Do religious people matter too?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by ThazzarBaal, Nov 2, 2023.

  1. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    In America I mean. Sure, that crazy magician was brewing up a potion meant to make the person taking it barf. He was a mean one that one. Apparently it tasted good, smelled good, and even looked good on the plate it was served on, mixed with the potato salad sitting next to Chicken Cordonblue. It worked. I'm not sure what he used to make this happen. Some sort of sorcery I'm sure.

    Anyway, do religious people matter in America? Oh, he wasn't religious. He wasn't even a magician. He was just mean. Anyway, democracy would suggest that we matter. Why do I feel as if I don't matter sometimes in America? I'm religious. I could be a Christian. I could be a Muslim. I could be a taoist, or a Buddhist, or practice Shinto, or A Hindu. I could be a Catholic, or maybe wiccan. Heck, I could be a pagan Hindu wizard, or a Satanist, Luciferian, etc. I could actually be an atheist who understands the American dream as well as democracy.

    I'll suggest that we do matter ... Even the heathen humanist and socialist, although they claim no religious affiliation. I'll claim my own, but ... Maybe I don't want to tell you what I claim to be.

    I guess what matters is what I am, and not so much how I might identify. I'm an American voter.
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ??? Religious people are in the majority in the US, and control the government, the schools and the military. We have religious slogans on our money. Republicans are currently trying to bring elements of theocracy into the US government.

    So yes, not only do they matter - they are in charge.
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  5. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    That's not entirely true, but you are correct that there are religious people in America, including Wiccans, Pagans, Satanists, Luciferian, Taoist, Sophists, Roseacrucians, Catholics, etc. Oh, there's plenty of Atheists too, who tend to find religious ideologies delusional if not overtly dangerous, so ... Do religious people matter in America?

    When we negate the Sophists and Buddhists, or the Muslims or Shintoists, we pretty much tell them they don't matter. Do Christians matter or atheists matter for that matter? I like the idea of the separation of church and state, if only for the purpose of inclusion and citizen acceptance. I don't like anti theist movements, but I understand how some ideologies can be offensive. Hedonism for example might be offensive to a more purist minded Quaker or the idea of there being more than one God offensive to a monotheist.

    I guess my question is less a question and more of a reality check for we the people who are pretty much responsible for the direction in which this nation will move forward.

    Do we want to accept religious diversity or do we want a less theologically bent voter base?
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Eh? In a democracy you don’t get to choose the voter base.
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  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You don't think they are in charge? I mean the new Speaker of the House just announced that he governs based purely on the Bible. His words: "Someone asked me today in the media, 'People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?' I said, 'Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That's my worldview." We have a president who goes to church every Sunday and money that states we are all "Under God."
    And they are the vast majority. Fewer than 10% of the people in the US say they do not believe in a God.
    Religous people ARE America.

    A far more pertinent questions is - do atheists matter in America? Atheism was once a jailable offense in the US. Even today, with protections for atheism in place, seven state constitutions include religious tests that prevent atheists from holding public office. They are not enforceable, but they are still there, and have survived several efforts to remove them.
  9. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    I know, but that begs the question of what type of voter base we want. I prefer the as it has been inclusive type that includes the various demographics represented here, but that's not always the case for some Americans, which often enough leads to voter fraud and an infringement of citizen voting rights.

    It's another type of play on the im right your wrong all too common mindset of the religious types who well suggest as much often enough to bring that to the table here. It has moved beyond the religious "right" and into the realm of atheists who well ... are now representing that type of demographic, despite the rest of the "civilized" world who are by and large "religious", which is enough to imply some delusional thinking.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I prefer an educated voter base, which is why I strongly support public education. As to religion? Who cares? As long as we can keep religion out of government, I have no preference as to what voters religious beliefs are.
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  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    What a bizarre question.
    Seriously, it's bizarre. It seems to be trying to tap in to the "Black Lives Matter" notion that somehow religious people as a whole are being, and have been, discriminated against. And to suggest that about "religious people" in general in America is really quite bizarre.

