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Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

…for hastening the demise of mainstream evangelical Christianity.

As more Christians realize the extent of your arrogance, insensitivity, righteousness, and general asshattery, many will undoubtedly hasten to distance themselves from you and your rhetoric. If I were a Christian, I’d certainly be embarrassed to be associated with you.

[The earthquake in Haiti] may be a blessing in disguise.

Would you say the same if someone you love was there at the time of the quake, still missing and likely buried under rubble?

[The Haitians] made a pact with the devil, [and] have been cursed ever since.

You’re a jackass, Pat Robertson. You’re insulated by wealth and privilege and are completely out of touch with reality as a result.

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Many people speak of unconditional love but rarely live it. Instead, when they see a condition that causes them to feel negative emotions, they demand a change in the condition; but in doing so, they set themselves on a long and uncomfortable path of attempting to control others in order to feel good.

When controlling others is necessary in order for you to feel good, you must confine yourself to a very small world over which you can gain control, and then you must give more time and energy than you possess to this impossible effort.

–The Teachings of Abraham in the book The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Neo-Conservatives/Christ-Cons may not be the only who “attempt to control others in order to feel good,” but they’ve certainly been the most visible. They’ve been losing the Culture Wars for decades by refusing to recognize the truth in the statements above. Until they replace their dogged determination to control with completely unconditional love, they will continue to experience anger, sorrow, and fear as they watch the world progress beyond their subjective views of morality.

Women will never lose the right to choose. State legislatures will continue to recognize equal rights for lesbians and gays. The world will never work exactly how the Neo-Cons think it should (thank God). When they accept these things and recognize that the doctrine they follow is just as fallible as they are, maybe then they’ll emerge from their “very small worlds” and turn their focus to living their own lives.

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Both the Christian and secular media worlds are ablaze as Jon Meacham’s article The End of Christian America makes its rounds.

From the blogosphere this morning:

Well, I thought of the wrath God must feel for those arrogant blasphemers who reject His law and I also thought about how righteous His judgement will be.

Shotgun Smith on his response to “some woman in Australia who thought that the death of Christianity was undoubtedly a good thing.”

The Decline and Fall of Christian AmericaEasy there, turbo. I’m guessing you didn’t read the entire article, as I suspect many of your Christian brethren won’t. To say the article is about the “death of Christianity” is incorrect and a bit pessimistic.

From page 36: “Let’s be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated.”

The article actually discusses the decline of Christianity in our country and theorizes that this has occurred due to the lack of distinction between church and state.

While arguing that the influence of either too much secularism or too much religion creates imbalance in the political system, Meacham reminds the reader that “As crucial as religion has been and is to the life of the nation, America’s unifying force has never been a specific faith, but a commitment to freedom – not least freedom of conscience.” In simpler terms, our Founding Fathers neither envisioned nor intended to create America as a strictly Christian Nation, but rather as one in which each citizen had freedom and liberty.

I infer from this that the author sees a correlation between Christianity’s decline and how religious conservatives have long used politics to force their morals and values on the public. It’s easy to see why secular society, resenting attempts by Christian political leaders to forcibly remove Constitutional liberties (a woman’s right to choose, the right of same-sex couples to wed, the need for stem cell research funding, etc.) would want to distance itself from Christianity.

I also speculate that though they may never realize it, the Christ-Con’s sole saving grace is their failure to accomplish their over-arching aim: to rebuild the bulwark of 1950’s Christian America. Had they succeeded in stamping out all beliefs and practices that don’t coincide with their own, it wouldn’t be long before another group rose to power and did the same to them. And schadenfreude aside, that would be a bad for us all.

 

Oppression of anyone is oppression of everyone.
–Stevie Wonder

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The wise have long attested to the power of laughter to strengthen the spirit and dissolve negativity.

Have a look at these, then have a good laugh.

And the Christ-Cons wonder why:

The Decline and Fall of Christian America

 

Video source: YouTube via Blueollie

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Iowa is now the third state in the U.S. to affirm the basic human dignity of committed lesbian and gay couples by recognizing their right to marry. Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady deserves commendation at the highest level for recognizing and acting upon the need to strengthen the separation between church and state.

