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I feel stupid right now. I don't quite understand what Hobby Lobby is doing..? Are they not allowing their employees to buy certain kinds of birth control? Or what? I'm sorry, I'm just confused xd.png

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I feel stupid right now. I don't quite understand what Hobby Lobby is doing..? Are they not allowing their employees to buy certain kinds of birth control? Or what? I'm sorry, I'm just confused xd.png

Sparkle, this is what they are doing:

 

HB is owned/run by a family with practicing religious beliefs, and they view abortion as murder, which goes against those beliefs. Their company does not, in any way stop their employees from buying or using birth control. What happened is that they do not have to cover birth control that destroys the zygote formed after conception (like the morning-after pill), which they view as murder.

The do cover all other types of birth control.

So, they are not stopping anyone from using ANY birth control at all, no matter the type. Their healthcare plan just does not cover abortive birth control drugs. That's all.

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I'm really not sure what the first part of your post has to do with anything, so I'll start with this. I realize that. I think the law is stupid and inane and coercive and illogical. The fact that something is the law doesn't change its nature of being stupid.

 

For the first part, is the nanny being prevented from finding shelter elsewhere if there was no eviction process? No, but it’s disingenuous. Same here. Conservatives keep saying there’s cheap BC at the store, or they cover other contraceptives in the plan, but the options are not the same as the effective IUD, which has high upfront costs that turn many women away from it.

 

What was illogical about the law? They could have easily argued the Commerce Clause applies to ACA, but Roberts decided to steer to Congress’s ability to tax. Scalia himself maintained that the federal ban on marijuana is constitutional under the Commerce Clause even in states that approved its medicinal use, so why would progressives miss the opportunity to expand on what the conservative justices have already utilized when it was convenient for them? Now, I think the employer-based system is flawed, but there was little chance of changing this.

 

But at the least, if one believes that life begins at conception, thinks like plan B and IUDs cause post-conception termination, which would be the ending of a life.

 

They don’t. Here’s a pdf on Plan B from the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO). Ella apparently doesn’t have that problem either.

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/..._March_2012.pdf

 

The copper IUD is the only one I’ve seen that possibly prevents implantation, but no one uses it as emergency contraceptive, so the risk would be negligible in comparison to the unplanned pregnancies it could prevent.

 

I'm acting as if business managers should be able to choose what healthcare plans they want to offer as part of their incentives package and shouldn't be coerced into buying anything, much less things they morally object to.

 

They’re already “coerced” in plenty of ways e.g. minimum wage, regulations on pollutants, hiring, etc. In this case, there is a compelling government interest to guarantee those contraceptive options, and I don’t see how the company owners’ “burden” is much different than someone paying taxes and having it allocated in stuff they don’t agree. No one would go, “Woe is me, I’m so responsible for this”.

 

I'm also acting like the act of not buying something is fundamentally different than the act of preventing someone from getting that same thing. To say Hobby Lobby is "preventing" or "keeping" their employees from accessing anything is an outright lie.

 

The results are what matters. If there’s no minimum wage, for example, it doesn’t “prevent” people from getting a higher paying job, but we know the minimum wage helps the poorest significantly, and reduces the need for government programs (which end up costing money for support staff).

 

 

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For the first part, is the nanny being prevented from finding shelter elsewhere if there was no eviction process? No, but it’s disingenuous. Same here. Conservatives keep saying there’s cheap BC at the store, or they cover other contraceptives in the plan, but the options are not the same as the effective IUD, which has high upfront costs that turn many women away from it.

 

What was illogical about the law? They could have easily argued the Commerce Clause applies to ACA, but Roberts decided to steer to Congress’s ability to tax. Scalia himself maintained that the federal ban on marijuana is constitutional under the Commerce Clause even in states that approved its medicinal use, so why would progressives miss the opportunity to expand on what the conservative justices have already utilized when it was convenient for them? Now, I think the employer-based system is flawed, but there was little chance of changing this.

Still not really sure what analogy you're trying to draw. It seems a bit weak, in either case.

 

Making economic transactions coerced rather than voluntary is absurd. They could have argued it under current SCOTUS precedent, yes, but current precedent regarding the commerce clause is laughable. It's been butchered and censorkip.gif***ized to the point that it means nothing close to what it was originally intended to regulate, which was COMMERCE (i.e. shipping and sales) across state lines. The idea that something could be regulated under the commerce clause just because it could be done in several different states would have been laughable to the framers.

