Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey
But who is this guy? How do you know he's a Democrat? I don't doubt that he is, but there's no information about him here.
My bad! Missed the little blue linky. I'm running away now with a red face.
From Arkansas.Not the sharpest knife in the drawer but really what an utter idiot.
It's not Rocket Science Bill.
he has a jumbled voting record - all over the board. best case scenario - right-leaning independent.
Gryphen,Maher makes some valid points in his critique of organized religion and those mindless drones who cling to millennia old superstitions, however, it is quite frankly unfair, demeaning, mean spirited sophistry when Maher paints with an EXTREMELY broad brush all who consider themselves religious as being solipsistic buffoons who "believe in a talking snake."I am quite active in the Presbyterian Church - as was Fred Rogers - and I don't "believe in a talking snake." Indeed, if such belief were a requirement for membership, I would not be involved. It most definitely IS possible to believe in Darwinian evolution, science, the absolute equality of all individuals before the law and God (however you choose to define "God") AND be religious. My participation in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. is not contingent upon adherence to Bronze Age superstitions.My involvement in the Presbyterian Church is because they are consistently on the leading edge of questioning social injustice and inequality in our society. The PC USA was the tip of the spear on the issues of integration, granting full equality for women in and out of the church, justice for immigrants regardless of their visa status, and of full acceptance for our GLBT brothers and sisters.Having said that, the PC USA was moving too slowly for me on the issue of GLBT rights and I came VERY close to leaving the church for their tectonic pace on that issue. However, they did finally muster up the courage to grant full access within the church to GLBT Presbyterians as ordained clergy, elders, and deacons.I'd be willing to bet that I am more liberal than ANYBODY who regularly posts here. I have been very critical of President Obama for being so dismissive of the progressives and I will gladly wade into a crowd of tea baggers to defend women's contraceptive rights. I am also Presbyterian and consider myself a man of faith. Maher might have trouble reconciling that notion with his rather narrow and supercilious preconceived narrative regarding religion, yet here I am. I also get criticized from the right as not being a "real" Christian. Yet, here I am.I would tell Maher that it is simply unfair and wrong to be so dismissive of all who choose to be involved in organized religion. We are not all morons. I would also remind him that many religious people have made our world a much better place - Martin Luther King, Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemöller, Albert Schweitzer, Abraham Lincoln, etc., etc., etc. Issuing a blanket condemnation and insult to anyone involved in religion makes about as much sense as doing so for all men simply because of all the outrages that have been committed by men throughout our history. Many - maybe even most - of those who oppress, murder, rape, loot, pillage, and are obdurate morons possessed testicles, but not all who have/had testicles possessed those traits.Don't assign me guilt by association for the most extremist members of a VERY diverse cross section of the population or define by their actions. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fred Rogers were/are all Christians, yet were prompted onto VERY different paths by their beliefs. I try to follow in the footsteps of the latter two and assiduously avoid the paths of the former two.
Well Gasman, without the "bronze superstitions" you are simply describing a social club that does some good in the community, like the Elks club, or a local Rotary club.Why feel the need to wear the veil of Christianity if acceptance of the miracles contained in the Old and New Testament are no longer relevant to you?And remember your church did NOT change due to some inherent truth within their faith, but rather from outside social pressure. Once again proving that progress is often impeded by faith, NOT enhanced by it.
Your assessment of why the Presbyterian Church has changed is simply dead wrong. In large part it changed because a whole bunch of pissed off liberals like me forced them to confront these issues. I have been doing so on the GLBT front for well over a decade as have thousands of others like me. To characterize that change as being due only to outside pressure is just plain not true.As to why I do or do not participate in any particular religion, it is my own damn business, thank you very much. If you want to be an Elk or join the Rotary club, then good on ya', but don't tar and feather me for the sins of others because I choose to be involved in religion.You and Maher both use sweeping generalizations to condemn any involved in religion. That would be just as inappropriate as me making broad brush assignations about the mental acuity of all Alaskans because of the behavior of a certain shithead former partial governor you recently had. We are all individuals and our actions should be judged accordingly.Guilt by association is rarely appropriate. When it is applied to a group as diffuse and demographically varied as "everybody involved in religion" it is absolutely inappropriate.I do not deny the fact that religion is often a force of evil and injustice. Why do you - with very few exceptions - deny that it does not have to be so? You concede the virtue of Fred Rogers. I can assure you, he is/was not the only person within the church that seeks justice and equality for all people. I am more than willing to look unflinchingly at the history of religion and acknowledge the many excesses that religions have committed. Why are you unwilling to acknowledge the demonstrable, verifiable instances of good that have also been done by religious people?Notice, only one of us is making sweeping generalizations.Follow your own path, my friend, but please don't criticize me for following mine.
In large part it changed because a whole bunch of pissed off liberals like me forced them to confront these issues.Not to be confused with "some inherent truth within their faith". I believe that you and your fellow parishoners are the "social pressure" Gryphen was referring to. If you weren't in some sense "outside" you wouldn't have needed to apply pressure; you would simply have done it.
Gasman, Gryphen will not have an answer for that. Amazing post !
I appreciate this dialog between Gryphen and Gasman. I have grown to be dismissive of all religious people and at some level knew it was wrong. Thanks, guys, for taking the time to articulate both sides of this. Good conversation, and one of the reasons I keep coming back to IM in spite of the posts about someone's chin and someone's wigs.
Hey the guy is just telling the truth, maybe for the first time. All you have to do is get %51 of the idiots in your district to vote for you. As my ex-rep Bill Sali once famously said, "much of the time in the legislature critical thinking skills are not necessarily needed."This was in response to concerns raised by his failed auto accident lawsuit which asserted that he'd suffered brain injuries. Three medical professionals including his own doctor concluded that he was faking. He may have been faking about the accident but the brain damage was most certainly real, and he still got elected.
Why not be dismissive of "religion". A whole lot of it is , in my opinion, just mumbo jumbo designed to instill fright in the low information followers. If Sherlock Holmes was conceived in 1000ad he would probably be accepted as a real person. I discarded belief in god and religion at the age of about 7 yrs. Its a huge waste of time and energy on this planet to still have this debate. Unfortunatley, for me I will never see the end of organized religion on this planet, but someday that will be the norm. Athiests for Jesus
Why do you assume that all who are involved in religion must, ipso facto, be low information followers? I can introduce you to Ph.D. physicists from Los Alamos National Lab who are devotees of various religions. They don't dismiss Darwin, global warming, or science and I'm willing to bet that they are smarter than both of us put together. Are they "low information followers?"There's a line that comes to mind from my favorite book, The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, when the character Buster Kilrain says: "Any man who judges by the group is a peawit. You take men one at a time..." I tend to agree. Making wholesale, sweeping generalizations cannot be defended intellectually.
I learned a lot by reading the dialogue between Gasman and Gryphen, and I have to admit I've painted religions with a broad brush at times as well. So nice to see people able to engage in a mature conversation about religion brought about by Maher's use of the term "talking snake". Thanks Guys. Even though this guy's a democrat, that short clip, and the "Eureka" moment when his face changes from smug "gotcha" to "Why is he looking at me like I just said something stupid?" is priceless.
Don't feed the trolls! It just goes directly to their thighs.