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Once upon a time, when Allergywoman was in high school, she got mail from a socialist magazine and the idiots at the Christian Coalition at the same time. The funny thing was that her politics were more aligned with the socialist magazine, but her theology was more in line with the Christian Coalition.

Now, you may not believe this is possible. Well, those of you who are on the Left and have never been involved with the Evangelicals in this country might not...other than Bill Moyers. (I can only dream he'd read my blog!) Those of you I keep getting warned about as being programmed by the Right to do its bidding might understand, or might just yell at me. I don't know. I've never understood the political Right in this country.

I was raised by two '60s era liberal feminists, first off. We always talked politics in my family, and we still talk about it, though in a sadder tone these days. In fact, I and my mom still remember back to the dark, dark days before the 1980 election, when I was seven, and my family was discussing the upcoming vote. I remember chiming in, "I'm going to vote for John B. Anderson." (The "B" was very important for some reason. Maybe because he was the "B" side?) My mother said something about me not being able to vote, and I said, "But Mom, women can vote now."

(Note to any seven year olds reading this blog with your parents: Sorry, this one doesn't work.)

So anyway, I largely grew up with political disappointment, getting sicker as conservative Republican after Republican was voted into office.

As for my religious upbringing? Um, well, I remember a little before I was five years old being very bored by church services. I also remember being really startled by a friend of mine telling me that after we die, we live again, because I thought dead meant dead and I didn't see how she could be right. From about age five to age eleven, I'd say I was a de facto agnostic. I mean, we sang Christmas carols at home, but I didn't understand the theology any more than I understood the silliness in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe about Aslan "having" to die. We started attending a Unitarian Universalist church when I was eleven, and I largely became an atheist because I was being abused at school by so-called Christians.

But of course (see the title of this blog?) that didn't last. I got into the habit of just dismissing and making fun of anything Christians believed without really considering or reading it. Of course, one day when I read a tract intending to make fun of it, instead it made a lot of sense and I became a theologically conservative Christian.

Now, I saw no reason to change my political or social beliefs. In fact, I'd imagine that a lot of you on here agree. After all, despite its shortcomings (oh yes, we'll get to those), the Bible in general (and the New Testament writings attributed to Jesus in particular) has a great emphasis on giving to anc caring for the poor. And of course, as we all know, the Republicans now and then, back in the dark ages of 1986 when I converted, believe in giving to the rich "and swindling the poor."* As I hadn't been indoctrinated into believing that working to make abortion illegal was somehow giving to the poor, I didn't change political ideologies.

I have talked to some conservative Christians about this, too. Try reading their indoctrination materials...er, I mean tracts. None of them mention the need to vote for Republican idiots. All they say is that you need to believe that God is great, humanity screws up, Jesus clears the way to God once you realize this, and you need to accept him. They blather about it being part of "living out your faith," of course, but there is nothing to show that anyone needs to betray Jesus by voting for the party of, by, and for the rich in their evangelism. So they shouldn't be surprised when we don't.

In fact, even though I read a lot of conservative Christian propaganda, I did think it was wrong when it came to politics. I knew, for example, that I carried my Bible to school and that it wasn't illegal. I knew I could pray any time during the school day and that the school shouldn't force prayers on me, and I was grateful for that First Amendment protection. And (sorry, Hal Lindsey) I knew that the world hadn't ended in 1980, even though some people really, really wanted it to.

Boy, did I get an eye-opener when I went to college, though. Not only did the Young Democrats think I was in the wrong place (honest, they did), but I got a lot of subtle messages from my friends in the conservative Christian community that yes, it was a conservative community. Now, I'd been doing this largely on my own in high school. I did go to the closest church to me, the ELCA Lutherans about a block and a half away, on Sundays sometimes. I did date s conservative Christian for a little, and he took me to his church a few times. But really, it was just me, God, and the books I read.

I didn't know before I went to college that some people in the Evangelical commnity really only wanted to interact with other Christians, "because what's the point of being friends with someone you won't see in Heaven?" I didn't know the conspiracy theories that ran rampant, from "The Illuminati run everything!" to "You can't accept evolutionary science" to "Pray in babbles that aren't languages!"

