153 thoughts on “Choosing Peace”

      1. Probably not Dr. Fundy. My Crimson Tide will probably be RANKED in the top 4, but I’m certain the committee will overlook them for the playoff. I’m also equally certain that as long as USC is ranked in the top 25, they will be included in the playoff.

        1. Dr. Fundy, there’s no better place to be than south of the mason-dixon line. When I go into a restaraunt and order sweet tea and the response is “Sweety, we don’t serve sweet tea, we have iced tea” I know I’ve strayed too far north.

          And I was born a Yankee, a Hoosier to be exact. I have to change the words to Alabama’s song to sing “Northern born and southern bred”.

        2. This ex-Bostonian agrees 100%. We live in the North Carolina woods, about an hour south of the Virginia Blue Ridge, and we LOVE it. I gladly go back North to visit family, but I will never go back there to live, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

          We moved here 25 years ago, and we’ve never looked back.

          As for Alabama: UA gave my son a near-full-ride National Merit Scholarship. It covers tuition, honors housing, and most of his study-abroad trip. (He also received supplementary scholarships from the History and Classics departments.) He is graduating debt-free next May, and we have not had to pay for anything but meals, books (tax deductible), and fees. All I can say is ROLL TIDE! We are Bama fans forever.

    1. Unfortunately I think I can predict exactly how an IFB Fundy would react….
      “Is he *saved*? If he isn’t, we won’t listen to a word he says. Unsaved people have nothing to say to Christians like us. He should get right with God. Then he can talk to us…”

      1. “And he needs to change his clothes! Unless he dresses like the Man-O-gid His Very Own Self, with the pressed hanky in the suit pocket, no Real Decent Christian should to listen to a word he says!…. what do you mean, he needs to also gain 50 pounds?” 😛

        1. The resemblance between Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundyism, particularly of the IFB sort, is startling at times. The resemblance to Jesus seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the line.

        2. Yea, those Christians are running around beheading and killing everyone that’s not like them. Cutting up babies and beheading reporters…it’s awful….just like demonic, terrorist Muslims!

        3. Well, just most Christians don’t do that stuff. Like most Muslims. They don’t do that stuff, either.

          But some do. Christians have assassinated people. They have planted bombs in clinics and at Olympic events. They have killed for prejudice and pastors have called for regular people and politicians to be killed. Then when someone actually does the deed, they pretend they had nothing to do with it.

          Only a few Muslims are terrorists. But we have had a few Christian terrorist incidents in the US, and several people threatening such things.

        4. @thlipsis – very interesting interview. Interesting points, as you said. Just gotta say, though, that interviewer needs to shut up and let the interviewee be the center of attention – or just finish a sentence. Hard to listen to, so many interruptions… But thanks for sharing it!

  1. TED talks are so enlightening considering my IFB background. I saw this a few days ago and I immediately drew similarities in my mind with the IFB. Hate & ingnorance abound…

  2. Oh, that these attitudes were only held by the fundamentalist extremists.

    Sam Harris has an eye-opening essay today at
    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/sleepwalking-toward-armageddon
    “Understanding and criticizing the doctrine of Islam—and finding some way to inspire Muslims to reform it—is one of the most important challenges the civilized world now faces. But the task isn’t as simple as discrediting the false doctrines of Muslim “extremists,” because most of their views are not false by the light of scripture. A hatred of infidels is arguably the central message of the Koran. The reality of martyrdom and the sanctity of armed jihad are about as controversial under Islam as the resurrection of Jesus is under Christianity. It is not an accident that millions of Muslims recite the shahadah or make pilgrimage to Mecca. Neither is it an accident that horrific footage of infidels and apostates being decapitated has become a popular form of pornography throughout the Muslim world. Each of these practices, including this ghastly method of murder, find explicit support in scripture. ”

    Then give this video from the ironically-named Islamic “Peace Conference Scandinavia 2013” a watch, especially from the 3:30 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV710c1dgpU

    I have to agree with Christopher Hitchens: “Some people say that without God, people would give themselves permission to do anything. [Yet] only with God, only with the view that God’s on your side, can people give themselves permission to do things that otherwise would be called satanic. “

    1. Accepting thinking like yours leads to the belief that all Muslims are intrinsically violent. That frame of reference allows us to turn away from (or even justify) the slaughter of the innocent children in Gaza. It allows us to write a blank check of morality to anything Israel does. Even genocide.

      Hitchens is speaking to any religion, not just to Islam. Read the accounts where the God of Israel directed genocides in the OT. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, all have histories laced with extreme violence directed against “the other”.

      1. Indeed. Even today there is a sizable segment of Jewish fundamentalists that control the balance of government. And they openly call for the extermination of the Palestinians.

        Like they didn’t learn anything from the Holocaust? They treat the Palestinians as badly as they were treated in Germany during the time of segregation into the ghettos. Their last incursion into Gaza destroyed a third of the homes and businesses, killed over 2000 people, most of whom were civilians and noncombatants.

        But of course, no one in the media points out the historical comparisons. It would be politically fatal.

