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New Perry Ad: There’s Something Wrong

Jim Burroway

December 7th, 2011

In case, for whatever reason, you didn’t understand what Texas Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry was trying to say yesterday, he put it in a television ad today:

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.

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Regan DuCasse
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

When are people like Perry going to be honest about the difference between religious FREEDOM and religious AUTHORITY.
Of which NO person has religious AUTHORITY over anyone in this country?

Religious freedom has no limits as to when one governs ONESELF with it. It’s when that religion engages the government to expand that religious authority to govern others that there MUST be limits.

And those who cannot respect that difference, and ignore the recent and historical record of ABUSE by religious authority cannot be allowed that convenience of memory.

A man that wants to use his religious freedom AS religious authority in public office has another think coming.

It’s no surprise that religious conservatives are embracing Newt Gingrich. He’s got a track record of power in Washington. He knows how to become powerful.
Women and gay people are the most regularly abused by religious authority. And Newt also has a record of abusing and betraying women. Apparently that’s someone the religious right can work with.
Power means more than ethics and character.

I know which Christians are the good ones, and those who are not.
And Rick Perry, ISN’T a good Christian. He’s a scary one.

Ben in Atlanta
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

The POTUS is Christian. Liberals do have faith. In the free expression thereof, try this:

I have loved in life
and I have been loved.
I have drunk the bowl of poison
from the hands of love as nectar,
and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow.

My heart, aflame in love,
set afire every heart that came in touch with it.
My heart has been rent
and joined again;
My heart has been broken
and again made whole;
My heart has been wounded
and healed again;
A thousand deaths my heart has died,
and thanks be to love,
it lives yet.

I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire,
and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love.
I wept in love
and made all weep with me;
I mourned in love
and pierced the hearts of men;
And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks,
the rocks burst forth as volcanoes.
The whole world sank in the flood
caused by my one tear;
With my deep sigh the earth trembled,
and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved,
I shook the throne of God in heaven.

I bowed my head low in humility,
and on my knees I begged of love,
“Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret.”
She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth,
and spoke softly in my ear,
“My dear one,
thou thyself art love, art lover, and thyself art the beloved
whom thou hast adored.”

Priya Lynn
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Again with the lies that I think Perry et al must know are lies. Kids can openly celebrate christmas and pray in school all they want, no one is stopping them. What Perry and his kind are not allowed to do is to have the government force all children to celebrate christmas or pray to their god. Perry and his kind can’t win the debate with honesty so time and time again they resort to this tired old lie.

Lindoro Almaviva
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Good luck with that sweet checks. Let’s see how that plays with the juris doctors in the Supreme Court.

Lucrece
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

What an unmitigated a$$hole. He’s Bush, but worse.

Ryan
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Holy crap. This guy’s shameless. Not only does he continue with Fox News’ myth of the “War on Christmas”, which I guess has just turned into the “War on Christianity”, but he makes sure to point out that “gay” and “Christian” are some sort of diametrically opposed forces. (As well as saying “liberal” and “Obama” are polar opposites to “Christian” as well).

I believe all the major Republican candidates feel the same way, but it’s absolutely shocking to hear it said aloud in 2011. I’m so glad this piece of shit will never be President.

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Oh my lord.

I’ve long said that this Culture War is not about people of faith on one side and Hollywood Liberals on the other. It is about defining Christianity and who gets to speak as the voice of moral conscience.

If mainline Christian churches haven’t noticed before, they should now. Perry is claiming, as a matter of being “a Christian”, that there’s something wrong with gays serving openly in the military.

If you liberal and moderate churches are fine with Christianity being equated with bigotry (and this is bigotry) then you get what you deserve.

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

“…our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

Translation: our school administrators cannot establish a school prayer and require all students to participate.

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan…

To some extent Fox’s claim has merit. It is true that there is a push to remove any religious element from Christmas’ public presentation and even to replace Christmas, as a term, with a non-specific phrase. I hope you aren’t debating that. It’s pretty obvious.

Sadly, it’s all Culture War, my side v. your side, good v. evil nonsense. Fox etc. thinks this is a threat on their values by godless Liberals!! And the other side dances with delight when Gov. Chaffee doesn’t call the state tree a Christmas Tree. It’s a victory over those redneck haters!!

