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An Outrage!


SOCL
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Today, Sunday, July 6, 2003, I--like every other Sunday--attended church expecting to get my dose of the gospel and a dearly needed message, but instead I found the entire service riddled with talks of patriotism and praises to, not God and Jesus Christ, but to the United States of America. Instead of a sermon, we recieved a class on the Declaration of Independence and its signers. We were further asked to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the service in place of the morning prayer, as well as having to sing the Star-Spangled Banner (The U.S.'s national hymn) among other pro-U.S. songs ("O Beautiful for Spacious Skies", "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory", and "My Country Tis of Thee"). I mean, it's nice to see know that two days ago was July the fourth, America's day of independence, but I feel it an outrage to bring such things into church in place of what should have been the message that the Bible teaches.

I was further outraged that over the past week people have discrimited against me and others who think like I do, simply because we did not attend the fireworks display celebrating this particular day. Further more, I feel that with actions like these, those who believe in a more internationalist outlook are being forced into utter silence for fear of pro-Ameircans who will go to any lengths to impose their opinion upon others.

Then came the worst part of the service, where the chaplain went into a storm of saying that those who do not support war are evil and God will punish them. He said that supporting troops but not supporting war is an oxy-moron and those who believe such are not true Americans. He then gave a "great" finale saying that God supports the U.S. and always shall, and those who stand up against this nation shall be smited by the Almighty.

Granted, he is a major in the U.S. Army and loves the U.S. dearly, but this in no way excuses much less allows him to impose his opinion on others. I almost stood up and left, but for the sake of my other and sister (I did not want to embarass them), I remained in my seat...silent.

First off, I do know quite well that this is a controversial topic, but I do not care, it's a topic that cannout be ignored. I, in no way, mean to bring up the topic of the seperation between church and state (this entire topic has nothing to do with that), but instead is about the imposition of an opinion not held by all by Americans on others. Take France and Germany, for example: They did not support the U.S. so now they are considered "evil".

If you do not understand my point to this thread...well...nevermind, then.

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Guest Admiral_Antilles
I agree witrh most everything you said SOCL--Though I do not agree with France and Germany's policy on the war --I would by no means consider them evil.
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In what sense is the topic controversial, SOCL?
Well, I wrote that because I assumed (which I shouldn't have) that people would think I was referring to the seperation between State and Church. Further more, I thought many of our American members would get angry at me (in other forums I got death threats for not agreeing with many of the U.S.'s policies).
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It is in some way a controversial topics, prior to you guys joining, Gonkraider and Gank used to have some discussions (here as an euphemism) about the US and the war on Iraq.

It's not as much a matter of separating church from the state, but as to what the limits of the government should be of inspiring "patriotism" in their citizens. I'm against the US politics in general, and it is indeed an outrage how they start imposing the "patriotism" on their own people

it's blinding them with the idyllic image of the U.S. that are good and right.

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It is in some way a controversial topics, prior to you guys joining, Gonkraider and Gank used to have some discussions (here as an euphemism) about the US and the war on Iraq.

It's not as much a matter of separating church from the state, but as to what the limits of the government should be of inspiring "patriotism" in their citizens. I'm against the US politics in general, and it is indeed an outrage how they start imposing the "patriotism" on their own people

it's blinding them with the idyllic image of the U.S. that are good and right.

Precisely, Trej, and another reason why we are friends. But it's not just that, with the current events, it is obvious that the U.S. has come to the point of arrogance (sorry if I offend anyone) where they believe that if you do not agree with them then you are wrong and evil. The imposition of your opinion upon others is the true evil, where people who do not agree are made to look evil. Well, I think most (or at least some) of you know what I'm talking about. And as Trej said, it doesn't have to do with the seperation of Church and State, but the imposition of opinions and the forcing of patriotism on others. Isn't that known as indoctrination and the subjugation of freedom(s)?... Edited by SOCL
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It is in some way a controversial topics, prior to you guys joining, Gonkraider and Gank used to have some discussions (here as an euphemism) about the US and the war on Iraq.

