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The Faux Faith of Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney

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posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

My signature is on a forum!!! I already said I didnt think it would be appropriate for anything related to school!
I said that since you dont care to answer my question there is no need to carry on with this point. We wont agree, neither of us really have much power to control what the powers that be, who are the higher power in this case, will do. They control the purse strings, the tax exemptions and such, so they control the strings that are attached to them.
And, quite frankly you insults are getting rather tiring.
Get back to me if you chose to answer my question or explain to me why you believe that all those lawmakers who arent trying to restrict divorce down to just adultury dont deserve to have their faith questioned just as much as polosi.
edit on 11-2-2020 by dawnstar because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

I'll be happy to answer your question... when it pertains in any way to the topic.

I can answer the divorce question, and it is the same answer I just got through trying to explain... government is prohibited from interfering in any religion in any way whatsoever! A decree from a church, a temple, a mosque, or whatever is not a statute, and should not necessarily be considered to be a statute. However, if one wishes to exude an aura of piety, one should also adhere to the rest of the requirements.

The hypocrisy is from the lifetime of activity designed to enforce religious intolerance toward the very religion they claim to hold dear. Divorce is one tenet of religion... I am talking about systemic prosecution of anything Christian, a position you have proved in this thread by exposing the Freedom From Religion group.

I have been married for 32 years and have no intention of divorcing. Neither of us have committed adultery. That is my choice. My best friend right down the road has been married and divorced three times. That is his choice. I do not degrade him for his choices in life and he does not degrade me for mine. I would not want a law that required a divorce every x number of years, and I would not support a law that required adultery to get a divorce.

Incidentally, we both claim the label "Christian." I don't have a problem with that either.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

And, yet one of the complaints about polosi was that she didnt support a ban on abortion. Maybe it wasn't you who made it??
And. Your answer will help me make a point relevant to this conversation.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I dont claim the label atheist either, but you keep claiming I am one.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

I don't think that was me, but even if it was that was just one example of her failure to adhere to her religious choice. The abortion issue is quite complex (and not even rooted in religion for me). The pressing issue is her entire history of opposing anything religious. I agree with that insofar as it pertains to laws, but her push has been to attempt to use the basis that "it is just religion" to oppose laws that are not based on religious objection for me and for many others. The abortion debate is a good example of such a proposal... my rejection of abortion is not based on religion. It is based on fairness and equality for all humans, as well as personal experience.

Much more to the point are the issues you raised yourself: legal means being used to stifle any religious freedom of those who simply prefer not to hide their religious leanings. When one has spent a lifetime arguing for and supporting laws that restrict religious freedom, then claim to be pious and pure amidst an outburst of sheer hatefulness, that is the definition of hypocrisy.


I dont claim the label atheist either, but you keep claiming I am one.

I made that assumption once. You corrected me, and I have not made that assumption again. I accept your statement, but I also see your positions. You openly worship anti-Christian organizations that use legal pressure to stifle religious freedom by your own admission. I therefore pointed out, after you demonstrated that you were unable to form informed opinions based on what is and is not religious in nature, that you were blindly following these organizations. That is the definition of faith: absolute assurance that the actions/statements of a greater power are correct and not subject to one's own perspective. My faith in God is absolute acceptance that His will is superior to mine and that my place is to follow Him where He chooses for me to go. Your faith in the Freedom From Religion group is absolute acceptance that their perspective is superior to yours and your place is to support what they say.

It's the same thing.

Again, I do not care what religion you follow. I only care when that religion, any religion, has as one of its basic tenets the suppression of my religious rights. Then we have a problem. That is the exact opposite of "live and let live"... it is more akin to "kill or be killed."

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Okay, you are not gonna answer my question, I'll make my point anyway. I have seen far too many on these forums from the right support the idea of forcing women to use birth control. No consideration is given to them as to their religious views or beliefs. And, as I am sure you know, some religions teach that birth control is sinful...

