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I've long felt that the current, nearly total identification of evangelicals with the Republican party was tenuous and oddly out of step with its fundamental principles.  Not just on the basis of the clear imperatives Jesus gave to side at all times with the less fortunate and less powerful, but also because Christian doctrine so emphatically rejects so many key elements of conservative politics, such as judgmental moral relationships, support of political establishment, and political participation in general.  

I know this first hand because I was brought up in evangelical churches and even considered entering the ministry when I was a young adult.  Now, of course, I'm your typical thoroughly secularist urbanite.  But ironically, what pushed me away from Christianity was the frightening realization that many of these people were more concerned with having their worldview and moral and political opinions affirmed, than with actually following the gospel.  I began to question my faith because it seemed so impotent--so incapable to raising questions in its followers minds about the dissonance in their commitments to the gospel with the political alignments they'd made.  If this religion was being used to legitimize hypocrisy and what essentially amounted to persecution of those not like them, whatever the virtues of the basic tenets of that religion, there must have been something wrong with it on a deeper level.  

If I had to venture a guess at an explanation for this, it seems that evangelicals are for whatever reason the kind of people who are incapable of recognizing the possibility that their political alignments are not completely reconcilable with their religious beliefs.  

In the news today, we can observe two different responses to the President's re-election, one that profoundly supports my old conclusions, and one that suggests I might have been too quick to judge.  Follow me after the break.

The L.A. Times is reporting today that a coal company called Murray Energy is laying off 150 workers, in direct response to President Obama's election.  Their chief executive, Robert Murray, links the decision to the election and claims to be acting on behalf of God.

Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Co., the largest privately held coal company in America, blamed the layoffs on President Obama --  and, by extension, the voters who elected him -- in a memo to employees.

“The American people have made their choice,” Murray said in what he called a prayer that he delivered at a staff meeting at which he discussed the layoffs. The prayer was first made public by the Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register. “We are a country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.... The takers outvoted the producers.”

Reduced demand for coal, slumps in coal prices and looming pollution regulations have converged to cause the destruction of the coal industry, Murray said.

“We must totally go into survival mode and generate all the cash that we can from whatever we still have left that can help us,” he wrote in a memo to his staff.

The layoffs occurred at three Murray Energy subsidiaries: Seven employees were let go at Kanawha Transportation Center, 54 were laid off at American Coal, and 102 were laid off at UtahAmerican Energy.

“Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us to build,” Murray said in the prayer, which he delivered to about 50 staff members in a private meeting Wednesday afternoon.

It's difficult to tell what to make of this.  The company apparently employs around 3,000 workers in total, which suggests that this was probably a planned layoff anyway.  But what is truly horrifying here is that this man has chosen to disrespect these workers by turning their misfortune into a political football, and not only that, but also to invoke God as justification for this cowardly act.  It's the kind of odd human obliviousness we saw demonstrated in a different context in the Mourdock debate.  You just wonder what sort of community these people live in that makes them think this is appropriate behavior.

On the other hand, the Times is also reporting today on a surprisingly hopeful interview with the leader of an organization that most of us around here consider a genuine political enemy.

As the head of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly might be considered one of the nation's leading culture warriors — a title that certainly applied to his predecessor, James Dobson, who founded the organization and built it into a powerhouse of the conservative evangelical movement.

And, to be sure, Daly threw the considerable resources of his organization — which fiercely opposes abortion and same-sex marriage — behind the campaign to defeat President Obama, paying for millions of mailers that listed the presidential candidates' positions on issues that were important to “values voters.”

In the aftermath of the election, however, Daly is willing to say things that few conservative evangelical leaders are likely to say. He believes, for instance, that the Christian right lost the fight against same-sex marriage in four states in part because it is on the losing side of a cultural paradigm. He says the evangelical community should have been considering immigration reform years ago, “but we were led more by political-think than church-think.”

And, along the same lines, he argues that evangelicals have made a mistake by marching in lock step with the Republican Party.

“If the Christian message has been too wrapped around the axle of the Republican Party, then a) that's our fault, and b) we've got to rethink that,” he said in a telephone interview, which followed a preelection interview in his office in Colorado Springs, Colo.

These are controversial views in Daly's world, and he concedes that some of them have stirred anger among some of his fellow conservative Christians. But Daly, who exudes preternatural cheerfulness, said he believes that evangelicals need to win over friends, not make more enemies, and that the results of the election underlined the need to reach out to people with whom they have disagreements — including Obama — and seek common ground.

“Maybe we've been looking in the wrong direction and we've got to be more ecumenical,” he said. For years, he said, evangelical conservatives were content to persuade the Republican Party to adopt their principles on social issues.

“I guess that's all good, except when you don't win elections,” he said. He added: “I think what we've got to do in the Christian community is be far more humble ... and not call it a war, a culture war.”

By all means, read the rest of the article.  But in the end, while Daly's statements are undeniably hopeful, it's doubtful they would provide very much comfort to those unfortunate workers being laid off in part, it appears, because of his organization's longstanding willingness to provide political cover to hypocrites like Robert Murray.

