Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For Whom Does the Bell Toll?

The problem with the evangelical movement has always been that it is a movement, not an organization. When the Pope speaks for Catholics, individual Catholics might not agree with him, but they, and the rest of the world, agrees that the Pope, and the Pope alone, has the right to speak for Catholics. The evangelical movement, however, suffers from the same problem that the Islamic religion as a whole has: there is no one leader that can speak for all. There are only individuals, offering individual opinions that other individual evangelicals may or may not agree with.

This issue is dealt with well by the slacktivist, on numerous occasions. This issue is dealt with poorly by Dave Welch in Who speaks for evangelicals? (Hopefully not this guy, or the world is in trouble.)

The recent Proposition 8 victory of bigotry in California seems to be tempered somewhat by a growing realization that on a national level there is confusion in the evangelical church regarding how we respond to the demand for legal recognition, moral legitimacy and even religious blessing of "sexual diversity." You know, I would take evangelicals, and all christians, a lot more seriously if they would stop obessessing over what consenting adults do with their time. Love is always morally legitimate. If god doesn't find love to be morally legitimate, then fine, I'll take my chances in hell. (According to Mr. Welch, all the gays will be there and none will be in heaven, so hell will be better decorated and the parties will be much more fun!)

As the online eHarmony.com "soul mate" matching service (founded by an evangelical Christian!) has now bowed before the alter of Baal admittedly, I am a sucker for phrases such as "bowing before the alter of Baal". Not sure what Mr. Welch is referring to? eHarmony was originally founded by James Dobson, yes, that James Dobson. He hasn't owned the thing in forever. Until very recently, the only possible pairings through eHarmony were female and male pairings. The excuse? That eHarmony creates matches using research into what creates lasting relationships and there was no research on what makes gay couples work. You know, because gays aren't like . . . humans! Anyway, there were lawsuits and now eHarmony is required to offer m/m pairings and f/f pairings. in caving in to the threats of the "trysexual" movement (they will try anything, as it is now far beyond "gay rights" i love how Mr. Welch equates gays looking for love with sheepfuckers. nice.) and as a leader of the formerly conservative National Association of Evangelicals has kissed the ring by expressing support for civil unions a civil union, by the way, means that no church would ever be involved in the marriage of a gay couple. a civil union is entirely secular. so this guy is supporting rights for gays that in no way conflict with rights for religion– does the NAE or some of these "influential pastors" featured in major evangelical publications speak for us? Apparently not for you, Mr. Welch. I'm not sure who "us" is.
When Dr. Richard Cizik, the person shaping the public policy positions for and representing the NAE to government admits to having voted in the Virginia primary for the most anti-life please, Mr. Welch, I will refer to you as prolife instead of pro forced pregnancy, because that's what you want. in exchange, you must refer to me as I wish, prochoice, anti-marriage show your work, Mr. Welch. Mr. Obama is himself married and there is no evidence of his being antimarriage, anti-free market candidate the difference between a tax rate of 36% and a tax rate of 39%? socialism. ever to run for president, the answer is unequivocally NO.

When he declares that in regards to recognizing same-sex civil unions, "I'm shifting, I'll admit. … I believe in civil unions," oh no, someone abandoned bigotry and baseless fear, it must be the work of Satan! the answer is absolutely NOT.
When global warming and humanistic environmentalism
until you figure out how to breathe water or vacuum, buddy, I suggest doing something about global warming. oh, I forgot, the rapture will happen in a few years and we won't have to worry about that. Fine, then give me the contents of your retirement account. have usurped the sanctity of life, the definition and protection of traditional marriage gays didn't cause divorce among straights, asshat. That was a problem well before civil rights for gays came to the forefront. Unless you truly believe that the only thing holding together straight couples is their inability to marry members of their own gender. In which case, I suggest you find the door of the closet your hiding in, and open the damn thing! and family and the concept of limited, constitutionally-restrained government as the primary agenda items of the NAE, the answer is emphatically NO. How is limited, constitutionally-restrained government a religious issue?

and then we move on to true wierdness:

One of the premier organizations that has assessed the worldview of Christian youth for over 20 years is the Nehemiah Institute, founded by Dan Smithwick and based in Minneapolis.
This is the Nehemiah Institute's goal, from their website: The mission of the Nehemiah Institute is to unleash a massive spiritual awakening within the Christian community, by helping Christian organizations and the individuals and families they serve, establish quantifiable standards for worldview education indoctrination? and a personal plan for each individual to achieve and maintain a Christian worldview brainwashing?. You know, replace Christian with "communism" or "nazism" and you have the goal of Marx of Hitler, or Jim Jones for that matter.
The PEERS worldview test administered to Christian students in government, private and home schools to assess beliefs in politics, economics, education, religion and social issues has revealed a deeply disturbing trend that explains much of where we are. I wanted to take the test to see what the questions are, which is a very important part of any sort of test, but it's 11.95 to take it online, so . . . moving on.

