Is the culture war reversal a boon for Christians?

posted at 11:01 am on April 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The emergence of popular support for same-sex marriage and ever-loosening moral norms in the US have Christians backpedaling on their perceived mission to shape the culture with their faith. Matt Lewis wrote a few days ago at The Week that this may be good news for Christians and Christianity in America, in part because it allows for a return to focus on faith rather than politics:

Just as political parties wrestle with whether or not it’s better to be a big tent, or (to paraphrase Reagan) to fly “a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors,” there is an argument that “nominal” Christians cause more problems than solutions. In politics, numbers matter, of course, and Christians who are still looking for a political savior may view this trend as bad news. But for Christians focused on something more transcendent — saving souls and winning real converts — there is a silver lining to losing the culture. …

The problem of “nominal” Christianity seems to have observable societal consequences, too. In his latest column for the New York Times, Ross Douthat hints at it, observing that “the social goods associated with faith flow almost exclusively from religious participation, not from affiliation or nominal belief.”

Another possible silver lining: As Christianity recedes as the dominant cultural paradigm, it might also have the ironic affect of sparking a renewed interest and curiosity about spirituality. Absence, I suppose, can make the heart grow fonder. With Noah triumphing at the box office, and a new show called Resurrection on ABC (a show filled with biblical allusions), it would be easy to conclude that a disenchanted and dispirited nation — having given up hope that salvation will come in the form of traditional American institutions — is yearning for some sort of spiritual fulfillment.

Christ promised that genuine Christianity would be met with opposition. And the entire book of 1 Peter was written for this purpose: how do we live as a faithful minority? I don’t think anyone should be rooting for persecution, of course, but I do think there may be some very positive developments to come from a nation that no longer pretends to be Christian. It’s hard to be a rebel when you’re The Man.

If this sounds familiar, it might be because it’s a phenomenon not limited to cultural ascendancy. Recast this argument in terms of political parties, and one reaches the same conclusion.  When the GOP was out of power completely in 2009-10, it was easy for  party leaders to stick to conservative orthodoxy, since they couldn’t impact much in terms of governance. The same was true for Democrats in 2002-6; it was easy to proclaim the progressive agenda when they had no power to enact it. The problem for both came when they actually had to govern, in whole (Democrats in 2009-10) or in part (GOP control of the House, 2011-present). It’s not so much a lack of political commitment as it is the complexity of interacting in a society where those really of the True (Political) Faith are actually a minority.

Now, this isn’t a perfect analogy, because despite the hysterical accusations of the coming American theocracy!, Christians don’t want to establish clerical rule in the US. The faith has always been about shaping the culture, with the policies and politics a natural end result. That’s why the activist Christians who got into politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s engaged on culture more than, say, budgetary policy in the first place. The cultural upheavals of the 1960s that Matt described were the focus of this counter-Deformation, to employ a pun. To a large extent, they still are — which is why it’s called the culture war.

The question remains, though, as to whether politics — and especially partisan politics — has co-opted the cultural mission. To some extent it has, and that has drawn some odd divisions as politics trump faith. For instance, the Gospels are filled with demands on Christians to prioritize their efforts on the poor. When Pope Francis warns about the poor being left behind in a global culture that idolizes money and capital, though, he ends up having to rebut the notion that he’s a communist for talking about poverty and exclusion:

In a March 31 interview with communications students, Pope Francis responded to previous accusations of being a communist, explaining that his preference for the poor is in fact based in the Gospel.

“I heard two months ago that a person referred to my preference for speaking about the poor, saying: ‘This Pope is a communist, no?’ And no, this is the banner of the Gospel, not of communism — of the Gospel,” the Pope explained during the meeting.

Given to three Belgian youth who are studying communications, the interview was broadcast on April 3 on the Belgium website deredactie.be., and it was later picked up by Italian news agency ReppublicaTV.

During the interview, one student asked the Pope where his preference for the poor and most needy comes from, to which the Holy Father responded: “Because this is the heart of the Gospel, and I am a believer, I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe in the Gospel, and the heart of the Gospel is the poor.”

“And because of this, I believe that the poor are the center of the Gospel of Jesus. This is clear if we read it,” he affirmed.

As I explained in my notes on Evangelii Gaudium, anyone who read the document would never have concluded otherwise — especially those with some knowledge of Catholic teachings on economics embraced by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, two men hardly disposed towards communism. If Christians cannot discuss poverty and the shortcomings of economic policies towards the poor without being summarily dismissed as crypto-communists, then the mission to change the culture and then its politics has been replaced with simple power struggles. And in service to what?