 

They don’t. Here’s a pdf on Plan B from the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO). Ella apparently doesn’t have that problem either.

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/..._March_2012.pdf

 

The copper IUD is the only one I’ve seen that possibly prevents implantation, but no one uses it as emergency contraceptive, so the risk would be negligible in comparison to the unplanned pregnancies it could prevent.

I don't know enough about the medical science to argue this one way or the other, but that is a point of debate, is it not? If it weren't, there would be no reason for people to be opposed to plan b any more than they are opposed to other forms of BC.

 

They’re already “coerced” in plenty of ways e.g. minimum wage, regulations on pollutants, hiring, etc. In this case, there is a compelling government interest to guarantee those contraceptive options, and I don’t see how the company owners’ “burden” is much different than someone paying taxes and having it allocated in stuff they don’t agree. No one would go, “Woe is me, I’m so responsible for this”.

I think minimum wage is ridiculous and harmful to the economy. I believe there are better ways to deal with environmental issues than the ways we are currently handling them, although pollutants are different than wage laws and healthcare laws (it's not "coercive" in the same sense to punish someone for actual harm). What compelling gov't interest is there to guarantee free access to healthcare?? How do you even define a "compelling government interest"? The Supreme Court never did, but they still use it as a legal test. Funny how that works.

 

The government taking my money by force and using it for bad things is not the same thing as the government forcing me to use the money in my possession for bad things.

 

The results are what matters.  If there’s no minimum wage, for example, it doesn’t “prevent” people from getting a higher paying job, but we know the minimum wage helps the poorest significantly, and reduces the need for government programs (which end up costing money for support staff).

I would beg to differ about whether or not we "know" anything of the sort, but that's a discussion fit for another discussion board.

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The government taking my money by force and using it for bad things is not the same thing as the government forcing me to use the money in my possession for bad things.

I hope you're not trying to imply that BC (the kinds Hobby Lobby doesn't support) is "bad", because it's coming off that way.

 

I guess we can't really say anything is "good" or "bad" a majority (or even all) of the time. And actually, for that very reason of their religious views saying it's "bad" is part of what I have a problem with.

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I guess we can't really say anything is "good" or "bad" a majority (or even all) of the time. And actually, for that very reason of their religious views saying it's "bad" is part of what I have a problem with.

 

Which is why deeming the decision to cover or not to cover certain birth control drugs ultimately depends on what you believe as good or bad, a.k.a. perception and opinion. Which is what it boils down to here. It's not black and white, for any side. What you think is correct is wrong for someone else, and vice versa. So there's no definite answer here.

But an answer had to come. And you know what happens when someone gives a definite answer to a question that has no definite answer? People complain and are not satisfied. Which is what happened.

 

It will boil over eventually.

Edited by Daxillionyx

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I know that. But in this case I don't think the decision should have been influenced by religion, and especially because they alright support various kinds of BC. That's probably mostly impossible, though.

 

I just think it would have helped even more people if they did support it, especially since I think both IUDs and Plan B pills are fairly expensive.

Edited by edwardelricfreak

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This is a tough argument, about selective inclusion of birth control types in health care benefits.

 

If you (an employer) believe preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is murder, why should you (an employer) have to help pay (include in health care benefits) for others to do it?

Cops carry guns which may be used to kill criminals. If you (citizen) believe murder is a sin, why should you (citizen) be force to pay (taxes) to cover it?

In the first case, there is a burden to society associated with unwanted pregnancy, arguably associated decades later with increased crime rates.

In the second case, there is a danger to society which needs to be minimized.

 

I would prefer to see people more heavily held accountable for what happens with guns they own or sold to others, before fighting health care coverage for any form of birth control. It seems like more lives would be saved, especially since I am not convinced that life starts at conception. Since I do not believe IUD or plan B to be murder, I think it should be covered.

 

By limiting coverage for birth control, you are essentially telling lower class people that they have fewer rights than those with money. Just curious, what are the 16 types of birth control that Hobby Lobby actually covers? How effective are they, and how do they measure up in terms of convenience/compliance of use as directed? Does anyone have a chart to compare those with the ones that Hobby Lobby does not have to support now?

