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Christian Evangel. Minister Lambasts Christian Right Jesus Was a Liberal

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 05:38 PM
Original message
I am not a Christian probably because I was not brought up as one. Yet, because I was brought up in a country that is composed mostly of Christians, I have long been very interested in the subject and have read many books on it.

In my PERSONAL experience it seems that on average, those who claim to be Christian actually follow the tenets of that religion LESS than most of those who do not claim to be Christian. I find this observation not only interesting, but also very important, because millions of real Christians (who actually follow the teachings of Jesus) are being told by their hypocrite Christian leaders (who simply use Christianity to attain their own worldly ends) to vote Republican and many or most of them are doing just that. In other words, we are losing a huge voting block that is voting against their own moral values because they are simply too uninformed to know any better.

Yet, I have never felt confident arguing this point, since I am not a Christian myself, and since I have less familiarity with the Bible than the good majority of Christians. That is why I felt very gratified when I found this article, Wasnt Jesus a Liberal?, written by an evangelical Christian minister (Gary Vance), which expresses my views on this subject much better than I could ever express them myself, and with much more authority:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1019-24.htm


Most important, Vance makes the case that Jesus was a liberal:

Jesus was the ultimate liberal progressive revolutionary of all history. The conservative religious and social structure that He defied hated and crucified Him. They examined His life and did not like what they saw. He aligned Himself with the poor and the oppressed. He challenged the religious orthodoxy of His day. He advocated pacifism and loving our enemies. He liberated women and minorities from oppression. Jesus was the original Liberal. He was a progressive, and He was judged and hated for it.



Vance defends liberals against the onslaught of the Christian Right:

Liberalism has been under assault for years now. The battering of this grand political philosophy has altered the contemporary definition of liberal to the point that Conservatives use it as a profane word.


Then he goes on to define liberal right from Websters dictionary as:

a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of man, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for tolerance and freedom for the individual from arbitrary authority in all spheres of life


And then he documents the great achievements of progressive movements in our country

The labor movement of the early twentieth century was aided significantly when major Christian denominations got behind it. No average American would have a fair wage today if it werent for liberal Christians and labor activists. Liberal Christians and civil rights activists fought and still fight against conservative America for racial equality. Child labor laws were enacted because liberals fought for them. Medicare and Social Security exist today because of Liberalism. Bleeding heart liberals have long advocated for the homeless, the hungry, the less fortunate, and the disenfranchised. The women of America owe liberals a big thank you for their almost equal rights. Tree hugging liberals fight for clean air and water standards instead of favoring industrial polluters and short term profiteering that destroy Gods green earth.



Then he rebukes the Christian Right for their failure to live up to Christian ideals and for their hypocrisy first by noting that they:

refuse to acknowledge the long history of liberals who have labored for the betterment of society and the furthering of Gods Kingdom.


Then on conservative Republican policy:

Conservative Republican policies generally favor the wealthy and ignore the needs of the poor. Their policies are so often greed-driven, with no concern for the environmental or societal consequences for their exploitive actions.


And on Jesus response to the Christian Right of his day:

He rebuked the religious right of His day because they embraced the letter of the law instead of the Spirit. He loved sinners and called them to Himself. It was the self-righteous religionists that He rebuked and He called them hypocrites


And on Christian hypocrisy

I am glad that conservative Republican candidates advocate for the family and a few Christian issues, but we must quit pretending that they are the only ones that Christians should consider voting for. People should not call themselves pro-life if they are only anti-abortion and yet feel no twinge of conscience over the unfair application of capital punishment or wars fought for dubious motives. A true pro-life position cares just as passionately for the born as the un-born and views war as a last resort when all other options are exhausted.



