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Grand Canyon removes plaques with verse on them.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 11 years ago

User Journal 42

Here's a story about the Grand Canyon removing three plaques with verses from Psalms on them. Why this is worse than poetry is anyone's guess.

Here's a story about the Grand Canyon removing three plaques with verses from Psalms on them. Why this is worse than poetry is anyone's guess.

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The Lesson here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6547884)

Moral of story:
Religious toleration can only last 30 years.

Thank you Department of the Interior for that judicial review.

Dumb (3, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6548031)

Taken as poetry without the religious connotation, those verses are perfectly appropriate.

They are no more offensive than any other poetry that celebrates natural beauty by praising a diety. American Indian poetry is rife with this type of symbolism, and it is embraced. Appropriate passages from Psalms ought to be embraced as well.

Perhaps John 3:16 would be out of place, but these passages?

Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

glh (14273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6549986)

Another win for the liberal left.

They chant "tolerance" as their mantra, but they are quite intolerant when it comes to Judeo-Christian views. And the reason being, in my mind, is because it is the one world view that has authority. It demands that it is the true one and only the true one, and thus the difference.
However, if the leftists were truly tolerant, they should tolerate this "intolerance".

Ok, maybe that sounds a little odd... but isn't it right? Judeo-Christian views (aka Intolerance) is another world view, but it's really incompatible with the current cultural/politically accepted world view. What's wrong with being intolerant? What's wrong with taking a stance and being committed to something? Why can't someone choose to do that? If the Bible really is true, and there are followers of the Bible, shouldn't they be teaching what it says? It was right 100 years ago... what has changed so much to make it wrong now?

Personally, as a Christian, I find this quite irritating but it comes as no suprise to me. When the Bible talks about the end times, it even mentions this. See for ref. 2 Tim 3:1-5.

It's only going to get worse...

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (2, Informative)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6550754)

What's wrong with being intolerant?

Nothing. Or as my brother puts it, "Why can't you be open-minded to my close mindedness?" :)

Of course he then points out that he is the open-mninded one, since it is *he* that will at least give the other point of view *some* thought, whereas the supposed open-minded ones rejects everything else outright.

In the end, that "open mind" and "tolerance" is merely a way for people to not admit their own fear or making decisions that may limit themselves. When someone tells me they are "open minded" in most cases i think much worse of them.

Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6552459)

Toldja I'd be around. :)

In the end, that "open mind" and "tolerance" is merely a way for people to not admit their own fear or making decisions that may limit themselves.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. And I wouldn't say that it "merely" is, I'd say that "in some cases". I think I'm open minded because I freely admit that I don't know everything. If you can convince me with proof or substantial discussion that your point is more valid or "correct" than mine, then I'll change my mind. If I can disprove it with facts, and you don't know of those facts, I'd hope that I could change your mind as well. I also have no presumption that my way is right, and that you are 100% wrong. This is why I'm "agnostic" (m-w.com-"one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god"). I don't know what's out there. I can't make up my mind just yet, and I don't know that I ever will. But I know that I don't know, which is a start, for me.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555445)

Great to have you around! :)

I think I'm open minded because I freely admit that I don't know everything.

That's called being realistic. :P

Being open-minded, means giving credence to other people's views and not making up one's mind in deference to those views.

This is why I'm "agnostic" (m-w.com-"one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god"). I don't know what's out there. I can't make up my mind just yet, and I don't know that I ever will. But I know that I don't know, which is a start, for me.

Also, you don't feel an urge to spend enough time thinking about it. For if you did, you probably would have a strong opinion on it. It's good to change when more facts come in, but relying on ignorance is no excuse.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6556435)

That's called being realistic. :P

There's realism and there's pig-headedness. Your definition is somewhat looser than what I described after that.

Also, you don't feel an urge to spend enough time thinking about it. For if you did, you probably would have a strong opinion on it. It's good to change when more facts come in, but relying on ignorance is no excuse.

I'm interested in how you arrived to this conclusion, that I don't have an urge to think about it, the implication that I haven't thought about it. Or that I'm ignorant of it. Any opinions I have are not relevant to the discussion at hand.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6556750)

that I don't have an urge to think about it, the implication that I haven't thought about it.

Because it is my firm belief that anyone who thinks about it will come to a decision, even if it is changed later.

