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Letters to the Editor

Religious strife

January 29, 2008

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To the editor:

Here recently the Public Forum resembles a Christian pulpit, each person professing to know the will of God. I have nothing against religious freedom unless it becomes extremism. I notice conservative candidates fighting each other for the vote of the religious right. However, when you start legislating your religious agenda, that scares me and approaches extremism.

Speaking for all those freedom-loving heathen pagans, I believe, much like the patriot Thomas Paine, that organized religion, whether Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, is an invention to subjugate man and imprison his mind, will and spirit. I look around the world and people killing each another in the name of God - in most cases, contrary to what Cal Thomas thinks, the same God worshipped by Christian, Muslim and Jew who continue to kill each other all over the Mideast. Christian and Muslims are killing each other in Africa, Hindus and Muslims in India and not too long ago Christian killing Christian in Northern Ireland.

Don't say it can't happen here. I fear America is mutating into a Christian Iran, where freedom does not exist. If you think it can't happen in a Christian country, examine the Spanish Inquisition a few centuries ago.

In response to Mr. Burkhead and his fire and brimstone, I have nothing to repent for. I don't need to quote scripture and verse, my bible is my conscience, which is clean. You probably think I am condemned to eternal damnation, but that would only be true if I had to spend eternity with religious zealots!

Craig Tucker,

Lawrence

Comments

busymom 6 years, 2 months ago

Vote for political figures, vote for their beliefs. I agree with that statement. The only argument that I've heard on homosexuality being "wrong" "sinful" is bible based. Old testament. Banning same-sex marraige is legislation passed by those that americans voted for.

Now, how many political figures in office support that one? What are their beliefs?

Some are trying to create civil unions because gosh it violates their right to pursuit to happiness.

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Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

God, or the concept of god, is cool. Religion, once turned over to mere greedy mortals, often sucks.

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MooseMan 6 years, 2 months ago

So I was just sitting at home minding my own business when my wife comes home telling me about this thread and ruining my day. There is no excuse in this day and age that intelligent people should try to denigrate and disparage someone because they do not believe that two thousand years ago some guy died for your sins. Religion, in general, does not make sense. Which of these stories makes more sense:

1) An old man builds a boat, which carries two of every animal on the earth, as well as every plant on the earth, survives a flood and then repopulates the planet with only himself, his wife, his sons and their wives.

2) A man is born of a virgin, starts teaching at a young age, gains twelve followers, is betrayed by one, and is then crucified, and rises on the third day.

The answer: Neither. Story one is either Noah or Gilgamesh(which was around before the bible). Story two is either Jesus or Horus(again before the bible). The stories that religion tries to shove down our throats are just that, stories. They exist to instill morals in us, it doesn't matter what religion it comes from. Belief is supposed to comfort us. It is not supposed to be used to oppress others as some jews, muslims, christians, and yes even pagans have done in the past centuries.

So, when you want to criticize someone for saying, "Hey, stop forcing your beliefs on me", maybe you should think about it... you may only have one chance to be right.

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Navin_R_Johnson 6 years, 2 months ago

if the "will of the people" was the imposition of a theocracy in america, what problem would secular progressives have against liberal democracy in action? (the nature of democracy, or the will of the people?) sp's seem to have no problem with the "will of the people" when it expressses the things they desire.

and btw, if one seriously contends (i mean seriously, not just a slogan for political expedience) that a theocracy is any real possibility in america, you're either too dumb or ideologically blind to attempt a meaningful conversation with.

anti-christianity is merely leftist political hobgoblinism. while repubs think that al queda is an immininent threat to the american way of life (not reality), dems think that christians are from the devil himself ready to cane women for showing too much leg and drafting legislation in dark rooms to strip all individual liberties from people in order to protect society from its sinful self (not reality to the point of being irrational).

both views fall among various degrees of low-grade retardation. dems case is much weaker though; case in point: Mike Huckabee. he ain't gonna be the next repub nominee. if we were in danger of theocracy, you'd have a serious candidate who is... well...actually religious, with a massive following.

a word to the wise (NOT the hysterical, ideological nutjobs--no shuttin' up folks with a little bit of knowledge and a whole lotta fear): sometimes its best to remain silent, let yer bigotry and irrational fear stew in silence and let people only think you're an idiot than to open yer pie hole, spew radically unsupportable conclusions, and remove all doubt!

