Iran vs. US/Israel?

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:09 pm

Crusader Scott wrote:I realize that it is fashionable to be a Bush-hater these days, but don't let your political dislike for one leader force you to embrace a rabid anti-semite!


I don't think anyone has embraced Ahmadinejad. There is a difference between embracing someone and viewing them rationally.

I would also point out that you can make a list very similar to the one you made which would catalog statements Bush has made. The Bush rhetoric about the "Axis of Evil" is very similar to Ahmadinejad's rhetoric about the West and Israel.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:23 pm

KingAl wrote:Bigoted as he may be, he makes a valid point: The UN decide to create a nation of Jews in order to avoid the persecution so evident in the past. They then decide nostalgically to give them their traditional lands, entirely ignoring the fact that people already live there. This is enough to rouse anti-Jewish sentiment (I'd say anti-Semitism, but of course Arabs are also Semites). Denial of the reasons given for the move is a fairly understandable reaction against what would appear to be such 'favoritism'.

All I can say to this is "to the victor goes the spoils". I mean, it was a World War, and we all know that any of us would take advantage of being the ruling power after such a war (in a way that benefits us the most in the short term).

KingAl wrote:The fact is, Israelis have no more right to Israel than Palestinians - the displacement only justified if you take it as truth that the lands were given to them personally by God to be their lands, which is not the impartial stance that an international governing body should take: in subjects of global significance, separation of church and state is ever more important.

Technically, if you believe that claim, then you have to recognize that only a portion of what is now known as Israel was given by God to the Jews. There were 12 (or technically 13) tribes of Israel, the tribe of Judah is only one of them. Also, you have to account for the fact that God did remove all the tribes from that land because of their more or less abandonment of Him.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:All I can say to this is "to the victor goes the spoils". I mean, it was a World War, and we all know that any of us would take advantage of being the ruling power after such a war (in a way that benefits us the most in the short term).


This is not longer generally an acceptable practice. You will note that after WWII the victorious powers did not permanently annex land in general (with the exception of the USSR and some minor border issues in Europe).
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:36 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:All I can say to this is "to the victor goes the spoils". I mean, it was a World War, and we all know that any of us would take advantage of being the ruling power after such a war (in a way that benefits us the most in the short term).


This is not longer generally an acceptable practice. You will note that after WWII the victorious powers did not permanently annex land in general (with the exception of the USSR and some minor border issues in Europe).

My statement still stands. Accepted or not today, if there were a world war III on the scale (in todays terms) of the second, you can bet your you know what that whomever was the nation on top would take advantage of the situation. Be it the USA, UK, Iran, Congo, China, Iceland... Ruling powers for thousands of years have proven this over and over. The ruling powers of tomorrows post WWIII would be no different. Now, some count the current "war on terrorism" as WWIII, but that is not what I'm referring to.

Also, I forgot to mention that in the US, there is not and never has been such a thing as "separation of church and state" the way most promote it. We are heading that way now, but historically, that has not been the case.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:48 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Also, I forgot to mention that in the US, there is not and never has been such a thing as "separation of church and state" the way most promote it. We are heading that way now, but historically, that has not been the case.


Actually there was a fairly wide separation of religion and government when the country was established. Religion gradually crept back into government during wars (the Civil War and Cold War especially). The phrase "In God We Trust" was only added to US currency during the Civil War and "one nation under God" was only added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:52 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Also, I forgot to mention that in the US, there is not and never has been such a thing as "separation of church and state" the way most promote it. We are heading that way now, but historically, that has not been the case.

Would you please clarify this statement? Specifically, you seem to be implying that the state and churches are more separate now than they were in historic times. This is not my perception, so clarification would be nice.

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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:58 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Also, I forgot to mention that in the US, there is not and never has been such a thing as "separation of church and state" the way most promote it. We are heading that way now, but historically, that has not been the case.


Actually there was a fairly wide separation of religion and government when the country was established. Religion gradually crept back into government during wars (the Civil War and Cold War especially). The phrase "In God We Trust" was only added to US currency during the Civil War and "one nation under God" was only added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

Those examples are merely superficial religious additions. I would hardly call that religion.

While this (USA) country was not founded with an official state religion and no religion has official (government) powers in and of itself (as was intended), other than that there is no such thing as separation of church and state the way most promote it today. I say that in the context of todays push to remove religion all together from our government. Government and religion can not be truly separated as those in government (not all of course) are in some form or fashion religious. As far as being more separate now than historically, I can not say with any real confidence.

