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Source: (consider it) Thread: "As a Christian" preamble to opinions.
Penny S
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I have just been moved to write to the Guardian about a letter beginning this way.

It may be that it isn't every time I see or hear this opening to a letter, or a post somewhere, or a phone-in item, the author goes on to pronounce something which I not only do not agree with, but strongly do not agree with. It is not usually addressing matters laid out in the creed, for example. It is usually, when I notice it, proceeding to spell out why some opinion, or group holding an opinion, is really beyond the Pale. (You can probably guess which subjects most frequently follow - expired equines.)

It isn't something helpful, like "As a Christian, I find it useful to spend some part of the day in silence, meditating". But maybe I just don't notice when it is.

The writer holds, as a Christian, that an unelected monarch is not the proper person to be head of state. (A position which I suspect he will not find in the KJV.) He further meditated on the unsuitability of the heir to the throne because of his lack of a high moral character and sincere Christian faith.

I seem to recall something about not judging, but I'm not so good at chapter and verse as most here.

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Doc Tor
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"As a leveller," I could understand...

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mousethief

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As a decent human being, I agree.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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"As a Christian" is a version of "the bible tells me so" for the illiterate. And is equally valid.

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Pigwidgeon

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When my ex and I went to mandatory counseling during the divorce process, the counselor asked why he did not want a divorce. He couldn't tell her the truth, that he didn't want to let me have the half of our community property to which I was entitled. He also didn't lie and say that it was because he loved me.

So he answered that "As a Christian, I don't believe in divorce" in his typical holier-than-thou voice. (The look she gave him was priceless!) Needless to say, Mr. I-don't-believe-in-divorce was the one who remarried as soon as the divorce went through.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
"As a leveller," I could understand...

Or even "As a Baptist", although many Baptists today know nothing of their Republican ancestry!

ISTM that using the phrase "As a Christian" could either simply be a defining statement, i.e. "This is the background that I'm coming from"; indeed I've used it in this way myself. But it can also - and often does mean - "I'm about to tell you the only proper Christian position", which isn't quite the same thing!

PS I've now read the letter, and it seems to me that the writer is making an unintentional non-sequitur. Although I happen to agree with his basic sentiment, one can't say that Republican views are automatically commensurate with being a Christian.

[ 18. March 2017, 16:08: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Doc Tor
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I'd argue that being a UK Christian and a republican is very much a minority sport.

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mr cheesy
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I think that people are looking for identity, particularly the white British (I can't speak how this phrase is used elsewhere) and so latch onto "as a Christian" as a marker of identity to distinguish themselves from all the other callers, letter writers, tweeters etc.

Of course, this shows mind-numbing stupidity because there is almost nothing that Christians have in common with each other and so invoking the identity tells the listener absolutely nothing at all about the person.

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arse

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rolyn
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You want to try 'As a born again Christian' in conversation. No better way to clear a room.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
You want to try 'As a born again Christian' in conversation. No better way to clear a room.

And hardly confusing as to why.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Stercus Tauri
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I have tried countering it with, "As a Christian from a country at one time deeply rooted in the monastic tradition, I am accustomed to a far higher standard of brewing than you have here". But it just confuses Americans.

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SvitlanaV2
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mr cheesy

Do 'white British' people go around saying 'As a Christian....'? I wouldn't have thought that was very common these days.

Christians do disagree on a whole range of things, although the stats apparently show that they're a bit more likely to hold certain opinions rather than others.

Moreover, I also wonder if religious decline in the British context has actually reduced a lot of the diversity of views among practising Christians the country. On social issues there's likely to be more and more agreement, although the family remains a source of division, I suppose. (As for doctrinal matters, no one seems too bothered to emphasise those in public.)

Without reading his letter I'm assuming that the OP's guy in the Guardian was trying to emphasise the fact that you can be a Christian and not a monarchist - probably as a challenge to the newspaper's atheist readers who might assume that all Christians are right wingers who adore the Royal Family.

[ 18. March 2017, 17:15: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
mr cheesy

Do 'white British' people go around saying 'As a Christian....'? I wouldn't have thought that was very common these days.

I've only ever heard or seen people using the phrase when they're white and coming from a very Evangelical position. Even non-white evangelicals don't seem to say it.

quote:
Christians do disagree on a whole range of things, although the stats apparently show that they're a bit more likely to hold certain opinions rather than others.
Quite so, but if the phone-in is about, I don't know, increasing Value Added Tax then it is very unlikely that prefacing your contribution with "as a Christian" is really telling anyone else anything about you and your position in the debate. That's all I was saying.

quote:
Moreover, I also wonder if religious decline in the British context has actually reduced a lot of the diversity of views among practising Christians the country. On social issues there's likely to be more and more agreement, although the family remains a source of division, I suppose. (As for doctrinal matters, no one seems too bothered to emphasise those in public.)
Certain types of Christian seem to think it is their responsibility to be seen in public giving the biblical line (ie their own idiosyncratic understanding of Christianity as divine revelation for everyone) on various topics. Most other Christians do not see this as their role and so even if they contribute to phone-ins are unlikely to do so under the banner of "as a Christian".

