Originally Posted by hschisler
That is such a cheap shot (emoticon or not) Ken, and you are so much better than that.
Terrible pun that it is, you gotta admit there's some small truth to it. Not in every church, or with every priest, but in enough cases that it continues to be a serious problem. The fact that the church hasn't stood up and rooted out this problem with every resource available to them makes them somewhat complicit. And the various cases where they have actually protected those under accusation of such terrible crimes makes all those directly involved in the cover up accessories, in every legal and criminal sense of the word.
And I have no problem with someone believing whatever they want. I do have a problem with them forcing everyone else to believe the same things that they do, or continuously prostelitizing to others on how they need to live their lives. Whether it's done via word of mouth, through media advertising, or by lobbying to pass laws that force everyone into their own mold, it's just plain wrong.
And yeah, I have big problems with organized religion. Sure, it does good for many people, but there are just as many counter examples both currently and throughout history that I find the whole thing distasteful.
I believe that people have the right to live their own lives how they see fit, within the common constraints that we have set up as a society. I believe that all folks are equal, regardless of race, religion, sex, gender (not always the same difference there), sexual orientation, etc. That includes the right to marry whom you wish, the right to make decisions about your own body, the right to believe in whatever gets you through the day, and the right to be left in peace to do so.
We've already been over the whole abortion thing, which is to say that focusing only on the pregnancy while ignoring the causes of these unwanted pregnancies, and then ignoring the child (and the mother) once it is born is just plain hypocritical.
We've been over the freedom of religion thing, and the accompanying right to believe in None of the Above. Hell, I'd be happy if we could all just agree to disagree on that one.
And we've even touched on the whole gay marriage issue, but perhaps we can explore that a bit further, as it happens to pertain directly to this argument. There is currently a proposition on the California ballot to ban gay marriage. For this argument, we'll disregard the fact that no one has the right to codify such discrimination into law. And discrimination it is, same as if they were black, or Jewish, or any of the other groups that have suffered over the years because of folks who simply think they're "better" than others.
Instead, we'll focus on the fact that the pro-ban folks are being heavily funded by the mormons. That's right, mormons. From Utah. Trying to shoot down a legal right already given to Californians. The same folks that believe a man can marry as many women as he feels like and that's perfectly fair, have a problem with two men or two women devoting their lives to each other? And they feel that not only can they sway the California vote to support their own religious discrimination, but they also feel that they have the right to? WTF?
So yeah, I have an issue with organized religion and their continued power plays and brainwashing of those who are unable or unwilling to think for themselves. Or at the very least those who are simply unable to let others think and act for themselves without interference.
Originally Posted by hschisler
I hold no illusions that I or anyone else is capable of changing your mind on this topic, and I'm pretty certain you won't be changing Channing's position.
If that is true (and I agree that it most likely is), then why do Channing and others feel the need to keep posting such drivel here? And yes, I include those who are notorious pot-stirrers in that, whether or not they may happen to hold similar beliefs as I do. If they truly believe in their own position, then there is no need to argue it. If they need to proclaim to the world how they are right, and all who oppose are wrong, then how weak is their argument?
I have a lot of respect for some deeply religious people, and also for some people who are deeply non-religious. But in each case that respect is given to the individual, not to the group or society they happen to claim allegiance to. Although I will admit that most of the folks that I admire simply carry on their lives according to their own beliefs and don't spend their time trying to change other's minds, or forcing the rest of the world to follow their own warped sense of how the world should work.
You will note that I will never
start one of these threads on religion or politics - either to bash the other side, or to promote those views that I happen to hold. Just as I will never walk into your church and tell you that you're doing it wrong. But come into my community (either virtual or a real neighborhood) and tell me that I'm doing it wrong and you will meet with resistance, at least as strong as your initial attack, if not stronger.
So I will reserve the right to comment on anything that happens to get tossed out here for general discussion. At least while we still have that freedom left to us.