Where in the bible does it say leaving a signature blank, or avoiding a religiously themed message is sinful? Where does it say that one has to call your class together for a moment of prayer? What churches teach these things??
The bible teaches that you should obey those who have authority over you, does it not? I am not a christian because the Christian's gave me the impression that my husband should be the one who decided if I should even spend time in their church!! Obey those who have authority over you.. unless doing so would be sinful in gods eyes... maybe, I dont know kind of think that last part was put in later...
I could read through that list I posted, which, by the way I picked only because it was the first page i came across that provided me with real examples and some background information of what you may be talking about.. not even sure if i was aware of their existence before then. So much for them being my god!! But, while some of them were more like nit picking in my opinion, many weren't just practicing their religion, it was more like trying to take advantage of a hostage audience to instill your christian values to. And again, there is nothing that I know of that says you have to go out of your way to expose your classroom to your religious views. It isnt infringing on your religious rights any more than a no soliciting sign in a HUD subsidized housing building keeping you from going door knocking is!!



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar


I have seen far too many on these forums from the right support the idea of forcing women to use birth control. No consideration is given to them as to their religious views or beliefs. And, as I am sure you know, some religions teach that birth control is sinful...

A fair point. I, however, oppose that for the same reason I oppose the Freedom From Religion thing: secular law should have no basis in, denial of, or promotion of any religion! My daughter was on birth control from an early age. It just makes sense that if I do not want to see a potentially viable infant's life extinguished without cause, I should take reasonable precautions to ensure that life is not created.

I remember nothing Jesus said about birth control.


Where in the bible does it say leaving a signature blank, or avoiding a religiously themed message is sinful? Where does it say that one has to call your class together for a moment of prayer? What churches teach these things??

Duh... they didn't have email in Jesus' day. And no He didn't say anything about prayer in schools either. The two issues are as much rooted in the Constitution as they are in a particular religion.

We all have the freedom to speak. Period. That does not include the freedom to falsely injure another (slander) nor to intentionally create a panic ("FIRE!" in a crowded theater), but it does certainly include the right to speak our thoughts. This very forum, while not under a Constitutional requirement due to being a private venue, exists to allow freedom of speech with as few restrictions as is practical.

A student relinquishes none of their inherent rights when entering school property. They still have the right to speak. Likewise, no teacher relinquishes their basic Constitutional rights when they enter a classroom. They are prohibited, as a government employee and therefore representative, from teaching religion, but not from expressing their religion. They can have a coffee cup on their desk that proclaims "Jesus is God," have an email signature from the Bible, or have on jewelry shaped like a crucifix. What they CANNOT do is state to the class that any religion is false, teach religious rituals as a part of the curriculum (except in purely historical context), or encourage/discourage religious beliefs in any student. That's the line, and it is not blurry. However, it is ignored on a regular basis when the teacher's actions are considered anti-Christian, as I showed in the link I posted.

A moment of prayer being available is not a heinous requirement for a school that typically would be promoting anti-Christian values throughout the rest of the day. We used to have a morning prayer, led by the teacher, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and so on. No one I know of was "injured" in any way by this (although I understand and accept that teacher-led mandatory prayer is against the Constitution). If a school decides not to have that moment of silence, fine... as long as they at least acknowledge that the students are allowed to have a religious view. They do the opposite today, so I don't see where allowing a moment of prayer, not to any specific deity but to whatever one the student chooses (or none at all), is such a terrible thing.


The bible teaches that you should obey those who have authority over you, does it not? I am not a christian because the Christian's gave me the impression that my husband should be the one who decided if I should even spend time in their church!!

I actually sympathize with that. I recited earlier the statement that "religion is the biggest obstacle to God getting His people into heaven." I cannot count, cannot even remember the number of people I have met in my life who held similar concerns. That's why my church is the woods behind my home. If there's any anger or hatred or prejudice there, it is I who brought it and I can fix it.

But you should understand that for a great many Christians, the church is NOT the "home of Jesus." Jesus needs no home of wood or concrete to reside in. He resides in us; He is a part of us; we are a part of Him. Church is wherever we are. If you stand in my presence, you are likely standing in the presence of Jesus Himself... not that I am Jesus Himself, but Jesus follows me (when I let him; I am not perfect). So when the church as a group does something stupid, it makes no sense to blame it on the individuals; it is simply an aspect of human society that groups of people will go off the rails.

Jesus did speak in the Bible of restricting women's role in church, and He did say that the woman is to serve her husband. However, the context in that is what gets ignored. Jesus was preaching to the Jewish people then, not to the Gentiles. The custom was for women to fulfill subservient roles. The purpose of not allowing women power in the church was to prevent offense to the church members themselves. Our societal customs do not include subservience of women to the degree the Hebrew culture did; therefore the recommendations now have no basis in reality.

If one studies the Biblical teachings, Jesus never condemned women as less than men outside the church. He considered them as precious as the men.

