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So why are so many American Xians claiming they're persecuted?

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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:45 PM
Original message
So why are so many American Xians claiming they're persecuted?
What's up with so many American Xians, particularly the conversative type, claiming that they're suffering persecution? Are they so threatened by the existance by people who don't follow their religion? Is it identification with Christ? Is it a bizarre battle cry, something to rally the troops? What's up with this cult of victimization that seems to have grown up around these people?
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. They're an agressive movement.
And most agressive movements justify their agression by feigning prosecution. Bush claimed to be "threatened" by Iraq, after all.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. rally the troops
"Freedom"
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's like white people whining about reverse racism.
Same bullshit. Same people.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Similar, indeed.
Religious intolerance and racial prejudice are ugly, no matter who is the intolerant or racist person. One can not justify either racism or religious intolerance in any of their forms.

I suspect that the vast, vast majority of christians in America complaining about being the victim of intolerance stems from their shock that some people disagree with them -- and have every right to. Rigid thinking tends to snap under pressure.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
46. I was actually just thinking
the same thing.
You notice it more in red states, but most of the fundies here have never had anyone disagree with them.
I know there are other non-christians here, but nobody ever really stood up to these bullies before.
Now progressives are becoming more vocal in their opposition out of necessity and it really does jolt them out of their rigidity.

It's good for them, IMO.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #46
69. It is as hard for them
to accept, as it is for George W. to even consider the possibility that he may ever be wrong. The one clip where a reporter asked him to identify any mistakes he has ever made is so telling. People with this narrow grasp of the world have to identify anyone who disagrees with them as "the enemy." If you disagree with Bush, you disagree with America; if you disagreee with Falwell, you hate God. What appears to be an intellectual limitation is, I suspect, more of a failure to develop on an emotional level.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. Oh yeah
Edited on Thu Jun-30-05 02:03 PM by FreedomAngel82
You can't be wrong or your faith might be in jeproady. These people should read the book of Job if they're so unsure of their faith. Job went through all types of horrible things but yet he still kept his faith in God and never cursed him etc. I wonder if they would like black people marrying white people....
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #69
88. On our NPR station this morning,
they interviewed some locals asking for their opinion about the SCOTUS ruling on the 10 commandments in courthouses.

One guy is going to put a 10c monument in his front yard and he wants others to do the same.

He said that when "they" come to take HIS monument, they're going to be sorry.

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. Sad ....
Many people believe "they" -- in all their manifest forms -- are out to get them. If people want to put these things on their own property, I doubt there is anyone in America who would mind. The fact that they are incapable of distinguishing between this and those things that all Americans should find objectionable, such as the displays on public property, indicates a mental block on their part.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. They live in an alternate
reality.
I'm not surprised NPR can barely raise enough money to keep operating in this back-asswards area.
These people watch faux news and read The Kentuckian or The Tennessean.
They are not even conscious enough for cognitive dissonance.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #96
97. There is a program
on Showtime called "Penn & Teller," I believe .... they had a show about the move to introduce "intelligent design" into public school's science classes. Although the show is hilarious, at least at times, it wass also reason for concern. The idea that religion should be taught as science seems so obviously flawed that there should be no need for any discussion.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. I see you're from
NY. My dad's from Staten Island.
I grew up in Vermont and had NO idea how bad living in a red state would be when I moved here.
The almost universal acceptance of bigotry and religious intolerance never ceases to amaze me.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #99
106. A few miles from here
a family of friends has a sweat lodge. They are Lakota people, although in the extended family, there are some black, brown and white people. Last summer, when they were having a ceremony, a neighbor came out into the woods (on his property) and set up a target towards their lodge. He began shooting a shot-gun, over and over and over.

The mother/grandmother walked over and asked him if he might stop. He ranted about his right to own guns, which wasn't really the issue. She asked if he were at a Christian ceremony, would he understand how someone shooting a gun nearby would be considered disruptive?

He did stop then. But the look in his eyes was pure hatred. It is hard for those who have not been subjected to that type of aggressive disrespect, and pure hatred, to understand. There is some strong negative feelings that is aimed towards Christianity, and in a very real sense, prejudice is prejudice, and hatred is hatred. But it is important for Christians to realize that with the exception of black Americans in the civil rights era, they have not had weapons of violence aimed at them in the same way that non-Christians have had, and still have.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #106
110. You explained it beautifully.
I once told my brother that he is not the victim of discrimination if he doesn't get hired due to quotas.

Discrimination to me means that you are considered inferior because of what you are.

Straight white christian males will never be subjected to that type of bigotry. They will never have to know what that feels like.

When a prospective employer hires a minority instead of my brother because of affirmative action, it is NOT discrimination.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
74. Probably
Just like with gays. Nobody is making anybody go out and be gay. As George Bush said in his little Oval office tour you have to think of everybody and not just the people who voted for you. (heh) But yet turn around and hate gay people. Yeah, uh huh. Last time I looked the Christian right still had all the freedoms around. But yet they won't be happy until every single person is going by their laws and having to do what they say. :mad:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #74
82. Exactly right.
There is no way to justify hatred of gay people. It just can't be done. There is no rational justification of that ugly form of hatred. Thus, in order to justify their own low level of being, those who hate gays lay it on "the Lord." They project their diseased thinking in every direction; this is not surprising, of course, since they are unlikely to project healthy thinking as a result of hatred.
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kwolf68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Same reason as saying

The media is Liberal...

it allows them to get more and more leeway in advancing the true agenda.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
28. Playing the ref. Yep. nt
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. Because they are cowards and bullies at the same time

The official definition of a bully is: "A cruel oppressor of the weak". Bullying takes many different forms. There can be outright physical intimidation and assault; there can be emotional blackmail; there can be psychological menace. Most people think of bullying only in terms of the first form -- which is actually very blinkered because it is far more prevalent in the other two forms, although not as visible to the uninitiated eye.

