Tag Archives: religion

Christian fundamentalism: Support for wars, weapons, wealth

Has Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. undergone a major spiritual disconnect?

I’ll say at the outset that I do not possess strong (or even decent) solutions to the gun violence issue in the U.S., nor do I know how to marry spiritually principled non-violence with a strong national defense & protection from terrorism. Even so, I strongly believe these challenges call for increasingly principled, globally responsible behavior. Call me an idealist

religious statues - ChristianityThe baffling tendency of conservative Evangelical Christian fundamentalists to support certain policies is a real oxymoron, given some of the clearly peaceful, spiritual teachings of Jesus… I’m referring to wars, presidents who are more hawkish than dovish, policies that support the wealthy to the detriment of the poor & the middle class, unfettered access to assault weapons, and so on.

The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White religion: fundamentalist Christianity - white evangelical worshipEvangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumbfounding ironies in contemporary American culture. Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message.
(Source: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus – Huffington Post)

In making such a generalization, I am assuming that modern Christian fundamentalists still Bible in handcare about basic universal spiritual principles of the variety reportedly taught by Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount and on other occasions. It would be truly unfortunate to learn that the more practical teachings — the essence of Jesus’ teachings — had been set aside by today’s vocal, Hard Right, in-your-face, let’s-bring-OUR-religion-into-YOUR-schools Christian fundamentalist and replaced by the largely unknowable supernatural teachings: things like the Trinity, literal creation story, talking animals, Noah’s ark/global flood, judgement day, Satan on The Simpsonsheaven & hell as actual places, Satan as being a real, omnipresent, godlike being… the list of religious superstitions goes on and on — and they’re based on often-metaphorical, largely poetic, literary device-intensive, ancient texts some decide to interpret literally (unfortunately, for whatever reasons).

We’re merely suggesting that ALL of us — hardcore religious fundamentalists included — pay less mind to superstition and more attention to the practical teachings. I’m talking about the sort of principled behavior that makes the world better for all of us — not divisive religious superstition, discrimination, and cultural bias. I’m talking about universally accepted spiritual basics like the Golden Rule, loving our neighbors, not hating our enemies, refraining from violence, being more concerned with service & giving than money, power, & earnings… and so on. Is this too much to ask?

If you are a writer or blogger, we urge you to help spread a simple, positive message consisting of the basic, universal spiritual principles so often neglected by modern organized religion — especially conservative, Hard Right Christian fundamentalism in the United States. Though quite embarrassing for so many U.S. citizens who actually care about our standing on the world stage, the Hard Right paradox is far more tragic than it is bewildering. [ continue reading ]
(Source: Hatred & hypocrisy in Christian fundamentalism: Hard Right chooses unfortunate path in U.S.Search for Truth: Why we left the church

I have likely broken all standards for the quantity of text quoted from other sources. I will soon rectify this with some paraphrasing. For now, check out the words of these sensible Christian peace activists (yes, Christian peace activists – not a typo).

‘Christmas Peace on Earth’

…That child grew up to become, in Gandhi’s words, “the greatest non-violent resister in the history of the world.” Jesus taught peace, lived peace and blessed peacemakers. “My peace is my gift to you,” he said. When we refused to learn “the things that make for peace,” he broke down and wept. He took action to end systemic injustice, and he did it in a non-violent way and, for his civil disobedience, he was brutally executed by the Roman Empire and died forgiving his killers. When he rose from the dead, he came back not seeking vengeance or retaliation, but once again, offering his gift of peace. “Peace be with you,” he said over and over again. Now you practice non-violence and go forth as a peacemaker into the world of war. That was his message.
(Source: Christmas ‘Peace on Earth’ Means ‘No More War’ – Religion, Huffington Post – Dec 2012)

symbol for peace -circleNow, over two thousand years later, the world — including the United States — continues to overlook possibility after possibility of moving toward world peace. The modern global scenario — so heavily influenced by big corporations, the almighty dollar, and the military-industrial complex — remains stuck in the old vicious cycle of ‘more for me‘: War & militarism, national exceptionalism, unfettered capitalism, poverty & hunger, environmental destruction, and countless other injustices & travesties.

Granted, gun control is an incredibly thorny issue — especially for those of us who lean Libertarian and want to see fewer laws, less government intervention in our lives, etc. I don’t have an answer for it; even so, I’m not convinced that virtually unfettered access to guns — especially assault weapons with huge magazines/clips — is the best we can do.

