Rev. Calli

Are Christians really "Taking Over"

386 posts in this topic

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I was walking into the local "Hobby Lobby" today when I heard an interesting conversation.  A young couple was walking out of the store, when I heard the female of the pair state with some annoyance to her partner "You know that they are not open on Sunday", to which her male companion replied, "------- Christians are taking over the country" (insert your favorite expletive).  

I was, to say the least, flabbergasted to hear someone say that in public.  First of all, it struck me as being incredibly prejudiced.  Replace the word Christian with any ethnic group and I think you'll get the point.  It also showed a great ignorance of the fact that the founders and owners of Hobby Lobby are Evangelical Christians who don't believe in conducting business on Sunday and are being true to their particular beliefs.  To my knowledge, no store in the Hobby Lobby chain has ever been open on a Sunday in the 20 plus years that they have been in business.

Now I must admit, my first reaction was to want to call him out on his comments and point out the error of his ways.  However he looked about half my age and seemed twice as big as me, so I held my tongue.  But I spent the next few hours in deep thought, and the question that comes to my mind is this, are Christians really taking over America?  Or to be more precise, is there a perception that Christians are taking over America?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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21 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

It also showed a great ignorance of the fact that the founders and owners of Hobby Lobby are Evangelical Christians who don't believe in conducting business on Sunday and are being true to their particular beliefs.  

The problem with that reasoning is that the owners and founders don't have to work on Sunday for the stores to be open. There are plenty of employees who would love the extra hours. So it isn't just about being true to their beliefs, but also about imposing those beliefs on others. It is not just "I do not do business on Sunday" but also "You can't do business on Sunday." It is that second bit that tends to annoy people.

Running companies is the most common way that American Christians who are of a theocratic bent tend to try to impose their beliefs on others. Since the customers and employees are choosing freely to do business that way, it can be easy to not understand why this is a bad thing. But when people are in positions where they feel there is nowhere else to get what they need, the concept of choosing freely gets a bit blurry, and the resentment starts to set in.

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10 minutes ago, mererdog said:

The problem with that reasoning is that the owners and founders don't have to work on Sunday for the stores to be open. There are plenty of employees who would love the extra hours. So it isn't just about being true to their beliefs, but also about imposing those beliefs on others. It is not just "I do not do business on Sunday" but also "You can't do business on Sunday." It is that second bit that tends to annoy people.

Running companies is the most common way that American Christians who are of a theocratic bent tend to try to impose their beliefs on others. Since the customers and employees are choosing freely to do business that way, it can be easy to not understand why this is a bad thing. But when people are in positions where they feel there is nowhere else to get what they need, the concept of choosing freely gets a bit blurry, and the resentment starts to set in.

If Sunday is the only day a person can buy a hobby item from a particular store, then the problem runs far deeper than the store owner,s belief. When I professed a belief in Christianity, our church had monthly men's breakfast on Sunday before services. When I was asked why I didn't attend, I replied that if, as Christians, we didn't believe in working on Sunday, why would we require others to work Sundays to prepare and serve our breakfast and therefore remove their opportunity to attend service if the Lord placed that burden on their heart. If one indeed believes it is not right to work on Sunday, they should believe it is not right for everyone.

In addition, if the owners of Hobby Lobby wanted to close their stores on Tuesdays, that would be their business. Personally, I do not care for Hobby Lobby but it is because the sell cheesey home decor and very little hobby supplies not because of their religion or store hours.

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2 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I was walking into the local "Hobby Lobby" today when I heard an interesting conversation.  A young couple was walking out of the store, when I heard the female of the pair state with some annoyance to her partner "You know that they are not open on Sunday", to which her male companion replied, "------- Christians are taking over the country" (insert your favorite expletive).  

I was, to say the least, flabbergasted to hear someone say that in public.  First of all, it struck me as being incredibly prejudiced.  Replace the word Christian with any ethnic group and I think you'll get the point.  It also showed a great ignorance of the fact that the founders and owners of Hobby Lobby are Evangelical Christians who don't believe in conducting business on Sunday and are being true to their particular beliefs.  To my knowledge, no store in the Hobby Lobby chain has ever been open on a Sunday in the 20 plus years that they have been in business.

