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Old 08-29-2017, 05:12 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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What's the problem with US evangelical Christianity?

From millionaire televangelists preaching hurricanes as punishment for gays, Creationism, Prosperity Gospel, military & gun worship and widespread support for Trump, American evangelical Christianity looks like particularly nasty Know Nothingism. What's wrong(er) about that particular flavor of religion? What does that twistedness stem from?
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:44 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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From millionaire televangelists preaching hurricanes as punishment for gays, Creationism, Prosperity Gospel, military & gun worship and widespread support for Trump, American evangelical Christianity looks like particularly nasty Know Nothingism. What's wrong(er) about that particular flavor of religion? What does that twistedness stem from?
My theory: are you gay? No? Okay, so we say gay sex is a sin. If you'll agree with us, then we'll wag our fingers at those sinners and hold you up as an example of virtue; all you need to do is resist the temptation to do gay stuff. You're not "tempted" to do gay stuff, so that should be easy for you; effortless, even.

Watch me now say that God created life on this planet: does it cost you anything to nod in agreement? Well, probably not, no. If you'll now rail with me against the godless corruptors who preach the opposite -- well, they'll be sinners, and you'll get the 'virtuous' tag: again, by dint of you doing no real work. Easy? Effortless!

How about we agree that lots of folks who have money earned it and deserve it? You just have to mouth the slogan, instead of giving anything to charity. So, again, it costs you nothing to 'be on the right side' as we cast the folks who are out there putting in effort to give the poor more stuff as being 'on the wrong side'. You get the praise by doing, well, nothing, really. Easy! Effortless!

It costs you nothing to not criticize the military, or guns, or Trump; and if folks out there take the opposite position -- well, again, they're sinners, because they're advocating for the wrong stuff; just like you're a model of virtue, because you champion all the right stuff. Er, in the sense that you can "champion" it without, like, getting up from your seat; "they" are evil, and you're good by just -- refraining.

Now, imagine you've been told that since you were a toddler.

Last edited by The Other Waldo Pepper; 08-29-2017 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:45 AM
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What does that twistedness stem from?
The modern Christian Right was born in the 1960s and 1970s. It was largely a reaction to school desegregation.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-29-2017 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:49 AM
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The modern Christian Right was born in the 1960s and 1970s. It was largely a reaction to school desegregation.
Cite?
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:16 AM
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Cite?
Much of the same Biblical arguments against gay rights and gay marriage were used against desegregation and mixed marriage.

One of the classics.
Leviticus 19:19
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"'Keep my decrees. "'Do not mate different kinds of animals. "'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. "'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:26 AM
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A number of denominations split up into Southern and Northern variants in the run-up to the Civil War, with the distinguishing feature being justification v. condemnation of slavery. Many of these splits continued through a century's worth of Jim Crow as well, with one of those Southern denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention, still quite prominent and numerous today.

Southern white evangelicalism wasn't so nationally prominent in the past century until its resurgence in the 1970s because of its deep association with a position on race that the rest of the nation wanted nothing to do with; it had to abandon that stance to become more salable. But it's still the same hard-hearted institution that justified treating blacks like shit; it's just moved on to a different set of political issues.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:39 AM
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Religion and tribalism end up mixing a lot. I've heard that a lot of what we see in modern Muslim practice that we don't like isn't "real Islam", it's tribal traditions that somehow became religious practice. Likewise, a lot of what evangelicals preach just isn't biblical. It's just them believing in a personification of God that matches their own personalities. The old Catholics that burned people for heresy were the same way. They were burning heretics as pagans so they kept doing it as Christians. Only the definition of heresy had changed. That's also why pagan holidays just became Christian holidays.

Man makes religion in his own image. That's how it's always been.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:01 AM
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Religion and tribalism end up mixing a lot.
Thank you: this sentence is a very succinct and apt way of putting it.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:41 AM
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The sects were refugees from Britain and it's rather mild suppression of more excitable puritan beliefs.

These were people who believed the End was coming sooner than later, and their ultimate resting-place for eternity would be the Lake of Burning Fire.

Once in America they had revivals and burnt-over districts at intervals.