Now, I know that sounds like I am making excuses for those who exclude women as secondary, but really, I'm not. I have little use for that attitude. My response is intended as a reason, not an excuse. A reason need not be exculpatory, and I do not defend that attitude. I only want to explain that while it does exist, a great many Christians do not accept that teaching.


But, while some of them were more like nit picking in my opinion, many weren't just practicing their religion, it was more like trying to take advantage of a hostage audience to instill your christian values to.

And that is a concern! I do not want a teacher instilling religious beliefs in my children either! That is my pervue, and that of whatever church I choose.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where such abuses will happen. When they do, they should be addressed immediately and fairly. That includes both those who would preach Christianity and those who would preach anti-Christianity! As it is, it is only addressed when the offenses promote Christian values. If there is fairness of application, that practice would decrease on both sides; but when there is inequality of application, a requirement becomes less than worthless. "Why shouldn't I be allowed to preach? The other side does it!"

That's not Biblical... it is human nature.

~continued~



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 12:53 PM
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~continued~


And again, there is nothing that I know of that says you have to go out of your way to expose your classroom to your religious views. It isnt infringing on your religious rights any more than a no soliciting sign in a HUD subsidized housing building keeping you from going door knocking is!!

How is posting a "no soliciting" sign infringing on anyone's rights? Freedom of Religion does not include the right to enter someone's home without permission! Permission to approach is generally assumed, but a sign stating otherwise would render that assumption void.

I am discussing public spaces... you have the right to decide who can and cannot enter your home, be it for religious reasons or any other reasons you want. You can decide that people wearing black shoes are not allowed if that is your wish. That is your private property... even in a housing project, that is your home (and the courts have rightly upheld that). I would even go so far as to say that as a tenant, you should not be forced to have a religious symbol on your lawn even if the owner wishes it (subject to the lease) or be forbidden from having any religious symbolism you choose to display (not subject to any lease).

I understand you have had bad experiences with Christianity... and I know you are certainly not alone. Trying to destroy it over those bad experiences will not go well for you, however, because you have only seen the secular side of the religion. There is so much more, and that more is not something that can be taken from those of us who have experienced it.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Actually, I once sold Avon, i am talking about public housing multistory buildings that you have to go through main doors before you even approach the doorstep of anyones homes and they have no soliciting signs on those main doors. You wouldn't be able to go door to door in there passing out religious tracts. Sure, you could go and visit a friend who lives there read the bible together, pray, a priest could go in to visit a sick member of his church.
But, they arent gonna let you just go in and start door knocking. And I doubt if the management and staff are allowed to arrange prayer times, leave messages on the doors expressing their religious views, ect. Why are the doors of a school different than the doors of those buildings.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Actually, no, by what I read, the jesus cup is off limits I think, the jewelry is okay I guess as long as its modest and not flashy to the point where its shouting for all to see.
The signatures, I really think it would depend on what they said, the example I posted I felt was out of line, but others scriptures I wouldn't find objectionable.
But here is a story I ran across while searching for examples of moments of prayer gone wild. Parents have two sons going to the same school. The kids come home and tell them about the moment of prayer the school has every day. Well, the parents objected to it, didnt want their kids to participate, so the kids were sent into the hallway during it. I think that is as much as we know about one of the kids. But the other kid was coming home complaining that the teacher was mean in the morning when she sent him out. Then it grew into the teacher not letting him have recess time, instead she made him sit with her as she explained her religion to her and the apex of this great story is her telling the kid that his mom was just wrong because she didnt know jesus. The kid ended up refusing to go to school. Yes this case went to court, it danged well should have. And I've seen too many like this to think that it's just anti christian hatred! I still stand by my statement. The communication line to god is always open. There isnt a power on earth that can cut it and no one has the right to tell you to pray or not pray or restrict prayer to a set time.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar


And I doubt if the management and staff are allowed to arrange prayer times, leave messages on the doors expressing their religious views, ect. Why are the doors of a school different than the doors of those buildings.

For one thing, those are still private domiciles and private property. Public schools are public property and a governmental entity. The Constitution restricts government and public property, not individuals or private property. Laws enacted under that Constitution restrict individuals and private property.

What I was speaking of was the fact that private property owners and tenants of private property have a right to be free of government involvement in their practice of or dismissal of religion. They do not have the right to be free of individuals exercising either their Freedom of Religion or their Freedom of Speech outside of their homes and property.

