I could ALMOST find it astonishing that people like Moore and those who follow him can call themselves "Christian" with a straight face. But then, I think again about it and I realize that their head honcho was no more consistent than they are. On the one hand, you have: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." At least reasonably positive sentiments, though I have little doubt that Moore would find them "weak." He's probably more about: "I come not to bring peace, but a sword" and "But mine enemies, who would not have me rule over them, bring them hither and slay them before me.

This has been the ongoing problem with that stupid holy book from the get-go. It very facilely talks out of both sides of its mouth and frequently within a few verses of itself. Put bluntly, the bible is self-contradictory, certainly to anyone who can bother to read it dispassionately (which leaves out most evangelicals, for what I can see). The inevitable result is that believers pick and choose what they like and ignore or disregard what they don't, which only reinforces what I've cited multiple times on FA:

𝐴𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑓𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑜𝑛...

-- David Silverman

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

Conservative religion and authoritarian government are natural allies, and always have been. It is a symbiotic relationship that has resulted in untold misery for ordinary people. Neither group ever truly believes in democracy and would be only too happy to impose their rule on everyone given the opportunity. Extremist movements are inherently unstable in the long term because the people who make up these groups are unstable. It's one thing to point out the problems facing religion, but with every passing day religion cedes ground it will never recover. Organized religion has survived many things, but it will not survive the internet with its influence intact.

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If one wants to push a positive version of Christianity, one needs to look no further than post-presidency Jimmy Carter or Fred Rogers.

One was a man who was faithful to his wife his entire life and devoted himself entirely to helping the less fortunate. His views weren't always perfect, but he was willing to allow himself to grow and adapt and become better.

The other was a man who spent his life pushing a radical inclusive love towards everybody. Everyone was his neighbor and he made sure that we knew that everyone was also our neighbor and we should treat them with kindness.

There you go, Russell. There's an appealing Christianity. Love everyone. Real love, not hate masquerading as love. Build them a house if they need it. Give them your jacket if they need one. Put your feet in a pool with a Black man at a time when other white people refused to do that. Teach your children to be kind and to love courageously.

Evangelical Christianity was faced with many turning points. When Africans were being enslaved and brought to this land in captivity and misery, they could have stood with the slaves or stood with the slavers. The majority of conservative, bible believing Evangelicals chose to stand with the slavers. When slavery was abolished at the end of a rifle, Evangelicals could have chosen to stand with the Reconstructionists or with the Revanchists. By and large, they chose the Revanchists. They formed the KKK. They lynched and terrorized Black people to keep them subservient. The sick twisted racist regime they made inspired Adolph Hitler.

When the Civil Rights Movement started, they could have chosen the side of their Black brothers and sisters marching for liberty and equality and the full rights they should have as American citizens. They chose, with some exceptions, to remain silent or to condemn the marchers for their disruption, or they grabbed a firehose and baton and attacked them.

When feminism kicked off in force, they could have realized that each woman has the same rights that men do and moved to protect the rights of women. When Stonewall happened, they could have chosen to recognize that ALL men (and women) were made equal and had a right to pursue happiness. They opposed both. They slandered the people calling for equality. When AIDS struck the LGBTQ community, they laughed and mocked the suffering. Yes, some chose to be compassionate and love the sick, but most smugly quoted the bit in Romans about receiving the penalty of one's sins into their bodies.

At every choice, the majority went with prejudice and hate. It has ALWAYS been this way in America. Our majority Christianity is nothing more than a shelter for hate and prejudice and always has been. It is the way that seems right to a man, but leads to suffering, misery, and death. IT is the WIDE road that leads to destruction and many are those who follow it.

You want a better Christianity, as I said, follow the narrow road. Get slandered by everyone going the opposite way as not a "Real" Christian. Get rejected from giving speeches to them. Get fired from Christianity Today for loving others too much. Embrace their persecution and rejection for so they rejected the prophets before you. Cease doing evil, learn to do good by listening to the marginalized and loving them and putting your body between them and the Christians who hate them.

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“We’re all worse off because of white evangelical and conservative Christian beliefs. Not just the Trumpism but the rest of it too.”

The rest of it, the evangelicalism, especially the parts that Moore is on board with, are what gave rise to Trump even being a candidate. You created this monster, Moore, now you must face the consequences of what you have done.

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Ha, look at Russel Moore over here, pretending that his version of Christianity was ever anything besides a political movement that promoted sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia.

He can complain all he wants. It all sounds like "Well, look at this, my only weakness -- the consequences of my own actions."

