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Andy Walker

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If political leaders really followed the teachings of Jesus Christ it might well be a good idea for them to be Christians rather than atheists. However, history shows us that religious leaders are usually reactionaries whose policies have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Take for example the policies of George Bush. President Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to ever occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America. Recently he told a journalist that “I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

I suppose God also told him to introduce changes to the tax system that redistributed money from the poor to the rich. Before he took office America had the highest percentage of people living in poverty in the developed world. As a result of the changes he has made to the tax system, 12.7% now live in poverty. In other words, an increase of over 5.4 million people. However, only 8% of white people live below the poverty line in America. This is mainly a problem for racial minorities. This is reflected in the percentages for particular areas. For example, Detroit has 33.6% of its population living below the poverty line.

The recent Hurricane Katrina showed the world how the poor are treated in America. Bush admitted in a televised address to the nation that the hurricane had mainly affected the poor living in these areas. He added that this “deep, persistent poverty” had its “roots in a history of racial discrimination”. Bush promised a war on poverty but few people believe him. After all, he is currently promising extension of tax cuts on investment income and repealing the estate tax, two measures that will both benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. He is also proposing tens of billions of dollars of cuts to services like food stamps, federal student loans and Medicaid (the health insurance scheme for low-income Americans). All these measures will result in more problems for those living in poverty.

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If political leaders really followed the teachings of Jesus Christ it might well be a good idea for them to be Christians rather than atheists. However, history shows us that religious leaders are usually reactionaries whose policies have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Take for example the policies of George Bush. President Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to ever occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America. Recently he told a journalist that “I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

I suppose God also told him to introduce changes to the tax system that redistributed money from the poor to the rich. Before he took office America had the highest percentage of people living in poverty in the developed world. As a result of the changes he has made to the tax system, 12.7% now live in poverty. In other words, an increase of over 5.4 million people. However, only 8% of white people live below the poverty line in America. This is mainly a problem for racial minorities. This is reflected in the percentages for particular areas. For example, Detroit has 33.6% of its population living below the poverty line.

The recent Hurricane Katrina showed the world how the poor are treated in America. Bush admitted in a televised address to the nation that the hurricane had mainly affected the poor living in these areas. He added that this “deep, persistent poverty” had its “roots in a history of racial discrimination”. Bush promised a war on poverty but few people believe him. After all, he is currently promising extension of tax cuts on investment income and repealing the estate tax, two measures that will both benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. He is also proposing tens of billions of dollars of cuts to services like food stamps, federal student loans and Medicaid (the health insurance scheme for low-income Americans). All these measures will result in more problems for those living in poverty.

John;

In your apparant disdain for George Bush, you appear to have forgotten that:

1. The United States IS NOT a dictatorship in which the leader of the country makes the law.

2. It is the Congress of the United States which determines what is and what is not law.

3. It is the Congress of the United States which determines whether American Troops remain on foreign soil.

4. It is the Congres of the United States which approves those expenditures which determine the amounts of tax dollars which are dedicated to social & welfare programs.

The ethnic diversity of the population of the United States is like no other foreign country.

Since WWI.

We began as an "immigrant nation", and since WWI, we have taken in persons of virtually every faith as well as nationality.

Of which many were destitute upon arriving.

Exactly why is it that so many of those from these foreign soils have managed to do quite well and prosper under the economic conditions and climate of the US?????

Many continue to attempt to utilize the "Hurricane Katrina" example to demonstrate how little the United States cares for the poor.

Might I state as fact that this is a completely one-sided presentation.

The living conditions and economic class conditions of these "poor", by far exceeded the living standards of the majority of the known world.

Therefore, "poor" by US standards of living, is hardly "poor" by many world standards.

And, as has been repeatedly stated, the "STATE" of Louisiana is a Soverign State, of the United States of America.

As such, it is, first and foremost, responsible for the welfare of the citizens of that state, from whom the State of Louisiana collects State Income Tax, to provide this welfare.

In the event that the Federal Government intervenes in the internal affairs of the Soverign State of Louisiana, without clear and concise permission from the Governor of the State, then the U.S. Government is in violation of the laws and agreements between the Federal Government and the seperate and Soverign States which compose this federation.

WHEN, the Federal Government observes that the State Government IS NOT complying with the Federal Laws of the land, then, the Federal Government has the right to intervene.

The State of Louisiansa and it's Government, which represents it's population, failed to provide the necessary actions to protect it's citizenship.

Therefore, the situation.

Tom

P.S. It would appear that the majority of those who have watched the newscast as regard to Katrina, have overlooked the multitudes of 3 & 4 bedroom brick homes, in which this "poor class" of citizenship resided.

