Fred Deutsch’s potty bill is one expression of the Christian right’s persecution complex, their sure sense that they are fighting evildoers (in this case, those darned transgender children who don’t respect the gonads and chromosomes that God Almighty gave them) determined to destroy Christianity.
But there is no war on Christianity. There are lots of natural, logical reasons leading fewer people to go to church or identify with traditional religions, but Christian warriors (much more numerous and easier to identify than anti-Christian warriors, don’t you think?) reject complexity and change in favor of familiar, comfortable, scapegoating myth:
But no one likes a “constellation of reasons” to explain why the world they grew up in, and the values they cherish, seem to be slipping away. Enter the scapegoat: the war on religion, and the persecution of Christianity.
It’s much easier to explain changes by referring to a single, malevolent cause than by having to understand a dozen complex demographic trends. Plus, if Christianity is declining because it’s being attacked, then that decline could be reversed if the attack were successfully repelled. Unlike what is actually happening—a slow, seemingly irrevocable decline in American Christianity—the right’s argument that “religious liberty” is under assault mixes truth and fantasy to provide a simpler, and more palatable, explanation for believers [Jay Michaelson, “The Religious Right Is Right to Be Scared: Christianity Is Dying in America,” The Daily Beast, 2015.12.26].
As an atheist mischaracterized as a warrior against Christianity, I can only say that any atheists worth their calcium and phosphorus won’t be caught wasting our time organizing the systematic destruction of Christianity: we’re too busy raising our kids, making a living, and fighting off social entropy.
Unfortunately, some of our Christian neighbors need their enemies, their excuses to raise their crosses like swords and their scriptures like shields and pretend that fighting figments will save their faith. Hence Deutsch’s potty bill and more religious chicanery sure to come to the 2016 Legislature.
Which is why the first place the other Christians ought to be proclaiming peace is in the halls of Pierre between these political decoys and the rest of our neighbors.
Yes, but possibly in part since I’ve been nicely granted the benefits of anonymity I would say atheists should speak out more. I did recently with a minister face to face who responded we are only 6%. He surprised me with his numbers and I failed to respond that is just reported: one to please and appease. Sometimes I just think Hey!, this is crazy man, sheer lunacy, the Emperor has no clothes, Santa is make believe, why do we sit on our hands like nice boys and girls when people who believe in complete delusion or say they do for political expediency are running the show. Both here and in those much worse places abroad. Cory is the only one I can think of right now in our state who just throws it out there. I don’t hide it, even with my older relatives when they pull out a book for me to read, but I do bow my head in prayer when in public for the sake of politeness I tell myself. I don’t know what the right road is exactly when it comes to customs, but I think atheists are way too fearful to be honest. Maybe rightfully so, but all these pretenders in something that is complete gobbly goop. Besides faith one has convictions, hope, determination, many positive thought processes that places responsibility were it should go, on the individual to the fullest degree possible, which strangely sounds like that Republican thing.
Yes, the Left continues to be that glue that holds society together by using and abusing confused and susceptible teens for political purposes and personal entertainment. If the Left really wants to benefit society, they could spend more time contributing to it, rather than thinking of reasons to be feel sorry for themselves.
The Spencers of the US are why christianity is dying.
Cory is only partly right. There is a war against christianity and it’s two centuries old.
Two hundred years ago Thomas Jefferson began a war on christianity in the US in part to expose its inherent hypocrisy. He hated John Calvin and Augustine of Hippo knowing that religious extremists would ultimately crush the republic.
Actually Mr. Kurtz Christians, whatever that group is, started this fiasco long before there was even a United States. http://www.historytoday.com/chris-durston/puritan-war-christmas Jefferson understood this, as did the rest of the founding fathers did as well, and choose to ignore religion of any kind to be put on the new citizens. Jefferson not only gave us the right to choose our religion, because the English wanted our state religion to be The Church of England, he was a reader of the Qur’an. http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Jeffersons-Quran-Islam-Founders/dp/0307388395
What the back popper is really trying to say is “Look at me, Look at me”. Problem is with this fine fellow, he is a fraud that wants to perpetuate the fraud on the rest of us.
