Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
This is an interesting article


This article from ThudFactor talks about how fundementalism isn't just for religious people:

Many atheists view religion through the prism of fundamentalism, and faced with a religious person with a radically different vision of deity find themselves at a loss. At this point, some atheists themselves become fundamentalist, insisting that the religious person they are talking to is either intentionally misrepresenting their beliefs or does not really qualify as religious.

But fundamentalism is a disease of community, not a hallmark of religion. The fundamentalist impulse—the pursuit of dogmatic purity for the sake of dogmatic purity—can be seen in almost any group, political or religious, vital or trival. Just as there are Christians who seek to prove they are more “Christian” than everyone else, there are atheists, political partisans, and Star Trek aficionados who do the same.

Religious fundamentalism leverages the language of religion and takes advantage of personal religious experience for authoritarian, earthly political gain. Many religious folks (including, arguably, Christ) consider the fundamentalist disease a corruption of and obstruction to genuine religious practice and experience. As such, we find religious fundamentalism particularly awful and far more of a threat to us than secular society or atheists; we are certainly not just moderate versions of fundamentalists.

Quite an interesting article.

dogemperor [userpic]
Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

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

Often Christians use the creation accounts in Genesis to justify domination of animals and the natural world in general. However, I noticed this interesting tidbit in the Book of Ecclesiastes the other day:

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity." (Ecc 3:19 KJV, emphasis mine)

The world "breath" is of particular note. I'd say the translators fudged this one to maintain the previously mentioned view that humans are superior to animals. The original Hebrew "ruach" can be translated as "breath" but is more often rendered as "spirit". In fact, two verses down (in an equally interesting passage) "ruach" is translated as "spirit":

"Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" (Ecc 3:21 KJV)

or more clearly:

"Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" (NIV)

After all, humans are animals too: "I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts." (Ecc 3:18)

dogemperor [userpic]
American Theocracy: A Clear and Present Danger


This NYT book review is a must-read. I want to get the book, too...

Although Phillips is scathingly critical of what he considers the dangerous policies of the Bush administration, he does not spend much time examining the ideas and behavior of the president and his advisers. Instead, he identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration's policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country's immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future.


Phillips is especially passionate in his discussion of the second great force that he sees shaping contemporary American life — radical Christianity and its growing intrusion into government and politics. The political rise of evangelical Christian groups is hardly a secret to most Americans after the 2004 election, but Phillips brings together an enormous range of information from scholars and journalists and presents a remarkably comprehensive and chilling picture of the goals and achievements of the religious right.

He points in particular to the Southern Baptist Convention, once a scorned seceding minority of the American Baptist Church but now so large that it dominates not just Baptism itself but American Protestantism generally. The Southern Baptist Convention does not speak with one voice, but almost all of its voices, Phillips argues, are to one degree or another highly conservative. On the far right is a still obscure but, Phillips says, rapidly growing group of "Christian Reconstructionists" who believe in a "Taliban-like" reversal of women's rights, who describe the separation of church and state as a "myth" and who call openly for a theocratic government shaped by Christian doctrine. A much larger group of Protestants, perhaps as many as a third of the population, claims to believe in the supposed biblical prophecies of an imminent "rapture" — the return of Jesus to the world and the elevation of believers to heaven.

Prophetic Christians, Phillips writes, often shape their view of politics and the world around signs that charlatan biblical scholars have identified as predictors of the apocalypse — among them a war in Iraq, the Jewish settlement of the whole of biblical Israel, even the rise of terrorism. He convincingly demonstrates that the Bush administration has calculatedly reached out to such believers and encouraged them to see the president's policies as a response to premillennialist thought. He also suggests that the president and other members of his administration may actually believe these things themselves, that religious belief is the basis of policy, not just a tactic for selling it to the public. Phillips's evidence for this disturbing claim is significant, but not conclusive.

"Charlatan biblical scholars"... truer words have not been written. Our country is being run into the ground by True Believers™ who believe in the crap spoon fed to them by charlatans and fear-mongerers.

dogemperor [userpic]
A quote and a definition


In an article posted today on Talk To Action, writer Frederick Clarkson talks about candidate Jamie Raskin standing up to an overtly Dominionist legislator in the Maryland Senate:

Jeremy Learming, writing at the blog, Wall of Separation, tells the story of the Raskin's testimony (which was covered by The Baltimore Sun) at a hearing in the Maryland legislature on proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. Raskin, a professor of Constitutional Law at American University had been asked to testify by Equality Maryland, a marriage equality organization. More dramatic than his tesitimony was his exchange with Republican State Senator Nancy Jacobs who said, "As I read biblical principles, marriage is intended, ordained and started by God - that is my belief, ... For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principles."

