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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Away With The Fairies"


~*~
The entirety of this article is posted here and is referenced from the above source.

There is an increasingly noisy and bad-tempered quarrel between religious people and non-religious people in contemporary society.

It has flared up in the past few years, and has quickly taken a bitter turn. Why is this so? AC Grayling argues that religion has lost respectability As one of those participating in it - and, confessedly, contributing to its acerbity - my answer might seem partisan. But both sides of the current dispute agree that it raises important questions about the place of religious belief in modern society.

Until very recently, people tended not to fall out with one another if they discovered that they held different views about religion. There were three main reasons for this. Most believers did not brandish their faith publicly, society had become increasingly secular in most major respects, and memories of the past's murderous religious factionalisms had bequeathed a reluctance to revive the problem. The latter's lingering consequences in Northern Ireland anyway served as a distasteful warning.

But all the major religions have become more assertive, more vocal, more demanding and therefore more salient in the public domain. Followers of Islam were the first to push forward: protests against Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in 1989 were an early indication of what has since become an insistent Islamic presence in the public square. Not willing to be left behind, other faiths have followed suit. In 2004 Sikhs closed a play in Birmingham, Hindus complained about Christmas stamps Christianising an Indian theme and, in 2005, evangelical Christians protested against Jerry Springer: The Opera. But it has not all been about protests.

In Britain public funding has gone to Church of England and Roman Catholic schools for a long time; now Muslims, Sikhs and Jews receive public money for their own faith-based schools. BBC radio has steadily increased the airtime available to religions other than the established one.
Requests for extra protections in law, and alternatively for exemptions from the law, to cater for religious sensitivities soon followed these developments: criminalising offensive remarks about religion, and allowing faith-based organisations to be exempt from legislation outlawing discriminatory practices, are the main examples.

The Labour Government has been as concessive and inclusive as it can be to all the religious groups in Britain. This is well intentioned but misguided, as the example of faith-based schooling shows. If children are ghettoised by religion from an early age, the result, as seen in Northern Ireland, is disastrous. In the past decade exactly such segregation has been given a publicly funded boost in the rest of the UK, at a time when religion-inspired tensions and divisions in society are increasing. The remedy for the latter should be to ensure that schooling is as mixed and secular as possible; instead, tax money has gone to deepen the problem because the Government thinks that by giving sectarianism its head it will appease it.

Yet history teaches that appeasement never satisfies appetites, it only feeds them.
In the face of the growing volume and assertiveness of different religious bodies asking for preferential treatment, secular opinion has hardened. The non-religious response has come largely from individuals who have a platform or the talent to speak; and they speak for themselves, not for an organisation.

In the US, the religious Right numbers about 35 million. Recent polls show that about 30 million Americans define themselves as having no religious commitment. But whereas the religious Right is a formidable body whose constituent churches and movements have salaried administrators, vast funds, television and radio outlets, and paid Washington lobbyists, America's non-religious folk are simply unconnected individuals.

It is no surprise that the religious Right has political clout and can make a loud noise in the American public square, whereas the non-religious voice is muted. There are two main reasons for the hardening of responses by non-religious folk. One is that any increase in the influence of religious bodies in society threatens the de facto secular arrangement that allows all views and none to coexist. History has shown that in societies where one religious outlook becomes dominant, an uneasy situation ensues for other outlooks; at the extreme, religious control of society can degenerate into Taliban-like rule.

Look at the period in which liberty of conscience was at last secured in Christian Europe - the 16th and 17th centuries. It was an exceptionally bloody epoch: millions died as a result of a single church's reluctance to give up its control over what people can be allowed to think and believe.
The famous Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 accepted religious differences as the only way of preventing religion from being an endless source of war. Religious peace did not come straight away, but eventually it arrived, and most of Europe for most of the years since 1700 has been free of religiously motivated strife.

