As I was getting ready to post these, I reflected on all the negative things I’d heard about Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Catholics, and any other group that wasn’t Baptist, or Evangelical Christian. When I was a Christian I was taught to mock and ridicule other beliefs, not the people, but definitely their belief systems. Of course it wasn’t termed “mock and ridicule” but there are no better words for it.
I’ll never forget a member of one of our missionary teams saying that while they were in Asia they had to “undo the damage” done by the Mormon missionaries that preceded them. His sneer of disgust was met by a round of murmurs of approvals, I was also in approval. How dare they not only teach the Bible as I know it? How dare their faith not mirror mine? Those moronic and misguided Mormons. Those poor misled Asians.
Is it not interesting that it’s all good for theists to belittle and dismiss other theists, yet when we do it we’re being hostile? Hypocrisy is a hell of a thing.
When I talk about Context vs Convenience, this quote always comes to mind. It’s funny that one of my goals when I set out on my journey of biblical understanding was to disprove this very quote. We all know how that worked out for me. The Bible is such word clay. You can use as much or as little of it as you want to build yourself a coffee mug, or a life-sized statue. The foundation of a church can be built on a few pieces of scriptures, while others can be built on all of scripture. The malleability of scripture is a thing of wonder.
This sums up nicely what I’ve said last night and this morning. Those of non-Judeo-Christian beliefs are also affected by this. When you think of how horrible Romney is, yet one of the major things people hold against him is his Mormonism, you get an understanding of where we are when it comes to theology in government.
When those in power start leading as if this is a nation made up of people with diverse beliefs, faiths, or lack of faith, then I’ll stop caring.
When ”This is a Christian Nation” is no longer used in politicking, then I’ll stop caring.
When I no longer have to watch my friends be told that they can’t marry because the Biblical definition of marriage is one man and one woman, then I’ll stop caring.
When kids stop killing themselves because the sexual orientation of their birth causes them to be treated like pariahs by members of their public schools, including the staff, then I’ll stop caring.
When a candidates is elected to office and governs in a manner that is inclusive and equal to members of ALL faiths and not just Judeo-Christians, then I’ll stop caring.
I cannot stop you from holding to your belief systems. I do however want those beliefs to be clearly separated from the running of the country. In my opinion there is no room for religion in politics if we are to have fair and unbiased leadership. They are to keep their religion separate from their political duties.
This is important to me personally because I’m an atheist, but it does not only affect non-believers. It’s also not a new idea that we devised as a way to show our rebellion. I often wonder how our politicians today have conveniently forgotten what our politicians knew in the 19th Century:
Separation of Church and State
Known to scholars as Madison’s “Detached Memorandum,” this document was written after he retired from public life, possibly in 1823. Here Madison declares his opposition to the long established practice of employing at public expense chaplains in the House and Senate on the grounds that it violated the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies…]
If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents should discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at their own expense. How small a contribution from each member of Congress would suffice for the purpose? How just would it be in its principle? How noble in its exemplary sacrifice to the genius of the Constitution; and the divine right of conscience? Why should the expense of a religious worship be allowed for the Legislature, be paid by the public, more than that for the Ex. or Judiciary branch of the Govt.
The members of a Govt as such can in no sense, be regarded as possessing an advisory trust from their Constituents in their religious capacities. They cannot form an ecclesiastical Assembly, Convocation, Council, or Synod, and as such issue decrees or injunctions addressed to the faith or the Consciences of the people. In their individual capacities, as distinct from their official station, they might unite in recommendations of any sort whatever, in the same manner as any other individuals might do. But then their recommendations ought to express the true character from which they emanate
The last & not the least objection is the liability of the practice to a subserviency to political views; to the scandal of religion, as well as the increase of party animosities. Candid or incautious politicians will not always disown such views. In truth it is difficult to frame such a religious Proclamation generally suggested by a political State of things, without referring to them in terms having some bearing on party questions…]
Excerpts from James Madison,
Detached Memorandum, ca 1817
Yeah my queue worked, but unfortunately this is too small. I can’t repost the image since I’m not at home, but since everything lives on the internet, here’s the text that was in the image. Re-blogging this from my phone, I think I may have finally figured out how to work it. LOL.
I still want to know your thoughts on this. ~ Kim
Top Ten Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 - You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.
2 - You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
Science is true.
The reason for the season
Jesus and Satan discuss Christmas. ~ Kim
On customs and myths. ~ Kim