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Celebrities getting political/religious

HozanHozan Veteran
edited December 2018 in Faith & Religion

What is your take on personalities/celebrities endorsing causes or faiths or beliefs? I guess its all in the motivation and the context.
Natalie Portman is the latest in a long list of celebritities weighing in on a variety of different topics that involve politics/faith/beliefs...

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/natalie-portman-slams-israel-racist-nation-state-law-181213080811163.html

Comments

  • Do you think its fairer or more reasonable for somebody to speak either positively or negatively about their own faith/ politics but not on other peoples beliefs?( Natalie Portman is Israeli and has Jewish background ).
    What's your take on what is appropriate?

    Buddhadragon
  • I think there are times when it is ok to have an opinion even if you don't belong to that faith.
    For example surely I can condemn the systematic abuse of children by the clergy in the catholic church. Not being a catholic shouldnt exclude me from being able to voice that opinion.
    What do you all think?

    Buddhadragon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I think everyone has a right to an opinion, and everyone has a right to air it. The USA is very strong on the right to Free Speech issue (it's in their Constitution) and in the UK there is the Incitement issue, but as long as it's not inflammatory, I think it's everyone's right to be heard.
    I recently watched a debate ("Is the Catholic Church a force for Good in this world?") on youtube, and The Bishop of Zimbabwe and Anne Widdecombe (retired Conservative Politician and a big noise in the Christian cause) was naturally Pro, and Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens were against.
    One of the comments under the video really tickled me. "Huh, so much for Hitchens and Fry being against murder. Hypocrites. they absolutely slaughtered their opponents...!"

    Fry was outspoken, passionate and emotional. And he and Hitchens won by an absolute landslide.
    So passion and a resolute stance can sway the day, when you have an audience that is willing to listen and weigh up the arguments. But when the arguments are that good, who's not to be swayed...?

    lobster
  • I just ignore it like unless they are famous for that reason or something similar who cares what their religion or political thing is. I don't like when ppl gobble up what a celebrity says but then again the celebrity is free to say whatever they like.

    HozanKundo
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We're can either engage in discussion or ignore it. What a celebrity says usually doesn't affect us plebs anyway lol

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited December 2018

    IMO I think it is better when celebrities speak through their actions rather than their words, or at least back up their words by their actions. I think of people like George Clooney or Angelina Jolie, they actually get involved and make a difference much more than making political statements. Then on the occasions that they do say something their words carry a lot of weight.

    If they haven't done the work then from a logic point of view what they are doing when voicing their opinion is really just like the logical fallacy of argument from authority. In reality their opinion on events holds no more weight than anyone else's, but they try to use their celebrity status to add weight to their words.

    What I get a kick out of in the whole celebrity politics game is when each side grabs on and celebrates something a celebrity says when its for their side, but totally tries to downplay celebrity opinions as completely unimportant and stupid celebrity stuff when it is for the other side. My Facebook FOX newsfeed is notorious at this, they are constantly pillorying Rosie O'Donnell or something someone said at an award show or sending ad hominems at "overpaid, spoiled adults, playing a children's game" athletes when they offer an opinion. IMO the right is worse at it but the left does it too, I'm thinking of Kanye West's recent flirtation with Trump.

    HozanKundoBuddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I think we are all entitled to our opinion on anything, including religion, and the fact of not espousing a certain religion does not take away our right to have a say on it nor be critical of it, especially if our opinion is well grounded and based on facts.

    As an atheist, I love Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais's witty quips on the contradictions and absurdities of the mechanics of believing.

    I have Catholic friends who get miffed at me giving an opinion on the Bible, and I recently got unfriended by a Jewish friend for not agreeing with their take on religion.

    When we come to the point where we allow our beliefs to render us intolerant and inflexible and interfere in our human interactions, then it's time to seriously question the logic of our beliefs or the way we go about believing.

    I think it's good that Natalie Portman, being herself Jewish, is open-minded enough not to be blinded to the darker side of her religion.
    What is really wrong, is people never questioning their beliefs.
    Whether they are famous or not.

    nakazcidHozanlobster
  • Independent objectivity. ??‍♀️

    In other words, I try and listen to what is said rather than the saucy source. Most of us are susceptible, I certainly am, to celebrity/siddha/religious sorcery. ??‍♀️

    My mental and emotional faculties need independent training in how to think, focus and be objective rather than samsara spellbound. o:)

    Ideally I like to chew mindfully, rather than gape and gulp. ???

    I knew there was a plan! ???

    HozanBuddhadragon
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2018

    I don't really look towards celebrities for political or spiritual leadership, but it's always nice to know where people stand and what they think. Sometimes they're very insightful. And celebrities have a platform they can use to speak their mind and amplify other voices, which I can't fault them for using. I may not always agree with their politics or spiritual POV, but I think they have every right to express them.

    P.S. In this case, I agree with Natalie Portman.

    KundoHozanBuddhadragonKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    We certainly can get our knickers in a twist.
    As anyone who knows me will know, I keep my head and neck out of politics AND religion as far as I am able to, because I know both paths are fraught with danger, land-mines, controversy and argument.
    That's not to say I hide my head in the sand. I know there are different sides to every story, and if we are honest and candid, whether we agree or not, everyone has a point. There is both validity and rationale, within every passionate heartbeat, no matter which "side" it's on.

