Monday, May 16, 2005

Some Members Of The Flock Are More Equal Than Others

There have been two stories in the past week or so of people being denied membership or the full benefit of a church based not on their personal behavior as it relates to religion, but their views on the behavior of others. Lines are being crossed all over the place on church/state issues recently. (Only the second of these examples here has to do with politics directly, but there are other battles such as teaching ID, and so on of course.) You might be surprised to know that it's fine with me to an extent, only because I see a silver lining. The more this kind of thing goes on, the more independents will start to find this special kind of ultra-conservatism more frightening, and thus their Republican party benefactors as well.

The more recent one was from yesterday, about Catholics wearing rainbow sashes to show support for gays and lesbians in the church. They are being denied communion because of their show of support for a change in doctrine. They aren't even violating any church law. They are just expressing their opinion that they would like a change, and for that they are denied communion. Nice.

Then there is the genius minister of a church in North Carolina that decided to kick nine people out of their church because they didn't support Bush. My favorite part of the story: "Chandler could not be reached for comment today, but says his actions weren't politically motivated." Now that is comedy!


Hector Vex said...

By now you should know, the Catholic Church does not like change.

Erik Grow said...

I am fully aware of that, and don't expect it really, but I am honestly surprised at this story!

Two Dogs said...

As far as the Catholic church is concerned, if you are public with your agreement with sin, the priest has the obligation/duty to deny you the Holy Communion. That's why Kerry was almost excommunicated. Really simple: Abortion=Murder; sodomy=willful sinning. I fail to see the problem there. If you don't agree with the tenets of your church or religion, find another one.

As far as the other church is concerned, my gut instinct is to go with the minister simply because of the way you framed the argument,(genius minister of a church in North Carolina) but I know nothing about the incident.

Erik Grow said...

I'm not under the impression that anyone with pro-choice views gets excommunicated. If it's so written in stone, there are dozens of pro-choice Catholics in high political office out there. I've not heard of one of them being excommunicated.

You'll find the second story even more blatant Two Dogs. I don't even think most religious people will fail to see the line crossed in that one.

Two Dogs said...

The line that I continually see crossed is that there is a move underfoot to do away totally with all religious symbols in public places.

Erik Grow said...

Perhaps that's what you're looking for, so you are finding it? Aside from as it pertains to government in some way (The Constitution), I see none of it at all.

You can put a cross 20 feet high in your yard. Who is going to protest that? If you have a business and want to do the same, hey, it's your right. Slap a Jesus fish on your car, a foot long if you want to. Send your kid to private school if you want them to learn your own particular slant on the world. Talk to people on the street about church. Try to convert your neighbors by going door to door. Make a website about your faith. Nobody will take it down.

I'm sorry if I don't play the company line of "We're so terribly repressed". Spare me.

Two Dogs said...

I am actually trying NOT to see that. However, it's impossible to ignore. The Fed rolls in and tells an Alabama court that the Ten Commandments have to come out of a courthouse. The ACLU sues to get a monument removed from a city park, shall I continue?

The Constitutional statements were written to avoid a nationalized religion, not to prevent states from setting up their own.

When we as a country/nation began to dictate the actions of the states, counties, and cities, something has been extremely perverted. I guess that this argument goes hand in hand with gun control and that type of crap.

Erik Grow said...

The Constitution is FEDERAL, as you know, and that issue is covered, so it trumps Alabama in this case. You won't see me advocating much of anything in the way of gun control either (which I've told you before, but oh yeah I'm still ultra-liberal, right?).

Two Dogs said...

Again, I say that there is nothing, nothing in the Constitution that says there will be no religious symbols on state properties. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in our Constitution, not freedom FROM religion by any organization that might get their feelings hurt.

Erik, I have never called you ultra-anything. I have simply made the point that you are on the Liberal side of most of your arguments.

In case you haven't noticed, I continue to read your blog daily and make comments on things that peak my interest. Not unlike nicnerd, I am always open to debate on pretty much every topic. It's more fun if there are opposing views. And yes, I would say that you are very liberal in your opinions, but that doesn't necessarily make them uninteresting. Wrong maybe, but never boring.