 

For those who do not support minimum wage in this country, I wish you and your families could experience what truly living at minimum wage currently affords you. No one struggling to make ends meet at that income level would agree with you.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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Still not really sure what analogy you're trying to draw. It seems a bit weak, in either case.

 

You keep insisting that no one should see a problem because no one is “preventing” them from something, but there are plenty of examples where there are protections at the expense of others. Because many times, it’s seen as more beneficial. I’m using these examples (i.e. tenant protections, minimum wage, hiring, etc.) as rebuttals to your analogies about the boss not paying you out of work or whatever. You seem to be saying, “No one is mandating my boss pay me a vacation for not having the money due to not coming to work always (i.e. he never prevented me from going on a vacation), so obviously there was nothing wrong with the Hobby Lobby ruling”. Do you disagree with everything that’s similar to Hobby Lobby? Sounds like an Ayn Rand fantasy.

 

Making economic transactions coerced rather than voluntary is absurd. They could have argued it under current SCOTUS precedent, yes, but current precedent regarding the commerce clause is laughable. It's been butchered and censorkip.gif***ized to the point that it means nothing close to what it was originally intended to regulate, which was COMMERCE (i.e. shipping and sales) across state lines. The idea that something could be regulated under the commerce clause just because it could be done in several different states would have been laughable to the framers.

 

Obamacare is basically a klutzy way of simulating single payer system. Instead of collecting enough revenue to pay for it, it requires that those who can afford it buy the insurance directly and subsidizes those who can’t. In the end, the result is similar to the government collecting and providing full coverage. I don’t see the SC striking down Medicare at any point, and a SC ruling rolling back all of the case law would set back many and benefit a few. I think Ike said it best.

 

user posted image

 

I don't know enough about the medical science to argue this one way or the other, but that is a point of debate, is it not? If it weren't, there would be no reason for people to be opposed to plan b any more than they are opposed to other forms of BC.

 

They would still oppose it. Republicans hate the idea of easy access to birth control even though they know women have the option to get an abortion if they do get pregnant. People commonly don’t admit to facts, so it isn’t surprising.

 

The medical establishment disagrees with them. Plan B works by preventing/delaying ovulation.

 

although pollutants are different than wage laws and healthcare laws (it's not "coercive" in the same sense to punish someone for actual harm).

 

How is someone dying prematurely from fossil fuel plants different than the issues that result from unintended pregnancies? And it would be worse under your ideal government because you don’t agree with Roe v. Wade.

 

What compelling gov't interest is there to guarantee free access to healthcare?? How do you even define a "compelling government interest"? The Supreme Court never did, but they still use it as a legal test. Funny how that works.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-free-bir...ewer-abortions/

 

“WASHINGTON Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concluded Thursday. The findings were eagerly anticipated and come as a bitterly contested Obama administration policy is poised to offer similar coverage.

The project tracked more than 9,000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. They were given their choice of a range of contraceptive methods at no cost — from birth control pills to goof-proof options like the IUD or a matchstick-sized implant.

When price wasn't an issue, women flocked to the most effective contraceptives — the implanted options, which typically cost hundreds of dollars up-front to insert. These women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies as a result, reported Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University in St. Louis in a study published Thursday. […[“

 

The government taking my money by force and using it for bad things is not the same thing as the government forcing me to use the money in my possession for bad things.

 

First of all, why should the Green family trump all of their employees? Had the focus been the First Amendment instead of a statutory case, you can easily see this running up against the Establishment Clause.

 

Hobby Lobby’s “payment” is just a component of their employees’ total compensation package, which changes with supply and demand. And boohoo, the Green family net worth is over $5 billion from all of the cheap labor in China.

 

By the way, conservatives hate tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood even when it’s not allocated to abortions (by law, it can’t). They argue that it goes into a pool of money, and then inevitably winds up paying for an abortion at some point.

 

I would beg to differ about whether or not we "know" anything of the sort, but that's a discussion fit for another discussion board.

 

We’ll take it to the capitalism thread then. ; )

 

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I feel people resort to religion as a need for absolutism, which I suppose I understand, because a fear of the unknown is very daunting. That being said, I think it's entirely natural to fear it, because we can observe that in other species; ants don't run from us because they don't want to die. It's unlikely that ants can even grasp the concept of death. They run from us because it's wired in them to escape fear.

