Author Topic: Westboro Baptist Church  (Read 1791 times)

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Offline writerstephen

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2012, 08:19:20 AM »
Mr. Blackwell, I'm pretty sure you just showed the OP's hand.  If I may be so bold, I am pretty sure Steven's intent was to get theists to think about what they believe and why they believe it, to encourage a thought-exercise to get to them to look at why they do use SPAG and why they cherry pick the way they do.  Once you have opened up that discussion, and we can assume that the theist has some grasp on reality and morality (more than the westboro ppl at any rate) one can start to get to the heart of the matter and discuss the immorality of Christianity (the Bible) as a whole.

Pretty much spot-on, Garja. As soon I get karma access, you'll be getting a Darwin. Something to look forward to, no?  :D

Offline One Above All

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2012, 08:20:51 AM »
Also, forgive my ignorance, but what is SPAG?

Self Projection As God. Basically theists think of their values as being the same as their god's. They cherry pick the Bible and make up things that aren't even there.[1]
 1. "Hate the sin, not the sinner", "God doesn't promise to answer every prayer", et cetera.
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2012, 08:46:42 AM »
Also, forgive my ignorance, but what is SPAG?

Don't we have a sticky thread around here explaining that? 

Let me look.
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Offline writerstephen

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2012, 09:17:46 AM »
yep:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18383.0.html



Brilliant, thank you!

Without SPAG, where would Christianity be?? Seems that theists don't want the real, actual,[1] biblical god at all--they want one that fits their preconceived notions. And not a peep from the almighty correcting his faithful.

 1. So to speak

Offline One Above All

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2012, 09:25:54 AM »
And not a peep from the almighty correcting his faithful.

That's because they're all OneTrueChristiansTM. At least that's what they all claim. Everyone else is wrong about the Bible. Only they know the OneTruePathTM.
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Offline Garja

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2012, 10:04:39 AM »
Mr. Blackwell, I'm pretty sure you just showed the OP's hand.  If I may be so bold, I am pretty sure Steven's intent was to get theists to think about what they believe and why they believe it, to encourage a thought-exercise to get to them to look at why they do use SPAG and why they cherry pick the way they do.  Once you have opened up that discussion, and we can assume that the theist has some grasp on reality and morality (more than the westboro ppl at any rate) one can start to get to the heart of the matter and discuss the immorality of Christianity (the Bible) as a whole.

Pretty much spot-on, Garja. As soon I get karma access, you'll be getting a Darwin. Something to look forward to, no?  :D

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Offline Turbo SS

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2012, 10:52:57 AM »
As mentioned before, the WBC follows the bible more closely than the average christian.  I have so much fun trolling christians with this.  Gets them fired up in a hurry.  :laugh:


Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2012, 12:08:11 PM »
As mentioned before, the WBC follows the bible more closely than the average christian.

Well, seems to me they just cherry pick certain parts of the Bible that reinforce their particular world views...just like every other TrueChristiantm does.

I have so much fun trolling christians with this.  Gets them fired up in a hurry.  :laugh:

It has been my experience that trolling is generally frowned upon. I sometimes troll so I can speak from experience.

Do you think trolling moderate Christians with scripture that reveals bigotry from old world sheep herders is beneficial to them?

I ask because I suppose all it does is confirm their presently held belief that atheists are just a bunch of antagonists who are really only angry at God. Isn't the present mind set, that atheists are the enemy, more important than what sheep herders thought about life 2000 years ago?

Kinda like confirmation bias for them. No?


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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 12:52:26 PM »
...Do you think trolling moderate Christians with scripture that reveals bigotry from old world sheep herders is beneficial to them?

I ask because I suppose all it does is confirm their presently held belief that atheists are just a bunch of antagonists who are really only angry at God. Isn't the present mind set, that atheists are the enemy, more important than what sheep herders thought about life 2000 years ago?

Kinda like confirmation bias for them. No?

No, I don't think its beneficial. And, in my opinion, it does more than make them think we're simply angry. It makes them think we're trivial and completely missing the point. It allows them to dismiss us completely, as "not getting it." Most christians, in my experience, do not believe in a literal bible. Tossing literal bible interpretations around just make them think we're silly.
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2012, 12:56:37 PM »
As mentioned before, the WBC follows the bible more closely than the average christian.

Well, seems to me they just cherry pick certain parts of the Bible that reinforce their particular world views...just like every other TrueChristiantm does.


