Dark Christianity
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Christian adoption agency changes policy


A Christian adoption agency in Mississippi has changed its practice of not placing children with Roman Catholic couples.

According to this article, the board voted unanimously to change the policy.

I like to do follow-ups to articles like this one, because it is good to see positive change in the Christian community.

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Dr. Jeffrey Feldman on the Persecution of Christians in America

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

"Chris Matthews filled a room with about 1,500 Evangelical Christians, two Jews and a Muslim. Next, he asked them questions about the separation of church and state, abortion, and morality. [...] We learned that Christians in this country are the victims of widespread discrimination so extreme that the moral foundation of our nation is at risk. [...] Here's a few quick questions I would have posed in the course of this "discussion" if I were Chris Matthews:

Can anyone think of a day in our national calendar when Federal and State offices are closed because of a Christian Holiday?
Can anyone think of one President or Vice President, or any member of the President's cabinet who was a church-going Christian?
Can anyone think of any Christian symbols that are mounted and celebrated in our nation's capital on an annual basis?
Can anyone think of a single town in America where it is safe to attend a Christian church?
Can anyone think of a bookstore in America that sells the Christian Bible or other Christian texts?
Can anyone name a musician--alive or dead--who was allowed to sing songs in public or sell music based on Christian themes?
Can anyone name a single movie in America, popular or unpopular, that was based on a Christian topic and that more than a few people have actually heard of?
Can anyone think of any museum in America that has been courageous enough to display a painting or sculpture that contained Christian imagery?
Can anyone think of a U.S. airline that has not had at least one incident where a passenger was removed from a flight for looking too Christan?
Can anyone name one corporation in America that does not actively prevent its managers from hiring Christian employees?
Can anyone think of any place in America where citizens feel safe enough to wear jewelry that contains Christian symbols?
Can anyone think of a hotel or motel in America that allows Christians to place so much as one Christian Bible in one bedside drawer in one of their rooms?
Can anyone name one part of America where being outwardly Christian is looked upon as a good thing?"

Full Set of Questions Here

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Religious right takes potshot at Christian Alliance


This was to be expected: after the launch of the Christian Alliance for Progress (on the links list at left), the World Net Daily has decided that because they are 'leftist', they're not "Christian" enough.

The Christian Alliance for Progress describes its as "progressive," but its leaders' so-called broad-minded efforts toward tolerance have blinded them to how the Bible instructs us to live.

Finally, the Alliance calls for peace and an end to war, but they cannot understand that the only true peace that man can know comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He was not a hippie do-gooder, but rather the Son of the Living God who came to Earth to pave the one way to heaven for mankind. To present Him as anything less is an outrage.

Dr. Ed Hindson, renowned theologian and Liberty University professor, writing in the August issue of National Liberty Journal, stated: "If liberals want to debate these issues on biblical grounds, let them go right ahead. Because they will lose, not only the debate, but also any influence they might hope to have among spiritually minded people. They are correct when they insist we do not speak for them, and they certainly don't speak for us. Their new Alliance for Progress will simply result in one more organization in regress."

To the religious right, one has to adhere to every jot and tittle of the Bible (biblical literalism and legalism), as well as their hypocracies. They claim that abortion violates 'thou shalt not kill', yet advocate killing homosexuals, and support the death penalty. Hey, guys, choose. You can't have it both ways.

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More fake persecution


Here we go again- when the bullies can't win, they holler about being persecuted. Anyone see a pattern?

Indiana Republican says Democrats demonize Christians

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman accused Democrats on Monday of "denigrating and demonizing Christians" by concluding there was religious intolerance at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

During debate on a proposal by Democrats that would put Congress on record against "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing" at the academy, Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., criticized Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and David Obey, D-Wis.

"Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians," Hostettler said.Read more... )

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"How Gay is the Right?"-- NYTimes op-ed by Frank Rich

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

Frank Rich had a great editorial in yesterday's NYTimes giving a summary of the Conservative Right's campaign against homosexuals, including accounts of closeted anti-gay activists.

