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I don't think I've ever heard the term Evangelical Christian more than I have since Barack Obama ran for president, won, and took office. For the most part as far as I can discern Evangelicals are strongly linked to the most conservative of the Republican party.

I don't think I've ever heard the term Evangelical Christian more than I have since Barack Obama ran for president, won, and took office. For the most part as far as I can discern Evangelicals are strongly linked to the most conservative of the Republican party.

This of course set my cerebral wheels in motion. I am a Christian woman; always have been and always will be. Still, I couldn't quite figure out what made this group and the alleged power they wield in the arena of politics so much different from other Christians.

The term Christian essentially means little Christ. Christian was the term given to followers of Jesus Christ in the first century A.D. (Acts 11:26). The term evangelical comes from the Greek word that means good news. Evangelism is sharing the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ.

An evangelical, then, is a person dedicated to promoting the good news about Jesus Christ. Combine the two definitions - evangelical Christian is intended to indicate a believer in Jesus Christ who is faithful in sharing and promoting the good news.

That's nothing new. Spreading the gospel of Christ is the great commission that members of our faith are all supposed to be adhering to

CNN Reports had this to say: had this to say:

There is truly no greater shame than exploiting faith for political gain, as doing so corrupts the essence of spirituality. Our beliefs, or non-beliefs, are personal. They have no place in politics. True debate over ethical and moral concerns does have a place in politics, but the brand of religion used to justify a belief has no place in politics.
Separation of church and state was designed to protect us from just this sort of witch-hunt. A Christian, a true person of faith, would be too busy trying to walk their own talk to openly proclaim another person to be a not good enough Christian. And a person of strong faith would attract others to them through their actions; not by announcing they have moral authority over others.

So, in actuality these holier than thou Evangelicals are no different from anyone else, actually they're worse.

Now there I go being judgmental...oh well.

We are all human and because of that one fact - we are all flawed. Our faith teaches us to do the right thing in the face of adversity, injustice, fear and in all other walks of life.

You shouldn't have to go around standing on my back or anyone else's not like you to make yourself look taller.

All Christians are evangelical Christians. The Bible is consistently instructing us to be witnesses of the good news (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 1 Peter 3:15). As a Christian, there is no higher calling than being an evangelist.

There is no doubt that holding to the fundamentals of the Bible will result in a certain world view. However, there is nothing about being an evangelical that demands a certain political party or affiliation.

Often the difference in Christians is something that's seen and not heard. Religion should be witnessed by the life you lead not the words that spew from your mouth.

Originally posted to Roschelle on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:39 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unfortunately, the younger gen. thinks they do (6+ / 0-)

    And that's one of the big reasons why 20-somethings and 30-somethings want nothing to do with church. All they hear is hate, fear, and paranoia being preached, so they believe that all churches are of that belief.

    It is also unfortunate that the media provides greater coverage of the hate rather than the truth.

    •  unfortunate, indeed (6+ / 0-)

      more people are turning away from traditional religion than ever before.

      i'm not into labels but i'd definitely say i'm far more spiritual than religious, simply because of what "religion" has become

    •  There will come a time, (5+ / 0-)

      perhaps during our lifetimes, perhaps not, when Christians Catholic and Protestant alike will blend into two clearly defined denominations - social liberals and social conservatives.  Social conservatives are destined for the dustbin of history, and for something else in the next world (they expect to go to be with God, which is the rough translation of the word Heaven, yet their actions on this earth do not merit such proximity), since Jesus of Nazareth was nothing if not a flaming social liberal...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:02:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Religion is alive and well in America (0+ / 0-)

      apart from Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
      And let's not forget money; how many love the money god and serve at it's churches -corporations.

      like a tree planted by the river, I shall not be moved.

      by lightshine on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Side question (0+ / 0-)

        Do you mean to say that corporations are inherently evil in this dynamic? Do your sentiments extend to all profit vehicles, like LLCs, partnerships, joint ventures, regardless of their tax status? Do people who work for any or all of these entities automatically constitute their constituents in this "religion?"

        Or do you simply mean to say corporations can serve as a vehicle for greed?

  •  You said it all right here... (12+ / 0-)

    Religion should be witnessed by the life you lead not the words that spew from your mouth.

