« on: April 19, 2006, 09:08:38 PM »
By the way just for clarification, I am generally thinking of at least college-educated when I say "educated", I understand this is relative.
Actually, I was trying to say that there are more uneducated people in general, whether religious or not, and that it is a mere accident that Christianity is the majority religion in this country. As a result, the most often-voiced opinions I tend to come across are those of uneducated Christians. I was essentially trying to defuse any link between the two because I am not saying there is one, and I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. If there is a link, I am certainly not trying to claim one, at least not a causal one.
As far as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and the like, maybe so, but I was referring more to people I encounter everyday, not so much the media stars. It's difficult to establish an accurate sampling either way and I don't want to make generalizations, but I will say that it appears that those who are most vocal, protesting, etc. often seem to me to be lesser educated. Before I start upsetting some of the educated Christians, this isn't exactly where I wanted to go with this so let me change direction. (This all arose from my attempted disclaimer!)
The real opinions I am interested in are not just the ever-touchy Christian issues of school prayer, evolution, abortion, same-sex marriages, etc. But also things like the original Catholic poster I responded to who was ultimately willing to defer to a judicial decision on same-sex marriages even though his religion forbids it. Can a religion really be piecemeal in that way? Is it not an all-or-nothing belief that requires the existence of only one God? Most would compromise and say of course not. But if that is the case, does it not indicate that religion is ultimately a personal experience and not an almighty one? Shouldn't a true believer feel charged to dispel or convert non-believers? By no means do I mean to limit this to Christianity, though it probably makes the most readily-available example.
I also wonder why certain more popular religious moral beliefs tend to carry more weight than others. Such as why the Christian lobby believes that stem-cell research is murder while simulataneously supporting a war-mongering administration. And whether Muslims, Jews, and Christians really believe that their beliefs will bring peace on earth when it seems that sticking to these beliefs seems to in fact be the biggest barrier to peace on earth.
Also, the religious right, who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, are always the most opposed to taxation and social services for the needy. One might argue that they make contributions in other ways, such as to the church. Is the church more efficient at allocating resources than a representative government? Perhaps some believe that it is.
I also have never understood how one "selects" the religion of their choice as the answer to the universe's mysteries. Is this not mere chance related to where you live geographically? From my observations it seems that organized religion is merely handed down from one's parents. Surely this correlation is unavoidable even for the staunchest believer.
And how strong is the correlation between morality and religion? Is Pat Robertson morally good? Is George Bush? Is Ghandi? Are Catholic priests? Osama Bin Laden? What do followers believe would happen if they renounced their faith? What would the prophets of the great religions say about the United States if they were here today?
I have many questions like this, but I suppose that's quite enough for now. As you see, this topic can shift broadly to the spiritual, poltical, moral, psychological, legal, historical, etc. So I'll back off a bit until someone nudges it towards a more narrow scope.
Once again, it is not my intention at all to offend or judge. My point of view, though I believe it to be firmly objective, is merely my own.