HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » yallerdawg » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 107 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Heart of Dixie
Home country: USA
Current location: Montgomery Alabama
Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 14,153

Journal Archives

What evangelicals looked like before they entered the political fray

Source: WaPo, by Gregory Alan Thornbury

President Jimmy Carter and Larry Norman stand together during a White House event celebrating gospel music in September 1979. (Don Riggott/Larry Norman Estate)


Perhaps the high watermark of the Jesus Movement was “Explo ’72” in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl, where over 100,000 teenagers — dubbed “Jesus Freaks” by the media — crowded into the stadium to hear the evangelist Billy Graham preach and to listen to their favorite Christian musicians perform, chief among them being Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, the black gospel singer Andraé Crouch and Norman. Time magazine ran a cover story on the phenomenon as a leading national news item, calling Norman “the top solo artist in his field.” Life did the same and expressed fascination with this non-free-love, peace-loving and drug-free version of the hippies. Soon, Graham himself would feel burned by getting too close to Richard Nixon and naively defending the president before the truth about Watergate was known. From that point onward, the nation’s most famous preacher shied away from political jockeying, and generally stuck close to his core message, which was basically, “God loves you. Jesus died for you.”

Evangelicals had a social conscience too, though, in the 1970s, and, for a brief moment, showed promise as a group of people who now had positions of leadership in America. Newsweek dubbed 1976, “The Year of the Evangelical.” Jimmy Carter, a Baptist Sunday school teacher, professed a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” and was elected president. Graham broadcast his nationally televised “crusades,” held in packed-out stadiums, and was a guest on “The Dick Cavett Show.” Author Francis Schaeffer was so popular with college students that purportedly even rock stars like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page were reading his books. By 1979, Bob Dylan made headlines by claiming he had become a “born again” follower of Jesus. The newly converted Dylan began attending church at the Vineyard fellowship, a Bible study that began, appropriately enough, in Norman’s living room.


Carter and Norman called upon evangelical churches to do something about poverty and protested institutional racism — messages they carried nationally but also in white conservative churches in particular. But when Carter’s presidency faltered, Ronald Reagan found a different cadre of Christians with whom to share common cause and rock the vote. The relatively apolitical Graham was overshadowed by new voices in the “Moral Majority.” Television evangelists such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson gained ascendance. Fundamentalist preachers such as Jimmy Swaggart and James Robison then began to have the ear of the White House, and both reviled Christian rock music in public — with Swaggart famously calling Norman’s music “spiritual fornication.”


Within Christian circles, Hollywood, rock and roll and anything that sounded “liberal” were now the enemy in the minds of the televangelists and their legions of followers. The culture wars proceeded apace, and they kept the faithful mobilized. Subsequent evangelicals didn’t get contracts with secular record labels, as Norman once did. And if they did manage to do so, they stayed silent about their religious views. So increasingly evangelicals doubled down on building their own record companies, publishing houses, and increasingly, their own subculture. And the only time they poked their heads above their own wall was to hand out a voter’s guide or endorse a political candidate. By the time University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter coined the term “culture wars” in 1991, the die had been cast. No longer could evangelicals be a part of the cultural mainstream, and eventually they would come to be known in the mind’s eye of the public as little more than the Republican Party, now Donald Trump’s party, for the foreseeable future.

Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/20/what-evangelicals-looked-like-before-they-entered-the-political-fray/

Historian Michael Beschloss reminds us:



"13 hardened Democrats"


Known by the company you keep

Faith-Based 'I Can Only Imagine' Soars With $17.1 Million Launch

Source: Variety, by Dave McNary

Roadside Attractions-Lionsgate’s faith-based “I Can Only Imagine” has crushed early box office forecasts with a surprisingly strong $17.1 million at 1,629 locations in North America.

Recent estimates for “I Can Only Imagine” had been in the $2 million-$8 million range. It rang up the top per-site average by far among this weekend’s wide release movies with $10,476, and it notched an A+ CinemaScore among patrons.

Budgeted at just $7 million, “I Can Only Imagine” tells the story of Bart Millard, the leader of Christian rock group MercyMe, and his conception of “I Can Only Imagine,” the best-selling Christian single of all time. J. Michael Finley stars as Millard with Dennis Quaid as his father in the film from directors Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, who helmed 2015’s “Woodlawn” and 2014 “Mom’s Night Out.”