Erik Grow said...

Thanks Two Dogs, I think. Heh. I do appreciate the comments. Opposing ideas are always of course welcome. I spend most of my time on Republican blogs, opposing them, though the theocon blogs are beginning to bore me. Way too predictable and reactionary.

As for the Constitution, I guess the heart of the matter is whether you believe that putting up religious symbols constitutes an endorsement of religion in some way. I believe it does, however let me also be clear that I am not "offended" by the displays. I just think they are out of place there. It doesn't seem like much to ask or a very big deal to keep it out of the small percentage of buildings in the country that are owned by the government. You only have the other 90% of the country to put up all the religious symbols you want. You'll get no argument from me or any doubt from the Constitution in that case. Problem solved.

Two Dogs said...

Erik, the only aside that I have to add is this; only federal buildings should be affected. State buildings fall under State jurisdiction. For the ACLU to come to Mississippi and start a bunch of shit about what we have in the Rankin County Courthouse doesn't affect Cleveland, Ohio. If you want to turn DC into the armpit of crime and hate that it is, by all means go right ahead, but keep your crazy hands off of Mississippi. (I'm not talking about you specifically, but the ever general "you")

Same thing with our State flag, we had a referendum on our ballot three years ago about our flag and it passed with over 82% of the vote. I simply could not care less what the people do in the Northeast.

Erik Grow said...

Well that's an entirely different argument. That's tricky, but I'm not sure that it's enumerated to be ONLY the federal government. I somehow doubt it. On the flag issue, nobody, northeasterner or otherwise has a say, and I'm not sure how they would.

Actually, DC has undergone a MAJOR change in the last 10-20 years. You'd be surprised at how nice a lot of it is compared to back then. Most of the slummy areas are now in Prince Georges County, MD now. It's the only county in the area with an increasing murder rate. All others including DC are decreasing.

Two Dogs said...

The last time that I was there was three weeks ago. I'm usually in DC about four times a year. Still nasty as Hell to me. I am only glad that I could go to my suite and shut out the trash. Glad to be back in G_d's country.

Erik Grow said...

DC is nasty? Where are you staying, southeast DC or something? Hehheh. Hey, next time you're around here and have a couple free hours, let me know and I'll buy you a drink or something! My wife works downtown actually, so I can go downtown after work and you can meet "Mrs. Rudyj" too if you want. Hehheh. (Yes, she kept her last name.)

Two Dogs said...

Sounds like a plan. Usually I am in town for only a couple of days, but I have about four hundred years of vacation saved and want to drive up the Eastern seaboard next time.

nicnerd said...

A few things....

WOW! I find myself mostly in agreement with Erik. Intolerance by the chruch is a terrible thing in my opinion. In the political sense, I suppose they can do as they like, but it does not mean that I will ever agree.

In truth, the Catholic church has always weirded me out a little. My dad is Catholic and some of their ceremonies and traditions are just unacceptable to me. That said, I respect the Catholic chruch and the right of the church to order things however they like.

Personally, having read onkly Erik's slant on the story, I would have to say (gulp...) that I agree.

On another note...
I too live in the burbs of Virginia, near Erik. I confirm what twodogs states, DC is a terrible city. I am well traveled, so I will say it is not repugnant, but certianly DC is in my list of less than desirable locations.

Oddly, I find sunny, liberal San Francisco to be one of the nicest places. Unfortuantley, I could never afford to live there unless I win some sort or lottery.

Here is a listing of crappy cities as observed by myself:

DC sucks
Miami sucks
Fargo sucks
St. Paul sucks
Boston kinda sucks
Baltimore sucks bigtime
LA sucks

KR said...

Two Dogs: If homosexuality was a sin, God would have struck down David and Jonathan. Their affair is well-documented in the bible.

Freedom of religion also equals freedom from religion, IMHO, because freedom of religion equals freedom from having the religion of another imposed upon you. Removing the symbols of one religion is also much more cost-effective than inscribing the symbols of other religions on public buildings.

I asked a friend of mine from northern Europe if there was much religious discord in his homeland, He said No, they shipped all the religious freaks to the Colonies ;)