Larry’s comment about Spencer’s comment could be the most accurate and apropos comment Larry has made all week. Angry, exclusivist, and frankly deceitful messages will drive young people away from church and from political parties, Spencer. “The Left” doesn’t have to wage war to make that happen. That’s just the new social soup in which we swim.
Who are the anti-Christian warriors anyway? Is it just us atheists, or does it include folks who believe in other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Satanism, et al?
As for me, I continue to evolve in my relationship with all religions. I can understand why people decide to join a religion, as it provides them with a sense of community with a particular group – satisfying an instinctual need that some scientists and researchers argue is hard wired into the human condition. Indeed, that may well be the reason that many atheists are “coming out of the closet” and joining secular groups.
I recognize several important facts about the attitudes and beliefs of folks who join various religions. Many Christians recognize that the Bible is not a fact based word of God, but is a collection of stories and myths that help formulate both positive and negative ideas about how humans should interact. I embrace those Christians that reject the hateful teachings of Leviticus, instead advocating following verses like Leviticus 19:34 (NIV) – “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Similarly, I respect Muslims who reject the hateful teachings embraced by Daesh advocates, and instead follow Koran teachings advocating love, tolerance and freedom of religion.
But for those Christians and other religionists who believe their creed justifies harming non-believers with violence or discriminatory laws, I gladly join the war against such ideas and vicious interpretations of ancient texts.
Religion is a cult for the weak minded, to bring them peace and meaning and hope they are not just a small mammal on a small planet with a tiny little lifespan.
I’m with you bear. I lost an uncle five years back who I considered a great Christian. He had many quotes but a couple that stick with me. “I’ve had about all the deals with good Christians I can afford.” and “I can understand good Christians wanting to be a part of the body of Christ, but why do so many want to be the rectum?” to be polite here.
I consider myself, an attempt at being a Christian, but view few including myself as a success. God gave us a brain and hopefully someone teaches us empathy and we learn to use both.
Perfectly put, Mr. Heidelberger. Excellent assessment. ✯✯✯✯✯
As an aside … My Christian mind automatically inserts “evangelical” before the word Christian in your writing. I’ll not be associated with that branch of Christianity.
The Bible says the evildoers Christians are fighting are spiritual beings (i.e. Satan and demons) rather than fellow flesh-and-blood humans:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
—The Bible (Ephesians 6:11-12)
I’m wondering how you claim to know that, Cory.
I hear war on Christians and war on women as the same desire to spread fear just like the lunacy of Trump. Do not let your self get bogged down with this crap. Blaming a whole group for what a few do is called ‘prejudice’.
And there are the millions of us in the world that do not want to be caught in this 2,000 year old saga of war, we attempt to live our lives knowing the difference between right and wrong and good vs. evil. So many of life choices are easy to make and for most folks we make the right decisions.
For those of us in this category we respect religion, Christianity, atheism, Muslims, and more, we simply do not become involved with their discussions or judge them.
Religion reminds me of that Star Trek episode where a guy flies his small craft right in to the sun and is so happy to be free right before it implodes. When they land on the planet they find the inhabitants are going mad killing each other. McCoy figures out bright light will kill the infection so Spock gives the treatment a go, going blind briefly, but those extra thick eye lids saved him.
Granted without religion people are gonna kill each other but to have a “sacred book” used as permission and encouragement: Non-thinking conforming sheep. Grudznick may sound a little harsh, but don’t you want to shake them from the spell and kill the infection?
Hey, Hap, what point was that pastor making when he said we atheists are only 6%?
I’m sure he was saying we are still dominant here. You’re very much in the minority Mr. Atheist.
What Roger said sounds nice, but a high percentage of Muslims want to live under religious law. You can google that. And even here in our country: “We are a Christian nation.” When they’re in government ideologues can’t separate their beliefs from the decisions they need to make.
Oh, and Hap, what a remarkable metaphorical reading of that Star Trek episode! (For those of you watching on Netflix, Hap refers to “Operation: Annihilate!“, season 1, episode 29, the one with the giant flying fried eggs.)
Mr. kurtz told me about that one once at breakfast when he was making a point about something. He said the infection was caused by flying pancakes, which is why I think he brought it up. His pancake was a little oddly shaped and reminded him of these flying pancakes on the star trek episode where they drove people mad The bright light of knowledge will drive out the infection but I don’t think people will kill each other if they don’t have a “sacred book.”
