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 A Christian Nation?

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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyThu May 17, 2012 11:02 pm

We hear
much about America being a Christian nation. Can someone please tell me what that
means? What is Christian about it? Do actions reflect and/or define
Christianity?
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri May 18, 2012 5:50 am

Where do "we hear" that, Abe? Smile Would it be from the same Americans who say that our Founding Fathers based the constitution on Christian principles?

Our Founding Fathers were mostly Deists. (aka Secular Humanists)

The earliest Americans communed with Mother Earth.

How do you define Christianity? It's a pretty encompassing term in itself. My perspective as a liberal progressive isn't quite the same as that of a conservative fundamentalist.


Ann

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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri May 18, 2012 8:13 am

Ann, I think we both think along the same lines. On various forums, especially Facebook, there are the usual remarks about us being a Christian nation. The GOP is using the "Christian" theme, yet their actions prove otherwise. What I glean from the alledged teachings of Christ is that he had compassion for the sick and the poor. That is not something that the GOP promotes. Sorry to inflict politics in this, however that seems to be the hot topic these days.
I personally don't care what people call themselves, Muslim, Atheist, or whatever, so long as they practice what they preach.
I don't want to be called a Christian so long as it has no durable meaning. I am a believer of the universal intelligence. Call it God or whatever, just let dogma out of it.
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Duncan Pile
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Duncan Pile

Number of posts : 54
Registration date : 2012-07-07
Location : Nottingham

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptySun Jul 29, 2012 6:08 am

Hi Abe. The UK is a much more secular nation than the States, and as such I am very often the only Christian around. At work, I am considered an oddity, maybe a curiosity, and occasionally an an anachronism simply for having and professing faith. The very active atheist movement in my country are vocal and aggressive, and one of their main complaints about Christianity is the highly politicised views of the Christian Right in America.

I'm with you 100% that being Christ-like is about caring for the poor, the sick, the lonely, and simply cannot reconcile what I know of Jesus to what I hear from the political podium.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptySun Jul 29, 2012 6:52 am

Thanks Duncan for your post and views. I agree with your perspective.
The sad thing is that Christianity is often promoted like a product.
Continue to live your faith and try to ignore the crap.
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Duncan Pile
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Duncan Pile

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PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptySun Jul 29, 2012 6:56 am

Indeed good sir
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
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Age : 80
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PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri Oct 04, 2013 12:00 am

I am at a loss for words to describe my feelings about the current stalemate over Affordable Health Care – dubbed Obama Care.
My oldest sister, a widow living in Florida had little money and couldn’t afford the cost of needed prescriptions.  She halved her pills so they would last longer and in the process died.
These same people vote for the people who would deny them the capability to live (survive).  They believe the garbage they are fed by the Fox News and the propaganda machine of the GOP.  One could say that they are stupid, but I think they are just ignorant - not knowing.
They go to church and listen to pastors expounding the views of the GOP.  They ignore the Love of Christ and seem to endorse hate.  They claim that God wants them to prosper and be in good health.  The pastor’s drive Limos and encourage the congregation to give until it hurts.  “The more you give, the more you get.”  Some give to get.  IMV it is the wrong motivation. 
I’m at the point where I think a new definition of Christian or Christianity is needed.  It is proclaimed that we are a Christian Nation.  It is a “feel good” statement, but lacking in substance. People like to proclaim that they are a Christian.  What does that mean?  Is it a label?  How many live the life they profess?  The word “Christian” is becoming repugnant to me.  I can’t speak for others.  The only Christian I knew was my mother.  She lived the life of what she believed to be Christian.  She listened to Christian radio programs and they ended their program with a solicitation for money.  She sent them what she could, usually a few dollars.  She would sacrifice to help the needy, etc., etc.
 
Now that I’ve vented, I’ll stop.
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alj
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alj

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A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri Oct 04, 2013 6:22 am

I'm not sure what the connection is between the Affordable Health Care Act and "Christianity," Abe.

First thing, Christianity is a broad, general term.  It includes quite a few denominations, each with its own outlook, beliefs, and dogma.  The differences between fundamental and progressive points of view are so strong that it is difficult, sometimes, to see how they could possibly have developed from the same source.  Even so, the United States allow the right to freedom of religions, so how can it be considered a Christian nation?

Some protestant denominations, but not nearly all, developed from Calvinism, and carry the Calvinistic belief that God favored those who were "good," and gave them an abundance of wealth and good fortune, while the poor were all people who lived outside His grace, and clearly sinners who deserved no help or sympathy.  the Book of Job in the Old Testament shows that the concept went much farther back than Protestant Christianity, though, so it is obviously not a Christian concept, in the general sense of the word.

There is nothing about the term Christian that limits if to a fundamentalist or Calvinist perspective, and I'm guessing that it is either or both of those small groups that you find "repugnant," but only you know the answer to that.

You seem to be finding a lot of things repugnant lately.  What's up with that? Why are you becoming so judgmental?
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri Oct 04, 2013 6:32 am

My belief is that any religion is for the purpose of controlling behavior.  That does not mean religion is an inherently wrong thing - when it serves society by providing a moral compass that is tolerant and compassionate and just - well, society needs some standards to live in close proximity with other people.