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Andy asked:

"Is it better for our political leaders to believe in God than to be agnostics or atheists?"

In the last century, prominent atheists who held political power included Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, whose regimes together killed over ten million people, many of them Jews.

Prominent professing (if not practicing) Christians included Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jiimmy Carter, Tony Blair, etc.

I guess I'd rather take my chances living in a nation governed by a Christian than one governed by an atheist!

Only an atheist could subscribe to (Stalin's) dictum that the loss of one human life is a tragedy but the loss of thousands of human lives is but a statistic.

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Andy asked:

"Is it better for our political leaders to believe in God than to be agnostics or atheists?"

In the last century, prominent atheists who held political power included Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, whose regimes together killed over ten million people, many of them Jews.

Erm...Hitler was a Christian, not an atheist. He had leanings towards a Folkish tradition, probably influenced by Himmler more than anything, but to claim he was an atheist, is lying.

J V Stalin was not 'holding power' in the USSR by the way, and your attempt to align Soviet Socialism with some rabid brand of Nationalist Capitalism (Hitler's) is very twisted.

Prominent professing (if not practicing) Christians included Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jiimmy Carter, Tony Blair, etc.

I guess I'd rather take my chances living in a nation governed by a Christian than one governed by an atheist!

I'm sure the non-Christians living in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kurdistan, Iraq would take a different view, seeing as WW, WC and TB were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their friends and family. As would the Christians in Guatemala, Yugoslavia and Ireland who were killed in their thousands by WC, DE and TB.

Only an atheist could subscribe to (Stalin's) dictum that the loss of one human life is a tragedy but the loss of thousands of human lives is but a statistic.

Well as Stalin never said such a thing, and the quote came from the mouth of the Christian Adolf Eichmann, we'll leave that one too.

Here's a quote: a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge at all is worse. (Dafydd Humphreys, 2005)

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Andy asked:

"Is it better for our political leaders to believe in God than to be agnostics or atheists?"

In the last century, prominent atheists who held political power included Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, whose regimes together killed over ten million people, many of them Jews.

Erm...Hitler was a Christian, not an atheist. He had leanings towards a Folkish tradition, probably influenced by Himmler more than anything, but to claim he was an atheist, is lying.

J V Stalin was not 'holding power' in the USSR by the way, and your attempt to align Soviet Socialism with some rabid brand of Nationalist Capitalism (Hitler's) is very twisted.

Prominent professing (if not practicing) Christians included Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jiimmy Carter, Tony Blair, etc.

I guess I'd rather take my chances living in a nation governed by a Christian than one governed by an atheist!

I'm sure the non-Christians living in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kurdistan, Iraq would take a different view, seeing as WW, WC and TB were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their friends and family. As would the Christians in Guatemala, Yugoslavia and Ireland who were killed in their thousands by WC, DE and TB.

Only an atheist could subscribe to (Stalin's) dictum that the loss of one human life is a tragedy but the loss of thousands of human lives is but a statistic.

Well as Stalin never said such a thing, and the quote came from the mouth of the Christian Adolf Eichmann, we'll leave that one too.

Here's a quote: a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge at all is worse. (Dafydd Humphreys, 2005)

It might interest you to know Dafydd that Tim Gratz does not consider himself to be a right-wing extremist.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5186

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Andy asked:

"Is it better for our political leaders to believe in God than to be agnostics or atheists?"

In the last century, prominent atheists who held political power included Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, whose regimes together killed over ten million people, many of them Jews.

Erm...Hitler was a Christian, not an atheist. He had leanings towards a Folkish tradition, probably influenced by Himmler more than anything, but to claim he was an atheist, is lying.

J V Stalin was not 'holding power' in the USSR by the way, and your attempt to align Soviet Socialism with some rabid brand of Nationalist Capitalism (Hitler's) is very twisted.

Prominent professing (if not practicing) Christians included Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jiimmy Carter, Tony Blair, etc.

I guess I'd rather take my chances living in a nation governed by a Christian than one governed by an atheist!

I'm sure the non-Christians living in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kurdistan, Iraq would take a different view, seeing as WW, WC and TB were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their friends and family. As would the Christians in Guatemala, Yugoslavia and Ireland who were killed in their thousands by WC, DE and TB.

Only an atheist could subscribe to (Stalin's) dictum that the loss of one human life is a tragedy but the loss of thousands of human lives is but a statistic.

Well as Stalin never said such a thing, and the quote came from the mouth of the Christian Adolf Eichmann, we'll leave that one too.

Here's a quote: a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge at all is worse. (Dafydd Humphreys, 2005)

It might interest you to know Dafydd that Tim Gratz does not consider himself to be a right-wing extremist.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5186

I think it does history (let alone christianity) a GREAT disservice to portray the Nazis as christians, It's like saying Bush is a christian? Sure they came from a country with lutheran traditions, but when questioned about theifr faith, roughly half of gewrman POW's in britain put down their religion as 'Nature' and the other half "Hitler'.

