Friday, August 10, 2012

Dale's war on 'other' religions

So over on the Patch Dale has gone a bit goofy, defining others' and their religions how ever he sees fit, and always negatively.

It's in response to my complaint in a letter to the editor that Janice Daniels is inappropriately focused on religious programs that wish to convert the non-Christians of Troy and create a city-wide, Christian-Conservative-approved (that's not the only type of Christian, Mr. Murrish) pre-marriage counseling program. It's a dangerous mix of small-town politics, political Christianity and the second most diverse (both ethnically and religiously) population in Michigan.

A sampling of some of Dale's responses:
Daffy/Matt, secularism is a religion, just like all the others. It’s basically atheism for some or religion a la carte for most (pick and choose what you believe) and it’s in fashion nowadays. The adjective is not the same as the noun.
Biblical Christianity is currently under attack by secularist (not secular) mayors in Chicago, Boston and New York. A secular mayor would not try to discourage a business based on the religious beliefs of the CEO, but be neutral towards all religions.
They admit they cannot legally stop Chick-Fil-A from locating in their cities (they might change their minds if they ate there and experienced the great customer service they give to everyone), but they are trying to intimidate Christians who believe the Bible to shut up on this issue of gay marriage.
This is an important religious freedom issue. People can attend a church that believes in gay marriage if they wish. They can also lobby the government to change the laws regarding civil marriage. Churches that follow the Bible will never perform gay marriages regardless of what society at large accepts.
If people want freedom from religion, they should consider moving to Europe where secularism is much more prevalent and far fewer people attend church rather than trying to transform America.
Note to Dale: People may want freedom FROM religion, but also from YOUR religion. You only talk about the dastardly work secularists are doing. What about other religions? Are they permitted freedom and RESPECT in your America?
Most Americans like the freedom to believe in God or not believe in Him and live our lives as we please. Americans of all faiths, including atheists, should back Chick-Fil-A and its CEO.
Everyone is free to live their lives in America but gay people and secularists, apparently.
A Jewish woman wrote this, but Dale didn't respond:
Dale, our Mayor is NOT neutral towards religion. Troy is diverse culturally and religiously. She is promoting Christian-based divorce restrictions and the conversion of non-Christians to Christianity. She prayed to her prophet a couple council meetings ago. How is this neutral? What happened to the separation of church and state? I'm not a Christian yet the leader of my town is promoting Christianity. How can we be a multicultural and multi-religious society if we are promoting one religion over the many others in this city? Am I a part of this city? It sure doesn't feel like it when we are praying to someone else's prophet at city council meetings. Try to imagine yourself as a cultural or religious minority. Put yourself in my shoes. This is not a liberal or conservative issue. It's a fairness issue.
He ignored her and chose to fight with someone else:
Jeff -
Secular = open, neutral forum to all religions, yours and mine included
Secularism = indifference to religion or atheism
There’s no contradiction.
Biblical Christianity = beliefs based on the Bible
No one should have to move. You’re welcome to continue to struggle against biblical Christianity here. My point was that it would be easier to move to Europe because the work has already been done. Reading it again it sounds hostile. I didn’t mean it that way.
In my opinion the Obama administration has been hostile to particular religions and not had an open forum for all to compete fairly. Most Bible-believing Christians agree with me on this. Others obviously see it differently. I'm just sharing my opinion, which is held by a significant number of people in this country.
I like how he always makes sure we know he is in the majority. What he doesn't understand is, that is the whole point, isn't it? Janice and Dale seem to heartily believe that it is the majority's right to trample on the rights and desires of the minorities of all kinds. My my. WWJD indeed?

Here's another.
Today's Secularists have added abortion rights, which are not only against science but the clear teaching of the Bible, and "marriage equality" for all when homosexual sex is clearly taught as outside of God's good plan. Some are also very intolerant of those who disagree, which makes them not liberals at all. (I'll have to find a better word, since I looked up the meaning in the dictionary.)
Isn't divorce also against the bible? Aren't you allowed to stone people, according to the bible?
Again, Janny can be whatever religion she wants, I just don't want her to constantly impose her beliefs on the diverse citizens of Troy.
(And what on earth does it mean that abortion rights are against science - huh?)
Here is my response:

Dale, you are a tiresome fellow. You admit that there can be no religious test in America, yet you support Janice Daniels officially selling of her brand of Christianity from her mayoral pulpit on a daily basis. Listen to the way you talk. You are so incredibly offensive. I'm sure you don't think you are, because you believe you and you alone have the truth at your disposal.

