Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Crawler » Sat Apr 17, 2004 10:07 pm

Originally posted by maelstrom
So on one hand we have dedicated couples, who have been together for many years, and just want the civil ability to take care of one another in old age. On the other we have the tenets of a popular religion that says "you can't do that; you're gay". And we have a government that is strongly influenced by the religious side, but is now starting to finally see that it isn't their job to dictate moral standards. All they can, and should, do is dictate sterile, legalistic, civil law. And, in a civil sense, there is no reason why a monomagous couple shouldn't be able to take care of each other in old age, so civil unions are starting to be bandied about. A civil union sidesteps any religious sense, but allows the same rights any heterosexual couple enjoys.
By this logic, EVERYONE should only be allowed civil unions from the government and marriage should be a wholly religious thing.

If they're not there to dictate "moral" standards, and homosexuality is not a criminal offense, then where it the validity to them preventing same-sex marriage?

No, you're not really married, but at least you'll be able to take care of your lifelong partner.
"Separate but equal"? Funny how the equal part of that NEVER was true and NEVER will be in things like this.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Lauren » Sun Apr 18, 2004 3:41 am

In my school's GSA we were discussing this topic and our head guy George was saying that if Bush's law passes, it will be the second time that their will be legally second class citizens in America.

I'm glad we learn from history.
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Postby LadyErin » Sun Apr 18, 2004 4:00 am

Originally posted by Maelstrom
Unfortunately, thats where things get really, really sticky. :urg A marriage is both a civil and religious ceremony.


Not always. Some marriages are both, some are civil (see BBs exmples. Or an atheist couple. ), and some are religious (Polygamy, for instance, is recognized by some churches but banned by law. )

Marriage, one of every societys most fundamental ceremonies, had religious signifigance due to its primal importance. You *need* kids in your old age to support you. You *need* sons to inherit. (Daughters, regrettably, were less desirable... :rolleyes) And so getting married meant nothing less than survival and continuation of your people.


Not in all people. My people are, traditionally, Matirocal and Matrilineal. Borderline between Egalitarian and Matriarchal even.

But for the liberal authorities, its not so much the idea of "legitimizing" homosexuality that worries them as the precedent it sets. If you can redefine an institution that has only allowed male-female bonds, in any culture, from the beginning of time (which in itself is a controversial view: just ask Bunny about documented same sex marriages in the Middle Ages;) ), then whats to stop polygamists from screaming "foul" when we refuse to let them marry four fifteen year old girls at once? And thats the mildest example I can think of.


Actually, there is not one traditional, universal standard.

There are many. Copy/Pasting my sociology notes here:
  • Marriage Patterns
  • Monogamy
  • Life long
  • The ‘Til death do us part.’ ideal of marriage. What most Christian religions and others think of ideal.
  • Practiced throughout history.
  • Serial
  • Modern part of life. Marriage/divorce (or death)/ Marriage/divorce (or death)/ Marriage/divorce (or death)/ etc…
  • Also practiced throughout history.
  • Polygamy
  • marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time
  • Two Types:
  • Polygyny
  • the state or practice of having more than one wife or female mate at one time
  • A union prohibited by USA law (and other countries) but legal in some States (States referring to governments)
  • Also practiced throughout history.
  • Polyandry
  • the state or practice of having more than one husband or male mate at one time
  • Only practiced in four cultures that we know of.
  • Still practiced in one-a woman is ideally married to four brothers
  • Group Marriage
  • Oneida, NY. During the 17th Century, 300 people (adults) involved, lasted 33 years
  • People must be shared equally (in fact everything was) and no one was permitted to have the same partner again until they cycled though all the others of the opposite sex.
No, youre not really married, but at least youll be able to take care of your lifelong partner.


Not if the person needs medical care. Or a decision needs to be made about life support or organ donation. Or inheritance and property rights. Or the custody of children.

Its a civil matter, guys. Stay out.


Right. Civil matter. God doesnt really have a place in it. Or rather, religion doesnt.
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Postby Maelstrom » Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:54 pm

Originally posted by Bamf Bunny
A marriage can be both a civil and religious ceremony. Marriages by justices of the peace, Vegas Elvis weddings, and a lot of write-your-own vows aren't religious, but they still confer all the rights of marriage.


Hmm... I was under the impression that any "marriage" that wasn't done by an established religious figure (whether that's Christianity, Hindu, Native American, or whatever) was more properly termed a "civil union." I'm sorry if I was in error on that.

