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Old 08-31-2017, 01:26 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Christians / Christianity

This is the best article on the state of Christians in the US I've ever read.

Quote:
Letís start with the very basics: Christianity, as a religion, is not inherently bad. Itís based around the teachings of Jesus Christ, a man who almost surely existed, and was, by all accounts, a solid hang. Even if he didnít exist, the quotes attributed to Jesus paint a picture of radical inclusiveness and forgiveness, two things the world needs more of. The guy was all about free hugs, food sharing, and tunic wearing ó he would have smashed at Burning Man.

The problem isnít Jesus. Itís that in the hands of the flawed, the selfish, and the ego-driven, huge sects of Christianity ó particularly those led by hypervocal, highly visible Evangelical ministers ó have lost their way. They have disregarded the teachings of Christ, while obsessing over Old Testament minutiae; they have commodified and incentivized Godís love, leaving out the weak, the poor, and the persecuted; they have, over and over, allowed their most public figures to fail, without devotees demanding a course correction.

In short: Evangelical Christianity ó home to those hand-waving, heart-grasping believers that the very word ďChristianĒ seems to conjure in our heads ó has lost its core connection to Christ.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:38 PM   #2
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It's hard to think of something more anti-Jesus than the "prosperity gospel". "Blessed are the wealthy"?

It's not really new; Calvinism had the same worldview, and Papal Indulgences had the same mechanism. Plus, paying the priest for favorable pronouncements is probably as old as religion.

But it is pretty blatant.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:46 PM   #3
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10 years, 20 years ago when I was vocally opposed to Christianity, on the grounds that it encourages people to disregard rational thought, and I felt strongly that there can't be any good results from that, people argued, why am I being such a dick? Let them live their lives, how are they affecting you? What's the worst they could do, knock on your door and try to talk to you about something that is a positive force in their lives?

Ladies and gentlemen: 2017. Here we are. People can't think. People accept unqualified talking points as 'gospel' truth. We think the Earth is flat. We don't believe in Evolution. We think the Earth is 6,000 years old and global warning is a hoax. We essentially don't believe anything that scientists say anymore.

Motherƒuckers that affects me. That affects my kids. That affects ALL OF US.
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:46 PM   #4
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We go to a church that lives the Word of the Lord, and they mean it. We support the homeless shelters, and food pantries. And take care of our own, and everybody else. We are a rich church with a mission, if the town got flooded out the doors would be open.
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
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It all depends on which strand of Christianity someone follows. The 'prosperity gospel' is a travesty - it stands in stark contrast to the teachings of Christ.

It was a big part of the evangelical movement in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries - Hannah More wrote stories aimed at the literate poor (The Cheap Repository Tracts) many of which extolled the virtues of a. self reliance and b. acceptance of their station in life.

She also wrote a lot about women and femininity - generally extolling the virtues of women remaining in the domestic sphere and not engaging in activities that should best be left to men (such as writing political tracts:p) - whilst at the same time castigating men for not being manly enough and thereby forcing women to to take on a mantle they shouldn't have.

Economic conservatism has often gone hand in hand with the prosperity gospel.

And for all their good works, and they did engage in a lot of charitable activities, many of them also argued against things that might offer the poor a chance to lift themselves out of their distress - such as those who argued against free education for children because if they learned to read they would learn to hanker after more instead of accepting their place.
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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Or, being more than willing to offer short-term relief to victims of natural disasters, while also throwing your weight behind a voting bloc that stalwartly supports disastrous climate policies which guarantee that billions more people will suffer from increasingly more severe climate disasters, including being *permanently* displaced by rising sea levels, and slowly *starving* as the temperate crop-bearing regions move into areas with inadequate soil fertility.

Edited:

I unequivocally commend Christians and Religious organizations for their direct efforts at disaster relief.



However, we are gifted with great intelligence and foresight, by God if you choose to believe, and if we don't use it to prevent further human suffering, that's a shame. If we don't foresee the dangers that scientists warn us about, because we believe politicians over scientists, that's foolish. And if we don't believe scientists because our politicians are pandering to an anti-science culture that is empowered by religiously-motivated anti-science sentiment (i.e. traditional resistance to the concept of evolution, etc.), that is due to a *malicious and evil* presence in our society that needs to be opposed.
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio

Last edited by Flint; 08-31-2017 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:59 PM   #7
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The most vocal and motivated Christian sects aren't really Christians. They don't give a shit what Jesus would do. Actually they are more like Jews in their adherence to the old testament, except the Jews behave much better.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
10 years, 20 years ago when I was vocally opposed to Christianity, on the grounds that it encourages people to disregard rational thought, and I felt strongly that there can't be any good results from that, people argued, why am I being such a dick? Let them live their lives, how are they affecting you? What's the worst they could do, knock on your door and try to talk to you about something that is a positive force in their lives?

Ladies and gentlemen: 2017. Here we are. People can't think. People accept unqualified talking points as 'gospel' truth. We think the Earth is flat. We don't believe in Evolution. We think the Earth is 6,000 years old and global warning is a hoax. We essentially don't believe anything that scientists say anymore.

MotherÉuckers that affects me. That affects my kids. That affects ALL OF US.
I worry about religion and other memes. I was raised in a church that focused on all that Vatican II hippie stuff which apparently Pope Francis is into. Over the years, I tried to duck the conflict between church and reality but couldn't do it. I got out while the right wing nuts were running my diocese. It seems Bannon had the opposite reaction doubling down on medieval bullshit.

