Tag Archives: religion

It’s not about winning (and other religious links)

As Jack Kirby once observed, humans are really bad at living by their ideals. It’s much easier to turn them into flags, then go and kill everyone carrying a different flag. The idea that our religion, for instance, is about something bigger than “our side wins!” is a difficult one.

Case in point, Donald Trump Jr. informs young conservatives that they’re playing too nice: We’ve turned the other cheek  … I understand the mentality but it’s gotten us nothing,” he complained. “OK? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution.” Dude, it’s not about getting us something in this world, it’s about acting in the way God requests. Of course, I doubt Junior cares — I’m sure his Christianity is ass nonexistent as his father’s — other than convincing his audience to support The Former Guy when he tries to overthrow the government again.

I have similar thoughts about Melissa Crabtree, an Oklahoma Trump voter and conservative Christian who says she’s angry at being ridiculed for opposing mask mandates: “Why people are choosing to shame others, I don’t know.” Given she’s also angry over men not being masculine enough, gender blurring and teaching kids racism is bad, I suspect she’s fine with shaming people — just not people who think like her (I could be wrong).

An old Slacktivist post looks at the right-wing bullshit that women should give birth without drugs because, the Bible!

And of course we have right-wing bullshitter Charlie Kirk comparing Kyle Rittenhouse to Jesus.

The pandemic has stressed out clergy just like laity.

Militant Islam is on the rise in Pakistan. Not that our religious right here wouldn’t be just as bad once off the leash.

I’m an admirer of Beth Allison Barr and Kristen Kobes Du Mez but to patriarchalist ministers and Christian leaders they’re false teachers and wolves. As the article at the link says, the problems are “not the fault of those asking the questions; the problem is building a take-it-or-leave-it worldview on premises that don’t hold up to scrutiny made in good faith.”

A Christian in Virginia is outraged that a banned books display includes the Bible.

Even some of The Former Guy’s evangelical allies are upset with his cussing out Israeli leaders — how dare Netanhayu call and congratulate Biden? I suspect they’ll still vote for TFG when time comes though.

Conservatives love to blame sexual harassment and predators like Harvey Weinstein on liberal sexual values. But then we get conservative Christians like like Pennsylvania DA Bill Higgins, a Very Moral Man who goes easy on female defendants in return for sex. He was later convicted.

Christian finance guru Dave Ramsey has been sued by an employee, Brad Amos, for religious discrimination. Amos says his religious beliefs require him to mask and take other steps to avoid spreading Covid; Ramsey is anti-covid restrictions and allegedly fired Amos. I’m sure all the Republicans so outraged about vaccine mandates will raly to Amos’ cause … I’ll come in again.

And now some Christmas links:

“An escaped camel sent police scrambling in a Kansas City suburb this past weekend. The dromedary in question escaped a Nativity scene in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

Learning history from It’s a Wonderful Life. Caution, it’s not always a good teacher. It’s a better teacher in matters of faith.

“Christmas hope may well fall in the psychological category of wish fulfillment. But that does not disprove the possibility of actually fulfilled wishes. On Christmas, we consider the disorienting, vivid evidence that hope wins.” — Michael Gerson on not giving in to despair (pitched to fellow believers, but I am one).

“Most evangelical posturing on covid mandates is really syncretism, a merging of unrelated beliefs — in this case, the substitution of libertarianism for Christian ethics. In this distorted form of faith, evangelical Christians are generally known as people who loudly defend their own rights.” — Gerson again.

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Give us that old-time religion! Some links

Slacktivist blogger Fred Clark has been discussing for years the degree to which racism is part and parcel of white evangelical theology. Case in point, the Southern Baptist Seminary decided not to remove slave-owning Southern Baptist names from buildings on campus: after all, we’re all sinners, right? Clark: “This is where we flinch, quaver, and look away. It’s almost impossible not to. Al Mohler’s inability or refusal to cast more than a passing glance at such horror is perfectly understandable. But if we do not make ourselves look, we will never come to see.” Clark also discusses and ponders how slaveowning shaped the SBC founders’ theology. “There is work to be done. For all of us. And it won’t be easy, or simple, or pleasant. But it is necessary.”

“For many white evangelicals, the 2016 election represented a last-ditch effort at preserving a way of life that seemed to be coming to an end.” Which may be why one legal effort claims supporting Black Lives Matter violates conservative Christians’ freedom of religion. As Fred Clark says, this is what happens when powerful people imagine they’re the persecuted ones.

“Andy Stanley reminds me a lot of Earl Stallings. Stallings fretted about Bull Connor the same way that Stanley frets about Donald Trump. He wanted to make sure people understood that he did not approve of that sort of thing. Not that he actually condemned it, mind you, but that he did not approve of it at all. Like Stanley, Stallings lived “in a time of intense political anger” and so his attempts to “put faith before politics” involved “grasping uncertainly at the line between speaking prophetically and making everybody mad.”

Some Trump advocates insist the Bible requires Trump’s enemies to pray for him. At the link, Libby Anne points out the Bible says the opposite in some places.

“White Southern Christians argued that any unbiased reading of the Bible proved that slavery was as legitimate a domestic relationship as marriage and parenthood.” As Frederick Douglass once said, “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.

Libby Anne also argues that when you deny reality enough to embrace creationism, it’s only a short step to conspiracy thinking.

Republicans say it’s wrong to attack religious faith — until they go after Democrats. No surprise: the fundamental tenet of right-wing American Christiniaty is that they have the right to punch down, but nobody has the right to punch back up.

Most of us are not exceptionally virtuous and heroic. Recognizing that is the first step in learning to become better, learning to speak out on behalf of others before it is too late for them or for us.”

“There’s so much potent, culture-shifting wokeness afoot, they complain. Democrats have no choice but to…reject it?”

A city uneasily decides it can’t win a First Amendment fight over a white supremacist church.

“This performance of piety in the face of evil is empty, because it does not deal with the core issue: white evangelicalism’s own racism.”

A false prophet insists as he and his ilk prophesied Trump would win, it must be true.

“I have never seen so much mobilized prayer in my life. If prayer was going to do it, Trump would be president until he was 90.”

“Public opinion surveys reveal a more deeply disturbing truth: that the lie of white supremacy — that white people’s lives are more important than those of others — continues to be one of the primary ties that bind Trump and the white evangelical world.” And evangelical support for Trump’s attempted coup suggests that instead of changing society by changing hearts and minds, they just want to win.

Others see the pandemic as an opportunity to sell their extremist views.

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