Still, the point here is that the cultural battlefield is precisely where Christians must work, and setbacks are not going to make our job of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel any easier. If we needed evidence of that, Mozilla proved it after the publication of Matt’s column. Matt cites 1 Peter as a model for living as a faithful minority, and that’s solid advice; Matt isn’t prescribing a retreat, but more of a reorientation and consolidation. However, I would recommend 1 Corinthians as a warning to Christians about the impact of culture to the faith as well as the other way around. Paul discovered that the church he founded in Corinth still proclaimed the Gospel but had largely stopped living it. They had re-adopted the practices and mores of the notoriously-hedonistic Corinthian culture as a way of getting along with everyone and “fitting in.” They did not want to provoke the dominant culture or really to shape it outside of their own enclave — and that led the outside culture to shape their practice of Christianity instead. Under Paul’s direction to Corinth and the wider Christian world after the publication of his letters, Christians did shape the culture and created post-Greek Western Civilization.

In our long history, Christians have had many setbacks in addressing cultural decay and misdirection. We have our 1960s; the early church had its Corinth. That didn’t mean that Christians shrank from challenging the social ills of Corinth, nor should we shrink from proclaiming the full spectrum of Christian teachings in order to shape our world now and in the future. We are sent out as sheep amidst the wolves, always — not to become wolves looking only for political power as an end to itself, but to spread love, joy, truth, and beauty so that our politics will follow the culture we can still shape and uplift.


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Right. Just as God makes it rain on the just and the unjust. No belief nor rejection of belief is necessary; it just works because it’s the way it was meant to be.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:14 PM

But it could only come out of the mind of a believer.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM

But it could only come out of the mind of a believer.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM

OK. So it sounds like now you are falling back on teleology. Which is to say pure faith with no evidence. A fine thing to do but equally fine to reject. At least in the area of philosophy (in contrast to hard sciences, for example).

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

That, actually, IS a good argument.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Well, weirdly on theme — I’m Christian. Which means that when I actually figured out what he was trying to say, I was required to put it up in front of me, and then I was forced to answer it, whether I liked it or not. Fortunately, he’s got a kind of category error going, so it turned out OK — but for a few uncomfortable seconds, I was forced to leave everything on the table, even “public apology” — which is only slightly more cringe-making with me than “glaring public error.”

I find the whole moral code exhausting and look forward to Heaven. :) –lol

Axe on April 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM

OT/ HT/thatsafactjack:

Internet Trolls Are Actually Sadists, Study Finds

^ Feb. 13. I don’t remember it, but if all these religion posts keep up — good information to keep around. :)

Axe on April 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Well, ok, I just had to throw that in there. There’s really no way to prove that other than to say, look at the political systems atheist have come up with.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:26 PM

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

You really seem to think that Christians have this list of religious rules in their head and they have to live by according to it. You don’t seem to realize that it’s an entirely different perspective.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I think that Christianity is an elastic, living philosophy. I have heard many talk about absolutes and unchanging dogma, etc. In fact I find that it adapts to survive. I see Locke, for example, not reinterpreting Christianity, but rather American Christian thought changing to comport with America’s founding ideals first expressed by Locke. We then, in turn, exported much of that thought.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

The culture reshaped only after it imploded. It became nominally Christian when an Emperor thought Christianity helped him win a battle so he made everyone convert. And that imposed conversion created a Christianity where only religious were allowed to read the Bible, creating a nominally Christian dark age that had to be overthrown with many burnt at the stake to get there

Not quite. You are aware of when the printing press was invented, are you not? Before the printing press, a Bible was worth a king’s ransom, and yet every church had one. The Catholic Church spent countless man-hours copying Bibles over and over, and, with diligent quality control, attempting to assure that none of them contained error. In an age where all clergy could speak Latin, the choice of language for these countless copies was obvious. In fact, if you look at the Gutenberg Bible, the first mass produced (printed) Bible, you will see that the language used is — Latin.

So, it wasn’t that private ownership of a Bible was forbidden — it was that there were no private Bibles to be owned. The cost of making one was prohibitive.

Of course, if you chose to hand one to a peasant, even written in the vernacular, chances are that said peasant would not know what to do with it, for universal education did not come into vogue until the 1700′s. Before then, only the rich could get an education — or the clergy, for one way in which a peasant could get a good education was to become a priest, or join a monastery.

IMHO going soft on Sodom and Gomorrah is not the way to convert non believers. It means you have no conviction. That is the feed back I get. All the food wagons, soup kitchens in the world, without the message of repenting and ceasing to sin, are just an extension of the secular soup wagon. More self affirmation for the unbelievers.

Many like this new Pope because via the MSM they believe the new Pope is affirming the new decadence as a matter of preference

entagor on April 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I don’t see that message at all coming from Pope Francis. He is opposed to homosexuality, our Church teaches that active homosexuality is a sin — although homosexual tendencies are not. Our Church further teaches that the only sexual conduct is to be between a man and woman united under the Sacrament of Matrimony, and that every such act must be open to fecundity. That’s a pretty exact reading of Scripture — the Lord told us what marriage was, and we were also ordered to be fruitful and multiply. I see nothing in anything Francis says which runs counter to those teachings.

