Showing posts with label Republican Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republican Jesus. Show all posts

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Fake Christians

Neighbors upset over church’s homeless family program

Not surprisingly, this happened in the South where the alleged "real Christians" are located.

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. -- Leviticus 25:35-36

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How Right-Wing Media Are Welcoming Pope Francis To America

How Right-Wing Media Are Welcoming Pope Francis To America
This is how right-wing media welcomed Pope Francis to America:
Posted by Media Matters for America on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Way to go "Christians."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

There God Dwells Among Men

Take a look at the photo below.

Compelling, isn't it?

This actually a sculpture at St. Alban's Episcopal, in Davidson, N.C titled "Jesus the Homeless." It's caused quite a bit of controversy, particularly due to the fact that St. Alban's is in such an affluent area and people either think it's a real person scumming up their town or they believe in Republican Jesus who worshiped money.

I think it sums up this verse perfectly..

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jesus Will Return With The AR-15 Assault Rifle

Family Research Council's Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin said at a recent event that when Jesus comes back, he will most assuredly be packing!

The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 is says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A might warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ’cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword. And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

You can add Mr. Boykin to the list of those who don't understand the concept of hyperbole.

Of course, he went on...

Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? … From the Founding Fathers, it’s in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus when he said to his disciples ‘now, if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’ I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! He was saying in building my kingdom, you’re going to have to fight at times. 

You won’t build my kingdom with a sword, but you’re going to have to defend yourself. And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that’s where the whole thing came from. I can’t prove that historically, and David [Barton] will counsel me when this is over, but I know that’s where it came from. And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Good Words

It is not fair to expect secular journalists to be biblical scholars, nor should it be anticipated that they would spend the necessary time to research the issue. It is for that reason that they tend to accept uncritically the oft-repeated Evangelical Protestant and Conservative Roman Catholic definitions that the Bible is anti-gay. If these people were honest, they would have to admit that the Bible is also pro-slavery and anti-women. 

There is also a widely accepted mentality that if the Bible is opposed, the idea must be wrong. That is little more than nonsensical fundamentalism. The rise of democracy was contrary to the "clear teaching of the Bible," as the debate over the forced signing of the Magna Carta by King John of England in 1215 revealed. The Bible was quoted to prove that Galileo was wrong; that Darwin was wrong; that Freud was wrong; that allowing women to be educated, to vote, to enter the professions and to be ordained was wrong. So the fact that the Bible is quoted to prove that homosexuality is evil and to be condemned is hardly a strong argument, given the history of how many times the Bible has been wrong. I believe that most bishops know this but the Episcopal Church has some fundamentalist bishops and a few who are "fellow travelers" with fundamentalists. 

The Bible was written between the years 1000 B.C.E. and 135 C.E. Our knowledge of almost everything has increased exponentially since that time. It is the height of ignorance to continue using the Bible as an encyclopedia of knowledge to keep dying prejudices intact. The media seems to cooperate in perpetuating that long ago abandoned biblical attitude. 

That is not surprising since the religious people keep quoting it to justify their continued state of unenlightenment. That attitude is hardly worthy of the time it takes to engage it. I do not debate with members of the flat earth society either. Prejudices all die. The first sign that death is imminent comes when the prejudice is debated publicly.  ---Bishop John Shelby Spong

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Whither the Old Testament

Are we, as Christians, bound by Old Testament law? Conservative Christians sure like to think we are. This is largely because they enjoy the whole "sinners in the hands of an angry god" meme as it frightens them into abstaining from doing "naughty" things. But most Christians say that we aren't completely bound by them anymore and I am one of them. Of course, the Bible says two different things so it's up to each one of us to take the time to study the material and context of what is being said. This article breaks it down quite nicely.

Many traditional Christians have the view that only parts are applicable, many Protestants have the view that none is applicable, dual-covenant theologians have the view that only Noahide Laws apply to Gentiles, and a minority have the view that all are still applicable to believers in Jesus and the New Covenant.

The entire link identifies and describes the various views and has sublinks with well sourced material on the study of the meaning of the passages listed above. Take some time to read through all of it. It becomes clear rather quickly that the people who believe that all of the OT is still applicable are very much in the minority.

I fall into the category of only parts of the Old Covenant are applicable although it's interesting to note that there are many who believe none are. So, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant, and the Davidic Covenant are out. An eye for an eye is now gone, as Christ directs in Matthew 5. All of the ceremonial laws are no longer applicable either.

