Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Am I the Only One Who Finds it Ironic that a Guy From a Show Called "Growing Pains" is Railing Against the Theory of Evolution?

Nearly a century and a half after the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’, the debate over evolution goes on with no end in sight.

Now former Growing Pains star turned ubber evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron is promoting an effort to give away free copies of the book, but with a 50 page introduction that lays out the creationist theory, as well as allegations that Hitler liked Darwin, Darwin was racist, and hated women. Now the video of one Romanian woman is making the rounds as she rebuts Cameron’s claims that American is under assault by atheists.

H/T: Suburban Guerrilla



Eric Cantor (R-VA) Calls for Judeo-Christian Values in the Middle East?

And they wonder why the Muslim world hates us. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) seems to be channeling Rudyard Kipling style jingoism for policy in the Middle East. Insisting that the best way to ease tensions in the Middle East is to make sure that our actions and policies are “firmly grounded in Juedo-Christian principles”. I don’t know which is more reckless and stupid; perhaps forgetting that p every nation with the exception of Israel has a Muslim majority or that he and other neoconservative zealots don’t care.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Christian Zionists that U.S. policies in the Middle East must be “firmly grounded” in Judeo-Christian principles.

“Reaching out to the Muslim world may help in creating an environment for peace in the Middle East, but we must insist as Americans that our policies be firmly grounded in the beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition upon which this country was founded,” said Cantor (R-Va.), the House minority whip and the only Jewish Republican in Congress, in a speech to the Christians United For Israel annual conference in Washington.

I have said said it before, if one thinks that a majority white christian country can with a bible in one hand and an M-16 in the other can go to a region of the world that you are culturally and historically unfamiliar with (and whose culture and language you are so dismissive of), whose language you don’t speak, and view it as some opportunity to convert them to Christians and make thier countries into a region in the mold of United States, you are in the minds of many netural parties in the region validating the claims of Al-Queda that Europe, the United States, and Israel are imperialists seeking to desecrate Muslim and Arab culture, as well as sovereignty; thus allowing our enemies to make this an even more nationalistic holy war and rallying more support for the anti-western sentiment.

I just hope that this was merely political pandering to the nut job neocons and not something that Cantor and any serious policy maker believes in. Because we are already fighting an enemy who seeks to spread a perverted and distorted form of a religion with missionary zeal through a-symmetrical millita -style means. The last thing we need is to become a power that with arrogance goes around the globe using the twin elements of fanatic missionary zeal and violence to do the same by using a twisted version of Christianity or Judaism, with our millitary. It would be futile, horrific.

Besides just because our nation is built on a Juedo-Christian philosphy (that at least according to the Treaty of Tripoli of 1796 is questionable in and of itself) doesn’t mean that all nations are too. America is not the world. We have always espoused a principle of self-determination for peoples and lands throughout the globe, and those who actually believe we should exercise in Foreign policy a Judeo-Christian Foreign policy in a Muslim land, are not only ignorant but violate that principle of self-determination.

And another thing, if you want to be a religious evangelist that’s fine. But don’t do so in public office.


Jesus, Teen Idols, and Your Record Player

Some guy makes the case for the Devil being in Rock music, in teen idols, and why Jesus is the true lord and savior. Not quite sure if this guy is an 80s style televangelists or just a bad comedian. You decide.

H/T: Everything is Terrible


Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

The more one reads about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield the more one is astounded by how anyone that shallow,opportunistic, selfish, self-serving, and just plain stupid could come to head the U.S Pentagon.

Aside from his one time protege Dick Cheney nobody could every really mistake the former smart-ass congressman, turned Nixon disciple, turned Gerald Ford Chief of staff and Defense Secretary, turned Saddam hand shaker, turned cantankerous and sardonic Defense Secretary under the Bush/Cheney administration of being likable or pleasant to work with.

First, there came the revelation that neocons in the lower levels of the civilian leadership Defense Department killed overtures made by Sunni insurgent leaders in 2004 Iraq prior to the 2007 “the Sunni awakening”, for reasons of their own Department and ideology that clashed with reality.

Now we learn that Rumsfield, who nobody would really mistake for a strongly religious man, used militaristic old testament language of the Bible on the covers of Intelligence Reports, presumably to influence the thinking of the deeply religious Bush.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld routinely used militaristic passages from the Bible on the cover pages of White House intelligence documents, according to startling new revelations by GQ.

The magazine said he displayed the passages over photographs of US forces in Iraq to curry favor with then president George W. Bush, despite concerns about the incendiary impact on Islamic opinion if they were ever made public.

One of the images was from March 31, 2003, showing a US tank roaring through the desert about 10 days after the United States invaded Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Over the image was printed a verse from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Luckily the current Pentagon and current administration have ceased the practice.

Regardless, Rumsfield was dressing these reports and dressing Millitary intelligence and objectives in the language of religion, while Al-Queda and militants the U.S is fighting were dressing their military intelligence and objectives in the language of religion. The leaders and proponents of violence against the U.S, continuously stoke fears of the people of the Middle East that the U.S hates Islam and look at Muslims as inferior. Employing this rhetoric and tying it to the overall U.S war efforts no doubt allows the militants to tell those moderates that are weary of but not yet violently hostile of the U.S and her allies, that the things the militants claim may have some credence to them. Thus making the U.S Battle for hearts and minds more arduous and the possibility that many moderate elements will veer towards Al-Queda and a more inflammatory view of America a more likely possibility.

The conflict we are locked in with groups of Al-Queda, has one side justifying their use of violence and build thier movement by distorting the faith of Islam constantly invoking the language of the crusades and the valor of conquest. The last thing we should do is cede the ground of reason and ourselves become enveloped in a haze of religious dogma to justify our military objectives. If we continue to do that, aren’t we just devolving into a state where we are as misguided and illogical as those who subscribe to the rhetoric and violence of Al-Queda?