When the Scribes and the Pharisees brought before Jesus an adulterous woman, and asked him what was to be done with her in order to test him, what was his response? Was that response to cast a stone, or to admonish the woman?

We are called to admonish.

unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

What’s the term for someone who views all of history strictly from their present day perspective? They impute modern modes of thinking to people of earlier times?

I don’t know any particular term (I’d say “retroactivists”), but TV Tropes does have some interesting articles on the subject… like Politically Correct History, Eternal Sexual Freedom and Deliberate Values Dissonance.

TMOverbeck on April 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Well, there’s always this tension between being in the world but not of it. We, here in the Christian West (or what remains of it), are an historical anomaly and forget our roots sometimes. We make a bit too much of the political realm far beyond its spiritual and moral importance. But we recognize that our freedoms and our opportunity we enjoy here are a consequence of the efforts of a great many Biblically informed people living out their faith in the secular realm.

Sometimes we get the two mixed up, the political and the spiritual.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:46 PM

TMOverbeck on April 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I thought there was an actual term. I could be mistaken. But there are a lot of people who do that nowadays. Historically ignorant, or something like that.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:48 PM

What’s the term for someone who views all of history strictly from their present day perspective? They impute modern modes of thinking to people of earlier times?

I don’t know any particular term (I’d say “retroactivists”),

Presentism

but TV Tropes does have some interesting articles on the subject… like Politically Correct History, Eternal Sexual Freedom and Deliberate Values Dissonance.

TMOverbeck on April 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

TV Tropes is a great site, once I get start reading there I can easily go on for hours – from topic to topic. The Politically Correct History page is good.

whatcat on April 6, 2014 at 8:55 PM

“Presentism”

whatcat on April 6, 2014 at 8:55 PM

THAT’S it. Thanks.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

whatcat on April 6, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Yes, the tendency is to read into people in the past, the same ways of thinking and behaving as we do in the present, not being able to take into account the cultural, religious, and philosophical influences on them, since they are no longer operative in our times.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Can you be a Christian without being a member of one of the christian cults?

The Pope is just recognizing a fact, I suppose. In our current world, Government has reached a zenith of power that has never really been seen before at this scale. People look to Government as they look to God.

The influence of Government into our thoughts and philosophies is so profound that no one can imagine a system without some kind of gun pointed at someone else. Never forget that Government is simply a gun, and those who wish to use it are telling you they want to point a gun at you.

There has to be a limit to this state of affairs. Government is becoming global; a private club for those who peddle influence. Sooner or later this will lead to war. But events tend to swing a pendulum the other way, and the question is just how far it will go when the anti-government phase begins.

In this world of government absolutism, the only solutions allowed are going to be those approved by government. There is no method of handling “the poor” that excludes an all-powerful government in today’s world, and the fact that there are so many poor people today has everything to do with the use of government to suppress us all.

Financial repression through government action has destroyed our economy and shattered the middle class to the point of extinction. What can be done about that? The Pope doesn’t have any answers, but pointing at governments to fix this problem is a good start. At least in doing that blame is laid where it belongs.

Another Libertarian on April 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Yer welcome. It’s one way to misrepresent and distort history!

whatcat on April 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Financial repression through government action has destroyed our economy and shattered the middle class to the point of extinction. What can be done about that? The Pope doesn’t have any answers, but pointing at governments to fix this problem is a good start. At least in doing that blame is laid where it belongs.

Another Libertarian on April 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM

If you think we have it bad, look at Venezuela. Over there, it really is “The tallest blade of grass is the one who feels the lawnmower’s wrath”. We are not entirely there yet — there is no Army ripping open Best Buys so that the masses can get the color TVs they otherwise could not afford. But Obamacare is close — real close — even to the point where there are looters lining up to take advantage.

unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM

I mean an activity for people to engage in as private citizens and not in their capacity as public servants. So, for example, teachers must not preach in classrooms but may do so on their own time on a soap box on a street corner if they feel like it.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

my next of kin started a discussion so I forget whether I responded to this. I am still backreading the comments. I apologize if this has been said.

Do you mean, like proselytizing climate change, or ssm, or we need to spend more on education? You mean like that?

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 10:06 PM

If you want to make a statement do it. I will not participate in some pointless, semantic, pedantic clusterfark with you.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM

And definitely not while your getting a whooping.

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Christianity from Constantine to the present day is the basis for all Western monarchs’ claims to power.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM

OK! This one is too good. It also put limits on their power. How about the eastern Monarchs? How about Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Amin. The list goes on and on.

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Sometimes we get the two mixed up, the political and the spiritual.