But what about sin? The Old Testament clearly states that God punishes sinners. But with the New Covenant of Jesus, that is longer true. Take note of the verses used in this link. Look familiar?:)

Indeed, the father of Protestantism understood this very well. Martin Luther explained this as Justification by Faith. He wrote “Faith alone is the saving and efficacious use of the word of God.” He then looked to Romans Chapter 10, verse 9 as being absolutely fundamental for believers in Christianity. The passage states, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This was his justification of faith. One did not need to pay a penance for sins, whether through confession or indulgences, to get into heaven (recall that indulgences, or the paying of money or service to the church, was one of his major gripes with Catholicism). One simply needed to believe that Christ was God and that he was resurrected and then they would be saved. Luther explained justification this way in his Smalcald Articles:

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us...Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).

I bolded the parts that Christian conservatives seem to have trouble understanding in terms of sin, faith and confession. In framing the argument regarding indulgences in this way, Luther was able to remove the people that had inserted themselves between the common man and the Lord: the papacy. Interestingly, Christian conservatives have assumed the role of Pope these days, saying that they and only they are interpreting the Bible correctly. Luther had something to say about them as well.

…Every baptized Christian is a priest already, not by appointment or ordination from the Pope or any other man, but because Christ Himself has begotten him as a priest…in baptism.

What this means is that every man who is baptized and accepts Christ is no less a valid interpreter of the Bible than anyone else. All that is needed are the Five Solas. This launched a larger critique on the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. In On Papal Power, Luther wrote “when the attempt is made to reprove them with the Scriptures, they raise the objection that only the pope may interpret the scriptures”  In the early 16th century, the pope had the final say on exactly what was meant by the scriptures, not Luther and certainly not the common man. Luther saw this, along with the authority to issue decrees and convening councils as theft, writing, “they have cunningly stolen our three rods from us, that they may go unpunished”

Further, Luther abhorred the decadence of the church, stating that they were hiding behind self created authority “so that they can practice all the knavery and wickedness which we see today” Luther’s teachings were a direct threat to Rome. If people simply looked to the Bible and got their faith “free” from God, with no intermediaries, how long would it take for the power of the papacy to erode? The flow of financial rewards to the church would ebb as well. Luther also challenged church authorities by asserting that there was no hierarchy leading up to God. All men were priests and equal in the eyes of God.

Thus, members of the clergy should not have special accommodations or privileges. Luther again...

Every baptized Christian is a priest already, not by appointment or ordination from the Pope or any other man, but because Christ Himself has begotten him as a priest…in baptism. (But) the preaching office is no more than a public service which happens to be conferred on someone by the entire congregation all the members of which are priests. 

The office of the priest is one that is democratically elected by all of the people, not by papal order. He is no more closer to God than anyone else. This is how Luther’s argument became a much broader threat to church leaders and led to deep erosion with them as well as the clergy. He laid the foundation for Protestantism which, at its core, rejects intermediaries or interpreters of what the Bible "really means."

If, at this point, Luther sounds very New Testament heavy, it's because he is. Recall the New Covenant

The Christian view of the New Covenant is a new relationship between God and humans mediated by Jesus which necessarily includes all people,both Jews and Gentiles, upon sincere declaration that one believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and God. The New Covenant also breaks the generational curse of the original sin on all children of Adam if they believe in Jesus Christ, after people are judged for their own sins, which is expected to happen with the second arrival of Jesus Christ. Thus as the Apostle Paul advises that the Mosaic Covenant of Sinai does not in itself prevent Jews from sinning and dying and is not given to Gentiles at all (only the Noahic covenant is unique in applying to all humanity), Christians believe the New Covenant ends the original sin and death for everyone who becomes a Christian and cannot simply be a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant since it seemingly accomplishes new things. 

New things indeed. This would be where the grace part comes into play. There was no grace in the OT but now there is with the sacrifice of Jesus.

So, we aren't really bound by parts of the Old Testament any longer. There are no sinners in the hands of an angry god. Since this is the case, it puts into question many OT ideas (see: homosexuality, noun, not mentioned in the Ten Commandments or by Jesus at all) and, thus, it follows logically that some of it is just wrong. As a people, we evolved culturally over the time period between the OT and the NT and grew spiritually.

Recall that Jesus said, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." This last one is His New Commandment, detailed in John 13: 33-35.