And it’s ALL just hate on the other guy.

Personally, I think retailers are entitled to do whatever they think most appeals to their customers. If their customers want non-specific Happy Holidays and want to buy and decorate a Holiday Tree, that’s fine with me.

As it turns out, they don’t. They want Christmas Trees and if someone points out that the word “Christmas” is missing, it feels like an insult to them and their traditions. “Hey, this is my holiday and my culture’s customs. If you want some tradition, go make your own and then you can call it what you want, but this one is called Christmas, buddy.”

As Mr. Macy and Mr. Bloomingdale learned long ago, it doesn’t demean you in any way to let someone else enjoy their own holidays and traditions. And if you’re smart, you’ll find a way to make a buck off it.

(Though, I’ll admit that it does make me annoyed that the menorahs are far too often tucked away behind the trees on a table with the blue and silver plates and the Kwanzaa candles.)

Ryan
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

I’m certainly debating that. The “War on Christmas” is utterly and wholly imaginary in every possible way. Man, Timothy.
I’m a liberal atheist who excitedly buys a Christmas tree every year and so does every single liberal gay atheist friend of mine. Surely you got the chain-email from your Aunt Betty, the one that says Obama is calling the Christmas Tree a “Holiday Tree”? Yeah, that was a lie. Everyone calls it a Christmas tree, because that’s what it is. No one “dances with delight” if someone calls it a “Holiday Tree” or whatever. No one on the godless liberal side gives a shit. I’m sure you could cherry-pick five militant atheists who think that trying to remove “In God We Trust” from our coins is a good use of one’s time, but it’s certainly not a part of any “liberal” or Democrat’s objectives.
And yes, some stores made the unpardonable sin of trying to include other holidays around Christmastime in their store greetings by saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. If that’s what you and Fox call a “War” on Christmas, then have at it, I guess. When I was a child, no one blinked at “Happy Holidays” and only insufferable assholes would make a stink about it. In fact, I remember a Dear Abby article I read as a boy, where a woman complained that her elderly father kept yelling at the store clerk, insisting that he say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”. Abby said have him see a doctor, because he was probably suffering from some sort of mental ailment. Either that, or he was just a sanctimonious asshole. (She used kinda verbiage, of course). Then Fox News came along and made that sort of bizarre victim mentality a litmus test for being a “real” Christian. It’s nonsense.
There’s no war on Christmas. (Or “Jihad on Christmas”, as the classy O’Reilly likes to say).

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan,

Perhaps you didn’t notice because you don’t give a sh!t (though you, oddly enough give enough of a sh!t to comment on it here.)

But I noticed. How do you suppose that it came to be that stores advertised “holiday trees?” Was it a misprint?

“Oh, duh! The sign says ‘holiday’. Stupid me, i meant to write ‘Christmas'”

But you, like Fox, are so vested in the Culture War that you have to fight over even this point. Because admitting that there is pressure to remove any recognition of Christmas – especially as a Christian holiday – is to ‘let the other side win’.

And, of course, you are so determined to “win” that you have to claim that my pointing out the obvious means that I am on Fox’s side. (Because in the Culture War, “sides” are all important and hate is the ammunition).

And, of course, my real position, the one I actually wrote, is of no matter to you. Cuz this is War, buddy.

Whatever. I’m not engaging in your’s and Fox’s Culture War.

Ryan
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Who, Timothy? Who is “pressuring” to remove any recognition of Christmas? And who are they pressuring? Everywhere I look, I see Christmas ads on TV, Christmas music on the radio, Christmas Tree lots selling trees, stores shutting down on Christmas day, etc.
We celebrate Christmas in America. We celebrate the heck out of it. And nearly everyone is totally fine with that.
Can you cherry-pick? Of course. There are 300 million Americans out there.(You can also find PETA wackos who think meat is murder, but there’s no liberal “War on Poultry”, and you can cherry-pick racist signs at Tea Party rallies and say that they’re all racist, or if you’re really a nasty bigot, you can point to NAMBLA and say that gays are pedophiles.) A store or two might decide to call it a Holiday Tree. If that offends Christians, then they can boycott, I guess. Seems like a huge waste of time, as dumb as the atheists trying to get “In God We Trust” off our coins, but this is America, do what you want.
Do you really think those stores were “pressured” by some nefarious outside source to stop using the word “Christmas”? Because I really don’t. Businesses try to make things accessible to the lowest common denominator. Someone said, “hey, if we call it a Holiday Tree, we’ll get the Christians and the non-Christians to buy our overpriced crap”. That’s not a conspiracy. That’s not a “war”. That’s not pressure. That’s just business. And as it turns out, bad business. Because Fox told their viewers that “Holiday Tree” is an insult, somehow, even though it never used to be. It’s a Republican vote grab, pure and simple.