        I do not approve of Hamas or its actions. But Israel has a knack for making a bad situation worse, believing that force and suffering under its unconquerable hand can bring obedience and respect. It can’t.

        1. And the only thing most Israel worshiping churches waiting for the Apocalypse can think is “OMG! IT’S HAPPENING GUYS! BLOOD MOONS ARE REAL!”

    2. Sam Harris’ interpretation of Islam is one that very few Muslims would accept.
      And it’s so full of prejudice, hyperbole, and xenophobia that I don’t even want to debate it.

      As one Muslim said this week, “Most Muslims view Al-Qaeda the way most Christians view Westboro Baptist Church.”

      1. “Most Muslims view Al-Qaeda the way most Christians view Westboro Baptist Church.”

        Exactly. HOWEVER, as Nathan Phelps says, father Fred and Westboro were/are preaching and practicing exactly what the bible says. “The light of scripture,” whatever stone-age book it comes from, is a dangerous thing.

        “Hitchens is speaking to any religion.”
        Yes he is…

        1. Westboro Baptist is obsesssed with SOME verses from the Bible, but not others.
          As many have pointed out, Westboro members don’t scream at the funerals of people who eat shellfish or wear fabrics with blended fibers.

          Similarly, Muslim ultrafundametalists focus on the letter of the law, but not on Islam’s overriding message of compassion and charity.

        2. Well, I am not sure that the overriding message of Islam is on compassion and charity.

          Remember, Islam is not encompassed in the Quran only. Islam is practiced through the various Haddiths, interpretations of the Quran by certain scholars. Much of the sectarianism of Islam is attributable to this.

          A way to see this in Judaism is to recognize that the Law was not the body of religious work that created the practice of Judaism. It was their scholars’ interpretation of the law, the Talmud.

          And in Christianity, while we do not have such all-encompassing bodies of interpretive work, we have our own denominations. It used to be the Catholic church alone. Then there was Luther and the Protestant Reformation. The most important single work defining theology was Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. But partly because the West had the Printing Press, the religious scholars did not have to collaborate and debate to have their ideas included. Every wannabe theologian can have their work printed. Most have.

          It means that Christianity has developed a more fractious religion. In the US alone there are over 25,000 different denominations, sects, splinters, groups, and independent identities. But out of that splintering have come some loose alliances that move in much the same direction. And some writers have great influence across a wide variety of Christian identities.

          All this is to say that you cannot look to the Quran, the Bible, or the Torah to decipher the faith of the followers. You have to look at the publications, the preachers, the politics and the prejudices to understand what is going on. Christianity is not practiced from the Bible. It is practiced through a large number of filters.

        3. All true, although most Jews would say that Scripture, especially the Torah, trumps the Talmud; most Christians would say that the Bible trumps any interpretive tradition, and most (all?) Muslims would say that the Quran trumps the Hadiths and other interpretive writings.

      2. I wonder if anyone in Westboro Baptist has committed adultery. They say “Stone the Gays, because the Bible says so!” but the Bible also says those who commit adultery should also be stoned (Leviticus 20 :10). Or anyone who curses their mother or father (v9)
        Double standards, anyone?

        1. Westboro Baptist kicked out its founder, Fred Phelps, shortly before he died. Church leaders didn’t explain why. I doubt it was for adultery, but the incident says to me that Westboro is disinclined to show mercy to anyone.

      3. also worth noting that harris recently conflated palestinians with ISIS, and not of the “well the al-aqsa martyer brigades and ISIS have stuff in common” type of conflation, either – was blanket about palestinians, period

      4. But Westboro Baptist has a total of 12 people…and demonic Muslim terrorists number in the millions….I remember now why I like Stuff fundies like….it makes me feel very intelligent!

    3. Any “faith” that allows no doubt in the rightness of one’s beliefs or interpretations places the feeling of god-like-ness in the devotee. Any “faith” that places the “will of God” above the welfare of others, be they believers or unbelievers, becomes a tyrannical and oppressive monster capable of the greatest of evil.

      Think. Even the vision of John with the Lamb of God coming to Earth to tread the winepress of His Wrath against unbelievers is a description of God being evil, of Jesus being evil. What kind of God would delight in blood and gore and eternal damnation? What kind of God would act to prove to unbelievers that He was full of hate, capable only of great cruelty? And what kind of person would want to worship such a God? Not me.

      1. Rtf, this I know. It is appointed unto man once to die. No one can disagree with that based on the fact that every person who has lived over the last 6000years has died. Now, here’s what I believe but you can dispute since no one has come back. After we die, we are judged by the God Who created the world. At that point, you can tell Him where and why you disagreed with Him and what you think He should have done different and why you chose not to serve Him. I don’t know what He’ll say, but I’m sure He’ll be fair and let you state your case.

        1. Norm, I appreciate your zeal. But what you said and how you said it illustrates one of the reasons I left fundamentalism (and conservatism).

          You have to put out the THREAT. “God will get you for saying that!” “When you die you will see that I am right as you are burning in hell!”

          Oh, you said it a bit nicer. But you took it on yourself to judge that I am not a Christian, or saved.

