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Thread: Props to Elton

  1. #1

    Default Props to Elton

    I don't want to start a discussion about homosexuality or tolerance. I just want to say I appreciate Elton John's recent statement that organized religion should be banned.



    LONDON (Reuters) - Elton John has said organized religion should be banned because it promotes homophobia.


    "I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it," the British singer said in an interview with the Observer newspaper on Sunday.


    "Religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it is not really compassionate."


    "The reality is that organized religion doesn't seem to work," he added.

    http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...-NextArticle-1




    I think he's wrong with the "hateful lemmings" crack and the assertion that religions are not really compassionate. I can't speak for all of them, but my religion teaches compassion, and practices it too.

    But he's right about the rest of it. The queer agenda is at odds with religious principles, and there can be no reconciliation as long as either side stays true.

    As a fundamentalist Christian, I thank Elton for expecting us to act according to our religious conviction. What scares me is the thousands of people within the church who disagree with Elton and me. We agree that there can't be common ground, but they think Christians should discard what the Bible says.

    ====

    Ironically, Where To Now, St. Peter? by Elton came up on my ipod while I was posting this.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Can't say I agree with either of you. I think you are both being intolerant and ultimately hurting your own cause.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Matching ignorance and intolerance with ignorance and intolerance solves nothing.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    The only thing I see in that quote from Elton John is the arrogance of intolerance.

    Nice to call for more tolerance by banning a social group. Cute.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Maybe he's trying to be clever in a "how would it feel if the tables were turned" kind of way.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Or maybe he's trying to be clever by demonizing those who oppose him, thus nullifying against any discussion actually about homosexuality itself or him personally...
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
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    Can't say I agree with either of you. I think you are both being intolerant and ultimately hurting your own cause.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Matching ignorance and intolerance with ignorance and intolerance solves nothing.
    Hicks, please demonstrate ignorance in Elton's position and mine.

    3Ball, your comment highlights why I think this issue so compelling. You claim that being intolerant is hurtful, but your position would deny both sides of this conflict the right to believe what their conscience commends to them and practice their own convictions.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    You claim that being intolerant is hurtful, but your position would deny both sides of this conflict the right to believe what their conscience commends to them and practice their own convictions.
    No, the problem with both sides is that they want to deny the OTHER side of the conflict to practice their own convictions.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball View Post
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    No, the problem with both sides is that they want to deny the OTHER side of the conflict to practice their own convictions.

    ....because the two sides are genuinely in conflict. Until you see that, you haven't understood either side.

    What is meritorious about Elton John's statement is that he seems to recognize that the conflict is insoluble. He admits, "The Bible really does condemn the way I live. It would be a whole lot easier for me if the people who believe the Bible would go away."
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Elton has always been one of my favorite performers and I've been to around 10 of his concerts over the years. Elton has a right to his opinion, but I hope he remembers he hasn't stayed out of the fray quietly over his career. Elton making a comment he would ban religion is just as bad as the point he's trying to make.

    From his Blue Moves album.

    http://www.azlyrics.com/j/john.html

    ELTON JOHN LYRICS

    "If There's A God In Heaven (What's He Waiting For)"

    Torn from their families
    Mothers go hungry
    To feed their children
    But children go hungry
    There's so many big men
    They're out making millions
    When poverty's profits
    Just blame the children

    If there's a God in heaven
    What's he waiting for
    If He can't hear the children
    Then he must see the war
    But it seems to me
    That he leads his lambs
    To the slaughter house
    And not the promised land

    Dying for causes
    They don't understand
    We've been taking their futures
    Right out of their hands
    They need the handouts
    To hold back the tears
    There's so many crying
    But so few that hear

    If there's a God in heaven
    Well, what's he waiting for

    If there's a God in heaven
    What's he waiting for
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    ....because the two sides are genuinely in conflict. Until you see that, you haven't understood either side.

    What is meritorious about Elton John's statement is that he seems to recognize that the conflict is insoluble. He admits, "The Bible really does condemn the way I live. It would be a whole lot easier for me if the people who believe the Bible would go away."
    The Bible condemns the way everyone lives.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The Bible condemns the way everyone lives.
    Politics forum post of the year.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    ....because the two sides are genuinely in conflict. Until you see that, you haven't understood either side.

