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Thread: Religion in today's society

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    Default Religion in today's society

    Does Religion have a place in today's society? Or should it be an individual belief?

    These two questions are just to get the ball rolling.

    This topic may be sensitive to some users, so please be aware of that if you come here. If you don't agree with someone's opinion, tell them why in a logical manner.
    Last edited by Clone™; 4th March 2014 at 9:30 AM.

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    No. Having a society adhere to the morals of a single religion is oppressive to anyone who does not wish to follow that religion. It has no place in any democratic of free country.

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    It has NO place in American society. At least as far as the government.

    Read the First Amendment.

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    Seeing how religion is considered by people today its most likely an individual belief, looking at how some people, who come from a background which had lots of rules and comparing to what people do now its shows that some people don't really care about it anymore. Still there are places around the world which religion is part of that countries' society
    I have claimed

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    Religion provides meaning to many peoples lives. It gives them a moral 'code.' It can establish communities that bring people together. Religion can be a positive force just as much as it can be potentially negative.
    "We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven. That which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts. Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maldread View Post
    Religion provides meaning to many peoples lives. It gives them a moral 'code.' It can establish communities that bring people together. Religion can be a positive force just as much as it can be potentially negative.
    I am sure religion provides people with many things, but are those things correct? Is their notion of the meaning of life correct? Is their moral code correct? Are those communities built on the correct basis?

    True happiness can't be based on disinformation, indoctrination, and manipulation. If you are not thinking actively for yourself bur rather accepting values in blind dogmatism, it is not life in the truest sense. Life in blissful ignorance isn't meaningful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I am sure religion provides people with many things, but are those things correct?
    That's not something you or I can truly answer. In the eyes of a Muslim, for example, they will believe whatever is written in the Qu'ran to be true.

    Is their notion of the meaning of life correct? Is their moral code correct?
    Personally, I do feel that Hinduism and Buddhism have a meaning of life that I can say is more logical/rational than other what I have seen of other faiths, and the philosophies of both provide a way of living that is broad and comprehensive.

    Are those communities built on the correct basis?
    They share a commonality that draws them together. Not sure what you mean by "correct basis."

    True happiness can't be based on disinformation, indoctrination, and manipulation. If you are not thinking actively for yourself bur rather accepting values in blind dogmatism, it is not life in the truest sense. Life in blissful ignorance isn't meaningful.
    Well that's why I accept Hinduism because it welcomes questioning, doesn't proselytize , or rather it basically says there's no one exclusive path.
    "We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven. That which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts. Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
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    God I wish the OP was further developed but I'm loving how people don't seem to acknowledge that the freedom of religious practice is basically a given right in the majority of the developed world. You might wanna take that into consideration when you start making posts as well. Religion will forever be linked to the government because of that; it will forever be legally entrenched as well.

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    Yeah, the United States was founded on religious freedom, I find it hard to believe that this country would be willing to throw away one of its founding principles, but it'll happen, and with the trouble the Vatican is in, that time may be closer than we think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maldread View Post
    That's not something you or I can truly answer. In the eyes of a Muslim, for example, they will believe whatever is written in the Qu'ran to be true.
    There is a difference between people's notions of truth and the actual truth. Or are you adhering to a subjectivist understanding of truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maldread View Post
    Personally, I do feel that Hinduism and Buddhism have a meaning of life that I can say is more logical/rational than other what I have seen of other faiths, and the philosophies of both provide a way of living that is broad and comprehensive.
    Are they more rational than pure rationality itself? If not, why settle for a lesser version?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maldread View Post
    They share a commonality that draws them together. Not sure what you mean by "correct basis."
    I mean whether these communities have been built in a morally correct way. Are they bound together by rational thought or blind acceptance of social norms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maldread View Post
    Well that's why I accept Hinduism because it welcomes questioning, doesn't proselytize , or rather it basically says there's no one exclusive path.
    If you were allowed to question whatever norms you pleased and act entirely rationally, you would be able to question any and all dogmas of Hinduism. But why would you even call yourself a Hindu then? You'd be agnostic/atheist by definition.