          Let me assure you that I asked Jesus to save me when I was sixteen years old. I meant it then, and it never changed.

          What did change was my understanding of the unspiritual realities in the church, the leaders who lied, the agendas people were lured into supporting, the prophesies that didn’t come to pass, the wickedness that was hidden and the evil that was openly supported as good.

          I had to ask if people who were as ungodly as they were should be leading the church, and if a leader told lies about earthly things, might they also be lying about heavenly things?

          I had to conclude that they were.

          Now I believe that God is just. But I have had to come to conclusions different than what you believe. I don’t think that “unsaves” me or makes me an evil person. Liberals are not intrinsically evil, and conservatives are not intrinsically good. And I am content to let God judge the thoughts and intents of my heart.

          I honestly have been at a place where I thought and spoke much like you. And circumstances and the Grace of God allowed me to change. As you stand before The Lord, so do I.

        2. You put a whole lot of words in my mouth rtg, but that’s okay. I am so glad to hear you began a relationship with Christ when you were 16.

          I thought by your comment “who wants to serve a God like that? NOT me.” That you meant you did not accept Christianity as valid. And while it may have come across as “God will get you and send you to hell” what I really meant was exactly what I thought I said. That God will judge you, but I’m certain He will be fair. Only He knows your heart and whether your heart is “bent towards him or away from him”. King David did some really bad stuff, but his heart was bent towards God. If David had been a friend of mine, I no doubt would have declared him a “sinner”. And I would have been dead wrong.

          Sorry that my words didn’t express what I wanted them too.

        3. Well, I am passionate, and sometimes the words I use don’t convey what I mean. either.

          Common problem. We both work at trying to clear up communication problems, and that is good.

          I can believe you did not mean the referenced Scripture phrase “appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgement” as a threat. However, many, many do. And early in my fundy years, I did too – something I very much regret.

          But in the soul-winning message given to people is the implied threat, “If you do not believe MY message and MY interpretation of the Scripture, you are damned.” One person put it this way: The Gospel message is that Jesus loved you so much that He stretched out His arms and died for your sins. He loves you so much that if you don’t believe that He will send you to be tortured for ever and ever in the fires of Hell.”

          And honestly, that is the message a lot of people have gotten about Christ and Christianity.

          As I said, I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was sixteen. And all these 41 years later I have done nothing but reaffirm my devotion to Him. That does NOT mean that I still believe all the junk I was taught about Him or the Bible or the Faith or the “Truth.”

          I have done a lot of study, prayed desperately and fervently, read the Scriptures topically and contextually and by whole passage, examined historical records, studied what scholars said about the Greek and Hebrew, learned Hermeneutics, learned something about the so-called “Textual Criticism,” learned principles of translation and read how translators approach their work, cross-referenced the Scriptures — all of it trying to make sense of what some people had turned into nonsense.

          I was astounded by what I found. And I found myself with two choices — forget all I had learned and go back into fundamentalism to live and believe the lies, or to take a different path without certainty and without knowing where I would end up.

          I have a liberal faith. Even so, if what I *was* taught is true, I should still be “saved” because Jesus said “Him that cometh to me I will never cast out.” Nor does it matter if I doubt because of the winds and waves. Jesus is faithful.

          So that is where I am. If you perceive unbelief in me, talk to me about it. We can talk. I believe in Jesus. Fortunately I don’t have to believe all the attached doctrines, adhere to certain ‘distinctives”, or yield myself to spiritual dictators.

  3. Fundamentalists of the IFB sort find their violence in emotional manipulation and the marginalization of those who don’t march lock-step with their ideology. Could they resort to similar violence as their Islamic counterparts?

    1. I’m not sure most Fundies like enemies who can actually fight back. For all the talk of “suffering in the na-yum of JAY-zuz!” the idea of facing pain more forceful than having to hear “Happy Holidays!”, much less actual torture, seems to take the wind out of a lot of Fundy sails.

  4. His was a beautiful testimony. I would hope that I would meet this man in heaven, whether or not he actually recognized Jesus as the One Who Saves.

    I like the way Aslan thinks about it (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle).

    But the fundamental attitudes of Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism are startlingly close. The more extreme the fundamentalist mindset, the more inclined to individual violence they are. But even the more mild fundamentalists are usually in favor of the power of the State commanding obedience through its capacity for violence. Some fundy preachers here in the US have called for the execution of LGBT people. abortion doctors, AND the women who seek abortions. Others have incited people to violence, including bombings and assassinations.

    And both sides invoke a Merciful and Just God while at the same time denying mercy and justice to those who need it.

    I have no doubt that if Christian fundamentalists gained enough power here in the US they would gladly stone people, execute people on the basis of their beliefs, pass laws against “blasphemy,” and so on.

    Yes. I choose peace. I hate the hating. I do not wish to kill Christian fundamentalists for what they believe or do. Nor do I wish to kill Islamic extremists. I simply wish to restrain their evil impulses, and I wish to be free to repudiate their beliefs and actions as a matter of conscience.