It's not as much a matter of separating church from the state, but as to what the limits of the government should be of inspiring "patriotism" in their citizens. I'm against the US politics in general, and it is indeed an outrage how they start imposing the "patriotism" on their own people

it's blinding them with the idyllic image of the U.S. that are good and right.

Precisely, Trej, and another reason why we are friends. But it's not just that, with the current events, it is obvious that the U.S. has come to the point of arrogance (sorry if offend anyone) where they believe that if you do not agree with them then you are wrong and evil. The imposition of your opinion upon others is the true evil, where people who do not agree are made to look evil. Well, I think most (or at least some) of you know what I'm talking about. And as Trej said, it doesn't have to do with the seperation of Church and State, but the imposition of opinions and the forcing of patriotism on others. Isn't that known as indoctrination and the subjection of freedom(s)?...

 

Welcome to the world of being Canadian.

Lost a planet Master Obi-Wan has, how embarrassing. - Yoda

 

Do not count a human dead until you've seen his body, and even then you can make a mistake. - Bene Gesserit saying

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Preety much yeah, alot of Americans got really PO'd when we wouldn't support the war against Iraq. There was also something in he papers after 9/11 that the CIA wanted to change Canada's Immigration policies. And living in Toronto, Canada's most "Americanized" city, I see alot of American influence every day.

Lost a planet Master Obi-Wan has, how embarrassing. - Yoda

 

Do not count a human dead until you've seen his body, and even then you can make a mistake. - Bene Gesserit saying

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  • SWR Staff - Executive

Interesting story. As a private institution, your church can express any opinion it wants on any issue. This is not a matter of "seperation of church and state" but a "right to free speech" issue.

 

As an individual, you don't have to listen to any of this. However, the church as a group has the right to say whatever it wants.

 

I don't believe anyone who doesn't support us is evil. Though certainly those who are so radical to believe that we are the source of all evil and should die for this, these people should be stopped.

 

Internationally as well as home, there are people who are anti-American. They don't like America as a superpower, a military and economic stronghold, a defender of freedom of speech and religion, or even as a center of capitalism. Some don't like our "foreign policy" (meaning they don't like Bush... our foreign policy hasn't changed at all really). Some people don't like our standard of living or our choice of entertainment.

 

Do I believe that America is the greatest nation? Sure I do - I was born and raised here. But do I believe that we are perfect? No, every people have their faults... every nation has their strengths and their weaknesses.

 

Do I believe we should force our opinion on others? No, we have considered choices carefully and (thought not always right in retrospect) we take actions when they threaten our liberty and our sovereignty. Each of these countries have the right to stop American ideas, American products, American culture from advancing on them. But obviously the world wants America as a part of the world. I'm sure Canada has made their choice to work with us. Such things as the North American free trade have made both our countries better. Even China, whose holdout against capitalism has been one of the longest, is starting to change. Booming economic districts have turned southern China into a serious contender in the world market.

 

Finally, here's my last opinion. Is patriotism wrong? Certainly not... can you truly claim not to be patriotic everytime someone slams your nation? Can you ignore the nationalistic stereotypes that people say? Can you say you'd rather be in another country than where you are?

 

Is jingoism (sp? - look it up, there's a big difference between this and patriotism) wrong? Yes... that is what influencial leaders have used throughout history to spread their evil. Hitler and the NAZIs to the Japanese and their suicide planes... all are shown signs of jingoism.

 

Patriotism displayed in songs, writings, flags, events of July 4th.. these aren't jingoistic. They aren't saying that Americans are the best and should use pump up America to control everything. People are at these events to show they believe in America and what it stands for. Our Independence Day isn't to harass everyone into believing America is above anyone else, it is to remember those of our history that had to struggle to gain their freedoms. Our founding fathers are celebrated, as is our country, for even though individual Americans may disagree on certain issues, I'm sure none of us would be talking without the dedication of many Americans who have been a vast part of America remaining free.

