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Default White house acknowledges the importance of a major ideology

December 13th, 2007, 09:26
I recently finished my review/work on the 1981 TV movie "The Wave" in which an university professor with the right tools turn his children into fascism within 5 days.
Part 1
Part 2

While the movie romanticizes the story quite a bit, it's actually based on a real life experiment, and it does not go far from it.

Understanding fascism as something that is within human nature is something many would not want to do. It always someone else who turns to fascism, not us. "It could never happen here".
Truth is, it does not really make a difference what ideology it is, what kind of agenda it had in the first place or what culture it comes from. There is a time when the mass stops to think and let itself be driven along like a huge bandwagon. When an ideology announce it's great importance for everyone along with a threat to reject, condemn and prosecute those who dare to question it, then you should see the signs.


U.S. Congress Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith

So far it's innocent right?

Resolved

Therefore be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;
(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.
Last edited by JemyM; December 13th, 2007 at 09:38.
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December 13th, 2007, 11:44
(7) Recognises that the christian vote is the only way to get elected these days and expresses continued willingness to abase themselves as much as necessary to pander to their views.
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December 13th, 2007, 12:38
They also acknowledged the importance of another ideology. Whaddya know.

[ http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/di…2384&m=October ]

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That–
(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world; and
(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion.
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December 13th, 2007, 13:52
It's also good to recognize that pt 4 of the first resolution is historically wrong. It's a known hoax not supported by historians.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
They also acknowledged the importance of another ideology. Whaddya know.
http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/di…2384&m=October
Even if the numbers of Christian organizations within the US are great and even if it's a friendly nod towards Islam, the first resolution is stated in a way that no secular government with freedom of religion would ever need to produce. Secular governments are meant to take no sides in religion. This resolution is unconstitutional when compared with the first amendment, and considering the US have allowed it's citizens to celebrate any religious celebrations even since it's first constitution one must ask why this statement had to be made in the first place. And after praising the two monotheistic religions, why not acknowledging importance of Sanatana Dharma, which is a belief supported by 780 million people worldwide, 0.4% of the US population.
Last edited by JemyM; December 13th, 2007 at 14:25.
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December 13th, 2007, 14:03
Edit: I found the full text of the resolution. Here's a longer, relevant quote:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses friendship and support for Muslims in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion;

(4) rejects hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(5) commends Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror.
Edit 2: I forgot to paste the reference: [ http://www.amperspective.com/html/ho…reolution.html ].

IOW, I think that points 2, 5, and 6 are pretty much identical in both resolutions. No coincidence, incidentally.

As to point 4… JemyM, surely you're not claiming that Christians and Christianity did not play a significant role in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization? 'Cuz that seems pretty absurd to me.

In any case, there's a somewhat interesting story behind these two resolutions (yes, they are connected). Or interesting for any America-watcher anyway. You might want to look it up; there's more to it than the "yet another step towards theocracy" that you're painting it.
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December 13th, 2007, 14:34
If they officially recognize Christmas, it gets them out of all the legal wrangling over nativities, et al, on government property. In order to cover their political butts, you get the second resolution (and I bet there's a 3rd one somewhere to cover Judaism). This is aimed at the stupid application of seperation of Church and State that the ACLU is pushing. While I'm decidedly anti-organized-religion, I think there's more important issues for the ACLU to address than the legality of a Christmas Tree in some courthouse.

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December 13th, 2007, 14:58
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
As to point 4… JemyM, surely you're not claiming that Christians and Christianity did not play a significant role in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization? 'Cuz that seems pretty absurd to me.
That's two different statements. Christianity had nothing to do with founding the United States, if anything the US constitution is meant to protect the nation from becoming influenced by religious establishments. The founding fathers were well read on political philosophy and that is what they used. Some makes the mistake to confuse the founders Deism with Christianity. Deist do not mean Christian and some of the founding fathers were rather vocal in their criticism of religion. They recognized the tyranny that mixing religion with state lead to in Europe and they saw they had to avoid that if liberty and freedom was going to be preserved in the new world.

