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message 1: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I'm thinking about serious Christian jihadists, like abortion clinic bombers, or the murder a few years ago of George Tiller. And also of the various groups which arise who directly try to infiltrate government with Rightist Christian politicians, hoping to establish a theocracy.

Do certain innocent-sounding and common Christian doctrines inadvertently provide a fertile growing ground for Christian extremism, and if so, what is the Christian responsibility of controlling their misuse? In other words, if Christians want to carry guns (promote doctrines which can be misused dangerously), what is the Christian duty toward gun control?

message 2: by Robert (last edited May 04, 2014 09:11AM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Ha! Ha! Lee you are such a wit! It is Christian conservatives who want a traditional Republic under the watch of a benevolent God. Liberals want an atheistic scociety under the watch of the state. Anyone can take any doctrine, Biblical or not, to extremes. You might have a lone wolf Christian who runs amuck occasionally and misuses his Scriptural beliefs. But, far more dangerous, is mobs of liberal groupthinks who have no individual conciousness from God and operate purely on agenda and emotion. I own a gun to protect my family from armed criminals, but I may soon need an arsenal to protect them from a Godless, predatory state.

message 3: by David (new)

David Clemons | 119 comments I think there are a bunch of people that have unstable minds out there that latch onto anything (movies,books,music). I'd say that there is no real way for us to prevent this except for maybe identifying people who have these traits by watching the church folk more carefully.

Even then, I'm not sure we can stop it. There are crazy people everywhere.

message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - Oh, it's the CHURCH folk who need watching???? Yep, it's not the bomb-throwing radicals we need be concerned about, it's the Bible-throwing family sorts.

message 5: by David (new)

David Clemons | 119 comments I'm talking about preventing people from inside the church from becoming radical christian extremists. Of course there are psychotic people everywhere, like I said in the first part of my post.

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - the percentage of radical Christian extremists is so small as to be neglible. Lee is propandizing again and I wonder why you gullible folk keep falling for it over and over????

message 7: by Brent (new)

Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) Agreed. Radical Islam is the norm for the over 1 billion adherents of Islam. Spiritual jihad is a minority hermeneutic, and while Christ's teaching tells us to love out neighbor, Muhammad tells us to cut off the hands of infidels.

message 8: by David (new)

David Clemons | 119 comments Yeah, I'd say it's small as well but small does not mean nonexistent. Should we just ignore it because there are a relatively small amount of christian terrorists? I don't think so. I think it's an important issue.

I have no problem with Lee and I enjoy the topics he discusses even if I don't necessarily agree.

message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - part of your responsibility as a thoughtful individual is to attain the ability to distinguish between the important and the trivial. Lee is a necessary little burr under our saddle constantly expounding trivial nonsense as if it had some import. Read it, mull it over, discard it as noise.

message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Robert wrote: "Ha! Ha! Lee you are such a wit! It is Christian conservatives who want a traditional Republic under the watch of a benevolent God.

Wow, Robert, you are one scary dude. Do you really think you speak for other Christians when you advocate the integration of church and state?

message 11: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Brent wrote: "Agreed. Radical Islam is the norm for the over 1 billion adherents of Islam.

That is a horrible, propagandist lie. I really thought better of you, Brent.

message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - and what office should a formless, supernatural entity be awarded - Secretary of Miracles?

message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Do you also fall for the "Christian Nation" tripe? I would assume so, or we would be giving equal obeisance to the laws of Allah.

This is bizarre. Brent exaggerates the horrible effect of combining religion and politics, and Robert advocates it anyway.

message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Yes, Lee - totalitarianism, the absense of a combination of religion and government is certainly an attractive alternative.

message 15: by David (new)

David Clemons | 119 comments I think even if there were a single occurance of Christians blowing stuff up in the name of Jesus it would be an more than a trivial issue.

As for the Christian nation crap, I honestly have trouble seeing how anyone can look at American history and say it was built on Christian values...

message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Do you want the U.S. to be under Sharia law, Lee?

message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - yep, you're right, our values undoubtably dropped in on an alien spacecraft.

message 18: by David (new)

David Clemons | 119 comments I'm just saying that it's strange to call us a Christian nation considering the only reason we have this nation is because we murdered most of the natives and stole their land. Then there was slavery and stuff... Just sayin'.

message 19: by Lee (last edited May 04, 2014 03:13PM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Robert wrote: "Do you want the U.S. to be under Sharia law, Lee?"

That's the point, Robert, of separation of church and state. Do you not get it?

message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - Our current legal system is based on natural law, there is no teasing apart of a Supreme Creator and governance in a successful society unless it is to protect the church from the overbearing state.

message 21: by Brent (new)

Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) Lee, I have close personal friends living in Turkey, Syria, and Palestine. It is anything from a lie, rather, the lie is that the tolerant friendly West wants to pass Islam off as a religion of peace.

