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(Patheos)   "The Bible Belt is collapsing," Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Religious Liberty Commission. "We are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority"   (patheos.com) divider line 167
    More: Interesting, Russell Moore, Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, Liberty Commission, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition, liberty  
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6765 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2013 at 3:01 PM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-21 10:25:40 AM
43 votes:
They never were moral.  Or a majority.
2013-08-21 10:23:43 AM
39 votes:
He misspelled 'pathetic'.
2013-08-21 10:33:31 AM
17 votes:
When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.
2013-08-21 01:36:43 PM
12 votes:

Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss

That's always been there. But the lack of information dissemination prior to the 20th Century left a lot of that alone.

Not as much as you'd think. Religious upheavals and schisms have existed long before the invention of the Internet. It might move a bit faster these days but not as much as you'd think.

I think the problem isn't so much communication as it is that modern Christianity has lost its focus. Are they spiritual leaders who act as a focus for the divine on earth or are they a well funded lobbyist organization with oodles of tax free money? Most of what I see from Christians in this country says they're lobbyists and activists, not spiritual trailblazers in the eternal quest for the divine.

Maybe it's time for evangelicals to fall. Maybe they've had their time. I'm pagan so I sort of h ave to believe in cycles. Maybe it's time for Christian churches to lie fallow until the wheel turns again.


The thing is, the fastest growing ministry in the US aren't an Evengelical ministry, but Unitarian-Universalists. A fair number of folks are returning to churches as they grow older, have kids, and want that environment for their kids, and what they don't want, are a bunch of hate filled, mean spirited souls around them and their kids. So, the power of the Evengelicals is waning as other churches, and more progressive churches rise. This, of course, translates to lost revenue, and thus the push for MOAR revivals, MOAR heated rhetoric, to bring those dollars in, and a ramping up of the Prosperity Gospel, in order to keep folks hooked, and looking to be "under fire" and "under attack" and at "war" with your own government and communities is a way to get a foxhole mentality with parishioners, so that they don't stop and consider. It is less about Jesus and his message, than con men looking to keep the rubes on the hook, and that is the real tragedy. That folks are being manipulated to feeling threatened by their religious leaders to keeping dollars rolling, as opposed to actually fulfilling their role as a conscience for their communities.

Folks are less worried about the word of the Lord, than they are the dollars in their bank accounts, and how much power that they can swing. It's being addicted to the game, not the results, and that is the sad thing, because not all folks of faith are interested in such, and their voices are drowned out by the Idiot Brigade looking to be angry about some outrage, as opposed to the message and Word...
2013-08-21 11:14:33 AM
10 votes:
funnycatwallpapers.com
2013-08-21 01:08:24 PM
9 votes:
cafewitteveen.files.wordpress.com

Obligatory

/and very true
2013-08-21 10:34:52 AM
9 votes:

Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.


Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.
2013-08-21 10:39:55 AM
8 votes:

cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.


Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.
2013-08-21 01:10:55 PM
6 votes:

cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss

That's always been there. But the lack of information dissemination prior to the 20th Century left a lot of that alone.


Not as much as you'd think. Religious upheavals and schisms have existed long before the invention of the Internet. It might move a bit faster these days but not as much as you'd think.

I think the problem isn't so much communication as it is that modern Christianity has lost its focus. Are they spiritual leaders who act as a focus for the divine on earth or are they a well funded lobbyist organization with oodles of tax free money? Most of what I see from Christians in this country says they're lobbyists and activists, not spiritual trailblazers in the eternal quest for the divine.

Maybe it's time for evangelicals to fall. Maybe they've had their time. I'm pagan so I sort of h ave to believe in cycles. Maybe it's time for Christian churches to lie fallow until the wheel turns again.
2013-08-21 04:17:41 PM
5 votes:
From the comments:

"From my experience, for whatever it's worth, you're mischaracterizing the Moral Majority's goals. Theydid seek to create a more moral (and thereby more Christian) society. Again, whether you agree with their particular vision of Christian or moral society, I don't know why this goal is problematic."

This is why religious fundamentalism is evil. The guy can write it down -- even if you don't agree with our morals, you shouldn't have a problem with them being forced down your throat -- and be genuinely confused about what the problem is.  Religion damages brains.
2013-08-21 04:05:13 PM
5 votes:
The evangelical Christian Right didn't ask for my advice, and I'm sure they'd sooner slit their wrists than take advice from an atheist liberal homosexual. But I'm going to offer it anyway, and they're free to ignore it or continue calling me an abomination in Christ's eyes.

Ready?

Get back to basics. Start following the teachings of Jesus Christ. If that's too touchy-feely for you, temper it with some old fashioned Protestant work ethic. The catch is that you have to also live by whatever rules you try to impose on the rest of us. Go ahead and fight for the Ten Commandments to be hung in courtrooms. But that means you have to remove lying and infidelity from your bag of tricks. I might still disagree with you on a lot of things but I'd at least have grudging respect for you if you actually practiced what you're so eager to preach.

Or to say it much more simply, stop telling me you're a Christian. Show me.
2013-08-21 03:59:55 PM
5 votes:

JesseL: I've always wondered why the faithful are so intent on shaping secular law to match their morality. How can you have any kind of spiritual strength when every sinful act is punished as a crime in the material world? How can there be virtue in a world where being good and resisting temptation isn't even a choice? Shouldn't the word of God be sufficient promise of the rewards of obeying him and the consequences of straying?


To them, it's an offense to God that what 'He' says is a punishable sin isn't treated as such by the law.  Even though Jesus plainly established a difference between the two when he said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's."

If you want to get down to brass tacks, Jesus himself established the Separation of Church and State.
2013-08-21 03:49:21 PM
5 votes:
True of not, this is what these folks have always WANTED to believe.   The label "moral Majority" aside, the poltical appeal to evangelicals has ALWAYS been based on the premise that Christians (at least REAL Christians) were a small and persecuted minority in this country, one that had to stick together, no matter what or it was just a few short steps from being thrown to the lions again.

A objectively ridiculous as this may sound in a country where 90% of people self-identify as Christian, it really has been the core of their message for a long time.

  To them the world is a scary place controlled by lesbian feminist pagan witches who want to take over thier local school board and force their daughters to have unprotected sex and get abortions -which is why they HAVE to pack the local school board with true believers.  It's one where a cabal of "Scientists" which includes everyone with a PHD down to the local HS Chemistry teacher, are ALL working together on an evil plan to make stuff up about "evolution" and "climate change" just to cause true beilievers to doubt their faith. Presumably so they can boast of their sucesses while drinking the blood of innocents at their annual "hail, Satan " conventions.  It's a world where, despite that they not only don't know any Muslims personally, or even know anybody who knows one, they have to live in constant fear that Sharia Law will be imposed on them and they'll all be forced to wear burkhas (even the men) unless they can elect that one good Christian man from thier district who has vowed to put a stop to it single-handedly
2013-08-21 01:36:44 PM
5 votes:

Lando Lincoln: Christians that lambaste poor people are sick in the head, and are the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.


The poor and the sick have fallen out of God's favor.  They are punished for not deferring to their moral superiors - God's chosen - in all things.

The modern American Evangelical thinks the core teachings of Christianity are quaint and outdated.  And that sort of ties into hubiestubert's comment on hypocrisy.  They aren't hypocritical when they cheat on their spouses, or steal, or even moral.  They are simply flawed and experiencing small missteps in their fulfillment of God's plan for them as His chosen.

Pretty tidy, huh?
2013-08-21 01:27:35 PM
5 votes:
Maybe when you keep pardoning and apologizing for folks who are stealing, committing adultery, and supporting the actions of those who commit violence upon their brothers, and seek to keep your brethren and sistren from having the same rights that you enjoy, people notice?

Hypocrisy is part of the issue. You can't preach peace and love, and then support war and hate...
2013-08-21 11:13:20 AM
5 votes:

Solkar: I still go to a Southern Baptist church, but I couldn't agree more with the above statements. The biggest thing I like about my current pastor, though, is that he keeps politics out of his sermons. That's not common anymore.


I couldn't participate to an organization that actively supports discrimination against GLBTs or anyone else.

But that's just me.
2013-08-21 05:01:05 PM
4 votes:
I thought the article contained some decent thoughts.  If you THINK you're a majority, you may believe that what passes for YOUR normal should be everyone's.  But if you decide you want to live a pious life that's right for YOU and concentrate JUST on you, maybe that leading by example thing may come to pass.

I don't believe in much of what they're selling - but if they just simply BELIEVE it, well, they can do that all they want.  In my opinion, if they focus on themselves and their relationship with their deity, it's no skin off my nose (unless that's part of their cult beliefs....).  And I think that the leaders of their cults SHOULD be constantly communicating with their followers on what they believe their beliefs should entail - and it should be sincere.  That's part of their job and belief - that they should be providing spiritual guidance to their followers - and how their faith should guide them in daily life.  I think their interpretation should NOT be guided by the mainstream - that it should be a sincere manifestation of how they believe they should live their lives in accordance with their precepts.

Where Catholicism lost me was when they didn't turn in every pedophile priest to the authorities. Where Christianity pushes me to the brink is their insistence that I have no idea of what is right for me - and those who don't practice what they preach - a lot of CINOs.  Oddly, most atheists I meet are almost as annoying with their chanting on the other side.  Odd how that information gets volunteered - I could care less.

I prefer to choose my own path...speak to your followers, not me.  When I want your spritual guidance, I'll seek YOU out.
2013-08-21 04:04:25 PM
4 votes:

severedtoe: that made shiver go down my back.


Then never read Jeff Sharlet's books.  You'll want to kill yourself.

Mark Sanford is the walking embodiment of their philosophies.  He's not a loser who cheated on his wife (against the law in SC BTW) and used state funds to it.  He's "chosen" and made a mistake on the way to fulfilling God's plan for him.  He's not a moral hypocrite - you just don't understand him and his divine destiny.

The vermin who comprise The Family can justify pretty much any evil.  Hell, they don't even care if you're Christian!  As long as you can help them see their plans to fruition.  Arm Muslim genocidal maniacs?  Sure!  It's all good if you're with God.  And you're with God if they say so.  They're his appointed bouncers.


Sharlet:  When I was working on that story, I remember debating how much Hitler we should put in the piece. That is, we wondered how fair it was to dwell on The Family's invocations of Hitler as a model of "total commitment." As it turns out, it was quite fair. After I left Ivanwald, a team of researchers and I spent years combing through hundreds of thousands of documents in archives around the country. We discovered that as far back as the 1940s, when The Family began organizing congressmen, the group's founder, Abraham Vereide, was praising Hitler's "youth work" as a model to be adopted by Americans.   He denounced Hitler himself, but he admired fascism's cultivation ofelites, crucial to what he saw as a God-ordained coming "age ofminority control."

The Family has put that concept, which they call "Jesus plus nothing," into action for decades, from their early successes fighting the New Deal in the 1930s and 40s to their recruitment of war criminals such as Herman J. Abs, known as "Hitler's banker," into postwar European leadership, to their facilitation of U.S. support for dictators ranging from Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti to Suharto of Indonesia to Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, now their "key man" for Africa. The fetish for strongman leadership has continued with Vereide's successor, Doug Coe, who leads the group today. Throughout his letters in the Billy Graham Center Archive at Wheaton College, I found references to the leadership model of Hitler. In one sermon, variations of which he's given many times, Coe says: "Jesus said 'You got to put Him before mother-father-brother-sister.' Hitler, Lenin, Mao, that's what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn't murder. It was for building the new nation. The new kingdom."


Source
2013-08-21 03:55:22 PM
4 votes:

simplicimus: Weaver95: Infernalist: Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?

A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

What I mean is that by now most reasonable people can and have spotted the flaws in prosperity gospel theology. It's essentially heresy after all. But is the decline of evangelical interest in mainstream society related to the rise of prosperity gospel theology....or is this decline due to a combination of factors?

I guess there's no way to really measure something like that. I just find it an interesting question to ponder.

One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).


The worship of wealth is not just limited to the Evangelical Prosperity Gospel.  It's in the heart of every religion that has paupers and beggars filling the pews of gold-plated churches.
2013-08-21 03:15:59 PM
4 votes:
Oblig:

i28.photobucket.com
2013-08-21 01:36:54 PM
4 votes:

hubiestubert: Maybe when you keep pardoning and apologizing for folks who are stealing, committing adultery, and supporting the actions of those who commit violence upon their brothers, and seek to keep your brethren and sistren from having the same rights that you enjoy, people notice?

Hypocrisy is part of the issue. You can't preach peace and love, and then support war and hate...


That's why I'm wondering if it's time the wheel turned and Christianity falls...not to be destroyed but to be renewed.
2013-08-21 08:02:04 PM
3 votes:

James10952001: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

This is pretty much it. We live in a deliberately secular nation, and attempts to thrust religion into national politics generates pushback from those who realize why this is a bad idea. I've always thought religion should be a private matter between an individual or group and the deity or deities of their choice. As soon as you endorse one particular religion officially, you are denying beliefs of everyone else. Our nation may have been founded on "Christian principals" whatever that means but we are NOT a Christian nation. The USA was founded by those fleeing exactly the sort of religious discrimination we now practice. Just how many politicians get anywhere without claiming to be Christian?


