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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
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Shortforbob

Courting the evangelicals

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Simply sitting down with Robertson, of course, doesn’t mean Trump (or his handlers) believes such a theology. Yet by embracing the optics — Trump welcoming the idea that being “prayed over” serves as a rhetorical countervailing force to an FBI investigation — Trump and his handlers are dog-whistling. By appealing not just to his evangelical base but to a theological, even apocalyptic reading of history, and Trump’s role in it, Trump is not merely legitimizing alternative facts but, more dangerously, writing alternative sacred history. He is cast a religious martyr, or someone who, though assailed on (in their view, bogus) legal or circumstantial grounds will be vindicated through divine favor.

***************

But this week, Trump has gone even further, essentially creating a double narrative of his Russia troubles. Rather than legitimizing himself legally, he is legitimizing himself spiritually. He paints himself as a victim of “fake news,” one for whom public photo ops of prayer meld without distinction into condemnations of the mainstream media. Trump’s choice to be interviewed by Robertson at such a politically delicate time plays neatly into that narrative.

Trump’s bold embrace of certain evangelical leaders — and his implicit legitimization of their philosophy — may be more troubling than it first appears. By cleaving his audience so neatly into a dichotomy of “fake news” and “honest Christians,” Trump is signaling to his evangelical supporters that the crisis of his presidency is not simply another entry into political history, but a step toward the second coming of Jesus Christ.

**************

In other words, Robertson’s worldview helps explain Trump — as well as Trump’s chaotic relationship with Russia and with the press. By placing Trump’s scandal in a wider apocalyptic context, Robertson creates a sense of logic to Trump’s behavior and potential scandals. Whether they agree with Robertson’s views, observers are invited to do more than dismiss Trump’s waning popularity, or potential collusion, as “nothingburgers,” because of how they fit into his broader context.

In this case, Trump’s decline, in some respects, is considered a good thing: as evidence of a divine hand in the world. If Trump is under attack by the liberal media, he’s just playing into some evangelicals’ interpretations of biblical ideas of the good king whose circumstances are against him. He’s the “suffering servant” of the Book of Isaiah. We can see this dynamic, too, in the tweets of those who visited the White House on Monday — like pastor Jack Graham, who likewise cast his presence at the White House in the language of spiritual warfare.

*************

Yet in both Protestant and Catholic circles, some — including representatives of Pope Francis — are wary of this kind of rhetoric. In an article last month by two allies of Pope Francis, the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa in La Civiltà Cattolica, both warned against an easy binary division of politics or religion “that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil.” Referring to apocalyptic evangelicals, they write:

“Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses...And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight).

Such a perspective can be dangerous. It raises questions like, if the world is doomed, why should we care about the niceties of Trump’s health care policy? while transforming the mucky business of politics into an apocalyptic blockbuster: a thrilling “good and evil” battle that Trump’s base can get behind. And, more unnerving still, it could legitimize violence in defense of Trump’s wavering presidency.

This isn’t necessarily Trump’s conscious doing. It’s the (Catholic) Steve Bannon, after all — with a tendency toward apocalyptic narratives and inclination to stoke absolutism — who seems a more likely architect of such a strategy. In fact, that’s why he’s called out specifically in La Civiltà Cattolica’s text.

But whoever is behind it, the seemingly “family-friendly” optics of Trump’s newfound religiosity are far more unsettling than they are conciliatory. After all, the only way to go from here is apocalypse.

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How does a man who so regularly breaks the Ten Commandments continue to gain support of alleged Christians?

Just today he was coveting a wife!!

he worships  the dollar before God.

 

 

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I would give anything to be one of those people laying hands on POTUS..........so I could reach out and thouroughly ruffle and mess up the cunt's hair.

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7 minutes ago, Happy said:

I would give anything to be one of those people laying hands on POTUS..........so I could reach out and thouroughly ruffle and mess up the cunt's hair.

Wear gloves.

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Better a sinner than someone who disrespects you?

Republicans like to whine about how little the democrats done for blacks (yet get their votes) but a similar argument is what have democrats done to attract evangelicals?  Would you vote for someone who thinks you worship a flying spaghetti monster?

Both sides picks their 'core' constituents.  In some cases, that leaves chunks of people with the choice of not voting at all or picking someone who at least doesn't piss on them as much as the other politician.

 

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1 minute ago, cmilliken said:

Better a sinner than someone who disrespects you?

