• Athena
    3k
    The title of this thread is the title of a 1913 book I own. I hope everyone knows Protestants and Catholics have been at odds with each other, and when possible Protestants prevented Catholics from having political power.

    Today it is the White Christian Nationalist who hope to rule America and ministers are encouraging their flocks to vote for Trump.

    In the past religion and politics were tangled for short periods, such as when the South used the Bible to defend slavery and the North used the Bible to end slavery. Both sides believed they were following the will of God as they killed each other. Then we jump up to Billy Grayham and Eisenhower and blending religion and politics in a very destructive way to oppose those evil, godless communists. Following 911 was our war with evil in the Middle East. That is an interesting play on justifying attacking Iraq and attempting to fulfill the neocons' goal of having military control of the Middle East when we really could not justify attacking any nation.

    Now to the conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats opposing each other and ministers telling their flocks to vote for Trump in their Christian fight against evil and belief they are doing the will of God as we near the last days.

    I am just curious. Does everyone see this thread of religious thinking and the drive to rule America/ rule the world? We could throw antisemitism in here too, because it is as irrational as the other conflicts. This is not what democracy is about. What do you think? Is there a problem with God of Abraham religions that we might resolve with reason?
  • BC
    13.2k
    The pope seems to be having difficulty running his own shop, never mind the U.S. But Christian Nationalism is a real and present danger. Its main feature is its irrationality. A complaint I heard yesterday: Palm Sunday was not listed on a bank calendar -- proof that the state is trying to suppress Christianity. Other themes: White people are under threat. Liberals are a threat. The deep state is a threat. Woke is a threat. Law and order are falling apart. Children are disobedient. Story time with drag queens is a threat.

    Really, just about anything / everything. It's difficult to argue with people who are receiving these crazy bat signals. A lot of Nazi dogma was irrational too -- complete nonsense -- but it tied into inchoate prejudices of various kinds. White Christian nationalism likewise taps into discontents that arise from various sources (like the stresses of scientific rationalism on traditional beliefs; increased economic insecurity; social disruption; unwanted social change, etc. etc. etc.) Right-wing propagandists fan the flames of discontent.

    Your 1913 book is a reminder that this kind of conspiratorial thinking is not a new phenomenon in American culture, and it isn't so small and weak that it amounts to only a curiosity. The KKK of the 19th century is gone, but new versions have sprung up: different leaders, different followers, different centers of activity, the same bat-shit kind of thinking.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    This is not what democracy is about.Athena

    No? Isn't everybody trying to "rule America"? Isn't it becoming commonly accepted that so-called "liberal neutrality" was always farcical? There is a real sense in which progressivism quickened the demise of liberalism, but in this it only quickened the inevitable. Historically and in truth a separation between religion and politics is altogether artificial, and where separation is enforced quasi-religious ideologies sprout like weeds.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Good OP, Athena. Very interesting.

    If I didn't understand you wrongly, you seek a state that is secular -or at least - the most separated of religion. I agree that religious groups used to tangle with political groups, and specifically, to the right or far-right of the political arena.

    I guess it is due to the reasons which a Catholic/Protestant or Christian Nationalist shares with the right faction: tradition, Christian values, heterosexual marriage, Western predominate, etc.
    It would be weird to see a religious group supporting the left. They didn't do so, and neither will do. They are aware leftists are progressive and this means they are against the traditional values. Then, it is obvious that if Catholics or Protestants have to get into politics, they will go to the right wing.

    This is why Christian Nationalists are cheering the people to vote for Trump. Here the same happens. I live in a Catholic country, and it is obvious that the Episcopalian Confederation is Conservative, and they ask to vote for the right.

    It is fun when Protestants prevented Catholics from having power because they are more 'liberal' (?)... but at the end of the day, they share the same political ideology and even lobbies! AKA Christian Democrats: sceptical stance towards abortion and same-sex marriage, opposition to capital punishment and assisted suicide, the prohibition of drugs, opposition to secularisation, opposition to state atheism and a rejection of communism.
  • Johnnie
    13
    Definitely we should abolish religious views in politics. The right to life? Abrahamic nonsense. Only Aryans get to live.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    Is there a problem with God of Abraham religions that we might resolve with reason?Athena

    I doubt it. The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant. It's not possible to reason with those who believe they already know what there is to know because their God has told them so (a felicitous bit of rhyming, if I don't say so myself).
  • BC
    13.2k
    Relatively conservative and liberal values slosh back and forth in the bucket of mainstream American Christian politics. Sometimes some Protestants have been liberal, same for Catholics. There have been progressive Protestants and progressive Catholics; there are more often conservative Protestants and Catholics.