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arse

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Penny S
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I suppose that, as a Christian, I should feel attracted to the Fifth Monarchy position rather than the Levellers, as a suitable ground for my rather vague republican feelings.
It was the sniping at Charles that grated, I think. But I was primed to find something objectionable, by all the others I have heard before.
And, somehow, I always hear "born again" in the phrase, even if not actually spelled out.

[ 18. March 2017, 18:17: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Schroedinger's cat

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"As a Christian" could be used to explain that this is the reason behind my position. In truth, as is pointed out, it is used to say "All Christians believe this" and if you don't you are not a real Christian.

And of all the people not fit to be head of state, there is a PM and a president I can think of with rather less capability. The monarch is, IMO, quite suitable as head of state. And as a Quaker, I really don't give a shit who is head of the church I left.

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Brenda Clough
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"As a Christian" can be topped only by "I forgive you as a Christian" for pure annoyingness. It's certainly a good signal to quit listening, change the channel, or turn the page.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
"As a Christian" can be topped only by "I forgive you as a Christian" for pure annoyingness. It's certainly a good signal to quit listening, change the channel, or turn the page.

Also, when someone puts on a sicky-sweet smile, and in a sicky-sweet voice says "I'll pray for you."

Yes, I appreciate all the prayers I can get, but that's just a passive aggressive response.

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Schroedinger's cat

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"That's nice. Ill make your effigy in clay and stick it with pins."

"You pray for me. You need to pray more".

"Thank you for your forgiveness. Now, if you just shove it where the son doesn't shine, I will continue doing those things which I know you hate".

"And I forgive you. You can't help it that God made you such an arrogant, unpleasant person with no shred of decency".

"I'll pray for you to. I pray to Cthulu, of course..."

"As a Christian, I wish you would shut the actual fuck up."

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
The writer holds, as a Christian, that an unelected monarch is not the proper person to be head of state. (A position which I suspect he will not find in the KJV.)

1 Samuel 8. [Razz]

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Adeodatus
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The introduction "As a Christian..." is quite useful. It usually means I needn't bother reading anything that comes after it, lest I expose myself to Foam Mouthed Rambling Imbecile Virus.

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Ariston
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quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
I have tried countering it with, "As a Christian from a country at one time deeply rooted in the monastic tradition, I am accustomed to a far higher standard of brewing than you have here". But it just confuses Americans.

Or makes us think you should back up your empty words with open bottles.

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Kelly Alves

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Preach it, my suds- loving brother. [Overused]

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Kelly Alves

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The introduction "As a Christian..." is quite useful. It usually means I needn't bother reading anything that comes after it, lest I expose myself to Foam Mouthed Rambling Imbecile Virus.

I dunno. I have used the phrase occasionally when I have criticized the behavior/ teachings of right wing religious folk, for instance. "As a Christian, I don't believe in a teacher leading children in prayer at public school, because I believe God is not honored by coerced expressions of faith." Like that.

In such case, what I am trying to say is, don't hide behind the cross, because you'll just run into me.

[ 19. March 2017, 04:10: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Penny S
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I guess that that usage would cause serious confusion as their brains would come up with "it does not compute". But I can think of situations where it would appeal to me!

And you remind me of the occasion when I was taking assembly, and introduced the prayer section, which I did by asking the children to think of their own prayers in silence, and did not tellt hem to close their eyes and put their hands together, nor police their attitudes (deliberately, since I recalled a teacher in my own childhood proclaiming "someone did not have their eyes closed during the prayer" and my consequent utter contempt for the woman, who clearly didn't herself - I wasn't going to go there). And a colleague burst out of her classroom and accosted one little mite and told him loudly to close his eyes and pray, thus completely shattering the state of mind I had worked towards.

I know that God wasn't keen on Israel getting involved with kings, but I specified the KJ version as I have gathered that the said James was keen that the translation under his patronage shoould bolster his claim to divine right.

[ 19. March 2017, 07:02: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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passer

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Might tweet a link to this thread to The Donald. If he were to start his ramblings with "As a POTUS....." it would make it easier to auto-filter them out.

Also, the phrase "As a Christian" looks like a candidate for inclusion in the sermon version of bullshit bingo.

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
don't hide behind the cross, because you'll just run into me.

Ooh, I like that!

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sharkshooter

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Much more often than "As a Christian...", I hear "As a teacher...", or "As a scientist...", or "As a lawyer..."