I am not doing what you say --"You’re welcome to continue to struggle against biblical Christianity here."

I am saying that it's inappropriate for our mayor to openly support one brand of Christianity, even publicly trying to push a "pro-marriage doctrine" upon our houses of worship that comes from a specific, political, Christian Conservative point of view.

She wants to INDOCTRINATE PEOPLE.

This is fine for a private citizen. It is wrong for her to do it as mayor.

It's wrong if she's a Muslim.

It's wrong if she is a Christian.

It's even wrong if she is your limited view of what a Christian must be.

A Jewish woman wrote right after my last comment and told you how she feels. What about her? Where's your response to her? Are you going to tell her that like "secularists" she has no right to her faith?

Who invited you to define anyone?

Who ARE you?

Are the Hindus and Muslims and Jews and Sikhs in Troy 100% insignificant, just like people you don't know, whom you label Atheists?

Now I want to know if part of your helping immigrants "assimilate" involves hoisting your religion on them in your USA Melting Pot program? I understand you open it with a Christian prayer? Why? In respect for THEIR customs? Apparently not, unless you have also invited clergy of all faiths to pray as well. Have you?

Are you like Janice and her friends at the Who's My Neighbor who moved to Michigan because there are so many Muslims to convert? Do you think the only value of religious diversity is that it gives you more people to try to convert?

You see, I am TRULY for personal freedom. I believe that you and my mayor should let people marry the way they want and worship the way they want and to not be afraid that every official and quasi official city function is going to be a hidden attack on their personal belief system.

You haven't got a clue.

14 comments:

  1. His melting pot club is truly offensive. The object is to obliterate other cultures and force his brand of Americanism and religion. Did he miss the last 30 years in the field of diversity training? It's hard to believe he worked at GM and isn't aware of it. The melting pot idea is a century old concept that focused on immigrants blending in. The new school of thought is the salad bowl concept, where everyone brings a distinct flavor to the table. Tossed together, but each ingredient (person) retains their identity. It makes for a much richer community experience and a strong decision making process (especially if you are a global company). I don't want everyone to be like me, I like learning from others and exploring new ideas. He is trying to create the Stepford community.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, I read about it and don't hink it's a terrible group. People from all over the world are involved. I'm not criticizing the group, I just feel Murrish has no credibility as someone who cares about other cultures, based on the way he talks about other people's belief systems.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What I found extremely offensive was Dale's response to Pastor Cornwall's blog about the Sikh temple shooting. He compared that to what he sees as secularism's attack on Christianity. Umm...one case was the MURDER of innocents and the other is a debatable issue that I wasn't aware of until recently, mostly through him. Like his heroine, Janice Daniels, he is tone-deaf and incredibly insensitive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dale Murrish is a cafeteria Christian who picks and chooses which biblical scriptures he wants to follow. Frankly, probably everyone is--otherwise, we would have people being stoned for wearing clothing made of different fabrics, for touching the skin of a pig, etc. The problem is when people like him and Janice Daniels use the "laws" set down in the bible to justify their own personal hatreds of others who are not like them. The funny thing is, Dale is so old-testament bound, his brand of religion probably has very little to do with what Jesus taught and preached, as recorded in the new testament--which makes me wonder why he calls himself a "Christian" in the first place.

    These people are not smart, but they are cunning. They use fear and "faith" to argue their positions and deny reality. I'm far more afraid of them and their biblical fanaticism ruining this country than any outside force.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I post under the pseudonym Daffy Noodnicks on the Patch. The pseudonym is part commentary, but mostly a very small attempt at humor. After at first checking the Patch for news about our mayor, and reading what Dale and other supporters of the mayor were saying (WOW!), I became motivated to post responses.

