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Thread: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Monserrat View Post
    Not all Christian Churches require it and everyone has their own reasons for why they give. Suffice it to say it does not take away from the fact that religious people give more to charities than secular people even though secular people were found to make more money (it's all in the last source I cited).
    In general, Christians believe we should help each other while secularists believe that is the responsibility of the government, a Santa Claus role many politicians are willing to play.

    Would you agree?

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    In general, Christians believe we should help each other while secularists believe that is the responsibility of the government, a Santa Claus role many politicians are willing to play.

    Would you agree?
    No. People believe in helping each other. Some Christians believe they should help each other because it is the right thing to do, others believe it is done to avoid a negative afterlife or achieve a positive one. Some non-Christians believe they should help other because it is the right thing to do, others don't believe they need to help. Some Christians believe they only have to help so much, if at all, and that is enough, others give as much as they are able and sometimes more. Some non-Christians help others as much as they are able and sometimes more.

    Good will and charity and helping people does not require adherence to a religion. It merely requires the attitude that helping others is the right thing to do.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    No. People believe in helping each other. Some Christians believe they should help each other because it is the right thing to do, others believe it is done to avoid a negative afterlife or achieve a positive one. Some non-Christians believe they should help other because it is the right thing to do, others don't believe they need to help. Some Christians believe they only have to help so much, if at all, and that is enough, others give as much as they are able and sometimes more. Some non-Christians help others as much as they are able and sometimes more.

    Good will and charity and helping people does not require adherence to a religion. It merely requires the attitude that helping others is the right thing to do.
    It seems though, that whatever their motives, Christians tend to help more. Would that be right?

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Monserrat View Post
    No one is saying that non-religious people aren't caring or giving what I am saying is that studies show time and time again that in the US religious people tend to contribute more to non-profit charitable organizations than secular folk. I posted links, feel free to look them over.

    As for your comments on the Mormons, the motives for why people give are going to change depending on the individual person, you can go ahead and assume that they give for selfish reasons all that you want but I would advise against it, that's a lot of people you don't know and are willing to make assumptions about.
    There are a lot of nice Mormons out there. And I believe many are really nice people. Those in charge of the Mormon church though are not nice. And I'm sorry, but there is no way that I can consider tithing charity when most of it goes to church purposes, such as political campaigns or mission work (missions for Mormons are mainly about trying to convert people to their religion, that isn't charity, that is church work).

    If you could break down exactly what each person is giving to, then you could prove this. But not all non-profits are the same. There are plenty of non-profits for political purposes. There was one in the CFC book that was working to get people out of porn. And not all people give just money. Many also give their time. And some also help their families out instead of allowing them to become another statistic.

    I feel it is wrong though to come up and say that Christians or even religious automatically give more just because they are Christians. Especially not when many, such as the Mormon religious, would include their tithings as giving to charity, yet that is an obligation for them and not all that money is going to help others.

    There is definitely a question of why they are giving when they are a) required to give, and b) a strong point in their religion says that not giving can lead to a negative afterlife.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    There are a lot of nice Mormons out there. And I believe many are really nice people. Those in charge of the Mormon church though are not nice. And I'm sorry, but there is no way that I can consider tithing charity when most of it goes to church purposes, such as political campaigns or mission work (missions for Mormons are mainly about trying to convert people to their religion, that isn't charity, that is church work).

    If you could break down exactly what each person is giving to, then you could prove this. But not all non-profits are the same. There are plenty of non-profits for political purposes. There was one in the CFC book that was working to get people out of porn. And not all people give just money. Many also give their time. And some also help their families out instead of allowing them to become another statistic.

    I feel it is wrong though to come up and say that Christians or even religious automatically give more just because they are Christians. Especially not when many, such as the Mormon religious, would include their tithings as giving to charity, yet that is an obligation for them and not all that money is going to help others.