The beauty and sanctity of religion is diminished when it’s used to hurt people. Until they “get” this, evangelical Christians will continue to witness an exodus from their ranks and the crumbling of their antiquated institution.

How would Jesus feel about these signs? Would he agree they further his messages of love, charity, and forgiveness? I doubt it, somehow.

Source: The Des Moines Register

Anti-gay rights protestersAnti-gay protest sign

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Anyone who knows me or visits this site probably realizes that my personal “holy war” isn’t (and has never been) with Jesus Christ – it’s been with some who profess to follow him. And though time is starting to wear down my sharper corners, I can’t pass up the opportunity to gleefully point out the two most recent bricks being removed from the crumbling wall of Fundamentalist Christianity: legally sanctioned gay marriage in California and the discovery of three earth-like planets in a distant galaxy.

Though the people who could benefit most from reading this probably won’t ever visit this site, I’m going to write it anyway.

Your town, your state, your country, your world, and your Universe are all much bigger and more diverse than you realize. All That Is does not begin and end with your Bible and the subjective, selective view of morality you claim it has instilled in you.

Will you go to your Bible for answers when intelligent life is discovered on one of these “Super-Earths?” Probably. Will you find them?

If you don’t, where will that leave you? Will you, like those who’ve gone before you, simply resolve to label anything as “From the Pit” if your Bible doesn’t say it’s “From the Mount?”

Have you already gone to your Bible today, looking for an answer to why God would allow something as disgusting and morally reprehensible as the passing of a law that recognizes lesbians and gays as actual human beings?

Your religion is broken, and it’s robbing you of peace, power, and perspective. It’s convinced you that the Universe and all within it conform to the limitations and conventions of the human mind.

Wake up! Just because you don’t understand something does not mean it’s wrong or evil, regardless of what your Bible says. If you choose to continue denying this, be forewarned – things are not going to get any easier for you.

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Is it possible?

In the shadow of this rhetoric exists a far more important question: “Can true compassion and judgment co-exist?”

My answer is no, they cannot.

After graduating high school in 1994, I spent six months volunteering for an organization called Community Service Volunteers in London, England. When I wasn’t working with the four young men with Downs Syndrome to whom I’d been assigned, I traveled as much as I could – though lack of time and money often kept me in or around the city. Subways and trains became my lifelines – they were inexpensive and could get me almost anywhere. One day shortly after arriving I saw a woman holding her baby near a subway stop, asking those who passed for change. For several seconds I stood in awe, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. I quickly decided to give her everything I had, including a half-eaten chocolate bar. It took me a long time to shake the image of her begging for money to feed her baby.

As time went on I frequently passed through this particular station on my way to other places. Time and again I would see her in the same spot asking for change, usually with her baby. I started wondering if she was choosing to remain there instead of taking other steps to better her and her child’s lives. I steadily became bitter as I noticed the same pattern with others in different places – standing in the same spot day after day, asking for money. Were they consciously choosing to live this way? If so, why? Why didn’t they want to improve themselves and live a better life? I became indignant, and resolved that none of these people would get any more handouts from me.

This morning while on my way to work I saw the same man I always see, wrapped in tattered blankets and sleeping under an awning. As I passed him I felt that pang in my heart again – the same one I felt when I first saw the woman holding her child in the London subway. Then I realized something…

Judgment and compassion are like oil and water – they just don’t mix. I can either sit in judgment of this man, telling myself he has no one to blame for his life but himself, or I can simply have compassion for him. I can’t do both. Why does it matter whether he chooses to live this way or not? If I place conditions on when and why I’m compassionate, am I ever showing true compassion? Does the former empower me and enable peace, or rob my power by making me reactive?

This realization has shown me why “hating the sin but not the sinner” is not possible. Those fond of using this trendy evangelical maxim would likely disagree – but my compassion isn’t conditioned on their agreement.

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