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What is the root cause of religious intolerance in America?

Zach 2008/04/05 08:42:02
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Religious intolerance exists in many forms and in many locales around the world, but is particularly interesting within America, given that the nation was founded both literally and legally on principles of religious freedom. However, as recent national events and elections have highlighted, religious intolerance is indeed still practiced by some Americans. This question is intended to inspire debate on the possible causes of, and more importantly possible solutions to, this problem.

The question by no means implies that religious intolerance is either widely practiced or condoned in America, though posters are welcome to provide opinions on this subject as well if deemed appropriate to their reasoning.
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  • Lance - Warrior For God 2009/05/10 19:31:44
  • Xee 2009/05/09 19:37:06 (edited)
    All of the above
    Xee
    +1
    O’ The infinite number of people
    Who have died in the name of Love!
    Their deaths be but in wretchedly vainness
    The goodness of humankind, our children!
    Evermore “Lost!”
    Owing our confusions and delusions

    (fallingwater - 1979)

    love deaths wretchedly vainness goodness humankind children lost confusions delusions
  • <--That guy 2009/05/09 07:21:10
    None of the above
    <--That guy
    +1
    People have a hard time tolerating religion because religion has played a role in some rather intolerable acts. It's not unfair to judge something by what it does.
  • Stinky 2009/01/09 07:01:47
    None of the above
    Stinky
    +1
    Most religions believe in God. When it comes to Jesus, that's where they part company.
  • ntech 2008/12/12 00:56:21
    None of the above
    ntech
    +2
    I’m seriously not trying to be confrontational, but some of us think that it’s the other way around. The religious people are intolerant to those who don’t think as they do. This is the place to be honest, right? Well I’m intolerant to those who push religion in my face and attempt to impose their view of morality on me. I’m intolerant of those who support a war on science, especially global warming, because they believe only their god can destroy the planet. I’m intolerant to those who repeat the lie over and over that this is a christian nation, hoping it will be accepted as true. I believe it to be the height of arrogance for someone to think we all should accept their bible to be anything more than a 4000 year old book of jewish fairy tales and I’m sick of people telling me I’m being disrespectful to say so when they have no qualms about blasting my views as ignorant from every pulpit in America.

    Those are the reasons why. We were not the intolerant ones first. We just finally started speaking up.
  • angrywhitefemale 2008/11/26 06:43:16
    Ignorance (either of other religions or one's own)
    angrywhitefemale
    +3
    People fear what they don't understand. When one is able or willing to understand others, ignorance cannot exist.
  • No More... angrywh... 2009/01/10 00:07:38
    No More Commies
    Understanding others can actually lead to more fear. Terrorists are fighting a religous war. Not being ignorant of that fact, does it make one fear them less?
  • Suki 2008/10/11 05:44:34
    None of the above
    Suki
    +3
    People just do not understand that there are many paths to finding God and that they must respect other people's search for the truth. The I think that there are some who are afraid that maybe they are not on the right path. Again, they need to realize that there is not just one right path. So, they all convince them selves that their path is the ONLY path.
  • Linnaeus 2008/09/18 19:40:02
    None of the above
    Linnaeus
    +2
    Religion is the cause of religious intolerance.
  • Not of †his World 2008/04/14 21:31:54
    None of the above
    Not of †his World
    +4
    People of Faith who say they Believe God and don't live by his rules.
  • Nica24 Not of ... 2008/04/15 02:53:27
    Nica24
    We are not perfect!! What do you expect of us? lol
  • Not of ... Nica24 2008/04/15 03:48:13
    Not of †his World
    +2
    I am one of you. I see it everywhere, I know we are not perfect but that is no excuse for hypocrisy.
  • ntech Nica24 2009/05/09 21:15:11
    ntech
    I expect a certain sect of believers to not insist they own America. They are free to practice anything they wish, but not to dominate the rest of us. If that happened we could all get along.
  • stevie d 2008/04/14 21:06:27
    Natural inclination towards hate
    stevie d
    +3
    people who think their belief system is the 1 and only and everyone else is wrong. when in all actuality, in my opinion, they are mor or less one and the same.
  • Nica24 2008/04/14 18:04:39
    Natural inclination towards hate
    Nica24
    +3
    Once I proclaim I'm a Christian. I guess I become perfect!! lol...I think what really occurs is HATE towards religion. A lot of people I know like to blame God and their mistakes on Him. Then when they see a "righteous" Christian come along we are being lashed out at. I think if people DON'T agree with your beliefs don't criticize or leave hate remarks with them. I know there have been times when it seems like I'm criticizing ones beliefs, but in all reality I'm stating my thoughts and beliefs. Which is God, so most likely someone would take offense.
  • ntech Nica24 2009/05/09 21:22:58
    ntech
    +1
    If you ask an atheist, I don’t think you have that right at all. We don’t hate your god. I don’t believe in your god. We’re annoyed by the impositions and arrogance of his salespeople.

