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The American Religion

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Topic: The American Religion
Posted By: Aviatrix
Subject: The American Religion
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 5:02pm
Let's stereotype...
 
If America in general, by which I mean the majority, were classified into one group, with one overpowering religious identity, what would it be? Does the American population follow, as a general rule, the practices of any particular religion?
 
I think it doesn't. I'm guessing that if you sample most Americans, you'll find a belief in God. That rules out atheism. But now you're probably figuring that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, yet I ask: can they be identified as Christians by the rest of the world?
 
I think the answer is no. I don't think that the majority population of this country considers itself "Christian" enough to attend church every Sunday, even on major religious holidays (Easter, Christmas). Of course it varies between the seas, with some communities clinging more strongly to their religious heritage than others.
 
I also don't think the majority population of this country considers itself Christian enough to uphold the most basic tenets of the religion. I've heard (and would not like this disputed in this particular thread please) that the 10 Commandments can be basically summarized by another, which is to love God, and to love Him by loving others. This ought to be recognized as a fundamental principle of Christianity, right? Love your enemies? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If you love me (Jesus) keep my commandments?
 
So is it? I want to examine the majority public opinion based on public policy. The actions of the governments, while not representative of individual opinions are nevertheless a reflection of the majority's will. Essentially, the "job" of political leaders who by and large are selected by the populations they represent, is dependent upon their ability to satisfy that group. Simply, then, the choices made by "elected officials" ought to be representative of the choices which would be made by the people who elect them.
 
Furthermore, the choices made by the collective government ought to reflect the choices which would be made by the individuals in a purely democratic state. So when one person, elected by the general population, chooses favorites among other nations, one would expect that the choice of favoritism would resound with the nation at large. That is, we expect that he made his decision based on the collective opinion of the people whom he represents.
 
When a group of people enact policies in this country that apply to the entire population, one would expect that, this being a representative democracy, the policies would be favored by at least the majority.
 
So, when the country at large institutes policies that are inherently injust, and cites religion as the primary basis for those policies, when the nation claims to be rooted in religion, and to rely on religion for guidance, it is necessary to ask, what that religion actually is!
 
When the government continues to play a game with the world that is in fact in opposition to the most basic tenets of the religion to which it claims to adhere, either the government is lying, or the religion is not what it claims to be!
 
What is the religion of America?


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog



Replies:
Posted By: Eternity
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 5:13pm
Salaam,
 
Very interesting observations/questions. I'm sure you'll get some interesting responses..


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Perhaps the greatest Freedom is to have the Freedom to define what Freedom should mean to me.


Posted By: scruggnut
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 5:47pm
Money....but that's just my opinion.  Money and all it's accoutrements.
I don't think that it was always like that, but it seems to be now.  I think it's the wests religion in general.
Look at who really puts the american governments into place....the corporation. 
Has anyone seen the documentary entitled "the corporation"?
It's insane.  I highly recommend it.  It will make you hate big business; but that was probably its intent.


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Waiting an eternity for an apology from one who never apologizes but always demands one.


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 5:47pm
Hi Amy,
The principle of the Elected official enacting the will of the people only goes so far. There is also the concept of decision making on behalf of the people. That decision can and does involve hiding the truth from the public.

I think that the US is uniqiue in that all its citizens are descendants of other Nations and cultures (apart from Native americans of course - but thats a different story). Other countries can identify with long histories whereas the US doesn't have much. Therefore I think America is Unque in that it is firmly focussed on the future rather than the past.
Religions by their nature look back for the truth and are all inherited from these older culture. America wants it's own history and identity, not to borrow someone elses.



    

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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Ted CharlotteNC
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 5:54pm
Another thought provoking thread by Aviatrix. Since we are sterotyping I will say most Americans are apathetic and lazy, that's their true religion. 
 
I had a friend from Vietnam, he had to build railroads all day and then had to go to "Communist" meetings after working all day in the jungle. The Catholics were made to stand during the meetings. They did everything to try to break his spirit. He paid for his faith everyday. "Christians" here in USA don't have to suffer for their faith.
 
However, it is a lot harder being a Muslim or a Jew or a Buddist here, because you are different and are discriminated against. For that you have my admiration and support becuase your faith more likely is genuine if you have to suffer for it.
 
So do we have to suffer to have a real faith, do we have to be persecuted,  actually Jesus spoke on this and I think he would say yes you do.
 
Are there Christians that have never suffered, sure. Just like there are other religious people in other countries that have not suffered and are great "saints". They feed the poor, shelter the old, doctor the sick. All the things any person with faith would do. But a true person of faith would take her last penny and give it to God in faith that God would provide.
 
And God would provide, because he is merciful and compassionate. 


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Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. - Thomas Jefferson


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:07pm
Bill, I know what you mean, about the concept of making a decision on behalf of the people--but in general, that is not a premise of democracy but tyranny. Although it has been fundamental in the construction of this country (it's a lie that all or even most colonists wanted a revolution), it is also antagonistic to everything America represents.
 
Perhaps it's true that America is looking forward instead of back. Without looking back, it is denying religious heritage, religious traditions, and to some extent even religious understanding. My state is about to make mandatory the recitation of the 'pledge of allegiance' including the phrase 'under God' (which was added as a distinction against an athiest commonist Russia) despite the beliefs of the children reciting it. So this nation claims to be "under God" but how do they do that, if they are ignoring every understanding of God that has been known so far?
 
Are they creating their own God, and to Him applying the understandings that suit the need? Creating God in an appropriate image to accomplish what they want?


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Islamaholic
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:07pm

Salam, interesting thread.  To me there is no particular religion defined in the US, upon which the country runs.  Its more a combination (that's my observation.) Its not as clear cut as England, where you'd immediately associate Christianity to it.  I actually wonder at times whether this idea of associating a particular country with a religion will die out sometime in the future as countries become more and more diverse. 

ma'salam



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'To make a mistake is nothing, but to do nothing is definitely a mistake.'


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:22pm
Another thing to remember about Americas background is that many people moved to the US because of either religious or cultural persecution in thier own nations.

I seem to remember that a large proportion of early settlers chose to go to America because they were unhappy with the Church of England (cant be sure so dont quote me).

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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Nurani
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:29pm
 A out of Americas ancestors where christian because the first people besides Indaians to come here were christians and the white ancestors from England tought,or forced African americans to become christians and so thats why a lot of people are from both race is like majority Jesus followers.

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Don't mind my spelling...and please what it up with all these long posts!! I mean even everyones's typing is sooooooooo accurate!?!?


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Bill, I know what you mean, about the concept of making a decision on behalf of the people--but in general, that is not a premise of democracy but tyranny. Although it has been fundamental in the construction of this country (it's a lie that all or even most colonists wanted a revolution), it is also antagonistic to everything America represents.
 

Perhaps it's true that America is looking forward instead of back. Without looking back, it is denying religious heritage, religious traditions, and to some extent even religious understanding. My state is about to make mandatory the recitation of the 'pledge of allegiance' including the phrase 'under God' (which was added as a distinction against an athiest commonist Russia) despite the beliefs of the children reciting it. So this nation claims to be "under God" but how do they do that, if they are ignoring every understanding of God that has been known so far?

 

Are they creating their own God, and to Him applying the understandings that suit the need? Creating God in an appropriate image to accomplish what they want?

    
Democracy is based on trusting someone to make decisions for you. True democracy where everyone gets to have a say is Communism (not what russia and china had but the true ideal).
In order for your representative to enact your views you would need to study all the evidence and tell him what you wanted. We dont have time for that so we pay them to do it for us. We have strong opinions on those things that mean something personally, but when it comes to other thing we want them to just get on with it.


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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:32pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix


 

Are they creating their own God, and to Him applying the understandings that suit the need? Creating God in an appropriate image to accomplish what they want?

    
That pretty well sums up mankind's relationship with god for me.


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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Nurani
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 6:46pm
  Wow my post just appered again after I changed my religion back to islam in dat sect.

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Don't mind my spelling...and please what it up with all these long posts!! I mean even everyones's typing is sooooooooo accurate!?!?


Posted By: hamayoun
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:01pm
Salam

I agree with Scrugg, the real religion in the USA, which drives everything, is materialism.  If I may, I'd like to copy a part of a PM I recently sent regarding this.

Gross materialism is the main religion in America today.  When I was younger, I have to say that I was very materialistic.  That has changed since I became more "religious".  But even I have been affected living here in America.  It's not just the "me, me, now, now" but also the "more, more" factor.  By the grace of God, my salary has gone up a lot since I got here 13 years ago.  But of course, my expenses have too.  It's too easy, when one has extra money, to start thinking of something that was a luxury before as a necessity.

From the verses of the Quran I earlier sent you, and many other verses, it's clear that one of the basic messages of Islam is that contentment is good, and materialism is bad.  But what's really strange is that contentment seems to have gone out of the window for those of us living here.  A revert was once giving the sermon at the Friday prayers where I attend,  and told us of a trip he made to Africa along with his non muslim mother.  His mother was shocked at how little the people had, but how they never seemed to complain, whereas in America we constantly complain about the smallest problems.

Sorry to keep going about this, but one area which is especially bad when it comes to materialism is so called "entertainment".  Every year people are being asked to spend more time and money on this.  Movies are made more spectacular, more and more TV channels come on, video game systems and games get fancier and fancier... it's like for most people, their whole life is dedicated to getting as much "entertainment" out of them as possible.  And I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir when I say that IMHO, most of this entertainment is at best a useless waste of time, and at worst harmful, immoral corruption. Islam teaches us to value all our resources, including time, and not to to go extremes in anything.  The purpose of life is to worship God, not to constantly find something useless for your mind to do. <>



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May Allah give me patience, Ameen.

My blog: http://regularbaba.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:11pm
Perhaps I'm just less aware of the materialism than some people, but I just don't see it much in my family, my neighborhood, or my friends, and some of the last are quite well off. There's a certain amount of upgrading of computer equipment, for which I am grateful, since I often get the leftovers, but other than that, it just doesn't seem to occur.

I admit that I see only a small segment of American society, and perhaps the materialism is more rampant in younger age groups.

"Come and get more than your share, the American Dream" Miss Saigon

Is that the type of thing you're talking about?


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:14pm
Well, there is no single religion "defined" in America, and while you have a lot of people claiming "Catholic" or some denomination of "Protestant" that doesn't make them so. I mean, can you call a town of 10,000 people "Catholic" because 1000 show up to Mass? Is it even a Christian because at community BBQ's they get together and bless the food in the name of Jesus?

When they go home, Sunday afternoon, and turn on the TV? When nothing else becomes important--a man's wife, kids, must wait for him to finish. Any yard or homework must wait for what? LIke Hamayoun said, it's entertainment, and materialism. That's the struggle, in this country, to attain happiness through wealth, and that entertainment produces enjoyment.