I just take them to be advice of any bias in the following statements. Of course, they are more likely intending it to mean they speak with some authority.

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Gamaliel
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How would it sound Shroedinger's Cat (or twat), if someone said, 'As a non-Quaker I don't really give a shit what those self-righteous so-called Friends do in their heretickal conventicles'?

These things cut both ways.

As it happens, I am interested in what the Quakers do. But not when they get arsey about everyone else. None of us are immune from that tendency, of course.

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
How would it sound Shroedinger's Cat (or twat), if someone said, 'As a non-Quaker I don't really give a shit what those self-righteous so-called Friends do in their heretickal conventicles'?

Fine. I don't have a problem with that. But you missed the real point - it was the church I left. It is not that I think I am better (or Quakers are better), just that it no longer concerns me. The arguments about the role of the monarchy in the church. Because I no longer care - and because I used to.

** Side note. I know I am very pro-Quaker at the moment. Sorry. It is not that I think the Quakers have it right in all things. It is just that I have a new perspective on things. It is a more positive and more helpful (for me) perspective on life.

So naturally, it comes through a lot. Sorry.

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Gamaliel
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No need to apologise, he said Purgatorially. It's only natural for you to be pro-Quaker or pro whatever else you might have moved onto. I'd be the same if I went from one tradition to another.

Thing is, though, not all Anglicans - even in the CofE - are that bothered about the Royal Family - and you may even find a few closet republicans in CofE churches ... Although indifference rather than an anti-royalist view would be more common than an outright anti-monarchist stance.

Plenty of Anglicans I know are pretty hazy as to who their Bishop is, let alone anything else.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Gamaliel
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As far as the Quakers go, I'm pretty positive about the Friends - even though I'd lean more heavily on creedal statements and 'outward forms' than they'd be comfortable with. I can see where they are coming from and what they are getting at but from where I'm 'at' I don't see anything there that one couldn't pick up elsewhere if one were so inclined - contemplative prayer, meditation and concerns about social justice and so on aren't an exclusively Quaker thing - and they aren't claiming exclusivity on those things either, of course.

I know a few people who are feeling drawn towards the Quaker Way and I'm pleased for them and wish them well if they go down that route. I've got my interaction with Quakers but I'm not sure I could be one - whereas I could see myself in one or t'other of the historic Churches - given my sense of history and interest in liturgy, iconography and so on ... Although I wouldn't want to get all hobbyist about those aspects. Means to an end, not ends in themselves.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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I used to know somehow who prefaced almost everything he said with "As a Quaker...", even when the group to whom he was talking didn't have the slightest interest in Quakers and were much more likely to be receptive to "I think this because of this Quaker principle.."

I haven't thought about him for years, I wonder what happened to him.

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arse

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
No need to apologise, he said Purgatorially. It's only natural for you to be pro-Quaker or pro whatever else you might have moved onto. I'd be the same if I went from one tradition to another.

Thing is, though, not all Anglicans - even in the CofE - are that bothered about the Royal Family - and you may even find a few closet republicans in CofE churches ... Although indifference rather than an anti-royalist view would be more common than an outright anti-monarchist stance.

Plenty of Anglicans I know are pretty hazy as to who their Bishop is, let alone anything else.

You speak as if there's something, beyond accidents of history, monarchist about the CofE. But if it's the Church of England, it's as much the Church of us republicans as anyone else, surely? I mean, I know some monarchists do seem to assume that everyone shares their views, I know, (I particularly object to the singing of God Save the Queen on Remembrance Sunday, as if remembrance and monarchism are related concepts, which for me they are not), but I don't think it's expected to be one, is it?

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jacobsen

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
"As a Christian" can be topped only by "I forgive you as a Christian" for pure annoyingness. It's certainly a good signal to quit listening, change the channel, or turn the page.

Or, courtesy of C.S.Lewis in The Screwtape Letters "I forgive you as a Christian, but there are some things one can never forget."

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
No need to apologise, he said Purgatorially. It's only natural for you to be pro-Quaker or pro whatever else you might have moved onto. I'd be the same if I went from one tradition to another.

Thing is, though, not all Anglicans - even in the CofE - are that bothered about the Royal Family - and you may even find a few closet republicans in CofE churches ... Although indifference rather than an anti-royalist view would be more common than an outright anti-monarchist stance.

Plenty of Anglicans I know are pretty hazy as to who their Bishop is, let alone anything else.

You speak as if there's something, beyond accidents of history, monarchist about the CofE. But if it's the Church of England, it's as much the Church of us republicans as anyone else, surely? I mean, I know some monarchists do seem to assume that everyone shares their views, I know, (I particularly object to the singing of God Save the Queen on Remembrance Sunday, as if remembrance and monarchism are related concepts, which for me they are not), but I don't think it's expected to be one, is it?
I said no such thing. What I was trying to do was demonstrate that not all CofE Anglicans are monarchists - something I find that many folk from other countries automatically assume.

