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View Diary: Eugene Robinson responds to Pope Francis (138 comments)

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  •  Within the 'church giving to the poor' is (19+ / 0-)

    an interesting, um, edit, to the Bible which somehow places 'deserving' in front of 'poor.'

    There's a strain of 16th C protestantism which still exists to this moment almost intact in the US. It holds a doctrine which improves upon the Bible by explaining 'yes, not only can you serve God and Mammon, unless you serve Mammon (aramaic for 'wealth,' 'worldly things') you can't serve God. And if you serve Mammon well enough that's a sign God loves you.'

    Well, it doesn't say that, but it sure as hell boils down to that.

    This sort of 'believer' used to be easily pegged as 'holier than thou' and so dismissed. Mass-reach Media changed that starting with the Moral Majority getting massive, and unchallenged, play. Since, there's been no real exposure of any other version of Christianity except the 'greed and excessive vanity means God loves you' strain.

    Even during the run-up to the Iraq War, even on C-Span, when there was a 'christian' commentator it was 95% of the time of this stripe. Even though the Pople said 'don't do this War, it's wrong.' As did almost every other religious leader in the world. (We'll except the US Bishops, who are a corrupt lot and in the rightwing's pocket.)

    I don't know what to do about this, but we need a way to give them a chance to see their own hypocrisy, and whether they take the chance or refuse, make sure everybody else sees it plain as day.


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:20:00 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  the prosperity gospel (16+ / 0-)

      that is what I have heard it called - if you prosper, it shows that you are pleasing God.

      Any God I would be interested in (atheist here) would not work like this......in our imperfect world!

      •  except "prosperity Gospel" has no biblical basis (18+ / 0-)

        unless one reads very selectively, and then usually from less than fully accurate translations.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:26:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Salvation is seen as an illusion. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, SuWho

        Prosperity ??? That's highly visible. And yes, God loves the rich.

        "The best thing you can do for the poor, is not be one of them."

        -- Reverend Ike

        Not that I disagree with avoiding poverty. But this can be taken a step too far.

      •  So how do they explain... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, Calamity Jean

           ...Andrew Sullivan, Ellen DeGeneres, and Tim Gill?

           All very financially successful. They must be really pleasing God...

        "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

        by Buzzer on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:43:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Prosperity Gospel has roots in Calvinism (4+ / 0-)

        and the concept of the Select.  Calvin would say that God's favor is bestowed upon the Select and as a result, the Select prosper.  Moreover, he claimed that one becomes a member of the Select by the grace of God alone.  He did hedge his bets a bit by saying that if you weren't sure that you were a member of the Select, that good works couldn't hurt your chances.

        It's stuff like this, and my understanding of science and cosmology that has led me to turn away from Christianity and embrace atheism.

        Knowledge without conscience is the ruination of the soul -- François Rabelais

        by ccyd on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:18:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've always heard it called "Elect" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          but that is essentially right. Since God has known from before the beginning of the world who is written in the book of Life and who is not, some are saved and some are damned and there is nothing you can do to change that.

          BUT while this was a common warping of the message--and human beings do warp nearly everything--there are some important differences.  One way others would recognize the saved was in their way of life: "by their works shall ye know them."  They wouldn't be saved BY works, but their hearts would be so full of Christ that they would do good works anyway.

          And unique to modern Americans is their certainty that they, personally, are going to heaven.  16th century Christians knew that most people were going to hell and that it very well could include them.  People who think there's a literal hell but optimistically assume they're too good to go there are way more likely to be complacent about it.

        •  Pure Weber (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          who linked capitalism in Europe to Calvinistic Predetermination and the Protestant Work Ethic, where folks were careful not to waste money, save it, invest it, and that economic prosperity reassured people that they were favored by God.  So, to Weber, capitalism grew out of this Protestant Christian philosophic base and this religious superstructure determined the infrastructure, the economics of capitalism.

          "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

          by kuvasz on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:30:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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