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Humility in Recognizing Religious Differences

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: February 26, 2006
Latest Update: February 26, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Discussion Thread on Religious Differences
and Moving Past Those Differences

Brenda Love wrote in Message No. 10635:

I am not concerned about what you think about followers of Christ or who was a Christian; that's God's business.

My concern is that I obey the teachings and receive the promises that my hope is built on.

With this statement I will no [longer] participate in discussions based on the word of God or his son.

You can never exhaust his power, and I will not be part of this witch hunt.

Call on the one you serve and allow me to have peace with my master.

You will never have the last say, now or forever.


To which jeanne responded in Message No. 10639:

Brenda, I am very touched by your message. I have yet to read the messages and I don't understand the context, but I agree that there should be no "last word" on our beliefs. That is the ultimate understanding I would hope we could all reach through our illocutionary discourse.

We are human, and as humans have much in common. But we are each unique and our differences are a part of what makes us human.

The reason we need to speak of religion is not to decide who is right and who is wrong about issues or about beliefs. We speak of religion to understand how we come to believe what we do about morals and values, so that we can work out peaceful means to deal with those differences.

Religion, like politics and social issues, does much to shape our lives. It would be disastrous to leave it out of our governance discourse, but equally disastrous to use that governance discourse to tell another what to believe. If the Other's heart must be relieved of it's "hardening" (Paul's Letters to the Romans, I think), that is up to God, not to us.

And I liked your title for the message: humility. I think that would meet with Paul's definition of humility.

love and peace, jeanne

Aaron M. wrote in Message No. 10638:

Now...I think that we've gotten off track here... we're getting into a debate about christianity and beliefs and followers. Im not sure if im wrong...but i dont think this is why we're on this site. I dont see how christianity and god's word has anythign to do with any criminal justice issues. If im wrong...can someone explain the correlation?


To which jeanne responded in Message No. 10645:

Aaron, you're absolutely right that

we're getting into a debate about christianity and beliefs and followers. Im not sure if im wrong...but i dont think this is why we're on this site.

That's not why we're here.

I do think religion has a great deal to do with criminal justice issues, because religion often dictates our values and morals with respect to our fellow humans. That would mean that we would make decisions on rehabilitation and retribution that would be influenced (NOT determined, but influenced) how our religion, if we embrace one (and we all do, if we think of secular civil rights as invested with religious beliefs and values), informs those issues.

This is why we need to discuss religion. But I agree wholeheartedly that we do not need to move into a debate about whose beliefs are valid or who shares them, etc.

love and peace, jeanne

jeanne's response: We need to identify sources OR to clearly state that we have no sources and are expressing feelings or our own beliefs. That is paramount to any fruitful discussion in which no one acts as controlling authority. Where do you get such sources? Try googling. On Greg's statement that Hitler was not Christian, I googled Hitler Christian atheist, from which I located the following:

  • Adolf Hitler - Christian, Atheist, or Neither? The site Greg gave us and to which I referred in Message No.

  • Was Hitler a Christian? I liked this site a little better, I think, because it was less oriented toward specific Christian proselytizing. It gives some interesting information. Picture of an SS belt that says "Gott mit uns" - God with Us.

    Backup copy of SS buckle on Straight Dope site, 30-october-1999.

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