But this is under threat in the new climate of religious assertiveness. Faith organisations are currently making common cause to achieve their mutual ends, but, once they have achieved them, what is to stop them remembering that their faiths are mutually exclusive and indeed mutually blaspheming, and that the history of their relationship is one of bloodshed?

The second reason why secular attitudes are hardening relates to the reflective non-religious person's attitude to religion itself. Religious belief of all kinds shares the same intellectual respectability, evidential base, and rationality as belief in the existence of fairies.

This remark outrages the sensibilities of those who have deep religious convictions and attachments, and they regard it as insulting. But the truth is that everyone takes this attitude about all but one (or a very few) of the gods that have ever been claimed to exist.

No reasonably orthodox Christian believes in Aphrodite or the rest of the Olympian deities, or in Ganesh the Elephant God or the rest of the Hindu pantheon, or in the Japanese emperor, and so endlessly on - and officially (as a matter of Christian orthodoxy) he or she must say that anyone who sincerely believes in such deities is deluded and blasphemously in pursuit of "false gods".

The atheist adds just one more deity to the list of those not believed in; namely, the one remaining on the Christian's or Jew's or Muslim's list.

Religious belief is humankind's earliest science. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are young religions in historical terms, and came into existence after kings and emperors had more magnificently taken the place of tribal chiefs. The new religions therefore modelled their respective deities on kings with absolute powers.

But for tens of thousands of years beforehand people were fundamentally animistic, explaining the natural world by imputing agency to things - spirits or gods in the wind, in the thunder, in the rivers and sea.

As knowledge replaced these naiveties, so deities became more invisible, receding to mountain tops and then to the sky or the earth's depths. One can easily see how it was in the interests of priesthoods, most of which were hereditary, to keep these myths alive.

With such a view of religion - as ancient superstition, as a primitive form of explanation of the world sophisticated into mythology - it is hard for non-religious folk to take it seriously, and equally hard for them to accept the claim of religious folk to a disproportionate say in running society.

This is the more so given that the active constituency of all believers in Britain is about eight per cent of the population. A majority might have vague beliefs and occasionally go to church, but even they do not want their lives dictated to by so small and narrow a self-selected minority.

The disproportion is a staring one. Regular C of E churchgoers make up three per cent of the population, yet have 26 bishops in the House of Lords. Now that religion is bustling on to centre-stage and asking for everyone's taxes to pay for faith schools and exemptions, this anachronism is no longer tolerable.

And all this is happening against the background of atrocities committed by religious fanatics in America, Europe and the Middle East, whose beliefs are not very different from the majority of others in their faith.

The absolute certainty, the unreflective credence given to ancient texts that relate to historically remote conditions, the zealotry and bigotry that flow from their certainty, are profoundly dangerous: at their extreme they result in mass murder, but long before then they issue in censorship, coercion to conform, the control of women, the closing of hearts and minds.

Thus there is a continuum from the suicide bomber driven by religious zeal to the moral crusader who wishes to stop everyone else from seeing or reading what he himself finds offensive. This fact makes people of a secular disposition no longer prepared to be silent and concessive.

Religion has lost respectability as a result of the atrocities committed in its name, because of its clamouring for an undue slice of the pie, and for its efforts to impose its views on others. Where politeness once restrained non-religious folk from expressing their true feelings about religion, both politeness and restraint have been banished by the confrontational face that faith now turns to the modern world.

This, then, is why there is an acerbic quarrel going on between religion and non-religion today, and it does not look as if it will end soon.
Hat tip to Pharyngula

The Saw Doctors - 'Away With The Fairies'


Link

35 Comments:

Blogger L>T said...

These are interesting times we live in.
It's exciting to be a part of this 'Great Debate'.

27/3/07 3:45 pm  
Blogger Chris Bradley said...

I might be great, but I'm not so sure it's a . . . debate. That sorta implies that there are two or more legitimate sides to things. A great debate is occurring in, say, physics about the nature of, say, quantum time. That's a real stumper.