Now I must admit, my first reaction was to want to call him out on his comments and point out the error of his ways.  However he looked about half my age and seemed twice as big as me, so I held my tongue.  But I spent the next few hours in deep thought, and the question that comes to my mind is this, are Christians really taking over America?  Or to be more precise, is there a perception that Christians are taking over America?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

The Establishment Clause to the First Amendment keeps America from being a Christian nation.  That has not prevented the religious right from trying.  In 1954, "under God" was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.  Up until that time, the Pledge had been secular.  Now, it's a religious oath that I find deeply offensive.  About the same time, "In God we trust" made it's way onto the money.

The Republican Party has sold it's soul to the Republican Right wing Evangelicals.  The current Cabinet has been stuffed full of Theocrats.  The current Vice President has described himself as -- "first a Christian.  Second a Conservative and Third a Republican."  It sure would have been nice if being an American had made the list.

Our new President is eager to put the Johnson Amendment on the chopping block.  This will allow America's churches to be as political as they want with out losing their tax status.

Creationism is still working it's way into the science curriculum of America's public schools.

Christianity is not an established church.  At least, not yet.  America's Christian leadership are working on it.  If they succeed, woe to the world.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

But I spent the next few hours in deep thought, and the question that comes to my mind is this, are Christians really taking over America?  Or to be more precise, is there a perception that Christians are taking over America?

I have a hard time blaming all Christians for the actions of a few politicians. If a bunch of people who believed in the Golden Rule took over the country then we all might be better off. This does not seem to be the case.

Edited by John
Screwed up quote

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9 minutes ago, John said:

I have a hard time blaming all Christians for the actions of a few politicians.

If a bunch of people who believed in the Golden Rule took over the country then we all might be better off. This does not seem to be the case.

Just so.  No.  It does not seem to be the case.

:sigh2:

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5 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Now I must admit, my first reaction was to want to call him out on his comments and point out the error of his ways.  However he looked about half my age and seemed twice as big as me, so I held my tongue.  But I spent the next few hours in deep thought, and the question that comes to my mind is this, are Christians really taking over America?  Or to be more precise, is there a perception that Christians are taking over America?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Try being a polytheist in America and tell me that there isn't a sense of Christian cultural dominance in this country.  The right to have certain pagan or polytheistic religious markers on military headstones was only won after a very long battle, a right that many Christians would take for granted.  The establishment of temples or other public places of worship is often met with protest and extra bureaucratic red tape that most Christian churches aren't subjected to, not to mention vandalism.  Christmas is observed as a federal holiday, and children are often given a break from public school that coincides with the Easter weekend.  It's easy to take all this for granted when your personal beliefs and practices reflect that of the majority, but for those of us in the minority, such social and legal privilege is hard to ignore.

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12 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

If Sunday is the only day a person can buy a hobby item from a particular store, then the problem runs far deeper than the store owner,s belief. 

Sure. The issue isn't really religion as much as it is power imbalance. Some can get what they want and some cannot. Over the long term, this creates resentment, right or wrong. Religion is simply a highly visible motive and a very easy target.

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

If one indeed believes it is not right to work on Sunday, they should believe it is not right for everyone.

That does not follow. But, even if we take it as a given, I suggest that your analysis misses the important difference between "requiring" and "allowing." The complaint is not that Hobby Lobby does not require people to work on Sundays. The complaint is that Hobby Lobby disallows working on Sundays. It has a completely different emotional impact, if nothing else.

Edited by mererdog

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13 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

In addition, if the owners of Hobby Lobby wanted to close their stores on Tuesdays, that would be their business.

Got to go with Brother Kaman here .... If they had chose any other day of the week to be closed it would be a non issue. As owners of the business they have the right to choose what days to be open and what days to be closed. I certainly don't want the government telling business' when they must be open and when they must be closed.

 

14 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

 are Christians really taking over America?  Or to be more precise, is there a perception that Christians are taking over America?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

From my perspective I would have to say no, Christians are not taking over America. It seems to me that there is less Christian influence in America now than there was when I was young. I remember as a kid in a certain parts of the country there were "LAWS" on the books that prohibited certain business' from being open on Sundays. Some other business' were allowed to open but could not sell certain items from their inventory (items used to do work). Think hardware stores, heavy equipment rentals .......