 

Many people fear death, and I suppose religion is a way for them to escape that. I, personally, am perfectly comfortable in knowing that when I die, I'll likely never return. Of course it's not a reassuring thought, but why in the world would I worry about what happens when I die when I have so much to do here on this Earth that I know to be true?

 

I'm not sure how I feel about others being religious. Of course I don't think that I, nor anyone else, has the right to silence that, but that being said, I feel that society suffers on a whole from religious ideals infiltrating their way into our social interaction/government. When it starts to affect how other people live their lives, or how you treat or perceive other people, it becomes dangerous. I don't want someone basing their perceptions of life and decisions and votes and emotions on an old book that's been translated many times that it itself cannot even be considered accurate, empirical evidence.

 

I think everyone has their own idea of what is true. I will not rebuke that point. However, I feel that objectivity should exist if we are to be a functional society, and that objectivity MUST be based on tangible proof.

 

tldr; I'm an atheist

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For me, religion was foisted on me growing up. I was raised SDA (Seventh-Day Adventist), which tends to be more restrictive than other religions under the Christianity umbrella - think the abidance and restrictions of the Old Testament like Judaism, along with the belief in Jesus as the son of god in the New Testament.

 

Even being raised in it, I never 'felt the holy spirit', as most claimed to. I never felt comfortable with persistent 'god speak' - 'Praise god!' 'God is responsible for...' etc. and so on. I felt like an outsider, because my interests never really jived with the doctrine., and I found many int he church to be two-faced - nice to you to your face, but god only knows what they're saying when you aren't there.

 

Nowadays, I don't believe in anything, and I don't really care to figure it out anytime soon. I feel that religion played a huge role in making me ashamed of my body, and afraid of sexuality as a whole. The idea that the human body, and by extension, a natural human function (sex) is sinful and dirty and shameful, and it makes me angry that religion instilled some judgmental BS in my brain that i sometimes have a hard time shedding.

 

It's because of this that I feel that religion, by and large, is nothing more than indoctrination, used to control the sheep - er, I mean flock, and give them a sense of superiority above the perceived sinners. I cringe especially when I hear of children taking vows, being baptized, pledging themselves to a religion that I feel that at their young age they can't possibly understand fully, nor what that pledge entails.

 

That's not to say that There aren't good and decent Christians out there, but far too many fail to even try to act like the avatar of their religion, going so far as to pass judgment on other people despite their 'good book' telling them to not do so. Hypocrisy at its finest.

 

If someone takes comfort in religion, that's fine. But keep it to yourself, and don't foist your standards on everyone else, which also means stop trying to create legislation that people not of your creed are forced to follow and worse, that deprives people of their rights.

 

tl;dr - Agnostic here. Might be something bigger out there, but if there is, I'd prefer it not be the Christian god. He or she is a sadistic mofo, if they exist.

Edited by Omega Entity

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For me, religion was foisted on me growing up. I was raised SDA (Seventh-Day Adventist), which tends to be more restrictive than other religions under the Christianity umbrella - think the abidance and restrictions of the Old Testament like Judaism, along with the belief in Jesus as the son of god in the New Testament.

 

Even being raised in it, I never 'felt the holy spirit', as most claimed to. I never felt comfortable with persistent 'god speak' - 'Praise god!' 'God is responsible for...' etc. and so on. I felt like an outsider, because my interests never really jived with the doctrine., and I found many int he church to be two-faced - nice to you to your face, but god only knows what they're saying when you aren't there.

 

Nowadays, I don't believe in anything, and I don't really care to figure it out anytime soon.

I feel awful when I hear how people have turned away from God because of how they were treated by those professing themselves faithful.

 

I believe that to be healthy (in a holistic, spiritual sense), we each need to develop our relationship with our Creator. However, we are all very unique individuals, so those relationships may manifest in very different ways from person to person.

 

Those who "get high on God" usually do not understand why others cannot and do not recognize when they are hurting others. I remember one girl getting extremely dejected on hearing another praising God for good marks on a quiz after not studying, when she had both studied and prayed yet done less well. Was she somehow less beloved? (No.) How is she to believe God loves all equally when she sees such inconsistent treatment?

