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Old 02-25-2006, 07:04 PM   #1
TK-8252
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Anti-gay church protests at soldiers’ funerals

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9102443/

Should it be legal to harass the families of dead soldiers at their funerals, spouting anti-gay hate speech? Telling them their loved one has gone to hell for fighting for a country that "harbors gays?"

More information on the Westboro Baptist Church:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Hates_Fags
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church

Geez, and I thought Pat Robertson was bad.
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:56 PM   #2
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Yes, they have the right. It should be legal. It is legal. Their decision to exercise that right raises the exact same questions that the Danish cartoons raised.


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Old 02-25-2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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So would you think it'd be okay if these people showed up at a funeral for someone you loved and spouted their hate?

You would just think "hey, they have freedom of speech"?
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:52 PM   #4
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Actually it borders on illegal. They have the right to say what they say and gather, but harrassing families and such is illegal, it's just that the whole "free speech" and "right to peaceful assembly" muddies the water.

The way I see it, funerals are private affairs, therefore they should be held to privacy matters. Essentially "my funeral, my rules".


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Old 02-25-2006, 09:00 PM   #5
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They always stand on public ground. They're well aware of the laws governing their behavior and the limits to which they can push them. There have been incidents of people being arrested from their 'protests', but it's always someone that attacks them being arrested (can't really blame them for being angry), not the other way around. This has been going on for quite some time; there was even a biker gang that volunteered to physically get between them and the family so the family wouldn't have see (or hear) the people from Westboro.

Personally, I think these people are sadistic and hateful, but that doesn't mean they aren't within their rights.


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Old 02-25-2006, 09:29 PM   #6
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Doesn't seem very Christian to me... but then, many of the stances some Christian groups take these days baffle me as to what Christ would think about the things people shout at each other in his name.

Does anyone truly think for a second Christ would walk up to a bereaved family and say something like that to them?


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Old 02-27-2006, 04:01 AM   #7
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Sure they should have that right. Someone should also have the right to tie them together by their genital and drag them behind a monster truck. But hey, the world's not perfect.


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Old 02-27-2006, 04:43 AM   #8
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Indeed it questions the christian laurels heavily, it's a shame for "true" christians but just shows the naivety and stupidity of you average christian moron.


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Old 02-27-2006, 03:32 PM   #9
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Aye, thankyou guys for not generalizing based on the few exceptions


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Old 02-27-2006, 06:39 PM   #10
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The guy was born in 1929, he'll be dead soon anyway--then he'll go to hell, should such a place exist.

As for their right to do this, the rights of us all to protest overrule the comfort of the few. Therefore, while I strongly disagree with these people and strongly agree with CapNColostomy, I do think they should have the right to do this.



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Old 02-27-2006, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jmac7142
As for their right to do this, the rights of us all to protest overrule the comfort of the few.
I think you mean the comfort of the masses rather than the few.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:56 PM   #12
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No, I meant the comfort of the "few" that are attending the funerals. You have to remember that a good chunk of the population of the U.S is on the same page as these protesters, being as many of those who voted for Bush (52% of the voting poplulus) voted for him because they either didn't like Kerry or because Bush is against gay marriage. Besides, it would be hypocritical if you could protest something, then turn around and deny someone else's right to do so.

I think that if someone really hates what they're doing, they can call the police or have the protesters' permit(s) revoked for something, say criminal harassment, something that could easily be done in a high-publicity event like this and the victims of these protests.

I did mean comfort of the few though, as I was referring to the people attending these funerals, but I do see where you're coming from with "comfort of the masses".



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Old 02-27-2006, 09:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jmac7142
No, I meant the comfort of the "few" that are attending the funerals. You have to remember that a good chunk of the population of the U.S is on the same page as these protesters, being as many of those who voted for Bush (52% of the voting poplulus) voted for him because they either didn't like Kerry or because Bush is against gay marriage. Besides, it would be hypocritical if you could protest something, then turn around and deny someone else's right to do so.
I find it hard to believe that a good chunk of the U.S. is thanking god for dead soldiers and IED's like this church is doing.

