Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Congressman and minister Emanuel Cleaver opposes marriage amendment

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

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We need more like him.


dogemperor [userpic]
Transcript of "State of Belief"


For those interested, "Real Religious Left" now has a 3-part transcript of the "State of Belief" program up.

Also, for the NPR listeners in the community, today's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" will feature the founder of Patrick Henry College, which turns homeschooled Christian kids into political activists.

dogemperor [userpic]
Good guys in Dallas

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

I've also got some good news for Texans. I discovered the Trinity Foundation a year ago before I joined this community. Don't let the name fool you, these guys are actually opposing the likes of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and other televangelists. They're ashamed of the bad name that the likes of Hinn, Falwell and Robertson give to Christianity, and they're fighting back. They're also heavily involved in helping Dallas' homeless.

dogemperor [userpic]
Nation article: Taking Back the Faith

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

This article came up in my email today. It's from The Nation last month, and you may have seen it already. I mention it again because the author, Dan Wakefield, who has written The Hijacking of Jesus, will "be speaking with author Susan Jacoby this Monday, May 22, in New York City, in a discussion of what role, if any, religion should play in politics."

The Hijacking of Jesus: A Conversation Between Dan Wakefield and Susan Jacoby
Monday, May 22nd, 7:00 pm
The Riverside Church, Assembly Hall, 490 Riverside Drive, NYC
Free admission.
Sponsored by Nation Books and co-sponsored by The Riverside Church Mission and Social Justice Ministry
For more information click here or call (212) 209-5442.

If you happen to be close enough to NYC to attend, you might want to do so. I would if I could.

dogemperor [userpic]
Accessible Airwaves


The United Church of Christ, a far-more-accepting-than-most mainline Christian denomination, has been having trouble getting an ad aired, lightly poking fun at some churches mistreatment of certain groups (minorities, single mothers, homosexuals, etc), to underscore their message of openness and inclusion.

In response, the UCC has set up a blog, http://accessibleairwaves.org, to organize information and action to convince the networks to stop discriminating in favor of the religious right. Some people here might be interested in checking them out. [Audio alert: the site currently has a copy of the ad in question embeded on the front page of the blog, so the audio from the ad might start coming out of your speakers]

Current Mood: launchy
dogemperor [userpic]
Great Op-Ed


This Op-Ed column in today's LA Times says some interesting things about the sport of 'Christian bashing':

The connection between Christianity and political power is enough to make this believer hang her head. And yet to attack this Christianity as all of Christianity is, of course, an error. It ignores the fact that medieval Christianity was reformed — by Martin Luther and the Church of England, among others. But most of all, it neglects a history that includes someone such as the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who organized the Confessing Church to resist Nazi exclusion laws, joined the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and paid for it with his life.

Bonhoeffer believed that the heart of what it meant to be a Christian was to act on behalf of the marginalized — the helpless, the sick, the poor, the friendless. He distinguished between what he called "cheap grace," that form of lip service I think we can all identify with, and "costly grace," meaning the kind that gets you into trouble.

If I think of costly grace, I remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks; the abolitionists; the Christians of Jubilee 2000 who successfully pressured Britain and the United States to forgive the developing world's crippling debt; the Quakers who protect and advise pacifists; the women and men who work daily in soup kitchens, for living-wage ordinances, against torture at Guantanamo Bay. None of us have done enough, and that is partly why so many people only know about the Christianity that cozies up to power.

dogemperor [userpic]
A Time for Heresy


Bill Moyers speech earlier this week at Wake Forest is another 'must read'. Some excerpts:

When Dean Bill Leonard asked James Dunn to join him here at Wake Forest’s new Divinity School, my soul shouted “Yes!” These two men personify the honesty and courage we need to meet the challenge of faith in the fundamentalist dispensation of the 21st century as radical interpretations of both Islam and Christianity seek, in the words of C.Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, “to take over the government and use cause structures to advance the ideology, hierarchy, and laws” of their movement.

James Dunn and Bill Leonard are Baptists. What kind of Baptist matters. At last count there were more than two dozen varieties of Baptists in America. Bill Clinton is a Baptist. So is Pat Robertson. Jesse Jackson is a Baptist. So is Jesse Helms. Al Gore is a Baptist. So is Jerry Falwell. No wonder Baptists have been compared to jalapeno peppers: one or two make for a tasty dish, but a whole bunch together will bring tears to your eyes.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
"We Used to be Important"


Here's an article from Christianity Today about the old evangelicals addressing the new ones.

