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Op Ed

Ars Technica - When religion and games intersect-and how it often goes badly.
In fact, religion seems to be such a taboo subject to include in video games that the only type of faith that really appears in titles here in the US is Christianity. Even then, the subject is often poorly addressed in games that are themselves poorly made. But why is it that religious content is so sparse in the realm of video games? The reasons are largely based on contention between religious and industry leaders, as well as the fact that you'll rarely find a topic as personal as faith.

Gamasutra - The Evolution Of The Class System In Games. Thanks Joker961.
This concept of min/maxing was something that grew out of the character design method of D&D. Depending on the character a player wanted, they could throw all of their weakness onto an irrelevant stat and turn themselves into a monster. TF2 characters are premade with this design in mind, so there’s less room for play customization, but less worry about game balance.

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88. Re: Op Ed Dec 31, 2009, 03:32 Amillennialist

Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Dec 30, 2009, 13:25:
Stating scripture and abiding by it are two very different things. If all that was required of us was to state it correctly we could all be good Christians without much effort at all!

I do agree that Christians do not obey Christ's commands. The Scriptures state that no one is able to keep God's laws.

No one can be a good Christian, no matter how much effort they expend.

I have, but it hasn't been Christians angry over others' celebrations, which is what you stated.

No, that's not what I stated.

You wrote:

"Why can't Christians accept that different people celebrate different holidays this time of year? Why are Christians so threatened by that? . . . There have been plenty on Fox News complaining about it. The people who funded the billboard I saw are obviously upset about it. The people on the conservative radio shows are always upset about it this time of year."

"can't accept . . . complaining . . . upset . . . always upset . . . ."

That's not "angry"?

I said they were angry that people weren't saying "Merry Christmas" rather than "happy holidays".

I'm pretty sure you said that too.

That's all you got? That doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Christian religion, but is deistic in nature.

The topic was government and religion. (Deism is a religion.)

Our nation's founding document recognizes the God of the Bible as the source of our rights and defines government's place in relation to them.

Nearly all the Founding Fathers were orthodox Christians.

I note this only to point out that your claim that "the Founders wanted nothing to do with religion" is not true.

Not surprising given that some of the founding fathers were deists, and that most held the Christian religion in contempt. Seems like a good time to define it...

If you're thinking of Jefferson's comments, he did not condemn Christianity as Christ taught it, but men's corruptions of it (especially John Calvin's).

I agree with him.

The Founding Fathers wanted to protect religion from the state, not the state from religion.

They were not opposed to government supporting religion.

They were definitely opposed to government supporting religion, because they'd seen what happens when governments get involved with religion. Governments do what governments always do, they regulate!

That is government restricting religious expression, not tolerating (or even supporting it) under certain circumstances.

Jefferson's use of federal money in support of the Roman Catholic Church's work among Indians disproves your point.

Here's a quote by Madison on this very subject:
"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute threepence only of his property for the support of any one establishment may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"

I agree.

So, did Madison and Jefferson duke it out?

Or was Madison referring to the establishment of a state religion, and not government's hostility to religion?

and another essential one:
"I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency of a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded by an entire abstinence of the Government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others."

I agree completely.

"an entire abstinence of the Government from interference in any way whatever . . . ."

So, was Jefferson "interfering" with religion in funding church work among Indians?

They absolutely DID NOT want the government having any power to involve itself in religion AT ALL.

Not so:

-Jefferson's funding.

-Congressional chaplain.

-State churches (for a time).

-Opening prayers in government.

They believe that everyone should have the right to freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

I agree completely.

Jefferson and Madison were especially determined that this be so. Neither were Christian.

Jefferson got close, and Madison closer, apparently.


James Madison, late in life, wrote, “Belief in a God All Powerful wise and good is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources.”

Colonial Williamsburg historian Linda Rowe said, “Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson all attended church services frequently to the end of their lives. They gave money to church building funds of several denominations, and attended Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Unitarian houses of worship. Most made no secret of their conviction that regular religious practice was necessary to public virtue upon which the survival of the republic depended.”

Franklin, whose life almost spanned the eighteenth century, mutated from defining himself as a deist to saying that deism had “perverted” his friends. In his forties, Franklin commended “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others ancient and modern.” As a senior citizen at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, he suggested in vain that the participants pray for God’s guidance. “The longer I live,” he said, “the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs the affairs of men.” The same Jefferson who clipped the miracles from the New Testament also said, “I am a Christian, in the only sense in which” Jesus “wanted anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.”

They were both very wary of organized religion

Me too.
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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