    Oh, and a clarification for this thread: as I have said in a few other threads, I don't want to ban religon by law. That would be pointless. I simply think it's irrational and society would be better off if people rid themselves of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I simply think it's irrational and society would be better off if people rid themselves of it.
    My problem with this line of thinking is that, judging by your posts, it's theism that you find irrational. Not all religions are theistic so to talk about all of them as whole as if they all are the same is rather ridiculous.

    That's really my biggest beef with a lot of these kinds of threads (and they used to be hugely popular when I first joined sppf). When most people here talk about "religion," they're almost always talking about Abrahamic religions and not taking into consideration the wide variety of religions worldwide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    My problem with this line of thinking is that, judging by your posts, it's theism that you find irrational. Not all religions are theistic so to talk about all of them as whole as if they all are the same is rather ridiculous.

    That's really my biggest beef with a lot of these kinds of threads (and they used to be hugely popular when I first joined sppf). When most people here talk about "religion," they're almost always talking about Abrahamic religions and not taking into consideration the wide variety of religions worldwide.
    I find all forms of dogmatism irrational. It is broader than just belief in gods and covers all religious dogmas.

    And if there happened to be a religion that doesn't contains dogmas, it wouldn't really be a religion in the first place, so it would be a moot point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I find all forms of dogmatism irrational. It is broader than just belief in gods and covers all religious dogmas.

    And if there happened to be a religion that doesn't contains dogmas, it wouldn't really be a religion in the first place, so it would be a moot point.
    Can you explain why all religions are irrational then? Some of them contain really interesting and insightful philosophies. As someone who has talked incessantly about philosophical discussion in other threads, one would hope you could at least appreciate that. I'm also curious on your knowledge of all religious dogmas as "all" is a pretty bold statement to make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    Can you explain why all religions are irrational then? Some of them contain really interesting and insightful philosophies. As someone who has talked incessantly about philosophical discussion in other threads, one would hope you could at least appreciate that. I'm also curious on your knowledge of all religious dogmas as "all" is a pretty bold statement to make.
    A dogma is by definition a belief that requires blind faith to be accepted. In other words, a dogma is something you believe in without the support of rational arguments.

    A rational agent is someone who determines his beliefs based on reason. He examines the evidence and uses logic and will only believe in propositions that are supported by evidence and logic. Therefore, he will not operate based on faith or believe in dogmas.

    Therefore, a dogma is something a rational actor would not believe in.
    Therefore, believing in dogmas is irrational.


    There's no reason why a religious text couldn't present some proper arguments, and a rational actor would determine these arguments to be correct. However, he would not believe them to be true because they happened to be written in that text but rather because rational thought supports them. He would believe in those rational arguments regardless of whether they happened to be included in the religious text or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moogles View Post
    God I wish the OP was further developed
    Sorry. I'm better at debating a topic already established than creating one. If anyone has something that I can add, feel free to VM/PM me about it.


    but I'm loving how people don't seem to acknowledge that the freedom of religious practice is basically a given right in the majority of the developed world. You might wanna take that into consideration when you start making posts as well.

    Yes, it's a given right. There's no denying that. However, it becomes a problem when people start to use their religious beliefs to justify their actions, or try to force their beliefs onto others.

    Religion will forever be linked to the government because of that; it will forever be legally entrenched as well.
    In the first Amandment of the US Constitution, there is a clear distinction of there being separation of church and state. Even back then, the Founding Fathers knew it would be a bad idea for the government to officially claim a national religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moogles View Post
    I'm loving how people don't seem to acknowledge that the freedom of religious practice is basically a given right in the majority of the developed world.
    I agree, actually. I was a bit shocked that people are saying religion has no place in society, because as one of the assured freedoms in America, it is out job to continue our tradition of tolerance in all areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    Can you explain why all religions are irrational then? Some of them contain really interesting and insightful philosophies.
    They are irrational at their base, despite often containing insightful nuggets of truth here or there. Any belief that must be supported by faith rather than logical inquiry is irrational by definition, and almost all religion will unapologetically accept it's root in faith. Those that don't are completely incapable of delivering an once of empirically verifiable evidence for their dogmas.
    Last edited by The Federation; 4th March 2014 at 11:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    They are irrational at their base, despite often containing insightful nuggets of truth here or there. Any belief that must be supported by faith rather than logical inquiry is irrational by definition, and almost all religion will unapologetically accept it's root in faith. Those that don't are completely incapable of delivering an once of empirically verifiable evidence for their dogmas.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    A dogma is by definition a belief that requires blind faith to be accepted. In other words, a dogma is something you believe in without the support of rational arguments.