A man can start to think mighty strange things sitting in a cabin on the grasslands with only the Good Book for relaxation, and imagining the little prairie dogs outside are miniature devils waiting to snatch his soul as with Herr Dr. Faustus.


One needs to share the Good News.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:04 AM
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The modern Christian Right was born in the 1960s and 1970s. It was largely a reaction to school desegregation.
I'm just someone who was alive and observing during the timeframe and forming my own impressions, and not someone who studied the phenomenon in great & organized detail, but I think you're looking in the right direction but too narrowly and too specifically.

I saw it as a reaction to an American change away from a fairly unified set of cultural axioms and values to a cultural landscape in which everything was subject to questioning and possible rejection. Not just white racial hegemony but American righteousness and male supremacy and yes of course the unquestionable correctness of being Christian, and conventional sexual morality, the imperative to be law-abiding, the faith in one's leaders and celebrities and social leading lights, and central to it all, perhaps, the respect for Authority, all that was being held up to increasingly cynical and dubious scrutiny.

And there was a reactionary response to it, a backlash of "Is nothing sacred?!?" that took the form of enshrining an imaginary (or at least significantly airbrushed) 1950s and trying frantically to get back to it, a political-cultural nostalgia for a time before these worrisome questions, a time when we all thought that knowing what's right was as easy as learning your times tables.

The evangelical Christians were partially sincere folks who wanted simple but rock-solid unquestionable answers they could have absolute faith in. They craved certainty in an uncertain world. The other component was the armada of cynical opportunists who built little empires around the exploitation of the folks in the first category, gaining a shitload of money and political power from doing so.

Last edited by AHunter3; 08-29-2017 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:18 AM
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However ugly you thought the hypocrisy and inanity of the evangelicals has become , it's getting worse.

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Right-wing prepper pastor Jim Bakker interviewed televangelist Paula White [who] declared that opposition to the president is opposition to God and explicitly praised Trump for not sounding or acting presidential.

“Thank goodness,” she said. “In other words, he’s not a polished politician. In other words, he’s authentically—whether people like him or not, he’s been raised up by God because God says that He raises up and places all people in places of authority. It is God that raises up a king, it is God that sets one down and so when you fight against the plan of God, you’re fighting against the hand of God.”
If "God raises up and places all people in places of authority" did he also raise up heathens like Hussein Obama?

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I'm just someone who was alive and observing during the timeframe and forming my own impressions, and not someone who studied the phenomenon in great & organized detail, but I think you're looking in the right direction but too narrowly and too specifically.
School segregation was a hugely important issue; much right-wing babbling that pretended to be about something else was really "dog-whistling" about the evils of racial integration.

One county in Virginia shut down its entire public school system for five years rather than comply with federal law. White kids were still educated at taxpayer expense at private white schools. Black kids were out of luck.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:30 AM
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. The old Catholics that burned people for heresy were the same way. They were burning heretics as pagans so they kept doing it as Christians. Only the definition of heresy had changed. .
the initial observation is not a bad one, but this is a just-so story...

There is no sign in the classical history that the classical religions punished religious heresy by burning. Indeed it is a bit foreign to them.

What was punished by burning under the roman law was treason among other forms.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:45 AM
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There is a great deal of revulsion against the Prosperity Gospel within evangelical Christianity itself; indeed, oftentimes the harshest critics of that false teaching are evangelicals.

Most evangelicals don't like Trump; they voted for him because they felt he would better help enact their agenda than Hillary. Pence is far more preferred than Trump. A candidate like Ted Cruz would have fit the billing even better.

There's also cherry-picking involved. The tens of millions of evangelicals who live ordinary do-good lives don't get any attention; the few televangelists who are scammers, get lots of media coverage, because what's the point of covering the 99% boring good folks when you can focus on the 1% bad apples?