Somebody said the religion is laziness and apathy. Is that the creed of America? Be lazy, be happy. Or work hard, and be happy? When it comes to helping people, I think in general many Americans become lazy, while when it comes to themselves, they have the best of work ethics. I don't know if that's a majority. Do Americans, as a majority work hard to help themselves and slack as soon as it comes to helping others?

When there have to be "incentives" to participate in fundraising for special causes, or for volunteers, are their motives truly to help people? When you get a tax write-off for your donation is it sincerely meant to help? When you were going to throw those cans of food away anyway, is it really helping to donate them instead? Minimal effort, you see, the necessity of incentives, this makes me think that what drives people to actually help others is not a morally incumbent necessity to do so but rather an urge to impress someone (not God) or in otherway benefit oneself.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: hamayoun
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:21pm
Salam 

I also want to add that materialism is rapdily becoming the favored religion of those who can afford it wherever they live, not just in America.


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May Allah give me patience, Ameen.

My blog: http://regularbaba.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:25pm
I see you suspect the motives of Americans in general. None of them are good-hearted. They work for their families rather than give strangers priority.

When they go home, Sunday afternoon, and turn on the TV? When nothing else becomes important--a man's wife, kids, must wait for him to finish. Any yard or homework must wait for what? LIke Hamayoun said, it's entertainment, and materialism. That's the struggle, in this country, to attain happiness through wealth, and that entertainment produces enjoyment.

I'm not sure what accusation you're making in the above paragraph. It's true that football season will start in a few weeks, but it's not only the man of the house who gets involved.

If you're saying we want bread and circuses, as did the Romans, well, most Americans work for their bread, and I don't believe tv fair is exactly analogous to gladiator fights.

I assume you want some changes in general society. What are they?



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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:28pm
Okay, but I'm talking about America.

Americans claim that religion plays a role in their lives, and in their politics. Let's take that claim at face value, and examine their lives, and their politics, and try to figure out what this religion is!

The basis of capitalism, the American economy, is a violation of the 10th of the 10 Commandments. (Don't covet.) Wanting more, the superiority of having more, that's against the 10 Commandments, so it wouldn't be accurate to say they are a basis for American policy.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:31pm
I have yet to identify the problem so am incapable of even proposing a solution. This is merely a discussion about Americans, and religion, what specifically in religion Americans are adhereing to in their lives domestically and abroad.  I am stereotyping, so I said man, but yes you're correct, often full households are involved in the mania that is the NFL. Not that I will complain about watching, but when people become fanatical about it... Christians claim to keep the sabbath holy, and also claim Sunday is the sabbath (another problem) but they will spend many Sundays doing things far from holy. It's just a comment.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: hamayoun
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:33pm
Salam

Just to give a couple of examples of capitalism, one is that our company has had many lay offs because the results weren't going to be good enough for the shareholders.  The other is the "kill the competition" instinct that every sizable company has.  Especially if it's a listed company, market share becomes the be all and end all.


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May Allah give me patience, Ameen.

My blog: http://regularbaba.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:44pm
First, SOME Americans claim that religion plays a role in their lives. And some make the claim because their families or neighbors expect them to.  I imagine this happens in all religions. Peer pressure.

 Why single the US out? I believe there are a few other capitalistic countries in the world, and small pockets of capitalism in the rest of them.

I have the same reverence for the 10 commandments as I have for Hammurabi's code, with the same exceptions.

 Honor your parents unless you have awful ones.

Don't covet your neighbor's spouse, and don't treat wives like property.

 Don't worship graven images, but feel free to create as many as you like, particularly if you are talented.

I have a very religious elderly relative--elderly even compared to me--who is well educated, worked in a professional capacity over seeing others, and she can't read the Bible. Absolutely doesn't understand it. She goes to classes and hears what other people think it means. She's been going to classes for 90 years--no exaggeration-- and has no idea what she believes except that she's sure she's going to heaven and that I'm not, despite the fact that I've been much more caring of her than she ever was of me.

I mention her because I think she's typical of many people who claim they are Christian.

And I'm not dumping on her. She led a good life, helped many people, worked her butt off for various charities, and as she says, "I sure had a good time."

But religion in America is more the result of habit, in my opinion, than of examination.



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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Ted CharlotteNC
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 7:56pm
The NFL is a religion to some. Golf is another. College basketball and NASCAR is a religion here in Charlotte.

O and I forgot in addition to apathey and laziness, I think hypocrasy is just as big a religion. People flip you off in the mall parking after church.

I think the microvave mentality is partly to blame. We can have everything so quickly. We can buy anything we want on credit, why do we need God's intervention?

Trust me, if this current administration continues in it's spending our whole economy will tank and possibly a depression. Then all these so called Christians will be crying O God why did you let this happen? The hypocrites.

My answer is not pleasant but the only way to God for most will have to be pain and suffering.
    

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Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. - Thomas Jefferson


Posted By: ConstantSeeker
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:02pm
"But religion in America is more the result of habit, in my opinion, than of examination"
 
I would agree with that.  People tend to emulate what their parents did.  I know all too many Catholics who can't answer a question about the Catechism.  They go to church, because that's what they were taught to do and get nothing out of it... but they were there in that pew on Sunday.  So I don't even think attending church on Sunday or on required high-holy days would constitue someone as being a Christian or even religious.  Sometimes it's just habit.  It's social and it's just what they do, because they have always done it.
 
Truthfully I think Americans (and people from many other countries) now serve the god of self.  Lots of people worship themselves and put their own needs and wants a head of the real needs of others.


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Seek and ye shall find


Posted By: Faaz
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:06pm
Capitalism is the religion of America, The almighty Dollor is GOD, there is no place for any other religion or philosophy in this country, this nation is controlled by them and all laws are made to protect and promote the top 1% of the elite population. every one else are the worker bees for the soul purpose of serving the elite, whether you like it or not you are doing it, you pay for their lifestyle. the only saving grace is some of them are generous enough to let you enjoy a little bit and make you feel good by picking your political representatives. Here is how you pay:
1. Income Tax
2. Sales tax
3. Energy Tax
4. Property tax and other hidden taxes
5. Interest.- This is the big one.
Every one in America irrespective of thier religious, political or ethinic background pays interest, there is not a single person who can claim in the 99% group of Americans that He/she has not paid interest atleast one time in thier life from birth to death.
 
Faaz


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Faaz


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:13pm
Without interest there would be no investment. Those with money don't part with it unless there is a gain.

Even charity is about gain (the gain of gratidude).



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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Faaz
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:33pm
Ah Bill see how the captalist have brainwashed you, yes thier can be investment without interest, remember profit from a business venture, yes that will be the motivation for investment. but interest is the blood sucking of a common man, the wealthy gets paid without risking thier capital.
 
Faaz


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Faaz


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by Ted CharlotteNC

Another thought provoking thread by Aviatrix. Since we are sterotyping I will say most Americans are apathetic and lazy, that's their true religion. 
 

I had a friend from Vietnam, he had to build railroads all day and then had to go to "Communist" meetings after working all day in the jungle. The Catholics were made to stand during the meetings. They did everything to try to break his spirit. He paid for his faith everyday. "Christians" here in USA don't have to suffer for their faith.

 

However, it is a lot harder being a Muslim or a Jew or a Buddist here, because you are different and are discriminated against. For that you have my admiration and support becuase your faith more likely is genuine if you have to suffer for it.

 

So do we have to suffer to have a real faith, do we have to be persecuted,  actually Jesus spoke on this and I think he would say yes you do.

 

Are there Christians that have never suffered, sure. Just like there are other religious people in other countries that have not suffered and are great "saints". They feed the poor, shelter the old, doctor the sick. All the things any person with faith would do. But a true person of faith would take her last penny and give it to God in faith that God would provide.

 

And God would provide, because he is merciful and compassionate. 

    
Hi Ted,
I am American and nobody I hang out with is Lazy. We all work very hard. As a matter of fact I live in a region where we work an average of 50 hours a week and are proud of that fact.


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by Faaz

Ah Bill see how the captalist have brainwashed you, yes thier can be investment without interest, remember profit from a business venture, yes that will be the motivation for investment. but interest is the blood sucking of a common man, the wealthy gets paid without risking thier capital.
 

Faaz


Faaz your a republican! lol
    


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 8:59pm
Originally posted by Faaz

Capitalism is the religion of America, The almighty Dollor is GOD, there is no place for any other religion or philosophy in this country, this nation is controlled by them and all laws are made to protect and promote the top 1% of the elite population. every one else are the worker bees for the soul purpose of serving the elite, whether you like it or not you are doing it, you pay for their lifestyle. the only saving grace is some of them are generous enough to let you enjoy a little bit and make you feel good by picking your political representatives. Here is how you pay:
1. Income Tax

2. Sales tax

3. Energy Tax

4. Property tax and other hidden taxes

5. Interest.- This is the big one.

Every one in America irrespective of thier religious, political or ethinic background pays interest, there is not a single person who can claim in the 99% group of Americans that He/she has not paid interest atleast one time in thier life from birth to death.

 

Faaz


Faaz,
I agree the elite Champayne Socialist tax us to death and need to stop. There are evil corps. I agree with that too. But not every company is "evil". That is a minute percentage. There are more evil governments then corps. Without jobs we would be poor. Without the incentive to achieve we would be poor. We need goals. I am not a fan of the elite but in the same sense I would rather have a chance to succeed to then be the boss of the elite then too sit back and get handouts. Lets face it no one really likes their bosses. So what. If you don't like a company move on. Don't whine. It only takes away from your success.
God bless,
Jon
    


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 9:05pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Okay, but I'm talking about America. Americans claim that religion plays a role in their lives, and in their politics. Let's take that claim at face value, and examine their lives, and their politics, and try to figure out what this religion is! The basis of capitalism, the American economy, is a violation of the 10th of the 10 Commandments. (Don't covet.) Wanting more, the superiority of having more, that's against the 10 Commandments, so it wouldn't be accurate to say they are a basis for American policy.

    

Aviatrix,
I did not know you had such a bias against the country in which you live. While since it is a free country which party would best represent you? What are you doing to make your thoughts known in N.C.? Do you think we should just abandon everything that made this country great?

I hung out with some Muslims last night while waiting on my wife. They were drinking "Coca Cola(A corp), They were on cell phones(a few corps there) They were staying at an expensive hotel( another corp) They were driving a BMW (another). Does this make them less dedicated to their faith? They also worked very hard for this as they owned thier own family business. They were also very humble people. They were American.
God bless,
Jon


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 9:13pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Bill, I know what you mean, about the concept of making a decision on behalf of the people--but in general, that is not a premise of democracy but tyranny. Although it has been fundamental in the construction of this country (it's a lie that all or even most colonists wanted a revolution), it is also antagonistic to everything America represents.
 

