What is the Point of God

So there’s this kerfluffle surrounding a Christian school that decided to ban from the school’s graduation ceremony a teen who by all accounts, was a model student, positive leader, active church and community participant and role-model, and countless other accolades, but who apparently was “immoral” and got pregnant. 

My question is, what is the point of God (or really any god) to people who feel they need to act on behalf of said God and punish people for acts that are immoral by said supposed God’s standards? Note, we’re not talking about punishing someone for a legal infraction; the principal in the case has been quite clear that the teen is being punished for being immoral. So I’m curious as to what such folks believe God’s role is or whether such folks believe God even has a role or does anything?

81 thoughts on “What is the Point of God”

  1. petrushka

    Just like being devil’s advocate. Should Jews And Muslims be required to serve pork in their groceries and restaurants? Or vegans meat?

    I once hosted a couple of Egyptian kids for an exchange program. When asked if there was some special food they wanted, they asked for pizza with tuna. So I found myself in Dominoes with a a can of tuna, asking them to add it to a pizza. Which they did.

    But suppose I went to a Muslim pizza restaurant and asked them to add pork sausage?

  2. dazzdazz

    petrushka:
    Just like being devil’s advocate. Should Jews And Muslims be required to serve pork in their groceries and restaurants? Or vegans meat?

    I once hosted a couple of Egyptian kids for an exchange program. When asked if there was some special food they wanted, they asked for pizza with tuna. So I found myself in Dominoes with a a can of tuna, asking them to add it to a pizza. Which they did.

    But suppose I went to a Muslim pizza restaurant and asked them to add pork sausage?

    I’m not sure that’s a good example. Not selling wedding cakes to homosexuals would be more like a Muslim pizza restaurant refusing to sell pizzas to Christians. No one is asking anyone to sell something they wouldn’t normally sell, it’s the discriminating certain groups based on prejudice what’s wrong

  3. J-MacJ-Mac

    So there’s this kerfluffle surrounding a Christian school that decided to ban from the school’s graduation ceremony a teen who by all accounts, was a model student, positive leader, active church and community participant and role-model, and countless other accolades, but who apparently was “immoral” and got pregnant.

    If a public school had a policy that religious symbols were not to be worn during graduation ceremony but one student refused to abide would banning that student from the ceremony create simmilar kerfuffle?

    My question is, what is the point of God (or really any god) to people who feel they need to act on behalf of said God and punish people for acts that are immoral by said supposed God’s standards? Note, we’re not talking about punishing someone for a legal infraction; the principal in the case has been quite clear that the teen is being punished for being immoral. So I’m curious as to what such folks believe God’s role is or whether such folks believe God even has a role or does anything?

    While I don’t agree with the government funded religious schools, I agree that they have the right to set certain standards, just like public schools have regarding no prayers, no religious symbols to be worn, otherwise what’s the point of religious schools if they are no different than public schools?

  4. petrushka

    dazz: I’m not sure that’s a good example. Not selling wedding cakes to homosexuals would be more like a Muslim pizza restaurant refusing to sell pizzas to Christians. No one is asking anyone to sell something they wouldn’t normally sell, it’s the discriminating certain groups based on prejudice what’s wrong

    I don’t recall anyone refusing to sell wedding cakes to anyone. Perhaps they refused to sell a wedding cake with pork sausage on top.

  5. petrushka

    I’m not terribly confused about what bigotry is. I’m just confused by self righteousness with regard to whether laws should be enforced or not. My perception is that we all tend to want laws we agree with enforced against people we disagree with. And laws we disagree with ignored. I can’t really exclude myself from this set.

    What I don’t understand is how intelligent people fail to see this.

  6. newton

    petrushka:
    Just like being devil’s advocate. Should Jews And Muslims be required to serve pork in their groceries and restaurants? Or vegans meat?

    Nope but they are required by public accommodation laws not to discriminate against certain classes of people in serving what is on the menu.

    I once hosted a couple of Egyptian kids for an exchange program. When asked if there was some special food they wanted, they asked for pizza with tuna. So I found myself in Dominoes with a a can of tuna, asking them to add it to a pizza. Which they did.

    Nice of them.

    But suppose I went to a Muslim pizza restaurant and asked them to add pork sausage?

