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The Elevation of Religious Ideas

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by lati0s, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. lati0s

    lati0s

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    I have noticed that beliefs held because of a religious reason are often given more respect in our society than are beliefs held for other reasons. For example, some prisons will allow Jewish inmates to have kosher meals but will not allow inmates who would simply prefer the kosher meals to have them. Many school dress codes include clauses such as "hats may not be worn except for religious purposes". Muslim women are allowed to wear their head scarves in places that people would usually be forced to show their faces in. Some workplaces will give workers the day off for religious holidays without making them use up a vacation day. People are generally more respectful of beliefs that they know are held on a religious basis.

    What do you all think of this? For those of you that live outside of America, does this occur where you live as well?
  2. Cartoons!

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    The alternative is depriving someone of a service, which is discrimination, or forcing them to conform to the practices of the majority (that's bad).

    On the other hand, my Jewish friend's holidays eat up all his vacation days and he has to stay in late often to make up for lost hours. He doesn't complain, and it seems like a fair deal.

    These are the perks of living in a free country, I guess, and a contrast to some places and eras when religious difference was addressed with a sword. I like the idea of a society that serves the individual and meets us on our level. Begrudging people based on these little allowances because of faith just seems a little mean-spirited.
  3. lati0s

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    It is not the fact that accommodations are made for religion that bothers me, it is the fact that accomadations are made for religion and not for other beliefs. Take my first example for instance, the Jewish inmates are allowed to request kosher food while the other inmates are not. I am perfectly fine with the prisons decision to accommodate some of the inmates beliefs by serving kosher food but what I have a problem with is that only the inmates with religious reasons are allowed to choose the kosher meals and inmates that would really prefer to have the kosher meals but do not have a religious reason are denied it.
  4. Wikey

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    Exactly. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. It's along the same lines of my bosses being smokers. It's okay for them to take five five to ten minute on the clock smoke breaks but I can't sit in the back and play my DS for a few minutes whenever I want. Though, I've actually started dicking around on my phone in the bathroom whenever I feel like it and if they ask what I'm up to I say I'm on a smoke break. We'll see what happens.
  5. Cartoons!

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    I assume they view a non-Jewish inmate asking for kosher food (which is also more expensive) as a sort of 'non-essential' request similar to asking for an X-Box or something. The question then might become, I suppose, 'why is the religious view of the Jewish inmate held to a higher regard than the preference of the non-Jewish inmate?' To which I say, depriving the Jewish inmate would, if he were sincere, cause a degree of mental and emotional anguish, not present in the other inmate who just wouldn't be getting his way.

    When you say 'other beliefs', I'm guessing you mean atheists and maybe agnostics? Maybe a valid question, for example, does the atheist inmate simply prefer the taste of kosher food, or is he somehow morally against the process non-kosher meat is prepared? What are prison's policies regarding vegetarian inmates? I assume they're accommodated, but I may be wrong.

    What instances are comparable really? Hats? That's a question of etiquette then, and there's no reason to bring up religion if you don't like it. It sounds just a bit like sour grapes about the fact that society has rules, and some people get to sidestep those rules because they'd be legitimately grieved otherwise (and not simply miffed about not getting their way).
  6. Eggbert

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    It's because people with these requirements "have" to fulfill said requirements.
  7. Captain

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    So because they have stronger beliefs over their need for their accommodation we are required to give it to them?

    Because to me, it kinda sounds like that.
  8. Cartoons!

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    Ok, so is any of this actually about social cost/security, or do you guys just want to make people with different belief systems feel really unwelcome?

    Maybe we should focus on a specific issue, because so far what are we conceding for someone else's beliefs' sake? The OP mentioned he doesn't have a problem with a Jewish inmate getting a kosher meal, so I'm going to assume a basic level of empathy here and suggest maybe that's not what people are really talking about?
  9. ChaosNebula

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    Jewish and Christain holidays are made official/national in the US, yet the Muslim holidays don't get love? Trust me the Muslims are trying to get their holidays official. I find that discriminating
  10. Final Days

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    Considering at one point America was made up of 90% Christians, I don't see how that is relevant? Even now the majority of Americans are Christians.