Perhaps it's true that America is looking forward instead of back. Without looking back, it is denying religious heritage, religious traditions, and to some extent even religious understanding. My state is about to make mandatory the recitation of the 'pledge of allegiance' including the phrase 'under God' (which was added as a distinction against an athiest commonist Russia) despite the beliefs of the children reciting it. So this nation claims to be "under God" but how do they do that, if they are ignoring every understanding of God that has been known so far?

 

Are they creating their own God, and to Him applying the understandings that suit the need? Creating God in an appropriate image to accomplish what they want?

    
Ignore the way left biased Media Aviatrix. Ignore the far right. More people enjoy the life of God and good values than you know.
If you really want to help. You must bring your complaints at such organizations as the ACLU. They are the ones who support the "under God" ban. The thing is the kids aren't forced to say it if they don't want too.


Posted By: jonfan
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by ConstantSeeker

"But religion in America is more the result of habit, in my opinion, than of examination"
 

I would agree with that.  People tend to emulate what their parents did.  I know all too many Catholics who can't answer a question about the Catechism.  They go to church, because that's what they were taught to do and get nothing out of it... but they were there in that pew on Sunday.  So I don't even think attending church on Sunday or on required high-holy days would constitue someone as being a Christian or even religious.  Sometimes it's just habit.  It's social and it's just what they do, because they have always done it.

 

Truthfully I think Americans (and people from many other countries) now serve the god of self.  Lots of people worship themselves and put their own needs and wants a head of the real needs of others.


you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. For instance how much aid has America sent across the world? Africa,Palenstine, Sudan, etc.. . This money came from people's taxes that work hard to support a family. There is nothing wrong with the rewards one reaps. It depends on how they handle those rewards in their hearts.
God bless,
Jon
    


Posted By: ConstantSeeker
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 9:38pm
I agree that you have to take care of your own needs before taking care of the needs of others. 
Needs are not wants and materialistic things.  Those are nice, but how much would one enjoy the rewards one reaps, if one didn't use some of those to helps another in need.  Taxes are taxes, you have to pay them or go to jail.  I am talking about the average American who isn't charitable in his own family let alone give to charity in their own communities.  Yeah, it would be nice to have that big screen plasma t.v., but I would be so much nicer to know that the childless widow down the street had heat and food all winter.


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Seek and ye shall find


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 9:55pm
Jonfan, I hate to break it to you, but you're proving the point made that capitalism or money is the god/religion of America, by your swamping the thread with your opinion on it.

I am critical of this country, don't say I am biased against that, I take it as a personal insult. I took American history classes just as you did, and I have a lot of respect for the values of this country. The problem is that this country is not living up to those values! And I want it to.

I just listened to a speech, in fact I even put it on my blog, by Hamza Yusuf. I listened to it several times, it was so powerful, but there is a quote from it I want to share. He is talking to Muslims, and tell us that "our discourse needs to be fair. It needs to be free from the left, it needs to be free from the right. Religion is not left, and religion is not right. Religion is straight."



Now, maybe capitalism is the religion, maybe it's not. I want to discuss it, please. The curious phenomenom of this country begins with its inception as a deeply religious country, founded on largely religious standards with strict religious laws. One motive of the first colonists was the opportunity to institute their own religious doctrine as a legal, social, and moral code. That tradition has largely vanished.

Years ago, I think Americans would certainly by majority identify themselves as Christian. Today, I bet if you asked more people would say they are "spiritual, not religious." That's my guess, and that's where I'm getting at this. What happened to the religion? It seems to have evaporated! It's only been a cursory observation on my part, but the pews in the churches are not filled with teenagers, young couples, even middle-aged adults. In fact, I bet at some the average age of regular attendees was over 60. That is interesting!

Do people just get more religious as they grow older? Or have these church members just been going all their lives, while their children refuse to come as well? What makes children not go to church? Marriage between faiths, I know has caused problems with this. Inevitably. And I'm not talking about Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist interfaith type marriage, I'm talking about marriages of people who literally attend two different churches that are the same denomination! But different churches! Which one do they go to? But then, two Protestants who attend different denominational churches... which one do they go to? They have to agree on a particular type of church as well as the doctrine. Even harder between Catholic and Protestant (I've known that there is conversion required in some cases for these marriages to be valid.) Which church will the couple go to? The sad truth is that they don't go at all!

So they've left the church, do they still have the religion? Well, since it's not longer a weekly tradition, much less daily, I really wonder, have they abandoned religion entirely?

If they did, something took its place--and I want to know what did! Because I see a nation of people that can rally behind a variety of philosophies spouted by many religions, and that can also vehemently oppose the religious doctrines of other nations that are actually quite similar to the ones expressed by this one.

Is American policy based solely on the fact that they want more? More wealth, more happiness, more possessions? Is that their creed: more, more!? Americans do call themselves a people of values, so there must be something deeper as a motivation than just wanting more. We think of ourselves, in general, as a benevolent and non-aggressive nation, I think. (Those of us with attachments to other nations, a large make-up of this forum, might not share this view, but I think it is actually quite common.)

So if we just want more... why don't we take it? Why do we work for it? You can say Americans want more, but I don't think most would steal things to get more. As jonfan pointed out, Americans do work very hard. So we must dig deeper still.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 10:56pm
Originally posted by ConstantSeeker

I agree that you have to take care of your own needs before taking care of the needs of others. 
Needs are not wants and materialistic things.  Those are nice, but how much would one enjoy the rewards one reaps, if one didn't use some of those to helps another in need.  Taxes are taxes, you have to pay them or go to jail.  I am talking about the average American who isn't charitable in his own family let alone give to charity in their own communities.  Yeah, it would be nice to have that big screen plasma t.v., but I would be so much nicer to know that the childless widow down the street had heat and food all winter.
Exelent!
Love Omenaka


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 14 July 2006 at 11:08pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Jonfan, I hate to break it to you, but you're proving the point made that capitalism or money is the god/religion of America, by your swamping the thread with your opinion on it.

I am critical of this country, don't say I am biased against that, I take it as a personal insult. I took American history classes just as you did, and I have a lot of respect for the values of this country. The problem is that this country is not living up to those values! And I want it to.

I just listened to a speech, in fact I even put it on my blog, by Hamza Yusuf. I listened to it several times, it was so powerful, but there is a quote from it I want to share. He is talking to Muslims, and tell us that "our discourse needs to be fair. It needs to be free from the left, it needs to be free from the right. Religion is not left, and religion is not right. Religion is straight."



Now, maybe capitalism is the religion, maybe it's not. I want to discuss it, please. The curious phenomenom of this country begins with its inception as a deeply religious country, founded on largely religious standards with strict religious laws. One motive of the first colonists was the opportunity to institute their own religious doctrine as a legal, social, and moral code. That tradition has largely vanished.

Years ago, I think Americans would certainly by majority identify themselves as Christian. Today, I bet if you asked more people would say they are "spiritual, not religious." That's my guess, and that's where I'm getting at this. What happened to the religion? It seems to have evaporated! It's only been a cursory observation on my part, but the pews in the churches are not filled with teenagers, young couples, even middle-aged adults. In fact, I bet at some the average age of regular attendees was over 60. That is interesting!

Do people just get more religious as they grow older? Or have these church members just been going all their lives, while their children refuse to come as well? What makes children not go to church? Marriage between faiths, I know has caused problems with this. Inevitably. And I'm not talking about Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist interfaith type marriage, I'm talking about marriages of people who literally attend two different churches that are the same denomination! But different churches! Which one do they go to? But then, two Protestants who attend different denominational churches... which one do they go to? They have to agree on a particular type of church as well as the doctrine. Even harder between Catholic and Protestant (I've known that there is conversion required in some cases for these marriages to be valid.) Which church will the couple go to? The sad truth is that they don't go at all!

So they've left the church, do they still have the religion? Well, since it's not longer a weekly tradition, much less daily, I really wonder, have they abandoned religion entirely?

If they did, something took its place--and I want to know what did! Because I see a nation of people that can rally behind a variety of philosophies spouted by many religions, and that can also vehemently oppose the religious doctrines of other nations that are actually quite similar to the ones expressed by this one.

Is American policy based solely on the fact that they want more? More wealth, more happiness, more possessions? Is that their creed: more, more!? Americans do call themselves a people of values, so there must be something deeper as a motivation than just wanting more. We think of ourselves, in general, as a benevolent and non-aggressive nation, I think. (Those of us with attachments to other nations, a large make-up of this forum, might not share this view, but I think it is actually quite common.)
So if we just want more... why don't we take it? Why do we work for it? You can say Americans want more, but I don't think most would steal things to get more. As jonfan pointed out, Americans do work very hard. So we must dig deeper still.
I think that deeper thing is love.
Y
You know who has god in their Hearts and Gods love, by how they act twards their bros. Do they kill them or do they nourish them?

 I think it is an individual thing, this giving and charitable nature twards your brother, I would not classify "Americans" I can stereo type any country allday long But that does not take in to affect the Ghandis, And the
peace makers. 
Love Omenaka


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: Westwind
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 1:12am
Most Americans have a common philosophy of independence and self-reliance. Capitalism is the engine behind the philosophy. It is not the religion.
 
Our nation was built on it, and continues to thrive on it.
It is up to the individual to determine his or her value to the economy, and by extension, to society. If you are willing to maintain marketable job skills, then you will benefit from the marketplace. 
 
Materialism is a problem, but it is a problem that doesn't exist solely in capitalistic societies.  It existed long before capitalism.
 
The Christian values that the U.S. was founded on were not falsely used to promote materialism. The intention was grant to each person the rights that God intended us to have, and had up to that time been limited or taken away by the monarchies of Europe.
 
America as a nation of individuals, must be evaluated as such, and not as some homgenous entity. That is stereotyping, and it prevents honest evaluation.


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He is risen! Alleluia! Mark 16:1-6


Posted By: Westwind
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 1:29am
America was founded on common Christian morals, not denominational membership requirements. That made the U.S. Christian in flavor, but not denominational.
I think you are trying to find some similarity to the Muslim Ummah, and it doesn't exist. U.S. civil law is based on Christian concepts, not Christian dogma, whereas the Ummah has Islamic dogma determining law. 

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He is risen! Alleluia! Mark 16:1-6


Posted By: LtTony
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 2:20am
So, when the country at large institutes policies that are inherently injust, and cites religion as the primary basis for those policies, when the nation claims to be rooted in religion, and to rely on religion for guidance, it is necessary to ask, what that religion actually is!
 
When the government continues to play a game with the world that is in fact in opposition to the most basic tenets of the religion to which it claims to adhere, either the government is lying, or the religion is not what it claims to be!
 