God vs. non-god? Not really a debate, but people who are right being exceptionally tolerant with those that are wrong. ;)

27/3/07 5:41 pm  
Blogger L>T said...

Chris, there are lots of things that I don't know the answer to. I was raised by a fanatical religious person & I was a born again Christian for ten years & I know I didn't have the answers then, either. So in a way it is a debate for me.

The difference is that now I'm free. Free to explore what I AM, I know I'm a humanist above all...I know I'm not a Christian, or religious.
I've gotten to this point by debate, wether it's me debating within myself or talking to other people.

for example: gadfly gave me an excellent insight into something with his statement about needing to believe in certain (I can't think of the word)presupposings(?), to keep your "Christian" house from falling down. I love it when someone says something that clicks & makes something fall into place.

I like beepbeep's blog, because there is so much information here in the posts & the discussions. It really stimulates the thought process.

28/3/07 3:20 am  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

"Until very recently, people tended not to fall out with one another if they discovered that they held different views about religion."

Not sure where this is comming from, but very strange idea.

28/3/07 5:19 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I like beepbeep's blog, because there is so much information here in the posts & the discussions. It really stimulates the thought process.

I will say this:
The only two spiritual beliefs that make any sense to me at all is Christianity and no belief.
I can pretty much look at everything else and brush it off quite easily. If I wasn't a Christian, I'd be an atheist. There really isn't any other attractive option. (for me)

28/3/07 6:12 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE under:

I am not sure what it is like in the US, but basically in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, people have been quite accepting of a variety of religious beliefs, and accepting of "no religious beliefs" for many years.

Religion hasn't been part of the obvious political agenda here for a LONG time. Most australians baulk at the idea that one religion receive preferential treatment and many baulk at the idea that religions, all or any of them, receive government funding.

There has basically been the opinion that someone's religious beliefs are their own business. Which I agree with totally, UNTIL they bring their religious beliefs into the political arena and then they are fair game.

I agree with Grayling in so much that I think that the tolerance demonstrated culturally, socially and economically to various religions, in the form of government funds, has been in goodwill, but it is like trying to appease a pride of lions with a tin of dogfood. They fight over who should get first bite of the meal, that some should get more because of their supposed status and that others should get nothing at all because they are only new memebers of the pride. They are competing ancient tribes who do NOT believe in pluralism, but dominionism. If they want to fight their religious wars, let their churches fund it.

Appeasement gestures in the form of government funding has only made the members of the pride stronger, fatter and more demanding. If it was up to me, it would be time "to cut the fat."

28/3/07 7:25 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE sadie:

I tend to think that the majority of people take on the religious beliefs which are displayed and promoted as part of their cultural paradigm. So for the majority of people, religious belief isn't really a choice, just an acceptance or a non-acceptance of the more dominant religious belief in their culture.

This, of course, explains quite well why the majority of Indians are hindu or buddhist, why the majority of Chinese are daoists or confucianists, why the majority of Italians are catholic, why the majority of Americans are protestants or catholics and why the majority of people in the Middle East are muslim.

When you are brought up in a culture where a particular religion is favoured, it will more than likely seem to make sense to you. There is the tendency to interpret the culture, and all that you might consider good about it, through the eyes of your religious faith.

Muslims do exactly the same thing. All they see that is good about their culture, they attribute to their religious beliefs. And all that they see that is bad about another culture, they attribute to the fact that "those people" have the wrong religious belief.

28/3/07 7:42 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

You don't open the public purse to naughty children who haven't been able to play nicely together for thousands of years.

28/3/07 9:20 am  
Blogger Goader said...

Poverty drives religious fanaticism, not the religious belief per se. Islamic terrorists live and train in places like northwestern Pakistan after being driven from equally poor Afghanistan, destitute Somalia is a hotbed for terrorists, and the Gaza Strip where people are packed in like sardines.

The Crusades were as much about poverty-stricken people promised the fruits of sacking unprotected communities, as they were about retrieving land lost to Muslims.