Today's judge-bashing firebrands often say that it isn't homosexuality per se that riles them, only the potential legalization of same-sex marriage by the courts. That's a sham. These people have been attacking gay people since well before Massachusetts judges took up the issue of marriage, Vermont legalized civil unions or Gavin Newsom was in grade school. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, characterizes the religious right's anti-gay campaign as a 30-year war, dating back to the late 1970's, when the Miss America runner-up Anita Bryant championed the overturning of an anti-discrimination law protecting gay men and lesbians in Dade County, Fla., and the Rev. Jerry Falwell's newly formed Moral Majority issued a "Declaration of War" against homosexuality. A quarter-century later these views remained so unreconstructed that Mr. Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson would go so far as to pin the 9/11 attacks in part on gay men and lesbians - a charge they later withdrew but that Mr. Robertson repositioned just two weeks ago. In response to a question from George Stephanopoulos, he said he now believes that activist judges are a more serious threat than Al Qaeda. [...] Which judges do these people admire? Their patron saint is the former Alabama chief justice Roy S. Moore, best known for his activism in displaying the Ten Commandments; in a ruling against a lesbian mother in a custody case, Mr. Moore deemed homosexuality "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature" and suggested that the state had the power to prohibit homosexual "conduct" with penalties including "confinement and even execution."

full text of article )


Current Music: nine days wonder
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More article-nuggets

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

[info]sunfell may find the first one of particular interest. Read more... )

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"America's Godly Heritage"


Many people in the Dominionist movement either homeschool their kids or send them to Christian schools. Many of these schools use David Barton's "America's Godly Heritage" as a teaching text about the founders of America and its supposed Christian underpinings. His book contains many quotes purported to be from our founding fathers- including Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and others.

Barton's work has been quoted extensively by evangelicals, teachers, and even members of Congress.

But evidence and research has revealed that a good lot of what Barton has written is questionable, or even false. One Baptist site has even publised a critical commentary on his work.

David Barton, in his taped presentation called America's Godly Heritage, peddles the proposition that America is a "Christian Nation," legally and historically. He also asserts that the principle of church-state separation, while not in the Constitution, has systematically been used to rule religion out of the public arena, particularly the public school system. This is not a new argument, but Barton is especially slick in his presentation. His presentation has just enough ring of truth to make him credible to many people. It is, however, laced with exaggerations, half- truths, and misstatements of fact. His citation to supporting research is scant at best and at times non-existent.

The whole article including the refutations of his 'quotes' is worth a read.

This leads to the question: why are there so many charlatans who don religous plumage and so baldly lie to believers? They are present in many faiths, but it seems that evangelical Christianity attracts them like squirrels to nuts. Maybe it can be traced back to Paul himself, whom some critics peg as being the first evangelical flim-flam artist- after all, he never even met Christ in person, and he was avidly pursuing the destruction of the faith before his conversion on the road to Damascus. (Maybe it wasn't a 'conversion at all...) Maybe his model has pretty much set up the assembly line for those who follow him.

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Another moderate observes our "Pharisee Nation"


This article has another timely criticism of the Dominionists. In Christ's time, they were called "Pharisees". Christ didn't have a lot of good things to say about them. I would doubt that he'd hold today's Dominionists in high esteem, either.

Pharisee Nation

American Nation Brainwashed

by John Dear

02/17/05 "CommonDreams" - - Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

I was not at all surprised that George W. Bush was reelected president. As I travel the country speaking out against war, injustice and nuclear weapons, I see many people consciously siding with the culture of war, choosing the path of violence, supporting corporate greed, rampant militarism, and global domination. I see many others swept up in the raging current of patriotism. Since most of these people, beginning with the president, claim to be Christian, I am ashamed and appalled that they support war and systemic injustice, that they do it in the name of God, and that they feign fidelity to the nonviolent Jesus who gave his life resisting institutionalized injustice. Read more... )

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Christian right mum on Gannon Affair


This Working For Change article questions the monolithic silence on the Jeff Gannon affair.

A few weeks back, Buzzflash.com editorialized: "The Gannon story touches upon everything from manufactured news to manufactured 'reporters' to the Valerie Plame affair to websites that have a connection to the White House, but appear independent, to a Bush Cartel hypocrisy about gays, to payola, to scripted Bush news conferences, to who knows what. This is a BIG media story that should be on the cover of the New York Times and Post."