The argument that Turbo SS is putting forward is that WBC does not cherry pick; rather, WBC is the expected embodiment of a direct implementation of a strictly bible based religion.

I have to go through more of the details of what the WBC preaches, but from the outset, it does look like the argument has validity.  I wouldn't expect to ever hear a WBC member purport passages in the bible to be 'poetic' or 'metaphorical'.  But I do need to look into it more.

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Do you think trolling moderate Christians with scripture that reveals bigotry from old world sheep herders is beneficial to them?
I like this question a lot actually.  Many years ago I was a 'typical' Catholic; what I mean by that is a moderate, progressive, ecumenical Catholic.  I believed in...well, religious stuff, but I confess that I didn't take it too seriously.  I knew what I knew and I didn't really need to look into anything.  I believed in god, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  And all that is seen and unseen...

I professed the Nicene creed and assumed that the words I said were the things I actually believed.

But if I had to ascribe one particular cause to my abandonment of Catholicism it was my desire to start taking my religion and my beliefs seriously.  I paid attention to the words of the prayers I said.  I listened to the sermons at mass.  And I finally decided to look into the history of the religion and the organization that I belonged to.

Point is, if someone had talked to me about bronze aged sheep herder logic as the basis of my belief structure in the past, I may very well have said 'bullplop' and started to look into it.  The possibility that such 'trolling' would have resulted in me seriously examining my own beliefs is not without merit.  But it is certainly also possible that I would have put my fingers in my ears and storm off.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2012, 03:17:29 PM »
The argument that Turbo SS is putting forward is that WBC does not cherry pick; rather, WBC is the expected embodiment of a direct implementation of a strictly bible based religion.

And I believe that argument to be flawed specifically because not every Christian interprets the scriptures literally. To present it as an open question on an atheist forum is disingenuous at worst...misguided at best.

To ask every theist why they don't interpret scripture the same way the Phelps do makes no sense. To ask a member of the Phelps family why they interpret the scriptures the way they do makes perfect sense.

To ask a moderate Muslim why they don't interpret all scriptures from the Koran literally makes no sense.

Asking why the Taliban interprets certain scriptures literally makes perfect sense.

Does that make sense?

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2012, 04:40:29 PM »
The argument that Turbo SS is putting forward is that WBC does not cherry pick; rather, WBC is the expected embodiment of a direct implementation of a strictly bible based religion.

And I believe that argument to be flawed specifically because not every Christian interprets the scriptures literally. To present it as an open question on an atheist forum is disingenuous at worst...misguided at best.
That's the thing though, isn't it?  Turbo SS is claiming that WBC practices are interpreting scripture literally.  Well, at least that's what I think he's saying.  Turbo SS, please clarify and correct if necessary.
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To ask every theist why they don't interpret scripture the same way the Phelps do makes no sense. To ask a member of the Phelps family why they interpret the scriptures the way they do makes perfect sense.

To ask a moderate Muslim why they don't interpret all scriptures from the Koran literally makes no sense.

Asking why the Taliban interprets certain scriptures literally makes perfect sense.

Does that make sense?
I'm not sure that makes sense.  I think it's perfectly valid to ask a moderate Muslim why they do not interpret scripture literally, just like I think it's perfectly valid to ask a moderate Christian why they do not interpret scripture literally.  When you take any text, the default interpretation of that text, particularly text that is supposed to describe reality, should be literal.  Any deviation from literal needs to be justified.  I would think that a text book from the master of the universe would warrant a significant justification as to why you would not take it literally.
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Offline writerstephen

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2012, 05:11:42 PM »

To ask every theist why they don't interpret scripture the same way the Phelps do makes no sense. To ask a member of the Phelps family why they interpret the scriptures the way they do makes perfect sense.



I'm the OP, so i'll take the blame if you feel i'm being disingenuous. However, i fail to see your logic with respect to my post. Why doesn't it make sense to ask a theist why they don't follow scripture literally--unless being a "moderate Christian" automatically means you don't follow scripture literally? I don't feel i was being disingenuous. Misguided--well, i suppose i can't argue with this since a misguided person likely doesn't know he's misguided.

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2012, 05:26:42 PM »
I'm the OP, so i'll take the blame if you feel i'm being disingenuous. However, i fail to see your logic with respect to my post. Why doesn't it make sense to ask a theist why they don't follow scripture literally--unless being a "moderate Christian" automatically means you don't follow scripture literally? I don't feel i was being disingenuous. Misguided--well, i suppose i can't argue with this since a misguided person likely doesn't know he's misguided.
Oops.  I was following the thread trail up from quotes and may have been pulling words out of your mouth and stuffing them into Turbo SS's.