This is breathtakingly untrue, Amy. Since you've decided to dismiss the same-sex weddings performed by your own Greek Orthodox church - without a word of explanation - how about Aztec, Incan, Mayan, Mojave and Zuni same-sex marriage in what's now the US? .... By your own logic, you ought to be defending our hypothetical old Mormon.


Bunny, I'm really sorry I didn't make myself clear on this. What I was trying to do was several things at once:

1) I was trying to say that the idea only heterosexual marraiges were ever performed is in itself a statement open to debate. I personally know of the same-sex marriages the RC church was supposed to have performed in the middle ages, and have no doubts that other cultures did the same thing. So the statement that "this has never happened" is controversial, and even untrue. In this, I think, we're in violent agreement. :oops

2) I was also trying to give the reasons why the more liberal parts of the established Christian order would object to the ceremony, as I had it described to me. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it myself, and I had to "step out of my own mind" to try and explain it with any sense of clarity... and I don't think I did it that well.... :shame

And, personally, I'd be a lot more "vigorous" in "defending the sanctity of marriage" if the very people screaming the loudest weren't also the same people with a 50% divorce rate....

Equal protection is one of the central foundations of U.S. law. I'm not sure I see your comparison between this and suing a fan club because you've tried to trademark a common word in their name.


In retrospect, that comparison did seem to belittle the cause, and for that I apologize. (This is what happens when I tackle a subject this complex... :doh!)What I was trying to do was show what an "overly sensitive" legal morass our system has become. And, no, I wasn't doing it with the implication that "suing for the right of gay couples to marry" was that kind of "overly sensitive" application. It's the fact that people take things into the court (or into the government itself) that should, by all rights, never have gone in there in the first place. When religous leaders request that their parishoners deliberately influence their statesmen with their narrow interpretation of a religious law, that is an example of taking things into court/ the government that should never have gone in there at all. And it seems to me that that is what the Boston Diocese is doing.... :(

A civil union sidesteps any religious sense, but allows the same rights any heterosexual couple enjoys.

No civil union legislation currently proposed or existant in the United States does any such thing. They confer only a small subset of the rights given to married couples.


Marf? What? Aren't they supposed to give the same rights? I know that they're not (currently, at least) transferable across state lines, but aren't they designed to give the same tax, medical, inheritance, and other rights? Just without the ceremony?

Damn, Bunny! I honestly thought they were supposed to give the same things, and that lawmakers were working on the state-to-state thingy. Can you get back to me sometime and fill me in on that in more depth? Maybe give a link or two so I can see the differences for myself?

It's the best they can do, and really the best they should do.

No. The founding principles of our country demand equal application of the law.

:urg Unfortunately, our founding fathers weren't always that good at enforcing the principles of complete freedom. How long did it take before a slave was considered anything but property (and therefore somehow 3/5ths of a person)? How long have women had to fight for their basic voting rights, and the right to inherit property? How many laws have been put in place that deliberately took away all rights to certain minorities? In California, especially, we had laws in the 1800s that pretty much made it legal to eliminate all Chinese or Japanese immigrants like rats. Think we've changed? Guess again: In the 1990s, Prop 187 tried something very similar with Latino immigrants, attempting to force every doctor, teacher, and emergency worker into being a spy for the INS....:cry

Which isn't to say you're wrong. On the contrary: you're right. But that protection, which should be automatically there, is going to have to be fought for. Because implied rights don't seem to mean much if they're not written down in strict, airtight, legal terms.
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Postby Tatu » Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:26 pm

Originally posted by Maelstrom
Marf? What? Aren't they supposed to give the same rights? but aren't they designed to give the same tax, medical, inheritance, and other rights? Just without the ceremony?


No ames, thats the problem, it exists to shut us up, which has worked well as you can see ;), but we get NO RIGHTS whatsoever, we ARE second class citizens.

its a ploy to shut us up so we can say "Oh we're married", marriage isnt about cake a parties and a piece of paper, its about love and rights.. they dont seem to get that

Example : Amanda is in the hospital, sick as hell..and hes gonna die. Bunny is fucked.

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Postby Bamf Bunny » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:31 am

Originally posted by Maelstrom
Aren't [civil unions] supposed to give the same rights?

