Voting for Muslims

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May 7, 2007 9:51 am

In the thread "Zero Capital Gains" the conversations veered off into a religious debate over voting for Muslims.  Let me put my position out there right now.  I would not ever vote for a practicing Muslim. 


Ashland quoted some Old Testament scripture, but failed to realize the New Testament is the covenant Christians live by.  Feel free to quote ANYTHING from our scripture you want.


While we're at it, I think I'll quote some from your Koran:


[9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!


The call for the destruction of Christians.


[3.67] Ibrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.


The Koran depicts Christianity as POLYTHEISM????


[5.51] O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.


How clearly do you need it spelled out?


This is just a sample of text I found in 20 minutes or so of browsing last night.  I have no doubt there is more.


Please tell me, with all sincerity, how a FAITHFUL, PRACTICING MUSLIM could have America's (a predominately Christian country) best at heart.  It goes against what they believe!!!


I am honestly open to hearing a real answer to the contrary.

May 7, 2007 9:59 am

good post, and VERY good questions.

May 7, 2007 10:13 am

I read the book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" last year.  It has many examples like the ones above plus many more. 


Language like that is kind of hard to deny when it's in black and white.

May 7, 2007 10:28 am
BankFC:

Please tell me, with all sincerity, how a FAITHFUL, PRACTICING MUSLIM could have America's (a predominately Christian country) best at heart.  It goes against what they believe!!!


I am honestly open to hearing a real answer to the contrary.



Thanks for moving this question to a new thread where it belongs. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I'd say a Muslim can do it the same way an observant Jew can do it (remember the Old Testament verses quoted in the other thread which stand contrary to our democratic values) or a Christian can do it when we're talking about verses from the New Testament where there are questions related to universal application to today’s values.


<?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Jefferson didn’t see a conflict, btw.


I think the real danger is what Ashland mentioned in the other thread;


1) Deconstructing old religious texts


2) Claiming every adherent of the religion adheres to every element of the text AND they all read it the same way


 


3) From the above two points asserting that every believer of said religion holds values antithetical to liberal democracy. 


 


For the record I’m not attempting to insult anyone’s religion nor am I anti-religious. I’m simply asking for an even application of evaluation methods  to all faiths.  You can’t allow for a “cafeteria” approach by members of one religion and claim that rounds off the sharp edges of their religion’s source text and then claim Muslims are monolithic and use every line of their ancient text to show they hold anti-democratic views that make them unsuitable as political office holders.


May 7, 2007 10:50 am
mikebutler222:
BankFC:

Please tell me, with all sincerity, how a FAITHFUL, PRACTICING MUSLIM could have America's (a predominately Christian country) best at heart.  It goes against what they believe!!!


I am honestly open to hearing a real answer to the contrary.



Thanks for moving this question to a new thread where it belongs.


You're welcome.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I'd say a Muslim can do it the same way an observant Jew can do it (remember the Old Testament verses quoted in the other thread which stand contrary to our democratic values)


I am not Jewish, and do not live by Old Testament laws or sentiments.  Ashland tried to use Old Testament scripture to depict Christian beliefs, which just doesn't fly.


or a Christian can do it when we're talking about verses from the New Testament where there are questions related to universal application to today’s values.


<?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Jefferson didn’t see a conflict, btw.


Are you referring to Thomas Jefferson?  


Do you have a specific historical reference to Jefferson's view of Islam???


I think the real danger is what Ashland mentioned in the other thread;


1) Deconstructing old religious texts


Deconsructing...you mean taking them out of context?  If so, yes I agree, and this can happen (i.e. putting on the armour of God has nothing to do with war) but some things are very black and white, such as calling for the destruction of Christians.


2) Claiming every adherent of the religion adheres to every element of the text AND they all read it the same way


 


In the South you might call this a "back seat Baptist."  Mike, if a Christian DID adhere to all the tenants of the New Testament, overall what kind of person would they be?


Now ask yourself the same question about a Muslim.  If you need help with that, Google "9/11"



3) From the above two points asserting that every believer of said religion holds values antithetical to liberal democracy. 


