One semester of learning about critical thinking in high school would have done wonders for me. But I was too dumb to look up the subject in the library, even later in college.
Big Surprise when you get there?
One semester of learning about critical thinking in high school would have done wonders for me. But I was too dumb to look up the subject in the library, even later in college.
Big Surprise when you get there?
“God loved the world.
God is in the world-loving business—not the America-blessing business.
You remember the world, don’t you; that massive, spinning sphere of 7.6 billion disparate human beings: brown people, Muslims, LGBTQ folks, Atheists, shithole countries—and lots and lots of non-English speaking, non-Americans?
Check out the Old and New Testaments again.
Read through the Gospels a few times.
Use any translation you’d like:
No America First.
No Making America Great Again (or at all.)
No flags or national anthems to pledge allegiance to.
A few other bits of news from the Scriptures:
Jesus was born in the Middle East.
He didn’t speak English.
He wasn’t white.
He wasn’t Southern Baptist.
He wasn’t a Republican.
Heck, he wasn’t even Christian.”
A change in attitude and behavior is necessary in order for Christianity to maintain a strong and positive influence in the world. Though not in agreement with Bishop Spong who stated that “Christianity must change or die,” I am in harmony with his understanding that literalist Christians may very well literalize themselves into inconsequential roles, or worse, becoming the cause of highly negative consequential events.
A preacher who labors based on an innerant Bible ends up, as Watts wrote, attempting to “tell God what to do and the people how to behave.”
For a long time the second part of that phrase had more impact than the first. However, attempting to tell God what to do because the Bible is inerrant reveals itself more and more as faulty doctrine.
Part of perception is that the interpretation of what we perceive is primarily driven by what we expect to see, i.e. our own internal assumptions. The assumption that the Bible is inerrant then drives the expectations one has as to what God does or will say, what God actually wills, and what God deems as important.
The logic of this is inescapable. If God were to somehow make known a concept not found in the Bible (and I’m not talking about a concept contrary to something in the Bible, but, for example a concept more apropos to 21st century living), how would a culture totally based on an inerrant Bible be ever able to accept it?
“Dogmatic” for me consists of rigidity and inflexibility. I am dogmatic when it comes to my perception of the Bible as something more than a law book limited to its literal statements. I am dogmatic when it comes to viewing the Bible as but one of many powerful means of achieving on-going communion with God.
A church full of Bibles is not a stable full of animals all wearing one harness. It is a place where each person has an individual relationship via his or her personal scripture with the source of the scripture. Otherwise we reduce the Bible to a course in Religion 101, denying ourselves the advanced knowledge to be gained through experientially living religion 201, 301, 401, 100001 and more.
Why would we deliberately remain in shallow water where only splashing is allowed when we can venture into deeper waters, learn to swim and discover the ocean?
What is true is that all religions conflict with each other. In the end, all we have are religions that some claim yes to a thing, and others claim no to a thing and so on and so forth. God cannot be and then not be. He either is or He is not. Therefore by definition, multiple religions mean multiple paths to God.
Literalists are left in an either/or world defined in black and white terms by an inerrant Bible and specific assumptions that cannot be proven. In this circumstance the human mind – where the Holy Spirit is truly sensed and experienced – remains tragically closed.
I started out with a different title :
Hypocritical Sanctimony meets Sanctimonious Hypocrisy.
Thinking that citizens are better served by an insistence that gay marriage deserves more concern right now than any other national concern, we ought to feel insulted by this kind of dumbing down tactice. With self-serving sober sanctimony, that gang – pretending to deep and profound thoughts – declares that we absolutely must defend that “sacred institution upon which this country is based.”
1. I’d worry more about those couples already married than about those who want to get married.
I’d be concerned and working toward seeing that they kept their jobs or, if unemployed, found good ones upon which they could economically stabilize their marriage.
2. I’d work intensely to stabilize marriage by doing everything in my and my administration’s power to achieve health coverage for every member of every family and every member-to-be of every family-to-be.
3. I’d work for increasing family incomes with minimum wage increases and expanding worker benefits. I wouldn’t stand there like a dope and pretend that corporate tax cuts have created meaningful long term income opportunities for that sector of society where the largest number of marriages are already at risk.
4. I’d understand that the sacred institution of marriage is placed more at risk when it attempts to survive with inadequate housing, bottom-line cheapskate and/or corporate slumlords, and home ownership as an impossible dream.
5. I’d take a long look and seek answers from those who truly know about failed marriages among our minority populations and stop thinking that unfettered capitalism includes within its framework some sort of naturally-occurring equal opportunity for every citizen to succeed in some idealized cookie-cutter manner.
6. I’d give priority to our married soldiers and their spouses. I would certainly not let those who never served write out political and military checks that the children in our families – built on our sacred institution of marriage – will have to cash.