    A lot of people have left the church; I suspect many of them took their politics with them. If they were liberal Catholics, they are now liberal ex-Catholics, and visa versa.

    But it isn't the mainstream where the danger of Christian Nationalism lies: It's in the extremely conservative branches of Christian political behavior.

    The Church hatches a few liberation-oriented movements every now and then. One thinks of liberation theology in South America. Or the Catholic Worker Movement in the United States (it's tiny). Even mainstream Protestants can lay a progressive egg or two and hatch a little progressive flock.

    Still, as a group (and it's a big group) American Christians do not buck the system.
  • BC
    13.2k
    The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant.Ciceronianus

    This is a feature that many faithful are loath to claim. Fundamentalists (whatever faith) not only claim it, they get high on it.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Still, as a group (and it's a big group) American Christians do not buck the system.BC

    It's in the extremely conservative branches of Christian political behavior.BC

    They do not buck the system, because they are the system.

    We live in countries where the values, ethics, customs, etc., are based on Christian principles. If we look at the banknotes of the USA, it says: In God We Trust. The currency of a nation rests in a religious sentence. And so more around the Western countries, not just the United States.

    On the other hand, I think Christian lobbies or Catholics or Protestants only take part in politics when they feel those values are at risk. A religious practitioner would ask for the vote to the right, because the latter provides traditional ideas like same-sex marriage, the local economy, the presence in school and teachings. Writing this brief paragraph, I wonder if Christian groups only feel they are part of the system when the current government is Conservative, and maybe when a Leftist/Progressive government is running the country they would feel excluded from the system.
    But again, this is really odd. The Church is always there. For example, the Orthodox Church is very powerful in Russia, even though it has a past under Communism. I think it is not possible to imagine a religion not tangled with the state. Some nations are more secular (France), and others give so much credit to religion, like Brazil (Evangelists).

    But they will be there. It is an important core of values. Maybe you and I do not really care, but millions and millions do.
  • Jack Cummins
    5.1k

    Your text may be a fairly old one but may signify the role of Rome and Catholicism in ethical and political thinking. I am living in England and wonder to what extent what you are saying comes down to religious fundamentalism in its many forms. The dichotomy of religious beliefs and fundamentalist ideologies may be a strong factor in Amercaj politics and of so many other perspectives. In particular, the dialogue between religious perspectives and thinking may be important, especially where religious, and moral teachings are established.

    I don't live in America, so I wonder about the limits of the questioning in relation to both fundamentalism and Catholicism in.America?.Are you interested in American politics alone or the wider scope of politics on a global level?. Also, to what extent may the relationship between politics and religion be considered, and religious thinking in conservative, or traditional thinking of the social order?.
  • Athena
    3k
    ↪Athena The pope seems to be having difficulty running his own shop, never mind the U.S. But Christian Nationalism is a real and present danger. Its main feature is its irrationality. A complaint I heard yesterday: Palm Sunday was not listed on a bank calendar -- proof that the state is trying to suppress Christianity. Other themes: White people are under threat. Liberals are a threat. The deep state is a threat. Woke is a threat. Law and order are falling apart. Children are disobedient. Story time with drag queens is a threat.

    Really, just about anything / everything. It's difficult to argue with people who are receiving these crazy bat signals. A lot of Nazi dogma was irrational too -- complete nonsense -- but it tied into inchoate prejudices of various kinds. White Christian nationalism likewise taps into discontents that arise from various sources (like the stresses of scientific rationalism on traditional beliefs; increased economic insecurity; social disruption; unwanted social change, etc. etc. etc.) Right-wing propagandists fan the flames of discontent.

    Your 1913 book is a reminder that this kind of conspiratorial thinking is not a new phenomenon in American culture, and it isn't so small and weak that it amounts to only a curiosity. The KKK of the 19th century is gone, but new versions have sprung up: different leaders, different followers, different centers of activity, the same bat-shit kind of thinking.
    BC

    I opened this thread with a lot of fear about being attacked and I am so thankful you got to the heart of why I posted it. Along with the 1913 book about the wonderful Protestants and the terrible Catholics, I am reading a 2023 book, "Preparing For War- The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism- and What Comes Next" by Bradley Onishi.

    The first argument in the 1913 book is to deny the authority of the Pope and this is done empirically, demanding the evidence. "Two hundred and fifty-five millions of Protestants fail to find in the New Testament a scintilla of evidence that either Jesus meant Peter to be the Pope, or that Peter regarded himself as Pope, or that primacy was conceded to him by the other apostles. ...

