EP recently raised an interesting point on another thread when he said that he thought that "diversity" was either a good thing or was needed (not that there's much difference between the two) in the AA religious community. If I read him correctly, he said that he thinks there is too much Christianity and there should be other religions and philosophies among us.

Which I think brings up a question:

What is the relationship of law and morality? What should it be?

We do say that law does not cause morality. "You can't legislate morality" is the common thought on this, and yet that is precisely what we do through legislation. All law is an expression of morality, an imposition of a morality. To say, "Don't impose your beliefs on me" is to ignore a very important fact about law and community, which is that someone's beliefs are going to be imposed on someone. The belief that beliefs should not be imposed is often imposed itself.

What should a Christian decide on this issue? When should Christians support legislation that encourages righteous behavior?

Biblically, I think the answer must be, "When it pleases God for them to do so." This is sometimes a sticky and tricky process, for "I" often gets mistaken for "God," and so the Christian needs to be very humble and very careful when deciding what and how to do this. Most of us, when we do this at all, do it imperfectly and thus must remain open to other conclusions.

But we have to decide something. That's one of the natures of this life. One thing we must not decide to legislate is a law compelling prayer, for example, or Sunday worship attendance, or tithing, and such. I don't think that Christians are in any danger of suggesting that, anyway.

The reason that we would not and should not is because the one part of "you can't legislate morality" that is right is that righteous behavior does not yield salvation, which must always remain the Church's goal and life (not micromanaging others' lives). Rather, salvation yields righteous behavior. Therefore, Christians should not legislate their spirituality.

But can and should they try to legislate their morality? As long as that morality reflects God's reality and not some denominational perspective, yes.

Most of the time most people would have no disagreement with this. Laws against murder and malicious damage to persons and property, for example, or against financial fraud, meet with almost universal approval.

But where people apparently have trouble with Christians legislating is when the Christians' worldview conflicts with their now-opponents.

That's really the problem, I think--worldview. All law legislates a morality and thus cannot be morally neutral. To distinguish between "good" and "bad" we have to borrow a morality and a worldview from some place, from some worldview.

Thus, Christians have every right to argue their case, since they are arguing from a worldview, which is what everybody else does. If we forbid Christians form doing so, we must forbid everybody else from doing so, and that result very likely is not possible. If possible, it would be unendurable.

Some debates, therefore, about law are not really about the law but about worldview and thus about reality. Should the law redefine this or that action to be criminal or allowed, that is, good or bad? That must be based on a view of reality, and that is from where the arguments should start.

Is, say, homosexual marriage really "marriage"? In our society for some time we've had a tendency to believe that all concepts are malleable and fungible, which gave rise to the predominant use of the concept "gender" instead of "sex." Gender is a social construct, we are told from academia mostly, and thus is changeable, so that is where some have put their energies and thought. That is the imposition of a worldview. Under that worldview, homosexual marriage is possible, because marriage becomes political and thus changeable according to the concepts of the time.

But is it? Christians generally have a different worldview, which makes a gay relationship real but not true, therefore not available to marriage any more than would be, say, two rivers or two stones. Christians who resist gay marriage do so on the basis of saying that this is not an area in which the government has the right to redefine reality.

Now, if we really believe in the goodness of diverse points of view, we would have to say that the clash over this issue--and over others like it, capital punishment, for example--is healthy and desirable.

Christians must remember in it all that their worldview also says that God is in control no matter which way this debate finally comes to rest. Therefore, the world will not end should gay marriage become legal in all fifty states.

But under the circumstances of our present philosophies, the Christian worldview is not automatically disqualified from having a fair hearing. After all, it is a worldview and everybody has one, so it should be heard, too.
Original Post
I am a Christian, I am heterosexual, I think gays should be allowed to marry, I think women have the right of choice and affirmative action is desparately needed because children are still being left behind.

Law in the USA is not about morality it is about power and money. It was law that enslaved my ancestors using the Christian Bible, it was law that separated the races under Jim Crow using the Christian Bible , it was law that cause the police to sick dogs on citizens because they were Black and wanted equality using the Christian Bible.