With a top biblical worldview score possible of 100 points, wish I knew what this represented. Whose interpretation of the bible are we using? Which translation of the bible? How are the questions worded? How are the answers worded? I have no way of evaluating any of this. Mr. Smithwick reports the latest assessment of Christian youth reveals that, "Assuming the same rate of decline in test scores of the past seven years, students from 'traditional Christian schools' schools with nuns? probably not. would score on average at -9.9 in the year 2016. you can't score negative on a test. Think about it. If you give me a test consisting of 100 questions, and I get every answer wrong, my score would be 0. How could I manage to score less than zero? Bad attitude? A better way of saying this would be to tell me the yearly rate of decline and how this is measured. Youth from Christian homes and attending public schools would score -24.5 in the same year. see above. These results, remarkably close to the view seen in 2001, wait a minute, if scores have been steadily declining over the last 7 years, wouldn't the results be LESS than in 2001? do evangelicals not understand how math works? would mean that the students had intentionally rejected the basic tenets of Biblical Theism as opposed to what? biblical atheism? in favor of basic tenets of Humanism/Socialism." (emphasis added) By the way, take a few minutes, go to the NI website and take the PEERS test to see how you do! all the pseudoscience you can handle for the low, low price of $11.95!
Every assessment of the worldview of evangelicals under the age of 25 dang kids!paints a grim picture of how poorly most Christian parents, pastors and church leadership are doing at transferring the historic tenets of the faith to our children failures! you're all failures!. As a result, the emotionally compelling arguments promoting activist government involved with the smallest minutia of our lives the difference between 36% tax rate and 39% tax rate? Obama watches you floss. has captured many young men and women who profess Christianity while following the path of Dr. Cizik and voting for Barack Obama. We won! You lost!

We DO have responsibility to be good stewards of God's creation, didn't he just say that concern for global warming was causing divorce? we DO have a duty to wisely use the natural resources He put here, and we have a clear mandate to defend the defenseless unless they're muslim!, care for the widow and orphan unless they're muslim, in which case we make them widows and orphans! and feed the hungry (the church, not the government!) in Jesus' name come over here and beg for your soup, goddammnit!, not for the sake of good works and easing our conscience. National defense, the economy, business and commerce, education – they are all "fair game" for evangelicals and where God has given us stewardship duties. Pretty sure Jesus didn't say anything at all about national defense, economy, business (well, render unto caeser), commerce and education. wait a minute . . . rereads bible . . . nope. There is a catch, however. there's always a catch, isn't there?

When Jesus declared to his followers (John 8:31-32) that, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free," there was a clear "if" as there is in so much of Scripture attached to God's blessings and provision. yeah, it's right there at the beginning of the verse. and? Our applied principles and actions in addressing the above list of crucial issues must square with the truth of His word, or the consequences will be catastrophic. show me where, exactly where, you found all that crap about the economy, defense, etc. and I will bow down before you, Mr. Welch. it's not in the bible, jesus never said it, and you really need to stop putting words in his mouth.

It is time for a new, grass-roots voice what an odd image! rising up hey, i called dibs on the revolution! city by city from coast to coast, resonating from teams of biblically grounded pastors and church leaders who will transcend political parties and top-down organizations adrift on the sea of moral relativism to speak to every vital issue of the day in their proper order of priority – beginning with the sanctity of life, marriage and family. wow, i'm not sure that english there at the end. but, apparently, you can't talk about global warming without having first talked about abortion and gays. this makes for very long sermons, i'm sure.


  1. Nehemiah? its things like this that make me wonder if the Fundies In Charge are just making shit up...
    in the novella "If This Goes On..." my Robert Heinlein, in 2012 the US elects a VERY fundy minister named Nehemiah Scudder, who replaces the constitution with a far-right theocracy. at first glance, i was SURE that this "school" was touting this as was a subversive element within fundy society. oh, well, my name isn't Alanis and i can appreciate irony.

  2. Alanis Morisette irony reference! You wins the interweb!

    They are indeed making things up-- everything they say that the bible/jesus says. I know it's odd for an atheist, but I read the bible all the time, in 6 different translations. Fundys just say that whatever their viewpoint is is in the bible, under the theory that no one will check, I guess.