Civil unions are only available in one state - Vermont. California has a more limited "domestic partnership" that will go into effect in 2005. Massachusetts has a proposed constitutional amendment that will ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions.

Neither arrangement gives same-sex couples access to any of the federal benefits of marriage - or can, due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. (Since the linked article was written other states have passed state-wide DOMAs; the current total is thirty-nine.)

For example: If you're visiting the US from another country, and you fall in love with an American of the opposite sex, the two of you can get married and you can stay. If you fall in love with an American of the same sex, you'd better not get a civil union ... because the government can interpret that as an intent to outstay your visa, and deport you. Immigration rights are handled by the federal government, not the states.

GLAD has a more up-to-date article on the difference.
[...] lawmakers were working on the state-to-state thingy.

Which lawmakers are these?

It's the best they can do, and really the best they should do. [...] How long did it take before a slave was considered anything but property (and therefore somehow 3/5ths of a person)? How long have women had to fight for their basic voting rights, and the right to inherit property? How many laws have been put in place that deliberately took away all rights to certain minorities?

Gosh, maybe slaves, women, and minorities should have accepted that the way things were was the best they could do, and, really, the best they should do.
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Postby Maelstrom » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:11 am

Originally posted by Bamf Bunny
It's the best they can do, and really the best they should do. [...] How long did it take before a slave was considered anything but property (and therefore somehow 3/5ths of a person)? How long have women had to fight for their basic voting rights, and the right to inherit property? How many laws have been put in place that deliberately took away all rights to certain minorities?

Gosh, maybe slaves, women, and minorities should have accepted that the way things were was the best they could do, and, really, the best they should do.


Honey... I think we're in violent agreement again. ;) I don't think that the government should dictate to religions, and that the change has to come from the parishoners and Patriarchy. By the same token, I think that religions have no right to dictate federal and government policies.

That was my take on the "the best they can do" bit. It's up to the parishoners to scream loudly enough for the Patriarchy to take notice, in order to change the religous definition of marriage. Having the government make a religious decision sets a horrible precedent for letting a religious sect have its way. Even more than it is now.

That doesn't mean we have to "sit back and take it". Far from it. But it does mean that the rights that should be guaranteed by the constitution, all too often, have to be fought for. And it means that we have two fronts to fight on: the religious and the secular. We have to raise a stink in our churches (assuming we belong) to have them "reconsider" the marriage policy. And we have to raise a stink in congress to squash things like that damned amendement. Slavery was at first fought in this manner as well: civil disobedience and religous disobedience (in both instances, by the same basic group of people: the abolitionists). (God forbid that we'd have to go that last step that I deliberately left out: a Civil War.)

What really ticks me off is that they're selling this Civil Union idea as "just as good" when it's apparently far from it. :mad It isn't the same as marriage, despite what they're saying. THAT has me steaming.

C, you're right. "Separate but Equal" has never worked. I was under the (sadly, false) impression that they were just going to extend the same civil and legal rights. Instead, it's morphing into a twisted "separate but equal" bit.

And that has me penning a letter to my congresswoman. Maybe it will do something, maybe it won't, but, dammit, I don't like being lied to!
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Postby Bamfette » Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:03 pm

this thread stopped being about Nightcrawler in any way a long time ago, so i am moving it to the Off-topic section where it will be more on-topic.

I also invite people to see this thread: http://nightscrawlers.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=4107 in the Heathen Sent forum. intended to be a place where you can ask questions about alternative/pagan religions, or just inform about your own religion, since this one has become mainly about Christianity. I don't know about others, but as someone with an alternative belief system, that makes it intimidating to post here.... i feel like i am not part of the club. so we started a new club. :p
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Postby thylacine » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:54 pm

Well... anyway... with regard to George Junior and his Defense of Marriage Act... just keep on saying to yourself... "Term limits! Term limits!" :)
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Postby Bamfette » Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:23 pm

i swear, i didn't mean to kill this thread by moving it here.... if anything i thought the move would make it even more popular, sicne the Off-topic section is higher traffic. it just stopped being on-topic in the Nightcrawler forum, since it hasn't been about Kurt in any way for pages....
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Postby thylacine » Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:41 pm

I don't think you killed the thread by putting it here. It's a real good discussion, and it's great that different people with different ideas can discuss things and no one has had a big argument! I'm very impressed with that. It is also about Nightcrawler still, in a way, since we can discuss Catholic issues here (and the prejudice against Catholics too) and Nightcrawler is Catholic. Also I think Kurt would be a liberal type of Catholic, if he were real... This is still a good discussion.

