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Your Thoughts About Christians and the Christian Faith

Hi, I just joined We Make Zines a few days ago...I've been making zines for about 17 years. I am a Christian and wonder why more Christians don't use this medium. I am also kind of a square peg in a round hole in the Christian world for a lot of reasons, and I often wonder what non-Christians think about Christians/Christianity and why, and am considering making a zine about that. Would you share with me any stereotypes of/experiences with/thoughts about Christians themselves and/or the Christian faith in particular? I am not going to debate anyone, so don't worry about being negative...I am really just interested to know what kind of impression Christians/Christianity have/has on non-Christians, and zine writers are great at sharing their opinions ;-) Thanks!

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The fact is that everyone uses politics to force their agenda...politics and government is legalized force. When a liberal/progressive person thinks that the State should be able to force people to do something that is against their own moral beliefs...like (for example only, not trying to make this a topic of debate) provide the gay partner of an employee with health benefits, that is just the opposite side of the coin to saying that gays cannot have a "legal union". The State is force incarnate, it just depends on who holds the guns at any given time.
This is the last I'm going to say about it, because you're obviously way too emotionally invested to do anything but attack me.

I said FOR ME. to ME, the responsible thing is dealing with the fact that I KNOW birth control isn't 100% effective. to someone else, their view might be that they did their best to prevent it, and if it fails, then they have an abortion. which is FINE with me. MANY of my friends have had abortions, and though I wish they didn't, I would NEVER condemn them for it. it makes me SAD to think of a potential life being taken away. for goodness sake, today in the hall I heard a girl say, "the second time I was pregnant I was going to keep it because mark really wanted it so I thought he could just raise it, but then I realized labor is hard and painful and stuff, so I got rid of it."

by the way, I was going to add financial reasons to my list, but I assumed someone would yell at me for suggesting poorer people shouldn't have children. my parents were dirt poor, and they managed.

basically, nothing I say on this issue is going to be left alone, so I'm done.

Dan 10things said:
star blanket river child said:
hey. I did speak for myself. I said, "I am against abortion for MYSELF, but other women can do what they please."

You also said:

I think unless you've been raped, you're 12, or the baby is going to die anyway/harm you, then you should handle it in an adult and responsible way which, to me, doesn't just mean getting it sucked out of you.

It's this statement I'm saying is complete bullshit, you went from talking about what's right for you to condemning everyone that has an abortion. You are absolutely incorrect in assuming that choosing to have an abortion isn't a very adult and responsible decision. I can tell you from personal experience that you are absolutely wrong.

Abortion does have to do with this debate as an example of how Christians interfere in the lives of others. It's an issue where a Christian-based movement is trying through both harassment and legal means to assert their religious-based opinions over the rest of society. Much like stem-cell research and gay marriage. If it were Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Mormons or Satanists trying to push their religious positions on issues through government upon all of us, people would be up in arms, but when it's the majority religion, somehow it's more acceptable.
Honestly, I am an extreme libertarian who thinks that peaceful discrimination is a right itself and not an infringement of rights. I also oppose just about every government program or intervention that exists, including the public school system.

Adam Icarus said:
You make it sound like equality is a horrible agenda to have. And giving gay couples benefits doesn't really count as going against an employer's morals, as the employer isn't immediately required to go out and fuck someone of their gender. That's another problem I see with Christians. Apparently, treating someone like an equal means you immediately condone all of their actions. You don't have to like that the couple is gay, but at least give them their fucking rights. Would it be okay for an employer to say "Oh, your spouse is black. We can't extend your insurance to him/her"?

Samantha Blythe said:
The fact is that everyone uses politics to force their agenda...politics and government is legalized force. When a liberal/progressive person thinks that the State should be able to force people to do something that is against their own moral beliefs...like (for example only, not trying to make this a topic of debate) provide the gay partner of an employee with health benefits, that is just the opposite side of the coin to saying that gays cannot have a "legal union". The State is force incarnate, it just depends on who holds the guns at any given time.
What I'm saying is that I don't think the government should be in the education business at all.
The question is - what is a right? As a libertarian, I think that anything that infringes on a person's life, liberty or property is a violation of rights. Of course, in our American history we have the right to "the pursuit of happiness", but that doesn't mean that you can force someone to make you happy, just that no one can prevent you from trying to find circumstances that are what you want for your life.

So, life means that assault, murder, rape and other physical violence is out. Liberty means the right to travel, the right to work - so immigration laws in general and social security laws that restrict your ability to get a job with someone who is willing to hire you and stuff like that come in here. But liberty also includes a person's right to do what they want with their property - like a business owner or someone who owns a house to rent. So, yes, I think it should be perfectly legal not to rent to someone or hire them if you don't like them for any reason. I'm not saying that it's moral to be a racist, a misogynist, or whatever...I am saying that even though it might be a sin, it shouldn't be a crime. You can hate someone all you want and you can even be rude to them - but you can't own them because you think they're subhuman and so should be property, you can't beat them, you can't steal from them.

