Debate and Discussion

For Christians interested in political things....
Vindibudd at 10:43AM, Aug. 18, 2007
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I was just reading how Anne Rice announced that she is 1. A Christian and 2. Supports Hillary Clinton for president. She also spends a large amount of time about how she is pro-life, but thinks that the only way to solve that problem is through the Democratic Party. She also talks about separation of church and state and how that is beneficial to Christians everywhere, but as a Christian she has to be a Democrat because we as Christians should be “feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, and above all, loving one's neighbors and loving one's enemies.”

Well now.

The problem I see with this is that Christians should be doing all these things outside of the government. I do not as a Christian feel that we should tax people and use that money to run around doing what the church should be doing. I believe that if the government does the work of the church then people are more likely to look to the government for support that the government simply cannot supply. The government can not show the love of Christ. The government cannot bring spiritual food to those in need. The church can do that, and furthermore, that is the whole point of the church, to act as if Christ would.

So I have a real problem with people who want to hijack the government into their personal Sunday School brigade. I believe in the separation of church and state in that I don't think the state should be interfering with the church and how it conducts its worship with its faith just like I don't think the church should be telling the government how to run its country.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Kohdok at 11:51AM, Aug. 18, 2007
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As a liberal, I totally agree with the separation of church and state. Freedmon of religion without the interference of government is a major point in our country's build and origins, so we should follow through with it.

I do believe that we should do things like feed the starvin' children, but we shouldn't do it because we're Christians, we should do it because we're Americans. Our Muslim and Jewish populations, along with any other religious demographic this country contains, should also be allowed to be charitable under the spirit of America.

And please don't get me started on the “Religious Right” or “Conservative Christians”. Religion in politics goes both ways, I'm afraid.

The stance on Church and State even goes as far as to not tax churches, partially due to the fact that they shouldn't participate in politics, but I have heard some rumors about churches who are against abortion and gay marriage subtly prodding at their congregations towards certain political candidates.

In Texas, we recently had a vote on several amendments, one of which was outlawing gay marriage. Now, one of the purposes for having this bill, at least what my family has theorized, is so it would cover up the other amendments that were being presented, such as one that bailed-out the railroads and stuff. However, all they went for was the “Sanctity of Marriage”, as the governor himself said in a prerecorded message our family was sent two days before we voted. Fortunately, I don't think any of the amendments but the gay marriage one was passed, so people did pay attention to what they were voting for.

Not only was it an attempt to further a governmental agenda by having a big, flashing “no-gay” amendment (And no mention of the other amendments), but it was the use of the word “Sanctity” that got to me. I don't know how much more religious you can get as far as word choice.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:52AM, Aug. 18, 2007
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As a liberal, I don't think we should be helping people because we're Christians or Americans. I think we should do it because its the right thing to do.

But I always wonder who the Christ would let starve.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Vindibudd at 12:35PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
As a liberal, I don't think we should be helping people because we're Christians or Americans. I think we should do it because its the right thing to do.

But I always wonder who the Christ would let starve.

Well, clearly you are not a Christian interested in political things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Vindibudd at 12:46PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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Kohdok
As a liberal, I totally agree with the separation of church and state. Freedmon of religion without the interference of government is a major point in our country's build and origins, so we should follow through with it.

Defined that way I would have to agree with you.

Kohdok
I do believe that we should do things like feed the starvin' children, but we shouldn't do it because we're Christians, we should do it because we're Americans. Our Muslim and Jewish populations, along with any other religious demographic this country contains, should also be allowed to be charitable under the spirit of America.

I am not saying that people should not be allowed to be charitable, I am saying that we should not take our government that is paid for by taxes from all kinds of people and use it to run around doing what we think we should do as Christians or any other religion for that matter. We should use donations to our religious establishment to be doing that. I don't want to take an atheist libertarian's money and feed the poor with it. That is not right. He or she has that right to help poor people or not anyway that person wishes to.

Kohdok
And please don't get me started on the “Religious Right” or “Conservative Christians”. Religion in politics goes both ways, I'm afraid.

I don't know what you are trying to say here as it relates to what I was asking.

Kohdok
The stance on Church and State even goes as far as to not tax churches, partially due to the fact that they shouldn't participate in politics, but I have heard some rumors about churches who are against abortion and gay marriage subtly prodding at their congregations towards certain political candidates.

Churches can influence people to vote anyway they want, churches are not banned from from engaging in political behavior. The founders held religion above government, and that is why they didn't let the government tax the church. You can be a pastor and still be in government. The government can't tell you what you are allowed or not allowed to believe.