Let me try an example. Say I own a tract of property and I decide to build a housing development on it. I am the owner of the property and I have the right to restrict who is allowed to use or even enter that property (with an obvious exception for law enforcement, etc., in performance of their duties). Now, if I rent a home on my property to someone, say you, I have relinquished a part of my right to restriction to you. You can then invite people onto my property, your home, whether I want them there or not, in accordance with the lease. Even in the lease, my rights as owner are secondary to yours as a tenant, as upheld by the courts.

Now let's say I decided instead to lease the land to the city to construct a public school. In that case, since the tenant is a governmental body, it becomes illegal for them to promote a specific religion or to prohibit a specific religion from using the facilities. The school can restrict the use of their facilities for non-students and non-faculty to have religious ceremonies, but that prohibition must be for all religions. Unless they restrict all outside ceremonies, they are in violation of the First Amendment because they are then allowing Atheistic ceremonies. That always causes problems because some of the students or faculty will always be religious and are therefore able to exercise their First Amendment rights.

I also cannot, as landowner, prohibit who uses my property in any way whatsoever. The Constitution applies because the tenant is a government body (the Supreme Court has ruled that the Bill of Rights applies to ALL governments, not just the Federal level). If I own a housing development and include it in the lease that solicitors are not allowed, I can disallow solicitations. If I own a public building, I cannot disallow such in the lease.

It all comes down to the difference between private ownership and public ownership of the property and whether or not the Constitution therefore applies, and what the lease agreement is. I believe government-subsidized properties also restrict landowners from certain actions as well; there again, that is contract law concerning the contract between the landowner and the government.


Actually, no, by what I read, the jesus cup is off limits I think, the jewelry is okay I guess as long as its modest and not flashy to the point where its shouting for all to see.

I am talking about Constitutional requirements, not the arguments of lawyers. A lawyer can argue anything; it does not mean it is the correct interpretation. Many times, these arguments are simply accepted because people do not have the funds to fight the legal battles. That makes the actions of the ACLU even more heinous, IMO, because their stated purpose is to help those who are being wrongly penalized by the laws and cannot afford to hire proper representation.


The signatures, I really think it would depend on what they said, the example I posted I felt was out of line, but others scriptures I wouldn't find objectionable.

That is an issue in itself. Who decides? Some people would say that any Biblical verse is off limits; some would allow all Biblical verses; some might only take offense at the mention of God; others might be fine with God but not with the name of Jesus. No one can be sure what the law is!

If I drive over to my neighbor's house and steal his TV, I know (or at least should!) that I just broke the law. If I am in town and decide I want to shoot someone, I know I just broke the law. If I put something in my pocket in a store because my hands are full, then pay for it when I get to the checkout, I have not broken a law; if I do so and walk out of the store without paying for it, I know I have. The limits are rigidly defined... this is illegal, and that is not.

But when the offense is subjective, I have no idea if I am breaking the law or not! Can I wear this shirt with this Bible verse on it? Can my wife wear her favorite earrings with the "fish"? Can I take my favorite coffee cup in? What about that bookmark with Bible verses on it that I use to mark my lesson plan? Can I read my Bible after class? Can I say "bless you" when a student sneezes? Yes.. no... maybe? It depends on who is there, on what time of day it is, on who might be listening, on what this student thinks, on what that parent thinks... there is no way to fully comply with such a law unless I completely abrogate my First Amendment rights and abandon my deepest beliefs!


Parents have two sons going to the same school. The kids come home and tell them about the moment of prayer the school has every day. Well, the parents objected to it, didnt want their kids to participate, so the kids were sent into the hallway during it. I think that is as much as we know about one of the kids. But the other kid was coming home complaining that the teacher was mean in the morning when she sent him out. Then it grew into the teacher not letting him have recess time, instead she made him sit with her as she explained her religion to her and the apex of this great story is her telling the kid that his mom was just wrong because she didnt know jesus. The kid ended up refusing to go to school. Yes this case went to court, it danged well should have. And I've seen too many like this to think that it's just anti christian hatred!

Based on what you have related, yes, that teacher should be fired. He/she needs to work in a private Christian school if they wish to act that way. Taking any vengeful action against a child for not participating in a religious ritual is prohibited by the Constitution, as well as her statement denigrating the mother's beliefs.