Originally posted to Replace cant with Kant on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (191+ / 0-)
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    TheFatLadySings, marleycat, VickiL, CherryTheTart, juca, Sylv, ashowboat, skidrow, lcrp, radarlady, Curt Matlock, real world chick, skrekk, TheLawnRanger, el dorado gal, SteelerGrrl, Chinton, chantedor, gizmo59, CyberDem, la urracca, letsgetreal, BeninSC, Its a New Day, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, LilithGardener, Andrew F Cockburn, Killer of Sacred Cows, steamed rice, myboo, Linda1961, ancblu, Amayi, Gustogirl, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, howabout, Renee, science nerd, Anjana, Kestrel, middleagedhousewife, dagnome, azrefugee, Bendra, Joieau, historys mysteries, LynChi, bill warnick, Julia Grey, alain2112, JosephK74, bnasley, Cronesense, dotdash2u, raster44, La Gitane, DRo, pvasileff, chrississippi, Brunette, DontTaseMeBro, yoduuuh do or do not, pimutant, mod2lib, Mistral Wind, rantsposition, sebastianguy99, grayday101, glitterscale, smrichmond, arizonablue, Spirit of Life, slowbutsure, Alexandre, stormicats, MarkInSanFran, Matt Esler, spooks51, elziax, Chaddiwicker, vahana, ms badger, rapala, kevin k, Only Needs a Beat, Sychotic1, PrahaPartizan, cv lurking gf, Dirtandiron, missLotus, third Party please, Dave in Northridge, raincrow, offgrid, thomask, shinobi9, uciguy30, alnep, ardyess, LearningCurve, citizen dan, jedennis, zhimbo, profundo, Nag, maggiejean, Clem Yeobright, Dobber, reflectionsv37, svboston, nupstateny, Paddy999, Freakinout daily, ammaloy, Cassandra Waites, essjay, Purple Priestess, HowieBeale, Andrew C White, Yamara, ItsaMathJoke, Sassy, 1BQ, wishingwell, Nebraskablue, xndem, ccasas, shortgirl, madgranny, StateofEuphoria, LeftArmed, Smoh, Cory Bantic, kurt, brentbent, earljellicoe, TheDuckManCometh, dougymi, quarkstomper, JDWolverton, antirove, BobBlueMass, cotterperson, Polly Syllabic, Trotskyrepublican, progressivist, CoolOnion, blueoasis, Gemina13, Angie in WA State, wlkx, dmhlt 66, Empower Ink, Jay C, mrsgoo, VTCC73, BlackQueen40, TX Freethinker, Matt Z, Mico0109, elginblt, Habitat Vic, TracieLynn, UPDoc, mdcalifornia, bluedust, JayC, latts, Crabby Abbey, countwebb, kyril, FiredUpInCA, bythesea, Carlo, markdd, NBBooks, terabytes, newinfluence, deha, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, Involuntary Exile, Shockwave, sfbob, Sharoney, mgoodm, YellerDog, cwsmoke, dotsright, J Orygun, Creosote, Aaa T Tudeattack
  •  Just like other entities, Evangelicals are not (64+ / 0-)

    monolithic. In my community, some of them are progressive on a number of issues. There is a branch of southern Baptists that are fairly liberal.

    I think Karl Rove's juggernaut is tumbling down. He counted on suburban and ex-urban mega-churches to bring in the vote. But not all evangelicals are associated with these groups. And younger people are turning away from religion because they are turned off by right-wing activism.

    Eventually, many will return to religious communities, but will bring with them a profoundly different spiritual approach.

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

    by TheFatLadySings on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:23:02 AM PST

    •  That's a fair point, I probably shouldn't be so (30+ / 0-)

      dismissive of the entire community.  I think I'm probably too informed by my own experiences.  I still have plenty of family who are evangelical, but unfortunately they don't come from your kind of communities.

      •  If you go back a few generations, my father's (26+ / 0-)

        family would have been Reformed Church, which I've seen referred to as an "evangelical" chuch. I got curious once and looked up some information about the Reformed Church. From what I've been able to figure, the word evangelical can be pretty slippery. I don't really like using it myself. Frequently I find that I use awkward phrases like "politically conservative Christians." I'd add "self-styled" before the word Christian if it didn't get too unweildly.

        The Reformed Church meshes pretty well with liberal political beliefs. My sister once had dinner with her live-in boyfriend, his family and Norman Vincent Peale and his wife. During dinner Mrs. Peale turned to my sister and said, "Are the two of you married?"

        This had been a huge bone of contention between my now brother-in-law and his conservative Methodist family. My sister cringed as she said, "No."

        Mrs. Peale said, "Good for you. Too many women feel pressured to marry young. Put it off for as long as you can."

        I've often thought that in the unlikely event that I suddenly felt that I believed in the Christian Gospel, I wouldn't have a problem joining the Reformed Church at all. At the time, I lived not far away from the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City and walked by it all the time. Perhaps that's what got me curious.

        •  The Reformed church is one of the two branches (10+ / 0-)

          of Protestantism. The other is Lutheranism. In the way that Luther started Protestantism as a whole, Calvin, who came a little after Luther, started Calvinism/the Reformed church.

          Christian fundamentalism derives from Calvinism and people unhappy with the Anglican church (which is ambiguously Protestant, since it's break with Rome was political, not theological).

          What is usually called "evangelical" in the US is a peculiarly American form of Protestantism, which was the result of established churches not existing in the US outside of the original Colonies on account of rapid expansion.

          •  Thanks for the information. (4+ / 0-)

            My father's family were Huguenots who came here by way of Amsterdam. Unlike the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Jersey Dutch are actually descended from the Dutch.

            Is the way evangelical churches arose in the U.S. similar to the way Methodism arose in England? I understand that Methodism first took hold among factory workers who were ignored by the Anglican Church. Also, are Methodists considered an evangelical group?

            •  I grew up Methodist, (3+ / 0-)

              but that was back in the '50s and '60s. Sometime back then, I quit Sunday School because the teacher insisted on the "virgin birth." The minister told my mom (prolly because she asked ;) to tell me that I didn't have to believe that to be a Methodist. "There are many paths," one memorable minister said.

              In my early 20s I worked for an intercultural ecumenical "ministry," which was mostly getting Latino, Anglo, and a few Black kids to do things together. Everyone but the Catholics and Baptists participated. They keep power with fundamentalists by being the "only" way. We did a directory of community services, painted the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and took many trips to the beach, etc.

              Haven't been a church-goer for decades, though, and I suspect many (especially rural) Methodist churches are more literal about the ancient book so often edited. Fascinating PBS documentary at the link.

              In addition, the Methodist Church was targeted for takeover by some fundamentalist organization. The last one I visited in a small town was much more literal than the one I grew up in. May be part of the culture shift -- that we're finally reversing!!

              "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

              by cotterperson on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:18:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Most of my understanding of Methodism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cotterperson

                comes from George Eliot, if that gives you any idea of my cultural references.

                She has a very likeable depiction of it in Adam Bede, one of my all time favorite books, and a very different image in Middlemarch.

              •  I grew up in a Methodist church (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cotterperson, Alexandre

                in rural western South Dakota in the 50s and early 60s.  The congregation was pretty literal in its interpretation of the Bible.  In those days the local school granted an hour a week of "released time" so that elementary and junior high students could have religious instruction in their own churches.  I remember pissing off the minister during a so-called "Released Time" class when I openly expressed my disbelief in the seven-day creation myth - I was maybe 12 at the time.  I remember his actually asking me, "Well, then, who else could've done it?"  I'm sure he figured I wouldn't be able to offer an alternative, but I simply answered, "Evolution, of course!"  He went ballistic -- and even sent a note home with me to my parents, who were also appalled, actually.

