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prisonchaplain

First Freedom under attack

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I just did a google of "religious freedom" and found that many secular pundits and groups frame our First Freedom as bigotry. They say that the sexual mores common to traditional practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--indeed most religions--is hatred and bigotry--incompatible with enlightened, inclusive America. I love this quote: America did not create religious freedom. Religious freedom created America. Any effort to weaken or jettison the free exercise of religion should be deemed politically incorrect, and unworthy of response. An attack on the First Amendment is unAmerican.

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I agree with the sentiment, but not the tactics suggested.  Gay rights activists spent forty years carefully developing their case while we on the right spent most of that time saying "This is nonsense, it shouldn't even be on the table, and we're not discussing it."  Then we lost--and we lost fast, and we lost big--because when the crucial moment came, we were largely left sputtering "that's just the way things are!" without being able to articulate why things are the way they are.

 

Nothing is sacred in modern American society.  We need to re-think every single one of our modern values and practices, and get to work making a case for the existence of every element of the status quo that we think is worth preserving.  That includes fundamental and formerly unquestionable "American" notions like life, liberty, property ownership, worship, free assembly and association, meaningful participation in the government process, and--I believe--even, ultimately the right of parents to raise their own biological offspring and perhaps even the right to be sexually autonomous (at least, insofar as one uses one's sexual autonomy to remain chaste). 

 

Because there are, always have been, and always will be highly intelligent forces seeking to undermine all of those foundational values.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I agree with the sentiment, but not the tactics suggested.  Gay rights activists spent forty years carefully developing their case while we on the right spent most of that time saying "This is nonsense, it shouldn't even be on the table, and we're not discussing it."  Then we lost--and we lost fast, and we lost big--because when the crucial moment came, we were largely left sputtering "that's just the way things are!" without being able to articulate why things are the way they are.

 

Nothing is sacred in modern American society.  We need to re-think every single one of our modern values and practices, and get to work making a case for the existence of every element of the status quo that we think is worth preserving.  That includes fundamental and formerly unquestionable "American" notions like life, liberty, property ownership, worship, free assembly and association, meaningful participation in the government process, and--I believe--even, ultimately the right of parents to raise their own biological offspring and perhaps even the right to be sexually autonomous (at least, insofar as one uses one's sexual autonomy to remain chaste). 

 

Because there are, always have been, and always will be highly intelligent forces seeking to undermine all of those foundational values.

 

If you're right -- and I suspect you are -- having good arguments in place isn't going to do a lick of good. Nor would having had good arguments in place against gay marriage. You cannot argue morality with the wicked.

 

The simple truth is that things will decay, and continue to decay, despite our best efforts (which we should continue to do our best to put forth) until -- how was it put? -- the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets befall us.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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I agree with the sentiment, but not the tactics suggested.  Gay rights activists spent forty years carefully developing their case while we on the right spent most of that time saying "This is nonsense, it shouldn't even be on the table, and we're not discussing it."  Then we lost--and we lost fast, and we lost big--because when the crucial moment came, we were largely left sputtering "that's just the way things are!" without being able to articulate why things are the way they are.

 

 

You are right.  My main thought is that if there is anything to the idea of Political Correctness--that some ideas are so outrageous they should be deemed unworthy of the public square--then attacks on the First Amendment should be.  I meant to hold the mirror up to these folks. 

 

Realistically, yes, we need to vigorously, intelligently, and repeatedly extol the First Amendment, and most especially our First Freedom--the free exercise of religion. 

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If you're right -- and I suspect you are -- having good arguments in place isn't going to do a lick of good. Nor would having had good arguments in place against gay marriage. You cannot argue morality with the wicked.

 

The simple truth is that things will decay, and continue to decay, despite our best efforts (which we should continue to do our best to put forth) until -- how was it put? -- the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets befall us.

 

You're probably right--but we have to try anyway.  Don't we?

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If you're right -- and I suspect you are -- having good arguments in place isn't going to do a lick of good. Nor would having had good arguments in place against gay marriage. You cannot argue morality with the wicked.

 

The simple truth is that things will decay, and continue to decay, despite our best efforts (which we should continue to do our best to put forth) until -- how was it put? -- the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets befall us.

 

I don't disagree with the basis of what you're saying, but the attitude seems cynical to me, which is the opposite of helpful.

 

We have it great today. Things are awesome, in many ways better than they ever have been throughout recorded history. Bemoaning the evils present today is of limited usefulness. Even when we know we are fighting a losing battle (short-term, anyway), we should always and in all cases be the happiest and most optimistic of people, knowing that the Lord is with us and will sustain us if we are faithful.