Finally, the OP sounds like right-wing critics of Islam: "9/11, ISIS, fatwas, bombings, burqas, killings - my, isn't Islam a particularly nasty religion?"
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:54 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Note that I didn't speak in terms of Christianity as a whole. The Islamic equivalent of my OP would more properly be: "Isn't Salafist Islam a particularly nasty religion" which it is.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:41 PM
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There is a great deal of revulsion against the Prosperity Gospel within evangelical Christianity itself; indeed, oftentimes the harshest critics of that false teaching are evangelicals.
Yeah, but they're still considered to be part of the evangelical community, despite their sins. But 84 year old Eugene Peterson almost got himself kicked out of the tent for saying he'd officiate a gay wedding, and would have been out if he hadn't retracted it, despite 30 years as a widely-read evangelical author. Larycia Hawkins got kicked out, for the sin of wearing a hijab. So sure, they're criticized, but they're still part of the family, though you see how little it can take to get you kicked out. [QUOTE]

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Most evangelicals don't like Trump; they voted for him because they felt he would better help enact their agenda than Hillary.
Bullshit. They've felt that way about every Republican for decades, but they voted for Trump in much greater numbers than for any of the others.
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There's also cherry-picking involved. The tens of millions of evangelicals who live ordinary do-good lives don't get any attention; the few televangelists who are scammers, get lots of media coverage, because what's the point of covering the 99% boring good folks when you can focus on the 1% bad apples?
Why do you think it's 1% bad apples? While there are very few outright scammers, just about all of the preachers are preaching the same evil crap that would make Jesus vomit. And the people in the pews are lapping it all up.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:32 PM
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Despite most religions putting the emphasis on love, humans by nature are more motivated by what they hate. Almost all religion and politics is based on mobilizing against what is hated, although actual constructive change only comes from having most positive goals. That's why evangelical Christianity has been impotent as a political force. Hating modern morality gives them a sense of unity, but what are they fighting for? Has electing Donald Trump made what they actually want more or less likely? Would a Jimmy Carter have served those purposes better?
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:40 PM
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That's why evangelical Christianity has been impotent as a political force.
And how are things in Earth-googolplex these days?
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:45 PM
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They are good at getting people they want elected, but how have those anti-abortion and anti-gay crusades been going?

Actually, I should modify my first sentence. They are good at defeating the godless heathens who draw their most intense hatred, but not very good at getting Christian policies enacted.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:01 PM
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An almost fanatical devotion to The Pope Jesus?
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:07 PM
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They are good at getting people they want elected, but how have those anti-abortion and anti-gay crusades been going?

Actually, I should modify my first sentence. They are good at defeating the godless heathens who draw their most intense hatred, but not very good at getting Christian policies enacted.
They are very good at limiting access to abortion rights, by making it hard for clinics to remain open, so that many women have to travel considerable distances to get an abortion. Couple that with the waiting periods and ultrasounds and other hoops they force women to go through, and it really becomes quite problematic. So I'd say their antiabortion crusade is doing all too well.

Plus their ability to get Dubya and Trump into the White House have put Roberts, Alito, and Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and many extremely conservative jurists on the lower Federal courts.

They are also quite successful at the state and local levels on a variety of fronts.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:22 PM
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On abortion access, that's been more social than governmental. The clinics aren't welcome in some areas and so they stay out. We've already established that it's perfectly okay anyway for society to interfere with individual rights. If society can persecute you for your speech, it scan certainly take away your reproductive choice.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:34 PM
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On abortion access, that's been more social than governmental. The clinics aren't welcome in some areas and so they stay out. We've already established that it's perfectly okay anyway for society to interfere with individual rights. If society can persecute you for your speech, it scan certainly take away your reproductive choice.
I was under the impression some jurisdictions imposed restrictive laws on abortion providers to make it impossible for them to stay. That's not "The clinics aren't welcome in some areas and so they stay out."
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:38 PM
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I saw it as a reaction to an American change away from a fairly unified set of cultural axioms and values to a cultural landscape in which everything was subject to questioning and possible rejection. Not just white racial hegemony but American righteousness and male supremacy and yes of course the unquestionable correctness of being Christian, and conventional sexual morality, the imperative to be law-abiding, the faith in one's leaders and celebrities and social leading lights, and central to it all, perhaps, the respect for Authority, all that was being held up to increasingly cynical and dubious scrutiny.
But that happened in a lot of other countries and we didn't start preaching the Prosperity Gospel.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:00 PM
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Once I learned there was an explanation for the scriptures forbidding homosexuality, I was relieved. Especially when the logic checked out, where "pederasty" makes more sense--ala, what was going on at the time. To me, it was telling me "here is a rule I didn't like that I don't have to worry about anymore. More saved souls are possible!"