    What is meritorious about Elton John's statement is that he seems to recognize that the conflict is insoluble. He admits, "The Bible really does condemn the way I live. It would be a whole lot easier for me if the people who believe the Bible would go away."
    They genuinely disagree, but they only need to be in conflict if one side or the other tries to inhibit what the other does out of nose range. Elton can say he doesn't think people should be Christians all he wants as long as he doesn't go around burning churches. Christians can preach against the evils of homosexuality all they want as long as they don't try to go around forbidding people to marry whomever they love. The disagreement is insoluble, otherwise their wouldn't be a disagreement. The conflict is perfectly soluble. Stop trying to force each other to live by YOUR moral code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball View Post
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    They genuinely disagree, but they only need to be in conflict if one side or the other tries to inhibit what the other does out of nose range. Elton can say he doesn't think people should be Christians all he wants as long as he doesn't go around burning churches. Christians can preach against the evils of homosexuality all they want as long as they don't try to go around forbidding people to marry whomever they love. The disagreement is insoluble, otherwise their wouldn't be a disagreement. The conflict is perfectly soluble. Stop trying to force each other to live by YOUR moral code.
    I don't have a lot of time right now. But the question comes up isn't there some sort of basic moral code we should all try to live by - that doesn't mean we don't stumble from time to time - but shouldn't we strive to reach some type of moral standard.

    I don't believe in the "well it might be right for you, but it isn't right for me" way of thinking

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    You don't have a lot of time, but you had time to post it TWICE?????

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Hicks, please demonstrate ignorance in Elton's position and mine.
    I believe to have a desire to ban religion, you have to be at least somewhat ignorant about what it generally is on a church-by-church basis. Is anti-gay sentiment a problem that is fueled by religion? Yes, but I believe it's ignorant to assume that it's such an overbearing issue that it justifies wanting to do away with religion completely. He acknowledges religion does a lot of good, but if he truly understood how much good it provides, I do not believe he would make such a comment.

    Still, ignorance is not my primary descriptor of his comments. Intolerance is, and that's enough.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Even if there were no formal religions, one group of citizens always will be trying to foist their convictions about a proper code of conduct on others. Governments that have outlawed formal religion are filled with intolerant law.

    Humans have a tendency to want to use government to enforce their personal way of looking at life.

    As a society we need to check those who want to force on others their personal morality, without regard to common sense and tolerance for others who don't have the same moral code.

    I agree with Hicks that this is about intolerance. It is also about those who haven't learned a healthy respect for the need of a separation between church and state.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I don't believe in the "well it might be right for you, but it isn't right for me" way of thinking
    Unlike, say, the founders of this country.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    This thread has taken the turn that I expected. I want to respond to various posts. Sorry this is so long.


    1. Unclebuck says, "I don't believe in the, Well it might be right for you, but it isn't right for me way of thinking."

    Then 3Ball responds, Unlike, say, the founders of this country.

    3Ball may be a 12-year-old-kid or he may be a Yale professor. I don't know. But with all due respect, he is not qualified to speak on behalf of the founding fathers.

    2. The founders of this country did not believe individual liberty should be the prevailing virtue in the social compact. Jefferson did, and he emphasized liberty in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine did, too. Neither of those guys wrote the Constitution. It is inaccurate to equate Jefferson's extreme position to that of the founding fathers in general.

    The Constitution is all about balancing individual liberties against the equally important social values. Adams says a free society can thrive only if the people have a shared morality leading each citizen to use his freedom in a way that benefits society according to the shared moral code.

    3. People today (sixthman and 3Ball, for example) believe the founding fathers wanted a "separation of church and state" and that religion must be sequestered. Not so. They felt religion was essential for a free society. What they provided was, "No establishment of religion," meaning the government would never set up a Church of America and insist everybody join it. They never intended to keep church out of the social arena. The Federalist Papers and the private writings of Adams are the best proofs of this.