Now for the good news. The Boston Globe reported that even though the Vatican sent an order that churches should not give Communion to politicians who support abortion, no one has refused to give Communion to John Kerry. YES!!! Personally, I'm against abortion, but they should not try to control politics that way -- it's extortion. Also, the Vatican said they can still have altar girls as well as altar boys. They were thinking about banning that! (Sheesh! How conservative can yah get?) I don't think the Pope is behind any of this... I think he's so old and sick he's letting people below him run stuff. Sad, isn't it? I hope the Catholic church gets its act together so it can be a decent institution like it used to be.
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An explanation and apology from she of the hard head....

Postby Maelstrom » Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:13 pm

Okay, guys? My head is as hard as granite sometimes, and it's taken me a long time to realize this, but... take a look at this statement I made a while back, please....

If you can redefine an institution that has only allowed male-female bonds, in any culture, from the beginning of time (which in itself is a controversial view: just ask Bunny about documented same sex marriages in the Middle Ages ;) ), then what's to stop polygamists from screaming "foul" when we refuse to let them marry four fifteen year old girls at once? And that's the mildest example I can think of.


:doh! I so screwed up with this, and I should have seen it. I insulted Bunny, and I didn't mean to. Here's a breakdown of what I actually meant:


1) The "only man-woman marriages happen" theory is at best up for debate, if not flat-out wrong, and that's assuming it's only Christianity we're talking about. Otherwise, it *is* flat-out wrong.


2) When I did the little (;)) at the end of "ask Bunny", that wasn't a "isn't he cute with his little theories? Give this poor deluded fool a hand!". I had spoken with Bunny on this before, and realized that he had actualy done research on this. He knew the papers, the facts, the actual nuts-and-bolts of the issue, where I didn't. I consider him the expert in these matters, the factual resource to go to.

In other words, I meant to both refer to Bunny as the authority, having information that I lacked, and to thank him for his setting me straight. Instead it came out like a slap in the face :cry, and I am so sorry that happened... :shame


3) The "what's to stop the polygamists" line was never, ever, ever meant to implicate anyone's views or preferences. I was actually quoting, word for word, what I had heard from one of the church scholars. I was attempting to show the point of view of a third party, which I did not necessarily understand or agree with, but wanted to espouse so that others might at least see (if not understand) the fears they have.

I should have actually put that in quotes, to further separate it from my own point of view. But I didn't. Like I said, I screwed up big time.


Of the many faults that I have, I had not realized that arrogance was so key among them. I was so certain that I was doing this "right", that I was perfect in my words, my phrasing, and my views. It never once occured to me that I could be wrong, let alone harmful. But there's a reason why pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins. It has much more far-reaching implications than simply making you look like an asshole. In this case, I ambushed and hurt at least one very, very dear friend of mine. :cry
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Postby thylacine » Mon May 03, 2004 10:37 pm

Where the heck is everybody around here??? A while ago, this thread was hopping! Where did everybody go?
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Postby BamfChyck » Tue May 04, 2004 8:54 pm

Sorry! Sorry Thy, I'm here!
My life got crazy busy there for a while. A big crunch at work, my partner's grandfather died, my own grandfather got sick (he's 98 so when he gets sick we jump), my younger brother and sister-in-law had a baby and he had to spend a few days in the NICU so that was tense (but he's out now and breathing just fine), my partner got laid-off, and I'm under pressure to finish a set of vestments for church.
Lots of other people are busy, too. I know it's finals/exam/graduation season, so that probably accounts for the younger people.
So what were we talking about? Gay marriage? I'm all for it. Do we have any other topics?
How's this? We all know Kurt's a good,sexy, Catholic boy, but what religions/demoninations do other X/Marvel people belong to? I've heard Gambit and Daredevil are both lapsed Catholics. Is there any proof? Anybody know?
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Postby CurlyyHairGirl » Tue May 04, 2004 10:57 pm

Sorry I don't know either.
But I have a question> Instead of being a preist, couldn't he be a Revrend, or is that for some branch of church he dosn't belong to. I am pretty sure he could have family if he were a REV. instead, but still be very true to god.
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Postby BamfChyck » Wed May 05, 2004 12:17 am