Imperialism raped and virtually destroyed the whole of Africa so that a relative few might enrich themselves. What remains are pockets of people where warlords fight for control and places like Algeria where 25% live below the poverty line.

Tiberius was not concerned with Jesus’ beliefs or teachings, nor was Pontius Pilot; their only concern was that the tax base that was Jerusalem remained undisturbed.

The real threat to peace and prosperity is poverty in a world where half of the population (3-billion people) lives on two dollars a day.

Religion is a convenient way to distract the really poor and infuse them with fervor. It keeps them busy so they don’t bother the rest of us—except once in a while when suicide bomber or some other terror group strikes.

28/3/07 10:14 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE goader:

And that is the kicker. A strictly free market capitalist economy requires some nations and some people to be poor.

Which is why you don't see a free market capitalist economy being promoted by nations who are ALREADY at the bottom of the pecking order.

Nations who are already at the top of the economic pecking order, however, do promote free market captialism because it ensures their position at the top.

28/3/07 10:53 am  
Blogger Goader said...

Hey, boys and girls, I didn’t mean to stop the thread dead in its tracks. Please, resume discussing fairies and fantasies.

29/3/07 5:27 am  
Blogger L>T said...

goader religion is to important of a player to be dismissed.

Religion was used as fuel for the crusades & it wasn't just about poor people murdering & pillaging & reclaiming land. There were Popes & kings & Bishops involved. The hand of the Church was the power behind it.

Tiberius & Pontius Pilot weren't concerned with the religion of the Jews & the teachings of Jesus, but plenty of people were & the Christian religion became a powerful force in the history of the World.

Religion is a convenient way to distract the really poor and infuse them with fervor. It keeps them busy so they don’t bother the rest of us.Yes, Religion is the opiate of the people. But, that does not mean it is benign.
Religion is a threat to peace & prosperity when Presidents & kings use peoples Apocalyptic mindsets to incite them to violence.

Truth won't fill anyones belly, but people deserve it anyway.

29/3/07 8:17 am  
Anonymous Simon said...

Exactly. A very good roundup.Nothing should be done by the state to encourage religion. Everything should be done to take children out of religious schools. And being polite while these deranged dominionists attack us or try to tell us what to do is not just ridiculous...it's suicidal. One day I hope this plague will simply collapse in the face of reality and science. But in the meantime we should quarantine it as much as possible...and keep it faraway from our secular space. Which BTW I think more people should stand up and defend...loudly.

P.S. But even when we get to sublimate our purpose driven needs and desires in healthier ways...can we please keep the fairies? :)

29/3/07 10:07 am  
Blogger Goader said...

It is true that presidents and kings use apocalyptic mindsets to incite the people to violence. The poor were, are, and will be, more likely to be influenced by presidents and kings who use religion as fuel to move them to action to satisfy their own selfish motives. Poverty, like physical hunger, primes people for action. Those who are well off will not sway as easily.

I did acknowledge that religion was a significant factor during the Crusades by prefacing my statement with: “The Crusades were as much about.” The preface implies an equal sharing of blame.

I do not agree that when Jesus was alive what would become Christianity was a major factor in peoples’ lives. Therefore, besides the Caesar and Pontius Pilot, few people were concerned with Jesus and his teachings at the time. As you said, it was only later when Christianity took hold and became influential.

I agree with your proclamation about truth, we do deserve to know it. However, that does not weaken my argument that poverty provides a vehicle for the “religious fuel” provided by the presidents, popes and kings. Therefore, if religion was the fuel for the Crusades, then poverty was its mode of realization.

My point was that per se religious belief does little to affect others except when things are not right. In Egypt if the rains were late, people would begin to rumble. If they did not come soon enough, then the Pharaoh better have a good explanation. Religion provided that answer to appease the people, at least for a while or until rain did fall. Religious beliefs had no negative effect, or any effect for that matter, until the Pharaoh prostituted it.

