Separation of Church and Hate

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by YWN666, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    Ezra Klein: The Separation of Church and Hate

    The NY Times profiles a conservative evangelical preacher, the Reverend Gregory A. Boyd, who's getting fed up with the unholy alliance between conservative Christianity and conservative politics. He’s written a book called The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church, which is based on a series of six sermons entitled "The Cross and the Sword." The sermons, which he gave before the last presidential election, "said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a 'Christian nation' and stop glorifying American military campaigns."

    His megachurch congregation was not totally pleased.

    By the time the dust had settled, Woodland Hills, which Mr. Boyd founded in 1992, had lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 members.

    But there were also congregants who thanked him—those who feel relief from the burden of expectation that being a Christian necessarily means being a Bush supporter, and those who are increasingly concerned that the conflation of religion and politics is doing a disservice to both.

    "More and more people are saying this has gone too far — the dominance of the evangelical identity by the religious right," Mr. McLaren said. "You cannot say the word ‘Jesus’ in 2006 without having an awful lot of baggage going along with it. You can’t say the word ‘Christian,’ and you certainly can’t say the word ‘evangelical’ without it now raising connotations and a certain cringe factor in people. Because people think, ‘Oh no, what is going to come next is homosexual bashing, or pro-war rhetoric, or complaining about ‘activist judges.’"

    Spot-on. Jesus has been hijacked as a political operative by people who have forgotten that the separation of church and state was designed to protect the church as much as the state. Christianity’s central figure cannot be redesigned as a gun-toting, gay-bashing, flag-draped ideological icon without fundamentally and inexorably altering the religion itself—particularly how it is regarded by those outwith its margins. Christians who don’t want to be associated with the reimagined Jesus have a right—and an obligation—to denounce his being co-opted into the spokesman for √úberpatriot Dominionism. Christian Supremacists are rebranding Christ, and hence Christianity. This is nothing if not a marketing war.

    Understandably, it’s a game that Christians who don’t regard Jesus as a mascot don’t want to play, but the Christian Supremacy movement in America is a business. Millions and millions of dollars are raised every year by people professing to preach The Word in exchange for a few dollars (and a few more, and a few more) in the collection baskets, but all they’re really doing is selling a product—a way to cope with a changing world that robs bigots of their undeserved dominion, that tells them they really, at long last, must share equality with non-Christians, the LGBT community, strong women, minorities, and immigrants in the public sphere. They are losing control they were never meant to have, and Christianity 2.0 sells them the righteous anger and victimhood they need.


    Follow the link for the complete article.
     
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  2. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Good article...you might want to check out the writings of Pulitzer Prize author Chris Hedges...

    Christopher Hedges was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, the son of a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Thomas Hedges. He graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut in 1975. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

    THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN FASCISM

    By -- CHRIS HEDGES

    15 Nov 2004

    Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age, he was then close to 80, we would all be fighting the "Christian fascists."

    The warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible.

    He was not a man to use the word fascist lightly. He was in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church, known as The Confessing Church, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Adams was eventually detained and interrogated by the Gestapo, who suggested he might want to consider returning to the United States . It was a suggestion he followed. He left on a night train with framed portraits of Adolph Hitler placed over the contents inside his suitcase to hide the rolls of home movie film he took of the so-called German Christian Church, which was pro-Nazi, and the few individuals who defied them, including the theologians Karl Barth and Albert Schweitzer. The ruse worked when the border police lifted the top of the suitcases, saw the portraits of the Fuhrer and closed them up again. I watched hours of the grainy black and white films as he narrated in his apartment in Cambridge.

    He saw in the Christian Right, long before we did, disturbing similarities with the German Christian Church and the Nazi Party, similarities that he said would, in the event of prolonged social instability or a national crisis, see American fascists, under the guise of religion, rise to dismantle the open society. He despaired of liberals, who he said, as in Nazi Germany, mouthed silly platitudes about dialogue and inclusiveness that made them ineffectual and impotent. Liberals, he said, did not understand the power and allure of evil nor the cold reality of how the world worked. The current hand wringing by Democrats in the wake of the election, with many asking how they can reach out to a movement whose leaders brand them "demonic" and "satanic," would not have surprised Adams. Like Bonhoeffer, he did not believe that those who would fight effectively in coming times of turmoil, a fight that for him was an integral part of the Biblical message, would come from the church or the liberal, secular elite.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.theocracywatch.org/chris_hedges_nov24_04.htm

    edited so link could be accessed
     
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  3. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I have no problem whatsoever if you keep your secular hatred for religion far away from my Church. I wish youd just let go of the hate though.
     
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  4. Father Time
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    Father Time I'll be Still Alive

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    I honestly can't think of anything in recent memory that would qualify as secular 'hate' trying to push itself onto a church. Can you fill me in?
     
  5. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    If the good christians would only stand up more and let their voices be heard ... then these bad ones wouldn't be what our opinions of them are formed on.
     
  6. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    We're not the ones doing the hating.
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    There's nothing remotely conservative about Fundamentalist religions.

    These people are radicals who would, if they could, drastically impose their value systems (which are NOT American values systems) on all of us.

    Doesn't matter what religion they believe, they're all a menace to civil society, as far as I can tell.
     
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  8. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    You just said you were an uninformed bigot! my my my get up off your ass and get yourself informed whydonchya?
     
  9. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    Yes, we noticed that, all through Christmas! :lol::lol:
     
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  10. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    you've swallowed too damn much kool aid
     

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