Since Catholics don't have reverends (or ministers or pastors , etc.) he'd have to switch denominations and that's officially considered a bad thing by the Catholic Church. He could become a Deacon, I think, and still be Catholic, but he wouldn't be able to provide any sacraments that way. He could become an Episcopal priest, which would let him do all the priest stuff and have a family, but then there's leaving the Catholic church again.
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Postby LadyErin » Wed May 05, 2004 2:25 am

Originally posted by BamfChyck
Sorry! Sorry Thy, I'm here!
My life got crazy busy there for a while. A big crunch at work, my partner's grandfather died, my own grandfather got sick (he's 98 so when he gets sick we jump), my younger brother and sister-in-law had a baby and he had to spend a few days in the NICU so that was tense (but he's out now and breathing just fine), my partner got laid-off, and I'm under pressure to finish a set of vestments for church.

Oh! I don't know what to say but I hope things get better.
Lots of other people are busy, too. I know it's finals/exam/graduation season, so that probably accounts for the younger people.

:bawl finals!!! :bawl
So what were we talking about? Gay marriage? I'm all for it. Do we have any other topics?
How's this? We all know Kurt's a good,sexy, Catholic boy, but what religions/demoninations do other X/Marvel people belong to? I've heard Gambit and Daredevil are both lapsed Catholics. Is there any proof? Anybody know?

Is it cannon or fanon that Xavier is a lapsed Catholic?
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Postby Maelstrom » Wed May 05, 2004 4:16 pm

I've never heard anything about Xavier at all, but I do remember seeing in the Daredevil movie that he was a lapsed catholic, and considering how close they tried to stick with canon, I believe that would be from the book. And as for Gambit, it would also make sense, considering that Catholicism has a stronger following in French-descended New Orleans.

But, so far as the RC church is concerned, better a lapsed Catholic than a convert to anything else. They don't even consider the Episcopalian or Orthodox churches in communion with them, and those are the closest in theology and proceedures among all Christianity.

And, to be honest, I can't really see why Kurt would want to leave Catholicism. He hasn't had any reason to turn away from God, and I think that's what it would take to do it. He's so familiar with human frailty that whatever a single priest, or even a heretical sect, does isn't going to shake his faith. Vicious acts in God's name happened several times in the Church of Humanity arc (ending in Holy War), and Kurt has still stayed.

Here's an interesting bit of "food for thought". :scratch The RC and Orthodox churches are very similar in most things, differing mainly in procedural overlays such as papal infallibility, the "fliloque", and immaculate conception. But there are other, very intriguing cultural differences, too. Has anyone here ever seen an Orthodox icon? Here's a link, just so you have an idea what I'm talking about http://www.greekorthodoxicons.net/byz/deisis.htm

Notice that this picture of Christ, with (I believe) Mary and Joseph to either side, looks curiously flat. You have shading, but it's brought out in an exaggerated, almost "cartoonish" manner, and the perspective is almost non-existant. It looks very much like a Medieval European painting. This is done deliberately: the artist who wrote (yes, it's called "write" instead of "paint" when talking about Icons) the Icon wanted to remove the situation from the real world and place it elsewhere. This removal aspect continues in every "flat" Icon you see in the Orthodox church. In fact, they don't even like to have statuary. You will never see a single statue in an Orthodox church, whether American, Serbian, Greek, Russian, or any other.

For instance, this icon shows the "Harrowing of Hell", which is sometimes called the harrowing of Hades instead. http://www.comeandseeicons.com/pha21.htm . Since the Orthodox do not believe that Heaven or Hell are real, physical places, but states of being, this is an entirely allegorical icon. Christ is trampling on the open graves (those "boards" under his feet), raising up Adam and Eve. All those shackles and keys, in the dark space below, represent the bondage of Hades, which He has broken to free those held within. It's as if this scene has been seen through a "filter", allowing us to comprehend what can not be seen with our physical senses.

In contrast, the Roman Catholics have no problem with statues. Statues of the Virgin are common, as well as statues of Christ and His saints. The belief here is that all of these people really existed at one time, so why should there be a problem recreating them in a realistic manner?

