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Hostility to religion bodes ill for society
Minneapolis Star Tribune ^ | June 6, 2009 | KATHERINE KERSTEN

Posted on 06/06/2009 6:35:47 PM PDT by rhema

We're increasingly uncomfortable with religion these days.

As a society, we tolerate pastors, priests, rabbis and other religious folks, so long as they confine their message to a vanilla "God is love" theme and bless babies, brides and caskets.

But when religious leaders speak out on the issues of the day -- especially using morally tinged language -- the elite gatekeepers of public opinion in the media, government and academia warn shrilly that a new Dark Age is upon us.

More and more, we see outright hostility to religion -- particularly to Christianity. Consider the wild popularity of a recent spate of best-sellers by "New Atheist" superstars, including Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and Christopher Hitchens' "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."

Far from being dispassionate critics of faith, the New Atheists are zealous crusaders for their own creed: materialism. They are passionately committed to the idea that the universe is a random accident, that transcendent truth is a myth, and that man's life has no inherent purpose or meaning.

Why the growing audience for notions like these?

Religion poses a serious challenge to our cherished idea of personal autonomy. Unlike our forebears, we define freedom as the right to live as we choose -- to "be ourselves" -- unconstrained by social norms or a morally grounded sense of guilt or shame.

Judeo-Christianity throws a wrench in this, teaching that universal standards of right and wrong trump our personal desires.

In addition, it raises troubling questions about the vision of scientific "progress," so central to our modern age. The mere fact that we are capable of, say, genetically altering or cloning human beings doesn't give us moral license to do so, it cautions.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: ac; atheism; atheists; christian; culture; darkages; dawkins; hitchens; moralabsolutes; newage; nietzsche; persecution; religion; schmaltz

1 posted on 06/06/2009 6:35:47 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema
People who speak out against religion are generally looking for a crutch to justify their own immorality.

At least when we screw up we know we're wrong and we have to make amends for it.

2 posted on 06/06/2009 6:39:10 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: rhema

fruits of the communist agenda


3 posted on 06/06/2009 6:39:56 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Caleb1411; MHGinTN; wagglebee; Salvation; LiteKeeper

G. K. Chesterton must have seen our pallid, small-souled, politically correct society coming. He wrote, “When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.” “The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.”


4 posted on 06/06/2009 6:41:14 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

The problem in America is not a few loud atheists.

The problem in America is the Christian church openly embracing sin and calling it tolerance. The problem in America is the church is on the side lines for the culture war. The church is where the biggest moral deline exists.


5 posted on 06/06/2009 6:41:25 PM PDT by se_ohio_young_conservative (Palin 2012)
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative
The church is where the biggest moral deline exists.

That is because the Seminaries were opened to draft dodgers who did not have any religious convictions.

Those are now the ones in charge.

6 posted on 06/06/2009 6:45:30 PM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: pnh102
People who speak out against religion are generally looking for a crutch to justify their own immorality.

Ain't it the truth. John 3:19-20 states as much: "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

7 posted on 06/06/2009 6:45:46 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema
Man's end is happiness. Man's ultimate end is the vision of God, beatitude. God's law frees us from the things of this world. it offers us the ultimate freedom.To be humanly autonomous prevents our true freedom.

The natural law, the Old Law and the New Law are not restricting but emancipating.

8 posted on 06/06/2009 6:47:18 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: rhema; 185JHP; 230FMJ; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or DirtyHarryY2K to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


9 posted on 06/06/2009 6:53:20 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative
The problem in America is the Christian church openly embracing sin and calling it tolerance. The problem in America is the church is on the side lines for the culture war. The church is where the biggest moral deline exists.

And the colleges and universities associated with those apostate denominations have hit the skids with them.

10 posted on 06/06/2009 6:53:40 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

...when Arthur Goldberg left the Supreme Court he held a farewell press conference....in it he warned against “a growing hostility within the judiciary against religion”...at the time I thought he was way off base....that can never happen in America; right?....well, time has proved him right as rain.


11 posted on 06/06/2009 7:00:10 PM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative

It’s not that the bad people keep getting worse, it’s that the good people have gotten worse.