But, for a lot of people, it seems the response is the opposite. It's "how dare they change this thing we've been believing for so long. If I've been hurting these other people, it has to be because God required me to. To stop now would be to admit I've been sinning this whole time!"

I think a lot of those who gravitate toward evangelical Christianity like rules. Even though they say they are saved by grace, not by works, they still want their rules. They want to feel special. And Evangelicalism gave them that.

It's why the Prosperity Gospel rose up. It's just feeling special in a different way. Sure, it gets rid of a rule about riches, but they never really bought into that one anyways, because our society glorifies wealth. And they were just so desperate for a way to get rich that mixing religion worked.

Gun worship is entirely cultural, I think. In more rural areas, guns have a lot more utility in protection. Glorification of the military probably comes from accepting the military conquests in the Old Testament as good.

As for Trump, he just played to the underlying ideas of a lot of people, even if he stayed away from being remotely Christian. He tapped into the anger at modernism. He tapped into the idea that we are special. He got away with being the asshole the people wish they could be, if not for the "rules." And he was an asshole to (mostly) the people they wanted to see punished.

Yeah, don't forget that part: Hell is not just for scaring people straight, but also giving assurances that justice will be done. But it's frustrating waiting for their death. If someone can punish them before they die--well, that's appealing.

Hell, it's appealing to me, even though I'm not on Trump's side at all. I have to check myself in making sure the punishments themselves are just and not evil. Nazi gets arrested for violence? Sure. Nazi gets tortured and killed? Not okay, even if there's a part of me that wants them to feel the pain they've inflicted on others, and then be removed from the ability to do it again.

When someone hates the people you hate, it's easy to make excuses for them.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:09 PM
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I was under the impression some jurisdictions imposed restrictive laws on abortion providers to make it impossible for them to stay. That's not "The clinics aren't welcome in some areas and so they stay out."
Most of those laws get struck down. The primary deterrent to setting up shop in the Bible Belt is social ostracism.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:13 PM
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People are looking for guaranteed answers to the tough problems of this world. They want the assurance that they are RIGHT even if that makes lots of other people wrong, damned, condemned, evil, etc. They can't live with the mystery and uncertainty of this existence. There's even a thread on this board about this issue. The fact is: THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. No one has a monopoly on the truth. No one even knows with the Truth is... all we can do it give it our best shot. For some people, the stress of living with that is too much, and they have to turn to a guru, a book, an ideology, or some other stop gap.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:24 PM
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To those familiar with them, is the Prosperity Gospel similar to The Secret/law of attraction*? I have only a faint acquaintance with either but both seem to say something along the lines of: "Believe it strongly enough and your dreams (especially of being rich) will come true as a direct effect of that belief". Have I got it right?


* This thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book) Now that I read the Wiki entry, the New Age author quotes the Bible in her 3 step process of 1) Ask in prayer 2) believe 3) receive
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:29 PM
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To those familiar with them, is the Prosperity Gospel similar to The Secret/law of attraction*? I have only a faint acquaintance with either but both seem to say something along the lines of: "Believe it strongly enough and your dreams (especially of being rich) will come true as a direct effect of that belief". Have I got it right?


* This thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book) Now that I read the Wiki entry, the New Age author quotes the Bible in her 3 step process of 1) Ask in prayer 2) believe 3) receive
Basically, if you worship God hard enough and, more importantly, donate to a televangelist, God will reward you with lots of money and success.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:31 PM
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Basically, if you worship God hard enough and, more importantly, donate to a televangelist, God will reward you with lots of money and success.
Consequently, if someone is rich it means they're good, and if they're poor it's their own damn fault. Unless they're the person being asked for money, in which case they're just a millionary going through a temporary bump.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:52 PM
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Joel Olsteen is seriously rich, rich off the backs of all the dumb suckers that watch him on tv and send money. His church is huge, it could help thousands of people stuck in Houston, but he won't. And yet there is the guy that owns a mattress store that opened it to refugees of the floods. Actors, singers, ball players, etc are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the flood victims. The mosques in the Houston area have all opened to help the people without homes, food, or water.

