What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ccgr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:29 pm

I think it'll be harder for an out in the out in the open atheist to get elected as president. So many churches would be shaking in their boots in fear of losing their tax exemption.

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby Sstavix » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:46 pm

I think it'll be harder for an out in the out in the open atheist to get elected as president. So many churches would be shaking in their boots in fear of losing their tax exemption.
And why do churches have a tax exemption, anyway? Probably because the majority of them are considered to be non-profit entities. You don't have to be a religious institution to get tax-free status (I think the Freedom From Religion Foundation also has tax-free status, as just one example).

If a politician wants to deny a religious group a tax-free status based solely on its religion, then that's discriminatory. They shouldn't be elected just based on that alone.

If an atheist who wants to adhere to the Constitutional principals this nation was founded on was running, I'd listen to what he or she had to say. Unfortunately, most of the more-outspoken atheists want to discriminate against religions, rather than trying to find a level playing field for all.

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby amyjo88 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:36 pm

Wow there is a lot going on in this thread.

I'm not sure Matthew 10:14 fully supports the "Benedict Option" According to the aritcle, Benedict said withdrawing was for protection. The shake the dust off your feet verse was a particular commandment to the disciples on an evangelistic mission. I think it's fair to interpret it on a local evangelistic level, not all people will be receptive and it's not our fault, but then we move on to the next town (house, person). I'm also willing to interpret it on a political level, the American government is increasingly uninterested in the Christian message, so I think it's ok for us to take a step back and look for other places to minister. One lesson in the parable of the sower is that the sower planted seed all over the place, not just in places it was likely to grow. But he didn't pour it all on the road year after year either...

Well I have to go start dinner, I'll try to jump back in again soon. This is a very interesting thread.

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:12 pm

I consider you guys friends for sure. I also consider myself more tolerant than some other Christians.<snip>
Absolutely. I wouldn't bother to post here if I didn't like you guys.

I have more to say in reply to some other posts here, but I'd like to ruminate a bit first.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:31 pm

So I'm gonna be a bit blunt here, not because I'm angry or anything like that, but because I think Bruce and Arch can handle it :) Plus, you guys are dishing it out so far is fair ne?

I get that you guys' perspective is that mountains are being made of molehills. Problem is you guys have separated yourselves from your Christianity so at this point you're kinda on the outside looking in. That's your choice, but you're looking at it from a different perspective now. You don't see it as a big problem. Okay. Just understand that it's not a problem for you.

I mean, think about it. In this country, being associated with any of the "big three" religions paints a target on you from somebody. Muslims get it from people who are mad at them over the idiotic fundies. Anti-semitism is as old as Judaism itself, and right now the LGBT community and those who are enamored with it have painted a bullseye on every church in the country that isn't waving a rainbow flag in front of it. The difference here is that while we have laws that (nominally) protect Jews and Muslims from bigotry, some of the recent actions by the courts smack of, dare I say it? Christianophobia?

But no, I absolutely HATE the use of "phobia" as a suffix to whatever group one regards as being attacked and so I won't use that term. That said, we as Christians ARE seeing an increasing pattern of Government hostility toward Christianity. We have a Government that has openly tried (with considerable success) to force Christians to pay for things we find morally troubling, like birth control and abortions. We have a military that is becoming increasingly hostile to chaplains who have been preaching the same messages they always have, only now it's "hate." Efforts to stop tax exempt status for churches (or at least those who won't do gay weddings) are already underway and no Muslim owned bakeries have been dragged into court for not doing gay weddings (And yes, they do exist and no, they don't do gay wedding cakes.)

Now, if our Atheist friends aren't particularly troubled by these developments tat's completely logical. Why should you be? You don't have a dog in this race anymore. But we do, and we are, and rushing to tell us we're just whining about nothing is going into the "You're not helping" file.

It's true that for centuries Christians have had it pretty good, and I think that's made us, as a culture, complacent. Maybe this has been overdue and we've had it coming. If so, then so be it, but guys, seriously... How much traction do you think you're gonna get by accusing us of being Chicken Littles?