    "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

    by ZedMont on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:42:54 PM PDT

  •  It's not only 20 and 30 somethings (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, beltane, mama jo, Leroy the Roadie

    This well over 30 person has stopped going to church.  I'm sure there are some out there that I would like, but the pastor I really admired, who confirmed my children and baptized my grandchildren, left, and his successor makes me uncomfortable.  I have not made a serious effort to seek out a new church home. I guess I'm waiting for the current intolerance to abate.

    Grandma's not shovel ready. (Stolen from Maddow show)

    by MNGrandma on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:48:09 PM PDT

  •  Oh goody. (16+ / 0-)

    I am an Episcopalian.  We absolutely suck at evangelism, being all quiet and reserved and uptight and all.  We find it rather offensive when so-called Christians force their "faith" on other people.  We find it offensive when so-called Christians go around damning people to hell for being different than them.  We find it offensive when so-called Christians run around screaming to the rafters about how pious, how holy, how saved they are, when we clearly recall something about how good believers are supposed to go into a quiet room and close the door to pray.  We find it offensive how so-called Christians demand that women be submissive, that gays turn themselves straight, that the poor deserve their plight, and the rich deserve their riches.  Nothing on this earth, and I mean nothing, offends me more than being lumped together with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen and the like.  I am a serious, thinking disciple of the philosopher Jesus of Nazareth, and it pisses me off that the distinction can't be made more often.  

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:50:37 PM PDT

  •  What is the greatest commandment? (14+ / 0-)

    "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    Therefore, LOVE trumps everything else, no matter what the televangelist hate-mongers want to sell.

    The self-important "send-more-money" mega-preachers today are like the Pharisees of Jesus' time.  Most do not really teach what true Christianity is really about.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:54:21 PM PDT

  •  You know, I was just telling my wife tonight (18+ / 0-)

    that maybe all the publicity the right-wing self-righteous bigots are getting will alarm the true Christians and get them out in front showing people what Jesus was really all about.  Jesus was as close to a secular humanist as was possible in 1st century Galilee and Judea.  He was religious, no doubt, but his focus was on the poor, the needy, and the sick.  He had nothing but contempt for so-called religious authorities, and taught people to think for themselves.  

    These Becktists are an embarrassment to the memory of Jesus.  It's time for those who take his message seriously to step up and be counted.

    i am not a Christian myself, but it's not because I don't respect and admire Jesus, and I support any Christian who patterns his or her life after the real Jesus, rather than the hatred-spewing, war-blessing, wealth-respecting tooth fairy he has being portrayed as by the right today.

    "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

    by ZedMont on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:58:37 PM PDT

    •  One thousand recs. (9+ / 0-)

      Shelby Spong is smiling on you right this minute...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:17:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  problem is basically getting publicity... (4+ / 0-)

      For instance, when did you last see an ad asking people to give generously to your local food bank?
      If this sort of Christian was able to contemplate using media to get attention, you would probably know more about things going on right in your own neighborhood.
      But it doesn't seem to work that way -  I am not sure why - I guess it's part of seeking a simpler life, and being a little conscious of media addiction so trying to work on that thru old-fashioned peron-to-person church communities, taking seriously some things Jesus said about not seeking to be praised for doing good work, etc. It is complicated. Hopefully one day that may change.

      In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

      by Lefty Mama on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:17:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live in Texas, so I see billboards with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Mama

        right wing Biblical messages on them, but never any that describe Jesus.

        I would love to see some with scriptures such as Luke 18:22

        ...Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come follow me.
                                                           -Jesus

        I'll bet there would be some squirming in more than one Mercedes with a fish symbol pasted to its backside, whose occupants just left a "prosperity gospel" sermon.

        "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

        by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  By the way, I am not in any way suggesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          swampyankee

          that people are not Christians because they do not live live in poverty like Jesus did.  That's for them to decide, not me.  Jesus did point out that it would be difficult for a rich man to enter his kingdom, but he didn't condemn anyone who was not.  Clearly, some of his own apostles did not live as Jesus did.  Peter, for example, owned a house.

          The Bible did say that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).  Jesus has at the very least given Christians the instruction to be generous.  But that's for each Christian to deal with personally, as far as I'm concerned.