 


This is where you are having a  disconnect.  How can there be a democracy among people who BASIC RELIGIOUS BELIEF is that you are against Allah and they have been instructed by Allah to destroy you.



For the record I’m not attempting to insult anyone’s religion nor am I anti-religious. I’m simply asking for an even application of evaluation methods  to all faiths.  You can’t allow for a “cafeteria” approach by members of one religion and claim that rounds off the sharp edges of their religion’s source text and then claim Muslims are monolithic and use every line of their ancient text to show they hold anti-democratic views that make them unsuitable as political office holders.


 


What you are saying, really, is that you'd vote for a Muslim candidate as long as he/she didn't follow the Muslim belief, did not do as the Koran instructs, and was "westernized" in their political belief system. 


 


Well, it kind of like having pit bull as a pet.  You can teach a pit bull to be kind, to mind what you say, and to be a good companion.  But, if that pit bull ever becomes true to it's nature, it could turn on you in an instant.  The true nature of many in Islam is violence in the name of Allah. 


May 7, 2007 11:30 am

BankFC:

<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Please tell me, with all sincerity, how a FAITHFUL, PRACTICING MUSLIM could have <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America's (a predominately Christian country) best at heart.  It goes against what they believe!!!


I am honestly open to hearing a real answer to the contrary.



Thanks for moving this question to a new thread where it belongs.


You're welcome.


I'd say a Muslim can do it the same way an observant Jew can do it (remember the Old Testament verses quoted in the other thread which stand contrary to our democratic values)


I am not Jewish, and do not live by Old Testament laws or sentiments.  Ashland tried to use Old Testament scripture to depict Christian beliefs, which just doesn't fly.


You don't live by the Old Testament, but Jews do. Why wouldn't your comments about Muslims and the Koran apply at least to observant Jews.  Doesn’t your logic mean that Joe Lieberman is a threat to US democracy?


BTW, I'll never understand why Christians wholly disown every last element of the Old Testament as if that was some other god speaking there. It isn’t as if Jesus said “Hey, all that stuff in the older book, ignore it”. But that's for another day.


or a Christian can do it when we're talking about verses from the New Testament where there are questions related to universal application to today’s values.


Jefferson didn’t see a conflict, btw.


Are you referring to Thomas Jefferson?  


Yes.


Do you have a specific historical reference to Jefferson's view of Islam???


“…..that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right . . .”



 


 


I think the real danger is what Ashland mentioned in the other thread;


1) Deconstructing old religious texts


Deconsructing...you mean taking them out of context?  If so, yes I agree, and this can happen (i.e. putting on the armour of God has nothing to do with war) but some things are very black and white, such as calling for the destruction of Christians.


Are you saying there aren’t “very black and white” verses in the Bible that could cause non-believers a great deal of worry? Aren’t you back to assuming every line is seen and believed by every Muslim the same way? Would you dare do that to Christians? To Jews?


2) Claiming every adherent of the religion adheres to every element of the text AND they all read it the same way


 


In the South you might call this a "back seat Baptist."  Mike, if a Christian DID adhere to all the tenants of the New Testament, overall what kind of person would they be?


 


“Overall”? Now we have the “overall” standard instead of the every single line standard?


Now ask yourself the same question about a Muslim.  If you need help with that, Google "9/11"


Well, at least you stated what others were thinking but wouldn’t. Do you think 9/11 is a representation of American Muslim (that’s who we’ve been discussing, US Muslims as political candidates) thoughts and hopes?


3) From the above two points asserting that every believer of said religion holds values antithetical to liberal democracy. 


 


This is where you are having a  disconnect.  How can there be a democracy among people who BASIC RELIGIOUS BELIEF is that you are against Allah and they have been instructed by Allah to destroy you.


See above….BTW, there are places where Muslims and other religions live side by side in peace, even Democratic countries where that’s true. See Turkey…


 


For the record I’m not attempting to insult anyone’s religion nor am I anti-religious. I’m simply asking for an even application of evaluation methods  to all faiths.  You can’t allow for a “cafeteria” approach by members of one religion and claim that rounds off the sharp edges of their religion’s source text and then claim Muslims are monolithic and use every line of their ancient text to show they hold anti-democratic views that make them unsuitable as political office holders.