Apologies all around.

Even if 'moderate Christian' is defined as 'Christian that does not view the bible literally' I think the question is still valid to ask.  The form simply changes to:
Why are you a moderate Christian and not a fundamentalist?
...or somesuch.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2012, 06:14:05 PM »
Well, as far as I can tell, there is no possible way to follow the entire bible in a literal fashion. There are hundreds of inconsistencies. One cannot possibly believe them all, because they contradict each other.

Here's a chart showing some of them ...

http://www.project-reason.org/gallery3/image/103/
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2012, 06:43:22 PM »

To ask every theist why they don't interpret scripture the same way the Phelps do makes no sense. To ask a member of the Phelps family why they interpret the scriptures the way they do makes perfect sense.



I'm the OP, so i'll take the blame if you feel i'm being disingenuous. However, i fail to see your logic with respect to my post. Why doesn't it make sense to ask a theist why they don't follow scripture literally--unless being a "moderate Christian" automatically means you don't follow scripture literally? I don't feel i was being disingenuous. Misguided--well, i suppose i can't argue with this since a misguided person likely doesn't know he's misguided.

Following Travelers post I only want to add that being a "moderate Christian" DOES automatically mean you don't follow scripture literally.

Being a moderate Christian entails shopping around for the church that preaches the message you want to hear. I suspect it is the same for moderate Muslims.

The great thing about America is the simple fact that one CAN shop around for the message they want to hear.

The sad thing about America is that too many people view those who choose not to hear a message at all as un-American. But that is changing...and will continue to change despite websites like this one and despite people like ol what's his name...Dawkins. Not BECAUSE of their efforts.

Any person...and I mean ANY person...who intimates a dividing line between "us and them" is working towards domination NOT cooperation.

Right about now, we need a little more cooperation and less domination.
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2012, 07:00:59 AM »
And I believe that argument to be flawed specifically because not every Christian interprets the scriptures literally.

This really isn't a question of literal vs metaphorical.  You cannot argue the 613 commandments are metaphorical.  They are literal.  It literally means do not murder people.  It literally means do not commit adultery, or steal, or be a homo, etc.  There is no way to take those things non-literally.  The only excuse for not following them is the whole "new covenant" thing, which is bullshit.

This is about the soft xian not following the rules in the bible because the soft xian has modern morals, which are better than the 2500 years old rules in the bible.  The OP is trying to get the xian to connect those dots.

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Offline writerstephen

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2012, 08:38:23 AM »

The sad thing about America is that too many people view those who choose not to hear a message at all as un-American. But that is changing...and will continue to change despite websites like this one and despite people like ol what's his name...Dawkins. Not BECAUSE of their efforts.


So ... you're saying that atheists expressing themselves divide and don't foster cooperation? This confuses me. I praise vishnu for Dawkins and for this site. Do they piss christians off, even moderate ones? Probably. But i think the dissenting view is good for christians to hear. They've had hegemony for far too long--and that's just the way they like it. Perhaps just one christian will read this thread (or one of many others on the board) and say, "y'know, he's right. This belief of mine doesn't make much sense when you look at it that way. Perhaps i need to think about it some more."

If the price for that is that it makes hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool moderate christians a little miffed, then i'm all for it.

I will say that trolling was never my intent with this thread. And i apologize if i'm missing your point.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2012, 10:06:01 AM »

So ... you're saying that atheists expressing themselves divide and don't foster cooperation? This confuses me.

No, what I said was anyone who seeks to divide people, draw a line in the sand and box THEM neatly in a corner away from US.

Have you not had a disagreement about certain things with your friends or family? Are they still your friends and family? Chances are that even if you pose a dissenting opinion you do so in the spirit of trust of that friendship. You can work together to find a compromise for the sake of friendship.

However, if there is a separation between you and the person you are dissenting then it becomes a confrontation where both people dig their heals in for the war of ideas.

Lack of a belief in God can be a huge dividing line between atheists and their families. The Christian belief that atheists are evil baby eating lying backstabbing two faced monsters is one of the lines dividing an atheist from his/family.

