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July 15, 2007


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Excellent article...I am reply 46

Looks like you started yourself a nice little holy war over there. ;)

It was a good article btw, I can't believe how intolerant people are of Christianity though.

Dan -- I hope you mean #47! :-)

Nickel -- Such is my life!

FYF -- Yeah, I guess I've gotten used to it.

How intolerant people are of Christianity? Of all the crazy things in this country, hearing Christians claim persecution has got to be the craziest. I have nothing against Christians-- my whole family is Christian-- but if you truly believe that you are being put upon by the rest of society, I will have to ask you to step back into reality for a moment. This entire country revolves around Christianity. You are free to practice it, free to shout it in the streets, and free to believe whatever you wish-- but the slightest hint of pushback (which, I might add, is also free expression of speech and religion) and some wish to cry foul, that it's so tough being a Christian in America these days. Baloney.

The fact of the matter is, we all have it easy no matter our religion-- because we are protected by the constitution of this great country. Protected from those who would keep us from free exercise, and protected from those who would push their religion on us using public offices and monies. That doesn't give us freedom from criticism, however. Atheists are the most distrusted group in this country-- a position that has practically been institutionalized over time-- but you know what? I still feel like I can live my life better here than anywhere else in the world. If you feel like Christians take a lot of heat, then, well, perhaps they do. But it's far easier in the numbers of a vast majority. Your views are challenged at times, but you are never at true risk of having your beliefs/values/rights taken away from you. The sheer size of the group is protection enough. You have it easy. Try living in a world where you could NEVER get elected to any public office because of your religious beliefs-- that's where I am as an atheist.

I'm sorry that FMF is getting picked on at GRS. Its a shame as I thought it could have sparked more interesting discussion.

@Brad: Come and move to England. We don't care about religion in that way. Its nice (although the weather sucks).

@Brad: Bravo

@FMF: I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that you haven't stepped in to explain your point but rather have avoided the conflict and let people assume that the post was from GRS (until Jericho clarified). YOUR post is negatively impacting HIS blog yet you're doing nothing to help control that or take responsibility. IMO, that's a pretty crappy thing to do. What is it that the Christians say "Do unto others..." or something like that. I guess it comes down to actually practicing what you preach.

@plonkee: Perhaps if it had been stated as a question rather than being presented as fact there could have been discussion. But any time opinion is presented as fact people are much more likely to attack than discuss.

Great article and you are dead-on. My is up over there as well.


1. If I felt people really wanted to hear my point of view, I would comment. But as you can tell from the postings, most have already made up their minds. Besides, where would I start: the scriptures taken out of context, the comments that ignore what I said in the piece itself, or the hostility that comes from people who feel that because they post anonymously that they can spew any type of hate they like? (such as your meant to be hurtful comment at the end of your comment here.) And why we're on the subject, why do you think that it's ok for to be spiteful? Not that it matters, but I'm certainly interested in how others think it's fine to condemn Christians while using practices that most of society would consider unacceptable.

2. How was the post mis-represented to be from anyone but me? The original post stated both:

"This is a guest-post from Free Money Finance (link to my site). J.D. is on vacation in Europe."

as well as my opening paragraph of:

"Recently J.D. and I were emailing back and forth discussing a possible guest post on the topic of religion and money. I cover the issue every Sunday on my blog and I tossed out several ideas I thought were worthwhile. Then J.D. said something that decided the issue. He wrote: 'I’ve intentionally kept my political and religious leanings obscure at Get Rich Slowly — they have no bearing on personal finance.' "

jerichohill stepped in and added the paragraph in between these two.

How exactly is this confusing -- except for someone who didn't read it of course?

3. FYI, JD contacted me and asked me to write on this subject. We batted around several ideas until we came back to his original one. It was one he felt would open up some discussion (boy, was he right) and wanted me to address since I write on the issue and he doesn't. You weren't privvy to our conversations, his feelings, and so on, so it's hard for you to cast stones based on your (made up) perceptions.

And yet you do.

