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Today’s Issues, From a Biblical Perspective!

Today’s Topic – Tolerance

Posted by truthtalklive on April 23, 2007

True Trivia – 1) What country in the world is the most religiously tolerant?
2) In 1776, at the Dedication of the Constitution, a prayer was offered by the US Government. This prayer was prayed in the name of ________?

Visit: www.letusallpray.org

Original Debate (Click HERE for Comments)
Today’s Guest: Mike Johnson with the Alliance Defense Fund!Questions:1 – Should County meetings allow sectarian prayers?2 – Why not just give in to the ACLU?3 – Should my Church get involved in the fight?4 – What about seperation of Church and State?HERE IS THE LINK IN QUESTION – http://www.aclu.org/religion/govtfunding/29271prs20070330.htmlTruth Truth Talk Live ACTION ALERT!!!!Please continue to pray for the Forsyth County, NC commissioners.Video from last night’s meeting: HERE and HEREForsyth County Website: http://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/commissioners/

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23 Responses to “Today’s Topic – Tolerance”

  1. Anonymous said

    Hello Stu,
    for you to say that Christians sould let other religions do and say what they want, that’s like saying that Christ Him self is allowing it. And we know that Christ is not for freedom of religion or freewill. We are given freewill by God but it is only for us to show Him that we are willing to give it back to Him. Just like Christ He did not do His will. like wise we also should only want to do the LORDS WILL. If we are Christians of cores. I am giving you 14 scriptures that show that what I say is what Christ says.

    Romans15:3, Matthew6:10, Luke22:42,Romans12:2, Colossians1:9-10, Hebrews10:9 Exodus32, John14:6, Matthew6:24, Romams8:9, 1Corinthians2:16, Galatians2:20, 2Corinthians5:14-15 John5:30. As we can see Christ is not doing His Will and we should as Christian have the same mind as Christ and lets not be disobeint and not be like the people spoken of in Ex.32.

    sincerely, Thunder
    coyotethunder2000@yahoo.com

  2. Anonymous said

    Once again Stu gets it wrong. It isn’t about freedom to pray in public. It is about the government establishing religion by sponsoring sectarian prayer. Duh!

    Stu, can you please try to come up with something other than those tired old talking points that you borrow from the right wing propaganda sheets?

    And when you invite persons with opposing points of view to call the show, you interrupt them and won’t listen to what they say. You don’t mind listening to yourself speak though.

    Hey, Stu, the only thing that keeps us from being just like those Islamic fundamentalist nations you always bring up is a thin wall of separation between church and state.

    You and your ilk would do away with that and then what freedoms would we have?

    Love your show.

    A. Nonymous

  3. Brad said

    Thunder,

    Not sure about that. You say Christ is not for free will? How so? Don’t we all, including you, have free will to do what we want? If we didn’t, it couldn’t be called free will, could it? You say “we are given free will by God but it is only for us to show Him that we are willing to give it back to Him.” That would be God’s DESIRE, but it doesn’t always work that way, as evidenced by non-Christians who have NOT chosen to follow God’s will, right? And you say Christ did not do his own will, but God’s? He did God’s will (I assume you may be talking about the Garden of Gethsemane), but it was Jesus’ own free will that decided He would do it; as fully human, He still had the choice, just as you and I have the choice. I agree we should WANT to do the Lord’s will, but He doesn’t force us to.

    If allowing sectarian prayer also allows Christians to pray in these meetings, you still have not shown a basis for why that shouldn’t be the case.

  4. Brad said

    Ah yes, the brave A. Nonymous resurfaces, and once again manages to miss the ENTIRE point. Your argument might make since if it was actually what was being argued between the ACLU and the county, BUT IT’S NOT! It is absolutely about freedom – for anyone of any religion – to pray in public. I’m not sure why that’s not clear, after listening to the show and reading the news brief about the lawsuit.

    If the government is establishing religion by this, yet is saying that ANYONE can pray, which “religion” are they establishing? You can’t say Christianity, b/c they are allowing non-Christians to pray as they choose. You can’t say Islam, b/c they are allowing Christians to pray as they choose. So what “religion” are they establishing?

    I think we gain a lot of insight into the way you’re thinking when you make the statement: “the only thing that keeps us from being just like those Islamic fundamentalist nations you always bring up is a thin wall of separation between church and state.” The ONLY thing, huh?

  5. Anonymous said

    Brad also misunderstands the issue at hand.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Brad’s own words support the ACLU:

    “I would probably say my own silent prayer to Jesus…”

    Hmmm…the lawsuit does not seek to restrict you from exercising your rights.

    I guess that Brad, like Stu, is just parroting the party line. Sad.

