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Thread: Religion in the US - current data

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A sweeping generalisation peb that is only true after some pretty dire screw ups were put to bed.

    Galileo and the Muslims?
    Not for sure what you mean by the Muslim part. But the Church's extensive involvement in the foundations of mdetn science predates Galileo by a couple of centuries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Of course we would, that's why it's called natural law
    John is putting too much importance on the fact that codifying how to live your life is one of organised religions raison d'Ítre. We can still do that right without practising any religion.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Not for sure what you mean by the Muslim part. But the Church's extensive involvement in the foundations of mdetn science predates Galileo by a couple of centuries.
    The Muslims in India, Spain and so on preserved and pushed maths and science forward whilst the church held it back or ignored it. For example Muslims bought zero to the west from India and worked on light and astronomy. Consider the Umayyad Caliphate in Spain.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    LOL!! I take it you've never had much to do with Unitarians.
    Correct, I grew up in Mississippi, but have lived in Georgia most of my life. I never heard of Unitarians until I was pretty old. Google maps shows 5 congregations in Mississippi. None near where I grew up. There are more in Georgia, but it has a larger population. One is within about 20 miles of me.

    I grew up going to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. I can't remember ever hearing a preacher saying that it was wrong to discriminate against black people and nobody was happy if any black ladies decided to sit in on the Sunday service which happened a few times. I remember my mother saying that they should stay in their own churches.

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    I have to think that the continued increase in the numbers of those who no longer subscribe to any religion is linked to the rise of the internet as a social phenomenon. Not only does the internet make it trivially easy to research the actual validity and history of various supernatural claims, but it also allows people to find community outside of a narrow parochial group. The really out-there religious communities rely on keeping their followers firmly inside the bubble. But when people are free to talk to everybody, it’s harder to mandate conformity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The Muslims in India, Spain and so on preserved and pushed maths and science forward whilst the church held it back or ignored it. For example Muslims bought zero to the west from India and worked on light and astronomy. Consider the Umayyad Caliphate in Spain.
    The church didn't hold it back, that's a myth. Heck, a lot if the preservation of ancient knowledge was done by the Irish Monks (7th and 8th centuries). But Europe was busy defending itself from repeated Muslm invasions. In addition to Scandinavian raids throughout Christianson, and even the Mongols. No, the so called dark ages (when agricultural production doubled in Britain), Christendom was under attack from all sides.

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    I am urged to be pedantic. We Episcopalians are not protestants. We are catholics, with a small "c". We had a falling out with the Pope of Rome about 500 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Sure - but practically, it just means behavior that's wrong, and we all have an idea of what that is. I'd bet you and I and peb and even, say, Daniel Noyes, would agree about 90% on the definition. Some disagreement, of course, but far more agreement.
    I remember, vaguely, when being left-handed was a sin.

    My earlier post attempted to make a point that it seems a religiously driven opinion that sex is bad; dirty. Although it is part of life and the way we make more people.

    I'm very much afraid of people who run for and are elected to office who are of firm religious convictions, as they cannot make decisions based upon our constitution when they find it in conflict with their beliefs.

    In their zest, they often lie. Jon Oliver did quite a piece on the extent they lie to pregnant women who want to terminate their pregnancy. I'd like to think they could sell their beliefs with honest facts, or question their beliefs.
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    I suspect, only by observation, that lapsed and agnostics who lean in favor of aetheism are more likely to be from the protestant slice of the pie. Thereby skewing the results.

    I know of many people who claim to be protestant who never go to church, it's just a box they fill in on forms. The religion requires no participation and you can hedge your bets. All you have to do to enter the pearly gates is repent, and you're in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    I suspect, only by observation, that lapsed and agnostics who lean in favor of atheism are more likely to be from the protestant slice of the pie.
    That's my situation; raised mainline Methodist.

    Correct, I grew up in Mississippi, but have lived in Georgia most of my life. I never heard of Unitarians until I was pretty old.
    Not many in the south, outside some big cities. My point, and why I laughed, was that "All religion is alike in that all regard faith, not reason, as a legitimate way of thinking" most emphatically does NOT describe Unitarians; we generally have no trouble at all with reason, but are profoundly skeptical of faith in the trainload sense.