What is the religion of America?
 
This is where you lost me.  I'll keep reading the thread.  But it appears that you've jumped to a couple of conclusions at this point.  I am just not sure one can make a black-and-white conclusion.  There are a lot of grey areas, in betweens.  While the majority may support a particular candidate or official in general, or on particular issues, it doesn't mean the majority supports EVERY policy.  You take the good with the bad, hoping the good will outweigh the bad.
Also, there are probably some Gallup or Pew polls that might provide some insight.
 
 


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 2:49am
Westwind I really enjoyed your posts, especially about capitalism and materialism... dead on, you were. However, I know that I am stereotyping, and there is a reason for me to do that. I'm not taking a person here or a person there, using their characteristics to describe the nation, rather, I'm trying to find something common throughout the nation that constitutes "majority."

I'm really interested in this, especially in the role it plays in the change of societal values domestically (e.g., how children are raised), and also the effect on foreign policy. I'm convinced that the way the United States of America treats the world has something to do with underlying religious tradition, and I'm trying to pinpoint exactly what the creed is that has formed in the "melting pot" of this society, affecting our decisions.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: LtTony
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 2:57am
Although it has been fundamental in the construction of this country (it's a lie that all or even most colonists wanted a revolution), it is also antagonistic to everything America represents.
 
I don't know who told you the "lie," but they didn't tell it to me. The revolutionaries initially represented something like only 10 to 20% of the colonists.  It was England's continued harsh tax policies on the colonies that drove more people to support the rebellion.
 
So this nation claims to be "under God" but how do they do that, if they are ignoring every understanding of God that has been known so far?
 
I think your definition of "under God" and my definition are probably different.  I would catagorize yours as potentially narrower than mine.
I think Westie made a good observation here: "I think you are trying to find some similarity to the Muslim Ummah, and it doesn't exist. U.S. civil law is based on Christian concepts, not Christian dogma, whereas the Ummah has Islamic dogma determining law."
 
Further, as Bill stated, "Another thing to remember about Americas background is that many people moved to the US because of either religious or cultural persecution in thier own nations."  That feeling still reasonates in American culture.
 
You wrote: "Today, I bet if you asked more people would say they are "spiritual, not religious." That's my guess, and that's where I'm getting at this. What happened to the religion?"
 
Instead of a "bet" or a "guess", I think you should research some polls.  I think you may be on the right track, but I also think you're being a little harsh on the country.
 

 


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 7:03am
Okay, I'm not trying to identify America like the Muslim "ummah" or find similarities between the two. That is not my purpose at all! I'm trying to figure out what precisely is leading America into a pit of immorality at home, and a sea of bloodshed abroad.

Haven't you noticed? When people in general claim to be a people of values, moral, of religion... would you expect them to be warmongerers? What else is a pre-emptive strike? Would you expect them to be adulterers, fornicators?

I wouldn't.




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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 7:26am
Hi Amy,
Do you live in America?
If so I would ask what values you associate with being "American".
Same question to any other Americans.


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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Westwind
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 10:13am
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Westwind I really enjoyed your posts, especially about capitalism and materialism... dead on, you were. However, I know that I am stereotyping, and there is a reason for me to do that. I'm not taking a person here or a person there, using their characteristics to describe the nation, rather, I'm trying to find something common throughout the nation that constitutes "majority."

I'm really interested in this, especially in the role it plays in the change of societal values domestically (e.g., how children are raised), and also the effect on foreign policy. I'm convinced that the way the United States of America treats the world has something to do with underlying religious tradition, and I'm trying to pinpoint exactly what the creed is that has formed in the "melting pot" of this society, affecting our decisions.
 
Hmm. I don't really think that the majority of Americans fit a certain profile by belonging to any particular religion. I think we could find that there is a subset of values common to many religions.
Some confusion may exist because those common values may be motivated by different religious or philosophical reasons. For instance, an atheist may believe that all humans, because they are sentient, are more valuable than other life forms, and thus assigns specific inalienable rights to humans. A Christian believes that God loves all of mankind, sinner or saved, and therefore God has assigned an intrinsinc value far above all other lifeforms on earth. So the Christian, assigns the same inalienable rights to humans that the atheist did. So we have a common belief, but it is based on totally different criteria.
 
If our culture and foreign policy seems contradictory, it is because there is a warped sense of morality embodied in liberals who think that we should just give every minority group that demands it, 'oppressed' status, and special rights and protection that will make them feel good. This politically correct view of reality is not reality, and it is currently fueling the culture war between moral absolutists and moral relativists. These contradictory value systems are affecting our foreign policy as well, because the two major political parties are roughly representative of the two moral systems.


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He is risen! Alleluia! Mark 16:1-6


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 10:33am
No, they don't belong to a particular religion, but I think there share some common beliefs--I want to identify them.

I think a warped sense of morality exists on both ends of the spectrum. The danger of identifying with one or the other is to see the opposite end as an extreme, viewing oneself as "moderate." In general, America does not sit at either the two extremes, nor should it. You cannot blame "liberals" for problems without accusing "conservatives" of their own; both sides are equally culpable in the nation's movement away from its old "values" and "traditions." In fact, the more these two groups try to polarize the nation, the further the entire country will find itself from religion. That's because the philosophies which are dividing the country are not religious in nature, but their importance is magnified by their appearance in daily life--the news, from employers, etc.

A "pre-emptive" attack is an aggressive act of war that is actually favored by a large minority in this country, if not the majority. (I think at least 40%). A much smaller portion of people are totally opposed to the concept at all. So tell me, what religion suggests that fighting first is the best fight? If this is an American value--attack them before they attack you--from what doctrine is it born?


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: jimdi3
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 10:55am
If this is an American value--attack them before they attack you--from what doctrine is it born?
 
Lessons of History - perhaps?


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hype the sensationalism by capitalizing on the propensity of a few. Grotham


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 12:03pm
I am talking about the average American who isn't charitable in his own family let alone give to charity in their own communities.

I must not know many "average" Americans. This is a gross misrepresentation in my opinion.

Amy, you suggested that people should do good deeds and give to charity without any motivation but to do good deeds and to give to charity. You mentioned the tax deduction. There's something to be said for removing it, along with all tax free status of religious groups.

I will quote Islamway on a different thread: 6:160

Whoever does a righteous work receives the reward for ten.

So it seems that mixed motives for "righteous work" is not exclusive to the American religion, whatever that may be.


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 12:28pm
There are many who do good things out of Fear of punishment , but this leads to resentment , because it is not real love for those being Helped it is forced, and it ain't love if it is Forced , Bought, coerced or done w/ Fear,
There is no Fear in Love.
Love Omenaka


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: Westwind
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 7:40pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

No, they don't belong to a particular religion, but I think there share some common beliefs--I want to identify them.

A "pre-emptive" attack is an aggressive act of war that is actually favored by a large minority in this country, if not the majority. (I think at least 40%). A much smaller portion of people are totally opposed to the concept at all. So tell me, what religion suggests that fighting first is the best fight? If this is an American value--attack them before they attack you--from what doctrine is it born?
 
I agree that conservatives failed to protect conservative moral values. I blame this on the extreme short-sighteness of politicians today. They seem to think that raising money to defeat liberals in elections is more important than why those liberals need to be defeated. Conservative politicians have been woefully inadequate in explaining and defending our values.
 
I don't agree totally that a pre-emptive strike is inherently evil. Warfare has changed from the days large armies and naval formations. Warfare is through proxies now, i.e. al-quaida, Hamas, Hezbollah. If it looks like they are preparing an attack on the U.S., but planning and training for it in Syria or Iran, should we ignore it and wait until some city is turned in to NBC (Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapon) graveyard?
 
It's a calculated risk in either direction, but I wouldn't call a pre-emptive strike inherently evil.
 
Instead of looking back at the failure to find WMD's in Iraq, look forward and imagine a different situation with Syria. If we thought they were preparing a Hezbollah poison gas attack on Paris, and it was also believed by the intelligence services of several other nations to be true, should NATO attack Syria, or wait for the poison gas to be released on the Metro? What would be the moral issues then?


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He is risen! Alleluia! Mark 16:1-6


Posted By: whatever_girl
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 9:52pm
Hi Amy--interesting thread.
I think that initially, America was (supposedly) founded on Christian principles...I mean, there is historical "proof" of that. But, as we know, many can claim to 'be' a certain faith, but not practice it. The morals of America have largely deteriorated because many people are not practicing their given faiths, as they used to. I also think eating dinner with the family...women trying to be men...corporate America and the almighty dollar...etc...have taken a front seat over religion. I am religous, and I believe in raising my kids this way--but it is a daily effort. I always teach them that God is in everything, and that without faith--your life will cease to make sense. (I believe this anyways)
 
I also personally know many families who raise their kids with religious beliefs...ranging from Muslim...to Hindu...to Christian. I think it's false to say that America is full of Christians who don't follow their faith. I'm Christian, and every week, my parish is packed. But, I will agree that America's moral fabric has been unraveling for some time now. But, it's due to the above mentioned things...I think the world is unraveling, as well.
 
Thanks for letting my contribute.Smile


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*****************************
Be open and trust in a God
who is not outdone in generosity.


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 15 July 2006 at 10:10pm
No disrespect, whatevergirl, but so have people thought for thousands of years. It's a rare person who can see his own time as part of the thread of history. You've heard of the Roaring 20's in the US, I presume. Just one example. These people became the survivors of the Great Depression and the parents of The Greatest Generation.

It's not time to give up on our character yet.


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: whatever_girl
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 1:14am
...and behold...Rhoda the eloquent writer. Beautifully stated.

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*****************************
Be open and trust in a God
who is not outdone in generosity.


Posted By: SolaChristo
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 5:28pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Let's stereotype...
 
If America in general, by which I mean the majority, were classified into one group, with one overpowering religious identity, what would it be? Does the American population follow, as a general rule, the practices of any particular religion?
 
I think it doesn't. I'm guessing that if you sample most Americans, you'll find a belief in God. That rules out atheism. But now you're probably figuring that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, yet I ask: can they be identified as Christians by the rest of the world?
 
I think the answer is no. I don't think that the majority population of this country considers itself "Christian" enough to attend church every Sunday, even on major religious holidays (Easter, Christmas). Of course it varies between the seas, with some communities clinging more strongly to their religious heritage than others.
 
I also don't think the majority population of this country considers itself Christian enough to uphold the most basic tenets of the religion. I've heard (and would not like this disputed in this particular thread please) that the 10 Commandments can be basically summarized by another, which is to love God, and to love Him by loving others. This ought to be recognized as a fundamental principle of Christianity, right? Love your enemies? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If you love me (Jesus) keep my commandments?
 