Cleombrotus on April 6, 2014 at 8:46 PM

If you would be spiritual, you must be political, for politics is that which is to do with the interactions of people — including proselytizing. To stand aside is to permit another Stalin or Hitler — or worse — to arise.

unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Poppycock. The theory of rights that America adopted was formulated by John Locke. He broke from the Christian theory of governing which served to place mad King George on his throne. Only by discarding centuries of Christian thought was a modern theory of rights made possible.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Well, that WOULD explain why the Magna Carta predated George by, what, 500 years?

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 11:40 PM

First century Christians in a 21st century world or is it the other way around?

Rumpole on April 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

either way, let’s hope. It’ll turn out for the better.

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Only by discarding centuries of Christian thought was a modern theory of rights made possible.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

which, of course, explains why people, especially women, in the non-Christian world have so many rights.

I teach my kids one basic truth. The reason the founders considered the unalienable rights to have been ENDOWED upon man BY THEIR CREATOR, is because if they were given by man, they could more easily be taken away.

end of story.

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM

Not an excerpt from his treatise on government. Are you capable of keeping separate the man’s philosophical writing from his religion. It is like calling algebra a theocratic theorem because Newton was devout.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Wait…..Newton was devout???

I am just checking here.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:03 AM

And, no, you cannot ever hope to separate a man’s thinking, from his upbringing and experiences. Not possible.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Glad you liked that one. Just to be clear, I don’t see religion as something that changes most people in substantial ways. People with empathy, for example, will act on that with or without the metaphysical carrots and sticks.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Than why do you guys put soooooo much effort into k-12?

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:13 AM

It’s a pendulum. The anti-religious are over reaching and backlash against them is next. It will go too far and we’ll see backlash the other way return.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

except that this time, rather than seeing the church ineffectual in the face of the bubonic plague, people will see the Keynesian statists directly responsible for the worst economic misery to befall mankind.

Good luck with that.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:19 AM

We then, in turn, exported much of that thought.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Right! To Robespierre.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:25 AM

Whoa. Finished reading. Yeah, i read slowly. Wow. that was an epic beat down for you MJ. If I wasn’t partial to red-heads with strings, I’d feel no sympathy for you whatsoever. H/T to Unclesmrgol, Questionmark, and especially Cleombrotus. Wow, That had to leave marks.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:38 AM

Not too worried about it as I have accepted Christ.
The more the world changes the more it stays the same.
If you allow Christ into your heart He will change you for the better.
Christianity did not save the Roman Empire.
It did however save many Romans.

The same was said of Christianity during and after the French Revolution.
The Age of Reason produced piles of heads without bodies.

Wait…..Newton was devout???

I am just checking here.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:03 AM

I believe he was.

Only by discarding centuries of Christian thought was a modern theory of rights made possible.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Actually it was the application of that thought that did it as well as the elimination of slavery in the Western world (the Moooooslems still have it) as well as the modern American Civil Rights Movement. That be the REVEREND Dr. M. L. King.

Bubba Redneck on April 7, 2014 at 12:53 AM

I think that Christianity is an elastic, living philosophy. I have heard many talk about absolutes and unchanging dogma, etc. In fact I find that it adapts to survive. I see Locke, for example, not reinterpreting Christianity, but rather American Christian thought changing to comport with America’s founding ideals first expressed by Locke. We then, in turn, exported much of that thought.

MJBrutus on April 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Just the opposite.

Bubba Redneck on April 7, 2014 at 12:57 AM

We are sent out as sheep amidst the wolves, always — not to become wolves looking only for political power as an end to itself, but to spread love, joy, truth, and beauty so that our politics will follow the culture we can still shape and uplift.

Yeah, like spreading homophobia is spreading love, joy, truth, and beauty. When the early Christian burned gays to death and tortured them in all sorts of sick ways, was it love, joy, truth or beauty they were spreading?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM

The Pope is just recognizing a fact, I suppose. In our current world, Government has reached a zenith of power that has never really been seen before at this scale. People look to Government as they look to God.

Another Libertarian on April 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM

So you assert that under the modern Democratic Party “government has reached a zenith of power that has never really been seen before at this scale”? You know there is this thing called “history”, and if you read about it, you will find regimes–like say every government before 1700–forcing conformity which the modern Democratic Party wouldn’t think of. Tell me what action of the Democratic Party today is like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:44 AM

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:03 AM

Flattered that you should take such time and effort to remark on my posts.

MJBrutus on April 7, 2014 at 7:07 AM

Wait…..Newton was devout???

I am just checking here.

WryTrvllr on April 7, 2014 at 12:03 AM

Very. He wrote more on the Book of Revelation and prophecy than he did on Calculus. Remarked at the end of his life that his greatest accomplishment was remaining celibate.

Thank you for your comments.

Cleombrotus on April 7, 2014 at 8:36 AM

However, I certainly wasn’t trying to beat on MJ Brutus, just trying to come to a meeting of the minds.

