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BS: Blair and God...and Obama

GUEST,Van 06 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Van 06 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM
akenaton 06 Mar 06 - 12:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 06 - 06:36 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Feb 09 - 05:59 AM
wyrdolafr 04 Feb 09 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Mrr 04 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 09 - 02:33 PM
Little Hawk 04 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM
Stringsinger 06 Feb 09 - 04:14 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Feb 09 - 08:03 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 09 - 09:37 PM
Riginslinger 07 Feb 09 - 08:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Feb 09 - 09:45 AM
Riginslinger 07 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM
Joe Offer 08 Feb 09 - 01:02 AM
akenaton 08 Feb 09 - 02:43 AM
Riginslinger 08 Feb 09 - 07:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Feb 09 - 08:23 AM
akenaton 08 Feb 09 - 01:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Feb 09 - 01:34 PM
Stringsinger 08 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Feb 09 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 08 Feb 09 - 10:44 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 09 - 10:51 PM
Joe Offer 09 Feb 09 - 12:26 AM
Riginslinger 09 Feb 09 - 08:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM
Riginslinger 09 Feb 09 - 11:32 AM
Stringsinger 09 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 09 - 12:56 PM
beardedbruce 09 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 09 - 02:21 PM
Riginslinger 10 Feb 09 - 08:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 09 - 08:52 PM
Riginslinger 12 Feb 09 - 01:48 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM

The "God will be my judge" line does have a history of being used by people who wish to imply that fellow mortals aren't fit to pass judgement on them. I don't think that an elected politician can hide behind that view when he is paced in his position by people who at one time judged him fit to run the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM

I meant placed not paced.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 12:51 PM

Quite right Van....Its interesting to see all the people on this forum who banged the drum for Blair subtly change their positions.

Wonder if they will also be judged?

I remember the small group, half of them were GUESTS who warned of this disaster and were shouted down...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:36 PM

not afraid to get in there and fight for what he believes.

He has never risked his skin in his entire life, so far as I have heard. Political risk? Big deal.

Having said which, I can't see where the mileage is in focusing too much attention on the fact that Blair has said he believes in God, which is hardly news.

Obviously if that is sincre it has to imply that he is aware that, even if he gets away with things so far as the public, or his political colleagues, are concerned, that still wouldn't mean he's off the hook. Quite salutary for political leaders to remember that.

I believe Roman generals having a public Triumph (sort of ticker tape parade as a reward for some victory) were supposed to have a bloke sitting in the chariot with them whose job it was to nudge them from time to time and to remind them that some day they too were going to die.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 05:59 AM

Blair and Bush were derided by many here for their faith.
So far, Obama has escaped similar criticism despite quotes like,"I am a devout Christian....Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals."


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 06:18 AM

Keith A of Hertford wrote: "Blair and Bush were derided by many here for their faith.

So far, Obama has escaped similar criticism despite quotes like,"I am a devout Christian....Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals."


I can't speak for anyone else, but the only time a politician's faith is an issue is when that faith informs their policies. I'm not particularly interested in policies shaped by religious belief. What a politician does in private is of no concern to me. If a politician's faith shapes and guides their own life then that's of no concern to me either. When a politician's faith begins to shape and guide other people's lives then I am concerned.

As with the nurse in the other thread, it's possible to have compassion and care about the welfare and lives of other people without it being couched in religious thinking. They don't have to be   entwined. I don't do good deeds as an expression of my own beliefs and I don't understand why other people have a problem separating the two.

Politicians, nurses and everyone else should leave spiritual welfare and religious guidance to priests - it's their job leave them to it. If you want to do their job, then leave the one you're presently doing - whether it's a politician, nurse or a painter and decorator - and become a priest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM

Hey, at least after 9-11 he said it was an affront to people of all faiths *and* people of none - unlike Bush, who said atheists can't be patriots and probably can't be citizens either...


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 02:33 PM

I am always sorely tempted to deride Republicans for their faith...(their faith in the Republican Party, I mean...not their faith in God).

I am similarly tempted to deride capitalists for their faith in the benefits of having an ever-expanding world economy. Now, there's a dangerous form of faith, by God!!! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM

Then there are those who have faith in the "trickle-down" theory of economics....you give the richest in society more money through tax breaks and it trickles down to the rest of the public and everyone's life improves.   LOL! Talk about your mythological concepts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 12:02 PM

Yesterday, Blair gave an address at Obama's "prayer breakfast"
Obama shook his hand and said he was his "good friend."

Don posted above, "Well, that makes it official. Blair has learned to fake sincerity well enough to fool two Catters at least.

Don T. "

Make that 2 catters and one president?


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 04:14 PM

The Prayer Breakfast was instituted by the "Fellowship", a conservative religious organization that has been covered by Jeffery Shurtleff in his book.

The premise is that in their view their Jesus loves the rich and the powerful, not the poor.

