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Thread: The religious right's hypocrisy now on full display

  1. #101
    The Russia investigation’s spectacular accumulation of lies

    "What does public life look like without the constraining internal force of character — without the firm ethical commitments often (though not exclusively) rooted in faith? It looks like a presidential campaign unable to determine right from wrong and loyalty from disloyalty. It looks like an administration engaged in a daily assault on truth and convinced that might makes right. It looks like the residual scum left from retreating political principle — the worship of money, power and self- ≠promoted fame. The Trumpian trinity."

    ...

    This may be the greatest shame of a shameful time. What institution, of all institutions, should be providing the leaven of principle to political life? What institution is specifically called on to oppose the oppression of children, women and minorities, to engage the world with civility and kindness, to prepare its members for honorable service to the common good?

    A hint: It is the institution that is currently — in some visible expressions — overlooking, for political reasons, credible accusations of child molestation. Some religious leaders are willing to call good evil, and evil good, in service to a different faith — a faith defined by their political identity. This is heresy at best; idolatry at worst.


    Most Christians, of course, are not actively supporting Moore. But how many Americans would identify evangelical Christianity as a prophetic voice for human dignity and moral character on the political right? Very few. And they would be wrong.

    Many of the people who should be supplying the moral values required by self-government have corrupted themselves. The Trump administration will be remembered for many things. The widespread, infectious corruption of institutions and individuals may be its most damning legacy.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...74d_story.html
    Last edited by Newenglanddeac; 11-17-2017 at 08:28 PM.

  2. #102
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    Good read.

  3. #103
    Well then...I guess I'll be seeing some of you in that special place in hell.

    Last edited by Newenglanddeac; 11-17-2017 at 11:50 PM.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Good read.
    Here's another good read with a similar theme.



    Roy Moore and the Sorry State of Evangelical Politics

    By WILLIAM S. BREWBAKER III
    NOVEMBER 15, 2017

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — As an evangelical Christian, an Alabamian and a Republican, I’m ashamed of Roy Moore and upset that so many people are determined to defend him against sexual assault allegations, no matter what. I’m even more bothered, however, by what Mr. Moore’s popularity says about the sorry state of evangelical Christianity.

    Evangelicalism is a Christian movement committed to the authority of the Bible, the necessity of personal conversion and evangelism and the exaltation of Jesus Christ, especially his death on the cross. (I’m paraphrasing a definition offered by the British theologian Alister McGrath.)

    Evangelicals believe, among other things, that Jesus offered himself as a “full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice” for the sins of the world. After his resurrection, he ascended into heaven, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead, and he will reign “forever and ever.”

    What does this have to with Roy Moore, the Republican running for Senate in Alabama?

    To begin with, sin is a problem from which no one is exempt. If God’s love required the suffering and death of the Son of God in order to redeem us, we should not underestimate the consequences of sin in our own lives. The world is not divided into “good people” and “bad people”; to quote St. Paul, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Or, as the Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”


    It is thus wrong to attack one’s critics, as Mr. Moore did recently on Twitter, as “the forces of evil” and attribute their questions about serious allegations to “a spiritual battle.” It is wrong to excuse one’s own moral failings while rushing to judgment over the sins of others, as he also did. We are to love and forgive our enemies, as God has loved and forgiven us.


    Evangelicals used to be known as people who opposed “worldliness” — the tendency to adopt the world’s assumptions about what is desirable and important. In old fundamentalist circles, this took the form of abstention from pleasures like alcohol, tobacco and dancing. Today’s evangelicals have mostly abandoned those limitations, but we seem especially blind to other kinds of worldliness.

    Evangelical politicians fall prey to the allure of money, sex and power at the same rates as just about everyone else. This shouldn’t surprise someone who believes that sin is a universal and persistent problem. So why would evangelicals believe that all would be well if they could take America back — that is, if “people like us” were in charge?

    Why would someone who believed that rebellion against God was the fundamental obstacle to human flourishing also believe that all would be well if we could just “turn markets loose” or interpret our Constitution in line with its original meaning? Why would someone who believes that God will win in the end and that we are all accountable to him stoop to reprehensible political tactics and vilify his opponents instead of loving them? Why would someone who believes that sexual relations should be limited to the context of traditional marriage make excuses for aggressive sexual advances against teenage girls?


    If Jesus is the hope of the world, as evangelicals believe, other things and persons are not. He taught that our allegiance to him must relativize all other allegiances: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

    Evangelicals may love their country, and may even believe that it has been, on balance, a force for good, but they cannot affirm that the United States (much less its military) is the world’s hope. Nor can they affirm that a political party (or an institution like the Supreme Court) is the hope of the United States. Whatever their opinions about the political issues of the day, evangelicals must place their hope in Jesus, period.