I merely want to point out that the USA was not founded with the intention of keeping religion out of government. It was founded with the intent to keep religious power and authority out of government. Thus my contention that separation of church and state in todays terms is a misconception.

xander, does that help?
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:08 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:--==<snip>==--

The establishment clause, actually, is designed to keep the government out of religion, i.e. to prevent the establishment of a state religion. Remember, please, that the founding fathers were, in modern terms, probably best classified as agnostics. In their own era, many of them would have been called atheists. Look at the language in documents from the time. From the Declaration of Independence: "...Laws of Nature and of Nature's God..." These are not words used by Christians at that time. These are the words of non-Christians. These were people that were threatened by the idea of being tossed into jail for believing the wrong thing, thus the establishment clause.

Now, to you, the line on the dollar bill or the "under god" bit in the pledge may be trivial or superficial. That belies a grave misunderstanding about where these things came from. The line in the pledge is a direct attack on the "atheist communists" with whom the US was sparring at the time of the Cold War. It is a direct statement about the religiosity of the US. The line on currency has a similar heritage. For you, as a Christian, these might seem fairly minor. To me, as an atheist, these represent a very clear wall. They show just how far atheists are accepted in US society. They are an act of exclusion.

And I still don't see how religion is being distanced from government now. Please provide some examples.

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:09 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Those examples are merely superficial religious additions. I would hardly call that religion.


Religion is a superficial expression of spirituality. . .

How is "in God we trust" any more superficial than a typical religious rite like mass?

While this (USA) country was not founded with an official state religion and no religion has official (government) powers in and of itself (as was intended), other than that there is no such thing as separation of church and state the way most promote it today. I say that in the context of todays push to remove religion all together from our government. Government and religion can not be truly separated as those in government (not all of course) are in some form or fashion religious. As far as being more separate now than historically, I can not say with any real confidence.

I merely want to point out that the USA was not founded with the intention of keeping religion out of government. It was founded with the intent to keep religious power and authority out of government. Thus my contention that separation of church and state in todays terms is a misconception.

xander, does that help?


You are being incredibly vague. You need to define what you mean by "separation of Church and State" and how you feel others use it.

I would say that in my view separation of Church and State also applies to atheism. I don't think the government should promote atheism any more than it should promote theism.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:41 pm

First, having to respond to xander and Stewsburntmonkey at the same time is quite fun. :wink:

xander wrote:The establishment clause, actually, is designed to keep the government out of religion, i.e. to prevent the establishment of a state religion.

I'm pretty certain that is what I've been trying to say. Is that not how it's come across?

xander wrote:Remember, please, that the founding fathers were, in modern terms, probably best classified as agnostics. In their own era, many of them would have been called atheists. Look at the language in documents from the time. From the Declaration of Independence: "...Laws of Nature and of Nature's God..." These are not words used by Christians at that time. These are the words of non-Christians. These were people that were threatened by the idea of being tossed into jail for believing the wrong thing, thus the establishment clause.

I'm not sure I fully agree with you. I wholeheartedly agree that they were trying to avoid setting up a government that resembled anything like they had experienced with European systems with relatively firmly established religions taking part in secular rule. I am a bit skeptical of the argument that based on their writings (in that context) they were therefore non-religious. (i.e. atheist)

xander wrote:Now, to you, the line on the dollar bill or the "under god" bit in the pledge may be trivial or superficial. That belies a grave misunderstanding about where these things came from. The line in the pledge is a direct attack on the "atheist communists" with whom the US was sparring at the time of the Cold War. It is a direct statement about the religiosity of the US. The line on currency has a similar heritage. For you, as a Christian, these might seem fairly minor. To me, as an atheist, these represent a very clear wall. They show just how far atheists are accepted in US society. They are an act of exclusion.

Perhaps I was a bit too quick to use trivial. I do understand where they came from and would argue that doing such is a misuse of religion and God. They seem fairly minor to me as a "Christian" in the sense that most "Christians" merely pay lip service to "Christianity" and did so (probably less) at that time as well. I think a better term for "Christianity", especially today, would be "churchianity".

xander wrote:And I still don't see how religion is being distanced from government now. Please provide some examples.

xander

I said there is a push in that direction. That push is far more open and obvious than in times past.


Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Those examples are merely superficial religious additions. I would hardly call that religion.


Religion is a superficial expression of spirituality. . .

How is "in God we trust" any more superficial than a typical religious rite like mass?

As I stated above, I think that "churchianity" can explain why religion as a whole seems like a superficial expression of spirituality. As far as mass is concerned, that is not at all Biblical.

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:While this (USA) country was not founded with an official state religion and no religion has official (government) powers in and of itself (as was intended), other than that there is no such thing as separation of church and state the way most promote it today. I say that in the context of todays push to remove religion all together from our government. Government and religion can not be truly separated as those in government (not all of course) are in some form or fashion religious. As far as being more separate now than historically, I can not say with any real confidence.