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.

The Atheist and The Conservative Christian

In the space of about a week, I had an atheist and a conservative Christian tell me that in order to be a "true" Christian, I had to either believe all of the Bible or none of it. At first, this struck me as hilarious considering what polar opposites both of these individuals are. But then it made perfect sense because both of them are conservative which means the world is BLACK or WHITE and NEVER ANYTHING IN BETWEEN! Essentially, this means that they buy in to the myth that you have to believe in Republican Jesus to be a Christian.

The atheist is a buddy of mine with whom I have had many fantastic and sometimes contentious discussions about politics and religion. He is a dyed in the wool libertarian who wants the federal government out of every aspect of people's lives, save for the small, necessary things. He is very anti tax but pro choice, pro legalization of all drugs, doesn't give a shit about gay marriage or people's sex lives and wants the US military (of which he was a member for a few years) out of foreign countries.

The conservative Christian is Reverend Jim's wife, the first great love of my life. I've known her for nearly 30 years and, as she has gotten older, she has become more angry, afraid, and hateful of far too many things that go on in the world. In the course of commenting on my FB wall about the Phil Robertson flap, she said that believes every single thing in the Bible and told me that I have to believe all of it or none of it. When I posited that she does not believe every single thing in the Bible by asking her if she was subservient to her husband, she told me that the Bible told her to be submissive, not subservient, and then she went on to explain (to the horror of many of female friends) how she was just that. I politely informed her that being submissive and being subservient was the same thing and then went on to ask her she thought it was OK to sell her children into slavery. Or stone sinners. She stomped off the thread of the thread after that saying I was being silly so I guess she doesn't believe everything in the Bible.

A few days later, my atheist buddy said the same thing to me as did Reverend Jim's wife. "You aren't a Christian unless you believe all of the Bible," he declared.

"But there are parts that completely contradict each other so that's impossible," I replied.

"Exactly!" he declared. "So why bother believing in any of it?"

My buddy is clearly a baby and bathwater sort of fellow! So, I spend a few days lamenting both of their attitudes. All or nothing...what a crappy way to live your life.

But then I thought about the thirty verses of the Bible which state that women should be submissive to their husbands. These are great examples of how our society has moved past this male dominated view of sexual roles. It simply does not apply to today. Reverend Jim's wife represents a very small part of the Christian community in terms of this belief. Even the most hard core conservative Christians don't treat women the way the Bible allows. Are these millions of women "fake" Christians? Obviously not. Even by her own standards, she is as well.

Homosexuality, mentioned far less than wives being submissive to their husbands, is another example of how our culture has changed. The people of that time viewed it as taboo and learned behavior. Today, we can see that people are born that way and the question we need to ask ourselves is this: if God is so against homosexuals, why does S/He keep making them?

Getting back to my atheist buddy, it's ironic that he is an atheist because he generally lives by Christian principles. He does unto others, is generally peaceful, follows many of Christ's teachings, and actually looks like the westernized image of Jesus, complete with long flowing locks of hair! On a whim, he got ordained as a minister after answering an ad in the back of Rolling Stone. So, there is some spiritual hope for him. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Christianity has had a profound effect on his life. The basis for it is still the bedrock of our society with the New Commandment being something we all try still try to achieve. Why would you want to throw out the notion of loving one another just because of the logical contradictions that occur when cultures evolve?

Now I see the true irony of each of their statements. Neither one of them live up to their self imposed rigidity. She is less of a Christian then she believes and he is more of one. Perhaps they are pissed at themselves for compromising their ideals. After all, the Bible says we shouldn't believe everything.

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Proverbs 26:25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rewriting the Bible

Christmas always brings out the worst in conservatives and this story really drives that home (as well as explaining recent religious discussions in comments).

Don’t know Aramaic, Hebrew or ancient Greek? Not a problem. What they are looking for is not exactly egghead scholarship, but a knack for using words they've read in the Wall Street Journal. They have a list of promising candidates on their website— words like capitalism, work ethic, death penalty, anticompetitive, elitism, productivity, privatize, pro-life—all of which are conspicuously missing from those socialist-inspired Bibles we’ve been reading lately. 

In the several years since their translation project was inaugurated, all of the New Testament and several books of the Old have been thoroughly revised. But lots still remains to be done. If you've got a soft spot for Leviticus, the Book of Amos, Lamentations or Numbers, they are all still available for rewrite, so get cracking!