Unable to speak with representatives from Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition, I turned to Joe Conn of American United for Separation of Church and State and John Aravosis, the creator of Americablog.

In a telephone interview, Conn said he wasn't surprised that there hasn't been any response from Christian right organizations because "The religious right is pretty much a team player when it comes to the Bush Administration. Unless it's an issue like same-sex marriage -- a core issue of their agenda -- they will give the president a pass."

"Clearly this is an example of the religious right's hypocrisy," Conn point out. "If it was Bill Clinton they would be in total uproar."

Via e-mail, I asked Aravosis why he thought the Christian right was being silent about the Gannon Affair.

"Because they're hypocrites," he wrote in an e-mail. "They know this scandal is hurting Bush and they put politics ahead of their God. That's how petty and un-Christian they are."

"Am I correct in thinking that they certainly would have responded to a similar situation if Bill Clinton was still president?," I asked. Aravosis responded with tongue firmly implanted in cheek: "Do you think the religious right would care if Bill Clinton welcomed a gay hooker to the White House, and then slipped him classified intelligence information? Let me think about that one."

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Defensive Evangelicals

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The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience


This Christianity Today article reveals that Evangelicals are as sinful- or moreso- as the rest of us.

Scandalous behavior is rapidly destroying American Christianity. By their daily activity, most "Christians" regularly commit treason. With their mouths they claim that Jesus is Lord, but with their actions they demonstrate allegiance to money, sex, and self-fulfillment.

The findings in numerous national polls conducted by highly respected pollsters like The Gallup Organization and The Barna Group are simply shocking. "Gallup and Barna," laments evangelical theologian Michael Horton, "hand us survey after survey demonstrating that evangelical Christians are as likely to embrace lifestyles every bit as hedonistic, materialistic, self-centered, and sexually immoral as the world in general."1 Divorce is more common among "born-again" Christians than in the general American population. Only 6 percent of evangelicals tithe. White evangelicals are the most likely people to object to neighbors of another race. Josh McDowell has pointed out that the sexual promiscuity of evangelical youth is only a little less outrageous than that of their nonevangelical peers.

Alan Wolfe, famous contemporary scholar and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, has just published a penetrating study of American religious life. Evangelicals figure prominently in his book. His evaluation? Today's evangelicalism, Wolfe says, exhibits "so strong a desire to copy the culture of hotel chains and popular music that it loses what religious distinctiveness it once had."2 Wolfe argues, "The truth is there is increasingly little difference between an essentially secular activity like the popular entertainment industry and the bring-'em-in-at-any-cost efforts of evangelical megachurches."3

In other words, Evangelicals, in spite of their high-flown and loudly touted ideals and religion, are just as human as everyone else. And that last sentence has confirmed my secret belief that most people go to those mega-churches for entertainment, not spiritual succour. I mean, some of these places have rock bands and multimedia screens (karaoke hymns?), and the sanctuaries look more like a movie house than a church. Now I understand why.

It is not surprising that George Barna concludes, "Every day, the church is becoming more like the world it allegedly seeks to change."4 We have very little time, he believes, to reverse these trends. African Christian and famous missions scholar Professor Lamin Sanneh told Christianity Today recently that "the cultural captivity of Christianity in the West is nearly complete, and with the religion tamed, it is open season on the West's Christian heritage. I worry about a West without a moral center facing a politically resurgent Islam."5

See the rest of the article at the site listed above. It's interesting reading, and something that you can point your more hypocritical Evangelical friends to when they start being holier-than-thou. According to the stats mentioned in the article, Evangelicals and Born Again Christians are no better than the rest of us. And where divorce is concerned- especially in the South, they are actually worse. There you have it- they're human, too.


dogemperor [userpic]
Mix of Quake Aid and Preaching Stirs Concern


New York Times article about the problem with evangelical missionaries attempting to convert tsunami victims:

ORAKETIYA, Sri Lanka, Jan. 19 -A dozen Americans walked into a relief camp here, showering bereft parents and traumatized children with gifts, attention and affection. They also quietly offered camp residents something else: Jesus.