          The bottom line is, I'm not concerned with whether or not someone meets their own, or anyone else's, definition of a Christian or not.  I'm only concerned about how they treat their fellow man, most especially the poor.

          My fight is with those who pervert the words of Jesus into a "prosperity gospel," suggesting that being generous (to an evangelist, not the poor) will result in a manifold return of physical wealth, i.e., cash, to the giver.  I also have a serious problem with those who preach that Jesus sanctions wars, etc.

          "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

          by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 07:35:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The 'televangelist effect' (6+ / 0-)

    Makes rotten people (Jerry Falwell, who made his first million by calling the Civil Rights Movement a "Godless Communist Conspiracy") (Pat Robertson, whose ravings are more to do with senile dementia and powerlust than anything in the bible) (Glen Beck, who mixes everything into a stew of hatred and suspicion) millionaires

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:17:24 PM PDT

    •  They appeal to the worst instincts of mankind, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swampyankee

      and they provide "sacred" cover for the very unbiblical things they say and propose.  Too many people don't read the bible, they just listen to preachers, and whenever a preacher says something is true, it must be true.

      Makes them feel good about being vindictive toward their fellow man.

      Disgraceful, outrageous conduct on the part of educated men who know better.

      "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

      by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:53:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am a Wiccan who was raised (9+ / 0-)

    Catholic, which, despite right-wing evangelicals' be;eif, is still Christian,  and had 17 years of Catholic education, including a minor in theology.  I can tell you what the nuns and priests told us:  your life is a better advertisement for your beliefs than running your mouth.  They were right.

    Here's the problem. Unless you;ve lived in an area of the country domianted by conservative Evangelicals (Southern Baptists, non-denominational mega-churches, Church of Christ, Church of God), it is easy to regard evangelicals as being no different than other Christians. It becomes evenmore apparent just how different they are if you happen to be the wrong kind of Christian--Episcopalian or Catholic, for example--or not a Christian. My MiL banned us from practicing our faith (Wicca) at any place at any time while we lived under her roof because we were worshiping demons,. Explaining that WIcca has nothing to do with Satanism helped not at all.  She did it because her church and beelif system required it, jsut as she's always voted Republican because her preacher tells her to.  

    Their belief system is NOT the mainstream Christianity I was raised with, but something very different. It is judgmental and often cruel, urging parents to force their gay child to become straight or ban him from their lives (ask The Nephew about that).  It leads to bombing abortion clinics and shooting doctors and outing women who have abortions to friends and family and employers.  It requires you to regard everyone you meet as a potential convert--and to have no respect for any religion but your version of Christianity. It opposes government aid to the poor in favor of churches providing charity to the deserving poor (i.e., church members).  

    No, Christianity doesn't require a particular political viewpoint--other than one that is humble, tolerant, forgiving, and imbued with social justice.   Right-wing evangelicals oppose all of those attitudes in favor of Palinesque snottiness towards those who disagree with them and Bush II's arrogance.

    I live in the Deep SOuth in a Red State so Red it practically bleeds.  As  a Wiccan who wears her pentacle, I've experienced the following:

    1. my car was keyed with "Jesus Hates WItches" over a sticker with a cartoon witch on it and hte line "My other car is a broom" because we onlyowned one vehicle. I think my crime was aprking too close to the Lifeway (SOuthern Baptist-linked) Christian store;
    1. my ex-BiL accused my hsuband of keyign hsi car (he didn't; he just happened to walk into the smae fast food joint and wouldn't have known BiL's car from Air Force One)  and then said he was a " witch (self-proclaimed devil worshiper" as another reason why he should get the TRO.  Judge laughed and told him not to bring this sort of crap to court--and to leave my husband alone--not a given because, frankly,  some judges would have granted the TRO just because we're WIccan and EEEEEVILLLLLLL.