So is it? I want to examine the majority public opinion based on public policy. The actions of the governments, while not representative of individual opinions are nevertheless a reflection of the majority's will. Essentially, the "job" of political leaders who by and large are selected by the populations they represent, is dependent upon their ability to satisfy that group. Simply, then, the choices made by "elected officials" ought to be representative of the choices which would be made by the people who elect them.
 
Furthermore, the choices made by the collective government ought to reflect the choices which would be made by the individuals in a purely democratic state. So when one person, elected by the general population, chooses favorites among other nations, one would expect that the choice of favoritism would resound with the nation at large. That is, we expect that he made his decision based on the collective opinion of the people whom he represents.
 
When a group of people enact policies in this country that apply to the entire population, one would expect that, this being a representative democracy, the policies would be favored by at least the majority.
 
So, when the country at large institutes policies that are inherently injust, and cites religion as the primary basis for those policies, when the nation claims to be rooted in religion, and to rely on religion for guidance, it is necessary to ask, what that religion actually is!
 
When the government continues to play a game with the world that is in fact in opposition to the most basic tenets of the religion to which it claims to adhere, either the government is lying, or the religion is not what it claims to be!
 
What is the religion of America?


Im  a little confused with your question.
But let me answer it like this.
There is a cultural war going on in America.This war has been going on for some time. This war has on one side those that would take prayer out of school, the ten commandments out of the court house and the continuing of taking God out of every situation against those that w=ant to keep God in.
There is a large number of Americans whose religion is secular humanism a large number of Americans who are conservative Christian, there are those whose religion is the dollar. All these  forces conflict and engage in a national debate on issues on what direction the country goes.
As for the war, It is the role of  the government to defend and protect its citizens. You will disagree but it is my belief and many others belief that this administration is doing just that.


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Every knee shall bow every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 5:42pm
I say we needa president that is elected by the people not a select few that went to some electoralcolledge that only a select few can gain entrance, or vote, No matter how many times I hear How and why the electoral colledge was and is still in action, It just makes no sense,
The same way that living in Fear makes no sense.
Love Omenaka 
Get the "bum", Claput ! Weve seen Bad and Now want Good.
 
Love Omenaka
(Political advertisement paid for By Omenaka, and the Good God race)LOL


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 6:03pm
Omenaka, you're confused because of the word "college". There is no college as the word is understood today. It's a confusing subject, but when one votes for president he is actually voting for a representative to present the vote to a group that will  authorize the election.

Whether this is a good system will be very much discussed in another year or so.


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 6:08pm
It is a horrible system , What ever happened to one man one vote, it is antiquated because in the old days not every one could get to the polls, that has changed in the last 50 or so years and I don't need someone else deciding for me,
 who I think should be the Head of our Nation, No matter how complex it is It wont make sense to me untill I can actually Vote someone in to Office.
Love Omenaka


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: Holly
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 6:27pm
Originally posted by Faaz

Capitalism is the religion of America, The almighty Dollor is GOD, there is no place for any other religion or philosophy in this country, this nation is controlled by them and all laws are made to protect and promote the top 1% of the elite population. every one else are the worker bees for the soul purpose of serving the elite, whether you like it or not you are doing it, you pay for their lifestyle. the only saving grace is some of them are generous enough to let you enjoy a little bit and make you feel good by picking your political representatives. Here is how you pay:
1. Income Tax
2. Sales tax
3. Energy Tax
4. Property tax and other hidden taxes
5. Interest.- This is the big one.
Every one in America irrespective of thier religious, political or ethinic background pays interest, there is not a single person who can claim in the 99% group of Americans that He/she has not paid interest atleast one time in thier life from birth to death.
 
Faaz
 
YES Faaz, and there is much more the poor can not get to work with no babysitter/transportation, nor childcare. I mean their are many examples.
 
     Rhoda Amy is as American or more so than you. I think she pointed us out because it is what we live, see and breathe.
 
 
http://www.myspace.com/hollygarzao - www.myspace.com/hollygarzao


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Allah has said if you take one step towards him he shall take three towards you


Posted By: Holly
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 6:32pm
[/QUOTE]

Im  a little confused with your question.
But let me answer it like this.
There is a cultural war going on in America.This war has been going on for some time. This war has on one side those that would take prayer out of school, the ten commandments out of the court house and the continuing of taking God out of every situation against those that w=ant to keep God in.
There is a large number of Americans whose religion is secular humanism a large number of Americans who are conservative Christian, there are those whose religion is the dollar. All these  forces conflict and engage in a national debate on issues on what direction the country goes.
As for the war, It is the role of  the government to defend and protect its citizens. You will disagree but it is my belief and many others belief that this administration is doing just that.
[/QUOTE]
 
We don't disagree, we,.... well I should say I disagree with my president and his values or lack thereof. But I must disagree with what you stated about dollar being a religion and I THINK Amy might have been referring to that....you know the whole concept of Religion taking the backseat in a lot of out lives, A LOT OF OUR LIVES


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Allah has said if you take one step towards him he shall take three towards you


Posted By: Omenaka
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 7:00pm
Money has NOTHING to do with God.
God does not like the stuff.
Love Omenaka


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Forgive the Body and love the soul, For the soul is Gods Eternal child, your Brother. And my religion is LOVE, not Other.


Posted By: whatever_girl
Date Posted: 16 July 2006 at 7:54pm
Omenaka...it's actually the love of money (greed) that God dislikes. Money is essential for us to live and trade...God understands this.
"The love of money is the root of all evil." is the quote...not just money, in general.
 
But, I know what you meant, Omenaka. LOLBig smile


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*****************************
Be open and trust in a God
who is not outdone in generosity.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 9:47am
Originally posted by SolaChristo

Im  a little confused with your question.
But let me answer it like this.

There is a cultural war going on in America.This war has been going on for some time. This war has on one side those that would take prayer out of school, the ten commandments out of the court house and the continuing of taking God out of every situation against those that w=ant to keep God in.

There is a large number of Americans whose religion is secular humanism a large number of Americans who are conservative Christian, there are those whose religion is the dollar. All these  forces conflict and engage in a national debate on issues on what direction the country goes.

As for the war, It is the role of  the government to defend and protect its citizens. You will disagree but it is my belief and many others belief that this administration is doing just that.
 
Hi Don, thanks for your input. I think you made a good point, and offered a good answer to the question. If there is a war, and I think that is an acceptable analogy for the current disagreements over national policy, then it is being fought by small groups. Wars aren't fought by the general population, and this cultural war is no exception. The majority is sitting somewhere in the middle watching the other sides fight over who can win them. So while these forces you identified (bold, above) are fighting each other, and are each comprised of sizable groups, none clearly holds the majority.
 
It's most likely to me that the majority can fall in some category that is a mish-mash of the above, in terms of values. That is, some clearly conservative Christian values, with secular humanist exceptions, occasionally overpowered by greed and want of wealth.
 
For example, the hardest Christian conservative would, in my mind, place family of utmost priority, but I'd think secular humanists would take a more self-centered approach, I should get what I want, while seeing family as the best option. The dollar person would reject family, in my mind, seeking only to satisfy his desire for wealth and family would obstruct his path. 
 
I'm trying to figure out what the majority opinion would be on many issues like the one above.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 9:52am
Why shouldn't we be able to stand up and say what's wrong with America, if the intent is only to change it to what's right with America. Didn't Jefferson say that dissent is the best form of patriotism? Intelligent Americans should be the first to admit that this country is flawed, and should stand on the frontlines to criticize the mistakes that have been made and that currently dominate our lives. There should be more here to be proud of than afraid of or embarassed about. Some of us are in a capacity to change that, and those of us who are should.

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 11:51am
I'm guessing here, but I suspect that American is ALREADY the most self-critical country on earth.

 We are more than able to stand up and say what's wrong with America and Americans.

 Standing up and saying what's right  brands the speaker as a thoughtless fool, easily led by the media  and the consumer culture.

But since the "frontlines" are already so crowded with people explaining to us dolts that the country is flawed, I guess I'll stand in back and fulfill the traditional role of loyal opposition.

Because effective change cannot occur when only certain opinions are considered.

tiny voice: there is more here to be proud of than afraid or embarrassed about.

(if it bothers anyone to get a tax writeoff for charitable giving, the IRS will not punish you if you just don't mention that you've so given)


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 12:02pm

You can stand where ever you want, Rhoda.



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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 12:30pm
SmileThenkew. Do you agree that the US is the most self-critical country on earth?

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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 12:59pm
I would say that if you had to pick one thing and Call it a "Religon" in America, it would be "Freedom".
 
In our view a country is not defined by a single faith, but an ideal.
 
Sure there are people here that are slaves to money, immoral, unfair, corrupt, liars, thieves, and morally corrupt.
 
I submit that 80-90% are none of those things, just good honest hard working people, and that there are bad people in ALL countries and among ALL Religons.  We just air our dirty laundry for all to see.
 
Please do NOT assume that because America is not perfect, that America is wrong in it's beliefs.  I don't see people at the borders lining up to leave.
 
I would not want to live in ANY country with a single absolute authority.
 
"Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely"---Author Unknown
 
Peace!
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 1:49pm
Is America wrong in its beliefs? Maybe, maybe not. I think it's wrong in its actions, which means the possibility has arisen that its beliefs are questionable. Therefore, I endeavor to question them.
 
So is this country defined by the ideal of "freedom?" Let's get specific, if this is the case, clearly, freedom from what?
 
Freedom from... poverty?
Freedom from... obligations of other nations?
Freedom from... threats of other nations?
Freedom from... a single set of moral codes?
 
I mean you could say that there is an ideal of freedom, but it is an ideal that I don't think the country is living up to, or expects other countries to share. That is, if America thinks democracy is best, that's fine--Americans chose it, and they had the freedom to do so. But not every nation may want democracy... is it fair for the USA to force it on them?
 
Freedom from poverty is another way of describing wealth. That is the American Dream, isn't it? An ideal of wealth?
 
Power corrupts... so is it wise to aspire to be the most powerful nation in the world? Is that our ideal? Is that freedom? Never having to worry about domination by other powers, because they have all been oppressed by us? When I hear the war cry for Iran, or N. Korea, that's the impression I get, that Americans think they are entitled to oppress other nations of the world and somehow it is just.
 
If power corrupts, then the most powerful nation is also the most corrupt.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 2:07pm
 
I thought I might quote the OP to keep myself on track.
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Let's stereotype...
 
I don't like sterotypes, especially when looking at country of 300,000,000 people.  I don't like sterotypes about Muslims either.
 
If America in general, by which I mean the majority, were classified into one group, with one overpowering religious identity, what would it be? Does the American population follow, as a general rule, the practices of any particular religion?
 
