In praise of Christmas and Christianity

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In praise of Christmas and Christianity

Postby Generic » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:13 pm

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Postby anti-m » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:22 pm

Surely some revelation is at hand.
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Postby roymond » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:54 pm

"submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs"

The Committee on Foreign Affairs???
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:56 pm

Hey, I like Christianity and all, but what's the point of this bill?
-bill
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Postby Me$$iah » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:22 pm

Does this bill violate the 1st amendment??
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Postby Generic » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:53 pm

Me$$iah wrote:Does this bill violate the 1st amendment??


Short answer: Yes.

I'll give the community another day or so to respond before I unleash my long answer.
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Postby mkilly » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:35 pm

Me$$iah wrote:Does this bill violate the 1st amendment??


Short answer: no.

The first amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This resolution is not a law. It's more of a declaration. As we'll all remember from government class, federal laws are passed by both houses and then signed by the President. This resolution is just the House saying something about something. The Senate doesn't have a comparable bill, and the President isn't going to sign anything. "Shall make no law" doesn't come in if there's no law. The "whereas" clauses merely set up the actual punchline, which is the "resolved" part, which is pretty noncontroversial: 1. the Christian faith is one of the great religions of the world, 2. support for Christians in the US and worldwide, 3. Christmas and Christianity are important historically, 4. Christians and Christianity played a role in the US's founding and that of western civilization, 5. bigotry and persecution of Christians is bad, 6. Christians worldwide are hereby respected. Stupid-ass resolutions like this go through Congress all the time. A quick search reveals <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.Res.68:">this one</a>, commending the Miss America pageant, <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr110-423">this one</a>, commending a high school team that won the DOE science bowl, and <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr110-635">this one</a> (sloppily amended) which is basically like the Christian one except with "Ramadan" instead of "Christmas" and "Muslims" instead of "Christians." These resolutions, they don't mean anything and nobody cares about them. Nobody's rights are being infringed, and I say that as an easy-to-annoy atheist--and a political science student, who still hasn't started his constitutional law paper which is due in 36 hours.
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Postby Hoblit » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:10 am

HeuristicsInc wrote:Hey, I like Christianity and all, but what's the point of this bill?
-bill


mkilly wrote:
Me$$iah wrote:Does this bill violate the 1st amendment??


Short answer: no.

The first amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This resolution is not a law. ...Nobody's rights are being infringed, and I say that as an easy-to-annoy atheist--and a political science student, who still hasn't started his constitutional law paper which is due in 36 hours.


Exactly, this isn't anything at all. Just says hey there are Christians out there. Recognize. (but literally) There is NO point to this bill.

My complaint on this bill is that it wasted (even if just a tiny little bit of) time in congress and thats MY tax dollar. MY buck o' five.
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Postby roymond » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:13 pm

Hoblit wrote:
HeuristicsInc wrote:Hey, I like Christianity and all, but what's the point of this bill?
-bill

mkilly wrote:
Me$$iah wrote:Does this bill violate the 1st amendment??

Short answer: no.

Exactly, this isn't anything at all. Just says hey there are Christians out there. Recognize. (but literally) There is NO point to this bill.

My complaint on this bill is that it wasted (even if just a tiny little bit of) time in congress and thats MY tax dollar. MY buck o' five.

But it is in our face. And that's what I hate about this kind of crap. It serves no purpose, I helped pay for it (as Hoblit pointed out), and there is no reason for them to do it except to get in our face about their religious beliefs. Of course right before Ohio goes to the polls is just a coincidence.
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Postby Reist » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:37 pm

That's definitely a retarded bill, but I will say this:

Where I live, Christians take a lot of crap for what they believe, more so than basically any other religion I can think of, except for maybe Mormons.
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Postby Märk » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:52 pm

I wish they'd make a bill which allowed us to throw xtians to the lions again. That would rock!
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Postby jack » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:52 pm

if you're a politician and come out against christmas, you'll probably piss off the folks back home.

maybe this is the one thing they can all agree on. meaningless declarations like these are the "feel-good" resolutions in the house. maybe sometimes congress needs this sort of thing to show some form of bipartisan consensus can actually exist in washington. otherwise, we'd have no faith in the concept. :)
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Postby Generic » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:27 pm

What really pisses me off is that some politician actually thought it was necessary to write the resolution in the first place. Of course, once it's drafted, every single congressperson knows it's as simple as figuring out that anywhere between 30 and 100% of the voting demographic in their district is Christian, or at least observe Christmas, and voila, nobody wants to be Scrooge, so the resolution passes almost unanimously (nine against, fifty absent or abstained).