 


What you are saying, really, is that you'd vote for a Muslim candidate as long as he/she didn't follow the Muslim belief, did not do as the Koran instructs, and was "westernized" in their political belief system. 


 So long as they don’t follow your definition (or Al Qaeda’s for that matter) of the Muslim faith. I have to keep going back the Keith Ellison, the Muslim serving on Congress. Politically I agree with him on just about nothing, but a criticism of him that he’s either not really a Muslim or that his religious beliefs make him the equivalent of a political pit-bull seem pretty misplaced to me.


 


 


Look, I’m with you about the dangers of the naive among us who don’t understand that the motivation behind Al Qaeda is a radical thread of Islam and mistakenly blame their violence on some Western notion about past US policies grievances. OTOH, I think it’s every bit as dangerous to make broad sweeping statements about what ALL Muslims believe or how they read their religious texts, especially when we’re talking about American Muslims.

May 7, 2007 11:46 am

Sorry I did not see this thread before.  

 Quote!by Mike  Frankly, as an agnostic,


Mike, that pretty much sums it up.  


Most agnostics do not believe in anything.   

[/quote]
May 7, 2007 11:52 am
Greenbacks:

Sorry I did not see this thread before.  

 Quote!by Mike  Frankly, as an agnostic,


Mike, that pretty much sums it up.  


Most agnostics do not believe in anything.   




Good for you, Greenbacks. If you're going to be a religious bigot, give it your all....

May 7, 2007 11:58 am
BankFC:


I am not Jewish, and do not live by Old Testament laws or sentiments.  Ashland tried to use Old Testament scripture to depict Christian beliefs, which just doesn't fly.



This is Christianity's problem.  It uses a Bible made up of two parts, where the second part (the New Testament) is mutually exclusive with the first part (the Old Testament)  Not only that, but the second part (the New Testament) is even mutually exclusive with itself...not to mention the fact that it is mutally exclusive with history, Jewish laws, and Jewish culture.

It always amazes when, on one hand, Christians pull out and quote verses from Leviticus in order to condemn things like homosexuality, but then on the other hand, they proceed to tell us that they are no longer under these laws, because all of the Old Testamenet laws are abolished and obsolete!!!! (never mind that the text of the Old Testament states in no uncertain terms that these laws are Eternal and shall never be added to or subtracted from.)

...isn't religion fun?




May 7, 2007 12:01 pm

Shouldn't any person running for any public office have the ability to put their religious beliefs aside for the good of their constituents? I don't understand why a Christian would be better able to run this country than a Jew or a Muslim.  This country has no national religion, and each person is free to worship as he/she chooses, so it seems irrelevant that this country is mostly Christian.  I don't want Christian beliefs dictating the laws I have to abide by any more than Muslim or Jewish or Agnostic beliefs guiding the politics of our country.  If the candidate in question is intensely religious and incapable of separating their own personal values from what is best for the country, I would not vote for them no matter what their religion.


As a side note, haven't plenty of wars been fought by Christians in the name of their God? It seems most religions teach that they are the best, the only true faith and all others are evil and threaten their faith, no?

May 7, 2007 12:18 pm
I always laugh when Christians claim that "our entire existence as a nation
is based on Christianity and the Christian Bible." 

Can you name a single governing principle of the United States that is
based on Christianity?  Where are the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness" found in the New Testament?  Where are separation of powers,
rights of the accused and the rights of people to govern themselves found in the
New Testament?

I'm going to reproduce a passage of the New Testament and
I would challenge anyone to tell me, honestly, if it reflects the values of the
founding fathers of the United States of America:

"Let every person be
subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God,
and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever
resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will
incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you
wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will
receive its approval; for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what
is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in
vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one
must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. For
the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, busy
with this very thing. Pay to all what is due them -- taxes to whom taxes are
due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to
who honor is due."

-- Romans 13:1-7 (NRSV)

When he wrote "to whom
honor is due," Paul meant what he said: obey the authorities and pay
their taxes without question
. Their power is "from God," not the
people, so whatever they do or command has the authority of God. Paul did not
mean we should evaluate or question the authority of God, but we should give
honor "where it is due," which is the authorites.