The Americans, who all come from one church in Texas, have staged plays detailing the life of Jesus and had children draw pictures of him, camp residents said. They have told parents who lost children that they should still believe in God, and held group prayers where they tried to heal a partly paralyzed man and a deaf 12year-old girl.

The attempts at proselytizing are angering local Christian leaders, who worry that they could provoke a violent backlash against Christians in Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country that is already a religious tinderbox.

Last year, Buddhist hard-liners attacked the offices of the World Vision Christian aid group and vandalized or threatened churches and pastors 75 times. They accuse Christians of using money and social programs to cajole and coerce conversions.Read more... )

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Religious rhetoric isn’t bad; hypocrisy is

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Villagers Furious with Christian Missionaries


This article from Yahoo News is interesting:

Samanthapettai, Jan 16 (ANI): Rage and fury has gripped this tsunami-hit tiny Hindu village in India's southern Tamil Nadu after a group of Christian missionaries allegedly refused them aid for not agreeing to follow their religion.

Samanthapettai, near the temple town of Madurai, faced near devastation on the December 26 when massive tidal waves wiped it clean of homes and lives.

Most of the 200 people here are homeless or displaced , battling to rebuild lives and locating lost family members besides facing risks of epidemic,disease and trauma.

Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water.

Heated arguments broke out as the locals forcibly tried to stop the relief trucks from leaving. The missionaries, who rushed into their cars on seeing television reporters and the cameras refusing to comment on the incident and managed to leave the village.

Disappointed and shocked into disbelief the hapless villagers still await aid.

"Many NGOs (volunteer groups) are extending help to us but there in our village the NGO, which was till now helping us is now asking us to follow the Christian religion. We are staunch followers of Hindu religion and refused their request. And after that these people with their aid materials are leaving the village without distributing that to us," Rajni Kumar, a villager said.

The incident is an exception to concerted charity in a catastrophe that has left no one untouched.(ANI)

It would have been nice for the article to reveal which missionary group this was. Since nuns were mentioned, it would seem that this was a Catholic group.

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The Daily Kos on Faith and Values


The Daily Kos always has some interesting entries. This one, by a 'professed atheist', says a lot about artificial Christianity, what Christ said, and how Dominionists (mis)interpret the scriptures.

I have been a militant atheist all my life. Not militant in wanting to destroy religion, but in keeping it out of the public sphere.

But I have come to a conclusion recently that has startled me, obvious as it seems to me in retrospect -- it wasn't religious language that bothered me, it was the "values" promoted couched in religious terms.

I would cringe -- and continue to cringe -- when politicians and religous figures cite scripture to justify hatred towards gays or any other class of people. But I don't cringe when scripture is used to justify poverty relief, or conservation ("protecting God's creation"), or social security ("honor thy mother and thy fathers"), or oppose the death penalty, or oppose the war.

What we have in this country is the hijacking of religion by an ideological faction that is using their supposed moral authority on behalf of three narrow issues -- abortion, stem cell research, and gay rights. Meanwhile, the Bible tackles myriad issues, most of which align with liberal/progressive thought. So when did "life" become just abortion, and not war and the death penalty and even associated issues like post-natal care (child mortality is still an issue of life and death)?

Liberals, outside the black churches, have ceded the moral language to the Right, in large part because of people like me who flinched at every reference to God by a Democrat.

But using Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion as a moral foundation is really no less superior than the moral structure I use to guide my life (I'm a utilitarian). All that should matter is that we all arrive at the same conclusion.

In other words, it doesn't matter how we get there, as long as we all arrive at the same place. And there should be no shame for Democrats to explain the reasoning for their value structure. And if Jesus is the reason, then so be it.

The comments that follow are especially interesting. Like these:

Anyone who reads the New Testament for the first time tends to be struck by Jesus's virtual obsession with one particular sin: Religious hypocrisy.

He was hardest of all on Pharisees, who come off as virtual villains in the NT; and yet Pharisees' beliefs in such things as the afterlife were the closest to Jesus's own. Meaning: Simply saying you believe the right things doesn't do you any good.

I expect that Christ would have the same warnings in Matt. 6 for the 21st Century Pharisees.