And we mustn’t buy into egoistic, paranoia-fueled conspiracy theories, either. I strongly suspect most readers are already more in tune with reality than Alex Jones appears to be:

‘Armed Mafia stalks Americans’: Alex Jones vs. gun control

Alex Jones, staunch gun rights advocateMost Americans got their first taste of Alex Jones’s brand of crazy last night on Piers Morgan Tonight, when the CNN host confronted this particular critic, who in turn called the CNN host “a hatchet man of the new world order,” raved that “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” and warned of “foreigners” and “mega-banks” trying to disarm Americans as part of a master plan to institute “world tyranny.”

Unedited and in person, Jones comes off even more unhinged than on primetime or in his role as a conspiracy entrepreneur on his syndicated radio show and at InfoWars.com. Jones was booked by Morgan because he started a petition, much promoted on the Drudge Report, to have the British host deported.
(Source: ‘Armed Mafia Are Stalking Us’—Conspiracy Peddler Alex Jones Melts Down – CNN Opinion, Jan 2013)

Excitable Alex Jones spews paranoia on Piers Morgan Tonight, 7 Jan 2013

Conclusion

planet rotation…no one can claim to be an authentic Christian any more if they support warfare and weapons. You cannot seriously call yourself a follower of the non-violent, peacemaking Jesus, whom we celebrate and honor at Christmas, if you own guns, support our wars, defend our nuclear weapons arsenal, tolerate executions and catastrophic climate change, and participate in violence in any form. Anyone who supports warfare, weapons or killing — even if they be a priest, minister or bishop — goes against the non-violent [teachings of] Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a practitioner of creative non-violence. To follow the peacemaking Jesus means becoming a peacemaker.
(Source: Christmas ‘Peace on Earth’ Means ‘No More War’ – Religion, Huffington Post – Dec 2012)

gunsFrom the perspective of someone born and raised in conservative Christian environment (specifically, Nashville-area Church of Christ), the position of peace and non-violence described above — and according to the literally interpreted teachings of Jesus — does not appear to be debatable or open to objective interpretation.

Carefully considering this from a strictly religious or spiritual perspective concerning the teachings of Jesus — not from a realistic or practical standpoint of national defense (which isn’t the issue here)… Are pacifists and non-violent resisters wrong about what Jesus meant by peace, loving one’s enemies, turning the other cheek, et al? If so, please comment below… I’m sure such feedback would be widely read and deeply appreciated.

Take action on this issue

Christianity: religious imageryTo state the obvious: “Peace on earth” means “No More War.” From now on, nonviolent Christians, resist war, call for the immediate end of our war in Afghanistan and our nuclear arsenal, and work for a world beyond our wildest imagination — a new world without war, weapons, drones, killings, nuclear weapons, poverty, starvation, corporate greed, violence or environmental destruction.

As we celebrate the birth of the nonviolent Jesus, I hope we will honor his way of nonviolence and commit ourselves again to becoming people of nonviolence. That’s what the spiritual life is about — turning from our addiction to violence and war, and becoming sober people of nonviolence and peace. As we do, we become, like Jesus, peacemakers, and we will be blessed.
(Source: Christmas ‘Peace on Earth’ Means ‘No More War’ – Religion, Huffington Post – Dec 2012)

Resources

Related, tangentially

A rational soul:

  • Freethought: Thoughts for the open-minded – Blogspot — This is a great example of the type of blogger we seek for partnership, blogroll links, guest blogging opportunities, spreading a rational message of global responsibility and ethics from a secular perspective, and so on…

Here are a few articles about the Bible, Christianity, etc. from Bible scholars and authors which some readers may find interesting. A simple request: Regardless of your religious beliefs and how tenacious or “fundamentalist” those beliefs may be, please don’t get caught in the trap of avoiding exposure to potentially challenging material… how else could one possibly learn about new or contrasting ideas? And who says they aren’t as valid as one’s current beliefs? Just thinking out loud. Happy trails!

