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 Evoking GOD in Discussions 
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I have noticed a trend both in class and on the forum of people using God in defense of a particular stance. Does anyone else find this disturbing due to the fact that the majority of the world is not Christian? Isn't this comparable to stating "well, that is just life"? How can a productive discussion be conducted when one side boils it down to "Faith" (the UNQUESIONING belief in something)?

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Derek Nagel


Last edited by Derek Nagel on Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:17 am
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Ok, well first of all God does not mean you are a Christian. So it’s hard to just take on the Christians. But I would say that someone's faith is often a big part of their life and shapes a huge part of what you believe and how you act. So it is going to be hard to take God out of the classroom simply because you shape your actions off of what you believe is right or wrong. But I also think as Gayle once mentioned in class that it is sad we live in a society where we can not openly discuss our religious beliefs regardless of what they are. And in reference to that’s just life, ok I might be able to see that but one might also say that the fact that a person has no religious faith, aka atheist, is in fact a faith all in its self to honestly believe that there is no higher power. So again my point being I don't think that it is possible to separate us from our faiths or lack of. No matter what we believe I think that will indwell us and be a factor to everything we do for the rest of our lives.

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Jennifer Chaddock


Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:28 am
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I am not saying that everyone should discard their faiths. What I am saying is that when debating contraversial topics such as homosexuality or trans-gendered individuals, people are quick to quote scripture and disreguard all other factors. This quickly ends any discussion occuring.

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Derek Nagel


Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:34 am
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I'll give you that. I am a Christian but I think that if you wish to win the battle you have to use an equal playing field and I believe that with much of the hot topics God can give you a real life debate with out ending the conversation. As people of faith who want to stand by your convictions I would urge people to use something that your opponent can battle with against them. If the person does not believe in God when you use God as the example they don't care. That is not going to convince them but if you will take it to something that they not only understand and believe in I think we could shake the stigma of being backwards and ignorant close minded shallow people. So yes Derrick I agree people need to step up the argument to a place where everyone can participate.

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Jennifer Chaddock


Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:46 am
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Well, I definately DO NOT find it disturbing that people refer to God when stating their opinion on something. It doesn't matter if the majority of the world is Christian or not. I am a Christian, and a lot of the beliefs that I have are because of my faith, and I do not care to say that. I also do not care to back up my beliefs with my faith. I think discussion can still take place even when someone refers to God. It is still sharing of opinions, and discussion can still take place. I don't want to argue with people based on my faith, I just want to be able to say what I think just like someone who talks without reference to God. It is still sharing your ideas with other and telling them your reasons for your beliefs. I know many of my beliefs are based on what I read in the Bible and what I have faith in, so that is what I have to use when backing up my opinion. If someone does not believe in God or the Bible, then that is their opinion but I believe mine is just as valuable.

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Emily Grogan


Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:19 pm
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AMEN EMILY!

i gotta say, i LOVE God, and i've had the hardest time recently trying to reconcile how i'm going to teach and not bring God into what i'm teaching because my christianity isn't a HUGE part of my life, it IS my life, and to somehow separate my life, my faith, from my job as a teacher is next to impossible. that doesn't mean that i'm trying to convert everyone in my classes (although it would be pretty amazing), but i don't understand why it's ok to talk about all these lies that permeate our society and masquerade as "scientific theories" but bring God into the picture and it's NO NO, HUSH HUSH, He doesn't belong in our schools. kids can talk trash and wear next to nothing and discuss evolution and be openly homosexual etc etc etc, but nono, don't ::gasp:: PRAY IN SCHOOL. that's against the rules.

so wow that was a rant... but it's a frustration i've had a hard time trying to overcome because i know i have to teach in a public school, but i don't know how i'm going to do it :oops:

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Emily Welch


Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:03 am
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I strongly agree with Jennifer, and both Emilys'. It is not frustrating to me that people bring up God when discussing issues such as transgender, homosexuality, and other issues. I am a Christian. I base my ideas and opinions on my faith. My faith is what my life is all about.
I understand that there are some things in life that people say "This is just life." That is true for some things but not everything. It is going to be really hard for me too to keep religion out of my classroom. This is my life and I want to share it with my students and non-believers.

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Mandy Smith


Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:11 pm
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Location: well that varies, doesn't it? :)
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When you believe in and love God.... it is so clear that the Bible contains truth and the very foundations on which to build one's life and interactions with others that it makes perfect sense to use it as a defense in arguments of morality, etc...

