Faith and modernity

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Re: Faith and modernity

Postby noddy » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:26 am

Miss_Faucie_Fishtits wrote:The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas
How it is that we once again find ourselves rooting out sin, shunning heretics, and
heralding the end times


http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/ ... 19707.html

In my book An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, I note that the Protestant churches in early America were widely divided on theological and ecclesial issues—and yet they somehow joined to form what Alexis de Tocqueville would call the nation’s “undivided current of manners and morals.” We can debate how long-lasting and all-encompassing that central Protestantism really was, but many of those churches would eventually coalesce into the denominations of the Protestant mainline, and the collapse in recent decades of the mainline churches (from around 50 percent of the nation in 1965 to under 10 percent today) remains one of the most astonishing cultural changes in American history.



they had fresh memories of the theo-political landscape of the old world and the vague concept "seperation of church and state" had meaning to them.

now, not so much for those things.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby kmich » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:35 pm

Parodite wrote:
From the standpoint of faith though, ethics are not primary but protective and supportive. Through experience, one learns that certain thoughts, words, and deeds obscure and confuses one’s awareness of whom you really are, and separates you from your faith, from what you are meant to be, from God’s will. That is the nature of sin.


But it is an extra layer of meaning given to a mental, emotional and social state that I don't believe is necessary. Nor is it proven that this extra layer is actually operating, or clear how it is operating.

If you confine your considerations to the relative, fragmentary, conditional nature of the ethical demands on your being, that all would certainly follow.

Parodite wrote:
Heaven and hell exist and are real. See the hate in the eyes of a father whose wife, family and children had been raped and hacked to death by the Janjaweed, and you will view hell.


Yes, "hell" is a useful description of terrible things and situations. Sort of slang.

Hell is real and it is much closer and terrible than most care to consider.

Parodite wrote:
Be lovingly held up by the people at the Church of Saint Mary of Zion during an Easter Vigil, and you will experience heaven. I have seen and experienced both. There are no guarantees, no promises in life or an after life. One can only do our imperfect best one can do to be true to God's will in life without expectations or conditions. I am infinitely blessed that the sacrifice of my imperfections has already been paid.


"Doing God's will" I find problematic. ;) Why can't it be my own will?

add: Theology often appears to me juggling with concepts. So let me try some verbal acrobatics too.

Presupposing that "my will "and "God's will" are two different things functionally and/or qualitatively has consequences. I could try to adopt the will of something/somebody by internalising it or by submitting to it.. but then it is still my will operating in relation to external realities feeding back and forward; there is no absolute independence of either my will or the will of an external. They are interactive and as such having an impact on each other.

The idea that humans can change the mind (and will) of God is not entirely un-theological. The idea that there is an ongoing dialogue between God and humans that can change both. On the two extreme ends of that spectrum there are people who want God to submit entirely to their own will and conditions to the point where God is exorcised out of reality.. and on the other the belief that humans should surrender to God's will entirely and will only then be given/granted all the benefits (blessings included) promised. In between people who prefer to quarrel with each other and God till the end of time.

This however means that under all circumstances "my will" is always separated, to a degree, from "God's will". Without such a separation there could be no relationship on way or other.

Now a modern interpretation of Hell is a state of being separated from God. This implies that "doing God's will", but also rejecting God's will... and even merely being in a perpetual dialogue.. we live in Hell already. That theology is for people who live hellish lives. But what about people who don't live hellish lives? They might need a different theology.

If we were to understand the symbol we call “God” as referring to one being upon many, riddles and conundrums will multiply like rabbits in spring. If this problematic and perennially abused symbol that we call “God” refers to the ineffable, the numinous, “that” which is not subject to condition, so would be the related ontology making discussions of “existence” and distinct relations impractical and puzzling. On the other hand, if one prefers to consider the symbol “God” as referring to the endless, assorted discussions, traditions, and idolatries of people and history, one can debate such issues easily.

What to do?

That entirely depends upon whether you are drawn to the former or the latter. If you are drawn to the latter, which most often seems to be the case, this could be the familiar review of the follies and conflicts of religious history and theology. If you are drawn to the former, then you will need a kind of silence, a letting go that will allow one to intuitively discover what is your deepest concern at the most fundamental core of your being: a place beyond all conditioning.