Republicans like to whine about how little the democrats done for blacks (yet get their votes) but a similar argument is what have democrats done to attract evangelicals?

Would you vote for someone who thinks you worship a flying spaghetti monster? 

 

Courting their votes means abandoning science for creationism.   Noah disliked dinosaurs.    Geology is wrong, unless you are looking for oil.  That kind of education,

courting their votes means environmentalism is wasting gods resources, they are all supposed to be used up by the second coming.

Courting their votes means Israel must be aided to the great holy war, so Jesus will ride in on his white horse saving the reborn,

Courting their votes eliminates birth control and sex education. 

Joseph was a carpenter, Peter a fisherman.   Why would a good Christian bother with education anyway?

Some votes are too expensive.   If you have to become a far right Republican like Pence, in order  to defeat Trump, why bother?

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That photo looks like Trump's some sort of sacrifice..sacrifice trump for Pence?

Maybe I'm just not used to seeing such public displays of weird religious practice..we don't do that shit publicly to our leaders.

Ugh

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11 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

Better a sinner than someone who disrespects you?

Republicans like to whine about how little the democrats done for blacks (yet get their votes) but a similar argument is what have democrats done to attract evangelicals?  Would you vote for someone who thinks you worship a flying spaghetti monster?

Both sides picks their 'core' constituents.  In some cases, that leaves chunks of people with the choice of not voting at all or picking someone who at least doesn't piss on them as much as the other politician.

 

The Democrats don't go after Evangelicals because so many of their core beliefs are repulsive to us. Would you expect the Democratic part to embraced forced birth, stripping homosexuals of rights, teacher led prayer in schools, etc. etc.?

Not a chance. The mindset of most of them is WAY too far off to be compromised.

And you need to sort the FSM thing. No one thinks Evangelicals believe that. Many just think the FSM creation myth deserves equal time with the Christian creation myth, if you are going to teach those sort of fables in school.

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19 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

That photo looks like Trump's some sort of sacrifice..sacrifice trump for Pence?

Maybe I'm just not used to seeing such public displays of weird religious practice..we don't do that shit publicly to our leaders.

Ugh

 

Maybe they're just praying he's not such a doofus?   :)

"Please dear God, make this man not such a dick - amen"

 

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13 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

The Democrats don't go after Evangelicals because so many of their core beliefs are repulsive to us. Would you expect the Democratic part to embraced forced birth, stripping homosexuals of rights, teacher led prayer in schools, etc. etc.?

Not a chance. The mindset of most of them is WAY too far off to be compromised.

And you need to sort the FSM thing. No one thinks Evangelicals believe that. Many just think the FSM creation myth deserves equal time with the Christian creation myth, if you are going to teach those sort of fables in school.

There ya go.  So they can support Trump or stay home.

The FSM was just a metaphor for deriding their beliefs, not literal.

 

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5 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

 

Maybe they're just praying he's not such a doofus?   :)

"Please dear God, make this man not such a dick - amen"

 

Far more likely they're "preying" for Trumps impeachment so brother Pence gets to be the grand poobah . 

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19 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

How does a man who so regularly breaks the Ten Commandments continue to gain support of alleged Christians?

Just today he was coveting a wife!!

he worships  the dollar before God.

 

 

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.   H.L. Mencken

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Fairly brutal takedown of the Veep. Pretty well summarizes my feelings about Pence. It goes on to lambaste Ryan along the same lines.

 

From The NY Times opinion section https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/opinion/trumps-mike-pence-evangelicals.html

 

Trump’s Pious and Dangerous Enablers

Timothy Egan JULY 14, 2017

Excerpt -

[Pat] Robertson is not the most despicable of Trump’s enablers. For that, you’re probably thinking of Sean Hannity. No, it goes beyond the safe spaces in broadcasting. The most odious of those who are letting Trump drag America into the gutter include Vice President Mike Pence, the leaders in Congress and the pious shepherds of a white evangelical community that continues to give an awful man a pass for every awful thing he does.

Pence is the choirboy who leaves the room when the nasty boys take over, and then helps clean up later. I’ll grant him this: I cannot see Pence hanging out with that gang of thugs, castoffs and oligarchs who surrounded Trump as they ogled beauty queens a few years ago, with the future president dispensing advice on how to write up a really cheap pre-nup.