    You are asking for special consideration, it would be up to the owners to decide to grant it. You have a right not to be discriminated against for certain criteria. You do not have the right to order things not on the menu

  7. Neil Rickert

    J-Mac: If a public school had a policy that religious symbols were not to be worn during graduation ceremony but one student refused to abide would banning that student from the ceremony create simmilar kerfuffle?

    Yes. And the courts would support that student on the basis of the first amendment “free exercise” clause.

  8. waltowalto

    Robert Byers says,

    Thats true for the past. That was done by the law., the right of a people to govern themselves by laws. Homosexuality being illegal is okay.
    Active homosexuality should be illegal in a moral and healthy civilization.
    however everybody agrees not to make it illegal under ideas of not imposing these things.
    However then they impose that opposition to homosexuality is immoral and punish it. Yet without using the law and so the government process.

    Oh I see, you’d be perfectly fine with the passage of LAWS that required punishment for opposition to homosexuality, you just don’t like such opposition when it’s not as a result of such laws.

    Well, that’s utterly ridiculous, and I don’t believe you at all, but I’m sure some jurisdictions would be happy to comply with your wishes on this matter if I’m wrong and you’re actually sincere.

  9. Kantian NaturalistKantian Naturalist

    walto:
    Robert Byers says,

    Oh I see, you’d be perfectly fine with the passage of LAWS that required punishment for opposition to homosexuality, you just don’t like such opposition when it’s not as a result of such laws.

    Well, that’s utterly ridiculous, and I don’t believe you at all, but I’m sure some jurisdictions would be happy to comply with your wishes on this matter if I’m wrong and you’re actually sincere.

    Byers thinks that in a normal and healthy civilization, it would be illegal to be gay or lesbian. He thinks that the real injustice comes when actively voicing opposition to LGBT+ persons is classified as “hate speech”.

    Given that we already know that Byers is anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic, it’s no surprise that he’s homophobic as well. He’d fit in perfectly in Putin’s Russia or Trump’s America.

  10. newton

    Neil Rickert: Yes.And the courts would support that student on the basis of the first amendment “free exercise” clause.

    ” Under the Tinker standard, students have the right to freedom of expression as long as they do not “materially and substantially” disrupt the operation of the school or violate the rights of others. Chapter 71, section 82 of the Massachusetts General Laws (the Student Free Expression Act) puts this standard into state law. It reads:
    The right of students to freedom of expression in the public schools of the commonwealth shall not be abridged, provided that such right shall not cause any disruption or disorder within the school. Freedom of expression shall include, without limitation, the rights and responsibilities of students, collectively and individually (a) to express their views through speech and symbols, (b) to write, publish and disseminate their views, (c) to assemble peaceably on school property for the purpose of expressing their opinions.”

  11. Robert Byers

    newton: Or being Jewish.

    Because it makes you uncomfortable?

    Not everybody, there are countries where it is punished severely

    Not exactly. You are not required to be homosexual and homosexuals are not required to be straight. If you want to do business in the public sphere there are rules against discrimination. The problem is some peopleclaim it is discrimination not have the right to discriminate.

    Have an example?

    The examples are everywhere. Opposition to homosexuality, by words or deeds, is punished.
    Laws against discrimination are laqws against opposition to complying with what is seen as evil and repulsive and unnatural and unhealthy.0
    Discrimination is only wrong if its been decide by the people or some higher power that one ios not to do it.
    Discrimination as a word for people to obey to not reject things is silly.
    ,

  12. Robert Byers

    walto:
    Robert Byers says,

    Oh I see, you’d be perfectly fine with the passage of LAWS that required punishment for opposition to homosexuality, you just don’t like such opposition when it’s not as a result of such laws.

    Well, that’s utterly ridiculous, and I don’t believe you at all, but I’m sure some jurisdictions would be happy to comply with your wishes on this matter if I’m wrong and you’re actually sincere.

    Thats two issues.
    Yes it must come from the laws because they come from the people. the peopoles right to govern themselves, including imposing on a minority/or majority by law, is the essence of natural freedom and Anglo-american governments.
    Instead a passion for causes, like the the gay one, in the establishment, and some of the public, brings punishment(often greater then jailtime/fines) to conclusions they have determined on.

    What if they made laws to punish opposition to homosexuality(practically do in Canada) ??
    Well unless one has a greater natural law, or some law existing, then one would have to obey however evil.
    However natural, religious contracts/free conscience/free speech, should make any such law illegal in a citizenry watching its rights.