Also, i sometimes learn things by choosing one way and "experiencing" it. Then i can decide on its merits. It is much better then not tryng it, where i may have been open-minded on the issue for the rest of my life. In a sense of arrogance, i figure if it worked for me, it ought to work for everyone else.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6562686)

Because it is my firm belief that anyone who thinks about it will come to a decision, even if it is changed later.

How do you know that "I don't know" isn't my decision? Do I have to decide one way or the other? I just find it interesting that you're assuming that I haven't thought about it, or that I haven't tried anything.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6562759)

How do you know that "I don't know" isn't my decision?

I don't. But i consider that a wimpy way out, so i just plainly assume that it isn't.

Do I have to decide one way or the other?

I think it important enough to demand it.

I just find it interesting that you're assuming that I haven't thought about it,

I don't assume that you *never* thought about it. Just not "enough".

or that I haven't tried anything.

Or tried "enough".

I consider it an important issue. And, those who reach no answer, to me, are skirting the issue, or not thinking about it objectively.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6563717)

i consider that a wimpy way out, so i just plainly assume that it isn't.

I see you're still using the lower-case "i", but you begin sentences with capital "I".

At any rate, you "consider", "assume" and "think", but you don't know. And presume that your levels of thinking are adequate.

Hm.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564312)

I see you're still using the lower-case "i", but you begin sentences with capital "I".

Yeah. I think we went through it once before, and recognized that the capital letter mat the beginning of a sentence helps denote a new sentence. I have not yet seen a good reason for a capital "i" in mid-sentence, however. So, i decided to try it out to experience it.

At any rate, you "consider", "assume" and "think", but you don't know.

True. But since nothing can ever be truly known, we each rely on certain assumptions to get us places.

And presume that your levels of thinking are adequate.

If they aren't, i hope them to be proven incorect, so i can raise them up to another level. Until then, however, i consider them adequate.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564451)

But how are your assumptions more or less valid than mine? And can what you don't know be augmented?

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564827)

But how are your assumptions more or less valid than mine?

To me, mine are certainly more valid. Anyway, it seems that you have not made a decision at all, or, as i believe, have not tried enough. As such, i consider my assumptions commendable (even if they are disagreeable) and what i perceive as inaction to be contemptable.

And can what you don't know be augmented?

Come to a decision, and see what happens. It works well for me.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6565154)

as i believe

But you do not know.

contemptable

Strong word. Especially for an assumption that comes from a position of ignorance.

It works well for me.

What does?

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6566276)

But you do not know.

True. But i give considerable weight to well thought out beliefs.

Strong word. Especially for an assumption that comes from a position of ignorance.

Yeah, because i fell strongly on the matter. And i don't believe it to be out of ignorance, since i have spent much time thinking about it in the past.

What does?

Trying out something to see how it feels, even though when trying it i was not sure yet if it was correct.

Re:Moo (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6567589)

i give considerable weight to well thought out beliefs.

How do you know mine arent?

i don't believe it to be out of ignorance, since i have spent much time thinking about it in the past.

I mean your assumption about me comes from ignorance.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6567950)

How do you know mine arent?

I don't. As i said before. It is my belief that anyone who thinks about it long enough will come to a conclusion. So, being you don't have a conclusion, i *assume* that you haven't thought about it enough.

I mean your assumption about me comes from ignorance.

Yes. All assumptions are based on ignorance. Otheriwse, it wouldn't be an assumption. :)

Re:Oom (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6568131)

You don't sleep, do you. Are you a vampire?

It's not that I don't have conclusion, my conclusion is I don't know. [tap...tap...] Is this thing on?

Re:Oom (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6570964)

"Sleep"? :)

Well, again, it's my opinion in this matter, that a conclusion of no conclusion means not enough effort has been put into it. Perhaps, if you were still actively working on it, i wouldn't think of it so badly.

Re:Oom (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6571230)

How does "a conclusion of no conclusion" result in insufficient effort? You have no idea what effort, past or present, has been put into it.

Re:Oom (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6571854)

True. But, i consider the matter of such importance, that one must always either have a definitive solution, or be working towards one.

Re:Oom (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6572153)

So, if the matter is of such importance, please detail the steps you have gone through and the conclusion you've reached.