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Bible Quotes for the New Millennium


In this blog, Carol Wolman takes a critical look at the Religious Right and their hypocracy, and has the Scripture to prove it. Very interesting and insightful reading.


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The Far Right's "Compassion Deficit"


I've been reading various rumblings around the Net- in both blogs and mainstream sources about the apparent 'compassion deficit' displayed by the Extreme Right in reaction to last week's tsunami disaster. Not all Christians are guilty of this- the moderates and non-Dominionists are pouring help and money into helping these people recover. But it's clear that the Dominionist dominated Right has a compassion deficit.

Here are some articles and excerpts that back that up. You can decide for yourself. Long, but very interesting post here... )

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

From Cursor:

Bill Berkowitz surveys the web sites of "powerful and well-funded political Christian fundamentalist organizations" and finds a post-tsunami compassion deficit.

While many Christian evangelical organizations have rushed to help the victims, why aren't the nation's major religious right political groups -- quick to claim the moral high-ground at every opportunity -- putting their organizational muscle to good use? Why hasn't the devastation from the earthquake/tsunami been on the radar screens of these groups? Are they all on a values vacation?

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Another interesting Dominionist article


Although the main thrust of this Seattle Weekly article is a debate on whether Bush is the "AntiChrist" or not, it also hits on the hypocracy, and dare we say, heresy of the burgeoning Dominionist movement:

Bringing Back Heresy

Lang argues that followers of Jesus, not Bush, should call an Antichrist an Antichrist—or rather, its spirit. "The progressive church should bring back—and this sounds so crazy—the word 'heresy.' The end times theology and this other thing called Dominionism or Christian Reconstruction—those are heresies." [emphasis mine] Lang says not to believe Christian Coalition leader–turned–Whore of Enron–turned Bush/Cheney campaign lieutenant Ralph Reed when he claims the Christian right has no plans to upend the Constitution and impose its religion on civic life. "He's a liar," says Lang. "Dominionism is the notion that God has given the dominion, the governance of the world, to the church. And so Christians literally are born to rule, by force if necessary, to bring the Kingdom of God on Earth. I believe that the theology that drives the Bush administration affirms this." When Falwell preached, "We must take back what is rightfully ours," his ambitions did not stop at U.S. borders. This is a Church of a Law Unto Itself.

In the Greek, the word "anti" doesn't just mean "against." It also contains the meanings "equivalent to" or "a substitute for." Nero was anti-Christ because he falsely claimed to be God. The idea of deception is crucial. The Antichrist isn't the devil, the opposite of God. He's an evil human masquerading as a golden god. The Antichrist appears to humanity not as the hideous Beast but as handsome Nicolae Carpathia, who resembles Robert Redford without the facial erosion. "That could be our next Republican president," quips Lang.

In this sense, the Bush church is Antichristlike indeed. It is institutionalized deception, anti-American ugliness with a beguiling face, a neocon job. Only when necessary does it employ the perilous bald-faced lie, the outrageously transparent duplicity—the political equivalent of Robertson arguing that "Do unto others" indicates Christ's support of capitalist selfishness. More often, a smoothly dissembling surface is preferred. Rove notoriously emulates Machiavelli; the Christian right is a stealth movement, infiltrating school boards and mainstream churches and every institution of democracy like a thief in the night—in order to undermine, overthrow, and replace democracy with theocracy. Bush is the father of lies. The Union of Concerned Scientists proclaims Bush's lies about science "unprecedented." In With God on Their Side, Kaplan concludes, on mountainous evidence, "The goal is not to engage your opponents in the public square, but to kneecap them, or send them into exile."

"It is a conspiracy in the sense that they have not been public and accountable to their ideology," says Lang. "Follow the money! The same filthy-rich foundations that have funded the rise of neocons are funding the rise of the religious right." He suggests that you check out the exposé Web site The Yurica Report for the terrifying particulars.

I like the rational tack of this entire article- especially the insight about that the 'antichrist' really is. "Institutionalized deception"- a perfect phrase to encapsule what the next four years will be like if we don't holler "Heretics!" loudly enough to get the sleeping majority's attention. People like us might get kneecapped, but we'll be heard.

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