What you choose cannot be feigned or speculated upon, either you are drawn to one or the other and you have to be honest with yourself on that. The spiritual journey is a serious and precarious process and it is best to leave it be if one is not seriously drawn to it. This is not an academic exercise – argumentation, no matter how skillful, will only serve to strengthen world views and will not shake them. Either one experiences sin and the compelling need for repentance and redemption, or what moderns would call a depth of existential estrangement and a yearning for reconciliation, or you simply don’t.

If one has had to confront that inner journey and been grasped by faith, that faith requires an object, a set of symbols and metaphors typically derived from our world's religious heritages for actualization. But since these objects can only signify and not be, objects of faith are necessarily incomplete, and, as Tillich noted, doubt is necessarily woven into the fabric of faith. But this is a later step in the process.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:03 am

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby kmich » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:13 pm

NapLajoieonSteroids wrote:Book Notes on a Post-Christian America


Thanks for the thought provoking article, Nap.

It is probably a mistake to pose the challenges of contemporary, American Christianity as primarily political ones, but it is understandable that a society with an aversion towards repentance would avoid that most challenging examination by engaging in the politics of identification and projection. Unfortunately, any vital Christian life withers in such surface crosswinds.

Christianity is not about immortality, a kind of perpetual existence of our dreams and ambitions. It is about death and resurrection in the Christ. As many Christians miss the death part and avoid the Cross as “New Age” Buddhists fail to face the sharp, uncompromising reality of impermanence in the tradition they are trying to import.

In a culture where ones fundamental value is within an ethos of productivity, the dead must not be allowed to be dead, but must be transformed into a mask of the living both in the casket and in our minds, so our dreams of endless value of our useful, desirable existence can continue undisturbed. Death is required for a new life and that new life is in the Christ, not in our own wishful, fanciful constructions.

I see this as our fundamental problem, ironically promoted by our genius at developing and maintaining material security that keeps our existential challenges at bay and confined to the voice of a vague, restless anxiety that we try to distract ourselves from through a variety of means. Christians in rural Africa seem to have less of that problem, since where death confronts ones senses daily, the distance from the Cross cannot be so easily maintained. I would not want that life though and, from my own experience, such harsh conditions are not required for serious reflections and repentance to take up the Cross. I don't know how to communicate that to others though other than rambling on about my experiences at AA meetings.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:37 am

kmich wrote:If we were to understand the symbol we call “God” as referring to one being upon many, riddles and conundrums will multiply like rabbits in spring. If this problematic and perennially abused symbol that we call “God” refers to the ineffable, the numinous, “that” which is not subject to condition, so would be the related ontology making discussions of “existence” and distinct relations impractical and puzzling. On the other hand, if one prefers to consider the symbol “God” as referring to the endless, assorted discussions, traditions, and idolatries of people and history, one can debate such issues easily.

What to do?

That entirely depends upon whether you are drawn to the former or the latter. If you are drawn to the latter, which most often seems to be the case, this could be the familiar review of the follies and conflicts of religious history and theology. If you are drawn to the former, then you will need a kind of silence, a letting go that will allow one to intuitively discover what is your deepest concern at the most fundamental core of your being: a place beyond all conditioning.

What you choose cannot be feigned or speculated upon, either you are drawn to one or the other and you have to be honest with yourself on that. The spiritual journey is a serious and precarious process and it is best to leave it be if one is not seriously drawn to it. This is not an academic exercise – argumentation, no matter how skillful, will only serve to strengthen world views and will not shake them. Either one experiences sin and the compelling need for repentance and redemption, or what moderns would call a depth of existential estrangement and a yearning for reconciliation, or you simply don’t.

If one has had to confront that inner journey and been grasped by faith, that faith requires an object, a set of symbols and metaphors typically derived from our world's religious heritages for actualization. But since these objects can only signify and not be, objects of faith are necessarily incomplete, and, as Tillich noted, doubt is necessarily woven into the fabric of faith. But this is a later step in the process.


I don't know where I am in the process, could also be at the end. But I have not been raised in, or been part of a religious tradition so it is impossible to say.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:46 pm

.


Not sure, but decided to post this here

First an introduction who the "speaker is"


WiKi : Navid Kermani


Navid Kermani (Persian: نوید کرمانی‎; Persian pronunciation: [næˈviːd kʲermɔːˈniː]; born 27 November 1967), a German writer and an expert in Islamic studies, was born in Siegen, West Germany, the fourth son of Iranian parents.

He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry and the Academy of Sciences in Hamburg. He has written many books, novels and essays on Islam, the Middle East and Christian-Muslim dialogue.

