Is LPSG Intolerant of Christians?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The subject of the Christian LPSG group was raised in another thread and when I read through it I became concerned that it seems Christian members feel that non-Christian LPSG members are intolerant or biased against them. Had just one person said this I'd chalk it up to a personal grudge but hearing it from two former mods who have been around long enough, I became worried.

    It has been my impression that most people here who say anti-Christian things are generally attacking the more conservative interpretations of Christian theology, not attacking people for simply being Christian. Not being on the other side of the fence, I can't say whether that's accurate or not, so I'm asking Christians here whether they feel persecuted and, if so, why? Are the comments I've quoted below accurate in your assessment?

    I have to state that I am generally appalled by conservative Christianity when it enters the political sphere to influence the lives of others who do not share conservative Christian beliefs. I am also appalled by conservative Islam and Judaism too; indeed, any religious group that seeks to control the lives of non-believers.

    I read musclemonkey5's post above and my first impression is that I feel bad for him getting flamed. My second impression is that he's being flamed for the wrong reasons. As I see it, if he thinks that being gay is a lifestyle choice, then when did he decide to become heterosexual? If he can't answer that, then he's absolutely misguided and that in itself should cause him pause to consider his theory. My third impression is precisely what I see conservative Christians being criticized (to put it politely) for: the desire to control the political lives of others; that everyone, even non-believers, should live as dictated by one's faith. My response is that monkeymuscle5 and others like him are attempting to deny gays some distinct legal benefits because his religion says gays shouldn't have them because being gay is sinful. I have to ask, what of the Christian churches which recognize and sanctify gay marriages? Should one interpretation of Christianity hold sway over another? Doesn't that mean that our government is then favoring one religious interpretation over another? How is that reconciled with the First and 14th Amendments?

    As I see it, musclemonkey5 has taken religion beyond his home and church and is attempting to foist his interpretation of it on people who do not share his beliefs. Were someone of any religion to do that, I would take issue with it. That he's Christian is entirely secondary to the issue of a stated desire to restrict the rights of a minority.

    My problem is not with Christianity so much as it is with some religious institutions and with some people who seek others to live by their interpretation of religion. I've railed against conservative Islam as much as I've railed against conservative Christianity when each contains a political aspect designed to force others to live as these groups see fit.

    The truth is, I think that's the feeling of the great majority of members here. But if I'm wrong, I want to know. I also would like to know if it's a matter of those who are doing the bashing are assuming that self-professed Christians have a political agenda or are they saying something else?
     
  2. Joll

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    I would agree with this. It's usually certain (not all) aspects of Christianity and the way it's put across that I have a problem with;, not Christians themselves, or any other religious group, unless they are stridently putting across their own views in an ignorant way (I feel the same way when atheists, or anyone acts like this).

    I think many people on here come from one minority group or another that has probably been on the receiving end of attacks from religionists at some point. Also, I think many people on here have had to re-assess traditional religious ideas that they were taught, as they've either found them to be false, or that it hasn't worked for them...so a lot of people here may be resistant to points of view they see as wrong assumptions, and opinion that's learned and spouted out, rather than proven and carefully thought through.

    That doesn't mean to say Christians shouldn't be respected on here - anybody should, if they also conduct themselves in a polite and civil manner.
     
  3. Gillette

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    LPSG has attracted a good number of critical thinkers. Faith often requires belief in the absence of proof so it's likely to annoy those critical thinkers. Also many points of faith frown on homosexuality and on a site like LPSG that's going to come up fairly often with disagreement resulting. The majority of the faithful at LPSG are of the Christian faith, hence it's the one most frequently brought forward as a reason for whatever points are being made in the thread discussion, and subsequently the one that is most often disputed in turn.

    It's not Christians in particular that LPSG is intolerant of but of the regurgitation without consideration prompted by blind faith.
     
  4. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Oh, Jason.
     
  5. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I've never claimed to be very bright.
     
  6. ZOS23xy

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    I've stated before, one should live by example, not by shoving belief onto someone who does not want it.

    "My peace loving god wants you to believe in him or I'll kill you." seemed to sum up the Spanish Conquest of Mexico...
     
  7. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Had the Aztec won, guess who would have ended-up having their still-beating hearts cut out to satisfy yet another god?
     
