Posts tagged ‘politics’
Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when [men] shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all kind of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:10-14a)
It could be argued that this is the beginning of the Christian persecution complex – or at least the reason for it. Of course, the early church had plenty of “valid” reasons to be persecuted – their core beliefs were directly opposed to the established Jewish community from which they arose and, furthermore, the early Christians, especially of the Pauline variety, were downright treasonous in the eyes of the Caesar-worship of the time. These beliefs had little to do with morality, and everything to do with loyalty. Martyrdom – not the kamikaze murderous kind of present extremism – became an increasingly noble cause. In the time of Ignatius – writing in the late 1st century, possibly predating some canonical gospels and pseudo-Pauline epistles – martyrdom was perhaps the single greatest act of faith that a Christian could show (see Ignatius’ letter to the Romans). It was, after all, the ultimate act of following Christ…
Many doubting Christians and apostate former Christians seem to enjoy the recent publications of anti-Christian polemics. Most of us are by now aware of the storm of debate caused by books from the likes of Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. I have not read any of these books. My tastes tend toward older, academic, lesser known books that I can check out free from the library or find in dusty corners of a used book store. And most of my Christian doubt was fueled by some very unlikely sources.
My slide away from Christianity began in large part to this seemingly innocent book, Let the Trumpet Sound – A Life of Martin Luther King, by Stephen Oates. I have always had questions and doubts about my faith, as most honest Christians do, but this book forced me to confront those doubts head-on, to take them from under the rug, and to seriously re-evaluate my beliefs in Christianity.
Early last year, I was convicted by my ignorance of some practical aspects of the world around me. I am educated, yet I knew next to nothing about the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. So I picked up this 500 page biography of Martin Luther King…
I remember watching this scene from West Wing when I still considered myself a Christian. At that time, it made an impact on me. I’ve been trying to find it after my de-conversion and recently discovered it on Null’s Tumblelog.
– The de-Convert
Click on the comic and maximize for a nice big view: …
Even as I answer some male comments on this and other blogs, I feel that niggling worm of doubt, the one in every woman’s brain, telling me, “don’t offend them” “be a good girl” “don’t make the men mad” and then I began to realize that I’ve been so brainwashed by patriarchy that I fear my own thoughts! My gender has been brainwashed so well, that I don’t realize I’m self-censoring until long after the fact. I then think, “whoa! wait a minute! What do I care what a bunch of hypocritical mega-pastors or male pastor wanna-be’s or fundie male mouthpieces for the big P are going to think about me or what I post here?”
I mean, the self-censoring impulse is scary because it is so ingrained and unconscious. For those who never have to censor their own writing (ALL YOU big P(atriarchy) and F(fundie) C(hristian) MEN OUT THERE), they just wouldn’t understand what that means…
Fundamentalism in your country must be a real problem, people who fervently believe dogma are dangerous. Religion in Australia has been in decline for some time. The Romans are hanging on to their faithful while the protestants fade away. A few of the eastern religions have a toe in the water, but the population is predominately Apathetic. Fundamentalists are rightly considered as the lunatic fringe, though they do have a very minor political party, Family First associated with the AOG and others.
ephiphanist, check out this video for a glimpse into what we’re still dealing with in 21st Century America:
Today I read a column by Paul Krugman of the New York Times entitled, “For God’s Sake,” in which the writer points out all of the many ways the Religious Right (RR) has infiltrated almost every part of the American government – thanks in large part to the fact that Bush is so indebted to many of these extremists.
Krugman said, “The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.”
It’s scary to think these extremists are controlling the strings of our politicians – all the way to the top within Congress and the White House. So many Americans are naïve enough to think their politicians are looking out for the good of the people, when in reality our elected officials are too often obliged to men like Pat Buchanan and Jerry Fallwell who have their own selfish agenda.