Is Religion the Problem? – Part 2

See part 1 of this discussion here.

Do colleges, the media and the internet give you unbiased information?  You might think so, but is it really true?  It’s nearly impossible to write about how things are without letting your worldview – your bias – peek through.  And the only worldview that is acceptible by most colleges and high schools, and therefore their textbooks, is the kind of God-denying secularism they seem to hold in high regard.  So by excluding the sources like the ones I use (see the links to the right), you are not getting the Christian perspective at all.  Sure it’s biased, but at least it is not trying to hide it’s ideology, as the schools and the media seem to.

You seem to have a completely different view of our founding fathers’ reasons for setting up the wall of separation between church and state than mine.  My view is that they had learned – in some cases first hand – the oppression of both church-controlled state, and state mandated religion and wanted to find a better alternative.  They believed in the reality of sin.  They believed that every human being has the capacity for both great good and unimaginable evil.  The checks and balances were put in to limit the ability of any one man or even small group of men to dictate the laws of the society.  And the wall of separation was one of them.

I love the fact that they did that.  I love the fact that we have a wall of separation.  What I think is a twisting of the intent, and what I think is very wrong, is the idea that “separation of church and state” means that matters of one’s personal religious convictions must be completely eradicated from the public view.  The founding fathers’ Christian faith was and is still highly visible in things like the “In God We Trust” on the money, the “…all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, and the inscription on the top of the Washington monument, mandated as the tallest building and positioned so that the words would catch the first rays of the morning sun, that says “Laus Deo” (Praise be to God).

George Washington and John Adams were both deeply and profoundly Christian.  Many of the others were similarly devoted.  Indeed, the closing words of that document are as stirring as the first:  

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Once again you make the point that no religion has a decent human rights track record.  And once again, I agree that Christians have committed atrocities.  And we could argue over whether the worst of the atcovities committed by Christians were as bad as the worst of the atrocities committed by non-Christians.  However, what is clear, is that the greatest good fomented by Christian ideology is greater than the greatest good fomented by other world views.  The United States of America became the most prosperous country because it was the most free, and Christianity had everything to do with that.  Not just the ideal that all men are created equal, but also the ideal that they “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Christianity alone offers the opportunity to pursue happiness without undue intrusion by those who deny those rights.  Capitalism with moral restraint is what has worked so well.  Liberty goes hand in hand with virtue.  Remove one, the other will soon vanish as well.  Only Christianity offers the hope and the promise eternal rewards, but of a better life in the here and now

I suggest four books to get a sense of what I’m talking about.  The Victory of Reason, by Rodney Stark shows how much of our progress as a people can be traced directly to the Christian ethic.  Rediscovering God in America, by Newt Gingerich is a coffee table book that takes the reader on a walking tour of the monuments in Washington D. C. and reveals the clear and inextricable link between our American ideals and the Christian faith of the founding fathers.  God and Government, by Charles Colson, is a good lesson on how Christianity played a much more significant role in determining the outcome of some of the centuriy’s most dramatic victories over oppression.  And John Adams, by David McCullough is both a great biography and a great read, and it shows much more clearly than did the HBO series, just how strongly Adams relied on scripture for the principles that guided his life, and which made him such an influential advocate in shaping our country and its laws.  And I also highly recommend the 50 minute video produced by the Acton Institute called The Birth of Freedom.  And while you’re there, browse some of their commentary.  You won’t find better.

You said

God (omnipotent and omniscient) made evil in the form of Satan and fully allows him to exist and foment seriously bad Mojo for us humans…key point here being–“God allows this” The tremendously bad logic in this story just overwhelms me…does no one else see it?

What overwhelms me is the colossal arrogance of anyone (and I’ve been plenty guilty of this, so I’m not just pointing the finger at you) who presumes to know more about the situation than God does.  Suppose (and this is just a speculation) his purpose in creating everything as it is now is to teach us?  Suppose He knows that we would never learn to do good unless we saw the consequences?  And suppose life is not just what we see in the here and now, and that everything you think, say and do in this life sets the course for your life in Heaven.  And what if Heaven is your true home, and that the life you know now is just a shadow of the one to come?  The movie The Matrix creatively and imaginatively showed that getting a different – and bigger – perspective can literally change everything.  Some of us won’t be gone five minutes before we cry out “Oh God!  I see now!  It’s real!  Let me go back!  I’d like a second chance!”

You’ve now said for the fourth time that Adam and Eve did not exist – not that the evidence suggests they didn’t, but that they flat out didn’t.  I don’t know, but that kind of unequivocal statement, made as if it were even possible for you to know, makes you what?  Over zealous?  I don’t see why you keep coming back to that.  Whether you call it sin or just people behaving badly, it’s real, and it has consequences, and somebody has to pay.  But even if I give up everything I have, even if I give up  my life, I still owe more.  So what do I do?  Isn’t there somebody who can post my bond and get me out of jail?  The answer is that only someone with a limitless wealth of goodness can come up with enough to buy me salvation.  That’s why we need a savior, and it’s true whether Adam and Eve were real or not.

Now, on abortion, here’s the thing.  When a woman or girl ends up with an unwanted pregnancy, approximately 94% of the time, it’s because she decided to have sex for the pleasure of it, and assumed that it would not have consequences.  When the most immediate consequence is an unwanted pregnancy, the law of our land has told us all that abortion is no big deal.  Just get rid of it.  If it was a big deal they wouldn’t have made it legal.  Right?  So the first moral cancer is the lie we are telling our children (boys and girls, really, who have no CLUE how powerful the forces they are playing with are).  Hormones start to rage, the culture says “hook up”, and the result is a baby.  Now the first thing that happens is she misses a period.  Could it be?  Maybe, but I’m scared.  I’ll wait a while and see if I miss another one.  Then she misses the second one.  Now the baby is 6 to 8 weeks old, and has already started to take on the shape of a human.  Like this one.  

If she decided to get an abortion, many clinics would be careful not to call it a baby.  And most of them would avoid letting her see an ultrasound, even it it’s the old fuzzy black and white kind.  But if someone you knew was 8 weeks pregnant and someone showed you this, would you say that the question of whether it’s a baby or not is “above your pay grade?”   

It seems me there’s no doubt.  It’s a baby.  And if it’s a baby, and you decided to terminate its life, what would you call the act of doing so?  If you call it something other than murder, you do so on what basis?  Is there any way you could justify killing it?  Now suppose this is your baby.  You’re his or her biological Dad.  Would you be OK with killing it?  Would you want to kill it or keep it?  What if the baby’s mother felt otherwise? 

If we really look at the situation, we realize that abortion is not the clean-cut, simple solution we originally thought.  And if you did look at it, and you did discover that abortion is usually wrong, would you be OK with people deciding to go ahead with it any way?  And if they did – 52 million times – would you be OK with that?  

I’m sorry.  We all have to decide.  Are we OK with the killing or not?  If we are, how do we justify it?  (There are laws on the books that call “depraved indifference” a crime!)  How do we live with the consequences?  Remember, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

By the way I would welcome your input on the thought of abortion and how it has slowed population growth in the US, thereby, in some ways, helping our quality of living by alleviating some eco-concerns. Think of how bad smog and water quality (or availability) and crowding and scarceness of resources, etc. would be if we had an additional 100 to 150 million people living in our country right now.

I don’t know, some how 52 million innocent lives kind of trump the eco-concerns.

And free will?  Let me think about it.  I’ll let you know what I decide later. 🙂


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