Bullying has become extremely rife in schools today. It is not just in the U.K. that this is the case. When I was in Holland, which is a very aggressive, self-centred society which relentlessly pampers children's egos, I discovered that it was a normal part of school culture, known as "Pesten".

Sometimes children who bully are merely imitating their teachers. That teachers can often be bullies was what lay behind the song "We Don't Need No Education" by the Pink Floyd on their concept album "The Wall" (although the song title shows that they did need education in English grammar!). One of the verses said: "We don't need no education; we don't need no thought control; no dark sarcasm in the classroom; teacher leave those kids alone". "Dark sarcasm" towards children is, of course, a form of bullying. It dehumanises its victim under the guise of humour. Using a cloak to hide behind is a very common tactic of the bully. Bullies always deny that they are bullying. Always. They say: "Aw it was just a bit of fun", or they accuse their victims of being paranoid or having a persecution complex, or they make out that they were merely defending themselves against prior attacks from their victims. Bullies are always accomplished liars as well as being bullies.

Another interesting facet of bullying is that although they are prepared to attack in the most vicious fashion, using subterfuge and lies, when anyone begins to complain about it they plead that they are being unfairly treated, and feel very sorry for themselves. Isn't that always how bullies behave? I seem to recall Flashman from "Tom Brown's Schooldays" whining and whimpering that he was being unfairly attacked when he finally got his comeuppance! Bullies are always cowards at heart.

http://www.diakrisis.org/cosmic_bullying.htm

http://indigo.ie/~odonnllb/cabullying/bullybad.htm
http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
80. Lots of good info there
Edited on Thu Jun-30-05 02:05 PM by FreedomAngel82
Wow. That describes these people to a tee! They claim we're liars when we aren't, they claim that they're really the minority and nothing is ever fair. Blah blah blah. Watch the RNC convention from last year. Proclaiming we're liars and tons of fear. Nothing positive ever came from that convention.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. They are programmed to respond that way,
to be outraged and to feign the victim stance. The leaders of the religiously insane know that they cannot carry such an argument with the truth so they must insist on melodrama and lies. And they are obviously unaware of how lucky they are to live in this country. Christian conservatives are not persecuted in America - period. They guys in the big pulpits know that but they must have the foot soldiers whine for attention and do all they can to obfuscate the crystal clear separation of church and state tenent.

Thanks for asking Modem Butterfly.

Those motherfuckers piss this veteran off with all their whining and lies and hypocrisy and institutionalized hate.
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ithinkmyliverhurts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. Because claiming victim status today
means rhetorical/political capital.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. There are real
Victims of bullies who suffer because of bullies..

And there are bullies playing victim to avoid having to deal with what they have done to hurt people while they bullied people.

Bullies are cowards,playing victim to be pitied so they never get their comeuppance.

BIG difference.

Victims of bullies get hurt by bullies because some bully thought they could hurt them and abuse them for entertainment or some other selfish reason and get away with it..Victims of bullies are hurt deeply and sometimes they get PSTD or shell shock from school or re traumatize themselves trying to come to grips with the pain.
Bullying has severe consequences on the lives of people victimized by bullies. One cannot just"get over it" any more than a person caught in a war crime situation can get over it.

A bully playing victim is seeking pity by playing victim only because he is caught, because a bully does not want to be punished or cut off from victims he gets off on tormenting for being seen as the asshole he is to people,when he attacks for NO real or legit REASON. Bullying is not self defense.Bullies bully for pleasure or to create a culture(or posse) around themselves that tolerates bullying.
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ithinkmyliverhurts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Uhh, I don't think I indicated anything otherwise.
My claim still stands: victim status carries with it political/rhetorical capital.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. Stupid bumpersticker sighting: "I PRAY. Get used to it!"
I wanted to write a note and say: Who the fuck cares if you pray? Who's stopping you? Shut up and pray if you want to, and leave me out of it!
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #31
61. How about this for a stupid bumper sticker :
"The next time you think you're perfect, try walking on water."

Saw that one on my way in to work today.

All I could think about was Dana Carvey doing the Church Lady dance on SNL.
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GeekMonkey Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #61
101. I CAN WALK ON WATER!!!!!
....when it freezes
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #101
103. I might just have to make
that into a bumper sticker...

"Walk on water? Feh. Who can't do that?"

:evilgrin:
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
52. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
We have a winner!

These people control the White House, both Houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court. Their religious sentiment is printed on our money, and no avowedly athiestic politician has ever been elected to national office. Yet the religious right can't run roughshod over other people because "we're bigger than you, and we can do what we want" because there would be too much resistence -- even from other Christians.

But as long as they can claim victimhood, their activities can be rationalized as "self defense." So despite the fact that they run the whole friggin' country, there will be no end of Christians claiming persecution.
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GeekMonkey Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Must be because their faith is not as strong as they claim
otherwise, no amount of oppressoin would make them break their PRIVATE bond with their god.

but, since they are nothing but hypocrites who want to be SEEN as faithful, they must pretend to be under attack to justify their anti-christian activities
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atreides1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. They Have no Faith, Only Love for Power and Money
Their faith is second to their love of power and money, and if given a choice they would pick power and money over God.