  13. J-MacJ-Mac

    Neil Rickert: Yes.And the courts would support that student on the basis of the first amendment “free exercise” clause.

    Hmmm…You know , there are other civilized societies in the world other than U.S. and its constitution… France for example… It’s very likely the incident I describe could have easily happened there…as no religious symbols are NOT to be worn and displayed in public schools by students…

  14. Robert Byers

    Kantian Naturalist: Byers thinks that in a normal and healthy civilization, it would be illegal to be gay or lesbian. He thinks that the real injustice comes when actively voicing opposition to LGBT+ persons is classified as “hate speech”.

    Given that we already know that Byers is anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic, it’s no surprise that he’s homophobic as well. He’d fit in perfectly in Putin’s Russia or Trump’s America.

    Yes homosexuality should be illegal in healthy society. however enforcing it is difficult. anyways in our civilization we have a contract to allow people freedom on these things, wher not interfering with the rest.
    Everybody is content with that contract.
    However opposition to the gay stuff is attacked in everryway and it is , as a moral right and good thing, imposed on the nations by a immoral, illegal establishment working with passionate activists. At the moment.

    I am not antisemetic, anti-islamic, or anti -women. thats a false accusation and shouldn’
    t be made here. its immoral and stupid.
    Its just tagging people with different conclusions..
    In fact you make the case here on this thread.
    Opposition to homosexuality is homophobic, which is a term invented to portray people, who oppose the gay thing, as evil, bad, or breaking historic/modern contracts on human relationships.
    Accusation is not indictment but in present society punishment is done without trial. this because its outside the law which comes from centuries of struggle to bring justice to the accused or accuser.
    Sometimes bad people make evil accusations.
    This mIGHT be an example however it requires trial.
    Really it should be that if these are important accusations they shouldn’t be made so easily without evidence or really at all.
    Its unjust, unkind, stupid and does not intimidate people into silence or obediance IF thats the real agenda. Not truth and love.

  15. Neil Rickert

    J-Mac: Hmmm…You know , there are other civilized societies in the world other than U.S. and its constitution… France for example… It’s very likely the incident I describe could have easily happened there…as no religious symbols are NOT to be worn and displayed in public schools by students…

    Agreed. However, the context suggested that this was about US schools.

  16. RobinRobin Post author

    Mung:
    Unbelievable. What is the point of banning anyone from TSZ?

    What was the point of Patrick banning Frankenjoe for something that was hardly even immoral. TSZ is worse than Christians!

    Yeah.

    Unbelievable! Mung can’t answer the question I posed so he tries to deflect to his own personal issues with the moderation of this site.

  17. RobinRobin Post author

    Mung:
    I don’t see the point of being a tool for ignorance. What does Robin think would happen to this girl in, say, Saudi Arabia.

    Oh for goodness sake, Mung. Can you at least try to get close to the point I was making? The issue at the Christian school is merely an illustration of the behavior.

    The fact of the matter is, the girl being banned from her graduation is irrelevant to the actual point (which you can’t seem to address.) Private schools are well within their right to make rules about conduct and enforce them. Big whoop. But in this case, the entire school is based on the belief and God and even claims that they adhere to God’s rules. Well, if that’s the case, why don’t they believe that God enforces those rules? Maybe because they don’t actually believe in said God.

    So whatcha think Mung? Bunch of hypocrites or actually faithful followers? I’m kind of interested in any explanation for the latter.

    I probably missed all the OPs about how immoral women are treated in other countries. Because I think we all know that Robin doesn’t have ‘Allah’ in mind.

    Wouldn’t know. Since this isn’t an OP about how immoral the teen was treated or anything like that, I’m at a loss as to what point you’re even attempting to make though.

  18. RobinRobin Post author

    Ok…so it appears that my actual OP has not yet been addressed. Let’s try this again.

    The point I’m raising is in the title of the OP: what do people think that God’s role is supposed to be in this scenario. I’ll note that although this is a Christian school and (as the administration has insisted) that this whole kerfluffle is supposedly about a moral issue, “God” has not come up in any of the discussions, interviews, or releases I’ve heard or read. Why? Does the school believe that this has nothing to do with God? Do they not actually believe in God? Do they believe God gave them the authority to act on His behalf and if so, is there any support for such an assertion?