A majority of Americans consider themselves Christian in one way or another, belonging to some Christian denomination.  I believe Roman Catholics to be the largest single group, but there are thousands of protestant groups that believe in the Divinity of Jesus.  We do have many Muslims, Jews, Hindews, Mormans, Athiest, even Scientologists openly practicing in America.
 
I think it doesn't. I'm guessing that if you sample most Americans, you'll find a belief in God. That rules out atheism. But now you're probably figuring that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, yet I ask: can they be identified as Christians by the rest of the world?
 
 
I think the answer is no. I don't think that the majority population of this country considers itself "Christian" enough to attend church every Sunday, even on major religious holidays (Easter, Christmas). Of course it varies between the seas, with some communities clinging more strongly to their religious heritage than others.
 
I disagree, I think a majority of the American population does attend at least on major holidays.  The onset of Protestantism tends to lead people away from attending weekly or daily offical services, for a "personal relationship" that does not need a central Religon.  In Rual areas, (More Americans live in smaller towns than major cities) Church attendance by ALL faiths is much higher. 
 
I also don't think the majority population of this country considers itself Christian enough to uphold the most basic tenets of the religion. I've heard (and would not like this disputed in this particular thread please) that the 10 Commandments can be basically summarized by another, which is to love God, and to love Him by loving others. This ought to be recognized as a fundamental principle of Christianity, right? Love your enemies? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If you love me (Jesus) keep my commandments?
 
I think there may be some question as to if the majority of Americans attend services, however saying that a majority of Americans do not uphold the basic tenets of religon is completely WRONG.  People who hate America will point to isolated instances of hate or whatever, and use these to try to paint all or a Majority of Americans into one Group that fits the stero-type that they are trying to give to us.  Even most Athiests believe in the "Gloden Rule", "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"  It HAS to be this way for a Democracy to exist.  If a majority, (or even a significant minority) are not hard working, honest people, it would colapse into a Dictatorship.
 
So is it? I want to examine the majority public opinion based on public policy. The actions of the governments, while not representative of individual opinions are nevertheless a reflection of the majority's will. Essentially, the "job" of political leaders who by and large are selected by the populations they represent, is dependent upon their ability to satisfy that group. Simply, then, the choices made by "elected officials" ought to be representative of the choices which would be made by the people who elect them.
 
Furthermore, the choices made by the collective government ought to reflect the choices which would be made by the individuals in a purely democratic state. So when one person, elected by the general population, chooses favorites among other nations, one would expect that the choice of favoritism would resound with the nation at large. That is, we expect that he made his decision based on the collective opinion of the people whom he represents.
 
When a group of people enact policies in this country that apply to the entire population, one would expect that, this being a representative democracy, the policies would be favored by at least the majority.
 
So, when the country at large institutes policies that are inherently injust, and cites religion as the primary basis for those policies, when the nation claims to be rooted in religion, and to rely on religion for guidance, it is necessary to ask, what that religion actually is!
 
I think you have assumed to many times, while actually a good points, you can only assume on top of assumption so far.  Religon is not the primary basis for policies, freedom of Religon is one of the cornerstones of out Country, and I would assume that most leaders act in a way so they don't believe that they are acting against their faith.  Plesae remember that Americans keep a seperation of Church and state, there in NO religon that sets public policy, this is as I believe it should be.
 
When the government continues to play a game with the world that is in fact in opposition to the most basic tenets of the religion to which it claims to adhere, either the government is lying, or the religion is not what it claims to be!
 
I am not sure what game you are talking about, many disagree with actions of the U.S. Government.  I am not sure what policy is in opposition to the basic tenets of whatever Religon you are Sterotyping the US to?  If you want to find out what Catholics believe, it is simple, read the Catacism.  It is in black and white, and all Catholics should follow it's teachings.  I wish that there was such a book for all Muslims, in black and white, "this is always good, and this is always bad"  Some Islamic groups have charters, like Hesbloah, I do pray for them because by their charter, they are at war with me all the time and there is no chance for negotiation.
 
I am getting the impression that you are talking about America's support for Israel, or the War in Iraq.  If that is what you are getting to, these are very complex issues, and I think could easily be solved if the average American understood that the majority of Muslims do want Peace.  When we see Muslims blowing themselves up, and read what is on the Hamas, and Hesbolah web-sites, and see Muslims flying airliners into buildings, it is hard to convince average Americans that there is Peace in Islam.
 
What is the religion of America?
 
No matter how much groups want to hate America, and label us as this or that, the fact that America stands for freedom and justice more than any religon.
 
Now that I have waved the flag, I will aslo be the first to admit that we have made mistakes in the past (and present), I will also say that there is a lot af America Hate out there that in one-sided and completely ignores all of the good things that America and americans do around the world.
 
 If you want to know what the "average" american is worried about, it is taking care of their family, living in peace, and enjoying a normal life, just like average Isralies, average Muslims, average Hindus, Average Athiest, etc.
 
"Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of Happyness"
 
Aviatrix, this is a good question, and thank you for asking and searching.  One day we will all learn to understand and respect each other's differences and work together for Peace and Justice for all people.
 
My Prayers today are for all of the people in the current conflits in the Mid-East.
 
Peace!
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 2:33pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Is America wrong in its beliefs? Maybe, maybe not. I think it's wrong in its actions, which means the possibility has arisen that its beliefs are questionable. Therefore, I endeavor to question them.
 
I figured you thought America is wrong in it's actions. I would hope that you continue to find answers about what American really is, the Good as well as the bad that you hear about.  Just like us Christians, hearing about the bad Muslims and not the good, don't assume that all Americans are bad, or that all of the policies of America are bad.
 
So is this country defined by the ideal of "freedom?" Let's get specific, if this is the case, clearly, freedom from what?
 
Freedom from... poverty?
Freedom from... obligations of other nations?
Freedom from... threats of other nations?
Freedom from... a single set of moral codes?
 
It is not necessairly Freedom from anything, just freedom.  But I agree with those.
 
I mean you could say that there is an ideal of freedom, but it is an ideal that I don't think the country is living up to, or expects other countries to share. That is, if America thinks democracy is best, that's fine--Americans chose it, and they had the freedom to do so. But not every nation may want democracy... is it fair for the USA to force it on them?
 
By force them, what is wrong with people of a country choosing their own destiny?  How can you have Freedom with out it?  If a small group of people, take over a country from within and rule with an iron fist and terror, killing people that don't agree with it's rules.  Is that good?  Is that acceptable?  Basic human rights.  Now if you are asking should the US go to war just to force Democracy on a country, Americans will say NO.  We would think it our duty to try to help those who cannot help themselves, like in Dafour Sudan, we should do much more to help the 4,000,000 displaced and starving people there, but not through invasion, through deplomacy, hopefully the rest of the world will agree.
 
Freedom from poverty is another way of describing wealth. That is the American Dream, isn't it? An ideal of wealth?
 
SOME americans have money as their God.  I am sure some Muslims do as well.  The American Dream is different for every American, the American Dream is to be able to Dream.
 
Power corrupts... so is it wise to aspire to be the most powerful nation in the world? Is that our ideal? Is that freedom? Never having to worry about domination by other powers, because they have all been oppressed by us? When I hear the war cry for Iran, or N. Korea, that's the impression I get, that Americans think they are entitled to oppress other nations of the world and somehow it is just.
 
I am talking about power within a country.  Does the U.S. really have a "plan" to dominate the rest of the world?  As far as Iran and N. Korea, when Americans hear people want Neuclear Weapons, that are not afraid to use them against us in a pre-emptive attack, yes we get edgy about that.  I know that America is the only country to ever use these weapons in WWII, but I was not alive back then and because of the Devestating potental of these weapons, they can NEVER be used again.  If America Posed a Neuclear threat to any country, don't you think we would have already used them?  N. Korea has it's own people starving and a rich ruler that reportedly has the largest collection of Pornography, does this sound like a sane man that you would want to have a Neuclear missle?
 
I know there is a LOT of anti-American information and many only choose to listen to the bad about America.  Look at the good also before making a decision.  The same way I am looking at what real Muslims think about war and hate, not just the radicals.
 
If power corrupts, then the most powerful nation is also the most corrupt.

To be sure there is corruption within America, it is everywhere, even in Muslim Countries, would you feel safer if the most powerfull country in the world was being ran by a Dictator that was mentally un-balanced?  Who had the power to destroy the world in one push of a button?

 
 
 
 


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 2:40pm
My definition of religion is not limited to "Hindu, Christian, Muslim, etc." okay? So when I say religion, I mean creed. The state of North Carolina has added into its non-discrimination legislation the word "creed," that is as an extension to the federal law which specifies "religion" as something that may not be used as a criterion for selecting employees. So when I say religion, I don't mean the religion people claim, but the set of beliefs (creed) to which they adhere in actuality. Far fewer are Christians than claim to be, if you ask me. (Probably why you didn't.)
 
If America stands for justice, why does it tolerate injustice? If America stands for freedom, why does it oppress and condone oppression?
 
If the American "creed" is for "freedom," as suggested above, then the nature of "freedom" must be defined. If it really is the case, "freedom" must be delimited further because obviously particular "freedoms" are certainly not espoused as desirable by this nation. For example, the freedom of a Muslim country to develop nuclear power.
 
If you'd like to correct one of my assumptions, feel free to do so. InshaAllah I'll post some poll data on the typically understood "religious profile" of the USA. It certainly isn't majority Catholic... most Protestant groups are so similar to classify "Protestant" as one group anyway, but the problem here is the religious diversity across the nation and in the political sphere.
 
I'm really trying to figure out what America, as a nation, believes, and why we act the way we do. Yes, middle-eastern conflict (read WAR) is a large motivation for my questions, but also the moral decadence that the USA is leading the world in, with the decay of family oriented values. I really think things are going downhill, Peter, and I also think that if the majority of this country were religious, of any religion, that wouldn't be the case... that we would be sticking to religious traditions. We're not. Not even common traditions like marriage.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 2:51pm
Originally posted by Peter40

 
By force them, what is wrong with people of a country choosing their own destiny?  How can you have Freedom with out it?  If a small group of people, take over a country from within and rule with an iron fist and terror, killing people that don't agree with it's rules.  Is that good?  Is that acceptable?  Basic human rights.  Now if you are asking should the US go to war just to force Democracy on a country, Americans will say NO.  We would think it our duty to try to help those who cannot help themselves, like in Dafour Sudan, we should do much more to help the 4,000,000 displaced and starving people there, but not through invasion, through deplomacy, hopefully the rest of the world will agree.
 
Freedom from poverty is another way of describing wealth. That is the American Dream, isn't it? An ideal of wealth?
 
SOME americans have money as their God.  I am sure some Muslims do as well.  The American Dream is different for every American, the American Dream is to be able to Dream.
 