Unless ulterior motives find a public left wanting for life's necessities, religious beliefs are no more dangerous than are beliefs in fairies. I too vote to keep the fairies.

29/3/07 10:16 am  
Blogger L>T said...

Most of the older Pagan religions were more tolerant then the later Christian & Islamic monotheistic religions. The structure was different. You have to take that in to consideration.

About Jesus, there was a religious element at work. This is my understanding:

Jesus was an apocalyptic Jew who preached about the coming Kingdom of God.(mark 1:5)
This coming judgement would bring about destruction of the present order of things & free the oppressed(oviously the Jews under Roman rule)(Mark 13:26-27 & 10:30)
The message was urgent & the destruction & coming of the Kingdom was imminent(mark 9:1, 13:30 & 14:62)
The last week of his life he went to Jerusalem to celebrate the passover with 1000's of other Jews. He was not the only apocalyptic Jewish prophet at the time. The Jewish religion was only tolerated by the Romans. Some of these prophets were trouble makers. Didn't jesus arrive in jerusalem with big fanfare, drawing attention to himself? preaching on the temple steps & insulting the religious authorities? It was the Sadduciees Jewish religious leaders that arranged to get him out of the way.
That's why I say religion was a factor.

I think that monotheistic religions by their own insistance on having a monopoly of the truth, Create trouble just by exsisting.

29/3/07 12:21 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Doesn't a fairy die everytime you say that you don't believe in them?

“Everytime a child says 'I don't believe in fairies,' there's a a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.” from Peter Pan.

I don't believe in fairies. (Plop)

I don't beieve in fairies. (Plop plop)

Ok, that is enough "fairy killing" for the day. I usually only ration myself to 2 per day. ;)

29/3/07 1:58 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

RE sadie:

I tend to think that the majority of people take on the religious beliefs which are displayed and promoted as part of their cultural paradigm. So for the majority of people, religious belief isn't really a choice, just an acceptance or a non-acceptance of the more dominant religious belief in their culture.

Yeah, I heard that before on another atheist blog and I have to argue that there are many converts in countries where the price of conversion is penalty by death. So it appears that people are smart enough and strong enough to make a choice of faith regardless of what their culture says.

This, of course, explains quite well why the majority of Indians are hindu or buddhist, why the majority of Chinese are daoists or confucianists, why the majority of Italians are catholic, why the majority of Americans are protestants or catholics and why the majority of people in the Middle East are muslim.

Yes, this is a good point substantiated with facts. What you can't prove is circumstantial situations based on a hypothesis. You can't assume that had I been born in another country, I wouldn't be a Christian because God moves in all people from all walks of life in all countries.

Muslims do exactly the same thing. All they see that is good about their culture, they attribute to their religious beliefs. And all that they see that is bad about another culture, they attribute to the fact that "those people" have the wrong religious belief.

That's interesting. Christianity says we are ALL of us messed up and enemies of God. Even the Christians are still sinners after they have been "born again" they are just given the power to say no to sin by the Holy Spirit and they have had their sins forgiven. Not to be confused with the popular notion of the get out of jail free card.
Which I do not have the energy or the time to refute all over again.
:)
Some Christians I know are the most wicked sinners of all and God doesn't tolerate unrepentant sin. Period.

30/3/07 3:28 am  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

BeepBeep:

And that is the kicker. A strictly free market capitalist economy requires some nations and some people to be poor.

The heck it does.

Zero-sum thinking is simple, but wrong.

30/3/07 1:46 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Skipper:

Perhaps you can explain to me how strictly free market capitalism alows for all people to be rich?

(This may have more to do with the definition of poverty, than anything else.)

30/3/07 2:39 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

"Yeah, I heard that before on another atheist blog and I have to argue that there are many converts in countries where the price of conversion is penalty by death. So it appears that people are smart enough and strong enough to make a choice of faith regardless of what their culture says."

