Friday, December 18, 2009

A Silent Spin on a BIG SONG! HALLELUJIAH!


This is reported to be "Silent Monks" but it appears it's clever high school students portraying (singing) Silent Monks as they 'sing' the Hallelujiah Chorus! I thought we could all use a smile and it's wonderful music with which to get into the Christmas mood. ENJOY!

Maybe even me. I hope so.

z

237 comments:

1 – 200 of 237   Newer›   Newest»
FrogBurger said...

I like the music but I'm not sure this show pays tribute to it. I almost sense sarcasm, especially with the people laughing in the back.

Anonymous said...

I agree FrogBurger, I sensed the same thing you did. I felt this performance was sacreligious, meant to be funny.

I'm probably too sensitive about this sort of thing, but I feel Handel's Messiah is sacred music, and this gave me a sort of twinge of discomfort.

Some things are better left to what they were meant to be, and I think this is one of them.
Pris

Anonymous said...

If I weren't a Christian, Handel's Messiah is the work that would make me jealous of the Christians.

tiob

Faith said...

It's terribly clever and cute, but that's the problem: I agree with Frogburger and Pris, it's just not right to be clever and cute with the Hallelujah Chorus.

Chuck said...

I think it's funny. I can't say it was meant to be mean-spirited based on the demeanor of the kids. I think we have to allow kids to be kids. I could possibly see my son and his friends doing this and they are all good,respectful kids.

Joe said...

Well, having only been a Christian for a little over 51 years, a musician for over 60 years and a Bible teacher for a little over 40 years, I found it fun, funny, exciting and refreshing.

There is absolutely nothing sacrosanct about "Messiah" by Handel. It is great, great music and in its context is magnificently praising of our Lord, Jesus, Christ.

I have had the honor of conducting it many times and a couple of times with really large accomplished choirs.

But music only has meaning in relation to the context in which it is experienced. In this context it was terrific and the kids were very creative with it.

Granted, it may have been a bit on the sarcastic side for some of them, but to most it was just music and had little meaning anyway.

I thank you for posting it, as it was great fun!

BTW: It is unnecessary for us to be offended on behalf of God. To think we should do so is the height of spiritual arrogance. He is quite capable of being offended for Himself if he chooses to. In this case, I think not.

Ducky's here said...

Nice piece of theater.

The premise is humorous and I don't see any disrespect.

Sometimes the classics need to let their hair down.

Anonymous said...

Well, if its a school function and anyone mentioned of signed God or Jesus, then these kids probably need to be in a federal prison. How dare they pursue a religious theme at Christmas ... er, winter holiday?

Sam

cube said...

I'm glad to see that there are still religious productions being made at Christmas time. I fear that eventually it will all be watered down to winter holiday.

Z said...

I've got to admit the only thing I see in this is humor and kids actually having that melody and those wonderful words in their heads and hearts for the rest of their lives (you never forget that once you've performed it).

I love tiob's comment!!

Sam's probably right; it's the closest thing the public school kids can get to mentioning GOD!

Cube, sadly, this isn't new, so probably it'd be banned in a public school today....

Joe and Chuck, that's my take on it; You all know how (sometimes overly) Sensitive I am to slams on Christianity. I just found this adorable and fun and extremely clever.

Thanks for all the differing opinions...very interesting and all very worth consideration. xxx\

even Ducky's (oh, GOD, did I SAY THAT?!) :-)

No Subject said...

Well said Joe, I have to agree.

The scripture theach that little children wanted to spend time with Jesus. From my experience children do not want to spend time with a stick in the mud who has no sense of humor.

So what experience do I have?

I'm the oldest of six children, and over 30 grand children. I have a stepson, a son a daughter and three grand daughters. I have too many nephews and nieces to count along with their own kids. I taught 5th and 6th grade sunday school, and worked with my churches 3rd and 4th grade AWANA group.

Yep, I have a bit of experience with kids.

Anonymous said...

Joe - I'm not offended on behalf of God, I'm offended on behalf of myself. I'm not presumptuous enough to speak for God.

I'm sure God is capable of of rising above this sort of thing. I'm not. Consider it a fault of mine if you wish.

When I was a kid, I sang in a choir and performed the Messiah. For me, I had lump in my throat it was so beautiful and meaningful. But, that's just me.


"But to most it was just music and had little meaning anyway."

Well, you make my point, that's the problem. To me it's just another example of how nothing is above derision and becomes a joke.

Ducky - you know there's plenty of good music through which to let our hair down. I'm just sick and tired of people revising the original intent of any true work of art, or faith, and ripping the meaning and beauty from it.

I thank you too Z, for posting this. It's interesting as to how something like this is perceived by folks.

Pris

Brooke said...

I love it. It wasn't disrespectful, and I'll bet the Lord appreciates a little clever humor!

Go, kids! :)

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WomanHonorThyself said...

ah I've seen this too Z..clever! wer'e expecting snow this weekend woohoo!!!!

Faith said...

This was a Baptist church, people, not a public school -- of course it wouldn't happen there!

Also, if you watch it from what is probably the official recording of the event, you won't hear the parents' laughter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSk8h1oG8nY&feature=player_embedded#

I didn't think there was anything mean-spirited about it at all, I thought they were doing it completely in a spirit of fun, but that's the problem for me with this majestic music and those majestic words from scripture. And I enjoyed watching it, it's easy to get into the spirit of fun, while at the same time kind of as an undertone I felt something sacred was being violated -- not intentionally but in reality. I also hate it when I hear a phrase of the chorus in a profane context, such as to celebrate a commercial product or something worse, which is done quite a bit. Maybe some of the "classics" can let their hair down without harm, but not this one.

Doesn't scripture make a very big deal separating the sacred from the profane? Weren't those who profaned sacred things even put to death? God doesn't find humor in such things.

FrogBurger said...

Then if it's a church, I was wrong. Let's say it was just bad taste. Didn't find it funny or aesthetically pleasing besides the music. But that's just a personal opinion.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

One more day at work and I get four days off. I can't WAIT. But then, alas, I have to work Christmas Day. Bummer.

BZ

JINGOIST said...

That IS clever Z! I really liked it.

Elmers Brother said...

that was great! I love it!

DaBlade said...

This is one of those rare occasions where you can completely see the point of the person with whom you hold the opposing opinion. There aren't many of those these days. Me? I laughed. Then I read the comments and felt guilty. I do know that our Creator has a sense of humor though. I just wish He would have spread it out in thicker quantities.

Anonymous said...

Well, let’s see. How did y’all feel when Roseanne Barr scratched her crotch while screeching the
National Anthem?

Did you laugh? If you didn’t why not? She was just trying to be funny. Don’t you have a sense of humor? Or is it just that it depends on your own sense of priority as to importance. If so, is our country’s anthem more important than a celebration of God as it was written to be performed?

You see, I don’t judge that you wouldn’t have a sense of humor, just as I wouldn’t judge that I don’t. I didn’t like that either.

My point is, there is little meaningful beauty and grace in today’s society. Our children are exposed to crass, crude, illustrations every day. Nothing is safe from satire, or comic relief. Sometimes, it’s purposeful to tear down what people value. And little by little it becomes commonplace.

These kids in the video, would not have been allowed to sing this straight, as a choir, in school today. But, satire? A joke? That’s OK. That’s the problem.

I didn’t expect everyone to agree. I never do. But I sure didn’t expect some of us to be jabbed for a lack of humor, or of spiritual arrogance, whatever that is. However, it doesn’t change my opinion.

Pris

Z said...

I have a lot to say but I think I just won't. And, I didn't expect this conversation but I enjoyed it, sort of.

Nobody's wrong, nobody's right....Viva la Difference!

The Born Again American said...

For God's sake people lighten up... I thought it was masterful... Had the lyrics been tampered with perhaps you might have grounds for discontent... Lord knows I'm a purist when it comes to bands doing covers of what I consider classics, don't go there, but this was taking a very clever approach in presentation of a classic...

Loved It!!!

Steve Harkonnen said...

They reminded me of Jawas from Star Wars.

I thought this was outstanding, and Ducky is absolutely correct - sometimes, letting the hair down on the classics lead to new, more abstract forms of the arts. If Roger Waters didn't take up the bow on his bass guitar, I wonder if Jimmy Page would've done that on his guitar?

Anonymous said...

Steve H.

I spent high school thinking Led Zeppelin was the greatest band ever, but I honestly have to say that guitar solo with the bow is hardly listenable. Am I wrong?

tio

Teresa said...

I agree with Joe. It was both refreshing and humorous. It seems to me that this was done all in good fun. It didn't seem to be disrespectful to me.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
I loved this. The kids who did this were dedicated and clever. I laughed till I cried over this. The signs being lifted with the feet was hilarious.

As I teacher, I imagine the students I know under those costumes laughing and enjoying themselves as they got into Handel. What's bad there.

I'm forwarding this to our choir teacher. I'd like to see it in person. Thanks for posting it.

Leslie said...

Clever performance. Think of how many times those kids had to hear that piece in order to perfect their timing. Would they have experienced Handel's Messiah ever had they not done this performance? How many in the audience had never heard it?


~

christian soldier said...

You will all be pleased to know that there are brave ones out there- including the conductor of my local High School Band who had his students play REAL CHRISTmas music while in a local neighborhood known for its CHRISTmas lights....
In Los Angeles California...
Alleluia!!

Posted the above at my site tonight...
C-CS

Beth said...

Z, I know this Christmas will be difficult for you, I hope that you can find peace during this holiday.

Z said...

Beth, thank you. It is definitely more of this emotional minefield. Mr. Z and I loved Christmas and had many traditions; none of which I'll be doing this year. Which should help. Somewhat.

I so appreciate your thoughtfulness. Have a beautiful Christmas and hug your loved ones as closely as you can.

David Wyatt said...

Z, I'm praying for you & any others who will be without loved ones the first time this CHRISTmas. Check out this poem:
http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/poems/Christmas-3.htm

God Bless.

psi bond said...
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psi bond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
psi bond said...

Z: Nobody's wrong, nobody's right....Viva la Difference!

It’s derisively sacrilegious (some say); it’s satisfyingly entertaining (others say). Both views are valid? Well, you can’t get more fair-minded than that.

Obama’s trying to destroy America; Obama’s trying to fortify America. Some think one; some think the other. Vive la différence!

Z said...

The song is harmless, the problems coming to our country are anything but harmless.

David, thank you for your prayers....I must admit this Christmas is becoming difficult.

Teresa said...

Z,
I am sorry that this Christmas will be difficult for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Faith said...

I also have you in my prayers, Z, knowing how hard this season must be for you no matter what you do to avoid the hardest parts.

Faith said...

Oh well. Now I've found a GAY CHORUS from what I guess is a gay "church" in Portland Oregon doing the same performance to riotous laughter. How does this sit with you all?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HkXmOIwpkQ&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh+div-1r-1-HM

Anonymous said...

"Oh well. Now I've found a GAY CHORUS from what I guess is a gay "church" in Portland Oregon doing the same performance to riotous laughter. How does this sit with you all?"

I find it Predictable!

Pris

Z said...

thanks for your prayers, Faith, I appreciate them very much.

As for the chorus rendition, I found the introduction so offensive that nothing following it could have been at all fun and imaginative as I found the original one. This one set out to denigrate; in my opinion, the other did not.

Faith said...

Me too Pris.

I'm sorry if I'm running this into the ground. Just have to say I believe the introduction is the same one that preceded the performance you posted, Z, though you have to see the whole thing to get that part of it. Of course the gay voice does give a certain tone to the intro not present in the other: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSk8h1oG8nY&feature=related

Z said...

Faith, Mine never said anything about St Francis of a SISSY.. however this gay group does it. They talk about rough fabric in a sexual way, etc etc...No, I think the introduction wasn't close on the high school version.

We just have a difference of opinion! I thought it so charming and clever and some don't...

psi bond said...

Perhaps, those here that feel this song (oratorio) performance derides their religion can now understand what many Muslims felt, rightly or wrongly, on seeing or hearing of the Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammad. Perhaps, further, they can understand that Muslim and Christian folks have more things in common than the right usually assumes.

According to Wikipedia, the work was conceived for secular theatre, and Handel repeatedly revised it for different audiences. Hence, it cannot be dogmatically contended that there is but one right way to perform it.

Z said...

well, psi bond, I have yet to see any of these good people who find this distasteful rioting in the streets calling for anybody's death, but thanks. But, I guess maybe that's just an assumption of the right.

psi bond said...

Z: well, psi bond, I have yet to see any of these good people who find this distasteful rioting in the streets calling for anybody's death, but thanks. But, I guess maybe that's just an assumption of the right

Well, I thought you’d be saying that, Z.

That there were not many decent people in the Islamic world who found the Danish cartoons distasteful and violent riots over it to be misguided---that’s an assumption of many on the right.

Z said...

psi bond, just stop. You couldn't have got that from my comment and you know it.
This site has repeatedly affirmed my viewpoint that there are lots of good Muslims.

goodnight.

psi bond said...

Z: psi bond, just stop. You couldn't have got that from my comment and you know it.

I am not stopped by your cunning attempt at misdirection, Z.

The fact is, the rightwing notion that there are not lots of good Muslims is what any rational person would clearly get from reading most rightwing blogs, including this one. I know your personal opinion is good Muslims exist, but your comment here does not facilitate drawing a conclusion of that sort.

Goodnight and happy holidays, Z!

Z said...

psi bond....I'm not sticking up for myself, it's silly and pointless. But, did my comment say ALL MUSLIMS marching in the streets looking for revenge?
Who's misdirecting here?

I hope you have a good week, too.

Faith said...

Weird idea, this "good Muslims" thing. If they are "good" in the sense that they are true to their Koran they WILL want to kill those who insult their prophet; if they are "good" in the sense psi bond is talking about, a western Christian idea of what being good is, they will deny the truth of their Koran.

Z said...

Faith, extremely well put. You're so right.

psi bond said...

The idea that nonviolent protest is, as Faith supposes, “a [W]estern Christian idea” is a weird kind of rightwing revisionism. As if Mahatma Gandhi were a Christian, and, as a matter of Christian definition, good Muslims cannot exist. As if, in the established rightwing view, the very phrase “good Muslims” is an oxymoron.

There are Christians who think being a good Christian requires them to threaten the life of the author of a play that portrays Jesus, insultingly in their opinion, as a homosexual. Since their reading of the scripture tells them that homosexuality is an abomination to their lord, many Christians have demeaned, mutilated, or killed good people who were homosexuals. Over the centuries, Christians have burnt Christians, enslaved other races, harassed and slaughtered Jews as “Christ-killers”, killed pagans and destroyed their native cultures, quite persuaded that their Bible told them that is what they must do.

It is only by denying the literal truth of ill-used parts of the Bible that Christians can be----in the sense of American social norms----good.

psi bond said...

Z: Faith, extremely well put. You're so right.

Sadly, Z, it is so characteristically rightwing to presume that what is good derives from the Bible and what is evil from the Koran.

psi bond said...

Z: psi bond....I'm not sticking up for myself, it's silly and pointless. But, did my comment say ALL MUSLIMS marching in the streets looking for revenge?
Who's misdirecting here?


The misdirection is your pointless but fierce self-justification for your comment, which was really a harsh albeit typical stereotyping of Muslims who reacted to the Danish cartoons. The fact that you thereby obfuscate is that trashing Muslims en masse is customary on rightwing blogs.

But I wish you, Z, a happy and healthy new year!

Z said...

psi bond...whatever. there's disagreement and your elitist "I'm right" stuff wears on me.

I hope you have a happy holiday, too...whatever it is.

And, please, show us where the Scripture in the Bible says to kill homosexuals.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

No true Christian claims the Bible advocates killing sinners or one's enemies; Jesus clearly commands the opposite in so many words. "I came to save, not to condemn" He said, and "Love your enemies." There are plenty of false "Christians," of course, whole churches' worth as a matter of fact (I dare to say it: the Roman Church is not Christian and those who belong to it who are Christian should obey Christ who says "come out of her My people"), churches that twist the Bible to suit themselves. They are cults, to use the correct term. But people like psi bond just enjoy smearing the name "Christian" without distinction.

The Koran, on the other hand, clearly COMMANDS murdering the "infidel." It's considered a way to please God. If there's anything "right wing" about this fact it must be that the right wing knows how to read. Those Muslims who don't obey their Koran are like "liberal Christians" who also don't obey the Bible. If a Christian obeys the Bible he learns to submit to others and die to self; but if a Muslims obeys the Koran he murders the infidel.

psi bond said...

psi bond...whatever. there's disagreement and your elitist "I'm right" stuff wears on me.

Whatever, indeed. The lack of patience you evidence for talking about it notwithstanding, the attitude of many Americans concerning good Muslims at home and abroad may pose a serious problem for America. This attitude is based on the notion (widespread among rightwingers) that decent behavior for Muslims is incompatible with their faith----a notion that is faithfully promoted here and endorsed by you.

And, please, show us where the Scripture in the Bible says to kill homosexuals

It’s enough that many think the Bible says that surely homosexuals will be put to death for some to take action to carry out God’s will, lest God set his face against them and their families..

Leviticus 20:13:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.(NIV)

The Bible has the same to say about adulterers (Lev 20:10), but no one makes any comparable fuss today about that. Odd.

psi bond said...

http://islam.about.com/od/terrorism/f/terrorism_verse.htm

Question: Aren't there some verses of the Qur'an that condone "killing the infidel"?

Answer: The Qur'an commands Muslims to stick up for themselves in a defensive battle -- i.e. if an enemy army attacks, then Muslims are to fight against that army until they stop their aggression. All of the verses that speak about fighting/war in the Qur'an are in this context.
There are some specific verses that are very often "snipped" out of context, either by critics of Islam discussing "jihadism," or by misguided Muslims themselves who wish to justify their aggressive tactics.

"Slay Them" - If They Attack You First

For example, one verse (in its snipped version) reads: "slay them wherever you catch them" (Qur'an 2:191). But who is this referring to? Who are "they" that this verse discusses? The preceding and following verses give the correct context:

"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter... But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful... If they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression" (2:190-193).

psi bond said...

Concluded

It is clear from the context that these verses are discussing a defensive war, when a Muslim community is attacked without reason, oppressed and prevented from practicing their faith. In these circumstances, permission is given to fight back -- but even then Muslims are instructed not to transgress limits, and to cease fighting as soon as the attacker gives up. Even in these circumstances, Muslim are only to fight directly against those who are attacking them, not innocent bystanders or non-combatants

psi bond said...

Faith: No true Christian claims the Bible advocates killing sinners or one's enemies;

No good Christian takes Lev 20:10 and Lev 20:13 literally.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

psi bond you are simply parroting the "liberal" revisionist line about the Koran, which is NOT held by the vast majority of Muslim leaders who know that their Koran advocates killing infidels, specifically Jews and Christians but also Hindus. You can pick and choose and you can read your liberal line into it, but that isn't going to stop the true believers from reading it straight. The Muslim major who killed fellow soldiers at Fort Hood knew that's what the Koran wanted him to do. He didn't want to do it and he looked for ways out that accord with his religion, but he couldn't find any.

Truly there is something idiotic about people's insisting that Christians obey the Old Testament when surely we've made it clear in a thousand ways that the OT Law was given to the Jews as part of God's covenant with them as their King. It was for the governing of a nation, especially for keeping the nation pure from various sins as much as possible.

According to the New Testament, it was primarily given so that we would learn that we haven't the ability to obey it in its severe requirements, and seek Christ who came to save us from its condemnation.