    4. The phrase "separation of church and state" comes from a private letter written by Jefferson to a church in Connecticut, in which he assured them the government had no intention of meddling with church affairs. The idea that government could or should suppress religion using the justification of the 2nd Amendment and the phrase "separation of church and state" came about much later.

    5. 3Ball's notion of individual liberty as the supreme social virtue has never been practiced in a successful society. As sixthman points out,

    Quote Originally Posted by sixthman
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    Even if there were no formal religions, one group of citizens always will be trying to foist their convictions about a proper code of conduct on others. Governments that have outlawed formal religion are filled with intolerant law.
    He might have even gone a step further, and shown that purely secular states are always the most brutal, vis, the French Revolution, which is the best example history offers of a state founded on Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.

    Pure libertarianism doesn't work. Never has. All it gets you is Ted Kozinski. So a good society has to have a foundation. Religion is the best foundation yet discovered.

    6. Uncle Buck makes a good point above, which Los Angeles has already lauded:

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBuck
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    The Bible condemns the way everyone lives.
    This is right, and extremely important to me. The Bible tells me not to judge, but to work out my own salvation in fear and trembling. So I try to treat the two homosexuals in my office with perfect courtesy. In one instance, this is easy, because the fellow is mannerly and capable and it is a pleasure working with him. The other guy is a different story, but I've gotta be courteous to him, too. So you see? Even though my religion condemns their behavior, it also protects them from harm by constraining me to act with compassion.

    By the way, when the Bible says, Do not judge, it means don't judge people. It does not mean don't judge right from wrong. A rigid morality appears throughout. Jesus spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes, but he told every one of them, Go and sin no more. So when you see the signs asking "Would Jesus discriminate?" remember that the answer is, "Absolutely, yes!"


    7. sixthman alludes to something he calls "their personal morality." If I were Dat Dude, I would respond with RAOTFLMFAO. But being modest and temperate Putnam, let me just say, Phooey.

    Please understand that faith is not something that belongs to those who believe. It comes to us from far away and long ago. Faith is an outside influence on us, and often a very uncomfortable one. We conform to the faith at great personal inconvenience, because we believe it to be true. So please stop thinking our faith is something we made up or something we pull out of a toolbox when it suits us. Christianity constrains my behavior a whole lot more than I'd ever expect it to constrain yours.

    8. As Uncle Buck says, the Bible condemns the way everyone lives. The problem is that some people consider this fact to be of extreme importance, and other people couldn't care less.

    Think about that. What if half the drivers on the road cared nothing about the speed limit? What if half the people cared nothing about paying their taxes? What if a virile male cares nothing for a girl's right to say "Yes" or "No"? You can see quite clearly that the people who don't care are nonetheless capable of inflicting harm on those who do care and on themselves.


    Well, I've written a post so long that no one is going to read it. Let me conclude.

    I started this thread because I consider amoral relativists to be a problem in our society. I thought it was refreshing that Elton John perceives a real conflict involving deeply held convictions about society. I disagree with him about the particulars, but I'm glad there are still people who believe good living requires a social compact and reject the puerile notion that people can do what they like without affecting each other.

    My right to swing my fist stops at the tip of your nose, but the concept is useless. Your nose is everywhere.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Good post Putman.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  21. #21

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    7. sixthman alludes to something he calls "their personal morality." If I were Dat Dude, I would respond with RAOTFLMFAO. But being modest and temperate Putnam, let me just say, Phooey.

    Please understand that faith is not something that belongs to those who believe. It comes to us from far away and long ago. Faith is an outside influence on us, and often a very uncomfortable one. We conform to the faith at great personal inconvenience, because we believe it to be true. So please stop thinking our faith is something we made up or something we pull out of a toolbox when it suits us. Christianity constrains my behavior a whole lot more than I'd ever expect it to constrain yours.
    Phooey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    3Ball may be a 12-year-old-kid or he may be a Yale professor. I don't know. But with all due respect, he is not qualified to speak on behalf of the founding fathers.
    With all due respect, then explain what makes YOU qualified to speak on behalf of the founding fathers, as you did in this next paragraph.

