2nd May 2012

“In Italy the Vatican's hostility to the liberal nation-state was so strong that the pope forbade the participation of Catholics in national political life altogether. The Church was understandably wary of pluralism's impact on its universalist aspirations – it could not abide being one option among many.”

Jan-Werner Müller

11 Responses to “2nd May 2012”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    There is no room for democracy in the theocratic state. In a theocracy you are every bit a subject of the state as you are in fuedal society.

    Pluralism and religious tolerance is a lie. No religious person can honestly ever say they can coexist happily as all will truly want their faith to be held by all.

    Only when a person is free of faith can this be completely understood.

  2. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    North Carolina Pastor Sean Harris: Parents Should ‘Punch’ Their Gay-Acting Children
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/north-carolina-pastor-sea_n_1468618.html?ref=mostpopular

  3. Xhim Says:

    This means only when we all agree with you instead of all agree with me?

  4. Dan Says:

    Xhim,
    Huh? Say that again, please.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Because you don’t truly want everyone to enjoy your faith, there are some people (in your mind) that should never be allowed to enjoy your faith? And for them you are completely content for them to enjoy any other faith except yours. Yours is for you and your kind alone: Right?

  6. Xhim Says:

    Dan: I was responding to Sinjin’s necessity for us all to be “free of faith” to understand that we can all live tolerantly with everyone else as long as everyone else is also free of faith.
    Sinjin: Do I think what I have is a good thing? Sure! (Don’t you think what you have is a good thing?) Am I happy, even eager to share that good thing with other people? Of course. Will I be devastated if all you guys stay atheists until your dying day? Well, it wouldn’t be my preference, but even God doesn’t force those kinds of decisions, so I can gladly accept you exercising your freedom in this way. And I can even gladly accept you trying to show me the error of my ways, as long as you do it nicely and allow me to reciprocate (nicely). Which is what we’ve been doing together for the past few months.
    I do have to agree with you, Sinjin, on the danger of a theocracy, or any other society where only one opinion is acceptable. The temptation is way too great to try to force people to conform “for their own good.” Just yesterday you quoted “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” It is only too true, making “forced conversions” an oxymoron. In spite of this, we highly evolved human beings are stupid enough to try it anyway if given the power.

  7. R J Says:

    sinjin…………………………

    yesserree !! that sean harris isnt homophobic at all !!

    what a hopeless turkey. i hope he goes home to god

    REAL SOON !!!!

    _______________________________________________

    xhim……………………

    i wonder if you would take the time to write down here,

    in your words only, your view of prayer. i’m quite

    curious,

  8. Xhim Says:

    Because being a follower of JC is primarily relational rather than doctrinal, because JC is alive (risen) and constantly present, prayer for me is an ongoing conversation. I just kind of talk at him while driving, when working out a problem, when celebrating. It’s a lot like a little kid’s “imaginary” or “invisible” friend, except of course that he’s real and really there (or I am totally bonkers). It really is a conversation. There are special times of concentrated prayer, especially when I am praying with my wife or someone else, or if I am praying FOR someone’s particular problem.
    Since a conversation should be two-way, I listen in two major ways: 1. by just taking time to chill during prayer, and 2. by combining prayer with Bible reading.
    Formal prayer, like reciting the Lord’s Prayer in church, is a little different. It’s still valid, but has a totally different dynamic. It seems to be intended to get everybody on the same page and focused on God instead of everything else going on. Sometimes it is even successful!
    We used to have a prayer room that people could use to get by themselves to spend an extended time, like an hour or two, praying. When I used the room, I talked, sang, read Bible, or just sat. I tend to pace the floor when I pray.
    The responses I get vary. There is an emotional element, of course. But often I’ll start reading the Bible and there is a phrase or a paragraph that deals with exactly what I am concerned about at the moment. I have never heard voices, but on rare occasions have been bombarded with an intense need to do something. For instance, I was driving down the Autobahn, and a VW bug’s motor was on fire. Several cars had stopped, one was calling the authorities on the highway intercom the Germans have every km or so, so I kept driving. I didn’t have a fire extinguisher or anything, there were already people there, and I didn’t see how I could help. But God told me to go back there; not quite a voice out loud, but very imperative. I argued all of the above, drove past the next exit, but couldn’t shake the command so turned around at the next exit. By the time I got back, the police had already extinguished the fire. So I said to God, “See! They didn’t need me!” But before I got to the next exit to turn around I saw another stopped car. This one belonged to a Turk. I stopped, did my amateur mechanic thing, established the prob was somewhere in the electrical system. The police arrived then, and one of them started harassing the Turk (the other one was embarrassed, but didn’t say anything). They knew where a junkyard was that did repairs, but were not allowed to tow. So I towed him there.
    In 50+ years this kind of thing has only happened to me about 3 times, but I thought you might be interested.
    I hope that was helpful.