Priya Lynn
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Only Christian conservatives think there is a “war” on christmas. To the majority of people including those christians who don’t regularly attend church its trivial whether someone says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, its a matter of taste and to each his own. For the majority of people, including typical christians, christmas isn’t particularly about christianity. A big party in the middle of winter is the reason for the season.

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan,

And yet again you are trying to paint me as having positions I don’t have. Okay, so you’d rather fight strawmen than read what I wrote. Meh.. whatever. enjoy

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Priya Lynn, you’ll have to excuse me if I fall on the floor laughing at what you think about “typical christians”.

Ryan
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, I realize belatedly that I quoted you saying “pressure” when you actually said “push”. The meaning is the same though, right? You believe there’s a “push” to remove Christmas from public celebrations and to replace the word. I believe that was what I specifically responded to.

Timothy Kincaid
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan,

The words I used were:

It is true that there is a push to remove any religious element from Christmas’ public presentation and even to replace Christmas, as a term, with a non-specific phrase. I hope you aren’t debating that. It’s pretty obvious.

I don’t see anything there about “militant atheists” or “liberal or Democrat’s objectives” or “nefarious outside sources” or even “what you and Fox call a War on Christmas”.

Priya Lynn
December 7th, 2011 | LINK

“Priya Lynn, you’ll have to excuse me if I fall on the floor laughing at what you think about “typical christians”.”.

Knock yourself out, you’re no expert on typical christians.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

For some of us, Christmas is about Christ. We read the “Christmas Story” from the Bible before we open our presents. We have a birthday cake for Jesus, and we have a nativity scene that we reverent for for scene it depicts not just because it’s cute. So yes we are insulted when we see “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Do I get angry when my friends child is told she cannot pray for her meal because praying is not allowed? Yes. Would it matter if she was praying to Jesus, or Buddha? No. It’s the fact she was told she couldn’t. And as a Christian, there are alot of thing that go on that I don’t agree with, but it is not my place to tell you what you can or cannot do. I live my life, and teach my children to live theirs in a way that glorifies Jesus, meaning love and respect. Now that may not be what is seen from the people to proclaim to be “Christians” while they picket soldiers funerals, or spew hatred from the rooftops. But a Christian’s testimony is best shared with their life not their words. So if their life does not align with their words then they are no more a Christian than an atheist, they are just to blind to see it.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Oh and we know that he wasn’t born in December, and that Christmas falls on the winter solstice for whatever reason, that the stores promote Christmas to make money, and that Santa Claus is more celebrated than Jesus, but we don’t care.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Trina, I’m certain that in the United States it is an extremely rare event that a child is told she can’t pray for her meal.

You say “But a Christian’s testimony is best shared with their life not their words. So if their life does not align with their words then they are no more a Christian than an atheist, they are just to blind to see it.”.

That’s a rather bigoted thing to say, you’re saying that someone who doesn’t lead a good life is is like an atheist when in fact atheists are some of the most moral people around. Only a tiny fraction of the prison population is atheists, a far lower percentage than the percentage of atheists in the population.

I recently read that christians think atheists are the least trustworthy people around, on a par with rapists.
Religious people think that if one doesn’t believe an invisible being is watching them that person has no incentive to be good? Is that the only reason why you’re a good person Trina, the threat of punishment? Doesn’t say a lot for you if that is the case. I do good things because that’s what makes the world a better place, Trina, I do good things because that’s how I want people to treat me.

I recall one christian I met online who said atheists can’t be good people because they don’t believe god will punish their wrongdoings. He said if it weren’t for his belief in a god he’d be raping, murdering and stealing every chance he got. Who would you rather have as a friend, someone like him, or someone like me who is good for goodness’s sake instead of out of a fear of punishment?