    Putnam's next paragraph:
    2. The founders of this country did not believe individual liberty should be the prevailing virtue in the social compact. Jefferson did, and he emphasized liberty in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine did, too. Neither of those guys wrote the Constitution. It is inaccurate to equate Jefferson's extreme position to that of the founding fathers in general.
    Your characterization of Thomas Jefferson seems peculiar and judgemental. Maybe he is not the extremist.

    I would also remind that the authors of the Constitution didn't exactly have a handle on perfection either. These "guys" you respect for moderation assured the institutionalization of slavery in this country for decades to come.

    I also think it it clear the Founding Fathers were wise enough to know that future generations would have to adapt the Constitution to their needs and requirements.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    This thread has taken the turn that I expected. I want to respond to various posts. Sorry this is so long.


    1. Unclebuck says, "I don't believe in the, Well it might be right for you, but it isn't right for me way of thinking."

    Then 3Ball responds, Unlike, say, the founders of this country.

    3Ball may be a 12-year-old-kid or he may be a Yale professor. I don't know. But with all due respect, he is not qualified to speak on behalf of the founding fathers.

    2. The founders of this country did not believe individual liberty should be the prevailing virtue in the social compact. Jefferson did, and he emphasized liberty in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine did, too. Neither of those guys wrote the Constitution. It is inaccurate to equate Jefferson's extreme position to that of the founding fathers in general.

    The Constitution is all about balancing individual liberties against the equally important social values. Adams says a free society can thrive only if the people have a shared morality leading each citizen to use his freedom in a way that benefits society according to the shared moral code.

    3. People today (sixthman and 3Ball, for example) believe the founding fathers wanted a "separation of church and state" and that religion must be sequestered. Not so. They felt religion was essential for a free society. What they provided was, "No establishment of religion," meaning the government would never set up a Church of America and insist everybody join it. They never intended to keep church out of the social arena. The Federalist Papers and the private writings of Adams are the best proofs of this.
    Putnam, the founding fathers had very diverse opinions. Including some who clearly did NOT believe that religion was essential for a free society. But one thing they clearly did NOT believe is that everyone had to have exactly the same beliefs. You are also right that you don't know a damn thing about me or my religious practices. You're putting an awful lot of words in my mouth, my man.

    There is a church about half a mile from my office with a lesbian minister. It is a large Christian church that I have been to a few times. A conservative older woman plays the organ, and the congregation sings terrific four-part harmony. There is a terrific playground out back, and the day care they run is considered one of the best in town. They have been marrying gay couples for two decades, even though, of course, the marriages aren't legal in this state. Who is impinging on who's religious beliefs here?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    I'm still trying to figure out what ones relationship with another person has anything to do with morals at all.

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    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by efx View Post
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    I'm still trying to figure out what ones relationship with another person has anything to do with morals at all.
    What do you mean

  25. #25

    Default Re: Props to Elton

    Quote Originally Posted by sixthman
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    With all due respect, then explain what makes YOU qualified to speak on behalf of the founding fathers, as you did in this next paragraph.
    Thank you. I appreciate the recognition that some people can be more qualified than others. I don't claim to be the world's greatest expert on the constitution, but I have read The Federalist Papers, de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, David Mc Collough's biography of Adams, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, and many more books on the subject. I don't have a history degree, but my Georgetown University graduate program required a substantial amount of political theory.

    In the earlier posts of this thread I've shown that I know something. Instead of alluding vaguely to "the founding fathers," I named specific persons and linked them to specific ideas, positions or statements which they actually held. About the only thing 3Ball has been right about is that there were diverse opinions. I acknowledged that Paine thought differently than Adams
    even before 3Ball pointed it out.

    Who are the founding fathers anyway? Some experts limit the list to four names: Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Jay. There is a strong case that Jefferson doesn't belong on the list at all, since he was in France when the Constitution was written.

    By the way, Jefferson was radical. This is borne out by the fact that over the past 20 years the US public figure with the strongest and purest philosophical link to Jefferson was Timothy McVeigh.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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