Removed content
Such a sad, divisive practice that is…

The newest bright (member of the “brights” movement)

the brights movementI suppose I’m now officially one of the newest brights. I appreciated receiving a customized welcome response via email. (While many “welcome-to-our-group” emails purport to be custom, the specific mention of "passion" as used in my membership request showed this email to be genuine!) Here’s the email, in part:

Welcome to the Brights! – a personal* welcome. I appreciate that you reached our website and have joined! And, definitely, best wishes on pursuing that passion of yours.
*self-imposed in response to unique comments such as yours

the brights movementAs an Internet constituency, The Brights’ Net may differ from related and familiar organizations in the U.S. It is likely that it may differ even from what you may have gathered thus far about what it means to be registered as a Bright. Our passion has more of a civic thrust. We definitely need more brights in key capacities and roles such as in education and government. This need is true across the globe, not just in the United States. Because the “bright” label fits anyone whose outlook on the world is free of supernatural and mystical elements, it covers quite a broad diversity of folks. There are many persons living today who, like you, do not draw on the supernatural for their understanding of the world. (Source: Personal email)

According to the brights web site, the three major aims of the brights movement[1] are to…

  1. Promote the civic understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview, which is free of supernatural and mystical elements
  2. Gain public recognition that persons who hold such a worldview can bring principled actions to bear on matters of civic importance
  3. Educate society toward accepting the full and equitable civic participation of all such individuals

A bright is a person whose worldview is naturalistic, that is, free of supernatural or mystical elements.[2] The term was coined by Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert, a pair of brights from Sacramento, California, who thought it would be sensible to adopt a common name for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, materialists, rationalists, secular humanists, and skeptics.* All these disparate groups share in common a naturalistic worldview. According to Futrell and Geisert:

The simple noun bright gathers under the same umbrella a great diversity of persons who have a naturalistic worldview. Under this broad umbrella these people, as brights, can gain social and political power in a society infused with supernaturalism.[3]

They also assert: “We cannot designate other people brights. Bright is a self-identifying term.” The term is intended to be a pragmatic civic identity term rather than a philosophical belief term.

They invite anyone who wishes to be counted as a bright to let them know. As of February 2006, people from 138 different nations have identified themselves as brights. (Source: The Skeptic’s Dictionary)

As a freethinker, I’m pleased to have joined the brights. I’ll email them soon to determine whether I can be of any benefit to the brights and their overall mission.

Notes

[1] The brights

As part of their style, the name of their organization – the brights — is not capitalized in their literature.

[2]Naturalistic worldview

Per the secular web, the naturalistic worldview is the denial of the existence of supernatural causes. This writer cannot and does not totally deny the existence of anything supernatural because, at this point in human history, such things remain outside the scope of scientific investigation and cannot be known outside the context of personal, individual experience. This blogger attests to the fact that no accurate descriptions of supernatural beings or events have yet been encountered personally; literal translations of religious texts, fundamentalist versions of “revealed religions,” and the related anthropomorphism is comprised primarily of poetry and literary device. While this may seem evil or blasphemous to some readers, its fundamental truth in no way opposes a passionate, heartfelt mission to practice basic, universal spiritual principles and strongly encourage other individuals and organizations to do the same.

[3] Supernaturalism

Supernaturalism as used here refers to the belief in and worship of specific supernatural entities resulting from literal translations of the texts used by "revealed" religions (e.g., literal interpretations of the Bible in modern fundamentalist Christianity)

Resources: The newest Bright

I have NO IDEA how to categorize this post…

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Notes: June 2012

Notes: June 2012

TOP: A list: Possible research subjects

Monday, June 11, 2012

1. Charles Darwin
2. Is Dan Millman a Christian? Add this common search phrase to similar article you posted re: Wayne Dyer’s teaching as blasphemy
3. A helpful perspective in pursuit of religious truth: Many Christians avoid all media that purports non-Christian views… even though the subject of a documentary film or article may be interesting, if words such as “here’s why I don’t believe in God…” appear, it will be dropped like a hot potato. There are several reasons for this avoidance, most of which are based on various types and levels of fear.

Consider these films

A Perfect Getaway
Gamer
Chronicle
Safe House (D. Washington)
The Next Three Days (R. Crowe) – Saw it; amazing
Convicted (C. Nielsen)
Enter Nowhere (Scott Eastwood)
I am Number Four

Climate shift sensationalism, fear-mongering

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Doomsday Environmental Fearmongers Will Not Go Away
These “scientists” and the United Nations make a living from instilling fear in people, coercing them to pay higher taxes giving them more control. The late, lamented Michael Crichton was “spot on” with his book “State of Fear”. Nature will pretty much take its course, no matter what us “insignificant” humans do. Giving money to these self-serving “scientists” and the United Nations is a total waste… Do a search for Michael Crichton on this blog for much more information on his expose’ of environmental fear tactics.