The "christians" who say Gay Marriage is wrong, are the same "christians" that lynch Black men in 2006, and will convict a Black man for looking at a white woman, while they aquit 5 white men for gang raping a Black woman, with dna from all of them found in every bruise and orafice. Please don't suggest that all Christians are the same, if we were then hate, bigotry, racisim would end tomorrow and I could stand next to Dick Cheney [spelling, isn't that bad, I can't spell the VP's last name] and sing some Negro Spiritual with him. If all Christian were the same, I would not be shocked to see Donald Rumsfeld at Rosa Parks' D.C. Memorial Service because the entire congress, supreme court and the rest of the senior members of the Bush Administration would have been present and he would not have stood out like a sore thumb. If all Christians were the same I would not be offended by Bush waging a war of choice on Iraq. George Bush proves every day that all Christians are not the same.
nikcara,

You have more than one point in your post. I will try to address them, but I hope you can forgive me if I miss one or two.

Do we have differing definitions of "Christian"? What is a Christian to you?

Yes, Christians do differ on issues, but they differ usually because they've started from different points of view. They have different conclusions about the world to begin with, thus they have certain differences in their worldviews, which is part of the point that I made originally. Worldview is important. People who upheld Jim Crow, sometimes violently, usually weren't Christians. Their worldview was one that can't be found in the Bible. It came from somewhere else. A Biblical worldview would not do as you have pointed out that some did.

You paint the world with a fairly broad brush, it seems to me. I have a limited experience with you, this being the first time that I know of that we've exchanged ideas, but still it seems that you blame much on many who do not deserve it. The vast majority of people who follow the Bible have never even wanted to lynch anyone, let alone do so. Some of us are even against the death penalty, let alone lynching. Life is important enough--sacred, in fact--that no human has the right to take it from another. So, not all of us on one side of an issue are going to be like others, especially those who do not share our religion.

Those you mention, who defended slavery, were not doing so because of the Bible but in spite of it. There were northern Christians prior to the Civil War, you'll remember, who agitated for abolition and even worked the Underground railroad, and did so because they saw in the Bible that we are one before God. Why do you not emphasize them instead of the others?

There are still many who invoke the Bible and the name of God when it suits them but don't really mean it, because they ignore it when it's inconvenient to them. It's not the Bible's fault that some people misuse it, and it's not all Christians on one side of an issue who will be as bad as other people who just happen to agree with them.

So your use of the term "using" the Bible is right--they used it. They didn't believe it. So if they were Christians, they were by definition bad ones. Many of them weren't Christians at all, for of some who use the name of Christ, Jesus himself said, "Why do you call me Lord but don't do what I say?"

Now, a question: why can't you stand next to Dick Cheney now? I mean, besides the obvious practical problems of bodyguards and such? There is such a thing as loving one's enemy in the Bible. If we are to love our enemies, and if we are to pray for those in authority, then why can't we stand next to them?

Law is about morality. What you mention, power and money, is a morality. Not an especially good one, but a morality nonetheless. Some people deviously use the law to their own advantage, this is true, but that's because their morality happens to be a bad one, a selfish one. But all law--all of it--is about morality.

Can you name one law that doesn't have as its root a view of right and wrong, that tries to establish that which is right and wrong?
Alright, here's the reality of the land:

America was founded on Englightenment Principles (the ideas in our Constitution are borrowed from the French Constitution and inspired by Englightenment Age philosophy on liberty, freedom and justice).


There is a radical Seperation of Church and State. Church cannot regulate religious beliefs as laws, and the State cannot regulate religious beliefs. This is mutally beneficial, it provides a safe, bias-free (in theory) system that does not make judgements based on religious beliefs. Imagine if a Buddhist was being sued in court, and he was judged guilty for not worshipping the Judeo-Christian God.


Religion should not mix in politics. If you start regulating laws based on religious morals, where does it end? Whose religion should the laws be based on? If you say Christians, what kind of Christians? If you say Protestants, what kind of Protestants? If you say Conservative Protestants, which denomination or sect? If you say laws should be made based on the Bible, which interpretation?

Should we ban wearing polyester or multi-colored suits? (it is considered "sinful" in the Old Testament along with "homosexuality"). Should we ban pork and shellfish? Should we enforce that everyone attends Church on Sunday?


If you say that all religions should be open to influencing law, should we change "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to : "One Nation, under God/Christ/Yahweh/Allah/Brahman/Buddha/Shunyata/Dao/Goddess/Ahura Mazda/Lucifer/"? If not, then why?