  6. Brad said

    Anonymous, once again, likes to pull things out of their proper context. If you look back at the original post where that statement was made, I said that, if sectarian prayers continued and a non-Christian were offering their sectarian prayer in public, that I would just “say my own silent prayer to Jesus” while the other person was praying. And Anonymous is right – I don’t need a law to give or deny me that right, BECAUSE I’M PRAYING SILENTLY.

    However, what Anonymous continues to misunderstand, is that the lawsuit seeks to stop PUBLIC sectarian prayers from being offered. Which means that neither Christian nor non-Christian can pray a sectarian prayer publicly. ANYONE would be allowed to pray, so it cannot in any way be construed to be discriminatory or endorsing any particular religion, since all are welcome to do so.

    But if I wanted to say my sectarian prayer before the meeting, this lawsuit WOULD seek to restrict me from exercising my 1st Amendment rights in that fashion.

    Not sure why this is hard to understand.

    Perhaps you don’t WANT to understand it, b/c then your whole argument is blown out of the water…

  7. Tracey L. said

    Hi, Stu

    I enjoyed talking with you on the show yesterday. I had to speak up and talk over you some to make my point, so I apologize if I went over the line…

    But I think you know I have a good point with my “golden rule” argument. This country is equally mine and yours. We have the same rights, and are subject to the same responsibilities under the law. I am not a lesser citizen because I’m an atheist, and you are not a greater citizen because you’re a Christian. I think we agree that this is true, and that its true by design of our founding fathers. So why should one of us be excluded in our national motto, or be forced to utter a sentiment with which we disagree in our Pledge? If atheists were the majority, I would not support “We Don’t Believe in God” on our currency, as our motto, or in our Pledge, because “OUR” means its yours, too. If its OUR country, our pledge and motto should be inclusive of us all (whatever happened to e pluribus unum?) But they’re not. Maybe that doesn’t do much harm, but it is an insult, and I say again that I would not pay that insult to you if our situations were reversed.

    Sincerely,
    Tracey

  8. Brad said

    Tracey,

    I was desperately trying to call in yesterday when you were on-air with Stu, but I couldn’t get through.

    The argument you’re making was an apples-to-oranges argument. You were talking about money, for example, and the “In God We Trust” phrase on it, that you shouldn’t have to have that b/c the “We” mentioned in the phrase includes you, and you don’t believe in God. I can understand your reasoning, but there is no solution, as Stu mentioned this has been on money since U.S. money has been around. I will say, that if you don’t like it on your money, I’d be happy to take your money for you so you don’t have to look at it…

    But that has really nothing to do with the sectarian prayer issue. This doesn’t force anyone to pray a certain way, or to anyone in particular, rather it gives ALL the right to pray to whomever or whatever they wish to. If you wished to come in, and your sectarian “prayer” was a moment of silence, the county supports that. If I want to come in and give a Christian prayer, the county supports it. If a Muslim wishes to come in and pray to Allah, the county supports it. As you can see, no one religion (or lack thereof, for that matter) is supported over any other. If you wish to not be present during a sectarian prayer, that is also your right. What the ACLU wants is for nobody to be able to pray as they wish, which is unconstitutional.

    Incidentally, as an atheist, the very definition implies that you KNOW there is no God. How do you know that for certain? Just curious.

  9. Anonymous said

    Brad just can’t get it right, can he? The lawsuit does not object to you praying in public; just to the County sponsoring religion at it’s public meetings.

    Keep up the obfuscation, Brad, you look sillier with each post!

    Here’s what the ACLU says:

    “The lawsuit does not seek to prevent the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners from opening government meetings with a prayer…Rather, our clients ask only that any prayers or invocations used to open Forsyth County Commissioners meetings be offered in a nonsectarian manner, consistent with respect for the diverse beliefs of all residents of Forsyth County and the Constitutional requirement that the government not prefer any particular religion over other faiths.”

    Brad, who has admitted that he would be content to pray silently at these meetings, seems to agree with the ACLU.

    That Brad, he cracks me up!

  10. Brad said

    “The lawsuit does not seek to prevent the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners from opening government meetings with a prayer…Rather, our clients ask only that any prayers or invocations used to open Forsyth County Commissioners meetings be offered in a nonsectarian manner, consistent with respect for the diverse beliefs of all residents of Forsyth County and the Constitutional requirement that the government not prefer any particular religion over other faiths.”

    Tell me, oh wise Anonymous, how can this be done? How is it even possible to pray a non-sectarian prayer? Who will be prayed to? If you say “God”, then atheists can get offended, b/c they don’t believe in Him. If you say “Allah”, then that would offend the Christians. If you say “nobody in particular”, then who are you praying to, and is it even considered a prayer? A prayer must be offered to someone, or it’s not a prayer; so, to offend nobody, whom do you offer the prayer to?

