Does Identity Mean Anything If It Means Nothing?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Via Publishers Weekly:

    As part of a four-year review of their theological position on human sexuality, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA (IVCF), one of the largest ministries operating on over 660 college campuses around the U.S., issued a restatement of its belief that sexual activity outside of traditional marriage is immoral. While IVCF said it is not firing employees for supporting gay marriage or premarital sex, the organization—including its publishing arm InterVarsity Press (IVP)—expects staff to align with the organization’s position or face “involuntary termination.”

    "No current employees have to sign an agreement, but as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, we expect our employees will reflect our theological convictions as an organization, even if diffidently," said Jeff Crosby, IVP publisher. ....

    .... According to [VP Gregory] Jao, staffers are not required to verbally affirm their beliefs, but are being asked to come forward if they disagree with InterVarsity’s theological position. Then, the organization would initiate a two-week “involuntary termination” process.

    “Even though we are asking staff to volunteer their disagreement, we are treating this as an involuntary termination because we want to treat departing staff with as much dignity as we can,” said Jao. “We recognize that they do not feel that their decision was purely voluntary—InterVarsity has made its position (and its expectation for our staff) clear.”

    Deeming the termination “involuntary” may also yield better results when it comes to state unemployment compensation programs, said Jao, although that varies state to state. In Illinois, where IVP is headquartered, those applying for unemployment benefits must be unemployed through no fault of their own, as defined by Illinois law.

    “This is why we have voluntary disclosure and an involuntary termination in the same process,” said Jao. “We were doing our best to honor our staff in a hard situation.”

    This is one of those interesting crossroads: A group like this can certainly assert its right to create a hostile workplace for the sake of its religious belief, but it really is cruel and therefore unchristian behavior. As such, I really don't think it proper that they should identify as a Christian group. Let's face it: They're not Christians.

    It's an ethical conundrum that I've never quite grasped, but some mitigating statement about human frailty, climbing the mountain because it's there, and the obligations we either invoke unto ourselves or not by our rhetoric goes here. In the end, we come back to the bit about recognizing or exploiting human frailty. Yeah, we get it, we're all born into sin. That doesn't mean the proper logical thing to do is wallow in it.

    Historically speaking, it is difficult to discern the line demarcating those who step in it according to human frailty, and those who know damn well what they're doing. There is, however, a fairly broad range of corruption, thus there are plenty of examples about which there really is no question.

    Such earthly focus on the laws of man in pursuit of worldy rewards shows faithless usurpers seeking God's authority for themselves.

    Really, they do it because they don't trust God: The Lord, in His infinite Wisdom, might accept Redemption of some people we don't like, so we better make sure we get our satisfaction now, since we can't have it once we're in Heaven.

    Reminder: The Lord knows what is in their hearts; no cruelty will earn them passage.

    Honestly, this doesn't seem so difficult to figure out, so there must be something I'm missing. After all, this sort of mixing of identity with incongruous conduct as a basis for identity―that is to say, this deliberate betrayal of identity―seems to run deeply and broadly in the range of what people call "Christianity".

    They're not Christians. I think the word Christianist might work better.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Koonse, Emma.. "IVP Says Employees Must Oppose Gay Marriage or Resign". Publishers Weekly. 19 October 2016. PublishersWeekly.com. 29 October 2016. http://bit.ly/2dXYnOj
     
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  3. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    I think that the problem, as it is with almost everything in religion, is that they are one kind of Christian among many and they want to impose their ideas of Christianity on all Christians (and really on everyone). It is not enough that they accept a wide range of Christian beliefs and attempt to foster dialogue and allow people to find their own way, they have to take direct action, even though it means direct interference in the lives of others.

    Sometimes direct interference in the lives of others is necessary. I don't believe that there is compelling reason to do so on the basis of religious grounds. And the IVCF is certainly aware that not all Christians agree with their grounds for interference. They are at the very least dishonest if they are identify themselves as a fellowship of all Christians.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    This part, via the Washington Post, is definitely worth noting:

    The move has sparked much controversy and a petition on Change.org saying that the policy “silences sincere disagreement” has more than 1,600 signatures of ICVF alumni on it.

