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Brilliant essay on the loss of civil liberties because of "Secular fundamentalists"

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 10:48 AM
Original message
Brilliant essay on the loss of civil liberties because of "Secular fundamentalists"
...they fostered the falsehood that wearing a crucifix or a veil or a turban was deeply offensive to other faiths. They pretended to be protecting religious sensibilities as a pretext to strip us of all religious expressions....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1984003,00.html

Secular fundamentalists are the new totalitarians

Militant secularists like Richard Dawkins are taking their revenge on us believers for refusing to stay in the closet

Tobias Jones Saturday January 6, 2007 The Guardian

There's an aspiring totalitarianism in Britain which is brilliantly disguised. It's disguised because the would-be dictators - and there are many of them - all pretend to be more tolerant than thou. They hide alongside the anti-racists, the anti-homophobes and anti-sexists. But what they are really against is something very different. They - call them secular fundamentalists - are anti-God, and what they really want is the eradication of religion, and all believers, from the face of the earth. <snip>

There's a background to all this. Since 2001, lazy intellectuals have been allowed to get away with repeating the nonsense that terrorism and war are the consequences of belief in God. Believers are ridiculed for being, in contrast to the stupendously brainy atheists, very dim. Listen to Richard Dawkins' comment on Nadia Eweida (the BA employee who refused to take off her cross): "she had one of the most stupid faces I've ever seen." Nice. <snip>

The reasons for that "outing" of believers are complex. But what is certain is that wise agnostics pleaded with believers to take a public lead again, because the point about believers is that they are obeying (and disobeying) all sorts of commandments that the state doesn't see or understand. Because they are able to differentiate sin from crime, they have a moral register more nuanced than most. Even a wise atheist (and I've met a few of them in church, as they desperately try to get their kids into the local C of E school) knows that believers can deal with social anarchy much better than the state ever can.
That is why these fundamentalists are so in evidence. They're not only needled by their own hypocrisy; they are also furious that believers have broken the old pact to stay out of public debate. Witness, for example, Mary Riddell's astonishing sentence in the Observer last month (try replacing "religion" with "homosexuality" to get the point): "secularists do not wish to harm religion or deny its great cultural influence. They simply want it to know its place." In other words: get back in the closet.

Christians feel particularly aggrieved because we believe that Jesus invented secularism. Jesus's teachings desacralised the state: no authority, not even Caesar's, was comparable to God's. As Nick Spencer writes in Doing God, "the secular was Christianity's gift to the world, denoting a public space in which authorities should be respected, but could be legitimately challenged and could never accord to themselves absolute or ultimate significance". Christianity, far from creating an absolutist state, initiated dissent from state absolutism.<snip>

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you want to wear a crucifix, who is stopping you? NT
NT
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. A legal case was made - and accepted by the judge - that wearing such was not allowed
in court. There will be more such cases in the future I am sure.

Lexis should bring the exact case up for you if you are interested.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. In the US, you're welcome to wear a crucifix almost anywhere. NT
NT
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wow, blow my mind on a Saturday Morning
Edited on Sat Jan-06-07 10:55 AM by BOSSHOG
"Christianity initiated dissent from state absolutism." I guess the good "christians" forgot to add their never ending desire to replace the state with their church. Now that's certainly not knowing their place.

"They are able to differentiate sin from crime." Blow me over with a hired gay prostitute. Would that be their rationale for committing sin instead of crime or vice versa? Please "christian" scholars please jump in and explain it to me. Apparently "christians" don't ever sin or commit crimes. Fabulous.

Oh wait, if a "christian" commits a crime or sins they are already forgiven so the state should not meddle in their business. Now I get it.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I don't think you "get it" - but that is OK - we both agree hypocrisy is wrong n/t
n/t
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. I see the passage
as another attempt to "victimize" christians to make themselves out to be martyrs. Not much different then the war on christmas; just another lie from "christians" in this country. If you are not really a victim or not really a martyr and you need such positions to strengthen any argument you want to have relative to victimhood, then you just make shit up. You make an enemy up.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. More paranoid delusion from the religious dominionists
Who scream about discrimination whenever they are not allowed to oppress minorities. Ho-Hum...
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Indeed such holier/more tolerant than thou atheist con games is what this is about n/t
n/t
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earthlover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. not every religious person is a dominionist or a paranoid schizo
Hmm...I guess if someone complains that religious people are shunned for expressing religion....then you are called a dominionist or paranoid...or maybe worse! Good illustration of what the author was talking about!!!

Would it be so hard to comprehend that there are religious liberals out there? That not all religious people are Falwell types or dominionists? That there are religious people who are upset at the excesses of the religious right who have turned Jesus' message upside down? That separation of church and state is a belief supported by some Christians? That religious people have opposed war, fought the battles of the civil rights movement, fought for social justice?