Also, why cannot "I don't know" be the definitive solution? If the "facts" are inconclusive, what other conclusion is supposed to be reached? Would "there is no god" be a more acceptable answer, to you?

Re:Oom (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6572549)

So, if the matter is of such importance, please detail the steps

No. Since you probably wouldn't appreciate my steps (which are somewhat personal) i'd end up thinking less of them myself. So, i won't share them, unless i feel it appropriate.

Also, why cannot "I don't know" be the definitive solution?

Becuase when a definitive solution can be reached, "I dont know" is necessarily not definitive.

If the "facts" are inconclusive, what other conclusion is supposed to be reached?

Personal conviction, or reliance on the default. Either the facts change them, or they don't.

Would "there is no god" be a more acceptable answer, to you?

Yes.

Re:Moy (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6572904)

So, you feel you can criticise what you percieve to be my process without detailing your own? You're also assuming I wouldn't "appreciate" the steps, which actually goes back to the original point of open-mindedness. Who am I to judge your process?

And because a definitive solution can be reached for you, by you, how does that make my solution any less valid? We're talking about a belief system here, which is more or less opinion. And what would "the default" be?

Re:Moy (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6573489)

So, you feel you can criticise what you percieve to be my process without detailing your own?

Not really. I was criticizing your lack of process (which is a result of my assumption).

As i originally said
Also, you don't feel an urge to spend enough time thinking about it. For if you did, you probably would have a strong opinion on it. It's good to change when more facts come in, but relying on ignorance is no excuse.
My stress was on the lack of process, not what your process was.

You're also assuming I wouldn't "appreciate" the steps,

I said it was probable. I would never assume such a thing without more information.

which actually goes back to the original point of open-mindedness. Who am I to judge your process?

This is not talking about judging. As an example, imagine Elddir tells a riddle that he thinks is enjoyable, and the person does nto appreciate it. Elddir will now think less of the riddle. The same is true with personal steps.

And because a definitive solution can be reached for you, by you, how does that make my solution any less valid?

If you had a solution, if would be just as valid (on a personal level). However, if it is not a solution, but rather an "i don't know" it is of lesser stature.

We're talking about a belief system here, which is more or less opinion.

Belief systems are based on core values. Core values are that which the person given considerable weight. Then, similar to logic which works with facts and makes logic-judgements, feeling works with values to make value-judgements. So, in that sense, i consider belief systems just as valid as facts (when they are consistent).

And what would "the default" be?

That depends on the person. However the person normally acts. That can be what the family or city believes, or the one that requires less change in the status quo, or whatever things the person normally does to "default" when a decision cannot be reached. By me, it happens to be what i was taught. I have no idea what yours would be.

Re:Mohel (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6575938)

My stress was on the lack of process

You still don't know, however, and I don't see how you can judge.

I would never assume such a thing without more information.

Yet you assume I lack process.

This is not talking about judging. As an example, imagine Elddir tells a riddle that he thinks is enjoyable, and the person does nto appreciate it. Elddir will now think less of the riddle. The same is true with personal steps.

Why would Elddir care? Why would he think the riddle is less enjoyable? Why wouldn't he just pass it on as a difference of opinion and still enjoy the riddle?

However, if it is not a solution, but rather an "i don't know" it is of lesser stature.

But if "I don't know" is arrived at as part of the process, that one cannot know, and that is all of the available information, then how is it not a solution?

So, in that sense, i consider belief systems just as valid as facts (when they are consistent).

But since values and beliefs differ from person to person, then they're more or less opinions. If it's my belief that a person should wait until marriage before copulating, and your value system tells you that if it feels good, do it, they are beliefs and values, but ultimately opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by default still.

Re:Mohel (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6576737)

You still don't know, however, and I don't see how you can judge.

As i said. I assumed a lack of process. That is because i believe it so important that everyone would come to a conclusion one way or the other.

Why would Elddir care? Why would he think the riddle is less enjoyable? Why wouldn't he just pass it on as a difference of opinion and still enjoy the riddle?

Because that's simply how it works. I know it works by me that way, and i've seen it in others too. It's just how the pysche works. I would be suprised to hear it worked otherwise in others.

But if "I don't know" is arrived at as part of the process, that one cannot know, and that is all of the available information, then how is it not a solution?