Neither view is inherently "more enlightened" than the other. It's a cultural choice. The Orthodox concentrate on the fact that He was part of this fallen, imperfect world, but not *of* it, and show that remoteness in their art. They want people to know that the scenes depicted are "out of time and space", that they often defy description and understanding on this level. The RCs want to bring Him, and those around Him, as close as possible into their midste, as their way of following scripture. ( "Do this that I may be among you" )

Icons are a fascinating thing, by the way. They're basically historical, religious records, and because of that they use specific, unalterable symbols in every one.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby thylacine » Thu May 06, 2004 3:14 pm

Here is an interesting story for you re: icons & stuff... Merrimack College is owned by the Augustinian Brothers, so it is considered a Catholic College like BC. Anyway... It seems to me like this generation of young people wants to show its sophistication and enlightenment by having disdain for tradition and / or anything religious... When I went to Merrimack for my business degree, suddenly people next to me would interrupt the prof and protest that there was "a cross on the wall, and that is offensive!" (Like, kid, what are you a vampire or something, that a cross is offensive??? Huh?) "This school has no right to force religion down anyone's throat!" And everyone (but me) would go, "yeah!" Like, look at me, I'm sophisticated, I don't believe in anything! First, the crosses on the walls in the classrooms were small, about no bigger than six inches, and not in the front where you could see them, they were in the back of the room out of sight. You had to look for them. Second, if you don't want to go to a Catholic owned college, go to U Lowell, which was 20 minutes away and cheaper. Third, it was obviously they wanted something, anything, to moan about. Next, the students complained that they needed to take a "religion class" as an elective. They grew angry at this. And this is even more dumb, since 1. It's an easy A, and 2. You could choose ANY religion, such as Buddhism, Islam, or whatever to study! At one point there was talk of including Wicca in the curriculum but I don't know how far that got. Why does the presence of religion in everyday life have to be such an awful prob for so many people? No one is forcing them to believe anything. You cannot get inside someone's head and force thoughts on anyone, unless you are Professor X! And further, when you throw everything like that away, you don't just lose symbols of religion, you lose thousands of years of tradition along with it. What is included with stuff like that? Christmas, Easter, the cute frilly dress (or little dark suit) they made you wear on your first Communion... these traditions are woven into the lives of people and their families, and have been for many generations. Are we going to throw it all away because some people don't agree with everything the church teaches? They can be offended all they want, but I think they need to get a life. What's next? Calling up the church down the street from your house and telling them to stop ringing that nasty bell because anything associated with religion is offensive? Then ban Christmas! And Easter! And Halloween, since it's both Pagan and it's All Saints Day! Ban Christmas lights in the town centers all over America! No more manger scenes, no more big Christmas trees on the White House lawn either! It's all Christian and it's all offensive!
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Maelstrom » Thu May 06, 2004 8:17 pm

It is rather ironic that in our quest to separate church and state, to keep any religion from being forced upon us (*cough*ChristianCoalition*cough*) that we have also created an especially "militant" strain of people who have NO respect for religion of any strain. Let's hear it for that swinging pendulum, boys and girls.... :rolleyes

This case you described, Thy, is almost laughable. Read the brochure, pinheads. This is a college owned by a monastary. It is a Catholic School, not a public one. Therefore, strict rules that separate church and state do not apply. If you're going to "act all sophisticated and growed-up", then do your damned research. You have no right to complain here.

I think the seat of this isn't so much their disdain of religion as their disdain of any type of authority. Even if this was a public school (where such displays are frowned upon if not banned outright), the way they responded was unforgivable. Anyone with an ounce of respect would have asked the teacher about it privately. At the very least they should have raised their hand and said, "Mr. So-and-so, the cross makes me uncomfortable." No, this wasn't truly about religion; it was about respect and power, and those students didn't want to relinquish an ounce of either.

So why'd they make a fuss about a small, tastefully-displayed symbol of faith in the corner? In their case, it was because Christianity is "safe" to express indignance over. Christianity is "looked down on" in the USA for several reasons, and, unfortunately, some of them have merit:

1) One word: Fundamentalism. This has to be the worst thing to happen to Christianity since the Inquisition. Fundlets have provided such a raucus, skewed, intolerant version of Christianity that they've turned off literally anyone with the ability to think for themselves. And their habit of *ahem* interfering with laws and political candidates is enough to make anyone unfamiliar with the faith toss that Bible into the garbage.

2) Christianity is the "power broker" of religion in America, and that, in itself, can be a problem. Christianity is *everywhere* in America. You have to look around to find someplace where it isn't the dominant belief. At best, people like rooting for the underdog.... and at worst, there's this "snob appeal" thing, where anything that the "vulgar masses" like must be ignorant, inferior, and only worthy of scorn.