 

I feel that religion played a huge role in making me ashamed of my body, and afraid of sexuality as a whole. The idea that the human body, and by extension, a natural human function (sex) is sinful and dirty and shameful, and it makes me angry that religion instilled some judgmental BS in my brain that i sometimes have a hard time shedding.

This is the kind of thing that makes me a firm believer in sex education. To my mind, God created sex as a gift for the newlyweds, a beautiful thing. It gets corrupted by the choices people make to abuse it. The best prevention for that is true awareness.

 

It's because of this that I feel that religion, by and large, is nothing more than indoctrination, used to control the sheep - er, I mean flock, and give them a sense of superiority above the perceived sinners. I cringe especially when I hear of children taking vows, being baptized, pledging themselves to a religion that I feel that at their young age they can't possibly understand fully, nor what that pledge entails.

Religion is a collection of people who profess the same faith. With nearly any group, there seems to be pride in the division of "in" versus "out". Jesus taught inclusion, not exclusion; it is the failings of humans making poor choices that drives other attitudes.

 

As for child baptism, in most churches it is a commitment of the parents & congregation to teach the child about God, not the child making the commitment. For older children/young adults, the assumption is they are willing to try as best they understand it. Even adults struggle with faith, whether they show it or not. New experiences and learning new perspectives definitely will change how someone thinks about their faith.

 

I attend a Methodist church, but I've said before that I'm a lousy Methodist, because I refuse to put the organization ahead of my faith. If I believe the church is going against what Jesus taught, first I will try to work out the issue with church leadership, but ultimately it is God to whom I am accountable. I will not put the bureaucracy first, and I do not think anyone else should either. Those who insist people should, make me wonder in what they truly believe.

 

That's not to say that There aren't good and decent Christians out there, but far too many fail to even try to act like the avatar of their religion, going so far as to pass judgment on other people despite their 'good book' telling them to not do so. Hypocrisy at its finest.

 

If someone takes comfort in religion, that's fine. But keep it to yourself, and don't foist your standards on everyone else, which also means stop trying to create legislation that people not of your creed are forced to follow and worse, that deprives people of their rights.

 

tl;dr - Agnostic here. Might be something bigger out there, but if there is, I'd prefer it not be the Christian god. He or she is a sadistic mofo, if they exist.

Why does it always seem like hypocrites have the loudest voices? *sigh*

 

I don't think it's realistic to expect folks wanting to share their religion to keep it to themselves, but I do think you are right to ask that they not force it on others. There is a big difference between sharing something you found interesting with a friend, and demanding that total strangers listen up even if they have other priorities; one opens a door, and the other puts up a wall.

 

I am sorry that your experiences with Christianity lead you to believe God is a sadistic mofo. That is nothing like how I have come to see our Creator. I hope you are able to develop in a spiritually healthy way throughout life, whether or not it is in a way with which I can identify.

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I hope you are able to develop in a spiritually healthy way throughout life, whether or not it is in a way with which I can identify.

This is probably the nicest thing I've ever heard from any Christian ever in regards to pepole who stopped for whatever reason.

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Awdz, you never cease to be one of my favorite people! c:

 

That line TCA quoted is pretty much exactly why I am a Unitarian Universalist. That's pretty much what they're all about: a free spiritual search for yourself.

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That line TCA quoted is pretty much exactly why I am a Unitarian Universalist.

I've been looking around for a religion that "fits" me. I was raised as a Lutheran Christian, and have never really agreed with a lot of their teachings. Being a member of the LGBT community and fairly liberal, I never spoke up about my beliefs on the matter and so was unhappy for my childhood and teenage years. Will you explain more to me about the Unitarian Universalist Association, either by PM or this thread? I have googled it, and attained some information, but I'd like to hear it coming from a member of the association.

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Do it by thread, I'm curious too.