    I've noticed that those who grew up in the south, believers or not, tend to think of all religion as inherently conservative and anti-rational, which makes sense based on their experience. Liberal religion is petty thin on the ground in the ex-Confederacy, and Unitarians and liberal protestants were originally just a New England thing. It may be an overly broad generalization, but probably true at least statistically.
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    I have known a few Unitarians and have to admit they are relatively sane. But If Unitarians truly believe in reason over faith, why do they consider it a religion at all? Why not just call it a social club? Is there more to calling it a church than just tax breaks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    The church didn't hold it back, that's a myth. Heck, a lot if the preservation of ancient knowledge was done by the Irish Monks (7th and 8th centuries).
    I think that you are going to have to back that up with some links, specifically discussing medicine, and the other sciences.
    It is well documented that Jews were favoured as healers Muslims for their work in all of the sciences, but all I have read about the Catholic church was about astronomy to fix the dates of holy days, anti Semitism, and crusades against Islam. Whereas for example the Umayyad of Al-Andalus valued scholarship and encouraged Jews and Christians to come and work in their libraries. http://www.islamicity.org/5580/scien...in-al-andalus/
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I have known a few Unitarians and have to admit they are relatively sane. But If Unitarians truly believe in reason over faith, why do they consider it a religion at all? Why not just call it a social club? Is there more to calling it a church than just tax breaks?
    Well, David G and I are both married to Unitarian minsters, and he's relatively sane, anyway. Mostly.

    But that requires a more careful answer than I have time for right now, alas. I'd say most Unitarians are theists, some even Christians of a heretical type. No official creed. Some of the more secular humanist Unitarian 'churches' are indeed called 'fellowships'. The joke is that like Episcopals, there are low and high Unitarians; the high ones are sometimes hard to tell from UCC or Episcopalians on a bad day except they don't talk abut Jesus, the low ones get upset if you use the 'G' word twice in the same service.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 05-12-2018 at 09:34 AM.
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    If that's all you have read, I am surprised you feel confident in posting your opinions about the middle ages. The Crusades were a relatively minor part of a war that existed between the Christian and Muslim world for 1000 years. A war that was overwhelmingly offensive on the part of Islam and defensive on the part of Christendom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    The church didn't hold it back, that's a myth. Heck, a lot if the preservation of ancient knowledge was done by the Irish Monks (7th and 8th centuries). But Europe was busy defending itself from repeated Muslm invasions. In addition to Scandinavian raids throughout Christianson, and even the Mongols. No, the so called dark ages (when agricultural production doubled in Britain), Christendom was under attack from all sides.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I think that you are going to have to back that up with some links, specifically discussing medicine, and the other sciences.
    It is well documented that Jews were favoured as healers Muslims for their work in all of the sciences, but all I have read about the Catholic church was about astronomy to fix the dates of holy days, anti Semitism, and crusades against Islam. Whereas for example the Umayyad of Al-Andalus valued scholarship and encouraged Jews and Christians to come and work in their libraries. http://www.islamicity.org/5580/scien...in-al-andalus/
    Having only a vague familiarity with the history of those times... I look forward to being educated by this discussion.
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    I think the bottom line is that the Catholic church did some good and some harm. It wasn't nearly as bad as the semi-mythical popular history in protestant countries had it (Galileo, Giordano Bruno, Columbus and the flat earth, yada yada), but I don't think it's as rosy as peb would have it either; Galileo's book really was on the prohibited list until the 1800s OTOH, in the last couple of centuries, the Catholics have been generally been fine with science, far more so than Protestant fundamentalists of any kind (not hard to do, but still). The church has no problem at all with evolution, for example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I think the bottom line is that the Catholic church did some good and some harm. It wasn't nearly as bad as the semi-mythical popular history in protestant countries had it (Galileo, Giordano Bruno, Columbus and the flat earth, yada yada), but I don't think it's as rosy as peb would have it either; Galileo's book really was on the prohibited list until the 1800s OTOH, in the last couple of centuries, the Catholics have been generally been fine with science, far more so than Protestant fundamentalists of any kind (not hard to do, but still). The church has no problem at all with evolution, for example.
    There's more than enough evil and sin, committed by ALL churches and faiths throughout history, to justify some criticism... I don't think that you can 'rank' them in terms of their virtues, without weighing their vices as well.... so I don't think that Christianity comes out any better than Islam or Judaism or any other faith... despite the desire of their adherents to try to claim some moral superiority.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    If that's all you have read, I am surprised you feel confident in posting your opinions about the middle ages. The Crusades were a relatively minor part of a war that existed between the Christian and Muslim world for 1000 years. A war that was overwhelmingly offensive on the part of Islam and defensive on the part of Christendom.
    There is more to the crusades than you think.
    In 1230, the Teutonic Knights, a crusading military order, moved to the Kulmerland (today within the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship) and, upon the request of Konrad I, king of the Masovian Slavs, launched the Prussian Crusade against the pagan Prussian clans. With support from the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor, the Teutons conquered and converted the Prussians by the 1280s and shifted their attention to the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For about a hundred years the Knights fought the Lithuanian Crusade raiding the Lithuanian lands, particularly Samogitia as it separated the Knights in Prussia from their branch in Livonia. The border regions became uninhabited wilderness, but the Knights gained very little territory. The Lithuanians first gave up Samogitia during the Lithuanian Civil War (1381–84) in the Treaty of Dubysa. The territory was used as a bargaining chip to ensure Teutonic support for one of the sides in the internal power struggle.[citation needed]
    In 1385, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania proposed to marry reigning Queen Jadwiga of Poland in the Union of Kreva. Jogaila converted to Christianity and was crowned as the King of Poland thus creating a personal union between the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The official Lithuanian conversion to Christianity removed the religious rationale for the Order's activities in the area.
    Mean while, what about all of this knowledge that the Irish monasteries preserved?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    but practically, it (sin) just means behavior that's wrong..
    Sorry, this is incorrect. Sin is nothing more than (breaking the) 'rules of the tribe'.. rules which often enough have no moral basis.

