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 Christianity and the cracks in the pot...
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  01:06:17  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
An interesting article.
quote:
Crackpot Christianity and America's Current Moral Degeneration
Posted 4 August 2006
By Walter C. Uhler

No one should decidedly adhere to an exposition of Scripture that with sure reason is ascertained to be false…in order that, from this, Scripture not be derided by the infidels. ----- St. Thomas Aquinas [from Lev Shestov, Athens and Jerusalem, p. 300]

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil -- that takes religion. ----- Steven Weinberg
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. ----- Thomas Jefferson


Although he might not agree with my use of the term "Crackpot Christians," Kevin Phillips is certainly correct when he claims that "the radical side of U.S. religion has embraced cultural antimodernism, war hawkishness, Armageddon prophecy, and in the case of conservative fundamentalists, a demand for government by literal biblical interpretation." [American Theocracy, p. 100]
These Crackpot Christians are largely responsible

If the so-called 'Armageddon' comes to pass, neither God nor the Anti-Christ will have had anything to do with it; rather it will come at the hands of the religiously insane.

And thus, history tells us, it has always been.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  08:40:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
I like that term: "Crackpot Christians". Even though "fundamentalist" and especially "fundy" has a derogatory connotation, the meaning of the word implies that they are more true to the religious foundations and scriptures. In reality, a growing number of Crackpot Christians are new nondenominational churches and individual self-declared ministers that have sprung up in America because of a variety of causes, including the freedom to do so, open competition for adherents, geographical isolation, and Puritan roots. They don't seem to deal with the issue of scriptural messages getting lost in translation, and they cherry-pick their Bibles with the best of 'em. Plus, the fusing of radical patriotism with radical religion is both stupid and bizarre. Crackpot is definitely a much more accurate term.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  13:25:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

Plus, the fusing of radical patriotism with radical religion is both stupid and bizarre. Crackpot is definitely a much more accurate term.



You forgot dangerous.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  19:16:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
The author has an interesting background for such an article.

I have always maintained that recent Christians (maybe historical ones as well but I haven't looked into it), interpret their religion from everything but actually reading the Bible. Even so called fundamentalists or Bible literates hardly know what is really in the Bible. Typically they either quote single passages often out of context or just echo their church or other church member's versions. The word of mouth or 'what I learned in Bible School' religion.
Edited by - beskeptigal on 08/08/2006 19:17:16
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1886 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  04:39:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

I have always maintained that recent Christians (maybe historical ones as well but I haven't looked into it), interpret their religion from everything but actually reading the Bible. Even so called fundamentalists or Bible literates hardly know what is really in the Bible. Typically they either quote single passages often out of context or just echo their church or other church member's versions. The word of mouth or 'what I learned in Bible School' religion.

So actually reading the Bible should be the last thing that any witness for Jesus should want you to do. Just hearing the sound bites without knowing the content keeps the flock sated.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  08:59:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
beskeptical wrote:
quote:
I have always maintained that recent Christians (maybe historical ones as well but I haven't looked into it), interpret their religion from everything but actually reading the Bible. Even so called fundamentalists or Bible literates hardly know what is really in the Bible. Typically they either quote single passages often out of context or just echo their church or other church member's versions. The word of mouth or 'what I learned in Bible School' religion.
The core of Christianity is Jesus Christ and his teachings. The New Testament, particularly the Gospels and letters of Paul have been the dominating scriptural influence. The Bible in its present forms wasn't even put together until hundreds of years after Christianity started being practiced, and so the earliest Christians were at best using fragments of today's Bible. If modern Christianity is based on everything but scripture, what is this "everything". More accurate I think is to say that different types of Christianity are heavily based on certain parts of scripture, and certain interpretations of scripture.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 08/09/2006 09:00:00
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  11:40:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

The author has an interesting background for such an article.

I have always maintained that recent Christians (maybe historical ones as well but I haven't looked into it), interpret their religion from everything but actually reading the Bible. Even so called fundamentalists or Bible literates hardly know what is really in the Bible. Typically they either quote single passages often out of context or just echo their church or other church member's versions. The word of mouth or 'what I learned in Bible School' religion.

That's an interesting insight. One primary thrust of the Reformation was to make the Bible open to be read by all, in their native languages. This was in opposition to the Roman priesthood, which the Protestants claimed with good reasoning, preferred to keep scriptures in Latin only, to make the priesthood the sole interpreters of religion. Yet modern fundies have in effect set themselves up like the late Medieval Roman Catholic priests, by "explaining" the often bizarre and contradictory Bible with even more bizarre interpretations.

So much of this deliberate misinterpretation comes from that oddball New Testament book, Revelations. (Revelations is so odd and unrelated to the "gospels," in fact, that I often wonder why it was included in the "official" Bible.) In 1967, I read that entire book in one sitting. Even as a 21-year-old with only a year of college behind me, it was clear to me what Revelations was: A very apocalyptic, poetic polemic, raging against the Roman Empire. Throughout, Rome is called Babylon, probably to avoid anti-sedition laws. Hints of Revelations' real target are scattered in the book, including a reference to Rome's Seven Hills. Revelations is far more political than it is religious. But it made sense in its time, a complex harangue with the simple message, "Rome is bad."