    Add to that the fact that half of Americans (exaggerating) are bigots towards Islamic people. It makes sense
  11. Great Sage

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    I find it very interesting, and rather ironic, how quickly you resort to suggesting that the OP has raised this issue to discomfit religious people.
  12. Alan

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    Most employers (since that seems to be the problem here) will be reasonable about your religious beliefs, even if you aren't Christian or Jewish!!! Other stuff, i.e. prison as Cartoons! raises is that most people don't give two shits about prisoners because, quote frankly, they are there for a reason, and I wouldn't want to see my taxpayer dollars going to pay for a serial killer or rapist to have a special meal or accomadations on a menu in prison. Most people probably feel the same way.

    @ Network: I can't think of a single Jewish holiday that is nationally recognized. Tbh. Most of the Christian holidays are nationally recognized because this country was founded with basic Christian ideas in mind (regardless of what someone wants to tell you) and because the majority of the population is Christian and has been that way for some time.
  13. Cartoons!

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    I wasn't referring to lati0s there. Admittedly, it was something I suggested in my first post (unfairly) but he made his position clear.

    The remark was in reference to the following posts, which didn't really address any specific issue, but seemed to be made, rather, to express a touch of contempt.

    I really don't understand what's pushing people's buttons here. I'm kind of surprised people are upset over this. I should step out of Canada more, I guess (or look more closely at Quebec).

    edit: I don't think the targets here are the Judeo-Christian religions, but the problem seems to be that people of no religion don't enjoy the 'perks' religious people do.
  14. lati0s

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    "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"
    -treaty of Tripoli

    Christian holidays become national holidays because they are important to a majority of the country
  15. ChaosNebula

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    Bullshit, absolute bullshit. I believe that the Tripoli Treaty is absolute crap. There is a large amount of Muslims, yet they get no love >_>
  16. lati0s

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    and what do you think is wrong with it?
  17. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler You're only a rebel from the waist down
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    Having Christmas as this month's national holiday (as there is about one national holiday a month in the US) is convenient because of the supermajority of Christians and non-Christians who celebrate the holiday without religious intent. No where near as many people celebrate Jewish or Muslim holidays. But if you want to be accomodated for celebrating your religions holidays, that is usually available.
  18. SEO

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    I'm not quite sure what the OP is suggesting. The United States is pretty strong on the "religious freedom" view, and any sort of government interference (for example denying a jewish prisoner his kosher meals) would lead to some serious legal action. As for the prisoner simply asking for something he prefers, there is no right (at least here in the United States) that would make it necessary for the government to oblige to your preferences.
  19. Morm

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    Taking your hat off out of respect is NOT a big deal. Avoiding taking a shit in a church corridor is just common sense; Pick your battles. I draw the line at people hiding behind respect as a requirement so that I can't call them out for any silly aspect of their faith. It is not disrespectful for me to object or ask questions and I REALLY dislike when people try to mask arrogance behind a shroud of respect. I guess this is one opportunity I can use to compliment Deck Knight: He may be wrong, but at least he will let me take him to task for it and will bear his fangs himself instead of avoidance.
  20. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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    It's a monday in a small village in northern Japan I currently call home. At 12:30, all the elementary school students (and therefore 99% of the village's children) stream into the cafeteria, where all the students and all the teachers eat the same prepared lunch.

    At 12:50, in the adjacent middle school, all the middle school students (and therefore 99% of the village's young teenagers) enter their cafeteria, and eat the same lunch as the elementary schoolers.

    The lunches are very healthy and quite tasty, but not the least bit kosher (mmm, pork-stock miso soup . . .).