He regularly publishes articles, literary reviews and travelogues, especially in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He has won numerous prizes for his literary and academic work, notably the Buber-Rosenzweig-Medal in 2011.

In 2009 Kermani was almost stripped of a German culture prize for controversial remarks in an essay on images of the Crucifixion.

He holds Iranian and German citizenship.

..

Hessian cultural award controversy

The German state of Hesse decided to award its 45,000 euro Hessian Cultural Prize in July 2009 jointly to a Jew, a Muslim, a Catholic and a Lutheran to honour those involved in inter-religious dialogue. Fuat Sezgin, a prominent scholar and founder of the Institute for Arab-Islamic Studies at the University of Frankfurt was chosen as the Muslim awardee. Sezgin didn't want to accept a prize together with Salomon Korn, whose pro-Israeli views during the Gaza war he found unacceptable. To replace him, the prize-givers chose Navid Kermani. Kermani also had his doubts, not just about Korn, but also about the premier of Hesse, Roland Koch, who would be responsible for awarding the prize. In the end, Kermani decided to accept the prize, and to discuss the disagreements at the award ceremony. But the Catholic cardinal of Mainz, Karl Lehmann, and Peter Steinacker, the former head of the Lutheran church of Hesse and Nassau, said they weren't prepared to accept the prize together with Kermani. Lehmann and Steinacker objected to an essay by Kermani in which he wrote about his feelings on seeing a painting of the crucifixion by the seventeenth-century Italian painter Guido Reni. In his article, Kermani describes how he is repelled by the cross as an image of suffering, and even experiences it as blasphemous, but how in the presence of this moving picture by Reni, he begins to imagine that he could even come to believe in the cross.

He wrote,

For me, the cross is a symbol which I cannot accept on a theological level (...) Others may believe whatever they want, and I don't know better than they do. But when I pray in a church, which I sometimes do, I always make a point of not praying towards the cross. And there I was, sitting in front of the altarpiece by Guido Reni in the Church of San Lorenzo in Lucina, and I found the image so fascinating, so full of blessedness, that I could have sat there for ever. For the first time, I thought I – not someone in general, but I – could believe in the cross.

Cardinal Lehmann wrote an angry letter to Premier Roland Koch in which he demanded that the offer of the prize should be withdrawn from Kermani. Koch then decided to write to Kermani withdrawing its offer of the prize to him, an action called "childish" by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.

Aiman Mazyek, secretary of the council, explained to the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel: "How would they have felt if a Muslim had refused to meet a churchman because he did not revere the Prophet Mohammed?"


The issue was later resolved. Lehmann, Steinacker, Kermani, and Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, received the prize together on 26 November 2009.

On that occasion, Roland Koch, then head of Hesse, apologized to Kermani for his actions. Kermani donated his share of the award to a Christian priest.




well,

Below is Navid Kerman speech in "Deutscher Bundestag" (German Parliament)

unfortunately in German

I will see whether I can get an English version

.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:43 pm

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Miss_Faucie_Fishtits » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:35 am

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/

And here's a good one. What Shermer does is take the March of Civilisation as proponents like Dennis Prager, V.D Hanson and of course, our David Goldman describes it, and edit the G_d of Abraham and Christianity straight out of it. Don't rewrite it, just use White-Out and edit those inconvenient bits right outta there. And say once people discover morality, they tend to like it, like a good Duck Sauce...... and they keep at it and get better at it in a positive feedback loop of good feels and positive vibes. And the music gets better, too..........

http://www.amazon.com/The-Moral-Arc-Sci ... 0805096914

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Beware of light in the darkness

Postby Parodite » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:48 pm



Seems to me relevant to faith and modernity: how much can you trust light emitting candy in the cave or at the end of the tunnel?

If nature is any guidance.. it makes more sense to assume that what wants to seduce you might as well be a trap created by a predator.. and what runs away from you or presents itself as lethally dangerous as a visual defense might make for a good supper.

Some sort of instinctive knowledge may have played a role with the creation of God the Seducing Light; you will find the Devil on your way too... always. It may be all.. just deception. Darkness hardly ever disguises itself as light. It just jumps at you from the shadows. Light however.. could be the bright tunnel with darkness at the end where you are eaten. The light of the sun however is reliable and indifferent to politics. Worshipping it makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:04 pm

Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
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The Devil of Psychopathy

Postby Parodite » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:29 am

Just thought psychopathy being of interest here, considering that the Devil is the ultimate psychopath.

http://www.hare.org/
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Simple Minded » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:33 pm

Parodite wrote:


thanks Parodite.

cool stuff.

