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  1. #211
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
    I'm not saying Christianity is the official religion of the U.S, nor did I ever assert that. I'm simply using "foundation" here as a word meant to imply the huge effect Christianity has on the U.S and how it's intrinsically woven into its history.
    That "foundation" language is in my experience primarily used by people who want to use it to justify sectarian Christian law passing. This is a large part of my vehemence in arguing that it is wholly inappropriate.

    Basically, when you say that "the US was founded upon Christian principles" you are promoting the worldview of people who think that the legal system should force Christianity upon others. If you agree with them on this point, then you undermine any argument that they should not be permitted to do so.
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  2. #212
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
    This is all true. However, I'm not coming at it from the standpoint of it being written into the constitution or anything of that nature. Rather, I'm looking at it from the point of view of things like the Scope's trial.
    That was in 1925.

    Laws are made and passed due to religious (Christian) beliefs. The attempt to make abortion illegal (and in many cases the successful attempts at making it as inconvenient as possible), are often based off of people's religious views. This is just one example.
    And when they are challenged, if found to be rooted in religion, they are struck down as unconstitutional.

    I'm not saying Christianity is the official religion of the U.S, nor did I ever assert that. I'm simply using "foundation" here as a word meant to imply the huge effect Christianity has on the U.S and how it's intrinsically woven into its history.
    I did say the US is a country largely of Christians, but that doesn't give Christians the right to force their beliefs on the rest of us via laws. I would not want my children to be taught "intelligent design" or the Bible in school unless it were part of a religions and philosophies of the world course. Several school districts have tried to pull that. One was struck down. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmi...chool_District
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard
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  3. #213
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhawk View Post
    That does not change the fact that the US was not in fact founded on "Christian principles".


    That is true. That is not the same as "founded on CHristian principles".
    Quote Originally Posted by Jainarayan View Post
    The US is a nation largely of Christians, but it is not a Christian nation. There is no official state-sanctioned religion. The First Amendment sees to that.

    It's the western overculture. That doesn't make it the foundation. And quite honestly, what are these "Christian principles" the US is allegedly founded on? There is no mention of God, the Bible, Jesus, or any other religious reference in the US Constitution. The US Constitution is the highest and overriding law of the US. The Declaration mentions 'Creator', but two things need to be kept in mind:
    1. It does not specify the Creator or God from any religion;
    2. The DoI is not a law, it is a letter, an essay.
    I'm not entirely sure I agree with the thrust of the argument. While the USA may not have included Christianity much in its initial foundation, it has been heavily influenced by Christianity both before independence and after. The earlier examples of course being puritans. There are also the 'Blue Laws,' legally enforceable morality codes that existed within the 13 colonies. Religion also played a role in the antagonism between the colonists and Native Americans. Sure this is before independence, but this religious heritage does not simply disappear because it isn't mentioned.

    Even after independence Christianity continued to play a role in US life, including its political culture. Slavery was justified partly through religion. Religion also spearheaded the campaign against slavery. Obviously these were both political issues at the time. Of course, there was also President Grant's colloquially names 'Quaker Policy,' which meant sending Quakers as missionaries to Indigenous communities.

    After the start of the Cold War, Christian references became more pronounced, the 'In God We Trust,' motto becoming more prominent as a response to Soviet Atheism. Even today, I see few high level US politicians talk without some reference to God. Not to mention how many high ranking political figures used specifically Christian perspectives to justify policy and practise, such as Bill Casey and Ronald Reagan.

    The point I'm trying to get at is that while the USA may not have been founded on Christian principles exactly, but this does not mean that Christian beliefs and perspectives have not influenced law and politics in the States, and their impact on US political life should not be underestimated. Both politicians and lawmakers, along with the rest of the country, are believers, so how could their faith not affect their decisions and values? Such an influence may be unofficial and therefore, invisible, but that does not mean it isn't there.

  4. #214
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Yei View Post
    The point I'm trying to get at is that while the USA may not have been founded on Christian principles exactly, but this does not mean that Christian beliefs and perspectives have not influenced law and politics in the States, and their impact on US political life should not be underestimated.
    And I do not believe anyone in the thread disagrees with that. Most of us have explicitly said it.
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  5. #215
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
    Sure, pagans and atheists can sometimes be "hard" on Christianity. I feel that this is bred from their personal negative experiences with Christianity. And since America was a nation founded (ostensibly) on Christian principles, escaping the memory of those negative experiences has got to be hard.

    I also feel that because there's a hard-core fundamentalist branch of Christians that specifically uses faith and the Bible to give some sort of credence to their bigoted beliefs, people tend to be more negative toward them. Because so many more people are some flavor of Christian (statistically) than Buddhist or Jewish, this type of behavior stands out so much more than, say, the problem with racism that exists within the Heathen community.

    Your average American may never have had a negative experience with, for example, a racist (or other "ist") Wiccan. However, your average American is likely to have at least read or heard of bad experiences with sexist, racist (etc) Christians.

    I can understand how such things would leave a bad taste in people's mouths.
    I'll be honest and say that while I've actually never had a truly bad experience with a Christian, I still sometimes have cringe reactions when people tell me that "Jesus loves you" or that they'll pray for me because honestly, I did not consent to this and Jesus does not know me no matter how much they may assert otherwise. I may also resent it a tiny bit that they actually have communities and aren't afraid to be openly religious to strangers.