    One might chock it up to the cultural/ethnic homogeneity of Japan, but I can say that the environment of the school is inconducive to individual needs, including religious freedom. No one will persecute for your religion, but you would be extremely hard pressed to find support.

    Japan is an extremely group-oriented culture, and living inside it, one must learn the importance of adhering to the surrounding culture and the will of the group. This is an extremely critical skill for both the students to learn as they enter Japanese society, and for any foreigner looking to come eye-to-eye to the Japanese.

    Even having been raised in the group-oriented culture of Hawaii (largely due to Japanese and Polynesian influence), I sometimes find Japanese uniformism suffocating.

    Takeaway: In a culture where the vast majority of people have the same religion, saying something "is for your own religion" would pretty much be equivalent to saying it is for "my own selfish whim."


    Religion in general is very unobtrusive in Japanese culture. Almost all Japanese engage in both Shinto and Buddhist rites. Generaly speaking though, the Buddhist rites exist with almost zero extremism, zero obligation to the religion, and minimal obtrusion to daily life (oh, ok I pray at my family alter for 10 seconds every day, lol).

    Shintoism on the other hand, is so religiously bland, that many Japanese suggest that it is not a religion at all but merely part of the manifestation of Japanese culture (ie. Shinto rites equivalent to taking your shoes off when entering a house, eating raw fish, or bathing at night). Shinto "gods" (kami) are imperfect spirits who can be mean-spirited, make mistakes, and exist on the same plane as people and animals. Many Christian Japanese think nothing of also following Shinto customs since the kami are simply beings on the same lower plane as humans-- one could see them as simply other creations of God. Speaking to them is more like speaking to your neighbors than worship. If you do a fortune telling and don't like what one kami tells you, just go ask for the advice of another at a different shrine.

    conclusion: There is a joke that Japanese are "Shinto at birth, Christian in marriage, and Buddhist in death." All in all, religion is a pretty non-issue here.



    . . . well it should be anyway . . .

    Incidentally this is at the source of much tension between China/Korea and Japan. There is a Shinto shrine dedicated to "the souls of those soldiers who died in battle for the sake of the Emperor" called Yasukuni Jinja. The souls of the leaders of WWII are also enshrined there. To the Chinese/Korean, this is monstrous-- "What would other Europeans think if the Germans made a shrine to worship Hitler?" This is a large misunderstanding though, as in Shintoism, one does not "worship" souls or kami-- there isn't theologically any honoring involved. One only performs rites so that restless souls will not disturb the living.

    . . . and yet no understanding comes about it . . . :/ humanity is so foolish sometimes.

    I would note though that the Imperial house of Japan, the Emperor, who is essentially the "Pope" (head) of Shintoism, being highly active and dedicated to bettering the foreign relations of Japan and friendly international sentiment, has a strong disapproval of Yasukuni's conduct. This is the same Emperor who has, on multiple occasions, visited Pearl Harbor and Punch Bowl military cemetary in Honolulu to pay his respects to the US's WWII fallen soldiers. Man, if Obama similarly visited Hiroshima the Japanese would go nuts with appreciation (here's to that happening someday).

    Thus, that Emperor holds strong resentment to Yasukuni's continued unnecessary instigation of conflict and anti-foreign sentiment. So far, the Imperial House has yet to publicly censor Yasukuni (as it has many strong supporters, including former primer Prime Minister Koizumi), and has limited itself to subtler political subversion like leaking diary entries of previous Emperors deploring Yasukuni's post WWII conduct. We shall see how that situation unfolds in time . . .
  21. MrIndigo

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    What if you -really- didn't like the food. What if, for instance, your loved one had choked on a chicken bone and now you can't stand to eat chicken anymore?

    The crux of the matter is exactly this. People/Society assume that the grievance for a religious reason is somehow more important and more dire than grievance for any other reason. It may be, in a particular case, that a grievance for a religious reason is more severe than all other grievances (although assessment of that would be difficult to do); this should not be an assumption, or even a presumption.