I think I read most of Jane Robert's channeled writings back in the 1970s.

"We" were more enlightened then.... then "they" came into power, and the man started manipulating "us."

Those were the days....... ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Parodite » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:34 pm

Simple Minded wrote:thanks Parodite.

cool stuff.

I think I read most of Jane Robert's channeled writings back in the 1970s.

"We" were more enlightened then.... then "they" came into power, and the man started manipulating "us."

Those were the days....... ;)


Haha indeed.. nostalgia nostalgia.
I like to listen to these typa things rather than reading them. Listening to a voice... very fast the words stop having much meaning.. it just rambles on and on like a melodic meditation or lullaby.

Dreams are nice and usually make sense.. until you wake up :roll: Being awake does serve a different purpose.. me thinks. Although.. day dreaming also exists..hmmm
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:51 am

Parodite wrote:
Haha indeed.. nostalgia nostalgia.
I like to listen to these typa things rather than reading them. Listening to a voice... very fast the words stop having much meaning.. it just rambles on and on like a melodic meditation or lullaby.

Dreams are nice and usually make sense.. until you wake up :roll: Being awake does serve a different purpose.. me thinks. Although.. day dreaming also exists..hmmm


good point. Interesting experiment:

1. Listen to a political candidate or incumbent give a speech.
2. Read the transcript.

Depending upon the presenter (or is it the predilection or prejudices of the listener?), it is amazing how some can make unintelligible nonsense sound so appealing.

"Nothing is so easy as to deceive one’s self; for what we wish, we readily believe."
Demosthenes

"No man was ever so much deceived by another, as by himself."
Lord Greville
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:55 am

.


The Prospects for Polygamy


.

ON every issue save abortion, social liberalism is suddenly ascendant in America. The shift on same-sex marriage has captured the headlines, but the change is much more comprehensive: In just 15 years, we have gone from being a society divided roughly evenly between progressive and traditionalist visions to a country where social conservatism is countercultural and clearly in retreat.

This reality is laid bare in the latest Gallup social issues survey, which shows that it’s not only support for same-sex marriage that’s climbing swiftly: so is approval of unwed parenthood (45 percent in 2001, 61 percent now), divorce (59 percent then, 71 percent today), and premarital sex (53 percent then, 68 percent now). Approval of physician-assisted suicide is up seven points and support for research that destroys human embryos for research is up 12, pushing both practices toward supermajority support.

Oh, and one more thing: The acceptance of polygamy has more than doubled.

Now admittedly, that last one is an outlier: Support for plural matrimony rose to 16 percent from 7 percent, a swift rise but still a very low number. Polygamy is bobbing forward in social liberalism’s wake, but it’s a long way from being part of the new permissive consensus.

Whether it will eventually get there is an interesting question. Many social conservatives argue that it will — that the now-ascendant model of marriage as a gender-neutral and easily-dissolved romantic contract offers no compelling grounds for limiting the number of people who might wish to marry. And conservatives do have a pretty good track record (the consolation prize of cultural defeat) when it comes to predicting how the logic of expressive individualism unfolds.

At the same time, social change happens sociologically, not just logically, and as a social phenomenon polygamy is very different than same-sex marriage. It’s associated with patriarchy and sexual abuse, rather than liberation and equality. It flourishes in self-segregated communities, Mormon-fundamentalist and Muslim-immigrant, rather than being widely distributed across society. Its practitioners (so far as we know) are considerably fewer in number than the roughly 3.5 percent of Americans who identify as gay or bisexual.

And while some polygamists may feel they were “born this way,” their basic sexual orientation is accommodated under existing marriage law even if the breadth of their affections isn’t, which makes them less sympathetic than same-sex couples even if their legal arguments sound similar.

So it’s hard to imagine polygamy being embraced as a major progressive cause or hailed as the next great civil rights movement. (I’m doubtful that most of Gallup’s pro-polygamy 16 percent see it that way now.) And the courts, being political entities, are unlikely to redefine marriage further merely because the logic of past rulings points that way.

With all this said, however, polygamy has already become more mainstream than even a slippery-sloper like myself once expected. The suburban plural marriage on HBO’s “Big Love” seemed like a fantasia when the show first aired, but thanks to the magic of reality television (which has produced three polygamist-themed shows in the last five years) we know not only that such families exist, but that their lives can be turned into bourgeois-seeming sitcom fodder as easily as any other arrangement.