Erin
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

“Oh and we know that he wasn’t born in December, and that Christmas falls on the winter solstice for whatever reason, that the stores promote Christmas to make money, and that Santa Claus is more celebrated than Jesus, but we don’t care.”

What I want to know is how you can claim to be a Christian, whose bible says not to worship false gods, and still not care that the early Christian church lied and said all those things now had to do with Jesus just so they could win converts from the Pagans who didn’t want to give up their fun winter festivities. The whole thing is a lie. “Hey, let’s keep celebrating the Pagan winter solstice, then lie and say it’s now about Jesus’ birthday.” -That was the plan, and Christians have fallen for it for centuries, and they’ve made it worse by being so materialistic. The Jesus I learned about would not approve and deep down everyone has to see the conflict. Oh, and if you want to talk about persecution, just look to American Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of about two sects that actually gave a shat enough to correct the corruption of the early Christian church and refused to celebrate Pagan holidays. They actually follow the commandments of the Bible. I used to be one. I caught hell for it every single year when it was time for one of those fake Jesus holidays. But now that I understand that all religion is bs, even if the people that believe in it really are trying to find the truth and do the right thing, I don’t feel guilty anymore for celebrating it. I’m now what Dawkins would call a #6 Atheist. I’m quite skeptical there’s one personified diety that created all of us and gives a crap what we do, but I’m not 100% ruling it out. Therefore, I now chalk Christmas up to a staple of our culture and I don’t feel guilty about taking part.

That being said, why would any rational person care if a business or level of government said “Happy Holidays?” In case you haven’t noticed, there are people in this country who aren’t Christian. There are people who also celebrate Hanukah and Kwanza. There are Atheists like me who celebrate because their families do. There are people who don’t celebrate everything but still have to deal with the stress of the holidays. “Happy holidays” is an inclusive phrase that addresses all of those people, even Christmas-celebraters. All of those store clerks that say that still have Jesus cards in the card aisle, Nativity set novelties, and Santa Clause decor in the seasonal aisle. There’s no attack on Christmas. It’s a right-wing petty bitching match, designed to engaged people in the wedge issue that is religion, and distract them from the real issues, like the fact that billionaires committed fraud that cost people their homes and jobs and now millions more have to rely on charity for Christmas this year.

Erin
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Oh and Priya, thank you for saying what I’ve been saying for years. I base my morality on what is a positive way to treat others, because I actually care about other people. I would feel guilty if I cheated someone out of something they earned or stole something they worked for. I would feel guilty if I hurt someone’s feelings. Yet SOME, and I stress “some” Christians say I can’t have a motivation for morality. It makes me wonder if they haven’t noticed they have a conscience, or if they just plain don’t have one, and the fear of punishment holds them back. In any case, that is a selfish motivation, any way you spin it.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, No that is not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is that they no more a Christian than an Atheist is a Christian. Saying that they are a Christian no more makes someone a Christian than swimming makes one a fish, or having a Buddha on ones mantle makes them Buddhist. But when the world sees someone saying that they are a Christian and then screaming hateful things, there is a great misconception. Being an Atheist doesn’t make someone a “bad” person, no more than being a Christian makes someone a “good” person. Christ taught, we are to treat others with love and respect. Not to throw stones and judge because you could just as easily be judged. So when One has turned their life over to Christ, that change in their spirit where they desire to be like Christ should be there, and their actions should follow. Will they still sin on a daily basis, absolutely, but that love should be there in the way they treat others. The only persons faith I know is mine. I can not say who is a Christan and who is not, who is good and who is not, but what I can say is that a persons life is judged by the fruit they produce. And no sin is worse than another so we are all equal on the same playing field. So when someone judges you because you are an Atheist, then they are sinning in the eyes of God and are just as guilty.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Erin, The fact that Christmas is on the winter solstice, does not mean that I am celebrating the winter solstice. I celebrate Christmas, and wish Merry Christmas. If you were to celebrate Hanukkah, or Kwanza, then wish Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanza, and decorate your store in all three or five or whatever. But don’t dismiss all, because most celebrate one. Let the kids learn about all. They can make menorahs or Kwanza candle holders, it doesn’t matter to me, but don’t eliminate mine because some celebrate something else. I don’t celebrate Halloween, I thank God for the harvest, but I don’t demand that others stop decorating their store, because I don’t celebrate it. That would be very small minded of me.