Every religion seems to have "leaders" that set the rules and enforce them either by guilt and punishment or rewards.  Heaven is a reward.  70 virgins in heaven is a reward.  Hell is a punishment.  Banishment is a punishment. Joy is a reward. Guilt is a punishment. Belonging is a reward.

Since human nature naturally strays from confinement, methods must be imposed to enforce the rules.  Habits and rituals become ingrained and automatic.  Beliefs are reinforced when surrounded by like minded people.  Science proves that we can be made to believe anything with the right psychological conditioning - that we have had a spiritual awakening is one of them.

I don't doubt that people believe that they are "saved" by Christ and chosen for heaven and that the rest are destined for hell.  The psychological conditioning for that belief has been in practice since Christ spoke and others recorded their memory of his words.  It also worked very well for the colonial powers that conquered the world by sending out "Christianity" to the people they exploited.

It has also worked well for the Republican Party that added their own layer of conditioning to that already long in place by Christian denominations.  Sean Hannity on talk radio is a perfect example of psychological conditioning from his conspiratorial tone to his repeated lies and "suggestions" that become the truth of the listeners.  Of course, if they are the "chosen ones" then the harm done in the name of "right" is insignificant.  They believe in their mantra as strongly as the person who believes they are "channeling" everyone from Ramses to Christ to God himself.

Beliefs long held are not easily released.  Like any addiction, they become part of the fabric of the human essence.  A "believer," especially one who has experienced a "conversion" or "saved" experience cannot allow their beliefs to be challenged or that experience has no meaning, no context.  Fear of failure or fear of losing meaning or fear of losing context - create defense mechanisms that are very strong.

Thus, they have permission to destroy whatever threatens the fabric of their beliefs.  Just as the the Crusaders felt justified in murdering non-believers, today's believers feel justified in hating those who see life through a different paradigm.  In fact, they feel it is their just duty to protect their beliefs even it means spreading venom and hate.  They are ripe targets for the ultra conservative Republicans who are dinosaurs in the modern world, hanging onto their paradigm with whatever they can, including putting lies and filth on the airwaves.

Government is also a vehicle for control.  Our government is supposed to be representative democracy wherein the vehicle for control is designed for the benefit of a diverse population.  When large groups of citizens are suffering, the government must represent them also.

Unfortunately, our government now represents the highest bidder for a representatives actions, not a cross-section of the entire nation.  It is not a representative democracy but rather a set of cliques with set paradigms that answer to power and wealth.  Those without either are just numbers, unworthy of consideration, drains on society.

Christianity was only the vehicle for the republican party to take control of the religious right.  Their actions bear no resemblance to the record of talks that Jesus gave.  While there are a multitude of biblical interpretations, no one can dispute that most religions require treating our neighbor as we wish to be treated and showing compassion for the poor.  However, when you see yourself as the chosen few, you can apply those thoughts to your own collection of believers, throwing the "others" to their own demise.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
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Age : 80
Location : Germany

A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri Oct 04, 2013 7:43 am

Good post, DK.  Ann, so I should keep my opinions to myself?  Your judgement about what people post has not subsided.  What does the Tea Party stand for?  I see anarchism with the GOP.  They want to bring the government down.  Since they are part of the government, perhaps they should step down first.

Reagan won the election by using "God" in his speeches and got the support of the so-called "Moral Majority".  Bush used the same tactic.  "In God we trust" is printed on our currency.  The morining prayer and salute to the flag was changed to include "under God".  It is not just people saying we are a Christian Nation, but actions tend to support this view.  Freedom of religion is important.  Making it secular is akin to Judaism and Islam. 

If I decide to shut up, I will vanish from this forum.  I do not intend to conform.  If you prefer that I remain silent, be honest and say so.
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alj
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alj

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A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyFri Oct 04, 2013 8:32 am

Of course I do not want you to remain silent, Abe, Exploring different perspectives is what this board is all about.

This is not a competition to see which perspective wins. It is more about taking different pieces of a puzzle and seeing how they fit together - a cooperative effort to broaden our worldviews.

The problems come, in my perspective, when we use a blanket term like Christianity as though all people who profess to be of that faith, when the disparagement expressed refers to only a few within it. Elements like fundamentalism and Calvinism have little to do with liberal, social, or progressive forms of the religion, so to condemn all to repugnacy seems to me to be unfair. One tenet of progressive Christianity, for example, is that it is only one of many acceptable avenues available for worshiping a Divine Source that is sometimes called God. Islam and Judaism both not only include a belife in God, they belived in the same conception of God, so I don't see the connection to secularism.

It is difficult to hold an open discussion when we can't agree on a definition of relevant terms.



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Domenic Pappalardo
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Domenic Pappalardo

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A Christian Nation? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Christian Nation?   A Christian Nation? EmptyMon Oct 14, 2013 7:13 am

Jesus never started a religion. He gave us a way to live. All religions claim to have the truth, and that all others are false.
Some years ago I made up a list of major false teachings. I looked for a religion that had none. There is not one that does not have several.
I do believe in the Bible because I believe it can be proven true. I do believe in God, but follow no religion.
I claim to follow no government on earth. I follow the law of the land, and reject laws that are against Gods laws. Do I feel there are some who still want to learn about God? I don't know...if so, there can't be many.
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