 

(Again, sorry for the rant. But you bring up an issue that I like to comment on, and I'm proud to be here)

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Preety much yeah, alot of Americans got really PO'd when we wouldn't support the war against Iraq. There was also something in he papers after 9/11 that the CIA wanted to change Canada's Immigration policies. And living in Toronto, Canada's most "Americanized" city, I see alot of American influence every day.
Now that gets me pretty steamed up. Canada, like France and Germany, is a seperate sovereign nation with its own opinion(s)? And just because their's does not agree with U.S.'s does not mean it's wrong. After all, is not one of the freedoms the U.S. claims to be defending be the freedom of speech (and further, free opinion)?
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Internationally as well as home, there are people who are anti-American. They don't like America as a superpower, a military and economic stronghold, a defender of freedom of speech and religion, or even as a center of capitalism. Some don't like our "foreign policy" (meaning they don't like Bush... our foreign policy hasn't changed at all really). Some people don't like our standard of living or our choice of entertainment.
In reality, America's foreign policy has changed. We are talking about a current of policy of strike first, where as we had that of wait for complete confirmation before striking, something the U.S. did not have before its attack on Iraq. Granted, Hussein had to be taken out of his position, but that was not why the U.S. went there. Instead it went there under the excuse that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction, which the UN inspectors did not find evidence of and neither have our troops.

 

Finally, here's my last opinion. Is patriotism wrong? Certainly not... can you truly claim not to be patriotic everytime someone slams your nation? Can you ignore the nationalistic stereotypes that people say?
Patriotism is not wrong, but imposing such on people is. Granted, the U.S. claims that you don't have to be in favor of the policies, but we all know quite well that if you don't you shall be discrimited and alienated from and by others. Evidence of that is riddled everywhere, you merely have to look for it instead of turn a blind eye to it.

 

Can you say you'd rather be in another country than where you are?
Yes, yes I can.

 

Patriotism displayed in songs, writings, flags, events of July 4th.. these aren't jingoistic. They aren't saying that Americans are the best and should use pump up America to control everything. People are at these events to show they believe in America and what it stands for. Our Independence Day isn't to harass everyone into believing America is above anyone else, it is to remember those of our history that had to struggle to gain their freedoms.
Granted, patriotism and in such displays are fine, but basically forcing people to go and partake under the threat of discrimination and such are not.

 

Our founding fathers are celebrated, as is our country, for even though individual Americans may disagree on certain issues, I'm sure none of us would be talking without the dedication of many Americans who have been a vast part of America remaining free.
Probably, but realize that even those most closely connected to the defenders of freedom and those who serve the U.S. still disagree as disagreeing is one of our freedoms. And round and round it goes. You see, those who disgaree appreciate the fact that they have the right and freedom to disagree. Now, you certainly cannot deny them that, as they cannot deny them your agreement. Just because they...we appreciate it, does not mean we must agree and do as is wanted from us by the system.

 

Evaders, I honestly think you misunderstood most, if not all of what I posted. I, in no way, meant to say that the U.S. patriotism and displaying of such was wrong, but that the way it is being handled is. People are being forced to go and partake because they don't want to get discriminated and beat up by pro-American mobs. And that is not a fact anyone can ignore.

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Guest Scathane

As much as I am a firm believer in determining your own path, on an individual scale as well as that of a nation, I must say that I feel your post is somewhat naive, E. You're saying that the USA haven't really changed their foreign policy. I'm sorry E, but that's just untrue: ABM, ICC and Kyoto are three examples of international treaties that the USA have withdrawn from since Bush is President. They're not the smallest foreign issues, I would say...

 

You say that every country has the right to stop American ideas and/or products from advancing on their on them. That sounds great but in effect is rather empty because the USA holds an extremely dominant position in the world. What you're saying is similar to saying it is my right to stop the Dutch government of forbidding me by law to read Hitler's book Mein Kampf. It's all very nice that I have that right, but in the end, selling, buying, reading or owning Mein Kampf is still forbidden by Dutch law, and thus, that right is null and void. It's too easy, E, to just sit there as a US citizen and tell the rest of the world they're free to do as they please because they're not. For instance, the SEC issues rulings have consequences througout the world.