    Case in point - both major Xtian tribes include the irrationality that their omnipotent & infallible fantasy creator just happened to make some people in a way which requires them to deny their true selves in order to support the religion. I speak, of course of, homosexuality - & both major Xtian tribes (Protestant & Catholic) still consider (at best!) that people born homosexual must 'not practice' their feelings. Many parts of those tribes (leaders, even) still feel their fantasy creator wants them to kill people who are born that way.

    The concepts of religion & esp 'sin' are abominable.



    A war that was overwhelmingly offensive on the part of Islam and defensive on the part of Christendom.
    You're a funny guy.. and I _don't_ mean 'ha, ha'..

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    If that's all you have read, I am surprised you feel confident in posting your opinions about the middle ages. The Crusades were a relatively minor part of a war that existed between the Christian and Muslim world for 1000 years.
    Only because they cost so much for so little return.

    There weren't a thousand years between the birth of Mohammed and the Crusades. Not all Crusades were against Moslems, nor were they all in the "holy land".

    "Under this, conquer." Doesn't get more offensive than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    A war that was overwhelmingly offensive on the part of Islam and defensive on the part of Christendom.
    The part after Christendom's offensive, for sure. If you lop off the part from Constantine to the Crusades, it's been 900 since. After losing the Crusades, Christendom lost much they thought was theirs to the Muslims, but gained a great deal they never pretended was theirs other than by conquest -- the remaining pagans of Europe, and the western hemisphere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Only because they cost so much for so little return.

    There weren't a thousand years between the birth of Mohammed and the Crusades. Not all Crusades were against Moslems, nor were they all in the "holy land".

    "Under this, conquer." Doesn't get more offensive than that.



    The part after Christendom's offensive, for sure. If you lop off the part from Constantine to the Crusades, it's been 900 since. After losing the Crusades, Christendom lost much they thought was theirs to the Muslims, but gained a great deal they never pretended was theirs other than by conquest -- the remaining pagans of Europe, and the western hemisphere.
    Birth of Mohammed to the Crusades? Try late 7th century until 1683, almost exactly 1000 years.
    Last edited by peb; 05-12-2018 at 03:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durnik View Post


    You're a funny guy.. and I _don't_ mean 'ha, ha'..
    Why? Because I actually know a little bit about history?


    All of North Africa, Western Europe, the Balkans, and Asia Minor were Christian.

    First goes North Africa, Muslim offensive.
    Then the Iberian Penninsula, the Southern France. They were stopped there.
    Then Sicily, Sadonia, attacked and conquered.
    Southern Italy,
    Balkans, Hungary,
    Asia Minor
    Balkans again,
    Italy again,
    Hungary,
    Austria
    Again Hungary,

    And on and on, until their final defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Do some homework. The Crusades were a brief offensive, in an overwhelming defensive war.
    Last edited by peb; 05-12-2018 at 04:07 PM.

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    Seems to me that any 'religion' attempting to spread the word of their guru by violence, and even by missions by some groups, is just demonstrating the paucity of their argument and the basic insecurity of the participants in their own beliefs. It's more about secular and personal power than anything else.

    As part of this many of the offensives were against the Gnostoics, the Cathars, the Hugenots considered by more powerful groups to be heretical, and so it goes. Humans are like that, any excuse will do.
    Last edited by skuthorp; 05-12-2018 at 04:15 PM.

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    A bizarre choice of dates..... and a twisted perspective to boot.....

    1683? - why not 1918 and the fall of the ottoman empire - or 1995 and Srebrenica - where the "defensive christians" killed eight thousand...
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    A bizarre choice of dates..... and a twisted perspective to boot.....

    1683? - why not 1918 and the fall of the ottoman empire - or 1995 and Srebrenica - where the "defensive christians" killed eight thousand...
    Because the Battle of Vienna was the last Muslims attack into Europe. It was the end of attempted Muslim conquest of Europe, after 1000 years of trying.

    Interesting that other posters can claim the Crusades as the end of Christian/Muslm religious wars and that is not a problem. But if I include another 500 years of Muslm aggression, you take exception to it.

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    This is the ebb an flow of empires - it started before Phillip of Macedon was born - and will continues long after Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have shuffled off.