Power corrupts... so is it wise to aspire to be the most powerful nation in the world? Is that our ideal? Is that freedom? Never having to worry about domination by other powers, because they have all been oppressed by us? When I hear the war cry for Iran, or N. Korea, that's the impression I get, that Americans think they are entitled to oppress other nations of the world and somehow it is just.
 
I am talking about power within a country.  Does the U.S. really have a "plan" to dominate the rest of the world?  As far as Iran and N. Korea, when Americans hear people want Neuclear Weapons, that are not afraid to use them against us in a pre-emptive attack, yes we get edgy about that.  I know that America is the only country to ever use these weapons in WWII, but I was not alive back then and because of the Devestating potental of these weapons, they can NEVER be used again.  If America Posed a Neuclear threat to any country, don't you think we would have already used them?  N. Korea has it's own people starving and a rich ruler that reportedly has the largest collection of Pornography, does this sound like a sane man that you would want to have a Neuclear missle?
 
I know there is a LOT of anti-American information and many only choose to listen to the bad about America.  Look at the good also before making a decision.  The same way I am looking at what real Muslims think about war and hate, not just the radicals.
 
If power corrupts, then the most powerful nation is also the most corrupt.

To be sure there is corruption within America, it is everywhere, even in Muslim Countries, would you feel safer if the most powerfull country in the world was being ran by a Dictator that was mentally un-balanced?  Who had the power to destroy the world in one push of a button?

 
Let's see... if one country blazes into another with tanks, planes, guns, and bombs to topple the current government and institute another, how does that represent choice on behalf of the people? How does that represent their freedom? You said, "Now if you are asking should the US go to war just to force Democracy on a country, Americans will say NO. " But that's what has happened... Unhappy That's what happened, while Darfur waits...
 
You're right, some "Muslims" have money as their god. But then again, if money is their god, they aren't really Muslims, by definition? Allahu alim.
 
You can complain about dictators if you like. I can't help but think there isn't much nobility in a government that wants to keep nuclear weapons to prevent anyone else from obtaining them. Do you like that idea? If they're never going to be used again, why keep them?
 
I see a lot of good in America, but this post isn't really about that. I really want to figure out what the beliefs are of Americans that they act the way they do.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:05pm
Gallup poll, 2years old, longitudinal--notice the shrinking Christian majorities!  
 

"What is your religious preference: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, or an Orthodox religion, such as the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church?"

.

    5/04 2000 1990 1980 1970
  % % % % %
Protestant 50 52 56 61 65
Christian (non-specific) 9 5 n/a n/a n/a
Catholic 23 25 25 28 26
Jewish 2 2 2 2 3
Orthodox 1 1 1 1 -
Mormon 1 2 1 n/a n/a
Other specific 3 4 4 1 2
None 10 8 9 7 3
Undesignated 1 2 2 - -


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:06pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

My definition of religion is not limited to "Hindu, Christian, Muslim, etc." okay? So when I say religion, I mean creed. The state of North Carolina has added into its non-discrimination legislation the word "creed," that is as an extension to the federal law which specifies "religion" as something that may not be used as a criterion for selecting employees. So when I say religion, I don't mean the religion people claim, but the set of beliefs (creed) to which they adhere in actuality. Far fewer are Christians than claim to be, if you ask me. (Probably why you didn't.)
 
I agree, I think that is true of ALL faiths,I think that there are far fewer Christians and Muslims, etc. than claim to be, but it is not my place or ability to judge the hearts of other men.
 
If America stands for justice, why does it tolerate injustice? If America stands for freedom, why does it oppress and condone oppression?
 
I think you have to look at specific cases.  Over the years America has been on the wrong side many times, just as we as Christians, and Muslims have sinned ourselves, America is not perfect either.
 
If the American "creed" is for "freedom," as suggested above, then the nature of "freedom" must be defined. If it really is the case, "freedom" must be delimited further because obviously particular "freedoms" are certainly not espoused as desirable by this nation. For example, the freedom of a Muslim country to develop nuclear power.
 
Americans have no arguments to Iran having Neuclear power, Just Neuclear weapons.  The only the world will know they don't have weapons or are not making them would be for Iran to allow international inspectors back into the country, this is the sticking point.
 
If you'd like to correct one of my assumptions, feel free to do so. InshaAllah I'll post some poll data on the typically understood "religious profile" of the USA. It certainly isn't majority Catholic... most Protestant groups are so similar to classify "Protestant" as one group anyway, but the problem here is the religious diversity across the nation and in the political sphere.
 
I never said the majority of americans are Catholic, I said that I believe that Catholics are the largest singel Christian group.  We do NOT see religous diversity as a problem.  We do not want ANY religon forcing it's beliefs on others, in our view that would only lead to extreamism.
 
I'm really trying to figure out what America, as a nation, believes, and why we act the way we do. Yes, middle-eastern conflict (read WAR) is a large motivation for my questions, but also the moral decadence that the USA is leading the world in, with the decay of family oriented values. I really think things are going downhill, Peter, and I also think that if the majority of this country were religious, of any religion, that wouldn't be the case... that we would be sticking to religious traditions. We're not. Not even common traditions like marriage.
 
You make a good point, a very good point, I am not sure it is America that is leading the west in this decline though, look at western Europe.....I think that people move to and from faith in all religons, I find the decay of morals in America bad, Abortion is just one example.  However people are free to choose truly free to choose, many do turn back to being faithfull, moral decay is not always a one way trip.  We need to have a faithfull revolution in America (no guns needed) I think it is happening right now.  But forcing everyone to believe in one faith by terror or imprisonment is NOT the way.  The decay of Marriage and family are directly related to our political mistakes allowing abortion and moving away from God.  When people choose faith with 100% free will, there is a true Joy and Peace within them that everyone should feel.
 
I also think that because Americans air all of their Dirty Laundry in the open that most people have a negatively warped view of the morals of Americans.
 
 
Peace to you, Aviatrix!
 
I need to get to work so I can buy that new golden calf next week!
(Just kidding)
 
Peace!
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:09pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Gallup poll, 2years old, longitudinal--notice the shrinking Christian majorities!  
 

"What is your religious preference: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, or an Orthodox religion, such as the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church?"

.

    5/04 2000 1990 1980 1970
  % % % % %
Protestant 50 52 56 61 65
Christian (non-specific) 9 5 n/a n/a n/a
Catholic 23 25 25 28 26
Jewish 2 2 2 2 3
Orthodox 1 1 1 1 -
Mormon 1 2 1 n/a n/a
Other specific 3 4 4 1 2
None 10 8 9 7 3
Undesignated 1 2 2 - -
 
Looks like us Catholics are hanging in there!
 
Actually the Protestants are made up of MANY different sects that are lumped together by many people (inclucding this poll) but they are not one organized together group.
 
Peace!
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:12pm
Okay, get to work, but I'm gonna keep going inshaAllah. Smile
Originally posted by Peter40

But forcing everyone to believe in one faith by terror or imprisonment is NOT the way. 
 
I never suggested this, and personally hold the opinion that force and belief can't be used together. You can't force anyone to believe anything. Period.
 
You go "Americans" and "Muslims" like there are only two groups. I never really brought up Muslims (except as an example for freedom to develop nuclear power). Western Europe is also decadent, as in the US, perhaps more so. But they don't claim to be as religious as Americans do.
 
So really, still I'm trying to find the American religion, the American creed, that explains American behavior. Big smile


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:14pm
Like I said earlier about Protestants, their beliefs are generally so similar that they need not be further classified. If memory serves, Southern Baptist and Lutheran are the two biggest Protestant groups, but I can look for data on that. Nevertheless, identifying oneself as Methodist or Catholic (or any denomination), generally beliefs and outlooks should be the same, despite minor variances in tradition.

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Ted CharlotteNC
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:14pm
This site is pretty interesting on different religions:
 
http://www.adherents.com/ - http://www.adherents.com/
 
My final thought is: You can say you are practitioner of the Holy Church of the Milky Way Bar, don't that doesn't make you sweet.


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Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. - Thomas Jefferson


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:15pm
Another longitudinal Gallup poll... decreasing attendence? (Not really, it looks constant over ~10 years... would prefer more data.)
 

"How often do you attend church or synagogue: at least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom, or never?"

.

  At Least
Once a
Week
Almost
Every
Week
About
Once a
Month
Seldom Never
  % % % % %
5/04 28 14 14 31 12
5/03 33 13 14 27 12
12/02 31 14 18 29 7
5/02 31 11 14 28 16
3/02 34 12 13 28 12
12/01 34 11 15 28 12
6/01 30 11 12 29 18
2/01 30 12 15 29 13
8/00 35 11 15 27 11
3/00 36 11 13 30 10
12/99 36 12 16 28 8
5/99 30 14 18 28 9
6/98 32 13 19 26 9
1/98 32 12 15 30 10
1992 31 9 15 29 16


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:16pm
Originally posted by Ted CharlotteNC

My final thought is: You can say you are practitioner of the Holy Church of the Milky Way Bar, don't that doesn't make you sweet.
 
Hug I love you, Ted. Heart


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: M.A.R.W.A.N
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:17pm

He might take that seriously.



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http://www.islamonline.net/english/index.shtml - www.islamonline.net


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:28pm
Was I not being serious? Ermm
Whatever it takes to get a Milky Way Bar.  
hehe...
 
Okay, another poll, this is from Fox...
 

"Which one of the following is closer to your view? Religion is under attack in America today. Religion has too much influence in America today. The current standing of religion in America is just about right."

.

Under
Attack
Too Much
Influence
About
Right
Unsure  
% % % %  
11/29-30/05 49 17 22 12  

.

"Do you feel like Christianity is under attack in the United States today?"

.

Yes No Unsure    
% % %    
11/29-30/05 59 37 4  


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 3:31pm
So, it looks like religion is under attack, especially Christianity... That says a lot, actually, about how Americans feel about their policies--I think it shows either that non-religious minorities are taking over and the rest don't like that, or else that the entire country is moving away from religion, and the people who were polled were resistant to that fact? Maybe? Maybe Amy's been on this thread too long today, starting to go bonkers.

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 5:31pm
I think you are reading way to much into a single poll.........
 
Peace!
 
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 5:39pm
Hi Amy,
I personally think that society can achieve a workable set of values for living without religion. Secular laws do protect the population to the greater extent.

I get the feeling your point is that unless our moral code is based on religion then it cant work. I don't believe that.




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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:04pm
You're probably right Peter. But there are 3 polls I posted. And many more but honestly... I got tired of looking at polls so I didn't post more. I probably need to go back and draw legitimate conclusions from looking at them.
 