When it comes to Christianity's effect on Western Civilization. Yes, they did have a major impact, although not the kind of impact they like to take credit for.
At first, many ideas within Christian philosophy is not Christian in the first place. Christianity brings together many different ideas that were popular in it's era. After it's foundation the institution ruled the European continent with an iron fist for 1400 years, only to losing power and getting reformed thanks to a changing culture, also influenced by resurrected Greek philosophy. As an institution the Christian church had tied together the nations within Europe and for a long time they became the center of culture. It was first after the institution was overthrown that they started to make some progress. They assisted in making people literate, they played a great role when dealing with other countries etc. But eventually church split up. Greek philosophy had a huge impact in bringing forth science as something important which eventually took of in other institutions such as schools, universities and libraries. During the enlightenment new philosophies started to replace the old ones. Many of the most respected values of today within the Declaration of Human Rights are brought forth by the new philosophies such as liberalism and socialism.

When you study world philosophy and see how ideas evolve you see that the role Christian Philosophy itself played in world history, it was a rather small one when it comes to actually making progress and evolving culture. Most of the progress made by Church is thanks to individual movements from within the institution, and culture did not really start to speed up it's progress until the Enlightenment when the institution finally lost power.

Other philosophies such as Liberalism, Socialism and the Greek Ancients had much greater impact on western civilization than Christianity.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
In any case, there's a somewhat interesting story behind these two resolutions (yes, they are connected). Or interesting for any America-watcher anyway. You might want to look it up; there's more to it than the "yet another step towards theocracy" that you're painting it.
Let me guess. They were nice to Muslims and Christians complained?
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December 13th, 2007, 15:14
I guess this is the Hindu version:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill…bill=hr110-747
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December 13th, 2007, 16:24
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
If they officially recognize Christmas, it gets them out of all the legal wrangling over nativities, et al, on government property. In order to cover their political butts, you get the second resolution (and I bet there's a 3rd one somewhere to cover Judaism). This is aimed at the stupid application of seperation of Church and State that the ACLU is pushing. While I'm decidedly anti-organized-religion, I think there's more important issues for the ACLU to address than the legality of a Christmas Tree in some courthouse.
The Islam resolution was passed first (October 3d). The Christianity resolution was sponsored by a group of Republican representatives opposed to the Islam resolution, and passed second.
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December 13th, 2007, 16:36
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
That's two different statements. Christianity had nothing to do with founding the United States, if anything the US constitution is meant to protect the nation from becoming influenced by religious establishments. The founding fathers were well read on political philosophy and that is what they used. Some makes the mistake to confuse the founders Deism with Christianity. Deist do not mean Christian and some of the founding fathers were rather vocal in their criticism of religion. They recognized the tyranny that mixing religion with state lead to in Europe and they saw they had to avoid that if liberty and freedom was going to be preserved in the new world.
True, but completely beside the point. Let me quote the point again:

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
The fact is that Christians and Christianity *did* have a major role in the founding of the United States and the formation of the western civilization.

The resolution isn't phrased that way by accident: if they had stated that the USA is a Christian nation, the resolution wouldn't have passed, for the exact reasons that you state.

Let me guess. They were nice to Muslims and Christians complained?
Sort of, but there's more to it than that. There's a pretty important debate going on the US right now, concerning the meaning and identity of America — what kind of a country is the USA, what should it be, and how should it relate to the rest of the world? These two resolutions are a part of that debate. On the one hand, we have people who feel that America is or should be a universal beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all nations, religions, and people; on the other, we have people who feel that it will permanently lose the defining characteristics of its culture unless it imposes an assimilationist, "national-interest" type of policy with regards to immigration, cultural influences, and relations with other nations and cultures.
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December 13th, 2007, 16:37
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I guess this is the Hindu version:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill…bill=hr110-747
Yep-o. Wonderful, isn't it? Tolerance, peace, love, and little birdies all around.
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December 13th, 2007, 16:42
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
The Islam resolution was passed first (October 3d). The Christianity resolution was sponsored by a group of Republican representatives opposed to the Islam resolution, and passed second.
Hmm, well color me stupid. Looked like a classic loophole generator to me.