They want control of the political process to put into place laws that will apply to those of us that they consider to be "sinners",
those very same laws would not apply to them.

They are potential traitors and should be treated as such, they have no regard for the US Constitution, unless they can twist it to their own gain.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. Because they're convinced they're right, and society is wrong...
Conservative Christians -- particularly fundamentalists -- are convinced that they have come to know the "mind of God" by being "born again". Their religious faith is not one of "seeking", but rather one of "certainty".

When people have this mindset, they tend to adopt an "us against the world" mindset. If society is not living according to their rules, then it is not upon them to simply live and let live, but for them to force their rules upon society because they are RIGHT and society is WRONG.

There was an excellent piece posted here on DU written by former Republican Senator and Methodist minister John Danforth that leveled some pretty good criticisms at the religious right. Danforth correctly identified religion as a spiritual search to try and understand the "mind of God", not as a certainty that one knows it.

Therein lies the difference between the Christians of whom you speak, and the masses of moderate and liberal Christians who know better.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
38. he was on Fresh Air yesterday or day before --
he also said Clarence Thomas was one of the "good guys." that made my head spin.

on the subject of religion, tho, he's coming out against the Theocons.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. persecution
Why did Hitler claim in Mein Kampf that Germans were being persecuted and destroyed by the fiscal mechanations of the Jews?

Tarring a strawman who has no return animosity is a good way to table set for a radical agenda movement like the one that has been pushed in the conservative christian leadership for the desecularization of the US and push for a Christian state.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. Its the whole "fed to the lions" and "crucifiied" thng, plus
the "preachers" of the wacko kind tell congregatons that evil non-believers (most of us, I guess) are out to get them.

Its a trippy paranoia-delusion type thing.

Plus, with the "armor of God" they are at war (with the non-believers) for the "soul" of America.

Anything but blind compliance = persecution.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. Notice it's the RW FUNDY Christians ONLY claiming persecution...
...anything less than a Christian theocracy (their perverse version to boot) is "persecution" to them!
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Unfortunately, that's not the case
Quite a few Xians on our side of the aisle claim it as well.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. We don't claim persecution, we claim blatant disrespect...
... from those who blithely dismiss all religion and/or spiritual belief as nothing more than "fairy tales".

There's a big difference between disrespecting one's beliefs and persecuting them. The latter requires that the persecuted is on the short side of a power relationship from the persecutor.

I don't think that's possible on an internet discussion forum. But disrespect happens all the time here, and it's not just limited to religion.
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Actually, I've seen claims of persecution among liberal Xians
Not merely disrespect, although claiming disrespect everytime someone says they doubt your religion sounds like a not-too-distant cousin of the persecution complex.
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thinkingwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #27
58. well said. nt.
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GeekMonkey Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. its disrespectful and insulting to claim that fictional characters are
real and then cry foul when we point out that they are, indeed, fictional
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #25
36.  To an atheist all religion IS nothing more than fairy tales or fiction
or we wouldn't be atheists. so i guess our mere existence is blatantly disrespectful to you. oh well... :shrug:

no gods. no masters.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #36
50. Nice strawman, but that's false...
An atheist believes that all religion is nothing more than fairy tales or fiction, and such a belief is usually the result of his or her personal experiences to that point.

For those of us who have some kind of spiritual or religious belief, such as myself, our beliefs are usually based on our personal life experiences to that point.

The problem comes when you move from saying that your personal BELIEF is that all religion is nothing more than fairy tales or fiction to stating that belief as a FACT. What you then have done is made a statement that tells me that you are invalidating all of my life experiences that have shaped my belief system, immediately placing me on the defensive. There's absolutely no positive outcome that can come from a discussion on this matter when it starts from that point.

Personally, I would LOVE the opportunity to openly discuss this issue with an atheist or even a few of them. I would love to find out what specific things in their experiences have convinced them that there is no such thing as a God, because nobody should ever feel threatened by or think they can't learn something from an alternative point of view. The problem is that here on DU such discussions inevitably result in the need for people to feel "right" as opposed to engaging in a thoughtful discussion, and it degenerates into a shouting match.

And FWIW, many atheists here also paint all "Christians" with a pretty broad brush. Some of us might surprise you with how much of the Bible we actually find to be complete bullshit, how many of us are also distrustful of organized religion, and how we hardly claim to have all, or even any of the answers, and how for us our "faith" is more or less a lifelong quest to try and understand things just a little bit better than we do now.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #50
100. Atheists share the quest
You might also be surprised that many of us atheists are also on "a lifelong quest to try and understand things just a little bit better than we do now."

Our spirit lies in nature, the stars above, science and reality itself. Our faith is in rational thought. Please don't discount that atheists are also in search of the meaning of life. That kind of discounting would be just as disrespectful as us saying that religion is a bunch of fairy tales.
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GeekMonkey Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #100
102. We atheists DO search for a meaning to life
What separates us from christians is that we don't make one up.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. Until I get my human rights respected
As a transgender person I owe no Christian respect if the church is motivating the lawmakers to take away my human rights.

Christianity is a dominator it had dominated our culture too much,until it STOPS dominating non believers and lets us live, and liberal christians stop excusing the bullies in their ranks,and letting them make laws and hate from the pulpit your christian beliefs do not deserve my respect,I HATE your god because your religion wants people like me dead.It's written in YOUR bible.How can you call a god that makes gays into abominations and seeks the MURDER of witches good?