During the Nuerenburg trials, defendants were offered priestly counselling, and while most were happy with the added contact and some saw conversion as a means to avoid the death penalty, some were genuine converts (or reverts) and accepted their fate, others like Herman Goering held fast to his non christian beliefs and comitted suicide.

Atheists? maybe maybe not, Theists? possibly. Christians? I don't think so.

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Okay, I'll compromise. Despite the massive support for Hitlerism given by the organised Christian churches, I'll say that the majority of the head Nazi goons were not Christian.

But to claim they were Atheist is stark raving bonkers.

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Dafydd:

I believe Hitler subscribed to bizarre occult religious beliefs.

It is absolutely incredible that you would call Hitler and Eichmnan Christians! What was your basis for this? To call people who tried to exterminate God's chosden people Christians is a damnable lie!!

Do you have any idea how many Christians risked (and often sacrificed) their lives to save Jews?

Have you ever heard of Dietrich Bonhoffer, a very prominent Christian theologist who re-entered Germany and gave up his life to stop Hitler? He was executed by the Nazis. I would strongly encourage you (and everyone) to read Bonhoffer's story and his book "The Cost of Discipleship". The cost of his discipleship to Christ was his life, taken by the tyrants you called Christians!

Hitler's religion?

John Gunther wrote:

He was born and brought up a Roman Catholic. But he lost faith early and he attends no religious services of any kind. His Catholicism means nothing to him; he is impervious even to the solace of confession. On being formed his government almost immediately began a fierce religious war against Catholics, Protestants, and Jews alike.

I have not yet read it in its entirety but the following essay looks interesting (about Hitler's "religion):

http://kevin.davnet.org/essays/hitler.html

Edited by Tim Gratz

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I believe Hitler subscribed to bizarre religious beliefs.
It is absolutely incredible that you would call Hitler and Eichmnan Christians! What was your basis for this? To call people who tried to exterminate God's chosden people Christians is a damnable lie!!
I think it does history (let alone christianity) a GREAT disservice to portray the Nazis as christians, It's like saying Bush is a christian? Sure they came from a country with lutheran traditions, but when questioned about theifr faith, roughly half of gewrman POW's in britain put down their religion as 'Nature' and the other half "Hitler'.

I really do wonder why, when concerning history, most people only think back to the 2nd WW. History has no limits concerning the past but it seem to be very popular to think of the 2WW as the ultimate evil. Can't you think of any other crime against humanity? It seems that history has justified other genocides that were

at least as brutal and as terriyfing but nobody spends a thought anymore. If all events in human history had such an impact on people's conscience like the 2WW we surely would live in a better world.

George

Edited by George Bollschweiler

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I fully endorse George's call to extend our perspective a lot further back in time.

Sweden nowadays is a peace-loving country … but it hasn't always been that way. It was instructive reading Peter Englund's biography of Charles X of Sweden, for example, who launched an unprovoked attack on Poland-Lithuania. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in that war, and the basis for it from Charles X's own account was plunder + attacking Catholics, with the attack on Catholics being probably the more important. There's a folk memory of that time among many people in Eastern Europe, with 'be good or the Swedes will come and get you' being a way of frightening the children.

Charles X lucked out in that war - the Swedes were driven out of Poland and across northern Germany, ending up on the territory of their arch-enemy, Denmark in the winter of 1658. They managed to attack across the (melting) ice, and ended up imposing the Treaty of Roskilde on the Danes, which gave Sweden huge tracts of the richest parts of Denmark. They failed to conquer the Danes totally because they were too weak to take Copenhagen. There were an English fleet and a Dutch fleet involved, but Oliver Cromwell withdrew the English ships (who would have intervened on Sweden's behalf) because he felt that his forces should be employed in killing Catholics, not in fighting against fellow-Protestants.

And then we have the 30 Years' War … and the massacre of the Huguenots … the extermination of the Cathars … the Crusades … and the 100 Years' War, to name but a few religious persecutions. You can see why the Founding Fathers didn't want foreign entanglements.

Seems to me that religious people have been killing others in the name of their creeds on all sides and in all faiths for about as long as there've been religions.

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Tim: are the following also conveniently 'non-Christian' acts :-

The Inquisition

The European Witch Crazes

The Massacres in Ireland by the Cromwellian Puritans

The Medieval Crusades

The Orthodox Pogroms in Russia

The Franco period in Spain

Not to mention the millions of people who believed in religions which predate Judeo-Christianity in the New World and Africa by Imperialist Warriors of "God" out to pacify the 'Godless Heathens'.