I don't see how that could possibly be a solution. That is the entire point of my comment.

But since values and beliefs differ from person to person, then they're more or less opinions.

What facts are, also change from person to person. Because, people choose what to accept as facts, and what to reject. The only difference would seem to be if the judgement was a logic-judgement or a value-judgement. Both being equally valid, there isn't much of a difference, unless the situation demands one over the other.

I'm not sure what you mean by default still.

The way people act before making a decision, or what people rely upon when they don't want to think it through. I am not sure i can explain it any better. I kind of consider that to be its explanation.

Re:zzzzzzz (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | about 11 years ago | (#6585813)

*Yawn*

...'night....

Re:zxywvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba (1)

Chacham (981) | about 11 years ago | (#6588403)

Sweet dreams. :)

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6552396)

Let's take a look at the verses in question:

Psalms 68:4 - Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Psalms 66:4 - All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing [to] thy name. Selah.

Psalms 104:24 - O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

As a "liberal" and someone who's not particularly religious, I'll speak to what I find relevant. The first, I just don't like, and I'm not sure why. I think "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name" sounds a little more like worship, which for whatever reason strikes me as not really necessary in this context. The second, "All the earth shall worship thee" I guess is what I find unnecessary as well, for the same reasons as the first. The third, I really don't have a problem with at all. It says "lord" but could be thought that it refers to any higher being. Psalms is the source of the quotation, but can be interpreted in a larger context.

Now, does that mean they should be removed? It's obviously not for me to say. The article says that the parks service took them down not because of any litigation, but because of "Letters of concern and a recent inquiry by the American Civil Liberties Union". Someone thought they should be taken down but was not directed by law or a legal ruling to do so. I would say that possibly attaching other plaques with messages of awe at the beauty and greatness of the earth would be appropriate, but then the question arises "Do we need to cover all religions? What happens if we leave one out?" and becomes unwieldly.

Now, I don't understand what you mean when you say "And the reason being, in my mind, is because it is the one world view that has authority." I'd appreciate further information, because it sounds like you're saying that no other religion says that it the "one true" religion.

And I would say that I'm more "liberal" and "left" than anything else, but I do feel that I'm tolerant of other views. After all, that's what tolerance is. Perhaps you need to be more specific in your generalisations. ;) That said, I don't feel like I should have any religion thrust upon me, and I think that might be what they're taking issue with. Additionally, I would like to say that I completely disagree with this quote: "The National Capitol chapter of the ACLU contends a national park is no place for religion." If you're going to find religion, or celebrate your deity of choice, I would say that a national park is THE place for it. I don't think a city brings the same feelings of awe. :) I don't think there's anything "wrong" with being "intolerant", but being belligerent about your beliefs, I do have a problem with. I'm not saying *you* are being belligerent, I'm saying that I personally don't like having a belief system thrust upon me, whether it's religious, political, dietary, what have you. If the Bible really is true, and there are followers of the Bible, shouldn't they be teaching what it says? Yes, they should be teaching what they believe, but if someone doesn't want to hear about it, they should respect that too. I think that was one of the main problems with the Crusades. ;) If someone doesn't "believe", and they're gonna go to hell, well, let 'em go.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (2, Insightful)

Procyon101 (61366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554009)

but then the question arises "Do we need to cover all religions? What happens if we leave one out?" and becomes unwieldly.

IMHO, this is the crux of the "seperation of church and state" matter and is completely a moot question. That is like saying that a quote of e. e. cummings must be taken down because we didn't also quote Plato, Hemmingway and Dickinson. ALL viewpoints do not need to be expressed in ALL contexts, as that is just absurd. The article states that the 1st ammendment prohibits the government from supporting a certain religion, which is also BS, as the 1st amendment only prohibits the government from interfering with the people's freedom of religion. That is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

Religion is an integral part of the human existance, and way too much litigation is spent on trying to deny this fact. Noone has the right to go through life sheltered from being exposed to anything that they might disagree with, and the ACLU and the government should get out of the futile business of trying to do so.

Andjust for the record, I'm an Athiest to boot, so I'm not trying to tow the Christian line here, just using some common sense.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (2, Interesting)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554177)

The article states that the 1st ammendment prohibits the government from supporting a certain religion, which is also BS, as the 1st amendment only prohibits the government from interfering with the people's freedom of religion. That is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

Try reading the whole thing.