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December 13th, 2007, 17:24
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
If they officially recognize Christmas, it gets them out of all the legal wrangling over nativities, et al, on government property. In order to cover their political butts, you get the second resolution (and I bet there's a 3rd one somewhere to cover Judaism). This is aimed at the stupid application of seperation of Church and State that the ACLU is pushing. While I'm decidedly anti-organized-religion, I think there's more important issues for the ACLU to address than the legality of a Christmas Tree in some courthouse.
I've always found it a curious irony that European countries with state churches, such as the UK, Sweden, or Finland, are extremely secularized, whereas the United States, which doesn't, has religion play an extremely visible role in public and political discourse.



That's the central square of Helsinki around Christmas.

I also hear that the mullahs managed what the Shah attempted: secularize the Iranian people.
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December 13th, 2007, 18:25
The inclusion of Christmas in this obvious vote pandering (they got mine!) probably has more to do with all the political correctness that has spawned the "war on Christmas" . This is the obvious avoidance of companies and media to say Merry Christmas.

This year isn't as bad as last it seems to me with a lot of people trying to bring it in casually along with their "Happy Holidays". (they showed Al Roker's Christmas Card this morning on the Today show)

A couple of days ago in the UK some Islamic, Sikh and Hindu groups have officially said don't blame us for this "winterval" nonsense..

This will likely go back and forth for the next few yaers. It makes for a good non-issue for the politicians in the meantime. My own job had a Hallowe'en contest and is now having a "Holiday" contest.

I certainly get a laugh out of Wal-Mart's Salvation Army/Merry Christmas ads. They like to remind the public how much a grinch Target is.

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December 13th, 2007, 18:50
I do not see the point of having a controversy about "Christ"mas. It's not a Christian holiday in the first place. I spend jul with my family every year (we do not even have "Christ" in the name) without any Christian symbols at all. In fact, everything I associate with Christmas have nothing to do with Christianity. It's the darkest day of the year, and after that day it will be lighter again. There's a point celebrating that in Sweden where it currently gets dark before I get back home. So have a great solstice and a happy new year.
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December 13th, 2007, 20:15
My wife's comment was "bah, proper Christians prefer Easter anyway."
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December 13th, 2007, 20:43
Many people believe that "Christmas" is more or less just a celebration of an event by people we would call "pagan" nowadays I think, but it was inckluded into the Christian calendar.
Like Eastern, for example.
Like churches, which - at least here - often stand ewhere "pagan" places had been.

(The word "Pagan" is always used from the perspective of the one using this word … I think that this word is mainly used by people belonging to major religions, but not by "pagans" themselves, I guess.)

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December 13th, 2007, 22:16
Actually, it's a purely Christian term, from the Latin "paganus" meaning roughly "peasant" — someone far from the civilizing (and Christianizing) effect of the city. It's also been Anglicized to "heathen" (from "heath", which carried a connotation of backwoods, undesirable, unfarmable land at the time).

Jews refer to non-Jews as "gentiles," while Muslims have several terms for non-Muslim, with various meanings and connotations, some pretty neutral, some highly derogatory. I don't know whether Hindus and Buddhists have similar terms.
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December 13th, 2007, 23:20
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Actually, it's a purely Christian term, from the Latin "paganus" meaning roughly "peasant" — someone far from the civilizing (and Christianizing) effect of the city. It's also been Anglicized to "heathen" (from "heath", which carried a connotation of backwoods, undesirable, unfarmable land at the time).

Jews refer to non-Jews as "gentiles," while Muslims have several terms for non-Muslim, with various meanings and connotations, some pretty neutral, some highly derogatory. I don't know whether Hindus and Buddhists have similar terms.
Maybe "Dalit" for casteless. Buddhism is for self improvement only as far as I know. No need for a term for "others" since the religion is about yourself.
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December 15th, 2007, 10:27
christmas is not winter solistice. christmas occurs on december 25th every year. yule() is based on the lunar cycle not the solar cycle.
i am getting married on winter solistice, not christmas!
winter solistice is almost always on the 21 and 22 of december fyi.
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