These are the same people who demonstrated at the wreckage of the WTC and held signs thanking god for 9/11 and calling the NYPD and NYFD fags for trying to rescue the victims.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:07 PM   #14
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"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

-H.L. Mencken


In this case, the unintelligent people are insulting the people who protect them and their way of life. Also, you'd be suprised at how many people believe this crap, as most are too cowardly to say they believe it.



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Old 02-28-2006, 03:14 PM   #15
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After reading the full article it seems like this is abouth 10 nutters... and that the entire town turned out and turned their backs to them.. which seems like a good response on the part of the town.

Many americans might be anti-war or anti-gay or whatever... but only complete nut jobs would try and link the two. Better hope none of them gets a disease or is hit by a car...or they might have 1000s of people at that funeral and shout "god killed you because you are stupid!"

I love the way any psycho can start their own religion in the US... heh.



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Old 03-03-2006, 10:19 AM   #16
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That can't be right? Can't you get a restraining order against those loons?

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Old 03-03-2006, 05:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
I find it hard to believe that a good chunk of the U.S. is thanking god for dead soldiers and IED's like this church is doing.
That's just it - it's not a 'good chunk' of anything...it's a bad chunk, and not even a large chunk at that. From wikipedia:
"Research done by the Topeka Capital Journal in 1994 indicated that [Westboro Baptist] church has roughly 100 to 200 congregants, most of whom are related to Phelps Sr. by blood or marriage."

Basically, this guy is a wacko who leads a church whose congregation is made up of wackos. These morons (about 15 or 20 of them) came to Bakersfield about a year ago to protest at a soldier's funeral...so someone organized a counter-protest. We had about 150 people turn out in support of the soldier and his family.

Another note: even though they call themselves Westboro Baptist Church, they're not even affiliated with any national Baptist church organization. Their meetings take place in the basement of this guy's house.

Personally, I think these people are a bunch of wacko morons who only made the press because the MSM has an anti-Christian bias. Reading that article on Wikipedia just makes me want to puke. These people disgust me.


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Old 03-03-2006, 06:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rccar328
Personally, I think these people are a bunch of wacko morons who only made the press because the MSM has an anti-Christian bias.
That doesn't make sense. The mainstream media is meant to appeal to the mainstream. And the mainstream would be... christians. Media is not mainstream if it is anti-christian. I mean, Fox News... "anti-christian" doesn't really come to mind.
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
That doesn't make sense. The mainstream media is meant to appeal to the mainstream. And the mainstream would be... christians. Media is not mainstream if it is anti-christian. I mean, Fox News... "anti-christian" doesn't really come to mind.
The "mainstream" media has been falling out of the mainstream for quite some time. That's why readership among newspapers such as the NY & LA Times has been declining.


I guess they'd be more aptly called the "old media."


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Old 03-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #20
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Rubbish.
It made the press because its a story about people insulting the families of dead soldiers... the fact they are (nominally) christian has nothing to do with it. If it had been anti-war protestors, or anyone else it would still have made the press because its the sort of story people empathise with. As is demonstrated by the fact a thread was made about it here.

To claim the US media has an anti-christian bias is like saying the pope has an anti-catholic bias.
True the US media does sometimes try and push boundaires or SHOCK HORROR try and create secular content in a supposedly secular country... but when they do all the christian groups are quick to jump up and down and attack them...

The day when the mainstream media in the US can publish content WITHOUT pandering to the religious right will be a great day indeed... if it ever arrives.

I support the MSM in its struggle for freedom of speech



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Old 03-07-2006, 07:27 AM   #21
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Yes, they have the right. It should be legal. It is legal. Their decision to exercise that right raises the exact same questions that the Danish cartoons raised.
Not nearly. The Danish cartoons were published just to irritate Muslims, according to the paper itself - there was no statement. If you're not expressing anything, what the Heck's it got to do with freedom of expression?