And yes, my friends daughter came home from school crying because she was praying for her lunch and was told she couldn’t. And another friends child was told to change his shirt because it had a Bible verse on it. The verse wasn’t insulting, but because someone else didn’t believe in the Bible, this boys freedom of religion was infringed on. It happens. It isn’t as published as other things but it happens. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Part of being tolerant is, tolerating others beliefs or lack their of. Just because I believe in Jesus and there are those that don’t doesn’t mean that I have to stop talking about or celebrating my faith to respect yours. I can respect that others don’t believe in the same thing that I do. Whether I think they are wrong or right is irrelevant, and the same goes to them. They should treat my beliefs with the same respect.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

I want to believe you Trina, but I wonder when you say “a Christian’s testimony is best shared with their life not their words. So if their life does not align with their words then they are no more a christian…”, what is an example of the words you’re thinking of that a christian should align their life with?

Erin
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t see how “Happy Holidays” dismisses all of them. It’s includes all of them, and kids are learning about all the holidays, at least they did last time I worked in the school system a couples years ago.

Erin
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

And any teacher who punishes a child for praying on their lunch time is simply someone who is being foolish and badly misunderstanding the actual rules, which are that the school and teachers cannot lead in prayer or sponsor any type of religion over another. If the parents had fought that one the school probably would have corrected the teacher. It’s weird these days though, how many people don’t understand the rules.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Trina said “And yes, my friends daughter came home from school crying because she was praying for her lunch and was told she couldn’t. And another friends child was told to change his shirt because it had a Bible verse on it. The verse wasn’t insulting, but because someone else didn’t believe in the Bible, this boys freedom of religion was infringed on.”.

That is against American law and I’m sorry it happened to you. If you chose to pursue legal action, (and I doubt you would), I’m certain you would win. In some schools some misguided teachers incorrectly think that because they can’t ask students to observe religion that students aren’t allowed to observe it either. I know when it happens to you it doesn’t help much to say this is a rare thing, but it is all the same.

Trina said “Just because I believe in Jesus and there are those that don’t doesn’t mean that I have to stop talking about or celebrating my faith to respect yours.”.

I agree. As long as you aren’t hurting others as far as I’m concerned you’re free to do whatever you want. I do wish however that you wouldn’t encourage your children to adopt religious belief until they are adults and fully capable of deciding on their own if this is something they want.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

How can someone feel love on the inside and speak hatred on the inside? They can’t. Those are the words that I am talking about. They proclaim that they are a Christian and love Jesus, but yell and scream that “Soldiers are going to Hell because they are gay,” or when people say, “we deserved 9/11 because of the fact that our country believes in “oil” and not God.” And so on. I believe that Jesus is the way to heaven, and I pray for those that don’t. Just like Hindu’s believe that their way is right, or Muslim’s believe their way is right, and they all think that my way is wrong. But I can treat them with love and respect, and hope for the same. It is not my place to judge them, say hateful words, or say they are all going to hell. It is my job to love them as Jesus loved me, and that is it. We can agree to disagree on belief systems, and that is fine. But the core of Christianity is the change that happens on the inside of a person, and that it’s a lifestyle not a religion, so how can someone exude hatred, but say they have love in their heart. What you said about serving two masters is right, a person can’t. A person can hide their true self for a while but it always comes out.

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

I teach them that Jesus loves them and they are to love others just the same. That he died on the cross for them because of his love. Whether or not they accept this or believe something else, is up to them. But I want them to know that they are here for a reason. That they are loved for them and all of their imperfections, and that no mater what anyone else says, Jesus loved and died for them because they are that valuable and important. And there is nothing that they could do to stop Jesus from loving them. They may question my love one day, and think that I am the meanest person alive for grounding them, or not allowing them to date the “bad boy” in school, but I want them to always know that they are never alone. Those that don’t believe in Jesus, say I selling a pipe dream, but I truly believe this. And knowing that love has helped me many times. And I want them to know that same love.