Oh, and don't question your leaders. But if you do, and they ask you for a meeting, bring friends and leave when they attack you. They will.

Oh, and push your religious beliefs onto other people, whether they want to hear it or not. I always thought that was kind of rude, and as an introverted and shy person anyway, I hated having that kind of stuff pushed on me. But some Evangelical Christians really believe they have to, and they believe something's wrong with you if you don't.

The long and the short of it is, after four years of interacting with Christian groups at college, I'd had it. I didn't like their assumptions politically, I didn't like the way they treated those who occasionally screw up (aka everyone), and I didn't like the assumption that the leaders of their community were not to be questioned. So I returned to my more solitary practice of my Christianity, and that probably saved a few years before my eventual deconversion.

The problem was, though, that I'd also made non-Christian friends. Many
of those friends were good people. They also had hard questions about the Bible and Christian theology. So my beliefs began changing, even though I would have told you at the time that they hadn't. I believed, for example, that the Old Testament in particular often reflected "the best that God could get" out of the backward barbarians who believed forcing a woman to marry her rapist was a good idea.

I also began to believe, contrary to the usual Evangelical presumption, that non-Christians were not intentionally rejecting God and his truth, but they honestly believed other things were true. I didn't reject the idea of hell, not yet, but I couldn't believe, either, that the God I knew from those past years would reject someone for honestly believing that something else was true.

But the straw that broke the back of my Evangelical belief was, simply this: I couldn't believe that God would let Adam and Eve fall. Remember, I believed this was literally how sin entered the world, and without sin, there was no need for Jesus. I also believed that God loved his creation. So if God really loved his creation, he would have protected them from evil spirits tempting them to fall. And I believed he did.

The funny thing was that even with this, I didn't want to give up being a Christian. I'd spent thirteen years now, maybe a little more, invested in having my identity be a Christian one (and no, not in the racist sense either). I was afraid I'd lose who I was if I deconverted. But being at least somewhat intellectually honest, I couldn't let myself remain a Christian just because I liked the Christmas story and enjoyed wearing the jewelry I'd built up. So I forced myself out of Christianity.

Unlike most ex-Evangelicals I've met on-line, I didn't give up God, though. I still believed in and felt God in my life. I just looked for a different and better way to live out my belief, and ended up in the more modern version of Paganism.

And that's how you can be a socialist Evangelical, or at least on the political left wing. If you want to read another person's experience with being on the Left and an Evangelical, I recommend Tony Campolo's Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat? Thanks for watching; we'll see you next time.
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*Scrooge McDuck, Mickey's Christmas Carol.

Originally posted to birdsneezing on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 06:51 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If people read the teachings of Jesus (12+ / 0-)

    and pattern their lives based on them, they will be liberals. It is as simple as that. Anyone who says it isn't that way is lying.

    Joe The Heckler/Joe The Plumber 2012

    by kitebro on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 06:58:44 AM PDT

    •  It isn't that way. (0+ / 0-)

      And, contrary to your arrogant presumption, I'm not lying :)

      If only because Jesus' teachings are as contradictory as the rest of the Bible.

      So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

      by skeptiq on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:17:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Which is why the politically motivated (7+ / 0-)

      religious conservatives ignore the teachings of Jesus. You cannot dictate sexual morality to others if follow Jesus. You cannot disrespect the beliefs of others if you follow Jesus. You cannot ignore or neglect the suffering of others if you follow Jesus. You cannot praise, even worship, war and greed if you follow Jesus. Jesus told his disciples to follow his teaching if they love him.  It is impossible to reconcile the contradictions of self-centered conservative ideology with the principles of loving others central to the teachings of Jesus.

      The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

      by DWG on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:23:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't follow you. (0+ / 0-)
        It's not clear why Christians can't support the prohibition of sexual practices they think are immoral.  Could you expand on that?

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:39:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  because jesus doesn't waste time with sex (8+ / 0-)

          people grasping for biblical support for their sexual conservatism very rarely quote the gospels, they're usually buried deep in leviticus or else leaping over christ to quote paul.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:45:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, but not really responsive. (0+ / 0-)
            Even if we stipulate that christianity is silent on bein' gay (which is a stretch given St. Paul), it doesn't follow from that silence that Christians are obliged to take a libertarian legal position.