This, however, is a statement, and thus different.

However, that being said, I do not in any way defend their right to do this. The "God Hates Fags" church is nothing but a hate organization which will hopefully evaporate when their leader finally passes away.

Anyone else than me visit their site? They've got counters saying that this and that homosexual hate crime victim has been in Hell for so and so many days. *******s, pure and simple.

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I support the MSM in its struggle for freedom of speech
Someone make a sig pic made.

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The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars’ down a highway, waving flags and screaming “God bless America.”

Go, people! Wonderful job!

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(...) the rights of us all to protest overrule the comfort of the few. Therefore, while I strongly disagree with these people and strongly agree with CapNColostomy, I do think they should have the right to do this.
But it's not like we're taking away their right to express their views. We're just saying that they shouldn't harrass the families at moments such as this one. It's a funeral, for God's sake.

There's a thin line between "making a statement" and plain bullying. The latter is in Constitutionish called "slander" and is, as far as I know, not allowed.

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Old 03-10-2006, 04:34 PM   #22
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Not that I agree with the Westboro Baptist Church or its leader Rev. Phelps, I don't, I think they're just attention mongers with a holier-than-thou attitude which grates against what I consider to be Christian charity, but the Matthew Shepherd case seems to have been commonly misunderstood (source, not that Wiki is always 100% accurate of course). Of course its still cruel of them to say "he's been burning in hell for XXX days" (not to mention presumptious of them... even if being gay automatically was a burning offense, how do they know he didn't repent in his heart as he was dying?), and they just assumed the same "facts" as the general public, so I don't think their motives were pure.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there. Clearly what they did to the poor man wasn't justified, but its interesting to see the details that are less commonly discussed in that case.

This indepedent church is pressing the bounds of free speech, but I guess it's one of those things. Like neo-nazi parades, kkk rallies, what have you. It's much harder to defend speech that seems just, wrong. I agree though that the families at the funerals can have their counter protests and possibly sue for harassment or something using the legal channels. Tons of people are against the war, and tons of people are against gay marriage, but few people would use the shock tactics of WBC.


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Old 04-03-2006, 12:29 AM   #23
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http://www.mikerogers.house.gov/newsroom.aspx?A=226
http://www.mikerogers.house.gov/Legi...spx?Section=82

Now that's interesting.


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Old 04-03-2006, 02:20 AM   #24
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Suck.

It should protect all funerals, not just military.


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Old 04-03-2006, 07:54 AM   #25
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Suck.

It should protect all funerals, not just military.
That's what I was thinking...
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:43 PM   #26
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Btw, I forgot to say this before, but I think the notion that GWB got elected solely because he was "strongly against gay marriage" to be a gross oversimplification. I mean is there any polling data to suggest there is any substance to such a claim? And no, claiming that some people considered Bush's pandering to "Christians" to be self-evident doesn't cut it. Sorry to harp on that after the fact, I just thought I'd throw that in.


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Old 04-09-2006, 07:14 PM   #27
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I am all for freedom of speech. People have a right to say what is on their minds. However, I think that there is a time and a place for it. Regardless of who's funeral it is, soldier or not, protesting like that is just pathetic. And linking the war to protecting gays specifically is just a perverted thought to me. Aren't these same soldiers dieing for these whack jobs' freedom too? I don't know. I just disagree with this "church" entirely. If I had a bike and enough time on my hands, I would probably join the biker group that is helping the families at the funerals.


This is just my opinion....
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:56 PM   #28
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Aye, same here.


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Old 04-09-2006, 11:22 PM   #29
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The family members attending the funeral should be allowed to take the gun of the fallen soldier to the funeral with them. Nothing says "Shut the f*** up!" like a 7.62 mm round traveling at ~5000 feet per second. This way people can only protest if they have the guts to defend that right, just like the soldiers who they're protesting did.



