An open letter to all clergy

  
Via:  don-overton  •  3 weeks ago  •  74 comments

An open letter to all clergy
Where are those voices today? Why are the voices of the faiths that have made America great been silent

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


When the ruling party and the sitting president of the United States cease to represent the conscience of the American people, and when the rule of law is made a mockery of on a daily basis, who do you expect to step up to the plate and point out that “the emperor is naked?”

Granted, many in the media are doing their level best to expose the severity of the situation. But major media outlets are engaged in an ideological duel that keeps widening the rift in the society as the debate goes around in circles without getting anywhere.

Back in the sixties when I graduated from rabbinical school the conscience of America was being put to the test because of the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. Back in those days, prominent clergy of all backgrounds, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Berrigan Brothers, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and many others, were in the forefront of the peace movement, the civil rights movement, and the equal rights movement. I was proud to be an American rabbi, because the voice of conscience was heard loud and clear throughout the land as clergy and lay people alike made America morally great as they put themselves at risk and spoke truth to power.

Where are those voices today? Why are the voices of the faiths that have made America great been silent?

It appears that religion in America is in a state of crisis. The founders of the great monotheistic religions, from Moses to Jesus to Muhammad and beyond, spoke truth to power and put their lives at risk. They all spoke out for the poor and the oppressed, and taught their disciples social responsibility. Men like King and the Berrigans and Heschel were disciples of the great prophets of the monotheistic faiths, and rather than pay lip service to their faith they sought to make it a force for good. It appears that, like some politicians, many of us today respond to our self-interest rather than to our higher calling.

This does not bode well for the future of our country. I am calling on all clergy of all faiths in America to examine our conscience. Are we doing enough to speak up for truth and justice? Do we have the good of all the citizens of our country at heart? Or are we putting personal interest above the common good?

I have just turned eighty. My militant years are behind me. But I have wonderful children and grandchildren, and I am worried about their future. Moreover, I am worried about the future of the planet and of the human race when the country which is expected to be the moral leader of humanity is in such a deep crisis of conscience. Don’t be afraid to speak up my colleagues and friends. We have done it before, and we can do it again. The clock is ticking.

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Don Overton
1  seeder  Don Overton    3 weeks ago

Many American Jews Blame Donald Trump for Rising Anti-Semitism, Survey Finds

https://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/many-american-jews-blame-trump-for-rising-anti-semitism-survey-finds.html320

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Don Overton @1    3 weeks ago

Indifferent to what you are posting here. I just ask that you truly understand what the word schmuck means before using it.

Not the Hollywood, google translated, misspelled version.

OMG (let me guess, I have to put a /s here?) I didn't use the proper condemnation of Trump, therefore I am giving him a pass...smh.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.1    3 weeks ago

No need to lecture.  We know what schmucks means

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1.2  dave-2693993  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Just based on that sign, I don't think so.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

The literal translation is penis.  He is quite the dick, dickead.

 
 
 
Don Overton
1.1.4  seeder  Don Overton  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.1    3 weeks ago

Since I didn't write the article you are trolling,nothing from you is worth consideration

 
 
 
Don Overton
1.1.5  seeder  Don Overton  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

I doubt you understand any of the article

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1.6  dave-2693993  replied to  Don Overton @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

Since you didn't write the article, you obviously chose an article with a poor key pictorial.

If, these days, the truth is now considered trolling, then notice to all, be prepared for more truth, now considered trolling.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1.7  dave-2693993  replied to  Don Overton @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
I doubt you understand any of the article

Now, that is trolling.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1.8  dave-2693993  replied to  Don Overton @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
The founders of the great monotheistic religions, from Moses to Jesus to Muhammad and beyond, spoke truth to power and put their lives at risk. They all spoke out for the poor and the oppressed, and taught their disciples social responsibility.

Here for example, Muhammad was a child rapist. To this day it is followed.

As I said, you did not understand the article.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.1.9  dave-2693993  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.3    3 weeks ago
The literal translation is penis.  He is quite the dick, dickead.

Yes, and does the presentation of that picture make that clear? You might know that, but I don't see the use of that picture showing that.

That is what I suggested.

 
 
 
Don Overton
2  seeder  Don Overton    3 weeks ago
 
 
 
PJ
3  PJ    3 weeks ago

Religion isn't real.  It's made up to control large masses of people through scare tactics.  It's purpose is to marginalize women and minorities.  When that wasn't working so well they saw a shining star in Donald Trump who takes great pleasure in attacking and demoralizing women.  Using lies and taking advantage of the weak minded and ignorant Trump has convinced his supporters that brown people and woman are scary and bad. 