If we let Christian beliefs influence policy on Gay Marriage and Abortion, why not let it influence other things too? Why not enforce Jesus' policy against interest? (Jesus said to not charge interest on loans)


Marriage is a federal issue, not a religious issue. Mariage is a federal issue because:

1) Seperation of Church and State
2) Christianity did not invent marriage
3) Non-Christians get married also

That's why you need a MARRIAGE LISCENCE in this country for the goverment to recognize your marriage. If marriage was solely a religious issue, being married in a church would be good enough and you would not need a liscence. That's also why people can get married outside of churches and have their marriage recognized.

Abortion is also not a religlious issue because the laws on death in this country are not influenced by any religions (due to Seperation of Church and State). A woman's right to choose is a Constitutional right due to the First and Fifteenth Amendment.


We shouldn't legislate "morality" on religious basis because our laws are built off of Englightenment Age secular morals in the first place. To regulate "morality" based on any religion (especially on a single religion) would be stepping into the realm of theocracy.
quote:

Those you mention, who defended slavery, were not doing so because of the Bible but in spite of it.


What in the Bible forbids the owning of slaves?It's acknowledged as a practice in both the New and Old Testaments. And nothing I'm aware of forbids the practice per se. You might argue that the Bible would enjoin Masters to treat their slaves well. But what forbids them from owning slaves to begin with?

See the Pauline Epistle Philemon, in which an escaped slave is encouraged to return to his owner and the owner is entreated to be forgiving. Nothing there condemns slavery. If anything, Christians were encouraged to obey the law of the time even when the law countenanced slavery.

If anything, you can say that Northern Christian Abolitionists who opposed slavery did so not because of the Bible but inspite of it.

Lastly, I'll add that the Abolitionist movement also included many Unitarians (There is but One God and Jesus is NOT Divine) and Universalists (All are saved and no one is damned).
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quote:

Can you name one law that doesn't have as its root a view of right and wrong, that tries to establish that which is right and wrong?


How about the law which gives Congress the right to authorize the President to declare war?
EP,

Yes, John Locke and the idea of universal rights is very European, though they did not spring full-grown from the head of the French Revolution, especially that part of it that so quickly degenerated into the Reign of Terror and was well criticized by such as Edmund Burke, a supporter of much of the American philosophy.

But this couldn't have arisen without the ground of the Christian faith. It's no wonder that the Magna Carta was forced on King John in England. It was a first step prompted by the barons, but it was a step toward teh American philosophy of rights. But it all grew in Christian Europe, in which the concept of God-given rights took root, and became the cradle of the Enlightenment.

++++++++++++++++++++++
There is a radical Seperation of Church and State. Church cannot regulate religious beliefs as laws, and the State cannot regulate religious beliefs. This is mutally beneficial, it provides a safe, bias-free (in theory) system that does not make judgements based on religious beliefs. Imagine if a Buddhist was being sued in court, and he was judged guilty for not worshipping the Judeo-Christian God.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Yes.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Religion should not mix in politics. If you start regulating laws based on religious morals, where does it end? Whose religion should the laws be based on? If you say Christians, what kind of Christians? If you say Protestants, what kind of Protestants? If you say Conservative Protestants, which denomination or sect? If you say laws should be made based on the Bible, which interpretation?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Not precisely my point. I did say that that sort of thing should not happen. What I was emphasizing was that the ground of their beliefs should not by its nature be ruled out of court and not given a fair hearing. I would generally agree with you, but I think that you are being more general than I was. I say that Hindus have the right to say that a moral is the right one to adopt because it in , oh, the Baghavad Gita, say, or is Brahmin in origin and the Brahmins are right. I would very likely disagree with them, but they should have the right to argue this point and to be taken seriously while doing so.

++++++++++++++++++++++
Should we ban wearing polyester or multi-colored suits? (it is considered "sinful" in the Old Testament along with "homosexuality"). Should we ban pork and shellfish? Should we enforce that everyone attends Church on Sunday?
+++++++++++++++++++++++

I did specifically say that Sunday observance should not be enforced. Sectarian concerns should not be adopted, but those who hold them should be able to voice them in public debate and not be shouted down only because their reasons are religious.