But for every story you can find, I can find overreach. There is anti-Christian hatred, and yes, there is pro-Christian hatred! All I want is a simple yardstick to judge: is the faculty member in question actively promoting or denying a religious belief, outside the normal, reasonable expression of their faith or lack thereof? In your example, yes, they are! In the "bless you" link I posted, yes, they are! In the case of the Los Cruces seal controversy, no, they are not. An email signature? No, they are not. A coffee cup? No, they are not!

~continued~



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 03:45 PM
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~continued~


The communication line to god is always open. There isnt a power on earth that can cut it and no one has the right to tell you to pray or not pray or restrict prayer to a set time.

You are expecting a child being raised with a bare understanding of some Christian rituals to be as adept at the spiritual aspects of the religion as an experienced adult. That is completely unreasonable. When your children were 3 did you expect them to be able to write an essay? When they were 5 were they expected to be able to drive?

That is the lack of understanding you exhibited earlier: the belief that Christianity is ritual and memory rote of Biblical verses. As long as you continue to steadfastly believe that is all there is, you will not be able to understand my position any more than you can tell anything about the people in an area by looking at a picture.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

And, in cases with there is over reach against Christians. There are groups that are interceding just like aclu is. Cases are being brought to the court and hashed out on both sides and I imagine will be for years. So, should i doubt the sincerity of someone's religious claims simply because they support the liberty legal team?
I am just relating to you what I've been reading while we've been discussing this, what seems to be some of the guidelines.. I can, and do judge every instance based on my own judgement of what is fair. As you probably do also. But in reality, we really arent the ones who get to decide, that's is the job of school districts, govt powers, and courts. And, most religions instruct their followers to obey those in authority.
And hud owns properties that are used for assisted rental units. And, they do restrict alot of things... the one my son was living in had signs all over the place letting you know no firearms were allowed on the property. Any property owner who wants to take advantage of the HUD program cant allow smoking in their units... there is always strings attached to govt funds... that includes public funded schools.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

You want to have a prayer time to young kids while you csnt explain to them what it is, how to pray, what to pray..
Wth, I would think that the kids who think prayer is important would have a basic knowledge of how it works and be able to show a little independence as opposed to kids who weren't brought up in religion and haven't a clue who are then set in a situation where they are expected to pray and given no instructions.



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar


And, in cases with there is over reach against Christians. There are groups that are interceding just like aclu is.

When the American Civil Liberties Union is promoting policies that directly prohibit the expression of those civil liberties, something is wrong. There should be no need to have most of these court battles. It accomplishes nothing except to get a bunch of lawyers rich and a bunch of average folks in trouble. Sure, there will always be cases where someone walks a little too close to the line, but today it is practically the norm. The line is so blurry no one knows where it is.

Many of the people in these cases are just like you or me.... ordinary people who never considered that a piece of jewelry or an e-mail signature would land them in a national spotlight. They are not looking for a fight, but organizations like the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion idiots will be happy to bring them one! They're funded from wealthy individuals and exorbitant court awards, while their targets are the people who are just trying to make a living. They cannot spend $10 million on high-power lawyers to defend themselves any more than you or I could! It would take an extremely callous, uncaring person to not feel some sympathy for that situation.


I am just relating to you what I've been reading while we've been discussing this, what seems to be some of the guidelines..

I only have two guidelines: the US Constitution and the Bible. Everything else takes second place... a distant second.

I would guess you've been reading websites. Good. Now consider of all of those websites you have read, the vast, vast majority are presenting you with a story biased in their favor. That's just how it works. So if you go to the more "progressive" websites, you will get the progressive arguments and if you go to the more conservative sites you will get the conservative arguments. The truth is always somewhere in between.

One of those two guidelines I mentioned has been around for 240 years. The other, since the beginnings of recorded history. They cannot place a modern bias on what they say because they predate modern biases.


And hud owns properties that are used for assisted rental units. And, they do restrict alot of things...

HUD is a government department; therefore a prohibition on firearms is also unlawful.


You want to have a prayer time to young kids while you csnt explain to them what it is, how to pray, what to pray..

It is ridiculous arguments like that one that create the division between us. Just about the time I think maybe you're getting the barest inkling of what I am talking about, you go off the rails again.