Certainly you wouldn't
suggest that the Crown of England was less "due" the obeisance of its citizens
than would Imperial Rome when Paul wrote Romans 13.  To interpret Romans 13 as
sanctioning revolution instead of opposing it is flat-out denial.

In his
epistles, Paul repeatedly declared the "old written code" of the Jews to be
"dead," "cancelled" and "abolished."  It is replaced by what Paul called the
"new life of the spirit," a new "law" that simply involved salvation through
spiritual melding with "Christ."  THAT is THE principle of Christianity, and
nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution is this principle
mentioned, let alone endorsed.

In fact, Jesus (or even "God" or
"Creator") is never mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Neither is "loving
your neighbor as yourself." 

The whole foundation of America is in
complete opposition to the New Testament and Paul (the major author.) 
Americans do not believe that earthly governments act on the authority of God. 
We do not believe that rebelling against earthly authorities is rebelling
against God...but that is what the New Testament says. You may also disagree
with what the NT says, but that is what it says.

The NT tells
Christians to obey their governments, not to oppose them. Do you think this
philosophy works as part of the "basis" of the United States of America, where
citizens are encouraged to speak their minds to the government and to overthrow
it should it ever fail to serve them?

Again, the NT says that the
authority of government comes from God.  In America, the authority of government
comes from the People. That is a concept that derives from the philosophy called
"secular humanism" that is so reviled by the Religious Right. The United States
of America owes far more to the French humanist philosophers of the mid-1700s
(Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, d'Alembert, d'Holbach and Condorcet,
etc.) than to Christianity.
May 7, 2007 12:20 pm

I am a conservative Christian. I read and study God's word every morning. I live by his word and his promises.


It always amazes me how people who have never studied his word can claim to know him or know what he is asking of you?


If all of you would spend time in his word you would answer all your questions. I would suggest joining a Bible study group. One that reads from the Bible ( NKJ, KJ,NIV)


If your community has a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) for men I would highly recommend it! It is nondenominational. 


May 7, 2007 12:34 pm
Greenbacks:

I am a conservative Christian. I read and study God's word every morning. I live by his word and his promises.



I certainly see nothing wrong with that. OTOH, there seems to be a lot of debate among Christians about the specifics and meanings of "his word and his promises", otherwise there wouldn't be so many denominations. If we can acknowledge these fissures in Christianity, why would we pretend other religions are monolithic?<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


BTW, Greenbacks, just curious, but your studies into his word and promises, have they lead you to a position on what he says about respecting the beliefs of others, to include agnosticism? I’ve always found it interesting to listen to someone claim some special insight into God’s views on humanity just seconds after they’ve displayed some of humanity’s worst traits towards another.


May 7, 2007 1:18 pm

[

BTW, Greenbacks, just curious, but your studies into his word and promises, have they lead you to a position on what he says about respecting the beliefs of others, to include agnosticism? I’ve always found it interesting to listen to someone claim some special insight into God’s views on humanity just seconds after they’ve displayed some of humanity’s worst traits towards another.



As far as agnostic's 


Matthew 7:6 Don't give holy things to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them.


Mike:


Jesus uses really strong language here. At first, he seems to be breaking the very command that he just gave about being non-judgmental. But instead, Jesus is reminding us that being non-judgmental does not mean we are undiscerning, wasteful, and silly. We are to recognize that there are some people so hardened to receiving the message that they will not listen; we are to quit wasting our time in trying to convince them. He chooses the powerful imagery of a well-known proverb to make his point. He says similar things in a softer way elsewhere. The bottom line, however, is that there comes a time when we realize that people will not hear the Gospel message. Their repeated determination not to hear and their unwillingness to respond don't mean we are to try harder, but simply to try elsewhere! Being a nonjudgmental person does not mean we refuse to "see the handwriting on the wall" and keep wasting our efforts on those who refuse to hear.

May 7, 2007 1:31 pm
Greenbacks:

[

BTW, Greenbacks, just curious, but your studies into his word and promises, have they lead you to a position on what he says about respecting the beliefs of others, to include agnosticism? I’ve always found it interesting to listen to someone claim some special insight into God’s views on humanity just seconds after they’ve displayed some of humanity’s worst traits towards another.