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

bondman Now you have me angry. Laws against murder, rape, and any kind of harm to mankind is not the exclusive morals of Christians. I know atheists who are much more highly moral than some of the people who represent evangelical Christians, such as, Falwell and Roberts. Or would never sexually molest children, like some priests have. My morals are based on the concept that harming another is wrong, and I am in charge of my morals. If you're morals are only based on a god, then you have no control. It all comes from outside, you have not internalized it. That's why it's easy for extremists to rationalize that it's ok to hurt someone who doesn't believe like they do. If you are implying that Buddhist, Wiccans, Hindus, etc are not moral then you need to start meeting these kinds of people. You'd find out you are dead wrong.

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i_tching 6 years, 2 months ago

craigers said: "If you say, I am a Christian, then you inherently believe that there is one God. On that premise, that means one God over all and if that is the case, then that is the only standard that matters."

Actually, no.

God's standards (if despite all evidence to the contrary you stupidly insist upon believing in him,) had to come from somewhere.

He either just made them up, in which case they are capricious and probably unreliable, or they came from god's own appeal to higher standards. In which case, you don't need god, you can just go straight to those over-arching ethical guideposts.

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75x55 6 years, 2 months ago

Obviously you don't see the hypocrisy of being irritated by someone else telling you about what they've determined 'to be right', given they exercise the same right you seem to claim to determining these things by 'oneself'.

If everyone has that ability to determine their own answers, then what possible basis would you have for being irritated at anything anyone might tell you? If you don't agree, so what?

Thus the whole silliness of this whining letter - in a nation that has become so secular and free of religious constraints, its almost amusing that this guy thinks that he needs to cry like Chicken Little when he hears a little God-talk now and then.

As for those that fear some 'Christian Taliban' - highly unlikely, but then again, this is a pluralist society with government of elected representatives. If the votes have it, then there you go.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

I felt like it was pretty clear...

"BTW - I never (on this thread or any on the topic of religion) have told anyone "what I thought was right" - because I don't think that's a question that can be answered for anyone by other than oneself. And that's where I get irritated by being told that "God wants this or that" by some churchy type. I don't believe anyone knows what God wants."

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75x55 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok - I'll assume you weren't being clear in your first statement then.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

75x55, either you didn't read the post, the context was too much for you, or you are being willfully obtuse.

So, for you nit-picky types - this:

"I never :have told anyone "what I thought was right" - because I don't think that's a question that can be answered for anyone by other than oneself."

....was in the context of this topic, this thread - religion and the so-called duty of Christians to "spread the word".

I have never - never - said "this is how you should live", in contrast to some of the more well known evangelical types on these threads who seem to think that their faith somehow entitles them to tell the rest of us what's what.

Is that clear enough, 75x55?

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staff04 6 years, 2 months ago

I understood exactly what scene meant. You remind me of the late Kevin Groenhagen who used to, despite knowing full well what a poster meant, go into lengthy arguments and great lengths to parse the sentence of the poster.

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75x55 6 years, 2 months ago

No, what you said was - "I never :have told anyone "what I thought was right" - because I don't think that's a question that can be answered for anyone by other than oneself."

Your 1:38pm is completely different statement so, of course, there is a 'disconnect'.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

75x55: Your question doesn't make any sense. I said I don't tell people how I think they should live, and that I get irritated when others tell me how they think I should live...if there's a disconnect there, I don't see it...

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staff04 6 years, 2 months ago

"...any number of man made religions and philosophies."

You mean, like Christianity?

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JJE007 6 years, 2 months ago

bondmen, "Laws against murder, rape and stealing are someone's morality being imposed on society...These happen to be Bible based..." These are not "Bible based" laws; Your statement, "If atheists and pagans wish no Bible based morality in law then the most helpless and innocent will perish at the will of the most powerful..." therefore, appears no less ridiculous or rude. I don't see anybody arguing against the "golden rule" (ethic of reciprocity). That's enough to guarantee murder, rape and stealing being against the law. I'm not sure why people think atheists and pagans have no moral fiber. Jeezusonacrutch! Who's stacking up the bodies on this rock?

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Das_Ubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

"What do politicians do when elected to public office? Each one votes to force their morality on the people."

That's the problem. They are supposed to be voting in the interests their constituents - all of their constituents. Your view has people pissed-off.

"Laws against murder, rape and stealing are someone's morality being imposed on society, right? These happen to be Bible based..."