Still love ya. Smooches, Arch and Bruce. :D
Last edited by ArcticFox on Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:41 pm

I get that you guys' perspective is that mountains are being made of molehills. Problem is you guys have separated yourselves from your Christianity so at this point you're kinda on the outside looking in. That's your choice, but you're looking at it from a different perspective now. You don't see it as a big problem. Okay. Just understand that it's not a problem for you.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby coffeeblocks33 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:50 pm

There is a fantastic book which this thread brings to mind, "A Peculiar People" by Rodney Clapp. It talks about how the Church has lost its status as "Sponsor of Western Civilization". Clapp says that there are essentially three responses to this loss of influence... 1) Retrenchment: "We're going to reclaim the good ol' days. We just need to get the right leaders in places of power (Congress, White House, etc). Then we'll be a powerful influence in society again." 2) Sentimental Capitulation: "The church doesn't have anything unique to offer this postmodern world. We'll just sentimentally hang on to some Christian language and practices, but really have no message to share." 3) Radicalization: "We should give up on any ideas about being sponsors of the state. Instead, we should be radical followers of "The Way". The Church should reclaim it's heritage as a "Peculiar People" with our own language, symbols, customs, and sacraments." It's a worth a read. :)

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby coffeeblocks33 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:03 pm

And on what I think is an encouraging side note... right now the Church is seeing explosive growth in Asia, particularly in China. People are coming to know Jesus by tens of millions every year, despite decades of active suppression by the government. What kind of transformation could a few 100,000,000 Christians bring in a country? I don't know, I guess we'll find out. :D

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArchAngel » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:57 pm

Sorry for the horribly tardy response.
So I'm gonna be a bit blunt here, not because I'm angry or anything like that, but because I think Bruce and Arch can handle it Plus, you guys are dishing it out so far is fair ne?
I wouldn't want or expect anything less. :)

And I do agree with much of what Bruce has been saying.
Our gripe here isn't how bad things are *now* but rather, the direction things are going in. Sure, it's perfectly fine to be a Conservative Christian today, but the winds ain't blowing in a direction that we can feel comfortable with. Maybe you don't see it the same way because you're now on the outside looking in, but consider this... Islamic owned bakeries don't do gay weddings either. Heard of any begging in trouble for it?
The problem is that this is a bit of a slippery slope. Yes, that is the direction it's going in. That's the direction it has to go in when one group has inordinate privileges. It has to give them up to be fair.

To be fair, not every call for Christianity to give is going to be fair, and there's the rub. Christianity has to give up special privileges, and nothing more. And that's where the discussion has to be: Not us vs. them, but what are the set of expectations that all have to follow.
The best indicator I have to judge is if you switch the places of the parties and see how fair it is.
If you open a townhall meeting with prayer, how do you feel about opening it with a Muslim prayer, or, I don't know, some acknowledgement that the notion of God is loosely defined and unsubstantiated (that's a weird one)?
Some groups are calling on the Government to take further action against churches, like mandating that they perform gay weddings. There are calls for churches to lose tax exempt status which WILL result in some of them being shut down.
Hey man, I'm with you on this one. While I'm strongly in favor that government employees need to do their job, a religious organization, like a church, shouldn't risk losing their tax-exempt status over something like this.
And I get I'm not speaking for everyone, but this is where the lines should be drawn. Fighting over Kim Davis weakens this position, making it seem just like Christians want to keep gay people from getting married. If you say that Kim Davis should have done her job, but that a church should not be obligated to operate apart from their belief system as long as it doesn't violate the law, it makes your line more stark.
And honestly, this whole thing is complex, but if everyone is willing to try to find the line that is most fair then just watch over their own interests, we can get a lot further.
I get that you guys' perspective is that mountains are being made of molehills. Problem is you guys have separated yourselves from your Christianity so at this point you're kinda on the outside looking in. That's your choice, but you're looking at it from a different perspective now. You don't see it as a big problem. Okay. Just understand that it's not a problem for you.
I remember. I remember the fear of public shaming, and trying to remind yourselves of the courage of the martyrs around the world.
I remember being shunned simply because I spoke from a different perspective.
I remember being judged right after the Conservative or Christian label was affixed to me.
It wasn't that long ago.

Those memories still influence how I approach and talk about religion. I don't think any of you are homophobic. Nor have I accused you of it because of it. Because I remember.

But I see why it'd feel like I don't. Much of what I say is in line with people are pretty unsympathetic, and frankly, I get pretty pointed with my criticism of religion.

But I do have a dog in this race. We're all people, and it's in all of our best interests to see we all get along the best we can. Sure, it can be written off as a pipe dream or just something people use to hide their own intentions, even from themselves, but this is pretty driving for me.
You won't see much of the battles I'd fight in favor of Christianity or religion simply because you probably wouldn't be there. (Granted, I'll admit that the occasion doesn't come up often, but I try to be as fair as I can.) You really only feel the stream you swim against.

And I think this is an important point to make in light of "giving up special privilege." As the playing field becomes more fair, it's going to begin to feel like everybody is against you. But, if you take the time, you'll realize that sometimes it's how we all feel.

