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Evangelical Christianity is Provably Not A Religion; So Should it Enjoy Constitutional Protection?

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posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:05 PM
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They have faith that their beliefs are correct.

I don't buy your argument.

Just my opinion.




posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


So what is the Constitutional definition in your view? An excellent discussion may be found here.

americanaejournal.hu...

As you said, the Founders did not offer a definition of "religion" in the Constitution. Over the years there have been many cases and a very evolving concept of what is or is not a religion. We are left to struggle with this into eternity and it shall remain a very fair topic for debate. The general consensus is a list cannot certainly be made and that it somehow involves a belief system that goes beyond a moral code.

The relevant Constitutional clause is two parted though: 1. Protects one right to worship as a one wants, 2. Require the Congress to remain totally neutral in creation of laws -- laws are not supposed to reflect the tenets/values of one religion to the detriment of any other.

My real issue with Evangelicals is #2. Evangelicals are aggressive in proposing bills and promoting candidates that will codify evangelical beliefs into law, from DOMA to women's rights. That activity seems to me an express violation of the 2nd part of the clause.

The definition I offer may seem simplistic, but maybe as good as any.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by pajoly
 


Even more than "Evangelical" Christianity, is Christianity per se. Many Christians claim that Christianity is not a religion, and then they always talk about "Freedom of Religion", that is a contradiction.


Who are these "many" who claim that Christianity is not a religion? Provide some sources, please, because they are most likely confusing "religion" with "sect/denomination".

To the OP: congratulations on one of the most poorly thought out hypothesis that I've seen in a long time. Fortunately, the law under the Constitution doesn't hinge on dictionary definitions and the claims of some subset of people in a large group.

I don't know what the point of posting the Jefferson quotes was, but he was a Deist, and hung the whole premise of the Declaration of Independence on the existence of God.


1. I offer half my family as evidence of how evangelicals deny they are "religious" or even a member of a religion. They directly tell me they don't believe in religion, but rather "the word of God."

2. Your Deist comment about Jefferson reflects a major error on your part. You assume his definition of "God" equates to the modern Christian definition. It does not. As a Deist, his concept of God revolved around nature and natural law, natural order, not a mythical being running around performing little miracles and smiting down enemies of the Church. He was a great believer in rationalism and science. He'd be today, and in fact was, an outspoken critic of the fire and brimstone sect we call evangelicals.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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Curious topic.

Op, keep it simple. Define the difference between faith, belief, knowledge and fact in the human mind and ascribe human rights values and external objective validity to each.

Starting with law is the back end.

peace



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by harryhaller
Curious topic.

Op, keep it simple. Define the difference between faith, belief, knowledge and fact in the human mind and ascribe human rights values and external objective validity to each.

Starting with law is the back end.

peace


Good question. For me, faith and belief are similar, with the critical exception in my view that faith adds a component of adherence or loyalty in conjunction with belief AND it deals with subject matter that is forever intangible and unprovable. E.g., he believes in the existence of sasquatches; she has faith is God. A belief may have the potential to be proven as fact given advancements in knowledge.

As for fact and knowledge. I see these as quite distinct. A fact is a singular, incontrovertible thing. Something provably true. It is a fact that on earth, pure water boils 100C at sea level (one atmosphere of pressure). Knowledge goes beyond fact in that it includes understanding. Being aware of the fact that water boils in the above conditions in no way hints one may have the knowledge of why that is so.

If you are asking me to place them on a scale of sorts, belief and faith in a religious construct have no place alongside knowledge and fact, which are scientific, testable constructs.

Rate them in value terms? Knowledge and faith are both the more exalted of the 4 terms. Faith has the beauty of courage and fidelity to something in spite of the lack of proof. Belief by itself is weak and valueless.

Knowledge outranks fact by a mile, because it requires critical thinking, wisdom and rationality. Anyone can memorize facts.

Does that answer your question?
edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by pajoly
1. I offer half my family as evidence of how evangelicals deny they are "religious" or even a member of a religion. They directly tell me they don't believe in religion, but rather "the word of God."


So you have personal, anecdotal evidence that your family is "spiritual, but not religious", and you think that this has some bearing on whether evangelical churches are religions? That makes even less sense than your OP -- who cares what they say?


2. Your Deist comment about Jefferson reflects a major error on your part. You assume his definition of "God" equates to the modern Christian definition.