Pence has said he would never dine alone with a woman who is not his wife, which raises questions about how he would handle a diplomatic dinner with Angela Merkel. If only Pence’s probity extended to his view of the man he works for. Through every degrading statement, every Oval Office insult, every one of the more than 500 demonstrable lies told (so far) by this president, Pence has remained silent or defended the offender.

Like other Trump sycophants, he had insisted that there was no evidence that the 2016 Republican campaign colluded with Russia to affect the outcome of the election. And once the evidence of collusion with a foreign power came to life in billboard-level proof, and the lying about that evidence was exposed for what it is, Pence said not a peep.

This is because he is “not focused on the stories about the campaign,” said his spokesman, Mark Lotter. More likely, Pence is waiting for the gang that can’t collude straight to drop even more damning evidence into the special counsel’s lap — enough to make him president.

 

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7 hours ago, Sean said:

Fairly brutal takedown of the Veep. Pretty well summarizes my feelings about Pence. It goes on to lambaste Ryan along the same lines.

 

From The NY Times opinion section https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/opinion/trumps-mike-pence-evangelicals.html

 

Trump’s Pious and Dangerous Enablers

Timothy Egan JULY 14, 2017

Excerpt -

[Pat] Robertson is not the most despicable of Trump’s enablers. For that, you’re probably thinking of Sean Hannity. No, it goes beyond the safe spaces in broadcasting. The most odious of those who are letting Trump drag America into the gutter include Vice President Mike Pence, the leaders in Congress and the pious shepherds of a white evangelical community that continues to give an awful man a pass for every awful thing he does.

Pence is the choirboy who leaves the room when the nasty boys take over, and then helps clean up later. I’ll grant him this: I cannot see Pence hanging out with that gang of thugs, castoffs and oligarchs who surrounded Trump as they ogled beauty queens a few years ago, with the future president dispensing advice on how to write up a really cheap pre-nup.

Pence has said he would never dine alone with a woman who is not his wife, which raises questions about how he would handle a diplomatic dinner with Angela Merkel. If only Pence’s probity extended to his view of the man he works for. Through every degrading statement, every Oval Office insult, every one of the more than 500 demonstrable lies told (so far) by this president, Pence has remained silent or defended the offender.

Like other Trump sycophants, he had insisted that there was no evidence that the 2016 Republican campaign colluded with Russia to affect the outcome of the election. And once the evidence of collusion with a foreign power came to life in billboard-level proof, and the lying about that evidence was exposed for what it is, Pence said not a peep.

This is because he is “not focused on the stories about the campaign,” said his spokesman, Mark Lotter. More likely, Pence is waiting for the gang that can’t collude straight to drop even more damning evidence into the special counsel’s lap — enough to make him president.

 

Here's the deal, based on the order of succession:

Trump - Idiocracy

If he goes down...

Pence - The Handmaid's Tale

If he goes town too...

Paul Ryan - The Hunger Games

So Orrin Hatch is really our only hope for some kind of sanity.

Because you remember...Betsy Devos an Ben "Food Pyramids" Carson are on the list too.

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They pretty much all look like they're trying to push a log out their asses....

This is what happens when your bowels get impacted.....

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On 7/15/2017 at 7:22 PM, cmilliken said:

There ya go.  So they can support Trump or stay home.

The FSM was just a metaphor for deriding their beliefs, not literal.

 

They had at least one other option. That lady who said, "the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking."

I don't recall anyone deriding her ridiculous notion that the Bible is any better than the sacred text of the FSM religion.

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12 minutes ago, Sean said:

Religion is the bane of mankind. 

I use to believe that.  I now believe that humans are hard wired to believe in something.  People need to feel that they're part of something and they need to have some sort of answers to how they fit in the world. Whether it's the cult of Jesus, or Mohamed, or Mao Zedong, or Gaia, or the mighty iGod, people will fill that part of their lives with something.  It would be nice if everyone could achieve some inner enlightenment and not need that itch scratched but that's just not the case for most people.

Religion can be ok but it can be manipulated, like anything else.  At least is has the advantages of having been vetted over the centuries.  That's why even though I'm not religious, I try and be respectful of people who are.  I'll still try and lobby my position and try and advocate against things I think are bad.  Fanaticism is bad in all forms.

 

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20 minutes ago, Sean said:

Religion is the bane of mankind. 

You've risen to a point where you're self-sufficiency doesn't require the behest of divine intervention.