    1. Years back, my wife was eating lunch with the wife of our IFB pastor. They were watching the news and saw that an abortion clinic had been bombed. Two of the staff were killed. The pastor’s wife exclaimed, “Good!”

      How is this different from the suicide bombers?

      1. BJg, I have experienced fundamentalism from Bob Jones style to bat guano crazy, and no doubt we’d both agree that there are those on the extreme end who would be in favor of executing people such as homosexuals and adulterers. There are also more moderate Fundamentalists and even Evangelicals who would like for U.S. law to conform to their understanding of biblical law to the extent that the American public will tolerate. Where we may disagree, however, is I don’t see the establishment of a genuine theocracy in the United States to be a serious threat. In addition to constitutional protections, the extremists just don’t have the numbers and their views are too unpopular.

        1. Except it has been demonstrated that popularity is not really required. You get the extremists out to vote in the earliest primaries to set into place only the most extreme people. You have them tone down the rhetoric during the general elections, get funding from those who know the long-term agenda, appeal to prejudice, lie about your opponent. If you win the election you put into place voting restrictions to limit your opposition’s ability to collect votes. You even vote for patently unconstitutional laws hoping to enforce them before a court annuls them. And incrementally you work toward the larger goal.

          Rushdooney advocated theocracy decades ago and helped lay out the strategy for it. And today, decades later, several states have progressed in that direction. Examining the changes over time would startle people. Nothing happens immediately. You accept small changes as a periodic inconvenience, until one day they come together and you ask, how did that happen?

          Nazi Germany took time to become the horror it is famous for. The Communists in Russia took incremental steps. Weakness is always exploited.

          Dictatorship, whether communist, a military coup, or a theocracy never occurs with the will of a majority. But they occur.

    2. RTG, I tried to go back up the feed and see whose testimony it was you were referring to as beautiful, but I couldn’t find it. Could you tell me who you are referring to? thanks.

      1. The speaker on the video was who I was referencing. His father was an Islamic terrorist, training him to be one as well. But after his father went to prison, and he had a chance to live less isolated, he made friends and realized that the hatred was wrong. He has openly repudiated the hatred, as well as the actions of his father.

        I would say that God was at work in His life, even if he hasn’t “come to Jesus.”

        1. Here’s the only problem I have with “God was at work in His life, even if he hasn’t “come to Jesus”.

          Scripture is abundantly clear that no one can come to the Father unless they come through the Son, Jesus. There is no doubt that God can absolutely be working in this man’s life or any other life even if they haven’t “come to Jesus”… I would only add “yet”.

          If we claim that people can be “made right” with God withoug accepting the sacrifice of Jesus, then on what merit are we made right? By how “good” we are? Hmmmm, doesn’t sound right that I could please the Creator of absolutely everything by how good I am.

        2. I don’t see where rgm said that the speaker had been “made right”, only that God was at work in his life. If the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord to turn it, why can’t another person’s heart be influenced in a similar way?

  5. “It’s time to stop burning flags and start burning fags” ~ Jeff Owens

    Jeff Owens is not a Muslim. He’s a Baptist.

    Do not tell me that IFBers do not have a latent bloodlust. What they lack is a societal mandate and political power.

    1. Darrell,

      While there are similarities in attitudes in any fundamentalist mindset, Islamic fundamentalists (Jihadists) act on those attitudes with far greater frequency and violence than virtually any other group. While people like Stephen Anderson or Jeff Owens might call for the death of certain sinners, I doubt they would actually have the nerve to do that themselves. Maybe they would, but I haven’t hung around in IFB circles enough to have a legitimate read on that. If nothing else, listen to someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who can speak to this much more intelligently and from her own experience and you’ll also begin to realize there are some significant differences.

      1. “Islamic fundamentalists (Jihadists) act on those attitudes with far greater frequency and violence than virtually any other group. ”

        Refer to my comment above about “a societal mandate and political power.”

        That’s the difference.

        1. Really BJG? Ok, if you can say that, I can say this. If Obama and his socialist wife and the liberals have their way, the US will become communist.

        2. Norm, I don’t find “socialism” to be a bad word. I think the bible teaches socialism a lot more than it does rugged individualism.

        3. BJG, I don’t find “socialism” a bad word either, unless, like anything else, when it is taken to an extreme it becomes bad.

          Here where I live, ALL school kids get “free lunch”. That is ridiculous. I can afford to pay for my child’s lunch and thus it is a complete waste of tax dollars to offer my child “free lunch”. My neighbor makes 120K + a year, and his kid gets “free lunch”. For the kid who won’t eat if he doesn’t get “free lunch” (even though it’s our tax dollars that pay for it, so it’s really not “free”) by ALL MEANS, give the child free lunch, don’t make any deal about it that he is getting free lunch, just do it because it is right.

          But giving “free lunch” to children of households that make 50, 100, 100+ K a year is ridiculous. THAT’s a small example of the kind of “socialism” I have a problem with.

          But I was not making my comment to say I had a problem with socialism. I was making my comment because if anyone (BJG in this case) can make a statement (which may or may not be true) about an individual, that individual’s parent, and a “group of people”, then so can I on the other end of the spectrum.