Raskin replied:

"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution," Raskin said. "They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

That quote is now on our front page, in the Wiki, and should be spread far and wide, because it is the quote which will take the Dominionist view of the law out of the picture, properly used.

Clarkson goes on to define Dominionism:

In a recent issue of The Public Eye, I noted that dominionism is a term used by outside observers to understand a complex yet vitally important trend. For people trying to figure out if a conservative politician, organization, or religious leader is a "dominionist," I noted three characteristics to listen for:

... Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe that the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.

Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.

Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.

To that last, it should be noted that dominionists believe that the Bible as an absolute, infallible source of God's word, and elevate it above even Christ and God. They worship the Bible. This is a critical difference, and when examining religious groups, their mission statements (or creeds) should always be checked to see where the Bible falls in their regard. If the Bible is first, then you are dealing with dominionists. Every change in the law they wish to force upon our government is driven by Scripture.

Go read the article. And its links. It's quite interesting.

dogemperor [userpic]
Theological question


A while back my father gave me his personal bible. It's one that I hadn't ran into before, the Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded Edition. Apparently, the main translator/commentator, Charles Ryrie, is one of the big theological bigwigs in the dispensationalist premilleniarian movement. Essentially appears to be the King James Version, with much commentary and annotation. Any of y'all know much about this guy, or any other theological scholars who are informing Dominionist-type theologies?

dogemperor [userpic]
Found in a Google search ..

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lihan161051)

While browsing around for links on "bibliolatry", I found this one, which linked to another one that contains the following quote:

In the early decades of this century, conservative evangelicals took a strong stand favoring prohibition. This issue was so important to them that they violated their own doctrine of separation of church and state to lend their full weight to the ratification of the 18th amendment. This too was done based on clear scriptural authority (Rom 14:21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Eph 5:18), while ignoring scripture to the contrary (1 Tim 5:23, John 2:1-11). In standing for prohibition, the church participated unwittingly in laying the foundations of organized crime in the United States. The structures and alliances which developed during prohibition for distribution of moonshine are now used to distribute drugs. As a result, prohibition may well have been the most socially destructive event in our nations history.

If there's a better argument for keeping in mind the law of unintended consequences, I can't think of it at the moment. And this is a very good example of what can go horribly wrong with moral legalism in general ..

dogemperor [userpic]
Inspired by two posts from THIS site.


Dominionist Christians are those who take the bible as literal Truth and legal authority, just like the Sadducees of Christ's time. . .
Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Real Live Preacher talks about Homosexuality


Here is a pair of articles by Real Live Preacher that I thought people here might enjoy and be able to use. Real Live Preacher is the blog of Gordon Atkinson, the ordained minister of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. In these articles, Rev. Atkinson takes the religious right to task for their treatment of homosexuality and homosexuals.

    I Have No Title For This
    A Look at the Bible and Homosexuality

Some excerpts I especially enjoyed:

"Do you smell the reek of this injustice? It is a stink in the nostrils of the very living God. We are dressed in beautiful clothes and we wear pretty smiles, but we stink of this blasphemous hypocrisy.

"Every church in America - mine not excepted - has a cellar like this. We must shovel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because every chapter and book we ignore must be burned to warm our comfy pews.

"We should all agree that none of us are able or willing to follow all the teachings of scripture. Let the one who is obeying God's word ask for detailed scriptural explanations from others.

"In my book, that settles the argument, and there is no reason to go further. However, if you are determined to hold homosexuals to a higher standard, demanding detailed explanations for why they do not obey minor parts of the Bible while all of Christendom tramples on the very heart of scripture, move on to part two:

Read the articles, there's plenty more where that came from, including direct refutation of common biblical arguments against homosexuality from a Christian biblical scholar..

(Snagged from [info]chris_king_2005 on [info]gsa_lj)

dogemperor [userpic]
Beatitudes for a Pharisee Nation


Inspired by one of [info]sabine_ducat  's LJ memories....

"Blessed are the wealthy....those who patronize Christian bookstores and put the Prayer of Jabez on the bestseller list, those who build 6000 sq. ft homes for their "quiverfull" families and tithe to their megachurches, thereby enabling them to build luxurious office suites and take over radio stations across the land....for theirs is the kingdom of all under heaven.

Blessed are they who spread mourning from one end of the globe to the other...for they shall be comforted by platitudes and lies and will never be forced to confront their destructiveness and evil.

Blessed are the arrogant and prideful...for they will be elected to high office and will inherit the land, plus everything else that they stole, and will not pay any estate tax into the public coffers for the use of the undeserving.

Blessed are they who will never know hunger and thirst...for they shall drive their air-conditioned Hummers to church and carefully lock the doors when passing through areas where the poor live in misery and are forced to whore away their humanity for their daily bread.