I do wonder how very liberal, republican vicars get on with the 1662 prayers when they don't buy into that world-view - although they all seem to use it.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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As a Quaker, what's the deal with the oats?

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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As an Oater what is it with the quakes?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Huia
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# 3473

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I think the use of the phrase "As a Christian" sucks fetid dingoes kidneys.

(With thanks to the late Douglas Adams)

Huia

[ 19. March 2017, 20:33: Message edited by: Huia ]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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sabine
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# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
As a Quaker, what's the deal with the oats?

My Meeting used to use a Quaker Oats container for offerings. [Smile]

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Gill H

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# 68

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I thought this thread was going to be about the Tracey Ullman show sketches.

(On phone so can't link but a YouTube search should find them. May not be viewable outside the UK though.)

Basically she plays a woman in various situations - a date, a job interview - where everything is going swimmingly until she mentions she is a Christian, at which point she's suddenly treated like a leper.

In one sketch she has been asked to be godmother and they are at the baptism, but the parents freak out at the mention of religion.

As far as I know she doesn't self-identify as a Christian. Interesting to speculate where she got the idea for the character.

What's refreshing is that the character is not a fundie, not spouting judgemental claptrap - she's just a normal person.

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Searching for a new sig...

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The introduction "As a Christian..." is quite useful. It usually means I needn't bother reading anything that comes after it, lest I expose myself to Foam Mouthed Rambling Imbecile Virus.

I dunno. I have used the phrase occasionally when I have criticized the behavior/ teachings of right wing religious folk
Another time when "as a Christian" becomes a useful opening is when someone who possibly never darkens the door of a church is telling us what we should believe or do. Examples could include the various British/English nationalist groups who claim to be defending a "Christian nation" against Islam - to which I have to say "as a Christian, my faith and Lord do not need a bunch of thugs to defend us against anyone". Incidentally, those groups are also very likely to support the monarchy in a very over the top manner, seeing them as a symbol of British identity (ignoring the fact that they're Germans).

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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L'organist
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# 17338

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When I was young and callow my reaction to the "As a Christian" thing would be to growl silently and/or switch off.

With age has come a better way, IMHO: I listen until a suitable pause in the rant (it usually is a rant) occurs and then ask something along the lines of "But do you think the confusion and schism about the filioque clause is where we can trace back to the origin of many of the world's troubles?" (or words to that effect). So far it has had a miraculous effect of stopping the conversation stone dead in 100% of cases.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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All English people are Germans if you go back far enough, why single out the Royal Family?

The English are Anglo-Saxons with some Danish, Norman and Celtic blood - and often more besides.

The staunch monarchists I know don't make a big deal out of the Royal Family being 'Wenglish' but British. The monarch is the king or queen of Scotland as well as England, of Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Canada, Australia and lots of islands in the Pacific and Caribbean.

There are rocks and reefs which have the British royalty as titular heads of state ...

Meanwhile, the monarch is titular head of 'This Church of England by law established.' A whacky arrangement.

I've come across US Episcopalians online who make a bigger deal of the monarchy than most Anglicans I know over here - waxing lyrical as to how monarchy is a 'God-ordained' system of government and going on and on and on about King Charles the Martyr ...

They're nuts.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Brilliant, l'Organist.
[Big Grin]

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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As a Christian, I believe that you should have an opportunity to save your soul, so instead of hanging you, which is what you deserve, I'm just going to poke your eyes out instead.

That's how they did things in Constantinople, only in Greek.

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Human

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The introduction "As a Christian..." is quite useful. It usually means I needn't bother reading anything that comes after it, lest I expose myself to Foam Mouthed Rambling Imbecile Virus.

It's right up there with I'm not a racist but ... Nothing good every comes after the but!

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
All English people are Germans if you go back far enough, why single out the Royal Family?

Because they've tried to hide it for purposes of expediency and survival- Saxe Coburg Gotha to Windsor, Battenburg to Mountbatten and all that?

Their "distancing" themselves from their German roots is only a century old if that.

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Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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Two world wars might do that to you.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Well yes, and it probably says more about populist anti-German sentiment than it says about the Royal Family themselves.

The first two Georges were very 'German' in the way they acted - and George III took pains to distance himself from that, 'I glory in the name of Briton ...'

One doesn't have to be an ardent royalist not to see the Saxe-Coburg's Anglicisation of their surname as sinister and cynical. Heck, people who happened to have German surnames were having their houses and property vandalised and were even assaulted in the streets.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15450 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
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# 812

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Dang that predictive text ... I meant 'English not 'Wenglish' ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15450 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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