Watch some Atheists take on islam. Look how Islam talks about itself in the first world. Shoot, I feel like I can't even mention I'm an atheist without someone taking personal offense from it. We all disagree, but, hey, that's cool.
Still love ya. Smooches, Arch and Bruce.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:02 am

Sorry for the horribly tardy response.
Apologize not. Forums are a hobby, not an obligation :)
The problem is that this is a bit of a slippery slope. Yes, that is the direction it's going in. That's the direction it has to go in when one group has inordinate privileges. It has to give them up to be fair.
It isn't a slippery slope if there's an observable trajectory for how things are going. Not sure what privileges you're talking about in any case... Is it a privilege to be able to run a business without worrying about being targeted for politically motivated lawsuits? Is it a privilege to not be called hateful names because "love wins?"
To be fair, not every call for Christianity to give is going to be fair, and there's the rub. Christianity has to give up special privileges, and nothing more. And that's where the discussion has to be: Not us vs. them, but what are the set of expectations that all have to follow.
Which set of expectations are Christians refusing to follow that you find unreasonable, exactly?
The best indicator I have to judge is if you switch the places of the parties and see how fair it is.
If you open a townhall meeting with prayer, how do you feel about opening it with a Muslim prayer
Just fine. If we were talking strictly about examples where Christians were trying to be exclusionary, I'd be on your side. We aren't though. (At least, I'm not.)
or, I don't know, some acknowledgement that the notion of God is loosely defined and unsubstantiated (that's a weird one)?
How does that equate to prayer and why would you want to open a town hall meeting with it?
Hey man, I'm with you on this one. While I'm strongly in favor that government employees need to do their job, a religious organization, like a church, shouldn't risk losing their tax-exempt status over something like this.
And I get I'm not speaking for everyone, but this is where the lines should be drawn. Fighting over Kim Davis weakens this position, making it seem just like Christians want to keep gay people from getting married. If you say that Kim Davis should have done her job, but that a church should not be obligated to operate apart from their belief system as long as it doesn't violate the law, it makes your line more stark.
And honestly, this whole thing is complex, but if everyone is willing to try to find the line that is most fair then just watch over their own interests, we can get a lot further.
That's true, but what we're seeing is Christians being targeted. Heard of any Muslim bakeries being dragged into court over refusing to bake gay wedding cakes? I've asked this before and I'm curious to know the answer.
I remember. I remember the fear of public shaming, and trying to remind yourselves of the courage of the martyrs around the world.
I remember being shunned simply because I spoke from a different perspective.
I remember being judged right after the Conservative or Christian label was affixed to me.
It wasn't that long ago.

Those memories still influence how I approach and talk about religion. I don't think any of you are homophobic. Nor have I accused you of it because of it. Because I remember.
Do you know how uncommon that perspective seems to be?
But I see why it'd feel like I don't. Much of what I say is in line with people are pretty unsympathetic, and frankly, I get pretty pointed with my criticism of religion.

But I do have a dog in this race. We're all people, and it's in all of our best interests to see we all get along the best we can. Sure, it can be written off as a pipe dream or just something people use to hide their own intentions, even from themselves, but this is pretty driving for me.
You won't see much of the battles I'd fight in favor of Christianity or religion simply because you probably wouldn't be there. (Granted, I'll admit that the occasion doesn't come up often, but I try to be as fair as I can.) You really only feel the stream you swim against.
I appreciate that, and it's one of the things I respect about you. Problem is, again, that isn't very common.
And I think this is an important point to make in light of "giving up special privilege." As the playing field becomes more fair, it's going to begin to feel like everybody is against you. But, if you take the time, you'll realize that sometimes it's how we all feel.
Which special privileges, please? And how is forcing nuns to pay for somebody's birth control more fair? More fair than what, exactly?
Watch some Atheists take on islam. Look how Islam talks about itself in the first world. Shoot, I feel like I can't even mention I'm an atheist without someone taking personal offense from it. We all disagree, but, hey, that's cool.
Not to defend hacking on Atheists, but I can sort of understand how some people might be inclined to take that personally. Consider that, by definition, being an Atheist (especially if you were formerly a believer) is a rejection of something that a LOT of people hold very dear to them.
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haha well played. :lol:
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:52 pm

Should religious organizations (Nuns aren't paying out of their own pocket) be required to provide insurance that covers birth control?
Yeah, if they are required to provide insurance. They aren't funding anything specific. It's the choice of the patient if they want to use it, and it would be an invasion of privacy and personal agency if the church wanted to even know about it. Regardless of whatever the church professes to believe, the government has no obligation in assisting them with enforcement on their congregation. Provide insurance as required. That's what it's paying for. The insurance company and the patient are the ones paying for the birth control.
And even if they got their way, they still pay money to an insurance company that is paying our for birth control elsewhere. What do they gain?