The Christian religion IS sick,and it has made society sick.
Introspect and read your bible. It is a book of contradiction and oppression along side feel good pladitudes..None of which has done ANYTHING to stop the bigots and bullies of this world from hurting people like me..
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #37
60. Where did I claim the Bible as my own?
Where did I say that it was anything close to infallible?

I've read the Bible, and it's full of contradictions and portrays a God who calls upon people to do some pretty awful things. Personally, I think that anyone who uses it as the ultimate arbiter of everything that is good and bad in the world needs to put it aside for a while.

The Bible is a book that was written over thousands of years, the last parts of it written well over 1,000 years ago, translated several times over, interpreted by people as to what to leave in and what to leave out, and so on. In short, it is a HUMAN document, and should be treated as such. That doesn't mean that it doesn't have some pretty good moral stories in it -- the Gospels are my favorite -- but needs to be taken for what it is.

Despite the hatred coming from many sects of Christianity, there are others -- like the United Church of Christ, for example -- who view the lesson of Christianity simply as one of love, and that it is the role of those who follow that religion to love their fellow human beings simply for who they are. I fail to see how people could violently reject such a view, even if they didn't necessarily share it, unless they were in the camp of the haters....
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Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #60
78. Are you the type that
focuses on the red print? That's the way my Gramma is. She ignores everything else and focuses only on the words of Jesus. She's a really good woman who would do anything for anybody.

I'm an Atheist. But, I love the red print. I don't believe in any of the miracles, but I feel that anybody could take the red print and learn from it.

(If there's any confusion from anyone, red print = the words of Jesus only)

Anyways, just curious! :hi:
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #78
83. For the most part, yes...
My personal belief is that Jesus was a great moral teacher -- a person who was plugged into the idea of what it meant to be "close to God" more than almost anybody else in the history of the world. IMHO, the message he was trying to bring to us was a timeless one -- that the world is a gift to all of humanity, and that the best way for us to live is by living simply and sharing its bounty with each other as opposed to trying to take a larger share all for ourselves.

IMHO, that simple message is one we need now more than ever. It's just a shame that it's been so perverted and misconstrued over the past 2 millenia.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. Hey, it's my personal belief that they're fairy tales.
I respect your right to believe that God exists. You should respect my right to believe he's just another Santa Claus.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Where did I say I didn't respect that right???
The problem we run into is that for many people (myself included), my spiritual beliefs are a direct result of the life experiences I have had to this point -- as, I am sure, your atheism is a result of yours.

Now, I'm not going to go around and say that you're somehow "stupid" or "naive" for being an atheist. I might not share your beliefs, but I'm not going to denigrate them because to do so is to invalidate your personal life experiences that brought you to this point. All I ask is that you pay me the same respect in return.

Saying that it is your PERSONAL BELIEF that all religion is nothing but fairy tales is fine. You're expressing it as your own PERSONAL BELIEF which, while I may not share it, is certainly OK. Where the problem starts is when this statement of belief morphs into a statement of FACT, by saying, "Religions are nothing but fairy tales."

Such a statement puts anyone who subscribes to any religious or spiritual belief system, organized or unorganized, on the immediate defensive. When that is the starting point of a conversation, then the chances of any common understanding coming from it are pretty much nullified. That is the hallmark of all of these religious threads here on DU.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Post 25.
Where you claim that believing God is a fairy tale is Christian bashing.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. There's a difference between "believing" and "blithely dismissing".
Here's what I actually said in post 25:
... those who blithely dismiss all religion and/or spiritual belief as nothing more than "fairy tales".

Please allow me to clarify as to avoid future misunderstanding. Saying you don't believe in God, that you believe God is a fairy tale is perfectly fine -- it's your own personal belief, or lack thereof.

Saying to me that my spirituality is nothing more than a "fairy tale" is the equivalent of invalidating all of my life's experiences that brought me to the point I'm at now. It is taking a personal belief (or lack thereof) and presenting it as a fact. It's saying, "I'm right, and you're wrong." When a conversation starts from such a point -- one participant putting another on defensive -- how on earth can it be expected to lead to any kind of meaningful exchange from which all participants might be able to benefit by understanding one another better?
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #54
59. I believe it's a fact that God is a fairy tale.
There is no god including God and Jesus wasn't his son.

I've got as much right to claim that as fact as you do the other way aronud.

If somebody is so spiritually lacking that they think that other peoples beliefs are "bashing", then...
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #59
65. Yes, you've got as much right to claim that as "fact" as I do...
But the difference, my friend, is that I've never claimed my beliefs as "fact". I've claimed them to be my beliefs, and the truth of it is that I really don't know what the ultimate "fact" or "truth" is.

It's not the arrival at the destination of truth -- it's the journey of the search for truth that's important. For all of us, that journey takes us in different directions. The important thing to remember is that what we believe to be true might not be the same for other people, and that those with whom we disagree might have something that will make us think, to help propel us along the journey.

Like I said before, I don't find your beliefs or expression of those beliefs "bashing". I find when you state your beliefs in terms of fact, and the accompanying invalidation of my beliefs, as disrespectful. And there is usually very little positive exchange that can come from a discussion that is initially based upon disrespect.
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SomewhereOutThere424 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. it's true
Very large rule of forum (or anywhere) etiquitte that's generally unspoken, but expected. Never attack someone, but their opinion. Never say someone is wrong, but their opinion, and never say your opinion is right, but you believe it's right.

No matter what side I take in an argument, I always respect those who are willing to go out of their way to emphasize it's a personal belief opinion or expression, not the truth others need to live by.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Religion seems to be an exception to this rule.
Edited on Thu Jun-30-05 01:34 PM by Taxloss
For instance, if I attempted to challenge the "opinion" of the Virgin Birth, without criticising the poster, I think I would stray into troubled water no matter how carefully I kept personal attacks out of it.