3) Because the USA was created by Christian men (and women, but they weren't officially included for a couple hundred years ;) ), Christian symbolism and specific values have permeated the entire system. The In God We Trust phrase on coinage, and the beleaguered "under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, are relatively new, but it's only been since Ms. O'Haire raised a stink that we finally got rid of "organized" (read "expected and enforced" ) prayer in schools. Presidents, judges, and everyone who's ever been on a witness stand, all swear on the Bible. Though most of our holiday displays have been sanitized to some degree, just the fact that we shut down banks and workplaces for Christmas, but not Eid, is something that no one could possibly miss. And if you're not Christian, constantly having this "enhanced status" rubbed in your face has to hurt.....

4) Christianity has been used as an excuse for hatred and willful ignorance. It's been used to justify such odious institutions as slavery. It's been (mis)quoted to justify wife and child abuse, race hatred, constant verbal and physical attacks on gays and bisexuals, and even attacks on other sects of Christianity (let alone other religions). Some of this is the fundlet's fault, but not all. I've seen these views espoused by many an intolerant Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Episcopalian, and so on. (Now, to be fair, a LOT of other organized religions have been abused in this way, but then that leads us back to the "power broker" problem: they aren't currently the big dog on the American block.)

5) Christianity has so many bickering sects now that it's lost a fair amount of respect. (Remember Ireland?) I don't know how many versions of Islam there are, but I don't think they number in the hundreds.... :shakeno

A militant *anything* is frikkin' annoying at least, and at worst a danger to themselves and others. Why? Because their militancy doesn't let them give and take, to recognize that they might *not* be speaking for all of their brethern, let alone the rest of the world. And the more diverse we become, and the more acceptable that diversity becomes, the stronger the militant fringes feel the need to lash out. Militant Aethiests HAVE to get rid of anything that could *possibly* be construed as acknowldging a god of any type. Militant Christians *HAVE* to try and get amendments passed to "protect" their narrow vision of love and partnership. Militant Jews and Muslims *HAVE* to kick (or blow) each other off of "their" land in the Middle east, because it's THEIRS, dammit! THEIRS! THEIRS! THEIRS! No one else's!

And if you put all these militants together, with enough firepower, you'd get a large crater. And maybe the rest of us could go about our lives in a semblence of peace. ;)
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Bamf Bunny » Thu May 06, 2004 8:28 pm

Originally posted by Maelstrom
I think the seat of this isn't so much their disdain of religion as their disdain of any type of authority.

Or, just perhaps, an ill-informed reaction to Christians putting the Ten Commandments up in public buildings, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance (it wasn't originally included), and their own religious beliefs in the U. S. constitution.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Bamfette » Thu May 06, 2004 8:46 pm

about holidays, actually, the christmas trees are in no way Christian.... it's a pagan tradition associated with Yule... as are the eggs and bunnies of Easter (named after a celtic fertility goddess, no less) Christians have a long history of placing their religious celebrations on already existing Pagan holidays....

taking religion out of the equation would not stop the tradition. my family celebrates Christmas and Easter and we are atheist. most people celebrate Halloween and they have no belief in the pagan origins of it.... we (my family, i can't speak for anyone else) celebrate out of tradition, not out of belief in the religious ideas, either Christian or Pagan, that started them.

but i get your point. may as well re-name the days of the week, or the planets by some of these people's logic....

though i happen to agree with removing the word 'god' from currency and the ten commandments from secular institutions, such as courthouses and public schools... and i fully agree with the re-naming of B.C to B.C.E and A.D. to C.E.

but if they are going to a school owned by the Catholic church, they ahve no right to complain. so i do get your point...
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Maelstrom » Mon May 10, 2004 4:17 pm

Jill,

How long have the B.C.E and C.E conversions been around? I've seen them used within the past few years, but only sporatically, and nowhere near as often as the more commonly seen B.C. and A.D. This is one case where I don't think there will be a giant "Christian backlash" against changing, because these are marks used almost entirely in the scientific or academic community, which is more interested in factual, specific notation than religious validity. I think the reason we developed the standard of B.C. and A.D. is because the birth of Christ was a universally accepted time constant in the Western (and that time, Catholic) world, during a time when God's hand was seen as directly influencing everything. The only reason I can see why it has survived through the 20th century is inertia: no one bothered to change it. And now that there's a movement to do so, I don't think there'll be much opposition. It won't cost millions of dollars to change, and there's no emotional attachment to it.