    That’s my actual point.

  19. Tom EnglishTom English

    Robin: Ok…so it appears that my actual OP has not yet been addressed. Let’s try this again.

    I prefer the original.

    My question is, what is the point of God (or really any god) to people who feel they need to act on behalf of said God and punish people for acts that are immoral by said supposed God’s standards?

    How can you frame the question without seeing the answer? The point of God for cruel people is to deny that they are cruel. They also develop elaborate explanations of why Jesus’ teachings don’t mean what they obviously mean (e.g., “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her”), and of how they know which of the ancient Hebrew laws remain in force today.

  20. RoyLT

    Robin: Do they believe God gave them the authority to act on His behalf and if so, is there any support for such an assertion?

    For anyone on here with a little more knowledge of Plantinga’s drivel than I have, how does any action taken in God’s name against another individual not constitute an assault on the free will of said individual which is a cornerstone of his defense against the Problem of Evil?

  21. RobinRobin Post author

    Tom English: I prefer the original.

    How can you frame the question without seeing the answer? The point of God for cruel people is to deny that they are cruel. They also develop elaborate explanations of why Jesus’ teachings don’t mean what they obviously mean (e.g., “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her”), and of how they know which of the ancient Hebrew laws remain in force today.

    Yes, of course I’m being rhetorical here. It’s interesting to me that folks like Mung, Erik, and Phoodoo didn’t even attempt to address the issue however.

  22. RobinRobin Post author

    RoyLT: For anyone on here with a little more knowledge of Plantinga’s drivel than I have, how does any action taken in God’s name against another individual not constitute an assault on the free will of said individual which is a cornerstone of his defense against the Problem of Evil?

    Ooo…good point. Hope someone addresses it.

  23. newton

    Robert Byers: The examples are everywhere. Opposition to homosexuality, by words or deeds, is punished.

    Depends on what the deeds are

    Laws against discrimination are laqws against opposition to complying with what is seen as evil and repulsive and unnatural and unhealthy

    You are not forced to be gay on the other hand you are trying to force someone to be straight. Too bad you can’t force others to abide by your beliefs.

    Discrimination is only wrong if its been decide by the people or some higher power that one ios not to do it.

    Like do unto others ?

    Discrimination as a word for people to obey to not reject things is silly.
    ,

    You seem to be upset that someone is discriminating against you for your discrimination. Sorry about your bad luck.

  24. newton

    Robin: The point I’m raising is in the title of the OP: what do people think that God’s role is supposed to be in this scenario.I’ll note that although this is a Christian school and (as the administration has insisted) that this whole kerfluffle is supposedly about a moral issue,

    It is an administrative issue for the school, she broke the honor code of remaining chaste. No one is debating whether the private school has that right to require certain behaviors from its students. The students agree to abide by those rules.

    “God” has not come up in any of the discussions, interviews, or releases I’ve heard or read. Why?

    Students are disciplined in public schools without the mention of a deity.

    Does the school believe that this has nothing to do with God?

    Everyone accepts the pledge is valid even the girl. She is basically asking for a special consideration for doing the ” right ” thing

    Do they not actually believe in God?

    That belief is the basis for her appeal for special consideration.Preserving the life the baby tips the scales of justice in her favor.

    Do they believe God gave them the authority to act on His behalf and if so, is there any support for such an assertion?

    The only authority necessary flows from school and state board of education, God does not set the requirements for graduation from high school.

    Her father until he resigned was on the Board of the School which one would guess had some input to the school policy. I wonder if other kids have been denied graduation during his time on the Board for breaking the pledge of chastity.

  25. RobinRobin Post author

    newton: It is an administrative issue for the school, she broke the honor code of remaining chaste. No one is debating whether the private school has that right to require certain behaviors from its students. The students agree to abide by those rules.

    I agree with this point for the most part. However, my question is aimed at the basis of the school’s honor code. If the school were to say, “this is our honor code based on our personal perspective”, I’d not have raised the issue at all. But the school instead says, “this is our honor code based on God’s Absolute Moral Code”. Now, that doesn’t change whether they are within their rights and all that in administering whatever punishment they see fit under their code. I’m just curious as to whether such folk think God has any ultimate input given that He allegedly is the author and administrator of said code.