Where did I say that he was a Christian? I'm fully aware of what a Deist believed, and the fact that Jefferson was, as I stated, a Deist, and that he explicitly uses God as the basis for the Declaration of Independence.


My real issue with Evangelicals is #2. Evangelicals are aggressive in proposing bills and promoting candidates that will codify evangelical beliefs into law, from DOMA to women's rights. That activity seems to me an express violation of the 2nd part of the clause.


The separation of church and state regards the impact of the state on the church, it doesn't say that religious people or organizations are to be deprived of their political rights. Do you honestly believe that evangelicals should be stripped of religious status because they have political opinions? Seriously?



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by pajoly
 


I am assuming that I was the only one that flagged this thread, and I am ok with that. I knew where you were coming from in the beginning and applaud you keeping up with it, many would have left it by now.

As far as belief and faith, I distinguish them as believing is a more serious conviction of what you know as fact...

and faith is more or less hoping its true while having little evidence that would cause you not to have belief.

Example... I "believe" the sky is blue. I can see it as blue, no matter what causes color for me.

I have "faith" that the moon is not made of cheese. I hope its not made of cheese but I cant see or touch it, and of course there are some books that claim it is.



This is of course IMHO and I stick with it.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I care what they say because they are gaining in power. Who cared in 1929 about what Hitler thought. He was still fairly obscure and the majority thought him no real threat to the power structure. He went unchecked and then it was too late. I am not saying evangelicals are equal to Hitler, but I do think they are happily theocrats and perfectly willing to smile at you while taking away your rights. Almost daily it seems appears another article on some new law they propose that reflects this.
edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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I think that the most underplayed card by religious people is that they are NOT a secret religion, its like trying to get a scare out of people in a horror movie but the ending is always the same.

They are the least suspecting of the most obvious, and that is infiltration by those that have the ability to read the same book and with malice, turn it into something that can be harmful.

The way that a magician will keep its secrets, is the way that others appreciate the magic more.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by pajoly
 



I care what they say because they are gaining in power. Who cared in 1929 about what Hitler thought.

moot point. there are mormons who are gaining power (Romney), there are gays as well, so are there atheists gaining power, as well as muslims.

Your point is moot because it's merely one of an infinite number and angles.


e was still fairly obscure and the majority thought him no real threat to the power structure. He went unchecked and then it was too late. I am not saying evangelicals are equal to Hitler, but I do think they are happily theocrats and perfectly willing to smile at you while taking away your rights.

hitler & evangelicals is like comparing apples and sausages. I know this group of folks and they are rather harmless and you seem to be projecting way too much worry about this. I would fear more the southern baptist fundamentalists than evangelicals.


Almost daily it seems appears another article on some new law they propose that reflects this.

do you honestly think that this group is the only one proposing new laws? This thread and your posts seem to be close to troll level. I would worry more about Islam infiltrating the U.S. and its allies above all other things.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


"The separation of church and state regards the impact of the state on the church, it doesn't say that religious people or organizations are to be deprived of their political rights. Do you honestly believe that evangelicals should be stripped of religious status because they have political opinions? Seriously?"

You misread me entirely and you are incorrect. The Separation of church and state is not only about the impact of the state on the church. It is also about the converse -- the impact of the church on the state, which is the larger of the risk.

No where can you possibly read my posts to say that I argue evangelicals should not have political OPINIONS. We are all entitled to our opinions. What I say most clearly is that they have no rights (made clear in the Constitution) to force their brand of beliefs on me by force of legislation -- to convert THEIR opinions into LAW the compels others. You know they are trying and I sense you support it. It can also be seen in their attempts to re-write history to assert we are a "Christian nation," because if they can successfully pull that off, they have free reign to codify evangelicals tenets into public law.

These same people fret and slander every Muslim in government as being some secret infiltrator, bent on ultimately imposing Sharia law on the rest of us, yet they themselves are the actual infiltrators trying to impose their Old Testament version of biblical law on the rest of us. As usual, those who object loudest and most righteously are in fact the guilty ones.

edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by NoRegretsEver
reply to post by pajoly
 


I am assuming that I was the only one that flagged this thread, and I am ok with that. I knew where you were coming from in the beginning and applaud you keeping up with it, many would have left it by now.