Also, it was to be administered by the ELDERS OF THE COMMUNITY, or the community as a whole. There is nothing remotely equivalent in its true application in its own time and place to the Koran's commands to the individual Muslim reading the Koran today to murder on behalf of Allah.

Christians are not a nation, we are pilgrims without a country in this world. Therefore we do not have any authority to apply God's law. Besides which, Jesus explicitly told us He came to save sinners, not condemn them. We will certainly point out to you that God condemns sin, and the death penalty He applied OUGHT to make you tremble. But we point it out in order that you might turn from it and be saved through Christ.

We DO understand the Law to be an accurate reflection of God's mind on all the matters discussed, of course, so when He says adultery and homosexual acts deserve to be punished by death we know He means it -- they are sins worthy of death. Those who practice these sins should therefore repent and seek His forgiveness FAST.

Brenda Jean said...

Sorry I'm late on this. Chuck showed it to me the day you posted it. I'm sorry it turned into something else besides what you meant it as. It brought me, and all three of our kids, laughter and joy. I LOVED it:) Thanks. {{{HUGS}}}

Z said...

thank YOU, Brenda Jean...!! I got the same thing from it.

Faith...I admire your tenacity and grasp of the faith so much.

psi bond said...

psi bond you are simply parroting the "liberal" revisionist line about the Koran, which is NOT held by the vast majority of Muslim leaders who know that their Koran advocates killing infidels, specifically Jews and Christians but also Hindus. You can pick and choose and you can read your liberal line into it, but that isn't going to stop the true believers from reading it straight. …

Faith, you are passionately promulgating the extreme rightwing line, which, heedless of any contexts, maintains that the Koran is an evil book urging indiscriminate murder of infidels.

Though freedom of speech is precious and is usually respected here, it is unfortunate that you have turned this thread, which is appreciative, with a few contentious exceptions, of a charmingly unorthodox performance of Handel’s Messiah into an occasion for demonization of the Muslim belief, a favorite theme of the radical right, upon which they are hysterically verbose, confusing radical Islam with all Islam.

Maj. Hasan at Fort Hood, who was being assigned to the Middle East, looked for honorable ways out of his military service, but the U.S. government provided him none. If, as you say, the Koran “wanted” him to massacre Americans, there should have been many more Hasans knowing that is what the Koran wanted. Actually, some with an ambitious political agenda have found that misinterpreting the Koran is an effective way of gaining followers. That applies as much to radical rightwingers as to radical Islamists.

Truly there is something idiotic about people's insisting that Christians obey the Old Testament when surely we've made it clear in a thousand ways that the OT Law was given to the Jews as part of God's covenant with them as their King. It was for the governing of a nation, especially for keeping the nation pure from various sins as much as possible.

So, Christians insisting that Christians obey the Ten Commandments are idiotic. From what you claim, it seems that when the Bible states that homosexuality is an abomination that must be punished with death, such was not the irreversible word of God. Then why can’t homosexuals be ordained in churches in most communities?

Christians are not a nation, you assert, yet the right asserts that the U.S. is a Christian nation, and that the basis of its law should be the Ten Commandments, which prohibits adultery. Homosexuality does not make the cut into the Ten Commandments. Where is the movement calling, at least, for jail time for adulterers?

Although Jesus himself left no systematic body of teaching, your concluding paragraphs take the view, a common interpretation of Christianity, according to which the ancient nation of Israel was a primitive, primordial, outmoded society that was marvelously surpassed by Christianity. Nonetheless, your words are supportive of my previously stated contention, namely: Only no-good Christians take Lev 20:10 and 13 at their word.

In our society, homosexuals ought not to be put to death. They ought not to be subject to discrimination, as they historically have been. They ought not to be denied the same rights as others have. If the devout vehemently assure them that they are condemned to hell for their sexual orientation, that may be tolerable for them if they can meet like-minded others there who share the same fate.

Faith said...

Dear psi bond,
I believe it was you who raised the topic of Islam, not I, and I was not the only one objecting to this presentation of the Hallelujah Chorus. Which of course you know but I suspect you like to create lying insinuations in people's minds.

I personally would like to drop this discussion but it's very hard to ignore your accusations.

My view of Islam is not "rightwing" it's simply the truth. Of course the right wing does tend to support the truth where the left prefers to pretend that the Muslims don't want to kill us, which they pretend out of political correctness, not wanting to "offend" anyone, so blind are they even to the threat of murder. Forgive me if I wish the inevitable consequences might be felt by such blind people first. The Koran IS an evil book. I'm sure there will be more Hasans.

As for the Old Testament Law, I'm not sure why you are having so much trouble with what I said. I thought I was clear that the Law is the truth of God's judgment. The Law will judge every human being in the end, and it's written there for all to read so they can know what they will be judged FOR. Those who are in Christ are FREED FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAW, it no longer judges us because Christ paid the penalty of that Law in totality for all who believe in Him. But it does continue to judge everybody else. God gave us a way out, that's Christ. Meanwhile, the Law continues inexorably and it will stand at the very end.

Although we are free from the consequences of the law, the whole point is that Christ paid FOR OUR SINS, SO THAT WE CAN BE FREE OF SIN. We do not look to the Law, the Ten Commandments, but to God Himself for the power to obey Him -- and of course everything the Ten Commandments forbids and commands is to be found in Him. The Law is dead to us or we are dead to the Law. But it is not dead to you. Sin that is actually committed by Christians is to be avoided and repented of. Homosexuality remains a sin worthy of death. Also hetero adultery. Homosexuality is included in the Ten Commandments under adultery, which includes all sexual sin. God will judge it all in the end whether earthly governments do or not.

And as for earthly governments, although Christians are not a nation we are charged to be "salt and light" which implies attempts to keep earthly governments from committing suicide by such things as supporting sin, allowing homosexuality, allowing adultery, meaning not punishing these things, allowing abortion which is murder and so on. The USA and most of the nations of the west are today committing suicide by allowing these things. Christians oppose them because they are forbidden by God and because they inevitably bring God's judgments against nations that allow them. Oh, and there SHOULD be punishment for adultery according to the Bible. And there used to be in the US. The "blue laws," remember? But bit by bit all those laws have been thrown out so the whole nation is now exposed to God's judgments along with the individuals who practice such sins.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

No, Israel was not some primitive society, its whole mission was to be the preparation for the promised Messiah, promised since Eden and repeatedly promised through the prophets of Israel, God in human flesh come to save us from our sins. The Law demonstrates what we need to be saved FROM as nobody in this fallen world can perfectly obey it. Only Christ could obey it. All the history of Israel points to the Messiah, who was to be her completion and fulfillment. Which He was for those who understood the Old Testament. All the original believers in Christ were Jews you know. The nation as a whole rejected Him but God always has a "remnant" who are true to His word, as scripture says.

Your view of "our society" is exactly what is bringing us under God's judgment as a nation. Exactly why we are being more and more exposed to Islamic forms of retribution and the Islamic ambition to take over the whole world and make it bow to Allah. I wonder how well you'll like that when it comes about. If a nation is run by God, however, by the Ten Commandments, yes, you can be punished for adultery, including homosexuality, but the punishment won't be beheading, you won't have to bow to Mecca five times a day and your wife won't have to wear a burqa. Of course if Islam takes over you will be very happy that there won't be any pesky Christians around to bother you since we'll all either have been beheaded for refusal to bow to Allah or consigned to dhimmitude.

Faith said...

And one more thing, psi bond, I'm not parroting any rightwing line about Islam. I was showing the true colors of the Koran at Front Page soon after 9/11 when most of the conservative comments there were as politically correct as you are about Islam, many of them following a particular "conservative" poster I won't name, with whom I had battle after battle about Islam, and most of the other posters there were in her thrall. Eventually I had one other and then two others on my side, but it took a LONG time for the "right wing" to see the handwriting on the wall about Islam. Front Page would post articles condemning "Wahabbi" Islam, which of course was the most virulent fundamentalist version at the time, while failing to point to the Koran as the legitimate basis for the murderous version. I was SO glad when Front Page started making the case they are now making against Islam as such. Not that there aren't "good" Muslims of course, but they aren't TRUE Muslims if they are. I happened to know something about the true nature of Islam because I read a revealing book about it right before 9/11, to which I believe God led me.

Z said...

Faith, how would you propose the government punish homosexuals?

Faith said...

I wouldn't propose it, Z, I wouldn't know what to propose, I'm only saying that some form of punishment WOULD be the case under a government ruled by the Bible.

Faith said...

I'm happy to live and let live about it myself, up to the point of gay parades anyway, up to the point of legislation granting homosexual marriage, up to the point of legitimizing it as a valid "lifestyle" etc. etc. etc.

Faith said...

There was a REASON it was treated so severely in the Old Testament, though we aren't in a position to fully grasp that reason. God isn't irrational, He was protecting His people from influences that would corrupt them.

There are spiritual factors involved in sin, demonic influence, contagion of sorts that we aren't in a position to understand.

The same laws apply to heterosexual adultery. Under the OT half this nation would have been stoned to death by now.

Also, people may be "born with" the inclination to homosexuality, but that doesn't make it normal; there can be many reasons for its taking over in childhood. Sin is something we partially inherit from our ancestors for one thing --if we didn't inherit Adam's sin, for instance, no infants would ever die, and there are plenty of ancestors between Adam and ourselves who have also contributed to our inheritance.

Sorry to be so politically incorrect but I'm trying to be true to what I get from the Bible.

And then, there's ALWAYS repentance and turning to Christ no matter WHAT our sin. But I'm trying to discuss the question of how a government should be run -- on OT principles? Or not? Or to some extent? Etc. I try to think about this from time to time. Have to admit I haven't solved it to my satisfaction.

Faith said...

As I understand it, quite a bit of American law, following on English law, was based on Old Testament principles. I'm sure it's too big a study for me but it would be nice to know what the legal minds of the time said about these things.

Z said...

You bring up excellent points and considerations, FAITh, thanks.

Today, I heard a letter by a gay man read on radio; he lives with his partner in some technically legal way and was right in suggesting that he can't marry where HE lives but heterosexuals who CAN treat marriage so cavalierly, living together instead of marrying, making no commitment etc...he said straights ought to clean up their OWN house before slamming gays and I tend to agree with him.

I'm not SURE God would punish gays under a Godly government...we all sin, we all fall short and we certainly don't hate a gossip or philanderer..so why hate a homosexual and punish him?
I'm curious about your answer because I'm not solid in my thoughts yet; you always put things into words better than I can, and reading your response might help me solidify my own.

Faith said...

Soon as we call it "slamming" gays or "hating" them the whole legal question gets confused and lost. There has to be a good reason for any legal position, and that's what I'd be looking for, not "hate." The question is whether there is social benefit to punishing sexual sins -- all sexual sins, not just homosexual sins -- and that's why I'm wondering how the legal minds who supported such laws based on the Bible thought about it. I don't think we can just say they had some sort of irrational hate -- that's the easy politically correct thinking we have today but I'm not sure it's fair. I'd really like to know the thinking on it. I'm only thinking about it now, of course, because psi bond made an accusation of Christians and I had to realize that founding laws on the Bible does seem to lead to laws against such things.

I agree, it should have started already with straight abuses of marriage, with divorce, with multiple marriages, with today's casual acceptance of unmarried parents and with abortion too. If we allow all that it's no wonder we have the question of allowing gay marriage.

psi bond said...

Dear psi bond,
I believe it was you who raised the topic of Islam, not I, and I was not the only one objecting to this presentation of the Hallelujah Chorus. Which of course you know but I suspect you like to create lying insinuations in people's minds
.

I didn’t insinuate that you raised the topic of Islam. I stated that you introduced the theme of demonization of Islam, which is factually true. I did not say or insinuate that you were “the only one objecting to this presentation [performance] of the Hallelujah Chorus” I said there were a “few contentious exceptions” among posters expressing appreciation of the performance. Which is true as well. I suspect you enjoy justifying yourself by mendaciously distorting what I actually said.

I personally would like to drop this discussion but it's very hard to ignore your accusations.

Well, I ain’t the one pursuing it and making false accusations about the other.

My view of Islam is not "rightwing" it's simply the truth.

The view that Islam is inherently evil is promoted only by rightwingers.

Of course the right wing does tend to support the truth where the left prefers to pretend that the Muslims don't want to kill us, which they pretend out of political correctness, not wanting to "offend" anyone, so blind are they even to the threat of murder. Forgive me if I wish the inevitable consequences might be felt by such blind people first. The Koran IS an evil book. I'm sure there will be more Hasans.

Contrary to your false assumptions, it is not the truth that the Koran advocates indiscriminate killing of infidels. Nonetheless, it is a widespread view among rightwingers that it does. Although you wish folks like me killed by Muslims, the truth is: It is radical Muslims not Muslims who want to murder us. It is not a question of not wanting to offend anyone or of political correctness (the all-purpose argument of the right), but of respecting good people of all faiths. Islam is not the religion of Satan, as many on the right declare. Nor is Christianity a Satanic religion because of many who have done cruel things in its name.

The true question is not your faith that there will be more Hasans (which is a no-brainer prediction), but why haven't there been many Hasans already. For, if the Koran is, as you suppose, an evil book saying it "wants" people to do like Hasan, then it is clear that it has been largely ignored by Muslims in America.

As for the Old Testament Law, I'm not sure why you are having so much trouble with what I said. I thought I was clear that the Law is the truth of God's judgment. The Law will judge every human being in the end, and it's written there for all to read so they can know what they will be judged FOR. Those who are in Christ are FREED FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAW, it no longer judges us because Christ paid the penalty of that Law in totality for all who believe in Him. But it does continue to judge everybody else. God gave us a way out, that's Christ. Meanwhile, the Law continues inexorably and it will stand at the very end.

Thanks for the ardent albeit unsolicited sermon, but you seem to have a lot of trouble clearly articulating why your understanding of Christian Law and U.S. law should be merged into one law, in defiance of the Constitution. The Law stands at the very end? Should it be tacked onto the Constitution with a post-it note?

psi bond said...

Although we are free from the consequences of the law, the whole point is that Christ paid FOR OUR SINS, SO THAT WE CAN BE FREE OF SIN. We do not look to the Law, the Ten Commandments, but to God Himself for the power to obey Him -- and of course everything the Ten Commandments forbids and commands is to be found in Him. The Law is dead to us or we are dead to the Law. But it is not dead to you. Sin that is actually committed by Christians is to be avoided and repented of. Homosexuality remains a sin worthy of death. Also hetero adultery. Homosexuality is included in the Ten Commandments under adultery, which includes all sexual sin. God will judge it all in the end whether earthly governments do or no.

You freely confuse your belief with established fact.

You should know that you left your caps key on during part of the sermon above, as if you were hysterically shouting.

It follows from what you say that the Ten Commandments are not to be enacted as such into law by national governments.

No one ought to be held accountable for his sexual orientation by the earthly authorities. No one ought to be barred for that reason from serving in the military.

Adultery means marital infidelity, not “all sexual sin”. That is a wildly interpretive non-literal reading. Adultery in the Bible also includes anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman, or a man who marries a divorced woman (Luke 16:18). I suppose all must be punished under the law inspired by your god. So, Ronald Reagan, apparently, would have been a miscreant.

Matthew 19:9: I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. So Jesus told his followers.

And as for earthly governments, although Christians are not a nation we are charged to be "salt and light" which implies attempts to keep earthly governments from committing suicide by such things as supporting sin, allowing homosexuality, allowing adultery, meaning not punishing these things, allowing abortion which is murder and so on. The USA and most of the nations of the west are today committing suicide by allowing these things. Christians oppose them because they are forbidden by God and because they inevitably bring God's judgments against nations that allow them. Oh, and there SHOULD be punishment for adultery according to the Bible. And there used to be in the US. The "blue laws," remember? But bit by bit all those laws have been thrown out so the whole nation is now exposed to God's judgments along with the individuals who practice such sins.

Where are all those Christians demanding that the blue laws be strengthened or re-introduced, anxious about securing the nation from God’s wrath (supernatural security)? Most of the blue laws, which were concerned with respecting and observing the Christian Sabbath, have been found unconstitutional or have been unenforced. But this is not a recent turn of events.

Where are all the other Christians besides you demanding the incarceration of adulterers and homosexuals?

psi bond said...

Concluded

If “there SHOULD be punishment for adultery according to the Bible,” as you decree, why aren’t they seen or heard from in the streets and the corridors of Congress? If anything can bring about the demise of the Republican Party, it would be radicals in its conservative base demanding a plank in the GOP platform to support punishment of homosexuals and adulterers (including those, condemned by Jesus, who remarry after divorcing). Providing for the consequent influx of millions of new prisoners into the criminal justice system would consume much more than one sixth of the economy; the good news is, the huge hole it would blow in the job market can be partially fulfilled by the many now unemployed and by retraining many others. The World Council of Churches has objected to a proposed Ugandan law calling for the jailing and possible execution of homosexuals. It is only a tiny minority of Christians, of which you are a part, that wants such extreme measures in this country, just as it is only a tiny minority of Muslims that distorts Islam for its extreme ends. Whether they are anticipating the Apocalypse promised in Revelation or the Twelfth Imam of Islamic prophecy, their radicalism has much in common.

psi bond said...

No, Israel was not some primitive society, its whole mission was to be the preparation for the promised Messiah, promised since Eden and repeatedly promised through the prophets of Israel, God in human flesh come to save us from our sins. The Law demonstrates what we need to be saved FROM as nobody in this fallen world can perfectly obey it. Only Christ could obey it. All the history of Israel points to the Messiah, who was to be her completion and fulfillment. Which He was for those who understood the Old Testament. All the original believers in Christ were Jews you know. The nation as a whole rejected Him but God always has a "remnant" who are true to His word, as scripture says.

I’m sure Jews will be proud to learn that they have paved the way for the perfection of Judaism in Christianity, the chosen faith. Mazel tov!

Your view of "our society" is exactly what is bringing us under God's judgment as a nation. Exactly why we are being more and more exposed to Islamic forms of retribution and the Islamic ambition to take over the whole world and make it bow to Allah. I wonder how well you'll like that when it comes about. If a nation is run by God, however, by the Ten Commandments, yes, you can be punished for adultery, including homosexuality, but the punishment won't be beheading, you won't have to bow to Mecca five times a day and your wife won't have to wear a burqa. Of course if Islam takes over you will be very happy that there won't be any pesky Christians around to bother you since we'll all either have been beheaded for refusal to bow to Allah or consigned to dhimmitude.
If adultery is “all sexual sin”, why do you continue to distinguish between it and homosexuality.

Faith, your view of American society is exactly what is bringing recruits to al Qaeda. The opinion that we must fight Muslims because they are Muslims, because Islam is evil, enables recruiters to claim we are waging a war against Islam. They can thus say the faith is under attack and must be defended, just as you say Christianity must be defended.

The false accusations about liberals that you propagate notwithstanding, a theocratic Muslim state is no less abhorrent to liberals than a state, such as you advocate, which punishes homosexuals as homosexuals and adulterers as adulterers, as well as those who refuse to bow and worship the God of Israel, which is also a demand of the Ten Commandments.

psi bond said...

Faith: And one more thing, psi bond, I'm not parroting any rightwing line about Islam.

I didn't say you were parroting anything, Faith. I said you are passionately promulgating the extreme rightwing line. In your own hysterical fashion.

I pray God will lead you to see that that is the truth. Even Mark Steyn, playing substitute host for Sean Hannity on Fox Tuesday, was careful to make a distinction between radical Islam and Islam, since, as with Christianity, Islam per se is not the cause of evil.

Historically, the right has always championed the worthiness of a privileged class. These days, the self-righteous religious right is that class.