    3)I was folowed through Hobby Lobby (DOminionist owned craft chain). They ahd to clsoe down a checkout lane to do so. This silent little woman followed me through the store, never speaking to me or asking if I needed help, jsut dogging my steps from 10 feet away.  I dragged my shopping out for 90 minutes, looking at every pattern in every pattern book, debating the merits of wool v. polyester batting, examined every embroidery and needlepoint kit.....and as I left, I said loudly, " I eon't be back. I don't patronize stores which practice religious discrimiantion."  ANd yes, I was nuicely dressed in a black skirt and tank top and looked perfectly normal.  I am not theonly one who's dealth with this there--I;ve run intoseveral Goths and WIccans who've had this lovely experience. I now buy my craft sup[plies from Michael's.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:24:44 PM PDT

    •  then they really don't have a monopoly on (7+ / 0-)

      religion. that type behavior has nothing to do with christianity or religion.

      i'm from the "deep" south also. a part of the country steeping with bible thumpers, bigots, homophobes, sexists and ignorance. my state has been red for as long as i can remember.

      the poorest, most illiterate state in the union. it's mind boggling...

      •  Not a monopoly on religion (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, ZedMont, mama jo

        Never said that--but they believe they have a monopoly on truth and will tell you so LOUDLY.

        You're still a Christian, albeit a liberal one. Try wearing a Wiccan T or one saying "I am an atheist"--try it for a day, and see how you get treated. It's very different if you are, well, different. I love my MiL, and her treatment of us shocked the hell out of me.

        For the msot part, I agreed with you--but I DO see evangelicals of the right-wing sort (the only kind I've ever met; I've lived in the South 13 years and in the North for most of thereast of it, and never ran into anyoen going door to door or preaching at me except for Jehovah's Witnesses and the occasional odd Mormon pair) as a problem we can't afford to ignore--and it's up to Christians like you to stand up to them, because Wiccans like me have as much impact as the Winter Olympics being held in Hell.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:56:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  doesn't seem to matter if you're Christian (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conlakappa, ZedMont, CherryTheTart

          if you aren't the exact right kind of Christan - otherwise they could never paint Obama as a non-Christan. He IS Christian, just not the right sort. So they can feed the antichrist fantasies off of him and anyone else they choose. It surely would happen to me if I met your MIL also.

          It is an achilles heel for them right now in Alaska, because it's not the south, so there's not enough assemblies-of-god types to seal the deal with that senate seat. I hope to God :-) that seat flips to Dems!

          In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

          by Lefty Mama on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:25:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I live in Texas and that's why I patronize (0+ / 0-)

      Michaels.

      Of course, where I live, Hobby Lobby gets all the business they can handle.

      Where I live, you often see "Christian Yellow Pages," actual phone books you can use to patronize only "Christian" businesses.  I have been cheated by more than one of them, so I do everything I can to avoid any business that wears its piety on its sleeve.

      "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

      by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The term itself is misleading (9+ / 0-)

    And not just in the way you described, either. Many people on this site, and even more in the broader media community, refer to the very Christian voters who typically support Republicans more than Democrats as "evangelicals," when in fact the evangelical community (as defined by those who call themselves evangelicals) is in fact hardly uniform and monolithic. There are deep and profound differences between evangelicals, fundamentalists, charismatics, Pentecostals, and the thousand and one non-denominational "Christian" churches which are the ultimate heritage of the proliferation of religion during the Second Great Awakening.

    Moreover, there are differences even within these classifications; I once worked on a political campaign with a young woman from Iowa who was an evangelical Christian, and who was also a dyed in the wool liberal Democrat. There was very little contradiction between the two, in her mind. Likewise, while he is now a pastor of the American Baptist Church, no less than the Reverend Al Sharpton began his ministerial career as a Pentecostalist. There are without a doubt charismatics and Pentecostalists who are more agreeable to us, both personally and politically, than Southern Baptists, even though the Southern Baptist Convention is considered a mainline denomination and the other two are not; if I am not mistaken we have a few of them here amongst us.

    The upshot of it all is that Christianity, and most particularly Protestant Christianity, is an incredibly complicated animal. Compared to Catholicism and Islam, Protestantism is a patchwork of incredible variation. And the branches I have described above do not even begin to touch on the complexities that come into play when you begin to observe the Reconstructionists and Dominionists as well. These in particular are the ones that we all must be wary of, for it is these that are most fixated on theocracy, rule by fear, the accumulation of power, and a radically primitivist understanding of Scripture and its relation to the world. While there is often a great deal of overlap between Dominionists and Reconstructionists and, say, Pentecostals and charismatics (Sarah Palin is, depending on who you ask, either a Pentecostal or a charismatic), not every Pentecostal or charismatic will be a Dominionist or Reconstructionist. Similarly, I would not be surprised to find the rot of Dominionism seeping its way into the Catholic Church, and it may conceivably even be found among the mainline Protestant denominations.