    I (and others) have attempted ad nauseum to inform Dale that he doesn't get to decide who believes in the bible, or what is REALLY means, or who is Christian, and that nobody is attacking his faith-he just doesn't get to force it on anyone else. You can see what good that has done.

    One of the least long winded things I have posted on the Patch is the following quote from Susan B. Anthony: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." I think it also works with those who know so well what the Founding Fathers intended.

    I really do think Dale is a good guy, though I only know him through my online exchanges. I just happen to disagree with him on an enormous number of topics.

    Matt G
    Troy, MI

    ReplyDelete
  6. Matt G/Daffy, agreed.

    Thank you Anonymous 1:19 for the comment that sent me over to read Pastor Bob's blog post on the shooting in Wisconsin. I'll repeat a thought I shared there. As a practicing Christian, I observe a dynamic in our culture now of "political religiosity." Every fiber of my faith observance calls on me to reject this. Politicians who are truly leading a Christ-like life just "do" it. They don't politicize it. When they do politicize it, I call it playing the "God card" and I'm wary of it. I feel called upon to be wary of it, actually. My observation is that a a lot of well meaning folks have fallen prey t this and don't quite realize that is taking hold of them in a way Jesus Christ would not intend.

    I believe that this "political religiosity" is laying a troubling foundation of bigotry. That's not the intent, to be sure, but that is the fallout. And it's deeply disturbing. The foundation of our communities needs to be our love for one another. I truly believe if Jesus were to pay us a visit and show up on cable television, his key talking points would not be those we so often hear from the talking heads who rule our collective thinking. He would simply call us to love one another.

    Pastor Bob's call to action regarding the shooting in Wisconsin is right on:

    "It is time for us as a broader community to first of all say no to violence of any kind in our communities. We must also say no to the kind of bigotry that can lead to such acts of violence. There is an unfortunate stream of anti-immigrant and anti-foreign nativism present in America right now. We must say no to it as well. So, as we stand with our Sikh neighbors, let us remember that this attack on their community is an attack on all communities. Violence has been on the decline, but it hasn't disappeared. We must be vigilant and we must work together to eliminate violence and stereotyping of the other."

    Amen.

    And we must all discern who we are following. Their expertise. Their wisdom. Their motives. Honestly, I am encountering many Christians who scare me way more than any Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist or Jewish person I have ever met.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am often reminded of one of my favorite Woody Allen quotes from Hannah and her Sisters: "If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up."

      Matt G

      Delete
    2. Ha! Yes. Thank you for reminding me of that!

      Delete
  7. I absolutely agree with Woody. Dale's arrogance is that he presumes to speak for God. I have faith that God will deal with that in his own time, in his own way. In the interim, however, I would appreciate it if God would press the mute button on Dale.

    ReplyDelete
  8. He's at it again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He appears to be becoming goofier than ever. I skim over much of his stuff since it is a re-tread of what he's said before. Occasionally he takes a break from offensiveness and will throw in the informational post about his do-good melting pot endeavors. I am looking forward to his promised blog post prompted by Sharon's "how can a religion be described as winning". Hoping we will get to the kernel of the nut as to Dale's thinking and how he was converted fo fundamentalism...there's no one more adament than a reformed sinner, and Dale's gone overboard on it to the point of not caring if he infringes on others rights to be left alone!

      Delete
  9. Thanks for your comments, everyone. You have completely misinterpreted what I believe, but that's OK. Keep reading the Patch and maybe you will understand eventually.

    Historic Christianity differs greatly from liberalism. I hold to the former (accepting the entire Bible, especially the New Testament); some of you hold to the latter, I think, which is picking a la carte from what appeals to you. If we understood each other better, we're not as far apart as we think, since we want the same good things for our city, just have different ideas about the best way to achieve them.

    I’ve been trying to convince everyone that there is another point of view. You don’t have to accept it, but if you just admitted that it is a valid point of view, I’d be happy. I don't want to force my views on anyone. You're free to agree or not.