Blessed are the merciless...for they will know of mercy, and will rightly reject it for the soft, liberal, demonic ploy that it is.

Blessed are the small and shriveled of heart...for their soul-deep cancerous hunger will create heavenly hallucinations in which God appears and congratulates them on a job well done.

Blessed are the warmongers...for they know themselves to be children of God, divinely appointed to bring all kingdoms, and principalities, and nations, and oil fields, and state parks, and radio stations, and struggling republics, and small rude huts under their dominion.

Blessed are they who persecute for the sake of righteousness, for verily, every single mother impoverished, every homosexual murdered, every brown person tormented, every non-English speaker reviled, and every shock rod wielded brings great rejoicing in heaven, and great shall be their reward. "

dogemperor [userpic]
A little Bible study for this community (or, something the Dominionists overlooked???)...


I'm just tossing out random verses, their relation being that it seems to go against the Dominionist line of thinking. However, I may be taking things out of context, and Dominionists may have ways of maintaining their position (although, they may sound absurd in the process (well, like that's anything new or shocking)).

Non-Christians may see some of these verses and thus be turned off by Christianity even more, but the purpose is not to convert anyone to Christianity. Rather, the purpose of this is to show that Dominionist Christianity is guilty of misinterpreting the text - which even they should recognize as an egregious sin to Christianity (Bible-idolatry and Bible-mistranslation issues aside, of course).

Let us begin (I'm using the New International Version):

Phillipians, Chapter 2, verses 1-4 )

Phillipians, Chapter 4, verses 4, 5, 8, and 9 )

Colossians, Chapter 2, verses 20-23 )

Colossians, Chapter 3, verses 8-17 )

1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4, verses 11-12 )

* Personal Note: Most of 1 Timothy is almost purely Dominionist fodder (as in I can't seem to interpret them any other way by itself, while the rest of the Bible seems open to myriad interpretations) and is prone to dogmatism in general. Non-Dominionist Christians: be forewarned, and be prepared...

1 Timothy, Chapter 4, verses 1-5 )

Titus, Chapter 1, verses 10-16 )

Disclaimer )

dogemperor [userpic]
Read this sermon!


It's been a very rich day for articles! I just found another one, via Mark Crispin Miller's blog that is a sermon from a Seattle area pastor, Reverend Rich Lang. Here's an excerpt:

Within the Church there is an irreconcilable divergence emerging (1 John 2:18-19). At its extremes we see the birth of Patriot Pastors in Ohio even as liberal churches become targets for IRS investigations. We see Justice Sundays and the growth of theocratic nationalism even as more are jailed because of their faith-based resistance to the further production of war. From the pulpits of the nation the Sermon on the Mount, Christian identification with the poor, the declaration to love our enemies are! all replaced with strategies of church growth or manipulations to infiltrate political parties.

Congregations insist that clergy dare not speak its name. Congregations insist that clergy stay embedded in their role as chaplain and golf partner. They insist that clergy provide comfort and offer therapeutic guidance. And clergy, with paycheck in hand, and a desire for career advancement in heart, oblige their congregations with false words of “peace, peace” (Jeremiah 8).

But when does it get said? When do we clergy preach I Samuel 8, Isaiah 6, Jeremiah 8, Ezekiel 33, 1 John 2, Revelation 18? When do we prepare our people for the next act of terrorism and the next seizure of power? When do we clergy declare that allegiance to a military security state committed to permanent war is idolatry? When do we cease our support for the regime that sends troops out to oppress, dominate and die while it chants the empty slogan "support our troops?”

When, in other words, will clergy name the disease that is our present reality? When do we speak of it from the pulpit? What are we waiting for? What other signs do we need? Are we waiting for the inevitable arrests of dissidents? Are we waiting for the next invasion, and then the next? Are we waiting for further heresy trials, further church harassment, further cultural friction? Are we waiting until the waters of the coming economic flood finally bubble up under our own chins? When do we dare blow the trumpet and warn our people? When do we dare cast aside the comforts of popularity, prosperity, and privilege so that we finally speak its name? And having spoken it from the pulpit, from the Bible study, from out of each pastoral visit we make, having spoken the Word then perhaps we can lead our people in doing that which only the Church can do: casting out the demon while repenting for the sin of this republic now turned empire. Just like Jesus encountering the man in the tombs, we must begin this exorcism by naming its name: some might call it militarism but I think it is better understood as fascism (Mark 5).


Anyone want to hunt down and post the Biblical verses?

dogemperor [userpic]
Bible Idolatry: Placing the Bible above God


If you examine the mission statements of many Christian religious organizations, you will discover two distinctive types. The first utilizes the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed to acknowledge their beliefs. This creed usually starts with "We believe in the Father [or God] Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth..." and goes on from there.