    It is vital, I think, to know precisely what one is dealing with, and there is entirely too little understanding of what we are dealing with on this board. It is also vitally important that we not cast Christians as being all the same, for doing so in fact will make them all the same. There is nothing like casting aspersion to inspire solidarity. Thanks for writing this.

    •  excellent post. (5+ / 0-)

      i've been pondering this kind of thing
      for the past decade--
      wondering how it has come to pass that religion
      and politics,   and religion In politics--

      has now become the norm, rather than anomoly.

      i voted for jimmy carter, but i'll admit that
      i had reservations about him because he was an
      admitted born-again Christian.

      but there was nothing--and i mean Absolutely Nothing--to worry about there, regarding carter
      and his religion.  he pretty much kept it to himself;  that is to say, he knew to keep his religion separate from his politics.

      and that was decades ago.  so it's disturbing to me
      to find that after all this time, religion is
      worming its way into politics--the very thing
      the forefathers/constitution writers
      warned Against.

      and it Is important to understand the distinctions
      between these groups, which have been lumped together into some nebulous blob.  they Aren't
      all the same;  we on the left need to understand that, if we expect to ever understand them.

      •  religion hasn't really seeped into politics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZedMont, CherryTheTart

        but talking about it, and manipulating people by religious hooks has definitely become a huge problem. The people doing the talking are not authentic, they are craven individuals who know if they talk the talk they can get donations and power. They can't walk the walk, and when they look in the mirror they see God (that is, they worship themselves).

        In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

        by Lefty Mama on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:38:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your last paragraph is a Key Point... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont

      ...there is an entire subsidiary community of DKos posters who hang out, comment, and write posts at Street Prophets.  They are a living testament to the idea that there is such as being progressive in a whole bunch of ways while still holding true to the Great Commission to which Christ Jesus called his true believers...

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

      by Jack K on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:45:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Christian message is both (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, CherryTheTart

      very simple and very complicated.  Jesus commanded us to LOVE, without reservation.  This is an easy enough concept to comprehend yet not so easy in practice.  Where we went off in disastrous directions is what came right at the end, and immediately afterward.  Supposedly, according to Christian mythology, Jesus spoke the Great Commandment at the moment of The Ascension to evangelize all the nations of the earth.  Along with this is the "article of faith", for lack of a better term, that Christians have been save from sin and redeemed before God by Jesus himself.  Humans being human, this was a nigh perfect setup for the mother of all superiority complexes, namely "I'm saved and you're not."

      Evangelism has been the excuse for just about everything evil humans have done to each other.  It is the fig leaf for European colonialism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and all manner of Christians imposing their will in the name of God on others.  It has provided cover for the human tendency toward greed and domination.  All those dead white males went forth, bearing the Cross before them, in order to "save the people and bring them to Jesus" or something like that.  Whatever...

      The superiority complex of fundie Christians is the other great evil of the modern era...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two questions (0+ / 0-)

        Is evangelism in itself evil, or is it a vehicle that has been corrupted?

        Is a "superiority complex" necessarily inherent in the faithful, or is it rather a subjective interpretation of viewpoint (related question, does believing one is saved through faith necessarily a superiority complex, or even more related, is any consideration that one belief is more valid in some sense than another's belief or viewpoint automatically a superiority complex, or only when someone acts on their belief; even more related to this extent, does the superiority complex manifest itself when someone tries to spread their belief through non-violent means?)

        •  My answers. (0+ / 0-)

          Evangelism in and of itself is not an evil thing.  Christ's whole point was to have His disciples go out and bear witness, to share the life-altering message that love will set you free.  Unfortunately,human beings as a whole I think are just not capable of doing much of anything unless there is some personal gain to be made.  In the case of such figures as Columbus and the following conquistadores, greed disguised as evangelism is what led them forth.

