Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Dialogue about dialogue


Here's a post from Chip Berlet on the DefCon blog about Prophecy, Belief, and Constitutional boundaries. Here's an excerpt:

A group of ultraconservative political operatives have harnessed a particular reading of Biblical prophecy, known as Premillenial Dispensationalism, (embraced by tens of millions of evangelical Christians) and transformed these beliefs into campaigns to deny basic rights to groups of people framed as sinful and subversive.

Premillennial means a belief that Jesus Christ returns in the End Times and, after a series of confrontations and battles against evil, he reigns over an earthly utopia for a thousand years…a millennium. Therefore, Christ returns before (“pre”) the Godly millennial kingdom. Dispensations are epochs, or blocks of history, during which certain things happen. Premillennial Dispensationalists think that we are poised on the edge of that historic epoch during which the End Times preface the second coming of Christ and his millennial reign.

A large portion of Christian evangelicals who hold these specific theological beliefs also believe that devout and Godly Christians, before the tremendous confrontations or “Tribulations” that culminate in a huge global Battle of Armageddon, will be spared injury or death when they are brought away from Earth and held in God’s protective embrace in an event called the “Rapture.”

It is easy to poke fun at these types of religious beliefs, but it is deeply offensive and provocative in a way that undermines a serious and important public debate over the proper boundaries for religious belief and public policy decisions. It is not accurate to dismiss Christians who hold these beliefs as ignorant, uneducated, or crazy. Social scientists have thoroughly refuted these stereotypes with polling data and in-depth interviews. In addition, it is not fair to ask people of faith simply to abandon their beliefs when they step into the Public Square or political arena.

It is also not fair, however, for those in the Religious Right to use God as a trump card in public policy debates.

There are some very interesting comments to this post which seem to be going along the lines of some of the commentary here in this community. Some people understand the need to reach out and engage moderate Christians, and others feel that there isn't any way to establish a dialogue when one side speaks English and the other is speaking in tongues. All in all, it's a thorny question, and a difficult matter to unravel. How can we disengage the political and theocratic elements from the spiritual ones? How can we confront the horrible monster that this politico-religious synergy has spawned?

Go read the post and its comments. I'll be interested in hearing your comments.

dogemperor [userpic]
Boston Globe Editorial: "All God, All the Time"

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

From the Boston Globe:

When they told us in Sunday School that God is everywhere, they could have been talking about the recent news cycle. With Harriet Miers, we see that God lives in the politics of the US Supreme Court nomination process. In a culture defined by the separation of church and state, President Bush and his allies have mastered the use of religious affirmation as a deflection not only of criticism, but of critical thought. God is thus a trump card, a free pass. If the president, senators, and members of Congress can justify their decisions by appeals to God, why not judges?

...In the argument between creationists and scientists, those aiming to defend God make absolute claims about mysteries of the deep past as if they themselves were there. Air Force flyers have thought of God as their co-pilot in the past, but in today's Air Force, God sits atop the chain-of-command. At the US Air Force Academy, which was rocked by sex scandals not long ago, God is now the designated dean of discipline, but this jeopardizes infidel careers. Unit cohesion requires conversion. Indeed, displays of faith can be a prerequisite for promotion throughout a government where the White House itself is a House of God. In Iraq, meanwhile, someone will turn his body into a bomb today, killing others by blowing himself up while saying, "God is great!"

Full Editorial

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]shaunathan)

A Christian parent, and science, teacher, explains why he won't teach "intelligent design."

He also describes some of the discrimnation he has encountered in his community for his beliefs.

Current Mood: annoyed
Current Music: Nip/Tuck on TV
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