Monthly Archives: December 2012

Is Jesus Your Life Coach?

I don’t know why I read the Atlantic, since it just pisses me off, but I guess it’s a great resource for knowing what genteel liberals are thinking. Here is something that is on the surface a little different- a woman extolling the Christian virtue of respecting your husband– and yet the whole thing shocks me.

My first reaction was wow, what a flaming, raving bitch. And this is a woman who claims to be a practicing Christian. She was just mean and cruel to her husband, out of an apparently bottomless well of self-righteousness, filled by not only the second-wave feminism she mentions but the liberal Christianity she professes. At least she openly admits feminism sees men as not just corrupt, but useless idiots on a day-to-day basis. Why did she marry him? Why did she get married at all?

What’s worse is her change, which she would describe as a change of heart, but isn’t really any such thing. She decides to stop being a bitch to her husband not because it’s wrong, not because it’s abuse of a creature created in the image of God, but because she realizes it makes her life easier. She does it because it rewards her, such as in the insufferably saccharine episode where he subjects her class to a speech about how great she is. (Why did either of them think this was appropriate? If I’m in a class, of whatever kind I am not interested in the instructor taking time to have a family event.)

On a deep level this is like what you get with the bank robber. Christianity is supposed to be about loving God and other people, which means obeying God because that is part of loving an authority figure, and loving other people because they are created in the image of God. It is not a self-improvement system. It is not supposed to make you a better manager, more effective leader, or happier, although it may do those things. This lady is at root still mainly concerned with her happiness, and she shows no repentance for the way she treated her husband. Her sin wasn’t so much being a nagging, cruel bitch as it was self-centered and self-loving, and in that aspect she hasn’t changed at all.

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Idolatry in America

H/t to Lawrence Auster, the NYT has a story about a rape by high school football players in small Ohio town.

The story tells itself, but a few points-

-These people care more about high school football than justice- which contrary to liberal belief is not when criminals, particularly black criminals, get a pass on their crimes, but when evil and wrongdoing are exposed and punished- or the safety of their children.

-The enthusiasm for this activity is pathetic and foolish, obviously, but goes past that to be insane and to the extent it mirrors pagan worship of games and athletes, actually satanic.

-The pagans of old had reason to worship heroes- which in its original context was an exceptional fighter- because they needed men like this as part of community defense. To the extent that games served as military training, the community had reason to encourage it. Even then, if you read the Greek history, the whole thing was a little overboard. Athletics now have little or nothing to do with military skill or training- I went through Marine OCS with a college football player who couldn’t keep up on the runs and was dropped.

-Societies often arrange themselves around the primitive and atavistic. This explains a lot of things traditional Christians hate, like pornography, pop music and culture. Traditional Christians rarely or never make the connection with sports. Sports in these people’s minds are a healthy form of discipline and competition, and athletes are inherently moral people.

-Most if not all of the people involved here are nominal Christians, the majority probably practicing Christians of some sort, and many heavily practicing Christians who attend services weekly and also weekly engage in one or more additional church activities every week. Christians can find a lot of rationalizations for supporting evil, such as “not judging” the football players and judging the girl.

-The girl snuck out using the oldest trick in the book. If the parents believed her conservative upbringing would keep her away form parties, they were extremely naive. Children should be closely supervised as long as possible; on top of that Christian parents need to explain to their children what goes on at parties and how they should protect themselves should they go to that environment without permission. Had the girl had some basic explanations about the effects of alcohol and the reality of party rape, she might have at least drank less and not passed out or made herself defenseless.

-The girl in the end is a pagan sacrifice. The town, regardless of how many Christian churches it may have, including “bible-believing” churches, may as well be Sodom and Gomorrah.

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Why I Write This

Religion is a very important issue for me. I grew up in family that was both orthodox liberal and orthodox Catholic. The two sets of ideas were closely interrelated.