                I don't think, in retrospect, that there was a nickel's worth of difference between the approaches of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches in places like that at the time.  Okay, Presbyterians took communion in their pews, while Methodists knelt at the altar rail, but I don't think much else was different.  Politics, I'm happy to say, were never mentioned from the pulpit, though I do remember the minister asking us to pray for the president -- especially after the assassination of JFK in 1963.  All in all, church, at that time, was more of a social club than anything else.  Religion was a presence, but it didn't impinge on how people really behaved.  That seems to have changed now, however, because whenever I visit nowadays many, many conversations are laced with "Praise the Lord!" and "Thank you, Jesus."  It drives this self-styled, closet Buddhist nuts.

                I should add, there were two denominations which were sort of odd-men-out  in town at the time:  the Catholic and the Open Bible churches (The Open Bible was fundamentalist, evangelical, and said to "speak in tongues," though I had no proof of that.) In the days before the Vatican II Conference, Protestant children did NOT play with Catholics -- and vice versa.  And the only time one would enter the other's churches was in the case of a wedding or a funeral.  The feeling among Protestants there was that Catholics were just short of being heathen, and many actually strove to convert them!  No, I am not kidding.  As for Jews or Muslims, there were none of either.  No blacks, either, come to think of it.  I guess we had one token Latino family -- the Perezes -- but I don't recall anyone ever mentioning what their nationality was.  On that score, anyway, there was a modicum of tolerance.                                                                                                                                                                              

                -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

                by GulfExpat on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:55:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  There are similarities between Methodism and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              evangelicalism. But Methodism is an actual denomination with a founder, John Wesley, whereas evangelicalism is much more "bottom up". Methodism and evangelicalism can both be seen as a response to the "lack of feeling" in "high" churches like the Episcopal church. Maybe because of that, Methodist congregations are at risk of being "captured" by fundies, as cotterperson has noted.

              But I am the wrong person to ask about Methodism, since I was raised Russian Orthodox and have never been to a Methodist service. Anyway, GulfExpat has given you a better answer than I could have.

              One more thing about the Reform church, though: Calvin actually tried to create "God's kingdom on earth" in Geneva, which is where he was based. (That's nothing that would have ever occurred to Luther.) Some "conservative" Christian groups try to do the same thing today in the US, although that seems much more sinister to us now than it did back then. (Also, Calvin was interested in godliness, not obsessed with abortion and gay marriage.)

      •  Something like 85% (6+ / 0-)

        of Evangelicals supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq and that strikes me as a good litmus test for political leanings. I suspect (but do not know) that the majority of the 'liberal' Evangelicals who were against the invasion and who actually care deeply about the poor are mainly black churches.   There are very few Evangelical communities that are in any sense liberal and those that self describe as 'liberal' (like Jim Wallis) often work against the reproductive and basic civil rights of women.

    •  I consider Evangelicals a hate group (14+ / 0-)

      I think they are dangerous to the individuals involved and dangerous to America.

      That's freedom though.  

      I think rationalist should be a lot more strident in debunking the Evangelical propaganda and I don't mean just it's hate of gay people, poor people, elderly people and science.  I think the religion itself should be debunked.

      Agree or disagree but I am no longer granting the respect that I did for most of my life.  Don't like it?  Thank Dobson, Graham, Robertson and a host of others.

    •  Fat Lady, please substantiate... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheFatLadySings

      ..."Eventually, many will return to religious communities"
      Is this simply UR opinion or can U document with a reference to a study which purports to support Ur comment?

      •  It's the conventional wisdom (12+ / 0-)

        that young people will return to their religious communities after they have marry and have children, because that's what usually happens with each generation. Fat Lady is only saying what a lot of religious leaders are saying.

        But there is some evidence that this generation may break that pattern. This study by the Barna Group hypothesizes a different path for current young people. It's very interesting reading, because the Barna Group services the evangelical community. When George Barna talks, evangelicals listen. In this study, he is telling the evangelical leadership that the happy fairy tale they are telling themselves about the kids ultimately returning to the fold ain't necessarily so.

        The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

        by Alice Venturi on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:53:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not assuming they'll return to the fold they (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper, Alice Venturi

          came from, but that they'll make their own, based on their own perspectives and needs.

          And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

          by TheFatLadySings on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:12:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I actually agree. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfbob, TheFatLadySings, kyril

            Sorry I misunderstood you above. I suspect whatever the young people turn to will surprise even George Barna, who is smarter than the average right-wing evangelical. It will be a signpost that points the way to whatever it is that non-fundamentalist religion is evolving into, here in America. Because, make no mistake, religion is undergoing an evolutionary process; it will change as the culture changes. As a Religious Studies person, I kinda find that fascinating.

            The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

            by Alice Venturi on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:18:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if my family is any indication of what will (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alice Venturi, kyril

          happen in the future, that study would be right. My mother was sent to Catholic school despite the fact that her father was an atheist. Somehow, they seemed to feel like they needed to indoctrinate the children. However, when she started expressing religious beliefs as a teenager, he put her in a public school.

          Later, my parents had us baptized and we went to church for a few years until they realized that it was silly to indoctrinate us since they didn't believe themselves.

          Before my sister and her husband first got married, whether or not to send any future children to church was settled by deciding to not have children. At the time, my brother-in-law believed that children needed religion to teach them morality, even though he had stopped believing in god himself, rather like my grandfather. However, he's changed his mind about that since.

          I wonder if people who haven't seen children who were raised without religion have the same worry that it's somehow necessary for moral development. If that's the case, as there are more and more, and less closeted, non-believers, the sense that raising children in the faith is just something everyone does will start to fade.

      •  I am basing this opinion on what I've seen (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DvCM, wlkx, MaikeH, kyril, FrankRose

        happen over the years with the Reform Jewish people of my generation. My grandparents' generation rejected ritual to become American. Many of the people I know in my generation returned to ritual, educating our children rigorously in Jewish tradition, but remaining politically liberal and tolerant.

        I've watched my daughter and  her friends, who were mainly professed atheists, go through a similar transformation as they entered college. I think many people feel a need for spirituality in their lives which does not necessarily translate into intolerance.

        Myth helps return meaning to life. One doesn't have to become ideological and intolerant to find meaning in religion.

        And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

        by TheFatLadySings on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:10:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A lot of spiritual folks have taken it private and (19+ / 0-)

      may not even go to ANY church any more.