    I have a problem with this where it affords benefits to the religious that are denied to the nonreligious equivalents, the best example being charitable status. The HCA recently ruled in Word Investments that a religious organisation (in this case the publishers of the Gideon Bible) can own and operate private enterprises and provided that the money is filtered back into the religious organisation core, they still count as charitable status and are hence tax exempt. This means that just because your organisation is religious, you get a huge competitive advantage over the rest of the members of your industry or marketplace. In this particular case, the publishers owned and operated a funeral direction company.

    It's a big problem, but it is also extremely illogical (as things concerning religion are often wont to be). The fact that someone believes something very deeply does not mean that their belief is more important than someone else's, and it certainly doesn't mean their belief is correct. Religious freedom is not the same as awarding positive benefits to a group or individal on the basis of their religion.
  22. November Blue

    November Blue NO YOUTUBE, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH VIDEOS AT MAX VOLUME!!
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    I think that the entire double standard is fucking asinine. Say I work in a busy workplace. One day, we have heaps to do and we need as many people on as possible. One guy says that he isn't going to come to work because he's taking a religious holiday off. He needs to go home and have a family gathering to celebrate some event in his (fictional) religious text. And everyone lets him. Sure, I get stuck doing twice as much work, but it's okay because it's his religion.

    If I told my boss that my family takes a holiday off to celebrate the quidditch world cup, and to respect the fact that I believe that it's real when he might not, he'd laugh at me. Then fire me.

    What happens if we deny theists their beliefs? They potentially go mad because missing their holiday has angered god, and now they go to hell. They become anguished as a result, and can sue.

    Anthropologically, these people are insane. Being supported by the legal system and recognized in society has made antagonism of religion a taboo.

    I do take a rather contemptuous stance on religion, mainly because modern iterations are so fucking corrupt. If not, any real religion is socially neurotic, as outlined above. Sure, there are kind hearted priests running a little church in a little community somewhere. These are fine. But when scientologists destroy families for money and hide behind the legal system, vatican clergy rape children and hide behind the pope and muslims murder people in the name of allah, how can you call that a religion that falls within acceptable/humane/practical/meaningful boundaries? These are not reasons for religions to exist and operate. The fact that society pussyfoots around what are essentially criminals hiding behind a disguised cult really calls our legal/social/vocational priorities into question.

    This is a medical requirement. Psychologically, you have needs. If you were denied, it would cause anguish, and you could sue. The difference is that if your favorite sitcom character choked on a chicken bone, it has no bearing on reality.

    The problem is that theists don't request that you respect their beliefs. They demand it. Then they try to shove it down your throat and tell you that their beliefs are solid fact and everything else is false. If you resist or naysay, you're met with steadfast self-righteous indignation, aggression and condescention. They can't possibly be wrong, I'm sent by the devil and any challenge is seen as a personal attack.

    I'm not saying that people can't practice religion. It's none of my business what happens in the privacy of your own home. But if you're narcissistic about it then you're a narcissist. Plain and simple.
  23. Cartoons!

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    Whether the prison wants to spend the extra dough on kosher (or vegetarian/vegan) meals to be available for everyone is up to them, I just don't like the idea of saying they can't have their kosher or vegetarian meal because 'their beliefs are stupid'. A quick search on the matter reveals that, apparently, prisons offering kosher meals is a fairly recent development, but I couldn't find anything to suggest you couldn't get a kosher meal if you weren't Jewish.

    I'm glad you brought up a tangible issue, MrIndigo. I can't comment on how the law distinguishes between charitable enterprises and profitable businesses, but if it is as you described it, then that's pretty unfair. Awareness of the mass corruption and hypocrisy of the visible church has fueled my angst against religion for many years, and it's only sharpened since I became a Christian. I make no excuses for organized religion, but it still sucks to see people dragging a group through the mud, a class of them, calling them stupid, deranged or whatever.