Still. Global statistics are notoriously difficult to measure, so I'm skepitical about the numbers presented stating that there are 2 billion Christians in the world and that it's the most common religion in the world. In the U.S., sure. We have censuses for that. But the world? How do you measure that? And is that counting all the atheist teenagers being raised by Christian parents? What about all the missionaries where starving people pray to big J.C. in return for food?

Moreover, it's worth noting that there are fewer than 30 Congress members (I couldn't find any reliable source for the current Congrsss, so I used this info for the 109th [2005-2006]) who aren't some form or other of Christian. And I know, some people don't count some of the more less-accepted religions like Mormonism as Christian, but they all believe in Jesus, and they all observe Christmas. So it seems downright silly to have a resolution praising the religion that a wide majority of the House observes. It comes off as self-aggrandizing, like "Hey, aren't we great! We're all Christians, and Christians are great!" What if it were a resolution were passed in praise of the White Race? You know that would be inappropriate; why is this not inappropriate?

The Resolution condemns "bigotry and persecution directed against Christians," which has two results (in my mind): First of all, it 'creates' a problem that doesn't really exist. Have their been Christian hate marches lately? Have a bunch of Christians recently been the victims of hate crimes? Were there lynchings I never heard about? Second of all, it de-emphasizes the fact that Congress really ought to "Reject bigotry and persecution direction against" all religions, and also all ethnicities and all disabilities. Why call attention to the one that's already happening the least?

A common criticism of the United States government system is that the people who run it are too homogeneous. This resolution embraces that homogeneity, effectively saying that indeed 93% of Congress share a religion, but at least it's "one of the great religions of the world."

The hell with that.
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Postby Märk » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:44 pm

I disagree, Jon.
I think religion should be persecuted, and persecuted hard. Why is it okay to laugh at someone who practices Paganism and believes in Zeus, yet you say the slightest bad thing against christianity or judaism, and it's all hell to pay?

It's not even a matter of 'Oh, let them believe in what they want', because religious nutters, especially fundie christians, have a nasty habit of making sure everyone abides by their rules.

Fuck religion, and fuck religious tolerance. It is the cause of all the wars, hatred, bigotry, etc. on earth, and it's time people started actively attacking it when and where they see it. I'm a very polite person in every other regard but this one.
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:19 am

Yup, tell those corporate tools (Congress) to do some real work.

As World President, one of my first priorities would be to have churches pay all current and back taxes due. If you can't pay, that's fine, we'll just take your church and convert it into a state sponsored brothel. It'll create jobs, less disease and crime on the streets and help keep religious repression in the home where it belongs.
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Postby Hoblit » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:08 am

Märk wrote:I disagree, Jon.
I think religion should be persecuted, and persecuted hard. Why is it okay to laugh at someone who practices Paganism and believes in Zeus, yet you say the slightest bad thing against christianity or judaism, and it's all hell to pay?



Who says its ok to laugh at someone who practices Paganism? The only difference here is that there are more people practicing Christianity and Judasim to protest demonstrations.

I don't think ANY religion INCLUDING Paganism needs to be 'laughed at'. However at the same time I think ALL RELIGIONS (including Paganist ones) SHOULD be 'laughed at'....but not persecuted. Everything needs to be humbled but I don't think that should include 'action'. Laughs are fine.

Märk wrote:It's not even a matter of 'Oh, let them believe in what they want', because religious nutters, especially fundie christians, have a nasty habit of making sure everyone abides by their rules.


It IS a matter of letting them believe in what they want. Extremists as you describe DO TRY to make sure everyone abides by their rules. Its society's duty to keep that under control. Otherwise, aren't you just saying that everybody should be living by your rule of 'no religion'? Wouldn't that make you just as guilty of forcing your atheist (or agnostic) views on everyone?
Märk wrote:Fuck religion, and fuck religious tolerance. It is the cause of all the wars, hatred, bigotry, etc. on earth, and it's time people started actively attacking it when and where they see it. I'm a very polite person in every other regard but this one.


Thats backwards. Religious TOLERANCE isn't whats causing religious wars...it's the religions' problem with tolerance for other religions that causes war and all the other fun stuff you mention. In fact, your lack of tolerance for religion would be more likely to cause such wars.

Your blanket statement doesn't cover every aspect of religion. Especially on an individual level.

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