Then, on the responsibilities of Christian voters

It has gotten to the point that moderate and liberal Christians are afraid to be open about their political leanings. Sadly, it even affects their conscience and choices as they enter the voting booth

Christian voters need to see that Gods heart breaks over more than just a few political and moral issues. It is time to take off our blinders and mourn for the sorry state of affairs that is American politics
Christians should look for candidates that will work for issues that are of importance to Christ and that can be tackled legislatively. Sadly, most of those causes have historically been opposed, ignored, and minimized by conservative Republican policy makers. They seem to dangle the moral issues carrot around election time. Then, even with a Republican controlled White House and Congress, prove themselves powerless to do anything about those issues when they convene to legislate. Issues such as eliminating poverty and homelessness in America, true equal rights for all citizens, environmental protection, a fair minimum wage, affordable health care, and lowering our infant mortality rate all go unattended. Thats just to name a few
I have some questions for the Christian Right. Why have you not held our current elected majority officials accountable for their failure to address the full spectrum of Christian issues? Why would you vote for them again? It is time for Christians of conscience to stand up to religious and political hypocrisy.



I feel that I can and should use the views expressed in this wonderful article when I argue this subject with the Christian right, and I think that they should be used by our political leaders as well. The DU and almost all Democrats are much more in line with real Christian values than is the Christian right. This point needs to be pounded home so that we can reclaim those Christian voters who share our values.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow. A great article.
I with the Church of Religious Science; while not technically a Christian, I honor the Christ Consciousness within.

It is very encouraging to me to see someone so effectively articulate what Jesus of Nazareth was all about.

That way, I can respond to those who have corrupted his message.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yes, I feel the same way about it
But I think that, more important than using it to respond to those who have corrupted his message, is to respond to those who have been misled by those who have corrupted his message. I think that those are the ones that we are more likely to reach.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. You're right (n/t).
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Maraya1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. The Course in Miracles was written by a woman in the 70's who
was told by this inner voice that it was Jesus and basically He was using her as a channel to fix all the corrupted messages He taught 2,500 years ago. Interesting that she was an atheist in the beginning and a psychologist. She also though she was going crazy when she started hearing the voice but her college suggested she write everything down. 2 years later the text was finished.

It is all about forgiveness, love and tolerance. I've gotten to the part where it explains how you cannot be truly free if you hold on to grievances.

Whether or not it is the real teachings of Jesus I don't care. It has helped me tremendously and every one I meet who has studied it seems to be very peaceful.

I am glad that some Christians are catching on to the real meaning of what Christianity is. I heard on MSNBC tonight in a special about evangelicals that some man wanted to kill and abortion doctor. It is hard to believe this man cannot see the con tradition in his beliefs.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Very interesting. I feel as you do, that to me it does not matter
whether or not the human values that we treasure are the teachings of Jesus or not.

But it certainly matters to a lot of Christians. I think that there are a lot of well meaning Christians out there who believe that they should vote Republican because they are told to do so by their hypocrite Christian leaders. If they understood what Bush's policies are, and what the policies are of our Republican Congress, I feel quite sure that millions of them would no longer vote Republican.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #17
51. I've read, The Course.
I had abandoned the church and Christianity altogether because I could not honestly state my belief in the Nicene Creed and because I felt Jesus' vision had been completely abandoned by the religion supposedly created by him, long ago.

The Course renewed my love for that vision of humanity delivered by a man who completely embraced our capacity to create whatever we desire: heaven or hell here on earth. In spite of the fact that there are men who wield religion and God as a means to disempower and control and exploit human beings, I know our power to deliver the peace and love and understanding we all want and need in our lives remains intact,...though many if not most are blind to that power.

I call that power, the Human Spirit. :hug:
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great article
yes, his points are well taken, and I would use it in any argument with someone about the role of Christianity and society. Just realize that the truly brain-washed fundy will ignore all logic and will, if pressed, even refute the words of Jesus or twist them around to make his point--been there, done that.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Yes, I realize that
And not only the truly brain-washed fundy, but the hypocrite fundy as well.

But if we can just reach a small percentage of them that will probably be enough to win a few more elections.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. The common thread among most religions, "The Golden Rule".
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. That's very nice n/t
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. That is a great
image! :)
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. The message is beautiful
and universal. It is, however, corrupted with those who twist some teachings to their own narrow minded purposes. The Golden Rule, if we only followed it, would make this world a true paradise. Sadly, it's the mischief makers and the arrogant and greedy who corrupt the true meaning of goodness.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. I agree with the corruption. n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. Exactly -- The hypocrites have to twist the message beyond recognition
It's the only way they can get sizable numbers of people to buy into their programs.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
23. HUMANISM AND ITS ASPIRATIONS- Humanist Manifesto III
Edited on Mon Dec-26-05 09:08 AM by IanDB1
HUMANISM AND ITS ASPIRATIONS
Humanist Manifesto III, a successor to the Humanist Manifesto of 1933*

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

The lifestance of Humanismguided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experienceencourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:

Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experienceeach subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.


