Dark Christianity
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Back June 6th, 2007 Forward
dogemperor [userpic]
Back To Business


The drama of The Great Strikethrough 0f '07 [what I call The Memorial Day Massacre] has settled somewhat. SixApart is busy trying to dig itself out of the hole it has dug. [I don't think they will..investors have long memories]

But we all got a microcosmic lesson on how religious extremists - or those posing as such - can inflict damage, both economic and emotional, upon the secular world through the use of Moral Terrorism.

However, though it has made serious and disturbing inroads into the body politic, the American Taliban still has a ways to go in fully establishing its longed for Christian Theocratic Republic. So, I though it salutary to look at some real world examples of theocracy in action.

Below are two articles from The LA Times I posted in my own journal. The headlines are the links, accompanied by their respective secondary headlines. As you will see, religious extremists of any faith have more in common with each other than with the rest of us.

In Saudi Arabia, a view from behind the veil
As a woman in the male-dominated kingdom, Times reporter Megan Stack quietly fumed beneath her abaya. Even beyond its borders, her experience taints her perception of the sexes.

Clashing values alter a city's face
Thousands of less devout Jews move out each year, many frustrated by the growing clout of the ultra-Orthodox. The trend may leave Israelis with a painful choice.

Current Mood: awake
dogemperor [userpic]
Something That Should Have Been An Essay On The SATs

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

Okay, this will be difficult, but please bear with me. :-)

In a conversation with a friend, it was mentioned that Bush was being supported by religious zealots/fanatics/extreme devotees of the Christian faith, not because he himself is Christian, but because he "will bring about the Second Coming."

The evidence for this was as such. Bush decided that early on, this was a "crusade." Anyone worth their salt knows that to use the word, "crusade" in the Middle East is either because you are a zealot, or just plain stupid. Some are thinking along the Zealot lines. (I'm more leaning towards stupidity). Then one of the top generals appointed by the Administration decided that it was proper to share his faith with *everyone* and that no one could stop him. The military then also said that the Christian faith is the only faith in which "witnessing" or "conversion" could be done by top officials, without fear of reprimand. This however prevents other faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, or alternative pagan faiths from growing inside the military, ad they are NOT allowed to share their faith as the Christian servicemen (and women) can. lastly, it had been though that wars int he Middle East are all going to lead up to the "Second Coming."

The religious individuals who think this, I was told, no longer support Bush because of his identity as a "Christian." I was told they support him because they want the Apocalypse/End of Days to happen within their life-time.

Far be it from me to be concerned with such a matter which is quite beyond the concept of human though... because I think Job put it nicely (an paraphrased) for those who believe there's a "god" out there; Who can know the designs of God? Dwelling on the End of Days is pretty fruitless because well... it's something we cannot truly fathom where we are.

But I thought I'd mention this because, well... it sounded like a possibility with the way some Christians are behaving and the fact that support for5 the US preside is the lowest it's ever been. even surpassing that of Nixon when he was tied the scandals of his day.

Do you think that there are some Christians supporting the US President's Middle East policy only for the hopes of the 'Second Coming/End of Days? Why or Why not?

Current Mood: curious
dogemperor [userpic]
The State Of The Nation Part Deux

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]legless123)

I went off on a wee tangent in this post and ended up writing much more than I meant to so the Faith Based Schools post will come later.

The reason for posting this is to compare and contrast the UK's religious make-up with Americas in the hope that you'll understand a little better where I'm coming from when I get curious about Religious Right in America.

As always, these opinions are mine and mine alone. Other Brits may disagree with my observations.

Religion In Britain.

By any standards Britain isn't a very religious country. I don't personally know *anyone* who goes to Church on a regular basis. A lot of us are nominally Christians but practising Christians are actually thin on the ground over here.

Officially,(last census I can get data from) Britain is carved up like this:

Christian 71.6%
Moslem 2.7%
Hindu 1.0%
Sikh 0.6%
Jewish 0.5%
Agnostic/Atheist 15.5%
Other 0.6%
Refuse To Answer 7.3%
Buddhism 0.2%

Note: Amongst the Agnostic/Atheist are 390,000 or 0.7% who give their religion as Jedi.

The Jedi? A bit of a backlash during the last Census. We really don't like being asked our religion in Britain - we think it's our business and not the Governments so a number of people put down Jedi as a protest.

As I said, even amongst those classing themselves as Christian, church attendance is rather low. Around 6.3% of Christians regularly attend church.

6.3% of people go to church
7.5% attended regularly in 1998
29% of churchgoers are aged over 65
17% are of ethnic minority background
(8% of general UK population are ethnic minorities)
44% of London churchgoers are black

Source: Christian Research

So. We've a non-secular Government (Queen Elizabeth II is head of State and also head of the Church Of England) but we're a lot less religious than the USA. Most of us see Church as somewhere to go for weddings, funerals and Christenings.

Yup - the vast majority of people in the UK, even though they may class themselves as either Agnostic/Atheist or non-practising still prefer to get married, get buried/burnt and get Christened in Church. And no, I can't figure that out either. I think we do it because it's expected by our older relatives (most of who also don't go to Church....)

So, that’s Britain, religious-ways, in a nutshell.

Now having said all that there is still a small minority of Evangelical sects put there - and not all of them are Christian. So lets have a quick rundown of them. And no, this isn't exclusive, it's just the ones I've come across in my time roving Britain.