    There is definitely a question of why they are giving when they are a) required to give, and b) a strong point in their religion says that not giving can lead to a negative afterlife.
    But they know when they are part of this religion, as are all parts of the Christian religion, that Charity is a part of it. Otherwise they could leave.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    But they know when they are part of this religion, as are all parts of the Christian religion, that Charity is a part of it. Otherwise they could leave.
    Some people are scared to leave their religions because they honestly believe that the religion knows the way to a positive afterlife. They believe what the religion they believe in is what will get them to the best afterlife possible.
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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    On the contrary, "Christ" is the title of the messiah, so had the people believed that someone other than Jesus were the Messiah and a religion built around that person, they would still be called "Christians" and the holiday would still likely be "Christmas" that celebrated his/her birth. Plus, since it is pretty well established that Jesus most likely was not actually born on Dec. 25th, or even December at all, but rather as others have mentioned, it was chosen to include more people and more easily convert people, it is not unthinkable to believe that we would still have Christmas during the same season as the winter solstice and Saturnalia, because the entire point was to try to combine those holidays to join more people.
    That's a lot of conjecture.

    I'm well aware that Christ is a title which I alluded to in my post, there were actually a lot of Christ figures during that time period but to assume that any other tradition claiming a christ would be able to build enough rep and followers to make any significant impact is a bit of a stretch and a lot of supposition since they didn't in fact do so, they all sort of fizzled out. An even larger stretch would be to assume that we would still have christmas since the mass of christ was a celebration of the Catholic Church and the Catholic church wouldn't be in existence without the development of early Christianity based on that one particular "Christ" (and a lot of other factors).

    There are a lot of different dates proposed throughout history for when Jesus was born, the end of Dec. into January was one of those proposed dates. Sextus Julius Africanus placed the date of Christs birth at the 25th of dec (or thereabouts) in his chronographiai before 221 AD (he actually talks about the conception date but once you have that it's all about biology and the math plus or minus a month). Cultural integration/assimilation has a lot to do with the final date settled on (which actually happened in different time periods in different cultures in the world with some still not on the same page). That fact in and of itself shows things to be much more complicated than simply saying the church was just co-opting the celebration of Saturnalia. Even more to that point the early christians rather consistently tried to distance themselves from the pagans, which is one reason some early christian theologians like Origen was not in favor of celebrating Christs birth (to say the least) he considered it a pagan practice and didn't want anything to do with it.

    I could keep rambling on and on about this, I could write an essay...I did actually write one on semi-related subject matter back in college though it had more to do with Mithra but I hope you and others get the point that it's kind of redundant and not to mention a complete oversimplification of cultures/history surrounding the proposed dates and later settled upon dates of the birth of Christ.

    And traditions are not sacred to me. Other people have their traditions too. I saw the pics of the nativity scene that was put it. It looked pretty flashy and cheap. It probably would benefit greatly by being put on private property, rather than the public park because people tend to care more when it is on their property or when a display might look bad. I am a firm believer in parks should be for playing and walking and picnics, not signs and displays that stay up for a month or more just for people to gawk at. Put those things on your own property.
    Everybody has their own traditions especially this time of the year I however wouldn't go out of my way to try to invade anyone else's. It's too bad the rest of the world doesn't have that sort of live and let live in peace mentality otherwise we all might actually get along.
    I believe half of the things I say and say half of the things I believe.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective-J View Post
    not sure about about him being a dick simply based off of some of the signs i saw (happy holidays ) but yes, theres definitely a potential for the "jerk factor" to be implied.

    and I also agree the people trying to sue are being ridiculous and its a losing battle.
    Some of the signs were fine others not so much, I didn't really see anything that I would personally give a **** about but the fact that these people had been celebrating at that park for 60 years with their families and loved ones and that somehow Vix saw a need to try to wedge himself in there to get his personal message out that he saw Jesus as a myth (one of the signs) was just unnecessary and the reason why I can say with some measure of confidence that he was just being a dick.
    I believe half of the things I say and say half of the things I believe.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    In general, Christians believe we should help each other while secularists believe that is the responsibility of the government, a Santa Claus role many politicians are willing to play.