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Old 04-26-2006, 03:07 AM   #30
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I used to live in Topeka, KS where these folks have their 'church.'
Rev. Phelps may be older, but the movement may not stop when he passes on--some of his children are just as active as he is, and I've noticed one of his family members doing the TV circuit lately so I don't know if the movement will die with him or not. It is true that the church is small and made up of family members mainly. I don't believe the membership is as high as 200, and it might be 100-150 if they're counting all children in their membership.
In Topeka, it was a weekly (if not more often) occurrence to see their people out on a particular street corner, carrying rather graphic signs about how God hates gays. It was quite a shock when we first moved there, and I consider it a blight on what is otherwise a fine city. Eventually, we got used to them and either ignored them or laughed at what incredibly stupid signs they'd made up for that occasion. What really disturbed me was that they had young children carrying these signs around, too, during what would be considered normal school hours (I assume they're home-schooling in that case). I hope that Social services has the guts to follow up on any potential child abuse allegations but I'm not holding my breath because they are scared of lawsuits.
Indeed, this group and Phelps are not affiliated with any Baptist organization. As someone who generally follows the Baptist church, I find their use of 'Baptist' in their church name incredibly offensive. Their extremist views do not represent mainstream evangelical or fundamentalist beliefs anymore than bin Ladin represents mainstream Islam.
I don't know how much of the Wikipedia articles on him or the church is accurate. I do not doubt that Beaver's no-arrest policy was in play during the time I was there since there was such little news on any arrests, and that group was confrontational.
Behaviors that include alcohol/drug/physical abuse, obsessive behaviors, and actions such as staying in a house for days on end are consistent with mental illness as described in any mental health texts. I doubt he believes he has a problem.
They are extremely legal savvy--I don't know how many of them are lawyers, but it's more than a couple.
They push the envelope on legal issues of freedom of speech and right to assembly, and they do not hesitate to take legal action on anyone who tries to hamper them. Those few who have tried to physically attack them have found themselves in jail (not that anyone should get a break on assault and battery, but they don't hesitate to press charges). The group is indeed more than willing to file any number of lawsuits, and the community fears the suits because even if it's found to be frivolous, it still costs time and money to sit in court to defend oneself.
I find their picketing of a soldiers' funerals reprehensible. However, if they're within the letter of the law and the Constitution, then we need to be very careful. We don't want to trample on freedom of speech laws indiscriminantly just to stop a small group of whack-jobs (whatever the flavor of weird a group may be)
The only way to stop them is through legislative means, though I would not be surprised to see them challenge any laws KS or Topeka might pass on restricting protests at funerals or other activities all the way to the Supreme court. Counter protests may be effective if peaceful. I don't doubt that this 'church' would relish the attention they'd receive if any protests became violent. Media attention will only make the situation worse, unfortunately.
I don't know if that helps with perspective, but there it is.


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Old 04-26-2006, 04:24 PM   #31
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The daughter of the founder was on Hannity and Colmes a few nights ago and she believed in what she was saying so strongely, it shocked and angered me. They apperentley believe in the 10 Commandments literally and fully and belive anybody that disobeys in any way will burn in hell. This "church" is sick and angers me to the breaking point to see them out there protesting, I just wanna go there and just plant an IED underneath them and watch the fireworks.


Whew.


Okay, not really but someting has to be done to these scum.


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Old 04-26-2006, 06:13 PM   #32
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The daughter of the founder was on Hannity and Colmes a few nights ago and she believed in what she was saying so strongely, it shocked and angered me. They apperentley believe in the 10 Commandments literally and fully and belive anybody that disobeys in any way will burn in hell. This "church" is sick and angers me to the breaking point to see them out there protesting, I just wanna go there and just plant an IED underneath them and watch the fireworks.
Yeah, I saw that too (hey, I watch FOX News too... for the shock value ). Fred Phelps himself was on Scarborough Country on MSNBC. His daughter is essentially a clone of him, just preaching the same nonsense to the viewers.
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Old 04-26-2006, 06:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hidden One
The daughter of the founder was on Hannity and Colmes a few nights ago and she believed in what she was saying so strongely, it shocked and angered me. They apperentley believe in the 10 Commandments literally and fully and belive anybody that disobeys in any way will burn in hell. This "church" is sick and angers me to the breaking point to see them out there protesting, I just wanna go there and just plant an IED underneath them and watch the fireworks.