            We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

            by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:50:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the gospels are pretty consistent (8+ / 0-)

              about what's important and what's peripheral, which sins aren't important and which sins are mortally perilous. by the time you're quoting paul, you've left the gospels.

              what did jesus say about sexual morality? give your money to the poor, and comfort the suffering. one would assume christians would foreground christ's actual teachings in their theology, instead of everyone but christ.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:58:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What Jesus said about sexual morality is . . . (7+ / 0-)

                ... "ye who are without sin cast the first stone."

                I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:08:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

                  And since we all fall short of perfect, it is best to keep our mouths shut about what others do and concentrate on our own shortcomings. The Owl seems to want to ignore Jesus because of something Paul said. Funny concept that.

                  The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

                  by DWG on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:26:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I know some people who argue that most (5+ / 0-)

                    Christians aren't really Christians. They follow Paul, so they're Paulians.

                    I think that trying to call someone that is just begging for a fight, so normally I don't.

                    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                    by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:38:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Also, (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kitebro, CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                      Paul gets a bum rap - there's quite a bit there that's very useful and wise, mixed up with other stuff that does seem, well, disturbed.  It's really the books attributed to Paul, Timothy and Titus, that ground the conservatism of much Christian thought, but they aren't really what Paul was all about, either.

                      (- 8.75, -5.59) Blue Dogs: HEEL!!!

                      by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:47:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Some follow the Pope. (0+ / 0-)

                      He speaks for God. As far as Catholics are concerned. And the Popes took a right hand turn away from the teachings of Jesus.

                      Joe The Heckler/Joe The Plumber 2012

                      by kitebro on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not as far as this former Catholic is concerned. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        happymisanthropy, Alec82

                        And since I just heard from a priest that you cannot resign from being a Catholic, I guess I can have my say. I call BennyRatz "the Poop." I am so going to Hell.

                        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                        by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:11:18 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                          That view is so bizarre.  You can resign from being pretty much everything, but for some reason Catholics are made to feel that it's some sort of fixed identity that they carry with them.  Like an ethnic background.  And yet they discourage the formation of a "gay" identity even among people who have decided to remain celibate.  

                          I stand here as proof you can resign from Catholicism; that was one of the many reasons my family left Italy.  It's very easy to do.  

                          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                          by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:16:30 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for the permission to resign. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82, allergywoman

                            The above is only half in jest. I left Catholicism when I was 13. Some of the noxious ideas still trouble me, but 15 years a Quaker and a profound interest in Buddhism serve to 'talk me down.'

                            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                            by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:46:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've always liked Quaker belief. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82, CherryTheTart

                            Not enough to join, but the constant allegiance to peace really inspires me.

                            Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                            by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 01:13:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Great. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82, CherryTheTart

                            I hope you've found the right beliefs or lack thereof for yourself now, or are still looking.

                            Boy, it's hard when you want to be inclusive of everyone. :D

                            Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                            by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 01:12:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My relationship... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                            ...or lack thereof to Catholicism is kind of difficult to explain.  When my parents decided that they were going to convert, the stipulation was "no Baptist churches, no Catholicism."  The former because they associated them with fundies, the latter because of many years of anti-Catholic indoctrination. By former Catholics.  

                            No, I'm an atheist, which doesn't preclude being religious or being interested in other religious traditions.  I like hearing about where others are at, and what their path was, though.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 03:57:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  You can resign from Catholicism (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                          Just ask Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the other reformers. If you like the ritual but don't want the hoopla over abortion, there's always your local Episcopal church. We have plenty of 'recovering Catholics'

                      •  Eh - (2+ / 0-)

                        the closest a Pope comes to "speaking for God" is making an ex cathedra statement, which they actually don't do that often.  I can't think of a Catholic who would argue that an ex cathedra statement is issued by God, the way that a prophetic utterance is clearly understood to be issued by God through a human mouthpiece.  It's a subtle, but significant difference.

                        Not a Catholic here, but an advocate of religious dialogue, which takes at its first principle trying to see your dialogue partner in the best possible light while trying to understand where the points of difference are.