The pre-Easter corridor is often used to launch faith-based films. Sony will open “Paul, Apostle of Christ” on March 23, while Pureflix’s threequel “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” will debut March 30, the start of Easter weekend. The first two “God’s Not Dead” movies grossed a total of $81.5 million. Lionsgate’s “The Shack” was the top faith-themed film of 2017, with $57 million at the domestic box office after its March 3 debut.

More at: http://variety.com/2018/film/news/i-can-only-imagine-box-office-faith-based-film-1202729700/

Film Review: ‘I Can Only Imagine’

Fans of the title song already know how “I Can Only Imagine” turns out — that is, what happens once MercyMe front man Bart Millard writes the lyrics to the track that will launch their debut album to triple-platinum status. But even newbies (such as this critic) may be impressed to learn how Millard (embodied by musical theater actor J. Michael Finley) managed to give so many Christians the words to express a love they find more powerful than any earthly romance: the anticipation they feel for the day when they will get to meet their heavenly father.

The Population Bomb Has Been Defused

Many of us grew up with and heard for decades how the inevitable overpopulation of our planet would kill us all.

Then, something else happened.

The lesson here? Buck up, kids! "Something else" is never predicted, but quite often happens!

Source: Bloomberg, by Noah Smith

Some of the most spectacularly wrong predictions in history have been made by those who claim that overpopulation is going to swamp the planet. Thomas Malthus, a British economist writing in the late 1700s, is the most famous of these. Extrapolating past trends into the future, he predicted that population growth would inevitably swamp available food resources, leading to mass starvation. That didn’t happen -- we continued to develop new technologies that let us stay ahead of the reaper.

In 1968, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb,” warning that unchecked population growth would lead to mass starvation in the 1970s. He was just as wrong as Malthus. Global population did surge, but food production managed to keep up.

Of course, it’s worth noting that lower fertility won't immediately defuse the population bomb. The number of people in a country continues to rise for years after young people stop having lots of kids -- a phenomenon known as population momentum. Thus, the United Nations continues to project that global population will rise from about 7.6 billion today to more than 11 billion by the end of the century:

Nor will lower global population growth mean the end of all demographic problems. Much of sub-Saharan Africa will be overflowing with people for decades to come, and many of those people will want to migrate to wealthy, aging countries in search of better economic opportunities, or to escape wars. That migration pressure will be a touchy subject for many nations, as the recent refugee wave in Europe has shown.

But it’s looking like the dire predictions of Malthus and Ehrlich will never come to pass. Unlike other animals, humanity has voluntarily limited its reproduction. The population bomb has probably been defused.

Read it all at: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-16/decline-in-world-fertility-rates-lowers-risks-of-mass-starvation

We're in the midst of an apocalypse. And that's a good thing.

Reminder: Christianity ain't what it used to be!

Source: WaPO, by Nadia Bolz-Weber


An apocalypse is a good thing, and I’m delighted to welcome you to this one.

In Greek, the word apocalypse means to uncover, to peel away, to show what’s underneath. That’s what this country has been experiencing in the past six months. There has not been a sudden uptick in sexual misconduct and assault in our country, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are simply exposing what was already there. The reality that some men comment on, threaten, masturbate in front of, intimidate and assault female bodies is finally being brought out of the dark ubiquity of women’s personal experience and into the light of public discourse. The male domination at the center of the sexual harassment issue — how those in positions of power (usually, but not always, men) have used that power to sexually gratify themselves at the expense of those who are subordinate to them (usually, but not always, women) — is being revealed apocalyptically in prime time.


The heresy is this: With all the trappings of Christianity behind us, those who seek to justify or maintain dominance over another group of people have historically used the Bible to prove that that domination was not actually an abuse of power at the expense of others, but indeed was part of “God’s plan.” And there you have the appearance of Christianity (Bible verses and God-talk) contradicting its essence (love God, and love your neighbor as yourself).

Sexual harassment and misconduct persist in the United States for a reason.

The venom of domination runs deeply in us as a country and a people. And it does so because the fangs that delivered it were given not the devil’s name, but God’s. When the subordination of women is established as God’s will, when slavery is established as God’s will, when discrimination against queer folks is established as God’s will, when the CEO of the National Rifle Association claims the right to buy a semiautomatic assault rifle is “not bestowed by man, but granted by God,” it delivers a poison that can infect the deepest parts of us. Because messages that are transmitted to us in God’s name embed far beneath the surface, all the way down to our original place, our createdness, our source code.