Excuse me grudz, but people are killing each other are a rather alarming rate and for a multitude of mindless reasons.
Kurt, if they’re fighting spiritual beings, then they need to do it outside the Legislature. We don’t make policy to fight ghosts.
How do I know there’s no war on Christianity? I could be wrong. There could be a war, and I may have somehow missed it.
But if there’s a war, there should be warriors—not just several scattered malcontents working happenstancefully (happenstantially?) toward similar secular goals, but an organized legion waging a strategic, unified, and credible assault to stamp out Christianity. Show me the warriors. I can see the Christian warriors pretty clearly, claiming there is a war, seeking recruits and donations. But where is the offensive these Christian warriors claim to be countering?
There’s no war on Christians, Mr. Evans. There are however large numbers of people who strongly disagree with your sect of born again, fundamentalist, prosthelytizing, faux Christianity. This may seem like a war to you who continually need reassurance that all the money you’re sending to these “God Wants You To Be Rich” preachers is really God’s desire and not a scam.
Evangelical Christianity is like Communism. It won’t survive because it takes to much time every night trying to convince yourself it’s right when the day to day proves different.
The real war is not one that can be fought in the way these ‘warriors’ are fighting. I’ve been there in those false trenches, and it will leave you broken and further from God than many professed atheists just trying to do right by their neighbors.
Your use of the word legion there is interesting, Cory. The Bible says Christ encountered two demon-possessed men southeast of the Sea of Galilee and drove the demons out of at least one of them:
“For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man… And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Legion’; for many demons had entered him.”
—The Bible (Luke 8:29-30)
In case anyone is curious, the second demon-possessed man is mentioned in Matthew 8.
It’s in the spiritual realm, so I obviously can’t show it to you. My point was to take issue with you saying Christians have a “sure sense” that we’re fighting transgender children.
Porter Lansing writes:
I’m a libertarian Christian, Porter. Whether people want to wear prosthetics is their own business.
You may have me confused with someone else.
Cory, in your most philosophical manner you seem to have described your Dem party problem in SD. Cory@”there should be warriors(Real Democrats)—not just several scattered malcontents working happenstancefully (happenstantially?) toward similar secular goals, but an organized legion waging a strategic, unified, and credible assault to stamp out Christianity(GOP). Get your believers in it to win it, Brother Heidelberger. Amen.
There is a war on kkkristians. It is in their imaginations as they imagine themselves “victims” because Liberals and the devil’s advocate,ACLU, forced gawd out of the classroom in public schools.
Being victims has allowed them to claim taxpayer bucks for religious purposes,aided and abetted by whitey wingnuts in congress.
Les, perhaps I misunderstand your comment. I’m not saying I want Democrats to be warriors against Christianity. I’m certainly not saying I’m such a warrior. I’m just asking Kurt for proof that the war on Christianity exists. I’m saying that if there is a war, the folks claiming there is a war ought to be able to point at some warriors.
At the point where Kurt says, “It’s in the spiritual realm, so I can’t show you,” I can’t really advance the argument. That dodge behind the supernatural curtain leaves us unable to discuss the issue meaningfully. The warriors are either there or they aren’t. If the warriors are all spiritual, then we mud-made creatures can’t really participate.
You totally missed it Cory. Twist a few of your words I quoted slightly and you have a battle plan to place a few Dems in the win column and bring some balance back to our state government.
Not just several malcontents happenstantially, but an organized legion waging………..with a win or two in November. Keep depending on the initiative and they’ll take it away from you.
There really seems to be a war on Christians. It is a covert war. The folks waging this war are not atheists, however, the warriors are right wing politicians, pretending to be Christians, while seeking to convince Christians to vote against the most fundamental tenets of Christianity.
The litany of positive teachings for Christians includes: accept refugees, immigrants and other strangers: feed and clothe the poor; help those in prison; help the sick and infirm; do not judge others; turn the other cheek when faced with an enemy; love your neighbor; forgive people that you believe have sinned; show mercy toward others; pray in private; among other teachings.