White Christians are a joke.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:30 PM
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Joel Olsteen is seriously rich, rich off the backs of all the dumb suckers that watch him on tv and send money. His church is huge, it could help thousands of people stuck in Houston, but he won't. And yet there is the guy that owns a mattress store that opened it to refugees of the floods. Actors, singers, ball players, etc are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the flood victims. The mosques in the Houston area have all opened to help the people without homes, food, or water.

White Christians are a joke.
I do not have any use for Prosperity Christianity and I find Olsteen to be an extreme example of the Baker/Robertson model of such preachers.
However, at the time that Olsteen was orignally criticized for failing to help his fellow Texans, (when some passersby began tweeting photos taken less than an hour after the waters receded), his ginormous church had had over a foot of water on the floor, making it a less than adequate refuge from the storm. In the previous hurricane, his church provided shelter to around 5,000 people and since the flood waters have abated from his current site, he has been providing resources to help those flooded out.
It is enough to criticize the bad for what they really do without inventing things to be mad about (or following ignorant tweets from the uninformed).

Last edited by tomndebb; 08-29-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:48 PM
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Have you heard of right wing authoritarianism? Religious fundamentalism is correlated with right wing authoritarianism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-...thoritarianism

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/1...7582ijpr0601_5

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Also, as in past research with persons from Christian backgrounds, correlations from .42 to .74 emerged among scores on the Religious Fundamentalism, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, and Attitudes Toward Homosexuals scales (Altemayer and Hunsberger, 1992). That is, the religious fundamentalists within each of four religious groups tended to be authoritarian and to have hostile attitudes toward homosexuals.
Its the same with Islamic Jihad, they are the right wing authoritarians from their culture. Its probably more that religious fundamentalism is an aspect of right wing authoritarianism.

Blacks tend to be highly religious, and they do not share the attitudes of white evangelicals. Neither do northeastern Catholics.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
From millionaire televangelists preaching hurricanes as punishment for gays, Creationism, Prosperity Gospel, military & gun worship and widespread support for Trump, American evangelical Christianity looks like particularly nasty Know Nothingism. What's wrong(er) about that particular flavor of religion? What does that twistedness stem from?
Around 1 in 4 of evangelicals are Democrats or Democratic leaning independents. I think it's safe to say they aren't 100% in agreement with your list of what their beliefs supposedly are. Even with high levels of support among evangelical Christians not everyone of the other 3/4 perfectly fit your list of what they supposedly believe. You've created an overly broad and rigid stereotype for yourself and are trying to answer a question driven by that cognitively biased assumption.

You can't get a good answer to the cause of why they are all like that when they aren't all like that.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:15 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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I don't think evangelicals are all like that but there are some definite trends, especially at the politically active level.

I thought of specifically saying "white evangelicals" but didn't want to start off the thread putting emphasis on race.

Of those 1/4 evangelicals who are Democrat or Democrat-leaning, what proportion are black? What % of white evangelicals are Democrat or Democrat-leaning?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 08-29-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:15 PM
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#NotAllEvangelicals

Yeah, they're not all like that (and I don't think the OP was claiming that they were). But a disproportionate number of them—or at least a disproportionate number of the loudest and most public of them—seem to be that way. So I think there's a legitimate question there.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:35 PM
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Joel Olsteen is seriously rich, rich off the backs of all the dumb suckers that watch him on tv and send money. His church is huge, it could help thousands of people stuck in Houston, but he won't. And yet there is the guy that owns a mattress store that opened it to refugees of the floods. Actors, singers, ball players, etc are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the flood victims. The mosques in the Houston area have all opened to help the people without homes, food, or water.

