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Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:09 PM

Evangelicals using religion for political gain is nothing new. It is a US tradition

From the article:

No one who has read US history can be surprised by the hypocrisy of Evangelicals for Trump but it also tells us how their undoing will inevitably come...…

As a bishop of the church, I am troubled anytime I see Christianity used to justify the injustice, deception, violence and oppression that God hates. Even if Donald Trump had a perfect personal moral résumé, his policy agenda is an affront to God’s agenda to lift the poor and bless the marginalized. The distorted moral narrative these so-called Evangelicals for Trump have embraced is contrary to God’s politics, which have nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican. But this misuse of religion is not new. It has a long history in the American story....

Yes, there is a circle of Evangelicals for Trump who speak loudly about values they have long tried to associate with scripture. But that circle pales in comparison to the great cloud of moral witnesses that stretches from Moses and Miriam to Micah and Elijah; from Jesus and the disciples to Fredrick Douglass and Lucretia Mott; from Ella Baker and Martin Luther King to the moral movements for justice and equity in our world today. These moral witnesses have shown us what it means to push this nation toward a more perfect union. They have demonstrated what true faith in public life looks like. In this moment, we must remember and follow them as a coalition of moral witnesses for truth.


To read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/trump-religion-megachurch-american-tradition

The Reverend William Barber is a huge figure in the progressive movement, and in my view, a worthy successor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Reply Evangelicals using religion for political gain is nothing new. It is a US tradition (Original post)
guillaumeb Jan 2020 OP
trotsky Jan 2020 #1
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #2
trotsky Jan 2020 #4
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #5
trotsky Jan 2020 #9
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #10
trotsky Jan 2020 #11
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #12
trotsky Jan 2020 #13
trotsky Jan 2020 #19
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #3
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #6
Newest Reality Jan 2020 #7
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #8
trotsky Jan 2020 #14
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #15
trotsky Jan 2020 #16
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #17
trotsky Jan 2020 #18
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #20
trotsky Jan 2020 #21
guillaumeb Jan 2020 #22
trotsky Jan 2020 #23

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:17 PM

1. ...

"As a bishop of the church, I am troubled anytime I see Christianity used to justify the injustice, deception, violence and oppression that God hates."

As a non-believer, I am troubled anytime I see a religious believer claim to know what their god wants.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:19 PM

2. As a human, I am troubled when I see people forcing others.

It does not matter if the justification is theism, or patriotism.

Chinese atheists and despotic theists are equally culpable when they use force to get their way.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:51 PM

4. Interesting pivot away from religion, which is the topic of this forum.

Oh well. Whataboutists gotta whatabout.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:15 PM

5. Human religion involves humans.

And ignoring what motivates humans is unscientific. Agreed?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 09:15 AM

9. But this isn't the Human forum, it's the Religion forum.

I don't understand why you struggle with this concept.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 02:55 PM

10. And are we discussing HUMAN appraoches to religion?

Speaking of struggling, and larger concepts.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 03:45 PM

11. Uh, what other kind is there? It kind of goes without saying.

But the point is, every time religion is brought up as a specific point, you whatabout to China under the guise of looking at "what motivates humans." But the topic here is religion, not everything that motivates humans.

You do this in order to prevent criticism of religion and religious views. You then demonize and attack anyone who points it out. Like you will do to me now again.

Or, if you want to finally turn the page and show that you can engage in actual discussion instead of whataboutism and insults, you can address my original post in which I expressed my concern whenever a religious believer claims to know what their god wants. Do you think it's possible for a human being to *know* what their god wants?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 06:10 PM

12. This could be an interesting bit of self-analysis,

however, it is actually projection on your part.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 10:04 AM

13. Do you think it's possible for a human being to *know* what their god wants? n/t

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 16, 2020, 09:13 AM

19. Do you think it's possible for a human being to *know* what their god wants? n/t

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:31 PM

3. The current rise

of fundamentalism is really an essential point.

I think it corresponds with the populist political reaction to a society that is not functioning well and it may be symptomatic of that. When people, in significant numbers are not doing well financially or otherwise that, to me, also provides a fertile ground for simplistic or religious views that border on, and descend into some sort of authoritarian fascism.

When you consider that education and critical thinking play into this, it is not hard to imagine the how and why of this. Let's say you have a liberal education and have learned to think somewhat critically. You may also have quite a bite of reading behind you. In that case, you have opened your mind to more complex issues that may still be overwhelmingly complex, but the gradual exposure over time has made that less daunting and mysterious to you. You can have a good sense for it and know where and how to look for more information.