We know, as well, that a bourgeois polygamy can win victories in federal court, as the Brown family of “Sister Wives” fame has done: Not formal recognition for their marriage(s), but the right to live as man and wife and wife and wife without fear of prosecution.

And we also know that “polygamy” is just the uncool, biblical-sounding term of art. Call it polyamory or “ethical nonmonogamy” and suddenly you have a less disreputable demographic interested — not only the commune-and-granola set, but the young and fashionable in Silicon Valley, where it’s just another experiment in digital-age social life.

So polygamists don’t have to win explicit marriage rights to become more legally secure, more imitated, less frowned-upon and judged. Indeed, greater acceptance is almost guaranteed.

The question is, what then? Can Americans say a permanent “no” to recognizing plural marriage once we’ve rooted for the Browns to get a “My Sisterwife’s Closet” jewelry line off the ground? Can a cultural left that believes in proliferating gender identities and Bruce Jenner’s essential womanhood draw the line, long-term, when a lesbian couple wants to include their baby’s biological father in their legal family, or when the child of polygamists stands up in court to say he wants his dad recognized as his mother’s legal spouse? Is a culture where prominent men routinely have multiple kids with multiple wives across multiple decades going to permanently deny marriage rights to people who want the same thing, except all at once?

As I said, it’s an interesting question. I feel safe predicting that polygamy will not be legally recognized, with fanfare and trumpets, in 2025.

But it might be recognized in 2040, with a shrug.

.



Am not sure what all this is about .. in West, pretty much, everybody f*cks with everybody .. in such environment "polygamy" loses it's meaning

.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby noddy » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:27 am

i think you watch too many soap operas and read too many left wing weirdo blogs azari - the view you have on whats going on is much fruitier than reality which is mostly straight marriages and serial monogamists.

i doubt polygamy will get much traction, not only does it have the religious groups against it , it also has the feminist ones.

the biggest mistake you making is that all this is about the gays or whatever, its not, its about who controls the power of defining words and laws, its a battle between the progressives and the conservatives, the gays are just ammuntion.
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Typhoon » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:32 pm

noddy wrote:i think you watch too many soap operas and read too many left wing weirdo blogs azari - the view you have on whats going on is much fruitier than reality which is mostly straight marriages and serial monogamists.

i doubt polygamy will get much traction, not only does it have the religious groups against it , it also has the feminist ones.

the biggest mistake you making is that all this is about the gays or whatever, its not, its about who controls the power of defining words and laws, its a battle between the progressives and the conservatives, the gays are just ammuntion.


The gays are about 1% of the population. The oligarchs are about 1% of the population.

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Simple Minded » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:57 pm

Typhoon wrote:
The gays are about 1% of the population. The oligarchs are about 1% of the population.

Image


Do you mean to say that the reason gay people smile more than others is not due only to the sex? :o

Oddly enough, the people who agree with me are also about 1% of the population...... :shock:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby noddy » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:09 pm

teh gey zionist lizards again.

bstards,
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby YMix » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:14 pm

Just found out about this strange column from David Brooks:

Fracking and the Franciscans

Pope Francis is one of the world’s most inspiring figures. There are passages in his new encyclical on the environment that beautifully place human beings within the seamless garment of life. And yet over all the encyclical is surprisingly disappointing.

Legitimate warnings about the perils of global warming morph into 1970s-style doom-mongering about technological civilization. There are too many overdrawn statements like “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

Hardest to accept, though, is the moral premise implied throughout the encyclical: that the only legitimate human relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love, and that arrangements based on self-interest and competition are inherently destructive.

[...]


Ummm... that's actually the definition of Christianity. :shock:
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:10 pm

YMix,

Here's a useful tip: "Never take another person's religion (or politics) more seriously than they do." ;)

If their ideas were workable, they would probably already be practicing it themselves.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:15 pm

YMix wrote:Just found out about this strange column from David Brooks:

Fracking and the Franciscans

Pope Francis is one of the world’s most inspiring figures. There are passages in his new encyclical on the environment that beautifully place human beings within the seamless garment of life. And yet over all the encyclical is surprisingly disappointing.

Legitimate warnings about the perils of global warming morph into 1970s-style doom-mongering about technological civilization. There are too many overdrawn statements like “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

Hardest to accept, though, is the moral premise implied throughout the encyclical: that the only legitimate human relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love, and that arrangements based on self-interest and competition are inherently destructive.