    A rational agent is someone who determines his beliefs based on reason. He examines the evidence and uses logic and will only believe in propositions that are supported by evidence and logic. Therefore, he will not operate based on faith or believe in dogmas.

    Therefore, a dogma is something a rational actor would not believe in.
    Therefore, believing in dogmas is irrational.


    There's no reason why a religious text couldn't present some proper arguments, and a rational actor would determine these arguments to be correct. However, he would not believe them to be true because they happened to be written in that text but rather because rational thought supports them. He would believe in those rational arguments regardless of whether they happened to be included in the religious text or not.
    Fair enough, I understand your point.

    I don't necessarily think it makes religion bad, though. Everyone is different and everyone has a different desire in life. If someone derives comfort or meaning from religious doctrine, I don't think that's a bad thing. Irrational? Arguably, yes, but if it isn't harming anyone, I don't think it's a problem. You might argue that believing in something that has no empirical proof is "harmful" but I don't think that's always the case. Yes, some religious dogmas can condone harmful things or be used in a way that harms others, but I don't think that means that all religious dogmas are inherently bad. Religion also plays a huge role in culture and history, and I think that's important to consider as well. Culture is so important to human social structures and bringing people together. Lots of things we enjoy are irrational, but that doesn't make them bad.

    That being said, I don't think religion has a place in government/law-making decisions, but I think the idea that people would be better off without it and/or it should be wiped out as a whole is rather militant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    I don't necessarily think it makes religion bad, though.
    That being said, I don't think religion has a place in government/law-making decisions
    Irrationality is bad because it fuels delusional thinking. If we have people voting who believe in magical sky faeries, we have a society suffering because of a delusion. Religion literally tears apart society, generating a scientifically illiterate electorate.

    Everyone is different and everyone has a different desire in life. If someone derives comfort or meaning from religious doctrine, I don't think that's a bad thing.
    Separating religion from reality is only possible for someone who hasn't accepted the central dogmas of the prominent religions. Any form of irrationality isn't beneficial, and religion is even more dangerous because it combines the social aspect with the intellectual aspect and reinforces thinking that harms those of us who live in reality. See: homosexuality and abortion.


    Yes, some religious dogmas can condone harmful things or be used in a way that harms others, but I don't think that means that all religious dogmas are inherently bad.
    Illogic is inherently bad because it generates a false perception of reality. Would you rather live a life of delusion and be comfortable, or a life of squander knowing the truth? Movies like The Matrix build on that. Truth is valuable, because it allows us to create a useful morality and understand ourselves. If you don't value reality before everything else, you don't have real values.

    Religion also plays a huge role in culture and history, and I think that's important to consider as well. Culture is so important to human social structures and bringing people together. Lots of things we enjoy are irrational, but that doesn't make them bad.
    The things we celebrate that are, at their core, irrational, are understood to be irrational. Religion isn't, at least not yet.

    but I think the idea that people would be better off without it and/or it should be wiped out as a whole is rather militant.
    I don't think so, I think religion's end is imminent and we would all be better off without the bigotry the it has created.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Irrationality is bad because it fuels delusional thinking. If we have people voting who believe in magical sky faeries, we have a society suffering because of a delusion. Religion literally tears apart society, generating a scientifically illiterate electorate.


    Separating religion from reality is only possible for someone who hasn't accepted the central dogmas of the prominent religions. Any form of irrationality isn't beneficial, and religion is even more dangerous because it combines the social aspect with the intellectual aspect and reinforces thinking that harms those of us who live in reality. See: homosexuality and abortion.



    Illogic is inherently bad because it generates a false perception of reality. Would you rather live a life of delusion and be comfortable, or a life of squander knowing the truth? Movies like The Matrix build on that. Truth is valuable, because it allows us to create a useful morality and understand ourselves. If you don't value reality before everything else, you don't have real values.