    As to the “Constitutional requirement that the government not prefer any particular religion over other faiths”, how is allowing sectarian prayer, BY ANYONE, interfering with this? If ANYONE can pray to WHOMEVER or WHATEVER they choose, is any particular religion or faith (or lack thereof, as the case may be) being preferred? Nope. So the ACLU doesn’t even have an argument to stand on, nor do you.

    And you say that I have “admitted that he would be content to pray silently at these meetings”, and as such I seem “to agree with the ACLU.” Again, as I said before and as you keep ignoring, you didn’t read the post in context very well. I said I would pray silently if another sectarian prayer that I didn’t care to listen to (for example, from another religion) was being offered. But that doesn’t mean I’m content to pray silently, rather that it’s not my turn to pray that meeting. At any meeting where I could pray publicly, I would want to. So I’m not “content”, as you put it, to just pray silently. And I most certainly don’t agree with the ACLU on this.

    I can now see why you like to keep your name withheld.

    I would have 2 questions for you: do you call yourself a Christian, and what denomination church do you attend?

  11. Anonymous said

    “Tell me, oh wise Anonymous, how can this be done? “

    Again, Brad’s own words answer his questions: “silent prayer”.

    Brad, whose right to freely exercise his religion is endorsed by the ACLU and myself, seems to want everyone to notice his piety by praying loudly at government meetings.

    One more time. This is about religion being established at government meetings, Brad, not your right to exercise your religion.

  12. Anonymous said

    I want to apologize to everyone else for this thread turning into the Brad vs. Anonymous show.

    Brad seems to want to make it personal. I don’t know why.

    For the record: I am on the ACLU side of this argument. I am a Christian. I am not Brad’s kind of Christian. I am remaining anonymous on this blog because in the past I have recieved threatening mail from rightwingers after publishing my name. I have a family to protect.

    I address Stu personally only because as a talk show host he is a public personality and invites opposing points of view.

  13. Brad said

    Anonymous, that doesn’t work, b/c it still takes away the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion. The Constitution doesn’t say you can have your freedom, but only silently. Try again.

    If the ACLU (or you) TRULY endorsed the right for freedom of religion and expression of that religion, then this wouldn’t even be an issue. You (both) clearly don’t, which is why it IS an issue.

    It has nothing to do with piety or even praying loudly, rather with the right to be able to pray when one desires. And it’s not just Christian rights, but the rights of all religions.

    The ability for anyone to pray a sectarian prayer at a meeting no more establishes the religion of whomever is praying than someone singing the national anthem at a baseball game establishes them as the official gender, race or religion of that ballclub. It couldn’t, since different genders, races and religions of people are allowed to sing. Same as different religions of people are allowed to pray. There’s no difference.

    Still waiting on the answers to my 2 questions… or will you duck those as well?

  14. Brad said

    “I want to apologize to everyone else for this thread turning into the Brad vs. Anonymous show.”

    There’s nothing to apologize for. This is a public blog, and anyone who desires can take part. I’m not preventing that, nor are you. It’s not a show, it’s an exchange of opinions in a public forum.

    “Brad seems to want to make it personal. I don’t know why.”

    Call it anything you like, Anonymous. It is personal, and should be to any Christian who values their right to pray to God. I don’t want to see my rights, or anyone else’s rights, to pray be eroded by the ACLU.

    For the record: I am on the ACLU side of this argument.”

    Really? Thanks for clearing that one up – it was hard to tell.

    “I am a Christian. I am not Brad’s kind of Christian.”

    Tell me, what is my kind of Christian? As a Christian, why don’t you support the right to pray in public? Doesn’t mean you have to pray in public if you don’t want to, but it would mean that you can if you wish to. What Biblical basis is there for your argument of not supporting prayer?

    “I am remaining anonymous on this blog because in the past I have recieved threatening mail from rightwingers after publishing my name. I have a family to protect.”

    Based on what you say when calling yourself a Christian, that doesn’t surprise me. Not that I would harm you, or that anyone should, but I can most certainly see how what you say would drive people to become, shall we say, angry.

  15. Moderator said

    I need to chime in here and ask that we all stick to debating the issues and not take personal swipes at each other. It’s OK to agree to disagree and have mature, vigorous debates. It’s not OK to take things to a personal level and stoop to insulting one’s beliefs and values. As a Christian I would suggest making your point…lovingly, as Christ would. Thanks – Moderator

  16. tracey l. said

    Hi Brad,
    You’re correct. My argument about our motto and currency and the Pledge has nothing to do with the sectarian prayer issue. I disagree, however, that there is no solution. The solution would be to restore the pledge to “one nation, indivisible” and to adopt a motto which ALL citizens, not just theists, can get behind.