    Would you agree?
    Yes. They are two different means to an end. I don't think any one group is necessarily more caring than the other I think they both have different ways of going about it.
    I believe half of the things I say and say half of the things I believe.

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    Re: Atheist Action Halts Calif. Nativity Display; Churches Go to Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Monserrat View Post
    That's a lot of conjecture.

    I'm well aware that Christ is a title which I alluded to in my post, there were actually a lot of Christ figures during that time period but to assume that any other tradition claiming a christ would be able to build enough rep and followers to make any significant impact is a bit of a stretch and a lot of supposition since they didn't in fact do so, they all sort of fizzled out. An even larger stretch would be to assume that we would still have christmas since the mass of christ was a celebration of the Catholic Church and the Catholic church wouldn't be in existence without the development of early Christianity based on that one particular "Christ" (and a lot of other factors).

    There are a lot of different dates proposed throughout history for when Jesus was born, the end of Dec. into January was one of those proposed dates. Sextus Julius Africanus placed the date of Christs birth at the 25th of dec (or thereabouts) in his chronographiai before 221 AD (he actually talks about the conception date but once you have that it's all about biology and the math plus or minus a month). Cultural integration/assimilation has a lot to do with the final date settled on (which actually happened in different time periods in different cultures in the world with some still not on the same page). That fact in and of itself shows things to be much more complicated than simply saying the church was just co-opting the celebration of Saturnalia. Even more to that point the early christians rather consistently tried to distance themselves from the pagans, which is one reason some early christian theologians like Origen was not in favor of celebrating Christs birth (to say the least) he considered it a pagan practice and didn't want anything to do with it.

    I could keep rambling on and on about this, I could write an essay...I did actually write one on semi-related subject matter back in college though it had more to do with Mithra but I hope you and others get the point that it's kind of redundant and not to mention a complete oversimplification of cultures/history surrounding the proposed dates and later settled upon dates of the birth of Christ.
    You are assuming that those who put together the first cornerstones of the Christian religion wouldn't do so around someone else if they felt they could gain power in doing so. I don't believe this. I think many Christians have good intentions. I also believe there were a lot of higher ups in the church that were more than happy to manipulate circumstances for their own power gains. If not for Christ, it is more than likely that at least some of those earlier groups would have chosen someone. It isn't inconceivable that it could have happened.

    And some may not have agreed with celebrating Christmas because of the Pagan holiday, but many did and did so on purpose. They saw an advantage to it.

    It is not likely that Jesus's birth would have been in either December or January. The weather and the census are two things that suggest it is not likely. It is possible, as is anything. It just honestly could have been any time during the year.

    We just can't know either way, but it isnt hard to imagine that there could still be a Christmas without Jesus. But it is almost certain that there would still be holiday celebrations of some sort during this season. People had found ways to celebrate during this time of year for many centuries prior to Jesus's birth. It just doesn't take much to imagine that they would continue to celebrate something because people like to celebrate things and what better time than around the longest day of the year?


    Quote Originally Posted by Monserrat View Post
    Everybody has their own traditions especially this time of the year I however wouldn't go out of my way to try to invade anyone else's. It's too bad the rest of the world doesn't have that sort of live and let live in peace mentality otherwise we all might actually get along.
    I wouldn't interrupt other people's celebrations either. But I don't blame people who do so for something that is not their fault. No matter how much you don't like their actions, they did nothing that caused the church to not be able to put up their displays by putting up their own displays. It was something that was caused by the vandals but likely would have happened eventually anyway. But that is life, things change, people adapt. It really is probably better. Now more of the area can get "displays" for the season (hopefully with positive messages). Maybe there can be more of them with a greater level of effort put into them. With a little effort and care and less whining, they could make some pretty nice displays across the city to put up for the holidays and the park can be used for more park-like activities, such as playing in.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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