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

There are two different claims about religion here. One, the free exercise clause, states that the gov't can't interfere with the people exercising their religious beliefs. (which the supreme court allows to be abridged for protecting other rights - you can't kill someone just because you believe you can as part of your religion).

The other part, the one you seem to have missed, is known as the establishment clause, and has been debated as to how much it means - can the gov't support religions as long as it doesn't claim one to be the "official" one, or does it mean no gov't support of any religion? There seems to be a lot more precedent supporting the latter, though it is by no means definitive.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554531)

It would seem to me that this is where the study of documents and beliefs of the drafters of the Constitution and Bill of Rights would come into play. Although, I'm not sure it would help all that much. I know someone who is very Christian and thinks it's absurd that the rest of the country doesn't recognise that the US was founded on Christian ideals and beliefs, and should recognise Christianity. Not make it an official religion, but just give up on all the "separation" stuff.

I...I tend to disagree.

And as to Procyon's statement, that's what I meant by unwieldly. It becomes a slippery slope that becomes absurd. But having other quotes dilutes the perceived all-importance of the Christian quotes.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (2, Interesting)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555471)

Yeah, the verses are somewhat religous, and i would have chosen others. But if you just look at it as poetry, that somewhat thought the sight of the natural wonders moved him so much as to praise his Creator, and expressed that feeling with a verse, the verse is poetry. Personally, though, i like the third one the best here. It is an expression of awe, no matter what one believes.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (2, Interesting)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6556368)

I wanted to suggest others, but you can only do so much at work. :)

I don't find them particularly poetic, not lyrically poetic, but they could have a loose meter to them. But they are trying to express, well, the last one is exultation, but the first two are just "singing praise". So...Yes, we agree the third one should stay. :)

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6554134)

They chant "tolerance" as their mantra, but they are quite intolerant when it comes to Judeo-Christian views.

Wow, you mean every liberal is openly hostile toward Judiasm and Christianity? Not in this reality.

There is a world of difference between being intolerant of an entire group of religions, like you claim is occuring, and being intolerant of perceived violations of the free exercise/establishment clauses of the first amendment. This is not a case of a violation of free exercise of religion in any manner - it's a park department being concerned that a plaque of a religious nature violates the establishment clause, and taking them down.

I've learned from various Church-State issues and debates that even today, while Christianity is by far the majority religion in this country, while almost every person elected to office in this country is subject to a de-facto requirement to be Christian, many people still love to play the victim. "Oh poor us, the government is atheist because they won't let us post the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the country!" I still hear a constant whine from parts of this country that students aren't taught from the Bible in the public schools.

To claim someone doesn't really believe in "Tolerance" unless they tolerate everything is disingenuous - to go to that extreme, obviously you'd have to tolerate someone raping and killing your family and friends without complaining. That's as ridiculous as thinking intolerance only means someone who would kill their own kids because they disagreed with their parents over which TV show to watch.

Most people who claim that tolerance is important, including myself, feel that it means that you understand that viewpoints, perspectives, and concerns are going to be different between different people, and that if you disagree, it doesn't mean they're wrong and you're right - it may be the other way around, some of both, or that there may not be a wrong and a right. Most importantly, you cannot live in a society with a large amount of different views and interact with people without a level of tolerance for difference - and recognize that certain perspectives will threaten that mix. Certain types of intolerance are dangerous - for example, racist views will cause serious strife in a group/society when some members are on the receiving end of that racism, and others aren't.

These 'tolerant' people are intolerant of what they perceive as first amendment violations, because they see that if they let those violations go, then people will just perform more and greater ones.

Judeo-Christian views (aka Intolerance)

I think you'd find an awful lot of people - Jewish and Christian - that would find your statement to be highly insulting. Being Christian isn't necessarily being intolerant - but the way you practice it is.

Besides, wasn't Jesus the prime example of a tolerant person? He spent so much time helping out the poor, the sick, and others on the fringes of society, the same people that were ignored by society at the time, and that today many of his "followers" still ignore.

What's wrong with being intolerant?