Religion is a conduit used to suppress and control people.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
3.1  Raven Wing  replied to  PJ @3    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
3.1.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Raven Wing @3.1    3 weeks ago

And belief in a great creator is an example of religion. 

re·li·gion
/rəˈlijən/
noun
noun: religion
  1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
    "ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Dean Moriarty @3.1.1    3 weeks ago
And belief in a great creator is an example of religion

Well, the definition you list says "the belief in and worship of". Religion requires both. You can believe a creator exists but accept that we have no empirical clue as to its characteristics, desires, disposition, nothing is truly known about any superhuman entity. But one can choose to believe something exists without deciding to "worship" said superhuman power.

The fact is, when the religious imagine their worship is pleasing to their God, they really have no clue, it might be exactly the opposite. They could be performing blasphemous rituals for all they know. But it is through this practice of believers inventing the desires of their deity that we get religion. And because of the inherent nature and power of "rules" or 'laws" those with the power to decide what a God likes or dislikes, they had near absolute power in their hands. And, as we all know, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thus all religions, no matter how good intentioned their founders may have been, eventually lead to corruption.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.2  Greg Jones  replied to  PJ @3    3 weeks ago
Religion is a conduit used to suppress and control people

Does that include Islam?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    3 weeks ago
Does that include Islam?

Is Islam a religion? Well then it certainly seems like it would include Islam. Do you think it shouldn't?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    3 weeks ago

Islam is one of the very best examples of religious control over people.   It illustrates the level of control that Christianity once held over people prior to the 18th century.   Of course remnants of archaic Christianity control still exist, but for the most part Christian religions focus on indoctrination and persuasion and have relatively little actual control over their members.  For example, modern Christian religions can no longer sentence you to death for worshipping the biblical God the  ‘wrong’ way.

Islam, in contrast, affects virtually every aspect of your life; especially true for females who are oppressed similar to what took place in the Middle Ages.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
3.2.3  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.2    3 weeks ago
It illustrates the level of control that Christianity once held over people prior to the 18th century.

I don't think Christianity ever really had the control that Islam did and does, but it certainly had a lot more control than it does now. Why do you suppose that was? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.2.3    3 weeks ago
I don't think Christianity ever really had the control that Islam did and does ...

I agree; if I must pick one over the other, Islam wins.   The control was different and that makes comparison more difficult, but I will try.   

Christianity did not dictate social factors to the degree of Islam (e.g. praying 5 times daily facing Mecca or forcing women to a social status close to property) but Christianity certainly oppressed women and encouraged they be subservient to their husbands, executed those who do not worship properly (e.g. burning Protestants alive for daring to read directly from the Bible and then the reciprocal against Catholics from Protestants), oppressed human beings who were different (epileptics taken as possessed, homosexuality taken as evil, execution of 'witches', etc.) and more.

That established, Christianity never achieved true theocracy as does Islam (we will skip the Vatican).   The closest to Christian theocracy was the dangerous interplay of historical reigns of Kings and the church.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.4    3 weeks ago
The word "Islam" means "surrender" or "submission". "Salam" (which means "peace") is the root word of "Islam". In a religious context the word "Islam" means "the surrendering of one's will (without compulsion) to the true will of God in an effort to achieve peace".

The Qur'an was not authored by Muhammad. It was authored by God, revealed to Muhammad (through angel Gabriel) and written into physical form by his companions.

The original Arabic text of the Qur'an contains no flaws or contradictions, and has not been altered since its revelation.

Sounds great!

The problem, of course, is that Allah is not apparently present in the world. Islam's leaders therefore require that the faithful transfer their submission and obedience to them. The risk - certainty - of abuse is evident.

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.6  epistte  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    3 weeks ago
Does that include Islam?

You seem to think that Islam always gets a pass where Christianity might be held accountable or criticized because you have asked a similar question before. I wonder why that would be?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  epistte @3.2.6    3 weeks ago
I wonder why that would be?

Actually I am curious about that.   Conservatives seem to think that Liberals are against Christianity but are pro Islam.   Is there some truth in that or is it just an ideological misread?

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.8  epistte  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.7    3 weeks ago
Actually I am curious about that.   Conservatives seem to think that Liberals are against Christianity but are pro Islam.   Is there some truth in that or is it just an ideological misread?