    The things we celebrate that are, at their core, irrational, are understood to be irrational. Religion isn't, at least not yet.


    I don't think so, I think religion's end is imminent and we would all be better off without the bigotry the it has created.

    My issue is, again, this seems to stem more from disagreeing with Abrahamic religions. There are plenty of religions that don't hinder scientific literacy, social progression, etc. This is why I have a hard time taking these kinds of debates too seriously because when people say "religion is bad" they almost always only have something to say that relates back to Abrahamic religions. I get that they're the biggest religions in the world but to say "all religion" when talking about only one subset is silly to me.

    As far as everything irrational being bad, I think it depends. The idea of hating someone for their sexuality is irrational and bad. I think abortion is a bit of a touchy subject because while I'm pro-choice, I can see why some people would take issue with that and I can empathize with that thinking even if I don't agree with it. I think disagreeing with it is perfectly acceptable as long as that disagreement isn't used to harm people or pushed into government (I know that's happening, but again that stems from a small subset of religion and not the idea of religion as a whole). But if someone believes in an afterlife and that gives them comfort on their death bed (and working in hospice, the people I see pass away with the least amount of fear are the people who hold onto a belief that there's something more than this life), I don't see that as a negative thing. Is it irrational? Maybe, but it if it brings someone meaning and comfort, I don't consider that bad. There are plenty of religions that are completely harmless to modern society anyway. A lot of indigenous religions stem from being connected to the natural world around them. And while some people might think their gods/spirits/beliefs are irrational, they're a hugely important part of their culture and who they are as people.

    To want those things to be taken away because people take issue with a subset of religion is kind of gross to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    I get that they're the biggest religions in the world but to say "all religion" when talking about only one subset is silly to me.
    You think Hinduism is any less regressive that Judaism, Christianity, or Islam? Combined, 70% of the world is one of those four religions. With another 16% unaffiliated, that means only 14% of all religion is more or less benign. But, just like cancer, removal of benign components is the best to prevent future harm. The biggest point to remember here is that religion, whether beneficial or a hindrance, always has the potential to become dogmatic and belligerent. It's easy to think you are infallible when no one can definitively prove you wrong...

    (I know that's happening, but again that stems from a small subset of religion and not the idea of religion as a whole).
    Does every religion everywhere need to force their beliefs on everyone via government for you to place blame on religion? Sure, not all religion wants that. That doesn't mean religion isn't to blame. Same with your house catching fire; you blame that fire, not all fire everywhere, even though all fire is dangerous.

    A lot of indigenous religions stem from being connected to the natural world around them. And while some people might think their gods/spirits/beliefs are irrational, they're a hugely important part of their culture and who they are as people.
    For a lot of people, religion making them who they are is the problem.

    To want those things to be taken away because people take issue with a subset of religion is kind of gross to me.
    No one wants to remove all irrationality. We're human, it's part of who we are. Most would agree that only the irrationality that doesn't flow over into other people's lives is totally fine remaining as it is. But how hard is that going to be, to retain the "good" irrationality and remove the bad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    Fair enough, I understand your point.

    I don't necessarily think it makes religion bad, though. Everyone is different and everyone has a different desire in life. If someone derives comfort or meaning from religious doctrine, I don't think that's a bad thing. Irrational? Arguably, yes, but if it isn't harming anyone, I don't think it's a problem. You might argue that believing in something that has no empirical proof is "harmful" but I don't think that's always the case. Yes, some religious dogmas can condone harmful things or be used in a way that harms others, but I don't think that means that all religious dogmas are inherently bad.
    You might by luck avoid the harmful effects of dogmas to others, but it would just be dumb luck. If you don't think rationally about your decisions, is there any guarantee of avoiding these harmful effects? If you leave it up to some religious text, you are just rolling the dice.