There's a lot of people that only own their faith. They don't have the things you do

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6 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

I use to believe that.  I now believe that humans are hard wired to believe in something.  People need to feel that they're part of something and they need to have some sort of answers to how they fit in the world. Whether it's the cult of Jesus, or Mohamed, or Mao Zedong, or Gaia, or the mighty iGod, people will fill that part of their lives with something.  It would be nice if everyone could achieve some inner enlightenment and not need that itch scratched but that's just not the case for most people.

Religion can be ok but it can be manipulated, like anything else.  At least is has the advantages of having been vetted over the centuries.  That's why even though I'm not religious, I try and be respectful of people who are.  I'll still try and lobby my position and try and advocate against things I think are bad.  Fanaticism is bad in all forms.

 

Can be? Has been for eons. History is littered with examples, few of them good. 

Mankind would be far better served if all that intellectual and emotional energy was redirected to something useful. 

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18 minutes ago, Sean said:

Can be? Has been for eons. History is littered with examples, few of them good. 

Mankind would be far better served if all that intellectual and emotional energy was redirected to something useful. 

It might be but it isn't.  History is littered with all kids of examples of articles of faith - some religious, some not -  taken horrific extremes.  Religion is just one of the better documented.  Even things like science get manipulated into 'eugenics' movements. I wish people could find some sort of inner peace and enlightenment.  History has shown that doesn't seem to happen.  Some leaders "find followers" but I believe followers are genetically programmed to seek out leaders.  And most people are followers.

Mankind might well be better served if that energy was directed at something useful.  And, in some cases, it HAS been directed at something useful.  The enlightenment was caused by religion - the desire for every family to have it's own bible - and that lead to the proliferation of everything from the printing press to eyeglasses to telescopes.

It's cognitive bias to only focus on the bad stuff.

 

<edit - added proliferation - the purist will argue the technology obviously existed in some form earlier>

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I can understand how the mysteries of nature begged for explanation in ages past. But now that humans have been "enlightened", one would think we would no longer need imagined sky fairies to sustain us. 

That image of all those pastors "laying on hands" was cringeworthy. 

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I'm reminded of Bill Clinton's bible. It seemed whenever he got in trouble he pulled out the bible and went to church.  Trump doesn't walk the walk so he needs photo ops like this.... It's borrowed morality.

2urnghj.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Dog said:

I'm reminded of Bill Clinton's bible. It seemed whenever he got in trouble he pulled out the bible and went to church.  Trump doesn't walk the walk so he needs photo ops like this.... It's borrowed morality.

2urnghj.jpg

Well, anything that keeps at least one of Bill's hands busy would be a major influence in her life, so now I can see why she said what I quoted above.

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18 minutes ago, Sean said:

I can understand how the mysteries of nature begged for explanation in ages past. But now that humans have been "enlightened", one would think we would no longer need imagined sky fairies to sustain us. 

That image of all those pastors "laying on hands" was cringeworthy. 

We're no closer to the understanding the origins of our existence than we ever were.

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1 hour ago, cmilliken said:

I use to believe that.  I now believe that humans are hard wired to believe in something.  People need to feel that they're part of something and they need to have some sort of answers to how they fit in the world. Whether it's the cult of Jesus, or Mohamed, or Mao Zedong, or Gaia, or the mighty iGod, people will fill that part of their lives with something.  It would be nice if everyone could achieve some inner enlightenment and not need that itch scratched but that's just not the case for most people.

Religion can be ok but it can be manipulated, like anything else.  At least is has the advantages of having been vetted over the centuries.  That's why even though I'm not religious, I try and be respectful of people who are.  I'll still try and lobby my position and try and advocate against things I think are bad.  Fanaticism is bad in all forms.

 

Why does everyone forget about Buddhism..?

No one ever picks on Buddhists....mumble mumble mumble

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28 minutes ago, Sean said:

I can understand how the mysteries of nature begged for explanation in ages past. But now that humans have been "enlightened", one would think we would no longer need imagined sky fairies to sustain us. 

In essence, that question itself led me to explore 'why' and has lead to my personal understanding - which may of course be bullshit.  I put it out there so that people can show me where I'm wrong.

 

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1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

Why does everyone forget about Buddhism..?

No one ever picks on Buddhists....mumble mumble mumble

My daughter is a closet - Buddhist :)  I"ll ask her.

As odd coincidences go, my closet Buddhist feminist daughter was at a 3-day metal fest in Chicago crowd surfing to Slayer.  She did send me a text saying 'This is pretty sexist but it's a lot of fun!"