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Religion, can't live with it, can't live without...nope, can easily live without it.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."

-- Christopher Hitchens, "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"

"We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid."

-- Hitch again

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OT: Just got an e-mail from the electric company telling me ERCOT (Texas Electric Grid Manager) is asking everyone to voluntarily reduce electricity usage because demand is high. I can almost forgive them for not being ready for state-wide below-freezing conditions (what I'm having trouble forgiving is not doing anything to prevent a repeat), but 100-110F days are the norm for Texas in July and August and it is unforgivable that ERCOT doesn't plan the capacity for these days.

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Okay, my blood pressure is apparently now excellent, although on this damned medicine I can't take 2 of my favourite drugs – Iibuprofen being one. But no doubt I'll cope. 3 months supply, and at least you don't have to pay the $5 for it any more. Although $19.50 for the damn doctors visit, which would have lasted 30 seconds if he hadn't wanted to chat away as he always does. My mother always wanted me to be a doctor. Now I see why. They get paid for amusing themselves. 😁

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OT: The Biden administration this week handed the religious loonies a major win. They granted a "religious exemption" to Baylor U.--a conservative Baptist school, if you don't know--for committing sexual harassment against LGBT students. It's just a matter of time before other religious schools use this precedent to demand similar "special rights." I don't know how many times I've said it, but I will keep insisting it's the case: The American government keeps creeping further and further to the right no matter which party is in power. It just happens a bit more slowly under the Democrats, that's all.


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All those jokes about GOP Jesus....

Turns out they weren't jokes.

Or maybe that they were (and still are) jokes, just that they're not funny.

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If I may?

I think it's important to recognize something about the current crop of conservative Christians that too often seems to go unaddressed. Simply put, these people have a severe disconnect with reality and as a result, seem to think things like changing abortion laws won't affect them in any way. That is not, as I'm sure most everyone here knows, how it works. Changes to laws - abortion laws or others - affect everyone. Trying to make laws that only have consequences for 'other people' is, at best, a fool's errand; laws either apply to everyone or they're worthless. This is also in my opinion why the US credit rating has been suffering, it could certainly be construed that we don't believe in rule of law anymore.

If your church is seeing its founding leader as 'weak', it's either time to find a new church or fix the problem yourself. Don't come whining to the rest of us for something your people did specifically for the purpose of trying to make the world a more miserable place.

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As implied in this article, this is not something new. Back in the 1980's, I had the pleasure of working with a fundamentalist Christian who never missed an opportunity to spout his bigoted world views (hatred of homosexuals, democrats, liberals, science; the proper role of women in America, his love of war and Reagan). On several occasions he was asked if his religious values had more to do with a social and political agenda than with anything spiritual. He didn't see any contradiction and believed it was those asking the question who were blind and ignorant. He just couldn't understand why he was ostracized at work. Funny how some things never seem to change.

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Speaking of scams, I just found this in my junk folder: ENJOY!

Dear friend,

I am Kennedy Bricks from a law firm in the UK, and our associate Werner law firm is in Kyiv, Ukraine. Our client, Mr. Vasily Melnikov, the owner of the Medstom company in Russia, was murdered along with his family in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The businessman, his wife, and two minor children were stabbed to death in their home on March 23, 2022, and he has had a deposit worth $48 million since July 2019 with a security company. I would like us to work it out for our mutual benefit. If you are interested, indicate so I can give full details.

Yours truly,

Kennedy Bricks

Who knew that Nigerian princes could also be citizens of Ukraine.

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I’ve been reading a lot about White Christian Nationalism recently - not just in the news but actively seeking out books on the history of it and the ties to the GOP. Anyone who looks objectively at the history of the movement simply can’t be surprised about the infighting we’re seeing from right wing Christians right now. The fact that evangelicals are now explicitly rejecting teachings of Jesus that they don’t think fit their beliefs is incredibly ironic and from my viewpoint as an atheist I would find it hilarious if the repercussions of these beliefs weren’t so dangerous. What all of this comes down to is that I think we’re reaching the natural progression of religious beliefs where it has divorced itself so much from the original beliefs that it is bordering on absurdism.

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“Moore lacks the courage to state the obvious: We’re all worse off because of white evangelical and conservative Christian beliefs. “

I think you’re falling into the trap of assuming other people believe what you do and are just denying it. I expect he truly believes what he says he does and doesn’t think it’s bad. I doubt he looks outside his bubble long enough to notice the harm he does. Or possibly doesn’t care about it since it’s’them’, who knows.

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