Just the fact that I have seen B.C.E. and C.E., in other places than purely academic jounals like JAMA, does speak well of the fact American society could be moving that way. Sort of like how the plural "their" is being accepted as a single gender-neutral pronoun instead of only a plural.


To change topics a bit, sometime back (in either this thread or the Heathen Sent one), the question was raised as to why God would kick out 1/3 of his angels for disagreeing with Him. Was the threat to His power so great that He couldn't allow any dissent in His presence? And what was it all for, anyway? I was curious about this myself, so I listened to a talk my local Priest, Father Leo, had on the subject.

First, a quick discalimer: this is the Orthodox Christian view. It may not match the RC or moderate Protestant/Episcopalian points of view, and it sure as hell won't jibe with the Fundlets (which may be a good thing... :scratch). The church Patriarchs went over this question in length during the early centuries of the church's existence, primarily trying to figure out just what could make an appalling 1/3rd of His angels rebel, especially His second in command, Lucifer.

What they came up with is that The Incarnation was what did it. It's hard to envision, let alone explain, but Orthodox believe that the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all existed at the same time, from before the beginning of time, even though God created the Son. Therefore, all of God's plans were laid out before time began. He knew that He was going to create Mankind, that Mankind would screw up so badly that He'd need to send His Son to clean things up, and that by doing that, He would humble himself to a level below that of Mankind. For some reason, 2/3rds of the angels said "That's a great idea!" and the others said, "Wait a minute, you're going to do WHAT?"

On the surface, it would seem that Lucifer and the rest of the 1/3 are given a raw deal. They tell God that they can't possibly love and obey anyone or anything more than God. Lucifer actually says to God, "Lord, let *me* do this. Let *me* suffer the pain, humiliation, and death for you. I love you too much to want you to suffer for a fallen creation." And God throws a hissy fit and kicks them out of Heaven for that love. But you have to look a little deeper. It isn't really love; it's pride masquerading as love. Lucy and his compatriots weren't worried about God (and, by association, the Holy Trinity) going through all this effort to bring Mankind back to Him. Their real objection was the fact that they would have to humble themselves before humanity. Why? Well, they know they're under God in the grand heirarchy, and if God makes Himself a servant of Man, that means THEY'RE servants of Man as well. Lucy hated this idea so much that he brazenly offered (demanded, really) to take this position, and the glory that would inevitably come from its completion, for himself, thereby attempting to insinuate himself as an equal in the Holy Trinity.

And at that point, when that 1/3 decided that they didn't want to go along with it, they cast thmeselves out. By deciding that they didn't want to follow His plan, and deciding that they knew better than He did, they turned away from Him, and placed themselves in a fallen state. It's the Orthodox view that Hell and Heaven don't exist as geological places, but as states of being.

So it comes down to the fact that one third of some of the most perfect beings ever created have the capacity for evil, in one state or another. By pride they refused, but attempted to "spin doctor" it into love instead, thereby compounding things further. (Hmmm, what does this say about politics in general? :naughty)

That's kind of scary. :shame If selfishness and evil exists in such amounts that it can corrupt so many nearly perfect beings, no WONDER humanity is in such a state. But, then again, it is a little comforting to know that even those right next to God can screw up, because it means that maybe the rest of us who screw up aren't as far removed from Grace as we think. That's where the humans have it over angels: since we're still learning, we can screw up and still redeem ourselves. The angels, being borderline omnicient, had learned everything already and *still* chose the wrong path, damning themselves by their own knowledge when they rebelled.
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& etc.

Postby thylacine » Tue May 11, 2004 7:26 pm

That is a very interesting story & commentary!

Also... quote "How long have the B.C.E and C.E conversions been around?"

I think those have been around quite some time... For a few decades, I believe, maybe longer... we knew of them back in the early 70's when I took religion class... and the teacher was quite familiar with those designations, so they must have been around a while.
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Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

Postby Bamfette » Wed May 12, 2004 1:31 am

yeah, they've been around a while... not sure how long. no one is making a big push for them to my knowledge, so they're just kinda slowly taking over. an i use C.E and B.C.E myself when appropriate. but as Mael mentioned, they are used frequently among the scientific community.
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