Bill, you can think that if you want, but my point has nothing to do with what can or can't work, in a hypothetical setting. It's realistically dealing with what is not working right now.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:05pm
If there is a move from organized religion, I can't regret it. It may indicate that people are throwing away their crutches and walking without help.

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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: hamayoun
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:08pm
Rhoda

Would you see the fact that we have more strip joints (like the one down my road) inidcative of the move from organized religion?


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May Allah give me patience, Ameen.

My blog: http://regularbaba.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:09pm
That implies disbelief in God, Rhoda!Shocked
 
Belief in God probably implies we need GOD to HELP us. Going without Him is a bad idea, in that case.
 
Nevertheless, even if current religions were thrown entirely out the window, something would replace them. Whatever it is that is trying to replace them now... some set of beliefs... though now more egocentric than charitable.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Bill2702
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:19pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

You're probably right Peter. But there are 3 polls I posted. And many more but honestly... I got tired of looking at polls so I didn't post more. I probably need to go back and draw legitimate conclusions from looking at them.
 

Bill, you can think that if you want, but my point has nothing to do with what can or can't work, in a hypothetical setting. It's realistically dealing with what is not working right now.

    
Hello Amy,
I didn't mean to annoy you Amy. What is not working right now is that everyone is forgetting that they are human. we are all jews and muslims and Hezbolah and christians and US soldiers, and (the list never ends).

What eveyone is forgetting is that we are Mums and dads, brothers and sisters, gandpas and grandmas, neighbours, colegues, friends, aunts and uncles (the list is endless).

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Anything free is worth what you pay for it.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:32pm
I think what we are forgetting is that there is somebody else in this world besides ourselves. Individually, and collectively.

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Suavemente
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 12:38am
  Most Americans,  in the big cities at least,   are ,  in practice at least   (not,  I realize,  by self-definition)  Satanists. 
 
 
  That's an odd statement,  I realize,  but look into the actual basic philosophies and principles behind what  is / was commonly known as  'LaVeyan Satanism',   as in the Anton LaVey-established  'Church of Satan'.      http://churchofsatan.com/ - http://churchofsatan.com/   < ---  I believe that's a working link to their site.   (Click anywhere on the cover page to get in).     (And no,   I'm not one.... BUT...... I will go so far as to say that in the concrete jungles of the big American supercities,  whether  you're in the cutthroat corporate boardrooms in Manhattan,  or out on the streets in LA or Chicago,   the basic life philosophies and principles that Mr. LaVey enumerated in his famous- or infamous - 1966 book  'The Satanic Bible'  are sound philosophies and principles for survival and are,  whether sound or not,   the ones which are primarily practiced).     
 
   That having been said,   I think most Americans ( present company ,  unfortunately,  all too often included)  are in reality narcissists,  raised that way from young on,  textbook definition  (read 'The Culture of Narcissism' ,  by Christopher Lasch)  and their actual truest 'faith' ,  if you will,  is in totally unfettered cutthroat capitalism as epitomized by a man like,  say,  Donald Trump for example  (who,  btw,  given his business practices and his general 'outlook' on the world,  seems to be,  whether he realizes it or not,  definitely a prime example of a very successful 'practicing'  LaVeyan Satanist).    


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 1:06am
amy wrote  That implies disbelief in God, Rhoda!Shocked
 
Belief in God probably implies we need GOD to HELP us. Going without Him is a bad idea, in that case.

I have no problem with people believing in god. My problem is with people who have to go to someone else to be told how to show that belief.

Hamayoun, the population of this country has more than doubled since WWII. There's going to be more of the bad stuff just from that fact. Also more of the good stuff.


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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 11:01am
Rhoda, for those of us who do believe in God, we ask him how to act. Or if we don't ask, we do at least seek out his instructions. That's what religion is. If you don't want people consulting God's instructions for how to act, you don't want belief in God, and you don't want religion. You can admit as much, I doubt you'd shock anyone.
 
Suavemente, I agree with you to an extent but I'm doubtful those classifications fit a majority. You can elaborate if you want, on why you think most people may be distinguished as Satanists or Narcissists.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Rhoda
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 11:05am
Amy, it puzzles me how all these people asking god how they should act can come up with different instructions, yet be  unified in the belief that buildings must be built and clergy must be hired.

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No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. (Lily Tomlin)


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 11:23am
I don't understand you.

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 11:37am
Originally posted by Suavemente

  Most Americans,  in the big cities at least,   are ,  in practice at least   (not,  I realize,  by self-definition)  Satanists. 
 
 
  That's an odd statement,  I realize,  but look into the actual basic philosophies and principles behind what  is / was commonly known as  'LaVeyan Satanism',   as in the Anton LaVey-established  'Church of Satan'.      http://churchofsatan.com/ - http://churchofsatan.com/   < ---  I believe that's a working link to their site.   (Click anywhere on the cover page to get in).     (And no,   I'm not one.... BUT...... I will go so far as to say that in the concrete jungles of the big American supercities,  whether  you're in the cutthroat corporate boardrooms in Manhattan,  or out on the streets in LA or Chicago,   the basic life philosophies and principles that Mr. LaVey enumerated in his famous- or infamous - 1966 book  'The Satanic Bible'  are sound philosophies and principles for survival and are,  whether sound or not,   the ones which are primarily practiced).     
 
   That having been said,   I think most Americans ( present company ,  unfortunately,  all too often included)  are in reality narcissists,  raised that way from young on,  textbook definition  (read 'The Culture of Narcissism' ,  by Christopher Lasch)  and their actual truest 'faith' ,  if you will,  is in totally unfettered cutthroat capitalism as epitomized by a man like,  say,  Donald Trump for example  (who,  btw,  given his business practices and his general 'outlook' on the world,  seems to be,  whether he realizes it or not,  definitely a prime example of a very successful 'practicing'  LaVeyan Satanist).    
 
Maybe we just run in different circles, I work every day with "big City people" and business people.  While they are more in a hurry, I don't think your sterotype is correct.
 
Peace!
Peter


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I wish for true Peace


Posted By: Suavemente
Date Posted: 18 July 2006 at 12:00pm
  Peter40,   G-d bless ya,    probably what it is is that I'm just a much more jaded and cynical (in alot of ways typical, I feel)   NYC-born  (and partly raised as well)  largely secularized modern American Jew.    I think you've probably just got a generally better outlook on the world and on people in general than I do,  and I applaud you for that.    While I am not a LaVeyan Satanist,  obviously,   I do own a copy of that book he wrote,   'The Satanic Bible',   and while much of it is just basically intentionally irreverent silliness and 'occultish'  mumbo-jumbo,   again the basic philosophies and principles he enumerated in many parts of the book,   the basic underlying philosophy  behind the whole quasi-religion  (or 'anti-religion' really) ,   I must say I agree with.    For example,   I do agree fully with him when he says ,   'Man is just another animal,  sometimes better,   much more often worse,  than those that walk on all fours,   who ,   because of his divine spiritual and intellectual development ,   has become the most dangerous animal ever to walk the earth.'     I believe in that 110%.     I guess it just demonstrates ,   as I said,   a different general 'outlook' on things between you and I,   or between me and many of the others here perhaps.     Well,   to each their own as I always say.   


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 20 July 2006 at 11:57am

A little more polling data... what do Americans think of the Bible!? A mere 30% think it should be taken literally!! I think this rules out the Bible as a source of religious doctrine, literally. 

 

"Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your views about the Bible? The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it should be taken literally. OR, The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man."

           

.

    Actual
Word of God
Inspired
Word of God
Fables Unsure  
    % % % %  
  5/8-11/06 28 49 19 3  
  5/2-5/05 32 47 18 3  
  11/04 34 48 15 3  
  12/02 30 52 15 3  
  2/01 27 49 20 4  
  6/98 33 47 17 3  
  7-8/80 40 45 10 6  
  8/76 38 45 13 5  
 


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 20 July 2006 at 12:00pm
Based on the above poll, the interpretation of the Bible is entirely up to whoever is in charge. Modern philosophies, political movements, etc., apparently have the power to interpret the Bible at will, based on a lack of conviction about the contents.
 
Even if Americans regard the Bible as a source of religious doctrine, as a source of their beliefs and basis for them, their flaky stance on it leaves them open to manipulation by others.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Peter40
Date Posted: 20 July 2006 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

Based on the above poll, the interpretation of the Bible is entirely up to whoever is in charge. Modern philosophies, political movements, etc., apparently have the power to interpret the Bible at will, based on a lack of conviction about the contents.
 
Even if Americans regard the Bible as a source of religious doctrine, as a source of their beliefs and basis for them, their flaky stance on it leaves them open to manipulation by others.
 
I absolutely and respectfully disagre you look at these numbers with your mind already convinced that Christians are "Flaky"
 
The Bible is NOT interpurtated by Political movements, however, Americans are free to worship as they wish, and some do follow some rather odd folks I may add.  As long as they are not harming anyone else, there are no laws against worshiping a peanut if they wish.  This is a freedom that Americans Cherish, that is Black Americans, White Americans, Indian Americans, Budahast Americans, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, Mormon Americans, Athiest Americans, Scientologist Americans, Jahovah's Whitness Americans, Catholic Americans, Protestant Americans, Agnostic Americans, ALL Americans.  Many outside America especially in Muslim areas seem to want to paint all of America with one "Christian" brush, this is not possible, there are many things within America that I as a Christian do not agree with.  But we must respect the right of other to believe as they wish and work to convince other groups (through peacefull means) about out beliefs as they relate to our Government.
 
We are not perfect, and don't pretend to be, but I cannot think about having to live in any Authoritian Dominated Government Religous or otherwise.
 
We are NOT "Flaky" any more than any other group.
 
1. You are assuming that ALL americans are Christians, you are Wrong.
 
2. You ae assuming that America is ran by the Christian Church, you are Wrong.
 
3. You fail to realize that Americans have complete religous freedom.  I wonder how the American Muslims voted in your Poll?
 
I would agree to a point that some Protestant groups can be misled and manipulated by individual leaders, Protestants are more into the "personal Relationship" with Jesus, than having a Central Authority.  Much like the Muslims have no Central authority, so I could also  say that Muslims are open to "manipulation by others"  and There is a good amount of proof that radical Islamic Scholars are not Following the Quran, at least according to many that post here.
 
That does not mean that I believe that all Protestants are going to hell, or that I believe that all Muslims are going to hell either, but is an answer to your observations above.
 
Now, to My faith, as a Catholic, you can agree with what I believe, or you can dis-agree, whatever you wish.
 
But you DO KNOW what I believe because it is in Black and White for the whole world to see.  No "interupertation" needed.
 
Peace!
 
Peter.
 
Sorry about the long post, sometimes I just get on a roll!
 
Aviatrix, I wish you all the best and very much like talking with you!


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I wish for true Peace



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