                        (- 8.75, -5.59) Blue Dogs: HEEL!!!

                        by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:17:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The anti-abortion, (3+ / 0-)

                          anti-gay thing is not taken from any teachings of Jesus. And yet for many Catholics it is the most important part of their faith. I know some mega-Catholics. They are all about overturning Roe vs. Wade. Yet Jesus never addressed abortion. He did, however, have a lot to say about divorce. But that just gets ignored, mostly.

                          Joe The Heckler/Joe The Plumber 2012

                          by kitebro on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:22:03 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Traditionalists Catholics? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                            Or just the cultural ones? Cultural Catholics aren't really that anti-gay, in my experience, although many of them are anti-choice.  The traditionalists, though...watch out.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CherryTheTart, allergywoman

                            you and I know different Catholics.  It's a Big Tent, so you'll find all kinds.

                            I just don't like to see small samples blown up into representatives of the whole.  Feeds stereotypes.

                            (- 8.75, -5.59) Blue Dogs: HEEL!!!

                            by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 10:00:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's my problem with that (3+ / 0-)

                            The Catholic Church has taken many positions on these issues.  They call on Catholics to resist any government recognition of same-sex relationships, to oppose any attempts to liberalize abortion laws, etc. Now, being Catholic is a choice.  You choose to affiliate with the Catholic Church.  Catholicism is not beyond criticism.

                            I was at a wedding reception last week and discussing this with the "younger crowd" that always materializes at these Italian events.  Everyone is "Catholic" even if they don't attend a Catholic church, because everyone is baptized Catholic and the church tries to cultivate that identity and it's tied up with their Italian background. And they also try to control their politics.  And then the conservatives complain of "racism" against Italians or "anti-Catholicism" when the views of their ideologically rigid court appointees are criticized.  I remember all too well the Alito hearings.  

                            So you're right, it's a big tent.  Many don't hold those views.  But let's not pretend the Church itself doesn't try to cultivate it.  It does.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 10:24:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Yep. They are Paulians. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kitebro, happymisanthropy

                    They are not Christians.

                    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                    by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Beside the point. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allergywoman
                Your argument is: (1) Bible is silent on sexual morality; (2) where the bible is silent on moral matters, individuals can't support legislation to prohibit such conduct; (C) individuals can't support legislation opposing sexual conduct X.

                Where on earth are you pulling (2)?  I'm not aware of anything in the bible compelling that sort of libertarian political philosophy.

                We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

                by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:24:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The only thing I'm aware of (0+ / 0-)

                  (and forgive me, it's been years since I read the Bible) are some verses in the NT that do say we should be subservient to government leaders. Kind of like the "render unto Caesar" speech by Jesus.

                  But I'm not sure it would apply to a modern democracy, which I doubt any Biblical writer foresaw.

                  Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

                  by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:28:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The verse is: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dirkster42, allergywoman

                    "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God that which is God's." That was Jesus reply when his critics asked him if it was unlawful for Jews to pay taxes to Caesar.

                    I love the avatar Jesus because he does not tell us what to do. He is asking us to judge for ourselves the difference between what is spiritual/moral and what simply is: government force and law.

                    In this he is very like Buddha:

                    "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

                    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                    by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 09:02:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  GOSPELS. JESUS. (5+ / 0-)

                  my point was that people who call themselves christian who cite everyone in the bible except for christ are missing the boat.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:31:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Simple (8+ / 0-)

          Jesus said not to judge others but rather clean up your act. The morality of others is irrelevant. That is not a hard concept. And a funny thing about the people who seem preoccupied with the morality of others - their own behavior often falls well short of the standards they wish to apply to others.

          The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

          by DWG on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:20:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I can expand on that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman

          The sexual requirement and rules of most fundamentalist churches are authoritarian and rooted in ancient ways doing things. These rules are cruel and repressive to women, gay people, children, and men. Their rules create and maintain a cultural and societal structure that is not supported by science or love for one's fellows.

          Sexual authoritarians would do everybody a big favor if they minded their own business and left the rest of us alone to mind ours.

