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 Post subject: Secularism
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 10:50 am 
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Just got back from stake conference. It's the first time I've gone to SC in years and no, it was not worth the effort, IMHO.

It was one broadcast-from-SLC conferences, and the speakers included Cheryl Esplin of the Primary General Presidency, M. Russell Ballard, and Henry B. Eyring. The first speaker, though, was Richard Edgley of the Presiding Bishopric, and his talk is what I want to focus on.

Bishop Edgley did a lot of the us-versus-them, latter-day forces of evil waging war on the good drama. He mentioned something GBH said, about four "-isms" we need to beware of: atheism, agnosticism, pessimism, and secularism. He said that the other three -isms are pretty straightforward--you know what to expect, but that secularism often creates a lot of confusion between what is good and what is evil, and so he focused on secularism for the rest of his talk.

In particular, he talked about the dangers of free speech and choice. Free speech comes with the danger of pornography, and choice has the danger of abortion. I was sitting there thinking, ok, maybe those things are problematic, but what do you want us to do, outlaw free speech and choice? He did not actually say that, but in the context of a talk about the evils of secularism, I had to wonder what he was driving at.

So, once I got home, I looked up the definition of secularism.

Quote:
secu·lar·ism (-iz′əm)

noun

1. worldly spirit, views, or the like; esp., a system of doctrines and practices that disregards or rejects any form of religious faith and worship

2. the belief that religion and ecclesiastical affairs should not enter into the functions of the state, esp. into public education

Ok, a good argument can me made in favor of not disregarding religious faith and worship. (Yesterday I listened to Terry Gross's interview of Karen Armstrong!) However, I feel very strongly that religion and ecclesiastical affairs should not interfere with functions of the state.

To me, if people are disregarding matters of faith and religion, the answer is not to use the power of the state to uphold them, but rather to simply go out and preach. This is exactly what Alma the Younger did in the fourth chapter of Alma--he resigned his post as chief judge, but remained the high priest, and went out and preached. And Church leaders today are free to do that.

I guess my problem is that Bp Edgley did not make the distinction between the first definition of secularism listed above, and the second one, and many of his listeners won't, either. There may be plenty of LDS people who do believe in the separation of church and state, but others may not, and may use talks like this to justify some sort of religious activism in the public sphere. And that, I would have a problem with.

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 Post subject: Re: Secularism
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 10:59 am 
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Leukarktos wrote:
In particular, he talked about the dangers of free speech and choice. Free speech comes with the danger of pornography, and choice has the danger of abortion. I was sitting there thinking, ok, maybe those things are problematic, but what do you want us to do, outlaw free speech and choice? He did not actually say that, but in the context of a talk about the evils of secularism, I had to wonder what he was driving at.

It's stuff like that, all those omissions, that make me not want to attend any of those broadcasts from the COB. :roll: I avoid them like the plague, like back in Easter of 2009. :twisted:

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To love when circumstance may lead someone away from you
And not to spend the time just doubting

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:06 am 
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i hate talks of this nature.

tiresome and misguided that the authors of this nonsense always fail to mention that the flourishing of human society, mainly in the last 400 yrs (in sooo many ways) are a direct result of people rejecting so called authorities and allowing themselves to have a questioning mind. thank god that we live where and when we do.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:11 am 
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DD decided to go for a bicycle ride to a place where her muay thai group runs sprints most Sunday mornings and I stayed home in case DD encountered problems and needed help with repairs or a lift back.

DW returned saying only that Elder Eyring says we should be optimistic. DW knows how I would respond to to Bishop Edgley's comments, being an agnostic myself with secular humanist sympathies.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:20 pm 
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A bit off topic, but one of the things that upon trying to go back, made it very hard to continue was the censorship of darn near everything! I'm talking about Sacrament meeting talks being assigned to individuals along with the GC talk they are to present.

The six weeks I made it, there was only one lady who did not just stand there and spoon feed the talk they were given.

And now all these Stake Conferences, broadcast from SLC and presented by GA's. Years back they brought into existence the "Regional Rep" concept to allow for the GA presence in stake conferences.

I really hate correlation. Personal inspiration is dying, if not dead already.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:32 pm 
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rockslider wrote:
I really hate correlation. Personal inspiration is dying, if not dead already.

I'm not so sure personal inspiration is dying. Seems to me there is an abundance of BPs and SPs who are receiving personal inspiration about facial hair, white shirts, earrings, and flip flops on a daily basis. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Zadok wrote:
I'm not so sure personal inspiration is dying. Seems to me there is an abundance of BPs and SPs who are receiving personal inspiration about facial hair, white shirts, earrings, and flip flops on a daily basis. :lol:


Indoctrination/Inspiration, "Yeah. 220... 221, whatever it takes"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085970/quotes

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:16 pm 
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By contrast, on Thursday, my Evil Democratic Women's Club co-sponsored a speech by Rev. C. Welton Gaddy. First 'graph of his bio:

Quote:
Author of over 20 books, including First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy leads the national non-partisan grassroots and educational organization, Interfaith Alliance and serves as the Pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, Louisiana.