++++++++++++++++++++++
If you say that all religions should be open to influencing law, should we change "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to : "One Nation, under God/Christ/Yahweh/Allah/Brahman/Buddha/Shunyata/Dao/Goddess/Ahura Mazda/Lucifer/"? If not, then why?
+++++++++++++++++++++

This goes one step beyond my point. If the country voted for this, then it should be adopted. Muslims should be able to say that they want Allah mentiond in the Pledge. The rest of us should be able to debate that point rationally and respectfully.

++++++++++++++++++++++++
If we let Christian beliefs influence policy on Gay Marriage and Abortion, why not let it influence other things too? Why not enforce Jesus' policy against interest? (Jesus said to not charge interest on loans)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Christians should be able to argue that. It wouldn't pass (it touches money, after all, the American golden calf), but they should at least get a fair hearing on it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Abortion is also not a religlious issue because the laws on death in this country are not influenced by any religions (due to Seperation of Church and State). A woman's right to choose is a Constitutional right due to the First and Fifteenth Amendment.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Not really. It's based on Harry Blackmun's interpretation of the "penumbra" of the Constitution. He got a majority of the justices to agree with him, but he lobbied for it so hard that aides called the memos and the case, "Harry's abortion." It's a notoriously badly-decided case.

++++++++++++++++++++++++
We shouldn't legislate "morality" on religious basis because our laws are built off of Englightenment Age secular morals in the first place. To regulate "morality" based on any religion (especially on a single religion) would be stepping into the realm of theocracy.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I don't htink so. A theocracy is where a religion and its leaders rule the country by religious law. I'm talking about letting religious people have their requests based on their religious reasons, and the rest of us not refusing to hear them because we don't like the religion. Even religious folk should be able to have their say.
quote:

Those you mention, who defended slavery, were not doing so because of the Bible but in spite of it.


What in the Bible forbids the owning of slaves?It's acknowledged as a practice in both the Old and New Testaments. And nothing I'm aware of forbids - or even condemns - the practice per se. You might argue that the Bible would enjoin Masters to treat their slaves well. But what forbids them from owning slaves to begin with?

See the Pauline Epistle Philemon, in which an escaped slave is encouraged to return to his owner and the owner is entreated to be forgiving. Nothing there condemns slavery. If anything, Christians were encouraged to obey the law of the time even when the law countenanced slavery.

If anything, you can say that Northern Christian Abolitionists who opposed slavery did so not because of the Bible but inspite of it.

Lastly, I'll add that the Abolitionist movement also included many Unitarians (There is but One God and Jesus is NOT Divine) and Universalists (All are saved and no one is damned).
HB,

Yes, the northern abolitionist movement included people who were not Christians, but that really is beside the point. Wiliam Wilberforce in England was a Christian who almost a hundred years before the American Civil War spearheaded the British abolitionist movement. Christians here were encouraged by his success and worked very hard to abolish slavery all through the country. It's what led to our Civil War, you'll remember. They worked with many who were not
Christian, but they worked for it.

Tehy did so because, while the Bible acknowledges the existence of slavery, and when the Church was small and weak as it was in the days of Paul, it did what it could in the larger society to live as Christians in a culture they could not change. But when it came to their own, that they could change.

You mention the book of Philemon. A careful reading of it would see something already at work in the Church. Paul acknowledges the legal status of the runaway slave Onesimus, but, he says to Onesimus' owner, Philemon, in a letter accompanying the returning Onesimus,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul"”an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus"” 10I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[a] who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12I am sending him"”who is my very heart"”back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good"” 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A slave as a brother? Find that in any Roman's thought. There is an interesting historical fact in the early church--there was a bishop named Onesimus.

It is Bible teaching like this that made the Church fight slavery. Not in spite of the Bible, but because of it.
quote:

It is Bible teaching like this that made the Church fight slavery. Not in spite of the Bible, but because of it.


Weak...Reeeeeal weak

I would think it had to do more with Enlightenment ideals and world events of the time. But if you say so...
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Yes, of course: criticize without dealing with the evidence, state an opinion as if it were obvious truth, and never, never answer a factual argument.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
es, of course: criticize without dealing with the evidence, state an opinion as if it were obvious truth, and never, never answer a factual argument.