    Also it's really really hard to tell if a openly religious Christian is a safe person if you're in certain sub-sections of the population unless you get to know them better, so I'm more than likely to be reserved around such people.

    (On the other hand, I seem to trust Jewish people much more easier than Christians, so it's not really a me vs. monotheism issue. It's more of a "Christians often tend to over-ride my personal boundaries more than I like in my interactions with them.")
    Last edited by Tom; 20 Apr 2017 at 09:09 PM. Reason: missing parentheses

  6. #216
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    On the other hand, I seem to trust Jewish people much more easier than Christians, so it's not really a me vs. monotheism issue. It's more of a "Christians often tend to over-ride my personal boundaries more than I like in my interactions with them.")
    Certain groups of Christians have a tendency, in my experience (grew up Baptist, so I have a fair bit of experience), to be boundary-challenged as a general rule. It's not just non-Christians they'll do this to; they do it to each other and don't understand why it's not okay.

    There's no real concept of privacy, personal boundaries, or not violating personal space in way too many churches. They just think that getting all up in somebody's business uninvited is how you show caring, and they think that if you don't like that it means YOU have the problem, not them. (This may also be a part of the phenomenon of socially awkward people gravitating to churches, too.)


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  7. #217
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcha View Post
    Certain groups of Christians have a tendency, in my experience (grew up Baptist, so I have a fair bit of experience), to be boundary-challenged as a general rule. It's not just non-Christians they'll do this to; they do it to each other and don't understand why it's not okay.

    There's no real concept of privacy, personal boundaries, or not violating personal space in way too many churches. They just think that getting all up in somebody's business uninvited is how you show caring, and they think that if you don't like that it means YOU have the problem, not them. (This may also be a part of the phenomenon of socially awkward people gravitating to churches, too.)


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    I mean I know that not all Christians are like this, particularly the ones I grew up knowing (who were primarily Methodist and Lutheran probably), which is probably why my brain is reacting very badly to coming across those who are more boundary challenged since it is actually A New Thing for me and I am not sure how to handle it other than feeling awkward and very violated.

    I wonder if it also relates to the particular culture they grew up in and that the religion grew to fit the culture rather than the religion being inherently this way.

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  8. #218
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    I mean I know that not all Christians are like this, particularly the ones I grew up knowing (who were primarily Methodist and Lutheran probably), which is probably why my brain is reacting very badly to coming across those who are more boundary challenged since it is actually A New Thing for me and I am not sure how to handle it other than feeling awkward and very violated.

    I wonder if it also relates to the particular culture they grew up in and that the religion grew to fit the culture rather than the religion being inherently this way.

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    I think it's a combination of things. I had a friend who thought that the fact that he happened to have a key to my house because I'd asked him to check on my cat to fill a gap when my normal cat-sitter friend wasn't available meant he could just come over anytime I wasn't there to visit my cat (who didn't actually like him that much) and just randomly wander around my house. I found out because he took pictures of my cat-sitter's belongings and sent them to her, which obviously creeped her out to the extreme.

    He was a member of my church and had literally no sense of boundaries which the church enabled to a very unhealthy extent by promoting things like "we can tell anybody our problems no matter how inappropriate the setting" (his awkward thing was sharing his porn problem with the entire church, minors included... so, so awkward) and "we are all accountable to each other" (which translated to "we can intrude on your life if we think you're not being good and tell you what we think you should be doing"). It was a problem. It's a symptom of "accountability culture", encouraged proselytizing, and treating the church like a weird codependent family instead of a healthy religious community.




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  9. #219
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    Re: Hostility to Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcha View Post
    Certain groups of Christians have a tendency, in my experience (grew up Baptist, so I have a fair bit of experience), to be boundary-challenged as a general rule. It's not just non-Christians they'll do this to; they do it to each other and don't understand why it's not okay.
    This is what I grew up experiencing, and because of those experiences I had a pretty deep rooted hostility to Christianity.
    It took quite a few deep discussions to find out that my hostility towards the religion was just a matter of my bucket being so full of bad examples that literally anyone mentioning their Christian faith would be the last drop that bucket could hold.
    I spent (or wasted) years being rather hostile towards Christianity for that reason and sometimes when running into the boundary-challenged that hostility comes right back. It's a mayor trigger for me.

    The root? Half my family on a regular basis tells the other half of said family they will go to hell for various reasons.
    They'll shun family members that have repeated illnesses or children with disabilities because they fear that God is angry with them so they cannot associate themselves too much. They have debates at funerals of why said person that was just burried will go to hell, with their children and grieving family members standing right next to them.
    I was told my son being stillborn was my own fault as I was not married at the time.

    Just a few of many examples for why I no longer have contact with that side of the family, but also for why I held resentment towards anything Christian for that long, I was taught that the above examples were what Christianity was from a very young age, it was my only point of reference.

    I am blessed to have found a few very good Christian friends that had tons of patience with me, and have shown me that my experiences were most definately not the norm.
    Letting go of that deep seed of anger was a mayor point of healing for me, and I could not have done it without their help.

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