      We don't know how many, because they now refuse to identify as Christian (or whatever faith), because they just want freedom to practice their religion, and it's nobody else's business.

    •  77% of evangelicals voted for Romney. (14+ / 0-)

      That means that almost a quarter voted for Obama. I wonder what the breakdown is by race- there are lots of evangelical hispanics.

    •  The modern right wing Evangelical community (14+ / 0-)

      might not be monolithic, but it can quite evidently be described as a particular super-majority demographic.

      For varying reasons, the current epistemological nature of this faith-based group requires that they reject unassailable facts, basic logic and critical reasoning.  

      If one submits entirely to faith -- as an epistemological method or proof of the true strength of one's faith and belief -- it is a very easy transition to precess all other matters of knowledge and understanding through the same narrow filter.  

      Law, politics, ideology and science, for but several key examples, all become other matters of faith for the true believers -- without regard or concern that the method for pursuit of knowledge and understanding in these various disciplines recognizes faith and belief in entirely different ways than does organized, fundamentalist and literalist religious sects.

      The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

      by ancblu on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:22:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Daly is just talking tactics (18+ / 0-)

    I don't see any change in policy. I don't see him saying they should shift their focus away from politics, just away from being so obvious about it.

  •  “that's all good, except when you don't win..." (29+ / 0-)

    This statement gets to the real motivation behind Daly's comment: losing. I don't believe for one second that he truly gives a damn about being more humble or more truly representing the Gospels. He's just embarrassed by losing, that's all. He still believes that evolution is a fraudulent theory inspired by Satan, and that Adam and Eve had vegetarian dinosaurs for neighbors in the Garden of Eden 5,000 years ago.

    Put it this way: if Romney and Rove and Adelson had triumphed, Daly wouldn't have issued a single peep about humility. He'd be triumphantly ringing the bell of FOF's militant homophobia and militantly ignorant hostility to education and science.

  •  Evangelical XPianity is based mostly on the (16+ / 0-)

    unprophetical parts of the OT & on the Apocalypse -- I.e., the parts of the Bible that emphasize a judgmental, angry God.  (Mencken:  "Evangelical Christianity is, as everyone knows, founded on hate, just as the message ofcJesus was founded on love.").

    How much do you ever hear from Evangelicals abt the Beatitudes, the eye-of-the-needle metaphor, whoopin' up on the money-changers, the OT prophets' constant ragging on the rich for neglecting the poor, & such like messages that the prophets & Gospels are replete with?

    Nada?  That's what I thought.

    •  and the Sermon on the Mount (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vahana, wlkx
      •  Evangelical XPianity is based on the Sermon on (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vahana, DvCM, wlkx

        the Mount?  If that's what you meant, I would contend that it's based on the CONVERSE of that Sermon, which, incidentally, is almost equivalent to The Beatitudes -- "Blessed are the . . . .".  Maybe I don't pay close enough attention, but I seldom remember the Rel. Rt. esposing meekness, voluntary poverty, or peace-making very much.

        •  I wouldn't call them evangelical (6+ / 0-)

          but the one Christian group that does live this way are the Mennonites, and their brethren, the Amish.

          For instance, during the rising waters leading up to the devastating floods of '08 in Iowa, a large number of Amish helped local towns with sandbagging efforts.

          In a northeastern Iowa town that was devastated by floods later, they spent time helping with clean-up work and were able to demolish a large number of ruined buildings much faster than a similar group of us "English" as they call us.

          Remember how the Amish in Pennsylvania forgave that gunman that shot their schoolchildren, and did what they could to help his widow?

          I've seen them in action, and a good friend of mine who is trans-gendered, now female, is attending seminary to become a Mennonite minister. Through her, I've also learned about their Peace teams, active in Palestine, Iraq and South America. One of their people was killed by an Israeli bulldozer a while back.

          Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

          by murasaki on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:02:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sermon on the Mount (0+ / 0-)

          The Sermon on the Mount is itself internally inconsistent.
          It serves as its own converse.

          Perhaps from two different sources.

          http://wiki.ironchariots.org/...

          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          by Skipbidder on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:35:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sermon on the Mount (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, the good witch

        is the Beatitudes.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:28:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Eye of the Needle (7+ / 0-)
      How much do you ever hear from Evangelicals abt the Beatitudes, the eye-of-the-needle metaphor
      Oh, I hear a lot about the eye of the needle metaphor, because it is so obviously a rebuke to the rich that they have to "SPLAIN" it as meaning something else.

      See, what Jesus was saying was that it wasn't impossible for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven, the way it would be for a rope or cable -- what translators now think the "camel" word was originally -- to go through the eye of an actual needle.

      Oh, no. He only meant that it would be "difficult." There was this really low gate into Jerusalem, see, which was called the Eye of the Needle, and merchants could bring their loaded-high camels through it, but only if they could make their camels get down and shuffle through it ON THEIR KNEES.

      No, really. That's the story they tell. It's twue! It's twue!

      So, now that you believe that, you can also believe that what Jesus said when he said "it is harder for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel (cable) to go through the eye of a needle," was ACTUALLY: "if you're rich, you can still get into the Kingdom of Heaven, as long as you approach it on your knees!"

      Oh, and the Beatitudes? These people think that their personal tragedies and family peace-making efforts are what qualify them for those blessings. They even think they're meek, at least sometimes. In certain situations. And besides (honest to gaud, one woman said to me) it says, "poor IN SPIRIT," not "POOR!"

      •  Self-deception knows no bounds. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat, tobendaro, Nailbanger, DvCM, wlkx

        So, as long as a wealthy person imagines s/he is poor and suffering, then s/he is more worthy in God's eyes than someone who is really poor and suffering.  Meanwhile, s/he has amassed material wealth in direct proportion to her/his lack of faith in God's ability to sustain her life, the way He nurtures the sparrows, the lilies, and all of His creation, even the seemingly insignificant bits of it.

        That Creflo Dollar, prosperity gospel BS has certainly warped a lot of minds and hearts!  It's a revelation to see that old demon Projection hard at work making the evangelicals blame the liberals for introducing moral relativism in our American paradise.


        “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by vahana on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:11:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I had one fundamentalist explain it this way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, wlkx

        Jesus ministry of feeding the poor and healing the sick (also poor) was only to show his deity.  Saving souls is the only thing that is important, following Christ's example is not even relevant.  Only accepting Jesus as savior is of any importance.
        Of course, when it comes to gay rights, something not really addressed in the new testament, it becomes a litmus test for belief.  Contraception and abortion make the list too.  And even though life is paramount, and Jesus died in a politically motivated and thoroughly corrupt death penalty case you can guess the prevalent opinion on it.