Now, let's consider that you have only had a basic education up to High School and also little exposure or interest in reading anything outside of some simple interests at best. In that case, when things get bad, (and I am generalizing here) confusing, chaotic, frightening, then an offer of "it's all here in this book and it is certain truth" is going to be far more appealing and the politics that get attached to that will follow in suit. without critical thinking, that point of view can spread easily, especially for those in environments where it has been extant in one way or another traditionally.

We don't really face a problem of religion, per se, (many rights movements have been connected with religious ideas or rights based on that) but, as with any style of religious belief, it is fundamentalism that is a clear and present danger. Separating the two makes sense when it comes to our alliances in resisting fundamentalism, fascism and even oligarchy because none of those categories are compatible with, or even tolerant of, true democracy which is pluralistic, tolerant and opens a wide, sectarian umbrella for its citizens. It is the common will for the common good and even provides due support to our commons in all forms.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:25 PM

6. Very well said.

Insecurity breeds anger, and it can lead to a search for meaning, or a search for solutions. And no matter what the US corporate media insists on saying, the US economy is only doing well for the top 10% or so. And people know that they are not really doing well. So any would be autocratic leader must use language that will appeal to his/her intended audience to make them easier to be motivated

In the case of unscrupulous leaders, these leaders will use whatever language is most likely to appeal to their audience. In a religious society, that leader will no doubt use religious themes and language to justify their control over the society. In a non-religious society, that leader might use ethnicity, or skin color, or language to divide people.

And in the case of Christians, Biblical literalism can indeed lead to negative outcomes. A Biblical literalist might dismiss climate change as a problem by assuming that the end times are near. Or by assuming that God intends this to happen. And that literalist might also look for a Pastor who reinforces that message.


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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:33 PM

7. Oh, thank you...

I appreciate your additions and agree.

It's like: Life is too complex? Well, right here, in this book, (as the book says) is the literal truth from the Almighty and it's everything you need to know, plain and simple, no fancy thinking or nothing. Just believe and all will be well and you go to Heaven forever, too!

One upon a time, that was about the depth and breadth of what people needed to know, just like all the ontological myths of tribes and cultures. They gave a deeper history and meaning that might have been cohesive and comforting at the time. We no longer live in times even remotely like that in most of the modern World and so, the prevailing paradigm has changed and the relevance of those old standbys is at issue for a complex, dynamic world.

It is even really about right or wrong or secular vs. religious as it is about world view and, oh, realism, maybe? It's hard to find the exact word to use for the sake of precision. Maybe pragmatic and practical are good terms and survival is an important motivator in order to move this forward.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 06:40 PM

8. Religion is one expression of tribalism.

Nationalism is another. Humans are social creatures who need the tribe, or family, or nation. What gives us unity can strengthen us, and literally allow us to survive. But what unifies us can also be used by some to separate us from our fellow humans by focusing on differences.

And as you noted, religious texts are used by some theists as the one essential answer to everything. Some theists, me among them, accept the NOMA argument and use science to solve scientific issues. My wife and I are Christians, and we home schooled our children, but we used science textbooks when teaching science.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 10:07 AM

14. Religion equals nationalism equals tribalism?

Is religion just an "expression of tribalism," or is there more to it?

It seems like you are glossing over a SHIT TON of specific characteristics of religion, nationalism, AND tribalism in order to try and make a point.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 05:44 PM

15. All are manifesatations of the tribal instinct.

And of course each manifestation has differences.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 07:14 PM

16. Religion is just a manifestation of the tribal instinct?

It has no supernatural or other meaning?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 08:08 PM

17. Evey manifestation has meaning.

If it did not have meaning, it would not last.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 16, 2020, 09:12 AM

18. Does religion have supernatural meaning, or is it no different than any other human idea?

Don't play games, g.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 16, 2020, 01:20 PM

20. Religion focuses on the supernatural,

and how humans relate to that.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 16, 2020, 04:46 PM

21. So YES, religion does have supernatural meaning, or NO, it does not? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 16, 2020, 06:47 PM

22. What exactly about my latest response confuses you?

I am curious.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 09:41 AM

23. Don't gaslight.

You didn't answer my question.

YES, religion does have supernatural meaning, or NO, it does not? Please answer yes or no.

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