Edited to add the word "water".
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Sure.
But who's fault is that for "troubling the waters."
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. But the Virgin Birth is only an opinion.
And are you saying people who think differently to your opinions should just shut up because they "trouble the waters"? That sounds a bit thin skinned.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. No, the virgin birth either happened or it didn't.
Saying that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary is a statement of fact.

Same with Creationism. They're making statements of fact, the world is 6,000 years old, and if they can't put up with argumentation they should be making statements of fact.

I'm saying people shouldn't cry wolf. They shouldn't be falsely accusing others of discrimination, especially if they're the overwhelming majority.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. Statements of fact eh?
In my day, facts were someting that could be verified and backed up - and that is simply not the case with the Virgin Birth. It's just a statement of opinion. While we dignify religious and political opinions with the term "belief", they remain opinions, albeit deeply held ones perhaps backed up by years of conditioning.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #63
70. No, all of those are statements of belief disguised as fact.
Facts are verifiable. Beliefs, or more accurately, opinions (of which beliefs happen to be a deep-seated version of the latter) are not necessarily verifiable.

People who express those beliefs as fact are simply denying all the evidence to the contrary. Their position is not one of spiritual journey, it is one of conviction in the face of all facts to the contrary because they simply want the world to be something that is easy to understand rather than the complexity that it is.

In short, they don't want to THINK. However, that is NOT necessarily a common characteristic between all people who hold various faiths.
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SomewhereOutThere424 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #51
62. I agree with that, too
There's no wrong with challenging someone's belief, especially religious. I can understand if it's done too much at once or too frequently, it can be annoying. Using the example of doing my homework, my teacher repeatedly asking me why I got an answer wrong and acting like it's a part of me as a failure would get to me. On the same chord, questioning your faith is a good thing. A faith without question is blind faith, I think it only makes us stronger to have our opinions and viewpoints challenged now and then.

I think more or less, it's the way it's taught that someone questioning your belief is not one of you, and thus an enemy. The christians I respect most are those who can calmly and rationally refute a challenge I make without once acting as if I'm wrong for feeling that way, and it causes me to never want to make the same challenge. I also think there's an appropriate time to challenge a faith and inappropriate. There are times I've seen people challenge a pastor of a church because the pastor said 'you love new york, eh? Well why don't you love jesus?' out of the blue (tons of bible thumping around here). I myself have challenged my former pastor when he berated me for handing out the 'more expensive tracts' to 'less qualified' people, and I should only give them to people I felt would recieve the message, instead of giving everyone a fair chance (kind of like mental profiling based on conversation).

I ended up dropping out of that church because my pastor put someone's belief to the christian faith on the same level as a quarter. I'd hate to see where I'd be now if no one ever questioned my faith, while knowing I was at one time affiliated with a church who didn't value a man's soul as much as money, nickels and dimes.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #51
68. Actually, I don't believe in the Virgin Birth either...
Nor do I believe that Jesus was the "Son of God", as described in the Bible.

My beliefs drift a good bit more toward Gnosticism -- the idea that God is a force that dwells in each and every one of us, and that binds all life in the universe together. Now, there is a good bit in the Bible, along with many other texts, that can help me along the journey of how my beliefs help me to understand the world better -- and just as much that I cast aside as detrimental to that goal.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #68
76. Well, I would agree with you that there's worthwhile stuff in the Bible.
Even as an atheist, I consider it a valuable document, its imagery is in many instances extremely enduring, and parts of Jesus' teaching are an inspiring evocation to social justice.

And your beliefs are your own, I don't think there's a person on DU who would challenge that.

However religion, specifically Christianity, and religious freedom, are among the defining issues of the time and I feel that the non-religious and atheist are or should be entitled to enter that debate strongly. By strongly, I mean that religion should be open to full and frank criticism. And that means all aspects of it - doctrine, mythology, background, key players, and adherents.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. And I fully agree with you on this.
However religion, specifically Christianity, and religious freedom, are among the defining issues of the time and I feel that the non-religious and atheist are or should be entitled to enter that debate strongly. By strongly, I mean that religion should be open to full and frank criticism. And that means all aspects of it - doctrine, mythology, background, key players, and adherents.

If my beliefs can't stand up to scrutiny and close evaluation, then they're not all that strong to begin with. Personally, I think of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" when it comes to how fervently people express their religious beliefs. If they express their beliefs in the term of convictions, it is because those beliefs represent a flawed tapestry that could unravel just by pulling a single loose thread. They're trying to project strength in order to hide weakness.

For those of us who approach our beliefs with humility and constant questioning and searching, we are trying to make our belief system stand up to the closest scrutiny and hardest challenge. I strive to be in this latter group.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
98. It's 'criticism' vs 'persecution'
I am an atheist. I believe that Christianity (or any religion) is not based on fact or rational thought. That's an honest criticism. However, it is NOT persecution.

Even if it's "blatant disrespect", freedom of speech guarantees my right to criticize religion, and it likewise guarantees the right of religious people to criticize non-believers and a "society" that alarms them.

Heck, freedom of speech even guarantees the right of conservative Christians to act like victims. But here's the rub: their speech cannot be allowed to lead to a unconstitutional theocracy (nor atheists' speech to a country forced to be atheistic, for that matter)--supposedly the Founders who wrote the Constitution put "controls" into place to prevent this from happening... we'll see.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
15. Because they ARE being persecuted.
Their worldview is being relentlessly hammered by modern society, culture, technology and life. They exist in a mesh of contradictions that the modern world is snipping away at. For decades they have ideologically diverged from reality, and now it has become too painful to bear.

