Is America already a fundamentalist State?

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by Carrera, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I just watched a very worrying documentary on the U.S.A. and was left pretty much horrified by what has been taking place over the last few years. One of the documentaries addressed the issue of so-called Biblical upbringings where, so it seemed to me, children were effectively isolated from the modern world, schooled in their own homes and indoctrinated by religion.
    These children were simply taught from birth that everything in the Bible was literally true (God's word), that evolution was "UnGodly" and all television and music was off limits (except for programs dealing with evangelical conferences. The children answered to names such as Benjamin or Noah.
    Imagine my astonishment when the scene switched to one married couple who manufactured wooden paddles in a workshop, in ordert that like-minded parents could beat the word of God into their offspring! Apparently they have an internet site where they sell the paddles, inscribed with the words, "Never in anger".
    This particular nutcase would actually stand in the streets with his paddles handing out tracts but the truly astonishing thing was he wasn't arrested on site (as he would have been in any European country!).
    Of course, these Bible bashers justified their use of paddles and sticks by the lame excuse social breakdown was destabilising society due to lack of family discipline and teachings of the Bible. It probably didn't occur to them that antisocial behaviour actually has its roots in unstable families, social inequality, alcohol or drugs and that scores of successful, balanced folks today were never indoctrinated by scriptures or beaten with paddles (including Lance Armstrong who totally cut his dad out of his life due to such childhood beatings).
    So, the question you ask yourself is what on earth is going on? The U.S. criticizes North Korea yet here we see behaviour being tolerated that's tantamount to brainwashing. These parents are imposing their values on children from birth and being allowed to get away with what can only be described as brainwashing and indoctrination. You wonder if these folks have any conception of free-thinking, evaluation, personal responsibility or even freedom.
    I confess I felt kind of sorry for one American girl who was basically intelligent and attractive but had been taught from early childhood that sex was indecent and wordly and marriage didn't serve God's best interests. This girl would often spend time marching with her group, holding out placards with the words, "God hates faggots!" or "God hates Jews" (seeing as the latter group don't believe Jesus was the messiah).
    Basically I was horrified and wonder if anyone else saw these documentaries?
     
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  2. cheapie

    cheapie New Member

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    you need to stop watching stuff on tv and making broad generalizations.

    and your statements are moronic. every parent "brainwashes" their children to think like they do. it's just some of what they believe lines up with your values so you don't have a problem with it. :rolleyes:

    haven't you learned your lesson with the whole mary/jesus/tomb thing and the madonna threads you posted?
     
  3. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    The thing is I don't impose my values, though. Children need to be allowed to learn to think systematically for themselves so in future they can go on to develop their own opinion. If, in future, they opt to become Christians, Moslems or whatever, that for me isn't a problem. It would be their decision. However, what those folks were doing was effectively brainwashing. They were controlling the information their children were exposed to with a view to "moulding" the kids to a blueprint.
    There were no books on evolution, no books on other belief systems, no books on philosophy, science e.t.c. I though it was shocking. I was stunned parents are allowed to isolate children from mainstream education and the stuff about paddling and swatting struck me as kind of sick.
    Sure, I do agree parents sometimes need to smack and teach some basic respect for authority but these folks seeemed top enjoy the process. Had I had my way the dude seeling paddles on the internet and preaching about God would have been arrested and charged. I believe in Sweden, he would have been (arrested).

     
  4. cheapie

    cheapie New Member

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    arrested? for what? the preaching? the paddle? while i admit the paddle is certainly eyebrow raising, it's corporal punishment is not illegal. child abuse is. but i'm not able to figure out why you think he should be incarcerated?

    do you have kids? while you certainly want to give them the tools to be independant thinkers, there are scads of things they learn that they have to do just because i told them to.

    why would there be books on evolution or other religions? that's just absurd. can you think of any other instance in which your ideas would apply? do buddhist parents have a copy of the koran sitting around? do you think there's a copy of communist manifesto sitting around in many conservative's homes? do you think adam smith's works are anywhere to be found on the other side?

    and don't tell me you'd be fine with them becoming christians. you openly mock christians here. what makes you think you'd keep those sort of comments from them while your children are growing up? :rolleyes:

    and lastly, you never addressed my main point which is why do you take an incredibly small sample of people of americans based on some show you see and assume our entire country is like that???

    it's either because you hate christians, americans, or you're just ignorant. not sure which yet. :(
     
  5. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with Cheapie here. Thinking that everyone here is like that small fringe group that you saw a documentary about is pretty silly. This is a huge country with a very varied population. In any society there are going to be the outliers- we just have a lot of opportunity for them, having a large population and a lot of personal freedoms.
     