          The issue with the superiority complex is also a human failing.  When one feels that one is special, set apart from others by much coveted favor from some "other" (American exceptionalism leaps to the mind here), the human/reptilian brain stem considers this state of being as that of superiority to others.  The belief that you are right almost always leads you to attempt to convince others of your rightness, or more to the point, their wrongness.  

          As far as nonviolent evangelism, history has been pretty clear - we don't do it well.  This is the major reason that mainline Christian churches are shrinking and dying.  We don't force ourselves on anyone, so no one comes.  Socially liberal Christianity is the way it was meant to be IMHO, but socially conservative "Christianity" has a much bigger mouth, a feel good message (hey, you're great just like you are, don't change a thing about yourself, and by all means don't do any work to improve the world.  Just come here for some positive reinforcement about how awesome we all are and tut tut at those poor sinners outside the doors), and naturally conveys a sense of superiority...

          No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

          by jarhead5536 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:15:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Please Visit Your Local Megachurch Sunday and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17

    start reading the diaries here of Troutfishing and Frederick Clarkson.

    You are seriously clueless.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:47:38 PM PDT

  •  I have been a faithful Christian for over (8+ / 0-)

    55 years.  After listening to hundreds of sermons and participating in dozens of Bible studies, I don't believe the Bible is literally true.  I recognize the man made distortions that have been laid over the core ideas. I think Christianity is a religion of invitation, not coercion.  I think the kernels of truth that are in Christianity are also found in other religions or traditions.  I believe Christianity is a good model for how we could all live together in mutual respect and love on our tiny planet in an amazing universe.  I don't pretend to understand it all - what makes us alive?

    Sometimes I get discouraged at the right wing made for politics Christianity that makes the news.  But then I will read a story about a true selfless Christian and my faith is strengthened.  I try to focus on what is good and true and stay positive.

    Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, we mortals have to do it one step at a time. Patience, persistence, votes.

    by ahumbleopinion on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:01:21 PM PDT

    •  How do we know (0+ / 0-)

      in our distinctions of the kernels of truth and mandmade distortion?

      More to the point, is your argument one of pluralism?

      •  Searching for truth (0+ / 0-)

        is a never ending process of study and reflection; I don't think we ever know for sure.  

        I had not thought of the term pluralism, but I guess it is in a way. If you take it to mean that I don't think any one religion or tradition has all the answers and that we all should keep searching and respect others in their search.

        Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, we mortals have to do it one step at a time. Patience, persistence, votes.

        by ahumbleopinion on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 10:31:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough, but (0+ / 0-)

          would you say there is such a thing as absolute truth?

          I suppose I could be more direct (and I mean this sincerely): you identify yourself as a Christian (I would as well). Do you believe that what you have faith in, at its core, is fundamentally true? That is, do you believe that any part of your faith is fundamentally true?

          •  Maybe . . . I'm still a work in progress. (0+ / 0-)

            I believe there is some kind of universal life force, hopefully a benevolent one, we can call that God for want of a better name.  I believe that all people have some of that life force in them.  I believe in the concepts of love your neighbor, share what you have, and treat others with respect and kindness. After all they are divinely created.

            I believe we are called to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly. I don't believe we are called to judge others or to force our beliefs on them.  I believe faith is a process and people can be at different points in their journey. I believe we should encourage people to be the best they can be.

            Pretty simple, basic stuff. I believe the further you get away from these concepts, the more you have a man made religion not a divine one.  I admire people who can practice peace, love, hope, faith, prudence, temperance, justice, humility, kindness, patience, and liberality in their lives.  I wish I did a better job myself.

            Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, we mortals have to do it one step at a time. Patience, persistence, votes.

            by ahumbleopinion on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 02:04:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  If you want to be a Christian (0+ / 0-)

    just sell all your belongings, and go on the road preaching God's word. Don't forget to gather as many Apostles as you can stand!If you don't you're not a Christian, end of story. What's always interested me is how so many millions in the US could fake Christianity for so long and get away with it. I mean, I went to bible study, who do these people think they're fooling?