    I was recently unfriended by someone, because of my reluctance to get involved in an affray that had never involved me in the first place. So angry, indignant, passionate and voluble were they, they failed to see that it was their indignation and obvious and insistent affront that was the problem, not their PoV. They just couldn't let it lie, and when I refused to be drawn in and side with them, rather than the object of their initial discord, I was unfriended. (I thought I had been blocked, but at the end of the day, what is the difference, exactly, either way? I thought it quite funny actually...)
    As I said, knickers get twisted, and for what, precisely?

    Every day is one day less.
    I'm very much on the path of 'fetch water, chop wood'. Before, after, we still get to do the chores...
    Whatever happens out there, what happens in here is what I have to account to myself, for...

    There is far more that I can affect and act on, close to home, than I can do in a Political sense.
    "Think Global, act Local" is a sound piece of advice.

    nakazcidlobsterperson
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Funny, someone who unfriended me recently tried to send me a message. Not sure I want to respond at this point.

    Anywho, @federica I've always felt it's better to not to get drawn into pointless drama. And I also avoid politics and religion, except with friends who I know can accept differing viewpoints.

    federicalobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Precisely so. @nakazcid . It's perfectly possible for people to agree to differ. I personally feel a real friendship is when friends can see right through each other, but still appreciate the show.

    Ya know, for someone who is so open and honest about their mental issues, you are extremely level-headed, sensible and altruistic on all levels! Bless you! <3

    lobsternakazcidKundo
  • @nakazcid said:

    @federica said:
    Ya know, for someone who is so open and honest about their mental issues

    Firstly, thanks for the kind words. It means a lot to me. I don't get to hear that often enough.

    As to being open and honest about my issues, I'm very secretive about it in "real life." Stigma, ya know. But I figure if I'm going to make progress on my flaws, it's better to put them out there and get advice and suggestions, preferably with a dharmic slant.

    Well you should hear it more often! I'll second what was said above. You are awesome @nakazcid ! Great to have you as a friend!
    P.S You have great taste in music too.

    Buddhadragonnakazcid
  • I feel the debate @federica mentioned, especially Stephen Fry's speech very interesting for its transformative effect.

    So the question of platform is what someone does with it, not who they are ... Some have t-Rump sized ripples and some start with themself and their immediate pleb puddle ...

    We all have the flaws that @nakazcid mentions, even the airbrushed celebs ...

    Be kind to ourselves. That is something to celebrate ... <3

    HozannakazcidBuddhadragonperson
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @nakazcid said:
    Funny, someone who unfriended me recently tried to send me a message. Not sure I want to respond at this point.

    Anywho, @federica I've always felt it's better to not to get drawn into pointless drama. And I also avoid politics and religion, except with friends who I know can accept differing viewpoints.

    This is probably food for another thread focused on human interrelations, but since we are at it, sometimes you don't know who the friends who accept differing viewpoints are, @nakazcid, until they suddenly unfriend you.
    I have been stumped by all the foibles I would take from my friends, only to find how intolerant of difference they would turn out to be when the situation was reversed for them to be as understanding as I was.

    I have friends from all walks of life, all sorts of religious and political beliefs and people I have absolutely nothing in common with, except the bond of friendship love and care.
    I do not expect my friends to think remotely like me nor share my interests and passions.
    But the limit for me lies in toxic behaviour.

    There are people who will not see you for who you are, but will project their own personal negative issues on you.
    People who treat you meanly because they cannot see you beyond the lenses of their own prejudices and biases.
    When your good is not good enough or too good, when you embody what they are not able to accept in themselves, or when they are simply too dogmatic to take in digression.

    THESE are what we call toxic people, and THESE are the people we need to ban from our lives.

    If the case with this former friend belongs in the latter, @nakazcid, by no means take them back into your life.
    They will always find something to object with you for the simple reason that they are not at peace with themselves...

    And as people have mentioned above and I share that viewpoint hundred percent: you are too good a hell of a person to buy into someone else's neurotic behaviour.
    ❤️?

    Hozannakazcidperson
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I feel the debate @federica mentioned, especially Stephen Fry's speech very interesting for its transformative effect.

    Celebrities do have a platform, and the best of them do try to use it for ‘transformative effect’, which I think is the best you can aim for. For example I respect Richard Gere for his stance on Buddhism. But luckily most celebs don’t try to be too ‘loud’ about it, they tend to avoid controversy or tainting their image.

    It becomes more difficult when it’s someone like Sam Harris or Ayaan Hirsi Ali talking about Islam. Everybody is allowed an opinion, but things like the uk’s incitement laws do exist for a reason. And you could argue that some internet trolls and opinion makers on Twitter on purpose seek to court controversy.

    PS. Like @jason I agree with Natalie Portman on the original question.

    Hozanlobster
  • @Kerome said:

    @lobster said:
    I feel the debate @federica mentioned, especially Stephen Fry's speech very interesting for its transformative effect.

    Celebrities do have a platform, and the best of them do try to use it for ‘transformative effect’, which I think is the best you can aim for. For example I respect Richard Gere for his stance on Buddhism. But luckily most celebs don’t try to be too ‘loud’ about it, they tend to avoid controversy or tainting their image.

    It becomes more difficult when it’s someone like Sam Harris or Ayaan Hirsi Ali talking about Islam. Everybody is allowed an opinion, but things like the uk’s incitement laws do exist for a reason. And you could argue that some internet trolls and opinion makers on Twitter on purpose seek to court controversy.

    PS. Like @jason I agree with Natalie Portman on the original question.

    Like both @Jason and @Kerome I also agree with Natalie Portman.

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