You'll see a black President, a woman President, and a gay President before you see an atheist President.
2013-08-21 07:35:22 PM
3 votes:

Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.


This is pretty much it. We live in a deliberately secular nation, and attempts to thrust religion into national politics generates pushback from those who realize why this is a bad idea. I've always thought religion should be a private matter between an individual or group and the deity or deities of their choice. As soon as you endorse one particular religion officially, you are denying beliefs of everyone else. Our nation may have been founded on "Christian principals" whatever that means but we are NOT a Christian nation. The USA was founded by those fleeing exactly the sort of religious discrimination we now practice. Just how many politicians get anywhere without claiming to be Christian?
2013-08-21 03:56:52 PM
3 votes:
One major problem is that "dress the kids up, get in the car, weekly Sunday churchgoing" is an intrinsically middle-class trait. In the category with voting and becoming Scoutmasters of your kids' troop.

Sure, lots of poor folks (especially old) are regular churchies.  Lots of really poor people are really loudly Christian Conservative, too.  But, a whole, whole lot, even the right-wing, don't actually get out of the trailer and go to church.  Catholicism offered something to the very poor years ago (a bit of razzle-dazzle back before TV), but the modern Southern Baptist prosperity gospel megachurch?  Isn't a terribly welcoming place for the down-on-their-luck.

The boom in southern megachurches coincided with the brief economic boom in the south.  That brief shining period when US industry figured out that they could make cars and carpet and telemarket and whatever with $8.50/hour non-union labor in the South, but before they figured out that anything they could do in Alabama they could do in China even cheaper.

During that brief spurt, the South had a burgeoning middle class.  That class has been foreclosed out of their Goodlettsville duplex and is back to just being old-fashioned working poor.
2013-08-21 03:56:23 PM
3 votes:
I've always wondered why the faithful are so intent on shaping secular law to match their morality. How can you have any kind of spiritual strength when every sinful act is punished as a crime in the material world? How can there be virtue in a world where being good and resisting temptation isn't even a choice? Shouldn't the word of God be sufficient promise of the rewards of obeying him and the consequences of straying?
2013-08-21 03:49:39 PM
3 votes:
1.bp.blogspot.com
2013-08-21 03:46:22 PM
3 votes:
Maybe if they were less "fire and brimstoney" and more "love thy neighbory", things would be different. By telling people who think differently they are heathens and all that is wrong with the world, you are not going to make any friends; much less have them join your church. Also there will be those in your church who see this condemnation of those who are different as hypocrisy, and choose to leave.

Wow, in a lot of ways it sounds like I described today's Republican Party also.
2013-08-21 03:40:52 PM
3 votes:

Weaver95: Infernalist: Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?

A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

What I mean is that by now most reasonable people can and have spotted the flaws in prosperity gospel theology. It's essentially heresy after all. But is the decline of evangelical interest in mainstream society related to the rise of prosperity gospel theology....or is this decline due to a combination of factors?

I guess there's no way to really measure something like that. I just find it an interesting question to ponder.


The 'greed' instinct is hardwired into our id.  It's one of our baser instincts.  It's why a dog will gulp his food down even when there's no other dogs around and there hasn't been for 10 years.  Instinct.

So, when that greed gets validated and encouraged by religious faith, well...It's going to draw in the baser elements of our society while simultaneously repulsing those who instinctively recognize it for what it is: The worship of money over anything else.

I'd say that the Prosperity Gospel has chased out a number of folk, myself included.  But, I also suspect that as time passes, all societies get less and less religious as the overall IQ increases.  There's less and less need to say "God did it" when your people can figure out the true reason.
2013-08-21 03:33:39 PM
3 votes:
Stopping by to make sure the claims in the subjective and adjective modifying the subject were adequately questioned respective to veracity of the claims.
/satisfied, leaving
2013-08-21 03:27:41 PM
3 votes:
It sounds like he's talking about needing to change so that believers are illustrating by how they live their lives... not by what they say.  That rather than lambast others, that christians should silently and unobtrusively live their lives according to their beliefs.  That by doing so those around them will perhaps start seeing the good that these beliefs (supposedly) bring and hence become more receptive.

And you know what?  I'm ok with that.
2013-08-21 03:15:59 PM
3 votes:

Bloody William: If you have to describe yourself as a prophet, you're either a lunatic or a shyster. It's bad enough to imply that you talk for god, but to say that you actively have the line on it? That's bullshiat.

I keep seeing blind faith in religion, but it's always religion filtered through people who are greatly flawed. Prophets are worthless liars. If any god has something to say, it should be said directly so the human element can't twist the message over hundreds of years. Christianity itself is mostly based on the writings of a misogynistic Greek sixty years after Jesus was crucified. These are not the words of god, this is a game of telephone thousands of years old that, if the message did come from god, has been twisted into an unrecognizable pile since then.


But if you distill the good from the bad, then it still has some value.  Turn the other cheek.  Love your neighbor.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you(masochists can ignore this one).  Forgive each other.  Be excellent to one another.

Party on, dudes.
2013-08-21 03:04:02 PM
3 votes:

Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.


You mean a lot of the things Martin Luther railed about in his 95 Theses six hundred years ago?

/history repeating itself
2013-08-21 01:32:09 PM
3 votes:
Christians that lambaste poor people are sick in the head, and are the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.
2013-08-21 01:11:23 PM
3 votes:
I think the "moral" part of that was just what they wanted to be.
Too many rich pastors in the Southern Baptist world to have any claim to morality.   Especially if that wealth comes from being a pastor.
2013-08-21 12:23:02 PM
3 votes:
It's high time we remove the Bible Belt and drop the Pants of Religion in this country. Only then can we be a free, upstanding people.
2013-08-21 11:04:40 AM
3 votes:

Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.


I still go to a Southern Baptist church, but I couldn't agree more with the above statements. The biggest thing I like about my current pastor, though, is that he keeps politics out of his sermons. That's not common anymore.
2013-08-21 10:35:49 AM
3 votes:
Bible rust belt.
2013-08-21 10:32:57 AM
3 votes:
Done in 1 and 2.
2013-08-22 04:45:32 PM
2 votes:

RobSeace: They'd need to explainwhy that matters; why it's bad for a marriage to be man+man or woman+woman instead of man+woman...


I should have also added the caveat that I am sure the authority of any argument they provide would be that it is "God's Word - because it's in the Bible." Which is entirely invalid for a debate:  "My authority comes from a volume of literature that I identify as sacred, but you don't"

I was actually involved in a judged debate when I was in high school, arguing that non-Christian religions are *valid*. The teacher ruled my argument the losing argument, because I was incapable of disputing the Bible verses used by the Pro-Christian side, which are gospel truth and thus indisputable.

That was at a public school in Northeast Ohio in the early nineties and nobody even batted an eye at that teacher's reasoning. I'm so grateful that I escaped.
2013-08-22 03:06:00 PM
2 votes:

Pangea: Gonz: Quick- give me an argument against gay marriage that wasn't also used against interracial marriage."

"That's different. You wouldn't understand."

I am very anti-Catholic and pro-gay marriage, but if your friend can't immediately answer that question with "a man and a woman," and you can't see that response coming before you finish conceiving of the question, maybe you're both just exceedingly terrible at debate.


That's not exactly a real argument of any kind, though... That's just pointing out the aspect of it that they don't like... They'd need to explain why that matters; why it's bad for a marriage to be man+man or woman+woman instead of man+woman... And, I suspect those explanations of why it's wrong will sound very similar to some of the ones slung around to explain why interracial marriage was supposedly wrong as well...  "Tradition", "Sanctity", etc...

However, one unique argument against it would be "Unable to create children together"... However, if that's a valid reason to forbid marriage, then we must no longer allow infertile people to get married either...

Another possibly unique argument would be that it's "Sinful" (though, I suspect at least some people tried to claim the same thing about marrying other races back in the day, as well)... But, that would only be according to a particular religion, if you even accept that it is there (and I see very little evidence that it actually is)... And, since we allow people of different religions to marry, I don't see how we can impose the rules of one particular religion on everyone... What's sinful in your religion might be required in my religion! So, it's certainly no logical basis to disallow marriage (the civil concept; any particular church can refuse to perform the ceremony if they disagree with it for whatever reason, of course)...
2013-08-21 09:37:04 PM
2 votes:

SanjiSasuke: the money is in the banana stand: SanjiSasuke: I'm bored so why not.
"So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"  -Richard Dawkins

Sure. Yes. If someone believes in fairies, why not? Because it seems silly to you? Your beliefs may be silly to me. Why impede the beliefs of others by forcing your own upon them? Its like a person who doesn't like baseball telling everyone to stop watching baseball, because the infield fly rule is silly, or he finds it boring. Don't like baseball/religion? Don't watch/practice it. Same for all his "everyone is a little atheist" stuff. Sure, I don't like hockey, but I still like baseball.

/not Christian, nor Abrahamic

However this line of thinking cannot be applied to everything. Because someone believes that having a sexual relationship with a child is ok does not make it right. When things enter into the "moral" territory, things get real tricky. There are no real compelling arguments on either side when it comes to laws being influenced by morality. Some may say that a person who is 16 should be old enough to drink because they can drive. Some may think that children at any age can drink. Some think this shouldn't be a law at all but the discretion of the parents. What in this case is "right"?

But I (and I would hope normal people) don't think allowing someone to be religious is 'wrong'. In the case shown there IS scientific evidence to go off of. From that a group of people can decide, should they wait until the brain is done developing or until 18/16 because that is what age we figure they should be able to decide for themselves.


AMEN! Sunday school is one of the absolute best ways to make children apathetic to Christianity. I knew the Bible stories front to back; legend and myth galore. I got out into the world, thinking I was saved. Then I saw the world as it really was, the struggle of the "publicans and sinners" as it were. Gay, poor, homeless, sick; the very people Christ commanded me to love and help. I was told to loathe them and that their misfortune was of their own doing. When my mom says "queer" you can feel the seething rage hissing out between the cracks of her teeth. (Thank God my dad is pretty middle-of-the-road.)

It would have been better off, by Christ's own words, for me to have not known about it all, so that I could come to understanding/ enlightenment on my own terms. (Of course, religions are all trying to do the same thing, but it all must be on your own terms.) That's where I have a lot of respect for the Amish. If their children leave, they aren't constantly shamed and guilt-tripped into returning. It's a given that parents will let their children chose, and they will live with it and accept it. They live by faith in that their beliefs are true, and that is exactly what Christ taught; not using manipulation of parent-child relationships to force beliefs. I've lived through faithless parenting, going to a Christian school, and I was way too smart and burnt out for their bullshiat. I finally stopped attending church after I heard the lay-preacher claim Obama was a Muslim.

I'm now an utterly lost individual. I'm reading the Fourth Way for crying out loud, working on my own theories about psychological and psychosomatic responses to faith and religion. I hope dearly I can find what I lost. Given the choice of returning to the flock to gain happiness and living as I am now, I cannot possibly recon the differences between fundamentalist beliefs and what Christ actually taught. It simply is not there. By their own admission Christ's teachings are so simple that a child can understand, yet their entire beliefs are founded on centuries of manipulative dogma which are not at all reconcilable to His teachings.

That's why I am a far-left commie. Because I am utterly convinced that's what Jesus instructed.
2013-08-21 08:01:53 PM
2 votes:

vpb: They never were moral.  Or a majority.


There's a correlation between false-consensus effect and racism.  I don't know offhand of any studies linking false-consensus effect with other forms of bigotry (such as homophobia or misogyny), but I speculate that there is, because it seems to be highly correlated with social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), both traits I imagine you find in abundance with the "Moral Majority" types.  Oh, and I would think it goes without saying, but just for the record, yes, I'm assuming that a lot of what the "Moral Majority" types believe can be described as homophobia or misogyny, or at least some kind of anti-feminism.

Anyway, all of that is to say that, the more bigoted a person is, the more likely they are to believe that they're part of a silent majority of people who think like them but aren't "brave" or "honest" enough to come out and say it --- because they're afraid of being "politically incorrect."

Again, certain specific examples of this are pretty well-documented.  Where I'm stepping away from established science and into wild-ass speculation is in imagining that it's a general thing that extends to all forms of bigotry.
2013-08-21 05:11:04 PM
2 votes:

Voiceofreason01: simplicimus: Voiceofreason01: simplicimus:
One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

Lutheran theology is that you are saved by God's Grace. ie you're not saved through acts or through the forgiveness of a priest(confession) or even through repentance.

Since most Lutherans I know are pretty nice people*, that would be a good counterpart to the "Christians only behave because they're afraid of hell" argument that pops up around here.
/* my step-daughter's husband is still an asshole
//Would still be, no matter what faith he was

I'm going to throw it out there that ELCA(Lutheran Church of America) is pretty liberal as far as Protestant Christianity goes and is(among other things) generally OK with GLBT folks.