  6. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    I blame it all on Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), Madonna, Christians, James Cameron, and of course, burkhas.
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Broadly I agree with your views.

    It would be incorrect to assume, based on one documentary, that every American is (1) a Christian (2) a Christian fundamentalist.
    But I do think that Carerra hints at some interesting points.

    For example, I recall a report about a courthouse in one of the southern states in the US, where there was a dustup because one side wanted to have the 10 Commandments displayed, while the other side protested.
    These sort of examples - and there are many such examples such as the intellligent design/creationism debate - appear to polarise opinion.
    Both sides adamant that their view should prevail over the other side.
     
  8. cheapie

    cheapie New Member

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    he may hint at interesting points all he wants, but even if i see a tasty looking morsel inside a steaming pile of poo, i'm not going to be interested.

    even if one assumed from that show that all of america is christian and that we are all fundamentalists, this one statement makes monumental leaps from on retarded assumption to the next:
    are all americans christians? are all christians fundamentalists? do all fundamentalists behave like this guy? are the children of north koreans better off than american children? what does one weird american individual have to do with our policy towards NK?

    is there any connection at all between the anti-christian and anti-american crap he spouts and the stuff he watches on tv or reads in the newspaper?

    i just get so sick of the bashing on this site. this is absolutely without a doubt the most mean-spirited, nasty, zenophobic, and unfriendly forum i frequent.
     
  9. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "while i admit the paddle is certainly eyebrow raising, it's corporal punishment is not illegal."

    They used to have corporal punishment in my school. This is a whole thread in itself. In my school, when (or if) I rebelled, I'd be asked to extend my hand and the teacher would rap my fingers with a cane. It was pretty commonplace. I had way more than my fair share.
    As for parental discipline, sure, I would smack my kids as an absolute last resort. I'm not a utopian idealist. Basically I believe children need role models as parents, not drug addicts or hippies. However, there's a huge difference between the odd smack and Biblical thrashings, as described in that documentary.
    What really worried me was how the parents assumed that it was fine to thrash their kids (for not doing chores) and then followed this up by hugging. Many years ago German psychologists analysed this and concluded that the process of thrashing kids before hugging them sent out very confusing signals whereby the kids would later go on to associate love with violence. In short, it caused psychological damage in countless cases which is why Sweden was correct to ban and prohibit this situation in schools and at home.
    Again, I don't refer to the odd smack but the "wacko" selling paddles on the internet (to my mind) beggars belief. I couldn't believe it.

    "do you think there's a copy of communist manifesto sitting around in many conservative's homes?"

    Why not? Why isn't communism explained in schools? The Greeks invented communism just as they invented democracy. Sparta was, more or less, a communist State and it worked fine. They had the strongest military in Greece.
    Why just teach Christianity and democracy? Why not teach an all inclusive education and allow rational human beings to make their own decisions?

    "you openly mock christians here."

    Maybe my approach was a bit confrontational and I don't genuinely set out to mock Christians, Moslems or Jews. I respect peoples' right to adhere to any particular religion. Sure, I did come on a bit strong, I confess, but this was because (a) I was genuinely horrified by the program I saw and (b) I figured I might as well make a lively post and hopefully get people thinking about the impact of fundamentalist religion. I figure here people tend to have their bloody rant so I ranted.

    "and lastly, you never addressed my main point which is why do you take an incredibly small sample of people of americans based on some show you see and assume our entire country is like that???"

    Good point and you're correct I think. I suppose I shouldn't have given that impression. I'm well aware the big cities in America such as New York and L.A. are in no way fundamentalist. I do think Christian fundamentalism is a big problem in the U.S. but I do know and have met many educated Americans. I also admire Lance and he's a Texan (American).

    "it's either because you hate christians, americans, or you're just ignorant. not sure which yet."

    Nope, rest assured I don't hate Christians at all. I don't hate Americans. I don't hate Moslems or Jews. I accept there are many moderate Christians on the forum.