Result: backlash against modern society.

The problem is that they - the rank and file - are very credible and this horror at progress has been taken by powerful interests and used either to raise money, gain political capital, funnel support towards extremist agendas, or all three.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. The same thing happened in the Catholic Church in the late 19th century
after Pope Pius XI wrote the Syllabus of Errors claiming that refusing to deny modernity was a sin.

If that teaches us anything, at least we know its self-defeating in the end; it neutered the political capital of the Vatican until the election of JP II in 1978 when he recinded it.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. Their worldview wouldn't be hammered
IF they didn't try to covert the world bash gays,subjugate women etc.. and push that SHIT on people that do not believe or want their stupid religion intruding into their lives.Christianity has dominated society Now they are losing the dominant status.

Becoming a religion among religions feels like persecution when you have been privileged to ignore the ABUSES your religion wrought on others.

All bullies hate victims when the victims find their voices and accuse the bullies of being bullies when they are/were bullies.
Shame on all bullies and the religions that became their posse.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
104. They are "social Luddities" with money (n/t)
n/t
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. They bring it on themselves
They selected the oppresive leaders, they selected religions with a victim as their role model, and they made the associations liberal=bad, freedom=war, free health care = bad, living wage = bad, etc., so they are just getting what they asked for.
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info being Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. Because they have indefensible beliefs...then can't defend them...
which doesn't feel good and makes them feel persecuted. LOL.
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dbonds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
19. The Christian religion was design to make add comfort to persecution
The leaders have to claim persecution for most of it to work.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. "I Don't Get To Force My Religion On You? STOP PERSECUTING ME!!!"
"Why don't you just accept me shoving my beliefs down your throat?"
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. Waaaah! I'm a victim of your not swallowing my Kool-Aide!
How dare you!

Exactly. :eyes:
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
24. blame it on Paul
from a great piece called, Views from a former Christian conservative (this was posted on DailyKOS a while back and I x-posted here:
http://johnsoncity.blogspot.com/2005/06/views-from-form...

We take everything Paul said seriously, actually. Way, way, way too seriously, but the reason we take it so seriously is because Paul has this way of delineating Christianity as a practice so that you can live it out very easily. He basically teaches Christians that they are to live every day as though they are battling persecution. Paul is the classic propagator of the Us/Them mentality. Them is the World. The World is evil and sinful and wants to persecute Us. It is Our job as Conservative Christians to don our armor and wage war against the World.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #24
39. Paul
And in Paul's world, where Christianity was an emerging but illegal sect of Judaism, there was a certain place for the us vs. them mentality. Unfortunately, his writings acquired the status of "sacred" and Christians keep their persecution complex going strong, even when they control the federal government and make up 80% of the citizenry.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #39
111. paul provided a means by which a person could prove non-judaic
read: uncut -- lineage. it was a conveinent way to escape persecution.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
29. Part of their myth (eom)
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SomewhereOutThere424 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
30. Look at japanese religious beliefs for a moment
They identify suicide, self persecution, pain for their cause, death in battle, etc, to be the greatest cause. It's like feeling spiritual self worth, you suffer because you know you did something honorable for the cause you believe in.

Christians share a similar commeraderie to that, the belief system of christianity ties into the necessity of martyrdom, to 'suffer for righteousness'. In my old church (yes I am a former christian of ten years into it, glad I'm not anymore, not because I think it's a demonized religion, simply that it didn't suit me), there was a popular phrase: "if you're not sufferin' enough, somethin's wrong with ya' and it would be met with applaud, sometimes laughter.

They want bad things to happen to them, and the mentality of many extremist christians have is the same as the guy who walks awkwardly in the road to be hit by a car so he can sue the driver. According to many christians, god is a being who loves it when you suffer for no good reason. They play it off as a blessing of sorts, and so to cry that they're being persecuted is more or less their need of being persecuted not being met.

Look at fred phelps (the bastard visiting the next town from me in two days, joy -.- any advice on what to do with 'im?). He doesn't just tote god hates fags anymore. He's toting god hates US soldiers in iraq. It's clearly obvious that he's going to be given a lot of guff for that -- and it's what he wants. He's purposely sticking his neck out in a way he can religiously justify, so that he can turn around and call it the karmatic browny points for suffering 'unjustly' or suffering 'for god's will'.

So it's similar to the way that other oriental including japanese religious mentalities tie into this. They want a cause to be martyred by, to the point they're cooking up this martyrdom in their mind. Either taking regular comments too far, or imagining that people are simply thinking bad of them, so they're persecuted for righteousness sake.

To clarify this post though, I do not think ill of christians. I think ill of the religious psychopaths who demonize the world around them including certain animal figures, certain religions and their religious icons, certain races, certain countries, and certain viewpoints. I think that the necessity to suffer for righteousness sake is actually the root reason that many of these overly fanatic religious nuts are born. What needs to be done is someone to give a clear headed opinion of what the bible means in church. Not to take it ten stories too far and teach their church these things. I've seen too many pastors simply reciting what their pastors before them taught, and claiming it's god's will. I think that the root problem is this religious game of telephone coming from a bible more and more individuals refuse to read.

Only in one chapter does it ever express that god has any problems with gay people. Infact, it never specifically says gay people, it says god does not like sodomy (or, the term they'd used back then for it). I don't recall ever once seeing god hates gay people, only specific instances where gay people are given a bad rap or a bad analogy.