Artists can put a Crucifix on a bottle and urinate on it, and that's "art", praise God for freedom of expression in America right? Yet when an American jests about Muhammad the prophet without saying "peace be with him" after his name, judicial action is taken against them.

Wholly sickening.

message 22: by Lee (last edited May 05, 2014 09:51AM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Brent, I think you're confusing two issues: violent extremism among individual worshipers, and Sharia law.

Speaking of the latter, you'd better get your extremist friend Robert under control, and other radicals like him, if you don't want a similar theocracy in America.

message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Why can't YOU control me with reason, Lee? Running a little short on supply recently, are you?

message 24: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments lol! Well, I could say something snarky, like reason can only penetrate reasonable people...

message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Right you are, Lee, your brand of reason never penetrated our dreadful Founding Fathers.

message 26: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Recent conversations, here and elsewhere, have increased my concern about this topic. Robert's insistence, for example, that he is representative of normative Christianity and at the same time encouraging a theocracy, is frightening. People ACTUALLY WANT the merger of church and state, and point (quite erroneously) to our Founding Fathers (see above post) to argue that the country was founded as a Christian state.

How, then, can trust be reestablished? Ever since the Moral Majority, the republican party has been underhandedly aligned with Christian Rightwingers. I honestly am at the point where it terrifies me to think of a republican president. Politics has gotten so polarized, and right-wing groups like the Tea Party who align with republicans have made the entire party so scary, that I fear the country could collapse if republicans gain control. The near election of Romney scared the heck out of me...I voted for the first time in my life this last election, because it was so frightening to imagine. Palin. Bachmann. These kind of clueless nuts running on religious principles would sink the country in a heartbeat. I, for one, would quickly move all of my investments to safer ground in anticipation of a crash...half the nation would!

I realize the Christian Right is just as frustrated and distrustful of democrats. Do you think we are headed for a crash, merely due to escalating distrust between the religious and the non-religious, and its infiltration into politics?

message 27: by Brent (new)

Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) To exonerate my name under your generalizations, Lee, I—like David and others also—am very thankful for the Anabaptists and Baptist influence of separation of church and state. As much as I love John Calvin, I would not have enjoyed living in his Geneva.

message 28: by Robert (last edited May 08, 2014 05:46PM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Poor quivering, jelly-like little Lee, but yes, we are headed for a stupendous crash; short the market right after the results of the mid-term elections are announced no matter who emerges victorious because no one will be satisfied.

message 29: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Brent - once again Lee has his hyperbole hat on - I'm not for a theocracy, all I want is to protect religious freedom FROM government interference. That's my only church/state connection.

message 30: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Well, heck, Robert, maybe we're on the same side of this issue. I absolutely believe in religious freedom. Your post #2 sounded just the opposite.

Brent, from your concern over Islamic government, I already knew you were for separation of church and state.

message 31: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - I don't know any Christian conservative who's for a theocracy, that must be a liberal bogeyman. As I said in msg. 2, I want the Lord to WATCH over and protect my country, not be infused in my government. And I want the government real small, with only a few tightly defined powers, none of them having to do with religion.

message 32: by Lee (last edited May 09, 2014 07:33AM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Oh, a Christian Worldview is hardly a bogey man. Is Christian Reconstructionism, ala Rushdoony's Institutes, really dead? Are personalities like Francis Shaefer (sp?), James Dobson and Charles Colson really under control? Pat Robertson claims only Christians and Jews are qualified to lead a nation, and insists that "God's people" will soon control Washington. Here are a few people and organizations who fought strongly to incorporate religion into politics:

The Moral Majority put Reagan in the white house.
Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD)
Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC)

I can't let you totally off the hook Robert, because the underlying current behind these "Divine authority" movements are common enemies who are easily stereotyped: liberals, homosexuals, Muslims, secularists, etc. We see that sort of dualistic and duelistic atmosphere even on this board! Round up all of God's enemies and vilify or beat them into submission, so this can be a Christian nation!