The second type states that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and places God and Christ second and third on the list of beliefs. Here's the first three statements National Association of Evangelicals statement of belief:

# We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God,

# We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

# We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

The Mainstream Baptist site goes into detail about the 'demotion' of Christ in their articles of belief.

It might be interesting to note that many of the religious organizations that place the Bible above God also are promoting the Dominionist agenda, too. So, when you examine a church or religious organization, check out their statement of belief. If they place the Bible above God and Christ, reconsider your involvement with them.

dogemperor [userpic]
Did Jesus exist? Italian court to decide


ROME (Reuters) - Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago. Maybe we should try this here? )

dogemperor [userpic]


Fascinating discussion over on D.U.:

The question seems to be: ought a gov't to protect members of a specific religious belief from challenges to their belief system by allowing them to 'opt out' of any secular public school teachings that pose such a challenge? The cutting af fine hairs and sematics aside, evolution theory, as the main example, is and will remain such a challenge to dominionists (among others).

The original poster seems to think that throwing the Bible Literalists a bone thus would weaken what he sees as their dominionist, defensive 'we must take over in order to safeguard our own community' ardor. (I suspect some on this list would rather cynically, and vigorously, disagree).

But, I still wonder....would allowing such 'opting out' be a dangerous step upon the slippery slope....or would it remove a large part of the dominionists' 'we're being coerced' ammunition, allow them to feel they've 'won' enough to back off from empire-building?

dogemperor [userpic]
Article from The New York Times


Texas District Adopts Disputed Text on Bible Study
Published: December 22, 2005

ODESSA, Tex., Dec. 21 -Trustees of the Ector County Independent School District here decided, 4 to 2, on Tuesday night that high school students would use a course published by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools for studying the Bible in history and literature.

The council is a religious advocacy group in Greensboro, N.C., and has the backing of the Eagle Forum and Focus on the Family, two conservative organizations.

Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Fresh Air: "Misquoting Jesus"


Here's a very interesting Fresh Air show featuring scholar Bart Ehrman who talks about how the Bible has been edited and changed through the ages.

dogemperor [userpic]
A Religious Protest Largely From the Left


Conservative Christians Say Fighting Cuts in Poverty Programs Is Not a Priority

By Jonathan Weisman and Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 14, 2005; A08

When hundreds of religious activists try to get arrested today to protest cutting programs for the poor, prominent conservatives such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell will not be among them.

That is a great relief to Republican leaders, who have dismissed the burgeoning protests as the work of liberals. But it raises the question: Why in recent years have conservative Christians asserted their influence on efforts to relieve Third World debt, AIDS in Africa, strife in Sudan and international sex trafficking -- but remained on the sidelines while liberal Christians protest domestic spending cuts?

Conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family say it is a matter of priorities, and their priorities are abortion, same-sex marriage and seating judges who will back their position against those practices. These are not Christians, they are Pharisees )

dogemperor [userpic]
How to really piss of the Dominoinistas

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

Wish them a "Happy Feast of the Circumcision this January 1st. That's right, folks, just count 8 days from Dec 25, and you get Jan 1. In Judaism, the 8th day after birth is the day infant boys are circumcised as a sign of the Covenant between God and Jew (one can also argue it as a form of menstral envy, but I digress...). Send them cards....

for your edification, Feast Days. This article goes on:

The circumcision took place, not in the Temple, though painters sometimes so represent it, but in some private house, where the Holy Family had found a rather late hospitality. The public ceremony in the synagogue, which is now the usage, was introduced later. Christmas was celebrated on 25 December, even in the ertrly centuries, at least by the Western Church, whence the date was soon adopted in the East also. (See CHRISTMAS). Saint Chrysostom credits the West with the tradition, and St. Augustine speaks of it as well and long estabblished. Consequently the Circumcision fell on the first of January. In the ages of paganism, however, the solemnization of the feast was almost impossible, on account of the orgies connected with the Saturnalian festivities, which were celebrated at the same time. Even in our own day the secular features of the opening of the New Year interfere with the religious observance of the Circumcision, and tend to make a mere holiday of that which should have the sacred character of a Holy Day.

give us bar Abba )

Current Mood: sarcastic
dogemperor [userpic]
What the heck is "Scripture Saturation"?

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

Recently spammed by an outfit calling themselves “Safe Ministries,” advertising materials based on “Scripture saturation.”

No idea what that is, but it fired off a whole bank of alarms.

dogemperor [userpic]
Need some research assistance


I am working on an article for "Talk To Action", and I need some Bible verses about what Christ said about swearing oaths. I believe that somewhere in the NT he cautioned his people about swearing them, and in fact, said not to.

I need that verse.


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