Environmental collapse now a serious threat: scientists

http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2012/06/doomsday-environmental-fearmongers-will.html

Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature… The paper by 22 top researchers said a “tipping point” by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change, with potentially cataclysmic impacts for humans, could occur as early as this century… The warning contrasts with a mainstream view among scientists that environmental collapse would be gradual and take centuries.

The study appears ahead of the June 20-22 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the 20-year followup to the Earth Summit that set down priorities for protecting the environment.
The Nature paper, written by biologists, ecologists, geologists and palaeontologists from three continents, compared the biological impact of past episodes of global change with what is happening today.

Critical thinking, education, teaching

Friday, June 15, 2012
What on earth is Design Thinking? – Scoop It
Universal Sustainability: A Framework for Thinking about Educational Innovation – Sustain Ext
What Do Today’s Students Think About the Future of Higher Ed? You Might Be Surprised – Huff Post
2012 Business weapon of choice: Design thinking – D. Studio
Visual Meetings – Review – Divergent MBA
The World Peace Game
The Critical Analysis Process
Infographic on social media in education – Tech Comm Design
Sarah’s Chalkboard: Critical Thinking for the 21st Century
Storing Lesson Plans on Google Calendar

Eye candy, interesting images

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Things to Look at High High Candy

http://thingstolookathigh.com/

Found while searching for interesting versions of peace symbols
Others
High Eye Candy: The Milky Way From El Teide

http://www.geekologie.com/2011/04/high-eye-candy-the-milky-way-f.php

Visual Eye Candy – The Next Big Thing

http://www.tofurious.com/marketing-tips/visual-eye-candy-the-next-big-thing/

Web Urbanist

http://weburbanist.com/category/global/7-wonders/

Oddorama

http://oddorama.com/2007/12/

Forums to join & participate

Monday, June 11, 2012
Democratic Underground (joined Monday, June 11, 2012)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/

Interesting groups to join at Democratic Underground

Religion & Spirituality » Atheists and Agnostics
Although anyone is welcome to participate, the DU Atheists and Agnostics Group is a place where atheists and agnostics can engage in frank discussions about the effects of religion on politics, free of debate about the existence of a deity or deities. In this forum it is inappropriate to belittle those with religious beliefs or to engage in demeaning or hateful speech toward members of DU who may hold such beliefs. Those who do believe in a deity should be aware that the underlying assumption for discussions in this Group is that either “god” does not exist or that the existence of “god” is in doubt. If you are offended by such notions, you probably should not participate in this Group.
Source: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12301040

Religion & Spirituality » Seekers on Unique Paths
Source: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1226

Places » U.S. » Tennessee

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1077

Nashville Scene subjects

Nashville churches are embracing LGBT congregants, and the spiritual questions and challenges they raise – Those Culture Wars Aren’t Ours

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/nashville-churches-are-embracing-lgbt-congregants-and-the-spiritual-questions-and-challenges-they-raise/Content?oid=2896966

Old-fashioned state governments, including the state government in Nashville, Tennessee, continue to push for laws protecting against non-existent “threats.” Perhaps the best examples are laws against the gay community.

Tennessee Teef
GOP Embarrasses Tennessee Again: ‘License to Bully’ Bill Goes Viral – Nashville Scene

http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2012/01/05/gop-embarrasses-tennessee-again-license-to-bully-bill-goes-viral-on-internet

That’s Right, It’s Not Africa. It’s Tennessee.
It is a national embarrassment that people in our country have to camp out to see a doctor they can afford. I mean, if this video doesn’t make you think there’s something very fucked up in our country, I can’t imagine what will. These are people in our state who depend on a guy in a truck to show up and get them glasses, who don’t even know that they have spots on their lungs from smoking because they can’t get an X-ray, unless it’s from this program. And the workable response we have to their health care needs is to treat it like a regularly occurring natural disaster, complete with people camping out in sports stadiums waiting for volunteer help to arrive. (Source: http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2012/06/21/thats-right-its-not-africa-its-tennessee )