7. I’d focus on those military families and single soldiers in another significant way – I’d care about what happens when they come home and are no longer tactical plastic markers on a map. I’d make sure that the VA is truly an effective and functioning VA – a boon to our society of veterans and something for which we as a nation can all be proud and not suspicious.
8. I’d see to it that families and the marriages that build them are not hampered by an urgent need for food assistance and other welfare.
9. I’d sustain our sacred institution by getting out of the business of trying to control one gender’s right to chose. A truly moral and ethical president would trust our processes of education and scientific study and encourage responsibility around human sexuality as a national concern and effort rather than a divisive argument based on polarized personal moralities.
10. I’d sustain and advocate for the sacredness of our marriage institution by educating and protecting our precious human national resource – our children. Rather than prance around sounding pious and sober about gay couples, I’d march around obsessed with doing something about the factors that do greater harm to our families and their young members.
I’d work to encourage the nation to go after on its domestic abusers and family abandoners in a major way.
In short, as President, if I ever started defining marriage as “the sacred institution upon which this country is based,” I’d be ready to start encouraging an intervention in all those things that form the framework for failed marriages, failed families and ruined lives.
I’d resist in every way the notion that the American people believe that banning gay marriages is the answer to solving social problems.
I’d talk the necessary God-talk to challenge the Christian Right to prove that God is as narrowly focused on righteous intimacy as they are.
Actually in terms of “pro,” I support choosing and accountability for choice. I usually come down on a side that counsels against a choice to have an abortion but I’m very much against criminalizing the act and its associated legal retribution. If Christians want to construct a “moral” world then it must be non-coercive in order to get God out of the extortion business.
“Do it my way or I’ll send you to hell” is extortion and the least reason why someone would make “good moral choices.”
Good moral choices from my perspective are first founded on ethics. Those who practice good ethics ought to be doing so as a direct application of the golden rule and a genuine desire for the highest good.
They absolutely are not subject to an innerant Bible nor those who think they have interpreted the Bible for everyone else.
I think that open discussion of what most fundamentalists have unwittingly portrayed as God’s obsession on human sexuality is imperative if, in fact, God is obsessed with the intimate details of human sexuality.
Since the subject provokes more intense moral outrage, it should be discussed openly and with an eye single to teaching it as a spiritual concept rather than relegating it to a discussion of the mechanics of physiology.
In that regard, such conversation can’t help but throw a spotlight on the demagogues who raise the issue for selfish reasons. In that kind of revealing moment the loudest moral mouths are forced to throw open their own cloaks of privacy and flash to the rest of us what they are really after.
Who owns the definition of marriage two human beings are using or contemplating?
The word marriage already has some meaning – including purpose and definition – that reflects a sense of relationship and longing for something with which to define and portray themselves as a couple.
It’s also important to remember that if it is not a personal definition it is someone else’s – it is someone else’s magic. Someone else’s magic in life is either dispensed or loaned and as such, remains the exclusive property of the lender/dispenser. The lender/dispenser will not validate any usage of their magic if it is contrary to how they expect it will be utilized.
Some folks insist that “marriage” is a word they own or that God owns; that God, although not a respecter of persons as written scripturally, is still particular about who uses His word. Such a jealous God will not recognize as holy and sacred what already is holy and sacred to many human beings.
This circumstance will be valid only so long as couples contemplating marriage are in harmony and, more significantly, in subordination to that same point of view. In reality, no one owns that word more than any word is owned. Marriage is each couple’s to define and around which to appoint to a couple’s purpose.
My wife and I were married in a Native-American ceremony presided over by a Christian Native-American Shaman who is a member of the Cherokee Good Medicine Society. We were not joined in holy matrimony by a priest, pastor, reverend, preacher, bishop or any other god-talker. And certainly not a justice of the peace.
I think God in reality is too busy trying to stay untangled from the prayers of the self-righteous to take the time to do nit-picking over who owns words and their definitions.
That’s it! Game over! These guys have brought in the big guns. You know, the “Me-and-Jesus-Ain’t-that-right-Jesus crowd.”
I see these foolish people – remaining however a minority and not representative of traditional conservative Christians – triggering a showdown between right/left and liberal/conservative that explodes in an uncontrollable way that forces the rest to choose sides.
It’s one thing to enact laws the keep taverns 200 feet from churches. It’s something else to enact laws that seriously alter our national habitual understanding of – for example – our Bill of Rights.
If that happens, these radicals who thought changing the laws was all that was needed will have no clue as to why rioters don’t “play fair” just because “it’s the law now” and quietly go to jail themselves instead of striking back.
If laws were enacted, the first time a jury found a Christian Taliban executioner of an accused gay, liberal or abortionist not-guilty I think the Pharisees would have more than they could handle.