You ought to save this stuff for the next Christian vs atheist thread.
2013-08-21 04:44:23 PM
2 votes:

Lawnchair: I know the 'reason' for church is supposedly God.  And it is. And it isn't.  It's about community. That's a big reason why Sunday morning is the most ethnically and economically segregated time in the country, good and bad. While I didn't end up an actual believer, I grew up pretty attached to a middle-class Methodist church of maybe 130 members, 80 or so on a boring Sunday.

Flipping through an old directory from when I left, 20 years back, I still know who most of those people were.  A lot of nostalgia (tied up in my parents being gone), but even as an atheist I do miss that. I'd seriously consider trying to raise a kid that way if I were able to have a kid (like my nearly atheist parents did for me). Having not grown up in the alternative, I'm not sure how that 'community' translates to megachurches. Is it like being a Steelers fan and you give someone a nod when you see the right bumper sticker? Not that there aren't tens of thousands of small Southern Baptist churches. Not that it feels like there's any great shortage of churches (they're bloody everywhere), but the megas sorta became the face of Protestantism in the last 20 years, and I'm not sure how how much people will keep affiliated with it.


The greek root for the English word Church translates to "the people"   Church, and I would argue oranzied religion itself, has always been about building a social ntework of people with whom you share values and beliefs to re-inforce those values and beliefs and sometime take collective action to help carry out those priciples (charities, food drives etc).

I'm raised Roman Catholic...praticing..I don;t know the hell what, with a fairly strong "faith" nonetheless.  My wife is somewhere between "spiritual" and agnostic, with Family experiences with raltives that cause her to despise the RC church.   As my son hit adolesence we found ourselves regularly attending a non-demoninational (and very apoltical) evangelical christian chruch because my son made contact with it through a "boy's night that his Youth League Football coach and youth minster of the Church threw.  We realized that there was important socialization and moral development we were dnying the kid by not letting him have the Church expereince, whetever our private reservations aboutit were and so settled on this church because the PEOPLE were warm and friendly and the Dogma was welcoming and never exclusionary or hate-filled
2013-08-21 04:40:39 PM
2 votes:

Voiceofreason01: simplicimus:
One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

Lutheran theology is that you are saved by God's Grace. ie you're not saved through acts or through the forgiveness of a priest(confession) or even through repentance.


Since most Lutherans I know are pretty nice people*, that would be a good counterpart to the "Christians only behave because they're afraid of hell" argument that pops up around here.
/* my step-daughter's husband is still an asshole
//Would still be, no matter what faith he was
2013-08-21 04:40:03 PM
2 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: dr_blasto: Gonz: On the bright side, the new Pope is driving him crazy. He's a Benedict XVI man, Francis isn't really his cup of tea at all.

I've seen quite a bit of the conservative Catholics, Benedict XVI fans all, quite concerned about the direction of their church. Of course, many of these people only give a shiat about gays and abortion and can't give a single fark about the rest of the Church positions.

I'm a recovering Catholic and I love the new pope. I still wonder what fancied the college that they picked him. When they announced the new pope was a jesuit my immediate thought was "well this is going to go over like a wet fart in church"


I'm not religious, spiritual or anything. But, I can say, this guy seems much more Jesus-y and close to the stated tenets of Christianity than any other Pope I've ever seen. Bendict XVI seemed almost the exact opposite. I am surprised they picked a Jesuit, but it really looks like they've picked the right guy.
2013-08-21 04:34:41 PM
2 votes:

dr_blasto: Gonz: On the bright side, the new Pope is driving him crazy. He's a Benedict XVI man, Francis isn't really his cup of tea at all.

I've seen quite a bit of the conservative Catholics, Benedict XVI fans all, quite concerned about the direction of their church. Of course, many of these people only give a shiat about gays and abortion and can't give a single fark about the rest of the Church positions.


It has been a little fun to watch the ultra-conservative Catholics I know (the ones who still think Vatican II was a bad idea and a passing fad) twist on a contruct of thier own making.  These are people who believe that catholicism requires blind obedience and agreement with the Pope (it doesn;t and never has) and have used that to hammer thier critics for years  ("Well the HOLY FATHER SAYS...so your argument is invalid, heretical, and probably sinful").  SO watching them confronted with a Pope Like Francis who in their eyes is so liberal he might as well be the spawn of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, whose nearly every decision they hate?  It has been ...amusing...to say the least
2013-08-21 04:18:30 PM
2 votes:
Weaver95: Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss.

Modern?

I think it was always there, it's just easier to dig beneath the surface in the information age.

// plus, heretics don't get burned as often these days
2013-08-21 04:17:54 PM
2 votes:

Infernalist: Magorn: namatad: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

meh
atheism started to become a NON-issue as a life choice long before the internet.
it was clear to me in grade school that the religious people were horrible example of how to live.
As I became educated, I left behind the imaginary beings of my childhood.
Easter Bunny, Zeus, Santa, god, satan, ...


"I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further." -dawkins

"Isn't it amazing, that the religion in which you were indoctrinated into for the first 18 years of your life just happens to be the correct one? How lucky each one of you are."

Which actually goes only to show what an utter prat Dawkins is.   Sure Fundamentalists exist of all stripes but most serious thoughtful people of faith I know tend to think that the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega of all creation is especailly chuffed at which human syllables are used when calling his name and that people of ALL faith who make a sincere effort to reach out to him make contact with the same divine,  and the tents of their particular religion are not so much enteral and universal truths, but a moral system the works for THEM personally

It sounds like they're just doing the moral thing and not even bothering to 'pick' a God to which to dedicate themselves to.  That's cheating if you ask me.

In all seriousness, all those serious thoughtful people of faith are just doing what most atheists do, just with the need to give the credit to a god figure.


That's not really a problem, then.

Actually, I'd say a good chunk of religious individuals (myself included) no longer fit to one particular religious dogma. It's not quite as simple as guys like Dawkins, Harris, et al like to make it.
2013-08-21 04:16:40 PM
2 votes:

Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?


They're the reason when someone hears the word Christian, the first thing that pops into mind is "anti-homosexual" or "bigot" and not "follower of Christ".
2013-08-21 04:16:34 PM
2 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: Actual religious people are on the decline but not in the way this jack ass thinks. The problem has and always will be that a very small minority represents (and wrongly I might add) the religious majority because they are the most vocal and outspoken. What's very unfortunate is that the majority are drowned out and those looking to join or even those in leave or never come because of that vocal minority's vitriol and fervor.

There are still a lot of good churches, pastors, fathers, faithful, etc.. out there and they are doing what Jesus commanded. Above no thing except love for God, you are to love your neighbor. The problem is that you never hear about them because jack wagon is standing in the corner screaming its the end of the world because of one thing or another.


Add to that the opposition will only point out the loonies and it is way more interesting to focus on the bad in the media than the good. It isn't a story to post a headline of "Minister is faithful to his wife," but it sure as hell a great scoop to post "Minister cheats on his wife with underage boy." Post enough of those bad articles and suddenly the perception is that all or most Ministers are this way. It's a shame really because the same thing happens in politics. Anyone or thing that becomes the target of the media is doomed. It is such an overwhelming damaging construct. You don't have to be good or righteous, you just have to make sure your opposition looks worse than you do. I am confident that I could win any sort of office not by having any true understanding or point of view on any issue, but just by lambasting my competition's point of view and calling them ugly mean poopheads.

The problem isn't so much crazies like in TFA, but moreso that massive amount of brainwashed retards that take what the media says and what "society says" as proof infallible.
2013-08-21 04:14:51 PM
2 votes:

Magorn: namatad: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

meh
atheism started to become a NON-issue as a life choice long before the internet.
it was clear to me in grade school that the religious people were horrible example of how to live.
As I became educated, I left behind the imaginary beings of my childhood.
Easter Bunny, Zeus, Santa, god, satan, ...


"I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further." -dawkins

"Isn't it amazing, that the religion in which you were indoctrinated into for the first 18 years of your life just happens to be the correct one? How lucky each one of you are."

Which actually goes only to show what an utter prat Dawkins is.   Sure Fundamentalists exist of all stripes but most serious thoughtful people of faith I know tend to think that the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega of all creation is especailly chuffed at which human syllables are used when calling his name and that people of ALL faith who make a sincere effort to reach out to him make contact with the same divine,  and the tents of their particular religion are not so much enteral and universal truths, but a moral system the works for THEM personally


It sounds like they're just doing the moral thing and not even bothering to 'pick' a God to which to dedicate themselves to.  That's cheating if you ask me.

In all seriousness, all those serious thoughtful people of faith are just doing what most atheists do, just with the need to give the credit to a god figure.
2013-08-21 04:11:46 PM
2 votes:
You mean denying evolution and pissing on LGBT rights didn't do any favors for the SBC?

Shocking.
2013-08-21 04:08:10 PM
2 votes:
Actual religious people are on the decline but not in the way this jack ass thinks. The problem has and always will be that a very small minority represents (and wrongly I might add) the religious majority because they are the most vocal and outspoken. What's very unfortunate is that the majority are drowned out and those looking to join or even those in leave or never come because of that vocal minority's vitriol and fervor.

There are still a lot of good churches, pastors, fathers, faithful, etc.. out there and they are doing what Jesus commanded. Above no thing except love for God, you are to love your neighbor. The problem is that you never hear about them because jack wagon is standing in the corner screaming its the end of the world because of one thing or another.
2013-08-21 04:00:29 PM
2 votes:

heavymetal: Maybe if they were less "fire and brimstoney" and more "love thy neighbory", things would be different. By telling people who think differently they are heathens and all that is wrong with the world, you are not going to make any friends; much less have them join your church. Also there will be those in your church who see this condemnation of those who are different as hypocrisy, and choose to leave.

Wow, in a lot of ways it sounds like I described today's Republican Party also.


It is by design. FARK linked some article years ago (that I have been unable to find, since) by this guy who worked for the president of some big seminary in Texas. His mentor told the story of, back in the early 50's, there was a double top secret meeting between GOP bosses and church leaders on the terribleness of communism. GOPers wanted to link with Christianity, but knew their ideology was completely unpalatable to Christians. So the seminary president came up with the idea, since we can't change Republicans, let's change Christianity, starting at the seminary level. Once these new pastors with the Right Way of thinking got out into the public, they could start shaping opinion and, by perverting teachings, make the GOP look ok.

/wish I could find that article :(
2013-08-21 03:29:12 PM
2 votes:

Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.


Instead of fixating on gays? Can't help but notice that in his talk about how his religion can be revived he still slips in several mentions of the gays. Dude, mind your own business and fix your own shiat.
2013-08-21 03:28:44 PM
2 votes:

Weisenheimer: Their position is suffering due to more and more people seeing that the existence of a God just doesn't make sense, and that many of their views are based purely on a 'because God says so.' In order to be seen as the source of Morality, they need to change their stance on not just GLBT issues, but several others as well, but they can't because their main tenant is "We Have The Truth."

Sadly, many people still believe that religion or God is the source of Morality, when in fact it's simply human empathy.


It's abdication of responsibility for your own morals.  It's a cowardly way to deal with moral conflict in your life.  Those that cling to religious mores and morals often do so because it's harder to stand up and say "No, I don't care what the Church says, birth control is not a sin, gays are not sinning by simply being gay and I'm done seeing 'thought-crime' as something to feel guilty over."
2013-08-21 03:25:57 PM
2 votes:
Their position is suffering due to more and more people seeing that the existence of a God just doesn't make sense, and that many of their views are based purely on a 'because God says so.' In order to be seen as the source of Morality, they need to change their stance on not just GLBT issues, but several others as well, but they can't because their main tenant is "We Have The Truth."

Sadly, many people still believe that religion or God is the source of Morality, when in fact it's simply human empathy.
2013-08-21 03:22:26 PM
2 votes:

purplegiraffe: Diogenes: Lando Lincoln: Christians that lambaste poor people are sick in the head, and are the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.

The poor and the sick have fallen out of God's favor.  They are punished for not deferring to their moral superiors - God's chosen - in all things.

The modern American Evangelical thinks the core teachings of Christianity are quaint and outdated.  And that sort of ties into hubiestubert's comment on hypocrisy.  They aren't hypocritical when they cheat on their spouses, or steal, or even moral.  They are simply flawed and experiencing small missteps in their fulfillment of God's plan for them as His chosen.

Pretty tidy, huh?

That, and the 'fact' that you wouldn't be poor or sick if you just BELIEVED hard enough - like they do!  See, thats why they have all the money, even if they cheat and steal and kill...


No, the Prosperity Gospel preaches that those that give the 'most' of what they can afford to give will be rewarded by God with even 'more' money.  It plays on the idea that those with the least to give and still manage to 'give' are seen by God as sacrificing for him.  He's impressed with their financial irresponsibility, you see.  And doesn't want to see them get their electric cut off, so he'll rain money down upon them before the 1st of the month.