Pretty interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 08:03 PM

I'm betting that the only reason Obama says that (and goes to church etc) is that in the US the church and state are not truly separated, so any politician who wishes to survive in politics has to parrot nonsense about religion.

BLiar: in the end we all knew he was yet another nutter. One whose lunatic beliefs should have made him ineligible for public office in any rational world - like the dangerous and somewhat sinister Ruth Kelly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 09:37 PM

Well, Frank, I don't really know how to document who founded the National Prayer Breakfast in 1953 (Obama says it had its roots in the Depression), and I don't really care. Most likely, those people are either dead or nearly so. The fact of the matter is, every President since Eisenhower has attended.

It gives the President an opportunity to speak from a spiritual perspective - and the wise ones do it from a non-ideological spiritual perspective, attempting to bring unity and tolerance amidst the ideological discord in our country.

Click here to see what President Obama said. I think he said it from the heart, and I think what he said it of great value.

Obama says, "The particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us....Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times."

If I honestly seek what is good, why should anyone care what my religious perspective is?

It grieves me to see these "religious" discussions at Mudcat, where so many people I know and respect, speak with such bigotry. If you're not religious, that's fine - but have the common decency to respect your brothers and sisters who do have a spiritual perspective, unless you have hard evidence to prove that their way of looking at things is somehow destructive. The Conventional Wisdom here is that all religious people are blockheaded fundamentalists, and that's simply not true.

-Joe Offer, angrily-


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 08:38 AM

"If you're not religious, that's fine - but have the common decency to respect your brothers and sisters who do have a spiritual perspective,..."


                      But it's hard to stand by while they destroy the planet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 09:45 AM

By "they" you mean people like Christians?
You think "they" are to blame?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM

Not just Christians, all those other addicts who refuse to deal with reality too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:02 AM

Give me a break, Rig -
Just what is it I'm doing to destroy the planet, that nonreligious people don't do? I think you've just done an admirable job of showing the silliness behind the antireligious bigotry that's so much in vogue nowadays.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 02:43 AM

I think we're getting our wires crossed here Joe.
The "religious" views of Blair, Bush and Obama, will I'm sure have little in common with the code that you live by.

I'm an atheist regarding a supreme vengeful God who rules the universe, but I still recognise the need for spirituality in our lives if we are to be complete human beings.
I think you probably have that spirituality Joe, but dont allow it to becme stained by the agenda of "organised religion".....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:12 AM

"Just what is it I'm doing to destroy the planet, that nonreligious people don't do?"

             Say, for instance, you're a practicing Roman Catholic, and follow the Pope's directives on family planning, while the planet is awash with people and resources are dwindling. The Muslim groups seem to be worse in this regard, but the Catholics certainly are destructive.

            Human population growth is the single most preventable environmental hazard in the world today, and the blind continue to think it's fine to "go forth and procreate."

            Then there is the intertwining of business and religion in America particularly--sociologists call it the Protestant Ethic--that encourages people to continue to expand and devour resources, without regard to the carrying capacity of the land.

            The religious wars only help in the sense that some humanity is extinguished, but with modern warfare we create more paraplegiacs than corpses.

            Probably the biggest drawback to religion is the proposition that it prevents people from dealing with reality so that problems cannot be solved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 08:23 AM

The most Catholic of countries, Italy, has a rapidly declining population.
You can not blame religion for the population figures.
The main Christian ethics are forgiveness, turning the other cheek,
love your neighbour, and also your enemy, as yourself, give to the poor,....
Which of these is the most harmful to the world?


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:22 PM

Well..none really Keith, these principles are fine, but do Blair Bush or Obasma really believe in them, do they want to put them into practice or hide behind them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 01:34 PM

...do Blair Bush or Obasma really believe in them...?"

Bush pretty clearly doesn't, with Blair it's pretty questionable. Obama? Let's wait and see... and hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM

Obama has dismissed non-believers. He should dismiss those from Goldman Sachs who are running our monetary policies.

Those who take offense at the criticisms of "faith"
are employing the same dismissal.   

"If you're not religious, that's fine - but have the common decency to respect your brothers and sisters who do have a spiritual perspective,..."

I do respect my brothers and sisters as people but not necessarily what they believe.
There is no "common decency" that needs to be defended here. The "common decency" would entail a reasonable examination of the hypotheses that many religious people espouse and question their sense of justice.

I think the conversation can be civilized without resorting to name-calling but to deny the conversation altogether as some sort of emblem or "respect" is denial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 04:11 PM

Obama has dismissed non-believers.

That's precisely what he hasn't done - "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers."


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:44 PM

I'm surprised at you, Stringsinger. I thought you might be more open-minded than that. I really think I'd like you if I met you in person - and I think you'd like me, despite my religion.