As far as agnostic's 


Matthew 7:6 Don't give holy things to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them.


Mike:


Jesus uses really strong language here. At first, he seems to be breaking the very command that he just gave about being non-judgmental. But instead, Jesus is reminding us that being non-judgmental does not mean we are undiscerning, wasteful, and silly. We are to recognize that there are some people so hardened to receiving the message that they will not listen; we are to quit wasting our time in trying to convince them. He chooses the powerful imagery of a well-known proverb to make his point. He says similar things in a softer way elsewhere. The bottom line, however, is that there comes a time when we realize that people will not hear the Gospel message. Their repeated determination not to hear and their unwillingness to respond don't mean we are to try harder, but simply to try elsewhere! Being a nonjudgmental person does not mean we refuse to "see the handwriting on the wall" and keep wasting our efforts on those who refuse to hear.



Interesting. And you see no difference in "not wasting your time" in attempts to convert someone who will no be converted  and simply being insulting (as you were) towards someone who doesn't share your faith?



How very "Christian".....

May 7, 2007 3:06 pm
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning "without", and Gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) means unknowable, and is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding metaphysics, afterlife or the existence of God, god(s), or deities—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently unknowable.

Agnostics claim either that it is not possible to have absolute or certain knowledge of God or gods; or, alternatively, that while certainty may be possible, they personally have no knowledge. Agnosticism in both cases involves some form of skepticism.


Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and non-religious people,<SUP =reference id=ref-0>[1] although this can be misleading depending on the number of agnostic theists who identify themselves first as agnostics and second as followers of a particular religion.


I'm assuming that this is a fairer chacterization of you, Mike?  Honestly, I saw the chacterization of "doesn't believe in anything" as a very mild insult at worst and I'm surprised it struck such a nerve with you.  Perhaps Greenbacks meant to insult you, but I didn't take it that way.  I understood it to merely explain your point of view as a natural skeptic. 


The above definition did make me curious as to whether you fell into the pure agnostic camp, or were an agnostic theist or simply a non-religeous person.  I also found it interesting that an agnostic such as yourself could appear to identify so closely with our current president who is very open about his Christianity.  I'm not picking...I'm simply curious.  You've obviously not held Christianity against the current president, which makes you a pretty fair agnostic in my mind, so perhaps you really could vote for a muslim...


I, on the other hand, would have a very difficult time voting for a Muslim since I share little with the Muslim ideology, but frankly, lunatics on any fringe make me nervous.


FD:  I consider myself a Christian...somedays a better Christian than others, but a Christian nonetheless.  Having experienced salvation, I personally find it impossible to have any doubt that God exists.  I chalk up Biblical inconsistencies mostly to faulty memories and transcription errors, and for the most part, they appear pretty insignificant when looking at the larger picture.  Having said all that, I'll not attempt to cram anything down anyone's throat and I respect your right to doubt.

May 7, 2007 3:30 pm
mikebutler222:

I'd
say a Muslim can do it the same way an observant Jew can do it
(remember the Old Testament verses quoted in the other thread which
stand contrary to our democratic values)





The core difference being that Judaism has a set of oral traditions
that modifiy/interpret/recast the base text into an inoffensive
religious system. Thus I have no problem with Joe Liberman for example.



Islam commands its followers to kill non-believers, and they do that; early and often. Islam is wholly incompatible with western civilization vs Judaism being part of it, and Mormonism as a mostly harmless new religious movement.



The OT verses cited, refer to the Amalekites who don't exist today.
Thus Jews are not commanded to smite anyone these days. And the issue
is moot for Christian's since they don't beleive in direct application
of the OT.

May 7, 2007 4:42 pm

Just to let it be known that if I join this debate I am on Mikebutler222's side!<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Joedabroker, was it you who wanted to know from me why Bertrand Russell's opinion on this matter was any more valid then yours?  I looked it up, it was not Joe, it was Indyone. So I apologize to Joe and I don't want to pull Indyone into any discussion he's not in of his own Free Will.


