I myself have been hidden about I'd say three or four times, and I'm a fairly frequent commenter here. I will admit though to troll-baiting, especially when I created an out_of_the_blue account and started ramping up OOTB's writing style to 11.
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You're just repeating the problem. Now it's the Catholic Church who as a group are pointing to the bible, highlighting a passage and saying "We're the one true christian church because these passages say so"...versus protestant/orthodox/whatever groups who point to the bible, highlight passages and say that "We believe the Catholic church isn't legitimate because these passages say so". As the outsider (the person you are supposed to convert to christianity, since that is a task required by your religion), how am I able to say which group is true/correct? As I said up above, I can't legitimately say that one group's justification and citation is correct, and the other one isn't. The only way I could do that is if one's group citation wasn't actually there! But they are.
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The language you use is a problem. You say "The bible makes it clear" as if it automatically makes it true for everybody, when that is not the case.
So how do you rectify the problem? You're a guy who points at a bible passage(s), and says "Homosexuality is sinful because of these passages". Then you turn around and say communism isn't christian. What about those christians who cite bible passages as supporting communism? How are they wrong? What makes your interpretation and citing correct, and their interpretation and citing incorrect?
Okay then, if they have gone back and forth against each other, fine. I'm not going to examine the issue that closely, I'm not that interested to find out who fired the first shot so to speak. As for the christian charity group, yes, I oppose the idea of packing in christian literature with donation boxes. At least, if I were in the US and I found out my kid's school was aiding it. Whenever I do charity, I find groups that just give without trying to espouse a religion or ideology of some sort, just give aid to the needy.
For your last paragraph...did I justify the kids reaching such books? NO! I said that without having read the books in question, I am not going to judge either way. Have you read the books?
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That's in your view. As an outsider to the Christian religion, I can see (for the sake of this comment) two groups. One group says they are christians, points to the bible, highlights passages and says that that is their justification for opposing LGBT rights. Another group says they are christians, points to the bible, highlights passages and says that that is their justification for promoting communism. It's long been held true that as long as you're willing to cherry pick select passages, you can cite the bible as justification for just about anything. I can't say one group is correct and not the other when it comes to their justifications: that would be me saying that one passage in the bible is true, but for some reason the other is not. My only option therefore, not being a member of their religion, is to say they are both wrong.
"This isn't as one-sided as Techdirt would have you believe. Google et. al. aren't the ones that are going to have to foot the bill to implement this insanity: The music/movie industry is."
How do you figure that? Google and the others now have to take significant measures to make sure they don't accidentally list these sites, or face harsh fines from the courts. This translates into time, labour and money. This will cost Google et al
As for your last paragraph, yes, that would be great if the majority of the internet moved to those censorship-resistant networks. The problem is that you first need to know that they exist and second, that you possess some technical skills to access them. If we think of it in terms of a Venn diagram, only a tiny subset of the total amount of Internet users will have even heard of Tor, and only a subset of that subset would know how to access the network. Given that this is the equivalent of a niche market, then censorship has been achieved, more or less, towards the majority of Internet users.
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From what I read up above, I interpret it as "I (Michael) excuse the actions of the Christian Crusaders (the massacres and attacks against fellow Christians) because they initially set out with pious intentions".
To put it in a modern context - the US invaded Iraq with the justification and intention of removing weapons of mass destruction from control of a power-hungry dictator. The initial intention may have been all well and good, and indeed the argument can be made that the other side was doing horrible things too...but it doesn't then give blanket permission for the invaders to do whatever the hell they want, especially once its revealed that their stated intention is a lie (where does a massacre against Jews and the conquest of Constantinople protect Christians...oh, of course, they only meant to protect Roman Christianity, Catholicism. Constantinople was Orthodox Christian, and therefore heathens according to the views of the Crusaders).
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You can't equate communism to the Catholic Church. Communism is a political ideology. Specific communist parties have in the past done horrible things, and still continue to do so today (the Russian Communist party under Stalin and the Chinese Communist party today), but blame for the actions of specific communist regimes cannot be laid at the feet of communism (the ideology) itself. To compare that, the Catholic Church is a body that has existed for about 2,000 years, more or less unbroken and unchanged. It is both group and ideology, hence why it is still valid to hold the Catholic Church up for criticism due to actions in the past. On the contrary, one could argue that since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church of today cannot be equated with the church of the past.
Correct. I had never heard of GLSEN. I am in favour of pro LGBT groups in theory, but it doesn't then translate to I automatically approve of the activities of every single group that identifies as such. Take Samaritan's Purse. I am in favour of charity groups, but it doesn't mean I am automatically in favour of what Samaritan's Purse does (pack christian literature in with the donations).