    If the question is whether you think your specific religious views are being marginalised by the rest of society, and thus you perhaps feel as though your religious views no longer matter to the US, and thus bizarrely that you no longer matter, then you unfortunately misunderstand what a democracy is, and seemed to have missed the part where people have the right of freedom of, and from, religion.
    Are you able to engage in your religion and exercise your religious views in private, and so far as they don't harm others? I would think your answer would be yes. Do you think any of your rights being infringed by the US because you are religious?
    In what way, therefore, do you think that religious people in the US somehow don't matter?
  12. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member


    It would seem an Ecclesiastian question, referenced to that effect and very likely for that type of response by Mr. Johnson ... I will presume he answered directly in reference to the reference.

    It doesn't hurt to be literate enough of these types of references to show yourself literate and not uneducated. This in and of itself would at the very least show some understanding and willingness to consider other Americans who may or may not be considered otherwise.

    It's like going to a religious country to speak to religious people and being able to connect to some extent to those particular people. That's politics ... If you go as an atheist without some religious understanding of the people you're speaking to, it probably wouldn't turn out the way you might hope it would.

    The under the sun question for example: Had Mr. Johnson said something contrary to the Ecclesiastes reference, it might reflect badly on his competence to be speaker of the house.

    I think most politicians play the role of friendly towards as opposed to playing one of opposition to, which might be why atheist are so often rejected (at face value).. Lack of understanding or commonality, or however you want to put it. I can't think of a more appropriate term at the moment. Unable to relate is enough to ruin a political career, no matter what color coded party you represent as a politician.
  13. Pinball1970 Registered Senior Member

    Most people are theists, globally. In the US is it around 85%?

    Strangely the US is secular and dominated by religion and we (Royal we) have a King as head of church and state, and it is not a consideration
  14. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    It's more about the anti religious movements in play than how this nation has operated in times past. It's a very important freedom we have here, and while I support separation of church and state, freedom of religion, and of course freedom of the press, I'm not so sure that the anti theist movements are at all beneficial given the rest of the international community and most of America's voter base, but ... We see the effects daily, even if and when you may be unaware

    I could claim atheism as honestly as I can claim being a theist. The difference is in how I view the term God and what that means to me as a person. I will suggest it is important to have enough skill to speak openly to others whilst utilizing terms the audience can connect with, no matter which demographic you may be speaking to. Common threads of diversity are more inclusive than not, as is integrity and honesty.

    Do religious people matter in America? The notion is people matter in America, despite the whatever it is black lives matters might mean or imply unless it implies that black lives matter too. Otherwise we end up with an only black.lives matter which I will disagree with, given the fact that I am not black. I may be of asian origin, or umm ... I may not.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    As several other people have already said, the general question of "Do religious people matter in America?" is a bizarre one, given that American Christians are the ones in charge of the government. A majority of Americans consider themselves religious, with the most common religion being some form of Christianity.

    It very much matters what the American Christians who are in charge of the country think about things. It matters what the Christian judges on the Supreme Court think. They are the ones who decided that women should not have bodily autonomy, for example. Several were appointed to the court by other American Christians precisely because they had certain religious views that would influence their decisions on such matters.

    The United States is an outlier among western democracies, in terms of the levels of overt religiosity of its people. Of course this matters.
    It is a simple fact that Christians are the majority in the United States. They have huge political sway at all levels of government. Sure, to some (many?) of them, Buddhists and Shintos can be safely ignored, for the most part. Muslims, on the other hand, tend to be stereotyped as evil terrorist sympathisers - people to blame for various problems. As for atheists, some Christians are (rightly) worried, because non-belief is the fastest-growing belief system in the United States. So, some Christians try to demonise atheists, as well. The chances of getting elected to Congress are reduced for anybody who openly admits to being an atheist; the Christians like to exert their power to keep those people out of government.
    This seems to be your main point of concern, if I'm reading between the lines correctly.

    You're worried that "anti-religious movements" might reduce your Christian majority power base over time, perhaps eventually whittling it down to the point where you and your fellow Christians (I assume you are a Christian) can no longer just dictate to the rest of America how your country will be run.