    The post was intended to simply express outrage over what I saw on that documentary and highlight the fact fundamentalism is getting way out of hand. The man who sold paddles on the internet to my mind needed professional help. The fact he was allowed to do this in public and not be arrested struck me as beyond belief. These paddles were large, wooden implements (bigger than a cricket bat) and should never ever be used on minors.
    I'm absolutely positive Lance would have much to say. He grew up hating his stepfather due to the paddlings he received as a kid.




     
  10. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "i just get so sick of the bashing on this site. this is absolutely without a doubt the most mean-spirited, nasty, zenophobic, and unfriendly forum i frequent."

    Then I apologise if I overstepped the mark. Honestly, I don't seek to bash Americans in general. I'm well aware the U.S. is a very large country with big differences in attitudes as you travel from, say, California to North Carolina.
    I'm not reluctant to make the same criticisms against the U.K. and have done so in the past (for example, Blair).
    My post was sincere but came from the gut which might explain why maybe it was interpreted as being anti Christian.
    I watched the documentary and was horrified. I'm aware not all Christian families are in any way as comparable but there are many that stretch the boundaries.


     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Personally, I don't subscribe to the notion that the US is a Christian fundamentalist country.
    Sure there is a proportion of Americans who are Christian and some of them subscribe to the fundamentalist view .......but there are many Americans who are athiests, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran etc.
    But this is the same in most countries too.
     
  12. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    The actual title of the thread wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. It was a bit of literary sensationalism to add a touch of drama.
    However, I do think fundamentalism within the U.S. is a very serious issue. It seems to be growing ever more influential and now even influencing government policy and education.


     
  13. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Obviously the U.S. is not run by the Christian taliban--yet. But the religious right has grown in political power over the last twenty-five years. The high point so far has been the election of Dubya. This has resulted in a backlash. It would be nice to see signs that the fundamentalist fervor is retreating but I fear that the Iraq debacle may end up just being a speed bump.

    The real hardcore have built up a huge inferiority complex where they blame the damned liberals, the damned gays, the damned government, and other coastal types for trying to destroy their Christian and, in their mind, American way of life. We now have to deal with these Intelligent Design nutters. The situation has become very polarizing and the U.S. form of democracy is not designed to handle it because it is a winner take all system rather than a parliamentary democracy.

    From afar thought, it looks to me like Britain is in a much worse situation. Not with the religious whack jobs but with a seeming determination to bring about Orwell's vision of government monitoring of the populace. What the hell is going on over there?
     
  14. fscyclist

    fscyclist New Member

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    I just watched this worrying documentary on Britain and was left horrified by what has taken place not only over the last few years, but for generations. This documentary addressed the fervor in Britain of raising children with pasty white skin and crooked yellow teeth. Parents from a province called Staffordshire are keeping their children at home, refusing access to proper dental care, forbidding exposure to sunlight, and indoctrinating them into the 'anti-dentite' agenda. These children were simply taught from birth that white teeth are "unnatural", that tan skin was "UnGodly" and toothbrushes and fluoride were off limits. The children answered to names such as 'Ghost' or 'Mauler'. The community is plagued with ricketts and the children are forced to eat porridge and sip tea due to misaligned, necrotic teeth.

    Researchers found that these children grow up to be malignant trolls with a clear obssession of the United States, a virtual Utopia where the populus is tan and the government places fluoride in the water to prevent tooth decay. Recently, the Brits obsession is focused on the American Pop Star Madonna and a half-assed overhyped documentary about Jesus' Tomb. Ironically, Americans don't give a Sh*t about either issue.

    So, the question you ask yourself is what on earth is going on? These parents are imposing their values on children from birth and being allowed to get away with what can only be described as brainwashing and indoctrination. You wonder if these folks have any conception of free-thinking, evaluation, personal hygeine or even freedom.

    I confess I felt kind of sorry for one British girl who was basically intelligent and attractive (except for the pasty skin and yellow teeth) but had been taught from early childhood that white teeth are a sign of vanity and tan skin didn't serve God's best interests. This girl would often spend time marching with her group, holding out placards with the words, "God hates Fluoride!" or "Give me SPF 75" (seeing as the SPF 25 sunblock may allow a slight browning of the skin).
    Basically I was horrified and wonder if anyone else saw this documentary?
     