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At first I saw this thread and felt fearful of entering, since I assume most of the people on here are either atheist or agnostic and probably will flame me for what I believe in. I didn't even bother to read any of the pages except the most recent one. I really like the things Awdz said, since I too am a Christian and I believe in the things he/she said. I am a Roman Catholic, from the ages of 13-17 I was atheist, but since then have returned to my faith. I cannot express through words why, just that I "felt" it was right to follow Jesus. I did this on my own; nobody tried convincing me to return. I wanted to do this for me. Having nothing to believe in is a very scary place to be. Not that atheists believe in nothing, I believed in myself and myself only, except it turns out the god I made myself out to be was very flawed and did nothing but disappoint me over time. I need a "perfect" being to look up to, to try to be more of, even though all human beings are flawed and all fall short of the glory of Heaven. That is why this world is so messed up - it is people who screw it up, not God, and if he made it all better, what would we have learned? We would have continued to find another way to screw it up all over again, and the process would be neverending. This is the gift of freedom of choice. We choose to make ourselves gods because we want to enjoy life and don't like when others tell us what we are doing is wrong that we would rather sit in our sh*t because it is warm and it is ours. And when we die, no wonder God wouldn't want us in Heaven, we stink! That is what purgatory is for. At first I tried out other churches, but ultimately they all seem to preach the same thing: "Love your neighbor as God has loved you. This sums up the words of the prophets" or some such. So I just chose to make my family's sect my "home church" simply because God gave this family to me for a reason, just as he gives some kids to horrible families for his reasons, reasons unknown to many of us, but I believe everything happens for a reason, and ultimately, everything will be OK. I visit my friends churches who are not Catholic, and wish they would visit mine, but that's fine that they don't. I am rock solid in my faith, no matter how many times I visit sister churches.

 

I do my best not to annoy anyone when I talk about my faith, and I apologize if I ever offend them. I do this, because that's what I would want them to do for me when they talk about their faith, or lack of one. I do not pretend to know everything in the Catechism, and I do not believe in everything my sect says is "right" - in particular, I believe homosexuality is NOT a sin; I think it is perfectly fine - but I do have this burning sense to belong to a community, because that is one of the three things Christians are told to do: Read the Bible, Pray, and Worship with others. I know that when I go to bed at night I pray for the Unbelievers, just as I know when you go to bed at night, you are quite possibly hoping I come to my senses. laugh.gif

 

I won't lie; I'm a crappy debator. If anyone were to pick an argument about something I said, I'd probably have nothing to comment back for it, except for: "Well that's your opinion" and "Isn't it grand to have the same freedom of speech as I do?"

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I've pretty much drifted away from this subject altogether, since it has been my experience that bringing it up anywhere, especially on the internet where people can just hide behind their anonymity and be complete censorkip.gif ing censorkip.gif holes about it, is a very bad idea. However, it's nice to see a pretty much flameless thread discussing it every now and then.

 

Growing up, I was indoctrinated into the Christian cult, told again and again that the Biblical stories are accurate and must be treated as facts. (I know, biblical literalism, censorkip.gif it.)

 

Sure enough, I lived thinking those stories were true. The Flood and Original Sin and what not...

But then, around when my teens started, I think. I'm not sure exactly when, but I think my 13-14th year on this planet, my faith started being swayed by talking with these foreign kids that lived a few blocks down. I always found them very interesting, because their parents were so nice, and we often had lunch at their place. The food was good, and nothing like I've ever had before. They were Muslims, as a matter of fact, and inevitably, during one of their visits, I asked about this icon of the prophet "Muhammad". The thing was obviously intended as a religious symbol, since it looked a lot like the Jesus icons we had in our house in two of our rooms, my bedroom and my parent's room, I think. Mine was directly over my bed.

 

Anywho, we spoke of it, I kept my mouth shut as they told me about their faith, and learned a thing or two. When I got home, I spoke with mum and dad about it, asking them why in the hell are these people "different". Aaaaand that's when my faith first took it up the pooper. My family had no idea I had a Muslim friend, let alone more then just one, and when they found out, they grounded me and told me never to speak to the kids again. Why? They never told me, but I think it's obvious for you all by now.

 

I was pretty steamed at my folks. I really liked my friends and their family, they were very nice and civilised people. I think they were Turkish Immigrants, I'm not sure any more. Some time passed, I gradually started to drift away from Catholicism, mostly because deep down I had some respect for my now very distant best friends' beliefs. That's what had me confused, you see. I didn't know what to believe any more. So my faith was in pretty bad shape. It got even worse for it as the years went by, and I was gradually educated with the foundations of Physics, Biology, History, Chemistry and other subjects I liked in Middle school. By age 16, I'd stopped going to church with my folks, with the excuse that I had to study for an exam, or needed to do something else that was somehow important.