    I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

    by teloPariah on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:40:57 PM PDT

    •  You do not get to decide who is Christian and who (0+ / 0-)

      ... is not. Not your purview. That decision belongs to an individual and God only.

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

      by CherryTheTart on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 11:40:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personally, I think you're (0+ / 0-)

        all deluded, but that's just my opinion, so I really don't care what people decide they believe. Just understand I think you are talking about collective fantasies, so don't complain when I differ. Nor do you get to tell me what I can or can't decide, since I'm only discussing an opinion.

        I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

        by teloPariah on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:44:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I assume I am one of the deluded. (0+ / 0-)

          I am not talking about religion.  I am talking about human conduct.  I am not a Christian.  It just so happens that some people who call themselves Christians embrace the same humanistic principles that I do.

          It does atheism no good (and it benefits the fundamentalists/Dominionists) when you lump all Christians together and condemn them all as stupid idiots.

          The best way to combat the pious idiocy coming from the right is to embrace those who share your principles, regardless of whether or not they are Christians, or for that matter, any other religion.

          The muslims who want to build Park51 are Sufis, a sect so friendly to other religions that they have actually been (physically) attacked by Al Qaeda simply
          because they are too liberal.  They would be a good group for anyone to support who is interested in a truce between religion and secularism.

          For myself, I will save the war for those who pervert the peaceful gospel of Jesus.

          "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

          by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 07:16:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This entire reply is nothing but hyperbole. (0+ / 0-)

            Straw man much? Go hump somebody else's leg, I'm busy.

            I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

            by teloPariah on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 10:58:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You wouldn't know hyperbole from (0+ / 0-)

              hemlock.  Humping someone's leg.  Now, there's hyperbole.

              "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

              by ZedMont on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 01:17:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hemlock? Whatevs. (0+ / 0-)

                Another narcissist, wasting my time. What else is new? It's DKos, and a religious diary, when it could be on Street Prophets instead, as per the site guidelines. BTW, at least my hyperbole is intentional.

                I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

                by teloPariah on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 02:19:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Why do you think religious people are deluded? (0+ / 0-)

          What makes you arrive at the conclusion that it is all hogwash?

          •  Utilizing religion is the world is (0+ / 0-)

            like letting the most ignorant and unprepared kid in class teach calculus. Anyway, we were talking about Christianity in particular, I said nothing about all religions. You did.

            I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

            by teloPariah on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 11:00:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well to be fair (0+ / 0-)

              I was merely asking a question; whether this entails one religion or all isn't necessarily relevant, and simply spins the discussion to make the questioner look bad in some form. But I digress (though I need to note that you seem to harbor the same sentiment for all religion, given your quotes. If you disagree, then I fail to see how "utilizing religion" cannot extend to all religion, and how it was clearly meant to simply Christianity).

              Why do you think that Christians are the most ignorant and unprepared "kids"? What serves as the basis for your analogy? And, is it accurate and precise? That is, is it objective, or is merely a subjective opinion? Is being "deluded" (or the accusation thereof) a reflection of objective sensitivity or is it rather a reflection of presuppositions? I am genuinely curious, though it seems you might be inferring a hostile motive here. I can assure you there isn't one, if such was the case on your part.

        •  You may discuss any opinion you have. (0+ / 0-)

          But you do not have the power to decide who is or is not a Christian (good or otherwise).

          Only the individual and God have the power to decide who is or is not a christian (good or otherwise).

          So any opinion you express is meaningless and/or moot.

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

          by CherryTheTart on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 02:23:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually your argument lends mine even more (0+ / 0-)

            meaning and relevance, not less. Your forgetting that I have access to the same bible that you do, I just don't believe in the God it describes. I am as free to interpret and opine on it's contents as you are, so that's where you're wrong.

            I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

            by teloPariah on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:01:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do not set out to make people wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              Congratulations on knowing the Bible; it is a rich piece of literature.

              You cannot decide for me if I am a Christian. If I say I am a Christian, then it is so.

              You may have any attitude you like about anything religious. You will not (and cannot) decide if I am a Christian. You may say I am a bad one. Or a good one. You are entitled to your opinion.

              My life in the body of Christ is not subject to YOUR OPINION.

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

              by CherryTheTart on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 06:45:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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