          And the last time I checked, that was ENCOURAGED in the country we (or many of us) live in.

        4. If you don’t think there are Christians who would turn to violence (and are open about it), check this out. The original post was taken down after a storm of protest. I got this from the Huffington Post.

          On Friday afternoon, Charisma News published “Why I Am Absolutely Islamaphobic,” an op-ed written by Gary Cass, a Christian who has identified himself as a former pastor. In the post, Cass defends his view against Muslims, saying the Islamic State militant group also known as ISIS is “doing to American journalists what every true follower of Mohammed wants to do to you and yours; subjugate or murder you.”

          Cass went on to say that there are only “three possible solutions” to “deal” with Muslims: conversion, deportation or violence.

          “The only thing that is biblical and that 1,400 years of history has shown to work is overwhelming Christian just war and overwhelming self defense,” he wrote. “We must be prepared for the increase of terror at home and abroad. This is not irrational, but the loving thing we must do for our children and neighbors. First trust in God, then obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down.”

      2. This may be due to the fact that Islam is a younger religion. Christianity a few hundred years ago was also characterized by violence, including a violent struggle over internal doctrine (Catholic versus Protestant, Calvinism over Armenianism). Islam still remembers the Crusades Christianity fought against it. When President Bush used that term wrt the Iraq War, it caused a real stir in the Muslim community.

        In a practical sense, it appears that culture is more likely the root of violence than the faith is. As American culture gets more violent in the face of the culture wars, fundamentalist rhetoric has gotten more violent as well. But on the whole, Christian rhetoric from the more moderate and liberal sides have not.

        Given the opportunity, fundamentalists in any faith will pursue a more violent path.

        1. I agree. Lets not forget that Christianity had it’s dark age moments commanded by small groups of people and sects as much as by large foundations. Islam is also predominant in a very unstable tribal part of the world.

    1. I’m just saying if BJG can make his comment about Ted Cruz, his domionist father and the “Teabaggers”, then why can’t I make my comment about Obama, his wife and the liberals?

      Unless, of course, you think liberals are “right” and conservatives are “wrong”. I wouldn’t have made my comment had BJG not made his.

        1. I’m not sure why President Obama’s wife is brought up. I find her an exceptionally beautiful, gracious, and elegant woman.

      1. BJG, why bring Ted Cruz’s father up? There is no way he has more influence in the country right now than the first lady. It amazes me how when the exact same argument is offered from the “opposite end of the spectrum” it is seen as “off topic” and “irrelevant” and all that. And what’s even more amazing is that no one can see it.

        If you are a “liberal” in America right now, you believe “your man, Obama” is as right as if you are a conservative in America right now, you believe “your man, Ted Cruz or Bobby Jindal or whomever” is.

        Here’s the thing, conservative or liberal, they will lie to you and take your money.

        1. Norm, here’s how I see the issue with Rev Cruz and his ilk. They are trying to make America a Christian nation. I contend that we always need to remain a secular nation. Let’s pretend that a majority of voters were Christians. They vote in laws that are totally in conformity with Christianity. No abortion; no divorce, etc. Then a more conservative faction of Cxnianity moves to power, and they make drinking alcohol illegal. Maybe women have to wear hats now–it’s the law. Oh, and you have to attend a Cxn church every Sunday.

          How is this different from Sharia Law?

          And what about the other Americans who pay taxes yet are atheists? Buddhists? Islamic? They are now forced into Cxnianity. This is forbidden under the 14th Amendment which guarantees Equal Protection Under the Law.

        2. The difference between what you describe and Sharia law is one of degree. Fundy Cxns don’t stone adulterous women to death or drown our daughters out of family dishonor–yet.

        3. Norm, it would be a lot easier to respond to you if you actually had something factual to say about “Obamacare” and Obama and Liberals.

          But you don’t. As long as I have been on the boards, not one conservative has ever stated what the “Liberal Agenda” is correctly. Not one. Fear, untruths, and outright lies abound.

          Having been a conservative myself, I cannot blame you overmuch for the way your mind works. But let me assure you, fundamentalism is as wrong politically as it is spiritually.

        4. BJG, you are taking the conservative side to the extreme and saying “here’s what could happen”.

          What about people who own small businesses being fined exuberant amounts because they won’t serve people who live lifestyles in opposition to their beliefs?

          Your example of women must wear hats is extreme so I will use the same type of example. If a pedophile applies for a job as school teacher you can’t turn him down because he can’t help who he is attracted to. And don’t tell me that’s an argument in absurdem or anything because it’s the exact same thing as you saying what Ted Cruz is trying to do would lead to a law that women have to wear hats.

          I think having a “secular” nation is fine. If the “will of the people” is truly observed then whatever the mindset of the majority is is the direction the nation will head.

          However, the percentage of the population that is gay is 1.6%. I haven’t personally went around the country polling people so I will have to rely on statistics. If you disagree with that percentage, let me know what percentage you think is gay. For now, we will go with 1.6%. If 1.6% of the population wants “equality in marriage”, so the government is fighting for it. That doesn’t sound like the “will of the people” is truly being observed.

