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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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God's Hangout

We don't seem to have a general Community Room here in this group, where we can relax and hang out, so I decided it was time to start one.

 

Here's an initial offering:  Thursday is the National Day of Prayer as set by Congress in 1952.  Obama will issue the usual Presidential proclamation, but apparently will otherwise not participate publicly.  

 

Our country could use a few good prayers.  

 

Though I have to admit that when it comes to praying for some specific benefit, I can't help remembering the scene from the movie  Patton  where General Patton  (George Scott in a magnificent performance) orders his chaplain to pray for good weather to facilitate his attack.  

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Laurel
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Re: God's Hangout

I'm disappointed that our President is distancing himself so.

Everyman wrote:

We don't seem to have a general Community Room here in this group, where we can relax and hang out, so I decided it was time to start one.

 

Here's an initial offering:  Thursday is the National Day of Prayer as set by Congress in 1952.  Obama will issue the usual Presidential proclamation, but apparently will otherwise not participate publicly.  

 

Our country could use a few good prayers.  

 

Though I have to admit that when it comes to praying for some specific benefit, I can't help remembering the scene from the movie  Patton  where General Patton  (George Scott in a magnificent performance) orders his chaplain to pray for good weather to facilitate his attack.  


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Joseph_F
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Re: God's Hangout

Public prayer by a politician seems such a show business, ostentatious thing that I completely understand his desire to keep his prayers private. To take the baring of your soul before God and turn it into a televised political event to boost you in the polls seems a little obscene to me.
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006

Re: God's Hangout

But he's so "show business" about everything else.

Joseph_F wrote:
Public prayer by a politician seems such a show business, ostentatious thing that I completely understand his desire to keep his prayers private. To take the baring of your soul before God and turn it into a televised political event to boost you in the polls seems a little obscene to me.

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: God's Hangout

[ Edited ]

I rather think that this 'distancing' is also a distancing from the very public stance about religion that Bush took and which worried a lot of people, including people abroad.   Blair took this cue from Bush and his public position on religion was one of the things which cost him his premiership.  In America I believe there has also been criticism that the Bush administration was sometimes being unconstitutional in bringing religion into what is suppposed to be secular government? 

 

I know this does not sit well with those of you who are religious but it has to be acknowledged that in both our countries religion is becoming less important to people. Leaders have to take these trends on board because they can eventually translate into votes.  There is also the point (often made in the UK) that we are becoming more and more a multi-cultural society where 'national' prayers in the name of one religion do not necessarily sit well with all citizens.

 

Whether prayers are public or private presumably does not make them any the less efficacious if you believe in them?  In an interview with David Weich Karen Armstrong says this about prayer: '...we've all got to find our own form of prayer, our own form of worship. Being dragooned into one, as I was when I was young,  is not going to do any good.  Ther are myriad forms of spirituality. You've got to find the right one for you.'  Perhaps President Obama feels he was being dragooned into worshipping as President Bush (or other Presidents) had done and he wishes to find the right way for himself.

 

   

 

 


Laurel wrote:
But he's so "show business" about everything else.

Joseph_F wrote:
Public prayer by a politician seems such a show business, ostentatious thing that I completely understand his desire to keep his prayers private. To take the baring of your soul before God and turn it into a televised political event to boost you in the polls seems a little obscene to me.

 

 

Message Edited by Choisya on 05-06-2009 12:50 PM
Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009

Re: God's Hangout

No more so than any other major politician in history, certainly less so than Bush with his Mission Accomplished and the "average families" propped up next to him when announcing his "tax cuts". But I feel that this board is tackling a controversial enough subject without bringing politics into it as well, so everyone please keep comments on those subjects to the current events board unless it directly relates to a matter of religion.

 


Laurel wrote:
But he's so "show business" about everything else

 


 

Distinguished Correspondent
Adelle
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎11-09-2008

Re: God's Hangout

Now really, you know it's not fair for you to make your political statement..."No more so [...] certainly less so than Bush" ...   and then to say, in effect, now that I've had the last word, nobody can challenge this point of view, nobody can say anything else on this subject.  

 

 

I for one "certainly" do not think your statement is factual.  One simply cannot present opinions as facts. 

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Joseph_F
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Re: God's Hangout

I made a response to something said to me, and then I asked that that particular conversation branch be closed because it is a) completely unrelated to religion and b) likely to cause trouble in a board dedicated to an already delicate subject. Please abide by that decision.
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Adelle
Posts: 70
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Re: God's Hangout

My mistake.  I had been under the impression that the thread conversations were directed at all participants and that all participants were welcome to respond.   And while I agree with you on point b, I don't agree with your point a.  It seems to me public prayer --- an aspect of religion --- as practiced or not practiced by politicians was actively being discussed throughout the thread and that the possible motives of various presidents was being discussed.   

 

 

 

Nonetheless, if you don't want politics here in the Religion & Spirituality board, I can certainly refrain.   

 

 

Also, I do appreciate that it takes time and effort for you to facilitate the various threads.   And for that I do extend my thanks.   

 

 

 

 

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Joseph_F
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Re: God's Hangout

To clarify, the question of public prayer is fine for discussion, since that is a decidedly religious issue. I just would rather avoid general discussion of politics or comparisons of different presidents as a whole unrelated to religion, to keep things at least somewhat amicable for everyone.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: God's Hangout

For oral prayer, I tend to agree, though public prayers are quite common at such events as graduation ceremonies, building dedications, etc.   And after all, he had public prayer at his inauguration ceremonies, so it's not as though he doesn't appreciate and utilize its show business value when it suits him. But such prayers are generally best left to a minister, rabbi, or other officiant.  