Admittedly, Rev. Gaddy is a rare bird among Southern Baptists. But he was such an inspiring speaker, talking about how it is not IN SPITE of his faith that he advocates for high walls between church and state, but BECAUSE of his faith. He is a staunch advocate of secularism in the public sphere. It was such an inspiring speech - it made me long for Jesus in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Secularism
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Liberal Mormon wrote:
Leukarktos wrote:
In particular, he talked about the dangers of free speech and choice. Free speech comes with the danger of pornography, and choice has the danger of abortion. I was sitting there thinking, ok, maybe those things are problematic, but what do you want us to do, outlaw free speech and choice? He did not actually say that, but in the context of a talk about the evils of secularism, I had to wonder what he was driving at.

It's stuff like that, all those omissions, that make me not want to attend any of those broadcasts from the COB. :roll: I avoid them like the plague, like back in Easter of 2009. :twisted:


http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-31-honesty?lang=eng wrote:
We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:47 am 
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Wow. . . maybe I should follow-up and see what my wife thought of the talk (she attends, I do not). She mentioned that for stake conference they watched a broadcast from SLC and that Eyering spoke as well as some guy from the presiding bishopric. I don't usually follow-up on the subjects of the talk because it usually only results in an argument, but sometimes I've got to wonder what goes on in her head when she hears such a talk and then comes home to her agnostic, atheistic, secularist husband (fortunately I've got a positive outlook on life, so I've only got three strikes instead of four--wait, you are still out after three strikes, right?).

:evil:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:16 am 
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Dathon wrote:
DW returned saying only that Elder Eyring says we should be optimistic.

That is true, he spoke about being a "wise optimist," meaning there are some things we should be cautious about, but we can/should be optimistic overall.

While listening to his talk, I was reminded of Radiolab's episode about Deception. In that episode, they talked about a study that showed that people who are good at lying tend to be more successful and happier. People who are more realistic tend to be pessimists--they don't kid themselves about how effed up the world really is. Optimists, on the other hand, are constantly telling themselves they are good and worthwhile, and can overcome the various challenges in life, and as a result, they actually are happier and perform better. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy situation.

I don't know that Elder Eyring has ever listened to that episode of Radiolab or read that study, but it's possible he understands that principle, and is basically trying to help people cope and lead good lives despite the many discouraging realities of life. I can respect that (as long as they don't tell people like me that we are "sinners" for getting depressed).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:37 am 
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rockslider wrote:
I really hate correlation. Personal inspiration is dying, if not dead already.

Image Image

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And maybe love is letting people be just what they want to be
The door must always be left unlocked
To love when circumstance may lead someone away from you
And not to spend the time just doubting

Howard Jones


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:39 am 
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Zadok wrote:
rockslider wrote:
I really hate correlation. Personal inspiration is dying, if not dead already.

I'm not so sure personal inspiration is dying. Seems to me there is an abundance of BPs and SPs who are receiving personal inspiration about facial hair, white shirts, earrings, and flip flops on a daily basis. :lol:

But that's personal "inspiration" of the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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And maybe love is letting people be just what they want to be
The door must always be left unlocked
To love when circumstance may lead someone away from you
And not to spend the time just doubting

Howard Jones


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:14 pm 
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the more church leadership rails against secularism, the further distance I feel from them and their archaic BS. I just feel more vindicated in my emotional and physical divorcement from the organization. I would never in a million years be a part of any organization that preaches against science, progressivism, and church/state separation outside the church, but stuck it out due to "testimony", fear, and guilt. Why I stayed aligned with such an organization for so long is beyond me. No more cog diss, and I've never been happier.

After 20 years I'm finally titrating off anti-depressants, if that says anything.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:27 pm 
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Hi, Kolob wrote:
the more church leadership rails against secularism, the further distance I feel from them and their archaic BS. I just feel more vindicated in my emotional and physical divorcement from the organization. I would never in a million years be a part of any organization that preaches against science, progressivism, and church/state separation outside the church, but stuck it out due to "testimony", fear, and guilt. Why I stayed aligned with such an organization for so long is beyond me. No more cog diss, and I've never been happier.


I feel much the same way. I just wish I had woken up earlier. So many times I found myself making excuses for the Church, but I would not do the same for other religions or organizations doing the exact same things as the Church. It was serious cog dis, and I'm so glad to be done with it.


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