Also on another note, Rumsfield was willing to use the religion which has guided so many to a better life and enriched so many souls, for something as crass as selling his own political views. Using religion to advertise it, like commercials use sexy women, fast cars, and succulent hamburgers to reach consumers. He used religion to sell war. His actions suggest that he views Christianity as little more then an advertising tool. That is degrading to religion no matter how one feels about a given policy. If I was a devout Christian I would be infuriated by a move that treated my religion with such disdain.


Poll: The More Religious Most Likely to Say Torture is Sometimes Justified

CNN reports on a Pew Poll revealing that the more people go to church the more they support torture.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants, and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.

In a way this shouldn’t be surprising. The idea of good versus evil is prevalent in all religions, not just Christianity but in all religions. And by nature if one phalanx of religious worshipers or anybody really firmly believes they are the side of the just, the right, and the proverbial “good guys”, then the opponent must be evil. But especially with Catholics, when the Pope strongly has condemned the practice of torture, this all seems hypocritical. After all, would one not be willing to cede that Jesus Christ himself was not a victim of torture? Crucifixion after all is still torture isn’t it ?

Many of these who are both wedded to religion which typically is a vehicle that preaches love and respect, as well as acknowledging at least some of the most rudimentary human rights; yet simultaneously support such hideous practices as waterboarding see themselves and America as inherently good. Most can agree on that, but those who support torture seem to take it to a point where the core of their argument seems to be that the ends justify the means. As long as we are victorious it doesn’t matter what we do to protect ourselves and fight our enemies as long as in the end we are the last ones standing. That it doesn’t matter what we do to protect ourselves, even ceding our constitutional rights or practice tactics that in the past we had condemned when employed by those such as the Chinese military during the Korean war and the reign of Mao, the Imperial Japanese during World War II. But it does matter. It matters whether we are going to continue to stand as an example of moral dignity and human rights on the world stage or if we will surrender that ground in a bout of hysteria and panic. Rather we will be a land that remains as free and vibrant as the promise etched into our constitution and our spirit, or if we will degenerate into an angry people seeking to fortify ourselves against what is best in us shedding liberties one by one , believing that bombs and threats alone can bring us safety or enrichment.

In the end it is just not enough to say you are the “Good Guy” to be seen as having the moral high ground. It is through your actions, the liberties you grant others, the openness to those caught in the crossfire between we and the real extremists we face, and overall our actions that will determine whether we are the “Good Guy” or just a land so enveloped by fear that we start believing that the American idea is our foe.

And after all, how many of these supporters of such torture techniques are willing to say that some these same tactics that defined the horrible regimes of Mao, Imperial Japan, and others were immoral when they utilized such tactics in the name of preserving their way of life, are now okay merely because we are the ones now using them? If virtuous people such as we in the United States use means employed by despots such as Mao and still retain the reputation of good virtue that we have?


Gay Marriage and the Seperation of Church and State

Rod Dreher reacts predictably to the vote by the state legislature in Vermont to legalize same sex marriage.

It is increasingly obvious that the US Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this matter soon. It is an untenable situation for a same-sex couple to be married in Vermont and Massachusetts and Iowa, but not in Texas, Nevada and Montana. I believe SCOTUS will constitutionalize gay marriage, and that being the case, it might be better for my side if it gets done sooner rather than later. If done sooner, there might still be enough backlash left in the American people to get a constitutional amendment passed erecting a high barrier or protection around religious institutions. Thoughts?

Thoughts? Well here Dreher means one of two things. The first could mean that the entire fate of civilization and Christianity itself rests soley on prohibiting two people of the same gender from getting married. The other is Dreher is unconsciously advocating for the separation of church and state without really knowing it.

A barrier of protection around religious institutions? Sounds like the separation of Church and state to me. The concept of the separation of church and state is often forgotten by religious conservatives in that it not only protects the government from the forces of religion but also religion from the excesses and management of religious institutions. Both need to be protected from one another at times. I myself compare it to the relationship between my best friend and my girlfriend. I honor both and want them to be harmonious in their relationship and even craft a friendship of sorts. But I don’t want the two to sleep together. That same co-existence and tolerance, yet distance between the affairs of government and those of state is just as necessary.

Marriage though can be a challenging one, since Marriage for many has both a religious and legal component. When a marriage certificate is sought and given that is the legal function of marriage thus the government. When at a wedding a religious figure such as a priest presides over a ceremony codifying that union in God’s eyes that is the religious function. Gays don’t seem so much as asking for the religious community to perform such marriages (although i would imagine they would like to be accepted or at least tolerated). Rather they seek the legal benefits and protections that come with that marriage certificate.


Holocaust Denying Bishop says He will Look at Evidence

Williamson I guess thinks that this was all one big elaborate act.

How stupid can one be? Pope Benedict who himself was German and alive when the holocaust happens reinstates a Bishop who denies the holocaust? The Holocaust the most well documented atrocity in human history?

But one need not worry, Bishop Richard Williamson, who was excommunicated in the late 1980s for his radical views says he will “review the evidence”. Evidently he thinks this is fake. Disgraceful!

A Roman Catholic bishop, ordered by the Vatican to recant his denial of the Holocaust, says he will re-examine the research upon which he made his conclusion that no Jews were gassed by the Nazi regime, a German magazine reported Saturday.

Bishop Richard Williamson of the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius X told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine that based on research he did in the 1980s, he became convinced of his views about the Holocaust, which historians say resulted in the deaths of six million Jews.

Williamson is quoted by Der Spiegel as saying he would re-examine “everything again and look at the evidence.” However, he said he won’t be visiting the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“Since I see that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must look again at the historical evidence,” the British bishop was quoted as saying.