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oldraven 
Posted: 17-Mar-2010, 08:28 PM
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Camac, I don't mean to prod, but how do you get religious 'teachings', as you say, without organisation? If someone is preaching and another is receiving, you have an organised set of beliefs.


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"I am a Canadian by birth, but I am a Highlander by blood and feel under an obligation to do all I can for the sake of the Highlanders and their literature.... I have never yet spoken a word of English to any of my children. They can speak as much English as they like to others, but when they talk to me they have to talk in Gaelic."

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Camac
Posted: 17-Mar-2010, 08:36 PM
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oldraven;

What I meant by organized was that they are like any other Religion in that they have a Headquarters, and solicit membership and donations. In this modern era of the web one can disseminate their beliefs and teachings without turning into a church. From what I read in the beginning of this movement it was all done by correspondence amougst like minded idividuals not from a pulpit.



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ridgeback77 
Posted: 17-Mar-2010, 08:56 PM
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I wouldn't call Deism an organized religion , as I can find no Deist church or hierarchy, nor can I find a sacred text used by Deists universally throughout the world. There are plenty of Deism sites out there that serve as a repository of information, not seeking money or members. How do you define a set of beliefs than communicating them to others who ask?
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oldraven 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 01:10 AM
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In my opinion, your religion is organised when you have a group of people who agree to a predetermined set of beliefs. Pretty much when you have a teacher and students.
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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 08:11 AM
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oldraven;

I agree with you to a point but there is a great difference between a loose gathering of like thinkers than between a group with a hierarchical system as most religions have. I am not a Deist, nor Christian, or for that fact any mainstream religion but I agree with certain aspects of them. I firmly beleive that one does not need and organization of priests, minister, imans, rabbis or churches, temples, mosques, or synagoues telling me what to believe or whose teachings I should follow.


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oldraven 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 08:20 AM
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I definitely agree with that. I consider myself a Christian, because I believe the world would be a much better place if people adhered to the principles and basic message Jesus taught, but not because of unimportant and improbable things (to me) like immaculate conception or defeating the grave. I follow his teachings, so I can technically call myself Christian, though 99.99% of Christians would call me a blasphemer, including my own family.
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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 08:45 AM
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oldraven;

I was raised an RC and I had an aunt who was convinced I was the spawn of the devil because I questioned the teaching of the church. When I walked away from the church at 17 I was called a blasphemer and heritic by her. She really took her religion seriously. All great religions have some good points to them. It's man's interpretation and corruption of those teachings that messes everything up. After reading some of the articles on Deism I was annoyed not because they debunked som of the myths of religion but that they ridiculed those who followed them. No need for that. Make fun of someonr and that only makes them more adamant in their opposition to you.


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oldraven 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 09:47 AM
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I felt the same way after trying to read one of Angela's books on Wicca. The introduction pretty much ended up being about not being Christian, and contained plain slander about the faith. What exactly does that have to do with Wicca? I don't have much respect for a believer that follows a belief system as an opposition to a popular faith.
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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 10:00 AM
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oldraven
I could care less what people choose to worship. If you want to go out in the backyard and worship a fence post that's your business. No one has the right to mock you for it. One of the concepts of Deism I like is that God made the Universe and all in it then said OK I did my part now get on with it and don't bother me. I have always felt that if there is a god he was far to busy to be involved in the daily happenings on an small rock out on the edge of a small galaxy.One just has to look at the night sky or the photos from Hubble to realize this guy/girl has a lot more on his plate than us.


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oldraven 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 11:03 AM
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I'm talking about the person who wrote that forward, and the author who decided it was suitable for their book. Not my wife or any other practising Pagans (Unless they too are doing so just to thumb their nose at popular faith).
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Antwn 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 01:59 PM
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The question I have is not so much a religious debate but a significance debate. There are those who harp on endlessly about America being created by Christians upon Christian principles. I'm wondering why - not why its true or false, but why its important. Irrespective of the founder's personal religious beliefs, they designed a decidedly secular form of government without religious influence realizing that in that context religious freedom would be secure. They ensured this by including it in the bill of rights. God references on the money, the pledge of allegiance etc came about in the 1950s.

So, of what importance is the endless reiteration of America being created on Christian principles, even if true? Well, there's the obvious sense of entitlement by Christians since such statements justify Christianity's preeminent influence in political life which also implies subordinate status of other religious perspectives including non-religious perspectives - otherwise who cares? Why this is problematic is that the founders decided to leave religion in the realm of personal conviction separate from governmental institutions and that religious freedom can only be supported if government does not embrace, sanction or adopt any specific religion.

To me this is the more important issue. While everyone argues whether or not the founders were Christian or Deist no one argues why that discussion is even important or what whatever answer people agreed upon would mean in the end. What is the significance of the personal religion(s) of those who created a secular government formulated on Enlightenment philosophies and English/Roman law?


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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 02:08 PM
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oldraven;

Believe me I am not mocking your wife or any other person who has a belief. I might not agree with that belief but each and everyone of us has free will to choose what we see as right. Deism says that understanding of the Natural World around us come through Logic and reasoning. Personally I like that.Let me or anyone else for that matter make up his or hers mind. No one has the right to hammer their beliefs into the minds of others. After all who is to say whose right and whose wrong. I don't know if there is a god in any form,won't find out until I'm dead I suspect and by them I may find out that I was all wrong or I was right. The revelation will have no impact as I can't come back and tell anyone. If I'm wrong who knows I might meet you in Hell or if I'm right we'll have a drink on it.


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oldraven 
Posted: 19-Mar-2010, 11:07 AM
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No worries, Camac. I was clarifying that I was talking about that book, not generalising about Pagans, just in case someone took what I said out of context.
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Camac
Posted: 19-Mar-2010, 11:43 AM
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Antwn;

Does it not become significant when as to speak "the Camel has gotten it's nose under the tent", This insidious creeping of Christianity into government is not just unique in ths US. it happens here. We have a flap going on over Foreign Aid. The Cdn. Gov. said that they would not include money in Foreign aid that was for Maternal Health if it was used for Contraception or Abortion this is based on the religious beliefs of our PM. Their argument was that by providing clean water and proper nutrition they can save the lives of 500,000 women and 9 million babies a year. Talk about stupidity. If the women living in abject poverty had access to contraception or other methods of birth control then they wouldn't be having all these unwanted children that are going to die. The spread of Aids in Africa would be drastically slowed along with other sexually transmitted diseases. It is the encroachment of someones Religious beliefs into Government. As you know the French first colonized Canada and they were Catholic. Up until the late 50's early 60's the RC Church controlled that Province now it is the most secular section of our Country. Religion has absolutely no place in the Government or Public Institutions in Quebec (Methinks they shot the Camel) and this is the way it should be.
I read something earlier this week about the Texas School Board and buying books. It seems some influenctial member has or is advocating the removal of references to Jefferson because of his idea of separation of church and state and because the majority of board members are Republicans they went along with it. What right does this individual have to revise your History?


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Patch 
Posted: 19-Mar-2010, 12:42 PM
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Camac

It was a "discussion" until the equal number of democrats on the board got stupid and all but one walked out, thus leaving all of the decisions up to Republicans and one democrat. Only one woman walked out over the T. Jefferson issue. Personally, I disagree with the Republicans on that one because it is history like it or not. The democrats got just what their ignorance gained for them. There were a number of other radical left ideas that they were arguing over including "Mary has two mommy's" and much much more. Since mainstream America is opposed to those ideas, most of them do not want this crap taught to their children in school. Those who want their children exposed can handle that at home.

Our religious origins are part of our history and that is why it is a legitimate part of discussions today.

Slàinte,    

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