Lifes fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of natures resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect natures integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

* Humanist Manifesto is a trademark of the American Humanist Association 2003 American Humanist Association

More:
http://www.americanhumanist.org/3/HumandItsAspirations....
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #23
38. That's excellent
I like to think that those are the values held by the Democratic Party as well.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
52. Oh, I love that!!!
:hug: Thank you. :hug: Thank you!!!
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. Only problem with this is, perhaps,
seperation of church and state. So perhaps they know Jesus was a liberal and trying to make do with seperation they take the opposite approach in politics :evilgrin:

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. I thought about that myself at first
But then it seemed to me that there really isn't anything in the article that advocates against the separation of church and state.

Where in the article do you feel that separation of church and state is a problem?
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. Not in the article - but here is my take on Jesus, et al
Edited on Mon Dec-26-05 02:54 PM by The Straight Story
More in the circular and sometimes confusing way people here and elsewhere on discussion boards will speak strongly in a near circular way on such issues.

To wit - the death penalty could be but one of many examples. If a governor came out and said he was stopping an execution and keeping them all on hold during his term because he believes it to be wrong how would we see this?
- The term belief comes into it - if it is one we agree with many would just say ok, cool.
- The issue of where the gov's beliefs come from would not be an issue, nor would what he does in his/her off time.
- and so on

IF the decision(s) were something a group does not like (and we could use death penalty again, or abortion, and so on) and the gov.
- Some might dig around to find out the religion they practice, and then be upset at them over that and complain how we cannot have religious people making decisions based on their beliefs.
- They may be labeled a fundie for having the 'balls' to say their beliefs are consistent in their life across the board. Someone who calls themself a liberal/conservative/green/et al will proudly live that way in personal life and professional in what things they want to see change in politics.

Now, what does my crazy rambling HAVE TO DO WITH the article?
Simply put - Jesus was not a liberal or a conservative. He was not a politician. He did not want his people to go and overthrow the roman empire and put in new laws and rules.

He wanted them to change the hearts and minds of others - for that is how real change is made. Laws are just agreements between like minded people, a contract if you will. Laws will always flux and change over time, over eras. But some things can remain the same - the love we give each other, the kindness for those who are downtrodden, and so on.

And when he returns? Well the idea is that those who decided to join in this way of living and helping out their fellow humans (and others) and followed the laws he gave us will be part of his world and the rest who reject such things will get to go off to their little world.

And you know what - that last paragraph is not too far off what I hear here and elsewhere just about everday. We hate the freepers, want them to have their own place and us ours. We want to win by making all the laws they would have to obey because our way is better, and wouldn't life be better without people who want to work against us all the time....and so on. bush sucks, we hate him, the repugs such we want them gone - a rapture on election day so to speak. A quick vote and POOF.

I think Jesus said nothing too radical, nor the rest of the NT - I think it pretty well sums up how we are still living and the things we still want. Peace on earth, good will to men, our way or the highway.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. So, what you're saying is that
you feel that we're guilty of some of the things that we frequently accuse of Republicans of?

Like arrogance and hating?

Sorry if I mischaracterized what you're trying to say, but there is an awful lot there to digest.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Not republicans so much
Edited on Mon Dec-26-05 05:19 PM by The Straight Story
although one could make such an argument.

Was thinking more along the lines of religions in general and politics. I see politics as a belief system which can be as unwavering as those of a religious belief. There are factions within each of course, degrees of belief on the scale (tons of different branches of christians - a big tent, much like democrats are a big tent).

People often cite the main difference between the two as one has a god telling them what to the think and the other has idealists who have written on a political ideal and they happen to agree with them.