        5. So, you think that rights should be based on a majority approval instead of on equity and justice?

          You think that only certain people should be allowed the right to marry whom they love, and those who do not meet with the approval of the majority should be denied that right?

          What about voting? Should all citizens be ensured the right to vote, or can the majority strip voting rights from a minority?

          Or what about the right to due process? Should the majority be able to take away due process from some group they don’t favor?

          Norm, your willingness to let rights be dictated by popularity is not good. Not good at all.

        6. Ok, RTG, you say none of “us conservatives” say one thing factual about what the “liberal agenda” is. Yet, BJG (who for all intents and purposes seems to be arguing for a more “liberal” government) says that the “conservative agenda” is to make women wear hats? That sounds logical and factual… wait, no it doesn’t.

          “Us conservatives” have to have all the facts right and have all our i’s dotted and out t’s crossed, but “you liberals” can just spout off at the mouth with any kind of junk you want to and it’s supposed to be taken as “truth” because you’re liberal. Way to go.

          And you say “fundamentalism” is wrong spiritually and politically. Really? To have core beliefs that you will not be swayed about is wrong? Wow, then why are you so adamant about fighting “for liberalism”?

        7. Wonderful, wonderful! Norm, you are a wonder!

          I did not say I wanted you to have everything absolutely correct while being willing to allow myself or other “liberals” to spout all sorts of nonsense.

          As I am able, I will correct liberals with the facts as well. I have done so, and I will continue to do so.

          What I object to, Norm, is that you have nothing correct about what liberalism is, does, means or has an an agenda. At least from what I have seen!

          And I note that your major objections to liberalism seem to be in response to “giveaways.” If i remember correctly, you have complained about school lunches before. So, what is your problem?

          “If your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirst, give him something to drink.” So what if feeding your neighbor’s kid raises your taxes a couple of dollars? Or ten or twelve? Are you jealous? Do you think, “Why don’t I get that?”

          Or perhaps you are just incensed that black kids get fed? Maybe you think their parents are shiftless? Even if they are, would you want to take it out on the children?

          Come on, Norm. FROM THE BIBLE convince me that feeding the children or giving them health care will drive our nation into communism. And if your premium doubled, then the crappy policy you had settled for actually covers something now. You have better care for your family now. Yes, I know what crappy policies can do — or not do.

          Your conservatism sounds a lot like stinginess. Jesus said to pay your taxes. He didn’t say you could only pay for the government you liked.

          I may have more to say. We will see. But Norm, you ARE your brother’s keeper. And you don’t get to choose who your brothers are.

        8. Oh my goodness, rtg. You are such a typical liberal. You bring race into something that had NOTHING to do with race. You assume that my more expensive insurance covers more items and covers them better than my old policy. This too is false. Of course, just as this current administration does, you want to tell me that I don’t even know what is best for myself and my own family.

          Typical, typical, typical.

        9. And rtg, you don’t even read everything. My neighbor makes well over twice what I make. You tell ME from the Bible where I am instructed to feed his children? Hmmmm?

          Try, I really think you don’t really even believe the garbage that spews out of your mouth to the proverbial point of dry heaves. I think you just like getting a rise out of people. To which I must say, job well done. Mission accomplished.

        10. Fortunately, Norm, your rights and my rights are not supposed to be subject to the tyranny of a majority who might decide we shouldn’t have any. Let us try to come together to meet the needs of others and ensure the liberties of all.

      2. Michelle Obama gracious and elegant? Let me ponder that a bit. Can you explain, BJg, what you mean by that? Your former fundy friends would roast you on a spit if they could hear you now.

        ‘Splain y’self.

      1. Only time will really tell what “happened” when Obama got his way on health care. I don’t know if I want to be dead and gone before that time or if I still want to be here to help my children and grand children deal with the consequences. I guess that’s in God’s hands any way, so I ain’t gonna fret about it.

        1. Big Gary, see my comment about what happened to me personally as a result from Obamacare. And if your insurance premium went down or became affordable to you, then here is a personal “you’re welcome” from me, because the increase to my premium is paying for the decrease to yours.

        2. Consequences like children being able to be covered until they are 26, whether they are in school or not?

          Or consequences like insurance companies not being allowed to kick you off your insurance if you get sick.

          Or insurance companies having to allow you to get insurance even if you have preexisting conditions?

          Still, single payer would be preferable, I admit.

        3. Norm:
          1) I have an MBA in health sector management, and the year I attended the program was ranked #10 in the US (current ranking is around #20, I think, which is one spot above Yale). The majority of the instruction was on PPACA. I am also a licensed Health Insurance Agent in my state, with all the requisite training, etc.

          2) It is an odd piece of rhetoric that it is being called Obama care. The individual mandate was first proposed in 1989 by the Heritage Foundation as a solution to already ballooning healthcare costs. In 1993 when Clinton proposed healthcare reform that would require employers to provide health care, Republicans responded by supporting an individual mandate. The bones of PPACA were introduced in 2007 as a bipartisan effort (Bennett and Wydan, Healthy Americans Act), which was well received, but died in committee. PPACA is actually a long culmination of mostly Republican ideas, that were only opposed once Obama made healthcare reform his legacy project. George W Bush actually appointed a “czar” type position mandated with implementing health care reform, and most of the groundwork was laid before Obama even came into office.