I wonder if our resident biblical scholar is helping them out. Sounds like this is right up his ally.

Take that story where the mob surrounds a woman accused of adultery and gets ready to stone her, but Jesus intervenes and says, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone" (John 7:53-8:11). It might have been a later addition that wasn’t in the original Gospels, according to some right-thinking, or rather right-leaning scholars. So the editors have excised this bleeding-heart favorite from the Good Book, and they've also removed Jesus’ words on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." “The simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing,” Schlafly points out, proving that, “Jesus might never had said it at all.”

Yep. Sounds just like him.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good Words

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?” ~Pope Francis, (October 2013)

Hmm...sounds most familiar...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

'Tis The Season

It's the holidays and that means it's time to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. With this spirit in mind, I thought I would answer all of the questions that a commenter (Not My Name) has been asking this year and give not only him a Christmas present but the four people that read his comments a gift as well. I've already answered many of them in posts or comments previously but he seems like he needs the attention and is lacking something pretty significant in his social life to spend as much time as he has writing in my comments section. So I thought one post with all my answers would be a great way to lift him out of his depression.

Question: Is the Constitution law? 

The context of this question was the 2nd amendment and I have already answered it pretty thoroughly. Yet there is a more concise way to answer...

Answer: Yes, the perfectly legal to amend and continually open to interpretation, as evidenced by 200+ years of tort, United States Constitution is law.

Question: Why would an uninsured person going to the ER cause insurance rates to go up?

Answer: Because they often can't pay and due to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a law signed by Ronald Reagan and a bipartisan Congress, every person must be cared for regardless of their financial situation. The story of Sharon Ford was a primary driver behind this law. Note the pro life tone to what transpired and consider this recent post of mine. As the link notes, taxpayers pick up the cost via public dollars or raised rates that stem from cash strapped hospitals picking up the tab.

Here NMN assumes that he has led me down a path that will show me that the government is the problem. Yet this same government stepped in to pass this law so we could save lives. Would NMN get rid of this law and let unborn babies like Sharon Ford's child die? I suppose only he can answer that but a reversal of this law would save taxpayers money so I guess he has a real puzzler on his hands. Maybe he should consult the Bible. On second thought, maybe not, as we can see from the next two questions.

Question: Faith in what? 

Answer: Your faith in Jesus and God. It's very, very weak. That's why you need others to believe exactly as you do lest you be tempted to stray from Republican Jesus. You claim to be a "rugged individualist" yet positively can't stand the fact that someone might think differently than you not just with your religious faith but your political faith as well. Like the communists and socialists you decry, you want everyone to believe exactly as you do otherwise you condemn them. You also make the mistake of having faith in conservative political leaders and ideologies. Faith is reserved for spiritual matters not for issues like the economy or health care. Even here your faith is weak as well. I'm not responsible for your insecurities. You are. And Jesus is very clear about people that judge and cast the first stone.

One other note on this question. NMN has refused, despite repeated queries, to outright reject the various sects of Christianity that don't conform exactly to his warped version of it. He's certainly rejected my Christian beliefs. I wonder why he hasn't rejected the Unitarian Church, for example. Or the peace churches.

Primary Question: Authors of words have a meaning they intend to communicate, and that meaning is the only valid "interpretation" of any writing. Do you agree or disagree? 

Related Questions: What makes you think God is UNABLE to do what mere humans can do—get someone to write what they want written? So you're claiming that the Jeremiah 31:33-34 prophecy has already come to pass? That every single person in the world sees and accepts Yahweh as his/her God, even Juris Imprudent? That there is no disagreement about God because we all know Him directly?   

Answer: As a writer myself, I say no to the primary question because maybe someone else can dream up something even more wonderful than I intended. Being a reflective person, I welcome it, of course:) Perhaps I could inspire someone to a higher meaning, right?  The other day in class I was offering a critique of John Maynard Keynes and a student raised his hand and said, "It seems that you are saying that Keynes' theories are too psychologically based." I hadn't actually said that but he took what I was saying and brought it to a higher level. It was magnificent. But really, it depends on the author. Bob Dylan would say yes. John Lennon would say no. NMN also seems to be lacking here in his understanding of the use of metaphor. Perhaps he doesn't understand symbolism either.