And one more thing: I’m sure you’re not parroting Christian theology either. No, you got it from a book God led you to read.

Oh, and another thing, Faith: The radical idea of punishment within the U.S. legal system for adulterers and homosexuals is evidently too far out on the lunatic fringe for even Z to endorse unless challenged to do so, as I suspect it is for most rightwing posters here.

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Faith said...

Merry Christmas, psi bond.

psi bond said...

Faith: Oh well, trying to correct your misreadings and intentional misreadings is probably not worth it.

This is dishonest “strategery”, putting the blame for your demonstrable misreadings on me. What was not worth it was making deliberately false accusations against me.

What I wrote about The Law standing at the end has nothing to do with American law, only with God's Law. It will judge everyone at the end, except those who take refuge in Christ, since it has already judged Him for the sake of all who believe in Him.

You are misreading. What I said about what you said about God’s Law at the end was intended humorously. But I do not judge you for not understanding that, for he whom you believe in has judged you already. Amen.

Then something you said got me to pondering how God's Law relates to earthly laws.

I pointed out that we do not criminalize adultery and homosexuality between consenting adults in our country, although only the latter is the target of much protestation from rightwingers. They ought not to be treated like rape, which is rightly a serious crime. Rightwingers are strongly opposed to government intrusion, or say they are, yet the religious right would evidently like to see the power of the government expanded into the bedroom, and mourns the waning of the era when state and local governments in the U.S. could order businesses to stay closed on the Christian Sabbath.

According to Wikipedia: “In the United States, laws vary from state to state. In those states where adultery is still on the statute book (although rarely prosecuted), penalties vary from life sentence (Michigan), to a fine of $10 (Maryland), to a Class I felony (Wisconsin). In the U.S. Military, adultery is a potential court-martial offense. The enforceability of adultery laws in the United States has been / is being questioned following Supreme Court decisions since 1965 relating to privacy and sexual intimacy of consenting adults, in cases such as Lawrence v. Texas; however, occasional prosecutions occur.”

The US is now so far out of control with respect to God's Law that we are now getting His judgment against us and it can only get worse. A lot of it has to do with legal permissiveness toward all the sexual sins. How legal restraints should rightly work I don't know, that's what I was pondering.

At first you stated that adulterers and homosexuals should be punished by the law of this country. Now it seems you are rethinking and pondering that ridiculous position. That’s progress.

I don't expect you to know anything about Christian theology, but you should take what I say about it seriously. Christian interpreters regard the commandment against adultery to refer to all sexual sins.

If what you say is correct, Christians interpreters misinterpret Leviticus. Adultery, homosexuality, and other forms of sexual conduct are separately itemized for condemnation there. As they are in many other Christian texts.

psi bond said...

Concluded

I'm personally not "demanding" anything, I'm pondering the question of the role of God's Law in earthly law. Personally I see no way to turn back the tide and we're headed straight for God's judgments, are already in the beginnings of them.

God’s Law, whether Christian or Muslim or some other religion, has no role to play in U.S. law under the Constitution, as courts have ruled.

Islam is likely to be a big part of God's judgment against us, already is, already was on 9/11, already is in Europe too for that matter. That's how all this ties together though I may have wandered off the main track.

I don’t think you can get there from the Hallelujah Chorus. Falwell and Pat Robertson, right after 9/11, said something similar to what you are saying. They were obliged to apologize for blaming America, which is a serious no-no to many rightwingers’ thinking.

From my reading of the Bible, God swore off the destruction business after Sodom and Gomorrah went down. Don’t let all your prophecies scare you silly, Faith.

You are deluded about the true nature of Islam, as most on the Left are.

Mark Steyn is no liberal, but he understands that Islam and radical Islam are not at all the same thing. You do not understand the true nature of Islam if you believe the Koran is saying it “wants” indiscriminate killing of infidels.

You must realize, if you are not delusional, that the notion that I am deluded is just your opinion. Opinions are not facts.

Why not more Hasans yet? Well, there are quite a few "liberal" Muslims in America for one thing, "good" Muslims rather than true Muslims. But also, when power is against them, Muslims do not act on their beliefs. So far power is still against them in America, but the gap is closing. A lot of it thanks to your sort of thinking.

So, folks who fit the stereotype you have of me, must they be eliminated? Am I an existential threat to America in your opinion? What you want to call “liberal” Muslims are Muslims who know that the Koran does not “want” indiscriminate killing of infidels. There have not been many Hasan-types acting when superior power is against them because most Muslims understand the Koran, not the perversion of it that the rightwing aggressively promotes for its political purposes.

Most rightwingers don't see these problems from a Biblical perspective either and may indeed relegate it all to the lunatic fringe.

Moderate conservatives see the ultra-religious right, those yearning for God to be a force in civil government, as the lunatic fringe. This lunatic fringe wants intrusive government measures like criminalizing adultery and homosexuality, commanding worship of the God of Israel, and enforcing the Ten Commandments---all to defend the country against their god’s hypothesized wrath, to appease the volcano god, as it were. This primitive fear of God is a very ancient one that used to be fodder for silly Hollywood movies.

I ABSOLUTELY NEVER SAID WE MUST "FIGHT" ISLAM. Christians shouldn't fight ANYONE, and in fact I'm at odds with the right wing on this very issue.

You insinuated it sub rosa. You declared that the Koran is an evil book and a person is absolutely no good if he practices Islam faithfully. Those are fighting words, insulting words. Though not the case, if they were true, the logical response would be to fight Islam.

However, both moderate rightwingers and liberals believe we must fight radical Islam---not Islam.

psi bond said...

Faith: I also never said Christianity "must be defended." You really cannot read.

You did not use those words but you indicated this country is under threat from the wrath of your god because Christian Law is being ignored. So, the remedy must be to defend Christianity and the Law of its god. You really seem naïve about the implications of what you say.

And yes, I KNOW that the Left wouldn't like a theocratic Muslim state, and in fact what got me off on this tangent was pointing out that you'd like it even less than a Bible-based government -- WHICH I WAS NOT ADVOCATING. Yikes. I DON'T KNOW to what extent or how God's Law should be a basis for earthly government, I really do not know. If I knew I WOULD advocate it.

To liberal thinking, a theocratic Muslim state is no more abhorrent than a state in which Christian Law supplants U.S. constitutional law. They are equally egregious violations of freedom of religion.

You said: And as for earthly governments, although Christians are not a nation we are charged to be "salt and light" which implies attempts to keep earthly governments from committing suicide by such things as supporting sin, allowing homosexuality, allowing adultery

That is as strong an advocacy of not allowing homosexuality and adultery as I have heard anywhere.

I AM saying we might get a theocratic Muslim state as judgment against us because of our violations of God's Law.

That is exactly how I read your previous anxious pronouncements. I am saying that that is the portentous nonsense thriving in the lunatic fringe. That is what I AM saying.

psi bond said...

Faith: I'm unable to judge whether I misread you or not as you claim but I'm sorry if so.

It does not take great reading skill to determine that you did misread. If I say “a few contentious exceptions” there is no way one can conclude I am saying that you are the sole exception. And so on.

I'm not shouting, I'm not hysterical, but you like to think of me that way. All caps serve as emphases. Think of them as italics.

You are hyper-defensive. It was a (typographical) JOKE. Try to think of it as it was intended.

I DO NOT "want" anything I've been talking about. Why can't you read? I'm discussing this purely objectively. I DON'T KNOW to what extent God's Law should figure in earthly law, I really do not know. I know it has been applied at times and I'm interested to know how it was thought through.

Why can’t you explain yourself clearly? That is, assuming you haven’t really had a change of mind after thinking through what you said. Whether you know it or not, courts have found that “God’s Law” has no place in U.S. constitutional law, whatever the religion may be. The law in this country is designed to promote civil order and the general welfare, not to appease the anger of somebody’s god. Though sins in some religions, homosexuality and adultery are private matters and not the proper business of government. As is whether one worships the God of Israel (first commandment) or violates the tenth commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.” Thought crimes such as that cannot be legislated.

I DO know, however, that whenever a nation VIOLATES God's Law that we come under His judgment and that is certainly the case in America now.

You may not understand this, but that is not something you know. It is some thing you believe. Deeply held beliefs are not facts.

And I suppose you are ignorant of the fact that the World Council of Churches is a notoriously liberal "Christian" group that is rejected by Bible based churches.

You suppose incorrectly. I have long known what rightwingers think of the World Council of Churches. But it is not only them who are concerned about the Ugandan law penalizing homosexuality. There are other clerics who are concerned.

But dear psi bond, I've merely learned again that it's impossible to have a reasonable discussion with you.

Yes, Faith, it is indeed impossible since you are unable to admit honestly what you actually said.

Have a pleasant holiday.

My holiday would go much better if you can admit unambiguously that you falsely accused me.

But have a healthy, happy new year anyway.

Faith said...

OK, I'll try it again. Because of something you brought up, which I don't remember, I was pondering what sorts of laws a nation would have based on the Old Testament because whatever they are they would be more tolerable to a good leftie like you than Sharia law would be. And I know it has been legally done to some extent. In this context it's irrelevant what WE do, what laws WE have, what WE think would be proper justice, I'm just trying to spell out what the Bible would require.

That's why I'm interested in reading some old legal writings that tried to accomplish this. We aren't Israel and we can't have all the laws they had, and certainly not their punishments, so what laws WOULD be appropriate? In this context I told you that I know of Christian exegetes of the Ten Commandments -- probably this is most common in the Reformed and Puritan traditions -- who take each and show how it encompasses far more than it appears to at first glance, so that the commandment against adultery, for instance, encompasses all sexual sin including homosexual sin.

You mention that Leviticus separates out different sins. Yes, it is understood by the same exegetes I'm talking about that all the laws enumerated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are a spelling out of what is included in the Ten Commandments; that is, every law has its heading there. But we also need to be educated about specific applications. (The MORAL laws I mean. There is a category called ceremonial law that is not part of the Ten Commandments.)

Psi bond, I did NOT say that I believe that adulterers and homosexuals SHOULD BE punished by the laws of this country. Please find where I said any such thing. I was saying what laws based on the Bible WOULD do. I don't have a settled opinion about this yet. Since half the nation or more would have been stoned to death under the old Law I can't very well want that Law in place as written. My concerns start with knowing that the nation is under God's judgment for violations of God's laws because we've not only abandoned them we've even reversed them in some cases and made near virtues out of violating them -- abortion (murder) a case in point, gay "rights" a case in point. How I would want to see these things dealt with legally I haven't any idea except that what we are doing now is in the opposite direction and is national suicide, so obviously I'm for SOME restraint, but don't put words in my mouth.

(Funny how people will say this never was a Christian country and then point out that we used to have laws against adultery and against businesses being open on Sunday.)

Faith said...

God hardly "swore off" judging nations and I have no idea how you get that out of the Bible. I knew when the twin towers were hit that this was God's judgment. There is no other explanation if you believe in a sovereign omnipotent God and you know anything about the Old Testament, which spells out how God deals with nations. Even so, 9/11 was a love tap compared to what real judgment would look like, and I have to suppose that since the nation hasn't repented more is coming.

Yes, I'm at odds with the right wing about this, but I certainly don't agree with the idiot left who think Islam was righteously angered. Islam is just God's tool. All through the OT God uses heathen nations to punish even His own people. Then He punishes them in their turn.

I cringed at the "God bless America" response of most of the nation. Biblically a nation should humble itself and repent under such circumstances, and even some past Presidents had the good sense to call for days of fasting and prayer for protection of the nation. But we lack the health-giving fear of God they had.

You have your mind closed about the true nature of Islam so I won't waste any more breath on it.

But I never said that "a person who practices" Islam is "no good." Christians don't label PEOPLE as evil -- or shouldn't anyway -- knowing we're all sinners. I believe Muslims are victims of the Koran and need to be set free from it.

Again, no, I'm not for fighting anyone.

Faith said...

No, psi bond, again, the implications you find in my remarks are incorrect. I do NOT believe we are to "defend Christianity." I believe we are to REPENT, and that means Christians too, for everything we've done to further the situation that is bringing the nation under judgment.

By saying we are "allowing" adultery and homosexuality I had in mind something more like freely encouraging it. NOT allowing it would mean not freely encouraging it. But yes, I do think laws should be stricter against such things, that divorce should be harder, that adulterers should be punished in some way, and that homosexuals should live discreetly as they always used to do, that gay marriage can't happen, that gay parades should be disallowed and so on.

I really really think you are going to dislike Sharia law far more than anything Christians would ever impose on you.

Faith said...

Sorry, but I absolutely DO KNOW that God punishes nations that violate His law. Yes, I KNOW that.

As for court cases that have expunged all hint of God's Law from our legal system, I'm sure you can guess what I think of that. The OT Law WAS part of our original legal system, and the fact that such laws ever were on the books is proof that we were once a Christian nation. Individual laws probably needed to be modified, but to declare the whole class of such laws to be unconstitutional is really an evil joke, and a big part of how we are now deserving of God's judgment.

I'm not talking about thought crimes and your tossing that into this just breeds confusion. I'm talking only about actions that have a public impact.

I haven't thought about the Ugandan law. Perhaps it is too strict. But when the WCC gets through with them they'll have gay parades too.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

I know this is over your head, but "freedom of religion" always meant freedom to PRACTICE religion, practice it FREELY, in the public square etc, in school and anywhere, and the Founders were very clear that they espoused Christian morality and thought it indispensable to the success of the nation. The laws that supported Christian morality were perfectly constitutional, as are the Christian prayers that were inaugurated to open and close government business, inaugurated by the same men who wrote the First Amendment.

Unfortunately they WERE ignorant about some other religions to which they also granted freedom, such as Islam. Too bad. Fly in the ointment there.

Christians are to be salt and light as I said, which is why we exercise our legitimate political rights as far as we are able toward preserving the nation against the deteriorations we are talking about here. As for these pertaining merely to the "Christian" God, I would point out that some version of all the Ten Commandments exist in every people group on earth. The Ten Commandments are merely the most perfect version of them. Even unbelieving individuals have the Law of God "written on their hearts," and this is what will judge you in the end. Even you, therefore, know that much of what you are advocating is morally wrong though you deny it, I suppose because of your hatred of Christianity.

But although we are to do what we can to preserve God's Law in this corrupted world, when the nation goes completely to the dogs as it is doing, and we are under laws that deny God, and when it comes to our being put under Sharia law or whatever and what influence we can have is practically nonexistent, we do have the luxury of knowing our citizenship is elsewhere, not in this world.

psi bond said...

OK, I'll try it again.

You won’t gain many converts with that haughty, self-righteous attitude.

Because of something you brought up, which I don't remember,

I said, regarding adultery and homosexuality, there’s a marked disparity in rightwingers’ zeal to follow your god’s Law. By the way, rape does not seem to have been treated with the seriousness that it is today. It gets no mention in the Ten Commandments.

I was pondering what sorts of laws a nation would have based on the Old Testament because whatever they are they would be more tolerable to a good leftie like you than Sharia law would be.

Faith, good righties like you ought to understand that the Law of anyone’s god is intolerable to liberal thinking, on principle. Whether Sharia or Old Testament statutes, it would be protested. Whether yours or someone else’s or one’s own religion.

And I know it has been legally done to some extent. In this context it's irrelevant what WE do, what laws WE have, what WE think would be proper justice, I'm just trying to spell out what the Bible would require.

The Bible is not legitimate as basis for law under the Constitution. The Bible has no authority to require the U.S. to adopt any law entailing the establisment of religion. What “the Bible would require” is irrelevant.

That's why I'm interested in reading some old legal writings that tried to accomplish this. We aren't Israel and we can't have all the laws they had [have], and certainly not their punishments, so what laws WOULD be appropriate? In this context I told you that I know of Christian exegetes of the Ten Commandments -- probably this is most common in the Reformed and Puritan traditions -- who take each and show how it encompasses far more than it appears to at first glance, so that the commandment against adultery, for instance, encompasses all sexual sin including homosexual sin.

That doesn’t surprise me. Religious interpreters can find whatever they need in the Bible to support their modern requirements. In early U.S. history, aws against adultery were passed not by the federal government, but by some of the states, where the penalty ranged from a fine of $10 to life imprisonment.

Does life imprisonment for adulterers seem appropriate to you for a sin that the Bible specified the death penalty?

You mention that Leviticus separates out different sins. Yes, it is understood by the same exegetes I'm talking about that all the laws enumerated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are a spelling out of what is included in the Ten Commandments; that is, every law has its heading there. But we also need to be educated about specific applications. (The MORAL laws I mean. There is a category called ceremonial law that is not part of the Ten Commandments.)

Who are these interpreters? A reference, please. The Bible recognizes different degrees of heinousness among sexual sins. For instance, the rape of one’s virgin daughter is preferred to the rape of a male guest (Judges 19:24).

Wikipedia says:

Adultery is referred to as extramarital sex, philandery, or infidelity, but does not include fornication. The term "adultery" for many people carries a moral or religious association, while the term "extramarital sex" is morally or judgmentally neutral.
.....

The term adultery has a Judeo-Christian origin, though the concept of marital fidelity predates Judaism and is found in many other societies. Though the definition and consequences vary between religions, cultures, and legal jurisdictions, the concept is similar in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Hinduism has a similar concept
.

psi bond said...

Concluded

Jesus taught that indulgence in adulterous thoughts could be just as harmful to the soul as actual adultery, and it is clear that both carry the same weight of guilt:

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28).

That is to say, thought crimes count in the Bible.

Psi bond, I did NOT say that I believe that adulterers and homosexuals SHOULD BE punished by the laws of this country. Please find where I said any such thing. I was saying what laws based on the Bible WOULD do.

You said, for example, “We DO understand the Law to be an accurate reflection of God's mind on all the matters discussed, of course, so when He says adultery and homosexual acts deserve to be punished by death we know He means it -- they are sins worthy of death.”

This is clearly a reference to an appropriate earthly penalty for adulterers and homosexuals. For there are no punishments of death in any putative next world; one is already dead. You leave open the question of whether the deserved punishment should be applied by an earthly government or by self-righteous vigilantes. If this was not your at the time of writing (second thoughts are inadmissible in this case), then your communicative skills are virtually nil.

I don't have a settled opinion about this yet. Since half the nation or more would have been stoned to death under the old Law I can't very well want that Law in place as written.

Perhaps, you’d only have to stone about 25%, according to some surveys.

My concerns start with knowing that the nation is under God's judgment for violations of God's laws because we've not only abandoned them we've even reversed them in some cases and made near virtues out of violating them -- abortion (murder) a case in point, gay "rights" a case in point. How I would want to see these things dealt with legally I haven't any idea except that what we are doing now is in the opposite direction and is national suicide, so obviously I'm for SOME restraint, but don't put words in my mouth.

You did it to yourself. Now, hectically backtracking, you pull them back out.

You do not know “the nation is under God's judgment for violations of God's laws”. You believe that. If you are open to cases in point, then consider Afghanistan under the Taliban. The Taliban government strictly prohibited adultery, yet that government no longer exists and the country is occupied by foreign troops. On the other hand, consider China. It does not criminalize adultery, yet, despite its longtime brutal suppression of human rights, it is close to being the world’s foremost economic power

(Funny how people will say this never was a Christian country and then point out that we used to have laws against adultery and against businesses being open on Sunday.)

The federal government of the U.S. did not enact any such laws (which would be unconstitutional); some state and local governments did enact laws of varying severity. So, on the federal level, it was not a Christian country.

What’s funny is how rightwingers will declare they want limited government, and then be supportive of laws that prohibit adultery and homosexuality and opening businesses on the Christian Sabbath, thereby intruding into private behavior and the free market.

