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Survey: US evangelicals most likely to support torture

AlvinofDiaspar

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Tewder:

I don't think anyone would ape if it is clear it refers to fundamentalists of all stripes. Just as people would ape if the term "US Christians" (which is the equivalent to Muslim in terms of broadness) is used instead of evangelical (and quite frankly, the use of that term is also somewhat unfortunate - considering what wylie have already said)

Which leads to the broader question - what is the purpose of referring to such an all encompassing term knowing the lack of equivalency?

AoD
 
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nfitz

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Hmm interesting. So if the more you go to church, the less morals you have, is this something you have gotten by going to church, or do churches just attract people with weak morals?
 

urbandreamer

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And just think, without big oil, we'd never have cared what 1000 random "evangelicals" think about torture!

Why not ask 1000 American Jews, Muslims and Hindus what their views are on torture? Would CNN be all over it then?

btw, the difference between evangelical and fundamentalist Xtians really is the former believe in community outreach/evangelizing/missionaries, while the latter are pretty insular. (Mennonites tend to be evangelical while OGBB tend to be private.)
 
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Prometheus The Supremo

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Hmm interesting. So if the more you go to church, the less morals you have, is this something you have gotten by going to church, or do churches just attract people with weak morals?
could be a combination of both. but there are also those who are of good morals who go to church for the sake of belonging to a group, are under the belief that their religion is the representation of all that is good for whatever reasons and are misinformed about the doctrine/scripture they follow or deliberately ignore, discard as irrelevant or interpret differently any doctrine/scripture that conflicts with their good morals. churches also attract people who have spiritual fears and/or also cause people to have spiritual fears. different people go to church (are attracted) for different reasons and are effected in different ways. there could also be a combination of reasons why and effects. just another reason why religious belief shouldn't be forced upon anyone or taught to anyone who isn't experienced enough to think critically about the subject. it's the same reason why we just don't give medication X to everyone. not everyone needs medication X and medication X can cause problems with other people.


p.s, when i say people, i don't mean all people. it's an indeterminate amount.
 

shumoon

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The term "evangelical" is very much a unifying term, which covers pretty much any Protestant church that claims to follow the teachings of the Christ (aka. the fundamentals), believe in the Bible as God's word, and has an intent on doing evangelical or missionary work. That criteria covers a huge spectrum in Protestantism, one that covers a whole range of theological and also political views. I would dare say that the average church-going Toronto-area evangelical would be against the use of torture, and not necessarily pro-Bush and politically conservative (although they would have those tendencies).

As someone who identifies himself as "evangelical", I'm very concerned about the sensationalized use of the term in media, especially in the US. It's come to be identified with megachurch-going people who are ultra-patriotic (equating American ambitions with Christian values), ultra-conservative, pro-Israel (believing that supporting Israel would help bring the second coming of Christ), following charismatic, faith-healing popular teachers who always make themselves known in the media. I believe that that is not evangelicalism - evangelicalism is something that is much simpler than that, and many evangelicals would not subscribe to the view above.
The word evangelism is derived from Greek. Its meaning is "good news" or good message". An evengelist is one who is supposed spread the good news about God, Jesus, his teachings as chronicled in the Bible and salvation. I agree that too much has been attached to the word that its current usage bears little resemblance to its origins.

For those who proclaim themselves to be evangelical and are OK with torture, I fail to see any "good news" in that.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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The word evangelism is derived from Greek. Its meaning is "good news" or good message". An evengelist is one who is supposed spread the good news about God, Jesus, his teachings as chronicled in the Bible and salvation. I agree that too much has been attached to the word that its current usage bears little resemblance to its origins.

For those who proclaim themselves to be evangelical and are OK with torture, I fail to see any "good news" in that.
i knew it! my razors are trying to convert me to christianity...




and i thought all i had to worry about was baby carrots that were trying to turn me gay!
 

lesouris

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Hmm interesting. So if the more you go to church, the less morals you have, is this something you have gotten by going to church, or do churches just attract people with weak morals?
I don't think that's an appropriate message to take from this survey at all, if there is indeed anything of value to be taken from it. Remember that they only surveyed non-Hispanic white people. A huge portion of the population was left out. Are black/hispanic evangelicals more likely to support torture? What about Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc?

Plus the survey does not take into account other factors that I think probably play more into a person's opinion on torture. Location, for example. Relgious groups are not distributed equally throughout the United States, and I would be interested to see if support for torture was more uniform across religious groups in one specific location. Not to mention amongst those of certain economic statuses, and those of different levels of education, etc.

could be a combination of both. but there are also those who are of good morals who go to church for the sake of belonging to a group, are under the belief that their religion is the representation of all that is good for whatever reasons and are misinformed about the doctrine/scripture they follow or deliberately ignore, discard as irrelevant or interpret differently any doctrine/scripture that conflicts with their good morals. churches also attract people who have spiritual fears and/or also cause people to have spiritual fears. different people go to church (are attracted) for different reasons and are effected in different ways. there could also be a combination of reasons why and effects. just another reason why religious belief shouldn't be forced upon anyone or taught to anyone who isn't experienced enough to think critically about the subject. it's the same reason why we just don't give medication X to everyone. not everyone needs medication X and medication X can cause problems with other people.


p.s, when i say people, i don't mean all people. it's an indeterminate amount.
I would counter that argument, which I've heard numerous times before, with the fact that you cannot not indoctrinate your children into some belief system be it Christian, Atheist, capitalist, communist, Liberal, Conservative, etc. Children have questions, and parents will answer those questions as they see fit. Many if not most children (in Canada at least) will change their beliefs as they grow older, learn more, and become more critical. Religion, it seems to me, is just like everything else. If you're looking for the worst in it, you'll find it. If you're looking for the best, you can find that to.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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I would counter that argument, which I've heard numerous times before, with the fact that you cannot not indoctrinate your children into some belief system be it Christian, Atheist, capitalist, communist, Liberal, Conservative, etc. Children have questions, and parents will answer those questions as they see fit. Many if not most children (in Canada at least) will change their beliefs as they grow older, learn more, and become more critical. Religion, it seems to me, is just like everything else. If you're looking for the worst in it, you'll find it. If you're looking for the best, you can find that to.
you shouldn't compare politics to belief in such a way. if you stop being a capitalist, communist, Liberal, conservative, etc. you're not going to burn in hell for all eternity, be stuck in purgatory or lose your ticket to heaven. there's a big difference.

i'm sure there's quite a few people who choose to be in a religion or have a belief, etc. but i'm willing to bet that most people continue in the religion their parents or educational system, etc. brought them up in (in one form or another) as some sort of eternity insurance policy, cause you have nothing to lose and all to gain right? what's the harm?

say if these people knew nothing of the religion they are raised in and stumbled upon a religious text such as the bible or other religious doctrine for the very first time ever, i'm pretty sure most wouldn't say "this makes perfect sense and will be my religion". i recall alot of religious people, including my former self criticizing other religions because they seemed so stupid and not smart like worshiping the christian god was. why did i think a god with many arms was silly but a god who came in 3 forms (the murderous, angry father, the invisible one and the poor hippy son born of a virgin who knew magic tricks) made perfect sense and represents all that is good?

i don't think the billions of religious/spiritual people around the earth choose to be in the faith they are. maybe some chose and change the denomination they belong to but they stick to how they were raised in one form or another. and i bet they tell them selves they chose to live that life when in reality, they live that life because deep in their mind, the fear of eternal torture or losing out on eternal life is an ever present threat. it's not something you think of all the time but it's there in the background.


and i know some of you religious folks will say that i'm wrong and that you are making your own choice, not out of any fear, etc. i used to say the exact same thing and i use to believe it too. i just hope for your sake, your beliefs aren't causing and won't cause you any harm.

i wish i knew years ago what i know now. i could have avoided lots of invisible torture. it took alot of work to find an escape route from my invisible captor. when you follow the demands but still get punished anyway, that's when you start looking for a way out. you realize it doesn't make sense to continue in the same arrangement.
 