Cleombrotus on April 7, 2014 at 8:38 AM

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM

Like I commented on the QOTD thread. It will always be someone else’s fault that homosexuals cannot find peace within themselves.

Cleombrotus on April 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Yeah, like spreading homophobia is spreading love, joy, truth, and beauty. When the early Christian burned gays to death and tortured them in all sorts of sick ways, was it love, joy, truth or beauty they were spreading?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM

Really? Pray tell, when exactly did “Christians” burn “gays”? Is that in Common Core or something?

In 97% of the human population there is a natural aversion to “homosexualism” because it is unnatural and goes against our innate evolutionary instinct to protect and propagate our species. There is nothing irrationally fearful (phobia) about it. The only “phobia” is in your ilk who, a la Mozilla, who have some irrational obsession and fear of Christians.

Nutstuyu on April 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Just a child.

Bmore on April 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Ed, the Bible clearly instructs believers to care for the poor.

Believers. Not the government.

The problem with just proclaiming that “something must be done” without specifying who must do it is that it is the demarcation between Christian charity and communism. When the poor are cared for voluntarily out of love by Christians, the Gospel is spread. When the poor are “cared” for with monies taken by force from the government, people grow resentful, Christians mistakenly no longer see the need for giving (“They can get help!”), and the government becomes as god to the poor.

Shame on believers for allowing the government to take over the role of the church, and in so doing, nullifying the purpose and missing the chance to share the love of God.

Beo on April 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Ed, the Bible clearly instructs believers to care for the poor.

Believers. Not the government.

Beo on April 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

First, you have to think like a liberal believer.

If, by your vote, you can cure hunger and sickness and homelessness and lift up the poor, why would you not use your vote for these things? Why would you not make your Government as close to godly — with charity and justice for all — as you can?

If, by willingly paying your tax dollars, you can, with millions of like minded people, solve these problems, why would you not do so? Does not the Bible say to pay our taxes? Does not the Bible say to turn the other cheek?

If the King James Bible tells me not to judge others, and that we are all sinners, who am I to judge — to punish — the sinners in our midst?

The above constitute a completely liberal take on what it means to be a Christian.

Those arguments, which on the surface seem completely proper for a Christian, are what we are fighting. There is a fallacy hidden in each one, but only the truly wise can discern it. Now, try to argue against them, when the standard response is that, by denying the poor what they need and by allowing the rich to keep same, we are cruel and heartless.

unclesmrgol on April 7, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Yeah, like spreading homophobia is spreading love, joy, truth, and beauty.

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM

First, we are not afraid of those who pursue a sinful desire such as engaging in homosexual acts.

Second, we acknowledge that those who pursue such a lifestyle are drowning in dangerous sin, and they will reap the results of that. Warning them of the danger is throwing them a lifeline to prevent their drowning. This is done when people care about those drowning, not afraid of them. In fact, I find it rather uncaring to cheer them as they drown.

Third, all of us have a fleshly desire to commit sinful acts. I still find young women attractive even though I am married. Pursuing that sinful desire is equal to the acts encouraged by homosexuals. What makes you see them as so weak that they cannot and should not resist those sinful acts. Are homosexuals mere animals without conscience thought? If no, stop treating them so. They have the ability to resist the sinful urges the same way the rest of us do.

dominigan on April 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

So what then is the message of those who would use our Judeo-Christian formed political structure (our rights come from Nature’s God)to contaminate the poor, the children, attack Christian consciences via medical control, lead good people into moral depravity by laws and control of all media, other than, if you ignore what we are doing politically then we will continue to win and destroy all that is good?

Don L on April 7, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Yeah, like spreading homophobia is spreading love, joy, truth, and beauty. When the early Christian burned gays to death and tortured them in all sorts of sick ways, was it love, joy, truth or beauty they were spreading?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM

You mean like ripping innocent babies from their mothers’ wombs?

You do have a source for your claim, don’t you?

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Ed, the Bible clearly instructs believers to care for the poor.

Believers. Not the government.

Beo on April 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

And this:

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10

Requiring Christians to fund a system that rewards sloth violates our principles.

(Churches should know better, but it typically is not coercive; whereas, with the government, they will put you in prison if you refuse to fund their un-Biblical system.)

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

dominigan on April 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Well stated.

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Really? Pray tell, when exactly did “Christians” burn “gays”? Is that in Common Core or something?
Nutstuyu on April 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

It’s from the School Of Pulling My Facts Outta My Backside.

whatcat on April 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Tell me what action of the Democratic Party today is like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:44 AM

http://tinyurl.com/n4zpwuo (NSFW)

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Here’s your dhimmicRAT party:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfCXaqieas

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin’ down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett’s body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can’t speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that’s so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men’s dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.

http://www.strangefruit.org/emmett_till.htm

Three days later, his corpse was recovered but was so disfigured that Mose Wright could only identify it by an initialed ring. Authorities wanted to bury the body quickly, but Till’s mother, Mamie Bradley, requested it be sent back to Chicago. After seeing the mutilated remains, she decided to have an open-casket funeral so that all the world could see what racist murderers had done to her only son. Jet, an African American weekly magazine, published a photo of Emmett’s corpse, and soon the mainstream media picked up on the story.