They sanctimoniously deplore “a nanny state” but they want the government to look out for our Christian morals in the bedroom and on main street on Sunday.

psi bond said...

God hardly "swore off" judging nations and I have no idea how you get that out of the Bible.

I did not say that. I said he swore off destroying them.

I knew when the twin towers were hit that this was God's judgment.

You believe that. You cannot know that.

There is no other explanation if you believe in a sovereign omnipotent God and you know anything about the Old Testament, which spells out how God deals with nations. Even so, 9/11 was a love tap compared to what real judgment would look like, and I have to suppose that since the nation hasn't repented more is coming.

Your biblical forebodings are scaring you silly again. One alternative explanation is that God allows free will and stuff happens. He reserves all of his judgment for the next world. Mass punishment, as practiced in tyrannical countries, is not his game.

Yes, I'm at odds with the right wing about this, but I certainly don't agree with the idiot left who think Islam was righteously angered. Islam is just God's tool. All through the OT God uses heathen nations to punish even His own people. Then He punishes them in their turn.

You may like to think so, but you are not at odds with the far right, Faith. I have frequently heard on the rightwing blogosphere this imbecilic interpretation of modern events.

I cringed at the "God bless America" response of most of the nation. Biblically a nation should humble itself and repent under such circumstances, and even some past Presidents had the good sense to call for days of fasting and prayer for protection of the nation. But we lack the health-giving fear of God they had.

Many on the right believe America is God’s chosen nation. And 9/11, which killed about 3000 ordinary people, was a divine message that the country was on the wrong track morally. Falwell, Robertson, and preachers of that sort promoted that self-aggrandizing interpretation.

You have your mind closed about the true nature of Islam so I won't waste any more breath on it.

You have a closed mind to the evidence. The Koran doesn’t call for indiscriminate killing of infidels. That is vicious rightwing propaganda that you have locked onto.

But I never said that "a person who practices" Islam is "no good." Christians don't label PEOPLE as evil -- or shouldn't anyway -- knowing we're all sinners. I believe Muslims are victims of the Koran and need to be set free from it
.

You clearly indicated that a Muslim who practices his faith is not good. Only so-called “liberal” Muslims were good, in your opinion.

Again, no, I'm not for fighting anyone.

Well, you fooled me with your implacable tone here. In my humble opinion, we should be fighting. Radical Islam should be fought as a serious threat to the secular way of life Americans can enjoy in this country.

psi bond said...

Sorry, but I absolutely DO KNOW that God punishes nations that violate His law. Yes, I KNOW that.

You confuse knowledge with belief. There is no way you can KNOW what you claim to know. Hysterical insistence that you know is only evidence of the fanatical strength of your belief. China, which has no adultery laws, prospers. The Taliban, who were harsh in dealing with adultery, are no more.

As for court cases that have expunged all hint of God's Law from our legal system, I'm sure you can guess what I think of that. The OT Law WAS part of our original legal system, and the fact that such laws ever were on the books is proof that we were once a Christian nation. Individual laws probably needed to be modified, but to declare the whole class of such laws to be unconstitutional is really an evil joke, and a big part of how we are now deserving of God's judgment.

The U.S. was never a Christian nation by your definition; there were never blue laws and punishment of adultery on the federal level.

I'm not talking about thought crimes and your tossing that into this just breeds confusion. I'm talking only about actions that have a public impact.

In the Bible (OT and NT), thought crimes exist. You were considering incorporating biblical law into U.S. law.

I haven't thought about the Ugandan law. Perhaps it is too strict. But when the WCC gets through with them they'll have gay parades too.

Ha! When the WCC gets through with them they will not only have gay parades, but a homosexual bill of rights, thank God.

The Ugandan law is directly related to what you’ve been saying about punishment for homosexuality. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. So God must be showering his blessings on Uganda for being a light to the world, huh?

psi bond said...

I know this is over your head [is that how Christians speak?], but "freedom of religion" always meant freedom to PRACTICE religion, practice it FREELY, in the public square etc, in school and anywhere, and the Founders were very clear that they espoused Christian morality and thought it indispensable to the success of the nation. The laws that supported Christian morality were perfectly constitutional, as are the Christian prayers that were inaugurated to open and close government business, inaugurated by the same men who wrote the First Amendment.

I know this is alien to your rightie mindset, Faith, but most Americans understand freedom of religion to be freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. No one can tell them what to believe about the supernatural, not at home or in the public square or in the army or anywhere. Interestingly, in the First Congress, on September 25, 1789, the very day the Bill of Rights cleared both houses, New Jersey Representative Elias Boudinot introduced a bill recommending “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer”. South Carolina’s Thomas Tucker rose up in opposition: “It is a religious matter, and, as such, is proscribed to us. If a day of thanksgiving must take place, let it be done by the authority of the several States.” In 1802, Thomas Jefferson, as president, refused to proclaim a day of religious thanksgiving. Tucker and Jefferson, these were the same men who voted for the First Amendment.

Unfortunately they WERE ignorant about some other religions to which they also granted freedom, such as Islam. Too bad. Fly in the ointment there.

No, jewel in the crown. Freedom of religion applies to all religions without discrimination, however much some Christians disapprove.

Let me give you an overview of my complete understanding here. Christians are to be salt and light as I said, which is why we exercise our legitimate political rights as far as we are able toward preserving the nation against the deteriorations we are talking about here. As for these pertaining merely to the "Christian" God, I would point out that some version of all the Ten Commandments exist in every people group on earth. The Ten Commandments are merely the most perfect version of them. Even you, therefore, know that much of what you are advocating is morally wrong though you deny it, I suppose because of your hatred of Christianity.

Hence, you demonstrate that your overview is hysterically wrongheaded. I don’t hate Christianity per se. I have said nothing here to substantiate that view. That is just your ardent misreading of me. And I don’t advocate anything that I know to be wrong, despite what you believe of me. That would be acting from an evil motivation, like your stereotypical notion of a practicing Muslim. Apparently in your opinion, anyone opposing what you fanatically believe is thereby fundamentally evil, Faith.

So, you envision yourselves as the nation’s self-appointed guardians of Christian morals. Good luck with that.

The Ten Commandments are unconstitutional. They are clearly incompatible with the Bill of Rights.

psi bond said...

Concluded

But although we are to do what we can to preserve God's Law in this corrupted world, when the nation goes completely to the dogs as it is doing, and we are under laws that deny God, and when it comes to our being put under Sharia law or whatever and what influence we can have is practically nonexistent, we do have the luxury of knowing our citizenship is elsewhere, not in this world.

What was their name? I forget it. You remind me of that cult that thought it was going to be taken up to their home in heaven in a UFO. So they all killed themselves when a comet appeared. “Heaven’s Gate”, I think that was what it was called.

Yes. “On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult, all of whom had died by apparent suicide,” Wikipedia says. They also saw the world as corrupt. After a near-death experience, its founder, Marshall Applewhite, came to believe that he and his nurse, Bonnie Nettles, were "the Two", that is, the two witnesses spoken of in the Book of Revelation 11:3.

“USA is NOT our home.” You should make that into a bumper sticker, Faith. It might catch on.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

Happy New Year, psi bond.

psi bond said...

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
--Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom, 1821

By all means, rewrite history to fit your politicized view of Christianity, and remember, Faith, Heaven is our HOME, ya hear?

Faith said...

CHRISTIANITY is no part of the common law, psi bond, but the OLD TESTAMENT is, or was. The WAY we are/were a Christian nation has nothing to do with your chosen quotes from Jefferson.

In any case, the founders were incredibly naive to include Islam in their granting of freedom of religion.

And again, God judges all nations by His own Law, no matter what they base their law on.

Z said...

for heaven's sake, I doubt there's anybody who didn't think Jefferson was, at best, a Deist, and psi bond uses his quotes to make his point? How weak is that.
Let's see all the quotes by Washington and others. Oh, you can also find quotes that make him sound like a Deist if you ignore his Jesus quotes, too, by the way. Selective quoting.

Nobody's forcing anybody to be Christian, psi bond...I wish you the best; I hope Christianity's wrong, for nonbelievers' sakes. Honestly I do.

That American life was more moral, kinder, gentle, uplifting, when America acknowledged her Christian roots is irrefutable. Who wants the inability to empathize, sympathize, help, love, encourage that most Americans have stooped to? I don't. Give me back church going Americans who may not have been deliriously happy every minute but at least tried to, for example, stay married for the sake of their children and usually succeeded in raising good kids even if the parents' lives didn't have fresh new sex every year with someone new, who cared for their neighbors by taking food over and helping in times of strife, who wouldn't hurt others because they felt guilty (GUILTY? What a concept! where did THAT come from anyway?), who respected laws, who didn't give the finger when someone cut them off in the car because it's so rude and somebody they knew might see them (remember that concept?)

It kept us kind, it kept us moral, it kept the world turning on a more even, gentle keel; I miss it. I'm glad I knew it before liberals and secularists started mocking and chipping away at our freedoms which Christianity also championed. Sad.

psi bond said...

We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov.
--James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison Gaillard Hunt

Faith: CHRISTIANITY is no part of the common law, psi bond, but the OLD TESTAMENT is, or was. The WAY we are/were a Christian nation has nothing to do with your chosen quotes fro Jefferson.

So, the U.S. is a Jewish nation?

As much as you’d like to, you cannot write Thomas Jefferson out of history. Jefferson understood what folks like you wanted to do to this country, and he opposed it. There are others of the Founders who thought similarly.

For someone who previously insisted Christians don’t have a nation, it’s odd to see you now insisting that our country is a Christian nation.

The Old Testament is a fundamental element in CHRISTIANITY. The truth is the Ten Commandments are irreconcilable with the U.S. Constitution. Most of them are un-legislatable and unenforceable. Especially, thought crimes, which are also found in the New Testament, like the sin that a married man allegedly commits by lusting after another women, which Jesus said was also adultery. Following biblical law to the letter would demolish American democracy. For, in a democracy, the Bible does not make good American law.

In any case, the founders were incredibly naive to include Islam in their granting of freedom of religion.

Faith, that is your judgment of the Founders, for what it’s worth. It is naïve to assume that freedom of religion can exist if Islam, one of the religions based on the Old Testament, is prohibited, as was Christianity in the early Roman Empire. (Not to invoke any facile comparisons, but, In the case of Rome, prohibition and persecution led to official adoption, and to the collapse of the empire a century and a half thereafter.)

And again, God judges all nations by His own Law, no matter what they base their law on.

Your vehement statement of this religious opinion as if it were fact is merely an indication of the strength of your belief. It is not something you have any verifiable knowledge of. Nor is this blind fear of divine collective punishment anything by which elected leaders ought to be guided.

In any case, if, as you believe, it doesn’t matter on what it is nations base their law, biblical or not, then there can be no sure way to design the law to appease your god.

psi bond said...

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.
--George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.;
--James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt
______________________

As with the writing of history, a quotation is, by its very nature, selective. Nonetheless, to pretend, as the Christian right does, that the Founders were of one mind in wanting the U.S. to be a Christian nation is to be selective in the extreme. It’s weak historiography, besides. There was never a vote to make this a Christian nation, neither metaphorically nor literally.

Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, is one of the most important of the Founding Fathers. Given his clear-sightedness and timeless intelligence, his quotes are a strong base on which to found any position. Indeed, rightwingers have often quoted him when what he said was to their political liking.

Z: Nobody's forcing anybody to be Christian, psi bond...I wish you the best; I hope Christianity's wrong, for nonbelievers' sakes. Honestly I do.

Insisting ahistorically that the U.S. is or was or ought to be a Christian nation is, in effect, whether or not you know it, Z, a ruthless means of forcing non-Christians to pay some kind of tribute to Christianity---i.e., it is a rightwing Christian version of Islamic dhimmitude.

I do not wish, Z, as you unfairly assume, that Christianity be proven wrong. For the sake of you and its many other comforted believers, I hope it won’t be. Nor should any other religion be so proven. In fact, I am sure no religion will ever or can ever be empirically disproved; I honestly hope I’m right about that. I only want to be protected from zealots, of all kinds.

It ain’t me, Z, who gave you the finger. Not that I hope to modify your opinion, by the way, but, for the record, I have never given anyone the finger---on or off the road. It takes a certain kind of person, among both Christians and non-Christians, to do that, and I am not that kind.

For heaven’s sake, I don’t even say crude things like, “I know this is over your head [to quote Faith]”.

Z, you are falling into the fallacy of believing that good manners are impossible to acquire without devout adherence to Christianity. The unwise, often belligerent, doggedness many Christians show in claiming that Christianity is at the root of everything good in society is certainly not a good sign of their good manners, or their common sense.

I seriously doubt the U.S. will become a kinder, gentler, more moral nation if we jail those who, in mind or deed, commit homosexual or adulterous acts. Nor is pondering biblically motivated legislation to that effect likely to reduce the bitterness of the partisan conflict in this country.

psi bond said...

Concluded

Z, “liberals and secularists,” your pet avatars for Satan, did not destroy courtesy, kindness, caring, humanistic values, everything good. That is just far-rightwingers’ vicious smear---fierce finger pointing that they are wont to indulge in. Your tenaciously held, nostalgic, highly selective memories of a vanished idyllic America are, in fact, despite those Frank Capra movies, about a fantasyland that never existed. Geeez, Z. Sad.

Heaven must wait.

Faith said...

Plenty of verifiable proof concerning God's judgments. If you don't accept the Bible as history, which demonstrates His judgments against nations -- in fact prophesies them and explains them as well -- then just look at the history we know. Every world class empire in its turn was judged, ending with Rome in the ancient world, and Britain in the modern world. China is being judged. Germany was judged. Europe in general is now in the process of being judged and so is the USA. Islam was God's instrument of judgment against the West in an earlier time and will no doubt be in the same role again. In between it experienced its own share of "frowning Providence" and will also again. As I understand it, nations are judged in this world, individuals also to some extent but most certainly in the next world. Everyone has experienced it in this life though many explain it away.

May I ask you why you maintain such a hateful tone of voice?

Faith said...

Calling the US a Christian nation is not the same thing as identifying the US as OUR nation. This shouldn't need to be said but you manage to find or invent problems in everything I say that need to be explained. Basically a failure of respect I think.

Faith said...

What sort of "tribute" do you have to pay to a Christian nation? Such an accusation is disgusting in the extreme. You simply have to live an outwardly upright life and keep your vices out of sight. You will not be fined, as Christians are under Islam, you will not be elbowed off the sidewalk as Christians are under Islam, you will not be subjected to periodic raids, rape and murder as is currently going on all over the world under Islam. Your accusation is disgusting.

Faith said...

Oh, and some things just ARE over your head, just about everything having to do with Christianity.

psi bond said...

Plenty of verifiable proof concerning God's judgments. If you don't accept the Bible as history, which demonstrates His judgments against nations -- in fact prophesies them and explains them as well -- then just look at the history we know. Every world class empire in its turn was judged, ending with Rome in the ancient world, and Britain in the modern world...

The Bible is the scripture of one of the world’s religions. It is not objective truth. There is no verifiable proof that the god of the Bible has made judgments against nations. (Collective punishment is unjust, whether divinely or humanly caused.) The collapse of an empire or the defeat of a nation in war can be well explained in many ways that do not require the existence of one or more supernatural beings.

May I ask you why you maintain such a hateful tone of voice?

May I ask why you ask that, for I honestly have not felt any hatred in anything I’ve expressed here? Just as it is your subjective impression from reading history that God collectively judges us, it is also your subjective impression that my tone is hateful. That is, it is only your opinion, which I know to be wrong but cannot prove to you, that I am hateful.

I know that accusing an opponent of being hateful is a favorite tactic on the right, often used by Bill O’Reilly on Fox, for example.

psi bond said...

Calling the US a Christian nation is not the same thing as identifying the US as OUR nation. This shouldn't need to be said but you manage to find or invent problems in everything I say that need to be explained. Basically a failure of respect I think.

I think what you fail to respect is that what you are calling a Christian nation is OUR nation, the nation of millions of others (good Americans) besides Christians.

psi bond said...

What sort of "tribute" do you have to pay to a Christian nation? Such an accusation is disgusting in the extreme. You simply have to live an outwardly upright life and keep your vices out of sight.

So it’s, Don’t ask, don’t tell for civilians, too. If one is a homosexual or an adulterer, that’s fine as long as you don’t tell anyone. That’s not what the Bible says. One should not be made to feel like a stranger in one’s native country.

You will not be fined, as Christians are under Islam, you will not be elbowed off the sidewalk as Christians are under Islam, you will not be subjected to periodic raids, rape and murder as is currently going on all over the world under Islam. Your accusation is disgusting.

Your misreading is disingenuous. I did not say it was Islamic dhimmitude. I said it was “a rightwing Christian version” of that. That is, not the same thing.

psi bond said...
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psi bond said...

Oh, and some things just ARE over your head, just about everything having to do with Christianity.

But, your haughty assumption notwithstanding, what you claimed you know is over my head is not Christianity but what freedom of religion means in America.

The truth is that what is over your head, Faith, is what it is that is over my head. However, it often seems to me that what is also over your head is reading simple sentences correctly.

By the way, what is at issue here is not any complex point of Christian theology, but the proper role of Christianity in American public life.

Faith said...

This refrain about subjectivity and opinion you like so much is naive. It is rather adolescent to judge a statement as "only" an opinion. Some opinions are correct opinions; some opinions, in other words, are true. Mine, for instance, in this thread, are correct; yours, on the other hand, are wrong.

Take your opinion that the collapse or defeat of a nation may be explained on other grounds than I have given. My my, ya don't say. You prefer the naturalistic human-based explanation. So what? You posture that there is something superior about this sort of explanation, though it merely comes from one of the world's philosophies, and a very recent one at that. It is not objective truth. And on balance it is an opinion that is less attested by the human race than the Biblical view, since most people have historically had the good sense to know that there is a spiritual reality behind events. The Bible makes this reality more specific and understandable.

You also claim your tone isn't hateful and that my saying so is merely a tactic. That is a hateful statement and quite typical of you.

And speaking of disingenuousness plus hatefulness, to use the term "dhimmitude" to describe a nonChristian's position in a Christian nation and then deny that you are comparing it to Islam is about as low as you can get.

Oh you want to FLAUNT your vices I see and you object to being asked to keep them to yourself in a civilized manner. Well, Sharia doesn't merely ask, they'll make sure you keep them to yourself. And that is how God's judgment may very well come this time. Enjoy.

psi bond said...

This refrain about subjectivity and opinion you like so much is naive. It is rather adolescent to judge a statement as "only" an opinion. Some opinions are correct opinions; some opinions, in other words, are true. Mine, for instance, in this thread, are correct; yours, on the other hand, are wrong.

Name-calling ("adolescent", “naïve”) notwithstanding, that is just your opinion. This frantic pronouncement that your opinions alone are “correct” serves only to exhibit your extremist proclivities.

Opinions are not facts; they are not objective truth. If an opinion is more credible than others, it is generally because there's an abundance of empirical evidence to support it. For instance, that the Ten Commandments are unconstitutional is an opinion, but it is easy to adduce supporting evidence for it.

Take your opinion that the collapse or defeat of a nation may be explained on other grounds than I have given. My my, ya don't say. You prefer the naturalistic human-based explanation. So what? You posture that there is something superior about this sort of explanation, though it merely comes from one of the world's philosophies, and a very recent one at that. It is not objective truth. And on balance it is an opinion that is less attested by the human race than the Biblical view, since most people have historically had the good sense to know that there is a spiritual reality behind events. The Bible makes this reality more specific and understandable.