That means that I think there can be clubs, organizations, libraries, schools etc. for just men, women, gays, blacks, Jews or whatever. I think people can work out between themselves what wages should be paid for what work, etc.

Equality is impossible to enforce, because it doesn't exist. Equality before the law is a separate concept, though, from the kind of equality you are talking about, and it protects people from harm at the hands of the State rather than guaranteeing them some perceived good.

Adam Icarus said:
What would you have the government do? Remove all the amendments that guaranteed equal rights for women and african americans, too? I mean, I'd hate to make someone pay a woman over a dollar an hour if they didn't want to, or even consider hiring a qualified black man. /sarcasm
Samantha Blythe said:
What I'm saying is that I don't think the government should be in the education business at all.
I believe people are sinners, but that the State should not try to prevent them from being so except in the most extreme cases...how is that any different from what everyone seems to be against Christians doing? Sure, it's wrong to hate people, but it's not the job of the State to make people be nice to each other, except to stop violence, fraud etc. That is no different than saying it's not the State's business what you do in your bedroom as long as it's consensual.

Adam Icarus said:
Equality is impossible to enforce perfectly, but something is better than nothing, otherwise we will always have the same fucking problems. Discrimination isn't a right. Hate all you want, but treat everyone the same way despite it. Samantha Blythe said:
The question is - what is a right? As a libertarian, I think that anything that infringes on a person's life, liberty or property is a violation of rights. Of course, in our American history we have the right to "the pursuit ofhappiness", but that doesn't mean that you can force someone to make you happy, just that no one can prevent you from tryig to find circumstances that are what you want for your life.

So, life means that assault, murder, rape and other physical violence is out. Liberty means the right to travel, the right to work - so immigration laws in general and social security laws that restrict your ability to get a job with someone who is willing to hire you and stuff like that come in here. But liberty also includes a person's right to do what they want with their property - like a business owner or someone who owns a house to rent. So, yes, I think it should be perfectly legal not to rent to someone or hire them if you don't like them for any reason. I'm not saying that it's moral to be a racist, a misogynist, or whatever...I am saying that even though it might be a sin, it shouldn't be a crime. You can hate someone all you want and you can even be rude to them - but you can't own them because you think they're subhuman and so should be property, you can't beat them, you can't steal from them.

That means that I think there can be clubs, organizations, libraries, schools etc. for just men, women, gays, blacks, Jews or whatever. I think people can work out between themselves what wages should be paid for what work, etc.

Equality is impossible to enforce, because it doesn't exist. Equality before the law is a separate concept, though, from the kind of equality you are talking about, and it protects people from harm at the hands of the State rather than guaranteeing them some perceived good.
I believe people are sinners, but that the State should not try to prevent them from being so except in the most extreme cases...how is that any different from what everyone seems to be against Christians doing? Sure, it's wrong to hate people, but it's not the job of the State to make people be nice to each other, except to stop violence, fraud etc. That is no different than saying it's not the State's business what you do in your bedroom as long as it's consensual.

Adam Icarus said:
Equality is impossible to enforce perfectly, but something is better than nothing, otherwise we will always have the same fucking problems. Discrimination isn't a right. Hate all you want, but treat everyone the same way despite it. Samantha Blythe said:
The question is - what is a right? As a libertarian, I think that anything that infringes on a person's life, liberty or property is a violation of rights. Of course, in our American history we have the right to "the pursuit ofhappiness", but that doesn't mean that you can force someone to make you happy, just that no one can prevent you from tryig to find circumstances that are what you want for your life.

So, life means that assault, murder, rape and other physical violence is out. Liberty means the right to travel, the right to work - so immigration laws in general and social security laws that restrict your ability to get a job with someone who is willing to hire you and stuff like that come in here. But liberty also includes a person's right to do what they want with their property - like a business owner or someone who owns a house to rent. So, yes, I think it should be perfectly legal not to rent to someone or hire them if you don't like them for any reason. I'm not saying that it's moral to be a racist, a misogynist, or whatever...I am saying that even though it might be a sin, it shouldn't be a crime. You can hate someone all you want and you can even be rude to them - but you can't own them because you think they're subhuman and so should be property, you can't beat them, you can't steal from them.

That means that I think there can be clubs, organizations, libraries, schools etc. for just men, women, gays, blacks, Jews or whatever. I think people can work out between themselves what wages should be paid for what work, etc.