    I take offense at many things, but never unwarranted. I have many friends and family members, who are believers, but someone has to stand up to the zealots, but I also find that to simply state my views, I am called every name in the book by many. It would be nice to live in peace and I would like to live and let live, but it’s not realistic any longer when we need to fight religious ignorance. The zealot believers have waged a war on science and my freedoms that can not be ignored any longer.

    I do hope that some day we can get past it all.
  • Flash Gordon 2008/04/13 03:34:13
    All of the above
    Flash Gordon
    +2
    People like other people to think the way they do. But it should be more like having sex with your wife. Everyone knows that you do form time to time. But why tell everyone that you do. As long as it's not about hate. I don't care how about your religion. You shouldn't care about mine. Live and let live.
  • kelci_a_thryce 2008/04/12 17:39:08
    All of the above
    kelci_a_thryce
    +1
    I think ambiguity inherent within sacred texts, particularly when viewed in today's contexts, contributes greatly. People who question religion, God, and existence have a hard time finding logical answers. The lack of logical answers in a scientific age is too taxing for those who do not trust their inner instincts...
    Those who question and find no answers outside themselves, nor within themselves, find offense in people who ask them to become involved in religious matters.
    High profile headlines regarding offenses by high ranking religious officials (i.e., priest-pedophiles; Rev. Wright) can seem to provide negative responses to those unanswered questions. Those who see these events as proof against God also see that life is a difficult thing, begging the question of why God does nothing to fix it....
    A bitterness can build, and when those people caught in that downward spiral have children, they feel even less adequate in trying to answer their children's questions. They can begin to see those questions as being brought on by the prevalance of God in our schools, our money, our pledges, our courts - and they may end up viewing those things as tools to continue to thwart their lack of logical explanation....

    They see our laws - which are perceived to protect our right to r...""

    '""
    I think ambiguity inherent within sacred texts, particularly when viewed in today's contexts, contributes greatly. People who question religion, God, and existence have a hard time finding logical answers. The lack of logical answers in a scientific age is too taxing for those who do not trust their inner instincts...
    Those who question and find no answers outside themselves, nor within themselves, find offense in people who ask them to become involved in religious matters.
    High profile headlines regarding offenses by high ranking religious officials (i.e., priest-pedophiles; Rev. Wright) can seem to provide negative responses to those unanswered questions. Those who see these events as proof against God also see that life is a difficult thing, begging the question of why God does nothing to fix it....
    A bitterness can build, and when those people caught in that downward spiral have children, they feel even less adequate in trying to answer their children's questions. They can begin to see those questions as being brought on by the prevalance of God in our schools, our money, our pledges, our courts - and they may end up viewing those things as tools to continue to thwart their lack of logical explanation....

    They see our laws - which are perceived to protect our right to raise our children free from "damaging" influences - as being insufficient in light of the fact that an atheist or agnostic viewpoint is not socially permissible.

    Our protection of religious freedom does not adequately respond to a religion that believes there is no God because those who wrote our Constitution didn't consider that argument to be a viable option - and was not considered a practiced "religion."
    (more)
  • Artillery12 2008/04/12 13:32:06
    Ignorance (either of other religions or one's own)
    Artillery12
    +3
    People dont give jesus a chance
  • ntech Artille... 2009/05/09 21:26:42
    ntech
    +1
    Chance to do what?

    I've read the bible a few times and I see nothing to make me believe there is a god at all. In fact your jesus descended from people in the OT and a god in it that is evil and hardly worthy of worship.