As I listen to our current crop of Republican presidential candidates, especially the so called evangelicals like Cruz, Carson, Huckabee, etc, I see them arguing that Christians should support public policies that are exactly contrary to most or all of the above Christian tenets. That, my friends, constitutes a war on Christians.
We need a war on religion. The Unites States started its Navy to fight the Muslim Barbary states who were attacking our merchant ships after British protection ended. They had enslaved over a million Europeans using their “sacred book” and religious beliefs as justification. Fast forward and we basically have a repeat.
Not that Christians get a pass it’s all Hocus Pocus. Maybe human beings are just savages so there’s no cure, but more educated people, especially scientists by and large do not believe in these fairy tales. People have to dispel these fabrications and embrace civilization. Seems like an impossible task however. There’s no bright light to kill the infection.
Thanks Cory for mentioning Star Trek is on Netflix. Forgot all about the pancakes.
Perfect, BCB … ( the warriors are right wing politicians, pretending to be Christians, while seeking to convince Christians to vote against the most fundamental tenets of Christianity)
It’s impossible to be a “libertarian Christian”. Jesus gave us a code of conduct and libertarian by nature means “few, if any rules”. For you Evans. Drop your self focus. You’re an invalid teacher. The Old Testament is only a history of the evil in the world before God sent his son to show us the proper path.
“Ask not what God can do for you. Ask what you can do for those among us possessing the least.”
Exactly what I think about many of the Pubs and Dems, bear. They are at war with what our parties once stood for. There may be another prez candidate, but Sanders, regardless of my disagreements in areas, represents a man with those basic fundamentals. Hillary, not so much.
Les, I take your twist. Thank you for the recommendation. Your application of my words to the earthly political war is very appropriate. I’m going to need a bit more power bankrolled before I can graduated from scattered malcontent to legion organizer. But I would much rather fight that war on Pierre’s one-party rule than any war on Christianity.
Bear brilliantly spotlights the far greater threat to Christianity: the very culture warriors who would bind the Church to the state to serve Empire and Profit. Christians, in that fight, I I will defend you, but you’ll bear the main burden to save yourselves from bondage.
Here is another kristian re-writing the bible to suit his personal beliefs.
On the 24th of Dear Abby’s column a mother was upset because a fellow classmate of her 7 year old exposed that Santa was not real and was in fact her mother placing gifts under the tree: My 7-year-old daughter, “Rosie,” recently came home in tears because a classmate, “Emily,” told her I was a liar and she was an idiot for believing my lies. Then Rosie asked me if I had been the one putting money under her pillow and presents under the tree all along. Ultimately, I told her that, yes, I had. But I stressed how important it was that she not ruin other kids’ belief in the tooth fairy, etc.
That column reminded me of this posting. The bigger problem is these 7 year olds are now adults and want to be in charge of everyone else still believing in Santa. Anywhere from you must believe in Santa or we’ll kill you to you must believe in Santa or we’ll ostracize you. But adults are not 7 years old, and why are you lying to 7 year olds anyway?
krauss & dawkins debate 04.17.15
happy: I don’t often agree but u said: “scientists by and large do not believe in these fairy tales.” and I appreciate your parenting story. btw, couldn’t find the precise krauss/dawkins youtube but this one likely will be similar.
kurt-why criticize porter’s grammar/spelling?
Yea … I’m hurt and embarrassed that I used to instead of too, once. ?Where’d you go to college, Mr. Evans?
It isn’t a dodge, Cory. It’s a direct answer to the question you asked: “But where is the offensive these Christian warriors claim to be countering?” You said Christians have a “sure sense” that we’re fighting transgender children. That claim is a misrepresentation of the Christian worldview regardless of whether Satan and demons really exist.
Porter Lansing writes:
No, libertarian means upholding the principles of individual liberty. There’s no inconsistency in teaching a code of conduct without coercing others to accept it.
When you teach that the Old Testament is “only” a history of evil, you’re the invalid teacher.
Largely to demonstrate that his condescension is unwarranted.
Undergrad: South Dakota State. Also Dakota State and Dakota Wesleyan.