Equality is impossible to enforce, because it doesn't exist. Equality before the law is a separate concept, though, from the kind of equality you are talking about, and it protects people from harm at the hands of the State rather than guaranteeing them some perceived good.
Sorry for the double post! Now we are off on a totally new tangent!!

Samantha Blythe said:
I believe people are sinners, but that the State should not try to prevent them from being so except in the most extreme cases...how is that any different from what everyone seems to be against Christians doing? Sure, it's wrong to hate people, but it's not the job of the State to make people be nice to each other, except to stop violence, fraud etc. That is no different than saying it's not the State's business what you do in your bedroom as long as it's consensual.

Adam Icarus said:
Equality is impossible to enforce perfectly, but something is better than nothing, otherwise we will always have the same fucking problems. Discrimination isn't a right. Hate all you want, but treat everyone the same way despite it. Samantha Blythe said:
The question is - what is a right? As a libertarian, I think that anything that infringes on a person's life, liberty or property is a violation of rights. Of course, in our American history we have the right to "the pursuit ofhappiness", but that doesn't mean that you can force someone to make you happy, just that no one can prevent you from tryig to find circumstances that are what you want for your life.

So, life means that assault, murder, rape and other physical violence is out. Liberty means the right to travel, the right to work - so immigration laws in general and social security laws that restrict your ability to get a job with someone who is willing to hire you and stuff like that come in here. But liberty also includes a person's right to do what they want with their property - like a business owner or someone who owns a house to rent. So, yes, I think it should be perfectly legal not to rent to someone or hire them if you don't like them for any reason. I'm not saying that it's moral to be a racist, a misogynist, or whatever...I am saying that even though it might be a sin, it shouldn't be a crime. You can hate someone all you want and you can even be rude to them - but you can't own them because you think they're subhuman and so should be property, you can't beat them, you can't steal from them.

That means that I think there can be clubs, organizations, libraries, schools etc. for just men, women, gays, blacks, Jews or whatever. I think people can work out between themselves what wages should be paid for what work, etc.

Equality is impossible to enforce, because it doesn't exist. Equality before the law is a separate concept, though, from the kind of equality you are talking about, and it protects people from harm at the hands of the State rather than guaranteeing them some perceived good.
Gladly agreeing to disagree:-) I an soooo used to being disagreed with on this subject!

Adam Icarus said:
You can delete posts with the little red X on the top right corner of the post in question. Samantha Blythe said:
Sorry for the double post! Now we are off on a totally new tangent!!

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. In my eyes, it's not the same at all, as your position allows people to discriminate against one another, while my position levels the playing field by making people get over their childish and petty intolerances. If it's absolutely necessary for someone to discriminate to be happy, I don't want to meet that person. I doubt that whichever god they worship wants to meet them either.

Samantha Blythe said:
I believe people are sinners, but that the State should not try to prevent them from being so except in the most extreme cases...how is that any different from what everyone seems to be against Christians doing? Sure, it's wrong to hate people, but it's not the job of the State to make people be nice to each other, except to stop violence, fraud etc. That is no different than saying it's not the State's business what you do in your bedroom as long as it's consensual.
No credible historian today, liberal or conservative, would claim that Jesus was a fictional character-- mainly because of the archeological discoveries of the last couple decades, which have produced much earlier parts of the gospels as well as verification of the events and places discussed in the gospel narratives.
To give one example-- John mentions the pool of Bethesda with its five porches. This was buried with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD-- and dug up by the Israelis only recently. The writer of John, then (for this and other reasons) had to have been in the city BEFORE the city was destroyed to know about it and describe it. It wasn't made up. This gives us an early date.
Regarding your comment about Paul: yeah, the earliest extant letter of his dates to about 57AD-- 25 years after the crucifixion-- but don't forget that he describes his first visit to meet the Apostles just a few years after Christ's death, stayed with Peter and talked to James, Jesus' brother. There had to be many other people around who'd met Jesus also.
Etc etc.
What if a hundred or two hundred years from now very few copies of zines remain, and much of our history is treated as hearsay and rumor? Will people then claim that Aaron Cometbus or Urban Hermitt and others-- even you, Dan-- were made up?
********************
My concern in this is the question: of all the many cults and mystery religions around then, why did THIS one, led by poorly eductaed working class men and women, survive and prevail-- to the extent of transforming the Roman Empire itself? (And much of the world.)
One reason was that the main guys exhibited utter fearlessness-- total rebels and activists to the extent of going to the very center of Empire and confronting it head on and straight up.
It was a far different attitude than can be found today, when everyone LOOKS like a rebel with their tats, their piercings, and their posings, but in actuality no one is; instead we have a collection of scared, self-involved puppies.
Again, just my two cents . . . take it for what you will.
www.penpetition.blogspot.com


Dan 10things said:
King Wenclas said:
"There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross." -Nietzsche
We should keep in mind that what's presented as Christianity today is a distortion of the original. It's the nature of movements to be coopted, defanged, and eventually institutionalized. The historical Jesus was the closest thing to an anarchist the world had seen up to that time. He came from the poorest segment of society, worked as a cabinet-maker at a time of economic depression in his society; lived as a homeless vagabon.