Kohdok
Not only was it an attempt to further a governmental agenda by having a big, flashing “no-gay” amendment (And no mention of the other amendments), but it was the use of the word “Sanctity” that got to me. I don't know how much more religious you can get as far as word choice.

People in politics can be as religious as they want to be and they are perfectly allowed to campaign for issues that they have strong feelings about. What you are misunderstanding is what the amendment really says.

United States Consitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There is nothing in that statement prohibiting Governor Rick Perry from saying that he doesn't like gay-marriage in a state constitution because he is a Christian.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Mak at 12:47PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
As a liberal, I don't think we should be helping people because we're Christians or Americans. I think we should do it because its the right thing to do.

But I always wonder who the Christ would let starve.

Well, clearly you are not a Christian interested in political things.

Does that mean we have to be a Christian to post on this thread? Cause if it does, someone please tell me and I will not post here anymore.

Besides, christ would not let anyone starve, he'd just multiply filet o' fish sandwiches. (it's easier than doing loaves and fishes separately) and mad dog 20 20 (no point in giving the starving masses good wine, they are eating fish from freakin mcdonalds)
I'm a ex-DAT, which means all ya'll are crunchies, and I swing a mean hammer.

Rule 37 should be made rule 1

The civilized would should be ashamed, what good is power if you do not stop things like Darfur??
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Vindibudd at 12:49PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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Mak
Does that mean we have to be a Christian to post on this thread? Cause if it does, someone please tell me and I will not post here anymore.

Besides, christ would not let anyone starve, he'd just multiply filet o' fish sandwiches. (it's easier than doing loaves and fishes separately) and mad dog 20 20 (no point in giving the starving masses good wine, they are eating fish from freakin mcdonalds)

I'm just saying that sarcastic commenting on Christ and Christianity is not the purpose of the thread.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Kohdok at 2:15PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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Vindibudd
I am not saying that people should not be allowed to be charitable, I am saying that we should not take our government that is paid for by taxes from all kinds of people and use it to run around doing what we think we should do as Christians or any other religion for that matter. We should use donations to our religious establishment to be doing that. I don't want to take an atheist libertarian's money and feed the poor with it. That is not right. He or she has that right to help poor people or not anyway that person wishes to.

And I agree with you on that. I'm saying that every American should be involved in foreign policies such as charity and not only to the whims of a single religion. There are also a lot of private charities that people can donate to, and I can see why you don't like the idea of our country being used as a huge Christian charity. A consensus of the people as to where that money is being sent and why wouldn't be a bad idea when we do send aid elsewhere, though.

Vindibudd
Churches can influence people to vote anyway they want, churches are not banned from from engaging in political behavior. The founders held religion above government, and that is why they didn't let the government tax the church. You can be a pastor and still be in government. The government can't tell you what you are allowed or not allowed to believe.

True. I just feel that teaching politics in the pulpit is a bit of a violation of the concept of separation of church and state.

Vindibudd
People in politics can be as religious as they want to be and they are perfectly allowed to campaign for issues that they have strong feelings about. What you are misunderstanding is what the amendment really says.

United States Consitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There is nothing in that statement prohibiting Governor Rick Perry from saying that he doesn't like gay-marriage in a state constitution because he is a Christian.

Also true, but it seems to me like “protecting the sanctity of marriage” is pretty high on the list of reasons that anti-gay lobbyists use, rather than other issues like how a civil union involves corporations putting more money out to pay for the benefits of a married pair of men. I know there is nothing in there to stop Perry from saying it, but that doesn't keep it from bothering me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
lefarce at 3:09PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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Someone
Anne Rice announced that she is 1. A Christian and 2. Supports Hillary Clinton for president. She also spends a large amount of time about how she is pro-life

I find this funny considering Hillary is for partial birth abortions.


 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
dueeast at 3:24PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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I guess the problem in Anne Rice's example is that perhaps she's been a celebrity too long. Running in those circles tends to affect a person, even if they're well-intentioned. The values of those you hang around with tend to rub off on you, that's just common sense.

And I think we all could find examples of celebrities who take odd political stances, regardless of their spiritual/religious beliefs – even if it's ill-advised or doesn't make sense what they're pushing for.

Vindibudd
I was just reading how Anne Rice announced that she is 1. A Christian and 2. Supports Hillary Clinton for president. She also spends a large amount of time about how she is pro-life, but thinks that the only way to solve that problem is through the Democratic Party. She also talks about separation of church and state and how that is beneficial to Christians everywhere, but as a Christian she has to be a Democrat because we as Christians should be “feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, and above all, loving one's neighbors and loving one's enemies.”



