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Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

I just read a fascinating story in the New York Times discussing the possibility that Jesus was married based on the probable authenticity of a recently uncovered papyrus.

If this is true, what does it mean? Why is the possibility that Jesus wasn’t celibate so threatening to some of the article’s detractors? (Some immediately dismiss it; others assert that “wife” simply means “the Church?”.)

Edit: moments after posting this, the story mysteriously disappeared from the NYT blog. I’ve changed the first link above to point to a similar story at NPR.

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…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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Would Jesus read Harry Potter? It’s hard to say.

Would He rather that some who follow Him focus their efforts on something more constructive than going to great lengths to vilify it, like living His example of charity and compassion instead? Probably.

I continue to be dumbfounded by Fundamentalist Christians who insist that Harry Potter is the harbinger of the “End Times.” It’s risen to a level of ridiculousness over the years that can only be described as comical. Especially entertaining is the Fundies’ enduring argument that “Harry Potter teaches kids Witchcraft.” J.K. Rowling’s books are literary treasures – engaging and entertaining – but the magic worked within them bears no resemblance to Witchcraft. Those that think it does, whether Neo-Pagan or Christian, are mistaking fantasy for reality. 

Like I asked in my comments on this silly post, do these people honestly have no better way to spend their time and energy than to dig for meaning in books that isn’t really there, and to vilify everything that doesn’t conform to their myopic view of reality?

Here’s another question – how many of these wing nuts have actually read the books they’re so hell-bent on condemning?

These folks would’ve LOVED living in Nazi Germany, where book burning was common practice. Or how about in modern communist China, where the government decides what people read and what they don’t?! (Guess what Fundies – the Bible is not on the approved list of literature!)

If these pious religious zealots had the power to pull it off, I’m sure they’d happily ban the Harry Potter books here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. (Thank GOD this is not the case.) But what’s so plain to me seems to completely elude them: if they actually achieved the power to censor, some other political interest – one perhaps not sympathetic to Christianity – would eventually wrest that power from them. What if this new group decided to ban their Bible? Then they’d really see their “End Times!”

Censorship is not good! If you value the freedom to read what you choose, it’s only logical to support everyone else’s choice to do the same. Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?

Here’s a very simple solution for Fundies who find themselves embroiled in this oh-so-dire moral dilemma:

DON’T … READ … THE … BOOKS!

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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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