Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Belief Media

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ross Mason,

    It could be said of any nonsense the community (people) allege works: Homoeopathy, new age medicine, colour therapy etc etc. If these people pray, yes, it doesn’t hurt me. But I can’t help think that we have a moral obligation to assist in the education of these people to try and appeal to their sense of (il)logic and and persuade them they are wasting their time and resources.

    You and I might have a proper duty to try and change the minds of people pursuing faith cures because they could be harming themselves or their dependents.

    But people praying for an organisation they support isn't like that at all. You're effectively telling them what they're allowed to think.

    It starts to look like the kind of missionary zeal you and I find so irksome in believers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    This Heathen Manifesto is interesting.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3413 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    There is no such thing as a “Christian”.

    Well, what would you call someone who believes in Christianity?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    viciously vanilla conformity

    gold

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16435 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Lilith __,

    This Heathen Manifesto is interesting.

    I'm not taken with the use of the word "heathen" - historically it describes people of the wrong religion, rather than no religion, and it centres that description on the "right" religion - but there are some nice points in there. (Although the "scientism" bit...eh.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Well, what would you call someone who believes in Christianity?

    Keep reading, Martin. :) Lazy reliance on collective nouns is addictive for the media (and everyone else), but the Protestant Reformation really happened. I say with some confidence that Anglican Primate William Turei and The Archbishop of Wellington, John Dew, would back me on that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The price for that is that you will conform to the community’s expectations. You’ll go to Promise Keepers, and learn how to behave as the head of a family. You’ll go on Christian Women’s Retreats, and learn how to STFU and do what you’re told. You’ll be straight. You’ll stay married no matter what. Your daughters will virginity-pledge. And in return, you’ll have a sense of community, you’ll be cared for. It’s the up-side that allows for the down-side.

    A friend of mine in the US is a non-theist Quaker. He seems to have all the upside of community without the downside of odious moral edicts. I rather admire him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m sure the Anglican Primate William Turei and Catholic Archbishop John Dew would be most surprised to find they believe the same things. The Protestant Reformation is a real thing

    Craig, I understand what you are saying and I do know enough about the reformation. Still, the differences between a) Orthodox and Catholic churches and b) Catholic and Protestant are really only of interest if you are debating any of the areas where those churches do not agree. Say, transubstantiation, the doctrine of justification or the Pope.

    Otherwise I'd say that Christian is more than just a convenient term for media.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ross Mason,

    If someone knows someone is praying for them

    Oh but the studies show that when you know someone is praying for you there is an effect. It's when you have no idea that someone is praying for you that there is no effect.

    It's yet another demonstration of the placebo effect, the belief that a course of action will have a beneficial effect is enough to create a beneficial effect. The more complex and involved the process the stronger the placebo effect ie placebo surgery works better than placebo pills works better than placebo prayer works better than the yellow hankie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Still, the differences between a) Orthodox and Catholic churches and b) Catholic and Protestant are really only of interest if you are debating any of the areas where those churches do not agree.

    With all due disrespect, Martin, the next time some freshly-promoted cleric opines in The Herald that a world without gays would be wizard, I'd rather not see it presented as a 'Christian' view.

    Not in my name, buddy - and not in the name of a hell of a lot of Christians either.

    Though to be fair, it's not only religion where media like creating lazy little Borg collectives. 'Asians' sets my teeth on edge, and (IMO) says a lot more about unclaimed white media privilege baggage than anything else.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A friend of mine in the US is a non-theist Quaker. He seems to have all the upside of community without the downside of odious moral edicts. I rather admire him

    Genuine Quakers rock. But I still wouldn't want to be one.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1847 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Otherwise I'd say that Christian is more than just a convenient term for media.

    It's not a particularly strict term, but that doesn't make it completely meaningless. If someone says they are a Christian, it's a pretty safe bet that they think the words attributed to Jesus are very important. There may well be people calling themselves Christians who don't agree with, believe, or care about the things Jesus is reported to have said, perhaps even going so far as to deny that he ever existed, or said any of those things if he did, but they're surely a tiny minority. Why would they bother to take the name?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Still, the differences between a) Orthodox and Catholic churches and b) Catholic and Protestant are really only of interest if you are debating any of the areas where those churches do not agree. Say, transubstantiation, the doctrine of justification or the Pope.

