I have been writing about Progressive Christianity for #ThermalThursday for a while now, so I’m sure you just knew I’d be writing today about the recent religion discussion on Daily Kos. Not to disappoint, here are my conclusions, FWTW, gathered not only from discussion here but from living my young adult life in the Bible Belt with mostly agnostic and atheist friends: Right-wing Christians, and sometimes Christians who consider themselves relatively moderate to left-wing, currently and historically have had an inner-circle problem: If you’re in you’re “good,” if you’re out you’re “bad”.
So many, although of course not all, atheists who reject Christianity were rejected BY Christianity first. Whether raised as part of the in group or on the outside looking in, they are rejected, often harshly; and often either for things they can’t change, like identity; or for things they don’t want to change because they consider them positive, like questioning authority. In addition, given the persistence of preachers, these issues often tear families apart. Coming from a place that is “supposed” to be about community and comfort, this HURTS, deeply and persistently.
At the same time, many other people are HURT deeply and persistently by the wider culture, such as by racism or anti-semitism or poverty. These people are either raised in or join a Christian or other religious group where they DO find community and comfort, even to the point of their religion being responsible for their literal survival.
Amongst all the diaries that I read over the past week plus, the one that stuck with me the most is this one, “Don’t believe — but don’t be a d*ck,” even though it was one of the shortest and as a general rule I don’t rec short diaries. Because it pointed me to this article on Jezebel written by an atheist, “How to be an atheist without being a d*ck about it”. Lots of good ideas in the article. The conclusion includes a rant regarding a survivor of sexual assault who leaned on a spiritual force to make it through:
You're going to pat yourself on the back for being "smarter" than this person whose humanity was violently stripped from her when she was just a child?... Who... are you to tell her how to survive?
There are a lot of people in the world who have nothing. Faith in a higher power gives them one thing. You know what we call people who try to take away other people's one thing?
Welp, you know. It’s poor form to try to take away another’s one thing. And by the same token, if a committed atheist or Pastafarian or whoever writes a rant here out of pain and fear of what the US might be becoming, Christians, please try not to take away their one thing either!
Those who have been hurt BY religion and those who have been hurt and find solace IN religion are never going to convince each other to change their minds. On this, I hope that we can agree to respectfully disagree. My 2 cents.
Since this is Street Prophets Coffee Hour, and thermal for the warmth of a good cup of coffee or your preferred beverage, as well as the warmth of a more progressive religion and community, grab a cuppa and a seat!
Please follow #ThermalThursday! And feel free to share what you’re drinking (or eating) in the Comments, if you’re so inclined. This is also an Open Thread for you to connect.
Today’s Topic: Apologies for the long intro. Now let’s turn to those areas where I believe that we all agree.
By “we all,” of course, I mean all of us on this blog. Liberals, progressives, however you self identify. Not what passes for conservatives these days nor authoritarians, who all seem to have fallen into an alternate universe. Because if they were aware of reality, they would agree with us.;-)
Here are some areas of agreement. This is assuredly only a partial list, so please feel free to add more in the Comments:
1) The only proper government is a secular government. Religious governments have always ended up oppressive and/or violent, as far as I can determine. Whilst it is theoretically possible to have a benign theocratic government — with love toward all others, help for the poor and sick, universal compassion and support for human rights — this never seems to have happened. The least controversial theocracies seem to be small ones formed for a particular religious purpose, such as Vatican City or Mount Athos. We in the US have had almost 250 years of secular government, it has worked well, we need to continue and protect what we have.
2) Some current problems with religious extremists in US and state governments: Oppression of women including interference with medical care, oppression of LGBTQ+ peoples, restrictive education decisions, lack of access to birth control.
3) This one may be slightly more controversial: Churches should not be exempt from taxes. No one should be forced to support churches with which they disagree, which is the indirect effect of tax exemptions. If you disagree with this point, please explain in Comments how favourable treatment does not equate to government support for religion.
The part of the church mission that is the same as other charities, such as daycare and services for the poor, could be tax deductible identically to those types of charities.
These areas of agreement, I think, are partly why the last week or so, with community diaries pro- and anti-religion, has been so fraught. Because really, we none of us like the direction parts of this country are going, we are scared of sliding into theocracy, and we are frustrated that more isn’t done to fight the slide.
What other areas of agreement do we have? Please feel free to add to this list in the Comments. Deep breath. We’re all on the same side here.
Finally as always, let’s elevate our Community Cred and repost The Needs List — with some hopeful updates! From Aashirs nani (with permission) on Helping Humpday:
When sending via PayPal, be sure to select “Send to family/friend” to avoid fees on either end. Be aware, both donor and recipient, that GFM not only charges fees, but also money received through that platform is treated as taxable income. If you are requesting help through GFM, also be aware that there can be delays in accessing the money.