What's the solution?

message 33: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I forgot the Ten Commandments Judge in Alabama, ha. Roy Moore. The guy who installed a huge statue of the ten commandments in the State Building.

message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - I can't speak for the motives of all these people or groups, but I would think they'd be like me - they want to steer the direction of the prevailing culture through any form available. Politics, media, judicial, higher educational facilities - these are all fair venues for expressing opinion. Why does a Christian worldview bother you, Lee (and that's a far cry from a theocracy)? Are you so afraid your propaganda can't stand the light of the Truth of free speech that you want to ban all dissent? I thought as an open, thoughtful individual you'd welcome a palette of viewpoints. Funny who the fascists really are - those who can't stand to see God's word exposed in the open.

message 35: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Oh, there is plenty of freedom of expression for politicians and celebrities to voice their Christian opinions. Religious viewpoints are discussed openly in classrooms, media, military, etc. Wanna hold a prayer rally in a football stadium and invite your congressman? No problem, he'll attend, with my blessing. This is religious freedom and it's fine.

However, if you want religious symbols (such as the Ten Commandments statue) that restrict religious freedom to a particular venue, that's a problem. That's the cause of the culture wars.

The problem is subversive attempts to control the religious freedom. These attempts to infiltrate government are hardly transparent; I talked with a recruiter at a local Bible college a few months ago and was really turned off by their pride at "getting good Christians in the Senate." Organizations or individuals who run on a platform of the Bible...and then interpret that Bible to disallow other freedoms or promote not belong. It is, pure and simple, an attempt at theocracy. It's the "Christian Nation" mentality, and it's just as dangerous in America as in Muslim nations.

message 36: by David (new)

David Campus Crusade for Christ? Aren't they just a Christian campus ministry organization?

Lee, I can understand your fear a bit. When more and more evangelicals start to talk as if birth control is out of bounds that makes me wonder where this is headed (especially when access to more birth control has been shown to drive abortion numbers down). I also think there is a good bit of fear driving some on the right, fear of a changing world and of losing the cultural power they once had.

But I think the left is often just as oppressive, wanting to shove their way into everything. It is the myth of objectivity, the belief by many on the left that if we leave our religion at the door when we enter public discourse then we'll be able to be objective. That's bunk.

Besides, you have fringe people on the left claiming teaching religion is child abuse. If we fear the theocrats, should we fear these people too? If someone who believes that, like Dawkins, gets his way will people come to my house and take my kids away when I teach them religion?

Finally, how come no one ever wants to post the Sermon on the Mount in courthouses? I thought we were a "Christian" nation? Haha.

message 37: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments David wrote: "Finally, how come no one ever wants to post the Sermon on the Mount in courthouses? I thought we were a "Christian" nation?"

haha. OK, I'll go for that! :)

message 38: by Lucas (new)

Lucas | 4 comments Likewise, David, I suspect that they don't have "Blessed are the Peacemakers" up in the Pentagon.

message 39: by Brent (new)

Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) Amen, Lucas.

message 40: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Nonsense, Lucas, peace through strength is the best strategy. The Convair B-36 was dubbed the Peacemaker. It could be nuclear loaded. Nothing makes a tyrant so apt to reconsider his warlike intentions as to have one of these circling nearby. Drones are the new peacemaker, blessed are they.

message 41: by David (new)

David Robert 's response to the sermon on the mount - nonsense Jesus, lets stick with peace through strength, the Roman way.

message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Equating pagan Romans to god-fearing Americans is beneath you, David.

message 43: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I think I understand, now. Because Americans have chosen the right God, they are entitled to rule by threat of violence?

message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments No, but they're able to keep the peace by threat of just retribution.

message 45: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle What is a Christian Extremist? Was Paul? Peter? Elijah? Moses? David? Jesus?

It seems anytime a persons puts forth a Biblical opinion they are labeled an extremist. But since there are no Christian nations I don't think any politics resemble Gods people.
It sure is scary how people hate anyone who voices God's opinion.

message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod = and here I thought San Marino was a Christian enclave.

message 47: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle :cD

message 48: by Robert (last edited May 10, 2014 10:09AM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Are we going to include the Vatican, or are Catholics on the other side of "the line"?

message 49: by David (last edited May 10, 2014 11:26AM) (new)

David Robert, I joked that it might make more sense, as Christians, to fight for the sermon on the mount being hung in courthouses. Lucas and Brent agreed, with Lucas noting a specific beatitude (blessed are the peacemakers).

You said this was "nonsense" and that peace comes from military weaponry. In other words, when some of us mention the words of Jesus you say "nonsense" and talk about how great weapons of death are. I think the comparison to ancient Romans are apt, since your response to Jesus' words is the same as theirs would have been.

If I am misunderstanding something, let me know. Its like Rod said, the Bible opinion is too extreme for some people. Loving your enemies, dying for them, praying for those who harm you - that is just too extreme for some. Its easier to go with the usual idea of peace through killing the other guy.

message 50: by Robert (last edited May 10, 2014 03:09PM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - if it is such a Christian honor to die for our enemies, let's throw open the doors to our country and let the Islamic extremists come and lop of our heads right now.

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