          I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

          by CherryTheTart on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 05:46:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  nonsense. (0+ / 0-)
      GOPers believe that people that work hard can do fine.  If they believe that to be true, than their politics coheres w/ their theology (note the NT tells us that slackers don't deserve handouts)

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:37:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2 Thessalonians is the one (4+ / 0-)

        that's all "Who shall not work, shall not eat," which was also a motto in Maoist China, if I recall correctly.

        But OTOH, there's the Gospel of John, which is all, "You shall have the poor with you always, and you must always help them."

        It's so frustrating, living in America, where the Fundamentalists have set the terms of the discussion on the Bible so rigorously that getting past the patently false idea that the Bible is a book, and not an anthology, is virtually impossible.  Whether one's talking to Evangelicals or secular folk, that's the common assumption, generally, whether folks accept or reject the Bible as a sacred text.  It just baffles my mind that anyone can even think that the Bible is a book, and not a library.  Or even when people know that's the case, the book mentality keeps taking over.  It's like being on a different planet sometimes.

        (- 8.75, -5.59) Blue Dogs: HEEL!!!

        by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:34:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirkster42, CherryTheTart

          I guess that happens to me, too.  When my parents converted they joined a United Methodist church.  I grew up with plenty of "Bible believing" Christians.  It's very ingrained.  

          I could never accept sola scriptura.  It always seemed odd to me.  And the more I read Spong, Borg, Crossan and the others it just seemed....silly.

          My cousin just converted to Catholicism and felt it was necessary to explain that it wasn't sola scriptura when we started discussing the Tanakh and abortion.  It's like this common, shaky ground.  A rebuttable presumption.  

          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

          by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:56:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What does that have to do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart

        with my comment?

        Joe The Heckler/Joe The Plumber 2012

        by kitebro on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A fine diary. (5+ / 0-)

    And in QuakeSpeak, your diary spoke to my condition.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 06:59:27 AM PDT

  •  Mind Fucks For Mass Consumption (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart

    That is religion. And I am cheering for anyone who tries to walk the twisted path out of it. Should be shelters for battered minds.

    It occurs to me that conservative Christians really have to do battle in a capitalist society based on individualism  with the altruism that Christianity calls for. The 912ers are working out that cognitive dissonance en masse. As long as they are a minority in the electorate, I wish them all the best. Don't worry about them trying to achieve power by undemocratic means. The fuckers can't even run a lame ass church carnival.

  •  Nice diary. But: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, allergywoman

    "New Testament writings attributed to Jesus in particular"

    Ahem.

    So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

    by skeptiq on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:15:12 AM PDT

    •  They are attributed to Jesus. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, CherryTheTart

      As I'm not even certain that one person existed who was "the" inspiration for Jesus, or that if s/he did, her/his writings actually have survived, that was the best I could do.

      BTW, my mother is an atheist, so I do take anti-atheist bigotry personally. :D

      Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

      by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:27:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My folks are conservative christians, (5+ / 0-)
        so some anti-xian stuff really gets my dander up.  They're wrong and their beliefs are harmful to the country, but they're not evil and not incoherent.

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:42:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of them aren't. (4+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately, most claiming to be who are in power are evil, I believe.

          Also, a lot of conservative Christians have far more nuanced positions than the idiots at Faux would have you believe. I've met union supporters and supporters of abortion in the case of rape and incent who are Evangelicals.

          Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

          by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:49:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They are evil. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman

          One of the attributes of the evil is scapegoating. It is always somebody else's fault. It's the devil, the heathens, the gays, the atheists, the socialists, the secular humanists.

          Another characteristic of the evil is they evoke revulsion. I am repulsed by the Christian right and I am a Christian.

          I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

          by CherryTheTart on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:05:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The problem of evil did my belief (5+ / 0-)
    in, too.  Unlike you, I was raised in a conservative evangelical family & church; it never made sense that god would punish good people either because of their non-harmful beliefs or because of A&E's errors in Eden.

    It never made sense and never will (and it's a form of the problem of evil: "why is the xian universe structure so unjustly" it asks)

    We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

    by burrow owl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:33:58 AM PDT

    •  It just seems so stifling (4+ / 0-)

      There was this large evangelical family I was babysat by when I was 5-7.  They forced their daughter to tear up a rock and roll tape (as though it were contraband).  They read to their kids from Revelation every night.  They didn't celebrate Halloween, but they had this bizarre view of Satan as an active force in the world.  Looking back on it, it's ironic that they seem to have had more in common with pagans and animism than most "mainline" Christians.  

