18 Comments


  1. There is a documentary by the BBC called “Are Christians being persecuted”. If you havent seen it, you should. Its Brit-centric, but I think it speaks to the western world’s attitudes in general

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        Unless I missed it, because I did not hang on every word of the narration as I was engaged in other activities, I do not recall hearing any reference to the evils emanating from Putin’s collaboration with the Russian Orthodox Church. My point is, assuming the omission, that not only can the absence of religion lead to despotism, so can religion.

        Reply
  2. Milton Almeida

    thanks a million! I will check on it! May even give you some feedback! 😉

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    1. no worries… its very interesting… especially the Hindu and Muslim response.

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        As former president Richard Nixon famously proved, even delusional paranoids can have some real enemies. However, simply having an overactive amygdala or suffering from amygdala hijack, disintegration of logical thought processes, or possessing profound insecurities doesn’t mean everyone is out to get them.
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        A generally accepted rule in self-defense is whether such beliefs are predicated on a rational cognitive assessment of the situation. Increasingly, Christians looking for Satanic influences under every rock has much in common with Bush and his country club drinking buddies searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

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          1. Know More Than I Should

            What it says!

  3. Know More Than I Should

    There are several ways to approach this issue. While none of them tells the whole story, the combination contributes to a better understanding of the problem at hand.
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    We might begin by likening current Christian paranoia in early 21st century Western society to the perceived difficulties faced by a pampered and spoiled only child in a family when he or she is confronted with the arrival of first one younger sibling, and then another, and another…. Before long, the kid begins to believe he or she has been forgotten. This feeling may become so intense as to cause the older child to despite those late arrivals competing for the needs of the parents.
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    In addition to an influx of other religious persuasions through immigration, a generational shift toward a more secular society has created a diversity to which Christianity in the West has not been accustomed since it arrived with the Roman conquers and subdued the pagans. Thus, much like a spoiled brat, some segments of the religion are throwing a tantrum. And, truth be told, Christianity may be getting the well-deserved public spanking it’s had coming for a long time!
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    Still, it’s not just the religious crowd in Western Civilization that feels set upon by foreign devils. A parallel political paranoia exists in secular society as the United States watches former Third World nations such as China and India pull themselves up by their bootstraps and began to nibble around the edges of American once sacrosanct super power status.
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    Second, playing the victim can prove useful. For one thing, it promotes unity. One sees a stereotypical old Wild West movie where all of the internal dissensions on the wagon train headed to the California Promised Land are forgotten in the attack of the filthy rotten renegade savages! Never mind, that the Native people were their first and the white devils are really the trespassers. In the mythology of the West, the white folks are the victims! People root for the underdog. Meanwhile, my favorite versions of this scenario are those produced by latter day Natives in which the cavalry arrives just a little too late.
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    More importantly, however, having a useful enemy on which to wage war consolidates power at the top of the hierarchy. On the secular side, that was the real reason behind the war on communism. It is also the reason for the war on drugs as well as the war on terrorism.
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    Religiously, one belief rampant in fundamentalist Christianity is that if they can keep a conflict going, they will somehow win. That’s what keeps Fred Phelps and his inbreeding kooks at Westboro running about, well, not unlike those stereotypical filthy rotten renegade savages in old westerns and stirring up trouble.
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    Third, and intertwined with the previous observation, there is the propaganda motive. Enemies are useful. The Ancient Hebrews needed the heathens in Egypt and in the surrounding environs to justify their uniqueness. Quite possibly, the Christian church could not survive without Satan. In fact, as irrational as the arrangement might appear to a little green man recently arrived on Planet Earth, the Big 3 monotheistic religions thrive on the circular firing squad created by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam! Arrival of “secular humanism” merely provided another useful enemy with which to do battle. Forget loving one’s enemies; demonizing them is far more useful for those with an agenda to push or a religious persuasion to peddle!
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    Likewise, on the secular side during the Cold War, extremists in Moscow and Washington fed off each other’s insane rhetoric. Democrats must have Republicans for propaganda and vice versa in order to survive. Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads need “L-e-e-e-e-berals” to avoid becoming a totally irrelevant and ludicrous fringe.
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    Among the more prominent examples in use of propaganda was Hitler’s use of the “big lie” in propelling his rise to infamy. Rather blatantly and cynically Hitler stated in Mein Kampf that a big like is better than a little lie because the gullible masses are more likely to believe it! After all, as Hitler pointed out, common folks often tell little lies. They’re use to those. What they fall for are the huge whoppers – you know, like the commies, Jews, and socialists were responsible for Germany losing World War I. By the way, this is known in history as the “stab-in-the back legend.” It reappeared, howbeit on a much lesser scale, when American diehard conservatives blamed the media for the United States losing Nam.
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    Both the persecution of Christianity in the West and the supposed war on Christmas are examples of big lies told by rightwing religious zealots all too comfortable with lying. Other examples include the egregious falsehoods aimed at Planned Parenthood and abortions. The real tragedy of all of these falsehoods is that they’ve been told to often that even the liars who originally knew better have started believing them! Then, it’s usually easier to finger point than it is to look in the mirror!
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    Meanwhile, the real problem with Christianity is that it has lost its way. As with any philosophy carried to its extreme, large swaths of the Christian faith have become so intolerant that its historical legacy may be nothing more than it was a “You’re going to hell” religion!
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    Any religion, creed, or faith must meet basic human needs in order to survive. As Paul pointed out in Galatians 5:22-23, “[T]he fruit[s] of the Spirit [are] love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [m]eekness, and temperance[;] against such there is no law.” Yet, this was not enough for far too many members of the Christian clergy. In pursuit of political power, Christianity did little more than sell its soul for a mess of pottage. In particular, post-Darwinian Christianity became fossilized and increasingly irrelevant as the rest of the world moved on – leaving preachers howling in a wilderness of their own making. Yet, as the example of an empty metal barrel rolling down a fire escape suggests, simply being heard is not enough. There must be a message to which humans can relate.