White Christians are a joke.
The American Christ Industry isn't a joke, it's an abomination that preys on the desperate and the stupid. Plenty of white people who pretend God is real do so without sucking at all, though.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Of those 1/4 evangelicals who are Democrat or Democrat-leaning, what proportion are black? What % of white evangelicals are Democrat or Democrat-leaning?
Pew exit poll numbers for the last four Presidential elections for "white born again/evangelical Christians" have them voting for the Dem nominee 21%, 24%, 21%, and 16%. We're still at about 1 in 5 of white evangelicals voting for Dems. They especially seemed to like Obama in 08 and dislike Clinton.

There's still a discussion. We're looking at a less than perfect correlation and mostly looking at it from a three way correlation - politically active, evangelical, and scoring high on that list of political traits. That certainly seems to hint at a complex interaction of multiple factors. That's without looking at the possibility that the cause is something external that drive both an affiliation with evangelical churches and those political positions. Something like people staying in the religion they were raised with, mixed with other cultural factors in the South where a lot of evangelicals are, might actually be causal of the correlation between attitudes and identifying as evangelical.

If we start off by stripping the nuance at the beginning it shapes the discussion up front. It makes it hard to put the nuance back in. It's been excluded from the answer requested. Emotionally loaded words like twistedness can also shape the issue. Consider two different ways to start on observations about a group that isn't clearly an outgroup on this board.

1) Looking at polling data, black men in the US seem to have lower median incomes, higher rates of violent crime convictions, and lower rates of college degree completion that the rest of the populace. Can anyone help me understand why?
2) Black men are poor, violent, and ignorant. What's wrong with black men?

The OP was pretty close in style to #2 for framing the problem. That makes getting a deeper understanding, like asked for in #1, more difficult.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:35 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
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Never heard of the annoying Mr. Olsteen, so looked it up.


Reddit has a post by poster Oblivator:

The church is open and has bought tons of air mattresses to help shelter the refugees.
https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/...924610/photo/1
To be clear: it appears as if the church has been planning to set itself up as a relief center for a while and have been prepping accordingly. Unsubstantiated accusations violate rule 3: No witch hunting. Please do not witch hunt.
More evidence proving the lower areas of the church were actually flooded: from this /r/atheism thread
https://imgur.com/a/TH9Hb
https://imgur.com/a/KeMn4



https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comm...urch_to_prove/


I note --- without looking at a website since it is against my religion to read the Daily Mail --- also the thatcherite Daily Mail also accuses the annoying Olsteen.

Which effectually clears him.










From the Reddit the journalist is less highly respected:

FC37: Hey, Joel Osteen probably isn't a great guy.
But you know who's absolute scum? This "journalist" is Sean Salisbury, the same guy you used to see on ESPN.
The same guy who took pictures of his cocknballs, then showed the pictures to many female coworkers by asking them if he wanted to see pictures of his baby.
The same guy who threatened to sue Deadspin for reporting the real reason why he was fired, only to later admit that it was true.
The same guy who threatened to write a tell-all book about ESPN in retaliation for firing him.
Fuck Sean Salisbury.
  #39  
Old 08-30-2017, 01:03 AM
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Around 1 in 4 of evangelicals are Democrats or Democratic leaning independents.
There are black evangelicals and Hispanic evangelicals. And many of those "Democrat evangelicals" voted for Trump — they finally had a candidate who spoke to their values.

Among White evangelicals, only 16% voted for Hillary.
  #40  
Old 08-30-2017, 02:30 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
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She had the atheist vote tied up, though.


Prolly the BDSMs too.
  #41  
Old 08-30-2017, 05:36 AM
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The Evangelicals are as twisted and nasty as they are for many reasons, but off the top of my head it's because they have are obsessed with select parts of the Old Testament, and with the letters of Paul. They tend to forget about a guy named Jesus unless they can quote-mine his words to suit them.

They're not Christians in my book, and yes, that may fall into the "no true Scotsman" fallacy; but by their words, they're more fans of the Old Testament and Paul than of Christ.