As for GLSEN going against MassResistance...from what I read of the links you provided to me, it was MassResistance speaking out against GLSEN. A very distinct difference.
As for the literature being promoted by GLSEN, did I not say in the opening paragraph up above that it did raise an eyebrow? That I did question it? Without access to the books (and no I'm not going to bother hunting them down) I'm going to withhold full judgement on the matter. Are the excerpts provided by MassResistance explicit? Yes. But without context, I don't know enough to make an informed judgement. I played devil's advocate to try and reason why they would promote such literature. After all, in the example I provided, the Garda were not producing a video promoting the usage of hard drugs - quite the opposite in fact. Are these books trying to do the same - impart a message that says basically "Don't do promiscuous under-age sex, it f*cks you up"? I withhold judgement until or unless I read the books in question.
Since the NSA programs have been shown to have been operational for several years, but now apparently the threat of terrorist attacks is higher than ever...wouldn't that point to the NSA programs being completely ineffective?
You don't scream and shout that you must continue your highly controversial program by saying it's actually failed in it's stated mission goal.
" Where in the constitution is the government given control over schools?"
When you have a school and it is funded by the state...then wouldn't that, ya know, make the school a part of the government? It's not a constitutional thing, it's the fact of who controls the money going into the school. The school would have to follow the dictates of the government in order to continue to receive funding.
As for Israel...I suppose the argument could be made that the separation of church and state in the US constitution applies only to the US, and not any foreign nations. What foreign nations do internally is their own affair, and if they are predominantly (insert religion here) that has no bearing on the US government being forbidden from promoting a religion within its own borders. Other than that, I've got nothing, as I've never really looked into Israel and how it was formed (a quick scan of its Wikipedia article and it's Declaration of Independence page doesn't really mention the US, only the UN) As for Obamacare...you're asking the wrong person dude. I'm not a USian. I was born in and live in Ireland, and thus, I'm more or less uninterested in Obamacare, since it has virtually zero impact on me. Topics like US copyright law do interest me, because they do have an impact on me. You might as well be asking me what do I think about the budget for the nation of Venezuela for the coming year - I don't know or care about it.
Actually...I do. I've read that link, and what was quoted from the books in question certainly did raise an eyebrow. However...I don't automatically jump to the conclusion "THEY IZ TEACHING PEDOPHILIA!" What is the context of the passages and the books? Are these books actively saying "Go out and have as much under-age sex as possible?" From the way the books are described and reviewed (I looked up Queer 13's reviews on Amazon and no-one there actually gave it less than 3 stars or had a problem with the content), they are collections of stories of what kids went through, and I can't see anything wrong with that. To put it in context, I remember at around the same age, I was shown a (fictionalised but very realistic) video in class about a typical working-class Irish family produced by the Garda (Ireland's police force). I remember the family had two daughters, with the older one turning to drugs such as heroin. The video did get graphic, showing realistically exactly how the girl took drugs, her measures to get money to fund the habit (theft) and of course, the damage such drugs typically do to your body. That video and the books you mention showed similar content: the story of a child who turned to an illegal activity (consumption of illegal drugs, and promiscuous under-age sex), but...as far as I could from the quotes your link above provided, didn't exactly go out of its way to glorify or promote said acts, merely saying "This person did A, here are the results" at its most basic.
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Did the Crusaders just beat back the Muslims and act all sweet and nice? Have a read of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades#First_Crusade_.281095.E2.80.931099.29_and_immediate_after math And you will hear of such nice happenings as a massacre against Jews, an attack against Orthodox Christians etc. I remember learning that the Crusaders also conquered Constantinople at one point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades#Fourth_Crusade_.281202.E2.80.931204.29 Yeah, the phrase "looting of churches" caught my eye. Looting of churches...by Christians...and you ignore this? Trying to pain the Crusaders as being pious defenders of truth, justice and the American way (/sarcmarc)?
Death toll for the Spanish Inquisition alone was between 3 and 5,000 people, and that link says that "(For comparative purposes, the number of people executed for "witchcraft" in Europe during about the same time span as the Inquisition is estimated to total 60,000.)"
Also...are you seriously trying to make the point that the Catholic Church should be excused because they killed "only" 6,000 people? Are you trying to make this some sort of measuring contest, where the party with the greater death toll is demonised, while the other party who just happens to be lower isn't?
Doesn't really matter exactly why they run them, but there have been Communist run charitie or humanitarian aid groups. Same with the Catholic Church.
As for B). both Communist regimes and the Catholic Church have done so. Stalin killed millions of people in his capacity as leader of a Communist government. The Catholic Church had the infamous Inquisition and also famously repressed free speech (they put Galileo under house arrest for positing that not all heavenly bodies orbit the Earth).
It's not a laughing matter. It's a matter of historical fact.