Posts tagged ‘politics’

What’s So Bad About Religion?

baby jesus 1I’ve been debating with myself for several days about whether I should write this post. Since some others bloggers have dealt with this question quite effectively recently, I haven’t felt that I would have anything useful to add to the conversation. I changed my mind when I read Brian’s recent heart wrenching post. For the religious folks who wonder why nonbelievers care at all about religion and why we can’t we just respect believers’ beliefs and leave them alone, I offer the following thoughts.

The first problem that I have with religious beliefs is that, as Greta Christina pointed out recently, acting on the basis of false beliefs can lead to ill-conceived, even harmful, behavior and decisions. Take, for example, cases of snake handlers who die from snakebites, or Jehovah’s Witnesses who die for want of blood transfusions – both of which have occurred in the USA within the past several months. One may argue that such beliefs are misunderstandings of scriptural injunctions, but to so argue merely cedes my point. Yes, I agree, such beliefs are misunderstandings, but those misunderstandings are founded upon what believers have read in scriptures and they are founded upon traditions that have been passed down to successive generations for millennia. Quite simply, the misunderstood scriptures would not be taken so seriously, and the errant teachings that have been transmitted through the ages would not exist, were it not for the religious contexts that gave birth to them and continue to nourish them…

Continue Reading February 17, 2008 at 10:07 pm 68 comments

Theocratic Evangelicals: Forgetting History

christianflag.jpgAround a year and a half ago I wrote an article, published elsewhere, on the theocratic inclinations of contemporary evangelical Christians. I continue to recognize that these imposing proclivities are usually theoretical and manifest themselves only on special circumstances, such as in conservative pulpits, political surveys, and in the ballot box. However, as I re-watch that notorious video clip of Mike Huckabee scaring the hell out of every religious (and areligious) minority in America, I can only sit in amazement of the frightening hold the icon (or idol) of the Bible has on these people. For your reading pleasure, I have re-published that original article, with a few edits, below:

I had so many great headlines for this story. If it was not so long, ambiguous or condescending I would have stuck with: “Evangelicals Chose God over Democracy in American Politics”. I admit, the title I selected is still a little harsh and maybe a little misleading but it is getting my opinion across about a poll released by the Pew Research Center back in August 2006. Polls on religion and politics in the United States are always interesting. Specifically, my “favourite” question is the one concerning the influence the Bible should have on United States laws versus the will of the American people. The exact question reads, “Which should be the more important influence on the laws of the United States – Should it be the Bible or should it be the will of the American people, even when it conflicts with the Bible?”…

Continue Reading February 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm 46 comments

You Know What They Say About Assumptions…

Christian Commentary

Can you smell that? Smells good doesn’t it? Yes, it’s the political season in the States, and there could be nothing sweeter! I understand that some of you here may not be as much as a “political junkie” as me, but don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of everything. Although if I may…Obama ’08!! Okay, it’s out of my system, let us continue.

Now as sweet as the political season smells, at times it can be a bit too bitter; a little hard to swallow; downright sickening. Why? Well, the natural reasons of course (mud-slinging ads, shady practices, and my favorite: never answering a question directly!) Personally though, I am disgusted at the way contemporary politics bundles groups of people together as if they are a prize to be won. Case-in-point: the “evangelical” vote.

Pundits talk about “winning the votes” of evangelicals all the time. Sadly, when they say this they are making gross assumptions about Christianity – in particular, that all Christians think and believe the same way. They then “target” these individuals like they are some kind of wild game. What a shame (not to mention insulting)…

Continue Reading February 1, 2008 at 12:17 am 18 comments

Jesus and Politics


Thoughts????

December 18, 2007 at 11:59 pm 26 comments

Another Look at Homosexuality and Christianity

Gay 1I have a confession to make. I am a red-blooded, heterosexual male. Like most men, I love attractive women. I have never had what I would consider homosexual temptations, or any other attractions to the male gender. I know only a couple openly gay men, I don’t understand the lifestyle or mindset of the gay man, and I cannot conceive of how any man could be sexually attracted to any other man. I just don’t get it.

But that is not my confession.

My confession is, even when I was a Christian, I did not condemn homosexuality. Yes, I knew what the Bible said, and I remember how all my former pastors told us to ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’. I know that by and large Christians view homosexuality as major sin, and I was expected to agree with God on this issue and condemn it just as he did. But the truth of it is, I just never cared about that. I never told any of my fellow Christians at the time, but I am now telling you, the random internet surfer. As a Christian, homosexuality just never bothered me. Nope. Never did.

I looked at it like this. Jesus, when asked by a lawyer, basically summed up the entirety of the Mosaic Law into two basic, simple commands…

Continue Reading October 17, 2007 at 5:00 am 64 comments

My 9/11 Prayer

It is the evening of September 11th, 2007 – the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil by Islamic Jihadists. I am driving home from work, listening to the ceremonies and tributes paid on NPR. I am nearly home. Just as I round the corner to an adjacent street, I see this new message on the church marquee:

Skyline Baptist Marquee

You are reading that marquee right. The good folks at Skyline Baptist Church have seen fit to place this threat of eternal fire to the heathen and the promise of eternal paradise to the saint to commemorate this anniversary…

Continue Reading September 11, 2007 at 11:59 pm 16 comments

New Age Christianity

Norway MapNorway is a constitutional monarchy without separation of Church and State. The constitution declares the “Evangelical-Lutheran religion” to be the State’s religion, and also requires the king to hold to and protect this religion. You can imagine, then, that when Princess Märtha Louise (who, had not law at the time of her birth favored males, would have been heir to the throne) decides to start up an independent school which will educate its students in such New Age concepts as healing, reading and contact with angels, by media dubbed “the angel school”, there’s gonna be some public discussion. When this occurs during summer—when there’s simply less news for the media to write about—it’s caused massive media coverage.

Reactions are varied, of course: a televangelist condemned her as being a demon from Hell; a range of people condemned her as a fraud and for immorally profitting from people’s spiritual needs (some of them hypocritically looking the other way when they, as employees of the State Church, do the same); a lot of people demanded that she withdraw her membership in Den Norske Kirke, the State Church; the Princess herself thinks that, had she lived some hundred years past, she would’ve been burned as a witch; and a lot of people, including Crown Princess Mette-Marit, spoke out in her defence.

As an atheist, this fight between religions is both amusing and depressing. In my eyes, Christianity and New Age-style healing, miracles, contact with angels and the like are all contestants on the same, irrational game field…

Continue Reading August 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm 37 comments

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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