I think part of it might be that liberals defend the religious rights of Muslims, even if we don't agree with their religious beliefs. That is a problem for many people because they do not separate the fact that they have religious frights from what they believe in.

Conservatives apparently see that action as hypocrisy because we are only supposed to defend the rights of a person when we also defend/support/agree with their religious beliefs or actions. It would seem that to many conservative Christians being criticized for their religious beliefs is also a attack on their religious rights because they aren't nuanced thinkers.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.9  TᵢG  replied to  epistte @3.2.8    3 weeks ago

Makes sense.   Because Christianity is dominant in the US, the debate is largely about the negative impacts of Christianity rather than any oppression on the rights of Christians.   In other words, it is difficult to get sympathy as the underdog when you are the super majority.

So in your opinion, liberals defend the rights of all religions as long as they do no harm?

Moving to atheists, we can state that atheists find both Islam and Christianity to be equally unevidenced.   That is, there is no evidence (taken objectively) that suggests either category of religions is anything more than belief (faith) that the words of ancient men are true.

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.10  epistte  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.9    3 weeks ago
Makes sense.   Because Christianity is dominant in the US, the debate is largely about the negative impacts of Christianity rather than any oppression on the rights of Christians.   In other words, it is difficult to get sympathy as the underdog when you are the super majority.

When have Christians ever been oppressed in the US? It is almost impossible to be oppressed when you control all levels of government and much of social power. The fact that Christians cannot legislate their views or trample the rights of others isn't in any way oppressing them, despite what many conservatives/evangelicals claim.

So in your opinion, liberals defend the rights of all religions as long as they do no harm?

I will always defend their right to believe and worship as they wish but I will not defend what their believe in or their attempts to legislate their views as law.

Moving to atheists, we can state that atheists find both Islam and Christianity to be equally unevidenced.   That is, there is no evidence (taken objectively) that suggests either category of religions is anything more than belief (faith) that the words of ancient men are true.

I will extend that statement to include Judaism so it applies equally to all of the Abrahamic religions. Theistic religious belief at its core is illogical when there is no proof that any god/supreme deity exists. I'll defend their constitutional right to pray to a rusty Edsel hubcap or a grilled cheese sandwich if they want to. Just don't try to tell me that its logical, don't force me to pray to it or ask me to pay for it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.11  TᵢG  replied to  epistte @3.2.10    3 weeks ago
When have Christians ever been oppressed in the US?

Good question, but some seem to think Christians are oppressed.

Theistic religious belief at its core is illogical when there is no proof that any god/supreme deity exists.

No evidence.   

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.12  epistte  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.11    3 weeks ago
Good question, but some seem to think Christians are oppressed.

This is the best explanation of their claims of religious oppression. They are not used to and they do not like to be equals when for 200+ years in America they were the unquestioned religious majority. 

When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression

The author is unknown.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
3.2.13  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.11    3 weeks ago
Good question, but some seem to think Christians are oppressed.

They are told they are oppressed.  Telling people they're oppressed is a fantastic way to convince them to listen to you and give their money.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.2.14  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.9    3 weeks ago
it is difficult to get sympathy as the underdog when you are the super majority

So... lots of "Christian" leaders try to paint themselves as the underdog, and as the victim.

We regularly get seeds on NT, about the persecution of "Christians" in America today. I cannot tell whether the OA authors and NT seeders are totally hypocritical, or simply profoundly oblivious...

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.2.15  Greg Jones  replied to  epistte @3.2.8    3 weeks ago

I think part of it might be that liberals defend the religious rights of Muslims,

But they don't support the religious rights of Christians.

Why is that?

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.16  epistte  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.15    3 weeks ago
I think part of it might be that liberals defend the religious rights of Muslims,

Why shouldn't we defend their same religious rights under the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment?  How can we claim that we support equal rights or that we have constitutional rights ourselves if we aren't willing to defend the equal rights of others, even when we may disagree with what they say or believe? That is the basic concept of this idea about supporting the free speech of others.

 

I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It

.

But they don't support the religious rights of Christians. Why is that?

When have Christians the US ever been denied their full religious rights as defined by the First Amendment?  Our religious rights are to believe in god(s) as we wish and to worship as we choose to do.  You do not have the right to force others to comply with your beliefs, to legislate your beliefs as secular law, or to be free of being criticized for your beliefs. 