[...]


Ummm... that's actually the definition of Christianity. :shock:

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Christ has no body now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks among His people to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses His creation.”

Teresa of Ávila
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:34 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
Ummm... that's actually the definition of Christianity. :shock:

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

Gilbert K. Chesterton


Amen Nonc!

That is one of my all time favorite quotes regarding religion/self-discipline/self-governance.

here is the version I have seen: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."


Here is another (I don't recall the source):

"One who can control himself need not fear being controlled by God or the police."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP81Je7APoQ
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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:11 pm

.


Bravo, Jimmy, Bravo


.

Losing my religion for equality


Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.


I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

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Re: Faith and modernity

Postby YMix » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:29 pm

Most Women Who Have Abortions Don't Regret Them
by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | July 15, 2015 11:09am ET

The idea that women may regret having an abortion has been used to support restrictions against the procedure. But a new study suggests that only very rarely do women regret having an abortion.

Researchers looked at 667 women who had abortions between 2008 and 2010 at 30 U.S. clinics. The participants answered questions about their experiences every six months for three years after the procedure. The study found that 99 percent of the women said that they felt they made the right choice in terminating their pregnancies, up to three years afterward, according to the findings published July 8 in the journal PLOS ONE.

"Claims that women suffer from psychological harm from their abortions, and that large proportions of women come to regret their abortions over time, at least in these data, are simply not true," said study researcher Corinne Rocca, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Post-abortion emotion

The notion of abortion regret is often cited in legislation requiring that women undergo mandatory ultrasounds or waiting periods before an abortion. The concern has risen to the level of the Supreme Court: In 2007, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a majority opinion upholding the federal ban on a procedure sometimes called partial-birth abortion, and used the possibility of regret to support the court's decision. "It seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained," Kennedy wrote. [8 Supreme Court Decisions that Changed US Families]

But the actual emotional experiences of women after abortions were less well-studied than the political debate has suggested, Rocca said.

"People make arguments about emotions, but actually we have not had good data examining these questions to date," she told Live Science.

Most studies that have followed up with women after they have had an abortion have been short-term studies, and they have found mixed emotions — but predominantly relief — after the procedure. Most longer-term studies have been retrospective, asking women to look back at their abortion experiences months or years later. Retrospective studies often return unreliable information, because people have a hard time remembering how they felt in the past without their current emotions biasing their memories.

A few studies have followed women prospectively, meaning the women were enrolled in the study at the time of the abortion, and then called later to give real-time updates about their emotional experiences. Those studies have generally found that women are satisfied with the decision, but returned mixed results about whether women's emotions about the procedure were positive or negative over time.

Rocca and her team used data from the Turnaway Study, a project that compares women who obtain abortions with women who hit the time limits for having an abortion and were turned away.

The study is still ongoing, and the women will be followed for at least five years total so researchers can detect emotional trends over time, Rocca said.

"No study has been done like this in the United States in the past couple of decades," she said.

Few regrets

Every six months, the women were asked whether they felt their decision to have an abortion was the right choice. They were also asked about positive and negative emotions, including relief, happiness, regret, guilt, sadness and anger. Women may experience a mix of positive and negative emotions around an abortion, and these emotions may or may not influence whether they feel they made the right choice, the researchers said.

In the raw data, 95 percent of the women reported they'd made the right choice to have an abortion in each of the follow-up surveys. This number isn't entirely accurate, because some women didn't answer every survey, and it doesn't take into account individual variation over time, Rocca said. After statistical adjustment to account for these factors, the researchers found that more than 99 percent of women reported having made the right decision at every follow-up.

Women also reported that their emotions about the abortion became less intense as time went on, and also that they thought about the abortion less frequently with time. At three years out, women reported thinking about the abortion only "rarely," Rocca said.

"Relief remains the most dominant emotion felt at every time period over the three years after the abortion," she said.

The research also hints at what factors might make women feel more regret about the choice to have an abortion. Women who struggled more with the initial decision and those with a greater desire to be pregnant were more likely to say that abortion was the wrong choice for them. Women who felt that their community stigmatized abortion and women without much social support reported more negative emotions around the procedure.

The findings do not justify restrictions like waiting periods in the name of protecting women from emotional harm after an abortion, Rocca said.

"I don't want to voice a strong opinion about policy," she said. "I just want it to be based in science."
“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too.” - Donald J. Trump, President of the USA
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