    So just what is it you expect jesus to do given he has never made himself known in any real sense.
  • Chocolat-In the universe I ... 2008/04/12 12:25:30
    Ignorance (either of other religions or one's own)
    Chocolat-In the universe I trust.
    +3
    Many do not study the scriptures. They read it without studing the definition of the words used and apply them to how we use the words today.
  • Flash G... Chocola... 2008/04/13 03:56:04
    Flash Gordon
    +5
    I don't like religion. Man came by that himself. I read the bible, an think of God, and pray. I try to apply his world into my life. But thats me. I am not a part of this worldly system. If we differ that's ok. If you think god is a tree that's ok too. If you think am nutty because I know God is God that's ok. If you have a religion that's good. Just don't talk of hate,that's not ok. Live and let live.
  • Chocola... Flash G... 2008/04/14 12:12:06
    Chocolat-In the universe I trust.
    +3
    Organized religion is not for me either.
  • AngelwithBrokenWings 2008/04/12 03:25:08
    None of the above
    AngelwithBrokenWings
    We were started by Puritans!
  • Carole 2008/04/12 03:20:34
  • Jen**GPAC** 2008/04/11 20:31:56
    All of the above
    Jen**GPAC**
    +2
    yeah.. I am in just the mood to post pics.. so I wil know do a montage of sorts for all of yall out there in SH
  • Brett 2008/04/11 20:12:32
    None of the above
    Brett
    It's part ignorance and part media. But most of the problem is what terrorism did on September eleventh, 2001.
  • Unmistakably Liz 2008/04/11 18:49:45
    Ignorance (either of other religions or one's own)
    Unmistakably Liz
    +4
    I think it is because, unlike racism in region we are taught that we are the best and only religion and everyone else is following a false messiah.
    Like many christians think the only way one can be saved is by taking Jesus Christ as your lord and savior.
    So all of the muslims and jews and wiccan are all on their way to hell....
    Very ignorant thinking on their part.
    http://LoversQuarrel.etsy.com
  • tg Unmista... 2008/04/11 20:06:38
    tg
    +1
    all the muslims and jews and wicans are all not on their way to hell, they still have and opportunity to repent should they so choose. :-) some people will still have a problem with that statement just because they think or don't feel they have to repent of anything, ok, so be it then! let it go! you stated, "Like many christians think the only way one can be saved is by taking Jesus Christ as your lord and savior." yes, that is what we believe so how can one view this as ignorant thinking when we christians choose a religion where that is the teachings just like others choose to be non-christians and somehting else? someone please explain to me the difference in ridiculing christians for sharing their beliefs and Christ's teachings with others and non-christians ridiculing christians for feeling they are being ridiculed by christians! ridicule is ridicule, huh? looks to me like the same difference! NO, i don't agree with true christians running around telling people that they are going to hell for 1) the opportunity to get saved and repent is always available 2) rejection is apart of things that have to come to pass and 3) refer to 1 & 2! :-) people gotta a "beef" with christianity, we christians already know the controversy surrounding any subject of Jesus Christ, but understand thi...'''''''''''""
    all the muslims and jews and wicans are all not on their way to hell, they still have and opportunity to repent should they so choose. :-) some people will still have a problem with that statement just because they think or don't feel they have to repent of anything, ok, so be it then! let it go! you stated, "Like many christians think the only way one can be saved is by taking Jesus Christ as your lord and savior." yes, that is what we believe so how can one view this as ignorant thinking when we christians choose a religion where that is the teachings just like others choose to be non-christians and somehting else? someone please explain to me the difference in ridiculing christians for sharing their beliefs and Christ's teachings with others and non-christians ridiculing christians for feeling they are being ridiculed by christians! ridicule is ridicule, huh? looks to me like the same difference! NO, i don't agree with true christians running around telling people that they are going to hell for 1) the opportunity to get saved and repent is always available 2) rejection is apart of things that have to come to pass and 3) refer to 1 & 2! :-) people gotta a "beef" with christianity, we christians already know the controversy surrounding any subject of Jesus Christ, but understand this and understand it well, we cannot and will not stop sharing the gospel!!!! people who want to choose otherwise regarding christianity so be it but don't hate on us christians because of the teachings of christianity. hate the message not the messengers or the message too should you please, and should one feel like they don't want to hear the message from the messenger, i don't know of any christians putting guns to people's heads however what people tend to do is attempt to refute in debate as to why we shouldn't have chosen christianity or shouldn't be christians just because they don't understand or whatever the case may be. that's the real issue! so if one thinks that their religion is superior or what have you, stand on that and stop whining because christians stand up for what they believe as well as share it. if one doesn't believe in hell or that one is going to hell, let it go, how hard is that! Move on becasue no one can gag me or tape my mouth shut to keep me from sharin gthe gospel of Jesus Christ. one can only state that they don' want to hear what i'm saying or talking about and "I" can respect that but i will be respected as well, trust and believe that!
    (more)
  • Unmista... tg 2008/04/11 20:14:23
    Unmistakably Liz
    +2
    I understand where you are coming from....
    Honestly my mother is a minister, she doesn't believe that every jew is going to hell....
    You may like some of my polls....