Generally, the simplest explanation that accounts for the facts is the most credible. One that requires subscribing to one of the world's religions is demanding an awful lot and is suspect. It is not a straightforward interpretation of history. It’s doubtful that most people believe God is intervening in history and judging nations left and right, dispensing collective punishment on whole peoples. A biblical account is not understandable as specific history when it asserts (in the poetic version that is Genesis 1) that human history began a few days after the creation of the earth, positioned at the center of the universe and followed by the creation of the sun and stars for the convenience of earth’s denizens, about 6,000 years ago.

Ironically, many on the right, celebrating America's origins as a sanctuary from religious oppression abroad, unwittingly seek to resurrect a form of that excessive zeal here.

Ever since ancient Greece, none of the acclaimed historians have incorporated in their work the view you advocate of the rise and fall of nations. Thucydides (c. 460 BCE – c. 395 BCE) has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" due to his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without any reference to intervention by the gods. David Hume, the eighteenth century philosopher and historian, wrote of him, “... the first page of Thucydides is, in my opinion, the commencement of real history. All preceding narrations are so intermixed with fable, that philosophers ought to abandon them to the embellishments of poets and orators.”

Do you favor teaching your interpretation in public school history classes? And rewriting all the history textbooks to reflect this supposedly correct view of history?

You also claim your tone isn't hateful and that my saying so is merely a tactic. That is a hateful statement and quite typical of you.

Since it is commonly believed that we should pay no attention to those who are hateful, branding an opponent hateful is a more or less effective tactic for dismissing what he says.

psi bond said...

Concluded

Deconstructing your illogic, my saying my tone isn't hateful and my observing how useful it is for you to make that claim, doesn’t constitute a hateful statement; it is merely a truthful statement regarding what I think and observe. However, since you recognize your view alone as valid, whatever I say that doesn't fit into it you will discount as being hateful. That is evidently your tactic of choice. That plus making lots of false accusations about my character, rather than honestly discussing the issues.

And speaking of disingenuousness plus hatefulness, to use the term "dhimmitude" to describe a nonChristian's position in a Christian nation and then deny that you are comparing it to Islam is about as low as you can get.

You continue to misread, Faith. No, I did not deny, do not deny, that I made an analogy between Islamic dhimmitude and vehement rightwing Christian demands that we must all recognize the privileged place of Christianity at the birth of the nation. Both are forms of spiritual oppression by an overbearing zealous majority. Call it ugly names as you will, but this analogy is the closest I can get to describing how it feels to me to be made a stranger in my own country.

Oh you want to FLAUNT your vices I see and you object to being asked to keep them to yourself in a civilized manner. Well, Sharia doesn't merely ask, they'll make sure you keep them to yourself. And that is how God's judgment may very well come this time. Enjoy.

You really make it sound like Sharia is something religious folk should devoutly wish for---enjoy!

What you ascribe to me---that is another misreading. In my humble opinion, a homosexual should be free to take his/her same-sex partner to a party or the theater without risking harassment or imprisonment. The act of calling it FLAUNTING seems to me intolerant, inhumane, and ultimately hateful. That impression, of course, is just my opinion, Faith, not something I can honestly declare is Absolute Truth.

Yet I tend to think an American cherishes the freedom to decide for himself what his vices are, rather than be told by sanctimonious zealots or an intrusive biblically-motivated Congress.

Faith said...

This is hilarious.

Again, Happy New Year.

Z, come back and answer him. You were doing better than I've been doing. I give up.

Z said...

No, Faith.
Nobody's going to change anybody's mind here. It's just sad that we're the dummies according to one elitist secularist. Typical of the new America.
What's undeniable is that the quotes from our forefathers with Jesus in them are numerous and ignored and, really, who cares? It's so clear that our constitution was based on the tenets of Judeo-Christian thinking.
it's so clear that the country was just better off when people had a church-inspired conscience, when kids 'knew better' than to insult elders in the ways they do today, for just one example.....from what? From their parents' goodness and decency derived from their faith.

I have decided arguing is silly and endless and gets us nowhere, not with facts and quotes cherry-picked like has been done here. I'm not very good at it because I don't take nasty sarcasm well nor do I like being insulted or treated as if I am a dolt for not going along with any commenter's thinking here.

More and more, I see that the only way I can prove God exists is through my life and the stunning things that have happened to me which are undeniably His grace. The changes I see in friends who've become Christian from Judaism or from nominally Christian families are undeniably good. And, I feel no compunction here and now to go into detail. Suffice it to say, the more I notice, the more beauty and goodness and grace is poured on me.

Accident? Coincidence? Maybe.
But I think not.

God bless you both.

Faith said...

You're no doubt right. I too easily get into debate and unfortunately for the most part I enjoy it. It's not fun being treated like an imbecile, and I do usually find myself returning the favor and then regretting it, but I've been debating for so long it's hard to stop.

Z said...

Faith, don't get me wrong; I admire your intelligence, your tenacity and your amazing command of the language.

Also, I didn't mean to imply Jews are necessarily better people when not converted to Christianity...not at all. I just see their lives are happier and more enriched; and they glow with their newfound faith. It's a nice thing....
But I have a lot of excellent Jewish friends and would never imply otherwise.

psi bond said...

All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.
-- Molière

It’s a joke, Faith. Hilarious, in my opinion.

But that’s merely what I think.

psi bond said...

It's just sad that we're the dummies according to one elitist secularist. Typical of the new America.

Z, you and Faith have made numerous false personal attacks on me. I have not responded in kind. I have been called adolescent, naïve, hateful, over my head, elitist, somebody who wishes to FLAUNT his vices in an uncivilized manner, somebody who strikes low blows, one who is hateful of Christianity, an un-named secularist (in the sense of an abominable devil) who’s insulting for allegedly thinking you’re a dummy, etc. These hostile opinions of me do not bother me except insofar as they’re distractions, for I would much rather discuss matters of substance than the disingenuous tactics arrayed against me to change the subject.

Summing up, in no particular order, here are, in my humble opinion, some of the opinions that have been shown to be credible in the course of our argument here:

The Ten Commandments are unconstitutional.

Opinions are, by nature, neither true nor false, but some are credible, while others are implausible.

The criminalization of homosexuality and adultery in accordance with biblical condemnation of them is ill-conceived public policy.

Those behind the persistent vehement insistence that America is a Christian nation haven’t thought through the consequences of alienating millions of good Americans.

Christianity is not the sole source of good values in Western society, the religious right’s propagation to that effect notwithstanding.

The view espoused by some in the Christian right that Judaism has been surpassed by Christianity and that Jews would be happier if they converted is deeply insulting to a large number of Jews.

Blaming liberals and secularists with destroying all that was good in American society, and replacing the halcyon America of yore with a sinister “new America”, is untenable extremist partisanship that poisons the political climate..

A good Muslim (i.e., a practicing Muslim) is not inherently evil.

History is best told by scholars as an analysis of cause and effect, instead of as a morality tale featuring intervention by God or gods.

A number of prominent Founding Fathers, including Washington, Madison, and Jefferson, were gravely concerned about the danger to the nation inherent in officially sanctioning or showing favor to a particular religion.

The Bible declares that the death penalty is most appropriate for homosexuals.

The Bible, which many rightwingers argue is the basis for U.S. law, provides a religious basis for punishing thought crimes, something that couldn’t be legislated and enforced in a democracy.

The fact that an opinion is widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd---for example, the idea that the Bible is an exact history of humankind.

If you wish to disagree with any one of the above opinions, please present arguments that do not depend on ad hominem jabs at me such as those you and Faith have relied on above. But if you wish to cop out, just say I'm hilarious or hateful, something absurdly irrelevant like that.

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Faith said...

After repeatedly calling me "haughty" and accusing me of employing a mere "tactic," and now of making ad hominems instead of arguments, it is rather childish of you to pretend to being some sort of victim yourself in these conversations.

As for the substance of your post,
glancing over your list I believe your complaints, assertions, misrepresentations and arguments have already been answered sufficiently.

Faith said...

I really don't think we should continue to discuss these things on this thread, but I do have to post here some information about the laws of America and their derivation from the laws of England. I have in mind the information in William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, published just before the American Revolution, which I haven't studied but which I understand demonstrates much Biblical and even Christian influence in our laws. His commentaries provided among other things the concept found in our Declaration of Independence, "The Laws of Nature and Nature's God."

Index to Blackstone’s work.

Here is a page where Blackstone discusses the law as it pertains to Christian belief. I haven’t thoroughly studied this but I suspect that his comments on this subject here and elsewhere in his Commentaries will give the legal framework I’ve said I’d like to have about how Biblical influence was weighed in the making of English and American law.

Wikipedia article on Blackstone. The discussion of his views on Catholicism is interesting in regard to the question of Islam, implying limitations to freedom of religion.

And here is an online biography of Blackstone that should be good reading for anyone interested in this man and his work, as I now am.

Faith said...

Ah, too bad, the biography isn't available except to institutions and they have to subscribe.

Z said...

psi bond...thou really doth protest far too hard.
You are entitled to your own opinions; you are not entitled to comment as if YOU are God

Thanks. Happy new Year

psi bond said...

After repeatedly calling me "haughty" and accusing me of employing a mere "tactic," and now of making ad hominems instead of arguments, it is rather childish of you to pretend to being some sort of victim yourself in these conversations.

Let’s examine the facts. I used the word "haughty" twice. When you said, "Oh, and some things just ARE over your head, just about everything having to do with Christianity", I said that was a "haughty assumption". "OK, I'll try it again,” you said. I responded, "You won’t gain many converts with that haughty, self-righteous attitude." In fact, I didn't call you yourself haughty; I called haughty an irrelevant assumption (Christian theology is not an issue here) and I called haughty a high-handed attitude (which, in effect, said, "See how I am being gracious; I'm giving you another chance to get it").That is, it was not at all the same thing as calling you haughty. It is a disingenuous tactic to now pretend and complain that I have somehow slandered you.

Calling me hateful is a dismissive tactic that serves as a distraction. As I said, I prefer to address issues of substance, rather than ire;evant personal attacks.

As for the substance of your post,
glancing over your list I believe your complaints, assertions, misrepresentations and arguments have already been answered sufficiently
.

Some of them have not been answered at all (e.g., that the Ten Commandments are unconstitutional), and the rest have not been answered with reasonable arguments (e,g,, that history is best told (and taught) as a scholarly analysis of cause and effect).

Nor is it sufficient to decree that all your opinions are correct and all mine are wrong (“Some opinions are correct opinions; some opinions, in other words, are true. Mine, for instance, in this thread, are correct; yours, on the other hand, are wrong”).

psi bond said...

To deny the possibility, nay, the actual existence of witchcraft and sorcery, is at once flatly to contradict the revealed word of God in various passages both of the Old and New Testament, and the thing itself is a Truth to which every nation in the world hath, in its turn, borne testimony, by either example seemingly well attested or by prohibitory laws, which at least suppose the possibility of a commerce with evil spirits. The civil law punishes with death not only the sorcerers themselves, but also those who consult them,, imitating in the former the express law of God, “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” And our own laws, both before and since the conquest, have been equally penal, ranking this crime in the same class with heresy, and condemning both to the flames.
-- Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries, 1765

If you don’t want me to respond to what you post, Faith, you should not post it here. I have posted here some corrective perspective.

Natural law addreses to what a person has by natural or inherent right, and is based on reason. It predates the Christian era; it is not provably from God, though one may believe that it is. “Nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence is a vague phrase but it is generally thought to be the Deist formulation for an impersonal god unresponsive to human prayers, not the god of revelation. Wikipedia says, “The term ‘Nature's God’ may refer to the religious and philosophical school known as Deism.” The term makes possible an America in which all religions are accorded equal respect.

Blackstone considered crimes and misdemeanors that were offenses against God. Among these were apostasy which “can only take place in such as have once professed the true religion.” In this sense, he considers what he calls “the perversion of a Christian to Judaism, paganism, to other false religion.”

All such alleged offenses against God are obviously totally foreign to the spirit of the U.S. Constitution. Sharia law punishes apostasy. U.S. federal law has no jurisdiction over apostasy, heresy, supposedly erroneous religious opinions, failure to attend any church, witchcraft, and the like.

No coherent legal framework exists in the U.S. to justify a declaration that the United States is a Christian nation, one nation united under Jesus.

Wikipedia says, “Leading American attorneys who first learned their law by reading Blackstone include Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson at first admired Blackstone's learning and eloquence, but later denounced his treatise as ‘honeyed Mansfieldism,’ a reference to the great conservative English jurist Lord Mansfield [John Quincy Adams described Mansfield as "more responsible for the Revolution than any other man].”

That is to say, Blackstone was not universally respected in early America.

The discussion of his views on Catholicism is interesting in regard to the question of Islam, implying limitations to freedom of religion.

The Wikipedia article makes no mention of Islam or Blackstone’s view on Islam. You are reading into it, Faith, what you want to hear. The article quotes him as saying, “As to papists, what has been said of the Protestant dissenters would hold equally strong for a general toleration of them; provided their separation was founded only upon difference of opinion in religion, and their principles did not also extend to a subversion of the civil government.” In other words, what Blackstone says would hold equally strong for a general toleration of Muslims, but this would not extend to radical Muslims who are engaged in the subversion of the civil government.

It is reported that U.S. courts quote with strong approval Blackstone’s principle, "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” Rightwingers who have little patience with talk of th rights of the accused can hardly be pleased with that use of Blackstone.

psi bond said...

Z: psi bond...thou really doth protest far too hard.

Verily, unyielding protest against the sanctimonious tyranny of a heavy-handed religious majority is no vice. Such is my Faith.

You, Z, doth try far too hard to conjure up personal failings to impolitely pin on me.

(By the way, I thought you’d cop out. An accusation of protesting “far too hard” is no more relevant than “hateful” was.)

You are entitled to your own opinions; you are not entitled to comment as if YOU are God.

Opinions being matters of individual judgment, you are entitled to your own, but you have no warrant to impart your opinion as if you were the indisputable repository of Absolute Truth. Yours, like mine, Z, is one opinion among many.

If you are personally attacking me herein on the fresh grounds that I think myself an almighty god, you are deluded in that accusation, sadly so. I am only a human being.

Thanks anyway, Z, for allowing me to know what you think.

As stated here ten days ago, “I wish you, Z, a happy and healthy new year!”

Faith said...
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Faith said...

Good grief, get OFF it, psi bond. Your hair-splitting distinctions are silly. Who CARES who called who what anyway? I object to your characterizations of me too, strenuously, but I don't care to rehearse it all, I just write it off as your obtuseness. Yes, you're asking for it.

As for Blackstone, you didn't read far enough in what he said about witchcraft. We no longer put witches to death, he said.

Duh, yeah, after the usual meaningless cavil, you got the point about my connecting Islam with his remarks about Catholicism.

I know he wasn't universally admired. Who cares about that either? NOBODY is universally admired, and some don't admire Jefferson, including myself. Blackstone's compilation of the tenets of English law was nevertheless admired and used by many and did influence American law.

And the point is that he does go into the Biblical basis for English law, and you'd have to show that he's wrong about that, not just spurt out quotes about "Mansfieldism" whatever that is and assert on the authority of your own wishfulness that it's against the spirit of our Constitution.

"Nature's God" turns out to have Christian roots despite your insistence on its having enough vagueness to be ascribed to Deism.

You can stop now, I've had enough.

Z said...

psi bond...you admire the people you quote, except they're not God, either.


Happy 2010 to you both.

psi bond said...

Good grief, get OFF it, psi bond. Your hair-splitting distinctions are silly. Who CARES who called who what anyway? I object to your characterizations of me too, strenuously, but I don't care to rehearse it all, I just write it off as your obtuseness. Yes, you're asking for it.

You sound a bit angry, Faith. I don’t doubt that invoking the material facts in the case can be a disturbing experience when they don't support your version of what I said. Faith, I don't think you're obtuse, but you demonstrate a chronic need to try to insult rather than discuss substance.

My advice would be: Do not start what you cannot finish. (By age sixteen, George Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. One of them was: Do not start what you cannot finish.)

As for Blackstone, you didn't read far enough in what he said about witchcraft. We no longer put witches to death, he said.

On the contrary, I did read it all. Speaking from memory now, he proceeds by citing Montesqieu, who said people are likely to make all manner of unwarranted accusations against persons they dislike (somewhat like some people here), thus making a charge of witchcraft dubious at best, but Blackstone does not withdraw his opinion that witchcraft is a prosecutable offense against God when strong evidence is presented, or retract his faith in the possibility and actual existence of witchcraft. He is cold comfort for Giles Corey (c. 1611-1692), who refused to plead guilty or not guilty..

Duh, yeah, after the usual meaningless cavil, you got the point about my connecting Islam with his remarks about Catholicism.

Duh, Faith, no. After your customary carping, you still miss the point. Extrapolating from his commentary, as you have done, it certainly seems that Blackstone would not have condoned denial of toleration to Muslims who merely have differences from the majority on religious matters. But those who are engaged in subverting the civil government, i.e., the radical Muslims, ought not to be extended toleration. This accords well with the distinction that I have previously noted is made by moderate conservatives.

I know he wasn't universally admired. Who cares about that either? NOBODY is universally admired, and some don't admire Jefferson, including myself. Blackstone's compilation of the tenets of English law was nevertheless admired and used by many and did influence American law.

Though some may hate him for the apostasy of his rejection of Jesus’ divinity, virtually all Americans respect and honor Jefferson for his key role in the founding of the nation. It seems that Blackstone's commentaries and synthesis of English common law were admired mostly for their eloquence and comprehensiveness. It was not for unequivocally establishing Jesus or the God of Israel as supreme sovereign of the United States, contrary to the Constitution, as some fantasize.

The phrase ‘common law’ is normally associated with English common law. But numerous forms of common law are found in several European countries, including France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. They all developed from Roman roots. Yet no one has been irrational enough to suggest that Europeans or Americans must heed what Jupiter, Mars, and the other boys up on Mt. Olympus require.

And the point is that he does go into the Biblical basis for English law, and you'd have to show that he's wrong about that, not just spurt out quotes about "Mansfieldism" whatever that is and assert on the authority of your own wishfulness that it's against the spirit of our Constitution.

The truth is that offenses against God, which Blackstone takes far too seriously as matters of civil law, are no part of U.S. law. Reason not Biblical law is the basis for modern American law---and rightly so, at least in my humble opinion.

psi bond said...

Concluded

"Nature's God" turns out to have Christian roots despite your insistence on its having enough vagueness to be ascribed to Deism.

The phrase ‘Nature's God’ does not occur in any English translation of the Bible. It is not found in Christian devotional documents. The phrase ‘Nature’s God’ is not found in Blackstone. It refers to the god or supernatural entity that created the laws of Nature. It is congruent with the deist conception of a supernatural being. It is incongruent with a god that is believed to have a direct role in human affairs and attend to human prayers. For the law of Nature is not the law of Revelation.

It is only wishful thinking to believe Jefferson was referring in the Declaration of Independence to the God of Revelation or to Jesus Christ. There is nothing in the Declaration about Christianity. There is no legal requirement for American citizens to accept the religious beliefs that were held by American colonists in 1776.

You can stop now, I've had enough.

Thank you, Faith, for the extraordinary graciousness you have shown in attempting the unrewarding task of trying to enlighten me, but I will stop when you stop making assertions that, in my humble opinion, require a response.

psi bond said...

psi bond...you admire the people you quote, except they're not God, either

Not so, Z. I don't admire all of them. There is no god but God (the Bible told me that).