I would venture a guess that the "hypotheses that many religious people espouse" have little effect on your life, or on society in general. I suppose that I, too, would question the "their sense of justice" of many people who call themselves religious - but there are many, many religious people who devote their lives to social justice. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the (Catholic) funeral of an old lady who had worked with Cesar Chavez for years in the fight for rights for farmworkers. She collected food for the hungry every week, and she was arrested in peace demonstrations countless times. And she was married to an ex-priest, and went to Mass every Sunday. The stories I heard about her really moved me.

This woman was passionately religious, and she also had a passionate sense of justice. There have been thousands of people like her in every social justice movement in the last century.

If you wanted to argue religion with her, she would have told you that her religion meant a lot to her, but it was her own business. It you wanted to discuss with her, that would be a different matter.

I think that if we are to survive as a society, we all need to have faith - faith in the essential goodness of our fellow human beings. Cynicism and alienation and condemnation will only lead us to constant conflict. We need to move beyond ideological conflict and find the many things that can unite us.

As for Blair and Obama, I think they're decent, capable people who intend to serve humankind as best they can. I don't know what went wrong with Blair - I didn't like his alliance with Bush and participation in the war in Iraq, but he said and did many things that impressed and inspired me. I don't even think of Bush as an evil person - he just was a misguided failure.

Try tolerance. It's the only thing we have that might be able to heal this world.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:51 PM

Joe-
sanity might help, too.

dick greenhaus


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:26 AM

Well, sanity is a bit of a challenge for me, Dick. I've been hanging around here far too long. My sanity left long ago.

But back to the subject at hand, it seems that so many "antireligious" people want to lump all the religious people together and define them all as mindless fundamentalists. That's just not the case - many "religious" people are as self-critical and philosophical and "freethinking" as their nonreligious counterparts.

If I go into a born-again church, I'm a duck out of water. I feel like I'm in enemy territory and that I have to be careful about every word I say. If I'm with Unitarians or agnostics, I'm very much at ease. If I'm with rigid atheists, then I'm pigeonholed as some sort of mindless religious zombie who takes his orders directly from the Pope.

I think some "freethinkers" need to think a little more freely, and not demonize people so quickly.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:54 AM

Sanity is the subject at hand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM

Fundamentalism comes in all kinds of varieties, including some which are pretty hostile to religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:32 AM

Addiction come in all kinds of varieties, as well, most of which are destructive to soceity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:41 PM

There is no fundamentalist atheist. Fundamentalism requires belief. Atheism is non-belief.

The people who I know that are atheists don't demonize people. But they don't accept
irrational ideas either.

Actually, the atheists I know don't lump all religions together but have studied them more than most who claim to be religious. Many so-called Christians really don't know the bible very well. They have no historical sense of it.

I don't agree that we all have to have "faith". Society can do quite well without it.
"Faith" is never defined very well by anyone anyhow. It is a vague, amorphous concept
which is held out as a religious carrot to control others.

"Hope" might be another proposition, however.

Anyone who doesn't accept a religious premise is generally characterized by religious people as being "close-minded". The assumption that those who don't agree with the dogma have not studied it or been exposed to it. This is false.

Religion is a personal thing as is one's sex life. Our Constitution permits Flat Earth Societies, Moon-as-green-cheese worship, Golden Calves, even an abiding belief in Santa Claus. As Americans we are free to believe whatever we want and to not believe the same.
We also have a right to challenge any belief system that we disagree with as long as the discussion is respectful of people but not necessarily their ideas.

Narrow-mindedness often comes in the form of the defense of religion by religious people. I think people can do good things whether they are religious or not.

The "essential" goodness of people does not have to do with a religious belief system.
Unfortunately, the term "faith" gets in the way of a rational discussion.

Obama's "faith-based initiatives" run counter to the meaning of Separation of Church and State. Although he mentions non-believers in his speeches you can be assured that he doesn't include them in his policies. He has said that "religion belongs in the public sector" which is a way of tearing down the wall of Separation. It doesn't belong in government decisions and can't be supported by people who don't believe it by forcing them to pay taxes for it.

Tolerance is a two-way street. Very few religious people are tolerant of non-believers.
The meaning of tolerance is that we can agree to disagree and state our opinions openly without someone taking offense.

Stringsinger


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:56 PM

"Atheism is non-belief."

No it doesn't. It means believing that there is no God. A very strong and powerful belief for many people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM

Atheism is the belief that there is no god.


Agnosticism is the belief that one does not know if there is a god or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:21 PM

"Agnosticism is non-belief" would be accurate enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:13 AM

Agnostics, it seems to me, are people who really don't believe (if you aren't sure, I don't see you wallowing around in the river hoping to get baptized) but don't what to suffer the vile and vicous insults often hurled at atheist by believers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:52 PM

The distinction is analogous to that between someone who doesn't eat meat (the agnostic), and someone who is a vegetarian (the atheist). For the first it's a dietary preference, for the second it's a belief system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Blair and God...and Obama
From: Riginslinger
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:48 PM

Actually, it seems to me that agnostics are confused by belief systems, and atheists are free of them.


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