The point is that I could sit here and argue with you forever. But your mind is made up and no amount of logic and evidence is going to change your mind. I don't enjoy arguing just for the hell of it. My time is rather limited. So why bother? I'm not sure that anything good comes of it. I'm not sure if anyone on the site gets much from looking at the two of us go back and forth hogging a thread. Why bother?

And I did present evidence for my statement. Philemon. And you didn't dispute what I wrote. You just talked around it in your usual squirmy way.

And, by the way, This

quote:

Yes, of course....state an opinion as if it were obvious truth, and never, never answer a factual argument.


sounds much more ike you, my friend. Your f*cking posts are so FACT-free we could market them as diet food.


THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT FORBIDS OR EVEN CONDEMNS SLAVERY.

Now deal with it.
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I had already written

quote:

You might argue that the Bible would enjoin Masters to treat their slaves well. But what forbids them from owning slaves to begin with?


and you just came back by saying (essentially) that "if you read closely" Paul encourages Philemon to treat Onesimus as a brother - while sending Onesimus back to share brotherly love with his owner. I.e. you only elaborated on what I already said. You didn't contradict it one bit.

So why should waste my time responding when there was nothing new to respond to? Your reply was lame. That's not a dodge. That's my opinion. Agree or disagree.

I get so sick and tired of Christians and "If you just read closely" Roll Eyes
Your illness could be avoided if you wished. Yo uapparently do not do so.

Note well what Paul said, that he could order Philemon to release Onesimus if he wanted to. He would rather have it come from Philemon's own heart and love for Onesimus. He's being quite pastoral here as well as apostolic. The command still hovers in the background, the unchanging scene against which this action is played.

Yes, if you'd only read closely.
He could command if only he wanted?: Sheesh!

How tragic! Frown

So let me ask: Why didn't the Christians of the 19th century follow St. Paul's example? That's what you advocate right? Do as the Bible commends?

So why didn't 19th century Christians follow that example??: wish the slaves well, bid the masters regard their slaves as brothers, and remark that they could command if they wished it but wait instead for it to come from the heart???
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quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
Your illness could be avoided if you wished. Yo uapparently do not do so.


You're right. I could avoid the illness by undergoing a frontal lobotomy.

No thanks. I think I'll pass.....
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And, of course, every person acts and says the same thing the same way every time.

You are committing the fallacy of the "argument from silence."

Compare Galatians with 1 Corinthians. There were things in Corinth that he strongly condemned, yet he started out by finding things for which to praise them and thank God for them. IN Galatians, there were none of the sins that we think are so spectaular, yet he starts out there with "You idiots!"

that he did not say what you wanted him to say where you wanted him to say it is no argument.
Repeat:

quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
He could command if only he wanted: Sheesh!

How tragic! Frown

So let me ask: Why didn't the Christians of the 19th century follow St. Paul's example? That's what you advocate right? Do as the Bible commends?

So why didn't 19th century Christians follow that example??: wish the slaves well, bid the masters regard their slaves as brothers, and remark that they could command if they wished it but wait instead for it to come from the heart???
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
And, of course, every person acts and says the same thing the same way every time.

You are committing the fallacy of the "argument from silence."
.......................
that he did not say what you wanted him to say where you wanted him to say it is no argument.


But he NEVER says it anywhere Roll Eyes
The problem isn't that he doesn't say it. The problem is that he doesn't say it in the way you want him to.

Paul lived 2000 years ago in an entirely different culture and had as his objective the survival of believers in Christ. You cannot demand that he speak as a twenty-first century American (or even as a nineteenth-century Northerner).

That's quite an imposition of your beliefs on someone who cannot defend or explain himself.
Are you really as brainwashed as the way you come off? I mean reading stuff into the text. Seeing ONLY what you want to see. Allowing yourself to see no more than the Biblical text - and even then only in the best possible light. And no matter what I say, you're just going to come back with the same WEAK AZZ crap....
I Repeat:

quote:

The point is that I could sit here and argue with you forever. But your mind is made up and no amount of logic and evidence is going to change your mind. I don't enjoy arguing just for the hell of it. My time is rather limited. So why bother? I'm not sure that anything good comes of it. I'm not sure if anyone on the site gets much from looking at the two of us go back and forth hogging a thread. Why bother?

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT FORBIDS OR EVEN CONDEMNS SLAVERY.