 
 
 
CB
3.2.17  CB   replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.15    3 weeks ago

Proximity? Power? Influence? Aggression? Procedures, tactics, and strategies? Some Christian sects are bothersome, selfish, and dangerous to every other form of conduct. Sad commentary coming from a fellow brother in this faith. But, if only to shame a devil, we must call it out plainly.

 
 
 
bugsy
3.3  bugsy  replied to  PJ @3    3 weeks ago
Religion isn't real. 

So who is it that Queen Pelosi is praying to when she says she is praying for Trump? Liberals, if they are true to their past actions, should have come out in droves and attacked, insulted and demeaned Pelosi for her daring to pray and insert religion into politics.

Why are they not doing it now?

Oh, wait...we know.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.3.1  TᵢG  replied to  bugsy @3.3    3 weeks ago
So who is it that Queen Pelosi is praying to when she says she is praying for Trump?

One can only hope Pelosi is not attempting to effect change through prayer.

 
 
 
epistte
3.3.2  epistte  replied to  bugsy @3.3    3 weeks ago
So who is it that Queen Pelosi is praying to when she says she is praying for Trump? Liberals, if they are true to their past actions, should have come out in droves and attacked, insulted and demeaned Pelosi for her daring to pray and insert religion into politics.

The fact that Nancy Pelosi said that she is praying does mean that she is inserting her religious views into politics. A politician can certainly mention their views but they cannot try to legislate them or force others to obey them. I would prefer that she kept the to help but religion is very popular in the US and it is often used to pander, even if I would hope that didn't happen.

 Who ever said that Nancy Pelosi was a queen to anyone?

 
 
 
CB
3.3.3  CB   replied to  bugsy @3.3    3 weeks ago

Liberals respect Nancy Pelosi and accept her considerable judgement and moreover she does not let her faith in God cause her to be useless to ordinary folks, and repressed folks, who choose to live outside of and away from faith and while others in her party live in faith.

Bugsy, this is the "bigness" of Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi, a liberal exception and mainstay in the party who remembers her faith (and her prayers for others in leadership) for all the good it can engender (just look at her record of achievements), while acknowledging the diversity of many in the body politics who have no place of their own except for the efforts of the Democratic Party.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.3.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  epistte @3.3.2    3 weeks ago
The fact that Nancy Pelosi said that she is praying does mean that she is inserting her religious views into politics.

Anyone (politicians included) may find inspiration wherever they choose. They may not, however, impose religion on others.

I suspect that Pelosi was speaking metaphorically, implying that she applies a "Christian charity" to Trump's misbehavior. At no point did she imply that her "prayers" might become policy.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
3.3.5  mocowgirl  replied to  bugsy @3.3    3 weeks ago
Liberals, if they are true to their past actions, should have come out in droves and attacked, insulted and demeaned Pelosi for her daring to pray and insert religion into politics.

Yes and no.

Most "liberals" are Christians who follow the "liberal" Yeshua that was loving and tolerant of others according to the verses that they cherry pick.

There are 30,000 sects of Christianity because people don't agree and can't agree on what Yahweh/Yeshua said and want of their creations.

I support Christians doing more praying in private and less fighting in public because I believe everyone would benefit.

 
 
 
CB
3.4  CB   replied to  PJ @3    3 weeks ago

I am so sorry that you over-generalized religion in your remarks. Because you do have a valid point that some evangelicals have proverbially gone off the rails and these folks are embarrassing the rest of use god-loving people, full  of the Spirit, who want nothing more than to be left alone to focus on love and peace to this world. Why? Because we see the larger picture.

Donald Trump is the 'right-hand' of the "militant-Christians" who are finally seeing in him their hey-day to get all of their political desires and even a few political whims met, respectively. It is sad. Really sad.

Know this PJ. As you endure these outrages of militant fulfillment some Christians in many denominations are looking on agape alone with you. Our faith is prominently in the hand of some radical-thinking Christians who are like ravenous children finally being fed in the style of eating of their choice.

Be paient, PJ. In due time and with much 'concerted' prayer God will redeem this nation from the zeal of self-righteous zealots—and their President. In the meantime, you are correct to be both outraged and sad, just remember this: God always watches the distance and already stands at the finish line!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.4.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @3.4    3 weeks ago
over-generalized religion

Re-read PJ's post, inserting the word "organized" before the word "religion". It would be very hard to disagree with the resulting text.

Most people actually mean "organized religion" - churches, seminaries, and all that - when they say "religion". I think it's obvious in this case.