When atheists hold up the WBC as the example all Christians should follow because of their unwavering dedication to scriptures and calling moderate Christians hypocrites for not killing fags only serves to confirm the bias that atheists are evil baby eating lying backstabbing two faced monsters.

Doubly so if you are using this line of logic on a stranger with no emotional investment in your opinion.

The primary concern for atheists SHOULD be to de-stigmatize what it means to be an atheist in the minds of the general public NOT de-converting Christians or forcing them to take down their xmas displays. It is only after they view you as a human that they will begin to listen to your arguments on morality.

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i think the dissenting view is good for christians to hear.

Me too. Just not in the "here let me rub your nose in your own shit" kind of way. 

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They've had hegemony for far too long--and that's just the way they like it.

I added the emphasis to show the dividing line of thought. It's not "US" vs "THEM"

We are all in this TOGETHER.

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Perhaps just one christian will read this thread (or one of many others on the board) and say, "y'know, he's right. This belief of mine doesn't make much sense when you look at it that way. Perhaps i need to think about it some more."

Perhaps, but this is a numbers game and you wont get many on your "side" using this technique. It is likely you will simply piss off and confirm for many more Christians their belief that atheists are just a bunch of pricks.

Quote
If the price for that is that it makes hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool moderate christians a little miffed, then i'm all for it.

One step forward, ten steps back...won't make it anywhere like that but ultimately, it's your choice.

Quote
I will say that trolling was never my intent with this thread. And i apologize if i'm missing your point.

When I mentioned trolling, that was a direct response to Turbo's comment...I did not mean for it to sound like I was lumping you or this thread into that category.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2012, 10:09:28 AM »
This is about the soft xian not following the rules in the bible because the soft xian has modern morals, which are better than the 2500 years old rules in the bible.  The OP is trying to get the xian to connect those dots.

I understand, I just think using the WBC example happens to be the least effective and most offensive way to go about getting xian's to connect the dots.

Edit to add:

It would be like using JoeB as an example of what an atheist should be like and asking why most atheists don't use the same kind of logic or share the same views on morality that he espouses.

Gotta keep in mind, for most moderate Christians the Bible is just a security blanket...they haven't really studied it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 10:15:57 AM by Mr. Blackwell »
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2012, 10:17:18 AM »
I understand, I just think this happens to be the least effective and most offensive way to go about getting xian's to connect the dots.

I am pretty sure we could come up with a couple of more offensive ways.  Some here have argued that there is no convieveable way the topic could be taken up that would not be deemed offensive by the religious.  I am not sure that is true, but they are extremely sensitive to having their delicate beliefs challenged. 

As for efficacy, who knows, really? 
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2012, 02:13:55 PM »
It would be like using JoeB as an example of what an atheist should be like and asking why most atheists don't use the same kind of logic or share the same views on morality that he espouses.

No it wouldn't.  That would be akin to asking generic theists (they exist) why they don't follow the Bible.  They'd probably just say, "why would I particularly care what's in the Bible?"
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Offline Samothec

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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2012, 03:39:11 PM »
Do you think most Xians would consider the following acronym offensive?

Believer's
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2012, 06:35:25 AM »
Do you think most Xians would consider the following acronym offensive?

probably, since many of them find the use of "xian" with an x offensive...
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Re: Westboro Baptist Church
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2012, 08:41:18 AM »
probably, since many of them find the use of "xian" with an x offensive...

I've always wondered about this, because I've seen a variety of sources that say it was in usage hundreds of years ago, and that it comes from the Greek.

From http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/arguments.html#xian ...

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What does "xian" mean?
"What does the abbreviation "xian" mean? Is it an insult?"

When writing the name "Christ," it is quite common to abbreviate it to X or x, representing the first letter (chi) of the Greek XPICTOC khristos. For example, "xmas" is a common abbreviation of "Christmas." "Xian" just means "Christian."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the use of the abbreviation "xian" or "xtian" for "Christian" dates back at least as far as 1634. Before that, it was more usual to take the first two letters of XPICTOC, and write "xpian" for "Christian." Priests would record Christenings using the shorthand "xpen" or "xpn."

So no, it's not an insult.

And from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Xian

Quote
Xian

This is an abbreviation for the word Christian. It comes from the Greek name for Christ, Xristos, and is essentially the same notation as we commonly see with Xmas.
 
Another variation on this is Xtian, although the addition of the extra t is not entirely proper.
 
Used as a cool alternative to Christian, which is a whole lot of letters, albeit a really wicked name.
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