Should gay marriage be illegal because it's against Christian teachings?
No, our laws should not be a mimicry of christian values. It's a not a place for the church to impose their opinions on morality.

Should Christian creation teachings be taught in a science classroom?
No. Let a science classroom teach science, and let the church teach religion.

Should christian iconography be used in public, government buildings?
Only in a cultural standpoint, and it should be open to any religion.

Should a political candidate be able to openly profess their belief in another religion or non-belief and still be electable?
Now, this certain is allowed as a right, but it's indicative of a massive christian voting public that does not care to elect those who aren't in with them. This isn't a matter of legislation, of course, but of a more understanding public.

Should a government official be allowed to violate both court rulings on the rights of people and even direct court orders because of cited religious beliefs?
No, but resigning to follow their religious conviction should not be met with shame.

These are just some off the top of my head because of current issues.
This is not to say the heat Christians take is non-existent either. But when significant portion of the population proclaims that America is a "Christian Nation," there is an over inflated view of the position of Christianity in the government.
Just fine. If we were talking strictly about examples where Christians were trying to be exclusionary, I'd be on your side. We aren't though. (At least, I'm not.)
True. Seems like one of the prime causes of miscommunication in these types of debates is that we're both talking to each other, but also both speaking to a more general defense of an issue.
That's true, but what we're seeing is Christians being targeted. Heard of any Muslim bakeries being dragged into court over refusing to bake gay wedding cakes? I've asked this before and I'm curious to know the answer.
True. Now, Christianity is a majority religion here in the States, so naturally it'd take the brunt. But it also hits on some of my issues with modern Islam, and I always run the risk of being tagged an "islamophobe," but when it's in a minority, it plays off as a pitiful and cringing minority, in need of special protections. But look no further than when it is a majority power, and you see a theocracy that will make any shudder. I just read about a British man sentenced to 360 lashes because he had home brewed wine. That sort of religious power is terrifying.
Do you know how uncommon that perspective seems to be? ...I appreciate that, and it's one of the things I respect about you. Problem is, again, that isn't very common.
Thanks, I appreciate that as well.
One thing, perhaps as an optimistic note, is that people like us might not be so uncommon. We don't make as much noise, and we're fascinated more about ideas than attention. But, it's not the hardest thing to find when discussing with a neighbor, and one seems to beget another when you can sit down and have a grown up conversation.
And, frankly, we need to have these grown up conversations about, say, the expectations of business owners and the rights to refuse service and of what basis. It's a good conversation, and not one you're going to find on the Huffington Post or Fox News.
And really, that's one thing I love about this forum. We can have those grown up conversations with people of very different views and backgrounds.
Not to defend hacking on Atheists, but I can sort of understand how some people might be inclined to take that personally. Consider that, by definition, being an Atheist (especially if you were formerly a believer) is a rejection of something that a LOT of people hold very dear to them.
Yeah, I agree. One's religion is very closely tied with their self-identity and it takes a sort of conscious objectivity before anyone can have conversations with an outside entity. Because of this nature of religion, it's all the more interesting when one undergoes a change in beliefs. And not those boring, apathetic ones. The big ones, when a fervent Catholic becomes an atheist, or a church going Protestant becomes a Mormon, or an outspoken atheist picks up Shintoism. Actually, the one I'm curious about is when a Christian converts to Islam. I've seen it, but I've never quite understood it. Christianity strikes me as the more matured religion, and perhaps that is simply my lack of knowledge of Islam, but... I don't know. Might be worth reading the Quran someday. I hear it's short.
Watch me become a muslim. That'd be weird, right?


I just saw this recently and I thought it was a pretty good take on some of the points we were discussing here.
As a note for everyone, this is Joe Rogan and there is a healthy dose of language. Yeah, a lot.
Sorry. Everything I listen to has swearing. Even the classical music. Get some @#$%ing Mussorgsky up in this @#@#$.
Oh, and some scantily clad pictures. Sorry. The atheist life is full of swearing and scantily clad pictures.
You know, if you give it a skip. I understand. And CCGR, if you want me to take it down, I will. Some of the take away is that the PC progressivism and the hostile response to it's violation isn't any sort of unified stance against Christianity or Conservativism.
Honestly, it's gotten pretty nuts.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ccgr » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:24 pm

it's okay AA, you gave fair warning and put it in spoilers. Appreciate that.

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:56 pm

Thanks. I don't want to overstep any bounds.
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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ccgr » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:12 pm

I typically just link versus embed offensive youtube videos as an extra measure. I know my daughter frequents the forums now so hopefully she doesn't get too nosy ;)

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Re: What Happens When the 'Moral Majority' Becomes a Minority?

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:34 am

Consider it done.
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