In truth I mis-titled this thread. It is too provocative. What I wanted was to have a challenging debate about the role of religion in government as thought in the Constitution, if any, especially the role of the majority's religion.

Thank you for the flag...

Cheers
edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by pajoly
 


Your thread wasnt "mis-titled", it was and is "thought provoking". There is a difference, a huge difference.

Peace, NRE.
edit on 9-8-2012 by NoRegretsEver because: spelling



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


"I would fear more the southern baptist fundamentalists than evangelicals. "

I admit ignorance to the distinction. How exactly do their beliefs differ (seriously)? I've them in the same bucket labeled "ultra right Christian extremists" with the only difference being the evangelical smiles broadly while the fundamentalist scowls.

I am perfectly open to correction, especially about why evangelicals are "harmless" even as they seek to deny other's rights, reject science at every turn which screws up sound policy and want women to be forcibly raped by the government with a vaginal wand if they want an abortion (even though doctors say it is not medically necessary).
edit on 9-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by pajoly
reply to post by adjensen
 


"The separation of church and state regards the impact of the state on the church, it doesn't say that religious people or organizations are to be deprived of their political rights. Do you honestly believe that evangelicals should be stripped of religious status because they have political opinions? Seriously?"

You misread me entirely and you are incorrect. The Separation of church and state is not only about the impact of the state on the church. It is also about the converse -- the impact of the church on the state, which is the larger of the risk.


You are apparently unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights to make a statement like that. Here is the text:


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


Can you not see that this is a limitation on the government? It does not say "Churches shall not", it says "Congress shall not". The First Amendment limits the government's involvement with religion, but it does nothing to limit religion's involvement with government, rightly so.


What I say most clearly is that they have no rights (made clear in the Constitution) to force their brand of beliefs on me by force of legislation -- to convert THEIR opinions into LAW the compels others.


Welcome to democracy. Why should people be barred from attempting to get legislation passed, just because you don't like it? No one can make a law that says "You must be a Christian" or "You must be a Methodist" or "You cannot be a Muslim" (because any of those would violate the First Amendment,) but they can most certainly pass laws that say "Marriage is between one man and one woman" or "Pornography cannot be shown on broadcast television" or whatever issue has made you so angry, because those things have nothing to do with religion, regardless of what you think.



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by pajoly
 

Star and flag. I have always been of the thought that Churches should be paying their fair share of property and income tax, and that they be banned from raffles and other gambling devices. Churches take up the most valuable real estate, except perhaps Cemeteries, and it is all tax free.

So religion is a belief system in God or the supernatural held together by FAITH. That's the key here: FAITH. Religion does not exist in the absence of faith. Faith is the central element to all religion.
So why then is evangelical Christianity NOT a religion? ....(et al)
Why, because FAITH, by definition, is a belief based on lack of proof.

I agree, and have been round and round on this one. Belief in a thing not proven is a glaring reason why I would be foolish to also believe. A person screaming they have the "Ultimate Truth" makes me turn away, because I know no one has it, much less a Bible Thumper. I think I, and others have more than proven that the Bible is not the "word of God," no matter how you slice it. It is the words of a great many human beings, God didn't write one word down in there.

Not only are evangelicals vociferous that they hold the only truth, they claim with great passion that their knowledge is based on fact, not faith.

This is what a deluded person does. I know a Schizophrenic man back in the State I used to live in. He is totally convinced that God's Angels talk to him personally, and tell him what to do, and say. He has even attempted to introduce me to Gabriel, Micheal, and several other Angels. I love Steve to death, and care about what happens to him, but sorry, he is a poor deluded soul. I just cannot believe him.

Because of this, evangelicals grow to feel entitled as the lone keepers of the "Truth". This attitude fosters their sense of moral superiority and is central to their compulsion to legislate their beliefs upon everyone else. After all, they alone are keepers of the truth and is not the truth the only just basis of the Law?

I hear you. If you look at the political views of Christians in America on issues like gay marriage it becomes obvious that they think that the government should reflect Christian religious values. That the Law of God in the Bible should be our Law, and enforced and prosecuted as such. In truth, this kind of Theocracy does not represent Freedom, Democracy or Biblical Teachings. It does a dis-service to all. I think when Christians appose things such as Gay marriage, which causes no harm to anyone else - it makes people view Christians as authoritarians who want to govern society using their beliefs.