And if he doesn't, then you plainly didn't impress him enough with your bribe.  Tithe.  I meant 'tithe'.
2013-08-21 03:22:02 PM
2 votes:
From the original WSJ article I couldn't link to:

Which is not to say that Mr. Moore wants evangelicals to "turn inward" and reject the larger U.S. culture. Rather, he wants to refocus the movement on serving as a religious example battling in the public square on "three core issues"-life, marriage and religious liberty.
...
Mr. Moore is also deeply involved in the evangelical adoption movement.
...
Mr. Moore says he hopes to make the ObamaCare mandate a major issue in the 2016 election. By then, it will have become clear how intrusive the health-care law has become, he says, and the American people will side with religious groups that protest having to act against their beliefs. "The separation of church and state," Mr. Moore says, "is not a liberal issue."


So the "three core issues"-life, marriage and religious liberty - where religious liberty is denying health-care to the poor.
Just like Jesus taught him.
2013-08-21 03:20:01 PM
2 votes:

Bloody William: Infernalist: Bloody William: If you have to describe yourself as a prophet, you're either a lunatic or a shyster. It's bad enough to imply that you talk for god, but to say that you actively have the line on it? That's bullshiat.

I keep seeing blind faith in religion, but it's always religion filtered through people who are greatly flawed. Prophets are worthless liars. If any god has something to say, it should be said directly so the human element can't twist the message over hundreds of years. Christianity itself is mostly based on the writings of a misogynistic Greek sixty years after Jesus was crucified. These are not the words of god, this is a game of telephone thousands of years old that, if the message did come from god, has been twisted into an unrecognizable pile since then.

But if you distill the good from the bad, then it still has some value.  Turn the other cheek.  Love your neighbor.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you(masochists can ignore this one).  Forgive each other.  Be excellent to one another.

Party on, dudes.

The more we separate morality from divinity, the better off we are. Yes, loving your neighbor and doing to others as you would ahve done unto you is important. It also should be a fundamentally moral issue without the empty promise that it was said by god or the threat of damnnation if you don't do it.


Yeah, it always amuses me when someone claims that without religion, people would be sociopaths because of the lack of damnation to scare them into being 'good'.  I always reply with "So, if you didn't have religion, you'd be another Ted Bundy?"
2013-08-21 03:13:11 PM
2 votes:
If you have to describe yourself as a prophet, you're either a lunatic or a shyster. It's bad enough to imply that you talk for god, but to say that you actively have the line on it? That's bullshiat.

I keep seeing blind faith in religion, but it's always religion filtered through people who are greatly flawed. Prophets are worthless liars. If any god has something to say, it should be said directly so the human element can't twist the message over hundreds of years. Christianity itself is mostly based on the writings of a misogynistic Greek sixty years after Jesus was crucified. These are not the words of god, this is a game of telephone thousands of years old that, if the message did come from god, has been twisted into an unrecognizable pile since then.
2013-08-21 03:10:57 PM
2 votes:
FTA  "We don't hate our gay and lesbian neighbors," he says, but redefining marriage on their behalf is another matter."

Translation:  "We don't hate our neighbors, but we'd like to deny them federal benefits.  Really, we're just saving them from suckling at the teat of big government, the way we do."

Also FTA  "There are a couple of reasons why Christians are losing the debate over gay marriage, Mr. Moore says. One is that even many Christians don't have a real understanding of what marriage is."

Ooh, I know this one!  Marriage is a sacred bond between a man, his wife, and their handmaid.
You know, like it says in the Bible.

/yay, threesomes
//WWJB?
2013-08-21 03:08:30 PM
2 votes:
From memory, sometime before the original  "Moral Majority" imploded, the "Immoral Minority" eventually closed up shop claiming that they couldn't compete with Jerry [Farwell's] kids in immorality.  Remaining funds were donated to the ACLU and presumably the Goodwill (or similar) got the leftover T-shirts.

I can't think of anybody competing with Ralph Reed's group.  Presumably nobody was immoral enough to think they had a chance.

/not a member
//was a kid at the time (when it started, more a teen by the fall of Jerry Falwell)
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-08-21 03:06:55 PM
2 votes:
the more they collapse, the more moral the country gets.

really.. these people are pathetic.
2013-08-21 03:06:44 PM
2 votes:
You never were the "Moral Majority".  Everyone else was simply scared of you and your violent, oppressive ways.
2013-08-21 01:43:47 PM
2 votes:

Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss

That's always been there. But the lack of information dissemination prior to the 20th Century left a lot of that alone.

Not as much as you'd think. Religious upheavals and schisms have existed long before the invention of the Internet. It might move a bit faster these days but not as much as you'd think.

I think the problem isn't so much communication as it is that modern Christianity has lost its focus. Are they spiritual leaders who act as a focus for the divine on earth or are they a well funded lobbyist organization with oodles of tax free money? Most of what I see from Christians in this country says they're lobbyists and activists, not spiritual trailblazers in the eternal quest for the divine.

Maybe it's time for evangelicals to fall. Maybe they've had their time. I'm pagan so I sort of h ave to believe in cycles. Maybe it's time for Christian churches to lie fallow until the wheel turns again.


I think what is really happening is that shunning of non-believers has become illegal in most countries.   (Yes islam is the exception.)  So it has become socially and financially acceptable to be a non-believer.
My family hasntostracized since I stopped believing 35 years ago. Nor have I pushed their delusion in their face. But fewer and fewer kids are getting religious education in school. More and more kids know non-believers and are able to talk to them like adults, rather that the "YOU MUST ACCEPT JEBUS IN YOUR HEART"

Strange, once we taught out children to be tolerant of gays and minorities, it logically follows that they would be tolerant of other religions and non-believers. And once you are tolerant, well, it is logically impossible for all religions to be TRUE, therefore they are all FALSE. (yes I know, logic, what not. bite me.)

It is only starting to be true politically acceptable.
2013-08-21 01:37:26 PM
2 votes:

cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.


meh
atheism started to become a NON-issue as a life choice long before the internet.
it was clear to me in grade school that the religious people were horrible example of how to live.
As I became educated, I left behind the imaginary beings of my childhood.
Easter Bunny, Zeus, Santa, god, satan, ...


"I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further." -dawkins

"Isn't it amazing, that the religion in which you were indoctrinated into for the first 18 years of your life just happens to be the correct one? How lucky each one of you are."
2013-08-21 01:36:57 PM
2 votes:
FTFA:"He says that Christians need to stop thinking of themselves as "the moral majority."  Instead, they have to see themselves as the "prophetic minority." "

I think they need to realize how truly annoying they are being to everyone except their congregants.   Keep your message in your congregation and leave everyone else out of it.  Whether your aim is to change the world through politics or preaching, you will be ineffective at best doing what you have since the early 1980's.
2013-08-21 01:32:22 PM
2 votes:

hubiestubert: Maybe when you keep pardoning and apologizing for folks who are stealing, committing adultery, and supporting the actions of those who commit violence upon their brothers, and seek to keep your brethren and sistren from having the same rights that you enjoy, people notice?

Hypocrisy is part of the issue. You can't preach peace and love, and then support war and hate...


Hypocrisy and laziness.  It's easier to blame other people for your internal problems.
2013-08-21 11:17:13 AM
2 votes:
Now that is just a shame.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people.
2013-08-21 11:14:52 AM
2 votes:
Good.
2013-08-21 11:06:24 AM
2 votes:
Or, "Our negro president is destroying the white race...waaaa."
2013-08-21 10:29:30 AM
2 votes:
'The Bible Belt is collapsing," says Russell Moore.

Maybe the Bible needs to stop eating so much
2013-08-22 04:42:36 PM
1 votes:
The self-image of themselves being like Jeremiah, preaching from the wilderness to a forsaken civilization, is a nice source of consoling attitude bolstering for fundamentalists, regardless of how well it actually corresponds to the real world.
2013-08-22 03:59:10 PM
1 votes:

StubePT: Magorn:
I'm raised Roman Catholic...praticing..I don;t know the hell what, with a fairly strong "faith" nonetheless.  My wife is somewhere between "spiritual" and agnostic, with Family experiences with raltives that cause her to despise the RC church.   As my son hit adolesence we found ourselves regularly attending a non-demoninational (and very apoltical) evangelical christian chruch because my son made cont ...

How's that working out for you?  I was raised Catholic, my wife is Catholic, and most of my family is still practicing Catholics.  We got married in a Catholic ceremony and had our son baptized Catholic.  I have - in recent years - become much less Catholic, somewhere on the border between agnostic and athiest (hard to shut off decades of programming).  My wife - while very a la carte when it comes to her beliefs - still insists on going to Sunday mass together.  And while I've stopped participating (I spend most of the morning in the back entertaining the kid), I begrudgingly attend with her.

So how do you play it in your household where one person is more "Catholic" than the other?  When questions arise with your son on this religion vs. that religion vs. none of the above, how do you handle it?  Is there ever any sort of battle between you and your spouse over religion/Sunday mornings/etc,?

Just curious.  It's all new to me.

For us it has worked well.  What religious conflcts have arisen is usually less between the wife and me, and more between me and some of the Youth pastors of other leaders at the church)  The main guys are pretty cool and I like the way they think, but some of the youth leaders are much more conservative and one is an outright evolution denier.   I tend to handle conflicts by saying "This is what *I* believe....this is what other people think...and doing my best to present my "side" while not forcing it on him.  (the exception of course being Evolution whare I simply said  "no. He's wrong here's the scientific reasons why, here are the religious reasons why, and bTW this whole nonsense was started by the Bishop of USher and is found nowhere in the bible"

The church itslef took some getting used to for me ...there's some beauty and poetry in the mass it that you just don't get in a school auditorium where worship consists of some lite Christian rock hits followed by a homily and a bit of prayer,  but that's helped focus me on what really IS important and what was window dressing

Still Catholic enough to miss Communion however...had some genuine...well the Buddhists would call them "moments of enlightenment" ...after communion back in the day, and miss that feeling sometimes...But as my wife recently challenged me to consider, is that because I REALLY believe in transubstantion and that the communion was something mystical or is it I'm not trying hard enough to reach that same state these days?....hard question for me to answer honestly.
2013-08-22 12:23:21 PM
1 votes:

JesseL: I've always wondered why the faithful are so intent on shaping secular law to match their morality. How can you have any kind of spiritual strength when every sinful act is punished as a crime in the material world? How can there be virtue in a world where being good and resisting temptation isn't even a choice? Shouldn't the word of God be sufficient promise of the rewards of obeying him and the consequences of straying?


This is actually quite brilliant, IMHO.
2013-08-22 11:44:07 AM
1 votes:

StubePT: Magorn:
I'm raised Roman Catholic...praticing..I don;t know the hell what, with a fairly strong "faith" nonetheless.  My wife is somewhere between "spiritual" and agnostic, with Family experiences with raltives that cause her to despise the RC church.   As my son hit adolesence we found ourselves regularly attending a non-demoninational (and very apoltical) evangelical christian chruch because my son made cont ...

How's that working out for you?  I was raised Catholic, my wife is Catholic, and most of my family is still practicing Catholics.  We got married in a Catholic ceremony and had our son baptized Catholic.  I have - in recent years - become much less Catholic, somewhere on the border between agnostic and athiest (hard to shut off decades of programming).  My wife - while very a la carte when it comes to her beliefs - still insists on going to Sunday mass together.  And while I've stopped participating (I spend most of the morning in the back entertaining the kid), I begrudgingly attend with her.

So how do you play it in your household where one person is more "Catholic" than the other?  When questions arise with your son on this religion vs. that religion vs. none of the above, how do you handle it?  Is there ever any sort of battle between you and your spouse over religion/Sunday mornings/etc,?

Just curious.  It's all new to me.


Wife #1 (both raised Catholic) started raising our daughter in the Catholic Church, so no battles there. We got her through Baptism and First Communion, working on Reconciliation when Wife #1 died. Daughter (age 11) took a dim view of God and religion after that. I think she's some kind of Pagan now.
2013-08-22 09:49:30 AM
1 votes:
It is just a farking book.

/and not a very good one
2013-08-22 04:02:18 AM
1 votes:

Stibium: COMALite J: This guy even prophesied a seemingly plausible (to those who don't know as much about science as they think they do) way that the entire North American continent would be utterly destroyed, with nothing left but a vast cauldron of lava, and yet it would appear to the world to not be some miraculous divine judgment but rather a horrific natural disaster exacerbated and perhaps triggered by American greed and hubris, and that it need not involve anything nuclear. He said that the North American continent would become the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone. It basically involves the mass detonation of our natural gas deposits. "I have laid a trap for thee, O Babylon."

Personally I think he is not at all afar off. Recall that Yosemite is primed for it's next supervolcano eruption. It's potantial is to wipe out several surrounding states, and obviously relegate the rest of the US to the back seat. I've thought that God (aka, my subconscience) told me that it will be nothing like has been thought of before. That is, it's not at all obvious, except to those living through it. In fact, in Revelation it tells us that God will come as a thief in the night, but if every fundy Christian is watching the doors and windows, what thief will come? The thief will come where and when he is least expected. I don't say that anyone should believe, only that fundies should disbelieve what falsehoods and lies they've been told. I get too far into their own philosophy (which I still believe to be true, to some extent) so I'll stop.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that trying to tease out details of the Revelation at the current time is a fool's game, let alone the ridiculous "the Soviet Union is the beast" fantasies that a lot of "prophets" have engaged in.