    To see it as simply a war between Christians and Muslims is to miss Tamurlane, Genghis, Alexander and Xerxes.....
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    Meanwhile crickets about the claim that Irish monks preserved knowledge.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Jeez guys - you may not agree with peb on theology, but he's basically right this time about the history. Islam spread by conquest initially, and for a good long time afterward; that was the whole 'jihad' idea. Now like every war with a religious component, how much was for religion and how much for ordinary power is pretty blurry; people have never needed much of an excuse to conquer their neighbors and steal their land and property. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the Muslims sure used region as an excuse a lot. Peb's got it about right on this one, including the date of the last siege of Vienna.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Meanwhile crickets about the claim that Irish monks preserved knowledge.
    You guys have a lack of knowlegde our Western history that is not surprising, but your reaction to being told about it is.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hist...ity_in_Ireland

    Read the section on Irish monasteries. I will quote just the first sentence:


    "Monastic schools*in Ireland became centers of excellence for peoples from all over Europe."

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first crusade against Christian schismatics? The Merovingian clan of heretics in southern France?

    Going to war over one's image of god is pretty ridiculous, and we ain't over it yet. May the good lord that resides beyond all image, lend us a hand. Lord knows we need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmael View Post
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first crusade against Christian schismatics? The Merovingian clan of heretics in southern France?

    Going to war over one's image of god is pretty ridiculous, and we ain't over it yet. May the good lord that resides beyond all image, lend us a hand. Lord knows we need it.
    If he cared and could, don’t you think he would stop all this nonsense? He doesn’t exist. If he does, he doesn’t give a rip.

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    That's a reasonable conclusion. He doesn't give a rip! If god is real, and omnipotent, then he's a psychopath! I'll go with that, as far as it goes.

    For me, just little me, the image religion has held of an omniscient all powerful being is way off base. It isn't axiomatic, however, that something bigger, a sentience other than my little ego, doesn't exist. Maybe, just maybe, it's in some way as lost as we are, and is experimenting with us to find its way.
    Last edited by ishmael; 05-12-2018 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmael View Post
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first crusade against Christian schismatics? The Merovingian clan of heretics in southern France?

    Going to war over one's image of god is pretty ridiculous, and we ain't over it yet. May the good lord that resides beyond all image, lend us a hand. Lord knows we need it.
    Not for sure what you mean by a crusade against the Merovingian clan, perhaps you mean the Albiginsian Crusade, in the early 1200s, a century after the First Crusade which established the short lived Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    You guys have a lack of knowlegde our Western history that is not surprising, but your reaction to being told about it is.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hist...ity_in_Ireland

    Read the section on Irish monasteries. I will quote just the first sentence:


    "Monastic schools*in Ireland became centers of excellence for peoples from all over Europe."
    Well they sure had gotten over that by the 19th century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Jeez guys - you may not agree with peb on theology, but he's basically right this time about the history. Islam spread by conquest initially, and for a good long time afterward; that was the whole 'jihad' idea. Now like every war with a religious component, how much was for religion and how much for ordinary power is pretty blurry; people have never needed much of an excuse to conquer their neighbors and steal their land and property. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the Muslims sure used region as an excuse a lot. Peb's got it about right on this one, including the date of the last siege of Vienna.
    People have been conquering lands since they invented weapons. The problem is that whilst the Romans, Visigoths, Hun, Mongols, Islam, Vikings, British, French, Belgians, Germans, Spanish, and Portuguese were doing it for land, the Christians went to war to eradicate cultures, whether pagan or Islam. That is what the crusades were about.
    In 1230, the Teutonic Knights, a crusading military order, moved to the Kulmerland (today within the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship) and, upon the request of Konrad I, king of the Masovian Slavs, launched the Prussian Crusade against the pagan Prussian clans. With support from the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor, the Teutons conquered and converted the Prussians by the 1280s and shifted their attention to the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For about a hundred years the Knights fought the Lithuanian Crusade raiding the Lithuanian lands, particularly Samogitia as it separated the Knights in Prussia from their branch in Livonia. The border regions became uninhabited wilderness, but the Knights gained very little territory. The Lithuanians first gave up Samogitia during the Lithuanian Civil War (1381Ė84) in the Treaty of Dubysa. The territory was used as a bargaining chip to ensure Teutonic support for one of the sides in the internal power struggle.[citation needed]
    In 1385, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania proposed to marry reigning Queen Jadwiga of Poland in the Union of Kreva. Jogaila converted to Christianity and was crowned as the King of Poland thus creating a personal union between the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The official Lithuanian conversion to Christianity removed the religious rationale for the Order's activities in the area.
    Mean while, what about all of this knowledge that the Irish monasteries preserved? A throw away statement as yet undefined about what sort of knowledge, unsupported by any linked references.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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