minute. These are my views and I wouldn't discriminate against gays in either work or social life, it still means I don't approve of same sex partnerships and if that makes me a bigot in todays intolerant liberal society then so be it.

 

You are on the record in the other thread as saying that you observed two men showing intimacy to each other at a restaurant some time ago, and you intervened to stop them, and found it funny that your physical size may have threatened them into submission.

 

Christians are supposedly not  hypocrites so you fail right there.

Edited by Styx

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