Religious trends increase need for tolerance for all

Jan 8, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Chambersburg Public Opinion

We have some more or less random thoughts about the Freedom From Religion Foundation's latest attempt to roil the waters in Chambersburg.

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1 - 13 of 13 Comments Last updated Jan 16, 2013
cletus

Chambersburg, PA

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#1
Jan 9, 2013
 

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Is is accurate to describe the performance as singing "christmas carols"?
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

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#2
Jan 9, 2013
 
Yes, there wasn't much detail about the complaint and the 'fact' that the objections were driven by outside activists might just be assumption?

Modern western journalists have openly degenerated to 'telling stories'. They don't even make the pretence of a report and an editorial comment. Modern thinking (or political correctness) seems to dictate that 'telling a story' makes articles more readable and so more saleable. Journalists would be better to stick to basics. I've stopped paying for newspaper articles altogether and get my news from free TV, Internet and magazines (like the Economist, Scientific American, etc). They're looking amateur and marketing themselves out of a job, perhaps.

Since: May 12

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#3
Jan 9, 2013
 

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cletus wrote:
Is is accurate to describe the performance as singing "christmas carols"?
Not so much. The program they performed is often billed as a "Christmas pageant" that contains "hymns" readings from the Bible.

Since: May 09

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#4
Jan 9, 2013
 

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I really appreciate this article from Mr. Major, as it points out several items that I mentioned in the discussion about the original article. Most notably that the location of FFRF's headquarters has absolutely no relevance to the story.

Two sentences I really appreciate:

"The nation is becoming more religiously diverse, which increases the need to guard against the potential tyranny of the majority."

Christians are still - by far - the most predominant religious group in this country, which is considered by many to be the most religious of all industrialized nations. Take Japan, for instance, a nation where over 75% if the population does not participate in any religion. I should also point out that Japan is trouncing us in statistics like education, scientific research, life expectancy and crime rate.

It's easy to proclaim you're being persecuted when most people agree with you - the constitution is designed to protect people from the collective groupthink of the majority. Sure no one complained before, but as people in this country become more educated, more tolerant and more open to views other than what they've always know, some of the more overlooked tenets of our founding fathers' intentions may be given a bit more thought.

"But principles matter in this county; it was created and forged, after all, upon such noble abstractions as religious and personal liberty."

I'm sorry to say, the way the constitution is written, freedom FROM religion is part of the deal.

Since: May 09

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Jan 9, 2013
 

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Someone actually responded to this article, using their real name on Facebook, with this:

"Oh, They have been adjusting, er GIVING IN, to these people in recent years Matthew. You of all people have seen to that. What with all the attention your paper gives publishing this stuff. And your editorials make it perfectly clear where your loyalties lie. I'm a Christian who doesn't worship in any particular faith and I find it totally discusting that these groups have to keep wrecking long standing traditions in this country in the name of religious freedom. That's not what the founding fathers had in mind and you know it. But once again you have found a drum to beat and we have to keep hearing it from you!"

What do people think? Is that not what the founding fathers intended? The courts were created by the founding fathers to help sort out of these ambiguous matters, but several founding fathers - Jefferson and Franklin for instance - were not specifically Christian and strongly favored religious tolerance and inclusion, while maintaining a separation of church and state.

Is it disgusting that "these groups" are wrecking long-standing traditions? What if Mr. Major is right, that for the first time in history an unpopular opinion now has enough support to stand up to an oppressive majority? Is a long-standing tradition acceptable even if its in violation of the constitution?

Since: May 09

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#6
Jan 9, 2013
 

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Also, how can you be a Christian that "doesn't worship in any particular faith"? You're Christian, that's your faith. Denominations are irrelevant.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

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Jan 9, 2013
 

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Effington wrote:
..."But principles matter in this county; it was created and forged, after all, upon such noble abstractions as religious and personal liberty."
I'm sorry to say, the way the constitution is written, freedom FROM religion is part of the deal.
'Sorry to say' sounds ambiguous - I take it you are happy that the US Contstitution provides (in practice) freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion? Some have argued that freedom of religion isn't possible without freedom from it.
(IMO, you made an excellent comment :-)

Since: May 12

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Jan 9, 2013
 

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Effington wrote:
Also, how can you be a Christian that "doesn't worship in any particular faith"? You're Christian, that's your faith. Denominations are irrelevant.
I believe it means that she self-identifies as Christian, but that she doesn't actually DO anything that would be expected of Christians.

So she (like many others) gets all wound up about this issue because it feels like actually DOING something Christian. The "war on Christmas" makes nominal (in name only) Christians feel like they're doing something to earn points with God.

Since: May 09

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Jan 9, 2013
 

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EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>'Sorry to say' sounds ambiguous - I take it you are happy that the US Contstitution provides (in practice) freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion? Some have argued that freedom of religion isn't possible without freedom from it.
(IMO, you made an excellent comment :-)
Touche! Yes, I think that's very well put. The constitution guarantees the right for individuals to worship as they choose without government intervention or promotion of particular faith. I most certainly take that to mean the right to not practice any faith - it's ridiculous to suggest the founding father's intention was that all Americans are free to worship as they choose, but they're required to believe in a higher power. That's what people who like to say "freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion" are trying to suggest. Forced worship, even with choice, is basically communism.

Freedom of religion is most certainly impossible without freedom from religion.

Since: May 09

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Jan 9, 2013
 

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Dan the Man Chambersburg wrote:
<quoted text>
So she (like many others) gets all wound up about this issue because it feels like actually DOING something Christian. The "war on Christmas" makes nominal (in name only) Christians feel like they're doing something to earn points with God.
Hmmm, I think there are plenty of devoutly Christian people who are deeply offended by any attempt to secularize this country. They certainly have the right to be offended, but that doesn't make their opinion law of the land if the constitution protects against such thinking.

I've always held that the cornerstone of the constitution is protecting people from a majority that infringes on their personal freedom. Religion is a tricky matter, as much then as it is now, probably much more then when atheism was not tolerated. So in their infinite wisdom, created a republic with the freedom to practice ANY religion (or lack thereof), even in a time when basically everyone was Christian.

There's just one catch - the government cannot endorse one religion over another. So what constitutes endorsement? Well, that's why we have courts. It's not so black and white as many parties on both sides of this issue tend to presume.

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#11
Jan 9, 2013
 

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Lots of misinformation and ignorance in the comments to this article. For instance:

"Agnostics believe there is no proof of God and Atheists believe there is no God so the Glee club's Christmas performance should be viewed as a work of fiction for them."

"P.O. you just feed right into their thinking, why do you people at the Public Opinion hate Christians so much?"

"With the type of government this country has, I believe the 'majority rules' way of doing things is fair, as long as a minority is not harmed. What harm does singing Christmas carols do?"

Since: May 09

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#12
Jan 9, 2013
 
"Hopefully all the Christians in the area will rise up and take our community back and tell all those haters to go live somewhere else if they don't like our Christian beliefs"

Since: May 09

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#13
Jan 16, 2013
 

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Came across an interesting quote today:

"Information and time are on the side of nonbelievers. Every single day that the idea of a god persists, more will disbelieve in His existence. There is simply nothing we can do about it but accept the inevitable and hope they do not treat Christians the way Christians have treated them."

-Unnamed youth pastor

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