    While this should not mean disengagement from the public square, it means that such engagement should proceed from a posture of humility, love of neighbor and ultimate loyalty to Christ, instead of arrogantly identifying the success of a given party or political movement with the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

    Roy Moore’s success among evangelical voters — like Donald Trump’s — is a consequence of the fact that we evangelicals seem to have conveniently forgotten certain fundamental truths. We need to open our Bibles, or maybe better yet, our hymnals: “For not with swords’ loud clashing/Nor roll of stirring drums/With deeds of love and mercy/The heavenly kingdom comes.”

    William S. Brewbaker III is a law professor at the University of Alabama.

    Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.
    Last edited by Newenglanddeac; 11-18-2017 at 12:00 AM.

  5. #105
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    Another good read.

  6. #106
    Interesting analysis containing comments of several disillusioned evangelicals and suggestions as to a better way forward...How to Escape From Roy Moore’s Evangelicalism

    Quote
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    Kaitlyn Schiess has a sterling evangelical pedigree. She grew up in evangelical churches in Colorado and Virginia and graduated from Liberty University before entering Dallas Theological Seminary last year to prepare for a career in the church. But lately she has been frustrated by evangelicals’ failure to challenge the prejudice and predation in their midst. Over the course of the week, as Roy Moore, the Republican senatorial candidate in Alabama, faced more allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with young women and teenagers, many evangelicals leapt to his defense.

    To Ms. Schiess, this is one more sign that a new ritual has superseded Sunday worship and weeknight Bible studies: a profane devotional practice, with immense power to shape evangelicals’ beliefs. This “liturgy” is the nightly consumption of conservative cable news. Liberals love to complain about conservatives’ steady diet of misinformation through partisan media, but Ms. Schiess’s complaint is more profound: Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson aren’t just purveyors of distorted news, but high priests of a false religion.

    “The reason Fox News is so formative is that it’s this repetitive, almost ritualistic thing that people do every night,” Ms. Schiess told me. “It forms in them particular fears and desires, an idea of America. This is convincing on a less than logical level, and the church is not communicating to them in that same way.”

    It’s no secret that humans — religious and secular alike — often act on “less than logical” impulses. Social scientists have documented our tendency to reject reliable evidence if it challenges our beliefs. Hours of tearful victims’ testimony will not deter evangelicals who see Roy Moore as the latest Christian martyr persecuted by the liberal establishment. “Their loyalties are much more strongly formed by conservative media than their churches,” Ms. Schiess said. “That’s the challenge for church leaders today, I think — rediscovering rather ancient ideas about how to form our ultimate loyalty to God and his kingdom.”

    When I sought out conservative and progressive critics of white evangelical politics and asked them how to best understand it, this was their answer: pay attention to worship, both inside and outside of church, because the church is not doing its job...



    ...Other young Christians are pursuing new forms of worship outside of traditional churches altogether. If you’re wondering what the future of not-so-organized religion looks like, look to the community that has grown up around “The Liturgists,” a podcast hosted by Michael Gungor, a musician, and Mike McHargue, a science writer (both are former evangelicals).

    When they began the podcast in 2014, “we started it out of a sense of existential loneliness,” Mr. Gungor told me. They broadcast liturgical music, meditations and interviews with theologians and activists. The podcast has nurtured a community with a life of its own. Listeners find one another through social media, and the co-hosts travel the country to convene events where fans eat, drink and worship together — groups that often continue meeting after Mr. Gungor and Mr. McHargue leave town.

    “As America deinstitutionalizes and moves away from religion, people — especially millennials — have lost something. Their community becomes primarily virtual, they’re seeing people through a screen and not flesh and blood, and there’s great data that this leads them to loneliness and depression,” Mr. McHargue said. “The core of every podcast is, ‘you’re not alone,’ and that draws people in, but we can’t stay there. We have to draw them into some kind of communal practice.”

    One to two million listeners download the podcast each month, and it is surely one of the most theologically diverse subcultures on the internet. The audience includes atheists, evangelicals, mainline liberal Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, all seeking new spiritual community.

    All these people have one thing in common: the instinct that worship should be an act of humility, not hubris. It should be a discomfiting experience, not a doubling down on what’s easy and familiar. The battle for the soul of evangelicalism, the struggle to disentangle it from white supremacy, from misogyny — and from the instinct to defend politicians like Roy Moore — demands sound arguments grounded in evidence. But the effort must also advance at the precognitive level, in the habits and relationships of worshiping communities. Fellowship has the power to refashion angry gut feelings and instead form meek hearts and bounden duty.
    ----------
    I love mankind...itís people I canít stand!!

  7. #107
    Dickie Hemric
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    there can be a difference between being a good churchman and being a good Christian, that is what we seem to have here in Roy Moore, who appears to be a lousy Christian but at the same time a good churchman

    Christian voters have to ask themselves, do we expect our politicians to be good Christians, or good churchmen, or do we insist on both?