Is that why there are numerous legal codes developed millenia before the Bible and centuries before Mosaic law which all list murder, rape and stealing as against the law? Since you seem to believe that such laws are not intuitive, I guess the only conclusion you can be left with is that Moses just copied the Ten Commandments from the ancient Mesopotamians.

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75x55 6 years, 2 months ago

"I never ...have told anyone "what I thought was right" - because I don't think that's a question that can be answered for anyone by other than oneself."

Followed by:

"And that's where I get irritated by being told that "God wants this or that" by some churchy type. "

If the first statement is actually true, then what right do you have to be irritated?

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bondmen 6 years, 2 months ago

What do politicians do when elected to public office? Each one votes to force their morality on the people. Now, their will can be informed by a God given conscience backed up with God's word from the Bible or their will can be informend by any number of man made religions and philosophies. In either case, with their votes, they impose their morality on US with the force of law.

Laws against murder, rape and stealing are someone's morality being imposed on society, right? These happen to be Bible based and agreed to by Jews and Christians alike. If atheists and pagans wish no Bible based morality in law then the most helpless and innocent will perish at the will of the most powerful; Darwin's dream of survival of the fittest, right? Talk about extremism!

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

"I always love the "(If it weren't for a few hundred years of Enlightenment) It could be the Inquisition again!" idiots."

Let's look to the right reverand Jerry Falwell and see what he thinks:

"I had a student ask me, "Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?" Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed"

"Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions"

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals"

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country"

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being"

"Textbooks are Soviet propaganda"

"The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews"

"Homosexuality is Satan's diabolical attack upon the family that will not only have a corrupting influence upon our next generation, but it will also bring down the wrath of God upon America."

"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve"

"[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."

And the big one:

"(re: 9/11 attacks) "...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen.""

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Confrontation 6 years, 2 months ago

"Can anyone point to anyone in this country with more than a hundred followers that is advocating the death penalty for homosexuals?"

Have you seen the 700 club? Killing homosexuals is a dirty fantasy for far too many people in this country.

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moo 6 years, 2 months ago

Craigers "state" your opinion and your one standard all you want. No one is stopping you. However, do not "legislate" it. That is what Mr. Tucker is saying. He has a right to state his opinion about what he believes is the right way to live just as you do. If we legislate away that right, to live as one chooses, then we do become a theocracy the likes of Iran. That is the danger we are in with so much morality legislation abounding.

Stating your opinion on a matter like this doesn't make you intolerant, whichever side you are on. Claiming a superior right to state your opinion is what makes a person intolerant.

Good letter, Craig.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

"And to not tell others about this at the risk of being labeled "intolerant" seems very self-serving to me."

See, but to the "others" it just seems annoying, holier-than-thou and preachy....

What happened to the days when your faith was a private affair, between you and God?

BTW - I never (on this thread or any on the topic of religion) have told anyone "what I thought was right" - because I don't think that's a question that can be answered for anyone by other than oneself. And that's where I get irritated by being told that "God wants this or that" by some churchy type. I don't believe anyone knows what God wants.

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Confrontation 6 years, 2 months ago

"This nation has more religious diversity than ever in its history, and overall, the percentage of Christians has declined significantly, much even since the early 90's, but starting after WW II."

That's exactly why the Christians are freaking out and trying to gain control of everything.

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posessionannex 6 years, 2 months ago

A Christian Iran?

Can anyone point to anyone in this country with more than a hundred followers that is advocating the death penalty for homosexuals?

I always love the "(If it weren't for a few hundred years of Enlightenment) It could be the Inquisition again!" idiots.

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craigers 6 years, 2 months ago

JJE I do understand what you are saying. Every person in office supports things that are important to them, so when you vote for somebody, you vote for their beliefs too since they are going to do what "they" think is best for the country. The constitution was written by men and not inspired by God, I will definitely agree with you there. I never said it was. Also, scenebooster my comment wasn't saying it isn't a two way road cause I know you could say the same thing, which you do. You tell us all what you think is right, just like all other posters on this board. However I was implying that if you are a Christian and claim to be, then why wouldn't you state that there is one standard to live by? If you say, I am a Christian, then you inherently believe that there is one God. On that premise, that means one God over all and if that is the case, then that is the only standard that matters. And to not tell others about this at the risk of being labeled "intolerant" seems very self-serving to me.

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kansascrone 6 years, 2 months ago

a history lesson in world religions is in order here. that would cure all who wish to impose their "enlightened" view on others.