    Religious people belong in an insane asylum, I get it. You don't have to like his values, but what resolution would you propose exactly?

    added: quickly, I realize most people aren't advocating individuals shouldn't be allowed to practice whatever religion they want, but what should be done when practicing that religion makes things a little inconvenient for others?
  24. ChaosNebula

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    The reason why I find the Tripoli Treaty a little fake, is that every president was Christain. Most government seats have been held by Christains.
  25. Deck Knight

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    Most of the self-reighteous indignation I've found on any subject comes from people with no religion. Why are these people so whiny? Why must every enjoyable thing about life be boiled out of existence because these people can't stand the idea of God? Most of the stuff in the thread is so ridiculously petty that it saddens me.

    Chances are if one of your co-workers takes a religious holiday off, it's because they are using their paid time off, or else your workplace has floating holidays that can be taken on religious celebrations. It's no more foisting twice the work on you as it is foisting twice the work on them when you take a vacation. And you'd better not be taking a vacation at a time when work might be busy!

    Religious beliefs are held in high regard because religion is the institution which reinforces people morally. Most religious codes demand discipline, awareness of yourself and your neighbor, and strict adherence to moral behaviors, most of which fall under the umbrella of "first, do no harm." As a Catholic I am aware of many cafeteria Catholics who just sort of phone it in, but at the end of the day the seed for a moral, loving, Christian life is there.

    I see the Treaty of Tripoli and raise The Declaration of Independence:
    "We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It is not government, it is not some generic philosophy, it is God from who our rights are sourced, at least in the eyes of the Founding Fathers, about whom more lies and distortions have been written than any others in history.

    As far as corrupting influences, government has done more evil than any religion, for it uses the barrel of the gun with public approval and legal immunity. "Science" thrusts great frauds upon the people when it deliberately lies to them for the benefit of a few "thinkers," all of whom are, surprise, entrenched in government and controlling the levers of "science"'s funding. More children are raped (in both number and a percentage of their profession) by teachers than priests, yet the atheist is silent about the public school and its agents as a center of respect.

    In fact, almost everything evil in history can be traced back to some form of government influence and/or protectionism. Much of the historical evils atheists lambaste the church for occured when church and government were one and the same entity. Atheists choose to blame religion for the historical outcome because they cannot fathom the loving government that gives them gifties and goodies and funds their sacred "science" as being malevolent. They are seemingly incapable of defending their values except through force of law instead of force of will, or more accurately, force of love. Christians thrive and flourish where governments repeatedly trample them and kill them. The same cannot be said of atheists, whose greatest harbors lie in societies where the religious protect their unbelief. And no, atheists don't "owe us," the religious do things solely because they are righteous. True sacrifice is giving of yourself knowing you will recieve nothing in return.

    The whiny, childish, petty nature of complaints against minor religious adherence are tolerated because religions preach respect for their fellow man, no matter how misguided, is a mandatory part of being a decent human being. I for one do not wish to be talked down to for my religious observances by a person whose morality varies from day-to-day, depending on how he answered "what would I do?" this morning.

    To be sure, there are people out there who are con men masqueraiding their ponzi scheme as a religion, but at some point they violate laws and are punished for it, or are else called to the mat by those with true religious convictions. More dangerous are those who seek to re-establish the link between religion and government, as the radical Islamic jihadists do. There is no point to religion if it is not freely entered and freely practiced. It is discipline of the mind and soul, and cannot be coerced. To have it otherwise is tyranny. Religion is an institution fundamental to a healthy society. The Europeans who have abandoned it will be replaced soon by Muslims who haven't, and if God is merciful hopefully those few redeeming qualities of European civilization will shape the nature of the inevitable Islamic domination that will come over them.

    So to bring it all back, religious ideals are elevated because they are ideals that bring liberty, true liberty to first soul, then mind, then body. Whatever minor concessions may exist do because they are valuable, and not the flights of fancy of an indolent whiner.

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