        These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

        by Nailbanger on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:57:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. I've heard the "eye of the needle" sentence (0+ / 0-)

        and the meaning, that rich people can't get into heaven, seemed so obvious to me that I never even paused to think about what it meant. You could knock me over with a feather learning that there's actually discussion about this. Even if it means "rope" and not "camel" the meaning still seems pretty clear to me.

        I might be betraying my near total ignorance of Christianity, but I always assumed that since Jesus told people that if they wanted to follow him that they needed to get rid of their posessions (um, is that right?) and that they were supposed to help the poor. Then if you died rich, obviously you did not try to follow him in the least. If you really believed, you would have spent all you money trying to alleviate the suffering of the poor. Am I totally confused?

        And, yes, it's always seemed obvious to me that Christians, of any denomination I've been around, didn't do anything of the sort.

        I don't think they'd have too many followers if they insisted on that, now would they?

        Of course, what the heck do I know about any of this.

  •  Question (3+ / 0-)

    Could someone help me, a poor non-believer in understanding the whole "it is easier for a rich man to ride a camel through the eye of a needle than make it to heaven"

    First, is my quote accurate and second where does it come from and third, how do modern day religious leaders justify promoting the universal admiration of rich men?

    •  Here's a jokey explanation but a good one I (8+ / 0-)

      think

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:09:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not "ride a camel" (16+ / 0-)

      "Mat_19:24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

      The best explanation I've heard, from a linguist and historian, is that is Hebrew the word for "camel" varies by one character from the word for a heavy ship"s rope.

      Either way it's a clear message, backed up by many others, which Lord Acton echoed at the end of the nineteenth century, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

      When my wife followed her sisters in becoming an evangelical Christian I spent 20 years at a fundamentalist church and participated in all the Bible studies despite never becoming a member. What I found was that very few evangelical Christians have reading skills. And there is a long tradition in Christianity, before Augustine, but codified by him, to take all verses you agree with as literal and all verses you disagree with as figurative.

      Our reason is quite satisfied ... if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized... Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case. - William James

      by radical empiricist on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Camel was mis-translation for rope nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, blueoasis
    •  The Verse in Context (5+ / 0-)

      I've heard various rationalizations to explain away this verse, such as "The Eye of the Needle was a narrow gate in Jerusalem" or "The word Camel actually means Rope" but they tend to ignore the next bit:

      Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingom of God."

      When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

      Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossilbe, but with God all things are possible."  (Matthew 19:23-26)

      Which is to say, the disciples hearing Jesus did not interpret him to mean "Tricky, but a skillful camel-driver can manage it"; but rather "That's just not possible".  And Jesus does not correct this impression; he only says that "with God all things are possible."

      There are scads of other places in the Gospels which speak about riches.  Jesus tells his followers to seek to accumulate treasure in heaven rather than on earth where it is subject to decay and devaluation and stuff.  He warns us that we cannot serve both God and Mammon.  The Epistles exhort the Church not to show favoritism to the wealthy and everybody's heard St. Paul's comment about what The Love of Money is the Root of.

      The instances I've seen of someone trying to pull out a Bible verse as a Proof Text to show that Wealth is a Virtue have struck me as pretty lame.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:57:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If my teenage nephew, who is an Evangelical (16+ / 0-)

    is typical, the younger part of the Evangelical movement has known what Jim Daly said for awhile. He and most of his friends just don't understand and have never understood what the obsession with gay marriage is. I think he's actually mildly against it himself but thinks there are just so many issues which are much bigger and more important. Global warming for example. He believes that humans are ""stewards of the earth" and doing a piss poor job at it.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:07:44 AM PST

  •  Murray sounds like RW libertarian (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu, wishingwell

    whose G_d talk is mostly window dressing.  Maybe that is what is coming apart. The true believers and the panderers.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:14:47 AM PST

  •  that's what happens, daly, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmcphail, dotdash2u, tobendaro, raincrow, DvCM

    when one copulates with an idol, such as political power.  The bible refers to this kind of contaminated loyalty as adultery. it never leads to a better expression of faith and love and hope. instead it leads to gross immorality, which we saw, full Monty, in the revolting devotion to elect a proven liar pursuing all that greed and pride desires.

  •  Robert Murray asked for God's forgiveness - (5+ / 0-)

    doesn't that suggest he knows what he is doing is morally wrong?

    That's a sign to me, that the lay offs were going to happen no matter who was elected.  Murray admitted publicly that he's lying about why.

  •  Freedom of religion (11+ / 0-)

    ..doesn't appear to include freedom from religion in the eyes of too many "evangelicals."

    "Values voters?"

    Gullible pawns.

    Maybe one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:52:48 AM PST

  •  There are two kinds of Christianity. (9+ / 0-)

    One is tyranno-Christianity, which is the one you rejected (and justly so, in my opinion), and the other is democrato-Christianity, which is the one that seems to actually follow the teachings of Jesus, or at least tries to.

    I am about to publish a book that shows that any institution can have two forms, tyranno and democrato. Tyranno-institutions work against the common good in favor of selfish individual goals. Democrato-institutions work for the common good. Our world is full of this dichotomy. In my book I devote an entire to the differences between the two forms of Christianity.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:53:47 AM PST

    •  Sounds interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DvCM

      Are you relying on any particular political thinkers?

      •  I had the good fortune to spend (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, wishingwell, DvCM, wlkx

        a good portion the first 18 years of my life listening to some very special thinkers. When my father and other young men came from WWII they would meet weekly at our house where they talked about our national institutions. My mother called these talks, "solving the world's problems." As an adult I had the good fortune to work for some well-known businessmen before they became well known. I watched them grow up and build huge corporations. And, as part of my working life I met many other corporate leaders as I developed systems for them and the enterprises they controlled. Because of my early experience with my father and his friends I developed a habit, a hobby really, of studying people and institutions as they performed in the marketplace, not in their personal lives. Out of these experiences, over 66 years' worth, I learned some things. First, I learned that I have never had an original idea, but I learned that I could be useful to others if I found a way to implement good ideas that had not yet been implemented. So, this is what I have done in my book. The world if full of good ideas that would make us a better nation, they just need to be implemented. Some have been implemented but forgotten as in the case of ancient Athens. There are nine ideas that the Athenians implemented as they invented democracy, and all of these ideas were ignored, deliberately, by the Framers. I show why these ideas are sound, and I show how, by means of modern technology, we can implement them. In fact, Daily Kos is very similar to one of the key Athenian ideas. I use Daily Kos as an example of how technology can make a difference.