But in naked truth, they believe in the prosperity gospel above all. They're basically Ayn Rand with Old Testament rhetoric.
  #42  
Old 08-30-2017, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Reddy Mercury View Post
The Evangelicals are as twisted and nasty as they are for many reasons, but off the top of my head it's because they have are obsessed with select parts of the Old Testament, and with the letters of Paul. They tend to forget about a guy named Jesus unless they can quote-mine his words to suit them.
The Red-Letter Christian movement formed as a reaction to this.
  #43  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:06 PM
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Consequently, if someone is rich it means they're good, and if they're poor it's their own damn fault. Unless they're the person being asked for money, in which case they're just a millionary going through a temporary bump.
That's very Old Testament (or if you prefer, Hebrew Bible). And generally, the OT is where evangelicals have their home. The only "chosen people". The OT is a tribal document if there ever was one.

The only parts of the NT evangelicals seem to have adopted is baptism and 'go and make disciples'. The stuff Jesus taught totally escapes them.

It is a simple cause and effect sort of logic which is very easy to understand and believe in --

1. God rewards the just
2. Everything comes from God
3. Wealth is a reward

ergo, wealthy people are just.
  #44  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:29 PM
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However ugly you thought the hypocrisy and inanity of the evangelicals has become , it's getting worse.
Yeah, that's some seriously scary stuff!
  #45  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:44 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Religion and tribalism end up mixing a lot. I've heard that a lot of what we see in modern Muslim practice that we don't like isn't "real Islam", it's tribal traditions that somehow became religious practice. Likewise, a lot of what evangelicals preach just isn't biblical. It's just them believing in a personification of God that matches their own personalities. The old Catholics that burned people for heresy were the same way. They were burning heretics as pagans so they kept doing it as Christians. Only the definition of heresy had changed. That's also why pagan holidays just became Christian holidays.

Man makes religion in his own image. That's how it's always been.
Are you seriously argue that Christian persecution of heretics has nothing to do with, well, "real Christianity"? Because it sounds like you're arguing that these were just intolerant haters who made up theological justifications for what they wanted to do anyone.

If that's what you think, I'd politely suggest you need to read more about the evolution of Christian thought regarding heresy and its punishment. The people who laid the groundwork for Christian religious persecution weren't stupid or vicious, they were for the most part smart and thoughtful people who had good and coherent arguments rooted in scripture, tradition and reason. (Some of the scriptural arguments rest heavily on the parables of Jesus, especially the one with the householder inviting people to a feast). St. Augustine for example started out believing in religious liberty and became convinced, quite against his initial convictions, that persecution of heretics was the right way to go, based on the experience of the church with the Donatists and Manichaeans and based on his reading of scripture. This isn't a minor detail of Christian history that can simply be redefined away: there are clear theological as well as historical arguments why Christian states eventually started executing heretics.

There are certainly a lot of aspects of modern evangelical Christianity that are modern innovations without much grounding in scripture or tradition, but a lot of what they get criticized for (their position on abortion, homosexuality, etc.) are pretty much as ancient as Christianity is.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hector_St_Clare View Post
Are you seriously argue that Christian persecution of heretics has nothing to do with, well, "real Christianity"? Because it sounds like you're arguing that these were just intolerant haters who made up theological justifications for what they wanted to do anyone.

If that's what you think, I'd politely suggest you need to read more about the evolution of Christian thought regarding heresy and its punishment. The people who laid the groundwork for Christian religious persecution weren't stupid or vicious, they were for the most part smart and thoughtful people who had good and coherent arguments rooted in scripture, tradition and reason. (Some of the scriptural arguments rest heavily on the parables of Jesus, especially the one with the householder inviting people to a feast). St. Augustine for example started out believing in religious liberty and became convinced, quite against his initial convictions, that persecution of heretics was the right way to go, based on the experience of the church with the Donatists and Manichaeans and based on his reading of scripture. This isn't a minor detail of Christian history that can simply be redefined away: there are clear theological as well as historical arguments why Christian states eventually started executing heretics.

There are certainly a lot of aspects of modern evangelical Christianity that are modern innovations without much grounding in scripture or tradition, but a lot of what they get criticized for (their position on abortion, homosexuality, etc.) are pretty much as ancient as Christianity is.
No one is redefining anything away. What adaher is talking about didn't just start now. It was present back then, too.