Anyway, the context of this question and the related ones is the Bible and the author's intent. As with all of his Bible, legal, constitutional, and morality related questions, NMN assumes he is the authority on the author's intent and proceeds (as always) with great hubris. He recently intimated that he is a more valid interpreter of the Bible than the pope. Wow, he's smart!

So, the question he lacks the courage to ask is "Am I the authority on Biblical interpretation, constitutional interpretation, and morality in terms of spiritual and civic law?" Or, more briefly, "Do I know what God is thinking?" The answer is no (and it's no for me as well) because he continually makes false assumptions based on emotions and a completely instransigent ideology. The failure is not with the authors but with NMN himself because he misinterprets, either purposefully, through ignorance or both, the author's intent. And, as I have mentioned far too many times, he also purposefully misinterprets what I say and turns my writings into gotcha questions (so, how long have you been beating your wife?) in order to go for the win and show off for the TSM people that read his comments. Does he know any other way? Thus far, the answer is no.

Primary Question: Do you think it's okay to punish a child for the parent's crime?

Answer: No, but I wish it were OK to punish parents for children's crimes. There would be a lot less gun deaths and spree shootings if that were the case. Perhaps parents would think twice about having guns in the house with their mentally ill child if their asses were on the line.

The background to this question is abortion and NMN falsely assumes (more on false assumptions aka lying below) that the moment of inception equals a child. It does not. Science (remember facts, evidence and logic?) shows us that there is not a fetus until the 10th week of development. The link above has detailed images of development and people can judge for themselves as to what constitutes a "child." For me that's towards the end of the first trimester which is why I have no problem with a federal ban on abortion extended to include the 2nd trimester. I'd even consider going back earlier with a ban when brain, heart and lung functions are more fully developed. A question that NMN or other pro life folks need to something human if it has no heart?

Of course, there is no such thing as compromise in NMN's world. Even I have to consider that my views may be wrong. Can the child survive outside of the womb? When? What of the mother's rights? Is her body now a ward of the state? This is a gray area because it's not as cut and dried as human-not human. And the Right doesn't do well at all with gray areas. It's not a person at every stage of neonatal development and even when it is in my view, should the fetus really be granted 14th amendment rights? Consider as well that the same argument against banning guns (only criminals will have guns) applies here. Only criminals will provide abortions and there will have to be funds for enforcement and personnel assigned to police it. Who is going to pay for it? Imagine what happened during Prohibition with liquor happening with abortion in terms of crime. Witness what is happening now with drugs. It would be a nightmare. NMN, like many on the Right, don't really think before they bloviate about nearly all of the issues facing our country today. Recall this as well. 

If we left behind the rock solid stubbornness of both sides in the abortion debate, we might actually be able to solve this problem. Abortion is not birth control and it should be harder to obtain. Single woman in their 20s are the group that need to be targeted as they have the most abortions. At a certain stage (earlier than what is legal now), they should not be allowed to have an abortion unless their life is threatened. If they are raped or a victim of incest, they should use the day after pill or terminate in the first couple of weeks. Family planning and sex education need to be improved. People have to behave more responsibly when it comes to sex. Overall, there needs to be societal shift so demand for abortion is reduced it not all together eliminated. As with most issues, the Right can't help but focus on supply when they should be focusing on demand. Get rid of the demand and you get rid of abortion.

Primary Question: Is "false" equal to "truth"?

Related Questions: Even Joe Biden admits that the administration's gun control actions won't stop the shootings. So why do those things? Since the leaders of the Democrat's effort to implement universal background checks say that "any bill without a records provision would be as toothless as an honor system", do you still assert that "[n]o one is talking about universal registration" and/or that it can be implemented without registration?

Answer: No, false does not equal truth and NMN does an excellent job of illustrating this given the content of the primary question and the related questions. Honestly, all of his questions are, in one way or another, based on false assumptions about the issues of the day or, in this case, me and what I am asserting. With me, that's part and parcel to his childish games.

The context of this specific line of query (along with all of the other gun questions he asks) is based on the false assumption and an inconsolable paranoia that the federal government is out to get our guns. For NMN, any changes to gun laws will result in tyranny. Our system of checks and balances make this highly unlikely. Consider how difficult it is to pass something as simple as a budget let alone a new law on the regulation of guns. A tyranny assumes swift and decisive action not government by sedimentation which is what we have now. He pulls half truths, spins, or simply lies with this category of questions.