Well, you see, that is what happens when the state dictates a particular religion or no religion. All other religions or non-religions become heresies and blasphemous.

To be a heretic in those circumstances means that one's life is forfeited for not complying with the state decreed relgion. The opposite also applies if it is an atheistic state. Once a nation decides that one religion, or no religion is the basis of its governement, the killing of citizens who are outside this model is legal.

The secular state ensures equal protection for its citizens regardless of religion or no religion. Where one religion becomes the compulsory model or where no religion becomes the compulsory model - the results have always been the same.

Bloodletting
Oppression
Persecution
Hatred

"You can't assume that had I been born in another country, I wouldn't be a Christian because God moves in all people from all walks of life in all countries."

What I can suggest, and suggest quite strongly, is that you wouldn't be a christian in an Islamic Theocracy for very long. Likewise, you wouldn't be a muslim in a Christian Theocracy for very long.

The probability is that if you are born in a predominately christian country, you will identify yourself as christian. The probability applies that if you are born in a predominately islamic country, you will identify yourself as a muslim.

There is no guarantee that you will be either of them. You might be an agnostic, but the odds are that people not only take onboard the religious faith of their parents, but that their parents take on board the predominant religious faith of the nation in which they live.

The fact remains. Islam sees itself as the solution. Christianity sees itself as the solution. I see neither of them as the solution. I see both of them as part of the problem.

30/3/07 2:59 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

To be a heretic in those circumstances means that one's life is forfeited for not complying with the state decreed relgion. The opposite also applies if it is an atheistic state. Once a nation decides that one religion, or no religion is the basis of its governement, the killing of citizens who are outside this model is legal.

I see what you're saying and it's really scary because it's the truth.
It really is.
There are many examples of this in the history of the catholic church. It's horrible what people did in the name of God.

The fact remains. Islam sees itself as the solution. Christianity sees itself as the solution. I see neither of them as the solution. I see both of them as part of the problem.

That's unfortunate.
I wish we, as a people group, could be better examples of Christ. I guess in order to have a better understanding of the true message--you would have to apply your own judgment of Christ's message?

31/3/07 1:22 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: " I guess in order to have a better understanding of the true message--you would have to apply your own judgment of Christ's message?"

And therein lies the rub. Every christian believes that they have the "true message" even though their message may contradict or conflict with other peoples.

31/3/07 6:39 am  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

BBIM:

Perhaps you can explain to me how strictly free market capitalism alows for all people to be rich?

This is differet from your original assertion, but I'll go with it.

First, you completely ignore human nature.

The variability of human talent, luck, and desires ensures that nothing save violent coercion can ensure all people are equally provisioned economically. And, except for the ruling elite, they will all be equally poor.

Second, your question shows you have failed to note the problem of moving goal posts.

In the US today (and I'm sure the same is true of Australia), most of the people living in 'poverty' are as materially well off as the middle class of the 1970s.

Once upon a time, poverty meant living on the edge of starvation. Thanks to market capitalism, the biggest health problem facing the poor in the US today is obesity.

Market capitalism allows everyone to be "rich", so long as you take time into account, and especially if you assess the alternatives.

31/3/07 9:39 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

And therein lies the rub. Every christian believes that they have the "true message" even though their message may contradict or conflict with other peoples.

Even though their message might contradict other Christians? Or contradict other religions? Because while we can all live in peace and worship different gods, we can't all be worshipping the 'truth' because the gods contradict each other so quite logically, someone has to be right or all of them are wrong--which is your standpoint.
Yes?

31/3/07 10:10 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I basically think that all religions are bunk and manmade for manmade purposes.

That statement is not to be confused with - "She wants to ban religion", as I believe that people need the freedom to worship as they see fit. But, I don't believe that any religion should ever again be allowed to dictate the political system. History shows that this isn't a good idea.

My major problem with religions, and I do have one, is that historically they have always wanted to dominate whichever society they are in. They are forever trying to get more and more of the economic and political pie.