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I just did a google of "religious freedom" and found that many secular pundits and groups frame our First Freedom as bigotry. They say that the sexual mores common to traditional practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--indeed most religions--is hatred and bigotry--incompatible with enlightened, inclusive America. I love this quote: America did not create religious freedom. Religious freedom created America. Any effort to weaken or jettison the free exercise of religion should be deemed politically incorrect, and unworthy of response. An attack on the First Amendment is unAmerican.

 

Preach it good sir - alas here it is preaching to the choir. I am always amused (annoyed?) at how the attitude of believing that homosexuality or (insert immoral behaviour) is wrong is considered harsh and judgmental, but to turn it around and say that XYZ religious belief is horrible is not even questioned, but upheld as appropriate condemnation of the 'true' problem with society.

 

Forget moral decay, it is the belief that moral decay is bad that is the problem it seems, "If the rest of you could stop making me feel about my behaviour then it would be fine".

 

"It is you stupid religious people who don't believe in the new morality... we've evolved and no longer need ideas from a being invented to make us feel better about dying, just forget about that being and enjoy living."

 

My great concern is always where does the line get drawn? Obviously long-term it doesn't it's a moving target. At what point will pedophilia, incest, and bestiality be accepted? What other corruptions can be drawn in? We also have legalized murder (abortion) so where does the line get drawn when we decide we need more freedom to kill our neighbours because after all they believe in that religious mumbo jumbo and we need to eradicate that kind of thinking.

 

Any ways I digress. 

 

...I believe--even, ultimately the right of parents to raise their own biological offspring and perhaps even the right to be sexually autonomous (at least, insofar as one uses one's sexual autonomy to remain chaste). 

 

With another Canadian election on the table this fall it amazes me how many people are in favour of handing over their children to be raised by the state. The socialist agenda to take away the ability of parents to raise their own children alarms me, while other don't bat an eye. Crazy. One certain party that is gaining favour had a candidate who said that the government will do a better job of raising our children than parents are doing... and this isn't making people run, but attracting support. I don't get it. (My intent isn't to debate politics but to express an amazing trend in public thinking evident in the political process)

Edited by SpiritDragon

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I don't disagree with the basis of what you're saying, but the attitude seems cynical to me, which is the opposite of helpful.

 

How is it cynical to believe that the prophecies prophesied will come true? I trust in God, and that His will will be done. But I also know that the end's gotta come -- and we're clearly barreling toward it.

 

Bemoaning the evils present today is of limited usefulness. 

 

Wasn't "bemoaning". Just replying to an idea.

 

Even when we know we are fighting a losing battle (short-term, anyway), we should always and in all cases be the happiest and most optimistic of people, knowing that the Lord is with us and will sustain us if we are faithful.

 

We also shouldn't, obviously, be sitting around saying all is well in Zion. We should place optimism where optimism belongs. In the Lord. Not in the losing battle of evil that we know, prophetically, will increase until the Savior returns. There are also wonderful things that will happen before His return. Not pointing them out as well was simply outside the scope of my reply. That doesn't mean I'm unaware of them or determined in any degree that all is doom and gloom.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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If you're right -- and I suspect you are -- having good arguments in place isn't going to do a lick of good. Nor would having had good arguments in place against gay marriage. You cannot argue morality with the wicked.

You want the arguments not for those who reject the message but for those who are still yet undecided and listening trying to see which way is right.

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You want the arguments not for those who reject the message but for those who are still yet undecided and listening trying to see which way is right.

 

Strong point, with which I absolutely agree.

 

To be clear, I wasn't arguing against having the good arguments. Just being...uh....cynical.....apparently. ;)

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How is it cynical to believe that the prophecies prophesied will come true? I trust in God, and that His will will be done. But I also know that the end's gotta come -- and we're clearly barreling toward it.

 

I'm not sure what the difference is. The prophecies are there, and they are not happy. Recognizing that they exist and will be fulfilled surely cannot be an evil thing. But somehow, it seems cynical and unproductive to say, in effect, "Welp, it doesn't much matter what we do from here on out. We're in the Handbasket to Hell, so might as well hold on tight."

 

Not to say you were doing that, but that was my reaction to what you wrote. I do believe the prophecies will be fulfilled in every detail, but I also think we do not understand what that detail will actually be. Throughout the centuries, people have pointed to this and that as a sure sign that the last days are upon us. Yet here we are.

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I'm not sure what the difference is. The prophecies are there, and they are not happy. Recognizing that they exist and will be fulfilled surely cannot be an evil thing. But somehow, it seems cynical and unproductive to say, in effect, "Welp, it doesn't much matter what we do from here on out. We're in the Handbasket to Hell, so might as well hold on tight."