    Yes, I have conservative opinions; the other USA Melting Pot club members understand that and realize it might hurt the club in the short term. But one of our core values is to be able to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. Go to our web site and check out our philosophy and material presented at past meetings. Better yet, come to one of our meetings and see for yourself. Another of our core values is face to face dialogue; some of the divisiveness in our city could be avoided if we knew each other better.

    http://usameltingpot.org/

    ReplyDelete
  10. We reject strongly the original melting pot idea you find offensive, Matt, and propose a third option to the salad bowl concept you favor. This slide has been shown at each of our meetings:

    • Original melting pot idea was to learn American culture and become homogeneous, deliberately losing your ethnic identity
    • Prevailing view these days is multi-culturalism, which celebrates separate ethnic identities to the exclusion of assimilation: salad bowl metaphor
    • New philosophy is in between:
    – Assimilate AND celebrate your ethnic heritage
    – American first, treat all people equally regardless of where they’re from

    I went to the Sikh open house in solidarity with them on August 16 and agreed with 98% of what I heard. The 2% I disagreed with mostly came from liberal Christians who said we all believe the same things – we don’t. Sikh core values of hard work, doing your best and peaceful living line up with mine. We differ on some important religious points but not on core values.

    I particularly resent misrepresentations like those of Total Recall, who has twisted what I have written so far on a complex and sensitive subject into something completely unrecognizable. Historic Christianity is based on what Jesus ACTUALLY taught and preached, not on what “probably” he taught and preached. I’m not a “cafeteria” Christian; I’m a full-menu, ecumenical Christian with appreciation for other branches of the Christian faith besides mine and other religions, too.

    All truth is God’s truth, and no one has a corner on it. That said, we all have errors in our beliefs; it is possible to discuss the differences without being divisive. This is best done in person where you have the full range of communication available and not just the written word.

    Everyone is welcome in our club, regardless of their religious beliefs or political opinions. Most club members do not share my conservative political and religious views. We value diversity of thought in our club, not just ethnic diversity, which we have plenty of.

    You all have been invited to come to our monthly meetings for six months. Please come check us out before jumping to conclusions and discouraging others from coming.

    None of you has ever met me, much less shared a meal with me. People who know me agree with Matt Goodman that I am a good guy. Thanks, Matt.

    We’ve had people from most of the major world religions present at our meetings including non-religious people; religion rarely comes up, though. One ethnic group we haven’t had represented yet to my knowledge is Jewish. If Matt, John David, or S.L. want to present on Judaism or be involved in club leadership, we would welcome their input. I’ve appreciated their comments on my blog posts providing a different perspective.

    And of course everyone is invited to our next meeting November 15, 7-9 p.m. at Troy Public Library on our neighbor to the north, Canada and its national sport. Our southern neighbor Mexico and Christmas party will be December 13.

    If you have any questions, you can contact me via the Troy Patch or one of the other leaders, Weilou Gao at 248-978-7904 or Marcus Chen at 734-678-1257.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dale:

    I am afraid you have misrepresented what I and others have been trying to tell you. And by your words here you reinforce exactly what I mean. What you call ‘historic Christianity’, ‘accepting the entire Bible’ etc. is your interpretation of things other people interpret differently. Other people believe in the whole Bible but believe it tells them something different than you believe it tells you. This does not mean anyone is right or wrong, and I have no intention of debating theology with you, but by your words you diminish the beliefs of others. I’m glad you found something that works for you. I figured out what works for me. Other Christians figured out other things that work for them. When you profess to speak for ‘historic Christianity’, or the ‘whole Bible’, or that other people ‘pick and choose’, but you don’t, you are saying others beliefs are inferior to yours. That is why people take offense to some of the things you say regarding religion, and I believe this is the point of the blog post.

    I made no comment about your Melting Pot group. I believe the comments above eventually clarify that the group has no bad intent. I can see why some might be suspicious about a group you advocate. You post incredibly biased and judgmental things on the Patch. Everything that I am aware of that you have ever posted has been filtered through a rigidly far right political/social/religious lens. I think it is understandable that some people may be suspicious of your motives. By your own admission, the group seems to recognize your association might lead people to this conclusion. I do think some of the uninformed criticism of your group was out of line.

    Thank you for your invitation. My family, career, and other responsibilities leave me very little free time for any other activities. In any case, I would not be a good representative to present about Judiasm. I would suggest contacting a local congregation, or perhaps an interfaith organization.

    Matt Goodman

    ReplyDelete