Less than two weeks after Emmett’s body was buried, Milam and Bryant went on trial in a segregated courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi. There were few witnesses besides Mose Wright, who positively identified the defendants as Emmett’s killers. On September 23, the all-white jury deliberated for less than an hour before issuing a verdict of “not guilty,” explaining that they believed the state had failed to prove the identity of the body. Many people around the country were outraged by the decision and also by the state’s decision not to indict Milam and Bryant on the separate charge of kidnapping.

The Emmett Till murder trial brought to light the brutality of Jim Crow segregation in the South and was an early impetus of the African American civil rights movement.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-death-of-emmett-till

Where has anything like this happened to a h0m0sexual?

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 11:51 AM

So, it wasn’t that private ownership of a Bible was forbidden — it was that there were no private Bibles to be owned. The cost of making one was prohibitive.unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

In feudal times, if you could read the Lain Vulgate, you had best not diverge from Church interpretation. And who could read in feudal times? The Church was the interpreter for the serfs, who could not own property, or coinage, or exceed their station.

What got people in the better documented eras was producing their own translation from original language without approval of the Church.

This is where Luther went up against the Catholic Church.

Luther’s New Testament was so much multiplied and spread by printers that even tailors and shoemakers, yea, even women and ignorant persons who had accepted this new Lutheran gospel, and could read a little German, studied it with the greatest avidity as the fountain of all truth. Some committed it to memory, and carried it about in their bosom. In a few months such people deemed themselves so learned that they were not ashamed to dispute about faith and the gospel not only with Catholic laymen, but even with priests and monks and doctors of divinity. Johann Cochlaeus (Cochläus) (1479 – January 10, 1552)


also with Tynedale
against Henry VIII

As with Martin Luther’s translation, Tyndale’s English translation threatened, and was intended to threaten, papal ecclesiastical authority. In undertaking the work, Tyndale defied the 1408 “Constitutions of Oxford”, an English clerical pact further to the suppression of the Lollards and kindred post-John Wycliffe heresies which expressly prohibited rendering scripture in the vernacular.

While Henry put a bounty on Tyndale for daring to translate,

In 1536, an English bounty hunter befriended the fugitive translator and betrayed him to the authorities in Vilvoorde, near Brussels. It was the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire that did the dirty work of their rivals in the Isles.

Free to obey

When the Scribes and the Pharisees brought before Jesus an adulterous woman…what was his response? Was that response to cast a stone, or to admonish the woman?
unclesmrgol on April 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Go and sin no more. reprieve and warning, both required
The Pope made remarks about people following their own morality, and atheists going to heaven if they do good. I don’t doubt a good Samaritan can get to Heaven. However you must also play John the Baptist and warn them

I am seeing people who dislike the ‘hard parts’ of the Bible using the Pope as cover for Christianity Lite. The church of self affirmation has swept every protestant denomination too. Just not the conversion I hope for those I love

entagor on April 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

God of Truth, preserve my understanding and heart from the influence of bigotry. While I am not permitted to tolerate dangerous error, nor connive at heresy, keep me from ignorant perversity and blind obstinacy in defending my own opinions ; and from unkindness and intolerance towards those from whom I differ in sentiment. Suffer me not to mistake prejudice for the love of truth, nor malice for true zeal. May I sincerely desire the success of all who labour for the glory of God and the welfare of souls. Restore, O Lord, the spirit of harmony in all the divisions of the household of faith; so that thy watchmen may see eye to eye, and thy saints, of every name, dwell in the unity of the Spirit.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/classics/barnes-manual-prayer/manual-of-prayer-part-1.html

davidk on April 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Passing a law does not make something moral, which God has declared to be immoral!

petunia on April 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

entagor on April 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I agree, and when Christ said that even thinking of committing adultery is a sin… that is not the Christianity that people want to hear.

Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way. That is not what many in today’s world want to hear.

And they didn’t back then either. Jesus and the Apostles were driven out and eventually killed because the doctrine was serious Truth. That was not the lite, soft doctrine of “can’t we all just get along”.

petunia on April 8, 2014 at 12:05 PM

which, of course, explains why people, especially women, in the non-Christian world have so many rights.

I teach my kids one basic truth. The reason the founders considered the unalienable rights to have been ENDOWED upon man BY THEIR CREATOR, is because if they were given by man, they could more easily be taken away.

end of story.

