This is also the same reason that you rarely see a professional photographer shooting in fully automatic mode on their camera. People do better work than computers on most complex activities if they have sufficient knowledge, skill and experience.
Yes, the reason is because if you know what you are doing, the automatic system may interfere with your needs when it misreads a situation. At a level more people can understand, this is similar to automatic vs manual transmission. Most people prefer the convenience of automatic transmission, however it is a) added complexity and b) does not respond to situations as well as a driver who knows how to use a manual transmission well. I won't touch any car for anything more than a rental if it doesn't have manual transmission and the ability to turn off any driver assist functionality that may interfere with my ability to handle the car safely. I normally leave things like traction control and stability control on, however under certain rare circumstances, they are a threat rather than an aid.
Well I get unlimited data for buying an unlocked phone. That works out to saving about $60 a month.
The cake is a lie!
It's certainly present largely in both. It has just been my experience that Catholics (being biggest fish around) get the most of them, but it also depends on where abouts you are I suppose and when locally Catholic isn't the big dog, then the roles may be reversed. Either way, my point is that it isn't the religion but the culture that is responsible for the issue.
Thanks for sharing, yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about with people who have a cultural affiliation but don't really know what there views are or how they differ from others. I personally agree with your parents that Mormons are not Christians though as there are key and critical theological differences there. It is really hard to explain the differences in how critical parts of theology are though, particularly since the level of criticality of some elements is different for different groups. The most core points are pretty consistent though.
That largely comes from the fact that "Catholic" individuals frequently have nothing but religion rather than faith. In fairness though, this is not really the Catholic church's fault. They are the big dog, so they attract the most cultural identification without any actual belief or practice. Thus you may have a country that is 95% Catholic, but in many cases as few as 5% or less actually attend church. That's a huge group of people that isn't reached. My church supports a church plant in Italy for exactly that reason, even though it is "hugely catholic" it is effectively post-Christian because there is no actual involvement with any church (including the Roman Catholic church).
Historically, yes, the reason for breaking off from the Catholic church was widespread corruption within the church where priests were selling things instead of behaving in a Godly manner. This has largely been rectified by the Catholic church in more recent times though. It is true however, that it is far more difficult for a Catholic to see protestants as saved than the other way around. It's a bit more complicated than you make it out to be though as the basic foundation still comes from Christ and belief in him. A lot of that is probably questions better asked of a strongly practicing Catholic (which I am not, nor have I ever been). I only know what I have picked up from conversations with Catholic friends on the subjects.
As far as religion having no place in government, you won't get any argument from me. I don't think that a law should be forbidden just because it happens to correspond with a religious morality, so long as it is truly the majority view, though personally, I always vote towards letting people do what they want so long as it doesn't demonstrateably harm someone other than themselves (or willing participants with them).
My point was simply that the vast majority of Christians are not as divided as the original post seemed to indicate. There are people on the extremes in most of them, but if you look, particularly at those who are deeply theologically involved, you will find much less disagreement than might culturally be stoked for reasons of personal power or cultural superiority. As in most things (not just religion) those who are always the most aggressive against those who disagree are those who are either weak in their views or power hungry. That isn't a religion thing, its a human thing and it applies to any divisions.
Note that I also am not advocating that the US is "Christian" or should be. Personally, I don't think the government and religion should be crossed. It's a little more questionable when laws based on morality come in to the picture, but I tend to be very much against "moral" laws that can't demonstrate harm to someone other than the person doing it. Religion and politics do not mix well because those who seek power will abuse religion to get what they want. I elude to that in another one of my posts and this is also where much of the infighting has come from.
There is no Biblical basis (new testament anyway) for violent acts against someone for being a heretic, so therefore the only way to come to that conclusion is that it is an erosion of your power base and therefore a threat to be attacked. You even see this today with the "Christian" politicians who fear-monger up followers by saying all sorts of bad things will happen if they don't get their way.
Sorry, one last thought, as a real world example, check out Christianity on Stack Exchange some time. We've actually got people from all of those and we have quite interesting conversations on topics such as those, but also none of us think the others aren't Christian, just that we think they may be mistaken about some minor issues.
Also, to respond to your other points, issues like birth control, evolution, drinking & dancing, to some extent literal Biblical interpretation, guns, gay marriage (to an extent) and most other political hot topics are outlier issues that are not of core theological importance. Core theological issues are things like core nature of God and means of salvation. These core foundations are represented in things like the Apostles and Naciean(sp?) creeds. Departure from those core views will get you branded as heretical by the vast majority of mainline Christian denominations and staying within them is good enough to considered to have a saving faith by most. The rest is just minor details that have an impact on how we live our lives, but not on who is "actually" Christian (ie, saved).
That's true that there are very fundamental differences in how they see the structure and role of the church, however the means of salvation remains consistent in both. Much of the fighting is the same as it is today, it comes from politicians attaching themselves to the church (or at times abuse of the church when politics and the church were one and the same). The views of both groups are not that fundamentally at odds even if the practices and minor points have considerable differences. Most conflicts between the groups were about power or revenge, neither is related to theology.
That is why I put in the part about having to understand their beliefs. Personally, I'm protestant, but the actual orthodox Catholic view is that Saints should not be worshiped but rather that they intercede on behalf of the person praying to them. They don't have any power or honor beyond being a hero of the faith so to speak. It does end up leading to (what I see as a minorly incorrect view) that their being "better" Christians results in God listening to them more, but it isn't idol or saint worship if properly following formal Catholic beliefs.
Yeah, sorry, my bad. I just repeated the list that the previous poster mentioned. I don't think they belonged in the list after all.