The general liberal belief at that time- the 60’s and 70’s- was that poor people were special, and a critical concern of society. Poor people were inherently good by virtue of being poor, and by virtue of suffering by being poor. They were like darling children, and so everything they did was lovable or excusable. Even if they did something serious, like killing someone, it was only because they were poor and oppressed, and the people who should really feel the shame and guilt were the middle-class and rich people who had caused them to be poor, by not giving them enough money.

From a religious viewpoint, this was explained by the fact that the poor were God’s true chosen people, that Jesus loved the poor above all others, and that it was evil to judge others- or at least poor people, judging middle-class and rich people was good and necessary.

I was taught I could never have any negative feelings, never have any sexual feelings, and if anyone hurt me I could not feel any anger towards them or ask for any justice. As a result of this kind of thinking, the country was in chaos in those years. There was a great deal of violent crime of extreme cruelty. The liberal idea was that because criminals, especially minority criminals, and even murderers, were really just misguided and oppressed poor children they should only be confined for a few years, go through a rehabilitation program, and be released. First degree murderers often got life sentences that amounted to seven years. Of course this did not work, and the criminals got out and harmed more people. There was a demand by the mass of white people for stricter laws, which were of course denounced as racist.

Racist or not, to contain the chaos criminals were imprisoned for longer and longer periods of time, and for the first time “three strikes” laws became common outside the South. Middle-class people lost sympathy for poor people, and eventually in the 90’s after years of talk, welfare reform was passed.

60’s liberalism, in both politics and Christianity, was dialed back a bit, but is largely institutionalized in America. Appeals courts and liberal lawyers are very concerned about the welfare of criminals.

As an intelligent, perceptive child this seemed insane to me. That a large portion of the population could be aggressively, arrogantly evil and get no judgment or condemnation, and that the real bad people were well-behaved, productive people like me was crazy. But this is what my parents thought, so what could I do? For a while I resigned myself. I could see I was going to have a pretty bad life, but I would just try to follow the religion and get my reward in the afterlife.

Then one day- I remember it quite clearly, standing on the lawn of the church Sunday morning after the service- I said to myself “No, this is not right, I don’t deserve to be treated like this.” I abandoned Catholicism at that point. I resolved however that one day I would read the Bible myself and see if what I had been taught was correct.

I was in a bookstore one day and found a translation of the New Testament by Richmond Lattimore, a Greek scholar who had done translations of Greek classics like the Iliad and Odyssey. I figured this would be a guy without an axe to grind, not trying to make it come out one way or another, just render it in English as best as possible.

What I found was that what I had been taught was grossly incorrect. Liberal Christianity is a gross distortion of the Bible, based on twisted interpretations of carefully selected passages. Even the part that liberal Christians depend most on- the Sermon on the Mount- means nothing close to what they claim it means.

To call liberal Christianity heretical I think is not too extreme. The entire liberal culture we have today is based on twisted, self-serving interpretations of the Bible going back to the Reformation. To be told over and over again as a child that you are evil and going to hell but the kids who hurt others are specially loved by Jesus is the worst form of child abuse. Criminals love the liberal Christianity because it allows them to shed their status as offenders of the social order and harmers of others and not only gain moral parity with professed Christians but moral superiority to those who do not profess Christianity.

Liberal Christianity is evil and insane. God is and cannot be evil and insane, so liberal Christianity is not from God but from evil men claiming to represent God. At least Communists have the decency to be atheists- well at least the atheist communists, Christian communists like Ignacio Ellacuria are quite capable of advocating terrorism and murder in God’s name, just like Moslems.

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Is Christianity a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card?

This man expresses many of my reservations. I think that this kind of thinking- sometimes called “easy believism”, I think- comes from cherry picking the most convenient parts of th Bible, without trying to understand it as a whole.

My answer to him would be- the idea that belief in Jesus is the end rather than the beginning is a Protestant idea, which has origin in to some part legitimate rebellion against Catholic ideas. But even those who believed salvation came only from belief, whether this came from a personal choice or grace, believed it caused a deep and permanent change in the person. A person who claimed belief but habitually or seriously sinned would not be a true believer, as this lady explains. The idea that belief in Jesus must necessarily result in difficult in serious and likely painful change isn’t happy enough for a lot of people, like this preacher who unapologetically uses the same metaphor.