Did Jesus teach that his disciples were to go about and kill heretics? No, he said that those who lived by the sword would die by the sword. Did Paul? No, he said not to cast judgment on disputable matters, and that following one person other than Christ was wrong. Sure, Ananias and Saphira died, but God directly killed them. It is not for Man to cast judgment, but for God. Judge not lest ye be judged was applied to all Christians.

No, what happened was the mixture of state and religion. With a state religion, you need unity, and one way to create that unity is to kill the dissenters. So they found excuses in Scripture to do that, ignoring the actual meaning.

The ideas aren't new. But they also are not a core part of Christianity. I seem to remember that you are a Christian. Do you support those ideas? I know most Christians don't. So you cannot say it is a core part of Christianity.

And if it's not the core, then it must be added by outside influence. There must be something beyond Christianity creating this. And tribalism is clearly the most obvious additional influence, given how tribalistic Evangelical Christianity is. You don't have to actually believe. And, if you want someone in your tribe, you'll make excuses for them.

Sure, there are ideas in common between the statism and tribalism. That's partly because the two ideas are innerconnected: statism is just formalized tribalism, really. And partly because Evangelical Christianity is essentially a state religion in a large part of the places where it is practiced.

But it's still orthagonal to the actual teachings. St. Augustine is no less human than anyone else. He is just as much a sinner for killing heretics as an Islamic terrorist.

It's the main reason I dislike the Tradition of Canonization. It's not completely undoable, but it still can venerate people who did evil, rather than realize that even those who were important to the Church are flawed humans who did bad things, ala our country's Founding Fathers and slavery.
  #47  
Old 08-30-2017, 03:05 PM
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My point was that some things do not have a theological basis. Burning heretics is so Old Testament and even in the Old Testament it's tough to justify it for many of the "crimes" Catholics did in the bad old days.

Opposition to abortion and homosexuality on the other hand are solidly grounded in scripture, although the obsession with homosexuality is entirely out of proportion to the significance it has in scripture.

Religious people by their very nature are going to disagree with mainstream society on many key moral issues. I've actually contended before that if a religion does not, then it's not even a real religion. It's just people trying to justify modern morality as endorsed by some spiritual being rather than just being whatever 21st century Western humans deem moral. Likewise, many people with retrograde views on morality are getting them from a tradition that isn't really related to their faith. Extreme homophobia tends to be a hallmark of machismo cultures, of which the South was definitely one. Homosexuality is a sin in most faiths, but it is not a dire threat to the community in the way that the Bible treats idolatry or work on the Sabbath.

Last edited by adaher; 08-30-2017 at 03:06 PM.
  #48  
Old 08-30-2017, 03:27 PM
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Evangelicalism became politically aware in the early 1970s as a reaction to the Supreme Court cases, that outlawed abortion bans, and prayer in schools. I grew up around many politically engaged evangelicals and those were the dominant issues. No one ever mentioned anything about race.
The reason so many of us voted for Trump is that Clinton was so bad. She is someone who has been fighting for abortion ever since she entered public life. Her book as a first lady was called "It takes a village". Evangelical Christian parents are paranoid that the secular humanists are targeting their kids. Her book seemed to confirm that. Trump is a bad person but he nominated a good Supreme Court justice. The gay marriage debate showed that to influence policy, the supreme court is more important than having the votes. When Trump promised to appoint good supreme justices that sealed the deal for many evangelicals.
  #49  
Old 08-30-2017, 05:10 PM
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That's very Old Testament (or if you prefer, Hebrew Bible). And generally, the OT is where evangelicals have their home. The only "chosen people". The OT is a tribal document if there ever was one.
Except that, in the OT, the Chosen People are the Israelites, the Jews. The vast majority of American evangelicals are not Jewish.
  #50  
Old 08-30-2017, 05:12 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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It is a simple cause and effect sort of logic which is very easy to understand and believe in --

1. God rewards the just
2. Everything comes from God
3. Wealth is a reward

ergo, wealthy people are just.

Except that, again, there are numerous references in Scripture to instances of the wealthy being unjust, and of the perils of wealth. And the book of Job makes it very clear that just because bad things happen to someone does not mean that they did something wrong, and Proverbs and Ecclesiastes make it very clear that good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people all the time.
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