In a few chapters it compares wolves to bad creatures, but jesus (or those who spoke them) were clearly speaking from a shephard's point of view as that was the entire comparison. If you are a shephard, you can't invite wolves into your flock, regardless how you think of them. Yet jesus also pointed out that it's best to love your neighbor as you love yourself and said that god's creatures were all very important. Again, blowing something out of proportion from a very sheltered view. No one who reads the bible and says wolves are evil has ever had any practice as a shephard nowadays, and it should be discerned for what it is.

As a personal matter of fact, king david himself loved men. They never outright called him homosexual, but before he became this glorious king, there is a distinct passage stating 'your love exceeds that of a woman's love' expressing his love for another boy of whom he'd loved, where he even gives him a kiss. I wouldn't think god to be the type to put someone into a strong power, yet hating them at the same time.

King solomon as a matter of fact experimented. He, instead of brandishing pagan ideals as evil, experimented with some and found he liked some. Then the eletist purist types of religious wing nuts of those time had it all torn down after his death and went on about how evil solomon was. Yeah, solomon wasn't that great in some fields, but I think justifying who he was to demonize his religion is along the same lines of saying christianity is bad because bush is bad, so in that extent, even some of this pagan bashing went too far and is simply a matter of dislike for an individual, not a whole, which turned into religious radical expression.

Now let's look away for the bible a moment. What is st patrick's day celebrating? Who were these snakes? Celts, pagans, those who worshipped 'strange gods'. It was because of the ten commandments that many people were coerced into converting their faith, or dying. They were murdered by this man who is celebrated even in the united states, yet I haven't in a long time heard of pagans speaking out because they feel persecuted. Infact, bush personally said he does not recognize those in the pagan wiccan faith as american citizens.

The way I see it, christians owe an apology, not vice versa. There was an email I saw on the topic of the ten commandments being put into government areas. "I would like to ask those who defend the right to put the ten commandments up if they would so avidly defend the right to erect monuments in praise of those who have died in the name of religious intolerance". It speaks a lot for my point of view of this 'christians are being persecuted' thing. I haven't necessarily heard many christians apologizing for the witch hunts which founded this country.

Just my two cents anyway, and I'd rather post it here than in that black hole topic that's similar.
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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
34. Based on observations
It's the growing number of non-Christians. Nothing else. They see Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Deists, Atheists, Humanists, etc as enemies of America since it decreases the number of Christians. Once someone disagrees with a Christian, that Christian will yell persecution. On both sides, they do this and it is always non-Christian views that trigger it. In short, they hate America's freedoms.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. They hate OTHER PEOPLES freedoms
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
35. Persecution unites people. Victimhood drives the conservative movement
Set aside the Christian aspect of it even, and you still see it.

Look at what you hear from right-wing pundits:

"The liberals are obstructing"

"The media isn't reporting the good things"

"Hollywood is forcing its lack of vaules on us"

"The government is putting a stranglehold on businesses"

"The thought police won't let you call someone a nigger"


etc, etc, etc.

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cookiebird Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
85. Related thoughts
In Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter With Kansas, he provides an excellent discussion of the fundie persecution complex. Basically, like you've noted, ComerPerro, it's effective, it unites the hoi poloi, and it gains sympathy.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #85
87. Yeah Frank highlights it pretty well. In fact, you might say
that I stole that way of thinking from him, after reading his book.

I had noticed it, but hadn't been able to express it in such a concise and accessible phrasing as he has.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
42. Loss of privilege, basically

There are a whole variety of Christian sects whose ability to function as a community/group is either (1) inviable when it isn't privileged, historically, or (2) inviable when forced to deal with the Modern condition.

They claim to have the Perfect Solution to Life, The Universe, and Everything. But they have a lot of rationalization mechanisms for explaining why they, after centuries of domination, haven't actually realized much of it. Along the way they took over control of society and gave themselves all kinds of privileges.

The 'persecution' claim is about no longer being taken seriously, about people no longer giving them infinite goodwill and extensions to deliver on what they claim. They have to compete on a bumpy, but essentially level, playing field.

There is a peculiar American angle to it. Settlement of the continent was once justified by Christianizing it but it took some pretty nasty perversions of Christianity to do the job of theft and lies and abuse and war and slavery entailed. In the process a lot of Americans learned and accepted that Christianity was an authoritarian system of ideological Belief in the work of subjugation rather than a serious dialogue of intelligent minds and efforts toward justice. Intelligence and criticism was greatly, and often violently, discouraged.

So there is also mourning for this America where people were intentionally ignorant about many things, lived by a group mythology, and were dissuaded from criticism of each other, plus always guided by Authority Figures. But that is political, psychological, and spiritual paternalism on the side of the ruling elites and privileged immaturity and irresponsibility on the part of the Christian average person. Losing these privileges of inner immaturity and irresponsibility and ignorance is very hard on people- they don't have the confidence to do so. And they generally go out and find some new authority figure to obey and be taken care by. They have a very rough time in a society that demands of people to not be that childish- to be mentally autonomous and to market yourself properly and wisely.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
107. Thanks for that powerful argument...
one of the best posts I've seen on DU.

More and more Americans are striving against authoritarianism in our society, no matter what form it takes. And those well-accustomed to that authoritarianism, or who owe their livelihoods to it, are today on the wrong side of history. But as we note with the Nazis, they fought tooth-and-nail for their beliefs, despite being horribly wrong and against the progress of humankind. Defeating far-right Christians is going to be a very long arduous conflict in the United States, and lots of blood may very well be spilled over it.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
43. Because God, as usual, is broke and needs your donations.
Fleecing the sheep is a treasured "Christian Value" and that has made a lot "Christians" wealthy.