    I said earlier, "Life in blissful ignorance isn't meaningful." This is because if you don't actually think for yourself, you are not making any real decisions yourself. You are just leaving it to outside influence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    Religion also plays a huge role in culture and history, and I think that's important to consider as well. Culture is so important to human social structures and bringing people together. Lots of things we enjoy are irrational, but that doesn't make them bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    A lot of indigenous religions stem from being connected to the natural world around them. And while some people might think their gods/spirits/beliefs are irrational, they're a hugely important part of their culture and who they are as people.

    To want those things to be taken away because people take issue with a subset of religion is kind of gross to me.
    Something isn't morally superior simply because it is traditional. There is no reason why existing culture is morally superior to alternative cultures simply by virtue of being currently in place. That's just dogmatic conservatism.

    Social norms forced on people from the outside are, in a sense, a part of who they are, but they aren't a part of who they should be. Only things you decide by yourself through rational thought bring meaningful value to life. An individual should not be constrained by surrounding culture and its irrational social norms forced on him. If everything is given to you from the outside and you never decide a thing by yourself, it is not life in a true sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    That being said, I don't think religion has a place in government/law-making decisions, but I think the idea that people would be better off without it and/or it should be wiped out as a whole is rather militant.
    Since when has rational argumentation been militant? What should we use, if not rationality? Make arbitrary guesses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    My issue is, again, this seems to stem more from disagreeing with Abrahamic religions. There are plenty of religions that don't hinder scientific literacy, social progression, etc. This is why I have a hard time taking these kinds of debates too seriously because when people say "religion is bad" they almost always only have something to say that relates back to Abrahamic religions. I get that they're the biggest religions in the world but to say "all religion" when talking about only one subset is silly to me.
    If nothing else, they hinder it through their underlying message of "Dogmatism is acceptable."

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    I want to make a promise to everyone here.

    The conservatives in Congress want religion to be a part of our lives.

    The oppose universal health care, and food stamps, and immigration. They want to outlaw abortion, and pass voter ID laws with no proof of voter fraud. The accuse the President of things they cannot prove.

    So tell you what.

    They claim religion has all the solutions? If they can figure out how to feed five-thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, then I will admit their argument has merit and believe them. But only then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maedar View Post
    I want to make a promise to everyone here.

    The conservatives in Congress want religion to be a part of our lives.
    I see it more as conservatives want people to be able to practice their religion without gov't interference. Do you have something that says that all conservatives want to force people to be religious?

    The oppose universal health care
    , Universal health care doesn't work. There aren't enough doctors to even come close to treating everyone. Trying to force it will only crash the system.

    and food stamps,
    Bull. Some are against rampant increases in coverage. Others are wanting a reform of the system with a crackdown on those that are commiting fraud.

    and immigration.
    Bull. Illegal immigration is a problem. They are breaking the law. You like to harp about people following all the laws. Why aren't you upset about people breaking immigration laws?


    They want to outlaw abortion,
    A few do. Some want it restricted to flat out medical necessities.

    and pass voter ID laws with no proof of voter fraud.
    Proof has been provided and a recent court case ruled that proof isn't necessary. Acting to prevent a problem is an acceptable reason for voter ID laws. And again, areas with voter ID laws experienced an increase in voter turnout.

    The accuse the President of things they cannot prove.
    Depends on what you call proof. And some of the investigations are still ongoing.



    They claim religion has all the solutions? If they can figure out how to feed five-thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, then I will admit their argument has merit and believe them. But only then.
    Asking for miracles? I wonder if you really would accept such a thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDSman View Post
    , Universal health care doesn't work. There aren't enough doctors to even come close to treating everyone. Trying to force it will only crash the system.
    Oh?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_4892267.html

    Seems ol' Glenn has some explaining to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by LDSman View Post
    Asking for miracles? I wonder if you really would accept such a thing.
    Oddly enough, LDS, the Vatican has confirmed LOTS of miracles in modern times.

    But it has yet to confirm any case of the "divine wrath" that the extremists warn us of.

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    I'm going to give one warning

    Although religion does play a role in government office because of the previously mentioned freedom to practice religions, I do not want this becoming yet another Democrat v. Republican thread. I will start moving posts and asking you guys to stop if I feel it is getting sidetracked.


    Also I'll make a post to what I see in here in a bit because I'm a little shocked honestly lol.

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