 

It was around that time that another nail in my faith's coffin was hammered in place. I got access to the internet. Ah, the glorious world wide web. A place of not only sight and sound, but of mind.

 

Needless to say, the internet took my faith by the posterior and broke the horsewhip on it. It started small, like downloading this encyclopaedia series that I loved as a child, but could never complete my collection of because I couldn't find every issue of it. Years later, came my Youtube obsession. I got hooked immediately, and naturally, on the topic of the origin of the universe, there were plenty of videos defending either side, both Creation and Naturalism.

 

Well, you can probably guess how it went from there. The vast majority of materials I found defending Creation Theory had next to no citations, and conflicted with each other so much, that looking into them made me feel like the biggest dupe on the face of the earth. I experienced one hell of an existential crisis, and no matter where I looked to reaffirm my theistic convictions, all I ever got were the same old worn out arguments that online anti-theists had handily rebutted again and again and again and again in a variety of ways, with citations and reference materials included in almost every damn video, article and blog.

 

And yet still, at that time I somehow still believed that there was a god of some kind. Sure, Creation was a load of antiquated hoo-haa, but at least there HAD to be some sort of spiritual veil beyond the physical, right? And it was only logical that there was a deity of some sort that not only created, but managed it.

 

Some time later, I grew out of that too. Honestly, I at that point I felt like I was making censorkip.gif up. I knew I didn't buy any of it any more. In my head it was, and still is, clear that these belief systems were used as nothing more then control mechanisms and coping aids for the reality of every human being's inevitable fate of being maggot food, or ashes or however your corpse is dealt with once you kick the bucket. Accepting my inevitable absolute mortality was the last step of leaving my existential crisis and moving on with my life.

 

Well, it was not that long ago that I had a long and serious talk with my folks about this, since they were kind of breathing down my neck about not attending Sunday ceremonies with them after I'd graduated from high school and was working to get enough money to buy a property of my own and finally move out.

 

I was honest with them, told them the reality of my situation, and oddly enough, they were understanding. Or, well. Sort of. "It could have been much much worse" is what describes their reactions, I suppose.

 

So, that's my story. I don't judge people who still believe in their deities, because I know where they're coming from. I've experienced indoctrination myself, and I know how difficult it can be to even consider a different reality, given that most faith systems base themselves not only on positive motivation, but negative too.

 

I know I might rustle some people's jimmies by saying this, but...

Fear tactics, the premise of eternal torture, the terrorization of innocent people's minds in order to prevent them from considering a new reality and force them into submission to anything, be that an individual, or an idea. That is something I simply can not and will not respect. That's why even if this "god" character was real, I would not have any respect for him. For he is a tyrant.

Edited by Brotato

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Republicans hate the idea of easy access to birth control even though they know women have the option to get an abortion if they do get pregnant.

 

By the way, conservatives hate tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood even when it’s not allocated to abortions (by law, it can’t).

I'm a Republican and I believe in easy access to birth control. I not only donate to Planned Parenthood but have worked as a volunteer there.

 

If you have any other misconceptions about who Republicans are and what we do, please feel free to check out the Log Cabin Republicans. That's who we are and what we do.

 

Life would be so much better if people spoke for themselves and gave their own opinions without casting dispersions and misinterpreting others.

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I'm a Republican and I believe in easy access to birth control. I not only donate to Planned Parenthood but have worked as a volunteer there.

 

If you have any other misconceptions about who Republicans are and what we do, please feel free to check out the Log Cabin Republicans. That's who we are and what we do.

Media messages and voting records seem to indicate that the majority of Republicans do think the way Alpha1 said. It is nice to know that such are not the entirety of the party.

 

Life would be so much better if people spoke for themselves and gave their own opinions without casting dispersions and misinterpreting others.

This totally applies to how many attack different religious beliefs, not just political views.

 

Fear tactics, the premise of eternal torture, the terrorization of innocent people's minds in order to prevent them from considering a new reality and force them into submission to anything, be that an individual, or an idea. That is something I simply can not and will not respect.

I do not respect it either. Your experiences with that sounds to me more like people trying to shove their ways onto folks who question them instead of faithfully working through the questions. To my mind, a solid faith thinks through tough challenges and comes out with deeper understanding when done, rather than suppressing wonder and curiosity.