COMMUNITY NEEDS LIST AS OF 2/22/23:
Fundraisers who want a diary to be or stay on the list: PLEASE kosmail requests and donations received to njm5000 by Tuesday evening to be included on the Wednesday morning updated list.
Living on the financial edge—need help? Check out the Helping Directories before your next emergency.
Housing and Living Expenses Fundraisers and Other Links
When sending via PayPal, be sure to select “Send to family/friend” to avoid fees on either end.
morgansmom—needs help towards major car repairs and moving to a better environment. $
8000 7950 7900 7850 7750 7725 7615 7605 7565 7465 7415 7375 7275 7175 7025 6920 6820 6570 6470 6360 6350 6150 5650 4685 4385± Radiator is repaired & will soon get a new estimate for the front end rebuild. • Visit the KoFi page to see some cool artwork & donate! • PayPal: wingednag at gmail dot com.
J Graham—"Your child has mental health issues." But you're a fighter. "It's cancer." But you're a fighter... • She’s sleeping in a tent! (Cats, music, and a chance to help a deserving Daily Kos member). The goal is $
14,000 9944 9534 8884 8859 8709 8684 4448 4348 4323 4223 4213 3913± to cover first and last month rent, security deposit, some medical expenses, utility bills, and moving costs. She has a Mighty Cause fundraiser, and PayPal at: jgraham4healthcare at gmail dot com
Falcon Hawke—could use some help right now and has a goal of $
10,000 8300 5620±. Here’s the diary. • PayPal—celtichart1 at aol dot com • Venmo—celtichart1 at aol dot com • Zelle celtichart1 at aol dot comwww.gofundme.com/...
anotherdemocrat—has a diary up: Anyone know where I can find a 2nd job? She’s in Austin and is suddenly $24000 in debt, mainly due to an HOA assessment! From the diary: “So, $24,000 is more money than I can ask even a big community like Daily Kos to donate. I have a venmo: at Becky-Helton, Cashapp: $B3ckyHelt0n, and GoFundMe, if anyone wants to help with next month’s payments but for a big total like that, I need a 2nd job. My day job is M-F from 8-5, so it would have to be evenings & weekends.” and “Skills: writing, 20+ years of customer service work, super reliable…” anotherdemocrat has payments covered for a couple of months (thanks, donors <3) and wants to pause donations. She does ask for help updating her resume. “There are part-time remote jobs that look good. Just need an updated resume to upload.” Kosmail, if you can help.
Kos Katalogue 2022 is here—please Kosmail CathyM or BeadLady if you have corrections or additions.
Note also that Chef Bobby Neary, “@nuevopioneer,” has passed away. We will continue to post his favourite charity to honour him — please consider a donation to the Satos, the street pets of Puerto Rico! Bobby adopted his own Sato, Missilu, as well as raised funds for PR’s Satos.
Additionally, please note also from An’s diary yesterday:
Community needs... sometimes the need is too great or the help available falls short, even when money isn’t the (only) problem. We’ve lost too many of our community who left us too soon because of poverty. Maureen Mower couldn’t get life-saving treatment until her housing situation stabilized. Bobby Neary wasn’t diagnosed in time to treat his cancer, and treatment wasn’t available anyway with the resources he had. Jan Burch was afraid to call an ambulance because of the cost on top of bills already amassed, and she died alone and in pain. This weekend it was Harper Willson (aitchdee).
If anyone has further details regarding Harper Wilson’s demise, and continuing care for her pets, please let us know in Comments.
I’m in for a mickle each week toward a variety of DKos members on the Needs List. I hope you’ll join me. Always glad to see the needed amounts gradually decreasing!
If helping financially isn’t the right choice for you at this time, you can still help. Tip and rec the diary so it stays visible. Share on social media: Twitter, Facebook, whatever platform you use, to bring the attention of others outside our daily readers. And offer words of encouragement to people who are struggling. It can be scary to be struggling, and it can feel lonely. Let them know we understand and are here to help.
If you have time, please visit the diaries above and leave comments for their authors. Those words of encouragement are vital!
If you don’t like fundraisers, please just move along. They are a longstanding tradition at DKos — Until we vote in enough progressives to create a much stronger social safety net! (Maybe in 2 years.)
Please note: I am sole caregiver for my Mom, so could get interrupted to take care of her. Otherwise, I will be here to engage in Comments. Meanwhilst, please chat amongst yourselves, take a coffee break, post aminal photos, food/drink and tunes, spread the word and invite your friends, etc.! Thanks to all!