Would you just sit around and moan if every week a van came down your street and you watched as your gay neighbors, your neighbor who had a private abortion, or liberal speaker-outers were loaded up and hauled off?
Not for long …
That’s the naivete behind the assumption that enacting laws enacts a specific morality.
When tsunami-stopping and ant-reviving pastor Frank Amedia appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” earlier this month, he was joined by several members of his POTUS Shield organization, who collectively engaged in an extended prayer to protect President Trump from the “evil forces” of the deep state, in addition to the “witches and warlocks” who have been cursing him.
“I think we need to be wise to understand that this presidency is going to be taken to the edge of destruction by evil forces, by deep state forces, by a conspiracy that has already been named,” Amedia warned. “We know it’s coming. We need to withstand against that. We need to be the watchmen that say, ‘Don’t take your eyes off, the storm is coming.’”
“We prayed for the Lord to just stir up that storm,” he continued. “Stir up that storm of that president. We declare right now, in Jesus’ name, stir it up. Stir him up like a tornado, don’t let him stop. Let everything fly out that needs to fly out, let everything be exposed, don’t let anything be put back into a place that could come back and linger again.”
Amedia said that “the spirit of Antichrist” is trying to “snuff out” all of Trump’s accomplishments along with “the rising church” and prayed that God will crush that effort “just like he did Haman Hillary on election night.”
Amedia, Mark Gonzales of the U.S. Hispanic Action Network, and Bishop Harry Jackson then initiated a spiritual warfare prayer against Trump’s enemies and critics, with Jackson taking specific aim at the “witches and warlocks” who have cursed the president.
“We lift up witches and warlocks who have been a part of this assignment,” Jackson said, “as they have gathered in numbers almost immeasurable to curse this specific president. We cancel, we bind their authority, we bind their curses, we lift up your word that says you shall not revile the gods and neither shall you bring a curse upon the rule of God’s people. We declare those assignments null and void and we claim the souls of many of the witches and warlocks.”
Are you suffering from EDS: Eternal Damnation Syndrome?
Folks, have you been saved?
Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?
Accepting Jesus as your personal savior is an important moment in the life of God’s children. As the late Reverend Jerry Falwell told us, “if you are not a born again Christian you are a failure as a human being.”
If you fail as a human being you will miss out on the eternal reward that is part of God’s plan for you. Worse, you will be eternally unforgiven and left to the dungeons of Satan who shows no mercy.
Friends, until you come to understand God’s patriarchal order of things, you will remain festered with the EDS infections. As America’s premier televangelist Pat Robertson has declared solemnly,
“I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”
EDS can also have fatal consequences if you and your loved ones remain ignorant of the rampant spiritual warfare going on all around us. As the famous Christian warrior, General Boykin declared,
“We as Americans, we as Christians, need to understand that that’s not the enemy that America’s up against. In fact, the enemy that we’re up against is called the principality of darkness, he’s called Satan. We are in fact in a spiritual battle, ladies and gentlemen, more than we are in a physical battle.”
Now please understand – and we say this with genuine self-righteous and condescending love as we hate the sin but love the sinner – Christ Jesus and the Holy Bible are the only one true path to a cure for EDS.
As that wonderful Christian politician, Tom Delay, told us,
Only Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border. Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation. Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world — only Christianity.” —-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay [R-Tex].
If you are not yet a born again Christian, you have EDS which is a spiritual disease with fatal consequences.
But you can act now! Call the number on the screen or drive out Rapture Road to the Forever Saved Evangelical Megachurch, where we have the antidote to EDS and are selling it at a reasonable eternal price.
We will provide for you from our formula pulpit all you need to know to protect yourself and your family from the terrible consequences of untreated EDS.
We will dose you with scripture. We will throw the Good Book at you because we know that the Bible is perfect, free from error and that includes the wonderful revelations of true science and history of our young 6000-year-old planet.
We will assure you of the literal existence of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve (yuck yuck, that’s a joke son). We will explain how they tripped over the simplest trap God could set and left us all divinely cursed for ever with EDS – unless you let us dose you with the antidote.
We will show you how God and Noah saved the dinosaurs even though all Noah had was his humble God-designed ark.
We will teach you of the Eternal Godhead who has revealed himself as ONE God existing in THREE persons and you will better understand who is behind the plan to punish you eternally from EDS if you do not repent.
We will tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ, or as we like to refer to Him in our scriptural tone of voice, “Christ Jesus,” who waits for you to appoint Him as your savior and start the healing flow of intravenous spiritual atonement that will eradicate that pernicious EDS from your Edenic-cursed body.
You don’t have to do anything to be cured of EDS except believe in faith after you’ve paid for our product by promising forever the first ten percent of all money that ever falls into your hands.