Politics

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Mitt to Florida: Hush Up on Jobs
Things are bad, no matter how good they look. That’s the message the Romney campaign sent down to Florida, sources told Bloomberg News, where Governor Rick Scott has been tooting his own job-creation horn a little too much for the Romney camp’s liking. The governor’s office released materials this week heralding a drop in the state’s unemployment rate from 8.7 percent to 8.6 percent. Joblessness in Florida is down from 11.1 percent in December 2010, when Scott was sworn in. But sort of good news is bad news for the Romney campaign, which wants to ride a wave of dissatisfaction with the economy straight to the White House, sources say. So hush up, Guv.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/06/21/mitt-to-florida-hush-up-on-jobs.html

Rise and fall of Solyndra, the solar panel company

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2011/nov/15/americans-prosperity/solyndra-ad-president-barack-obama-taxpayer-money/

Poll: Most Blame Bush for Economy
This certainly isn’t W.’s day. According to a Gallup poll released Thursday, 68 percent of Americans blame former president George W. Bush for the country’s economic woes. A full 90 percent of Democrats who responded said Bush is to blame for the weak economy, and only 19 percent said Obama should carry much of the blame. As for Republicans, they were more split: 49 percent said Bush had a moderate amount or a great deal of the blame while 51 percent said Bush deserved not much of the blame or none at all. The poll had 1,000 respondents and was conducted by telephone from June 7 to June 10.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/06/14/poll-most-blame-bush-for-economy.html

The message of the American Stonehenge also foreshadowed the current drive for Sustainable Development. Any time you hear the phrase “Sustainable Development” used, you should substitute the term “socialism” to be able to understand what is intended. Later in this syllabus you will read the full text of the Earth Charter which was compiled under the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong. In that document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality. The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.

Religion: Objective viewpoint

Friday, June 15, 2012
Faith ceases to be a virtue when it has little connection with facts of reality – Irish Times ()ct. 2011)

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/1025/1224306445809.html

Thinking-Christian blogspot

http://thinking-christian.blogspot.com/

Book Review: A Shot of Faith {to the head}

http://thinking-christian.blogspot.com/2012/05/book-review-shot-of-faith-to-head.html

Movie & Book Review: “An Improbable Feast” & “The Way”

http://thinking-christian.blogspot.com/2012/04/movie-book-review-improbable-feast-way.html

Monday, June 11, 2012
First Things
First Things is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.

http://www.firstthings.com/

Recent articles of possible interest – First Things
The Offensiveness of Evangelism – First Things (Jun 2012)

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/06/the-offensiveness-of-evangelism

Modern but Not Liberal: A confident Christian faith can absorb and sustain the achievements of modernity

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/modern-but-not-liberal

Related subjects – Wikipedia
Demographics of religion — Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_religion

Religion: Formerly religious leaders see the light
Search for truth leads to rejection of religion – RichardDawkins.net

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/646192-search-for-truth-leads-to-rejection-of-religion

I am an ordained, fundamentalist evangelical Christian minister — and an atheist. It might seem counterintuitive to read such a sentence, but a surprising number of ministers are rejecting religious belief.

None of us became ministers expecting to leave religion behind; we were authentic, strong, sincere, faithful clergy and practitioners of our faiths. Changing our minds about religion does not make us inherently bad or immoral people, uncharitable, dishonest, hostile, lacking in knowledge or common sense, deviants, or any of the other epithets frequently used to malign nonbelievers.

The Clergy Project
The Clergy Project is a confidential online community for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The Clergy Project launched on March 21st, 2011.

Currently, the community’s 280 plus members use it to network and discuss what it’s like being an unbelieving leader in a religious community. The Clergy Project’s goal is to support members as they move beyond faith. Members freely discuss issues related to their transition from believer to unbeliever including:

• Wrestling with intellectual, ethical, philosophical and theological issues
• Coping with cognitive dissonance
• Addressing feelings of being stuck and fearing the future
• Looking for new careers
• Telling their families
• Sharing useful resources
• Living as a nonbeliever with religious spouses and family
• Using humor to soften the pain
• Finding a way out of the ministry
• Adjusting to life after the ministry

Religion: Hard Right, fundamentalism, etc.