Now deal with it.

Come now, HB, those words can be used against you and be quite accurate. They shoudn't be, though, because they're not an argument, only a questioning of motives and asserting conclusions that you do not and cannot know.

I'm reading nothing into the text. Look at the words. They are there. Once more:

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8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul"”an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus"” 10I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[a] who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

There are several things going on here: the understated command to release Onsimus and treat him as the equal he has become, the emotional appeal to add force to his argument (I'm an old man and a prisoner), his calling Onsimus his own "son," the play on words involving his name ("Onesimus" means "Useful"), later he calls Onesimus Philemon's "brother." The meaning is clear. All you have to do is to put aside your emotions for a few minutes, the distaste that you feel from your limited experience with Christians (you did say that your are "sick" of Christians), stop blaming Paul and the Bible for not talking as you think they should, and read what is written.
quote:
stop blaming Paul and the Bible for not talking as you think they should, and read what is written.


I don't believe it should or shouldn't talk any way in particular. I have * no * belief * whatsoever * in the authority of this book - which was written for sheep herders by sheepherders millenia ago. And no. I will not waste any more of my time rereading this drivel.

My only point was that it doesn't say what YOU want it to say.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
All you have to do is to put aside your emotions for a few minutes, the distaste that you feel from your limited experience with Christians (you did say that your are "sick" of Christians), stop blaming Paul and the Bible for not talking as you think they should, and read what is written.


I've had all the experience I need. Anyone who needs to go running to an ancient book, fine-parsing every single line, to tell them what to think about any given issue is a simpleton. I find that distasteful.

If the shoe fits wear it.
Once Again. Maybe you'll answer this time:

quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
He could command if only he wanted?: Sheesh!

How tragic! Frown

So let me ask: Why didn't the Christians of the 19th century follow St. Paul's example? That's what you advocate right? Do as the Bible commends?

So why didn't 19th century Christians follow that example??: wish the slaves well, bid the masters regard their slaves as brothers, and remark that they could command if they wished it but wait instead for it to come from the heart???
Well, that's interesting:

You wrote,
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I don't believe it should or shouldn't talk any way in particular.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

But that's been your whole argument:
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Let's put it this way: St. Paul didn't have problems strongly condemning a lot of other things. NOW DID HE?

What in the Bible forbids the owning of slaves?

He could command if only he wanted

But he NEVER says it anywhere
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You demand that the Bible say what you want it to say, and you desparage it (a book by sheepherders for sheepherders, you called it, right? Wasn't that condescending as well as wrong? Habakkuk picked figs, Isaiah was a priest, Paul was a scholar who made tents, Peter was a fisherman, and the author of Hebrews was a scholar who wrote beautiful Greek) when it does not. You wil not read it to understand it, yet you will condemn it, falsely, as it turns out.

I point out to you just where you are wrong about the Bible, I quote what it says that shows you that you misunderstand it, and all you can do is to say that you will not do that. That is rather obvious. Stick to mathematics. Logic, respect, courtesy, politeness and a desire for the truth just aren't your strong suits.
You haven't been listening. William Wilberforce and those many English Christians who followed him did follow Paul's example. The Christians in the American North did follow Paul's example. It was the basis for their activism for abolition.

The "Christians" you really are talking about are the Christians in the American South, a minority of Christians, by the way. Many more fought for slavery's end than defended it pre-war. The reason teh Southeners defended slavery was because of the pride of place ("states rights") which is the sin of pride, and for economic and cultural reasons, which are the sin of idolatry.

Either way, the defense was sin, and we fought a war to be rid of it.

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So why didn't 19th century Christians follow that example??: wish the slaves well, bid the masters regard their slaves as brothers, and remark that they could command if they wished it but wait instead for it to come from the heart???
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Do not mix being an apostle with being a Christian. Every apostle was a Christian, no Christian since then has been an apostle. It was not our place to merely wish people well (that was answered by Jesus and James), but to do what is right before God. Abolition of lsavery was just one such right act. It was delayed by political, cultural, economic, and sinful reasons.
Melesi: YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM WAS THAT CHRISTIAN ABOLITIONISTS OPPOSED SLAVERY BECAUSE OF THE BIBLE.