Here is a link to that other brouhaha though. I must admit, I looked like I was having a whole lot of fun!


http://forums.registeredrep.com/forumposts.asp?TID=3562&amp ;KW=bertrand+russell&PN=0&TPN=5


There was a segment on 60 Minutes where Bob Simon was talking with a guy who used to teach anti Everybodyism to Muslims, but changed his mind and now risks his life trying to deprogrammer his students.


Point being that there are lots of parts of our religions that we tend to discount as we live in the age of nookie. Young boys in sexually repressive societies tend to be willing to fight to the death (if it'll end the dull aching in their nutz) and old men are willing to convince them to do so (so they'll have any sensation in theirs). But men getting some are generally less willing to die.


Funny thing is that this is not a secret. All the way back to the days of Plato's Republic, a question has been "How do we make killing for your country, and possibly dying for it look good, but not so good that soldiers look for the opportunity to die?"


Point being, religious mores have been set so that there is a constant supply of the Young, Dumb Full of... ready to defend their religion.


Would I vote for a Muslim? I won't vote for anybody who is a religion first. First you must be a rational, intelligent human, then you must have a call to American public service, then you can be any number of things religion being one of the lesser of the lessers.

May 7, 2007 4:44 pm

AH crap, it was Indyone afterall!


Sorry Joedabroker!

May 7, 2007 4:48 pm

Indyone:

<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 Honestly, I saw the chacterization of "doesn't believe in anything" as a very mild insult at worst and I'm surprised it struck such a nerve with you. 


I agree it was very mild and it  didn't really offend me at all. My only point was the jump on greenback's part from a claim of piety (studying the Bible and all) to sneering at someone else's faith or lack there of. I just thought it was worth pointing out.


Indyone:

The above definition did make me curious as to whether you fell into the pure agnostic camp, or were an agnostic theist or simply a non-religeous person.


That’s an excellent question, and a fair one. I guess I’d fall into the middle category as I find the concept of a universe of pure chance, with no higher being a bit disconcerting. I’m all so fairly uncomfortable with the concept that just one religion has figured “God” out or with the idea that, just by accident of where and when I was born, that I’ve been exposed to the “one true” religion.


Indyone:


  I also found it interesting that an agnostic such as yourself could appear to identify so closely with our current president who is very open about his Christianity.  I'm not picking...I'm simply curious.  You've obviously not held Christianity against the current president, which makes you a pretty fair agnostic in my mind, so perhaps you really could vote for a muslim...


I don’t hold anyone’s religion against them. I was raised Catholic and still have a warm spot for Christianity. I’m troubled by the “you’d don’t believe as I do” conflicts between the various religions and with non-believers. Aggressive atheists who feel the need to “challenge” others (actually, they want to challenge Christians. They seem to never challenge people of other religions and can hold a “live and let live” attitude with them) drive me nuts, as to the “OMG, you’re going to Hell unless you let me save you” types.


Why we need to conform others to our way of thinking on religion is something I’ll never understand. I’m not bothered by W’s religion because I don’t see it being forced, and frankly, many of the moral positions he reaches by way of  his faith I’ve reached via an agnostic route.


It’s also funny to me that so many of the people that shriek in horror about W’s religion and are happy to stereotype large swatches of people based on the Christian beliefs can be so open and respectful of so many non-traditional and/or non-Western faiths. Why can’t we be that respectful of everyone’s faith or non-faith?


Indyone:


I, on the other hand, would have a very difficult time voting for a Muslim since I share little with the Muslim ideology, but frankly, lunatics on any fringe make me nervous.


If I thought it was fair or accurate to assume all of Islam was a monolith believing in the same things the fundamentalists do, I’d be with you 100%.


 


Indyone:


FD:  I consider myself a Christian...somedays a better Christian than others, but a Christian nonetheless.  Having experienced salvation, I personally find it impossible to have any doubt that God exists.  I chalk up Biblical inconsistencies mostly to faulty memories and transcription errors, and for the most part, they appear pretty insignificant when looking at the larger picture.  Having said all that, I'll not attempt to cram anything down anyone's throat and I respect your right to doubt.



 


Believe me, I have no problem with that. I completely agree with you about the “trying” part and the inconsistencies of the Bible. I’d apply the same to the Koran and most every other religious text.