Really, America is the whore, the Internet is the Beast, and it's likely that capitalism or something will be the so-called "antichrist." It makes good sense spelled out that way if you are in to Biblical prophecy and aren ...


Some interesting food for thought. Thanks!

This guy I referred to calls himself "Bands," after one of the two Staves of God (the other being "Beauty") in Zechariah Chapter 11. I pointed out to him that Revelation says that the Two Witnesses are to prophecy one thousand two hundred and threescore days (1,260, aka ~3½ years), and that he was way over budget even back then (during the Clinton Administration ― he claimed then that America would be destroyed before Clinton left office, and later changed that to before Bush left office).

I have his original website backed up on one of my ancient PC hard drives that I have stashed away somewhere. I may try to recover it. He had detailed descriptions of visions where he was taken up into Heaven and witnessed the court of God as He passed His divine judgment on America (which He called, for reasons unknown to "Bands," "Amerilic").
2013-08-22 02:25:49 AM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: I'm a Buddhist, but I have a great deal of respect for Christianity. In the power of the teachings, and the love and compassion that the best of its adherents demonstrate. I have similar respect for Islam--not for all those who claim to submit to the will of Allah by any means, the same as I don't have a respect for many who adhere to Christian doctrine in the same fashion, but respect for the faith and the beauty that can come from those teachings. It isn't simply that one has faith, but what you do with that faith. What that faith leads you to do, how you treat others. If you use your faith as a bludgeon, and an excuse to be a right bastiche, then that respect goes out the window. For the person. Be they Buddhist--and yes, Buddhist have some outright dickishness in the ranks--be they Christian, be they Muslim, be they Jew, be they Pagan, be they Sikhs. I don't judge the faith, but what people do with it. Some folks use their faith as an inspiration and shield for those around them, to protect, to lift up, and to help those who've fallen. Their faith lends them a structure to learn from. What they do with it, that's up to them, and rather than blaming the faith itself, I tend to focus on the individual.


Amen, my brother. Jesus himself would not have rejected you. His own disiples asked what should be done of a person casting out demons in his name, and He said if you work for me, you work for me. Every endeavor towards God is the same, although paths you may chose may differ in length or effort. I've learned that Jesus' teachings have much in common with Eastern teachings; that of mindfulness of all actions, forgiveness, love, trust, acceptance, et cetera.

The paralells are too similar to ignore. Clearly He was a grand teacher to the Jews, and to us all.
2013-08-22 02:14:08 AM
1 votes:

COMALite J: This guy even prophesied a seemingly plausible (to those who don't know as much about science as they think they do) way that the entire North American continent would be utterly destroyed, with nothing left but a vast cauldron of lava, and yet it would appear to the world to not be some miraculous divine judgment but rather a horrific natural disaster exacerbated and perhaps triggered by American greed and hubris, and that it need not involve anything nuclear. He said that the North American continent would become the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone. It basically involves the mass detonation of our natural gas deposits. "I have laid a trap for thee, O Babylon."


Personally I think he is not at all afar off. Recall that Yosemite is primed for it's next supervolcano eruption. It's potantial is to wipe out several surrounding states, and obviously relegate the rest of the US to the back seat. I've thought that God (aka, my subconscience) told me that it will be nothing like has been thought of before. That is, it's not at all obvious, except to those living through it. In fact, in Revelation it tells us that God will come as a thief in the night, but if every fundy Christian is watching the doors and windows, what thief will come? The thief will come where and when he is least expected. I don't say that anyone should believe, only that fundies should disbelieve what falsehoods and lies they've been told. I get too far into their own philosophy (which I still believe to be true, to some extent) so I'll stop.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that trying to tease out details of the Revelation at the current time is a fool's game, let alone the ridiculous "the Soviet Union is the beast" fantasies that a lot of "prophets" have engaged in.

Really, America is the whore, the Internet is the Beast, and it's likely that capitalism or something will be the so-called "antichrist." It makes good sense spelled out that way if you are in to Biblical prophecy and aren't afraid to place blame where it belongs. Hell, the Revelation might already be fulfilled partly; see also wikipedia.

In any case, another huge bone I have to pick is that fundy Christians believe that the end times are upon us (just as the first disciples believed :rolleyes: ) and that there is no need to heed the command to be good stewards of the earth. Let's just rape and pillage any fossil fuel we desire in our incessant masturbation effort. They disregard all reason and say they have no effect on the earth when their own Holy Book tells them to be good stewards.

Lord of Heaven, Jehovah, God. Rain down your fury on false witnesses of your faith! The religion they follow is not at all of Jesus, even as they preach. Their sins have vexed my soul from the beginning of my birth even until now.

It shall be done. Their pride shall always be their undoing, even unto death. Amen, and God bless you all.

/Drunk and naked, but I believe to be full of righteous fury.
2013-08-22 02:02:35 AM
1 votes:

namatad: "I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further." -dawkins


How exactly is that a strategy?  It's not like it's some big surprise or carefully-hidden secret that most religions see all other religions as false.  Does Dawkins think that he's going to spring this unexpectedly on a Christian one day and they're going to be caught absolutely flatfooted at the realization that the cat's out of the bag?

I suppose if by "an amusing strategy" Dawkins means "a way to amuse myself," then, sure, Rick, whatever floats your boat.


namatad:  "Isn't it amazing, that the religion in which you were indoctrinated into for the first 18 years of your life just happens to be the correct one? How lucky each one of you are."

Again, so what?  Why would this be a surprise, or something that didn't occur to, oh, everyone born in the past thousand years?

Frankly, for someone who's so intelligent on scientific topics, Dawkin's rather thick when it comes to the subject of religion.  Calling his arguments "childish" would be generous.   Maybe he should try reading a book or two on the subject before slapping together another of his own.
2013-08-22 01:49:54 AM
1 votes:

Dr. Kefarkian: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Lions - Eleventy thousand
Christians - Zero


I'm pretty sure that the Christians are ahead now.
2013-08-22 12:43:30 AM
1 votes:

ciberido: Third, if you want to understand where this "Help!  I'm being oppressed!" idea comes from, keep in mind that many Christians strongly believe that everyone who isn't Christian is essentially working for Satan (usually unknowingly).  From a certain point of view, it really doesn't matter whether you're atheist or Muslim or Buddhist or Wiccan, every other religion (and things like atheism that aren't religions) is merely a different smokescreen Satan is using to fight against Christianity.


Well, luckily the Pope isn't one of those Christians. Of course, many of those Christians wouldn't consider the Pope a Christian.
2013-08-22 12:36:46 AM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: The thing is, the fastest growing ministry in the US aren't an Evengelical ministry, but Unitarian-Universalists. A fair number of folks are returning to churches as they grow older, have kids, and want that environment for their kids, and what they don't want, are a bunch of hate filled, mean spirited souls around them and their kids. So, the power of the Evengelicals is waning as other churches, and more progressive churches rise. This, of course, translates to lost revenue, and thus the push for MOAR revivals, MOAR heated rhetoric, to bring those dollars in, and a ramping up of the Prosperity Gospel, in order to keep folks hooked, and looking to be "under fire" and "under attack" and at "war" with your own government and communities is a way to get a foxhole mentality with parishioners, so that they don't stop and consider. It is less about Jesus and his message, than con men lookin ...



First off, I don't think it's as cynical and calculated as you seem to be saying.  I don't doubt that SOME of the people behind SOME of these churches and ministries are con men cynically pretending to believe what they say for the goal of fleecing the gullible, but I also think that most of the religious right sincerely believe (at least on the most conscious level) everything they profess to.

Secondly, there are some passages in the Bible, and some bits of history, and some doctrines of Christianity that do come together to create the "under fire" and "under attack" and "at war with your own government" narrative.  (Though of course, the Bible says so many things it's rather easy to come up with a few Bible verses to back up ANY position.)

Third, if you want to understand where this "Help!  I'm being oppressed!" idea comes from, keep in mind that many Christians strongly believe that everyone who isn't Christian is essentially working for Satan (usually unknowingly).  From a certain point of view, it really doesn't matter whether you're atheist or Muslim or Buddhist or Wiccan, every other religion (and things like atheism that aren't religions) is merely a different smokescreen Satan is using to fight against Christianity.  And when you look at it in terms of Christianity vs EVERYTHING ELSE, Christianity then IS in the minority.

(This may also be, by the way, why some Right Wing folks claim that Obama is secretly an atheist and others claim he's secretly Muslim.  From that point of view, Muslims and atheists are really on the same team - Satan's team.  Yes, the SNL "Church Chat with Church Lady" skits were parodies, but they were based on things people actually DO belive.)
2013-08-22 12:31:18 AM
1 votes:
PocketfullaSass:  So an atheist, a buddhist and a gay kid walk into a church....

Sounds like an old joke, but this is my family (Me being the atheist in the equation).  We all joined the local UU church and love it to pieces.  It's all about how to love and how to live now, today. Just beautiful people.  If a year ago you would've told me I'd belong to any church, I would have laughed to bust a gut. I even have friends who are pagans now....lol.

For those who feel spiritually betwixt and between, or those who aren't spiritual at all but are looking for a lost sense of community, I highly recommend checking out you local UU Fellowship.


The UU Society in Northampton, which I used to attend had a lot of issues with their new minister, who many felt was too theist in her sermons.

It is a place where atheists who still ponder on philosophical questions about the origin and the basis for much of our cultural mores come from. It is a place where Episcopalians and Jews and Buddhists can hash out arguments on Scripture AND the Dharma. It is a place where folks can compare and contrast their own experiences, and share, and find that despite coming from disparate faith traditions, that you can all find common ground, and that is the real strength I find. Not in a splintered view, but a view from many perspectives, and finding strength in that, and commonality of humanity.

My favorite UU story, was one a divinity student who was getting ready to take her finals told. Relatively early in her training, the UU Society she was involved announced their annual Atheist vs Theists softball game. She told of her own inner conflict. Despite being in a divinity program, she was still unsure which side she would fall on. She struggled with the question all week, and on the next Sunday she discovered something. The minister looked at the room as folks gathered their gear and raised her arm and said, "Atheists on the right, Theist on the left. Play ball!"

It doesn't matter, atheists, theist, agnostic, but rather what you do with the teachings, and what you glean from the teachings. Piety and outward shows of faith matter little, if you don't do anything with the lessons. If you question, but fail to take anything away from the varied answers, that is a failing not of the teachings so much as a failure to weigh their merits, and decide for your own damn self.

I'm a Buddhist, but I have a great deal of respect for Christianity. In the power of the teachings, and the love and compassion that the best of its adherents demonstrate. I have similar respect for Islam--not for all those who claim to submit to the will of Allah by any means, the same as I don't have a respect for many who adhere to Christian doctrine in the same fashion, but respect for the faith and the beauty that can come from those teachings. It isn't simply that one has faith, but what you do with that faith. What that faith leads you to do, how you treat others. If you use your faith as a bludgeon, and an excuse to be a right bastiche, then that respect goes out the window. For the person. Be they Buddhist--and yes, Buddhist have some outright dickishness in the ranks--be they Christian, be they Muslim, be they Jew, be they Pagan, be they Sikhs. I don't judge the faith, but what people do with it. Some folks use their faith as an inspiration and shield for those around them, to protect, to lift up, and to help those who've fallen. Their faith lends them a structure to learn from. What they do with it, that's up to them, and rather than blaming the faith itself, I tend to focus on the individual. Well, except for Scientologists, that sh*t is just a scam, as much so as the Nichiren. F*cking Nichiren...
2013-08-21 11:28:55 PM
1 votes:
the money is in the banana stand:
Lol. Okay dude. Right-Wingers sure, but Extreme Right-Wingers no. I live here in Houston and while there are plenty of conservative folks and some questionably batty people, it is very rare to encounter someone who is an "extreme right-winger" or fanatic. I interact with a lot of people and types of people on a daily basis. More often than not, the extent to the "extreme right-wingers" here are old people with signs protesting abortion clinics peacefully. This is far different than the Fark perception of hillbilly preachers with guns burning crosses in front yards riding around pick-up trucks worshiping a Rush Limbaugh idol.

Howdy neighbor. I live in NW Houston by Lonestar. The Cy-Fair area community groups are infested with whackadoodle Cruz supporters. His organization has done an exceptional job of seeding these "True Believers" into virtually all nooks and crannies of public life. They are the new Birchers, and they are delusional.
2013-08-21 09:43:53 PM
1 votes:

AirForceVet: Solkar: I still go to a Southern Baptist church, but I couldn't agree more with the above statements. The biggest thing I like about my current pastor, though, is that he keeps politics out of his sermons. That's not common anymore.

I couldn't participate to an organization that actively supports discrimination against GLBTs or anyone else.

But that's just me.


There are lists of gay-friendly churches out there, and some denominations of Christianity (almost exclusively Protestant as far as I know) are known for being more accepting of gays than others.  If it's an important issue for you, it's worth taking a little time to look around for one.