Whether or not I admire their political convictions, religious beliefs, personal lives, or their neckties is an irrelevant matter, since the persons I quote always have, in my humble opinion, something insightful, prescient, or otherwise important to say about the issue under discussion. None is God, except possibly when I quote scripture, as I have done here, but, nonetheless, respect for their oft-quoted opinions is in most cases widespread. Having no liking or admiration for the person who said something is not a good reason for discounting its importance.

Happy 2010 to you both.

Thanks. Speaking albeit without portfolio for the both of us, I'm sure we are happier and richer for having had this exchange here.

May the tenaciously tolerant holiday spirit you exhibit, Z, last the whole year round, and for many years to come. If you can sustain that, then America cannot be as bleak as you and too many others on the right are wont to color it.

That was intended, not as sarcasm, Z, but as a compliment. Ya, I must be drunk!

Faith said...
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Faith said...

I take it back, you DIDN'T get my point about Islam. Sigh. Oh well. Then you lecture me about irrelevancies. Sigh. Oh well.

psi bond said...

It seems to me that the valuable applicable point to be found in the context of Blackstone’s commentary is that members of an unorthodox religion should not be penalized by the civil law for having religious differences with his officially recognized “true” religion. Only those members engaged in subversion of the civil government should be subjected to the penalties of the civil law. Which is only good reasoning, as moderate conservatives attest.

THANKS, Faith, for your manifest patience with my responses, albeit supposedly extraneous and irrelevant to your somber cogitation.

Faith said...
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Faith said...
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Faith said...

Good grief. THAT WAS MY OWN POINT.

AND THAT OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS. What OTHER point could I have been making?

Honestly, PB, you're enough to bring on an ulcer.

psi bond said...

Well, Faith, you can’t imagine how happy I am that I got your point after all. However, my latest statement of the point I think one should get from Blackstone is only a restatement of what I said originally.

Faith: What OTHER point could I have been making?

Here is what you said originally in your Blackstone post:

“The discussion of his views on Catholicism is interesting in regard to the question of Islam, implying limitations to freedom of religion.”

As I said, I think the important point Blackstone makes is that, while the civil law should not limit freedom of religion, it should prohibit the politicization of religion for the purpose of subverting the civil government. That is, the law ought to recognize the distinction between members of an unofficial religion, which should be tolerated, and violent extremist members of that religion, something that many rightwing bloggers today fail to do. If this is what you meant to say, Faith, you did not articulate it.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

The point is, PB, that Blackstone's comment on Catholicism gives ground for NOT tolerating any religion just because it's religion, but restricting it according to its potential for being a disruptive political and social influence.

In the case of Catholicism, its practice is not problematic except for the papacy that demands putting his dictates above the nation. The papacy is intrinsic to Catholicism, it's not a matter of "extremism." Some Catholics may put the nation above the Pope but that doesn't alter the intrinsic nature of Catholicism. Therefore I understand Blackstone to be restricting Catholicism's freedoms on this ground.

And this is how I applied the point to Islam, which you have managed to confuse almost beyond recognition. I leave it completely open to what extent Islam is intrinsically subversive of national interests it doesn't share, to be decided by the authorities in charge of such things, and your constant attempt to restrict the concept to your own idea that the problem is just "extremists" and not the religion itself, is just obfuscation and irrelevant to the point. And it violates the parallel I was making with Catholicism, which is NOT about "extremists" but the nature of the religion itself.

And again you keep talking about "Muslims" ("members" of the religion) but I'm talking about THE RELIGION ITSELF not the people who follow it, and that's how I understand Blackstone's point as well.

That is how I read Blackstone's remarks about Catholicism and how I applied them to Islam in my very first comment on the subject.

And now I'm worn out from this weird chase through the thickets of miscommunication.

psi bond said...

I am happy, F, that you have articulated now what you actually meant by your advocacy of limits on freedom of religion. Perhaps I ought to have guessed that that is what you meant to say, fitting the unsaid words into the gaps in your posts.

I think your interpretation of Blackstone’s remarks would be the basis for unconstitutional law in the United States.

The point is, PB, that Blackstone's comment on Catholicism gives ground for NOT tolerating any religion just because it's religion, but restricting it according to its potential for being a disruptive political and social influence.

No, it gives Blackstone’s ground, his typical pre-modern thinking, for not fully trusting Catholics, which was due solely to their recognition of “a foreign power, superior to the sovereignty of the kingdom.” That’s like the sort of thing that got Jesus into trouble in the Roman Empire.

Should JFK, the one Catholic president, have been ineligible for public office? The Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office holders. Should American Catholics be prosecuted under the law for their loyalty to the pope in the Vatican? Should American Jews (some of them dual citizens) for spiritual loyalty to Israel? The Bill of Rights does not permit it.

The law ought to punish illegal acts, not unorthodox beliefs. One who recognizes his own god as the supreme sovereign, as do those who declare America a Christian nation, should not be punished in a democracy. Nor should Muslims in America for praying to Allah and peaceably practicng Islam. But violent extremist Muslims should, of course, be subject to the full extent of the law. The same applies to white supremacists who base their prejudice on their reading of the Bible. They should be tolerated unless they take up arms against the civil government, or otherwise violate democratically enacted laws..They ought not to be prosecuted on account of a putative potential for fomenting political or social discord. That is unconstitutional in the America most Americans know and love. For doing so would inevitably be the greater cause of discord.

Faith said...
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Faith said...

To compare allegiance to a human being (the Pope) to allegiance to God or the Kingdom of Heaven as you try to do in bringing up Jesus is faulty logic.

The requirement to OBEY the dictates of a foreign power (the Pope) is a very different thing from "spiritual loyalty" to another nation like Israel -- unless of course we went to war with that nation. I would think this would be obvious.

As usual you misrepresent the argument and this gets very tedious. There has been no talk of "prosecuting" anyone for allegiance to another power, yet you choose that term. The only concern is whether or not there IS an allegiance to a foreign power in conflict with our national interest and that SHOULD curtail certain rights in our society. Yes, including eligibility for office. It's stupid to think otherwise. I rather doubt there was such a danger in the case of Kennedy, I'm talking about a PRINCIPLE. One that you keep muddying beyond recognition.

This isn't a matter of "beliefs," it is a matter of allegiance, and that IS something a sane government would have to take note of. Of course, we aren't a sane government any more so anything goes.

Blackstone didn't invent laws, he codified existing laws, the laws of England which as I recall you proudly identified at one point as the basis for ours. Turns out you don't really like a lot of it. Now you want to relegate it to "pre-modern" thinking. Remember, again, this is ENGLISH LAW, not something Blackstone invented. Whether you like it or not that law as Blackstone lays it out DID strongly influence ours and there was/is no conflict with our Constitution. Only with modern revisionism of our Constitution of the sort you are promoting here.

Your logic is a mess. Argument really isn't fun when you don't stick to the logical thread.

psi bond said...

To compare allegiance to a human being (the Pope) to allegiance to God or the Kingdom of Heaven as you try to do in bringing up Jesus is faulty logic.

Was Jesus not a human being? He was a man whose reputation of being revered as the king of the Jews reached the displeased Roman authorities. The comparison has appropriate logic, since the pope and Jesus were/are seen by many as both men and supreme spiritual leaders.

The requirement to OBEY the dictates of a foreign power (the Pope) is a very different thing from "spiritual loyalty" to another nation like Israel -- unless of course we went to war with that nation. I would think this would be obvious.

It is. War or an irresolvable difference in Middle-East policy is exactly what I had in mind when making that example. A U.S. citizen’s loyalty could be divided, whether it is to a foreign entity like the Vatican, with a different view of what laws or policy the U.S. should have, or a foreign nation like Israel, with a different view than the U.S. administration of how to defend itself and ensure its survival.

As usual you misrepresent the argument and this gets very tedious.

It gets tedious when you divert the argument---i.e., take time out---to give haughty judgments on what the argument must be and how germane my argument may be, according to your strident opinion.

There has been no talk of "prosecuting" anyone for allegiance to another power, yet you choose that term.

Blackstone raises the possibility of prosecution when he endorses the idea that “ the laws of that kingdom will not treat them [Catholics] upon the footing of good subjects.” All men are created equal, unless they’re Catholics: That is not an American way of thinking.

The only concern is whether or not there IS an allegiance to a foreign power in conflict with our national interest and that SHOULD curtail certain rights in our society. Yes, including eligibility for office. It's stupid to think otherwise. I rather doubt there was such a danger in the case of Kennedy, I'm talking about a PRINCIPLE.

At that time, when John F. Kennedy was running for president, many Americans feared the same thing you fear on principle. Although not a factor in his race for the public office of senator, it was more than a PRINCIPLE in the 1960 presidential race; it was a politically manipulated sense of alarm. The overriding principle in this example is that public office holders ought not to be put to a religious test in this country. Only the uninformed think it is consistent with the Constitution to do so. The president on inauguration swears a solemn oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, the spirit of which many Americans sadly fail to understand.

One that you keep muddying beyond recognition.

You keep muddying the discussion by attempting to exercise authoritarian control over what it is proper to say in this thread.
This isn't a matter of "beliefs," it is a matter of allegiance, and that IS something a sane government would have to take note of. Of course, we aren't a sane government any more so anything goes.

Allegiance is very much a matter of beliefs; it is devotion or loyalty, which is genuine when consistent with one’s beliefs. In accordance with their beliefs, some assert that an allegiance to the purported laws of God in Heaven surpasses the claim that any temporal government may have on their loyalty. The USA is not their home, they say. Their home is in Heaven.

Hence, they have what you christen a disruptive potential in the society and/or the polity---and, therefore, their religious belief ought to be subject to legal restriction, as condoned by Sir William Blackstone. (To quote you verbatim: “The point is, PB, that Blackstone's comment on Catholicism gives ground for NOT tolerating any religion just because it's religion, but restricting it according to its potential for being a disruptive political and social influence.”).

psi bond said...

Concluded

Blackstone didn't invent laws, he codified existing laws, the laws of England which as I recall you proudly identified at one point as the basis for ours.

I did not. Blackstone, in his historical exposition, described the interpretations of the laws by royal judges in the English borough and manorial courts. He is celebrated for the eloquence of his commentaries, i.e., his opinions, but nowadays he is largely reduced to a mere symbol (see the separate post below). His view that dissent, in law, was a crime is one point that has been much criticized. He believed that people surrender their natural rights when they leave the state of nature, contrary to the assertion of inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence.

Turns out you don't really like a lot of it. Now you want to relegate it to "pre-modern" thinking.

You misrepresent what I said. In my context, the phrase “pre-modern thinking” refers not to the laws themselves, but to his quoted commentary on the (restricted) rights of Catholics.

Remember, again, this is ENGLISH LAW, not something Blackstone invented. Whether you like it or not that law as Blackstone lays it out DID strongly influence ours and there was/is no conflict with our Constitution. Only with modern revisionism of our Constitution of the sort you are promoting here.

What I like is not relevant. The fact is Blackstone’s compilation of English common law and his opinions of them are not legally binding on U.S. courts. Limiting the rights of peaceable Catholics (or Muslims) because of their membership in a particular religion is most certainly in conflict with our Constitution. Group-based discrimination is not constitutional. No revisionism promoted there.

As to what Blackstone actually did, the Encyclopædia Britannica notes, “Blackstone had developed a great interest in common law, and in 1753 he began to lecture on that subject. These were the first lectures on English law ever delivered in a university. His listeners were captivated by the lucidity and charm of his style and by the simplicity with which he presented the subject. The latter virtue, however, was attained in part because Blackstone blurred the difficulties and contradictions of English law. He gave the whole subject an air of completeness and mutual interdependence as if it were a uniform logical system, and he suppressed or ignored its archaic aspects and instead acclaimed English law as the embodiment of 18th-century wisdom.”

The Britannica states that it is “undeniable that the Commentaries' merit as a work of literature easily outweighs its value as a treatise on government.”

Your logic is a mess. Argument really isn't fun when you don't stick to the logical thread.

Your illogic is a mass, a barrier apparently constructed here to distract from the revolutionary, unconstitutional doctrine that you proposed in your previous post. You suggested that those people whose religious belief by itself (“THE RELIGION ITSELF”) creates an imagined potential for disrupting society should be firmly dealt with by the law, regardless of how peaceable, hard working, and law abiding they may be.

Have you abandoned that position as a logically and practically untenable mess?

psi bond said...

The fame of Blackstone in the 19th century was greater in the United States than in Blackstone's native land. After the American Revolutionary War the Commentaries was the chief source of the knowledge of English law in the American republic. A work that was a textbook in the old country became in the new one an oracle of law. The results of this transposition were not always good, but, fortunately, living law in America was being shaped through local institutions, and the country's legislators and judges were practical men in spite of the Commentaries. By the late 19th century American legal scholars had begun to escape from Blackstone's influence, and by the mid-20th century few Americans had read Blackstone even as a classic. Nevertheless, Blackstone is a symbol that American lawyers remember.
-- Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

Was Jesus not a human being? He was a man whose reputation of being revered as the king of the Jews reached the displeased Roman authorities.

Nonsense, He'd led no insurrection and the Roman authorities couldn't care less about His claims to be the Messiah, as Pilate amply demonstrated. And Jesus is more than a human being, He is God and His Kingdom is not of this world.

The comparison has appropriate logic, since the pope and Jesus were/are seen by many as both men and supreme spiritual leaders.

The comparison is inappropriate because the point is whether or not obeying them is a threat to the nation. The Pope is a political figure, the head of an earthly kingdom, and definitely a possible threat to a sovereign state.

The requirement to OBEY the dictates of a foreign power (the Pope) is a very different thing from "spiritual loyalty" to another nation like Israel -- unless of course we went to war with that nation. I would think this would be obvious.

It is. War or an irresolvable difference in Middle-East policy is exactly what I had in mind when making that example. A U.S. citizen’s loyalty could be divided, whether it is to a foreign entity like the Vatican, with a different view of what laws or policy the U.S. should have, or a foreign nation like Israel, with a different view than the U.S. administration of how to defend itself and ensure its survival.


We were talking about office-holders, people with some influence on public policy. A citizen's opinion of foreign affairs is not what we are talking about -- we all have differing opinions on these things. The question is whether a RELIGION should not be given complete rights and freedoms because of possible SUBVERSIVE influence. As a matter of fact the MOST religious Jews are AGAINST Israel, are anti-Zioniists. You have to show something more than a "citizen's" opinion to demonstrate a subversive influence and you need to show that it is part of the RELIGION in the context of this discussion. You keep switching the focus and muddying the argument.

There has been no talk of "prosecuting" anyone for allegiance to another power, yet you choose that term.

Blackstone raises the possibility of prosecution when he endorses the idea that “ the laws of that kingdom will not treat them [Catholics] upon the footing of good subjects.” All men are created equal, unless they’re Catholics: That is not an American way of thinking.


It is utterly absurd to suggest Blackstone is saying Catholics should be prosecuted -- for what, for BEING Catholics? How does that reflect English law? Freedom of conscience was already in the law by that time, through Owen and Locke. The context is DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE. The context is curtailing rights and freedoms relative to divided allegiance, NOT PROSECUTING ANYONE for merely having such beliefs.

Yours is the unAmerican way of thinking. You truly do think with twisted logic, like a true leftist. "All men are created equal" does not make OPINIONS and POLITICAL POSITIONS equal.

Faith said...

continued.

The only concern is whether or not there IS an allegiance to a foreign power in conflict with our national interest and that SHOULD curtail certain rights in our society. Yes, including eligibility for office. It's stupid to think otherwise. I rather doubt there was such a danger in the case of Kennedy, I'm talking about a PRINCIPLE.

At that time, when John F. Kennedy was running for president, many Americans feared the same thing you fear on principle.


Perhaps they were right to do so, psi bond. What if they were? What if Kennedy really did listen to the Pope against the interests of the nation? What then?

Although not a factor in his race for the public office of senator, it was more than a PRINCIPLE in the 1960 presidential race; it was a politically manipulated sense of alarm. The overriding principle in this example is that public office holders ought not to be put to a religious test in this country. Only the uninformed think it is consistent with the Constitution to do so. The president on inauguration swears a solemn oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, the spirit of which many Americans sadly fail to understand.

Such as yourself and the left in particular.

As for the oath, I guess we have to determine whether we can trust a man's oath. I don't think there's anything in Catholicism to override such an oath, but there is in Islam. They specifically teach that all allegiances sworn to anyone but Allah are void and in fact they teach that it is a righteous act to deceive "infidels" by seeming to support their causes and then turn on them in the name of Allah.

This isn't a matter of "beliefs," it is a matter of allegiance, and that IS something a sane government would have to take note of. Of course, we aren't a sane government any more so anything goes.

Allegiance is very much a matter of beliefs; it is devotion or loyalty, which is genuine when consistent with one’s beliefs. In accordance with their beliefs, some assert that an allegiance to the purported laws of God in Heaven surpasses the claim that any temporal government may have on their loyalty. The USA is not their home, they say. Their home is in Heaven.

Hence, they have what you christen a disruptive potential in the society and/or the polity---and, therefore, their religious belief ought to be subject to legal restriction, as condoned by Sir William Blackstone. (To quote you verbatim: “The point is, PB, that Blackstone's comment on Catholicism gives ground for NOT tolerating any religion just because it's religion, but restricting it according to its potential for being a disruptive political and social influence.”).


Oh good grief. You again take words out of context and make a mess of things. Beliefs and allegiance are not to be combined as you do.

As for allegiance to God, this is THE religious belief that our Constitution DOES protect. There is nothing subversive about it. Christians are commanded to obey the temporal authorities in everything except what violates God's law. And God's law used to be the law of this land.

However, unfortunately your revisionist twisted way of thinking is more and more prevailing against the original wisdom of our laws, and Christians are already being subjected to the beginnings of persecution, so far mostly in the realm of twisted public (leftist) opinion but that leads to twisted law -- against such things as "hate crimes" in the form of preaching that homosexual acts are against God's laws. If you have your way we will eventually be completely marginalized and subject to prosecution for obeying God. So you are doing your best to make logical hash out of this discussion and confuse the issues concerning Blackstone and the laws of God in general to hasten the day.

Faith said...

Your illogic is a mass, a barrier apparently constructed here to distract from the revolutionary, unconstitutional doctrine that you proposed in your previous post. You suggested that those people whose religious belief by itself (“THE RELIGION ITSELF”) creates an imagined potential for disrupting society should be firmly dealt with by the law, regardless of how peaceable, hard working, and law abiding they may be.

Their peaceableness etc. is not the point. Their religion's demand for allegiance to another authority than our Constitution is the point. Blackstone made a decent point about the Pope's influence over Catholics that ought to be considered in this context. But this consideration ought to be taken even more seriously in the case of Islam whose overarching objective is to take the whole world for Allah -- no matter how long it takes. You are naive in the extreme about Islam. Muslims may live peaceably for long periods under foreign rule while building up a population and political base on which to take a stand against the nation for Allah.

Faith said...

Neither of us knows enough about Blackstone to argue his case in its entirety. The Encyclopedia Britannica is not the final authority on anything. Please stick to the few specific points that have been raised.

Faith said...

Some loose ends, psi bond. You take me to task way up in this thread for ascribing certain attitudes to Western thinking. I believe you managed to confuse that issue too as you are as usual talking about "Muslims" instead of "Islam," and as you are next talking about "nonviolent protest" although that wasn't something I had addressed. But what I want to say now is that your example of Gandhi's use of nonviolent protest:

The idea that nonviolent protest is, as Faith supposes, “a [W]estern Christian idea” is a weird kind of rightwing revisionism. As if Mahatma Gandhi were a Christian,

This is bizarrely ignorant. It is a fact known to anyone who has read about Gandhi that he was a great admirer of Christ and did get the idea for his nonviolent protest from his understanding of Christ's teachings.