Still a dodge, Kurt. Christians can say they’re not fighting transgender children but spiritual enemies, but that’s not much different from saying, “We’re fighting Hitler!” as we firebomb Dresden: the practical effect is that children still get hurt.
Actually, maybe it is different: the culture warriors in this case really are targeting children, portraying them as perverts and sexual predators and proposing legislation to punish them with “separate but equal” treatment (and you know what that phrase means: a school district following this law will get sued and lose).
Commenting on grammar and spelling do not weigh on the validity of the arguments at hand; however, commenting on grammar and spelling encourages proofreading, better writing, and constant awareness of our fallibility. No foul on Kurt there!
Libertarians and culture-war Christians face a problem here along the lines of what Porter says. Do they support an intrusive government regulation that denies individual liberty (and science)? Do the libertarian and the Christian come to the same position on HB 1008? Kurt, do I oversimplify libertarianism by concluding that the proper libertarian response ought to be, “I’ll dress for the game and pee where I want”?
Kurt, in an earlier post I identified several Christian tenets, including feeding and clothing the poor, and helping the sick and infirm. The libertarian position on each of these tenets seems exactly contrary to the Christian tenet.
For example, don’t libertarians argue that a libertarian government will end welfare and abandon the poor, hoping that charities will pay for food and clothing?
As for the sick and infirm, isn’t it the libertarian position that a libertarian government will refuse any care for them, leaving the free market to take care of the sick?
How are these libertarian views consistent with the Christian tenets that Christians should feed, clothe and help the poor and should care for the sick and infirm? Objectively speaking, such inconsistencies seem to confirm Porter’s point.
bearcreekbat, I’ll step into the Kurt role for a moment and ask if it is possible for a Christian to adopt libertarianism as his political conception (oo! oo! a term from my post on Rawls!) to say that government should not play a role in enacting the Christian principles you cite above yet maintain in his more comprehensive Christian doctrine (the worldview that covers everything, not just government) a passionate personal commitment to helping the poor and infirm through private charitable activity?
Cory, perhaps, but it seems a bit disingenuous to claim a “a passionate personal commitment to helping the poor and infirm” while opposing public policies that would help accomplish that goal.
Remember, although libertarians oppose using the power or force of government to help the poor and the sick, they support using the power and force of the government to accomplish other libertarian goals, such as taxing people to pay for police and military protection, as well as paying for whatever institutions libertarians deem necessary to accomplish these goals.
Indeed, the libertarian idea that a government should protect us from others is focused on protecting members of society from economic and physical harm. Plainly, people who are poor or infirm are in extreme danger of both economic and physical harm.
Hence, libertarians who reject using government to further a goal of helping the infirm and the sick, which happens to be a Christian goal, do not seem to be supporting these Christian tenets. Indeed, they seem to want to use the libertarian government to forcibly protect only the rich, strong and healthy, which seems contrary to Christian teachings.
So-there is only one true path and it does not involve religion. Liberalism is the one true light.
@Evans … I have no condescension, patronage or tolerance for your writing. Only criticism. My experiences with libertarians is that they’re really just Republicans that want to smoke pot.
Porter, I’ve never inquired, but I don’t think Evans smokes pot.
Remember, BCB, according to my calculations in the run-up to the 2014 Libertarian convention, I’m 52% Libertarian. ;-)
Whether or not they are Christian, libertarians face trouble when they try to reconcile the need to national security with their opposition to taking people’s wealth by force. We’ve got to pay for an army somehow, and cruise missiles are rarely built with donations.
If libertarians believe governments exist solely to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property, then they must confront the fact that people can’t enjoy life, liberty, and property if they are poor, sick, uneducated, or otherwise oppressed. In one passing phrase, Rawls says libertarians take an abstract, arguably empty approach to liberty, while liberals take a practical approach, which involves invoking Christian principles of care for others to ensure that everyone can enjoy their liberties.
So can we say that the thing libertarians say government exists to do requires governments to do the things Christians say they should do?
Or are “Christian libertarians” up a philosophical creek without a paddle?
Cory, perhaps the problem is identifying with any group that purports to tell you what policies to support. Many folks who identify as Christians believe it is an all or none theology. Likewise, many folks who identify as libertarians believe it is an all or none political stand.
By rejecting such an “all or none” type of thinking we are free to support policies regardless of origin. For example, I too support many of the same policies that the all or none people identifying as libertarians support – such as amnesty and open borders – which makes me, like you, some percentage libertarian. And since I am not a Christian, let alone an all or none Christian, there is no reason I need to support only policies that are consistent with Christian tenets. I can choose to support the Christian policies that I believe to be best for all people.
I think any all or none Christian can support libertarian policy ideas that are not inconsistent with the Christian tenets, but the policy of leaving the poor and sick to the vagaries of charities and open markets seems contrary to one of the most fundamental teachings of Jesus.
Perhaps a Christian who does not take the Bible literally can claim to be a Christian without accepting all of Jesus’ teachings, just as many Christians reject the worst parts of Leviticus while still identifying as a Christian. In this manner, a Christian who rejects the Christian tenets of helping the poor and sick can comfortably also be a libertarian.
TODAY’S LIBERTARIAN TREACHERY:
NOTEWORTHY ~ NYTimesToday
There’s more money to be made investing in drugs that will extend cancer patients’ lives by a few months than in drugs that would prevent cancer in the first place, new research shows.
That’s why preventing cancer isn’t the priority in private drug development.
~This is the greed that seeps from the “free market fallacy”. Without Big Government to do cancer research, a cure may never be found.
~The truth is that the middle class and poor live under the dictates of the market (if your small business fails, there’s no bailout), but the rich have a gigantic government structure designed to protect their wealth from competition.
LOL. This conversation is starting to remind me of a thing I just read in Kurt Vonnegut’s last novel, “Timequake.” It goes like this:
Q. What is the white stuff in bird poop?
A. That’s bird poop too.
See also Henry Ford’s famous quote “Half of my advertising dollars are wasted. Problem is, I don’t know which half.”
Happy ruminating fellas. If anyone could ever figure out what religion and politics is all about, and what (if any) their relationship to one another should be, it would be the three of you (Cory, BCB and Kurt).
Happy New Year all.
(p.s. Porter, your book came in. Looks fun. How’s the new one coming?)
Slow, Bill. Haven’t started the first draft. Still practicing food photography, which is very fun but you don’t get to kiss the models.
Cool, Porter. Perhaps a little advice from an old hand:
1. Never kiss the models. (Costs extra, usually ain’t worth it.)
2. Never eat the food after photo prep. (Rule of thumb: if it looks good enough to eat in the picture, it probably ain’t edible. ;-)
3. If you write like Vonnegut, Faulkner, and (Tom) Robbins, the first draft will be the only one you need.
Thanks for the advice, Mr. Fleming. I love criticism and would value your’s. The recipes are a bit technical and were written for pros. I’ll answer any questions and welcome any comments.
Vonnegut, Hemingway, Twain and Hunter S. Thompson are my literary influences.
ps …. There are many tricks to food photography; none of which I’ll relay.
pss … My Facebook page is open to the public and there’s usually a food photo or two on there.
Religion and politics don’t coincide,can’t co-habitate and ia sn extremely dangerous cockyail when mixed together. Unconstitutional.too.
No need for an apostrophe in “yours,” Porter. “Yours” is possessive without it.
…and if we spelled Newlands first name B’ob, people might think he was an Arab. maybe even a Muslim. ;-)
I just took Fleming’s intelligence test and got the apostrophe question correct. That Newland is a hell of a tutor. :)
B’ob’s da man, Porter. i wish the old Blogmore site was still up. The things we could show you.
For a most surprising and excellent piece on separation of church and state, watch Rev Barry Lynn, attorney/pastor on his 25 year fight. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-12-29/rev-barry-lynn-god-and-government-rebroadcast
BCB seems to be saying we should never adopt labels beyond “sometimes,” as in, “Sometimes I agree with liberatarians, sometimes I agree with Christians, and sometimes, I agree with both.” It’s hard to wage war on folks you can’t label and attack with absolute certainty.
Porter, thank you for that excellent example of why trusting the free market runs counter to Christianity. Leave the market to its own devices, as libertarians would, and we end up with more sickness and premature death. If Christians want a war, why don’t they wage war against a force so demonstrably inimical to their beliefs?