Mongo

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Whenever I was faced with somebody who was utterly convinced of the truth of their particular flavour of religion (or at least acting like they were), I would think to myself, "How fortunate you are that the only true religion, out of all the innumerable religions in the world, just happens to be the one you were born into as a child, or else were sold into in your impressionable youth. You must be very lucky not to have been born in any of those heathen, non-true-religion parts of the world, because then you -- while still being convinced you followed the Only True Religion -- would in fact be damned to eternal hellfire for being born in the wrong culture." Of course, if I were to say this out loud, I doubt they would appreciate (or even notice?) the sarcasm.
 
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lesouris

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you shouldn't compare politics to belief in such a way. if you stop being a capitalist, communist, Liberal, conservative, etc. you're not going to burn in hell for all eternity, be stuck in purgatory or lose your ticket to heaven. there's a big difference.
My point was that there is no way to stop people from passing on their beliefs to their children be them religious, political, or something else. I see nothing wrong with passing your religion on to your kids if you keep an open mind and let them explore their own spirituality or whatever other beliefs they might come across.

You're also grafting Abrahamic beliefs (heaven, hell, purgatory) on to every other religion out there. Many religions have different beliefs about the afterlife including many denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. And I would argue that if you are raised a capitalist or a communist or whatever, the thought of abandoning those ideologies can be as, if not more, traumatizing (the ramifications in this case being manifest in the physical not spiritual realm).

I'm not a religious person by any means. I was raised Catholic and left quite some time ago. Even though it wasn't the right environment for me, I do feel I took some positive things from it. In general I think religious institutions and religious people are equally capable of doing things for good and for bad. Some people, I feel, just focus on the bad. Others focus only on the good.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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You're also grafting Abrahamic beliefs (heaven, hell, purgatory) on to every other religion out there. Many religions have different beliefs about the afterlife including many denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. And I would argue that if you are raised a capitalist or a communist or whatever, the thought of abandoning those ideologies can be as, if not more, traumatizing (the ramifications in this case being manifest in the physical not spiritual realm).

no i'm not:

you shouldn't compare politics to belief in such a way. if you stop being a capitalist, communist, Liberal, conservative, etc. you're not going to burn in hell for all eternity, be stuck in purgatory or lose your ticket to heaven. there's a big difference....



...i don't think the billions of religious/spiritual people around the earth choose to be in the faith they are. maybe some chose and change the denomination they belong to but they stick to how they were raised in one form or another. and i bet they tell them selves they chose to live that life when in reality, they live that life because deep in their mind, the fear of eternal torture or losing out on eternal life is an ever present threat. it's not something you think of all the time but it's there in the background....
the biggest religions out there offer either punishment for not following and/or reward for following the religion in the next life and/or the current life. not being rewarded in the afterlife or not existing in the afterlife can be just as motivational of a force to keep you more or less in the religion you were raised in. there's religions out there that have no concept of heaven, hell and/or afterlife and/or reward, punishment and/or protection in this life or the next but they aren't successful as those that do.



i'm sure someone abandoning something like communism can be traumatizing experience and could have physical ramifications. but then again, there's a parallel between communist dictator such as stalin and the monotheistic god of the desert who says you can only worship him. they are both atheists as they don't believe in other gods being real or true, they them selves want to be gods, they both have a doctrine they want you to follow or else and they want you only to look up at them as the supreme leader.

you can usually escape a political oppression by changing your geographic location but your belief is something that goes with you everywhere, all the time.
 
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Mongo

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Coming Soon: the New International Free-Market Bible

Posted by AMY SULLIVAN Monday, October 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

This is insane. The guys at Conservapedia (aka, "the trustworthy encyclopedia") have decided to retranslate the Bible in what they're calling the Conservative Bible Project, because "liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations."