GayChurch.org springs to mind.  For some reason they don't like it when I try to link to them, so sorry for the inconvenience, but you can cut-and-paste into your browser bar.  You might also try your local LBGTQ center or website, see if they have a list of churches they've worked with or otherwise vetted.

Or ask around the LBGTQ community.  You might be surprised at how many religious LBGTQ folks there are.

You might also want to search on the term "the religious left" if other issues besides treatments of gay folks concern you.

/Despite many efforts to paint all religious folks as politically and socially conservative, and all socially and politically liberal folks as atheists, that is far from true.
2013-08-21 09:01:07 PM
1 votes:

simplicimus: the money is in the banana stand: I know that in Indianapolis there are all sorts of crazy groups. When I worked at a ghetto Radio Shack every week some "preacher" or "minister" in a rusted out car would buy PA equipment for their new church. None were affiliated with any larger group, and they would often try to take me to task for being "over-educated." They all seemed to be dualists, believing that the physical world is the creation of Satan and that rejection of learning was praiseworthy. Desiring success in this world was worshipping Satan, one should only read the Bible and let a preacher supply other knowledge.

That took a while to track down. Sounds like the Catharism Heresy (11 Century)
"Catharism was a complicated mix of non-Christian religions reworked with Christian terminology. The Cathars had many different sects; they had in common a teaching that the world was created by an evil deity (so matter was evil) and we must worship the good deity instead.


Which is actually Manichaeism, a Persian religion that grew out of Mithraism in much the way Christianity grew out of Judaism.  It was similar enough to Christianity that it morphed into " heretical" Christianity at least three separate time in different places during the middle ages.  The Christian conception of the Devil comes from it, as he's really the "dark god" from Manichaeism
2013-08-21 08:07:14 PM
1 votes:
i242.photobucket.com
2013-08-21 07:47:29 PM
1 votes:
2013-08-21 07:30:01 PM
1 votes:

the money is in the banana stand: Lawnchair: Tosches: Houston has a great gay pride parade!  Houston's Mayor is a Lesbian!

Truth.  And still is in no way short extreme right-wingers.

Lol. Okay dude. Right-Wingers sure, but Extreme Right-Wingers no. I live here in Houston and while there are plenty of conservative folks and some questionably batty people, it is very rare to encounter someone who is an "extreme right-winger" or fanatic. I interact with a lot of people and types of people on a daily basis. More often than not, the extent to the "extreme right-wingers" here are old people with signs protesting abortion clinics peacefully. This is far different than the Fark perception of hillbilly preachers with guns burning crosses in front yards riding around pick-up trucks worshiping a Rush Limbaugh idol.


You're right. They don't do those things you mentioned. They do something far worse: they vote.

Greg Abbott is probably gonna be the next governor, and he's considered to be to the right of Perry.
2013-08-21 07:11:30 PM
1 votes:

Infernalist: simplicimus: Weaver95: Infernalist: Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?

A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

What I mean is that by now most reasonable people can and have spotted the flaws in prosperity gospel theology. It's essentially heresy after all. But is the decline of evangelical interest in mainstream society related to the rise of prosperity gospel theology....or is this decline due to a combination of factors?

I guess there's no way to really measure something like that. I just find it an interesting question to ponder.

One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

The worship of wealth is not just limited to the Evangelical Prosperity Gospel. It's in the heart of every religion that has paupers and beggars filling the pews of gold-plated churches.


Voiceofreason01: ...


Decades ago I communicated online with a man who believed himself to be one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. He was a loon, but he made some interesting points. I've since adapted some of his Bible exegeses into something that could persuade many right-wing fundie Christians to not meddle in U.S. politics anymore, and to in fact "get the hell out of Dodge."

This man pointed out that the Beasts of Revelation are called "Beasts" because they are not actual persons, yet have been falsely granted many of the attributes of personhood.

With this in mind, the First Beast aka "Anti-Christ" would be Corporate Personhood as a whole. The Second Beast aka False Prophet is modern right-wing fundamentalist / evangelical theonomic "Christianity," and especially Prosperity Gospel, which deceives its followers into worshiping the First Beast (look at the modern GOP and especially the Teabaggers and tell me that that isn't the case).

He personally identified the evil empire of Babylon the Great, the Whore which sits on a Beast with Seven Heads, as none other than the United States of America, which never was God's chosen nation but has always been anti-Christian at least since the godless Constitution, if not the Declaration as well. The seven heads represent not merely seven mountains, but as with all other Bible prophecy, the symbol represents something like, but larger than, the symbolic item. Hills are smaller than mountains, so the usual interpretation that this represents the Seven Hills of Rome and thus the Roman Catholic Church and a revived Roman Empire is balderdash.

No, we need something that is like a mountain but larger than a mountain. And something like that actually exists! They're much larger than mountains ― so large that each has whole mountain ranges on it! Prophetic fulfillment bonus: there are exactly seven of these super-mountain things in the whole world, and there was no feasible way for either John the Revelator nor anyone else in his day nor for some 1½ millennia thereafter to know that by any human means.

What are they? Continents! So, the woman sits on the seven-headed Beast, meaning that she exerts powerful political, military, cultural, and economic influence over all seven continents of the world. What nation does that describe?

She is also said to "make all nations of the world wealthy by her costliness." What nation has far and away the greatest debt-based economy the world has ever seen, and is exporting its workforce and economy all over the world, enriching them at the expense of its own and their underclasses, and poisoning their land, water, and air in the process ("God ... will destroy them that destroyeth the Earth")?

Sodom and Gomorrah had two sister city-states which were also "cities of the plain": Admah and Zeboim. Both of them were destroyed as well (Deuteronomy 29:23). The destruction of the Whore is likened unto the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah but those other two weren't mentioned, so it, too, should take out two relatively neighbors as well that physically border it. How many nations have exactly two physical neighbors that share a land border? Well, just off the top of my head, there's North Korea, Mexico, and all of the nations of Central America, but one other as well. Of those, which fit the other two criteria given above?

This guy even prophesied a seemingly plausible (to those who don't know as much about science as they think they do) way that the entire North American continent would be utterly destroyed, with nothing left but a vast cauldron of lava, and yet it would appear to the world to not be some miraculous divine judgment but rather a horrific natural disaster exacerbated and perhaps triggered by American greed and hubris, and that it need not involve anything nuclear. He said that the North American continent would become the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone. It basically involves the mass detonation of our natural gas deposits. "I have laid a trap for thee, O Babylon."
2013-08-21 07:06:31 PM
1 votes:
2013-08-21 06:33:37 PM
1 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: meat0918: Her followup regarding the comments on their site really sounded tense and apprehensive. I had to go check, and kept seeing the comment count go up, then down, up, then down.

MIght have been double up, but they've only been expanded to the full 2 hours for a month now and wasn't it before that?

Ahh well, off to the google I go. I was in my car so I never got a chance to watch the comment page for that one. Divisive people tend to make some waves go off on the website when they are on


I only heard the interview today on the local public radio station.
2013-08-21 06:28:17 PM
1 votes:
Voiceofreason01:There are also some pretty liberal rural areas. There are a lot of former hippies in and around Lawrence, KS as an example.

I'm not sure you can really classify Lawrence as rural.  At this point, it's more of a bedroom community serving the two larger metropolitan areas (KC and Topeka).  Throw in the college, and it's pretty much just a decent-sized small town.
2013-08-21 05:48:10 PM
1 votes:

the money is in the banana stand: I know that in Indianapolis there are all sorts of crazy groups. When I worked at a ghetto Radio Shack every week some "preacher" or "minister" in a rusted out car would buy PA equipment for their new church. None were affiliated with any larger group, and they would often try to take me to task for being "over-educated." They all seemed to be dualists, believing that the physical world is the creation of Satan and that rejection of learning was praiseworthy. Desiring success in this world was worshipping Satan, one should only read the Bible and let a preacher supply other knowledge.


That took a while to track down. Sounds like the Catharism Heresy (11 Century)
"Catharism was a complicated mix of non-Christian religions reworked with Christian terminology. The Cathars had many different sects; they had in common a teaching that the world was created by an evil deity (so matter was evil) and we must worship the good deity instead.
2013-08-21 05:24:12 PM
1 votes:
The Church isn't going away anytime soon.  Granted, it may not look the same as it used to--probably a lot less white and European--but it's still going strong.
2013-08-21 05:17:10 PM
1 votes:
There are a couple of reasons why Christians are losing the debate over gay marriage, Mr. Moore says. One is that even many Christians don't have a real understanding of what marriage is.

Being condescending is a great way to win people over.

/moran
2013-08-21 05:13:27 PM
1 votes:

jimboflux: bekaye: The moron majority is downgraded to a pathetic minority.

Honestly, I still think they are a majority.

Only in rural and some suburban areas. You get into the big cities and these people are the weirdos.That's why its the major metropolitan areas and not small town 'Murica that has gay pride parades/festivities.

/might have a Northern Illinois bias here.


I know that in Indianapolis there are all sorts of crazy groups. When I worked at a ghetto Radio Shack every week some "preacher" or "minister" in a rusted out car would buy PA equipment for their new church. None were affiliated with any larger group, and they would often try to take me to task for being "over-educated." They all seemed to be dualists, believing that the physical world is the creation of Satan and that rejection of learning was praiseworthy. Desiring success in this world was worshipping Satan, one should only read the Bible and let a preacher supply other knowledge.

I hear quite a bit about prosperity gospel groups, Indianapolis has Light of the World which heavily into that. They compete pretty fiercely with the dualists in the inner city.
2013-08-21 05:07:41 PM
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: I'm going to throw it out there that ELCA(Lutheran Church of America) is pretty liberal as far as Protestant Christianity goes and is(among other things) generally OK with GLBT folks.


It's really hard to throw those generalizations out there about any of the mainline Protestant churches any more.  In the broadest picture, Congregational/UCC are almost Unitarians, ELCA and the Episcopals are very slightly left of the United Methodists and the American (northern) Baptists which are a little to the left of the Presbys.  Then there's a pretty big gulf before you get to the Missouri Synods, 'non-denominationals', Southern Baptists, etc.

But, again, there are places with extremely conservative UMC or ELCA churches. Even some pretty LGBT-intolerant churches still tied to the UCC. There are some pretty liberal LCMS, Presbys, Disciples... heck even a few Southern Baptists. There are even Methodist megachurches around.  The denominations, especially the more left-leaning, are very hesitant to put the hammer down on anything.  Their membership numbers are in decline, so they don't want to run off any growing church and they'll play to whatever the median view is in their neighborhood.
2013-08-21 05:02:54 PM
1 votes:

Apik0r0s: Solkar: Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.

I still go to a Southern Baptist church, but I couldn't agree more with the above statements. The biggest thing I like about my current pastor, though, is that he keeps politics out of his sermons. That's not common anymore.

My ex's family goes to a United Methodist Church, which I would have to occasionally attend. I walked out of an Easter service, in front of my kids, after saying "bullshiat" loud enough for those around me to hear - I did this when the pastor started babbling about giving our troops the strength to kill Muslims and urging everyone to pray for Bush. And that's a UMC church. Most digusting bunch of upper middle class ignoramuses you will ever meet is at Mt. Bethel church in Marietta GA.


Yeah, that's just swell.  So much for praying for peace.  If anything, people should have been praying for God to take Bush a little early and send Cheney back to hell.
2013-08-21 05:02:41 PM
1 votes:

the money is in the banana stand: SanjiSasuke: I'm bored so why not.
"So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"  -Richard Dawkins

Sure. Yes. If someone believes in fairies, why not? Because it seems silly to you? Your beliefs may be silly to me. Why impede the beliefs of others by forcing your own upon them? Its like a person who doesn't like baseball telling everyone to stop watching baseball, because the infield fly rule is silly, or he finds it boring. Don't like baseball/religion? Don't watch/practice it. Same for all his "everyone is a little atheist" stuff. Sure, I don't like hockey, but I still like baseball.

/not Christian, nor Abrahamic

However this line of thinking cannot be applied to everything. Because someone believes that having a sexual relationship with a child is ok does not make it right. When things enter into the "moral" territory, things get real tricky. There are no real compelling arguments on either side when it comes to laws being influenced by morality. Some may say that a person who is 16 should be old enough to drink because they can drive. Some may think that children at any age can drink. Some think this shouldn't be a law at all but the discretion of the parents. What in this case is "right"?


But I (and I would hope normal people) don't think allowing someone to be religious is 'wrong'. In the case shown there IS scientific evidence to go off of. From that a group of people can decide, should they wait until the brain is done developing or until 18/16 because that is what age we figure they should be able to decide for themselves.
2013-08-21 05:02:18 PM
1 votes:
"We are no longer the ruling, moral majority."

i.imgur.com

ironingboardcollective.files.wordpress.com

We know that feel, bro.  We know that feel...
2013-08-21 05:01:52 PM
1 votes:

NutWrench: As a "prophetic minority," Mr. Moore thinks his most profound political task will be defending religious liberty from the assaults of a secular government.

You could try leading by example, too.


He could get involved in Americans United for Separation of Church And State.