          3) PPACA is the brain-child of the Chicago School of economics, which is generally considered to be very conservative. Until Obama began endorsing health care reform, most liberals strongly opposed the mandates found in PPACA, since they essentially guarantee the continuation of insurance companies while blocking the possibility of socialized medicine.

          4) Before the implementation of PPACA, the most conservative models put the cost of healthcare growing to 100% of GDP by 2030. Not implementing reform would essentially guarantee two things: lack of access to some care by the majority, and socialized medicine, since everyone would be utilizing medicare/caid to pay for healthcare that was unaffordable.

          5) States that worked with PPACA and took advantage of federal initiatives saw a significant increase in insured population. In other words, the law works, if you work with it. States that opposed the measure “on principle” did not fare so well.

          6) All this to say that the most of what one hears on the radio and television is at least two steps removed from the actual facts that policy makers and social thinkers should be dealing with. I understand that it is a more effective way to generate revenue for a “news” org, but we the consumers have to be very careful to collect data and think for ourselves instead of swallowing the rhetoric whole.

  6. It does not take giant leaps to go from, “we’re right and you’re wrong,” to “we’re good and you’re evil,” to “evil must be eliminated at all costs.” This is the danger of ANY extremist view. This is the danger of polarization, be it political or religious.

    1. Exuberant… extreme or excessive in degree.

      Jay Croft. The day Obamacare was implemented, my health insurance premium increased by 110 dollars a month, my deductible DOUBLED, and my co-pay increased. You can NOT tell me my facts are wrong because it didn’t happen to my friend’s cousin’s uncle’s boss’s wife. It happened to ME. But increase in the COST of my personal health insurance is not what worries me the most. It’s what’s in the 1000 + pages of the bill. Go get you some facts Jay Croft.

      1. My deductible doubled also. And for the first time in years, I had to pay $150/month to add my wife to the policy. The policy went from 90/10 to 80/20.

        I consider this a small personal price to pay to know that some of my brothers and sisters can now have health insurance, that heretofore couldn’t afford it. I’m quite happy about it.

        1. So in this case, it’s okay for the government to create policies that force us to follow Biblical instruction (like helping out those less fortunate than ourselves)?

          So when is it NOT okay for the government to create policies that force us to follow Biblical instruction? And who gets to determine when it’s okay, and when it’s not?

          I’m with you on helping out those who are less fortunate. But pick a side of the fence and stay on it. The government creates a law that makes us “help our neighbor” and your fine with it. The government creates a law that agrees with the Bible on marriage and your against it. Pick a side, brother, pick a side.

  7. Rtg, here’s a fact. The schools in my community are pushing for all children to partake of free breakfast and lunch because they get more federal money the more “free” breakfasts and lunches they serve. Teaching these kids to rely on the government for their food at elementary and middle school age is horrible. And that is a DIRECT result of Michelle Obama’s agenda. So mark today on your calender because it’s the first day in all this time you’ve been on these boards that you heard a factual statement from one of “us conservatives” about the “liberal agenda”.

    Of course, since you’re a liberal, you can just say that my words are false and wave your magic wand and *poof* my facts are “wrong”.

    1. I have spent nearly 18 years teaching in the public school system, so let me explain how it works:
      Children in any school in the country can qualify for free or reduced-price lunches if their parents fill out an application showing that the family’s income falls below a certain level. The number of students who qualify is a measure of how many students live at or near poverty levels. Schools with a high percentage of low-income families may be eligible to offer free meals to everyone (turns out it’s simpler than charging for a few kids). Because this is a measure of poverty, schools can qualify for additional federal money based on how many students are eligible for free/reduced lunch. These are known as Title 1 funds, and the schools who get it are sometimes called Title 1 schools. So, the schools don’t get money because they serve free lunches and/or breakfasts. They get money because they have a high percentage of students from low-income households.

  8. It’s so absurd that every single civilization in history has been worse off the bigger their government became, but somehow WE think we’ll be different. We’ll be the first country in the world to grow a HUGE government and it will benefit the people.

    IGNORANCE, you know what ignorance is? It’s doing the EXACT same thing and expecting a different result!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m gonna need quality health care after today because my blood pressure is probably a guiness record.

    1. Norm, nothing personal, but you might find it very difficult to defend that first sentence. Now you are entitled to your opinion, and until Darrell decides otherwise you are free to hijack this thread to air your own political agenda. But you are going to find it difficult to persuade people by just throwing out random (and somewhat extreme) claims, and expecting people to just accept it. And for what it’s worth, when trying to defend your thesis, be sure to take into account the people groups in tribal Africa, the Pacific Islands, and South America who have the smallest possible form of government – as well as the lowest quality of life in the modern world.

  9. Well, I guess the way the country ran for the first 250 years wasn’t very prosperous so I agree we needed a complete overhaul of the entire system.