    As for the prayer, you seem to think the lawsuit will keep you from making a sectarian prayer “in public.” If it were indeed that broad, it would be obviously unconstitutional. But the suit is only about sectarian prayer in a government setting. That’s a whole different ballgame…

    I also think you are mistaken about atheism. It simply means that I do not BELIEVE that any gods exist–I certainly do not claim to have absolute knowledge that none do. Got any evidence that might change my mind?

    Sincerely,
    Tracey

  17. Anonymous said

    Thanks, Mr. Moderator.

  18. Anonymous said

    to Brad. I do have freewill but I dont want to use it because then I would not be a follower of Christ.I would be back in the world doing the bad thing I use to and it is only though Christ that lives in me that keeps me from doing what I want to. I dont thing that the is any person that knows me that would want me to have free will. I live for Christ and if you would have read the scriptures you would see that, say Christ had freewill but He did’nt use. And I am the some.AS Christisns we should know that Christ is the only one that gets our parys to God the Father. and if other reiliongs want to pary to there god that is ok, but only in the eyes of man. Because CHRIST DOES NOT HEAR OR CARE FOR THOSE PEOPLES PRAYERS. And as followers of Christ we should not say that it is ok to have freedom of reigion that is then saying that is ok to pray and do what ever in the name of any god. If there are Christians out there that believe that Jesus is allowing them to pray and worship any way they want to you are worng. just read the Bible.
    Sincerely, Thunder

  19. Brad said

    Tracey,

    According to the dictionary, an atheist is “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” In this case, that would be God, or any other supreme being. An agnostic is “someone who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God”, or “someone who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.”

    You say that “do not BELIEVE that any gods exist”, but you “do not claim to have absolute knowledge that none do.” In other words, an atheist is sure that there is no God or other gods, while an agnostic leans that way, but acknowledges they can’t be completely sure.

    Are you sure you’d call yourself an atheist, or would you be more of an agnostic?

    Evidence abounds, but only for those who are truly seeking for it. If you’re pre-determined to beat the evidence and not believe anything you hear, not much will convince you.

  20. Brad said

    Thunder,

    I want to make sure you understand the concept of free will. You say that you “do have freewill but I dont want to use it because then I would not be a follower of Christ.” The fact that you even think you have a choice to use it or not is evidence that you have free will of your own, or else you wouldn’t have a choice to even make. You seem to think of free will as being on a train track, that once you’re a Christian you get on the train and God guides you down the track, and you relinquish your free will and don’t use it. I know you didn’t say that, it’s just an example. If that’s a wrong perception of your thought process, please feel free to correct.

    In relation to that example, the way it works is we CHOOSE to get on the train and stay on the train tracks, b/c we use our free will to follow Christ, rather than using our free will to decide to not get on the train. We don’t lose our free will just b/c we get on the train, rather we use our free will to stay on the train b/c it’s helpful to have someone who is guiding the train for us.

    Does that make sense?

    “AS Christisns we should know that Christ is the only one that gets our parys to God the Father.”

    The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit hears the groanings of our heart, when words can’t express our thoughts, and submits them.

    “…and if other reiliongs want to pary to there god that is ok, but only in the eyes of man.”

    I don’t think it’s OK, in the sense that they’re prayers are equal or will save them. I think it is their right to be able to pray. That doesn’t mean I think they worship the same God, or that I think they are saved as I am. I don’t want you to confuse “all paths lead to God” with me saying “they have the right as a citizen to pray to whom they choose to.” They’re 2 different things entirely.

  21. Anonymous said

    to Bard,
    I understand what you say, but I dont see it that way. If Christ was not in my live I would not use my freewill to love Him. I was not a good person and I would not follow Christ until He came into my life.
    And I followed Him by my freewill but I dont stay in my Will. Just as Christ said Father not my will be your will be done. I think that if we let God change us then we are not the some person that we were. IF in deed the Holy Spirit lives in us. Galations 2:I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 1COR.2:16 For who knows the mind of the LORD, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. So it was Christ calling me and then it was my freewill that took me to Him and then and know it is Him in me the controls my live. And I am proud to be a follower of Christ.

    and on the point of paryer I am not saying that that it is ok as A follower of Christ I thaink that it it a sin to allow any one that is not a Christian to pary. but in the eyes of people that dont know any better they think it is ok.

    any way I got to go

    Sincerely Thunder

  22. Mike S said

    Tracey
    I commend your openess about your beliefs. I have one comment/question. To make a claim that there is no God would seem to require infinite knowledge. Just like claiming there are no purple bugs under rocks, it would require looking under every rock in the world to make that claim with confidence. Are you claiming to have infinite knowledge? Thus I agree with the statement that it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be Christian… based on the evidence. Just wondering?

  23. Anonymous said

    Intolerant Islamic countries prohibit public Judeo-Christian expression.

    Intolerant Atheists in America prohibit public Judeo-Christian expression.

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