    Clearly, there are Christians who find this behavior problematic, and that's actually an important point in another context, as well. Americans have cultivated terms like "culture wars" and "culture warriors"; this has been going on a long time. It's not a wholly accurate spectrum―reality is much more subtle―but I would ask that we might consider three general groups from the Gay Fray:

    • Christians against gays

    • Christians who just won't go so far as to vote against another human being's civil rights

    • An amorphous middle-ground bloc of American Christendom​

    We have this recursive disaster cycle in our society by which it's not just the accusing, attacking, demanding bigots in the name of Christ who step up, get walloped, can't figure it out, and feel hurt because society is rejecting Christianity; it is also a bunch of other people who are tired of seeing and hearing the word that describes them―Christian, Christianity, Christendom, corpus Christi, &c.―constantly thrashed about in the public square. But that's the thing: That second bloc is so important; they voted with us in Oregon from '92 until '04, so we know they exist. They voted with us in four states in 2012; we know they're there. And a lot of them know what we know, that every time we have to vote or argue or fight about one of these laws, it has the word "Christian" attached to it. We keep voting and fighting about "Christianity". It wearies a good many of my Christian neighbors.

    And, quite honestly, like anyone else subject to such abuse, they really shouldn't have to take it.

    The problem, of course, is that the negative characterization is proudly asserted by people identifying as Christians, who put these issues before society as a matter of Christian faith in such a context demanding the rest of us similarly identify the matter. Every time that second bloc goes to say no to one of these laws, they are also being asked to view their vote as saying no to Christianity.

    Personally, I think only Christians can settle this matter 'twixt themselves; only they can clean their own house this time. To the other, if they do, they must negotiate dangerous pathways by which the rest of us are allowed a glimpse of the household discourse specifically reserved unto the household, because like anything else, no distinction in the world means anything if societal convention refuses recognition.

    And when we come right down to it, there is a significant amount of the "Christian right" pushing abject cruelty, which is fundamentally unchristian. As long as society has a reason to attend these self-identifying "Christians", we really do need a means of distinguishing within the discourse.

    It is not insignificant to me that we stopped hearing about "lifestyle sin" from Christianist homophobes some years ago; indeed, I find it more surprising that it took until Kim Davis for the bit about adultery to enter the discussion.

    There is, in fact, a specific thing I do not say because I offer that doctrinal respect according to my understanding of the Word. These Christianists are testing that very principle.

    Then again, I'm pretty sure I've said it before. But this Christianist politic is pretty much antithetical to the ministry of Jesus Christ. These religious liberty fights asserting Christian faith tend to share a particular quirk, which is the absence of Christ Himself. That is to say, you will hear them pull much from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Pauline Evangelism, but there isn't really much from the Gospels themselves.

    The insistent cruelty is a distinguishing marker. Kint borrows Baudelaire, and something about meeting the Buddha on the road. 'Tis a curious witness, but imagine the day when history records a phenomenon called "Christianity" that once possessed the minds of billions over its period. The Bible is the Bible is the Bible, but what of the Christendom defined by the likes of Kevin Swanson or Roger Jimenez, Mat Staver, Kim Davis, Ted (or Rafael) Cruz,and so on. History is full of these characters, some even deadly and to the point of monstrosity.

    American evangelical Christians are not wrong to fret about a decline of Christianity. The sort of ossification they demand, however, pretty much guarantees that Christians will, should humanity survive another few centuries, be regarded like tribal sects, and most of the iterations will be pretty crazy compared to what we might think today. Imagine the end of Christendom being defined by a blend of Warren Jeffs and Joseph Kony.

    (No, seriously, as we watch Europe attempt to face its own economic challenges, just how much does Homer, or Vestal Cult, have to do with anything? The extraterrestrial invasion could happen and these American Christianists will die thinking it's a liberal conspiracy about where women pee while all the Christian men are anally violated by dogs while being forced to rub one out in the women's restroom.)

    Whatever else I think of religion in general, or Christianity in particular, some of my Christian neighbors just don't need the slings and arrows invoked by their Christianist (ahem!) brethren.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Marks, Gene. "This organization asks you to speak up so you can be fired". The Washington Post. 21 October 2016. WashingtonPost.com. 29 October 2016. http://wapo.st/2eGOLLU
     
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  7. wellwisher

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    Christianity was made the official religion of Rome in the 4th century AD. Modern Christianity is a spectrum of orientations that contain various proportions of Rome and Christian influence. The original Christianity of Jesus was very soft and flexible with only two laws; love god and love your neighbor. In that form of Christianity, we were all equal in the eyes of God, with no dividing line between classes. Rome was very different in that it was a Republic with a class system, which included slaves. Rome was authoritarian and was a world superpower; economic and military. The spectrum of modern Christianity spreads over this range, with the bible the common thread. Each orientation will interpret based on their proportions. When it comes to modern social behavior, this can rub some orientations the wrong way based on their proportions. Others may not see it the same way based on proportions.