So I have a real problem with people who want to hijack the government into their personal Sunday School brigade. I believe in the separation of church and state in that I don't think the state should be interfering with the church and how it conducts its worship with its faith just like I don't think the church should be telling the government how to run its country.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Shar at 3:45PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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As a person i believe (something, something)

People who make up their mind before hearing the argument shouldn't be making decisions.

I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Runosonta at 9:38PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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Vindibudd
I am not saying that people should not be allowed to be charitable, I am saying that we should not take our government that is paid for by taxes from all kinds of people and use it to run around doing what we think we should do as Christians or any other religion for that matter. We should use donations to our religious establishment to be doing that. I don't want to take an atheist libertarian's money and feed the poor with it. That is not right. He or she has that right to help poor people or not anyway that person wishes to.


…but the government is the system that's supposed to help people. I wouldn't want to feel like I was in “debt” to a religion, if I was a poor, alcoholic, homeless atheist. Government is here to keep the balance, protecting the weak. Spiritual aid is something quite different.

You should DEFINITELY separate curch and state. But “charity” is still something we ALL need to do. That has NOTHING to do with Christianity. Christ didn't invent “being fair”, you know.

It's paid by taxes, true. And some few won't agree. But when it comes down to some angered nazi or a businessman versus a homeless old man or a dying black kid - well, let's just say I know where I stand. The benefit is greater on a larger scale.

I'm an atheist. I've worked for UNICEF, I give money to Greenpeace, Red Cross, Amnesty, Animalia and others, I recycle, I don't eat meat, we take in homeless cats, I help poor people… Not because of my religion (or the lack of it) - it's just something we gotta do. And the government too.

I don't want to live in a country that doesn't help it's people.

Suomi.fi
Society pays different allowances and benefits to guarantee that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in working life and society. Financial support is given for studying, having a family, unemployment and many other situations.

Some of the allowances, for example, family allowance, are paid automatically, while other allowances can only be received on application. Some allowances, such as earnings-related unemployment allowance, are only available for those who have paid for this benefit in advance.

http://www.suomi.fi/suomifi/english/subjects/families_and_social_services/benefits_and_allowances/index.html

Basically this means everyone in Finland has the possibility to have a home, a living, to study, to eat etc. It's possible not to take the offer, but then it's your own problem IMO.

With no Curch involved.
What's government supposed to do if not help people? To start a war?



Or did I get you all wrong?

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
Vindibudd at 2:25AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Runosonta
Or did I get you all wrong?


Well basically you are not a Christian so it is absolutely useless to debate this with you. You do not share my worldview and this is really about how Christians view their faith and how it relates to government. Your points could be addressed in a thread about the purpose of government in general.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
skoolmunkee at 3:03AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd
Well basically you are not a Christian so it is absolutely useless to debate this with you. You do not share my worldview and this is really about how Christians view their faith and how it relates to government. Your points could be addressed in a thread about the purpose of government in general.

I looked over this thread and didn't see anything that said you're not allowed to participate in this thread if you're not a Christian. If that is what this thread is about you should make that clear in the first post.

I'd also argue that “if you're not Christian it's useless to debate with you because you don't share my worldview” - Non-Christians can still have informed opinions about religion and government whether they are believers or not. It seems a bit closed to close off someone's argument like that just because they happened to mention in their post that they are an athiest.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:48AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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I very much like the idea of Christians who believe in the separation of church and State, and who think that government is not the way to solve all problems.

I live in America, so in recent years I have been dealing a lot with Christians who feel very differently.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Vindibudd at 9:01AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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skoolmunkee
Vindibudd
Well basically you are not a Christian so it is absolutely useless to debate this with you. You do not share my worldview and this is really about how Christians view their faith and how it relates to government. Your points could be addressed in a thread about the purpose of government in general.

I looked over this thread and didn't see anything that said you're not allowed to participate in this thread if you're not a Christian. If that is what this thread is about you should make that clear in the first post.

I'd also argue that “if you're not Christian it's useless to debate with you because you don't share my worldview” - Non-Christians can still have informed opinions about religion and government whether they are believers or not. It seems a bit closed to close off someone's argument like that just because they happened to mention in their post that they are an athiest.

Well skoolmunkee, the title of the thread is “For Christians interested in political things…” This is a thread about what Christians think about the role of government in things that are traditionally the responsibility of the church. Atheists can certainly post in the thread, I'm just not going to debate with them because we do not share common ground on the issue. I can't tell an atheist, “But God says XYZ” because an atheist doesn't recognize God as an authority. Does this clarify it better for you?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Hawk at 10:49AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd, the only problem with this is that Christians are pretty small minority on these forums… If they're not, then I think they wouldn't dare speak up in the Debate and Discussion forum. Christianity's always under fire here.