And you thought liberal bias was limited to the evil mainstream media. Apparently the early Church fathers had their own problems, because the Conservapediacs are particularly intent on scrubbing the Bible of "liberal" passages they say were inserted into the original canon and therefore shouldn't be considered sacred. Passages like the story of the adulteress whom Jesus saved from being stoned with the famous line: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Conservapedia complains that liberals have used this story to argue against the death penalty. Plus, this Jesus character sounds like a radical moral relativist.

Also among the goals of the project: replace liberal words like "labor" with preferred conservative terms; use concise language instead of "liberal wordiness"; and--my favorite--"explain the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning." Jesus talks about economics more than any other secular subject in the Bible, so they've got their work cut out for them. I look forward to learning the free-market meaning of "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

A regressive revelation?

Posted on: October 5, 2009 11:06 PM, by Josh Rosenau

Conservapedia is the gift that keeps giving. Recall that Conservapedia formed to correct the nefarious liberal bias of the collectively edited Wikipedia. That is, they kept losing edit wars because they could [not] support their claims, and since they couldn't conform reality to their beliefs, they'd just write an encyclopedia enshrining them. Much fun. But now there's a bigger threat to their goal of completely isolating conservatives from any differing views: The Bible.

The question, though, is what inerrantists will think of this. After all, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy is clear: "We affirm that God's revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive." That statement of principle adds, "We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings." But surely St. Ronnie is the exception to that rule. The man named 1983 the "Year of the Bible"! Leaving 1984 as the Year of Conservatism, as everyone knew it would be. Also the year of crack.

Inerrantists will also object that their affirmation "that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture" should make political parties subordinate to the Bible also, but this gets it all wrong. Obviously Jesus' statement that one must give unto Caesar what is Caesar's means that political power is coequal with divine power.

On a modestly serious note, this is exactly what evangelical pollster George Barna predicted in 2001. Based on a survey he'd just completed, Barna noted that "believers think of themselves as individuals first, Americans second, and Christians third. Until that prioritization is rearranged, the Church will continue to lose influence, and biblical principles will represent simply one more option among the numerous worldviews that Americans may choose from." Of particular interest here, 75% of Americans polled believed that "God helps those who help themselves" occurs in the Bible. It doesn't. Maybe Conservapedia can fix that while they purge all the nonsense about the blessings of the poor, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, the hungry, the persecuted, and mourners. Something more upbeat would be nice.

Conservatizing the Bible

More seriously, the insane hubris of this really staggers the mind. These right-wing ideologues know better than the early church councils that canonized Scripture? They really think it's wise to force the word of God to conform to a 21st-century American idea of what constitutes conservatism? These jokers don't worship God. They worship ideology. As Mark Shea says:

Right wing dementia marches on apace. Some of this has a grain of sense to it, as ideological madness always does. For instance, the dumb attempts to feminize Scripture are pernicious and need to stop. But seriously: the story of the woman taken in adultery is "liberal"? Free market as Sacred tradition? Liberal wordiness?

You really need to read the whole Conservapedia entry to grasp how crazy this is. It's like what you'd get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin'.
 
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salvius

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^ I'm actually quite in awe that a considerable amount of American Christians of various stripes have managed to turn such an obvious pinko-communist fellow (Jesus) into a free-market champion. Hats off.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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the bible is bad enough already, no need to make it worse.

i guess they took a note from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity

so will jesus be described as a white male who will come back on judgment day to fight the evil unpure kenyan islamist godless dictator and save america, all while throwing vegetarians and community organizers in hell? will he establish true americans as the master race?
 

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From their website:

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.

For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
Those damn socialists with their ideas of "social justice"! They have no business in the New Testament!

Additional less important guidelines include (1) adherence to a concise and dignifying style, such as use of "who" rather than "that" when referring to people and also use glorifying language for the remarkable achievements and (2) recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, but modern conservative language can express well.
I am speechless.
 

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