Nel's New Day

July 21, 2013

Religion Roundup Contains One Ray of Hope

Arrogant is the word that seems to best describe Christian extremists in the United States. No one demonstrates it better than David Young, long-time chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and wannabe replacement for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). At the recent Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Young worked hard to one-up his two competitors, promising that “as a Senator, he would invite New York Senator Chuck Schumer to lunch so that he could share the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Young’s campaign website describes him as a man with the “knowledge, experience, and quick wit” to stand as a “formidable check and balance” on President Barack Obama and Democratic senators. “There’s not a grandstanding bone in his body; he’s even-keeled, thoughtful and even kind,” the bio adds.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait suggested that he might want to try another Jewish senator. He wrote:

“As a senator from New York, [Schumer] has the least to gain politically from a high-profile repudiation of the Jewish faith and conversion to evangelical Christianity. Schumer is also a really good negotiator, and Young could walk out of the room having agreed to become a Jew.”

Arrogant George Zimmerman, exonerated in the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin, also knows that God—not the Devil—made him kill Trayvon Martin. In an interview with Sean Hannity week, Zimmerman showed no regret although he did say about the Martin family, “I am sorry that they buried their child.” About the shooting, he said, “I felt it was all God’s plan.”

Beer, or at least their commercials, has turned Jesse Watters (Fox Nation) to religion. While co-hosting Fox & Friends, he criticized a Samuel Adams ad that used the Declaration of Independence without the words “endowed by their Creator.” Watters claimed that was a sign that “the terrorists have won” and that the Tea Party has been “targeted.” When co-host Clayton Morris explained that the Beer Institute guidelines require its advertising to not mention religion, substitute host Anna Kooiman disagreed: “Yeah, that’s what they say. They’re puttin’ it off on some old red tape there.” Some people may not have paid attention to whatever she said because her dress was hiked up to the top of her thighs.

Almost two years ago, Watters’ Fox Nation published death wishes for President Obama, and the year before he stalked a female blogger who criticized Bill O’Reilly for his claim that an 18-year-old woman would not have been raped and killed if she hadn’t gotten drunk. Watters is also known for his Fox segments featuring homophobia, transphobia, and anti-immigrant content. Yet he wants to protect the term “endowed by their Creator” which includes “…all men are created equal, … with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Conservatives bloggers, led by Breitbart.com, are trying to prevent freedom of religion in the military by claiming that the “Pentagon may court martial soldiers who share Christian faith.” This is what Defense Department spokesman Nate Christensen told Fox News Radio commentator Todd Starnes:

“The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs. The Department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services.”

Christensen said, “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense.” Todd Starnes translated this into “the Pentagon confirmed to Fox News that Christian evangelism is against regulations.” The Family Research Council dived into the discussion and reported that Christians are being persecuted in the military. Most of their references came from the highly unreliable Breitbart.com and Todd Starnes.

It’s the nonreligious service members who suffer discrimination. Noting that almost one-fourth of those in the military are nonreligious, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) proposed that these people have nonreligious chaplains from “nontheistic” organizations. His rationale is that the only counseling option other than chaplains is a mental health expert that gives a stigma and lacks confidentiality. Polis’ amendment failed in a 150-274 vote with all Republicans joined by 44 Democrats.

Bryan Fischer (American Family Association) is now furious with Liz Cheney for trying to take Wyoming’s senate seat from a GOP incumbent because she and the rest of her family, including former Vice-President Dick Cheney, don’t reject sister Mary for being a lesbian. Fischer explains it this way:

“If you have a bank robber in the family, that doesn’t mean you automatically have to support that as a lifestyle choice. If you have a drug dealer in the family, you don’t have to automatically support that as a profession….It’s an absurd argument, though it has a strong emotional appeal. That may have affected Dick Cheney’s view of same-sex marriage, and it may well have affected Liz Cheney’s view of same-sex marriage.”

In the Catholic Church, Purgatory is a kind of holding area for those who die if they’re not quite good enough to move directly to Catholic’s Heaven and aren’t so bad that they head directly to Hell. The time in Purgatory can be shortened by purchasing indulgences, a great money-maker for priests in the Middle Ages. Now the Catholic Church grants indulgences for such activities as climbing the Sacred Steps in Rome or attending the week-long Catholic World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. In an attempt to attract the younger crowd, Pope Francis has added another classification of indulgence, following him on Twitter. His social media guru, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, said that those who read the tweets must be truly contrite and have a moment of deepening faith.

Catholic membership has rapidly fallen recently: ten percent of adults in the U.S. are former Catholics, about evenly divided between the unaffiliated and Protestant. Sixty percent of those who abandoned Catholicism said that they were dissatisfied with its position on abortion and homosexuality, half cite birth control, and 40 percent are unhappy with the treatment of women. The Catholic Church has the same problem as the GOP: they’re trying to attract new members by continuing the beliefs that caused them to lose all the former ones.

A bit of hope for the finale. Two-hundred self-identified evangelical scientists have written the Congress, asking for legislation to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment. Holding master’s or doctorate degrees in scientific fields, these 200 people cited scientific evidence of increased extreme weather events and cite Biblical teachings of charity and compassion for the poor.

“The Bible tells us that ‘love does no harm to its neighbor’ (Romans 13:10), yet the way we live now harms our neighbors, both locally and globally. For the world’s poorest people, climate change means dried-up wells in Africa, floods in Asia that wash away crops and homes, wildfires in the U.S. and Russia, loss of villages and food species in the Arctic, environmental refugees, and disease. Our changing climate threatens the health, security, and well-being of millions of people who are made in God’s image. The threat to future generations and global prosperity means we can no longer afford complacency and endless debate. We as a society risk being counted among ‘those who destroy the earth’ (Revelation 11:18).”

Let’s hope that the conservative Christians join these scientists.

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. I do not know how you stay sane collecting all this crazy-making info, but thank you!

    Like

    Comment by Lee Lynch — July 22, 2013 @ 11:44 PM | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

AGR Daily News Service

Transformational Change; What Works For Seven Future Generations Without Causing Harm?

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur ("The thing itself speaks")

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and adventurers.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

GLBT News

Official news outlet for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of ALA

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Central Oregon Coast NOW

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW)

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: