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Facebook makes for interesting discussions

A friend of mine posted a Facebook update this morning proclaiming that she is a Christian and proud of it, asking others to proclaim the same and to pray for others who join in. Here’s the text of her post [sic… but emphasis mine].

[Her name] Is a Christian and proud to say it!! Let’s see how many people on fb aren’t afraid to show their love for God! Repost this as your status. Each time you see this on someones status say a quick prayer for that person!! Let’s get God back in this country like He should be!!! If you agree post this in your status. Like/unlike write a comment.

That’s all pretty innocuous and she meant it as an upbeat comment to start the day… but she did solicit comments, and after a few positive responses with prayers (“Father I lift up [her name] to you right now and I ask you to flood her with your presence today.”), another poster hit upon the phrase I highlighted above. He said [sic]…

[His name] while I’m pleased to know that your religious perspectives bring you joy and peace, I have reservations about the comment “Let’s get God back in the country like He should be”. I’m not sure who says “He should be”, but it certainly was not our wise and enlightened founding fathers, who were careful to institute concepts like the seperation of church and state and freedom of (and from) religion. Spirituality is a personal path, to be kept in one’s heart. Once you start declaring that God should play a role in an entire country, you infringe upon the rights of people with a different belief system. A quick study of Saudi Arabia or Iraq shows what that can lead to.

Your post requested a comment, I’m sharing mine.

I found that a pretty fair response. Given our secular Constitution and the religiously diverse population in this country, I think the idea of putting “God back in this country” is, at the very least, a bad one. [His name] calls it out perfectly, saying that it would “infringe upon the rights of people with a different belief system” and points to perfect examples.

The response came quickly from [her name] and said [sic]…

[Her name] Our God teaches peace. Their Gods teach violence. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

I thought the response was first, missing the point and second, misinformed. So I responded with a simple…

[Me] In [his name’s] defense, a theocracy is a theocracy, regardless whose concept of a deity is used.

I thought maybe that bit of simplicity might help [his name’s] point hit home. It didn’t. [Her name] posted another bit about the god of Islam vs. the god of Christianity, but deleted it shortly thereafter. Then another poster joined in… and inspired me to write this blog post. She said [sic]…

[Supporter] It’s been quite awhile since I studied this, so I could be incorrect, but the reason why there was “separation between church and state” was so there was not a dictatorship as in England. They did not want the government to dictate how things should be handled…they wanted each jurisdiction to have the right to dictate that, which is the main reason America was even founded. Now, it is important to not that it was “One nation, Under God”….so that negates the theory that they didn’t want God to be a part of things…..I still also believe that if you view Creationism as a religious theory, than Evolution should also be a religious theory, and then the answer in school would be teach neither, or teach both….just as some believe God shouldn’t be taught in school, others don’t subscribe to the “big bang THEORY” either……just some other thoughts to consider.

I pondered a response for a bit, but decided there was too much wrong with that to deal with in a Facebook status thread, so I bowed out by just saying “Too much for me to get into on a Facebook thread.” [His name] had one more go, however, with this [sic]…

[His name] Bear in mind, the God of Islam is the same God of Christianity and Judaism, and the Qu’aran speaks of peace (and violence) as much as the Bible does. Also remember that “one nation, under God” is a phrase that did not officially exist in the US until the 1950’s to seperate us from the “godless” communists. I generally keep my opinions to myself, but this post conveniently comes the day after an election wherein I am once again denied the equal rights (thanks, Maine) of the majority because of the loud and powerful religious right’s influence on government and voters. Anyway, being thought provoking can be upbeat and lifting. I’m not trying to insult anyone, and I’ll say no more.

Good for him. Not only did he call out one of the misconceptions in [Supporter’s] post (The “One nation, under God” part), but he called out the religious right’s negative influence on human rights in this country… with a perfect timely example.

[Supporter] is also misinformed about evolution and creationism (and the big bang theory, it seems), saying that if creationism is a religious theory, then evolution should be a “religious theory.” Those who know anything about evolution (or science) will automatically recognize that statement as absurd, but it’s one that is heard all too often. When people can’t discern the difference between biblical “magic” and scientific theory, it’s a pretty glaring sign that the educational system in our country needs some serious help.

It’s frustrating, to say the least, and I cringed when I read [Supporter’s] post. I pulled back from commenting harshly, though, because she’s been a friend for a long time and I value our friendship… and I think that particular Facebook thread was an inappropriate venue (it had been hijacked enough as it was).

Perhaps sending her a Richard Dawkins article would be a good starting point.

2 Comments

  1. digitalni says:

    .so u’re sending the darwin’s pitbull to bite her shiny metal ass?

    1. Dan says:

      LOL! I was thinking of finding one of his more gentle articles about the difference between creationism and evolution, but perhaps another author might be more prudent as a starting point. 😉

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