    A scientific age like this needs something more than traditions, however venerable, to compel its credence. The colossal assumptions of the Papacy are based upon the statement of Christ to Peter: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Then he goes on to argue the meaning of words and that not only was Peter not made Pope by God by the line of inheritance from Peter through all the Popes was fraudulent. That is a conclusion from researching the records. Like who cares?

    Well, we are talking about how God works and God's authority and that today ministers and their flocks are behaving as though God has chosen Trump to rule over us. How far is this from the false Catholic claims to authority? Is it different from accepting the authority of a Pope? Does God control our earthly affairs and as promised in the Bible does God choose our kings?

    Daniel 2:21
    21 He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
    he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;

    Romans 13:1
    Submission to the Authorities
    1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

    Revelation 19:16
    16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

    Is believing that, empirical? Is believing our new Bible salesman is God's chosen leader of Amercia a good example to the world of how government of the people, by the people, for the people works? Or are we talking about the authority over the people that Protestants once stood against? Really, is this how we want the whole world to be ruled? Would it work for communists and the Chinese if first they all became born-again Christians? If we think deeply about this matter, how do we feel? Does this feel true or is it questionable or OMG horrifying?
  • Athena
    3k
    Your text may be a fairly old one but may signify the role of Rome and Catholicism in ethical and political thinking. I am living in England and wonder to what extent what you are saying comes down to religious fundamentalism in its many forms. The dichotomy of religious beliefs and fundamentalist ideologies may be a strong factor in Amercaj politics and of so many other perspectives. In particular, the dialogue between religious perspectives and thinking may be important, especially where religious, and moral teachings are established.

    I don't live in America, so I wonder about the limits of the questioning in relation to both fundamentalism and Catholicism in.America?.Are you interested in American politics alone or the wider scope of politics on a global level?. Also, to what extent may the relationship between politics and religion be considered, and religious thinking in conservative, or traditional thinking of the social order?.
    Jack Cummins

    :cry: Thank you for taking me seriously and asking thoughtful questions. I cry because my religion is democracy and what is happening today in the US is not compatible with "government of the people, for the people, by the people". When our past president Lincoln said that, he was quoting Pericles of Athens (born c. 495 BCE, Athens—died 429, Athens). Our democracy began with the Greeks long before Jesus and was improved by the Scotts' common sense. Our democracy is about being humans, not the kingdom of God and if any humans are descendants of Paradies it is the people of Hawaii who have a loving culture. People around the world are not all prone to war and violence against each other.

    What is happening is not how I want the world to see us, and I hear how our elitism is causing international tensions to build. Our stories matter and if we believe creation stories or if we believe in science and evolution, it really matters. Fundamentalists seem to be tipping back to religious authority over the people, and I would like Protestants to remember why we held religion and politics separate.
  • Athena
    3k
    We live in countries where the values, ethics, customs, etc., are based on Christian principles. If we look at the banknotes of the USA, it says: In God We Trust. The currency of a nation rests in a religious sentence. And so more around the Western countries, not just the United States.javi2541997

    Do you know when the US began stamping In God We Trust on money, the root of all evil? I must say I am disappointed in the book "Preparing For War" because so far it has said nothing about what our love of God has to do with war.

    "In God We Trust" (also rendered as "In God we trust") is the official motto of the United States[1][2][3] as well as the motto of the U.S. state of Florida, along with the nation of Nicaragua (Spanish: En Dios confiamos).[4][5] It was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1956, replacing E pluribus unum ("Out of many, one"), which had been the de facto motto since the initial design of the Great Seal of the United States.[6]

    While the earliest mentions of the phrase can be found in the mid-19th century, the origins of this phrase as a political motto lie in the American Civil War, where Union supporters wanted to emphasize their attachment to God and to boost morale.[7] The capitalized form "IN GOD WE TRUST" first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864 and initially only appeared on coins, but it gradually became accepted among Americans.[8] Much wider adoption followed in the 1950s. The first postage stamps with the motto appeared in 1954. A law passed in July 1955 by a joint resolution of the 84th Congress (Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 84–140) and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower requires that "In God We Trust" appear on all American currency. This law was first implemented on the updated one-dollar silver certificate that entered circulation on October 1, 1957.[8] The 84th Congress later passed legislation (Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 84–851), also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase to be the national motto.[8][a] Several states have also mandated or authorized its use in public institutions or schools;[9][10] while Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have incorporated the phrase in some of their state symbols. The motto has also been used in some cases in other countries, most notably on Nicaragua's coins.[11]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust
    — Wikipedia

    I do not trust the pope nor any man using religion to acquire worldly authority and power. No human being has more of God's authority and power than any other human being and promoting myth and war on money is not admirable.
  • Athena
    3k
    No? Isn't everybody trying to "rule America"? Isn't it becoming commonly accepted that so-called "liberal neutrality" was always farcical? There is a real sense in which progressivism quickened the demise of liberalism, but in this it only quickened the inevitable. Historically and in truth a separation between religion and politics is altogether artificial, and where separation is enforced quasi-religious ideologies sprout like weeds.Leontiskos

    What are quais-religious ideologies?