        Lordy,  how I do go on.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

        by hestal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:46:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm actually in the process of writing (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hestal, raincrow, DvCM, sfbob

          a dissertation on Hannah Arendt, who was also a well-known polis-phile.

          •  I am not a scholar. When I took a few courses (4+ / 0-)

            in college about political science and government and then several about religion and some history courses and one on the Constitution, I never could get interested. It seemed to me that none of these courses led anywhere, never led to solutions or problem-solving.

            It was in my work that I began to see a path to results. One of the key ideas in this is one that has been observed and remarked on by many people throughout history, and it leads, logically, to a process that can solve our problems. In fact, the Framers knew about this idea and said that it was the principal design element of the Constitution, but then, at the end, the lacked the nerve to implement it. But this idea is being noticed more often nowadays and it will not be long until it gains acceptance. Then it will be implemented and all will be well. I hope I live to see it. I might.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:10:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hestal, would you give a brief description (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DvCM

              of this idea? You have my curiosity peaked.

              •  I could, in fact I have given a description. (0+ / 0-)

                But it is long; it is a book. However, in a little while my book will publish and I plan to shamelessly promote it by posting a diary or two here that will summarize the contents of each chapter. The title of the book is: Faction-Free Democracy; Finishing What the Framers Started. Some of the chapter headings are:

                Why I wrote this book. (If you don't have an earthshaking idea, get one. You'll love building a better world.)

                This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream. (Many Mighty Things)

                Men who work against the common good. (You are what you do--to others.)

                The Tyranno-South (Some men are created unequal.)

                Tyranno-Christianity (Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools)

                Tyranno-Parties (Cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men)

                Evolution by Cogitation (A new variety of Evolution)

                Where do we stand? (Factions here, factions there, factions, factions, everywhere.)

                How did we get here? (The tyranno-rich fear the poor.)

                Where do we want to go? (Nine superior ideas of Athenian democracy)

                Where do we want to go? (The Guardians of Democracy)

                How do we get there from here? (The Cogitation Generation)

                There may be some slight changes in the foregoing, but nothing really important.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                by hestal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:41:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  You may or may not be interested to know (0+ / 0-)

            that I took a class with her not long before she passed away. I was a grad student in philosophy in the early 70's, studying at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. I dropped out of grad school the semester following and Arendt died not long afterwards.

            The class, as I recall, was based on her final group of studies, published posthumously as "The Life of the Mind." This particular one focused on the concept of "will" which, she asserted (if I remember correctly), was an artifact of early Christian thought introjected into Greek philosophy.

            I don't remember everything we read back then. I do recall that I had to purchase a Catholic bible (which I would not normally have owned, being Jewish) and that we also, rather unsurprisingly, read some Nietzsche.

    •  Also interesting to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, DvCM

      I'm exploring this and have had a few discussions around this viewpoint with people who voted for Romney and claim churches and civic organizations are the only way, not government.

      There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

      by OHeyeO on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:22:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do they ever explain why? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DvCM
        •  Consider it an issue of choice. (0+ / 0-)

          They want to give their time and money to the church because they know the people. Remember "clinging to their religion and guns" in 2008. They consider taxation taking their money without control of who it is spent on and where it is to be spent. The word "takers" comes up frequently. I think much of it is racial.

          There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

          by OHeyeO on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:54:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I suppose they would reject FEMA if their (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DvCM

        house was destroyed by flood or another natural disaster then? I doubt their churches and civic organizations could raise the kind of money to rebuild homes in NJ and NY and elswhere since Hurricane Sandy.  They do not realize the millions of dollars needed to help people in such situations.

        Many of their churches and clubs can barely afford to pay the utilities, pay the staff, and pay the mortgage..I would like to see them come up with millions upon millions of dollars to help the poor in their communities and help their state in times of natural disaster.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:50:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DvCM, OHeyeO

          my evangelical sister just drove a van full of aid from her church in Maryland to NYC for the Sandy victims. So some try to walk the walk.

          •  But government is the coordination umbrella (0+ / 0-)

            Millions of vans delivering uncoordinated supplies is a second disaster to the original one. Were they coordinating with a church in the disaster area or just delivering supplies to fulfill their need to help? The thought and action are noble, but they also need to be effective.

            I worked for 20+ years with a consortium of local emergency management organizations. You may want to read this.

            There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

            by OHeyeO on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:08:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am not saying some do not try to help but the (0+ / 0-)

            help many are offering does not even come close to making a dent in the millions that are needed to rebuild an area after a natural disaster..not even close,.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:21:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  And churches can't do the most important thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          Over the long term, only the government can steadily get development out of danger areas. The much-hated flood insurance program has slowly and steadily kept and/or moved development out of flood plains along rivers. Much safer and less expensive in the long term. Moving back coastal development out of harm's way will be a long, difficult and slow process. But we would be foolish not to move in that direction. Civilizations vanish that do not respect the earth and its ways.

          There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

          by OHeyeO on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:17:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  oh? (0+ / 0-)

      Is the title of your book going to be: "No True Scotsman"?

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:41:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Proficiency in doublethink required (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murasaki

    for entry into that kind of fellowship... Good post..

    If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat. -SC/MT . -9.4, -7.0

    by Amayi on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM PST

  •  Beware of the Christian Right! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, La Gitane, blueoasis

    We have to remember that the GOP did not have a socially conservative platform until 1992.  Up until that point, the GOP platform was based primarily on supply-side economics and neoconservatism because social conservatives were still largely conservative Democrats.  The social conservatives jumped ship from the Democratic Party in large numbers after Pat Robertson lost his bid for the GOP nomination in the 1988 primary.  

    •  Pshaw. Don't you remember Reagan? (8+ / 0-)

      Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in the 80s?

      Nixon's Southern Strategy was accompanied by his "hippie strategy," which was to paint the entire Democratic party with the broad brush of drug-addled, sexually lax, dangerously revolutionary baby boomers (of which I was one). Billy Graham was one of his famous sidekicks.

      Yeah, maybe religion, per se was not referred to so directly in those days, but the Republicans have from time immemorial tried to paint themselves as the more moral party.