Jehovah Witness's.
Ye Gods these are a right pain in the arse. Every weekend these buggars are out in force making a damm nuisance of themselves. They walk around neighbourhoods in pairs, knock and peoples doors and spout nonsense at them. Most of this bunch, or at least the ones I've met, are thick as castle walls. They quote scripture at you at the drop of a hat and have a quote for every occasion. However, these quotes are mindlessly learned from a script and most of them retreat in terror if you start quoting the Bible back at them - especially quotations they themselves haven't learned. They're also vulnerable to *made-up* quotations and you can happily make up lines, passages or even entire books if you feel so inclined - they're unlikely to catch you out. They can also be gotten rid of by telling them you're a Satanist or a Wiccan. (They think the two are the same).

Now to be honest, I know very little about the Mormons except that they're always very well turned out - suits, ties, polished shoes - and always male. (Contrasted to the Jehovah Witnesses who are often old crones and wouldn't be out of place in MacBeth). As to the religion of Mormon - I have vague and hazy ideas but I've never bothered to give it more than a cursory once-over. Still, we do have Mormon Missionaries occasionally coming around our houses and preaching at us. A robust "Fuck-Off and don't come back" generally gets rid of them.

Salvation Armies AKA The Happy-Clappys.
Mostly harmless here in the UK and, to be fair, they do a lot of good work with down-and-outs and the homeless in the UK. They run soup kitchens, hostels, doss-houses etc. They're the absolute safety-net here in the UK. They will feed pretty much anyone and find them somewhere to sleep if they can. But they will insist on singing at you. Hymns and prayers are compulsory at Happy Clappy gigs.

Their recruitment policy is an odd one. They tend to get a lot of their Soldiers from working class families who have a generational interest in music. This is because the Sally-Army always have brass-bands and instruments are willing to provide musical tutoring and instrument loans to working class kids. When I was growing up, this was the prime reason people joined the Sally Army. These days of easy credit and better wages, most kids interested in brass music can afford to get their own instruments so the Army is declining.

The other odd thing they do is the way they raise funds. They send people around pubs to solicit donations and sell their terrible News-Sheet, the War Cry! The reason I find this odd is that they're dead set against alcohol in any form. The Demon Drink they call it. An odd, but harmless bunch.

The Boys Brigade
Now I really should know more about this mob as I was a member when I was a very young lad. Sadly, I only lasted a few weeks as I was thrown out for fighting. Basically, they're a boys club that meets twice a week and is strongly affiliated to the Church Of England. For members of the Boys Brigade, Church Attendance is compulsory and enough non-attendance and you're thrown out. Haven't though about this lot for years. In the UK, they were a religious alternative to the Boy Scouts.

As far as other Evangelicals go, we have a healthy and thriving bunch who target Universities and another bunch (American but can't remember the sect) who use very attractive young girls to lure teenagers into mini-buses where they take you away and sing at you. Adept at love-bombing. They're not terribly successful but they are enthusiastic.

And of course, we have the bloody Scientologists with their never-ending Stress Tests. You could give one of these tests to the living Buddha and even he'd fail and have to cough up for a course with them. Not sure whether I should have included them amongst British Evangelicals but, as they're the ones that bother us most in the UK I thought I'd give them a spot. My personally opinion is that they're not a religion, no matter what they say, they're a cult. A scam. A vicious corporate money making machine. But they are common in Britain’s cities. Vultures.

Err - I think that will do for now. I seem to have rambled on a bit. Next post will be on Faith Based Schools and other recent Dominion phenomena.



dogemperor [userpic]
Religious mural causes stir in Ohio


A preacher in Canton, Ohio, is fighting for his right to display a mural on the side of his building which bears the messages, "Jesus is the only way to Heaven" and "Hell is real".

Text of the article in case the link dies. )

It doesn't look like this is a free speech/free expression battle - the town's main objection seems to be that the mural is too big.

Personally, I'm just puzzled as to why a mural with such a narrow, fear-based and damning message is being used in an attempt to win converts or new church attendees. I just don't get what the appeal would be.

dogemperor [userpic]
Musings on Paul's Letters

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

Thinking about the Bible and current situations made me wonder something. Perhaps somone can help me better understand what happened... hehe

Okay, After Jesus's reported death, cults that glorified Jesus... Christians... were looked down upon by the Romans because instead of incorporating into the Roman pantheon, the Christians asserted that their god was the only one and all other gods were false. The romans then hunted down the cultists and either made them renounce what they said, imprisoned them for life, or killed them.

Then was have the individual known as Paul. He helped create a new church using the same cultish beliefs, and was sought after by the romans for his teachings. They eventually catch him and lock him up.

Now in perspective, how did Paul manage to get his letters out of prison? If the Romans in his time were trying to squelch the rise of the new Christian cult, how did Paul's letter get out of prison to the major churches of the region? Someone suggested to me that maybe the guards were really in the cult too, and smuggled out the letters, but if that was the case, wouldn't it have been just as easy to "lose" Paul?

Now to a certain point, I believe the Bible is as important to use as Aesop's Fables. Aesop's Fables taught us morals using stories.. much like the Bible. But after the book of Acts, I wonder, how much of this is really what it's supposed to be? The way the Roman Empire hated the new cult has always made me wonder how these letters, the Epistiles (sp?) managed to get out. It would have required a massive network which couldn't have been around at the time.. the cult was still too new. And if it could have even been possible to have such an extensive network, how could one really be sure that it would be uncorrupted?

But I suppose the flip side would be that other letters might be floating out there because they were intercepted.

What are your views? Were these letters just an invention like what has been claimed with Revelation? were these letters invented by the Church in order to set up rules in which later followers could adhere to? I'd really like to know other people's take on this.

Current Mood: pessimistic
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