12 posted on 06/06/2009 7:28:04 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: rhema
Regardless of my feelings pro or con, this is an argument from consequences.

"If you don't change your ways, destruction will follow."

From a logical standpoint, enough people today realize that destruction can follow regardless of how we behave. But that doesn't mean that we will all run wild and ignore our societal obligations.

It only means some of us will.

Quoting myself: (Advice to a young woman)

"All men are wired to respond the same way, up to a point. The real definition of a gentleman is that he can control his behavior in a civilized manner. Men who can control their behavior and their appetites only under threat of force or punishment are dangerous men. You need to be able to spot the difference."
My perception of why our society is getting rapidly more uncomfortable is this:
We don't have a dearth of guidance in regard to proper, acceptable behavior. We have not totally forgotten the lessons of our churches, our historical figures, and our grade school teachers.

What we have stopped doing is punishing people for doing wrong things, for hurting people and making others uncomfortable. We've stopped smacking the butts of the tantrum-throwing brats among us, and they are running wild.
It isn't Power that corrupts; it's impunity.

Impudent children, impudent teenagers, impudent politicians.
" impudence - the trait of being rude and impertinent; inclined to take liberties"

They have all gone unpunished too long.

13 posted on 06/06/2009 7:29:44 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (Error is patient. It has all of time for its disturbing machinations.)
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To: wagglebee
Consider the wild popularity of a recent spate of best-sellers by "New Atheist" superstars, including Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and Christopher Hitchens' "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."

And sadly, we see that kind of hostility towards religion here on FR, especially on the evolution threads.

14 posted on 06/06/2009 7:44:18 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: rhema

bookmark


15 posted on 06/06/2009 8:05:11 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: rhema

The new religion is: Don’t Hold Me Accountable


16 posted on 06/06/2009 8:06:32 PM PDT by pray4liberty (http://www.foundersvalues.com/)
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To: rhema

No protests or complaints from the secular humanists, atheists, or Separation-of-Church-and-State fanatics about the U.S. being "one of the largest Muslim countries" according to Obama??? You would think Sharia coming to the U.S., hailed and praised by Obama, would have them a little concerned and alarmed. They have a...er...different view on same-sex unions and liberal attitudes.

17 posted on 06/07/2009 3:49:35 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative

bttt


18 posted on 06/07/2009 4:12:49 AM PDT by Guenevere
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To: rhema
"Why the growing audience for notions like these?"

Why anti-semitism?

19 posted on 06/07/2009 4:27:50 AM PDT by mitch5501 (Yeah,but is it shatterproof?)
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To: NicknamedBob

Good observations, Bob.


20 posted on 06/07/2009 5:40:57 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I just had a baby, so I may not respond to your post. Nothing personal.)
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To: rhema

Many people in the churches don’t want to hear about “the goodness and the severity of God” either. They want their ears tickled.


21 posted on 06/07/2009 6:03:37 AM PDT by RoadTest (For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus - I Tim 2:5)
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To: metmom
"on the evolution threads"

You don't see a lot of evolution threads, mainly creation threads.

22 posted on 06/07/2009 7:33:19 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative
What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over half a century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio:

"All of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am," and churches would be full every Sunday...where Christ is not preached."

23 posted on 06/07/2009 7:40:27 AM PDT by dfwgator (USM is Gator Bait!)
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To: johniegrad

I wish Natural Law was discussed more often at FR.

It is the philosophy behind our Declaration of Independence and was codified in our Constitution. It is impossible to understand the beauty of our founder’s vision without a basic understanding of Natural Law.


24 posted on 06/07/2009 3:32:35 PM PDT by Jacquerie (Islam is a barbaric social and political system in religious drag.)
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To: Jacquerie

Aquinas described the natural law as being nothing more than that part of the Divine Law inscribed on the hearts of all men. One does not even have faith to have been inculcated with the natural law.


25 posted on 06/07/2009 3:36:23 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: johniegrad

Quite right. For instance, it is that tug of conscience or quiet voice that, independent of religious education, questions the morality and right legality of abortion and homosexual “marriage.”


26 posted on 06/07/2009 3:50:30 PM PDT by Jacquerie (Islam is a barbaric social and political system in religious drag.)
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