      My grandmother told me there was a saying in the 20s and 30s that "Republicans always closed their window shades, but didn't need to, and Democrats never closed their shades, but should."

      •  Nixon's Southern Strategy was based on (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sassy, DvCM, blueoasis, wlkx, sfbob

        tapping into anger over the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was kind of crazy because the GOP gave liberal Democrats the votes that they needed to overcome the objections of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.  The GOP at that point in time was primarily a party of the Northeast.   The Southern Strategy was strictly a play for votes, not ideology.

        The Moral Majority was a minor player in nationwide GOP politics the 1980s. Regan did not wear his religion on his sleeve, and "moderate" was not a dirty word in GOP politics.  While Reagan was a bit old fashioned, his politics were firmly grounded in supply-side economic theory and neoconservative military force projection.

        I was a member of the Maryland GOP from 1978 until 1992.  Up until 1992, the moderate wing of the GOP was still firmly in control of the GOP at the national level.  Many GOP politicians were more liberal than many of their Democratic counterparts (Mac Mathias was more liberal and effective in that nineteen years that he held the seat that Babs Mikulski currently holds).  That's why the parties were able to compromise back in those days.

        The Christian Coalition, led by Pat Robertson, took control of the party in 1992.  The Rockefeller and Goldwater wings were astonished at how methodically they gained control of the party.  The mastermind of the take over was Ralph Reed (Ralph Reed knew how the party worked because he spent years as a supply-side operative working alongside Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist). The rise of the Christian Coalition put an end to compromise.  They are responsible for sticking us with the class 1994 and G.W. Bush.

        By the way, Nixon wasn't a social conservative.  He wasn't much a fiscal conservative either (no fiscal conservative would have created the Environmental Protection Agency).  Like most politicians, Nixon was an opportunist.  He used whatever issue he could to peel votes away from the Democrats, and the “hippie” movement was wildly unpopular with members of the Greatest Generation in both parties.    

      •  Yes I watched Evangelical churches and friends (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        in my area go from being Democrats to Republicans in the 8os due to Reagan and Falwell influence.  I watched a church go from being almost liberal in the 5os and 6os to quite conservative by the 198os and by the 9os, they were tossing people out of the church for being part of a lodge or a grange or certain other clubs.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:53:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps the Xtians are realizeing that the (0+ / 0-)

    traditional Christians are changing their position from turning a blind eye to turning against the extremely not Gospel like behaviors and beliefs of the far right fundies.

    It really is no longer permissible to live in the the Dark Ages and try to force others to join you.

  •  But their remorse never lasts .... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotdash2u, DvCM, blueoasis

    OK ... Jim Daly sounds humble and contrite for the moment.

    He seems to have rediscovered the truth that "lying down with dogs results in rising up with fleas" ...

    But, I suspect this post-election introspection has more do do with "having lost" than "having been wrong" .... but it's supposed to be THE DEVIL who is known for discarding his Tools when they fail.

    Having grown up  with Billy Graham and the rest ... I'm going to need to see that crowd renouncing and abjuring Republican politicians for at least half as long as I've seen them whoring after them before I take this new found repentance seriously.

    •  Several of us have grown up with this background (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      Is there a Kos group for "post-Evangelicals" or "recovering Fundamentalists" or something like that?

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:13:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish there were, my family left the Evangelical (0+ / 0-)

        church almost 20 years ago ..but we were Methodists for many decades, but my parents veered off into the Evangelical church for about 10 yrs ..off and on..then back to the Methodists.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:55:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience has (6+ / 0-)

    some history of how the evangelical movement wound up in bed with the republican party as well as some references to psychological studies on authoritarianism.  I went to a private fundie school as well as going to my mom's church 3 - 7 times a week and much of what Dean says, about authoritarianism is spot on.

    Its worth noting there's definitely a large populist vein of ore in the thinking among fundies/evangelicals.  Huckabee tapped this a bit and it scared the monied interests in the GOP.  Several months ago my mom, whose conservative fundie street cred Ralph Reed WISHES he had, mentioned it probably wasn't right how much profit was being made on resources god put on earth for everyone to use.

    However, there will always be (well, for decades anyway) a conflict between fundies/evangelicals & science.  The heart of the fundie/evangelical ethos is the bible is the literal word of god and their interpretation of it doesn't currently allow for evolution or gay people.  Its possible their thinking on this might change in a century or so as scientific explanations become even more undeniable.  After all, we're talking about a strain of thinking a few of whose pastors preached ~early 1800's the human body couldn't withstand speeds over 40-60mph in reaction to someone putting a steam engine on a carriage that road on rails.

    The biggest reason fundies/evangelicals are such a natural fit w/conservatives is a fear of change.  That's especially true with fundies.  They're very afraid of a world that changes so cling to their rigid, supposedly timeless interpretation of the bible.  You can hear it in the lyrics of their hymns, with their bible/god being "a rock", a "solid foundation", a bulwark against the storm.  As liberals tend to embrace change and be open to new ideas, it isn't as easy one would think to find common ground even given The Big J was most assuredly a lib/progressive.

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM PST

    •  Sort of the way the Church handled Galileo, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      in fact.

      But hey, now the Pope doesn't worry his downy head about the fact that Earth is not the center of the universe.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:16:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the exact same closemindedness as w/Galileo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

        by bnasley on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:23:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Best to read about the RCC and Galileo, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, murasaki

        the RCC and science. The falling out between Galileo and the Church went down in quite a different way than the popular myth.

        As a monotheist (Presby) and former molec biologist, I found very refreshing the following 1988 quote from Pope John Paul II (and I understand atheists will vehemently object to everything after the 1st clause of sentence 1):

        "Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish…We need each other to be what we must be, what we are called to be."
        The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences fully embraces modern cosmology and evolution, except on matters concerning the existence and nature of the soul (indeed the Church has patronized much of the research that has brought us to our modern understanding of physics and biology); has recognized global warming as one of the most critical threats to humanity, caused by humans burning fossil fuels; and has embraced R&D on GMO foods only insofar as the purpose is to better feed humanity, placing the responsibility for all harm caused by GMOs on the scientists and business people involved in the industry -- i.e., the RCC is far more progressive than our own government on matters of science.