I merely want to point out that the USA was not founded with the intention of keeping religion out of government. It was founded with the intent to keep religious power and authority out of government. Thus my contention that separation of church and state in todays terms is a misconception.

xander, does that help?


You are being incredibly vague. You need to define what you mean by "separation of Church and State" and how you feel others use it.

I would say that in my view separation of Church and State also applies to atheism. I don't think the government should promote atheism any more than it should promote theism.

There is obviously a "left" and a "right" in the US (since that is the country we're discussing), my argument is against what those on the "left" would call separation of church and state. That seems to be a complete and total separation of anything religious (especially Christian) from anything remotely state. The response from the "right" has not at all been appropriate either.

I apologize for not being more clear. :wink:
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:46 pm

You are still being vague. You have yet to cite one example of the separation of the state and churches growing in recent years.

As to the statement about the founding fathers, that is from a book I picked up for an intro level class years ago. I have neither time nor motivation to find a more relevant citation, so I am not going to push the issue. That being said, your rebuttal is equally unconvincing.

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:56 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:There is obviously a "left" and a "right" in the US (since that is the country we're discussing), my argument is against what those on the "left" would call separation of church and state. That seems to be a complete and total separation of anything religious (especially Christian) from anything remotely state. The response from the "right" has not at all been appropriate either.


You are still being very vague. The "left" is made up of a lot of different opinions.

Also looking at history Jesus would almost certain be placed on the "left" if he were alive today.
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Postby BrianBlessed » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:04 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:There is obviously a "left" and a "right" in the US (since that is the country we're discussing), my argument is against what those on the "left" would call separation of church and state. That seems to be a complete and total separation of anything religious (especially Christian) from anything remotely state. The response from the "right" has not at all been appropriate either.

I don't see what's to go against, it's not exactly difficult to seperate church and state. In the majority of European countries, the church/religion at large has no factor in the formation of laws or governing in general. At best some of the European countries has blasphemy laws applicable to the majority religion, however the church has no control over the laws or whether they will be repealed.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:30 pm

xander wrote:You are still being vague. You have yet to cite one example of the separation of the state and churches growing in recent years.

As to the statement about the founding fathers, that is from a book I picked up for an intro level class years ago. I have neither time nor motivation to find a more relevant citation, so I am not going to push the issue. That being said, your rebuttal is equally unconvincing.

xander

Fair enough. How about the Ten Commandments issue with the courthouse in OK.

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:There is obviously a "left" and a "right" in the US (since that is the country we're discussing), my argument is against what those on the "left" would call separation of church and state. That seems to be a complete and total separation of anything religious (especially Christian) from anything remotely state. The response from the "right" has not at all been appropriate either.


You are still being very vague. The "left" is made up of a lot of different opinions.

Also looking at history Jesus would almost certain be placed on the "left" if he were alive today.

Also fair enough. Left in the context of this conversation would be people like Ted Kennedy or Hilary Clinton. You could also place most of the mainstream American media in the category.

I have to ask why you think that Jesus would be placed on the "left"?

BrianBlessed wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:There is obviously a "left" and a "right" in the US (since that is the country we're discussing), my argument is against what those on the "left" would call separation of church and state. That seems to be a complete and total separation of anything religious (especially Christian) from anything remotely state. The response from the "right" has not at all been appropriate either.

I don't see what's to go against, it's not exactly difficult to separate church and state. In the majority of European countries, the church/religion at large has no factor in the formation of laws or governing in general. At best some of the European countries has blasphemy laws applicable to the majority religion, however the church has no control over the laws or whether they will be repealed.

While this may be the case now, 200 years ago when the US was being created it certainly was not. In order to not be vague here, I cite the Civil Constitution of the Clergy as one example of Europe's fondness for religion and state to be one. If you need more, just take a look at any of the Holy Roman Emperors.

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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:39 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Fair enough. How about the Ten Commandments issue with the courthouse in OK.

Two comments:

1) If the "In God we trust" on our currency, or the "One nation, under God" bit in the Pledge of Allegiance are superficial and, thus, trivial, how are the 10 Commandments being posted in a courthouse any different? And, if they are trivial, why should it matter if they are removed.

2) Posting the 10 Commandments is a clear endorsement of the Judeo-Christian religion. It favors believers of the Bible over other faiths, and is, therefore, a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It would make me, as an atheist, question the impartiality of a judge presiding over a case in which I was involved. Flip it around for a minute: let us say that you were arrested. You walk into the courthouse, and notice that the Sharia laws are posted in the lobby. How would you feel about your chances, as a Christian, of getting a fair trial? Would it be appropriate to post the Sharia laws in a courthouse, or would that violate the establishment clause?

In summary, I don't see how removing the 10 Commandments from a courthouse is any indication that the state is separating itself from churches.

xander

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