    I get it. It's tough when a majority looks like it's heading towards becoming a minority. Those in power start looking over their shoulders, feeling insecure about maintaining their privilege and their ability to dictate to the rest. At the moment, white American Christians are looking at a double whammy. Soon, the United States won't be majority white any more, and perhaps a little later it might not be majority Christian either.

    There are two ways to fight your battle against "anti-theism" and those evil atheists you fear. One way is to do your utmost to try to repress the messages of the atheists. You can, for example, complain that the atheists are too loud and don't know their proper place in society. You can demand that atheists respect your religious views just because they are religious views. You can try to build a sanctified shield around your belief system that none are allowed to breach. You can try to ensure that atheist voices are more difficult to hear in your society, so their message has more trouble spreading. At the extreme, you could try to change the laws of your nation to make America a true theocracy. Who needs separation of church and state? That has only worked for atheists and heathens and other non-Christians. As a majority Christian, maybe you don't need it.

    Another way to fight against "anti-theism" would be to engage in the battle of ideas. If Christianity really is morally superior, or leads to better government than a church-state-separated secular government that does not mandate Christian religious law, then you could be out there educating people on the many reasons why Christianity is better for everybody. Instead of complaining how atheists won't accept your God, you could be showing them how you know that your God is real, and persuading them that they should become Born Again.

    It seems to me that the main reason you want to build a protective wall around Christianity is that you're worried that Christianity isn't strong enough to withstand or rebut the arguments of the anti-theists.

    You also have to deal with that pesky Bill of Rights of yours. On the one hand, its great that you all get to have as many deadly weapons as you want in the house. But, on the other hand, the whole free speech thing gets old very quickly when you're prevented from suppressing inconvenient minorities who use it.
    I don't know what you mean. You're a theist because of how you view the term God. You're convinced - for whatever reason - that a God exists. You can't be convinced that a God exists and honestly claim that you're an atheist; that's a contradiction in terms.
    You seem to be saying that you're worried what might happen when you find yourself in the minority, instead of the majority that you're accustomed to being in. At some level, perhaps you recognise that your majority has not had a glowing history of treating minorities with kindness or fairness, and you fear that the same shoe might be on another foot in future.

    Regardless of any of this, though, the fact is that no atheist is advocating to ban religious belief in your country, or to punish worshippers, or to censor religious discussion. No atheist is advocating that atheism become a State Religion. Your beliefs will remain protected free speech. There's no need to get your guns ready for when the atheists come knocking at your door (which, by the way, they never do - have you noticed?)
  16. gmilam Valued Senior Member

  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    What anti-religious movements are you referring to? Can you example any? I'd wager what you're referring to is less an anti-religious thing and more don't-enforce-your-religious-views-on-me type of thing.
    Again, what anti-theist movements are you referring to? Please cite an example, at least, so that we can better understand what is otherwise coming across as a bizarre questio?
    I think you misunderstand the "Black Lives Matter" movement. It is a reminder to people that those that have historically been, and still are, the victim of racism, matter. To counter it with "well, all lives matter!" is to miss the point that the racism, institutional or otherwise, experienced by black people has implied that they don't matter, at least not as much as white, etc.
    There is simply no comparability with religious people in the US, at least none that I can think of. Can you example any such discrimination that religious people have experienced, or are experiencing, such that you think the US needs a reminder that "religious people matter (as well!)"?
    Again, I suggest you reevaluate just what "Black Lives Matter" is intending to say/do. It is a message, a reminder, from those who have been kept low, that they matter. Saying simply that "All lives matter" is to shift the focus away from that which is being reminded: the racism experienced, historically and currently, by the black community. "All lives matter" undermines the purpose of that focus, and suggests that all lives are equally at risk in the US. That is not the case.