WryTrvllr on April 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM

Your kids must be white.

mazer9 on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Your kids must be white.

mazer9 on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Why, because only black people have ever been enslaved. You listen to Al Sharpton too much.

Look up the sac on Baltimore, Ireland. Learn about the Mediterranean circa 0 AD. And grow up.

WryTrvllr on April 8, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Tell me what action of the Democratic Party today is like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre?

thuja on April 7, 2014 at 1:44 AM

Try The War in the Vendee.

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite!!!!

Roots of Marxism, Leninism, progessivism, and the Democratic Party.

But since you’re into today, name any action the Catholic church takes that is like that?

WryTrvllr on April 8, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Your kids must be white.

mazer9 on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Oh, I am sorry. You must be into Critical Race Theory. So…..

Only non-whites were ever slaves. Freedom and God are white constructs to keep you down. The English Navy did NOT end the slave trade. The Dutch singlehandedly captured huge lots of African warriors to bring to America (rather that TRADE for them from rival tribes, umm, where they were slaves), and OJ Simpson is innocent.

Also, the evil white man created the HIV virus (Bill Crosby?) to kill off disproportionate numbers of blacks (something the DNC’s d and c’s could never do), The Austrian School of Economics (and it’s Chicago following) created a set of economic laws that guaranteed the failure of your savior’s stupid economic policies, in essence, making wage slave of us all.

I think it is called “born into servitude”, that 17 trillion dollar debt thingy.

Either way, the gullibility of people like you have led to the ruin of this country. Want equality, have a standardized test, like, say, the SAT to test all students, just , say, on Math.

Oh…..wait. 800′s for everyone.

WryTrvllr on April 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Oh, I am sorry. You must be into Critical Race Theory. So…..

Only non-whites were ever slaves. Freedom and God are white constructs to keep you down. The English Navy did NOT end the slave trade. The Dutch singlehandedly captured huge lots of African warriors to bring to America (rather that TRADE for them from rival tribes, umm, where they were slaves), and OJ Simpson is innocent.

Also, the evil white man created the HIV virus (Bill Crosby?) to kill off disproportionate numbers of blacks (something the DNC’s d and c’s could never do), The Austrian School of Economics (and it’s Chicago following) created a set of economic laws that guaranteed the failure of your savior’s stupid economic policies, in essence, making wage slave of us all.

I think it is called “born into servitude”, that 17 trillion dollar debt thingy.

Either way, the gullibility of people like you have led to the ruin of this country. Want equality, have a standardized test, like, say, the SAT to test all students, just , say, on Math.

Oh…..wait. 800′s for everyone.

WryTrvllr on April 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

No. I am a black conservative. I don’t think I am a victim, but my ancestors sure were. They were enslaved BY MEN. And won their freedom by the blood of MEN. Moreover, my grandparents were granted their civil rights by the pen of MEN.

This “inalienable rights by God” stuff is just romantic garbage. If rights were given to us by God, we wouldn’t have to fight so hard to get them and blacks wouldn’t have been the property of White men at the same time those words were uttered.

mazer9 on April 9, 2014 at 10:21 AM

No. I am a black conservative. I don’t think I am a victim, but my ancestors sure were. They were enslaved BY MEN. And won their freedom by the blood of MEN. Moreover, my grandparents were granted their civil rights by the pen of MEN.

This “inalienable rights by God” stuff is just romantic garbage. If rights were given to us by God, we wouldn’t have to fight so hard to get them and blacks wouldn’t have been the property of White men at the same time those words were uttered.

mazer9 on April 9, 2014 at 10:21 AM

A black conservative (rare breed) who tells me that believing in the founding documents, as written, is a mistake. That Thomas Jefferson’s writings were flawed because he owned slaves. That my teaching my own children about freedom is flawed because it does not comport with your understanding. Not even experience, just understanding. Hmm. You were never a slave. MY ancestors fought a war to end that egregious error in the constitution. They believed GOD thought slavery an abomination. You belittle their thought process. The battle hymn of the republic was written by a white person. Lincoln wrote the emancipation proclamation. hundered of thousands died.

Oh and by the way, since you can hold a grudge, so can I. My ancestors were also slaves. Slaves made up 50% of the population of Rome and Greece. Towards the end they were from mostly northern Europe.In 700ish, when Islam took most of Spain, what do you think they did to the Visigoths in control at the time? (most of the invading Moors we’re, by this time, black.)

It’s in response to the issue of slavery that the founding fathers decided to create the unalienable rights. That they left it in existence created tremendous tension from the beginning. Perhaps they knew the tendency for downfalls of democracy. One, which, the chip on your shoulder will speed up here.

If you are conservative, something I doubt, you would understand when I say, for my ancestors who aren’t here, “You’re Welcome”.

I’d LOVE to hear WHY you consider yourself a conservative.

You realize when Jesus teaches to treat you’re slaves well, blacks were NOT in the mix.