Children are not little versions of adults. They cannot be told something one time, something so complex that even most adults struggle with it, and then be expected to be experts at it. Most religions accept this, as they have an "age of accountability" where, before that age, anything and everything can be overlooked because they do not have the mental cognizance to fully understand. That does not mean they cannot be trained in the rote and rituals, only that they will not fully grasp the meaning behind the rotes and rituals for quite some time. Interference with their training at such a stage can interfere with their ability to understand later.

If a school is trying to teach a child addition, and someone comes along and tells them that addition is really the same as subtraction, they will not learn addition as quickly or as well. That's actually a lot of the reason people do so poorly at math and hate it so much; most are taught to just memorize these facts, then are given inconsistent facts that confuse them, and never reach the point where they understand why addition works.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2020 @ 08:49 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Ummm.. I am not sure just how old I was when they stopped the morning prayer in school, probably 1st or second grade. My father wasn't anti christian, he was a ww2 vet that I really think was suffering from PTSD or whatever. But, something about his experience left him with a few quirks. One of which was that he didnt really have much use for religion. So here I am, 5 or 6 years old, never been inside a church, have no idea what prayer is really, or what god is. "Praying"... and I had to wait before I learned to read and bugged my dad a half a dozen times to let me go to church with some friends that he gave me a bible to read... never did take me to church. If I were to guess my age then, I would say maybe I was in the third or fourth grade. So I read the bible, from genesis all the way to revelation... and alot of my perception I am afraid about god came from that first read. It wasn't till I was in junior high that I got the official church version. And now you are telling me that more than likely that the rest of my class really didnt have much more understanding than I did during those morning prayers? By the way, I didnt know I could just opt out of them, just sit down and play with a puzzle or look at a picture book or stare out the window. And, alot of those kids in that class I knew. Ya, some of them I knew went to church on sundays, but I never lacked playmates on sunday!! So, I wasn't the only one feeling just a tad lost. Just saying, I kind of wonder just what you are hoping to achieve when you have a prayer time in a class of young kids, if even those who have been familiarized with the church and religion haven't developed much of an understanding...except maybe to prompt the kids who dont to go home and start asking questions like I did... in which case... umm just waiting around till they are old enough to read and handing them a bible letting them figure it out for themselves probably isnt the best idea, especially if they are female!!



posted on Feb, 12 2020 @ 06:01 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar

Your story is far from unusual, and yes, the other children who helped you likely knew little more than you did.

I was raised in a moderately religious home. Church on Sunday morning was an absolute must, although we rarely went in the evening and almost never on Wednesday. We knew the preacher personally, and would occasionally have him over for Sunday dinner. Despite that, by the time I was 6 or 7, I kinda felt something was "wrong." It was like there was some kind of code that was being spoken in church that wasn't used elsewhere. I knew the words: grace, baptism, revival, etc... but I really didn't know what they meant. I tried to ask, but I always got an explanation that didn't seem to help. But Mom and Dad seemed to want me to go through all those rituals, so I did. I did the altar call thing when I was maybe 10 or 11, and was baptized shortly after. Mom cried; Dad beamed with pride; I got wet.

When I hit 16, I rebelled. I turned my back on all of that and decided that it was a bunch of hooey. I won't get into all of that here, but I was at that time as anti-Christian as anyone. I wanted no part of that religious stuff. My father fell ill, and Mom coudn't control me. It was during that time I got the nickname "Redneck," and it was well deserved.

Fast forward ten years or so, and I was watching a TV show I particularly liked (don't even remember which one) and when it went off I was just too damn tired to get up and change the TV (this was before remotes were popular). The next show was Kenneth Copeland... great, another damn preacher. Oh, well, let's see how confusing this guy is when he begs me for my money.

But he never asked for money. I listened to him ramble the whole time and never once did he say a word about sending money. Finally, at the end of the show, he had a segment where they normally ask for money, and he said the following (paraphrased): "Look, I know this is where I am supposed to ask for money, but I'm not going to. Send a donation if you feel led to, but we are not going to go broke. We will not go off the air if you don't. It's all up to you and God."

I thought that was probably the best sales pitch I had ever seen. The next week, I watched him again... still no request for donations. Next week, same thing. Then one week he started talking about "grace," one of those mysterious terms I had grown up with. Suddenly, with his help, I understood what it meant! The rest of the week I would remember conversations from my youth, and now knowing what the words meant, they made so much more sense.