Libertarianism was the other one I fell for, it's so simple and clean. Unfortunately, humans are not simple and clean.

We are all susceptible to accepting nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fargon View Post
We go to a church that lives the Word of the Lord, and they mean it. We support the homeless shelters, and food pantries. And take care of our own, and everybody else. We are a rich church with a mission, if the town got flooded out the doors would be open.
I like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaC View Post
It all depends on which strand of Christianity someone follows. The 'prosperity gospel' is a travesty - it stands in stark contrast to the teachings of Christ.
This is the face of the public church in the US. When Pence takes over we won't exactly miss Trump but there will be moments.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:09 AM   #9
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policies which guarantee that billions more people will suffer from increasingly more severe climate disasters, including being *permanently* displaced by rising sea levels, and slowly *starving* as the temperate crop-bearing regions move into areas with inadequate soil fertility.
There isn't scientific consensus on this. In fact science says the opposite about crop-bearing. For example, science tells us that the earth is much "greener" as a result of more concentrated CO2 levels. Plants love it.

Humankind is observably tremendously better off today than it ever has been, after warming. And, there is no reason to believe that the science that advanced this knowledge about warming will suddenly stop and cower in the face of addressing it. At least one Nobel prize winner has advanced a simple, obvious idea about how to improve sea levels... seed clouds over Antarctica.

So, now, it's interesting; you have an apocalyptic prediction about the end of humanity with little scientific basis (that is the history of humankind BTW, we always predict apocalypse), and you are mad at the Christians for not believing in it and thus not behaving in the way that you approve of.

That is *exactly* how they feel about you not believing their apocalyptic predictions...!

(Now I await an explosion of anger at the challenge of your obviously correct world view, please don't disappoint.)


late-edited to add science link
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:32 AM   #10
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"Libertarianism was the other one I fell for..."

One, idealistic, version, no doubt.

#

"it's so simple and clean."

My particular version is 'simple and clean': Mind your own goddamned business and keep your fuckin' hands to yourself...or else. If folks did this, 99% of all problems would evaporate, but folks don't and won't, not cuz "humans are not simple and clean" but cuz some humans are mercenary motherfuckers who sell snake oil (products, services, and 'philosophies'). This little, always present, segment of any population you care to name works hard to twist self-interest into service to 'the other' (quietly benefiting from all that 'altruism'). Part and parcel to this 'service' is makin' the other guy (the one who doesn't buy the snake oil) toe the line (one for all, pal, one for all.).

Of course, this twisting of a normal and natural self-interest takes generations, but -- glory! glory! -- the 'good work', the 'holy communitarian project' is almost done...pretty much: up is down, right is wrong, in is out, and reason is in the hospice, pukin' blood and dictatin' its last will and testement.

The 'We' ascends while the 'I' is run outta town in disgrace.

Too bad (for you) the new Boss is just as bad as the old one.

Kumbaya.

#

Climate change happens.

Climate change driven by human industry does not.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:51 AM   #11
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My point: a practical libertarianism takes people as they are (and holds 'em to it), while any and all strains of communitarianism work damn hard to make people "simple and clean" and good (and controlled).

It's the difference between bein' told 'you need insurance' and you not buyin' insurance (and livin' with the consequences) and, The Affiordable Care Act (born in supposed 'compassion', but practically makin' every one a property of government).

And -- again (cuz it bears repeatin') -- the climates changes but human industry ain't drivin' those changes.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:09 AM   #12
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don't wanna be accused of hijacking the thread, so...

...a few words on Christianity from a filthy heathen.

Seems to me, the only Christianity worth its weight is Christian Existentialism, which focuses exclusively on the relationship between the individual and God, with no intermediaries beyond Christ, Himself.

You can't have a church or a congregation or fund-raising with CE cuz foundationally it's a private matter, which, of course, is why CE gets no play.

The Bible (specifically the Gospels) in CE is viewed as a letter to one, to 'you', not a device for mass-teaching.

As the man (supposedly) said: you go, alone, into your room, close the door, and pray.

Sure as shit can't build an 'empire' on 'that'.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry quirk View Post
...a few words on Christianity from a filthy heathen.

Seems to me, the only Christianity worth its weight is Christian Existentialism, which focuses exclusively on the relationship between the individual and God, with no intermediaries beyond Christ, Himself.

You can't have a church or a congregation or fund-raising with CE cuz foundationally it's a private matter, which, of course, is why CE gets no play.

The Bible (specifically the Gospels) in CE is viewed as a letter to one, to 'you', not a device for mass-teaching.

As the man (supposedly) said: you go, alone, into your room, close the door, and pray.

Sure as shit can't build an 'empire' on 'that'.
I couldn't agree more on this. Thank you for sharing.

Christianity in it's current, most-popular forms, has either 1) gone off the deep end due to human fallibility, or 2) was designed to be a bad system in the first place. I'm not sure which, but with my understanding of the history of the church, I'm favoring number two. Empire-building, controlling the population, and making money seems to be what an organized religion always gravitates toward.
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
...
I've never used the feature where you can block, or ignore an aggressive user who singles you out for personal attacks. But I find it ironic that the owner of the site has unwittingly launched a crusade to drive away users. This is the third of fourth time you've done this. Including sending aggressive messages to my personal phone. ƒuck off, loser.
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:26 PM   #15
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(Now I await an explosion of anger at the challenge of your obviously correct world view, please don't disappoint.)


I do not have your personal phone's information! paranoia strikes deep!!!
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