Joe Biden's comment is quite different than what NMN has described and essentially (and hilariously) asks, "Why even have laws?" In fact, this very question is at the root of conservative whining. Like the adolescent that simply can't take the rules of the house, conservatives grouse about having to follow rules they don't like. New rules are the worst, man! They suck, and like, the Right doesn't want to do them and stuff. Of course, the rest of the adults in our country recognize that as our society evolves, problems arise and sometimes need to be addressed with (gasp!) new laws. Pretending that a problem doesn't exist or will magically go away (the conservative go to thinking these days) doesn't work.

The background check question is a half truth at best and based on opinions and heresay, not the actual law or an evidence based argument. The Manchin-Toomey bill is available here for review and a Google search (unaided by someone as biased as me:)) will show the full story on his related questions. And why can't we figure out a way to improve gun safety while honoring the 2nd amendment? We are the greatest nation on the planet, aren't we? I find it amusing that someone such as NMN decries those who "hate America" yet appears to be doing just that. Clearly the thinks very little of the leaders of this country and the people in it but that's the adolescent problem with authority again. Equally as amusing is the fact that NMN spends a lot of time and energy debunking things that Democrats say, accusing them of being incompetent liars, but on the issue of universal background checks, they are now suddenly "telling the truth."'s a Christmas miracle!!

Will NMN accept this gift in the spirit of the season and be gracious? Will his obsession with me continue? Or something else? Or will he reject my gift, take it back, psychotically keep asking the questions over and over again, circle jerk for juris, GD, 6Kings and Larry, and pretend that I never answered the questions? Honestly, it doesn't really matter.

Because in the final analysis we will never, ever see the kind of our nation he claims he wants. The trajectory of our country is evolving to fit the age of globalization and leaving behind backwards, hateful, and ignorant thinking. NMN's comments and questions are great examples of the fear that only comes with the realization that old ideologies are quickly becoming irrelevant.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good Words

“I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

Religious Bigotry Is Not Freedom

I've been putting up quotes from our founding fathers over the last couple of weeks to illustrate that they did not, in fact, believe that it was OK to be a religious bigot. Having religious freedom does not mean you also get to impede the rights of other people. Essentially, this is what the believers of Republican Jesus think is OK as they happily play the victim card, doing the very same thing they supposedly hate (not to mention employing the fallacies of misleading vividness and appeal to fear).

Yet this recent piece over at HuffPo shows that the atheists out there also get it wrong. The founding fathers were not atheists. They very much believed in God, the grand architect of the universe, and drew much of their inspiration for the core philosophy of this country from John Locke. Locke's Second Treatise of Government was the primary source from which Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence. It stated that individuals are born with the rights of life, liberty and property that come directly from our Creator. Jefferson changed "property" to "pursuit of happiness" but the spirit is still the same. Our freedom comes from God and atheists don't believe in God. So where does freedom come from in their eyes? Perhaps my atheist commenters can answer that question.

The quotes that I have been putting up illustrate this core belief. The people that believe in Republican Jesus have always had trouble understanding nuance (you are either with us or agin us!) so it's very likely that they would disagree with Lockian thought which holds that there is no such thing as original sin, for example. People are born as blank slates given only the rights I listed above. How they live their lives after that comes the choices they make with that freedom. Because of this, Locke was often accused of not being a "true Christian"...just like yours truly.

Yet he was clearly a true Christian because he loathed atheism and warned repeatedly that it could lead to chaos. In many ways, I agree with this philosophy and so did the founding fathers. The morality of Christ is what we base our laws upon in America. That doesn't necessarily makes us a Christian nation as many other religions have this same morality. Locke truly believed that reason and Christianity were intertwined and that fundamental human equality arose from this combination. Since all humans were created free, governments need the consent of the governed to make sure that everyone is treated equally under the law. In short, practicing religious bigotry is not freedom. No one has the right to treat people differently because their religion tell them it's ok. Claiming victimhood, as a few jack wagons have done who are refusing to serve gay people at their place of business, is yet another nauseating example of this. The people who are supportive of such folks have yet to tell me where the line is drawn. Would they be allowed to not serve women who were not submissive to their husbands as the Bible says? Or not serve black people because of racial purity beliefs? As of today, all I hear are crickets on these questions. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.

