History UsefulNotes / AmericanChurches

3rd Dec '16 10:02:44 PM MsChibi
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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. [[note]]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[[/note]] So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).

to:

The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. [[note]]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[[/note]] So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; you or criticizing you/your beliefs; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).
22nd Oct '16 3:18:16 PM Tdarcos
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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. [none]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[/note] So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).

to:

The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. [none]A [[note]]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[/note] [[/note]] So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).
22nd Oct '16 3:14:58 PM Tdarcos
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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).

to:

The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. [none]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[/note] So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).
21st Oct '16 3:08:45 AM KYCubbie
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** The '''Nation of Islam''', whose more prominent members have included UsefulNotes/MalcolmX, Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali (although Malcolm X and Ali both left the NOI for mainstream Islam), is an American offshoot of the religion of Islam. As with mainstream Islam, the NOI preaches adherence to the five pillars of Islam, personal modesty, eschewing pork, and many other similarities. They differ from mainstream Islam in that they also preach black supremacy and that their founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, was viewed as the Christian Messiah and the Muslim Mahdi (much the same thing). With its own religious text, doctrinal differences with traditionalists, and American origin, the Nation of Islam can be seen as analogous to Mormonism, and its reception has often been similar (frosty at best, hostile at worst).

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** The '''Nation of Islam''', whose more prominent members have included UsefulNotes/MalcolmX, Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli (although Malcolm X and Ali both left the NOI for mainstream Islam), is an American offshoot of the religion of Islam. As with mainstream Islam, the NOI preaches adherence to the five pillars of Islam, personal modesty, eschewing pork, and many other similarities. They differ from mainstream Islam in that they also preach black supremacy and that their founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, was viewed as the Christian Messiah and the Muslim Mahdi (much the same thing). With its own religious text, doctrinal differences with traditionalists, and American origin, the Nation of Islam can be seen as analogous to Mormonism, and its reception has often been similar (frosty at best, hostile at worst).
29th Sep '16 6:48:27 AM Medinoc
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* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.

to:

* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize realized that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.
29th Sep '16 6:46:32 AM Medinoc
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* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their door-to-door preaching and proselytizing (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.

to:

* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.
17th May '16 1:36:30 AM Nabi
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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Baha'i]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. Baha'i in America are divided among Persians, many of whom fled the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the sort of NewAgeRetroHippie-types who might have become Buddhist but preferred something more Abrahamic. The most notable Baha'i in America is none other than Rainn Wilson (playing Dwight Schrute in ''Series/TheOfficeUS''), whose parents were of the second category and raised him in the faith while living in a houseboat off the coast of Washington State.

to:

* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Baha'i]]''' Bahá'í]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. Baha'i Bahá'í in America are divided among Persians, many of whom fled the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the sort of NewAgeRetroHippie-types who might have become Buddhist but preferred something more Abrahamic. The most notable Baha'i Bahá'í in America is none other than Rainn Wilson (playing Dwight Schrute in ''Series/TheOfficeUS''), whose parents were of the second category and raised him in the faith while living in a houseboat off the coast of Washington State.
5th May '16 10:40:15 AM MsChibi
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Added DiffLines:

* The church that ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' attend. It appears to be [[ChurchOfSaintGenericus an amalgam of most of the aforementioned mainline Protestant churches]], and is in fact called something like American Presbolutheranism. (Though for a while, most of Springfield does become enamored with a megachurch.)
2nd Apr '16 11:07:19 PM MsChibi
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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a cult simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).

to:

The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a cult {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).
26th Mar '16 9:13:15 PM KYCubbie
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* '''Evangelical churches''', as defined by TheOtherWiki, are Protestant churches that are distinguished by four key traits -- a focus on personal conversion (becoming "born again"), spreading the message of Literature/TheBible (evangelizing), placing high stock in Biblical authority, and a focus on Jesus' death and resurrection. Examples of such churches include most subgroups of Baptists, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church of America [[note]]Not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is mainline Protestant.[[/note]]. They usually adhere to conservative social values, and are very often [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]]. [[note]]As always, there are exceptions to every rule. A number of more liberal, mainline churches call themselves evangelical (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), and a substantial minority of individual evangelicals, particularly younger ones, reject Biblical literalism.[[/note]]\\

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* '''Evangelical churches''', as defined by TheOtherWiki, are Protestant churches that are distinguished by four key traits -- a focus on personal conversion (becoming "born again"), spreading the message of Literature/TheBible (evangelizing), placing high stock in Biblical authority, and a focus on Jesus' death and resurrection. Examples of such churches include most subgroups of Baptists, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church of in America [[note]]Not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is mainline Protestant.[[/note]]. They usually adhere to conservative social values, and are very often [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]]. [[note]]As always, there are exceptions to every rule. A number of more liberal, mainline churches call themselves evangelical (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), and a substantial minority of individual evangelicals, particularly younger ones, reject Biblical literalism.[[/note]]\\



They are also responsible for the growth of what are often called [[http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Megachurch megachurches]]. While a more traditional church will have from a few dozen to a few hundred parishioners return every week, with "extracurricular" services largely limited to Sunday schools, bake sales and grade schools for some of the larger ones, a megachurch has a few thousand or even tens of thousands, and its services will often be more comparable to a rock concert than an old-time congregation. Megachurches are likely to have their own [[UsefulNotes/AmericanEducationalSystem K-12 schools]], fitness centers, day cares, shops selling Christian merchandise (some of it likely pertaining to, or created by, the head pastor/minister), and ministries targeting various {{subculture}}s, making them one-stop shops for born-again suburbanites. The trend began in the middle of the twentieth century and is associated with the rise of the Religious Right and the growth of the evangelical and Pentecostal movements, as they tend to focus on conversion and personal morality/salvation. These churches have been the target of criticism by both Christians and non-Christians alike, for drawing parishioners away from traditional churches, for their "big box" feel and perceived focus on consumerism, their use of secular business models to bring in worshipers and dollars, and their tax-exempt status.[[note]]These churches bring in millions of dollars annually, tax free, and their leaders also get tax breaks. It has caused some friction. Think "money changers in the temple".[[/note]]

to:

They are also responsible for the growth of what are often called [[http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Megachurch megachurches]]. While a more traditional church will have from a few dozen to a few hundred parishioners return every week, with "extracurricular" services largely limited to Sunday schools, bake sales and grade schools for some of the larger ones, a megachurch has a few thousand or even tens of thousands, and its services will often be more comparable to a rock concert than an old-time congregation. Megachurches are likely to have their own [[UsefulNotes/AmericanEducationalSystem K-12 schools]], fitness centers, day cares, shops selling Christian merchandise (some of it likely pertaining to, or created by, the head pastor/minister), and ministries targeting various {{subculture}}s, {{subculture}}s,[[note]]though a surprising number of megachurches largely ignore singles as a targeted subculture[[/note]] making them one-stop shops for born-again suburbanites. The trend began in the middle of the twentieth century and is associated with the rise of the Religious Right and the growth of the evangelical and Pentecostal movements, as they tend to focus on conversion and personal morality/salvation. These churches have been the target of criticism by both Christians and non-Christians alike, for drawing parishioners away from traditional churches, for their "big box" feel and perceived focus on consumerism, their use of secular business models to bring in worshipers and dollars, and their tax-exempt status.[[note]]These churches bring in millions of dollars annually, tax free, and their leaders also get tax breaks. It has caused some friction. Think "money changers in the temple".[[/note]]
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