There is a lot of anti-religious bigotry out there. Painting all religious people with the same brush, looking down on them, stereotyping them, and reacting to them on this basis--all in all, not a lot different from how bigots have treated blacks, and other minority groups for ages.

It is no longer politically acceptable to stereotype people on the basis of race, sex, etc. However, it seems to be quite alright to stereotype religious people.

There are people within the religious community who are trying to present a liberal alternative to the religious right. Unfortunately, when agnostics attack religious people as if they are all Falwell types, this hurts instead of helps, it reinforces the misinformed idea that the right wing is what Christianity is all about. This makes it all the harder for the religious left to find legitimacy.
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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's so funny that they don't like the intolerance either...
I have no problem with individuals who wear symbols of their faith. Indeed, it helps me in knowing how to interact with them. On the other hand it's the individuals who think I need to be saved or eliminated and the "Dominionists" who really piss me off. They lauched a culture war in this country which seems like a "cold" civil war (so far). They teach revisionist history, advocate replacing constitutional goverment with theocracy and implimenting biblical law. They go to the extent of advocating total war to achieve the transition. Well, it isn't going to happen in my lifetime.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Interesting - because I totally agree with you :-)
:-)
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. I really feel that the term "Secular fundamentalism" is nonsense.
Edited on Sat Jan-06-07 11:29 AM by bluerum
There are no fundamental beliefs in a secular philosophy, with the possible exception of rejecting blind faith in religiosity and theism.

This whole essay is a sophist attempt to relieve religious fundamentalism of it's responsibility in fostering terrorism and the war in Iraq.

Buried in the authors meandering is the idea that "secular fundamentalist's", become responsibile for the war in Iraq and terrorism simply by pointing up the religious fundamentalist links to terrorism and perpetual war. This is an absurdity.

To even suggest that at this time and in this political climate that
Christianity, far from creating an absolutist state, initiated dissent from state absolutism.
is the height of absurd denial.

Religious fundamentalist's are striving for ever increasing influence in the running of our country and world politics.

edit for sp.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. I suggest the sophist attempt at control is by Harris/Dawkins, et al. n/t
n/t
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Well, that is an entertaining suggestion in any event. It's not like there
Edited on Sat Jan-06-07 12:32 PM by bluerum
is any religion based violence taking place in Iraq as we sit and discuss the point.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Iraq is tribal based violence n/t
n/t
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ThatPoetGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Those obnoxious, controlling secular fundamentalists....
Just a few weeks ago, a congressman wanted to swear in using a copy of the Holy Bible, and those secular fundamentalists were all over him in the media.

No, wait, that isn't what happened at all. The Bible is used (and abused) by most of America's politicians; it's used in schools, illegally; it's used to justify all forms of atrocities. And yet, the so-called "secular fundamentalists" respond in a manner that never reaches a temperature higher than "tepid."

This inane article is just another example of powerful people pretending to be oppressed because decent folks are preventing them from doing harm. It's shallow, it's grotesque, and it's appalling.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yes indeed
"Christians" in this country are persecuted because they are not allowed to codify their religious beliefs in the land of the free; nay replace the constitution with the passages in the bible they pick and choose. Yes persecuted and banished to martyrdom indeed. Why just last week I saw government bulldozers destroying the last baptist church in the county.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. It's a crying shame! The poor oppressed majority
Edited on Sat Jan-06-07 01:01 PM by cosmik debris
gets just a taste of its own medicine.

But then it just might be the golden rule at work. Maybe they are finally being treated the way they treat others. What a tasty irony!
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. "a tasty irony" - I appear to be correct that confrontational in your face fundi does fit - but as
long as one gets their jollies from the irony, I guess it is acceptable behavior.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. You can't imagine how relieved I am
To have your approval. All of my self esteem hinged on that. I'll sleep well tonight knowing that I haven't pissed you off.
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. This essay is far less than brilliant. It trips over it's own feet. nt
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. Guess ones point of view depends on where one is standing. n/t
n/t
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. This is one of the most ridiculous threads I have ever seen ....
I keep waiting for the /sarcasm sign to arise, and it never does ....

After a millenia (or two) of having to tolerate brutal religious totalitarianism, humanity has a RIGHT to take that crucifix and put it ....

Well YOU know where to put it ....

How pathetic ....
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Ok,,,, here you go,,,,
The secular fundamentalists are trying to wipe out the religious fundamentalists in Iraq.
:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. The intelligence level - or just lack of information? - Iraq is tribal warfare n/t
n/t
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Thanks for personal insults. You have the just become the first person on my ignore list! nt
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Get in someones face and I agree you should expect to have something shoved up
"Well YOU know where to put it ...."
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-06-07 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
27. BS. "Secular Fundamentalism" is RW bloviation. nt
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