    Students are disciplined in public schools without the mention of a deity.

    Yep. Absolutely. And my question isn’t about the school’s rights to administer discipline under their code. The banning of the teen from graduation is not the point of my OP; whether the folks behind the honor code believe God has any involvement in the issue is.

    Everyone accepts the pledge is valid even the girl. She is basically asking for a special consideration for doing the ” right ” thing

    Yeah, and I believe there was some question as to what the code actually spelled out in terms of the specific discipline. But whatever, that’s not what I’m interested in about this case.

    That belief is the basis for her appeal for special consideration.Preserving the life the baby tips the scales of justice in her favor.

    Could be, but I have no idea.

    The only authority necessary flows from school and state board of education, God does not set the requirements for graduation from high school.

    Quite so. But apparently, at least according to the principal, He did set the basis of the honor code.

    Her father until he resigned was on the Board of the School which one would guess had some input to the school policy. I wonder if other kids have been denied graduation during his time on the Boardfor breaking the pledge of chastity.

    Interesting. I didn’t know that.

  26. newton

    Robin: I’d not have raised the issue at all. But the school instead says, “this is our honor code based on God’s Absolute Moral Code”. Now, that doesn’t change whether they are within their rights and all that in administering whatever punishment they see fit under their code. I’m just curious as to whether such folk think God has any ultimate input given that He allegedly is the author and administrator of said code.

    Here is the explanation posted on the Hertitage Academy site

    http://heritage-academy.net/principle-hobbs-response-to-media-coverage-of-policy/

    And here is part of the pledge:

    “As a student, I pledge to consistently do my best to abide by the guidelines contained in the Handbook as well as the expectations conveyed to me by school personnel. Expectations for students include guarding my mind against immorality, impurity, rebellion, selfishness, carnality and violence (principles conveyed in Philippians 4:8 – …whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.) and applying this to that which I say, read, watch, attend, hear, promote, and/or approve. This application extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. In addition, I recognize and am committed to nurturing my spirit by associating with people of high moral character and conduct, cooperating respectfully with those in authority, striving for excellence as a student, refraining from gossip, grumbling and complaining, and avoiding the appearance of evil.”

    It seems to me the answer to your question is yes.

  27. AcartiaAcartia

    Steve Schaffner: Now, what was the name of that religious figure who used to hang out with prostitutes and other sinners . . . it’s on the tip of my tongue.)

    Jimmy Swaggart?

  28. AcartiaAcartia

    J-Mac: I agree that they have the right to set certain standards, just like public schools have regarding no prayers, no religious symbols to be worn,

    What public schools don’t allow the students to pray or wear religious symbols? It is only the school itself that cannot lead prayers or display religious symbols. And even the latter is not true. They will often display the different religious symbols as part of education.

  29. RobinRobin Post author

    newton: Here is the explanation posted on the Hertitage Academy site

    http://heritage-academy.net/principle-hobbs-response-to-media-coverage-of-policy/

    And here is part of the pledge:

    “As a student, I pledge to consistently do my best to abide by the guidelines contained in the Handbook as well as the expectations conveyed to me by school personnel. Expectations for students include guarding my mind against immorality, impurity, rebellion, selfishness, carnality and violence (principles conveyed in Philippians 4:8 – …whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.) and applying this to that which I say, read, watch, attend, hear, promote, and/or approve. This application extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. In addition, I recognize and am committed to nurturing my spirit by associating with people of high moral character and conduct, cooperating respectfully with those in authority, striving for excellence as a student, refraining from gossip, grumbling and complaining, and avoiding the appearance of evil.”

    It seems to me the answer to your question is yes.

    Precisely the way I read the code too. But oddly, the school administrators’ behavior seems to contradict this. Let’s face it, it’s not like I really expect such folk to actually be consistent with the premise of such a code; I’ve not encountered that many people who are confident that God will administer sufficient judgement/punishment/justice/etc such that they feel comfortable stepping aware from the job. Pretty much all religious institutions feel that they HAVE to administer various punishments to the “wicked”, but I’ve never heard a logical explanation for why. So, the point of my post was to explore what I think is the actual reason. Maybe such folks really are embracing such religious principles to justify busybodyness and control of others’ behavior? I tend to think that’s a reasonable explanation. But, I wanted to see if anyone had any other explanations.

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