But a work which raged against a now extinct Roman Empire, while referring to it by the name of an even more ancient empire, is being freshly reinterpreted by modern fundies to justify all sorts of strange ideas, often with dangerous modern political overtones. A reading of Revelations by anyone with even a smattering of ancient history would reveal that it was about Rome, not about our Twenty-First Century.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/09/2006 11:46:31
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  12:11:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Mormons are my personal favorite, each planet populated by humans has its own Prophet, or so im told.

And from this nice site on the weird space/science beliefs of the mormons... http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/mormon_science.htm

quote:
A day for God is like a thousand years on Earth. This is because it takes a thousand Earth years for God's home planet Kolob to rotate around once on its axis. See Abraham 3:4-5
(Appearantly they use axial rotation periods to define years on Gods home planet.)

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  12:20:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Wait a minute. From that site:

quote:
A day for God is like a thousand years on Earth. This is because it takes a thousand Earth years for God's home planet Kolob to rotate around once on its axis. See Abraham 3:4-5


And

quote:

- God's home planet orbits a star named "Kolob." See Abraham 3:3


So either God is not very creative with names, or God lives on a planet, which is a star, which rotates around itself every 1,000 earth years.

Edit: And that star/planet is also apparently a crystal ball.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 08/09/2006 12:22:35
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  12:53:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I think its like Star Trek with the planets having numbers, Kolob IV is an M class crystal ball.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  15:37:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

The core of Christianity is Jesus Christ and his teachings. The New Testament, particularly the Gospels and letters of Paul have been the dominating scriptural influence. The Bible in its present forms wasn't even put together until hundreds of years after Christianity started being practiced, and so the earliest Christians were at best using fragments of today's Bible. If modern Christianity is based on everything but scripture, what is this "everything". More accurate I think is to say that different types of Christianity are heavily based on certain parts of scripture, and certain interpretations of scripture.

This is part of the same fallacy in my experience. Find the place in the New Testament where Jesus says God's 'rules' from the Old Testament no longer apply. Find where it says "God is Love". Look at the scriptures that are supposed to provide this or that belief and see if there aren't equally conflicting words in the New Testament.

And why adopt anti-gay beliefs from the Old Testament selectively? There are plenty of other abominations there.

Christians are just as likely to spout out truths that the Bible doesn't support as any other group. It isn't interpretation, it's fantasy. The fantasy the Bible and Jesus and God are whatever the believer has come to think, but not what is actually in the Bible.

The supposed teachings of Jesus are imaginary. The beliefs of today aren't really documented even looking at what those particular writers are claimed to have documented.


Edited by - beskeptigal on 08/09/2006 15:40:18
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2006 :  00:10:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
In response to beskeptical:

quote:
This is part of the same fallacy in my experience. Find the place in the New Testament where Jesus says God's 'rules' from the Old Testament no longer apply.


There are many. Here's one: Colossians 2: 13-17
quote:
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

To find more, do a little of your own research about the old and new covenant and how it has been conceived by different Christian groups over history.

quote:
Find where it says "God is Love".
You really need to brush up on your Book of John:

1 John 4: 8-12:
quote:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4: 16:
quote:
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Still wondering where those progressive Christians are getting their ideas that one doesn't have to have faith in the literal Jesus to find salvation?

quote:
Look at the scriptures that are supposed to provide this or that belief and see if there aren't equally conflicting words in the New Testament.
Few educated Christians would deny this. All the non-fundamentalist Christians I know (including most of my family) have always been taught that the Bible is a document tainted by its human scribes. They don't think it can be easily are totally understood by surface readings, and they deeply depend on history, discussion with others, theologians and clergy, as well as their own personal insights to inform them when they attempt to get useful messages out of the Bible. And they don't get self-righteous about their own conclusions. In that context, this criticism is a bit of a straw man. Plus, you changed your argument. You originally said that they seemed to base their religion

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2006 :  23:53:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
You have found some specific verses I had not found when I looked for them in the past, but your criticism I know little of what is in the Bible based on my cynicism over the God is Love crap is unfounded. And the verses you quote hardly void the case since none of those passages goes without equally contradicting passages in both the Old but also in the New Testament.

Just taking the verses you noted, 1 John 4: 8-12; 1 John 4: 16; Colossians 2: 13-17, here are the contradictions in the Skeptics Annotated Bible:

What must you do to be saved?

Does God love everyone? Yes, he loves everyone. No, he hates some people.

Is God the creator of evil?

Should we fear God?

How many sons does God have?

Should we love or hate others?

Blog comment: Because if God is love, what the hell is hell?


Are the laws of the Old Testament still binding?

Is it necessary to keep the Sabbath?


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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2006 :  00:11:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I started out posting all the horrible things Jesus said in the New Testament but I couldn't get past Matthew the list was so long.

So here's the list, Cruelty and Violence in the New Testament, with links from the page. Jesus and God are only love if you ignore 3/4 of the Bible. I remain a cynic.



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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2006 :  03:16:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

I started out posting all the horrible things Jesus said in the New Testament but I couldn't get past Matthew the list was so long.

So here's the list, Cruelty and Violence in the New Testament, with links from the page. Jesus and God are only love if you ignore 3/4 of the Bible. I remain a cynic.

Good list. Goes to show, I guess, that religious fundementalist whackos have changed little over the passage of time.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1886 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2006 :  15:06:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
What the f...?
quote:
God will not forgive us unless we shed the blood of some innocent creature. Hebrews 9:13-14, 22

Never heard this one in Sunday school.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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