Ask those Christians who went into Afghanistan during the Taliban days what's so wrong with that. Ask those killed as witches during the Inquisition and the witch hunts. Ask all those people lynched during the civil rights era.

If the Bible really is true, and there are followers of the Bible, shouldn't they be teaching what it says?

You mean there are all these churches in America, so many different denominations, and none of them teach the Bible? What, is there a law against that?

There are no shortages of places to learn about the Bible, and there are no shortages of people wanting to do the teaching. So what's the problem here?

A theologian, Martin Marty, once said, "The role of unbelievers is to ensure religions are benign." I'm one of those unbelievers, and I have no problems with people believing in the religion of their choice. Believe whatever you want, worship however and however often you want. Just remember that your beliefs do not have any priority over my rights. Pray at school, pray at work, heck, get a whole group and go to the public park and have everyone pray as a whole group. Just don't ask the government to give your views special status, don't ask the schools to give the beliefs in your books special treatment, and don't ask for something to be illegal just because your book says it's wrong.

What's wrong with intolerance? If I am willing to allow someone else their views and lifestyle, but they're not willing to allow me mine, why should I be penalized?

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

glh (14273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6558205)


Besides, wasn't Jesus the prime example of a tolerant person? He spent so much time helping out the poor, the sick, and others on the fringes of society, the same people that were ignored by society at the time, and that today many of his "followers" still ignore.


Jesus spent time with poor, sick, etc., but I don't think that's a sign of being tolerant. Loving and merciful, yes. Tolerant.. no. Those people were the ones who were most receptive and most willing to listen. The ones who weren't (such as the Pharisees, Saducees, which were basically the rich and educated people in society) were very intolerant of His teachings. In fact, they are the ones who plotted to kill Him. Jesus often preached at them and about their hypocrisy, even calling them "broods of vipers". He also walked around telling people to "repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". I'm sure he did it in such a way that it wasn't too offensive... but maybe at that time, things like that weren't taken as offensively as they would be today.

I dare say that most people in America are so concerned with their own self-rights that they would be completely offended if Jesus were walking around today and trying to get His message out. The problem is, to be a good Christian, it means you HAVE to be intolerant, at least in the way that our culture defines intolerant. See for ref. Matt 28:18-20, this was Jesus "great commission" to His disciples before he left earth. In other words, Christians are supposed to go around telling others the message of Christ. One of the biggest things that happens to a person after becoming a Christian is that he/she wants to teach others about his/her new life in Christ. Christians are also supposed to take a stand for what we believe in... if something is being done that is against what the Bible says is wrong (such as murder, adultrey, etc.) we have a right to speak against it. However, that will likely be interpreted as intolerance, especially in our postmodern culture.

Many churches today don't even preach the message of Jesus any more. They simply preach pithy sayings and readers-digest sermons. Go back 100 years and read some sermons from Billy Sunday. They are a lot different than the ones that many people preach today.

I'm not advocating crusade / Taliban style evangelism by any means. Killing people was never what the Bible instructed people to do... In addition, the Church has to find a way to get the message out in a culturally sensitive way but without comprimising the message itself. I have frustration because I see a lot of churches that do comprimise the message. The Bible talks about a specific church in the last days (in the book of revelation). I think it very much categorizes the church today. Rev. 3:14-20 describes a church where Jesus is actually on the outside knocking because He is no longer the center of it. The people in the churches have too much and are so concerned with themsleves (v17), are busy doing ministry, programs, etc.

Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent.. The original thread was talking about "tolerating intolerance".
To claim someone doesn't really believe in "Tolerance" unless they tolerate everything is disingenuous - to go to that extreme, obviously you'd have to tolerate someone raping and killing your family and friends without complaining.

At what point do you draw the line of what is intolerant? There are obviously many ways to interpret intolerance. Is trying to convert someone (merely by speaking, not evil methods) intolerant? My issue is that it seems like the amount of what is considered intolerant is getting higher and higher. Anyone can say "That offends me! There goes my freedom of speech! It's time to Sue! I HAVE rights!" and now all the sudden it is intolerant, and there is a court order. It's just a slippery slope... This doesn't even apply just to a particular group.