But then he would find that the wall blocks intrusion to both sides.
2013-08-21 04:59:32 PM
1 votes:
There are days that I really understand why the Romans fed these people to the lions.
2013-08-21 04:53:05 PM
1 votes:

simplicimus: Voiceofreason01: simplicimus:
One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

Lutheran theology is that you are saved by God's Grace. ie you're not saved through acts or through the forgiveness of a priest(confession) or even through repentance.

Since most Lutherans I know are pretty nice people*, that would be a good counterpart to the "Christians only behave because they're afraid of hell" argument that pops up around here.
/* my step-daughter's husband is still an asshole
//Would still be, no matter what faith he was


I'm going to throw it out there that ELCA(Lutheran Church of America) is pretty liberal as far as Protestant Christianity goes and is(among other things) generally OK with GLBT folks.
2013-08-21 04:50:57 PM
1 votes:

Modern Apothecary PharmD: clancifer: He misspelled 'pathetic'.

I don't know, they're still the majority in Methamphetamine production. That's gotta be worth something, right? Must be awesome to be a dentist in the bible belt.


Cause meth heads can afford dentistry?

/Texas, Buckle of the Bible Belt
//least insured state in the nation
2013-08-21 04:50:19 PM
1 votes:
Thank God...
2013-08-21 04:49:26 PM
1 votes:

dr_blasto: I'm not religious, spiritual or anything. But, I can say, this guy seems much more Jesus-y and close to the stated tenets of Christianity than any other Pope I've ever seen. Bendict XVI seemed almost the exact opposite. I am surprised they picked a Jesuit, but it really looks like they've picked the right guy.


Yeah, when he snubbed the college to go wash some poor peoples feet I knew then that he's gonna be a little more jesusy and less popey
2013-08-21 04:44:44 PM
1 votes:

Lawnchair: I know the 'reason' for church is supposedly God.  And it is. And it isn't.  It's about community. That's a big reason why Sunday morning is the most ethnically and economically segregated time in the country, good and bad. While I didn't end up an actual believer, I grew up pretty attached to a middle-class Methodist church of maybe 130 members, 80 or so on a boring Sunday.


Any time people question the power of church congregations, I tell my parents' story.  My dad passed about six months ago and was pretty sick for three years before that, including being unable to work for about the last 18 months.  There were many months, especially during the period before he could get on disability, when my mom had no idea how she was going to make the mortgage payment and somebody from church (often anonymously) would give her the money for it.  She works at a Christian bookstore and her boss gave her a month of paid leave (she had long used up her vacation) to stay home with my dad when it was clear we were pretty close to the end.  Just last week, a friend from church gave her $4000 to pay off her credit card and somebody else anonymously paid off her last hospital bill (about $5000).  I may not always agree with her church (it can be a little conservative for my taste), but they carried her through the hardest time of her life, and I will never forget that.
2013-08-21 04:44:29 PM
1 votes:
No, you're not a prophetic minority, you're a bunch of nutcases who are more concerned with thundering down condemnation of everyone who doesn't look and behave just like you, or rather, just like the way you *claim* you behave, than with following the precepts of the guy you claim to be your savior, whose "one weird trick" will slip you into paradise no matter how much of a dickbag you are in life, but whose teachings you steadfastly ignore, and in fact you would have him back up on a cross as an America-hating terrorist in a heartbeat if he came back and started saying the same things again.

Hope that cleared it up for you.
2013-08-21 04:41:57 PM
1 votes:
"On gay marriage, abortion, even on basic religious affiliation, the culture has moved away. So evangelicals need a new way of thinking-a new strategy, if you will-to attract and keep believers, as well as to influence American politics. "

Love unconditionally.

Bam, done in one.
2013-08-21 04:35:29 PM
1 votes:

SanjiSasuke: I'm bored so why not.
"So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"  -Richard Dawkins

Sure. Yes. If someone believes in fairies, why not? Because it seems silly to you? Your beliefs may be silly to me. Why impede the beliefs of others by forcing your own upon them? Its like a person who doesn't like baseball telling everyone to stop watching baseball, because the infield fly rule is silly, or he finds it boring. Don't like baseball/religion? Don't watch/practice it. Same for all his "everyone is a little atheist" stuff. Sure, I don't like hockey, but I still like baseball.

/not Christian, nor Abrahamic


Dawkins is just weird. He once wrote a post on his website about how Jesus would probably be an atheist if He were around today, because religion was so enforced at the time Jesus was around.

To me, if you don't like something - whether it's enforced by your culture or time period on this planet or not - you won't make your life about it. For instance, even though I live in a time and place where we have math available to us that would make the mathematicians of Rome drool... I'm not into it and don't like doing math, thus, I'm not studying math at my university. If Jesus was "take it or leave it" on religion, He wouldn't have walked through a freakin' desert with twelve other guys and no visible means of support, preaching what He preached, for the last three years of His life.
2013-08-21 04:33:14 PM
1 votes:

dr_blasto: Gonz: On the bright side, the new Pope is driving him crazy. He's a Benedict XVI man, Francis isn't really his cup of tea at all.

I've seen quite a bit of the conservative Catholics, Benedict XVI fans all, quite concerned about the direction of their church. Of course, many of these people only give a shiat about gays and abortion and can't give a single fark about the rest of the Church positions.


I'm a recovering Catholic and I love the new pope. I still wonder what fancied the college that they picked him. When they announced the new pope was a jesuit my immediate thought was "well this is going to go over like a wet fart in church"
2013-08-21 04:32:11 PM
1 votes:

SanjiSasuke: I'm bored so why not.
"So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"  -Richard Dawkins

Sure. Yes. If someone believes in fairies, why not? Because it seems silly to you? Your beliefs may be silly to me. Why impede the beliefs of others by forcing your own upon them? Its like a person who doesn't like baseball telling everyone to stop watching baseball, because the infield fly rule is silly, or he finds it boring. Don't like baseball/religion? Don't watch/practice it. Same for all his "everyone is a little atheist" stuff. Sure, I don't like hockey, but I still like baseball.

/not Christian, nor Abrahamic


However this line of thinking cannot be applied to everything. Because someone believes that having a sexual relationship with a child is ok does not make it right. When things enter into the "moral" territory, things get real tricky. There are no real compelling arguments on either side when it comes to laws being influenced by morality. Some may say that a person who is 16 should be old enough to drink because they can drive. Some may think that children at any age can drink. Some think this shouldn't be a law at all but the discretion of the parents. What in this case is "right"?
2013-08-21 04:27:22 PM
1 votes:

Marine1: Actually, I'd say a good chunk of religious individuals (myself included) no longer fit to one particular religious dogma. It's not quite as simple as guys like Dawkins, Harris, et al like to make it.


This is the same problem with politics now. The larger problem lies with the fact that individualism is not stressed in America now. We are no longer independent or stress independent thought, instead we are characterized moreso by what political party we belong to and what religious denomination we belong to. Automatically, it is assumed that this means we hold those ideals that those parties / denominations are "thought" to hold as well. Most people would believe that because you are a Baptist, this means you don't drink or condone homosexual behavior or marriage. They are completely oblivious to the fact that individuals can hold their own opinions or that there are varying degrees of Baptists including conservative Baptists and liberal Baptists. That further can be broken down even further, down to the individual.
2013-08-21 04:24:36 PM
1 votes:
Prophetic? THey need to prophesy something accurate before will call them that.
2013-08-21 04:23:22 PM
1 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: meat0918: I heard his interview on Here & Now, and all I can say is, what a pompous, two faced, lying piece of shiat asshole that guy is.

Robin Young did that interview right? I swear you hear her disdain during the interview to the point I think she was mentally picturing the guy done up Vlad Tepes style


I could hear the incredulity in the interviewer's voice, but it was a tag team interview wasn't it, two people interviewing the guy?

Her followup regarding the comments on their site really sounded tense and apprehensive.  I had to go check, and kept seeing the comment count go up, then down, up, then down.
2013-08-21 04:16:12 PM
1 votes:
FTA: So evangelicals need a new way of thinking-a new strategy, if you will-to attract and keep believers, as well as to influence American politics.

This all you need to know about modern evangelical christianity.

/cult
2013-08-21 04:09:22 PM
1 votes:

namatad: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

meh
atheism started to become a NON-issue as a life choice long before the internet.
it was clear to me in grade school that the religious people were horrible example of how to live.
As I became educated, I left behind the imaginary beings of my childhood.
Easter Bunny, Zeus, Santa, god, satan, ...


"I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further." -dawkins

"Isn't it amazing, that the religion in which you were indoctrinated into for the first 18 years of your life just happens to be the correct one? How lucky each one of you are."


Which actually goes only to show what an utter prat Dawkins is.   Sure Fundamentalists exist of all stripes but most serious thoughtful people of faith I know tend to think that the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega of all creation is especailly chuffed at which human syllables are used when calling his name and that people of ALL faith who make a sincere effort to reach out to him make contact with the same divine,  and the tents of their particular religion are not so much enteral and universal truths, but a moral system the works for THEM personally
2013-08-21 04:06:51 PM
1 votes:

vharshyde: Can't wait until these assholes become a bad memory.


It comes around in 20 years or so they will be back. America seems to attract these wingnuts since the begining.
2013-08-21 04:06:42 PM
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: simplicimus:
One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

Lutheran theology is that you are saved by God's Grace. ie you're not saved through acts or through the forgiveness of a priest(confession) or even through repentance.


Pagan theology is...well, chaotic and nowhere near as dogmatic on the subject. Some of the basics tho can be summed up as : don't hurt other people because it can mess up your path. Be excellent to each other. Sex is awesome, you should do it when it feels right...just be cool about it. The planet is useful and we all gotta live here so let's not turn it into a toxic waste pit. You aren't born in sin. You aren't worthless if you are different. Everyone can cast a circle...teach them if they ask, but only if they ask.
2013-08-21 04:04:55 PM
1 votes:

Princess Ryans Knickers: In the beginning there were two fish. And they had a retard baby that crawled out of the water with its mutant hands and had buttsex with a fish-squirrel or something..


Is that like how in the beginning there was only Adam and Eve, but then they had 2 sons that went out and got married to women that came out of nowhere?
2013-08-21 04:04:39 PM
1 votes:
Well people are probably tired of mixing religion and politics and don't care what a precher thinks Gods views on the sewage bill before the voters and want to focus in on more of the message. A boss I had years ago that I have talked about on fark a few times was a jive talking preacher that thought he was holier than thou. He would talk down to us about how easy we could be replaced yet he couldnt be because he was so special. He got fired for sexual harassment and replaced in a day. Funny thing was is he was always having me scan documents for him on the scanner and email them to him, but I could never look at them. Little did he know that deleting things dosn't mean they are gone. Turns out Mr. perfect precher man was a coke head with quite an arrest record and he was being sued by a hospital, car dealership and an electronics store.
2013-08-21 03:59:53 PM
1 votes:
I see this thread has assembled the usual compliment of yang babies sloshing around in their mockery of the yin bathwater.
2013-08-21 03:59:50 PM
1 votes:
simplicimus:
One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).

Lutheran theology is that you are saved by God's Grace. ie you're not saved through acts or through the forgiveness of a priest(confession) or even through repentance.
2013-08-21 03:54:12 PM
1 votes:
Sofa King Smart:
I have had a vision of the future where the Bible Belt has lost its battle to choke back the expanding waistline of American Exceptionalism.... where the Pants of Religion have fallen around the ankles of reason and truth and knowledge... thereby exposing the throbbing throngs of the purple helmeted members of the secular humanists... chafing against the chains that have encumbered them for so long in the dark, dank, sweaty underwear of ignorance and intolerance.

This here, is a thing of horrifying beauty. I do not know whether to clap, or throw up a little, so both have been done.
2013-08-21 03:53:50 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: Infernalist: Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?

A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

What I mean is that by now most reasonable people can and have spotted the flaws in prosperity gospel theology. It's essentially heresy after all. But is the decline of evangelical interest in mainstream society related to the rise of prosperity gospel theology....or is this decline due to a combination of factors?

I guess there's no way to really measure something like that. I just find it an interesting question to ponder.


One farker explained his Christianity as accepting Jesus would forgive all your sins, past, present and future. As a Catholic (mostly) I found that more a pathology than a religion. And yes, the Prosperity Gospel is flat out heresy, approaching the stuff the Anti-Christ is supposed to preach (Not that I believe in Revelations).
2013-08-21 03:45:44 PM
1 votes:

Pincy: I still find it quite amusing when certain religious people believe they are automatically more moral than the rest of us just because they are religious.


That's because those folk would amoral monsters without the fear of damnation/bribery of Heaven after death to keep them on the straight and narrow.  So, they expect that to be the same of all people who aren't adherents of their own particular brand of bow and scrape.
2013-08-21 03:42:50 PM
1 votes:
I still find it quite amusing when certain religious people believe they are automatically more moral than the rest of us just because they are religious.
2013-08-21 03:41:26 PM
1 votes:

bekaye: The moron majority is downgraded to a pathetic minority.

Honestly, I still think they are a majority.