    I don't think liberal neutrality was farcical. My grandmother never spoke of religion but she regularly attended church. Our relationship with God is a private matter. I love my Grandmother's three rules.

    We respect all people because we are respectful. It doesn't matter if the other is a mayor or a bum.

    We protect the dignity of others.

    We do everything with integrity.

    I think something we are missing is Athen's understanding of the difference between what is public and what is private. I remember when we allowed people far more privacy than we grant them today. I write so much because I am horrified by great increase in government control of our lives. It is very dehumanizing.

    Sparta did not value privacy. Sparta was so self-destructive it could not maintain a population large enough to defend Sparta. The US was the Athens of the modern world and Germany was the Sparta. Now it is the US that in many ways is the Sparta of the modern world. If anyone steps out of line the person is publically shamed and may lose his/her job. We have created a very mean reality for ourselves.
  • Athena
    3k
    I doubt it. The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant. It's not possible to reason with those who believe they already know what there is to know because their God has told them so (a felicitous bit of rhyming, if I don't say so myself).Ciceronianus

    Yeap, especially when what knows is God's truth. Christians do not agree with each other about God's truth but that doesn't stop them from believing they know it.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    White people are under threat. Liberals are a threat. The deep state is a threat. Woke is a threat. Law and order are falling apart. Children are disobedient. Story time with drag queens is a threat.BC

    But isn't this a question of who's ox is being gored? You dismiss the right's claims of threats coming from the left as irrational, but you declare the threats perceived by the left coming from the right as a clear and present danger.

    The right fears godless rule while the left fears godful rule.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    doubt it. The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant. It's not possible to reason with those who believe they already know what there is to know because their God has told them so (a felicitous bit of rhyming, if I don't say so myself).Ciceronianus

    This is quite the broad statement, describing the essence of all Abrahamic religions, from Shia Muslims, to Mormons, to Church of Christ, to Reconstructionist Jews and so on.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    Christians do not agree with each other about God's truth but that doesn't stop them from believing they know it.Athena

    Do Atheists all not agree as to what is moral and yet still proclaim to know it too?
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant.Ciceronianus

    Where do the Abrahamic religions fall in your genealogy of modern tolerance?
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    This is quite the broad statement, describing the essence of all Abrahamic religions, from Shia Muslims, to Mormons, to Church of Christ, to Reconstructionist Jews and so on.Hanover

    I suppose those sects, if the recognize Abraham as a prophet and believe in the Covenant, would be Abrahamic, but don't know enough about them to say whether they are or not. I suppose it's possible that they don't teach they are "the way, the truth and the life", but understand that traditional Judaism, Christianity and Islam do.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    genealogy of modern toleranceLeontiskos

    I'm uncertain what you mean by this.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    The right fears godless rule while the left fears godful rule.Hanover

    Which seems to make the what right wants good and what the left wants bad doesn't it? What could be bad about godful rule, and good about godless rule?
  • Athena
    3k
    Do Atheists all not agree as to what is moral and yet still proclaim to know it too?Hanover

    I love your question because hopefully, it will lead to debate. The most glaring difference is atheists do not believe they know God's truth. An atheist attempts to know truth through a process of reasoning and that process means we debate with each other until we have a consensus on the best reasoning, and even then that is not the final word. New information can change the reasoning. This is what is vitally important to a democracy versus a theocracy.

    A moral is a matter of cause and effect and we can argue about the effect of a cause until we agree on what is moral, but importantly, no one imposes their morality on others, except for those few notions of wrong that are so universal, violating it is unforgivable. A father having sex with a daughter is one of them, with one exception. There is a tribe that hunts rhinos and this is so dangerous a man may increase his strength by having sex with a daughter, but for all other known tribes that is a taboo.

    This is a philosophy forum so I will add the argument about there being no excuse for violating a law. The Roman concept did not apply to everyday laws such as where to park one's chariot or city rules that are likely to be completely unknown to immigrants and visitors. It is violating the universal taboos for which there is no excuse. Forbidden contaminating rivers is not a universal taboo, but once was a common practice.