    To help people empathize with the position of this topic, what would happen if a Republican activist joined the Democratic party. Instead of conforming, like everyone expected, that person starts to preach, teach and demonstrate the benefits of their Republican principles, to members of the Democratic party? He would be asked to change his behavior or be forced to leave. If you wish to be part of a club, you need to follow rules of the cub. A club does not care about freedom of speech or expression, if those freedoms begin to undermine the goals of the club.

    In religion, it is not so much that sexuality, is taboo. Rather some forms of sexual behavior can lead to negative social consequences, like disease and unwanted children, which can create social expenses; needed to mop up the mess. Sex in marriage is allowed and even encouraged; be fruitful and multiply, by the Church. This satisfies natural instinctive needs. Marriage is preferred because it regulates sex in a way that will very rarely cause disease, and if pregnancy does appear, the unborn will have the benefit of two biological parents to help provide instinctive love and support. The stress on the state is less, using the marriage template. The instinct has an outlet and there is little need for an expensive social mop.

    This is not much different from the analogy of the Republican preaching in the Democratic convention. The needed mop, in this case, would be all the countering arguments and time needed to clean up the minds of those who have been disorientated by intellectual VD, and/or bastard brain children.

    The system will works better, if you are not have to outlay a lot of resources and time to pay for the expenses created by the disrupters. If the disrupters begin to grow in numbers, The larger and larger outlay will deprive those who willingly conform. If you need to pay for VD, there are less resources for the annual group trip to the beach. Why should those who conform be penalized, by having to pay for a mop to clean up an compounding mess, created by those who do not conform?

    The problem is most of the social mess is created by liberal social policies, which expects others to pay. Name one liberal social policy that reduces social expenses by putting character ahead of fad and impulse?
     
  8. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    If only this had happened in actual history. Oh wait, it did, multiple times, and now the Democratic Party pushes the agenda of the Republican Party of a few years ago.

    Medicare.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Murder in Jesus' name?

    Adultery in Jesus' name?

    How about false prophecy in Jesus' name?

    Why do you support these things, Wellwisher?

    Why do you oppose Jesus Christ?
     
  10. wellwisher

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    4,952
    I am not supporting these things. Rather I am explaining why such things exist. The reason these things existed was because of the merger of Rome and Christianity in the 4th century AD. The resultant hybrid is often mistaken for pure Christianity, by both atheists and some of the religious. All those negative things were acceptable in Rome, and where made part of the church, during the merger.

    Let me give an analogy. The Democratic party of the 1960's-70's had both similarities and differences, compared to Democratic party of today. Back then, the Democrats led the charge against over reach by government, and corruption in government; Viet Nam War and Watergate. Today, the Democrat party, via Hillary are the main sources of corruption in government. The party is no longer fighting against corruption, but is actively supporting it; the ends justifies the means.

    What has happened to the Democratic party is the original goals of equality for all; level playing field, has been modified, by the secondary spirit of corruption, to where now equality is based on a dual standard. This was not the original intent. The dual standard results from corruption seeing itself above the law; dual standard becomes the new norm. The same thing happened to Christianity, where the original intent of Christianity; love and faith, morphed because of the secular personality of Rome, which was the overlord in this partnership.

    In the 15th century; about a 1000 year reign, the hybrid Roman Catholic Church started to divide; Martin Luther in Germany. The merged Roman and Christian attributes started to become separated. This culminated in the Nazi German type heavy handed Roman dominated Christianity; hail Caesar Hitler. The change also resulted in Christianity becoming more purified, elsewhere. This was reflected in civil rights and the youth movement of the 1960's, love generation. The long hair and beard was Jesus style dress away from materialism back to spiritual. The Democrats of today have morphed to materialism so the contrast between rich and poor seem worse; seek material equality.

    The Democratic party is about to dissociate, where the corruption and the original intent will begin to divide out, until there is a spectrum of Democrat party churches. Some will find the original intent, while others will go way overboard for dual standards and material self gain; above the law.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I don't believe you.

    That they exist is what it is. By no means is it "Christian", and you need to stop making excuses for everyone who tries to identify by the word. Plenty of them aren't actually Christian, and you can't blame anybody but the self-professed Christian for those outcomes. You can't blame the Democrats. You can't blame liberals. You certainly can't support your tinfoil thesis:

    No, seriously, Wellwisher, if you want to have a discussion, you need to stop making believe all the time. Start dealing with reality; that paragraph would be hilarious except for the tragedy it represents, a human lifetime spent grotesquely pursuing earthly rewards in the name of a Heavenly Father. What a waste.