    Oh wait!!!! It WAS prosperous, in fact, we became the greatest nation on the PLANET!!! Oh well, let’s completely overhaul the system anyhow, maybe we can be even better than the greatest nation on the planet.

  10. After watching this video all I can say is WOW how similar the two fundamental groups are.

    My theory? The IFB fundies are too cowardly and vain to resort to extreme violence. External violence means there is something wrong, and admitting that they are wrong in public is NOT to be done.

    Men in the IFB world are all too aware of the fragile hold they have on their own families through brainwashing, guilt and manipulation to be able to branch out to violence in public. First class Narcissism of the Fundy sort is hard to get away with when you’re being scrutinized by everybody else if you let the facade down.

    My two cents.

    1. Christianity had its moment of blood, violence and death in Europe several centuries ago. I think you’re right, but I also think that it’s an issue of cultural civility. Violent Islam tends sprout from tribal warfare and unstable countries. One only has to look at the atrocities Christian groups have caused in Africa through very recent history (or even today against homosexuals) to see that culture and practices will always overlap religion, no mater how peaceful it is claimed to be (Christianity in dark ages or parts of Africa today responsible for violence) or how violent it is claimed to be (Peaceful Muslims in the US and Europe).

  11. Y’all have a GREAT weekend. I loved the discussion. I’ve sure been missing this heated debate. LOVE it!!! Y’all are awesome!!! BJG, RTG, Jay, TTU and all the others, let’s do it again REAL soon, kay?

      1. Haha! When I left Fundamentalism (and Christianity in my case) one of the things I realized I was terrible at, was disagreeing with someone. I had the social skills of a rock when it came to dealing with disagreements. It’s always nice to see people go at it passionately, enjoy the conversation and still look forward to talking to that person again.

  12. I am in no way defending IFB’s with this, but seriously, despite all their bravado, would they even try anything like this? Last time I checked, fundys aren’t trying to coordinate attacks on navy ships. Perhaps in part because they’re not smart enough to try to coordinate something like this, but then again, attacking the wrong ship isn’t exactly the brightest thing either.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/11092387/Al-Qaeda-India-branchs-first-attack-ends-in-dismal-failure-as-jihadists-raid-wrong-ship.html

    1. If fundies were convinced that there was a world superpower trying to destroy their way of life, I’m pretty sure some would, and would use the Bible to justify it. I’m not saying that the US is trying to kill all Muslims or destroy their way of life. But if someone grew up hearing that rhetoric pounded into their head, things would look very different to them.

  13. Michelle Obama has an agenda? Oh, my!

    Her agenda is fighting childhood obesity.

    And I would think that feeding children a nutritious breakfast is better than their buying Twinkies at the local convenience store on the way to school.

    1. The problem is the way government tries to accomplish goal puts additional strains on school districts: it’s cumbersome, burdensome, wasteful and not cost effective. Here’s a great example in my home state: http://eagnews.org/minnesota-school-ditches-michelle-os-lunch-rules/.

      Should they make healthy meal choices available to students? By all means. But to force them upon others when even the Obamas personally don’t abide by these guidelines (and there are countless documented instances of them eating meals with thousands of calories and outrageous amounts of fat) exposes the problems with this approach. Can she have an agenda? Sure. Just don’t force it on people to affect change.

        1. It doesn’t matter the source right wing or left wing. the fact is the Wayzata school district is simply one of many that don’t like the one-size-fits-all approach that most federal programs have and have discontinued their participation. And even it’s the Dept of Ed that comes up with the policy, Michelle clearly has been the hypocritical spearhead of this movement. She and her family don’t practice what she wants to impose on everyone else which makes this all the more difficult to swallow.

        2. The source matters. I have found, consistently, that right-wing pseudo-Christian sources lie.

          Now I was a right-wing Conservative Christian. What empowered my spiritual journey away from fundamentalism was discovering the lying the leaders and the sources did. It caused a major crisis of faith, forcing me to choose between what I had been taught by “faith” and the actual facts and truth.

          The movement toward a liberal faith was slow. But having discovered that lies were present, I was set on a course of having to discover who was lying, how they were doing it, and why.

          The source matters. Without a truthful presentation of the facts, in context, one can be led to believe a lie.

        3. While I would agree in some instances the source matters, there are some facts that cannot be disputed regardless of the source. It’s just that every source is selective in what it reports. I wouldn’t expect HuffPost or Slate or Mother Jones to report most things that reflect negatively upon the current president. I’m hardly naive enough to think that there is any objective news source so it does pay to understand the bias of the source, but again, that bias doesn’t necessarily color certain facts. Go to the Wayzata school district and ask them if they have chosen to discontinue its participation in this lunch program and the reasons behind that. Those facts speak clearly for themselves.

  14. Folks, what’s started off as a noble idea regarding fundamentalism and 9/11 seems to have drifted off into a argument about Obama and politics and healthcare, and getting nowhere, really. 🙄 Can we call a truce, or agree to talk about this elsewhere? This is where we look at religion, not politics, and I fear we are getting rather far off the rails here. 😐 ^_^
    Just one woman’s two cents.

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