It would be my recommendation to avoid creating topics aimed only at certain groups, because people reading this board feel like all topics are addressed to them, whether you intend it or not. The best way to go would be either bringing up the topic in a more suitable forum, or presenting it here in a way that is all-inclusive.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Vindibudd at 11:31AM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Hawk
Vindibudd, the only problem with this is that Christians are pretty small minority on these forums… If they're not, then I think they wouldn't dare speak up in the Debate and Discussion forum. Christianity's always under fire here.

It would be my recommendation to avoid creating topics aimed only at certain groups, because people reading this board feel like all topics are addressed to them, whether you intend it or not. The best way to go would be either bringing up the topic in a more suitable forum, or presenting it here in a way that is all-inclusive.

I give up.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Kohdok at 12:33PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd
I can't tell an atheist, “But God says XYZ” because an atheist doesn't recognize God as an authority.

Sure you can.

They might not agree with you, but now they know your viewpoint at the very least.

I consider myself a Christian in practice rather than in prayer, if that amounts to anything. There's nothing wrong with people from outside posting their viewpoints. Perhaps the Christians who post are more subject to scrutiny as it is about their viewpoints, perhaps?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
dueeast at 12:35PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Are we really reaching a point where “Christians need not apply” in these forums?

I understand Hawk's point and I don't have an alternative, but it is rather sad that hate must be spewed – by anyone – unchecked in any particular area of the forums, targeting a particular “minority” group (in this case, by your very definition, Christians). There's a word for that.

marine
Vindibudd
Hawk
Vindibudd, the only problem with this is that Christians are pretty small minority on these forums… If they're not, then I think they wouldn't dare speak up in the Debate and Discussion forum. Christianity's always under fire here.

It would be my recommendation to avoid creating topics aimed only at certain groups, because people reading this board feel like all topics are addressed to them, whether you intend it or not. The best way to go would be either bringing up the topic in a more suitable forum, or presenting it here in a way that is all-inclusive.

I give up.

Thats not the christian thing to do though, is it? Aren't you supposed to forgive everybody then pray for them? Or torture them until they convert themselves to your religion or die. That'd also work in spreading your ideals abd beliefs.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Vindibudd at 1:05PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Kohdok
Vindibudd
I can't tell an atheist, “But God says XYZ” because an atheist doesn't recognize God as an authority.

Sure you can.

They might not agree with you, but now they know your viewpoint at the very least.

I consider myself a Christian in practice rather than in prayer, if that amounts to anything. There's nothing wrong with people from outside posting their viewpoints. Perhaps the Christians who post are more subject to scrutiny as it is about their viewpoints, perhaps?

The problem is that if there is to be any progress, there first must be common ground to start with. What common ground does an atheist have with a Christian? It goes something like this:

C: I think God says that we should not use government for charity.

A: I don't believe in God and I say we use government for charity.

C: But God says blah blah blah.

A: I don't believe in God blah blah blah.

infinity.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Vindibudd at 1:08PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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dueeast
Are we really reaching a point where “Christians need not apply” in these forums?

I understand Hawk's point and I don't have an alternative, but it is rather sad that hate must be spewed – by anyone – unchecked in any particular area of the forums, targeting a particular “minority” group (in this case, by your very definition, Christians). There's a word for that.


Maybe I'm wrong but I distinctly got that vibe as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
skoolmunkee at 2:07PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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Vindibudd
Well skoolmunkee, the title of the thread is “For Christians interested in political things…”
Somehow I've missed the obvious. :) sorry man.

marine
Thats not the christian thing to do though, is it? Aren't you supposed to forgive everybody then pray for them? Or torture them until they convert themselves to your religion or die. That'd also work in spreading your ideals abd beliefs.
That ain't helpful, that's just what Hawk was saying.

I think this topic is interesting anyway, approaching the issue from the issue of an interpretation of Christianity vs. an interpretation of government.

For my part, I believe that God's teachings are meant for people individually, not for societies as a whole. If God intended to use a government to get things done, rather than individuals' beliefs and actions, then the Bible would be a more political document than it is.

However the interests of Christianity and the interests of the US government often overlap. Citizens are taxed for charity and welfare purposes not because it is the christian thing to do, but as part of the responsibility of being a citizen to aid other citizens in need. It isn't the government's responsibility to teach a love of Jesus, but many of Jesus's teachings are the same things we find behind laws and other ethical and moral codes.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
Hawk at 2:35PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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There isn't a “Christians need not apply” rule in these forums and I hope there never will be. It's just a difficult situation for some, because we might as well face it… this forum is more liberal than conservative and in no place does it more show than Debate and Discussion.