Whew.


Okay, not really but someting has to be done to these scum.
One of the few times when Hannity and Colmes agreed completely with each other.

We found it was just easiest to ignore them when they were in town. As long as they were just holding up signs and walking around talking, it was easy to do. Or we'd just take a different route home so we wouldn't see them at all.
The non-violent counter protests are going to do much more good. If someone kills one of these folks, they'll just view them as martyrs, and it won't stop them.


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Old 04-27-2006, 04:55 AM   #34
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Or they'll somehow realize that his faith was dwindling, and push that his murder was God's punishment for his "sudden corruption".

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Old 04-27-2006, 03:00 PM   #35
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These folks are a disgrace to their religeon, being a Baptist myself I'm constantly astounded and embarassed at their ignorance and hatred.

If they actually read the Bible and practiced the Lord's teaching they wouldn't be the way they are.

They hijacked Christianity just like how Osama hijacked Islam. They really have so much in common its laughable.

Do they have the right to protest at a funeral? Well...that's a sticky issue and I'm not sure if I have the answer.

If they showed up to one of my family members funerals, they would pay dearly...oh so dearly...and I'd be happy to go to jail for that.



They apperentley believe in the 10 Commandments literally and fully and belive anybody that disobeys in any way will burn in hell.

So do I...to an extent. Though I have more secular friends than religious. I even have friends that are homosexual.

There is a difference between believing in something and pushing it down someones throat.

A true Christian will leave the door open, he will never push someone through.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #36
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They hijacked Christianity just like how Osama hijacked Islam. They really have so much in common its laughable.
What makes any one interpretation of the bible or quran more correct than another?

There is a story. Person A reads it and believes it says X. Person Y reads it and believes it says Y. Since it is only a story with no facts to back it up who is to say that X is a better interpretation than Y?



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Old 04-27-2006, 09:33 PM   #37
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I think he meant in use of justification of morally depraved, extremist acts.

They should not be allowed to do this ****. Every person is entitled to a nice, quiet funeral. The Greeks and Romans understood this.

De mortuuis nihil nisi bonum.




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Old 04-28-2006, 03:29 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
What makes any one interpretation of the bible or quran more correct than another?

There is a story. Person A reads it and believes it says X. Person Y reads it and believes it says Y. Since it is only a story with no facts to back it up who is to say that X is a better interpretation than Y?
One's not hurting others?


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Old 04-28-2006, 04:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms
What makes any one interpretation of the bible or quran more correct than another?

There is a story. Person A reads it and believes it says X. Person Y reads it and believes it says Y. Since it is only a story with no facts to back it up who is to say that X is a better interpretation than Y?
Toms you know what I mean and I believe Windu cleared up any confusion your moral relativity may have caused.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:19 PM   #40
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The daughter of the founder was on Hannity and Colmes a few nights ago and she believed in what she was saying so strongely, it shocked and angered me. They apperentley believe in the 10 Commandments literally and fully and belive anybody that disobeys in any way will burn in hell. This "church" is sick and angers me to the breaking point to see them out there protesting, I just wanna go there and just plant an IED underneath them and watch the fireworks.


Whew.


Okay, not really but someting has to be done to these scum.
http://www.killsometime.com/Video/video.asp?ID=497
Is that the video you're talking about? She never let's these guys get a word in and she just says the same crap over and over. She's completely wrong about everything she says. She claims to read the scripture, but if she actually read the Bible she'd know she's a complete fool.


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