  15. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    Great piece of literature!
     
  16. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "From afar thought, it looks to me like Britain is in a much worse situation. Not with the religious whack jobs but with a seeming determination to bring about Orwell's vision of government monitoring of the populace. What the hell is going on over there?"

    I agree with you. In fact, I agree wholeheartedly. Don't imagine I'm in any way unwilling to criticize the U.K. over a whole number of issues.
    I think I've tackled this in the past before when I've posted as I'm totally against these identity cards they're trying to bring out over here. Likewise, I'm dead against these so-called faith schools Blair has been promoting.
    As for Blair and his new Labour I think he's totally knackered the country.
    At any rate, back to that documentary. Here is what I witnessed and here is why I was appalled:
    The documentary focused on a family that limited their children to a so-called Biblical "education". The closest the syllabus got to evolution was a book entitled, "Discovering God's World". No doubt, the closest they got to zoology was Noah's Ark and if dinosaurs featured in history lessons, I'd be surprised.
    During an interview, the lady in particular quoted chapter and verse about "sparing the rod and spoiling the child". That seemed to her like a great idea so the kids were literally thrashed by a switch on a regular basis should they fail to get up at 7.00 a.m. in the morning and do chores.
    So, the question I asked myself was how in the name of common sense kids in that State weren't protected by the authorities and given their right to a decent, balanced, sensible education?
    The mind boggles as to how those parents are allowed to effectively brainwash and program their own kids!
    Please, folks, don't take this lightly. Believe me: The consequences of this kind of upbringing are downright dangerous.
    Another documentary I saw showed a group of teenagers camping outside synagogues with placards that read, "God Hates Jews!" Other tracts were handed out with the slogans, "God Hates Fags!"
    The journalist interviewed one particular blond girl who was handing out various leaflets and it turned out she'd been given a Biblical education all her life so the truth was she'd never really known anything else.
    Need I mention the other "nutter" who runs a "paddles for parents" website.



     
  17. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "It would be nice to see signs that the fundamentalist fervor is retreating but I fear that the Iraq debacle may end up just being a speed bump."

    I don't think that wars based on lies and untruths ever prosper. I think it looks more and more as if the U.S. is going to suffer a catastrophic defeat in the Middle East as took place in Vietnam many years ago.
    Essentially, I have sympathy for the U.S. marines who were hoodwinked into fighting the Iraq war as I think they basically believed the story they had been spoonfed - that 9/11 was a result of Iraq (simply untrue). Even so, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the current administration who started that war despite the warnings from France and the U.N.
    The trouble is the consequences of defeat in the Iraq War could very well be dire. The big winner will be Iran since Bush removed the only real buffer to Iranian hegemony in the Gulf which was Iraq under Saddam.
    So, this is what happens when religious zelots get a grip on governmental power and make political decisions.
    To my mind, Arnold Schwarzennegger offers some hope for the Republicans but the snag is I'm not sure whether he will be able to compete without some sort of political stance based on Evangelical Fundamentalism. It seems that more and more often, the electorate leans towards some kind of evangelical zeal amongst politicians. Even Bill Clinton was forced to publically confess his sins on national television even if he didn't really believe it.
    Personally, I think Americans need to think long and hard about this creeping evangelical influence into their society, the whole issue of so-called creatonist teachings, Biblical education and expansion of fundamentalism. If not, we're going to be seeing a lot more presidents similar to Bush, continually quoting God in their speeches, claiming God addresses them in the second person singular with calls for a divine mission such as the overthrow of Saddam or what have you.
    The situation is worrying.


     
  18. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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  19. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Sadly, some residents over here wrote to the local rag, expressing the view that this strict family upbringing via the paddle must be a good thing as the kids featured didn't grow up as tearaways. They saw the documentary too.
    They're mistaken, though. The secret to balanced, sociable adults has far more to do with family stability than paddlings or wackings.
    One thing I noticed when I lived in Spain was how polite the northern Spanish were. I taught students there and they were essentially polite and respectful. This was a result of the strong sense of a family in Spain. Rarely did I see signs of kids being beaten even though Spanish friends shared with me the Jesuits went in for that sort of thing in their Jesuit schools.
    Nope, what I found was closely knit, stable families and, as a result, stable kids.
    This is far removed from brainwashing and indoctrination.


     
  20. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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