I get what you're saying, but I'd argue that the early version of who Jesus was you refer to possibly (probably?) never existed. At best, the stories you're referring to are still from 300 years after he supposedly died and by that time had been through a very long game of telephone being told verbally and passed down through generations before ever being written about. There is a complete lack of writing about Jesus during his lifetime or the 65 year after his supposed life, which is troubling. By the time Paul was writing about him it was 65AD, it's quite possible Jesus was just made up and a conglomeration of a bunch of previous religious myths. The son of god born on earth, crucified for our sins, risen from the dead, etc. stuff had all been part of previous religions and gods for thousands of years. Christian holidays often fell on previous Pagan holidays. It all seems very borrowed and adapted. I'm not convinced he's a historical person, there's a good chance he's fictional, like most of the Bible. It's a great story though, and I think there were some wonderful moral lessons laid out in the Bible even if it is a piece of fiction.
I think you misunderstood me. I didn't mean that I think they should be aligned. I said that I agreed with the person I was speaking of, in which they said it shouldn't be aligned.

Now I do agree with you on the subject that church and state should not be even close to each other as we are a so called "free" country. I feel as though people should be allowed to make choices by themselves without restrictions. But I don't think it should be blamed on Christianity.

I don't understand your logic. You think because we are a free country our government should align itself with one religion, Christianity? There's so much wrong with that. How are we free to choose if our government is endorsing your wacko fairytale? And hell yes we should blame Christians for trying to force their religious views into the laws that govern us all. Absolutely. It's unethical and it's exactly the opposite of the principles this country was founded upon. Believe whatever fairytale you want, but keep it away from me, my family, my schools and my government. Religion is a personal choice, the biggest problem with Christians is they don't get that. They seem to want to force us all to hear their crazy message and live under the crazy tenants of their religion.
Meaghan,

I've read most of this discussion, but I couldn't find whom you were quoting. In any case, I don't see how you interpret what they said as advocating State Christianity. It seemed to me like it said exactly the opposite.

I'm looking at this as a Theravada Buddhist, a non-theist and a libertarian. I'm also SPEAKING from a minarchist perspective (even though I stubbornly refuse to take sides in the anarchy-minarchy dispute). Libertarian anarchism may require a seperate analysis.

I agree that their should be a wall of seperation between church and state, but I as I've pondered this basic principle over the decades, I think it's problematical.

I think there should be a seperation between church/religion and state/ government, but there should also be a seperation between secular philosophy and state. Secularism, and worse, secular statism, is crammed down MY throat as much as, if not more than, Christian crypto-theocracy.

My libertarian statement of the principle might be---"There should be a seperation between PERSONAL MORALITY and state/government." Government, if it should exist or not, should never do more that respond to aggression, and not enforce personal moralities or philosophies or religions. Problem though with that is, I think "aggression" or in libertarian parlance, "the non-aggression principle" is underdefined and underdiscussed. Even an anarchist would/must INTERPRET the NAP against the background of his PERSONAL philosophy, "secular" or "religious", which would seem to bring us back to square one. Which means my statement of the "church/state seperation" principle, while maybe an improvement over the classic version, may need a lot of work too.

One reason this bitter and angry argument goes on and on and on is that both the theocrats and the secularocrats try to rationalize their respective efforts to cram their morals and ideas down each other's and everybody else's throats. Yeah, of course, some, hey, MANY, Christians throughout history of done some horrible things. A minority have done good though. Let's be fair and acknowledge them. So far, MANY SECULARISTS---Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung--- have done some pretty rotten things themselves. Maybe they've got some catching up to do with the bad Christians, but it looks to me like they're closin' in fast.

In a libertarian society there would be no public school monopoly or mandatory attendence and no truancy laws. Christians, Buddhists, secularists, Satanists, Sub Gennii, would all have their own schools if they wanted to send their children to a school at all.

Smug, self-superior "psychology" and orthodox state-approved science is forced on Christians and unwilling non-Christians all the time. I find this no less offensive and oppressive that Christian "wacko fairy tales".

I'm not sure how much of the stories in my own scriptures are literally or exactly true, or how much it does or does not matter, but even if such "fairy tales" are "myths", I see truth and beauty in them nonetheless.

JND

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