 

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Okay.

A xenophobic revival of Buddhist nationalism in Burma and Sri Lanka has threatened Muslim minorities. Violence against the minority group has resulted in hundreds of Muslims dead and thousands displaced from their homes, languishing in refugee camps.

http://studies.aljazeera.net/en/reports/2016/09/muslim-minorities-peril-rise-buddhist-violence-asia-160908090547506.html

 

 

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No stupid, not OK..we're talking about the Philosophy not Buddhist nationalism..though we know all about your "rescue touism" in Myanmar.  

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6 hours ago, cmilliken said:

It might be but it isn't.  History is littered with all kids of examples of articles of faith - some religious, some not -  taken horrific extremes.  Religion is just one of the better documented.  Even things like science get manipulated into 'eugenics' movements. I wish people could find some sort of inner peace and enlightenment.  History has shown that doesn't seem to happen.  Some leaders "find followers" but I believe followers are genetically programmed to seek out leaders.  And most people are followers.

Mankind might well be better served if that energy was directed at something useful.  And, in some cases, it HAS been directed at something useful.  The enlightenment was caused by religion - the desire for every family to have it's own bible - and that lead to the proliferation of everything from the printing press to eyeglasses to telescopes.

It's cognitive bias to only focus on the bad stuff.

 

<edit - added proliferation - the purist will argue the technology obviously existed in some form earlier>

 

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Do you mean the instrument that led to Galileo being brought in front of the Inquisition and being convicted of heresy.  That telescope?  Yep,a clear win for religion there.

As regards the theoretical religious (papal) drive for "a bible in every home" leading to Gutenberg's efforts on moveable type....uhm, no.  First of all, there weren't all that many who could read the bible.  Only the elite were literate and they greatly preferred an illiterate peasantry (to whack away at crops and march off to war), and second, the Catholic church maintained the bible and religious rituals in latin for centuries to maintain their obscurantist approach to the religious mysteries.  But, as a means to reduce the work load of the illuminating friars in the Scriptorium, yes the church did promote that.  What with the friar shortage and all, post plague.  

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Straight out of Wikipedia.

"The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the first major book printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. It marked the start of the "Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of the printed book in the West. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities,[1]"

That's absolutely what was making Gutenberg money and lead to the widespread expansion of his technology.  That lead directly to people wanting to actually read the written word.  It always starts out with the first adopters - the people who had money and COULD read wanted their own copy of the most universal book in western society.

http://glassescrafter.com/information/history-of-eyeglasses.html

During the 15th century, eyeglasses were in popular demand. Peddlers selling eyeglasses were common on the streets of Western Europe. Demand increased significantly after the appearance of the first newspaper, The London Press, in 1665. The possession of eyeglasses became an indication of intelligence, status, and wealth. This view was shared by the people of Europe, China, Italy, and Spain.

This lead to an increase in skill and manufacturing quality.  Glass making and the field of optics which directly resulted in better telescopes - used primarily for navigation - and later to microscopes. Yes, Galileo's telescope (built in 1609) is a direct result of the widespread proliferation of glasses and lens crafting which was a response to wealthy people wanting to read written words and show off their sophistication.  http://galileo.rice.edu/bio/narrative_6.html

You've completely misunderstood my comments if you took it that the CATHOLIC CHURCH created those inventions - they didn't.  But the religious masses created the demand for those products which then spread.  There's very cool books on these sorts of 'this begat that' kinda proliferations.  Kinda like porn and the internet for the 1400's.

 

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In what way is Gropenfuhrer a Christian? Anything? Is he expending a scintilla of effort to follow Jesus?? 

Cite?? 

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/may/what-to-make-of-donald-trumps-soul.html

While we would never presume to judge another’s heart, we are deeply troubled by what is observable about Trump’s spiritual health. Aside from his ethical breaches and questionable character, his attitude toward the sacred has been confused and cavalier. He says he “reveres” Jesus not for his death and resurrection on our behalf, but mainly for his “bravery and courage.” In Iowa, he spoke of the Lord’s Supper, saying, “I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker.” He is reputed to have said he has no need of forgiveness, but he qualified that in an interview with Cal Thomas: “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness.” He fundamentally sees himself not as a sinner in need of mercy but as an “honorable man.”

 

TL:DR:  Evangelicals are not that thrilled with him.

 

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44 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

In what way is Gropenfuhrer a Christian? Anything? Is he expending a scintilla of effort to follow Jesus?? 