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailordeac View Post
    there can be a difference between being a good churchman and being a good Christian, that is what we seem to have here in Roy Moore, who appears to be a lousy Christian but at the same time a good churchman

    Christian voters have to ask themselves, do we expect our politicians to be good Christians, or good churchmen, or do we insist on both?
    I have a hard time imagining good Christian voters supporting much in the way of conservative policy as it relates to the poor, incarcerated, and folks living under our drone strikes. Evangelicals decided long ago that their preference was for churchmen.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacfreak07 View Post
    I have a hard time imagining good Christian voters supporting much in the way of conservative policy as it relates to the poor, incarcerated, and folks living under our drone strikes. Evangelicals decided long ago that their preference was for churchmen.
    you are probably right, and they likely did so in part because of the paucity of good Christians in public life

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by sailordeac View Post
    there can be a difference between being a good churchman and being a good Christian, that is what we seem to have here in Roy Moore, who appears to be a lousy Christian but at the same time a good churchman

    Christian voters have to ask themselves, do we expect our politicians to be good Christians, or good churchmen, or do we insist on both?
    Or, perhaps, they shouldn't give a damn about either of those and should instead look for good, smart people whose policies are in alignment with their beliefs. If such a candidate happens to be Christian, fine. If he or she happens to be Jewish, Muslim, or atheist, fine too.

    Also, let's be honest, plenty of Christians supported Trump. He is not a good Christian or a good churchman.
    Last edited by WFU Lurker; 11-18-2017 at 12:17 PM.

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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailordeac View Post
    you are probably right, and they likely did so in part because of the paucity of good Christians in public life
    Much of the rise of the religious right took places as conservatives successfully replaced a humble Christian peanut farmer from Georgia with an actor from California. I think your argument about the "paucity of good Christians" rings hollow for that and many other reasons.

    This is a political movement in which conservative media successfully co-opted familiar Christian themes of being oppressed for their beliefs and being the one true way into political ideology.

  13. #113
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    Christianity was sacrificed on the same altar that claims much of the other noble endeavors of public life: greed. You canít worship capital and follow Jesus. They arenít congruent ideologies.

  14. #114
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Much of the rise of the religious right took places as conservatives successfully replaced a humble Christian peanut farmer from Georgia with an actor from California. I think your argument about the "paucity of good Christians" rings hollow for that and many other reasons.

    This is a political movement in which conservative media successfully co-opted familiar Christian themes of being oppressed for their beliefs and being the one true way into political ideology.
    my observation was accurate, not hollow, while yours was hopelessly shallow and polemical

  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by WFU Lurker View Post
    Or, perhaps, they shouldn't give a damn about either of those and should instead look for good, smart people whose policies are in alignment with their beliefs. If such a candidate happens to be Christian, fine. If he or she happens to be Jewish, Muslim, or atheist, fine too.

    Also, let's be honest, plenty of Christians supported Trump. He is not a good Christian or a good churchman.
    I've read a number of articles recently (like the one a month or so ago on MSNBC's website about Wilkes County Trump supporters), in which religious fundamentalists freely admit that Trump isn't a Christian or even a man of faith, but then offer numerous excuses for why they voted for him anyway. One preacher claimed that it was because God can use even sinners like Trump to achieve his ends - which in his case seemed to mean (he never really specified, only implied) rolling back much of the social progress made on gay rights, women's rights, and other minority rights and cultural liberalism over the last fifty years or so. Other fundamentalists admit they voted for Trump because he could potentially pack the Supreme Court and lesser federal courts with "right thinking" judges who will impose their values and agenda on the nation (especially rolling back abortion rights and gay rights). Also, fundamentalist ministers have for generations been seen as leaders (and see themselves as the leaders and spokesmen) of their little towns and communities, and given the authoritarian nature of the Religious Right they often have great influence and power in their churches and communities, and frequently they're not shy about using it to support right-wing political beliefs. To their own (especially family and relatives, and members of their own churches) these people can be kind and even compassionate, but to anyone else (outsiders), they are innately suspicious, clannish, and even hostile. Furthermore, their belief system is based on simple blind faith - you accept what you are told (especially by male ministers and conservative politicians), never question your beliefs (it's sinful!), and critical thinking is avoided like the plague. I know, because I saw this behavior all the time growing up. And yes, the Religious Right's vigorous support of Trump and guys like Roy Moore is extremely hypocritical, given their self-proclaimed "values" and "faith". But, what really matters in public affairs is supporting the tribe no matter what, not following Christ's teachings or anything related to actual spiritual or even moral values.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailordeac View Post
    my observation was accurate, not hollow, while yours was hopelessly shallow and polemical
    Always the victim. Poor sailor.

  17. #117
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Always the victim. Poor sailor.
    wtf are you talking about, go prepare for Intro Soc

  18. #118
    Rusty Larue
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    Good job Teach!

  19. #119
    You know you're in trouble when you're counting on a pedophile to "protect your rights"

  20. #120
    Former Republican Oklahoma state senator pleads guilty to child sex trafficking charge: report

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...-child-sex?amp

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