We mainliners had our day in the sun. Remember Prohibition? It was more than an opportunity for cool gangster outfits and Kevin Costner's best movie. The national banning of alcohol by constitutional amendment was a result of Methodist efforts to "spread Scriptural holiness over the land." Oddly familiar, isn't it? Groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, led by the great Methodist social prophet Frances Willard, prayed, raised money, and badgered politicians to get their way. The Temperance Union was the forerunner of the cute old ladies of the United Methodist Women (UMW) who, in a church I pastored, often gathered to bake and gossip and pray.

We did then what you do now: We imposed our way on a divided populace by sheer force of electoral muscle and religious rhetoric. Our effort to take America for Christ is now a peculiar cultural artifact, a curiosity gathering dust on the shelf of early 20th-century history. We built triumphant monuments to our importance. At the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., a prime, front-pew seat features a plaque marking where the President of the United States should sit when he attends—not unlike churches in Constantinople that once featured imperial boxes for the emperor to ride his chariot into without having to dismount. But Caesar's seat goes empty these days, even with a Methodist President.

This is not to denigrate monuments from a more triumphant age of mainline Protestantism—many such places still do fine ministry. But church influence on politics is fickle. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's," our Lord says. The last people in the world who want to be caught dead pledging allegiance to the wrong Lord ought to be evangelicals.

The whole article is excellent. And here is an interesting reply to that article, by another Christian writer.

dogemperor [userpic]
Christian Allies @ the Wiki

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

I've created another category on the wiki: Christian Allies. I think the name pretty much speaks for itself.

dogemperor [userpic]

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

Emerging Christian Left To Challenge The Right

Excerpt )

dogemperor [userpic]


To say that the Kansas City Star missed the story is an understatement. The newspaper reported today on a supposedly modest news conference about what appears to be, oh say, a handful of people who were upset by a teeny governmental thingie. The paper somehow failed to note the most important fact: For the first time in the history of Kansas and Missouri, mainstream clergy and people of faith have come together to battle the religious right.

What they're battling is a resolution to declare Christianity the majority, state religion of Missouri.

dogemperor [userpic]
More From the Real Life Preacher

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

Since the link to his blog was posted earlier in the week, I've been visiting the Real Live Preacher's site and reading his posts with an urgent sort of hunger that only comes when something really clicks with me. Its obvious from the first couple of posts that this guy just *gets it*. He's Christian in the way Christians SHOULD be, as he calls it Old, Deep, Christianity. He doesn't convert, he doesn't judge, he just does his thing, and its beautiful.

While reading, I found this post, which I felt needed to be passed on to the community. A bit of the text is posted below.

Fundamentalism Hurts
January 18, 2003 - 7:14pm

Fundamentalism makes for interesting television, doesn't it? Hearing Jerry Falwell say that abortionists, pagans, and feminists (among others) caused the 9-11 disaster was nauseofascinating. Watching a man hold a sign that says, “God hates fags” is like watching film clips of the holocaust. Can such things be?

Oh, they be.

If you want to know about the Taliban, ask an Afghani woman. If you want to know about Christian fundamentalism, ask a Christian. Fundamentalists are more than interesting television for us. They are people with real power who harm our churches, destroy good ministers, and sully our name.

We've been in the cages with these cats, and they go for the jugular. They are always on the prowl, circling the campfires of the followers of Christ, howling the name of Jesus and splattering our heritage across their banners of hatred.

Watching fundamentalism do its work is like watching the crucifixion over and over and over again.

Never confuse fundamentalism with a particular set of beliefs. Fundamentalism is a methodology. It is a way of relating to people. There are fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalist Muslims, and don't forget the politically correct zealots. You will meet fundamentalists in every walk of life.

dogemperor [userpic]
a good reminder

Here's a nice counter to my earlier posts - an article from Mother Jones about leftist Christian community organizing. It's a struggle sometimes (particularly where I live) not to blindly tar everyone with the same brush, and the article gave me a good slap to the head as a reminder.

Current Mood: chastened
dogemperor [userpic]
A call to Christian America...


...using its own vocabulary and concepts:

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. On this day when all Christians are enjoined to emulate Christ and undergo a 40-day period of reflection and penance, I invite Christian America to do just that. You wish to follow Jesus? Let’s begin.