Cite?? 

You shall know a tree by it's fruit.

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13 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/may/what-to-make-of-donald-trumps-soul.html

While we would never presume to judge another’s heart, we are deeply troubled by what is observable about Trump’s spiritual health. Aside from his ethical breaches and questionable character, his attitude toward the sacred has been confused and cavalier. He says he “reveres” Jesus not for his death and resurrection on our behalf, but mainly for his “bravery and courage.” In Iowa, he spoke of the Lord’s Supper, saying, “I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker.” He is reputed to have said he has no need of forgiveness, but he qualified that in an interview with Cal Thomas: “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness.” He fundamentally sees himself not as a sinner in need of mercy but as an “honorable man.”

 

TL:DR:  Evangelicals are not that thrilled with him.

 

They probably considered the Oval Office thing an intervention.

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10 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I use to believe that.  I now believe that humans are hard wired to believe in something.  People need to feel that they're part of something and they need to have some sort of answers to how they fit in the world. Whether it's the cult of Jesus, or Mohamed, or Mao Zedong, or Gaia, or the mighty iGod, people will fill that part of their lives with something.  It would be nice if everyone could achieve some inner enlightenment and not need that itch scratched but that's just not the case for most people.

Religion can be ok but it can be manipulated, like anything else.  At least is has the advantages of having been vetted over the centuries.  That's why even though I'm not religious, I try and be respectful of people who are.  I'll still try and lobby my position and try and advocate against things I think are bad.  Fanaticism is bad in all forms.

 

i used to think that as well - that thinking has evolved.

our brains seem wired to explain cause/effect. Maybe from when a rustling bush might have meant a tiger about to eat you, or possible dinner in the form of a small animal. We're damn good at putting cause/effect together and coming up with an explanation, even if it's wrong. I can guarantee very few things, but one thing that is clear is that ALL religions are wrong. the history is wrong, the logic is wrong, most of the lessons are wrong. 

But it seems part of the human condition to need to KNOW. it's damn dark where we're all going. the old "what's the point of it all" question. It's hard to say "I don't know" and just leave it at that. The most influential quote for me that I've heard, is along the lines of the following - and I don't know who to attribute it to:

"I don't know what happens after I die, but the universe existed for some 13-14 billion years without me, and I'm not concerned about that, so why should I be concerned about what happens after?"

 

Something like that anyway.

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1 hour ago, Dog said:

They probably considered the Oval Office thing an intervention.

Or an exorcism.

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

i used to think that as well - that thinking has evolved.

our brains seem wired to explain cause/effect. Maybe from when a rustling bush might have meant a tiger about to eat you, or possible dinner in the form of a small animal. We're damn good at putting cause/effect together and coming up with an explanation, even if it's wrong. I can guarantee very few things, but one thing that is clear is that ALL religions are wrong. the history is wrong, the logic is wrong, most of the lessons are wrong. 

But it seems part of the human condition to need to KNOW. it's damn dark where we're all going. the old "what's the point of it all" question. It's hard to say "I don't know" and just leave it at that. The most influential quote for me that I've heard, is along the lines of the following - and I don't know who to attribute it to:

"I don't know what happens after I die, but the universe existed for some 13-14 billion years without me, and I'm not concerned about that, so why should I be concerned about what happens after?"

 

Something like that anyway.

There has been a lot of research done on human cognition, trying to discern why we think the way we do. It's a complex question, and we've evolved from a very different place than our forbears were when they came down from the trees and started using tools. There are...artifacts...in how our minds work, leftover vestigial abilities and flaws in our cognition. Funny things we do, because thought, intelligence and memory are sloppy processes, and imprecise. I tend to think that faith in the unknown tends to fall into that category. A number of people's minds do not do well with the concept of "unknown", so they will accept an explanation, even if it is neither rational or logical, over the not knowing. Whether this is hard wiring, nurturing, or most likely some combination of the too is still subject to much debate.