Sometimes people who don’t believe in any Gods are accused of actually wanting to be God themselves. This may be because some religious theists place their God in charge of everything in their lives, all of their decisions and choices are made on the basis of what they assume their God wants. In America, at least, it is arguably Conservative Evangelical Christians who get the most upset when they are denied the authority to make all the rules. The entire "War" they are waging is basically a war against modern culture, which happens to be more secular, and pluralistic than they would like it to be. In the past, American culture, politics, government, and society were almost entirely defined according to conservative Protestant standards; that has changed dramatically in recent years, leading to a great reduction in the privileges accorded to Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions.

I think we will eventually see the end of the Christian Right/Moral Majority crowd in America, and we are already seeing many who have left the stale religions and rather went in for older, more established belief systems and tenets.

Most religious groups in USA have lost ground, survey finds

The percentage. of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation.


Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith

Why Are So Many People Leaving the Church???

America Is Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious



posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by pajoly
 



I admit ignorance to the distinction. How exactly do their beliefs differ (seriously)? I've them in the same bucket labeled "ultra right Christian extremists" with the only difference being the evangelical smiles broadly while the fundamentalist scowls.

there are definite differences. With the evangelicals there is more elbow room and flexibility. The Southern Baptist/Fundamentalist however, many times behind the facade of their faith, continue with oppression, racism, hatred, and so on ....and down there it's the good ol' boys club as far as all of infrastructure goes. What you fear so much as already in place and had been for over 100+ years in states like alabama, tennessee, mississippi, and the bible belt in general.


I am perfectly open to correction, especially about why evangelicals are "harmless" even as they seek to deny other's rights, reject science at every turn which screws up sound policy and want women to be forcibly raped by the government with a vaginal wand if they want an abortion (even though doctors say it is not medically necessary).

i dont know if you read some kind of article or you live next to one of their churches or what, but that sure is a stereotypical and hate filled statement.

I know plenty of these evangelical folks and many of them are huge in the latest scientific findings, would give you the last dollar in their wallets if you needed it, and are completely opposite of what you say here. I think if you hung out with some of these people and saw the warmth and joy in their hearts and the way they share, the love and kindness, and also many who have no interest in policy and Gov't, you would take back this post.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 02:46 AM
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Originally posted by pajoly
If you are asking me to place them on a scale of sorts, belief and faith in a religious construct have no place alongside knowledge and fact, which are scientific, testable constructs.
Does that answer your question?


I had no question?

You make a claim above, as an opinion, but you're still missing the point.

You can decide that fact is "more" than belief, but to a believer, it isn't. If anything, it's probably reversed.

Nobody is right, we're different, and your beliefs / thoughts in this are irrelevant ... to me and my analysis of the same question. Until you accept that difference, you're wasting your time.

Now please reconsider: what is the difference between faith and fact in the human mind.
NOT externally, inside the mind of the guy who thinks differently to you. Can you? And no, when you figure out what i mean you won't need to reply



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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I must admit that I get a bit miffed when someone comes around and tries to convince me of their belief system. I believe they have a right to do so but it still pisses me off.

I think that if people would just understand that RESPECT of another persons beliefs does not mean that they have the right to make a nuisance of themselves such is the case with that Baptist Church that goes around to Military Funerals and makes a tragedy all the more painful for the family of the dead Warrior.

They just have no respect. Split Infinity



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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Originally posted by pajoly
reply to post by WickettheRabbit
 


"To them, it's still truth based on faith."

I disagree. To them, it is truth based on facts. Let's see if we can find any evangelical here who will say his or her belief system is NOT based on fact, but rather unprovable faith.


I am an evangelical Christian. My belief system centers around my faith in Christ. We believe the bible is the spoken word of God known as "truth" Most Christians believe the same. Belief in God is not something any one of us can prove with tangible evidence.

For me, my faith in Christ comes from knowing Him through the Holy Spirit which dwells inside me. You will never hear me force my beliefs on someone else. Your relationship with Christ is between the two of you and none of my business. It is the responsibility of Christians to witness or share what and why we believe but we cannot force our beliefs upon you, or we should not.

It is not my responsibility or any humans to try and get you to believe in God. Even God himself will not force you to believe in him. That choice is up to you and is known as free will.

I do not think of myself as superior or better than anyone else. We are all sinners in God's eyes. The only difference between you and I, I know how bad I am you just haven't realized your fallen nature yet.

Pax




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