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Defender 6 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

Shouldn't someone as "reverant" as dolly be utilizing the big "C" when discussing Christianity?

Oh, the intolerance!

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Das_Ubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

The author can't even go two paragraphs without contradicting himself

"I have nothing against religious freedom unless it becomes extremism."

"I believe, much like the patriot Thomas Paine, that organized religion, whether Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, is an invention to subjugate man and imprison his mind, will and spirit."

That said, the concerted efforts by Christian think-tanks to spread misinformation and lies throughout our culture is disturbing. Such a blatant attempt to warp the political process to meet their selfish goals is one of the greatest threats to this nation considering that these groups have the support of members of Congress and even the President. The afore mentioned House bill and Discovery Institute are just two examples.

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JJE007 6 years, 2 months ago

You're obviously informed by your own experience, Dolly. Who's that behind you?~!

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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JJE007 6 years, 2 months ago

craigers,

Nobody cares if you believe that words written by men to control men were shaped and brought forth by a God trying to control men.

Did your God write the constitution? Did He write the legal codes across this country? I think this is what the editorialist is worried about. He's worried about the imaginary inspiration of some Holy Spirit dictating the laws of every land. Do you believe that would be a great idea? I thought so.

Laws are used to control men in this world. If these laws to control men are shaped and brought forth by God AND all men are sinners then, conceivably, all men can be shown to be criminals and controlled by force.

You know what they say. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So let's say we have a world legislated by the Lord's Word. It's STILL run by SINNERS and, now that all sin is criminal and all are sinners, the SINNERS in power control ALL PEOPLE!

Tell me you see a problem here...Please? You don't have to be a heathen or pagan to see a problem here, right?

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

"And we can't really respond by saying well it is true for me, but it might not be true for other people. "

Which is also a two-way street...see the problem here?

"Mr. Tucker is a poster child for the lack of tolerance movement."

I missed the part where Mr. Tucker degraded Christianity or tried to supress it...so now disagreeing with you thumpers is "intolerant"?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

The new Jerry Springer opera may be the pinnacle of leftist intolerance.....Christians prancing around as KKK members. If gays were denigrated like this, CNN and the entire far-left gaggle of media morons would be screaming bloody murder.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 2 months ago

What happened to the "progressive" notion of the need to "coexist," as those quaint and misguided bumper stickers say? Mr. Tucker is a poster child for the lack of tolerance movement.

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craigers 6 years, 2 months ago

How can one be a Christian and not believe that there is one standard to live by? If you are a Christian and accept Christ as God in your life, then His words of "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man can come to the Father except through me?", mean there is only one way to heaven and therefore one standard. And we can't really respond by saying well it is true for me, but it might not be true for other people. Because if you believe God is God, then it is His standard that matters for all, not just those that believe.

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scenebooster 6 years, 2 months ago

"This 'legislating' thing::any specifics."

"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards," - Gov. Mike Huckabee

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BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

"There is a whole lotta other crap that'll wipe us out before we ever become likened to a "Christian Iran"."

Like what? Riverdance? Is Jefferson Starship going to make another record?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

Craig, you are trying to argue that a "Christian Iran" is possibly in the making, behind what I feel is a veil of bigotry---like the bigotry we see by the volumes on this forum and moreover, on the far-left blog big boys.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. This nation has more religious diversity than ever in its history, and overall, the percentage of Christians has declined significantly, much even since the early 90's, but starting after WW II.

This 'legislating' thing......any specifics. Abortion? Gay marriage? Are these a couple of which you speak. Some other examples?

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Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 2 months ago

Okay everybody, let the bigoted comments begin!

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

I think Craig is a little paranoid. Just do as I do, ignore the 'zealots' and I think your overwhelming paranoia will disappear like a fart in a windstorm. There is a whole lotta other crap that'll wipe us out before we ever become likened to a "Christian Iran".

If we get a Dem in DC, maybe they will start referring to Christians in terms of 'cells' ....and would you feel better as that may be a good start on eliminating these barbaric killers?

I love LJW On-Line (award-winning)-----I love the provocative ideas and debates.

LOL!!

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americorps 6 years, 2 months ago

As a Christian, I could not agree more with the editorial.

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BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, Craig, check out HR 888, chilling stuff. If the US legally becomes a Christian state, it will be the beginning of the end of the US.

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KS 6 years, 2 months ago

Craig, you only have one chance to be right. Think about it.

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