    The people of Northern Ireland might have difficulty with that, to name but one area.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1847 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    With all due disrespect, Martin, the next time some freshly-promoted cleric opines in The Herald that a world without gays would be wizard, I’d rather not see it presented as a ‘Christian’ view.

    Absolutely, and that would be one of the areas where the different churches do not agree. And yes, it does happen far too often that some

    freshly-promoted cleric

    takes it upon him (or her-) self to speak in the name of all Christianity. That annoys me too.

    Still, in the right context, it's not wrong to discuss Christian or, on an even higher level of abstraction, Judeo-Christian values.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to nzlemming,

    The people of Northern Ireland might have difficulty with that, to name but one area.

    True, but I'd say that it was a political struggle coinciding along religious lines.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to nzlemming,

    Genuine Quakers rock

    I've never met a non-genuine one.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 647 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Still, in the right context, it’s not wrong to discuss Christian or, on an even higher level of abstraction, Judeo-Christian values.

    That’s pretty truistic, but there are a lot more contexts where it’s not only unhelpful but actively irresponsible. I wasn’t just making a bad pun about Sunni and Shia Islam; they’re simply not effectively interchangeable and it can be terribly misleading to act as if they are. OK, I’d say that’s more often about ignorance than malice but there comes a point where that’s a distinction without a difference.

    And I think we’ve seen the political uses and abuses of treating an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims -- an incredibly diverse population spread across the face of the planet -- as some homogeneous mass of malignant lunatics.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    Genuine Quakers rock. But I still wouldn't want to be one.

    They were "Friends" way before Facebook.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3357 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to BenWilson,

    If someone says they are a Christian, it’s a pretty safe bet that they think the words attributed to Jesus are very important.

    That may be true of liberal Christians. Not so sure about conservative Christians.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Context counts. While I appreciate the point about internal differences, it is less misleading to say 'Christian' or 'Muslim' in NZ than in the Middle East or Northern Ireland.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16435 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Sacha,

    "Vanilla" conformity...?! Uh, why does the pro-belting crusade of the late Noughties come to mind? That certainly wasn't vanilla. (PS: Remember Patricia Bartlett? She was an (ahem) SM Nun!*

    *"Mercy Sister! Mercy!!!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 369 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Young,

    french vanilla, perhaps :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16435 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Thursday before easter is nigh ended. Golf tomorrow.

    But it is time. Time to partake in one of history's greatest moments. We venture back to 1979. When we celebrate the life of one Brian Cohen.

    I DO enjoy a good documentary.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Still, the differences between a) Orthodox and Catholic churches and b) Catholic and Protestant are really only of interest if you are debating any of the areas where those churches do not agree.

    Reminds of this:

    A Christian was walking across a bridge one day when he saw a man standing on the edge about to jump off. So he ran over and yelled "Stop! Don't do it!" The man replied, "Why shouldn't I?" The Christian said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" The man responded, "Like what?" The Christian said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" The man replied, "Religious." The Christian said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" The man responded, "Christian." The Christian said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" The man replied, "Protestant." The Christian said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? The man responded, "Baptist!" The Christian said, "Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? The man responded, Baptist Church of God!" The Christian said, "Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" The man replied, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" The Christian said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" The man responded, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" So the Christian said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off the bridge.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    One year of Sky City’s shiny new pokies could, for example, easily pay for TVNZ 7’s annual budget.

    Good point! You should be in parliament :)

    Genuine Quakers rock
    I’ve never met a non-genuine one.

    Richard Nixon perhaps? Not someone the Quakers are fond of owning :)
    ETA: the ‘strict’ Quakerism described is something I’ve never experienced. In my long-ago experience, it’s a remarkably liberal church. The only thing it seemed Quakers strictly adhered to was pacifism.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1462 posts Report Reply

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