 
 
 
PJ
3.4.2  PJ  replied to  CB @3.4    3 weeks ago

I don't want to get into a war of words with you.  If religion as you define it works for you and represents who you are then so be it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.4.3  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.4    3 weeks ago
Because you do have a valid point that some evangelicals have proverbially gone off the rails and these folks are embarrassing the rest of use god-loving people, full  of the Spirit, who want nothing more than to be left alone to focus on love and peace to this world. Why? Because we see the larger picture.

It is quite a bit more than some evangelicals.   Religions historically have been instruments for controlling the minds of the masses.   Christianity is far less effective today than it was in the Middle Ages (where it substantially influenced monarchs and the people of their realms).   But Islam is today quite actively controlling the lives of almost 2 billion people.

My view is that you are an example of the minority — a spiritual person who is not beholding to a particular organized religion.   Yet the dregs remain active as long as individuals accept as divine truth the mere words written in ancient books and act (in their daily lives) accordingly.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.4.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.4.3    3 weeks ago
Religions historically...

"Organized religions historically..."

 
 
 
CB
3.4.5  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @3.4.1    3 weeks ago

You can think anything you want, Bob. Sorry, if that is too stark. I can't divine what anyone means across the internet, however. My comment "honored" PJ larger point/s and I would have thought that was obvious.  There I go—thinking again.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.6  CB   replied to  PJ @3.4.2    3 weeks ago

No war needed, PJ. We just share and discuss.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.7  CB   replied to  TᵢG @3.4.3    3 weeks ago

Tig, I am hesitant to get into this with you, but, and I want you to hear me out on this. Please.

There is much gone wrong with the organized Christian Church due to the corruption of politics. And yes, it can all (largely) be tracked back to Constantine who ironically empowered the Church for one-two-or several purposes. But, is not this the nature of humans.

Nations get trapped and locked into a lot of terrible behaviors, because of a leader's civil policy. For instance, the U.S. is not a constitutionally religious country, but we have politicians currently voting for policies in a bloc that will in effect make this a "mock-theocracy."

To keep this short, what Constantine did in empowering the Roman Catholic Church to 'lord' over the Christian community, may have at once left the spiritual people struggling (remember Apostle Paul stated that many 'false gospels' when out from the true gospel for they could not get a foothold in it. Paul fought too hard to keep what brought the gentiles (nations) sound.) to control the larger message.

We see our current president attempting to empower the conservative Church of America (and a worldwide network of conservative Churches) to knead together and control the masses. I have never and will never support abuse of anybody

I am not beholden to (organized) religion, because its human side keeps interfering with its politics, schisms, and preachers who see a need to finesse ('molest') the message. That is, turn something simple and beautiful into something bothersome, cruel, and damaging. Better for some - not so great for some others. So, I, we are outliers.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.8  CB   replied to  CB @3.4.7    3 weeks ago

I could have written @3.4.7 better, but we have painters around today. So, . . . . bear with it. I will do better and be less detracted going forward.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.4.9  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.4.4    3 weeks ago

Yes, organized religions.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
3.4.10  livefreeordie  replied to  CB @3.4.7    3 weeks ago

There is no effort by Evangelicals to control the masses unlike the liberal churches who love statist control of people

 
 
 
CB
3.4.11  CB   replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.10    3 weeks ago

Now you went there didn't you? When are you, Livefreeordie, going to welcome the outcast into this nation's family? The time has come, you are expected to heed the call. No one is asking you to change yourself or your organization, just cease throwing your support to maneuvers that disenfranchise others!

Some evangelicals, fundamentalist Christians, are messing with select groups of citizens and it is a lie to deny this is happening. 

President Trump likely could not care one damn about law-abiding transsexual service-members serving (and dying) for his or her country. It is patriotism after all. A call to service. So where is Trump getting the repeat urge to keep cutting back on transsexual military service and their civil rights in society? There are voices speaking into his ear and those words are definitely Christian fundamentalist voices. If you do not know it, LFOD, that is no fault of onlookers.Stop walling yourself off from the truth of the fundamentalist movement in this country.

It is plain to see for anyone who cares to understand it.

 
 
 
lib50
3.4.12  lib50  replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.10    3 weeks ago

Evangelicals are forcing their religion on all women, so wtf are you talking about?   Projection, projection, projection.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.4.13  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.4.11    3 weeks ago
Some evangelicals, fundamentalist Christians, are messing with select groups of citizens and it is a lie to deny this is happening. 