MattNYC
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Thom Hartmann noted the other day that saying “Merry Christmas” in Pilgrim/Puritan Massachusetts was a crime against God–it was considered a pagan holiday.

Others have asked “which is more sacrilegious,” using Baby Jesus to sell TVs and sofas or trying to keep religion out of our consuming money-grab?

Ben in Atlanta
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Happy Bodhi Day!

Do you lights strung in your ficus?

Trina
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

I heard an American Indian say, “As long as one celebrates the tradition, then it is still alive.” How I celebrate a tradition is how it is alive in my home. I do not take advise from the Pilgrim/Puritans because they thought it was ok to burn “witches” to get rid of disease.

We have allowed the day we celebrate for Jesus’ birth to become a day of money grabbing, and greed. What it stood for, peace, thankfulness, and joy, has been replaced with presents, greed, and selfishness.

We choose how things are perceived. In my home, each child gets one present that they really want, and then we open gifts for the family. Before Christmas we fill shoe boxes with things to be sent to children in need, and we buy gifts for children in our town. They are also involved with collecting food for our local food pantry. They have to be taught to think of others, and to see that Christmas isn’t just about presents. If we don’t teach them then no one will.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Trina said “How can someone feel love on the inside and speak hatred on the inside? They can’t. Those are the words that I am talking about.”.

See, when you combine that with your previous statement “a Christian’s testimony is best shared with their life not their words. So if their life does not align with their words then they are no more a christian than an atheist” what you’re saying is that a christian doesn’t feel love on the inside and speak hatred, you’re implying that is what an atheist does. That’s what I find offensive.

Now I know you made the obligatory statement that “Being an Atheist doesn’t make someone a “bad” person, no more than being a Christian makes someone a “good” person” but I think like most christians its cognitive dissonance and that’s not what you really believe, you just say it to be polite and avoid an argument and that’s what a recent study suggests:

http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~will/Gervais%20et%20al-%20Atheist%20Distrust.pdf

John
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Not surprising considering that his answer to his state’s problems was to do nothing and let God handle it. Of course, that has worked out really well for Texas. I believe that was, at one time, his answer to our national problems. The one thing this country does not need in the extreme is a religious zealot, whether real or just a political ploy.

Timothy Kincaid
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Trina, I’m certain that in the United States it is an extremely rare event that a child is told she can’t pray for her meal.

Probably rare. I do have personal experience, though.

In 1973 in Mrs. Bednar’s fifth grade class I regularly bowed my head and said a silent prayer before I ate my lunch. It wasn’t a big ordeal or disruptive of others in any way.

And though Mrs. Bednar did not forbid me from doing so, she did mock me. In front of the other students. Purposefully and cruelly.

I didn’t protest or demand my rights. I had been raised to respect a teacher’s authority and never considered that she couldn’t do this.

I didn’t even tell my parents. But the next year my sixth grade teacher called my parents in to talk to them. His daughter was also in Mrs. Bednar’s class with me and she had gone home and told him about it.

This happened in the 70’s before Jerry Falwell and his buddies destroyed the reputation of religion. I’m certain it must happen today.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

“In 1973 in Mrs. Bednar’s fifth grade class…”

In 1972 I was in Miss Bodnar’s fifth grade class.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Coincidences aside I’m very surprised a school teacher would have done that in 1973 in the U.S.

Timothy Kincaid
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Trina,

I am sad.

You came here supportive and encouraging. You didn’t make excuses for bad behavior or pretend that your faith gave you special privilege.

And you were ganged up on for nothing more than having and expressing a faith. You weren’t attacking or insulting them, but because you dared to be a Christian they felt justified in treating you with contempt. And when you carefully explained that the imagined insult was not an insult at all, you were accused of lying.

And while you were abused, those doing so actually claimed to have superior character.

I apologize for the brutish behavior of BTB readers who measured you only on one facet: your faith. Please know that not all who read here hate Christians or lack basic civility.

And, by the way, oh how I wish that the way you practice Christianity were the way that all people practice their faith. Civility, generosity, courage, kindness, and mindfulness of those in need. Christ said “by this will they know that you are my disciples”, and it seems you have taken that to heart.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

“And you were ganged up on for nothing more than having and expressing a faith.”.