        For starts:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        http://www.catholiceducation.org/...
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

        by raincrow on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:45:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had always thought that the Roman Catholic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow

          Church, unlike Fundamentalist Protestant Churches, was comfortable with evolution, so I was rather suprised when I read this article:

          Finding Design in Nature, By CHRISTOPH SCHÖNBORN

          EVER since 1996, when Pope John Paul II said that evolution (a term he did not define) was "more than just a hypothesis," defenders of neo-Darwinian dogma have often invoked the supposed acceptance - or at least acquiescence - of the Roman Catholic Church when they defend their theory as somehow compatible with Christian faith.

          But this is not true. The Catholic Church, while leaving to science many details about the history of life on earth, proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.

  •  Need Actual "Boycott Religious Churches" Campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    A lot of people are already on board, and a lot of people would make the jump if they knew other people felt the same.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:14:29 PM PST

  •  The term "evangelical" applies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, raincrow, DvCM

    to a very wide range of beliefs. It's a sliding scale, not an on-off switch. There are evangelicals that are very, very liberal, as well as the ones we're more familiar with on the radical far-right.

    The more liberal variety tends to keep a low profile, preferring to do social justice work rather than engage in culture war issues. These are the evangelicals that base their beliefs more on the words of Jesus than the (highly edited) writings of Paul. They tend to be better educated, more ecumenical, more tolerant, and (in my personal experience) have a bit more humility than your standard right-wing evangelical. A lot of these groups are working with the Occupy movement.

    Yes, one of the things that makes an evangelical, evangelical is a reliance on the Bible as the Word of God. But unlike the right-wing variety, liberal evangelicals don't necessarily believe that the Bible we have today is inerrant. They are more open to admitting that there's a heck of a lot of ambiguity in scripture, and that there are parts where we really don't know what the original intent of the writer was. This ability to tolerate ambiguity, and see shades of gray, is crucial to their willingness to break down the social barriers between "Us" and "Them".

    And, of course, there are many sorts of evangelicals in the middle of the scale, many of them refugees from the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence of the 1980s. For the most part, they try to do good works and not bother others. But the farther to the right you get on that sliding scale, the more likely the evangelical is to be highly intolerant of those not like him/herself, and less willing to accept any sort of ambiguity, Biblical or social. These folks can't see the shades of gray that make up the larger part of reality; they can only see the black and white. And they put a very high premium on purity: purity of doctrine, ideology, and opinion, as well as things like female sexual purity. That's why so many of them are xenophobes, beating their breasts over the perceived demise of their white, Western European "heritage." The browning of America is not something these folks will deal with well.

    Now, I'm not a Christian, nor am I every likely to become one. But as a (relatively) civilized person living in exile in Texas, I know which type of evangelical I'd rather have as my neighbor.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:35:28 PM PST

    •  my parents left a evangelical church that went off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alice Venturi

      the rails and was way too conservative and judgmental and they eventually found a liberal Evangelical type church that was devoted to the helping the poor in the community and had a food and clothing bank type thing.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:03:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jim Daly is spinning (4+ / 0-)

    And the diarist, unfortunately, seems eager to digest the spin.  He has been running Focus for 3 years now and he has been saying the same thing since the day he took over.  He isn't telling the truth.  The tactic is to talk about moderating the group's tone and expanding its political focus to other issues.  

    But it is all talk.  If you look at what the group's political wing, called CitizenLink or Focus on the Family Action, actually does, it is the same agenda as before.  A weird and inexhaustible obsession with gay people and sex in general.  No concern whatsoever for any of the problems that actually threaten families.  Has CitizenLink spent one minute or expended one nickel lobbying on domestic violence or drug/alcohol addiction in families?  No.  But it has a small fortune to spend on a sham "religious liberty" amendment in North Dakota and to defeat same-sex marriage in various states.  Don't believe the hype.

  •  I agree - probably a planned layoff (4+ / 0-)

    Demand for coal is shrinking because fracking makes natural gas a cheaper energy source than coal. This simple economic fact outweighs - rightly or wrongly - any issues of pollution or regulation or "Obama hating American business." Why is it so hard for the right to acknowledge this simple economic fact?

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:45:09 PM PST

  •  T&R'd. Replace cant with Kant (UID 601282): (3+ / 0-)

    You recommend other people's diaries.

    You recommend other people's comments.

    You post comments in other people's diaries - EVEN when your own diary is VERY active.

    You post a sensible, meaningful diary.

    Not 1 in 100 new members of dKos understands what has apparently been intuitively obvious to you.

    I think I am proud to be a member of the same group as you (Time will tell, of course).

    Welcome aboard. I expect to become very familiar with your user-name and your presentations. I won't always agree with you, because I don't agree with anybody all the time, but I think I will enjoy dialoguing with you

    I wish you a bright future here!

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:28:46 PM PST

  •  There are some very smart people (0+ / 0-)

    in the various groups that make up the current Republican coalition. They will figure out what changes need to made in order to stay relavant and able to effect political change. It may take them awhile and we may not like some of those changes but the worst mistake we can make is to assume they'll keep doing what they've been doing and keep losing.

    They won't. And we'll need to be prepared to comabt whatever they come up with.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:31:26 PM PST

  •  When i read this... (0+ / 0-)

    ...i have to wonder to what extent money might influence their awakening to embracing more "inclusiveness".

    I'm thinking their flocks might be realizing they're getting fleeced and they're slipping away.

    Rule #7...If you supported the Iraq war, you don't get to complain about the national debt.

    by suspiciousmind on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:43:17 PM PST

  •  It sounds to me like Daly is positioning the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyp

    religious right to form their own party.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:03:16 PM PST

  •  Um (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    All Daly seems to be suggesting is that he and his fellow wolves don some sheep's clothing for the next go-round.

    Meanwhile, Uganda.

  •  Reread this sentence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    from the article about Robert Murray:

    Reduced demand for coal, slumps in coal prices and looming pollution regulations have converged to cause the destruction of the coal industry, Murray said.
    .

    This tells you all you need to know.  This isn't about Obama's re-election, it's about Murray Energy's business, which is declining because of weakening demand for coal from the electric utilities.  Natural Gas has become quite cheap and the utilities are abandoning coal.

    For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. --John Maynard Keynes

    by Kurt from CMH on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:09:03 PM PST

  •  Daly admitting it was all politics and not religio (0+ / 0-)
  •  Immigration reform (0+ / 0-)

    Of course they would go for that - unlike gay marriage and abortion, there is no religious basis for being against that. Its all political.

    And more to the point - as a prominent player in religious sects that are openly expansionist - turning off the fastest growing segment of our population is a bad move.

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