Begin
Begin is an eye-opening journey through Scriptures that are especially key for new believers and those interested in learning about Christianity. Discover the promises of Jesus and the expectations that come in your relationship with Him. You’ll enjoy a quick and concise presentation of core concepts that help cement your faith’s foundation. With insights from Genesis 1–11 (the foundation), Exodus 20:1–17 (the Ten Commandments), John (the Gospel), Romans (a letter from Paul to Christians), and Revelation 21–22 (the fulfillment in heaven), Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge present a foundational overview that you can build your Bible study upon!

http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/Begin,6925,186.aspx

Religious attempts at logical argument
Ultimate Proof of Creation (The)
There is a defense for creation that is powerful, conclusive, and has no true rebuttal. As such, it is an irrefutable argument—an “ultimate proof” of the Christian worldview. Master the extremely logical method outlined in this book and you will be able to defend Christianity against all opposition.
Discerning Truth
Discerning Truth is a new, practical and extremely engaging book on the use of logic in the quest for truth regarding man’s origin.
Already Gone – Book
The next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the faith! This powerful book reveals shocking trends and offers wisdom on how to win back our families, our churches, and our world!
Ultimate Apologetics Boxed Set (4 DVDs)
4-DVD boxed set. With clear teaching and easy-to-understand illustrations, astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle reveals how to defend Genesis against all criticism. ($51.96 value.)

Already Gone
The next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the faith! This powerful book reveals shocking trends and offers wisdom on how to win back our families, our churches, and our world!

http://alreadygonebook.wordpress.com/

Tea Party & religion
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Tea Party and Religion – Pew Forum

http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Tea-Party-and-Religion.aspx

Tea Party Closely Linked to Religious Right, Poll Finds – ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/10/tea-party-closely-linked-to-religious-right-poll-finds/

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Hatred in Christian fundamentalism
Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus – Huff Post
The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Tea-Party-and-Religion.aspx) reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture. Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html

‘God Prefers Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians,’ Says Ore. Church

http://www.christianpost.com/news/god-prefers-kind-atheists-over-hateful-christians-says-ore-church-72597/

ACLU, NRA
Monday, June 11, 2012
Steve D. recently listed two hated organizations: the ACLU and the NRA.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I was thinking about looking into these organizations for a quick review, just to see if I agree with Steve on this. I think I already disagree about the ACLU; despite so many shocking headlines and defenses, they are doing it for a solid reason. The ACLU would be far less effective if it only accepted cases that didn’t sound odd, negative, or otherwise shocking. Interesting that he chose one mostly right-wing group and one left.

Terminology: Hard Right, etc.
Jingoistic

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/jingoistic

Jingoism
Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] In practice, it is a country’s advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism. The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude towards Russia in the 1870s. “Jingoism” did not enter the American vernacular until near the end of the 19th century. This nationalistic belligerence was intensified by the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbour that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism

Christian Gallery: Heavy pro-life

http://www.christiangallery.com/

June 1, 2012
Christian view of New Thought teachings
Wayne Dyer: The Wisdom of the New Spirituality, by Marcia Montenegro, Written 2008 (page 1 of 2) – Christian Answers for the New Age

http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_WayneDyerEssay.html

Conspiracy theory
InfoWars

http://www.infowars.com/resources.html

Religion: Skepticism

Metro State Atheists – George Carlin video clip

http://metrostateatheists.wordpress.com/2009/03/

http://irrev-black.com/

Science: Astronomy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
NASA to Launch Telescope
A powerful new X-ray telescope will soon be on the prowl for supermassive black holes, the invisible remnants left when stars die. Called the NuStar by NASA, the telescope will be strapped to the back of a Pegasus XL rocket and launched into space from an island halfway between Hawaii and Australia on Wednesday. While black holes can’t be seen, the telescope will penetrate clouds of gas and dust for

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/06/13/nasa-to-launch-telescope.html

Natural sciences: Climate, nature, etc.

