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Somebody finally said the C word

Ah, somebody finally said the C word. And that means I can say not all Christians.

I can say something else too. For all of the evidence of Christian bigotry, there's tolerance and pluralism right there beside it. America is the probably the only nation where it could happen. Religious diversity made it happen. And it goes right back to the Civil War. While there were plenty saying (with reason) that the Bible justified slavery, there were others making the case that a human was a human no matter what the color skin. The ones fighting hardest against slavery took their best arguments from their faith. That continued through the woman's rights movement, through the civil rights movement, and on through the gay rights movement. Without Christians speaking and fighting, those movements would have stalled.

As a newbie back in the 80s, I had a lot of baggage. I spoke and wrote against Christians with the best of them. Some of my stuff is probably still floating around there. But I discovered that I didn't like who I was. There were other things too, I was not a nice person. After some serious soul searching and couple of Divine thumps on the head, I came back to a very simple idea. In magickal terms, the energy you put out is the energy you get back. It's the Ethic of Reciprocity, Christians call it the Golden Rule. It's probably the cornerstone of Western civilization. Long story short, if you look for the negative in others, that is precisely what you will find. And that is precisely what you will allow to shape your own life.

But if you look for the positive, "catch them doing right," there will be enough good to overcome the bad.

Christians made marriage legal in the first place. But do you honestly think there would be legal gay marriage without a whole lot of Christians saying, wait, we have to fix this to be fair to everyone.

Because not every Christian, you see. Sometimes in the places you least expect and from the people you'd never consider, there is tolerance and acceptance and even encouragement. Not everyone wraps themselves in the fire and brimstone of the OT. Some really do believe that their god is love.

We need those people badly.

So, not every Christian.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Core of Christianity

Exclusivity is not the core of Christianity. How Christians live their life is. That shows in how they touch the lives of others.
     — NeoWayland
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Nicer

Christians are a lot nicer to be around when everyone else doesn't have to defer to them. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture.
     — NeoWayland
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A god of love

Personally I prefer Christians when they aren't spouting hellfire in the name of a god of love.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 8 - rights & revised history

This brand of revisionism uses hard confrontation with constantly escalating stakes. You can't win against it by being loud, that just makes you the closest and biggest target.

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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.

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from crux № 13 - Competiton

Competition drives the free market…

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NeoNotes — Parity is the keystone

If I don't share your faith, I shouldn't be bound by it. If you don't share my faith, you shouldn't be bound by it.

This is parity. It can be derived from what Christians call the Golden Rule. It's also called the Ethic of Reciprocity and is arguably the keystone of Western Civilization besides being found in nearly every culture on Earth. Behavioral studies show that a rudimentary form exists in higher mammals. Fair is fair.

One of my "party tricks" is showing that you can build an entire moral, ethical, and legal system based on nothing but the Ethic of Reciprocity. No "Higher Law." No use of force except in defense. No one faith and no one group raised above all others never to be questioned.

Just treating each other as we would want to be treated. Nothing more, nothing less. Live and let live.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

That is when marriage ceased to be religion and control shifted to the state.

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from crux № 19 - Free market

It constantly amazes me that the defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions.
     — Lawrence W. Reed

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

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from crux № 11 - Ultimate truth

I've seen the arguments in enough other contexts to distrust anyone who claims rationality prevents any opposing view. Even more so when they dismiss any other possibility unheard because they have the Ultimate Truth That Must Not Be Questioned.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — government requires

If you didn't choose your morality and if you do not commit to your morality, is it really yours?

Or did it just get sacrificed for the greater good?
     — NeoWayland

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One thing he would not be

If Christ himself were alive, one thing he would not be would be is a Christian.
     — Mark Twain

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NeoNotes — Who gets to call the shots

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“Freedom is what matters.”

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from crux № 15 - make it better

“I want a government that is smaller than absolutely necessary.

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.”

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from crux № 10 - the system

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.

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NeoNotes — Conversation - updated

“Climate is changing Because it's HUMANITY'S FAULT and WE'RE SCREWING UP THE PLANET!!!!!"

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NeoNotes — Pardon…

It would not honor my faith, and it dishonors the Divine as I perceive it. It would require me to break oaths & promises that are at least as important to me as yours are to you.

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NeoNotes — American Christmas

Christians are nicer people when they aren't the only game in town

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