Pray at school, pray at work, heck, get a whole group and go to the public park and have everyone pray as a whole group. Just don't ask the government to give your views special status, don't ask the schools to give the beliefs in your books special treatment, and don't ask for something to be illegal just because your book says it's wrong

There are plenty of schools that ban prayer. Same at work. The last place I worked it was frowned upon to pray in public places. As far as getting special treatment.. I don't expect anyone to give special treatment, I just don't want to see the ability to do those things taken away because it offends others. Someone is always going to be offended. It sounds like we are definitely looking at this from different perspectives. You're seeing it from the end where Christian activists are lobbying for rights. I'm seeing it from the other angle, where anti-Christian activists (ACLU) are seeking to take away rights. In my perspective, there seems to be more of the latter than the former.

What's wrong with intolerance? If I am willing to allow someone else their views and lifestyle, but they're not willing to allow me mine, why should I be penalized?

It depends on how you define "they're not willing to allow me mine". That definition keeps getting broader and broader, and that is my concern. For example, I believe it is now illegal to read a passage in Romans that condemns homosexuality in Canada. However, as a Christian I'm supposed to talk about how Sin is contrary to God and homosexuality is wrong according to God. So because my view is intolerant of new cultural norms, it is now inappropriate. What is the harm in preaching against sin in a Church? Do you see my point? The "intolerant views" of Christianity are becoming more and more intolerable by others, and seem to be increasingly targeted.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6559250)

Anyone can say "That offends me! There goes my freedom of speech! It's time to Sue! I HAVE rights!"

Yes, anyone can say that. That doesn't mean they know what they're saying. There is no right to not be offended - take a gay pride parade for example. There are almost always anti-gay protestors around them with their signs celebrating AIDS and such. They offend people in the parade - but nobody tells them they can't express their opinion. And the existence of the parade offends the people protesting. Neither one has the right to do anything about the other.

There are plenty of schools that ban prayer.

Give me one example. I don't mean schools that ban teachers leading prayers, or court rulings against prayer at official school events like graduation. I mean one example of a student taking the time to pray, say, before a class, or before the school day, and getting in trouble for it.

I've never heard of such an event. Every controversy around a school and prayer that I'm aware of involves attempts to, say, have an organized prayer at a school activity, which sends the message that the school (which is a government entity) supports a certain religious viewpoint.

I'm seeing it from the other angle, where anti-Christian activists (ACLU) are seeking to take away rights. In my perspective, there seems to be more of the latter than the former.

I call bullshit. The ACLU has no religious viewpoint - they protect the first amendment as strictly as they can, and will stand up for any cause. A Christian who has their first amendment freedoms trampled on will be treated just the same as any other person.

Give me examples of how your rights to be religious are being taken away.

However, as a Christian I'm supposed to talk about how Sin is contrary to God and homosexuality is wrong according to God. So because my view is intolerant of new cultural norms, it is now inappropriate.

Nobody's telling you that you can't talk about sin and that you feel homosexuality is wrong. (OK, perhaps some people might try and tell you that, but it has no legal weight) But that doesn't mean that other people have to agree with you. Culture and norms change over time. There are people that preach against non-whites, and at one point that was accepted in the culture. Now it's not. It happens.

The right to voice an opinion/viewpoint doesn't come with the right to have other people agree.

Back to the original story - if the park had plaques with quotes from, say, the Qur'an, or the Mahabarata, or some other religion's holy book, would you find them acceptable?

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

glh (14273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6559571)

Here is one example where student led prayer was banned at a football game in Texas [freedomforum.org] . Sure, others were at the football game that probably didn't believe that way... but on the same token, how is that any worse than if I witness a gay rights parade or someone kissing in public? I think the main point of difference is that it was allowed in an organized event at a state institution. Now that gets into the slippery slope of of "separation of church and state".

Nobody's telling you that you can't talk about sin and that you feel homosexuality is wrong. (OK, perhaps some people might try and tell you that, but it has no legal weight)

As an American, that's true (at least as far as I know there are no laws against it yet) but I'm sure the day will come.

There are people that preach against non-whites, and at one point that was accepted in the culture. Now it's not. It happens.

Preaching against non-whites is not the same as preaching against homosexuality. The Bible never said anything about white supremacy or slavery being a good thing. Just because people preached about it doesn't make it right...

Back to the original story - if the park had plaques with quotes from, say, the Qur'an, or the Mahabarata, or some other religion's holy book, would you find them acceptable?