I only questioned the basis for that claim. I'm not demanding or even expecting that the Bible should forbid or condemn slavery.

My point was that because the Bible does NOT condemn or forbid slavery there is a very weak basis for your original claim that Christians opposed slavery because of the Bible.

Circles, Man. You're going in circles again.

This is why I don't like having these discussions with you. I have to keep your AZZ straight on your own f*cking argument.
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IN FACT, THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY I ORIGNALLY HESITATED TO EVEN START THIS DISCUSSION WAS BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO BE RUDE.

With you that's hard to do.
quote:

Stick to mathematics. Logic, respect, courtesy, politeness and a desire for the truth just aren't your strong suits.


Logic is a branch of mathematics and I'm intimately familiar with it. Thank you. The Love of Truth is PRECISELY why I will not shackle my mind with the Biblical text.

If you Loved Truth so much, you'd be open to seeing it outside the Bible.

And you'll get courtesy and respect when you stop your double talk. I'm very courteous actually but I have NO tolerance for BS. None.
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You know I might even be willing to accept that they opposed slavery by an extension of New Testament principle but, in doing so, they had to ignore other parts of the Bible.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
...It's based on Harry Blackmun's interpretation of the "penumbra" of the Constitution. He got a majority of the justices to agree with him, but he lobbied for it so hard that aides called the memos and the case, "Harry's abortion." It's a notoriously badly-decided case.


Prohibition of slavery is to be found in the Penumbra of the Biblical text. Is it therefore badly decided? I don't know but he notoriously lobbied hard for it.

quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
nikcara,

You have more than one point in your post. I will try to address them, but I hope you can forgive me if I miss one or two.

Do we have differing definitions of "Christian"? What is a Christian to you?

Yes, Christians do differ on issues, but they differ usually because they've started from different points of view. They have different conclusions about the world to begin with, thus they have certain differences in their worldviews, which is part of the point that I made originally. Worldview is important. People who upheld Jim Crow, sometimes violently, usually weren't Christians. Their worldview was one that can't be found in the Bible. It came from somewhere else. A Biblical worldview would not do as you have pointed out that some did.

You paint the world with a fairly broad brush, it seems to me. I have a limited experience with you, this being the first time that I know of that we've exchanged ideas, but still it seems that you blame much on many who do not deserve it. The vast majority of people who follow the Bible have never even wanted to lynch anyone, let alone do so. Some of us are even against the death penalty, let alone lynching. Life is important enough--sacred, in fact--that no human has the right to take it from another. So, not all of us on one side of an issue are going to be like others, especially those who do not share our religion.

Those you mention, who defended slavery, were not doing so because of the Bible but in spite of it. There were northern Christians prior to the Civil War, you'll remember, who agitated for abolition and even worked the Underground railroad, and did so because they saw in the Bible that we are one before God. Why do you not emphasize them instead of the others?

There are still many who invoke the Bible and the name of God when it suits them but don't really mean it, because they ignore it when it's inconvenient to them. It's not the Bible's fault that some people misuse it, and it's not all Christians on one side of an issue who will be as bad as other people who just happen to agree with them.

So your use of the term "using" the Bible is right--they used it. They didn't believe it. So if they were Christians, they were by definition bad ones. Many of them weren't Christians at all, for of some who use the name of Christ, Jesus himself said, "Why do you call me Lord but don't do what I say?"

Now, a question: why can't you stand next to Dick Cheney now? I mean, besides the obvious practical problems of bodyguards and such? There is such a thing as loving one's enemy in the Bible. If we are to love our enemies, and if we are to pray for those in authority, then why can't we stand next to them?

Law is about morality. What you mention, power and money, is a morality. Not an especially good one, but a morality nonetheless. Some people deviously use the law to their own advantage, this is true, but that's because their morality happens to be a bad one, a selfish one. But all law--all of it--is about morality.

Can you name one law that doesn't have as its root a view of right and wrong, that tries to establish that which is right and wrong?


Melesi, sorry I did not get back to this sooner, what can I say, I was on trial and got distracted. Suffice it to say, I cannot stand next to Dick Cheney [whatever the spelling is] because he is a racist that calls himself a Christian like Bush and I cannot agree with what they have done in the name of Jesus or my God. The God that I pray to clearly is not whom they pray to yet we both use the term Christian.

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