  8. naughty

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    Jason,

    Thank you for creating this thread. Yes, the issue of Gay rights is probably one of the main reasons one most often sees anti christian sentiments here. However I have even seen it taken further to the assumption in some cases that because someone says that he or she is Christian that he or she automatically agrees with some of the most rigid examples of Christianity that have been used as examples here. I have also seen examples where those who have stated that they are Christian are automatically held to a different standard and labelled as hypocrites for even being members here. Most practicing Christians if they are to be honest would admit that no matter what anyone says, they are works in progress. Just as there are gay members who are devout practicioners of their own particular religion there are many hetero chrstians who could be seen as contradictions to the standard idea of what a Christian should be like. I will readily admit that I am a fallible human being and make no pretense that I am anything else. No one of us is just one thing but a combination of many and sometimes seemingly conflicting parts. Though it may be more important in the lives of some than in others being Christian, Gay and Black for example do not necessarily have to contradict one another.
     
  9. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I think it's interesting that Christians see any criticism of their faith, be it of a personal nature or a more general nature as prejudice. It highlights the difference between atheism's rational consideration of reality which requires one to think objectively and to challenge ideas, even/especially one's own ideas and the way which religion requires and entirely personal and essentially irrational approach instead.

    I think it is legitimate to challenge persons of faith with the beliefs which their faith entails, partly to understand exactly how common these beliefs are among practitioners of faith, and partly to understand how much hypocrisy is innate to many people's conception of faith.

    What I mean by this is, Christianity (for instance) as faith has been and remains (in the majority) a homophobic religion which has wrought misery and death for the better part of 2000 years in the lives of homosexuals, not to mention millions of other people, be they heretics, non-believers, women, Jews, and a variety of other categories and groups of people. It is not satisfactory to simply blame faceless "religious institutions", these institutions are comprised of real human beings, and are supported by millions of devoutly faithful christian human beings, therefore when I meet seemingly kindly and open-minded Christians who do not espouse the hate and oppression and prejudice which has been the hallmark of Christianity I am interested to understand the amount of disagreement these persons have with these aspects of their faith, and what contortions of conscience and logic these individuals have put themselves through in order to remain kindly and open-minded while remaining a Christian.

    One of the things that bugs me most, is that Christians are very happy to be held collectively responsible for all the good they say Christianity has done for the last 2000 years, pointing out that it is a religion of charity and forgiveness, which they say has done an almost unquantifiable amount of good and which is responsible for bringing peace and comfort to billions. These things Christians entirely happy to be associated with, but when one confronts them with all the wickedness and downright evil which has been done by Christianity they suddenly take the view that these evils are the responsibility of some nameless minority within the fabric of the institutions of Christianity and that no individual believer can be held to these crimes and the beliefs which provoke Christianity to commit them. If I bring up the more than one million people who were tortured and burnt by catholic and protestant Christians for being "Witches", or the hundreds of thousands of Iberian Jews who met a similar fate, or the endless wars which disputes between different sects of Christians have provoked or the enormities committed in Christ's name in the Americas, or the very real and very present set of truly horrific crimes committed by Christianity in the modern era I am accused of being an anti-christian bigot.

    You can't have it both ways. If you are a christian you are as responsible for the misery and horror and hate Christianity is guilty of as you are involved in it peaceful and charitable and kindly character.


    If that appears to be prejudice well I apologise, but in logical terms it isn't. I think that LPSG is decidedly unprejudiced, and that its members do a very good job of policing themselves and each other for outright offensive bigotry of any kind, and I am extremely glad of that. In fact I would be deeply opposed to outright hate and bigotry evinced toward anyone and would have left LPSG had I seen these things going un-challenged or allowed to dominate.

    I think the problem is that Christian members do not like it when non-christian members perfectly legitimately question Christianity, and confront Christians with the dreadful things Christianity is guilty of and interpret that as personal attack and prejudice.
     
  10. ubered

    ubered New Member

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    I agree with both Jason and Hilaire.

    Christian or not, if you're going to espouse views that contain sexual or gender-based discrimination on a site which has a high number of gay/bisexual/non-defined individuals then I think it's fair that you should expect some criticism.

    You simply can't say, for example, that homosexuality is an unhealthy lifestile choice, then complain that people have criticised you and discriminated against you for being Christian! Asserting faith-status for your beliefs doesn't make you immune from criticism.

    Having said that, I thing people should try to be respectful in these cases. On the other hand, I find this really difficult when people are slamming others with the bible.
     
  11. vince

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    At the same time, it is not fair to automatically associate the opinions of individual Christians with those of the various churches to which they may or may not belong to. Many Christians believe and have faith in Jesus and the Bible without subscribing to the views of any organization.

    If one does assert their faith status as the basis for their political opinions, then yes, that is open to critical debate.

    But many, many religious people have no use for the hierarchies that represent themselves as having the ear of God. It's as wrong to generalize with Christians about the political history of the churches, as it is with the various nationalities associated with history. Christians today are no more responsible for the burning of witches 300 years ago or for the Inquisition, than young Germans are for the holocaust or modern Spaniards are for the actions of Ponce de Leon.
     