You mention one prominent Christian who was executed by the Fascist Capitalists, Bonhoffer. If only I could name the millions of 'Godless Communist Atheists' who the Fascist executed for their beliefs.

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Well I certainly agree there were atrocities and horrors commited in the name of Christianity.

And it is incredible that only a few hundreds of years ago Catholics and Protestants would kill each other over doctrines such as transubstitution (not being a Catholic I am sure I spelled it wrong).

Years ago "evangelization" was often become a Christian or we will kill you".

One cannot deny such things, of course.

But I repeat the fascists were not Christians!

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Andy asked:

"Is it better for our political leaders to believe in God than to be agnostics or atheists?"

In the last century, prominent atheists who held political power included Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, whose regimes together killed over ten million people, many of them Jews.

Erm...Hitler was a Christian, not an atheist. He had leanings towards a Folkish tradition, probably influenced by Himmler more than anything, but to claim he was an atheist, is lying.

J V Stalin was not 'holding power' in the USSR by the way, and your attempt to align Soviet Socialism with some rabid brand of Nationalist Capitalism (Hitler's) is very twisted.

Prominent professing (if not practicing) Christians included Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Jiimmy Carter, Tony Blair, etc.

I guess I'd rather take my chances living in a nation governed by a Christian than one governed by an atheist!

I'm sure the non-Christians living in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kurdistan, Iraq would take a different view, seeing as WW, WC and TB were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their friends and family. As would the Christians in Guatemala, Yugoslavia and Ireland who were killed in their thousands by WC, DE and TB.

Only an atheist could subscribe to (Stalin's) dictum that the loss of one human life is a tragedy but the loss of thousands of human lives is but a statistic.

Well as Stalin never said such a thing, and the quote came from the mouth of the Christian Adolf Eichmann, we'll leave that one too.

Here's a quote: a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge at all is worse. (Dafydd Humphreys, 2005)

It might interest you to know Dafydd that Tim Gratz does not consider himself to be a right-wing extremist.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5186

I think it does history (let alone christianity) a GREAT disservice to portray the Nazis as christians, It's like saying Bush is a christian? Sure they came from a country with lutheran traditions, but when questioned about theifr faith, roughly half of gewrman POW's in britain put down their religion as 'Nature' and the other half "Hitler'.

During the Nuerenburg trials, defendants were offered priestly counselling, and while most were happy with the added contact and some saw conversion as a means to avoid the death penalty, some were genuine converts (or reverts) and accepted their fate, others like Herman Goering held fast to his non christian beliefs and comitted suicide.

Atheists? maybe maybe not, Theists? possibly. Christians? I don't think so.

Okay, I'll compromise. Despite the massive support for Hitlerism given by the organised Christian churches, I'll say that the majority of the head Nazi goons were not Christian.

But to claim they were Atheist is stark raving bonkers.

The question was with regards to christians, which often (usually?) seems to be taken as the opposite of atheism.

Obviously Theism is the opposite of A-Theism. As argued earlier 'Religion' can be a structured world view around A-Theism.

However discussion about religion and atheism seems to become a discussion about christianity and rationality.

The problem that this becomes is that for those who choose to believe in jesus are assumed to be arguing for the irrational aspects of any religion. Not fair, I say. This web site could very well become an important historical document, dipped into by future historians. The more insightful of those will be writing some interesting Master thesis'.

_________________________

With regards looking for evil in the past?

I wonder to what extent the faith or lack of faith of the CEO of for example GMH decides marketing strategy?

Companies that concentrate on producing next years untried model at a time when the problems of the current crop are just being identified and a simple retooling and shift in emphasis could concievably save the lives of millions of people, avoid the attendant misery and save the oil, the lack of which drives war. These sanctioned murderers are not held to account, quite the opposite they are encouraged. But then, they are most likely christians?

Personally I think that a serious development of the Trabi concept into a model that only changes if necessary would be the way to go.

Edited by John Dolva

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Well I certainly agree there were atrocities and horrors commited in the name of Christianity.

And it is incredible that only a few hundreds of years ago Catholics and Protestants would kill each other over doctrines such as transubstitution (not being a Catholic I am sure I spelled it wrong).

Years ago "evangelization" was often become a Christian or we will kill you".

One cannot deny such things, of course.

But I repeat the fascists were not Christians!

Clearly depends on one's definition of 'Christian'. It's pretty easy to say something like "oh look at what they did! They're not Christians, no matter what they might have said".

At that point the whole debate fails to exist. No leader I can think of, regardless of professed status as christian or other or non religion, would meet the criteria of being christian.

You might as well call people in the Labour Party socialists!

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