Agreed.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.14  CB   replied to  TᵢG @3.4.13    3 weeks ago

I will go a step farther and publicly state that I would not like to live in a theocracy of any kind. This nation of ours is "So much better." The only theocracy that could work for me is Heaven. Why? Because in the presence of God what is lacking in anybody is perfected to what God wants that one to be.

Humans who strive after dogma, traditions, and ritualistic states of existent which see no value in anyone who holds to a whole other value system (but positive, nevertheless) are undeserving of their high state in our society, as they use said state to become an offense to others.

God did not give us a measure of the Spirit to become bothersome offenders, dangerous, and for some religious folks and their sects, deadly. It just goes to demonstrate what is meant for good can be corrupted or denied its proper state in the world.

 
 
 
epistte
3.4.15  epistte  replied to  lib50 @3.4.12    3 weeks ago
Evangelicals are forcing their religion on all women, so wtf are you talking about?   Projection, projection, projection.

He is trying to rationalize his draconian religious agenda by arguing that others are worse than he is, despite that fact that there is obviously no liberal statist relgion. It is Christian evangelicals who attack women's equal rights and their access to abortion and artificial birth control, the rights of ethnic minorities, other religions, the rights of LGBT people.  Jesus said to do nothing of this sort.

 It is also the Christian conservatives who are trying to legislate their religious beliefs as secular law as an attempt to preserve their dwindling social power.  Every time he makes this argument he only puts one foot into his mouth after he removes the other foot to make room.

 
 
 
epistte
3.4.16  epistte  replied to  CB @3.4.14    3 weeks ago

Please note that I am agreeing with this idea of CB.

I will go a step farther and publicly state that I would not like to live in a theocracy of any kind. This nation of ours is "So much better." The only theocracy that could work for me is Heaven. Why? Because in the presence of God what is lacking in anybody is perfected to what God wants that one to be.

Humans who strive after dogma, traditions, and ritualistic states of existent which see no value in anyone who holds to a whole other value system (but positive, nevertheless) are undeserving of their high state in our society, as they use said state to become an offense to others.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
3.4.17  livefreeordie  replied to  CB @3.4.14    3 weeks ago

I became a born again Christian 57 years ago. I’ve pastored 5 different churches, and have been a missionary to 5 different countries in 3 continents.  I’ve yet to ever know a single Christian who desires a theocratic Government on earth.

im sure they exist but mostly in the minds of atheists 

 
 
 
epistte
3.4.18  epistte  replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.17    3 weeks ago
I became a born again Christian 57 years ago.

The idea of being born again is utterly illogical to me. Why did you need to be born again? Did your God not hear you the first time, or was it the wrong god that responded? 

 I’ve pastored 5 different churches, and have been a missionary to 5 different countries in 3 continents.  I’ve yet to ever know a single Christian who desires a theocratic Government on earth. im sure they exist but mostly in the minds of atheists 

Any Christian or any other religion who seeks to legislate religious beliefs as the law is who we are referring to. ideas such as the opposition to access to abortion, opposition to full LGBT rights, equal rights for all religions and non-believers and equal women's rights.  Your bible and the views within are not to be the basis of our secular laws. You can not legislate your religious beliefs or morality because there are as many ideas of what is moral as there are of who is or isn't god. The religious and secular rights of others are not to be filtered through your beliefs or voted on by the general population.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
3.4.19  livefreeordie  replied to  CB @3.4.11    3 weeks ago

Your response is not within the context of my post which concerned the religious left supporting forced statist collectivism which runs counter to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.

That said, I’ve welcomed and cared for more outcasts in my life than you’ve even met. I’ve prayed with so called transsexuals and transvestites and seen some of them escape that lifestyle over time.  Others did not.   I care about all humanity being delivered from the bondage of sin as does Jesus.  Everyone can escape the bondage of sin through the blood of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. But the individual must be willing to change and go in the direction of living in His righteousness and holiness.

Sexual perverts are certainly entitled to the normal RIGHTS of citizenry 

but NO ONE has a right to serve in the Military.  The military has long maintained standards for enlistment that provide for proper discipline and cohesiveness.  Mental disorders like the so-called”transgender identity” or “transsexual” fall within the DOD directive as a disqualifying disorder

The DOD has clear guidelines which makes  this behavior disqualifying for military service

“Other History of Medical Disorders That Are Disqualifying

Any history of suicidal behavior, that includes discussions, gestures, or the actual attempt is disqualifying. A history of self-mutilation is also disqualifying.