    You know, party churches are never as fun as they sound. But, you know, whatever. Just like with gay marriage, if it wasn't for those evil liberals, Christians would never want to be just like them. If it wasn't for the evil liberals, American Christians would never have started betraying Jesus by getting remarried a whole bunch. If it wasn't for the evil liberals, American Christians wouldn't have been evil since before there were United States of America. See, that's the whole Von Clausewitz idea: How dare the world pick a fight with Christians by not kneeling and giving over everything to everyone who claims to be a Christian.

    I don't think it's too much to ask that if we're supposed to twist and wreck our law and justice for people who call themselves "Christians" that they should actually be Christians.

    Like you. If you ever actually openly and specifically claimed to be a Christian, we would all have a hearty laugh.

    If you intend to explain to anyone why anything exists―or, really, purport to explain anything at all―it would help if you actually addressed what you purport to explain. Making stuff up in order to pretend to explain it just isn't intelligent, credible, or useful.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Given that the vast majority of directives to murder, rape, sell slaves etc are in the Old Testament - and thus predate any 4th century mergers - your claim is nonsense.
    Actually it is the republican party that is in danger of dissociating, since it is now effectively being led by a pathological liar and misogynist who sees fraud, violence and dishonesty as admirable business traits. The sane republicans are starting to abandon their party's standard-bearer in search of someone more reasonable, and said leader is kicking them to the curb.

    Meanwhile the democratic party, while not perfect in most respects, is a beacon of honesty and integrity by comparison.[/QUOTE]
     
  13. Kittamaru Giving up this insanity for Lent - back ~ 4/15 Staff Member

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    Uhm... you DO realize it's the Republican's in Congress that are causing most of the issues and abusing the shit out of their power, right? Such as refusing to vote on a replacement Supreme Court Justice (initially under the pretense that the people should choose it by electing the next president... but now that Trump is set to fail big, they are saying they just don't NEED that spot filled... go figure!).
    They are the ones attaching all sorts of porky-pig bellied riders onto desperately needed funding bills:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-zika-funding_us_5772937fe4b0dbb1bbbc00c2

    I'm sorry... but while the Democratic Party is far from perfect, it is a far cry from the putrid cesspool of bigoted horse shit that the Republican Party seems bound and determined to be...
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    In truth, my fear is that the Democratic Party absolutely must rupture soon; the tent is so goddamn big that, sure, proper technocrats can certainly manage the passions and the interests, but that leaves pretty much everyone disappointed, which, as I understand it from the Party's left wing, is really, really annoying the shit out of liberals and leftists right now.

    It's entirely possible the Republican Party is already in dissolution; they've been shedding voters for cycles, and the DLC model has absorbed as many of them as possible, resulting in a Democratic Party that doesn't seem to stand for much, anymore. I mean, sure, human rights and a functioning government are necessities, but that's pretty much all they have left, right now. I say capitalize on the next four years by getting the heartland growing marijuana. Dump a bunch of money into NASA and make nerdy jokes with schoolkids all term. Do something to show the Democratic Party can do more than simply hold the line. We're running out of lines to hold.

    Here's one: As much money as it takes, we'll triple down on the defense industry but here's the moonshot―The Defense Industry will render itself ridiculous by accomplishing the futility of warfare. STEM education, job retraining, build a world in which our professional soldiers spend their time hauling people out of floods and other such disasters. Dare the American People and watch them refuse. Or, you know, maybe they won't.

    I think the People are in the mood to build a new Wonder. We've been fretting about gay people and Muslims and birth control pills for too damn long. We're running out of math to invent money from nothing. We actually need to build something. Pick anything. The energy grid? Life in the Universe? Alternate fuels? Fuck it. Artificial gravity. There you go. Aim for insanity, get some really cool shit along the way.

    But the Democrats are going to have to do something, because I think Hillary Clinton is going to be the last time we get to do it this way. The old Democratic bargain is pretty much obsolete.

    Don't get me wrong, the new one will look something like the old, because liberalism proper still doesn't have a majority. But Donald Trump has called off the Republican Party and it's pretty clear liberals want in on the action on the Democratic side. At some point, our Bell curve will be too heavy at the periphery, and, yeah, disruption will be in effect, anyway.
     
  15. Kittamaru Giving up this insanity for Lent - back ~ 4/15 Staff Member

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    Honestly, what needs to happen now is for a decent third-party run to happen (or even get elected) and shake the status-quo up...
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    And that can happen either via a true third party (i.e. libertarians) or a splintering of an existing party (i.e. the historical Democrat-Republicans becoming two separate parties, or the existing republican party becoming the republicans and the Trumps.)
     
  17. amirsaber1993 Registered Member

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    agree
     

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