However, I had said nothing about nonviolent protest and your claim that I did is just your usual style of obfuscating misrepresentation.

Also, I'm very sure you DID say something about how our laws are derived from English law, but perhaps not in this thread. At least I can't find it here.

Teresa said...

First, I would say that ALL religions have their share of issues. But, as it stands today the only one threatening lives is the Muslim religion. The problem is secularists think that just because people are religious they are supposed to be perfect and not ever make any mistakes. Secularists revile and show disdain for Christians or religious people because we have morals and try to hold to certain principles/srandards. If secularists let Christians express their freedom of religion and didn't attack the freedom of expression of religion which is in fact a right that is guarunteed to all of us by the Constitution maybe we in the United States could get along so much better. Peace and Have a Healthy and Happy New Year!!

I have been reading the exchange by PSI Bond, Faith, and Z and why don't you three just agree to disagree? You obviously have different point of views and please in the spirit of the New Year just accept people for who they are and agree to disagree.

Faith said...

Teresa, why is it so offensive that we continue to pursue our disagreement? I'd rather have ended it some time ago myself but somehow psi bond keeps saying things that keep pulling me back in. Maybe that's my weakness of course. And I do think we shouldn't have taken over this thread this way anyway. But since it's an old thread by now I don't really see why anyone should object as strenuously as you are doing.

Faith said...

The whole point is that secularists WON'T stop attacking our freedom of religion, and they actually claim, as psi bond is doing, that it is our religion that is unConstitutional, not their attack. Of course, arguing with them probably won't accomplish a lot but sometimes it helps just to keep the issues alive and on the table.

Teresa said...

Faith,
Its not that I think its offensive, just that it seems like this line of disagreement could be neverending. In fact, if another thread was started I would enjoy getting in on the conversation.

I guess I just don't understand how posting this song ended up being a huge debate over secularism versus Christianity.

I suspect that Z posted this video to have some fun and celebrate Christmas etc, and to not have a huge debate form.

Faith said...

You're right, Teresa, we shouldn't be arguing this on this thread. It just sort of happened. Islam got brought up and one thing led to another. Once it's underway, though, it's hard to see a good reason to stop.

Faith said...

It's true too that Z intended her post to be a cheerful and humorous note for Christmas and I can agree it really is too bad it didn't stay that way. But that was because a few of us didn't see the video as she did so we were already off to a bad start. Because of that, in a way it's relief to me that the subject got changed.

Since you would have joined in under other circumstances, maybe that will be possible some time when the topic is the changing laws that marginalize Christian belief. That's certainly a hot political topic from time to time.

Z said...

I did try to let it go....somewhere back up the thread, I said pretty much what Teresa said but for different reasons.
Psi Bond isn't changing his heart and we're not changing our minds...big difference, now that I think of it.
Faith can rarely be given, it's something the Spirit does or doesn't do and our modeling is probably the best way to show people our walk and the fabulous things Christianity does for us.
Why argue as if we aren't sure ourselves?

FAITH is a marvelous debater and highly informed and well spoken/written, psi bond is a different sort and can rarely comment without insulting in some way, small or large, but he's not stupid and sometimes interesting to read.

So....whatever feels right to you all here, keep it up.

I just like to hope people are learning as we argue and inform and I'm not sure that happened here..?

God bless you all.

Z said...

I personally like it when the thread goes in different directions.

Yes, as strict and traditional as I am, I found the video charming and fun and hoped to give everyone some Christmas cheer....it surprised me that all didn't see the charm, but that's what makes the world go 'round, right!?

I like the idea of high school kids who can't get the melody of the Hallelujiah Chorus out of their left-indoctrinated brains, personally!! heh heh! :0-)

Teresa said...

The only reason I spoke up was because I thought you might have been annoying the heck out of Z and spoiling the original intent of this post.


Have fun debating!!

Z said...

thanks, Teresa....when people go adrift from my subject post on the thread too early (first 10-15 comments or so) it irks the hell out of me, but when it gets so two people are duking it out later, I like that a lot.
I appreciate your comment very much.. God bless, me

Faith said...

Well, I'm glad it turns out I'm not annoying the heck out of you and that you even enjoy these debates as long as the main topic has been talked out -- and I hope I'm sensitive to that.

Over at FPM I think I enjoyed it the most when the topic roster changed over night and I could continue with the one or two others I'd been debating already on an earlier board. Even over there sometimes it would go on for days or weeks. In fact that's how I met FT. We were embroiled in a real slug-fest. He insulted me at least as seriously as psi bond ever has. I probably insulted him too. Then we came to appreciate each other. It can happen.

Psi bond provokes me and I do need to learn when to quit. I keep trying to quit and then think of ways to answer him.

Faith said...

Of course FT is not a leftist, so we easily found common ground.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
psi bond said...

Faith: Nonsense, He'd led no insurrection and the Roman authorities couldn't care less about His claims to be the Messiah, as Pilate amply demonstrated. And Jesus is more than a human being, He is God and His Kingdom is not of this world.

Analogies are made between entities that are not identical. It is not how they differ that matters in an analogy, but how they are similar. Both Jesus and the pope have represented threats to authorities that demand undivided allegiance. The comparison is thus appropriate.

inappropriate because the point is whether or not obeying them is a threat to the nation. The Pope is a political figure, the head of an earthly kingdom, and definitely a possible threat to a sovereign state.

The point is whether anyone considers them a credible threat. The pope has no army. Like Jesus, he has only spiritual authority. The Roman authorities persecuted the early Christians because they considered their loyalty to Jesus a realistic threat to their temporal authority. Hence the logic is appropriate, for the pope has also been seen as a threat to temporal authority---e.g., in America in the campaign against JFK, and in Blackstone’s commentary in support of denying full rights to Catholics.

We were talking about [public] office-holders, people with some influence on public policy. A citizen's opinion of foreign affairs is not what we are talking about -- we all have differing opinions on these things. .

We are talking about what Blackstone was censuring---people with allegedly divided loyalties. Americans who dissent from the government’s policies on Israel, as has happened in the Bush and Obama administrations, may thus come under suspicion of some kind of disloyalty.

The question is whether a RELIGION should not be given complete rights and freedoms because of possible SUBVERSIVE influence. As a matter of fact the MOST religious Jews are AGAINST Israel, are anti-Zioniists.

You cannot deny rights to a religion without denying it to those who practice it; there is no mechanism in constitutional law for abridging a religion itself. Ultra-orthodox Jews do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel, where many of them live and influence policy, because, according to their belief, Israel must be established by the Messiah, who has not arrived. The government of Israel has not adopted Blackstone’s view and denied rights to these Jews. They would be punished by law if they committed illegal acts, not for allegedly subversive thoughts about the legitimacy of Israel.

You have to show something more than a "citizen's" opinion to demonstrate a subversive influence and you need to show that it is part of the RELIGION in the context of this discussion.

I would say that to prosecute an individual citizen it is necessary to show more than an allegedly subversive religious opinion, or even his subversive understanding of the religion he professes, whether Muslim, unorthodox Chrsitian, apostate, or whatever.

You keep switching the focus and muddying the argument.

You keep muddying the distinction between a religion per se and an individual's understanding of it.

Blackstone raises the possibility of prosecution when he endorses the idea that “ the laws of that kingdom will not treat them [Catholics] upon the footing of good subjects.” All men are created equal, unless they’re Catholics: That is not an American way of thinking.

It is utterly absurd to suggest Blackstone is saying Catholics should be prosecuted -- for what, for BEING Catholics? How does that reflect English law? Freedom of conscience was already in the law by that time, through Owen and Locke. The context is DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE. The context is curtailing rights and freedoms relative to divided allegiance, NOT PROSECUTING ANYONE for merely having such beliefs.

psi bond said...

Continued

Blackstone suggests prosecution is called for, not for BEING Catholics, as you falsely pretend I’m saying, but for Catholics who presume to have rights that others naturally have, but which Blackstone believes they should be denied, on account of their divided loyalty. The only way that curtailment of rights and freedoms can be enforced for a certain group of the religious people is with the weight of the law, backed up by the possibility of prosecution. Thus, curtailment and prosecution are intertwined.

Yours is the unAmerican way of thinking. You truly do think with twisted logic, like a true leftist. "All men are created equal" does not make OPINIONS and POLITICAL POSITIONS equal.

I say, All men are equal in the rights they have, no matter what their OPINIONS or POLITICAL POSITIONS are. What you represent me as saying is a shameless distortion. I also say it is not the American way to consider some men less than equal by virtue of their political, religious, or other opinions. That is something that only the far right is likely to dispute.

At that time, when John F. Kennedy was running for president, many Americans feared the same thing you fear on principle.

Perhaps they were right to do so, psi bond. What if they were? What if Kennedy really did listen to the Pope against the interests of the nation? What then?

You mean perhaps the principle should be put into practice? If verifiable, it may be grounds for the Republicans to start impeachment proceedings, contemporaneously or posthumously. What if Bush had said he took his counsel not from his father, the former president, but from a higher Father? What then? These kinds of anxieties make as little sense in America as Blackstone’s about the possibility of witchcraft.

Although not a factor in his race for the public office of senator, it was more than a PRINCIPLE in the 1960 presidential race; it was a politically manipulated sense of alarm. The overriding principle in this example is that public office holders ought not to be put to a religious test in this country. Only the uninformed think it is consistent with the Constitution to do so. The president on inauguration swears a solemn oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, the spirit of which many Americans sadly fail to understand.

Such as yourself and the left in particular.

No, such as rightwing extremists who think that religions per se that they believe to have a destructive potential can thereby be restricted under the Constitution.

As for the oath, I guess we have to determine whether we can trust a man's oath. I don't think there's anything in Catholicism to override such an oath, but there is in Islam. They specifically teach that all allegiances sworn to anyone but Allah are void and in fact they teach that it is a righteous act to deceive "infidels" by seeming to support their causes and then turn on them in the name of Allah.

Honorable men consider their oath to be sacred. If most of us do not think a particular man is honorable, we should not elect him. We have two Muslims in Congress, who took their oaths on the Koran; they swore in the name of Allah.

Hence, they have what you christen a disruptive potential in the society and/or the polity---and, therefore, their religious belief ought to be subject to legal restriction, as condoned by Sir William Blackstone. (To quote you verbatim: “The point is, PB, that Blackstone's comment on Catholicism gives ground for NOT tolerating any religion just because it's religion, but restricting it according to its potential for being a disruptive political and social influence.”)

psi bond said...

Continued

Oh good grief. You again take words out of context and make a mess of things. Beliefs and allegiance are not to be combined as you do.

Gosh, Faith, I gave your full context. If you want to walk away from it that’s another matter. I said that genuineness of allegiance is dependent on belief. Are you saying there is no connection between them and they cannot be so combined?

As for allegiance to God, this is THE religious belief that our Constitution DOES protect. There is nothing subversive about it. Christians are commanded to obey the temporal authorities in everything except what violates God's law. And God's law used to be the law of this land.
Continued

Both allegiance to God and allegiance to no god are protected by our Constitution. Allegiance to God may appear to some to be subversive if it is interpreted as being a primary allegiance to a higher law. Not the Constitution but Jesus (Mark 12:17) commands Christians to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." There is no founding U.S. document that decrees that God’s law shall be the law of the land. U.S. laws are made by men who are elected to Congress, as stipulated in the Constitution. This was the historic revolution achieved by the American republic---the divine right, claimed since biblical times by kings, to make the laws was delegated to ordinary men.

However, unfortunately your revisionist twisted way of thinking is more and more prevailing against the original wisdom of our laws, and Christians are already being subjected to the beginnings of persecution, so far mostly in the realm of twisted public (leftist) opinion but that leads to twisted law -- against such things as "hate crimes" in the form of preaching that homosexual acts are against God's laws. If you have your way we will eventually be completely marginalized and subject to prosecution for obeying God. So you are doing your best to make logical hash out of this discussion and confuse the issues concerning Blackstone and the laws of God in general to hasten the day.

That is hysterical nonsense, a mishmash of baseless, albeit familiar charges against the “evil” conspiratorial lefties. Cry as you will, Christians are not victims in America. There is no persecution of Christians under the Constitution, nor should there be, according to liberal thinking. Nor should Christians force their misconceived revisionary notion of a Christian nation on non-Christians. Christians have no special divine rights in the civil law that other Americans are bound to respect. We can live in peace in America if Christians do not demand unique privileges demeaning to the rest of us.

Since you bring up hate crimes, Faith, in a discussion of whether religious freedom can be restricted, it is important to note that hate crime laws are not restrictions on thought, but restrictions on actions stemming from hatred of a group of good Americans who have often been subjected to discrimination, such as homosexuals. Liberals believe, Blackstone notwithstanding: All men are created equal, including homosexuals and Catholics.
.
Your illogic is a mass, a barrier apparently constructed here to distract from the revolutionary, unconstitutional doctrine that you proposed in your previous post. You suggested that those people whose religious belief by itself (“THE RELIGION ITSELF”) creates an imagined potential for disrupting society should be firmly dealt with by the law, regardless of how peaceable, hard working, and law abiding they may be.

psi bond said...

Concluded

Their peaceableness etc. is not the point. Their religion's demand for allegiance to another authority than our Constitution is the point. Blackstone made a decent point about the Pope's influence over Catholics that ought to be considered in this context. But this consideration ought to be taken even more seriously in the case of Islam whose overarching objective is to take the whole world for Allah -- no matter how long it takes. You are naive in the extreme about Islam. Muslims may live peaceably for long periods under foreign rule while building up a population and political base on which to take a stand against the nation for Allah.

Peaceable, law-abiding people should not have their rights abridged for religious reasons. Under the Constitution they cannot be abridged. That is hte point. All religions (with the exception of some forms of Buddhism) demand obedience to God. Blackstone made a pre-modern point in arguing for the denial of full rights to Catholics that it seems only far-right evangelists hold up as a model of good thinking in jurisprudence. It is not binding legal grounds for denying rights to any American who is law abiding.

Many on the right are naïve in the extreme about the consequences of treating all Muslims as enemies. Most Muslims are moderates (like the father of the Nigerian underwear bomber), but they can be radicalized if they are convinced that the U.S. is waging a war against Islam, which is exactly what bin Laden is praying the U.S. will do. For that is what he has been telling those he would recruit.

psi bond said...

Neither of us knows enough about Blackstone to argue his case in its entirety. The Encyclopedia Britannica is not the final authority on anything. Please stick to the few specific points that have been raised.

Sticking to the specific issues that have been raised, I note that, contrary to the pretense you make (seemingly posturing as some final authority) that Blackstone is an unimpeachable authority in U.S. law practice, the Britannica article (which is authored by an expert in the field) informs the layperson that Blackstone has little value in modern times except as an unread symbol to lawyers (somewhat like Chaucer may be to those who pretend to know English literature).

psi bond said...

Some loose ends, psi bond. You take me to task way up in this thread for ascribing certain attitudes to Western thinking. I believe you managed to confuse that issue too as you are as usual talking about "Muslims" instead of "Islam," and as you are next talking about "nonviolent protest" although that wasn't something I had addressed. But what I want to say now is that your example of Gandhi's use of nonviolent protest:

The fact is Islam is comprised of practicing Muslims, and all this arose in the context of your telling us two weeks ago your notion of what a “good” Muslim is, namely, someone who seeks violent vengeance rather than adopting the Western Christian idea (of turning the other cheek?).

The idea that nonviolent protest is, as Faith supposes, “a [W]estern Christian idea” is a weird kind of rightwing revisionism. As if Mahatma Gandhi were a Christian,

This is bizarrely ignorant. It is a fact known to anyone who has read about Gandhi that he was a great admirer of Christ and did get the idea for his nonviolent protest from his understanding of Christ's teachings.

That is bizarrely confused. Gandhi was not a Christian, and one can argue on Christian sites about what were his influences, but Gandhi is indeed the example that most people think of today when they think of nonviolent protest movements, such as resistance to the government. Obfuscate as you choose, but historically speaking, Jesus was not the leader of any nonviolent resistance movement against the Roman Empire. Gandhi is internationally identified with the doctrine of nonviolent protest. He is known to have inspired the Christian minister and movement leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. By contrast, Jesus is not known to have said, at least not in the canonical gospels, Thou shalt protest, but with no one’s blood shed, Caesar’s taxes (Mark ?:?).

However, I had said nothing about nonviolent protest and your claim that I did is just your usual style of obfuscating misrepresentation.

On the contrary, you said two weeks ago:

If they are "good" in the sense that they are true to their Koran they WILL want to kill those who insult their prophet; if they are "good" in the sense psi bond is talking about, a western Christian idea of what being good is, they will deny the truth of their Koran.

And be nonviolent, right?

To put this in sensible perspective, the full context of what I said, two weeks ago, really needs to be quoted; your abridgment distorts it:

The idea that nonviolent protest is, as Faith supposes, “a [W]estern Christian idea” is a weird kind of rightwing revisionism. As if Mahatma Gandhi were a Christian, and, as a matter of Christian definition, good Muslims cannot exist. As if, in the established rightwing view, the very phrase “good Muslims” is an oxymoron.

Also, I'm very sure you DID say something about how our laws are derived from English law, but perhaps not in this thread. At least I can't find it here.

Here is the context of what you claimed I said: “Blackstone didn't invent laws, he codified existing laws, the laws of England which as I recall you proudly identified at one point as the basis for ours.”

Let’s stick to this thread. It is not true that I said that, or anything like it. Although you’re sure I said something, you are putting words in my mouth that I did NOT say. Not in this thread, or in a discussion with you in another thread.

psi bond said...

The whole point is that secularists WON'T stop attacking our freedom of religion, and they actually claim, as psi bond is doing, that it is our religion that is unConstitutional, not their attack. Of course, arguing with them probably won't accomplish a lot but sometimes it helps just to keep the issues alive and on the table

Useful discussion that furthers understanding of the issues is facilitated by not allowing to go unchallenged blatant distortion and misrepresentation of one’s position, as you have done here, Faith, with mine. I do not say, nor have I ever said, that your religion is unconstitutional. The statement I endorse is that freedom of religion is the right of everyone---of Christians no more than anyone else. That statement is in full accordance with the Constitution. That Christians have a privileged place is not in accordance.

And the notion promoted by some on the far right that people of certain Christian sects or some other faith should have their civil rights limited by law solely because of their professed allegiance to a higher spiritual authority is unconstitutional and untenable.

psi bond said...

A rule for bloggers:

A good discussion should not be corralled, but followed wherever it leads. The blog is richer for it.

Faith said...

You cannot deny rights to a religion without denying it to those who practice it; there is no mechanism in constitutional law for abridging a religion itself.

You must stay up nights figuring out how to make the least sense out of what I've said. I was attempting to answer your constantly putting the focus on individuals as the miscreants in any religious misbehavior, as if the religion had nothing to do with it. Certainly that does happen. Individuals misunderstand their religion and acting in its name become a problem. But I'm trying to keep the focus on the religion itself because you keep pretending there's no such category of concern. Yes, there is. OF COURSE it's the individual followers that the law deals with. Sheesh! But the point Blackstone was making and that I keep trying to keep in focus is that THERE CAN BE A PROBLEM WITH INDIVIDUALS ACTING COMPLETELY IN HARMONY WITH THEIR RELIGION, the religion being what is taught them, the directives that make it up, the holy books and so on. You understand this quite well when it comes to objecting to Christians who follow the Bible, but seem to think it's only individual rogue Muslims NOT following their Koran who could be a threat to the public peace.