Well to me, a person is a christian/muslim/et al by choice - they agree with what they have seen and read and they feel it is a good thing. They don't always see things in black and white so they interpret the same thing different ways - which is a political injection if you will into their religious view (or personal injection).

I see all groups having different beliefs but the same tactics - examples from here:

-someone wished freepers a merry christmas - some on the thread said screw the freepers, they deserve nothing
- we see negative labeling from 'red states' to the south being a bunch of red neck idjits and get what they deserve
- and speaking of getting what you deserve, if someone says if you kick out god and I hope you get what you deserve we might think they are a nut case, but then we say elect bush and we hope you get what you deserve is ok.
- we justify our hatred of our own fellow countrymen and show how they will bring us all down if we don't stop them. We could reword that with terrorists and america and have bush say the same general thing and we would say he is fear mongering, exxageratting, etc for his own gain.

(edited to clarify - the 'we' above means all people of all politcal stripes, and could as well of course refer to religious stripe)

This does not apply to all of course. Politics and religion differ only slightly. The attitudes one often sees from people on all different sides is about the same though. The other people don't get it, they are bad, our way is best, contribute to our causes and boycott everyone else, etc and so on.

Two sides of the same coin.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Well, it seems to me that you're trying to play devil's advocate with us
That's ok with me because I have a habit of doing that myself sometimes.

But some policies and philosophies of government ARE much better than others. We DUers (including me) hate Bush because he and his cronies are usurping our rights as a free people, leading us into a war on false pretenses for no good reason, pushing policies that are driving millions of our people into poverty, etc.

Does hating such people mean that we are hateful people, or that we're arrogant? I don't think so.

I don't hate him in the sense that I would like to see him tortured or killed. But I sure do think that he should be driven from office and humiliated for what he's done. Does that make me a hateful or an arrogant person? I don't think so.

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. well it is not about bush really to me
was talking more general :)
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #31
46. Jesus was a myth, a fairy tale
Very little evidence that he even existed. Even if he did, it's highly doubtful that he did a fraction of what many credit him for. Christianity is a religion for the weakhearted, who need a crutch to lean on to get them through life.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. My impression is that Jesus has been verified as a historical figure.
Maybe a historian can correct me if I'm wrong. And, the fact that such a person existed historically would not verify his divine status, miracles, etc.
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. Are there any secular references to him?
If he were anything what he's been made out to be, one would think there would be a treasure trove of confirming evidence. The Romans were very meticulous record keepers, has anyone ever discovered any record of his crucifiction?

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Yes, this has been extensively studied IMO
Edited on Tue Dec-27-05 10:42 AM by Time for change
Some time ago I read a book called "The Historical Jesus", or something like that. That book explored in detail all of the major actions and statements attributed to Jesus and classified them all, according to explicit criteria, on a scale, ranging from highly doubtful to highly credible. I can't find that reference now, and I don't remember the major conclusions.

But I did find a book called "Ceasar and Christ" by Will Durant. He discusses the existence of Jesus starting on page 553, with the sentence "Did Christ exist?". Here is a brief summary of his conclusions:

In summary, it is clear that there are many contradictions between one gospel and another, many dubious statements of history .....

All this granted, much remains. The contradictions are of miutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies -- e.g., Hammurabi, David, Socrates -- would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed -- the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus' arrest, Peter's denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee..... no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them.... After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. Your impression is pretty much correct IMO - though I'm not a historian
Edited on Tue Dec-27-05 10:41 AM by Time for change
Please see my post # 49.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. The fundies I know ignore Jesus's teachings ON PURPOSE.
They want to be greedy and self-serving, so they listen to RW radio and people like Pat Robertson who will tell them what they want to hear.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. Exactly -- Those are the hypocrite fundies
We won't be able to reach THEM no matter what we do.