This is a fantastic book on the topic, on how reason often fails us. Even those that pride ourselves on being primarily driven by reason, we still screw it up. How the human mind has evolved to do things like detect patterns as a defense mechanism, but this capability can deceive us with false positives. Things like that. Unfortunately it's older, and not on the kindle. It uses as one example the idea of "hot streaks" as we perceive them. A basketballer that shoots 60% from the floor over the course of the season may have some days where he hits ten in a row, others where he misses ten in a row. In our minds we'll think he is on a "streak" or a "slump", but the reality is when he steps on the floor and shoots at the net...about 60% of the time he hits it.

howweknow.jpg.94d3bdbb47a23d56d6b5f62cf54904c8.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/How-Know-What-Isnt-Fallibility/dp/0029117062/ref=pd_sim_14_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0029117062&pd_rd_r=Q9QKKQECQHFYR5E1XSD1&pd_rd_w=ZTyPZ&pd_rd_wg=2N2zI&psc=1&refRID=Q9QKKQECQHFYR5E1XSD1

 

And this is a classic, which deals more with science versus myth and fallacy. A little less on human cognition.

51G1EqfwiqL.jpg

 

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Since we're sharing references :)

http://www.pbs.org/the-brain-with-david-eagleman/home/

This was a nice series on PBS.  Six episodes - a bit repetitive but talks a lot about how the brain constructs the world and model fits accordingly.

 

I also enjoy most of the stuff by Oliver Sachs https://www.amazon.com/Move-Life-Oliver-Sacks/dp/0385352549

I was truly sad when he died.

 

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4 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

He has his own gay fella?? 

I wouldn't begin to speculate..... Judge not, for you shall be judged according to your own measure.

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From NY Times opinion section -

Why I’m Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/why-im-leaving-the-southern-baptist-convention.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=

Excerpt -

 

By LAWRENCE WARE

JULY 17, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first time I was called a nigger to my face was by a fellow camper at a Southern Baptist Convention retreat near Oklahoma City. I was 13, and it was 1995. Devastated, I complained to a counselor who suggested I pray for the ability to turn the other cheek. Since then, I have done just that and more: I’ve been an ordained minister in the convention for almost a decade.

But I’ve had enough. Today I am officially renouncing my ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant body, with about 15 million members, and the world’s largest Baptist denomination.

My reasoning is simple: As a black scholar of race and a minister who is committed to social justice, I can no longer be part of an organization that is complicit in the disturbing rise of the so-called alt-right, whose members support the abhorrent policies of Donald Trump and whose troubling racial history and current actions reveal a deep commitment to white supremacy.

 

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9 hours ago, Sean said:

From NY Times opinion section -

Why I’m Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/why-im-leaving-the-southern-baptist-convention.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=

Excerpt -

 

By LAWRENCE WARE

JULY 17, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first time I was called a nigger to my face was by a fellow camper at a Southern Baptist Convention retreat near Oklahoma City. I was 13, and it was 1995. Devastated, I complained to a counselor who suggested I pray for the ability to turn the other cheek. Since then, I have done just that and more: I’ve been an ordained minister in the convention for almost a decade.

But I’ve had enough. Today I am officially renouncing my ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant body, with about 15 million members, and the world’s largest Baptist denomination.

My reasoning is simple: As a black scholar of race and a minister who is committed to social justice, I can no longer be part of an organization that is complicit in the disturbing rise of the so-called alt-right, whose members support the abhorrent policies of Donald Trump and whose troubling racial history and current actions reveal a deep commitment to white supremacy.

 

This is news?

Jokes about Baptist hypocrisy are standard fare south of the Mason-Dixon line. I'm surprised they'd ordain a black man in the first place. In fairness, I have to say that there some other denominations that are just as bad, but not on a large scale. There is a Methodist church down the road that passes out tracts saying Obama represents Satan and Federal law requires teaching homosexuality in grammar school.

-DSK

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9 hours ago, Sean said:

From NY Times opinion section -

Why I’m Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/why-im-leaving-the-southern-baptist-convention.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=

Excerpt -

 

By LAWRENCE WARE

JULY 17, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first time I was called a nigger to my face was by a fellow camper at a Southern Baptist Convention retreat near Oklahoma City. I was 13, and it was 1995. Devastated, I complained to a counselor who suggested I pray for the ability to turn the other cheek. Since then, I have done just that and more: I’ve been an ordained minister in the convention for almost a decade.

But I’ve had enough. Today I am officially renouncing my ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant body, with about 15 million members, and the world’s largest Baptist denomination.

My reasoning is simple: As a black scholar of race and a minister who is committed to social justice, I can no longer be part of an organization that is complicit in the disturbing rise of the so-called alt-right, whose members support the abhorrent policies of Donald Trump and whose troubling racial history and current actions reveal a deep commitment to white supremacy.

 

 

He is right.

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