    http://www.sodahead.com/quest...

    http://www.sodahead.com/quest...

    http://www.sodahead.com/quest...

    Your input would be appreciated,
  • ntech tg 2009/05/09 21:28:45 (edited)
    ntech
    +1
    I am atheist and I have absolutely nothing to repent for. I don’t sin, ever. It is the height of arrogance to say that we all need to repent and believe as you do. But good luck with all that.

    But I do support your right to wave your religious flag right up to the point where it hits me in the nose.
  • Chocola... Unmista... 2008/04/12 12:27:30
    Chocolat-In the universe I trust.
    +3
    Racism is taught and it is supported by the arrogance that one is superior/better than other races.
  • diane 2008/04/11 15:48:26
    All of the above
    diane
    +2
    my real answer is all of the above save for psychological imbalance..

    Ignorance - because a lot of people don't know much about religion (some just follow what others say, etc)
    Fear - because some are afraid that a religion might top theirs (resulting in shame)
    Natural inclination towards hate - because a lot bicker on things that they should just accept or observe such as a person's right to believe in anything he or she wants to believe...

    They also forget the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect religion.
  • scrshaw 2008/04/10 21:29:53
    None of the above
    scrshaw
    +4
    Religion itself breeds intolerance. Most religions preach that what they believe is right and all other religions are wrong. Some even go out and actively try to convert others into their way of thinking.
  • johnboy 2008/04/10 02:45:49
    None of the above
    johnboy
    +4
    i dont see an intolerance, i see religious views spouted at me, and when i disagree then i am called anti family, and alot of other stuff. their are more religions than you can shake a stick at. i dont see intolerance. infact i see religious extremests everywhere
  • Sam 2008/04/10 00:22:54
    None of the above
    Sam
    +2
    I really don't see it as an individual problem but a political one. Regardless of ones religious preference, over 80% of American's belife in God in their own way, but we have a few indivduals and a lot of left wing and some right wing politicians that want religion out of America because they see it as a threat to their own agendy.
  • ntech Sam 2009/05/09 21:35:14
    ntech
    No one wants religion out of America. We simply don’t want it’s domination in our public life and it should never be in government.
  • Sam ntech 2009/05/09 21:47:28
    Sam
    Seperation of Church and State was meant to prevent any religion becoming the governing force in the country. It has worked. It was never intended to keep religion out of the public eye. People always point to Christians wanting to take over, but I don't see anyone wanting to form a religious government and I wouldn't want to see that. All we are demanding is that our faith is given the same respect and freedom that we are now bending over backward to give to the Muslim faith. I don't hear anything about Hawaii declaring a day of Islam. We is all the furor over that. Imagine if they had declared a Christian Day.I don't want to force my believes on anyone but I won't let anyone silence me either.
  • ntech Sam 2009/05/10 01:38:35 (edited)
    ntech
    +1
    Sorry Sam, but you could not be more wrong. It has not worked. The religious have perverted my constitution by forcing “under god” in the pledge and “in god we trust” on the money. The religious right declared a war on science that is dangerous. I continue to have to donate each year while pockets of zealots try to do an end run around the constitution and force fantasy into our children’s science classes.

    You're not demanding that your faith be given freedom and respect. You are demanding your faith be adopted as American policy. You can have freedom, but don’t expect respect. That is not a requirement and denies my right to point out how damaging your faith has been. There should be no “anything” day and people need to keep their faith personal. That’s what this nation was founded on. You have the right to wave your religious flag right up to the point where it pokes me in my public eye.

    No one wants to silence you and you won’t silence me.
  • sadiesmom 2008/04/10 00:18:57
    None of the above
    sadiesmom
    +1
    Intolerance..........

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