Jesus was known for his lavish lifestyle, don't you know.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #43
73. I always like your style on such subjects, Tierra_y_Libertad...
Jesus was known for his lavish lifestyle, don't you know.

Well, the Supply Side Jesus was -- not that pretender who told us to take care of the needy among us. ;-)
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
108. Hell is...
Christianity's biggest profit center, don't ya know? :)
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anarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
47. it's the narrative that's been embraced as a battle cry, I think...
I've had this one thrown in my face recently, with the context that it seems to be OK for people to bash Christianity, but not PC to say anything bad about Islam -- or something along those lines.

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
48. Because the world doesn't run the way THEY want it to.
And even when it does, they still won't be happy.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
55. Here's a blog entry I did on the subject
http://www.livejournal.com/users/gpv/1281.html

The first half is a RW email making the rounds on the 'net, the second half my reply to the person who mailed it to me.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
57. Simple.
Because they're terrified that once they are in the minority, the non-christians will do to them what they have been doing to us for centuries.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
64. It's because they are told so
and these people are not thinking people that rely on facts but this new conservatism which is a bonified cult.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
67. Honestly, I can't figure it out either
If someone asked me what religion I am, I'd tell them Christian. If they asked which church I go to, I'd tell them I don't go. Same with my husband. (Although if they asked me what religion he is I'd tell them Catholic)

I'm quite content with how I practice. It's my business. But frankly, I feel persecuted and downright frightened.

What I see from our politicians--debates on the floor of Congress making statements about the "long war on Christianity" have me scratching my head in wonderment.

At every turn on the highway there are Jesus fish and the ones that swallowed "truth" while eating "darwin" are symbolic of a battle uniform. But a Kerry/Edwards sticker got me "pushed to the curb" so to speak and as well as a couple of middle finger salutes by people driving cars with those exact same expressions of faith.

I look across my parking lot and have to 'witness' my neighbors' "God Bless America" lovingly scrawled on their patio door. On the one hand, I don't have a problem with it. But I'd lay odds that a display on my patio door or the bumper of my car expressing a Liberal or Democratic message would bring retribution. At the very least, angry and hateful stares.

Yet somehow, I am being intolerant and persecuting.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
71. Beats me
I'm Christian and my life is peachey! :shrug: Maybe they're in a parallel universe or something.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
72. Dominionists consider anything short of total theocratic control
to be "persecution".
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
77. the conservative christians in my town are VERY persecuted..
.. they are so persectued that they have been donated to, enabled, helped, allowed, and encouraged to build a 9 million dollar addition to their multi-million dollar church this year. It's a 9 million dollar social club for kids (only kids who agree to accept jesus as their savior, not for the 75% of other kids in our area that need places to go). Yeah.. those poor, poor, christians.. City redid all the sidewalks and lights for them near their church.. those poor poor people. Think what 9 million dollars would do for the truly needy people? How many homes for Habitat for Humanity would that have built? But.. kids needs full service soda fountains and media rooms... in order to truly learn the word of God. And.. it's such a fine addition to the acres of classrooms that sit empty in the other buildings of this mega structure. Those poor, poor, christians.
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Shadowen Donating Member (742 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
81. Persecution?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't the Christians been pretty much in charge since, what was that guy's name...Constantine?!

/Jon Stewart.
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ceebs Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
84. it's historical
much of the writing on the Pilgrim Fathers says how they came to America to escape persecution. However much of the Historical Documentation says how they left as they weren't allowed to persecute everyone else.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
86. I Don't Think Christians Are Persecuted in America
I do believe that modern culture is bombarding them with images that run counter to their views, however, and that as a result some start to feel like they're under assault.

What I find more disturbing, however, is the degree of ridicule, antipathy and at times even hate displayed toward Christians by some liberals. This serves zero purpose except to alienate Christian liberals and politically unaffiliated Christians who might otherwise be receptive to our views.

Some people appear to take perverse joy out of baiting Christians. Those people need to grow up, IMO.

DTH
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. There is something going on, here are just a few of the posts
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. I noticed you included this thread in your post
Are you claiming this thread is proof of persecution of Xians in America?
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. If You Read Carefully, He's Responding to Me
So my guess is that he's citing these threads as evidence of:

What I find more disturbing, however, is the degree of ridicule, antipathy and at times even hate displayed toward Christians by some liberals. This serves zero purpose except to alienate Christian liberals and politically unaffiliated Christians who might otherwise be receptive to our views.

Some people appear to take perverse joy out of baiting Christians. Those people need to grow up, IMO.


DTH
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #91
93. That is not what I said
That is what you said. I said there were alot of threads about Christians. You can say they are persecuted or not, but you seem defensive...
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:59 PM
Original message
Sorry, not much sleep last night
Putting on my best Rosanne Rosana Danna voice:

ne-VER mind
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
90. Because the conservative Christians feel that..
their "family values" have gone by the wayside in the current culture. Maybe if their values were real Christian values as taught by Christ, they wouldn't have gone by the wayside! It's a laugh.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
94. Because they are shitheads
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
105. Because they know they will lose some day. n/t
n/t
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
109. Nazis played the same card
The bereaved and oppressed victim card - blaming the Jews and so forth for their ills.

Meanwhile, the ones screaming "We're oppressed!" the loudest, are the ones doing the most to oppress. Ergo, like the Nazis.
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