 

To give you a feint clue of the position that the USA holds in this world:

The USA spends more military money than any other nation on earth, in fact, they spend more money than the next twenty added together. Washington spends more on military research alone than either Germany's or Great Britain's entire military budget. The American economy is more than twice as big as Japan's who is number two on the list. The economy of California is the fourth in the world ( 8O ), before that of France. The classical comparison of America's riches, military prowess, economic prowess and political cohesion to any other nation leaves that nation far behind. So, tell me where your weaknesses are... Naturally, you will do anything to preserve this position even if at great cost to other nations. It's not so much that the people you talk about hate the USA for your riches or choice of entertainment but more the cost at which you preserve it.

 

If you say that jingoism is wrong, than why do you deny that American foreign policy show signs of this? Because the USA have a very aggressive foreign policies right now.

You said that Patriotism displayed in songs, writings, flags, events of July 4th, etc. isn't jingoistic. Read SOCL's post again, dude, because the stuff he was talking about was jingoistic...

 

- Scath

 

 

    P.S. 1 - Mind you that I have not read Mein Kampf, nor have I any desire to do so. I do not agree with any Nazi views whatsoever, Hitler's views included. Furthermore, I can understand why Mein Kampf is forbidden by Dutch law. In the end, however, the point remains that, in essence, the Dutch government decides what I can and cannot read and I do have a problem with that.
     
    P.S. 2 - I am not against the United States, I wasn't against the invasion of Afghanistan or the war against Iraq. I can understand why US citizens are patriotic after 911 and I even regard 911 as an act against the free peoples of this world. Furthermore, I don't agree with Germany's, France's and Russia's joint decision to not support the war against Iraq. However, I also feel that it's wrong to impose economic embargo's on products from those countries because of this.
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Thank you, Scath, for writing what you did and for bringing up the evidence you had. All I had was the evidence that I see happening "on the street" to my friends, neighbors, and relatives (the social views), not the true political views that truly rule the world we live in.

 

And again, I don't mean to say that patriotism and displaying such is bad, but when people are forced into being patriotic and supportive under economic and, even, malicious pressures...well, that I have incident with.

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I don't believe you should be beaten up by pro-American patriots anymore than you should be beaten up by anti-American critics. However, none of your rights are being violated. If you can't deal with your church's opinions, I suggest you find a new one.

 

If the police aren't protecting your rights as an individual, whether pro- or anti-, then there are some serious problems to discuss.

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Guest Scathane
I don't believe you should be beaten up by pro-American patriots anymore than you should be beaten up by anti-American critics.
If I'm not mistaken, you're comparing physical violence with verbal criticism here, E... That's hardly a fair comparison to make.

 

However, none of your rights are being violated.
That's a matter of viewpoint...

 

If you can't deal with your church's opinions, I suggest you find a new one.
That's very sympathic of you, E!
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However, none of your rights are being violated.
From a proper point of view, there is no clear violation of my rights because either a blind eye is turned to them or they are simply not defined in my defense. You see, it's like the mafia: They would never violate anyone, they would simply pressure and threat you to.

 

If you can't deal with your church's opinions, I suggest you find a new one.
After nearly five years of attending Soldier's Chapel.

 

If the police aren't protecting your rights as an individual, whether pro- or anti-, then there are some serious problems to discuss.
Indeed there is.
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That's true SOCL. It is like a mafia.. until they actually do anything to your life, liberty, or property, you have no case against them. However, no one is stopping you from making your opinion known, or preparing in case of self-defense, or deciding to leave this church if you want to.

 

Scathane, rights defined by law are what matter. You don't have a right not to be offend... the way political correctness is going, everyone feels the government should protect them from any kind of criticism or difference of opinion. Its disgusting.