But there are at least some others that are well intentioned and are simply being misled by their leaders. Those are the ones that are reachable IMO.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. ...thanks for posting ...fits my beliefs!!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #9
20. Glad you liked it -- I think that there are a lot of Bush voting
Christians out there who who would be shocked to know what their elected leaders are doing in the name of their religion. They just don't have a clue as to what's going on.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. I spent many years in a Lutheran private school
Edited on Sun Dec-25-05 11:09 PM by tmfun
And this is the Jesus I was taught about. At this stage of the game, I am an atheist, comfortable with the teachings of Buddha and totally amazed at how the fundies have spun the teachings of jesus. It seems that they operate mostly from the old testament and never heard "the good news".

As far as I am concerned, any God who would send people to a place like Hell, which is not really defined in the Bibles I've read and in fact, most fundies, though they are too ignorant to know it, think it is the Dante's inferno version, and any God who needs me to fall on my knees and worship him/her, has some real identity issues and needs to see a shrink.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
25. I agree with all of that
I wouldn't say that I'm an atheist, but I feel quite sure that if there is a God he cares mainly about how we treat other human beings, NOT than whether we are atheists, or what our professed religion is.

In one sense the profession of the Christian Right that they are devout Christians, and yet they vote for Bush IS amazing. But on the other hand, hypocrisy and ignorance have always been with us, so it should not be surprising.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. for decades
A lot of those blue-collar union workers were Irish Catholic Democrats & Italian Catholic Democrats... who unfortunately became Reagan Democrats.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. There is no such thing
as a Reagan Democrat, unless you think that Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman, and Dianne War profiteer are Dems.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #15
27. That was a trick phrase that they used to give the impression that
even Democrats voted for Reagan -- which is ridiculous, of course

What it amounted to was a bunch of very conservative voters who had voted Democratic because that's how they were brought up, leaving the party because it had become more liberal with the passage of landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation in the 1960, and especially as the Republican Party took a big turn to the right starting in the 1980s.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #27
53. basicly, racists left the Dem party after the civil rights act
and have been voting Repug ever since.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #13
26. In the latter part of the 20th century there was a big shift in our two
major parties.

The Democratic Party had some very liberal portions to it, but its southern wing was very racist and much more conservative. So when under the Johnson Administration we began passing some landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation, the Democratic Party developed a reputation as being much more liberal than it once was, and the racist elements began switching to the Republican Party. Before too long the whole South went from almost solid Democrat to almost solid Republican.

I think that this process was consolidated in the 1980s, as the remaining conservative northern base of the Democratic Party left for the Republican party. At the same time, however, much of the north, especially the northeast, became Democratic.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
21. You must have never even SEEN a bible...
"...I have less familiarity with the Bible than the good majority of Christians."

The good majority of Xians have never read the whole book, either.
"Turn in your bibles to the Book of Leviticus for today's lesson..."
They only read the parts Pastor tells 'em to.

OTOH, I know many Atheists who have read the thing cover-to-cover and studied what is inside, too.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Why would you say that?
I've seen it. I've read parts of it. I've read a book that purported to be a summary of it. And I've read lots of books that discussed it extensively.

So, I believe that I have a decent general sense of it. In particular, I have enough of a general sense of it to know that the teachings of Jesus are very much the OPPOSITE in many ways than the philosophy of the Republican Party of today. And the Republican Party is who the good majority of the Christian Right votes for.

But I can't quote the bible. And since many of the Christian Right voters for Bush can quote it, I feel at a disadvantage when arguing the relevant issues with them. That's why I find this article so useful.
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WhereIsMyFreedom Donating Member (605 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
34. He meant
that if you've even seen a Bible then your statement "...I have less familiarity with the Bible than the good majority of Christians." isn't true. He was insulting all of the Christians who have never bothered read it themselves, not you. A lot of Christian fundies only know (and can only quote) those select parts of the Bible that they can twist to mean what they want it to mean.

I'm similar to you. I've read parts of the Bible and I'm familiar with a lot of what it says, but the best I can do for quotes is to paraphrase some passages and stories in the Bible without knowing where they are located. It makes it difficult to argue with a fundie since I'm not prepared to explain just why the passage they just quoted is a misinterpretation or point out some other passage that contradicts their claim.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Oh, I see -- Thanks for explaining that
It's always good to meet someone who is similar to me. :toast:
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WhereIsMyFreedom Donating Member (605 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. no problem
Indeed. :toast:
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #34
43. That's right.
Thanks for fleshing that out for me. You knew EXACTLY what I was talking about, except for the "insult" part. If indeed there are Christians who "never bothered to read it for themselves", then how can pointing that out be an "insult"?
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
24. American Liberalism has a strong anti-religious streak & reluctance
to speak in terms that address moral, ethical and spiritual positions.