Do you realize that living in a society where the government feels entitled to every penny you make, at threat of prison, enforced at gunpoint, makes us all slaves? No, you don’t. There were only, ever, black slaves. Got it.

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM

This “inalienable rights by God” stuff is just romantic garbage. If rights were given to us by God, we wouldn’t have to fight so hard to get them and blacks wouldn’t have been the property of White men at the same time those words were uttered.

mazer9 on April 9, 2014 at 10:21 AM

So people cannot turn against the will of God? Wow, that’s some chip on your shoulder.

Sitting in the front of the bus, or at the lunch counter, or marching to be beaten by Bull Connor (a democrat, mind you) will never equate to standing in a field getting ready to charge a load of buck n ball. Never.

Last in NY, I visited the USS Valiant. There is special plaque commemorating a machine gun crew, sitting out in the open, off the side of the ship, who successfully defended the ship from Kamikaze attacks, until they finally missed one, and it got through. They saw something in this country, apparently, you cannot see. You just keep steaming in your juices. It has served your community sooo well these last 6 years, and since the use of that same pen was extended past the civil rights act.

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

I’d LOVE to hear WHY you consider yourself a conservative.

Perhaps because I believe I’m responsible for taking care of myself and family.

No invisible god is going to do that for me, just like no invisible God gave me or my ancestors our rights. As you mention above, MEN DID.

And for as many of those Christians who found slavery to be an “abomination”, how many Christians died fighting for the Confederacy and their right to own slaves?

“Deo Vindice” seems a bit ironic for a motto don’t you think?

mazer9 on April 9, 2014 at 4:27 PM

The warped, depraved mind of moral relativism.

I feel so bad for you.

Murphy9 on April 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

And for as many of those Christians who found slavery to be an “abomination”, how many Christians died fighting for the Confederacy and their right to own slaves?

“Deo Vindice” seems a bit ironic for a motto don’t you think?

mazer9 on April 9, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Oh that’s right. The christian world is still full of slavery. Unlike, say, Islamic Sudan.

Funny how a different God brings about different results.

Bitter stoics like yourself, however, are everywhere.

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Allahu Akbar is a much better motto.

Just ask the animists.

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 6:24 PM

No invisible god is going to do that for me, just like no invisible God gave me or my ancestors our rights. As you mention above, MEN DID.

Right, men who believed God considered you human beings too. One wonders if Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler would consider you as such.

Oh, and by the way, any mammal raises and cares for it’s live young. Doesn’t make ‘em smart enough to be a conservative. Democrat, yeah probably enough.

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 6:45 PM

The warped, depraved mind of moral relativism.

I feel so bad for you.

Murphy9 on April 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Don’t waste your pity. Besides, I LIKE tampons for earrings. Almost as much as I like the buffalo dropping earrings they sell in Yellowstone…..

:-)

WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Right, men who believed God considered you human beings too. One wonders if Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler would consider you as such.

Oh, and by the way, any mammal raises and cares for it’s live young. Doesn’t make ‘em smart enough to be a conservative. Democrat, yeah probably enough.
WryTrvllr on April 9, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Blacks didn’t enjoy equal rights in this country until the 60s. That was like 50 years ago. How long ago was your bible written? Ironically enough the South is even more religious than the North. Spare me this Christian equality myth.

Moreover if I were the black liberal stereotype you so desperately want me to be I wouldn’t have voted for Bush twice and Romney. I am a conservative because I am practical. Not because I believe in invisible spirits. Sorry to disappoint.

mazer9 on April 10, 2014 at 12:44 AM

Sorry to disappoint.

mazer9 on April 10, 2014 at 12:44 AM

You don’t disappoint me in the slightest. You can be as bitter and cynical as you choose. You still haven’t explained why slavery exists in so many other parts of the world though.

As for me, I’ll take care of my own. Like you said.

WryTrvllr on April 10, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Oh and by the way, at the top of this web site is a picture of a black lesbian Sudanese. If I am not mistaken, she has made the choice to live in the U.S. She has a fatwa issued against her.

WryTrvllr on April 10, 2014 at 1:57 AM

You don’t disappoint me in the slightest. You can be as bitter and cynical as you choose. You still haven’t explained why slavery exists in so many other parts of the world though.

As for me, I’ll take care of my own. Like you said.

WryTrvllr on April 10, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Never said I was “bitter”. My wife is white. I have nothing to be angry about. Just calling out hypocrisy when I see it. White men talking about the”equality of all men”, while owning slaves is the epitome of hypocrisy. White men saying that God will vindicate them and the slave-trading South is the epitome of irony.

You guys sound like the “bitter” ones for me pointing out the obvious.

mazer9 on April 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Oh that’s right. The christian world is still full of slavery. Unlike, say, Islamic Sudan.

You set a pretty high bar for your religion don’t you?

mazer9 on April 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

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