Monday, June 11, 2012
Record-breaking spring in 2012
Human-Induced Ocean Warming Study Addresses The ‘Dominant Role’ Of People – Huff Post
Despite the onslaught of politicians attempting to project an air of question around man-made climate change, studies continue to emerge proving the connection between human actions and our changing environment. The most recent study, published in Nature Climate Change, finds an “anthropogenic fingerprint” (human influence) on our warming oceans.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/human-induced-ocean-warming-study-climate-change_n_1586532.html

Technology: Web

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Wikipedia is editorial warzone, says study – Technolog

http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/wikipedia-editorial-warzone-says-study-838793

If you’re interested in the methodology and math behind these interesting points, you can read the entire paper online at PLoS One, but you’ll need a solid foundation of statistics to understand it. On the other hand, you can investigate the topic yourself by going to any Wikipedia page and clicking the “Talk” or “View history” buttons at the top. The discussion of the entry can at times be as worthwhile to read as the entry itself.

It’s well-known that information on Wikipedia is essentially peer-reviewed opinion, and this study shows just how lively those peers — and that review process — can be. But while the details are constantly under heated debate, the result is often a compromise that cleaves very closely to fact, despite being the middle ground between several ideas of the truth.

Monday, June 11, 2012
Top Wiki Engines

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TopTenWikiEngines

What are the Georgia Guidestones?

the Georgia Guidestones, vandalizedThe Georgia Guidestones are four large, upright stones comprising a large monument that’s somewhat reminiscent of Stonehenge. Engraved upon the Georgia Guidestones is a message relating ten guidelines or principles presumably leading to a better world for all of humanity. The messages are engraved in eight (8) different languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature

The monument has been repeatedly vandalized, mostly with Christian-themed graffiti. The markings seen on these photos, taken in 2009, have since been removed. Get the whole story about the Guidestones at Wired. (Source: The Georgia Guidestones, Georgia: 7 Mysterious & Monumental Man-Made Wonders of America – Web Urbanist)

Most of those are pretty harmless, and in fact a lot of people would probably agree that many of them are fine ideas. But the first three, recommending population control, eugenics, and a single world language, throw fuel on the fire of conspiracy theorists who fear an impending New World Order. If not for these first three controversial guides, the stones would probably be long forgotten. (Source: The Georgia Guidestones – Skeptoid)

As one would expect, there’s plenty of Hard Right coverage of the Georgia Guidestones on the web. Naturally, any group that has declared war on secularism (despising and opposing practically anything external to their religion) won’t appreciate a message of peace and hope that doesn’t quote or paraphrase the Bible, which the Hard Rightists choose to interpret literally, perverting the Bible’s basic messages of spirituality in the process. Religious extremists even go so far as to refer to the Georgia Guidestones as being “Satanic” — a term they’ll readily, haphazardly apply to whatever they oppose:

The Georgia Guidestones have been part of the landscape in Elberton, Georgia for a quarter of a century. Tourists flood to Elberton each year to see the 19-foot-tall granite monument, often posing for pictures standing beside it.

After 25 years, a Christian organization named The Resistance is calling for the monument’s immediate removal.

“The satanic Georgia Guidestones must be destroyed,” insists John Conner of The Resistance. “The Guidestones should be smashed into a million pieces, and then the rubble used for a construction purpose.” (Source: Dismantling The Georgia Guidestones – Info Wars)

A quick search did not turn up any information on the Internet about any Christian group in Georgia called The Resistance; however, the name of the supposed group is far too generic for a speedy, effective Googling.

Radio Liberty’s delusional diatribe on the Georgia Guidestones is a great example of paranoid, conspiracy theorist-flavored material. According to the review of the "Guidestone journalists":

Similarly, Radio Liberty condemns the Georgia Guidestones because they relate to science, spirituality, and extra-Biblical hope. It almost sounds as though Radio Liberty is confusing astronomy with astrology, with their implicit fear and denunciation of the star alignment characteristics of the Georgia Guidestones. Further review of Radio Liberty reveals it to consist almost entirely of Hard Right Christian fundamentalism (religious fundamentalist claptrap, for the most part). Dig, "dark spiritual forces…"

Radio Liberty draws attention to the astrological components of the structure as distinctly ‘occultist’ in the “worship the alignment and movement of heavenly bodies as part of their religious ceremonies” while they believe the reference on the stones to “‘seeking harmony with the infinite’ reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality.” Regardless of the new governing body and economic system implied here, Radio Liberty see the Christian ties of the Rosicrucians and the R.C. Christian moniker to be deliberately anti-Christian, though without solid evidence on this point. They warn, “[b]ehind those groups, however, are dark spiritual forces. Without understanding the nature of those dark forces it is impossible to understand the unfolding of world events.” (Source: Vandalized Georgia Guidestones – Blog)

Conclusion: The Georgia Guidestones

As far as this writer is concerned, the message engraved upon the Georgia Guidestones is generally or overwhelmingly positive, based on far more truth than the superstitious beliefs of their typical detractors. In fact, the messages imparted to us via the Georgia Guidestones would most likely prove their efficacy beyond a doubt, should the guidelines be voluntarily implemented anywhere.