So, the quotes that I am putting from our founding fathers are examples of how religious zealots should never be allowed to hijack our government and curtail our freedom that comes directly from God. My beliefs about God coincide with those prevalent at the height of the Age of Enlightenment. The thinkers of the that time, many of whom were our founding fathers, scoffed at both religious zealots and atheists in the same breath. So do I. Our founding fathers sought to protect religion from government, no doubt a large problem as divine right of kings thinking was still quite prevalent at the time. God and Jesus were for everyone, not just those in the aristocracy. No one was closer to God than anyone else...just as the Bible says. That includes believers in Republican Jesus.

Isn't it ironic, though, that with the American Taliban running around, we now have to protect government from religion?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Limited God

Recently, I have realized that my non belief in Republican Jesus is too simple a way to characterize my distaste for the beliefs of most conservative Christians. Over the last couple of weeks, I've thought about how to expand my critique of their child like view of the Bible and have come to the conclusion that they start from a point of a very limited God.

For them, it's all about being naughty and hoping that the authority will forgive them. They are incredibly vain in assuming that we, as human beings, are the most important things in God's universe (especially our sexual habits which I will never understand as the Bible rarely talks about sex). One of my recent posts shows that if look at the percentage of time man has been on the earth as a part of the age of the earth...well...we really aren't all that important. Now, I know the Bible says we are but that was written by men so, honestly, would we expect anything less than such vanity?

Compare the small percentage of time man has been on the earth to to the age of the universe and we seem even less significant which is astounding. This general theme is explored in the wonderful Terrence Malick film entitled The Tree of Life. If you haven't seen this film, I highly recommend it. Here is the trailer.

All of this makes me ask the significant are we to God? Given how long the universe has been big it it's very likely that there is plenty of life out there we have not yet long the earth has been big it there is life on this planet we have not yet discovered...where do we fit in? God obviously has a wide variety and high number of other things with which to handle. Of course, it's God so H/She can deal with it:)

Generally speaking, starting with faith is good idea. My faith tells me that the most important thing we can do is love one another as we would want to be loved. We can care for each other and help out the poor and the sick, individually and collectively, privately or publicly. Doing His works and greater than these...

We don't do a very good job with the Golden Rule these days but we are better than we used to be. In some ways, we are ready to take the next step in human evolution and that's just what I think God wants us to do. We are very close to technology extending life indefinitely. Think of what it's like to be a parent. You want your children to do better than you did in every aspect of life (money, friendship, love, school, career). God wants the same thing for us. Science is indeed a part of God's creation so we need to take that as far as we can. Why limit ourselves/ Again, doing His works and greater than these...

I think our culture is on the cusp of a shift. It's time to shrug off thousand year old perceptions of God and not be content with having such a simple approach to our creator. The people that believe in Republican Jesus have a hostile fear of progress in just about every aspect of our society and that needs to left behind in history's dustbin along with the heavenly sphere, flat earth, and leech bleed believers.

We are clearly a small part of God's vision and we need to imagine how we, his children, might grow to a bigger role. Again, isn't what all parents want of their offspring?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hit the Road!

I'm sure that when Scott Phillips took the job at Prattville East Memorial Christian Academy as athletic director he thought there might be some leeway on which church he decided to attend.


The school’s headmaster, Scott Easley, said that it was expected that Phillips attend East Memorial Baptist Church, the church affiliated with the school, even though there was no written agreement that Phillips was to do so.

So much for the freedom to worship freely. And it's not like he was an atheist or anything.

It was only when Phillips took on the additional role of being the school’s athletic director in June 2012 that the church requirement was placed on him. Phillips and his family had been attending Church of the Highlands, which is where he and his family (wife and two children) were “growing spiritually”.

Phillips attending both churches for a year, but felt dishonest about doing so. “We would go to the 9 a.m. service at East Memorial, then head over to Montgomery for the 11 a.m. service at Church of the Highlands,” he said. “It was just not working at all.”

I sense the devil at work here! Everyone knows that there is only one way to worship Jesus and any other way is pure evil!!

It's simply amazing to me that in this day and age, we still have people that think they can tell their employees how they have to worship and where. But this would be the American Taliban at work, folks!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Praying For His Death

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal made me think about Voltaire again. In an email to supporters, O'Neal wrote

At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

and then recommended Psalm 109:8 which reads

Let his days be few; and let another take his office

This verse is followed by this, in Psalm 109:9

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. 

As Volatire astutely noted, religious intolerance always leads to fanaticism and savage, inhuman action.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013