  12. D_Tim McGnaw

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    I'm not saying they are directly culpable, I am saying that Christianity is as a religion.

    In any case the comparison with nationality is false, one does not get to choose one's nationality, people do choose to believe in a religion which is involved in wickedness and atrocity as we speak. Naturally noone would blame young germans for the war purely on the basis that they happened to be born German, but it would be fair to challenge them if they chose to be members of a Neo-Fascist or Nazi organisation.
     
    #12 D_Tim McGnaw, Dec 13, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  13. TomCat84

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    I'm wondering what a devout "Christian" is doing on the LPSG message board
     
  14. TomCat84

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    I meant to say a devout, CONSERVATIVE Christian
     
  15. BigDallasDick8x6

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    I certainly don't feel persecuted by any stretch of the imagination. I do think people make assumptions about you which are not accurate. Not accurate because Christianity has a lot of flavors. I am appalled by many of them myself. Especially moving from the North to the South. Yikes.

    I liken it to the Gay Pride parades. The media focuses on the most outlandish people they can find -- 50,000 piercing in their face and put them on camera. Gives the general public a very skewed idea of who gay people are.

    Also the worst Christians seem to get the most TV exposure -- Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, the guy with the male hooker, Jim Bakker, I can't even remember all their names. Plus just the moron at the courthouse or school board meeting making a huge deal out of not being allowed to have loudspeaker prayers at football games or something else that doesn't amount to the proverbial hill of beans.
     
  16. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    I am in agreement with Gillette.

    You make excellent points as well, Ms. Naughty.

    Maybe they haven't read Galatians? :09:

    Seriously, I grew up in a incredibly conservative Christian family and can state that each person defined what was best for them even with being adherents to traditional Christian values. Well, at least the men did. The women were given less leeway and took on a less liberal view of pornography and any adult/sexual behaviour.

    For my people, I can't see the downside to a period of Aztec rule.
     
    #16 D_Fiona_Farvel, Dec 13, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  17. joyboytoy79

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    I think if one is going to say LPSG is intolerant of Christians, one would also have to say LPSG is intolerant of gays, bisexuals, straights, blacks, asians, europeans, africans, australians, latin americans, jews, muslims, hindus, pagans, buddhists, socialists, communists, capitalists, conservatives, liberals, moderates, republicans, democrats, independants, tories, and whigs. All of the groups i've mentioned have had some sort of challenge against them. They've all had people express prejudice against them. They've all had people stand up for them. They've all stood up for themselves. If anyone is so insecure with him or herself that he/she cannot stand to have beliefs challenged, how can he/she expect open discussion of ANY issues of importance?

    I, myself, am not Christian. I don't understand a lot of the dogma associated with Christianity. If i don't understand something, i question it. To me, that's not intolerance. To me, that's trying to understand the mind of my fellow poster. At the same time, i'm going to give him/her some info about how I think about things. If he/she walks away from the conversation feeling as though i don't accept him/her, someone wasn't paying attention.

    I think that's the way most of us are. Sure, there are a few people who ARE intolerant. Mostly, they get called out on their intolerance by people from all sides of whatever the issue is. But they serve a role too, and without them, debate here would be too civil to be any fun.
     
  18. vince

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    But you wrote this-
    Maybe there is a typo in that quote which clouds your meaning. But I thought you meant that if you are a Christian, then you are responsible for the misery and the horror full stop. Perhaps a re-write would help because you seem to be saying two different things.

    You can choose your nationality. I can be a Türk if I want. In fact I've been invited :smile:

    Again, IMO, if one's uses their faith status as a reason for political opinion then that is open to criticism.
     
  19. D_Tim McGnaw

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    There is a difference between responsibility and culpability Vince. You are responsible for the misery Christianity is guilty of creating by being a Christian because you are a supporter of a faith which is guilty of creating misery. Your are not directly culpable for the acts which cause the misery if you were not involved in them, hence the distinction. No typo occured, I was being quite specific.

    Yes as an adult you can change your nationality, but you can't choose which nationality you are born with.

    In any case the comparison with nationality is even faultier on the basis that being German does not require you to believe anything in particular, least of all in Nazism, nor does it require you to behave in any particular way.

    Choosing to be a Christian does in fact require you to both believe certain things and to behave in certain ways or else pay lip service to these things and be a hypocrite.
     
    #19 D_Tim McGnaw, Dec 13, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  20. joyboytoy79

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    I don't see what's so confusing about what he said. He's saying, that if a person takes credit for the good of his/her religion, he/she must also take credit for the bad. I don't think that's an unfair request, do you?
     
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