 

If you can't handle the heat, get out of the fire. I'm sure you can find other people who you can agree with. Check out the liberals on the west coast.

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That's true SOCL. It is like a mafia.. until they actually do anything to your life, liberty, or property, you have no case against them.
Oh but of course, but a lack of protection due to the fact that it disagrees with them is just as bad.

 

Scathane, rights defined by law are what matter. You don't have a right not to be offend... the way political correctness is going, everyone feels the government should protect them from any kind of criticism or difference of opinion. Its disgusting.
I won't address this, I'm sure Scath will be able to address and word it far better than I could ever.

 

If you can't handle the heat, get out of the fire. I'm sure you can find other people who you can agree with.
But isn't that suppose to be the liberty and freedom behind it all? The fact that if, how you say, I can't handle the heat, then I don't have to get out of the fire? After all, the freedom is suppose to protect us all, not just those who agree with the government's opinion and such. My statement is probably worded wrong and I have a feeling that because of how it is worded it will be misinterpreted....

 

Check out the liberals on the west coast.
Isn't that a form of prejudice...?
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I made a generalization. Supporting it with voting records and current opinions based from Hollywood, I can make a serious case that people on the west coast of the US are more likely to be liberal than conservative.

 

What is the problem with making a generalization? These socialists would have us believe that you cannot critize anyone. An individual can discriminate against anything because they have the freedom to do so. No one can be protected from discrimination of a private company or individual. Government only protects people from bigotry and discrimination on government policies... not an individuals right to private thoughts.

 

The freedoms we have are the freedoms FROM government. The Constitution states what rules THE GOVERNMENT has in protecting people's freedoms. The government has no right to protect you from yourself. The only "rights" the government should be protecting are the rights to life, liberty, and property.

 

Whether they agree with the government's opinion or not, private institutions and individuals can say whatever opinion they want, as long as it does not violate another person's right to life, liberty, and property.

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Guest Scathane
Scathane, rights defined by law are what matter.
I agree, but what exactly is it that's defined by law? Law is open to interpretation... There are things such as cirumstance, evidence not being allowed because it's circumstancial, and juries (in the USA and Britain) being untrained in law and legislation interpreting crimes and issuing verdicts. On the other hand, sometimes law is interpreted rather rigidly, leading to other strange stuff. I'll give you a case from the Netherlands:

 

    There's this woman who's sleeping. A man crawls into her bed and starts making love to her. Half asleep, she consents, assuming that it's her boyfriend because shes' at home. Half-way through, whe realises it's not her boyfriend at all but his best friend. She breaks it off right then and there. Later she sues the guy for rape. In the end, the guy wasn't convicted on the count of rape (the only charge made) because she consented and rape entails that there was sexual contact without the consent of the victim.

So, this means that we can have sex with anyone, as long as we trick them into consent???

 

Moreover law on an international scale is something different altogether. There are prodcuts which are prohibited by Dutch law to be sold in the Netherlands because of, for instance, health issues. However, Dutch based firms are free to manufacture such products, as long as they sell them outside the European union, so they're often sold to development countries. Furthermore, as I said before, the US SEC issues financial and accounting rules which are endorsable outside their borders: in Belgium, for instance. However, when Belgium recently issued a law which made it possible to charge people all across the world for genocide, the USA forced Belgium to drop that law because it made it possible to charge US politicians and generals. The USA was one of the countries that endorsed and signed the installment of the International War Tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. However, after having conducted wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, the USA clearly stated that it wouldn't allow US soldiers to be charge before that very same tribunal...

 

So tell me, E: what exactly is it that is defined by law... and, more importantly, for whom does it hold?

 

You don't have a right not to be offend... the way political correctness is going, everyone feels the government should protect them from any kind of criticism or difference of opinion. Its disgusting.
Again, I agree, although I feel disgusting is a term that is out of place here.