 

I believe that God reaches out to each of us in ways the fit our uniqueness. I recognize that spiritual journeys are traveled along different types of paths, based on what we are equipped to navigate. I do not expect someone who has been mistreated by the church to want to attend Sunday worship any more than I expect someone with a hole in their canoe to keep paddling on the river instead of hiking the forest paths (or looking for a ride at a highway) to get to their destination.

@ ubbydubby: I was raised Lutheran too. I'm surprised the teachings were disagreeable, as I learned that Luther taught folks should study, pray, question, and trust God. I do not recall hearing of Luther's writings going on against LGBT, but I confess I did not closely study what Luther wrote. My heart wants to say that it was humans pushing their own conservative social mores that alienated you; I grew up in a liberal area, and did not come away with the same impression you did.

 

@ purplenewt: I think it is a beautiful thing that you found your faith home. smile.gif

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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I consider myself an atheistic Neopagan, which is just a fancy way of saying I don't believe there is a god and I enjoy the general Pagan/Wiccan/Druid practices. For example, the Winter and Summer Solstices are among my favorite days of the year.

 

I will say this, though. Two of my closest friends are Christian, one of them not associating with a particular denomination and the other being a devout Mormon. While the former isn't as open about religion because it rarely comes up, the Mormon (who was away for two years on his mission and only came back this May) is a lot more outspoken about it.

 

When he was on his mission, he and I kept surprisingly close email contact, which apparently rivaled the contact he kept with his own family. I was going through some extremely hard times back then, mostly having to do with relations to my mom and stepfather, and he was always ready with advice from his personal experience. Towards the end, it was very frequently advice or support with a religious connotation, and the only reason I put up with it at first was because we're friends.

 

He understands that my views are different from his and I understand he isn't trying to convert me, but the advice really helped, and some of our views in pure concept were identical. He knows my skepticism with Christianity comes from being exposed to the absolute hypocrisy is every denomination when I was growing up, and if he'd been brought up differently he'd probably agree with me. Even that level of mutual understanding is incredibly helpful and he remains one of my closest friends. smile.gif

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Advent started today. It's actually supposed to be a season of preparation for the second coming of Christ, after which we get to start the Christian calendar year over with a celebration of Christ's birth back in Bethlehem.

 

I suspect the apocalyptic versions of the second coming of Christ are as off-base as I believe the original idea of the Messiah coming as a military hero for the Jews turned out to be. Debate could be made about Pentecost as the second coming, or about some other spiritual-instead-of-physical version. Perhaps the second coming is for each individual at their death.

 

Whatever the 2nd coming may look like, I do like Advent as a time to think about what suddenly having God more obviously in charge of everything might be like - particularly wondering what that might mean for me and how I might react. Some of the predictions of the rich doing without while the poor finally get satisfaction make me wonder where I stand, given the millions of people in the world with less than I have (I think that simply because I live and work in a peaceful, industrialized country, with no lack of food, clothing, or shelter). No wonder a theme of giving developed for this time of year, eh?

 

Anyway, whatever you celebrate, I wish you a happy holiday season!

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I thought I'd drop in today to mention something somewhat humorous.

A few days ago, a topic changed towards religion during some light chatting during coffee break. I kept my quiet since my co-workers were religious and were discussing something I personally absolutely despise, bible camps, and which ones they should send their children to. I said nothing of my bone to pick with those wretched establishments, but I suppose they must have noticed me suddenly being very quiet.

 

Because I've never talked about religion with them, as a general rule of mine to avoid the topic, they inquired about my faith, or lack there of. Or rather, the conversation lead up from the topic of bible camps, to questioning my beliefs.

 

When I was asked, "Do you believe in god?" I decided for whatever reason to retort with the counter-question a comedian had once posed to sed' hypothetical inquiry. "Which god? Zeus? Odin? Anubis? Allah? Chronos? (and a bunch of other gods I can't recall right now, all except the one of the bible.)".

 

Needless to say, they stopped asking me and the conversation topic was changed without any ill consequence for myself as of yet. In addition to which, the looks on their faces were priceless. PRICELESS!

 

I'm sorry... it was funny and I figured I'd share. I'd have taken a picture but then I'd have gotten scolded by the manager.

 

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