FMF-- just to clarify my position, I had no problems with your original article. I don't agree with it, but I don't think it was misleading or condescending or judgemental. I don't care for some of your articles that center on religion, but I just don't read them if they bother me. It's a free internet (for now, anyway :-)). I only took issue with the notion of intolerance that came up in the comments here. I didn't get involved with the comments on GRS because there was far too much sniping for my liking.

Brad --

I think what the original commenter was saying is that often it appears to be acceptable to say:

"Christians are stupid."

But it's not ok to say:

"(Put in any other religious group here) are stupid."

You may disagree with that, but I believe that was the intention of the comment, not that there's not freedom to practice religion in the U.S.

I know, and I've heard that many many times. My point is, when you're the big dog, you're going to hear the most criticism. It happens in sports, money, and yes, religion. You may feel disrespected because it's more acceptable or popular to criticize the big dog (Christianity) but the fact of the matter is that Christianity doesn't *need* protection from society and the media. You make up most of that society and most of that media. It's the little guys that are most sensitive to and most affected by sways in perception . . . and so those are the guys that we, as a country, must fight harder to protect.

Christians can complain when a cross, the 10 Commandments, or a nativity is removed from public grounds, and many seem to believe that this is unfair treatment. Well, until you live in a country where it's some other religion that gets pranced around in government buildings, you're not going to understand why such actions are so important. It's different to be the little guy, and this is a country that always has and always will protect the little guy from the big guy, not the other way around. That is America 101. Christians need to understand that and accept that they have to grow a little thicker skin and realize how good it is to be that big dog.

I agree that the little guy should be protected. But as far as removing the cross, 10 commandments, etc., I suggest you go back and read the thoughts, motivations, and writings of our founding fathers -- I've been doing so and it's a good lesson on "America 101."


I hadn't heard from you, but I made that edit which you noticed when all the craziness started. I could not believe it, really, JD really wanted to give me a trial by fire!

Anyways, thank you for taking time to write a guest post for GRS and Im sorry a few internet commentators took it way too far. I do appreciate your time, and Im sure JD does as well. I hope you didnt mind the edit I made, I was trying to ward off a firestorm.

Jericho --

No problem at all.

I tried to find out how to contact you, but the only way I could see was to register for the forums (which I didn't want to do.) So I sent an email to JD's contact sheet which it appears you haven't seen. Anyway, now that I have your email address, I'll contact you privately.

Thanks for your help.

FMF: Are you suggesting that the founding fathers desired a country based on Christianity? Because there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary-- beginning with the fact that a large proportion of said fathers (and some of the most "important" ones) were not Christian. In large part this country is based on Jeffersonian ideals, and Jefferson was not a Christian. Our first president (and most important from a precedent-setting standpoint) was also not a Christian. This country never was, and never will be, a Christian nation. It is a nation comprised mostly of Christians, and that simple distinction is part of what makes the US what it is.

Or do I misunderstand you?

Brad: We're moving way off topic and aren't going to reach agreement on this anyway.

So I'll bow out on the political debate -- that's all I need to add to money and religion to REALLY set things off!

FMF: This is precisely why the two should not be intertwined, IMO. It is an issue that people who ordinarily LOVE you can grow to hate you over. You write a great blog but you should understand why this topic (religion) injected into a merely tangentially related topic (personal finance) will only lead to a firestorm. Not that I've been commenting to make that point, or anything, but here we are. Have a good evening and unlike a few-- I'll continue to read and enjoy your blog and JD's. You take the bad with the good. ;-)


You're right, I should not have responded with an attack just because I felt attacked. For that I apologize.


pf101 --

Thanks for coming back and clearing the air. I certainly appreciate it and commend you for it -- most people would not have done so.

I have no hard feelings and hope you feel the same. And I am certainly sorry if you felt attacked -- either here or at GRS. It was certainly not my intent.

I guess "personal" finance can get too "personal" at times, huh? ;-)


Just want to drop a quick note telling you to hang in there. I guess you are used to all of this debate by now. Gotta tell you that my heart pounded hard every time I go to that GRS article. I want to know what people are saying, but I was afraid to know what they have to say either.

I am saddened that most respondents are non-Christian. Does this reflect the percentage of Christians who are in control of their finances? I certainly hope not.

Snow Drops -- Thanks for the encouragement! ;-)

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