Only in rural and some suburban areas. You get into the big cities and these people are the weirdos.That's why its the major metropolitan areas and not small town 'Murica that has gay pride parades/festivities.

/might have a Northern Illinois bias here.
2013-08-21 03:41:20 PM
1 votes:

PocketfullaSass: For those who feel spiritually betwixt and between, or those who aren't spiritual at all but are looking for a lost sense of community, I highly recommend checking out you local UU Fellowship.


Hear, hear. UU gives people the sense of community without the looking down on others that other churches directly or indirectly call for.
2013-08-21 03:39:54 PM
1 votes:
"The Bible Belt is collapsing," Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Religious Liberty Commission. "We are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority"

[dry]  Thank God.
2013-08-21 03:39:51 PM
1 votes:

Infernalist: Weisenheimer: Their position is suffering due to more and more people seeing that the existence of a God just doesn't make sense, and that many of their views are based purely on a 'because God says so.' In order to be seen as the source of Morality, they need to change their stance on not just GLBT issues, but several others as well, but they can't because their main tenant is "We Have The Truth."

Sadly, many people still believe that religion or God is the source of Morality, when in fact it's simply human empathy.

It's abdication of responsibility for your own morals.  It's a cowardly way to deal with moral conflict in your life.  Those that cling to religious mores and morals often do so because it's harder to stand up and say "No, I don't care what the Church says, birth control is not a sin, gays are not sinning by simply being gay and I'm done seeing 'thought-crime' as something to feel guilty over."


I have a friend who converted to Catholicism. Like, hardcore Conservative Catholicism. He went all-in on every aspect of the Church's dogma. He literally doesn't understand why I call him a bigot when he speaks out about the gayfolk. "It's in line with Church doctrine!"

"Well, then Church Doctrinte is bigoted."

"How can you say that? It's God's will incarnate."

"First off, Church Doctrine has changed over the years. Ask Galileo. Second, how can I say it's bigoted? I can read. We've seen this before. Quick- give me an argument against gay marriage that wasn't also used against interracial marriage."

"That's different. You wouldn't understand."

On the bright side, the new Pope is driving him crazy. He's a Benedict XVI man, Francis isn't really his cup of tea at all.
2013-08-21 03:36:50 PM
1 votes:

Infernalist: Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?

A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.


What I mean is that by now most reasonable people can and have spotted the flaws in prosperity gospel theology. It's essentially heresy after all. But is the decline of evangelical interest in mainstream society related to the rise of prosperity gospel theology....or is this decline due to a combination of factors?

I guess there's no way to really measure something like that. I just find it an interesting question to ponder.
2013-08-21 03:34:55 PM
1 votes:

vpb: They never were moral.  Or a majority.


But they never let pesky things like "facts" or even "reason" stop them before...
2013-08-21 03:33:23 PM
1 votes:
Can't wait until these assholes become a bad memory.
2013-08-21 03:30:12 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?


A lot of religious leaders got shot in the Soviet and French revolutions for being seen as being part of the problem and not part of the solution.
2013-08-21 03:28:26 PM
1 votes:

jake_lex: [cafewitteveen.files.wordpress.com image 350x262]

Obligatory

/and very true


Exactly, the right to practice your religion is not the right to force others to adhere to it.
2013-08-21 03:28:20 PM
1 votes:

North_Central_Positronics: [funnycatwallpapers.com image 400x400]


I'm more of a fan of this one. She seems angrier, which somehow makes it better. Like, "I'm disgusted that these people exist, and the horrible thing that's happening to them makes me... well, not happy, but y'know..."

i47.photobucket.com
2013-08-21 03:27:27 PM
1 votes:
I wonder just how damaging prosperity gospel theology has been to Christianity in this country?
2013-08-21 03:24:45 PM
1 votes:

clancifer: He misspelled 'pathetic'.


Came here to say that... done in one.  You get one internets.
2013-08-21 03:24:37 PM
1 votes:

Lando Lincoln: Infernalist: Yeah, it always amuses me when someone claims that without religion, people would be sociopaths because of the lack of damnation to scare them into being 'good'.  I always reply with "So, if you didn't have religion, you'd be another Ted Bundy?"

No. I'm not as good looking as he was.


Chloroform makes up for a lot of facial ugly.
2013-08-21 03:23:55 PM
1 votes:
kristinhoppe.files.wordpress.com
2013-08-21 03:23:42 PM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss

That's always been there. But the lack of information dissemination prior to the 20th Century left a lot of that alone.

Not as much as you'd think. Religious upheavals and schisms have existed long before the invention of the Internet. It might move a bit faster these days but not as much as you'd think.

I think the problem isn't so much communication as it is that modern Christianity has lost its focus. Are they spiritual leaders who act as a focus for the divine on earth or are they a well funded lobbyist organization with oodles of tax free money? Most of what I see from Christians in this country says they're lobbyists and activists, not spiritual trailblazers in the eternal quest for the divine.

Maybe it's time for evangelicals to fall. Maybe they've had their time. I'm pagan so I sort of h ave to believe in cycles. Maybe it's time for Christian churches to lie fallow until the wheel turns again.

The thing is, the fastest growing ministry in the US aren't an Evengelical ministry, but Unitarian-Universalists. A fair number of folks are returning to churches as they grow older, have kids, and want that environment for their kids, and what they don't want, are a bunch of hate filled, mean spirited souls around them and their kids. So, the power of the Evengelicals is waning as other churches, and more progressive churches rise. This, of course, translates to lost revenue, and thus the push for MOAR revivals, MOAR heated rhetoric, to bring those dollars in, and a ramping up of the Prosperity Gospel, in order to keep folks hooked, and looking to be "under fire" and "under attack" and at "war" with your own government and communities is a way to get a foxhole mentality with parishioners, so that they don't stop and consider. It is less about Jesus and his message, than con men lookin ...


So an atheist, a buddhist and a gay kid walk into a church....

Sounds like an old joke, but this is my family (Me being the atheist in the equation).  We all joined the local UU church and love it to pieces.  It's all about how to love and how to live now, today. Just beautiful people.  If a year ago you would've told me I'd belong to any church, I would have laughed to bust a gut. I even have friends who are pagans now....lol. For those who feel spiritually betwixt and between, or those who aren't spiritual at all but are looking for a lost sense of community, I highly recommend checking out you local UU Fellowship.
2013-08-21 03:23:21 PM
1 votes:

The My Little Pony Killer: It's high time we remove the Bible Belt and drop the Pants of Religion in this country. Only then can we be a free, upstanding people.


I have had a vision of the future where the Bible Belt has lost its battle to choke back the expanding waistline of American Exceptionalism.... where the Pants of Religion have fallen around the ankles of reason and truth and knowledge... thereby exposing the throbbing throngs of the purple helmeted members of the secular humanists... chafing against the chains that have encumbered them for so long in the dark, dank, sweaty underwear of ignorance and intolerance...
2013-08-21 03:22:22 PM
1 votes:

gadian: You're a bunch of dumbasses and I really wonder how your deformed brains are able to think and regulate breathing at the same time.


Evolution.  Wonder no longer.
2013-08-21 03:22:01 PM
1 votes:

Solkar: Weaver95: cameroncrazy1984: Weaver95: When evangelicals started being more involved with politics than their relationship to the divine, Christianity started to lose its followers.

Well, that and the Internet and the widely accessible information it provides.

Oh there are a lot of reasons modern Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss. Maybe the evangelicals would be better off if all things Christian DID implode, at least for a while. If nothing else it would force them to reevaluate their faith and it's role in their lives and in society.

I still go to a Southern Baptist church, but I couldn't agree more with the above statements. The biggest thing I like about my current pastor, though, is that he keeps politics out of his sermons. That's not common anymore.


I sometimes go along to a church where the pastor tells us black people need to take our authority like we need to take the authority of Jesus. Come to think of it, why do I still go there?
2013-08-21 03:21:30 PM
1 votes:
If you read this passage with "I never promised you a rose garden" by Lynn Anderson, it is a lot funnier:

'He is definitely pushing a new tone for this generation of evangelicals. "This is the end of 'slouching toward Gomorrah,' " he says. Not only is the doomsaying not winning Christians any popularity contests, but he doesn't think it's religiously appropriate either. "We were never promised that the culture would embrace us." '
2013-08-21 03:21:29 PM
1 votes:
You never WERE the "moral majority" and there is no goddam such thing as a prophet. So, maybe you will go do something useful with your lives now instead of continuing to bank on the unearned and undeserved deference and respect that you mistakenly have thought was your due for far too long.

/but this thread was done in one.
2013-08-21 03:18:31 PM
1 votes:
It's just so SAD.
2013-08-21 03:18:29 PM
1 votes:

Diogenes: Lando Lincoln: Christians that lambaste poor people are sick in the head, and are the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.

The poor and the sick have fallen out of God's favor.  They are punished for not deferring to their moral superiors - God's chosen - in all things.

The modern American Evangelical thinks the core teachings of Christianity are quaint and outdated.  And that sort of ties into hubiestubert's comment on hypocrisy.  They aren't hypocritical when they cheat on their spouses, or steal, or even moral.  They are simply flawed and experiencing small missteps in their fulfillment of God's plan for them as His chosen.

Pretty tidy, huh?


That, and the 'fact' that you wouldn't be poor or sick if you just BELIEVED hard enough - like they do!  See, thats why they have all the money, even if they cheat and steal and kill...
2013-08-21 03:18:28 PM
1 votes:

Infernalist: Bloody William: If you have to describe yourself as a prophet, you're either a lunatic or a shyster. It's bad enough to imply that you talk for god, but to say that you actively have the line on it? That's bullshiat.

I keep seeing blind faith in religion, but it's always religion filtered through people who are greatly flawed. Prophets are worthless liars. If any god has something to say, it should be said directly so the human element can't twist the message over hundreds of years. Christianity itself is mostly based on the writings of a misogynistic Greek sixty years after Jesus was crucified. These are not the words of god, this is a game of telephone thousands of years old that, if the message did come from god, has been twisted into an unrecognizable pile since then.

But if you distill the good from the bad, then it still has some value.  Turn the other cheek.  Love your neighbor.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you(masochists can ignore this one).  Forgive each other.  Be excellent to one another.

Party on, dudes.


The more we separate morality from divinity, the better off we are. Yes, loving your neighbor and doing to others as you would ahve done unto you is important. It also should be a fundamentally moral issue without the empty promise that it was said by god or the threat of damnnation if you don't do it.
2013-08-21 03:17:30 PM
1 votes:
The Moral Majority has never been a majority, nor have they ever been moral.
2013-08-21 03:17:12 PM
1 votes:

Diogenes: Lando Lincoln: Christians that lambaste poor people are sick in the head, and are the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to stand for.

The poor and the sick have fallen out of God's favor.  They are punished for not deferring to their moral superiors - God's chosen - in all things.

The modern American Evangelical thinks the core teachings of Christianity are quaint and outdated.  And that sort of ties into hubiestubert's comment on hypocrisy.  They aren't hypocritical when they cheat on their spouses, or steal, or even moral.  They are simply flawed and experiencing small missteps in their fulfillment of God's plan for them as His chosen.

Pretty tidy, huh?

that made shiver go down my back.
2013-08-21 03:17:01 PM
1 votes:

impaler: Done in 1 and 2.


No, we still have to point out that they're calling 78.5% of the country (and far more still in the "Bible Belt") a minority.
2013-08-21 03:15:54 PM
1 votes:
Beware of false pathetics.
2013-08-21 03:15:29 PM
1 votes:
As a "prophetic minority," Mr. Moore thinks his most profound political task will be defending religious liberty from the assaults of a secular government.

You could try leading by example, too.
2013-08-21 03:10:18 PM
1 votes:

clancifer: He misspelled 'pathetic'.


vpb: They never were moral.  Or a majority.


Deep Contact: Bible rust belt.


This.

Correct.

Good.


/.....aaaaand we're done
2013-08-21 03:10:12 PM
1 votes:
so, that's their answer to waking up and realizing that America is increasingly getting sick of their shiat?

They want to embrace the eternal role of the 'I told you so!' minority?

That's what it seems like to me.  They want to get passive-aggressive, sit back and say "See?  I told you that if you gave equal rights to teh gayz that God would smite you, but did you listen?  Noooooooo...."
2013-08-21 03:10:08 PM
1 votes:
This is good to know.
2013-08-21 03:09:04 PM
1 votes:

gadian: You're a bunch of dumbasses and I really wonder how your deformed brains are able to think and regulate breathing at the same time.


Huh?
2013-08-21 03:07:56 PM
1 votes:
In the beginning there were two fish. And they had a retard baby that crawled out of the water with its mutant hands and had buttsex with a fish-squirrel or something..
2013-08-21 01:30:41 PM
1 votes:

clancifer: He misspelled 'pathetic'.


and we are OVER in one
2013-08-21 11:25:07 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: Christianity is imploding and collapsing. Hypocrisy, lies, corruption...it's all there if you scratch the surface and look underneath the gloss


That's always been there. But the lack of information dissemination prior to the 20th Century left a lot of that alone.
 
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