  3. Wait a minute! I want a piece of teh interwebs! I can prove I ref'd Alanis irony before 1:02 AM on Wednesday...!
    Actually, I had a major "zomg better than Alanis irony" moment yesterday when I noticed an anti-gay blogger had actually linked to a site that is a rebuttal to the religious right on "the myth of the 'gay manifesto'" AS PROOF THAT TEH GAYZ (oh NOES) HAVE A MANIFESTO.
    I didn't even point it out to her, just bookmarked the site so I can go back and laugh when I need some amusement.

  4. Hey, share! I can always use a good laugh. I can offer you a piece of the revolution, but unfortunately, I have already given away the interwebs. (I spent the entire year that stupid song was played, incessantly, on the radio, screaming, "No, it's unfortunate, you idiot!")

    Besides, I thought teh gayz had an agenda, not a manifesto. If teh gayz get a manifesto, then I want a manifesto. Mostly, I just want to say manifesto, but why are liberals only getting an agenda?

  5. Oh, if you insist. I REFUSE to put a link here, though, so I'm sorry you'll have to do a little work to get there (oh, and when you do, save yourself the pain of reading the tripe and just scroll down to comment #6, which includes the link that she um, yeah, actually used to prove teh gayz have teh manifesto. (Don't get me started on agendas. Just because you're part of the hegemony doesn't mean you don't have an agenda, too, you assjacks [not YOU you; THEM you])
    All right, the sharing:
    It's standingfortruth2008 (cuz you know, we marriage equality people, we stand only for teh LIES!) dot wordpress dot com and it's the top post with the oh-so-precious Seinfeld reference (which el dummo doesn't seem to realize can also be read as her admitting that SHE is a Nazi. And I feel no need to clue her in to that, either.) It's good stuff.

  6. wow! now that's teh stupidz for not getting the sarcasm there!

    interesting and somewhat related topic: what is sodomy? the word comes from sodom, the city destroyed by god. your average christian will tell you that sodomy is a sexual act. in fact, the crime of the sodomites was inhospitality. the story of sodom and [that other city i can't spell] isn't a story about sexual mores, it's a story about the tension between newer, city-dwelling jews and their traditional, nomadic cousins.

    so, the next time someone acts in a less than hospitable manner towards you, tell them to stop sodomizing you!

  7. All right, I'm all for equality and destroying (or at least neutralizing) the oppressive hegemony of language but the last thing I need is my 3-year-old picking up "Stop sodomizing me" so I'm going to hold off on that one for now :)

  8. apparently, you wouldn't be surprised about the calls home i get! (i don't have kids, but we do raise my niece)

  9. Nope. No surprise here (nor judgment). Please, I'm the one who will be able to pick out her kid in the pageant this weekend because he thinks the lyrics are "Oh, come on, be faithful."

  10. For the longest time I thought dawnzerly was a word (dawn's early light), and I thought ellemenopee was a word (l m n o p from the alphabet song).

    When I think back to how I was as a kid, I guarantee I would have been diagnosed with something today.

  11. I disagree about the diagnosing. The pageant kid (he's 6) thought that alphabet string was

    We left one doctor's practice because he kept skirting "ADHD" but using all the textbook descriptive phrases. That was also the reason we left the local public school. The in-laws (who are not actually blood-related to my kid, since my husband is adopted) have all 5 of the youngest kids on Ritalin and they RAVE about it ("Oh, he's just a different kid now!" Um, yes, he's DRUGGED.) and I simply cannot fathom allowing someone to diagnose a naturally kinetic, bright kid when the truth is, he's not bad, he's BORED.

  12. Yeah, drug me up enough, and I'm sure I could pass as normal, too. Yeesh.

    I would have been diagnosed. I learned to read shortly before my second birthday. This caused HUGE problems in school, because teachers would not allow me to read a book quietly while they were teaching "reading readiness" to the rest of the room. I would get bored and cause trouble. By the time I got to a school with a "gifted" program, I was so sick of the whole thing I did nothing but cause trouble.

    I just called my mom and told her that I loved her. She put up with a lot.

  13. Wow does that sound familiar. I didn't start reading until after I turned two, but other than that, yeah... I got in a lot of trouble. Which is why my dad sent me my old kindergarten report cards when we had so much trouble with Goat #1 last year (so I could compare the comments.) The thing that saved me, I think, was skipping 2nd grade and then in 4th grade, we moved and I was in a new school with a G&T program that rocked. And I got a lot of positive reinforcement from school for being one of the smart kids, so I wasn't in quite so much trouble after that.
    I wish I could call my Mom, too.


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