    Reply
      1. Know More Than I Should

        In a era of personal responsibility, demands to pull one’s weight, and austerity, one of the more interesting potential outcomes might be requiring religious institutions to justify their tax exempt status on an annual basic through documenting good works. Put another way, merely establishing a quasi-country club that tells everyone else that they’re going to hell may no longer be sufficient to keep the taxman at bay!

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      2. Know More Than I Should

        It might also be worth pointing out that, although seldom mentioned in popular analysis of problems besetting Christianity, the Achilles’ heel of the churches can be found in their sometimes profoundly dysfunctional families. This is not to say that non-Christians – even heathens – can’t have unhealthy familial relationships. Rather, the rise of alternative families suggests there are profound difficulties with more traditional arrangements presumably sanctioned by God. In this regard, the proliferation of church members with failed marriages is just the tip on the iceberg ripping a hole in the hull of faith below the water line.

        Reply
        1. Know More Than I Should

          For reasons of decency, URL for the website from which the following was extracted has been omitted. Nevertheless, five points presented below serves to illustrate what happened because the church sold its soul and ignored its families in pursuit of political power. As a result, if it is to survive, Christianity is about to find out firsthand how much it will cost if it is to buy back its soul.
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          With the above in mind, suffice it to say that the following came from a report on relationship frontiers under the rubric of Love Without Limits. The title is “The Truth about Polyamory.” It is dated April 18, 2013. The author is Deborah Anapol, Ph.D. Her premise is: “For better or worse, our cultural is abandoning its love affair with monogamy.”
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          The author’s five main points are:
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          “1. There is no evidence that monogamy is better in terms of relationship longevity, happiness, health, sexual satisfaction, or emotional intimacy. There is also no evidence that polyamory is better.”
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          “2. Women are not necessarily in favor of monogamy. They just don’t like being lied to, treated inconsiderately, and expected to go along with a double standard.”
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          3. Omitted from this synopsis because it deals with homosexuality.
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          “4. Children raised in consensually non-monogamous families have been shown to do at least as well on many measures of health and achievement as children in monogamous (or serially monogamous) families.”
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          “5….Polyamory isn’t a solution for a floundering relationship, but it can solve problems of unequal or different sexual desire in an otherwise healthy and happy relationship.”
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          At least part of the price that traditional Christianity will have to pay for its survival will come in the form of proving:
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          1. Monogamy “is better” in terms of the factors raised in the author’s first and fifth points above.
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          2. Women are more satisfied in traditional marriages.
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          3. Children raised in monogamous households turn out better than those raised in alternative environments.
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          Christianity is going to have to either put up or shut up. Merely proclaiming the world is going to hell is no longer a viable solution.

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  4. Know More Than I Should

    One final thought. The real question may not be whether or not there is a war on Christianity so much as whether the organized religion can survive in a post-modern world of plurality. In other words, what will Christianity bring to the marketplace of ideas that people are willing to buy or buy into?

    Reply
    1. Know More Than I Should

      Marketing Christianity certainly isn’t being help by the following links gleaned in just a few minutes of perusing the news.
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      The Catholic Church is blaming a mother for allowing her son to be sexually abused by a priest:
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      http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/246985491.html
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      http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/02/24/catholic-church/mother-of-wehmeyer-victims
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      http://www.bringmethenews.com/2014/02/25/mother-of-2-boys-abused-by-priest-church-is-blaming-me/
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      A star on the Christian music scene tried to bump-off his wife mafia style:
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      https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/lay-dying-singer-tim-lambesis-admits-hire-man-kill-wife-article-1.1701916
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      Research suggests the younger generation is fleeing churches in droves:
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      http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/02/2014-lgbt-survey/

      Reply
  5. Know More Than I Should

    There may be more of a war WITHIN Christianity than anything else. Modern Christianity managed to make a tangled mess out of religion, politics, and culture. The result, as previously noted, has been a mass exodus from the pews.

    In an attempt to disentangle itself from the extraneous baggage the faith acquired during the late 19th and 20th centuries, the early stages of post-modern Christianity will likely be both more tolerant and more inclusive. Women will probably play a more dominate role and homosexuality will no longer be perceived as the devil incarnate.

    Of course, for the foregoing to happen, many members of older generation will have to pass on to their eternal reward. Yet, despite their having said that change would only happen over their dead bodies, the departed will most likely not be viewed as prophets by the survivors.

    Reply

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