A few weeks later, Copeland gave the altar call again. This time I bowed my head and just tuned him out, but in my mind I said the following (paraphrased): "Look, if you're there, you know what all I've gone through. I can't do what I did when I was young. I need proof. Show me. No more games." And He did. I spent the next year or so re-learning what my parents and church leaders had tried (unsuccessfully) to show me before. Things would suddenly make sense that had never made sense before. I started reading the Bible myself, and the stories seemed different, more real. Every time I read one, another one would make more sense and I would read it again and see something new.

Since then, my life has been a learning experience. I never changed the way I prayed; oh, I added in a few things to acknowledge my place in the universe, but I still just have a conversation. It was decades before I heard God, and even today I have to listen hard. He doesn't yell; he quietly suggests. I can ignore Him any time I want to... but I don't want to. I have, in that time, seen so many miracles happen, things that simply could not happen naturally, but which others ignore around me. It's like they are blind, and today I know that they really are blind to spiritual things like I once was. I don't look down on them; I just hope one day they will be able to see.

I still struggle; I figure I always will. I've learned I'm just not smart enough to understand everything. But I do understand one thing: from the day I was born, Jesus has been trying to get me into heaven, despite all the screw-ups and the trouble and the obstacles I threw in His way. He was not going to interfere with my free will; it had to be my decision and my decision alone to follow or reject Him. He couldn't just force me into anything. I had to make that one simple, screwed-up prayer to get the barest hint of true knowledge, and work at understanding more after that. Just like someone cannot understand vector calculus without first understanding addition and multiplication, I had to build and grow.

I do understand so much more today than I did back then, though, and that is why I rarely get into religious debates. I don't want to "convert" you or anyone else. I can't. As soon as I start to coerce you, I've failed. You have to find your own path, and I pray you do. The other poster who kept trying to drag me into an argument? No, I wasn't trying to be mean... I can't help them. They hate too much. They cannot see, and without being able to see just a little, I can't explain what "blue" is. All I could do is more damage, and they don't need more damage.

I also understand there's a reason I put this story up. It might be for you; it might be for someone else. Do with it as you choose. I will say this in ending: Since the day I was born, every person I have ever known has in some way let me down. There has been no one I could count on 100%... even my Dad left me when I needed him, not by choice, but by illness. Only Jesus has been there for me, even when I didn't know Him, even when I was doing things that pained Him, even when I didn't think He existed. He never failed me. No man, no group, no law, not even an armed military power, will ever come between us now. One might as well try to rope the sun.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 12 2020 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Amen. I think you describe a lot of us.



posted on Feb, 12 2020 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I am not knocking your story in the least bit. You sound very sincere and I do respect you for that.
But, you do sound like you are saying that the only reason to have a moment of prayer in school when it comes to younger kids is to teach a religious ritual practice. Maybe once they hit jr or senior high school they may have enough understanding to benefit from a time of prayer in school but for young kids it's just ritual. A moment of ritual. Enough time for a "hi god, how's everything? " , "well, I have to tell ya, not so good. I am kind of unhappy about a few things you've done on the bus....", "ya, okay god, sorry, I have to go now!!", okay class now open your math books to page.....
The kids with christian parents are more than likely already teaching them the ritual and explaining the basics revolving around the ritual... so, who are they really trying to instill this ritual in?



posted on Feb, 12 2020 @ 09:36 AM
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a reply to: dawnstar


You sound very sincere and I do respect you for that.

Actually, you cannot respect me because you do not at least respect Jesus. Disrespecting Him is disrespecting me. I know you mean what you say, and I don't say that to be mean or argumentative; it's just the way things are.

You really need to at least understand that.


But, you do sound like you are saying that the only reason to have a moment of prayer in school when it comes to younger kids is to teach a religious ritual practice. Maybe once they hit jr or senior high school they may have enough understanding to benefit from a time of prayer in school but for young kids it's just ritual.

No, you miss my point... had I not had that early training, had I not known what questions to ask, had I not known to at least bow my head and talk, perhaps I would never have had that chance with Jesus. The early training may not be immediately productive, but it is still important.

When I was young, Dad tried to teach me about woodworking, too. I couldn't "get it"; I was too young and too in a hurry to take my time and apply the things he tried to teach me. But today I actually do a pretty decent job building my own furniture thanks to his attempts to teach a headstrong young redneck... I still can call up those early memories when I didn't understand and apply them.

Forgive me for using math examples (it's my first language, after all), but what you are saying is akin to saying there's no need to teach kids how to add, because they're not old enough to understand calculus yet.

TheRedneck



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