Senate Atheism 4.0 - Now Discussing: Religiosity and intelligence

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, May 18, 2010.

  1. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Looks more like Reddit being Reddit than anything.
  2. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Reddit... I don't get it.
  3. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    God, no!

    To be fair, do massively lavish symbols like this accurately portray the modesty of the most devout christians?

    [image=http://www.teeng.net/images/Rome/St%20John/1St%20John%20Lateran%20Fronts.JPG]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_St._John_Lateran

    Sorry, but that was a cheap shot I just couldn't pass up.
  4. Mustafar_66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 5
    It shows me that someone has a terribly laid out website...
  5. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    I just thought it was funny that, while trying to do a good thing, they came off like *******.

    If they had just consulted their Bibles (the part about giving money in private) they could have avoided this embarrassing moment in reddit history.
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Of course, they just as easily could've concluded that they should stone everyone doing anything on a Saturday.

    So. Y'know.
  7. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    That hasn't been practiced for millenia.
  8. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    star 6
    Oh right, my mistake, I forgot Luke 100:2 "And the LORD said 'Ignore thee the mentioning of things you do not follow. For he who believes in me shall forever get to apply the hypocritical standards of double.'"
  9. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Were you one of those kids that had a hard time understanding when it was ok to tattle?
  10. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I'm actually probably more inclined to agree with ramza on the overall point here, but the Sabbath thing was as much of cheap shot as anything else. For what it's worth, the apostles did have several long discussions in the New Testament where they specifically cite God as stating they are not bound by the Old Testament laws. Given that's exactly how said laws are justified in the first place (important prophet speaking directly to God, who authorized them) it's not really hypocrisy.

    I would comment more on the current situation, but I can't even tell what that "reddit" thing was supposed to show. I just saw a bunch of assorted links about atheism with no apparent connection between them.
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Some interesting stuff I've been reading about how atheists are treated in the military, particularly as it relates to defining a religious stance, and the way that they treat "No Religious Preference".
    It's getting a bit more attention after a blog talked about someone having trouble getting atheist listed in place of a religion, and was instead assigned "no rel pref". The initial blog is here.
    This led to more response here, and also the following story of just why it matters to be listed as "atheist" instead of "no rel pref". A woman discusses here how when her partner was killed in Afghanistan, because he'd been listed as "no rel pref", she had to deal with being told to pray when told about his death by a chaplain, meaning that she had to explain her beliefs while dealing with her grief, both when she was initially told, and at the funeral.
  12. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Really, I'd say the problem is less that they don't have an atheism choice and more that they assume "No Preference" is equivalent to "nondenominational Christian."
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    [image=http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/381804_10150434491277778_540532777_8347944_73185608_n.jpg]
  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, when you state no preference.... that implies you're open to anything. If I state I have no preference, that implies I'm ok with whatever I get in that category. In this case, though, that's not a valid description.
  15. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    FWIW, I've been in nearly nine years now; I'm a light-infantryman and we're pretty different culturally from the rest of the Army, but I've met plenty of pretty open atheists who've never had problems. The girl in question just sounds like she has a crap-ass chaplain who doesn't understand his job; the ideal chaplain is less priest and more psychologist. Part of their job is religious services, but he or she is supposed to also know a thing a two about the soldiers in their unit.
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except I also think the blog author is also mixing her emotions with being uninformed of the process. First off, there's no "papers" per se that anyone would have easy access to. Even if her partner in question had "atheist" listed in their personnel file, it's very unlikely the Chaplain would ever have seen it. The chaplain might have been provided with a general list, which leads to the second issue. This is what the blog author posted:

    "He had no religious preference on his papers. The army sent a chaplain to tell me and pray with my sons. I was forced in what was already a horrible experience to politely demand that the chaplain be made to stand quietly as we did not share his beliefs. They also sent a chaplain to his service."

    The chaplain didn't "tell her to pray" as a specific response to anything. The chaplain seems to be part of the death notification team. (or depending on available manpower, the chaplain could have been the only person who conducts notifications for that unit.) Death notification teams are trained as such, so even if her partner had "atheist" listed in his religious category, and the chaplain had access to his personnel records, there's a real possibility that the chaplain would have been sent anyway.

    I think the issue here is that the civilian partner of a deceased military member reacted to the mere presence of a chaplain without fully understanding what they do. Typically, there would be no reason to "demand" that a chaplain do anything, because chaplains take their cue from the families anyway. I could envision that the chaplain showed up, made the notification, and then asked how her and her sons wanted to handle the grief, including prayer. But the mere presence of a chaplain shouldn't illicit a negative response either. Military chaplains do conduct religious services (and many times conduct multi-denominations based on the make-up of those in their unit), but they also act as de facto counselors and and wellness professionals. They're officers, but informal and basically sit outside of the chain of command.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Chaplain? What chaplain? There was no chaplain.
    There was no body either... Nothing happened, really. Move along, move along!
  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Curious: Why does the military still use a chaplain at all as a therapist or even a notifier of death or some such? Wouldn't it be best to use people without religious titles or is the military that behind the times?
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Fills a dual role that's weighted more towards psychology than religion, while still providing religious services for those who want them? I mean, why hire just one guy when you could potentially hire one for each flavor of Christianity? :p
  20. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Why not just change the position to Counselor or Therapist, then?
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Because there's no reason to do so?
  22. Mustafar_66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 5
    I presume that these people will have had proper training in psychology and therapy in order to help people through their loss and not just rely on the Lord to get them through grief, correct? If they have been properly trained, which I should damn well hope they have, then why give them religious labels/titles?
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    See my last two replies. No reason to split the job.
    Chaplains really are more shrinks than priests today anyway, mostly because most soldiers are not actively religious. Their role within a unit is more as an individual you know you can trust to not judge you for your issues, as well as providing religious services to those soldiers who want them. Shrinks of course do exist in the military, but typically they're not around if you're not on a major base overseas because they are civilians, not soldiers. Chaplains OTOH are always around, and more importantly, known. A DoD shrink isn't going to be someone you've met before and know you can trust; the battalion chaplain is someone you almost certainly both know and know can be trusted.

  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Because they also deal with soldiers' spiritual concerns. I don't see why it would be counted as anything but positive that the military tries to acknowledge and cater to this part of their employees lives.

    The problem here is not that chaplains exist. It is, as Lowbacca and ramza originally suggested, that there is resistance to documenting people as atheists. This leads to unfortunate incidents like the one described. After all, granting that the chaplain had no malicious intent, I doubt that he would have said anything about praying if he'd known beforehand that the person he was speaking to was atheist.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    Which is just beyond bizarre, in my experience. I'll have been in the army nine years this next January, and the number of genuinely regilious soldiers I've known I can count on the fingers of one hand.