  9. Xhim Says:

    Because being a follower of JC is primarily relational rather than doctrinal, because JC is alive (risen) and constantly present, prayer for me is an ongoing conversation. I just kind of talk at him while driving, when working out a problem, when celebrating. It’s a lot like a little kid’s “imaginary” or “invisible” friend, except of course that he’s real and really there (or I am totally bonkers). It really is a conversation. There are special times of concentrated prayer, especially when I am praying with my wife or someone else, or if I am praying FOR someone’s particular problem.
    Since a conversation should be two-way, I listen in two major ways: 1. by just taking time to chill during prayer, and 2. by combining prayer with Bible reading.
    Formal prayer, like reciting the Lord’s Prayer in church, is a little different. It’s still valid, but has a totally different dynamic. It seems to be intended to get everybody on the same page and focused on God instead of everything else going on. Sometimes it is even successful!
    We used to have a prayer room that people could use to get by themselves to spend an extended time, like an hour or two, praying. When I used the room, I talked, sang, read Bible, or just sat. I tend to pace the floor when I pray.
    The responses I get vary. There is an emotional element, of course. But often I’ll start reading the Bible and there is a phrase or a paragraph that deals with exactly what I am concerned about at the moment. I have never heard voices, but on rare occasions have been bombarded with an intense need to do something. For instance, I was driving down the Autobahn, and a VW bug’s motor was on fire. Several cars had stopped, one was calling the authorities on the highway intercom the Germans have every km or so, so I kept driving. I didn’t have a fire extinguisher or anything, there were already people there, and I didn’t see how I could help. But God told me to go back there; not quite a voice out loud, but very imperative. I argued all of the above, drove past the next exit, but couldn’t shake the command so turned around at the next exit. By the time I got back, the police had already extinguished the fire. So I said to God, “See! They didn’t need me!” But before I got to the next exit to turn around I saw another stopped car. This one belonged to a Turk. I stopped, did my amateur mechanic thing, established the prob was somewhere in the electrical system. The police arrived then, and one of them started harassing the Turk (the other one was embarrassed, but didn’t say anything). They knew where a junkyard was that did repairs, but were not allowed to tow. So I towed him there.
    In nearly 50 years this kind of thing has only happened to me about 3 times, but I thought you might be interested.
    I hope that was helpful.

  10. Xhim Says:

    Oops! Double posted!

  11. Dan Says:

    Xhim,
    Okay, thanks for clarifying. I’m inclined to side with Sinjin of course, although I think I’d qualify it before agreeing completely.

    Because of course, as you say, we atheists can seem to be just as intolerant of contrary viewpoints to theists. But in actuality we’re not demanding that everyone agree with us, we’re just demanding that everyone drop this notion that faith is a good thing. It isn’t. Every moment that theists act or think on faith represents a small death of critical thinking – that is, every single appeal to faith is an appeal to stop thinking.

    So are we intolerant of faith? Only insofar as theists’ faith makes it impossible for anyone else to have a productive dialogue with them. Take what you said above in response to RJ, for instance:

    [Prayer is] a lot like a little kid’s “imaginary” or “invisible” friend, except of course that he’s real and really there (or I am totally bonkers). It really is a conversation.

    Yes, that’s bonkers. How can we have a productive conversation about prayer when you actually believe that you have an imaginary friend, and are actually bonkers enough to think that it’s real? We can’t. Because you won’t allow yourself to think critically on the matter.