Anxiety issues, either current or historical, or panic, agoraphobia, social phobia, simple phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, other acute reactions to stress, and posttraumatic stress are disqualifying for entry into the service.

Any history or current disorder of being dissociative, bouts of hysteria, or de-personalization are disqualifying.

Any history or current somatoform disorders, including, but not limited to hypochondriasis or chronic pain disorder, are disqualifying.

Any history or current psychosexual conditions, including, but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias, are disqualifying.

Derived from Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6130.3, "Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction," and DOD Instruction 6130.4, "Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces."

https://www.thebalance.com/military-medical-standards-for-enlistment-and-commission-3354046

 
 
 
CB
3.4.20  CB   replied to  epistte @3.4.16    3 weeks ago

I understand and "second."

 
 
 
CB
3.4.21  CB   replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.17    3 weeks ago

You josh. And, you need to stop it. That you purposely hold yourself apart from dominionism and theonomy and any other relevant thing to this discussion, which the republican party is aspiring to put in place does not absolve conservative-right Christians of assisting in it occurring. The 'efforts' of conservatives to do this is not new to any of us who are not 'babes' and "no nothings." You are surely aware of everything which is going down, as libertarianism is alive and kicking on the Republican-Conservative side.

So your "protests" and denials fall to the ground or are swept away on the wind. I can not and will not entertain them.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.22  CB   replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.19    3 weeks ago
Any history or current psychosexual conditions, including, but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias, are disqualifying.

I can not find this in your link care to assist me with a direct link. I have tried to look it up several ways to no avail. Also, a date for the material will be important.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.23  CB   replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.19    3 weeks ago
I’ve prayed with so called transsexuals and transvestites and seen some of them escape that lifestyle over time.  Others did not.   I care about all humanity being delivered from the bondage of sin as does Jesus.  Everyone can escape the bondage of sin through the blood of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. But the individual must be willing to change and go in the direction of living in His righteousness and holiness.

What the heaven is a 'so-called transsexual'? And how many have you seen escape the lifestyle in numbers, or we talking counting on hands, feet, or hands and feet?

I am so glad you care about humanity; now if you can kindly define how a transsexual who has completed sex change is categorically living in sin: Go for it.

You come off as placing select values on the God-provided gift of science and medicine to alter life circumstances and conditions, even when you see it manifested all around you. Or, are you offended by science and medicine achievements in the area of human anatomy?

This will be a fault of yours and not any transsexual.

Now again I want to know: When are you, Livefreeordie, going to welcome the outcast into this nation's family? The time has come, you are expected to heed the call. No one is asking you to change yourself or your organization, just cease throwing your support to maneuvers that disenfranchise others!

It is not enough that you pray for transsexuals to repent and 'revert' you assent to their marginalization in society wholeheartedly and that LFOD exposes your lip-service for what it is.

Transsexual people need to eat, work, and serve. You are in league with those who make any one or all of the three aforementioned states difficult if not improbable. (Let me hasten to add: You do this against many other groups in our country too!)

 
 
 
epistte
3.4.24  epistte  replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.19    3 weeks ago
I’ve prayed with so called transsexuals and transvestites and seen some of them escape that lifestyle over time.

Medial science says this is not possible, so please provide links to support your claim.

It would appear that you do not understand the crucial difference between someone who is a transvestite and someone who is transgendered.

APA has expressed support for a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that calls for an end to the practice of "conversion therapy" for children and youth.

"This important report makes it clear that conversion therapy is not appropriate for dealing with sexual orientation or gender identities in children and youth," says Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, APA's associate executive director for public interest government relations. "It provides guidance to clinicians on current science and best practices for this vulnerable population."

Children benefit from developmentally appropriate identity exploration and integration, says Glassgold, who led APA's Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation before joining the association's staff. That task force issued a report in 2009 that found insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.

"Interventions aimed at a fixed outcome, such as gender conformity or heterosexual orientation, including those aimed at changing gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, should not be part of behavioral health treatments," Glassgold says. "This vital document builds on APA's long-standing work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns, especially its report on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation and its guidelines for working with LGB and transgender and gender variant clients."