 

For silent prayer, it's different.  There's nothing show business, IMO, in a public moment or two to lead the nation in silence, either of prayer or of meditation, as the preference of the individual may be.

 


Joseph_F wrote:
Public prayer by a politician seems such a show business, ostentatious thing that I completely understand his desire to keep his prayers private. To take the baring of your soul before God and turn it into a televised political event to boost you in the polls seems a little obscene to me.

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: God's Hangout

You're right, Laurel.  He certainly had no problem inviting the somewhat controversial Bishop Robinson and equally controversial, for different reasons, Rick Warren to offer prayers during his inauguration ceremonies.  When the presence of prayer suits goals, he seems to have no hesitancy, show business or not. 

 


Laurel wrote:
But he's so "show business" about everything else.

Joseph_F wrote:
Public prayer by a politician seems such a show business, ostentatious thing that I completely understand his desire to keep his prayers private. To take the baring of your soul before God and turn it into a televised political event to boost you in the polls seems a little obscene to me.

 


 

 

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: God's Hangout

[ Edited ]

Edit:  I see that Joseph addressed this in a post I hadn't read until I had posted this.  Thanks, Joseph. 

 

Original message was:

 

Is it fair to assume that you think a national leader's response to the Congressionally established National Day of Prayer "relates directly to a matter of religion"?  If not, I need some clarity on how you're drawing the distinction so I don't inadvertently overstep the boundaries in future.  

 


Joseph_F wrote:

No more so than any other major politician in history, certainly less so than Bush with his Mission Accomplished and the "average families" propped up next to him when announcing his "tax cuts". But I feel that this board is tackling a controversial enough subject without bringing politics into it as well, so everyone please keep comments on those subjects to the current events board unless it directly relates to a matter of religion.

 


Laurel wrote:
But he's so "show business" about everything else

 


 


 

 

 

 

Message Edited by Everyman on 05-06-2009 07:05 PM
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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: God's Hangout

Nonetheless, if you don't want politics here in the Religion & Spirituality board, I can certainly refrain.  

 

That could be hard to do, though.

 

Consider that the Church of England is an official state church, with the Queen as its head, so any discussion of the the Church of England necessarily impacts politics.

 

And it's almost impossible to discuss many aspects of Islam without getting at least into the fringes of politics.  

 

It's not only almost impossible, it IS impossible to discuss the development of Christianity in its formative years and its developments in the Renaissance and Reformation without getting into the politics of the Vatican, the Holy Roman Empire, the English Civil War, etc.  

 

Our Senate and House of Representatives still, I believe, open each day with prayer, which certainly mixes religion and politics.

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative or difficult.  I'm just recognizing that religions and politics have been inextricably intertwined throughout history.  I think this will be quite clear as we get deeper into Armstrong's book.  If we really leave all political thought out of this whole board, some of our discussions will become pretty sterile, I fear.

 


Adelle wrote:

My mistake.  I had been under the impression that the thread conversations were directed at all participants and that all participants were welcome to respond.   And while I agree with you on point b, I don't agree with your point a.  It seems to me public prayer --- an aspect of religion --- as practiced or not practiced by politicians was actively being discussed throughout the thread and that the possible motives of various presidents was being discussed.   

 

 

 

Nonetheless, if you don't want politics here in the Religion & Spirituality board, I can certainly refrain.   

 

 

Also, I do appreciate that it takes time and effort for you to facilitate the various threads.   And for that I do extend my thanks.   

 

 

 

 


 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Correspondent
Adelle
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎11-09-2008

Re: God's Hangout

:smileywink:   yes.       could be hard to do.        :smileyhappy:  but i'll try as hard as the next guy, yes?  
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Peppermill
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Re: God's Hangout


Adelle wrote:
:smileywink:   yes.       could be hard to do.        :smileyhappy:  but i'll try as hard as the next guy, yes?  
Seems to me this is all rather like the difficulty of constraining ourselves elsewhere to "good news."  May "good faith" efforts have "good faith" results!
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006

Re: God's Hangout

Why do I feel that I need to watch my every step? These discussions are like stepping onto minefields.

 

I find that the tone of many of the posts, from both posters and moderator, have given off an off-putting aura. 

 

Not fun at all. 

 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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IBIS
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Re: God's Hangout

To clarify, I meant the entire R&S club, not just this particular thread.

 

I wish you all well.

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Laurel
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Re: God's Hangout

[ Edited ]
I think we will find an equilibrium soon, Ibis. This is an extremely difficult subject to put together and keep together. I think Joseph is very brave for stepping up to it, and I think his questions are great.

IBIS wrote:

Why do I feel that I need to watch my every step? These discussions are like stepping onto minefields.

 

I find that the tone of many of the posts, from both posters and moderator, have given off an off-putting aura. 

 

Not fun at all. 

 

 


 

Message Edited by Laurel on 05-26-2009 06:48 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Correspondent
Adelle
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎11-09-2008

Re: God's Hangout

Ibis, I couldn't agree with you more.    I had thought that everyone for a while was having a thoughtful, enjoyable time---even though, or maybe even because, everybody had different opinions.  Anyway, I was having a good time.

 

 

With Religion and Sprituality being the subject, I expected people to argue and disagree all over the place.   I had rather thought that was the point: to find out what other people thought.  To give some thought to the subject oneself. 

 

 

But then... your minefield reference is very apt....It suddenly seemed that posters couldn't write what they thought anymore.    It seemed that eveything was supposed to be PC or something.

 

 

So I dropped out because, exactly as you put it, "Not fun at all." 

 

 

Adelle.

 

"I am not who I was.   I am not who I will become."