You know, there CAN NOT be a universal moral standard without God. There can not be right or wrong, because anything that we humans decide is simply subjective. We can't agree on what is right/wrong or even socially acceptable - hence child abuse, murders, robbery, bicycle locks, etc., hence cats and dogs are not eaten in America but they are overseas. We need something greater than us, something objective, something with divine authority to establish morals and justice and right and wrong. That's what God and the Bible do, you know? There is nothing besides God that can present a good argument for these issues, I think. Anything that WE come up with is too subjective.

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Kaci Slate


Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:39 pm
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Wow, I'm not even sure how to move into this topic. First off, Derek, I see your point. Especially when I was in high school, there were people who I simply could not have discussions with because I didn't understand how every single aspect of their opinions were based on faith. I've always struggled to have faith, because I am such a "show me" person. I DO believe that a higher power does exist, because something has to counterbalance all of the evil in the world, but also because there are truly amazing things that happen that must be inspired by something better than human. But, having said that, I want and expect people to use broader reasoning than just their faith (in whatever it is) to support a side of an argument. Like Jennifer said: persons of faith SHOULD do this in order to reach people who give no credit to the beliefs that are being used as justifications.
I am always at odds with my family on topics such as homosexuality because I am a truly open person. My take on that matter is that homosexuals simply would not choose to make themselves that way because they get nothing but grief. My family always says that the Bible says it wrong, so therefore it is. But my counter-argument is that the Bible is seen by MANY people, whether of no faith or of different ones, as just a historical book. So, I don't know how to bridge the gap between using faith as justification but also using faith to explain things even further. I hope I'm making sense ~ I feel like I'm writing stream-of-conscious stuff here!
I will end with something Gayle and I discussed one day. The United States does have separation of church and state, but also freedom of religion. Many people argue that this has always been a very Christian nation and that the founding fathers struggled to keep religion out of government. Yes, there are still references to God, but they are subjective to mean any god that a citizen chooses to believe in. The emerging truth is that our founding fathers and our nation back then was far less religious than it is now. Fewer people attended church. Religion was not viewed the same as it is now. If I find the study(ies) in which these conclusions were published I'll make sure to post them. Gayle had heard or read the same findings also. So, just something to think about...and sorry for stepping on toes. I feel like that's all I do, but remember- I'm a little person so I shouldn't weigh enough to break them!!!

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Natalie Hawley


Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:49 am
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you didn't break any toes! :wink: never fear! anyone who would get angry over what you said is silly!

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Emily Welch


Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:42 pm
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Natalie, I feel exactly where you are coming. It feels like if you are to really "be" a christian that when some quotes the bible or argues "god's side" that if I argue back or state an opinion that is opposing then I am therefore not upholding the christian religion. Its a hard place to be when I believe in God and Christ but the religion that I practice is based around my love of God, other people, justice and openmindedness. You feel torn with what people will think of you and defending what you think is right.

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Kari King


Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:57 am
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Okay, so I'm playing catch-up. Shut up. :D It's nice to be off of work one day and actually have access to a fast computer! Anyhoo, I have a particular interest in this topic because I, too, am a devout Christian. I don't push my beliefs on anyone, or carry signs or slap you if I think you're not a Christian. But just as homosexuals (since that seems to be the topic that's sparked all of this) FEEL that something inside them makes them better for being drawn to people of their own gender, I FEEL that the Bible is all that is necessary to guide my fundamental beliefs. Yes, there have been other books and people and friends and events that have had a profound influence on my own knowledge and they have all opened my eyes to things that, had I only studied the Bible, would have surprised the heck out of me. My point is, let's have a topic that can be argued logically and scientifically, and I'll argue it that way. I am not incapable of having a discussion about something that requires factual, rock-hard evidence and knowledge in order to be argued. Homosexuality is not one of those topics. I am heterosexual because I love females (beg pardon), God made me a male, and I'm going to have children thanks to my female partner. When arguments arise that have to do with what you believe, if your faith is the most steadfast argument you have going for you, that's your weapon. Until a scientist can tell me, with absolute certainty, that the world started with an explosion and I am really the decendant of a monkey, I'll take God's word for what I believe and FEEL to be true. I've been happy ever since I made the decision to do so.

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Jack Malone


Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:06 pm
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Amen Jack! I totally agree with you. I could not have said it better than that. :D

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Mandy Smith


Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:25 pm
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