Me? I'm a Christian. And every day that I come here to moderate this section I have to swallow my opinions and stuff them deep down into my stomach and pretend they don't exist. I do this because some people disagree with me and there are a lot of people here I want to continue respecting as fellow webcomic artists without petty things like religion and politics getting in the way.

You're more than welcome to bring up Christianity, Republicans, vegans, doorknobs, or whatever in these forums, but I stand by what I said in that there can't be a thread where “non-Christians need not apply”. First of all, in the political climate of this board you'd get two, maybe three people. Second, this is a public forum and people will poke into different threads. If you were to ask that no opposing opinions be posted, then it wouldn't be much of a debate or discussion, would it?

Vindibudd, I want you to hang around here, because you stand for a very under-represented side of the story in these parts. But be mindful of the kinds of topics that will thrive on this board and the kind that will typically end in arguments about the same topics we can't seem to just let go.

I had my finger hovering over the “lock” button, but Skoolmunkee seems to have put the right spin on this topic. I'll watch it for a little while longer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
dueeast at 3:03PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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I appreciate the clarification, Hawk. You are in a difficult position but you seem to handle it well. You gots my respect!

Hawk
There isn't a “Christians need not apply” rule in these forums and I hope there never will be. It's just a difficult situation for some, because we might as well face it… this forum is more liberal than conservative and in no place does it more show than Debate and Discussion.

Me? I'm a Christian. And every day that I come here to moderate this section I have to swallow my opinions and stuff them deep down into my stomach and pretend they don't exist. I do this because some people disagree with me and there are a lot of people here I want to continue respecting as fellow webcomic artists without petty things like religion and politics getting in the way.

You're more than welcome to bring up Christianity, Republicans, vegans, doorknobs, or whatever in these forums, but I stand by what I said in that there can't be a thread where “non-Christians need not apply”. First of all, in the political climate of this board you'd get two, maybe three people. Second, this is a public forum and people will poke into different threads. If you were to ask that no opposing opinions be posted, then it wouldn't be much of a debate or discussion, would it?

Vindibudd, I want you to hang around here, because you stand for a very under-represented side of the story in these parts. But be mindful of the kinds of topics that will thrive on this board and the kind that will typically end in arguments about the same topics we can't seem to just let go.

I had my finger hovering over the “lock” button, but Skoolmunkee seems to have put the right spin on this topic. I'll watch it for a little while longer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
dueeast at 3:41PM, Aug. 20, 2007
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That does raise a point that many people either forget or weren't taught in school:

The initial laws of the U.S. were set up by people who fought and died to protect religious freedom in this country (among other things), specifically Christian religious freedom and that protection eventually extended to all religious beliefs.

Clearly, not all of the founding fathers were Christians but the U.S. Government was highly influenced by Christianity and specifically the Bible. That's been established by documents and literature from the time period.

One last point of interest. According to the Bible, God established government, the law and judgment upon the Earth – all sources of governing and keeping order, essentially. I know some people will have a field day with that but as I said, it is a point of interest.

skoolmunkee
However the interests of Christianity and the interests of the US government often overlap. Citizens are taxed for charity and welfare purposes not because it is the christian thing to do, but as part of the responsibility of being a citizen to aid other citizens in need. It isn't the government's responsibility to teach a love of Jesus, but many of Jesus's teachings are the same things we find behind laws and other ethical and moral codes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
bobhhh at 10:56AM, Sept. 6, 2007
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dueeast
Are we really reaching a point where “Christians need not apply” in these forums?

I understand Hawk's point and I don't have an alternative, but it is rather sad that hate must be spewed – by anyone – unchecked in any particular area of the forums, targeting a particular “minority” group (in this case, by your very definition, Christians). There's a word for that.

Hate?? Really now, I think the most you get as a god person around here is skepticism, at worse derision. Basing your views on a god is what worries some of us.

And as for taxing churches, I say let them pay. I am tired of having to pay their share of property taxes because somebody decided that god can't afford to pass an extra plate on sundays.

Bill Maher said it best, if they don't want to pay taxes, then next time a church is on fire, let god make it rain.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Hawk at 3:23PM, Sept. 6, 2007
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bobhhh, we kind of settled this one and you're pulling the middle of the discussion up and out of context.

Whatever the case, this one has run its course and the things you're discussing now are being discussed in a few other threads.

I'll just lock this one to get it out of our way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM

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