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View Diary: "You think gays have rights?" (232 comments)

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  •  It's fine to treat the (12+ / 0-)

    text as a living document, but it's dishonest to pretend that all of these things aren't there.  Fundamentalists aren't pulling these things out of thin air.  I'd even say that from the standpoint of literary criticism, fundamentalists are even the more accurate and holistic readers of the Bible.  My leftist Christian friends, God bless them, seem to think the Bible consists entirely of the red print and that all the rest can just be ignored.

    The problem with comments like yours above is that they deny history and in doing so dishonor the memory of those millions that have been oppressed by this religion.  Yes, there have been small instances of Christianity siding with emancipatory projects here and there; but the history of Christianity has consisted in overwhelmingly siding with oppressive forces.  I'm all for a different type of Christianity, but we shouldn't pretend this hasn't been its history.

    •  The fundamentalists I know seem to pay (12+ / 0-)

      attention only to Paul and Leviticus and especially ignore the red print.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:37:51 PM PDT

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      •  The argument I often (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, maf1029, kyril, caul

        hear from them is that Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it.  Either way, from a strictly historical perspective, fundamentalism is more representative of what Christianity has been than liberal Christianity.

        •  Maybe so. (4+ / 0-)
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          ahumbleopinion, kyril, caul, aitchdee
          from a strictly historical perspective, fundamentalism is more representative of what Christianity has been than liberal Christianity.
          since from a historical perspective, Christianity has certainly been a religion enforced by higher ups (whether clerical or lay), making the people  believe certain "facts" (all of which are impossibilities,) as opposed to a guide for living one's life (which seems to be what Jesus preached about). Throughout history, the Church has mostly been about the "law" -  and Leviticus and the writings of Paul are where many of these prohibitions are found. But what do you expect when the Church became the arm of the State and a potent way to keep the people in line.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 01:00:05 PM PDT

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    •  All what things? (2+ / 0-)
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      kyril, caul

      At least the theologians I read take the anti-modern, anti-women, anti-gay readings of the bible head on.  Read Steven Greenberg or Daniel Boyarin, for instance.  Nobody there is pretending anything doesn't exist or selectively blinding themselves.  

      •  I'm not sure what (2+ / 0-)
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        kyril, caul

        you're responding to in my post.  All I'm saying is that throughout history Christianity has overwhelmingly been on the side of the oppressors.  There are small exceptions here and there, but not many.  Trying to brush this aside is a form of denialism.

        •  Your claims about liberals vs. fundmentalists (3+ / 0-)
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          kyril, aitchdee, melo

          I was countering your claims that liberals don't read or ignore the parts of the bible they don't like.  Which if you had actually read any liberal religious thinkers, you would know to be totally absurd.

          And BTW, most social systems, Christian or not, are overwhelmingly on the side of the oppressors.  That's how anything but band societies work... they prop up tyrants and oppressors.

          That does not change the fact Christianity has a radical social message that has indeed often by harnessed to forward social change.  The fact that you can identify social radicals of a Christian persuasion throughout western history speaks to the enduring power of this message.  The fact that the elites condemned such radicals has little to do with Christianity and a lot to do with how power in society works.

          •  MLK without the church? (1+ / 0-)
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            missing a big force multiplier...

            just cuz the repugs are using the religious the way they do, no reason to throw the baby jesus out with the bathwater.

            happy easter!

            why? just kos..... *just cause*

            by melo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:59:23 AM PDT

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      •  One question worth asking (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem, kyril, caul, aitchdee, RockyMtnLib

        is why you believe theologians are relevant to these issues and discussions?  Theologians are academics whose work has next to no influence on the lay.  These are issues pertaining to really existing social institutions, religion as it is actually practiced, and what people in these groups statistically believe.  Evoking theologians who have no impact on these institutions and practices just misses what these debates are about.  When those theologians command large swaths of the lay then we can talk.  

        •  wish I could recommend this 100 times! (1+ / 0-)
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        •  How big a swath do you need (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, aitchdee

          Rabbi Greenberg more or less single-handedly created space for gays and lesbians within the modern orthodox community.  If you care at all about how religious gays who do not wish to leave their communities are treated, he's somebody you should pay attention to.

          •  This is wonderful, but (0+ / 0-)

            also the exception, not the rule.  My point is simply that if we want to understand what religion is, we need to focus on what the lay believe and practice, not the formalizations of theologians.  The question is one of how these institutions really function and act in the world.  We should treat these institutions sociologically and ethnographically and investigate them the way we'd investigate any other group.

        •  I'm reminded of the quote from Edward Gibbon... (0+ / 0-)

          author of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire:

          The theologian may indulge the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discover the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon Earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings.

          Is it courageous to propose tax cuts but not identify a single tax expenditure to rein in? Is it courageous to target your deepest cuts on the poorest Americans, who vote in lower numbers and provide little in campaign contributions?

          by caul on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:25:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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