And again, nobody is talking about PROSECUTING anyone, and nobody is talking about criminalizing THOUGHTS. Except of course Leftists against Christians.

To curtail a freedom is not to PROSECUTE anything. There is no action that could be taken that could be prosecuted. If you don't allow a member of a certain religion to run for public office, then such a person simply can't run for public office so there's nothing to prosecute. If a person then did in some condition of ignorance run for public office and it was found out, he wouldn't be prosecuted, he'd simply be deprived of the opportunity. I shouldn't have to be spelling all this out it's so obvious.

Ultra-orthodox Jews do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel, where many of them live and influence policy, because, according to their belief, Israel must be established by the Messiah, who has not arrived.

Yes, so what? We were talking about a religion being a subversive threat. It doesn't matter WHY their beliefs are anti-Zionist, there is simply no subversive threat because of that.

We are also not talking about some vague "suspicion of disloyalty." We are talking about religious teachings that in and of themselves clearly command divided loyalties of their members.

Faith said...

Blackstone suggests prosecution is called for, not for BEING Catholics, as you falsely pretend I’m saying, but for Catholics who presume to have rights that others naturally have, but which Blackstone believes they should be denied, on account of their divided loyalty.

What on earth do you have in mind? I thought we were talking about things like refusing office to members of some religions. There's nothing to be prosecuted as I explain above. That leaves prosecuting them for BEING Catholic. That's the only thing left, that was my point. There IS nothing to prosecute them FOR.

The only way that curtailment of rights and freedoms can be enforced for a certain group of the religious people is with the weight of the law, backed up by the possibility of prosecution. Thus, curtailment and prosecution are intertwined.


This is so abstract it's meaningless. The practical facts of the matter are that there's nothing to prosecute anyone for. You have a group of people who are bound to allegiance to a foreign power. You allow them complete status as citizens only they cannot run for office or perhaps do other things, which so far have not been specified. If you have some action in mind that might be denied them that they could do and therefore come under prosecution for it, please spell it out and stop talking so abstractly.

As for taking instruction from a "higher Father" at least one President other than Bush claimed he was put in office by God, only I can't remember which one for sure. Wilson maybe? Belief in and obedience to God has HISTORICALLY always been encouraged in this nation until relatively recently, and acted upon by many Presidents, judges and other leaders. Even the Deists among the founders strongly encouraged religious belief and moral living based on God's law. You are simply rewriting the Constitution to suit your leftist prejudices against God and Christians. Obedience to God is the engine that runs the nation, it is only religious teachings that oppose this obedience and leaders of foreign interests that can be subversive.

Anyone who swears in the name of Allah is DEFINITELY someone who should be watched, because there really is a teaching in Islam, unknown to or ignored by our suicidally politically correct leftists, that it is a righteous act to deceive the "infidel," and that means all nonMuslims. Even ALLOWING anyone to swear in the name of Allah is already proof of our suicidal PC deterioration.

Faith said...

Since you bring up hate crimes, Faith, in a discussion of whether religious freedom can be restricted, it is important to note that hate crime laws are not restrictions on thought, but restrictions on actions stemming from hatred of a group of good Americans who have often been subjected to discrimination, such as homosexuals. Liberals believe, Blackstone notwithstanding: All men are created equal, including homosexuals and Catholics.

Hate crime laws are not so much "restrictions" on thought as direct persecution of thought because it includes a supposition of MOTIVATION in anyone guilty of a crime against a member of some group designated Protected Species in today's bizarre world, such as homosexuals. You don't have to PROVE the motivation in such a case, the law merely ASSUMES it because of the identity of the victim, and simply the identity of the victim makes the crime all the more criminal. This is insanity.

But more telling than that even, hate crime laws PUNISH ANYONE INCLUDING PREACHERS WHO COMMIT NO CRIME WHATEVER BUT MERELY PREACH THE BIBLE'S TEACHINGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND WHATEVER ELSE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TODAY HAPPENS TO DISAGREE WITH. There have in fact been some actions against preachers already, in Canada and Australia as I recall. This is most certainly criminalizing THOUGHT, BELIEF. And this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

And I do not react hysterically to the idea of Christians being persecuted. I expect it, maybe even in what's left of my own lifetime. I'm reconciled to it, and I even sometimes, in rare moments of such abstracted objectivity that I've forgotten how miserable it would be, think it would be a good thing. You are projecting the hysteria onto me.

Wow, Islam IS our enemy but we're not allowed to say that because if we do then they WILL be our enemy. Can't win for losing with Islam. But again, knowing that Islam is our enemy does not make all Muslims our enemy, it just makes them less than fundamental Muslims, and if recognizing the truth turns them against us that's irrational of them because most of them know the true intention in their own religion. Actually in most cases it doesn't turn them against us, but there are those who do at some point turn from being casual Muslims to fundamental Muslims because there's always that possibility in their written directives. For a people who restrict the rights of foreigners in their own lands to such a degree that they are reduced to poverty and treated like animals and subjected to enslavement and pogroms and death, you'd think they could live with not being allowed to hold public office or swear on the Koran if they are allowed it. But you're apparently willing to be so cowed by this irrational religion you'd accommodate to the point of suicide yourself.

Faith said...

I'm not impressed that our legal system no longer respects Blackstone. It's just another of the ways that we've deteriorated from the original intent of the founding of this nation. Clearly, in the beginning of the nation, his religious principles were welcomed -- by the very men who wrote the Constitution including the Bill of Rights.

The fact is Islam is comprised of practicing Muslims, and all this arose in the context of your telling us two weeks ago your notion of what a “good” Muslim is, namely, someone who seeks violent vengeance rather than adopting the Western Christian idea (of turning the other cheek?).

No, you are again twisting things and doing it by focusing on the individual rather than the religion. It should be obvious what I meant, and to anyone with less of an axe to grind I'm sure it would be. A "good" member of a religion is one who OBEYS ITS DICTATES. A "good" member of Islam is one who OBEYS THE KORAN AND THE OTHER AUTHORITATIVE TEACHINGS. The Koran does not teach anything remotely like turning the other cheek. The Koran DOES teach violence against enemies. There are "liberal" or nominal Muslims who don't follow the Koran and do merely want to live peaceably among their neighbors and they are the ones I said were "good" by our standards, for which I did not have a specifically Christian context in mind.

Why are you having so much trouble following these obvious points? I'm asking seriously. I shouldn't have to be explaining all this. There is nothing difficult about any of it, only with your strange ways of misconstruing it all.

Faith said...

Useful discussion that furthers understanding of the issues is facilitated by not allowing to go unchallenged blatant distortion and misrepresentation of one’s position, as you have done here, Faith, with mine. I do not say, nor have I ever said, that your religion is unconstitutional. The statement I endorse is that freedom of religion is the right of everyone---of Christians no more than anyone else. That statement is in full accordance with the Constitution. That Christians have a privileged place is not in accordance.

How naive of you. There happen to be some serious conflicts between belief systems that you are ignoring. Christians MUST declare that homosexuality is a sin in God's eyes and MUST work to ensure that society does not legitimize it as an "alternative lifestyle." This is NOT denying homosexuals Constitutional rights. But because we hold this position you regard US to be acting unConstitutionally, and that is what I meant and again I can't understand why it isn't obvious to you. This is the leftist PC line. OUR beliefs must be restricted as unconstitutional.

And actually, it's not that "Christians" are to have a privileged place so much as that BIBLICAL DOCTRINE has or should have a privileged place in our laws and in our courts, in our public life and in our government as well, as it used to have.

However, I'm glad if you believe that our allegiance to God is not to be regarded as unconstitutional, but as a matter of fact what you always end up denouncing is our beliefs and not supporting them.

Please note here that I have not at any point argued on the basis of my CHRISTIAN beliefs that freedom of religion for Catholics and Muslims should possibly be restricted, but only on the basis of the potential for POLITICAL THREAT AGAINST THE NATION in their beliefs, which is how I understood Blackstone's point. And also, please keep in mind that I'm arguing this point hypothetically, based on what Blackstone said, and still haven't arrived at a settled opinion of my own. I realize it's a lot to ask of you to keep these refinements in mind, but you do pretend to high enough intelligence for the task, so I hold you to it.

You imply that you accord to Christians complete freedom for OUR beliefs, but if you personally have no objections to our preaching against homosexuality or abortion or whatnot in the pulpit or anywhere else, since this is a tenet of our biblical belief, you should at least recognize that others on the left disagree with you about that and the hate crime laws are very definitely tending toward muzzling us, on pain of prison terms.

Concerning the rule for bloggers, it only makes sense that a blog host would want the headline topic to be attended to before any tangents are pursued. And I would completely understand as well if Z wanted to have a rule that such lengthy discussions as you and I get into be prohibited. That's her right as the owner of the blog. She merely needs to state it as a rule. I think her blog does quite well without us, frankly. We are merely indulging ourselves. If she happens to enjoy it, great.

psi bond said...

You cannot deny rights to a religion without denying it to those who practice it; there is no mechanism in constitutional law for abridging a religion itself.

You must stay up nights figuring out how to make the least sense out of what I've said. I was attempting to answer your constantly putting the focus on individuals as the miscreants in any religious misbehavior, as if the religion had nothing to do with it. Certainly that does happen. Individuals misunderstand their religion and acting in its name become a problem. But I'm trying to keep the focus on the religion itself because you keep pretending there's no such category of concern. Yes, there is. OF COURSE it's the individual followers that the law deals with. Sheesh! But the point Blackstone was making and that I keep trying to keep in focus is that THERE CAN BE A PROBLEM WITH INDIVIDUALS ACTING COMPLETELY IN HARMONY WITH THEIR RELIGION, the religion being what is taught them, the directives that make it up, the holy books and so on. You understand this quite well when it comes to objecting to Christians who follow the Bible, but seem to think it's only individual rogue Muslims NOT following their Koran who could be a threat to the public peace.

Apparently, you use your evenings to figure out ways of misrepresenting my views to advance your arguments. No one's religion should be made unconstitutional; nor should any religion be censured by law for what certain of its members teach---regardless of whether they are private individuals interpreting their Bibles or interpreting their Korans. I do not single out Christians for posing a threat to the peace by their extreme religious views. The government can restrict the freedom of private individuals engaged in illegal acts, but restriction of their freedom of religion is not constitutionally acceptable under the establishment and exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

The Constitution is not overridden by the opinions of the legal historian Sir William Blackstone, which include the view that papists should have their rights restricted, and dissent is a crime. His opinions are gathering dust on Lawyers' shelves. Escaping your narrow focus is the fact that what you vigorously propose violates American law, American values, and American traditions.

And again, nobody is talking about PROSECUTING anyone, and nobody is talking about criminalizing THOUGHTS. Except of course Leftists against Christians.

It is a willful misrepresentation to pretend that liberals want to criminalize Christian THOUGHTS. Prosecution may be inevitable to enforce the restrictions you seem to favor. For example, if a citizen with a good reputation is a Catholic seeking public offense/office and declines to disclose his religious affiliation, and allegations surface that he is a crypto-Catholic, then, he would have to be tried in court to determine the truth of the matter, unless. of course, he is declared an enemy combatant, and he's waterboarded to get it out of him. A restriction imposed on alleged divided loyalty amounts to government intrusion into private thoughts.

To curtail a freedom is not to PROSECUTE anything. There is no action that could be taken that could be prosecuted. If you don't allow a member of a certain religion to run for public office, then such a person simply can't run for public office so there's nothing to prosecute. If a person then did in some condition of ignorance run for public office and it was found out, he wouldn't be prosecuted, he'd simply be deprived of the opportunity. I shouldn't have to be spelling all this out it's so obvious.

It is not so simple as you pretend. The law must be backed up by the possibility of punishment to mean anything. If certain key professions, like the law. medicine, education, and public service, are denied to papists and certain other religious folks, criminal penalties will be required to prevent those from entering them who are hiding their religious beliefs.

psi bond said...

Concluded

Ultra-orthodox Jews do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel, where many of them live and influence policy, because, according to their belief, Israel must be established by the Messiah, who has not arrived.

Yes, so what?

It may help to explain the violent acts and defiance of the law by some ultra-orthodox Jews.

We were talking about a religion being a subversive threat. It doesn't matter WHY their beliefs are anti-Zionist, there is simply no subversive threat because of that.

That's correct provided they are all nonviolent. But sometimes those who don't recognize the state's legitimacy develop a tendency for violence and lack of respect for the laws of the state.

We are also not talking about some vague "suspicion of disloyalty." We are talking about religious teachings that in and of themselves clearly command divided loyalties of their members.

The nature of the concept of divided loyalties can itself be vague. There must be Catholics who have no problem with recognizing the temporal authority of the state and the spiritual authority of the pope at the same time. It is rather remarkable that the anti-Catholic fears of fifty years ago are still alive and well in America.

psi bond said...

Blackstone suggests prosecution is called for, not for BEING Catholics, as you falsely pretend I’m saying, but for Catholics who presume to have rights that others naturally have, but which Blackstone believes they should be denied, on account of their divided loyalty.

What on earth do you have in mind? I thought we were talking about things like refusing office to members of some religions. There's nothing to be prosecuted as I explain above. That leaves prosecuting them for BEING Catholic. That's the only thing left, that was my point. There IS nothing to prosecute them FOR.

One can go from justifying a denial of public office to a restrictions on working in certain key professions. Like the law and medicine. If they cannot be trusted they could be restricted from teaching in universities. In fact, something like this actually happened in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

The only way that curtailment of rights and freedoms can be enforced for a certain group of the religious people is with the weight of the law, backed up by the possibility of prosecution. Thus, curtailment and prosecution are intertwined.

This is so abstract it's meaningless. The practical facts of the matter are that there's nothing to prosecute anyone for. You have a group of people who are bound to allegiance to a foreign power. You allow them complete status as citizens only they cannot run for office or perhaps do other things, which so far have not been specified. If you have some action in mind that might be denied them that they could do and therefore come under prosecution for it, please spell it out and stop talking so abstractly.

Your notion of a law without teeth is a meaningless abstraction. As for examples to spell it out, see above.

As for taking instruction from a "higher Father" at least one President other than Bush claimed he was put in office by God, only I can't remember which one for sure. Wilson maybe? Belief in and obedience to God has HISTORICALLY always been encouraged in this nation until relatively recently, and acted upon by many Presidents, judges and other leaders. Even the Deists among the founders strongly encouraged religious belief and moral living based on God's law. You are simply rewriting the Constitution to suit your leftist prejudices against God and Christians. Obedience to God is the engine that runs the nation, it is only religious teachings that oppose this obedience and leaders of foreign interests that can be subversive

Claiming or pretending to take instructions from God is not an impeachable offense. Nor is arranging one’s schedule according to astrology. I don’t think we need to be concerned about divided loyalty in those case, unless God turns out to be opposed to vesting power in the people, diverse as they are in thought and belief. We don’t have to copy the religious beliefs of the colonists in 1776 (assuming they all thought alike) to be good Americans. Religion is not a guarantor of morality and it is not the only source of it. Secular humanism, for example, also has a moral code.

Anyone who swears in the name of Allah is DEFINITELY someone who should be watched, because there really is a teaching in Islam, unknown to or ignored by our suicidally politically correct leftists, that it is a righteous act to deceive the "infidel," and that means all nonMuslims. Even ALLOWING anyone to swear in the name of Allah is already proof of our suicidal PC deterioration.

The same should apply to Christians. All congressmen should be watched. Politicians of all religions have been known to lie.

Within the Shia theological framework, the concept of Taqiyya refers to a dispensation allowing believers to conceal their faith when under threat, persecution, or compulsion. Restricting Muslims from public office, may cause it to be invoked. I believe the Marrano Jews in Spain had similar justifcation for lying about their faith.

psi bond said...

Since you bring up hate crimes, Faith, in a discussion of whether religious freedom can be restricted, it is important to note that hate crime laws are not restrictions on thought, but restrictions on actions stemming from hatred of a group of good Americans who have often been subjected to discrimination, such as homosexuals. Liberals believe, Blackstone notwithstanding: All men are created equal, including homosexuals and Catholics.

Hate crime laws are not so much "restrictions" on thought as direct persecution of thought because it includes a supposition of MOTIVATION in anyone guilty of a crime against a member of some group designated Protected Species in today's bizarre world, such as homosexuals. You don't have to PROVE the motivation in such a case, the law merely ASSUMES it because of the identity of the victim, and simply the identity of the victim makes the crime all the more criminal. This is insanity.

A court of law requires proof of motivation. A supposition does not suffice in American law. So-called protected species include racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation. Some extreme examples of hate crimes in history include the Roman persecution of Christians, the Ottoman genocide of Armenians, the Holocaust, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and genocide in Rwanda.

Some of the more typical examples of hate crimes in the U.S. include lynchings of African Americans, cross burnings to drive black families from predominantly white neighborhoods, assaults on white people traveling in predominantly black neighborhoods, assaults on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the painting of swastikas on Jewish synagogues and xenophobic responses to a variety of minority ethnic groups. It is insanity not o recognize these as hate crimes.

But more telling than that even, hate crime laws PUNISH ANYONE INCLUDING PREACHERS WHO COMMIT NO CRIME WHATEVER BUT MERELY PREACH THE BIBLE'S TEACHINGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND WHATEVER ELSE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TODAY HAPPENS TO DISAGREE WITH. There have in fact been some actions against preachers already, in Canada and Australia as I recall. This is most certainly criminalizing THOUGHT, BELIEF. And this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

I am not familiar with the details of the cases in Canada and Australia, and so cannot determine if they are as you characterize them. The Canadian code punishes anyone who "advocates or promotes genocide" with genocide defined to require that acts be committed "with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group".[The U.S. law is different. Forty five states and the District of Columbia also have laws criminalizing various types of hate crimes.

But I think you are exaggerating and driving yourself into a hysterical state. If a preacher feels constrained about advocating the death penalty for homosexuals and adulterers in accordance with the Bible, it more likely is because of the humanist ethos than because of fear of the law.

And I do not react hysterically to the idea of Christians being persecuted. I expect it, maybe even in what's left of my own lifetime. I'm reconciled to it, and I even sometimes, in rare moments of such abstracted objectivity that I've forgotten how miserable it would be, think it would be a good thing. You are projecting the hysteria onto me.

You are exposing the hysteria consuming you. Most Americans have no fear that hate crime laws will muzzle them. And destroy their way of life.

Wow, Islam IS our enemy but we're not allowed to say that because if we do then they WILL be our enemy. Can't win for losing with Islam.

psi bond said...

Concluded

The drama queen shtick notwithstanding, you are allowed to say it, if you like. But I think it unwise, considering the propaganda victory it hands to those who want us to declare war on Islam. Violent Islamic extremists are our enemy, not Islam. Neither Bush nor Obama say Islam is the enemy.

But again, knowing that Islam is our enemy does not make all Muslims our enemy, it just makes them less than fundamental Muslims, and if recognizing the truth turns them against us that's irrational of them because most of them know the true intention in their own religion. Actually in most cases it doesn't turn them against us, but there are those who do at some point turn from being casual Muslims to fundamental Muslims because there's always that possibility in their written directives. For a people who restrict the rights of foreigners in their own lands to such a degree that they are reduced to poverty and treated like animals and subjected to enslavement and pogroms and death, you'd think they could live with not being allowed to hold public office or swear on the Koran if they are allowed it. But you're apparently willing to be so cowed by this irrational religion you'd accommodate to the point of suicide yourself.

No rational person can say that is not a prime example of incoherent hysterical reasoning. Cowed by a consuming fear of Islam like yours, many far rightwingers have subtly proposed over the Internet nuking them all, nuking Mecca for starters.

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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