      What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

      by Alec82 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Evil is the absence of good. Simple. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CherryTheTart, allergywoman

      Where a lot of evangelicals got hung up was on the whole idea of a universe that is God created and God controlled down to the smallest detail.  In that sense God is done a disservice, because it means everything ultimately is his/her fault.

      Religious traditions that think of God as less a human personality but more of a force of nature don't have this same problem.  Connecting with the divine is less a matter of struggling with evil but of aligning yourself with good.

  •  shorter answer: read the gospels (5+ / 0-)

    i'm not a christian, but the message there is pretty unambiguous, at least when it comes to social values.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:43:54 AM PDT

  •  corrupting religion is a goal heavy handed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, CherryTheTart

    An the Evangelical are a big fat target today. As are conservative catholics.

    read your history, by no means the first time this has happened.

    I don't understand why we cannot just all get along.

    by Blue State 68 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:48:25 AM PDT

  •  Conservative Socialism. (5+ / 0-)

    Like all churches, an Evangelical church is a socialist commons. Resources are shared, like a camping trip. The communal experience of church life is what makes Evangelicals so happy (at least while they're in church) but fear of the other prevents them from extending these cooperative values into the secular realm. It's odd--they tithe into the common good, and their money is usually controlled by elders, but they cry tyranny when they have to pay taxes for the good of the country they claim to love.  

    •  Unfortunately, I haven't seen enough of this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, CherryTheTart

      even for their own poor in their churches. I hope in this recession they're bending and actually giving to help their own, if not the rest of us.

      Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

      by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A friend of mine - (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, CherryTheTart, allergywoman

        his parents are staunch Fundamentalists, mainly because they hit this level of poverty just above the cutoff point for government assistance.  When they mentioned their troubles at their conservative church, bags of groceries started showing up at their doorstop, delivered anonymously by church members.  

        Anecdote is no substitute for statistics, but it's still one example of how it worked out in one instance.

        (- 8.75, -5.59) Blue Dogs: HEEL!!!

        by dirkster42 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:39:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, good. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirkster42

          Like I said, I haven't seen it; on the other hand, I mostly attended conservative churches in college, when my parents and the State were looking out for me.

          Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

          by allergywoman on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I find Fundies to be charitable enough (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirkster42, allergywoman

          and that is part of the problem, they have charity towards their own only.  Any charity towards non-believers is a subsidy to Satan.  One of the gifts of the church is that membership has privileges.  When the government starting doing things for people then anyone could get help and there was less incentive to convert to a church to gain the benefits of charity.

          Consider how many fewer church schools, hospitals and orphanages exist now as compared to the 1930s.  The government does things more efficiently, but it done so at a cost to much of the mission that attracted people to churches.  Some religious people resent that competition, especially when it is funded with their tax dollars.

      •  Thank you for saying you do not see it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allergywoman

        Communal living and helping the poor and troubled are hidden some. Perhaps because the recipients are socially de trop. I volunteer sometimes to help the Ethiopian Baptist Church feed the needy and elderly parishioners. You have probably not seen and you do not want to see three elderly men, one of them hardly able to walk and covered with excrement, being assisted by his elderly fellows to stand in line at the Salvation Army lunch program. These men are our Grandfathers. They get no health care, no nursing, and insufficient food. The Catholics run a soup kitchen, lunch and/or dinner, six days a week, and they feed a lot of homeless men and women. Life is tough in the big city.

        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

        by CherryTheTart on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 05:39:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The HouseMartins was a great band (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, rgjdmls, CherryTheTart, AdHock

    from the UK that espoused born-again Christianity and Marxism.  They charted several times in the UK and got play on college rock stations in the 1980s.  Worth a listen even if born again rock is not your cup of tea.

    Who woulda thunk that a man raised in the Essene communal system and advocating disavowing your worldly possessions would be anything other than a free market capitalist?

    The fundamentalism in America today is more a worship of America than of any god familiar to Christ.

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