“Easy believism” is popular with criminals and people who like criminals, which is why it is the religion of the black friends and relatives of Watkins. With blacks it’s usually easy believism for blacks, hellfire for whites, as with Jeremiah Wright and Joseph Lowery. With liberation theology Catholics it’s easy believism for poor people, or even no need to believe at all, and hellfire for middle-class people and above.

The trouble comes in when you question this. People who ascribe to this, especially former criminals and the people who love them, get very angry and upset when you suggest there is more to it. They condemn you as un-Christian and unforgiving, and the criminal becomes the sainted victim, and the victim becomes the evil one. Skepticism about Christianity is usually thought to be intellectual or based on a desire to commit sexual sin, but I think Watkins’ position- the kind of conclusion people don’t share, because liberal Christianity is such a strong part of our culture- is more common than generally supposed.

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If Religion Can’t Cope With Evil, Is It Worth Anything?

I was flipping around the channels and came across a discussion program about politics on the Catholic channel, Eternal Word Television Network. It featured a priest/college professor and a lay employee of the bishops’ conference, who did most of the talking. The summary of the discussion is that to be a good Christian, you have to be progressive on every political issue except abortion.

The bishops consider racism, as well as abortion, a “serious moral evil” or words to that effect. And yet to me racism is just a rational response to the empirical evidence. Black people commit robberies and assaults, and make videos of it. But not all black people commit crimes, is the response. And when they do, it is caused by poverty and racism.

Not all black people commit crimes. A hugely disproportionate number do. And the ones who don’t provide support and protection for the ones who do. Black people are very politically powerful and have many privileges, and to oppose a black person in any way leads to serious punishment. Poor people in general have many welfare programs and do not want for necessities- an iPhone is not a necessity, and the lack of one is no reason to steal one from someone else.

So if religion in general and Christianity in particular is not against crime and evil, but instead actually excuses and protects it, and denies clear truth, then it cannot be good, cannot be from God, and is actually crazy and evil. What we think of as Christianity is often no such thing, but bogus political ideas packaged as religion to keep people from opposing them.

A Protestant might say these Catholics, the priest and layman, are wrong by virtue of being Catholic. But actually there is little meaningful difference between liberal Catholics and liberal Protestants in terms of belief. This is only partly a theological matter, and mainly a political and social matter.

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A Cry For Justice

One of the hardest things about the way some churches react to abuse situations is the complete lack of empathy. It’s almost as if because they have their doctrine of “no divorce” they don’t WANT to understand for fear they might end up compromising their beliefs. I felt this very keenly as I was going through my divorce, and at that time I had a thought that of any person in history who has been able to empathize with the oppressed, Jesus was the master. But he wasn’t just a master of empathy, he was also a master of knowing and preaching the truth. We conservatives get the latter usually, but oh how often we miss the former.

So I had an idea, and I wanted to share this idea with you as a good exercise when you aren’t feeling empathy from those who claim they love you. I did…

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Where Is God?

This woman had a pretty horrible life. Years of physical agony, unable to get medical or financial help, and in the end killed herself to escape the pain.

I think the worst part may not have been the disease itself, but the callous way she was treated by everyone she went to for help. Even if a disease is rare, or the doctor is unfamiliar with it or doesn’t understand the patient’s problem, that is no reason for uncompassionate treatment. The element of sexual shame, which is supposed to be extended to all but is really only extended to people with politically correct deviations, was probably a big element too.

You can’t tell from the story what she believed. She mentions what God intended for her, but secular people use that kind of language as well. What is her final destination? The short, generally orthodox Christian answer is that since she was not a formal believer and committed suicide she is spending an eternity in hell.

I hope and believe on some level that God is bigger than that and can take care of everything, even the worst things. I think God cares more about and cares more for people who have suffered and people who seemed far from him than criminals who had self-serving conversions in prison.

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