 

Not to say you were doing that, but that was my reaction to what you wrote. I do believe the prophecies will be fulfilled in every detail, but I also think we do not understand what that detail will actually be. Throughout the centuries, people have pointed to this and that as a sure sign that the last days are upon us. Yet here we are.

 

Right. My point was more that having strong political and/or social arguments isn't going to change the course of the future, nor, for the most part, individuals. That is not to say hang on tight there's nothing to be done. There is, indeed, things to be done. Primarily, and foremost, to preach the gospel of Christ, which is the only measure that gives anyone any measure of hope.

 

The only strong argument for morality is God. And that argument should be made. And it will change lives. But not, I'm afraid, the entire course of the prophesied calamities coming.

 

And, of course, I think the strong political and social arguments that are not necessarily directly religious can do some good for the individual as well, (as Crypto pointed out). But they are not, I think, going to do a lot for winning political battles in the government long term. Maybe still sometimes. There can still be victories.

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The only strong argument for morality is God. And that argument should be made. And it will change lives. But not, I'm afraid, the entire course of the prophesied calamities coming.

 

And, of course, I think the strong political and social arguments that are not necessarily directly religious can do some good for the individual as well, (as Crypto pointed out). But they are not, I think, going to do a lot for winning political battles in the government long term. Maybe still sometimes. There can still be victories.

 

Sometimes, when I look around and ponder upon the state of things, I feel just like Mormon must have felt when he said this about the Nephites: "Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them."
 
Considering the wickedness in this world I feel as though the Spirit of the Lord has ceased striving with most people especially with today’s leftists---awash in their relativism and situational values. With no belief in unchanging and eternal truths, their maxim is "Man is the measure of all things".
The leftist movement is one toward moral disorder; ever proposing change, with so-called conservatives ever opposing it, but giving along the way a few crumbs here and a slice there, guaranteeing continual movement toward the leftist goal. 
As long as establishment conservatives focus merely on "conserving" the status quo as opposed to "restoring" the virtues that have been lost, the political war is hopeless.  :(
 
Quite frankly, I'm SICK of "tolerance"! I believe we have already done precisely what President Packer warned against; we have exaggerated the virtue of tolerance until we've turned it into a vice. As Aristotle supposedly opined, tolerance is one of "the last virtues of a dying society". 
 
As for the OP---an attack on the 1st amendment, I expect the militant homosexuals will ramp up their rhetoric in an effort to institute hate-speech laws (as already exist in Europe) that will silence any opposition to their debauchery. This will be done under the pretext that "hate speech" is a different species of expression altogether from "free speech", and therefore should enjoy no protection whatsoever. 
Then how long will it be before ministers and apostles are jailed, churches lose tax exempt status, and even Christians denied the right to vote? I mean after all, if there is supposed to be a "separation of church and state", why should religious people be allowed to meddle in politics and the affairs of government?
 
Like FTP, I believe the war against this movement (at least until the Savior comes again) is lost.
But like Crypto, I believe the war is nevertheless still worth fighting. As Aristotle also supposedly suggested, the other virtue of a dying society is apathy. 
Despite Mormon's hopelessness as far as altering the path the Nephites were on, he exhorted Moroni that: "notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."
Edited by Capitalist_Oinker

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I just did a google of "religious freedom" and found that many secular pundits and groups frame our First Freedom as bigotry. They say that the sexual mores common to traditional practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--indeed most religions--is hatred and bigotry--incompatible with enlightened, inclusive America. ...

 

 

I did a google of "religious freedom" and didn't readily see what you saw.  Who specifically were you citing?  I would like to read the precise remarks so that I may perceive the context and the basis for the claim (from the point of view of the person(s) who made it).  

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I'll keep posting these as I find them.  This first one equates religious freedom laws with bigotry.

 

http://www.politicususa.com/2015/04/24/americans-unite-bigotry-support-plunges-religious-freedom-laws.html

 

Defending the First Amendment is defending discrimination:  http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/23290-orwellian-first-amendment-defense-act-would-privilege-religious-bigotry

 

Religious Freedom bills are discriminatory:  https://www.au.org/blogs/legislative/discriminatory-religious-freedom-bills-marriage-refusal-edition

 

I'll also say that there are far fewer columns on this matter than when I tried Googling a couple months ago.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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This first one equates religious freedom laws with bigotry.

 

Let's talk about the first one that you say equates religious freedom laws with bigotry.  As I read it, it seems to say that growing numbers of polled Americans believe bigotry is behind attempts to pass so-called religious freedom laws.  It doesn't indicate to me that they are framing "our First Freedom" as bigotry.  It indicates that more Americans have come to believe that a desire to deliver business goods or services to one American and not to another American is not truly based upon a religious freedom but on something less lofty.

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