Eternity doesn’t come cheap and we have advertising and logistical expenses to meet as we dispense with the cure to EDS.
Once you’re into the pay cycle, Jesus has done the rest and you will be able to strut confidently through the remaining steps of your life, knowing that your future is set, safe, secure and a done deal.
Brothers and Sisters, we will reveal to you the sanctity of marriage and explain how nobody ever got married before God gifted the Jews and later the Christians with the irrevocable patent and ownership of all marriage contracts.
Curing yourself of EDS is vital in order that you not be a failure as a human being.
We believe in the One God but are worried about Satan & His Judgment. We also believe in the reality and personality of Satan and the eternal judgment of Satan and his angels (again Satan is not a God even though we treat him like one.)
So stand up, gird up your loins and take for yourself the helmet and shield of trust in someone else’s magic.
Act now and we will double your dose of the cure and include the complete set of Left Behind novels so that you will have a better picture of what happens to those who never cure EDS.
Call now … shysters are waiting to help you.
I see where the libruls are now contemplating home schooling cause the queen of multi-level soap and cream is now the Secretary of Education which makes her the darling of the creationism crowd.
I think I’ll run an ad regarding my ability to teach stuff to all the home-schoolees. I think I got the right stuff.
So I better check in on what them kids are supposed to learn when they’re sitting at the kitchen table being confused cause they couldn’t say a prayer in real school before taking a test but in their chapels-by-the-fridges they sure can.
If our textbooks have got to include warnings that such and such is only a theory, then by gum we need to apply the rule across the board. That means starting with the 3 R’s and includes the Bible.
There should be something that says :
Warning youngster – the words you’re about to read are only the product of a theory and can only be proven by “faith”.
That means that you have to trust that what you read is telling you something useful. If you read a word you don’t understand, look it up in the dictionary. But remember that what a dictionary says is only a theory too and it might not be true.
Warning youngster – writing is the way you make your own reading show up in words. That of course means that what you want to say will only be a theory. Them who read what you write are not supposed to believe your words. Instead they have to prove to themselves about what you say by using “faith.”
Now faith is also only a theory that must be proven. So you see, everything you read and write and say and do and think and feel are only theories which you must prove by faith – again, which is only a theory.
Getting complicated for you?
Well that’s what your smart parents think is the best way for you to grow up and be as smart as they think they are. By the way, Working with books in this way ain’t the way they grew up to be as smart as they are.
(This is where it gets good.)
Any number is only a theory. If I have two apples in my hand, that means that I’m holding two theoretical things that might or might not be apples. An “apple” is a theory about a certain kind of “fruit” which – theoretically- is something that grew once before getting killed by harvesting or falling off a theoretical tree. The apple still tastes sweet – even if it is dead – and is good for you to eat.
But then eating only for pleasure might be sinful which again is only a theory.
Anyway, I have two theoretical apples in my two hands which are theoretical products of evolution which is … (you guessed it – a theory).
Now them apples may be the product of “intelligent design” – what some of your parents says ain’t a theory cause they read it in their not-a-theory Bible.
I don’t know why the Bible isn’t considered a theory but for many grown-ups it ain’t. But fair is fair and if yer folks learned that the Bible isn’t theory because they exercised their own faith, then by gum what was good enough for them’ll be good enough for you.
So New Rule:
The Bible contains theories that must be proven by faith.
Now back to Arithmatic:
I have two (which may or may not be an accurate count) apples (which may or may not be apples.) You ask me to give you one – theoretically. Now if I ain’t theoretically selfish and you look theoretically needy or deserving, I might theoretically decide to “share” (a theoretical virtue) and give you one half of how many apples I’m holding in my theoretical evolutionized hands.
What’s that you say?
How do you know a half is really a half? You just have to take it on faith you uppity little whippersnapper.
See what I mean?
In order to make schooling consistent and the same way all across the board, were going have to post a sticker on the Bible that says
“Contains theories that can only be proven by faith.”
Well, it’s a start but I’d hate to be teaching a Sunday School class for kids or adults using these here criterias.
And what hell there’d be to pay trying to teach kids about theoretical birds and bees whose lusty behavior has to be taken on faith.
Thomas Bulfinch … who said in the opening lines of the first chapter of his 19th-century masterpiece, (If you can’t find the book, look here)
“The religions of ancient Greece and Rome are extinct. The so-called divinities of Olympus have not a single worshiper among living men. They belong now not to the department of theology, but to those of literature and taste.
There they still hold their place, and will continue to hold it, for they are too closely connected with the finest productions of poetry and art, both ancient and modern, to pass into oblivion.”
… Regarding the gods and prophets of our modern fundamentalists … the same will be said.