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9 hours ago, LeopardBoy said:

Try being a polytheist in America and tell me that there isn't a sense of Christian cultural dominance in this country.  The right to have certain pagan or polytheistic religious markers on military headstones was only won after a very long battle, a right that many Christians would take for granted.  The establishment of temples or other public places of worship is often met with protest and extra bureaucratic red tape that most Christian churches aren't subjected to, not to mention vandalism.  Christmas is observed as a federal holiday, and children are often given a break from public school that coincides with the Easter weekend.  It's easy to take all this for granted when your personal beliefs and practices reflect that of the majority, but for those of us in the minority, such social and legal privilege is hard to ignore.

Yes.  The cultural dominance.  I was responding primarily to the legal aspect.  Cultural dominance is another matter.

When I was growing up, the only religious designations that I was exposed to were Jewish, Protestant and Catholic.  In a pinch, it was Jewish and Christian.  Obviously there were others.  As a child, I was unaware of them.  I remember the prayers in my elementary school assembly.  Nobody asked if I wanted to participate.  I remember the Easter Programs that I was forced to participate in.  And of course, the daily Pledge of Allegiance.  One Nation Under God.  Resentment builds.  It accumulates.

Christian cultural dominance is obvious enough.  For me, it's like living in a swamp.  There is always a bad smell in the background. I ignore it.  Much of the time I forget it's there.  When I do think about it; there it is.

Here we are in the present.  Demographics are shifting.  Islam is on the scene.  The scent is different, but familiar.  Like the waters from a distant swamp.  The scent is different, but it is swamp water.  The smells are mingling.

Such is life.  We deal with it and move on.

I have re-read this before hitting the submit button.  It reads meaner than I intended.  Remember please, that the question is one of perception.  The perception that Christianity is taking over.  That ship sailed a long time ago.

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5 hours ago, mererdog said:

That does not follow. But, even if we take it as a given, I suggest that your analysis misses the important difference between "requiring" and "allowing." The complaint is not that Hobby Lobby does not require people to work on Sundays. The complaint is that Hobby Lobby disallows working on Sundays. It has a completely different emotional impact, if nothing else.

Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays. That requires their employees not to come to work for them on Sunday. It also disallows their employees to work for them on Sunday. How does the emotional impact differ?

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17 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

The Establishment Clause to the First Amendment keeps America from being a Christian nation.  That has not prevented the religious right from trying.  In 1954, "under God" was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.  Up until that time, the Pledge had been secular.  Now, it's a religious oath that I find deeply offensive.  About the same time, "In God we trust" made it's way onto the money.

The Republican Party has sold it's soul to the Republican Right wing Evangelicals.  The current Cabinet has been stuffed full of Theocrats.  The current Vice President has described himself as -- "first a Christian.  Second a Conservative and Third a Republican."  It sure would have been nice if being an American had made the list.

Our new President is eager to put the Johnson Amendment on the chopping block.  This will allow America's churches to be as political as they want with out losing their tax status.

Creationism is still working it's way into the science curriculum of America's public schools.

Christianity is not an established church.  At least, not yet.  America's Christian leadership are working on it.  If they succeed, woe to the world.

 

I moved to Georgia recently.  Yesterday I went to update my license plates.  On the receipt is a line that show a peculiar fee.  "In God We Trust fee".  Now, it is 0$, but still...

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2 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I moved to Georgia recently.  Yesterday I went to update my license plates.  On the receipt is a line that show a peculiar fee.  "In God We Trust fee".  Now, it is 0$, but still...

 

How strange.  Why would they list the fee and then not charge?  what does that mean?

 

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I am not certain.  I googled it and saw where there was legislation passed in Georgia some years back where the phrase could be added to license plates for free, but I am not certain why they would list the fee on my particular receipt when I did not get the phrase on mine.  It just struck me, looking at the "fee", that it was odd to see on a government paper.  

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

I am not certain.  I googled it and saw where there was legislation passed in Georgia some years back where the phrase could be added to license plates for free, but I am not certain why they would list the fee on my particular receipt when I did not get the phrase on mine.  It just struck me, looking at the "fee", that it was odd to see on a government paper.  

My guess is that they are planning to charge; treating it like a vanity plate.  With enough small charges, you might not even notice.

Do you remember what happened with phone numbers?  First, there was a charge to be unlisted.  Then there was a charge to be listed.

I'm just guessing.  If you care enough, you can always contact a local politician.  They probably have an office staff willing to answer local questions.

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Posted (edited)

23 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays. That requires their employees not to come to work for them on Sunday. It also disallows their employees to work for them on Sunday. How does the emotional impact differ?