Go ye into the wilderness and meet the demons of the desolate places. Leave the comfort of your climate-controlled homes and learn what it is to go without water or food. See those bleached bones? Do you imagine yours would look any different, or do you envision them as gold-plated? Climb up that mountain. The Prince of High Places is waiting for you. He speaks from his white mansion and spreads the bounty of the earth before you, if you will but follow him. Do you hear his voice? It’s telling you to trust him, to sanction his will, to do his bidding. Listen. War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Weren’t you supposed to go into all the earth and make converts of all nations? Maybe this is what was meant. Ask yourself your own question – what would Jesus do? Do you think he’d believe the Prince of Lies even if that Prince claimed to speak in Jesus’ very name? Would he sanction what you have sanctioned? Would he be tempted by the fear, the uncertainty, and the lust for power as you are being tempted? Would he yield to it? Do you truly want to follow Jesus? It’s time to look in the face of the lying angel beside you and realize that it’s not the Christ you say you believe in.

Shall you follow Jesus? Then repent. Repent of your pride, you arrogance, your Pharisaic bigotry and complacency. Shall we grind your nose into the mud and dust of misery, despair, hunger, oppression, war, hatred, death? Jesus knew all these things. Follow him and learn the darkness in your own soul. Do you think you are blameless? Sightless eyes gaze out from rubble world-wide, rubble you sanctioned as surely as if you had guided the bombs and the bullets with your own hand. Do you think you don’t need forgiveness for what you have done? So tonight, go to your churches, and be marked in oil and ash. And this year, maybe for the first year, consider what it means. When the greasy black soot is crossed upon your forehead, imagine how much the consistency resembles that of the flesh of children buried in flame from the skies, how much the ash is akin to the ash of death and destruction. The priest will say, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” That day is coming for you, as it is for everyone. Do you believe you will be held to judgment after death? If so, your repentance had better begin now. You have much to answer for.

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]

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

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst on The Intolerance of Christian Conservatives

Excerpt )

Dr. Whitehurst is a well known Christian author and clinical psychologist. Her book Jesus on Parenting refutes the popular "conservative" parenting values based on "spare the rod, spoil the child" and instead approaches parenting from the loving viewpoint of Christ's own words. We need more like her.

dogemperor [userpic]
On finding a decent church


Please delete this if not appropriate.

How on earth does one find a decent church that won't try to brainwash you, demand all your money, scare the crap out of you or tell you who to hate? And as an added bonus, I am too tired to spend weeks and months visiting one church after another trying to figure them out. The really offensive ones will be obvious right away, but some won't be obvious until after several weeks. Also, I'm terribly naive and easily fooled.

dogemperor [userpic]
Something I found

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

I was doing a bit of research tonight, on a particular theological topic, and I came across this

Christian Restoration Movement - A movement about ending divisions within Christianity; It's the movement that the United Church Of Christ sprang from.

All this talk of Unity would seem to make them pretty much the opposite of the DOminionists (who thrive on causing schisms, and making people convert to "their type" of Christianity.

Obviously, Wiki has some book suggestions, but I was wondering what any of you folks might (or might not) have heard about this? Any suggested reading matter? There's a lot of biblical basis for their position, and a lot of it directly refutes the Dominionist position using their own weapon (The Bible) against them...

Current Mood: thoughtful
dogemperor [userpic]
A question from a non-christian


I understand that the purpose of this community is to discuss and possibly combat the theocratic right.

Although from my understanding of the theocratic right, it appears to be their view that any Christians in this type of community who agree with the purpose of this community are equally as non-christian as the non-christians in this community, if not more so.

And that there are people out there who group the entirety of Christianity in the same group. (I do not)

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to counteract the impression, as well as act for positive change in this theocratic right/Dominionist dominated country? (I'm in the US, and non-christian...)

If this post is not allowed, I do apologise and will delete it ASAP.


dogemperor [userpic]


Has anybody seen this? Should it be viewed as any sort of hopeful sign?

And as an evangelical Christian, Anderson says, he believes global warning is also a social justice issue, because, he says, it is the poor who feel the brunt of famine or flooding that may come from climate changes.

"Climate changes in terms of famine, in terms of the inability to grow crops, in terms of the flooding of islands, most affects the poor," he says. "So we here in America probably can do many things to exempt ourselves from the immediate consequences, but the front edge of disaster is most going to affect those who have the least."

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