Not true.

“You weren’t attacking or insulting them,”.

Not intending to, maybe, but to say being a christian means one’s life aligns with positive words is to imply that this is not true for non christians and that is an insult.

“but because you dared to be a Christian they felt justified in treating you with contempt.”.

Nonsense. I didn’t treat her with contempt and I wouldn’t have felt justified in doing so.

Timothy Kincaid
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Oh give me a break. You saw a Christian and attacked. Your bogus “is to imply” excuse is illogical and nothing but a sheen to gloss over your hate.

Trina has a point. One you might want to pay attention to. To her, because she is a Christian she is called to be civil and kind. She thinks it reflects on Christianity as a whole. She’s right.

If I only had Trina and this thread on which to judge Christianity, I would think that it is a positive thing which encourages people towards generosity, love, caring, and courtesy.

I can’t say the same for you and atheism.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

See, you’re doing the same thing as her.

“To her, because she is a Christian she is called to be civil and kind. She thinks it reflects on Christianity as a whole. She’s right.”

Your both so used to religious privilege and making unchallenged statements about how goodness is equated with christianity you think its an attack on you when someone points out that such statements imply christians are better than atheists.

I have no concern that your opinion of me and my atheism has anything to do with reality.

Timothy Kincaid
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Um, in case you missed that day in logic class (as you evidently did), to say that Christians are called to love is something very different from saying that non-Christians are not loving.

Trina criticized others who call themselves Christians because they weren’t very loving and, as she rightly noted, Christians are supposed to be known by their love.

And… (wait for it) … many atheists love as well. I know some and I suspect you do as well.

Yep, many people love. Christians and atheists alike.

You should try being one of them.

Priya Lynn
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

“Um, in case you missed that day in logic class (as you evidently did), to say that Christians are called to love is something very different from saying that non-Christians are not loving.”.

No, its to suggest that non-christians aren’t called to love, otherwise why even make such a statement? Both you and Trina casually throw out these statments of the moral superiority of christians and then when your insult is pointed out somehow in your mind you are the victims.

“Christians are supposed to be known by their love.”.

See, there you go again. For you to claim this doesn’t imply others are not supposed to be known by their love isn’t remotely believable. If everyone is supposed to be known by their love, one would say “We are all supposed to be known be our love.” rather than specifying “christians”.

“Yep, many people love. Christians and atheists alike. You should try being one of them.”.

Again with the insults. I sympathized with Trina and her friends being denied their freedom of religion. She made all manner of statements about her religion and contrary to your claim I never treated her with contempt for making them, I never said anything at all about them, except the one time she suggested being a christian means aligning oneself with positive words and being an atheist does not. And yet in your black and white world I’m a hater, you don’t see any nuance, everything is just black and white, I’m a hater, a bad person, christians are known by their love.

The reality is you’re projecting your own hatred on me. You think you should be free to make statments such as “Christians are supposed to be known by their love.” and when someone points out that implies something negative about non-christians somehow we’re supposed to be the haters.

I’ll leave you with the last word if you so desire.

Timothy Kincaid
December 8th, 2011 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Okay fine.

If you want to insist that saying that Christians are required to love is an implied insult to non-Christians then we’ll apply the same standard to you.

The next time that you say that atheists rely on reason or that they commit less crime or say anything at all positive about atheists, I’ll decide that this is an implied insult to non-atheists and ban you from the site.

Of course no one else will be held to this stupid and illogical assumption, but as this is your standard then it will apply to you.

How is that? Fair enough?

Rob in San Diego
December 9th, 2011 | LINK

OMG, is he talking about Israel? I thought he was a big fan of Israel? He sucks up to them in every speech. I mean, it’s the only country I know of that allows gays to serve openly and yet the children do not celebrate Christmas.

Erin
December 10th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, no one attacked Trina. We’re allowed to debate. She seems like a nice person and I totally respect her viewpoint, and am thankful she is another Christian who actually practices the “love thy neighbor” bit. While I think Priya is reading into something that isn’t there, this statement: “Oh give me a break. You saw a Christian and attacked,” is complete and utter crap, and to say Priya does it from hate is really just pushing it. Granted, I only skimmed over, but nothing stood out to me as hateful. Really now.

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