In fact, all of the monotheistic religions are theocracies. And they continue to try and make their theocratic government the absolute rule of everyone.

In this way, they are anti-freedom, as all must be made to comply with the dictates of their religion.

31/3/07 2:56 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

But, I don't believe that any religion should ever again be allowed to dictate the political system. History shows that this isn't a good idea.

I agree because:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

We obviously should be allowed to vote and cast our votes on whatever bill is before us but I think we should avoid preaching from the pulpit as to how a Christian should vote. That is an individual choice not a corperate choice.
I also believe that there should remain a seperation of church and state--which is why it is a good thing many Christians homeschool their children--I don't want some wacky brand of Christianity making rules at my children's school either.

With the Scripture i posted, I stand by not opposing authority unless the authority is asking me to give up my freedom of religion.

1/4/07 2:12 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Sadie:

"For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."


See to me that verse just states obey your masters no matter who they are, as god appointed them.

That means for germans to obey hitler, and for russians to obey stalin, and for everyone to obey their leaders no matter what they do.

Umm no. Not a good game plan.

1/4/07 10:13 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Well if you want to do a Bible study, I can point you to Scripture about evil leaders--
:)

1/4/07 11:52 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Hang on sadie, by the above verse there ARE no evil leaders. There are just masters who god has put in place to be obeyed.

1/4/07 12:44 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Beep,
Come on, you.
I know you're smarter than that. The Bible is a whole piece of work. All Scripture must be weighed against other parts of Scripture and used collectively. Now, if you're not interested in what the Bible says about evil leaders and the different examples of how Jesus handled evil leaders, or the apostles--let me know!~

3/4/07 11:53 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

let me know the passage which specifically mentions the words "evil leaders" or "evil leader" which are NOT in relation to a specific event.

Ummm. You won't have to. I just looked up "evil leader" and "evil leaders" in the keyword search in biblegateway. Guess what? Not a mention.

Now, what does this suggest to me? It suggests that you need to intepret some particular instance in the bible and extrapolate that this instance refers to all other situations.

3/4/07 12:48 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Now, what does this suggest to me? It suggests that you need to intepret some particular instance in the bible and extrapolate that this instance refers to all other situations.

That would be true if it was one, isolated instance. However, God would never ask his people to break his commands in order to satistfy the commands of men. I have several examples of when his followers suffered the consequence of disobeying a command from a leader that maybe wasn't evil, per se, but definately pushing a wicked agenda.

3/4/07 2:13 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

As I said, you have to extrapolate from a specific instance and state that this is the case in all instances. Whereas the quote you so generously offered previously, does specifically state how one is accept that leaders are leaders through the will of god.

Just to refresh your memory: -

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

3/4/07 3:35 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

This is where things get interesting, Beep. So you believe that things are always black and white? There are no variations of grey?
So if Jesus was told to stop saying he was the Son of God by certain religious 'authorities' and if Jesus didn't stop saying he was the Son of God and if he suffered the consequences of such disobedience by being put to death on a cross, then is Romans in contradiction to Jesus' example?
And the author of Romans, Paul, is he contradicting his own writings because when 'authorities' told him to stop preaching the gospel, he chose to keep preaching even to the point of being thrown in jail?
I'm having trouble believing that you subscribe to absolute truth--

4/4/07 7:12 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Nice try at a diversion, but it won't wash. The point is that the bible states specifically one thing. It is quite explicit in what it states. It states explicitly that one is to obey one's leaders because they have been put there by god. In fact, it is difficult to get more explicit than this as it tells you want to do AND the punishment for NOT doing it.

"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."


That is an explicit statement. You want to be pretend that an implicit statement, one that is implied, should have as much validity and weight as the explicit one.

You are the one who wants to have a couple of bites at the cherry and say that of course it means this, but it doesn't always mean this.

4/4/07 9:21 am  

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