    So I have two issues with this question of yours that you have yet to address, both stemming from your deliberate phrasing to reference "Black Lives Matter":
    1. The comparison of the discrimination experienced by black people to those experienced by religious people. Are the lives of religious people somehow more at risk in the US than the non-religious? Do their views count less than the next person's in a democracy?
    2. Your clear misunderstanding of the phrase you intended to reference
  18. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    Here's the reason for the question and had you read the thread, you might have caught the point. Diversity is the basic premise, which includes both religious and non religious people. If you don't matter as an atheist or if I don't matter as a Christian Evolutionist, or if Samara doesn't matter as a Hindu, or if the others don't matter due to their minority belief system not of "Christian" origin or whatever it is you claim to be "the" power, then we don't really believe nor support the democratic process nor do we support or believe people matter. All that would matter is whatever it is that represents ourselves. This isn't good enough as Americans nor for America.

    We are a diverse people here, most of whom come from immigrants, so ... the melting pot, the multi cultural demographics represented here is the voter base. You speak of Christians being the power. I prefer a non religiously operated government that is inclusive to all American citizens. Somehow you read the question and failed to hear it or comprehend the implications.

    Do religious people matter. I didn't say Christians. I said religious people. By the way, I use the term God for connection purposes, to utilize common terms that religious people use. It helps to have common threads help make the connections in similarities. My idea of God is based on universal truth's. To put it plainly, I utilized the term God in conjunction with the universe. I could be an atheist. I may be an atheist, but I identify as a Christian.
  19. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    It wasn't a deliberate comparison, although I can understand why you may have viewed it as such. I'm fairly certain the history attached to black communities has been on the forefront of this nations issues in relation to human rights since before the civil war and are apparently an ongoing thing for many. It's not just those associated with the once enslaved that is often enough being held down to give credence.

    I'm a white male who identifies as a Christian. I moreso identify as an American who understands diversity enough to champion the democratic process this nation was built upon, not necessarily the manner in which we declared our independence. With that stated, if not for that struggle for independence, I question how far we would have come in our struggle for human rights, equal rights, and independence as a nation.
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    You have not explained what you mean by any of these groups with particular religious beliefs "mattering", though. They all get the vote, all are free to follow their religion, or lack thereof, and to speak publicly about it. But, in a secular state, none of these worldviews of people "matters" as far as the state is concerned - and rightly so.

    If you are alleging unfair social or political discrimination on religious grounds, I think you be more specific.
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Okay, then it was clumsy, and you still haven't answered the questions. Please, at least, provide some example of the discrimination that you think religious people are experiencing? Or what, as exchemist also asks, what do you mean with your question?? You have done little to correct my initial reaction that yours is a bizarre question.
    Given that Britain abolished slavery in 1833 and the US not until 1865, maybe in that aspect, at least, the US would have been better off if still part of the British Empire? In terms of women's suffrage, both countries gave women the vote around 1920s (either with conditions other than age or otherwise) although I think the US was slightly more foreward thinking than the UK in that regard.
    Otherwise, have you done a comparison of particular Human Rights and compared the UK to the US in terms of timeline and scope? Or is this just another lazy query on your part?
    You also don't make too much sense with regard independence: "if not for that struggle for independence, I question how far we would have come in our struggle for ... independence as a nation." Without coming to X, I wonder how far we would have come to X. Nonsense, but increasingly expected, alas.
  22. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    I think I've mentioned voter fraud. Add to that miscommunicated messages and to that obvious enough hostility towards certain types of people and the voting mechanism gets skewed to the point of deliberated assurance. With that stated, and although seemingly a sore spot topic to some, the 1st amendment rights are at least to some extent, being hindered and it would seem for political purposes in favor of particular types of people.

    So, I asked if religious people matter. It's suggested that Christians are "the" power in this nation. How about the rest of us? Do we matter? Freedom of speech seems important enough to be listed as a right 1st. You would think accuracy would be no less important, otherwise the guidance is missing and the American people get misled per miscommunicated out of context, over emotional, and charged rhetoric aimed to benefit a particular demographic specifically.

    I'm not in favor of this type of propaganda, but it happens. I might suggest that most Americans vote on a color coded ballad. The red, the blue, and the who?

    Specific enough or not, this is what I see playing out in this nation.
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Voter fraud? What evidence do you have that voter fraud (which barely exists in the USA, as we all know by now) discriminates between different religious groups?

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