Resources: What are the Georgia Guidestones?

Georgia Guidestones – Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

Let these be Guidestones to an age of reason – The Georgia Guidestones

http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/Message.htm

American Stonehenge: Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse – Wired

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-05/ff_guidestones?currentPage=all

The Georgia Guidestones: Dubbed “America’s Stonehenge”, this granite monument in Georgia appeals to all sorts of conspiracy theorists – Skeptoid

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4198

The Georgia Guidestones – Crystal Links

http://www.crystalinks.com/gaguidestones.html

Guidestones: The story of two journalism students who uncover a global conspiracy while investigating an unsolved murder – Guidestones.org

http://guidestones.org/the-guidestones/blog-vandalized-georgia-guidestones/

The Georgia Guidestones, Georgia: 7 Mysterious & Monumental Man-Made Wonders of America – Web Urbanist

http://weburbanist.com/2012/05/21/7-mysterious-monumental-man-made-wonders-of-america/

Fearing, condemning the Georgia Guidestones
Sinister Sites: The Georgia Guidestones – Vigilant Citizen

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-the-georgia-guidestones/

Dismantling The Georgia Guidestones – Info Wars

http://www.infowars.com/articles/nwo/occult_dismantling_georgia_guidestones.htm

The Georgia Guidestones – Radio Liberty

http://www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Creation (2009): A revealing Charles Darwin biopic

Charles DarwinI’ll wrap this post up soon… thanks for reading.

Conclusion: Review of Creation (2009 film) by Thinking Christian

movie still: Creation, 2009 film about Charles DarwinCreation is deeply involving, deeply moving, and deeply provocative. It provides a brilliant insight into the heart and mind of Darwin. This was not a man who was out to destroy people’s faith. All he was doing was acting on what he saw as the facts which led him to an inescapable conclusion. If he was to live with integrity, he needed to share with the world what he had discovered. Not to do so was an assault on his conscience. Creation deals with all these issues with depth and sensitivity with a brilliant script (one of the most moving scenes being the death of an orangutan that Darwin had been working with). (Source – Movie Review: Creation – Thinking Christian)

What if…?

Please indulge this Mark scenario for a minute. Close your eyes while you read it (kidding)…

You are a seasoned archeologist leading a major dig somewhere in the holy lands; as a lifetime Christian, you hope to discover something relevant to your faith — something really amazing. Paydirt is struck when your team uncovers the oldest manuscript of the Gospel of Mark ever found! Cursory reviews by your peers indicate that this documentary find is almost certainly the original version, not a mere transcription like virtually all biblical manuscripts found before. Indeed, this is the find of a lifetime.

Charles DarwinWhile the rest of the archeological team is taking a well-deserved break, you remain behind to take a closer look at the ancient testimony in private. To your astonishment, a portion of the legitimate document plainly and clearly indicates that the entire work is a largely fictional story written for the tween daughter of an admired teacher who happened to be named Jesus, as a present for the scroll-loving "daddy’s girl" on her birthday.

As the staggering implications of your surreal circumstances begin to sink in, your appearance remains calm as you totally freak out on the inside… Your stomach churns, then you start to feel nauseous as beads of sweat start forming on your steaming brow.

What do you do? Do you hide it -– or do you go public with it?

History tells us that the above scenario is not unlike the pressure cooker inhabited by Charles Darwin as he struggled to finish his game-changing book, then titled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Resources: Creation (2009): Revealing Charles Darwin biopic

    Charles Darwin
  • Creation (2009 film) – Wikipedia
  • Creation (2009 film) – IMDb — English naturalist Charles Darwin struggles to find a balance between his revolutionary theories on evolution and the relationship with religious wife, whose faith contradicts his work.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0974014/

    Movie Review: Creation – Thinking Christian blog

    http://thinking-christian.blogspot.com/2010/07/movie-review-creation.html

    On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin — Wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species