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/12/upfront-conversion

 
 
 
livefreeordie
3.4.25  livefreeordie  replied to  CB @3.4.21    3 weeks ago

I am certainly not joshing and there is simply no evidence that there are any significant number of conservative Christians who want to see a theocracy anywhere on earth 

pit is simply a phony tactic of prejudice against conservative Christians by leftists like yourself

 
 
 
epistte
3.4.26  epistte  replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.25    3 weeks ago
I am certainly not joshing and there is simply no evidence that there are any significant number of conservative Christians who want to see a theocracy anywhere on earth  pit is simply a phony tactic of prejudice against conservative Christians by leftists like yourself

Why are conservative Christians so opposed to the strict separation of church and state if they do not seek to legislate their faith as secular law in the US?  There is no other reason to oppose keeping the state absolutely neutral on the issue of religion and religious belief you do not want to legislate your faith and make other religions or even Christian sects second-class citizens in the eyes of the law. 

You opposed LGBT marriage equality but when you lost in the federal courts a result the Obergfell v. Hodges decision, now you want to get the government out of marriage, despite the fiscal benefits and the constitutional rights involved in marriage, as a way to accomplish the same idea, despite the fact that that SCOTUS decision does not in any way involve your religious beliefs.

There is no other way to defend the heartbeat bills as a way to overrule Roe v. Wade than to admit that they are a conservative religious idea.

Allowing a business to deny equal service to others is an obvious religious belief of discrimination enshrined as secular law.

 You have said that Islam is not a faith and should be banned.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.27  CB   replied to  livefreeordie @3.4.25    3 weeks ago

I repeat:

You josh. And, you need to stop it. That you purposely hold yourself apart from dominionism and theonomy and any other relevant thing to this discussion, which the republican party is aspiring to put in place does not absolve conservative-right Christians of assisting in it occurring. The 'efforts' of conservatives to do this is not new to any of us who are not 'babes' and "no nothings." You are surely aware of everything which is going down, as libertarianism is alive and kicking on the Republican-Conservative side.

So your "protests" and denials fall to the ground or are swept away on the wind. I can not and will not entertain them.

If you are not aware of the politics of the Republican Party and its adjoining conservative "movement," then I have to ask how are you qualified to use labels like "Leftists"? Your miniarchism (worldview) needs an outlet into a stream of political consciousness and its only 'cut' path is through conservativism and republicanism. 

Thus, your denials are found wanting.

That you want other agents to carry out the dirty work for which your 'band' can benefit while standing aloof, does not give you clean hands, in my opinion. I see you, LFOD, in living color.

 
 
 
CB
3.4.28  CB   replied to  epistte @3.4.26    3 weeks ago

Yeah, I have to agree with you overall: I can not support: one-way-ism in government. If the United States wanted this nation to lack diversity in government, law, culture, traditions, customs, and people it should have never opened itself up to immigration (or slavery of Africans). Instead, it flung it arms wide-open to people from all the countries in the world - come in and fellowship together - as we can see "greedy" individuals who want all this country to themselves and captive to their points of view came in on a boat or flight too!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

There is no moral authority in America today.

The Catholic Church is struggling with the behavior of its priests. Conservative Christians have embraced a man whose morals should send them running. Liberal Christians have lost their voices.

Walter Cronkite died a long time ago.

The idea of a moral CEO is laughable.

And of course, we have political leaders - whom we elected, it must be remembered - who are foolish and venal.

Do I sound pessimistic? Yeah. I'm deeply pessimistic...

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
5  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

An Open Letter To All Clergy

Stop raping kids?

 
 
 
epistte
5.1  epistte  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5    3 weeks ago

This is a recent statement by former pope Ratzinger. If he is blaming that lack of god and the secular revolution as the reason for his pedo priests. How do priests have a lack of god and why does he keep them on the payroll of they aren't competent? This isn't a ringing endorsement for his god. 

Former pope Benedict XVI on Thursday blamed the Catholic clerical sex abuse scandals on the 1960s sexual revolution and a collapse in faith in the West, immediately drawing criticism from some theologians.

The pontiff, who retired in 2013 and chose to be known thereafter as "pope emeritus", said responsibility for the crises rocking the Roman Catholic Church globally from Australia to Europe lay with the fight for an "all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer admitted any norms".

He asserted that paedophilia "reached such proportions" because of the "absence of God".

 
 
 
Kavika
6  Kavika     3 weeks ago

The constant whining and persecution  complex of some Christians is laughable. 

In the U.S. they (Christians) are the religion that has persecuted other religions. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Kavika @6    3 weeks ago

It's a dog-whistle, K. They feel uncomfortable saying, "We White people are being overtaken. We may soon no longer be the majority - just the largest of many minorities..."

 
 
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