 

What is the problem with making a generalization? These socialists would have us believe that you cannot critize anyone. An individual can discriminate against anything because they have the freedom to do so. No one can be protected from discrimination of a private company or individual. Government only protects people from bigotry and discrimination on government policies... not an individuals right to private thoughts.
FYI, in the USA as in Europe, you have the right to discriminate as long as you do not vent these ideas in public. Discrimination is not protected against by governments, it's protected against by the judiciary. In the USA and Europe, people have been fined for racial, ethnic and minority discrimination, as they have for denying the Holocaust took place.

 

Whether they agree with the government's opinion or not, private institutions and individuals can say whatever opinion they want, as long as it does not violate another person's right to life, liberty, and property.
So, there you have it. As long as one can make the argument before a court of law that his or her liberty was violated, it's punishable by law. So, if SOCL were to achieve this with regard to the minister preaching in his church, he's right..., right? That's why good lawyers get paid so much: the have the gift of interpretation and argumentation...
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And (no offense) this is why I love the UK. Over here it's okay to disagree with the government, indeed, the majority of the national papers are neither conservative liberal or labour, they just oppose whoever is in power, making us feel able to speak out when we don't agree. I know that's not the point, but ijust wanted to say that.

 

Patriotism is cool, heck, i'm patriotic, i love my country, and am prepared to fight fo it, but that doesn't mean i take issue with people that wouldn't want to fight for it. In fact as a nation we're pretty unpatriotic, you're more likely to be criticised for supporting the war than not condoning it. But you won't be discriminated against for it.

 

As for your church, after 5 years, it's perfectly alright to move. Chancees are it may be growing stale for you personally now, perhaps you've learnt all you can from this particular grroup of people and it's time to move on to a new church who can bring you further in your faith and nearer to God. :)

Elvismiggell. Strike me down and i will become more powerful than you can ever imagine...

 

Nu kyr'adyc, shi taab'echaaj'la

Not gone, merely marching far away

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If you don't believe in the current government, you have the right to speak out against it. That's free speech! But don't be afraid of critics when you do.

 

Don't believe that this incident represents all of the US. Certainly (like in many countries), neither viewpoint represents a majority. Say about 40% would be conservative and 40% would be liberal - the other 20% independents determines most issues.

 

To the original post, granted: this is very extreme behavior. But as far as I can tell, you cannot do anything except voice your opinion. That's your right to do, as is the church's right to do the same.

 

I guess this is another political ideology debate: so just let's agree to disagree.

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No one can be protected from discrimination of a private company or individual. Government only protects people from bigotry and discrimination on government policies... not an individuals right to private thoughts.
Do you mean to say that all those businesses and such that used to not allow people of certain races work in for them because of their race or thoughts could not be prosecuted? :? I think history has proven that the government can in fact protect a person from another's discrimination.

 

So, there you have it. As long as one can make the argument before a court of law that his or her liberty was violated, it's punishable by law. So, if SOCL were to achieve this with regard to the minister preaching in his church, he's right..., right? That's why good lawyers get paid so much: the have the gift of interpretation and argumentation...
Hmm...a good point, Scath...we very good point....

 

And (no offense) this is why I love the UK. Over here it's okay to disagree with the government, indeed, the majority of the national papers are neither conservative liberal or labour, they just oppose whoever is in power, making us feel able to speak out when we don't agree. I know that's not the point, but ijust wanted to say that.
Thank you for saying it. Just another reason I've wanted to live in the UK now for almost five years, not the main reason, of course, but it all has to do with the government.

 

As for your church, after 5 years, it's perfectly alright to move. Chancees are it may be growing stale for you personally now, perhaps you've learnt all you can from this particular grroup of people and it's time to move on to a new church who can bring you further in your faith and nearer to God. :)
Good point, Elvis, and your arguement makes sense rather than "If you don't agree, then get out!".

 

If you don't believe in the current government, you have the right to speak out against it. That's free speech! But don't be afraid of critics when you do.
It's not the critics I and my friends and neighbors are afraid of, it's the people who pressure you to give up your stand with the threat of embargo, pain, and such.
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