If I lived in Turkey, or some middle eastern place I'd definitely be more comfortable with a quote from the Qur'an. Since America was founded on Christian principles and by many Christian men, I'd say it would seem a little odd to see something from another religion's holy book on such a great American landmark (again, going back to culture).

While I don't see a problem with others having different beliefs, as a Christian I believe that they are wrong and will try to convince them otherwise. But ultimately, it's not up to me and I can't control what they believe... but if something is wrong, has the ability to affect my family, and I don't agree with it, of course I'm going to stand up for what I beleive in.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6563365)

not trying to pick a fight, but....
if the park had ... quotes

If I lived in Turkey.... Since America was founded on Christian principles and by many Christian men, I'd say it would seem a little odd to see something from another religion's holy book on such a great American landmark (again, going back to culture).

It seems to me that you're transposing your values onto other people, which is kind of what this discussion has become. I don't think it would be odd at all to see other religious quotations. Or even secular quotations. I'm not a Christian, so that might make sense as to why I think that. The bible wasn't written in America, so I'm not clear why, other than your assertion that America was founded on Christian principles (I don't have enough time to affirm or refute this. I've heard it before, but don't necessarily believe it myself), the Christian bible would have more bearing or significance to the Grand Canyon than any other religious text. It would seem to me that perhaps excerpts from legends from the Chemehuevi, Mohave, Hopi or Navajo would be most appropriate.

Re:Tolerate anything but Interolerance (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6573384)

Here is one example where student led prayer was banned at a football game in Texas . Sure, others were at the football game that probably didn't believe that way... but on the same token, how is that any worse than if I witness a gay rights parade or someone kissing in public? I think the main point of difference is that it was allowed in an organized event at a state institution. Now that gets into the slippery slope of "separation of church and state".


The issue at the football games wasn't that they were praying in a group. It was that the school facilitated the election of a single person to lead the prayers, and that the prayer was given support by the school. IIRC, the elected student went to the booth at the stadium, and said the prayer over the intercom. This definitely starts to fall into the area of being unclear if the school was endorsing that religious view or not. They restricted who was allowed to express their religious views to one person, and that one person did not have to represent the viewpoint of the entire student body. Heck, it was quite possible that 50% of the students, minus one person, felt that it was nothing like what they believed, yet the school still treated it as the view of everyone.

Find me a case where a student or group of students were, on their own, without school support, praying on their own, and forced to stop. I've never seen such a case - every issue has involved some sort of "special treatment" for those praying.

Nobody's telling you that you can't talk about sin and that you feel homosexuality is wrong. (OK, perhaps some people might try and tell you that, but it has no legal weight)

As an American, that's true (at least as far as I know there are no laws against it yet) but I'm sure the day will come.


If there is ever a day when you are legally prevented from expressing your view that homosexuality is wrong, then I and many others - including the ACLU - will fight for your rights to make that statement. If that day ever comes, it will because people no longer value the right to express their opinion, and this country will have abandoned it's core values.

Of course, with people in the US today seeming so willing to tell their elected officials "here, here, you can have my rights, just protect me from those evil terrorists you make sure to mention every day", I guess that day could come - but remember any time speech is made illegal, it's people on both fringes, conservative and progressive, that suffer, and you can't fight for your speech without allowing people on the other end of the spectrum to get theirs also.

The Bible never said anything about white supremacy or slavery being a good thing. Just because people preached about it doesn't make it right...

They sure used Bible quotes to back up their racist viewpoints. It doesn't mean that the Bible actually said/meant that, but it says a lot about how much interpretation can be done to the Bible to back up someone's opinions.

Since America was founded on Christian principles and by many Christian men,

Bzzt. First, a large percentage of the founders of the USA were Deists. Not Christian. Many similar views, but a big difference in the fact that Deists do not believe in the divinity of Jesus.

Second, around 200 years ago, the US signed the Treaty of Tripoli. This treaty, which was signed by the US Congress and the President, did happen to state that the USA was not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. Given that was only a couple decades after the founding of the USA, I'd think our government officials at that time would have a much better sense of whether the US was founded on Christianity or not.

You might also want to note that they intentionally left any mention of God or any deity out of the constitution in it's entirety.
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