    Can we hang with the concept of liberty and the notion we should not impose our notions of moral on others? That goes with Roe versus Wade. It is the reason I started this thread. Our privacy and liberty are being shredded and we need to debate the right and wrong of this. Not the pope or anyone else should have unquestioned authority over all.
  • Athena
    3k
    The Abrahamic religions are essentially exclusive and intolerant.
    — Ciceronianus

    This is a feature that many faithful are loath to claim. Fundamentalists (whatever faith) not only claim it, they get high on it.
    BC

    Well so were the head hunters. :lol:

    Religion made it possible for us to include an extreme amount of others as one of us, but we still struggle with our natural limits and evolved reactions to those who are not one of us. One of the things I marvel at is some tribes were glad to deal with others, while others simply defended their territory as lower primates do.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    I suppose those sects, if the recognize Abraham as a prophet and believe in the Covenant, would be Abrahamic, but don't know enough about them to say whether they are or not. I suppose it's possible that they don't teach they are "the way, the truth and the life", but understand that traditional Judaism, Christianity and Islam do.Ciceronianus

    We all have our views on what is right and what is wrong regardless of whether we anchor them in religious reasons. Secular views can be as firmly held as religious ones, as I'm sure there's no persuading you to change your view on certain moral issues.

    That is, of course most religions consider themselves correct, but so do you.

    What you brought up wasn't about confidence in one's own beliefs but of tolerance of other's beliefs. I tolerate the secular, the Christian, the Muslim, and the shaman's beliefs. You're right I disagree with some of them, but so do you.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    The most glaring difference is atheists do not believe they know God's truth. An atheist attempts to know truth through a process of reasoning and that process means we debate with each other until we have a consensus on the best reasoning, and even then that is not the final word. New information can change the reasoning. This is what is vitally important to a democracy versus a theocracy.Athena

    You've not described the decision process of either atheists or theists. There is not a univeral forum of atheists where they gather to debate and then to arrive at a published consensus opinion that holds until such time as better evidence is found. What happens is that people form beliefs through all different sorts of processes and countless conclusions are reached, oftentimes greatly constrasting from one another. You present this idea that atheists have arrived at a consensus that keeps getting derailed by the religious, where all harmony of thought is shaken into disarray by religious people.

    What actually dictates conclusions about all issues, moral and otherwise, are a countless array of things, ranging from religiosity to personal disposition to intelligence to regional differences. You could probably explain much of my views from the spot on the globe I was born as much as you could from my religion.

    You also present a picture of relgious thought as if there is simply a list of things that are good and bad and I can know if X is bad by looking at the list. From your description, it's as if the religious turn off their brains and have someone else tell them what's what.

    Here's an article comparing the American common law to Jewish law related to what to do should you find lost property. It explains the reasoning from both systems, and the argument presented by adherents of both positions. That is, whatever you envision takes place in religious debate is far more complex than you state it is.

    https://www.jlaw.com/Articles/avedah1.html
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    Which seems to make the what right wants good and what the left wants bad doesn't it? What could be bad about godful rule, and good about godless rule?Ciceronianus

    The prior posts indicated that reliance upon godful rule was bad. One such argument was that godful rule was intolerant, as opposed to godless rule, which apparently is embracing.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    That is, of course most religions consider themselves correct, but so do you.Hanover

    Well, it's not quite the same thing. What religions consider correct are different from what I consider correct. Religions may maintain it's correct, e.g., that God exists, that God has certain characteristics, that God should be worshipped in a particular way, that other Gods don't exist, that God wants us to believe in him, that God wants us to behave in a particular way, that if we don't do so we sin and are subject to punishment.

    What I consider correct is somewhat less imposing and absolute. And even subject to change.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    This is quite the broad statement, describing the essence of all Abrahamic religions, from Shia Muslims, to Mormons, to Church of Christ, to Reconstructionist Jews and so on.Hanover

    Yep. It sits in the foundational story of Abraham, who would sacrifice his son because god wills it, glorifying doing what one is told to do over taking personal responsibility.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    What I consider correct is somewhat less imposing and absolute. And even subject to change.Ciceronianus

    Religious debate doesn't lead to absolute rules. Much is debated and remains debated. Rules are also subject to change.

    But you know this, so I don't know why you say otherwise.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    Yep. It sits in the foundational story of Abraham, who would sacrifice his son because god wills it, glorifying doing what one is told to do over taking personal responsibility.Banno

    If that's what you learn from the parable, then it is.

    Others suggest it stands for the proposition that human sacrifice is prohibited. Others as a foretelling of the coming of Jesus.

    Google "the binding of Isaac" if you're interested.
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