This is why I welcome our moment of uncovering; we need to see how deep the heresy of domination runs, and then remind one another that dominant powers are not ultimate powers. We Christians need to repent of our original sins, and see where we have embraced the appearance of Christianity only to reject its essence. This is not a new idea. Black Bible scholars, feminist and liberation theologians have done this work well and for decades now. So if those who came before looked to the Bible to justify their dominance then let us look to it to justify our dignity. It’s in there. Hebrew midwives who defy Pharaoh. Ethnic outsider women who insisted on their dignity. African eunuchs who knew where water was in a desert.

We must do this. The Bible, Christian theology and liturgy are too potent to be left to those who would use them, even unwittingly, to justify and protect their own dominance. And sometimes the origin of the harm can be the most powerful source of healing.

That’s how anti-venom works.

Read it all at:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/14/were-in-the-midst-of-an-apocalypse-and-thats-a-good-thing/

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

For November release!

The first film — one of a planned five in the expansion series — was hampered by its need to set up plot for the coming four films. But the newly released trailer seems to indicate that the second film will dive deeper into the main storyline, one Potter fans know well. And as a bonus, it’s taking us back to Hogwarts to meet up with a beloved character.


The song 'Rhiannon' was used in the closing credits of the HBO series "Here and Now."

Recorded in '76, Langley Schools Music Project.

Sometimes, you just got to say, "What the hell was that?" Then - down the rabbit hole you go.


President Trump's hotels made $151,470 in profit from doing business with foreign governments in 2017, the Trump Organization announced Friday.


Religion can't be used to justify workplace discrimination, court rules

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Source: NBC News, by Julie Moreau

This week saw two major developments in federal anti-discrimination law as it relates to LGBTQ workers and religious freedom. On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a transgender employee, who was fired after coming out to her boss, was unlawfully discriminated against. That same day, Lambda Legal filed an appeal in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a man whose employment offer was rescinded when his prospective employer learned of his sexual orientation.


In a 3-0 decision, the court sided with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] and transgender employee Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Detroit funeral home after she informed her employer that she was transgender and beginning her transition. The court ruled that Title VII protects trans workers and that an employer’s religious beliefs cannot be used to justify discrimination.


The same day the 6th Circuit ruled in favor of Stephens and the EEOC, Lambda Legal filed an appeal in the 8th Circuit on behalf of health care salesman Mark Horton, whose offer of employment at Midwest Geriatric Management (MGM) in Missouri was rescinded when his prospective employer learned of Horton’s sexual orientation. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal, said the owners of MGM rescinded the offer because they believed Horton’s sexual orientation did not conform to their faith.


With respect to potential opposition from the government, Gonzalez-Pagan said, “We’ll see what happens.”

"[The Department of Justice] has been rebuffed at every turn with how to apply anti-discrimination law," he said. "I think their political agenda has clouded their legal judgment and that is what has been demonstrated by these cases.”

Read it all at: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/religion-can-t-be-used-justify-workplace-discrimination-court-rules-n854971

The originator of separation of Church and State?

Madeleine L'Engle's Christianity was vital to "A Wrinkle in Time"

Source: Vox, by Tara Isabella Burton

This week, an adaptation of one of the most banned children’s books of all time, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, will hit movie theaters nationwide. The story follows Meg Murry, a moody but brilliant young girl who travels to another planet under the auspices of three mysterious supernatural beings to save both her long-lost physicist father and, later, her prodigy baby brother Charles Wallace.


For L’Engle, who died in 2007, the heart of Christianity was paradox. A vast unknowable God, who defied comprehension, was at the same time a fragile human being: the Jesus Christ who died on the cross. In her 1996 series of reflections, Penguins and Golden Calves, L’Engle wrote:

What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that [my belief] is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful being is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because a tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn.

In other words, L’Engle’s Christianity was about balancing seemingly impossible ideas — paradox — and discovering and maintaining faith, in spite of the seeming chaos of the surrounding world. It was about accepting both that God was bigger than the easy answers many people, including Christians, seek, and that the heart of Christianity lay, in some sense, in the love and vulnerability that were expressed when an almighty God became Jesus on earth.


Much more at: https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/3/8/17090084/a-wrinkle-in-time-faith-christianity-movie-madeleine-lengle

Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 107 Next »