Thus, so many uniformed voters end up voting against their own interests and professed beliefs. The GOP uses rhetoric that invokes Morality and Family etc. while doing the opposite in Policy. The Democrats, unfortunately, have simply ceded this rhetorical ground to the GOP... even though making Living Wages, Protecting the Environment etc ARE FAMILY/SPIRITUAL VALUES.

So it's not just the GOP's fault or the populace, it's the Left's fault as well.

At the end of the day, most people care more about their Family and caring for them then they do about aquiring goods and making money.

I've been arguing this point for years on DU. Wesley Clark argued this point in the Primaries last year, and slowly the idea is catching on.

The Left needs to go further then "it's the Economy, stupid".
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Very well said
Democrats cannot afford to cede this ground to the Republicans. They have to be called on their hypocrisy.

Unfortunately, the task is made extremely difficult by a corporate media that slants everything to the benefit of their allies, mostly Republicans.

And BTW I was planning on voting for Clark in the primaries last year, before he dropped out of the race.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
29. My wife mailed a link to this thread to her brother and his wife
And she gave me permission to post this.

Our sister-in-law and her daughters are the kind of people I had in mind when I wrote my OP. They are devout real Christians whom we love. They don't know much about politics, and they trust their religious leaders to tell them who to vote for, which they do -- unfortunately.

I was surprised but nevertheless gratified that my wife sent this thread to them. I hope that it has a good influence on them.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
32. The Rev. has written a part 2.
Sadly, good Christians have been herded into the Republican camp by preachers, false prophets, and political hucksters who utilize a few hot button issues to capture their allegiance. These propagandists vilify and demonize liberal Democratic politicians because of positions taken on some of the most personal and private issues. Time has proven that neither party has much control over such matters in the legislative realm.

Now they find themselves blindly stuck in a quagmire. They have given their coveted blessing to a political party that exploits their vote. Endorsing tax cuts for the rich while championing a costly and unnecessary war compromises them. Current policies of the Republican Party are pushing citizens into poverty faster than in any other time in modern history. We are losing good jobs with benefits and there will be no minimum wage increase. The costs of energy and health care are ever escalating while social relief programs are drying up due to lack of funding. These are some of the consequences of just a few years of Republican dominance. The rich are getting richer whilewell you know the rest of the clich.

Christians played a pivotal role in the last election and gave Bush another term based on the hope that he might appoint some conservative judges to the high courts. It is interesting that people like Dr. James Dobson shriek about judicial activism and how wrong it is for liberal judges to legislate from the bench. Has anyone noticed that our current congress and president have not offered any significant legislation to bring the kinds of social correction that Dobson desires? They are essentially pinning all their hopes on judicial activism on the right. This kind of hypocrisy is not lost on the non-Christian onlookers.

I recall that all presidents in my lifetime have acknowledged some type of Christian faith. The current president is the first to politicize his claimed faith to such a great extent. He has essentially become the poster boy for the Religious Right.


http://www.crossleft.org/?q=node/376

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-26-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Wow, that's great! -- I'm glad you found that
This one is even more hard hitting than the first.

I wonder how many other Christian ministers there are out there who think like him but who aren't as vocal? We could certainly use a lot more like him.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
44. Dang. Wow. Can't wait until the "Christians" rip into him
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-05 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
45. Are you born again?
The next time someone asks me if I'm born again, I'll reply yes. Then I'll say, "may I now ask you a question?... are you born again today?" As Pico declared, over 600 years ago, we must all be born again daily to attain and use our gifts to bring about an end to injustice and ignorance. As Christians we must ask ourselves did Jesus ever endorse invasion, torture or wholesale hypocrisy? What did Jesus do when He found them using the Temple (hence God) in a capitalistic manner? What did He say to those dove sellers?
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