The diffence I pointed out was between requiring employees to work Sundays and allowing employees to work Sundays. It is similar to the difference between disallowing something and discouraging it- or the difference between asking a favor and barking orders. 

Edited by mererdog

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8 minutes ago, mererdog said:

The diffence I pointed out was between requiring employees to work Sundays and allowing employees to work Sundays. It is similar to the difference between disallowing something and discouraging it- or the difference between asking a favor and barking orders. 

But that was not what you said.

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8 minutes ago, Brother Kaman said:

But that was not what you said.

It was. I submit that you did not understand me.

your analysis misses the immportant difference between "requiring" and "allowing."

Not the difference between "requiring" and "disallowing", as your example has it...

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If a business is closed on a particular day,there can only be disallowing as there can be no allowing the workforce to be there.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/11/2017 at 11:02 PM, LeopardBoy said:

Try being a polytheist in America and tell me that there isn't a sense of Christian cultural dominance in this country.  The right to have certain pagan or polytheistic religious markers on military headstones was only won after a very long battle, a right that many Christians would take for granted.  The establishment of temples or other public places of worship is often met with protest and extra bureaucratic red tape that most Christian churches aren't subjected to, not to mention vandalism.  Christmas is observed as a federal holiday, and children are often given a break from public school that coincides with the Easter weekend.  It's easy to take all this for granted when your personal beliefs and practices reflect that of the majority, but for those of us in the minority, such social and legal privilege is hard to ignore.

Very well put! :thumbu:

I remember the looks I have gotten in the past when asking off for Halloween (Nos Galan Gaeaf/Samhain) as a religious holiday :holloween:  In my opinion Christians have already taken over, although some Evangelicals claim that any consideration shown to a minority faith is a "war on Christianity."

Yours under the swaying palms,

Gruffydd y Dryw /|\

Edited by Gruffydd y Dryw

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No, Christians aren't taking over, some just prefer to go to church on Sundays instead of working.

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Christians have long ago taken over the country. There are still forces that try to keep theocracy at bay, and in areas where there is diversity, they tend to succeed. But, as a (sizable) majority, they have often had their way, in direct violation of our foundational laws, the constitution. That said, the kids were mistaken in their frustration. And, Mererdog is mistaken as well. Hobby Lobby has enough clout to get a rather foolish exemption from the Supreme court on health insurance, but closing on sundays hurts no one. The workers are not dis allowed from working sunday. They just have to work somewhere else. You can't force someone not to work by not being willing to pay them to work. 

I think there is a pattern with regards to the resurgence of christianity. Mind you, the nation was born out of the age of enlightenment, and a growing belief that man could figure out how things worked. And I think secularism was on the rise, based upon that belief, (ironic, I suppose) for a long time. But as science opens new cans of worms, and we realize how much there is yet to figure out, let alone how no one is going to be able to personally get a good grasp on even a tiny fraction of it, we start looking again for simple answers that don't worry our tiny brains. "Wait, so how did something come from nothing, and how does this tie in with vibrations of strings... screw it, I am going back to the invisible man in the sky theory.. he gives me sunday off work."

 

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47 minutes ago, kokigami said:

The workers are not dis allowed from working sunday. They just have to work somewhere else.

Ah. "Let them eat cake." You assume here that everyone has more than one option for where they can work.  That is not the case. Depending on where you live, lack of transportation and experience can shrink your job prospects down to nothing.

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12 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

If a business is closed on a particular day,there can only be disallowing as there can be no allowing the workforce to be there.

Right. But what if the store is open? Enployees are not automatically required to work but can try to get on the schedule if they wish. This allows employees to make personal moral determinations about whether or not it is right to work on Sunday. You see how that is different than requiring employees to work Sundays?

By making it policy that stores can't be open, the company inconveniences customers and employees. Small inconveniences have small emotional impacts, but they add up over time. By citing religion as the motive behind the inconveniences, the company makes religion the easy target for all that built up resentment.

Meanwhile, it is not true that it would not be an issue for a business to be closed on Tuesdays. If a business does not suck, people will always complain if it is not available when they expect it to be. Imagine my annoyance standing outside a fairly rural post office that had a sign on its door telling me it isn't open on Wednesdays or Thursdays...

Did I forget to mention it was Wednesday? And raining? And a three mile walk home?

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