Sep 25, 2011

ATHEISM ALERT: ¨The future of American faith is grim as the nation undergoes the secularization process that has already pretty much wrecked the churches in the rest of the West...¨

¨I agree with the conclusion that the loss of religion in public policy - at least the Christianist version that applauds executions, cheers at allowing the uninsured to die, and boos gay military service members - can only be a positive good.¨

¨Even as the Republican Party races to turn itself into a completely religious based party, the trend in the larger American public is away from religion. True, there are many reasons for the trend, but I continue to believe that no small part of the movement away from religion traces back to the Christianists who are making Christianity into something truly foul and ugly where hatred of others is the principal hallmark. Indeed, I increasingly find myself not wanting to even acknowledge myself as a "Christian" because of the negative connotation that the word has come to have associated with it...¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Bilerico Project, sidebar
·  Thanks to Michael Hamer


JCF said...

"they need to stop yielding the media field to the Christianists."

This line reminds me of the email shouting match I got into with . . . well, I'll call him "Bayne Wesen" (someone I had respected, until he started swearing at me :-/).

Leonardo, do you know what that line means? Short of acts of violence (and I'm not sure whether some of these Angry Atheists really DO want us to "Get Medieval" on Mormon, Southern Baptists and Popoid Catholics!), how are we supposed to "stop yielding the media field"?

I'm just really getting tired of being LECTURED by Angry Atheists, who won't join us (EVEN when I say their lack-of-belief should be no bar!), but expect us to Do Something they won't tell us about.

[Wouldn't I---Poor and Queer and Just-Happens-to-Be Episcopalian---have to have a "media field", before I could "stop yielding" it? I mean, seriously: WTF?]

FWIWI, this is the discussion I wanted to have on this FoJ thread, too.

JCF said...

FWIW, re Washington Post article quoted by Bilerico: the author is straight out of the "Receive My Withering Atheist CONTEMPT!" school of Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (etc, etc, ad nauseum).

As I don't debate Christianists who tell me "God didn't really make you gay, you're just sick/sinful", neither do I debate, um, "Atheistinists" (Anti-Theists!) who tell me that my belief is a mere delusion.

Calamity Jane said...

As long as fundamentalists present as the public voice of Christianity, and moderate Christians remain silent, concerning themselves more with protecting an institution that discriminates, as opposed to defending those who are harmed by this prejudice... then atheism will continue to gain momentum. Who can prove or disprove God? However, harm inflicted by people who believe in God can be measured by atheists. If Moderate Christians spoke out about the injustices inflicted by institutionalised churches, then maybe people may become more interested in this type of Christianity, because only bigots would really be attracted to a church that promotes anti-gay sentiment, female inequality and religious intolerance.

JCF said...

But what does "speak out" mean, CalJane?

God only knows, I speak out online CONSTANTLY. I've got into public debates w/ haters at Gay Pride events. I've personally persuaded a number of religious people to vote against Prop 8.

...and yet I keep reading "Moderate Christians remain silent."

I think sometimes that atheists display a good deal of (ironically) magical thinking. That the mere fact that I call myself a "Christian", and a bunch of bigots ALSO call themselves "Christians", that I have some Christian Magic Wand (Cross?) that I can wave at the haters, to silence them. I don't.

It's very lonely out here. I feel like I get dumped on by BOTH sides . . . however, I've known that Fundy Christians and I have had nothing in common, for a LONG time (30+ years!). The contempt coming at me from queer atheists, is new.

It hurts. :-(

Calamity Jane said...

JCF,I agree with you totally but those speaking out seem to be a small minority of individuals. From my perspective, fundamentalists are aligned with affluence and power. When radicals do speak outspeak out, they have be very careful, for fear of their reputation being trashed. The rest of the Christian population seem to remain silent; at least in the public arena. It's like they don't want to align themselves with those who speak out, either out of fear, or feelings of disloyality to the church, or that it is unChristian to be seen as radical... and JCF, radical Christians are very rare and special. All I hear in the public arena is fundamentalist dialogue, which centres around putting down liberal Christians and calling atheists...materialistic. I do believe change has to come from within the church, so people like you are vital... but I agree it's soul destroying. If the church does not move towards inclusiveness then it will become really marginalised due to the unattractive bigotry it projects. Keep up your efforts JCF because it's people like you who are to be admired and hopefully more Christians may stand up in unison.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Exactly. It´s not like I´ve been ¨out¨ as a person or a Christian forever (except in my own mind)´s true that even as I type I must be careful about what I say as I live in a very small, heavily RC environment (one that is spiritually healthy on the surface but nobody rocks any boats in a tiny village of agricultural workers although I see what I perceive to be ¨gay people¨ around from time to time living ordinary lives).

But, this conversation IS about doing what one can do in ANY social environment to be authentic which includes being the person that God created me to be.

I certainly see the ill-will the Global South-Gafconning/Sydney crowd create for Christianity...yes, that same repugnant ¨bad news¨ spreading is very present in Uganda (U.S. Pentacostals and Anglicans taking the hate and ignorance spreading lead), and at various provinces throughout the Anglican Communion...surely we´ve all read the ongoing filth that comes out of the mouths of puritanlike bigots at Church-- to tell you the truth it turns me off, off, off, and I´m not willing to play pretend for them--not for Rowan Williams, Duncan Pitts, the Jensens or any other of the educated dangerous-to-others grandstanders at Church. I clearly see why others, in huge numbers, are react strongly against Mormon leaders such as First Presidency Packer and other sweet talking poluters of life-- I have a strong reaction of loathing for Bennedict as he continues to ignore the trail of vileness with defensiveness and denial...I´m ashamed of the ABCanterbury and his political posturing and cowardly dodgy (and snide) thinking (here is a man who is completely unable to lead or manage or set a strong and defined moral example of Christian love--fully incompetant on all fronts).

Yes, we can each only do what we can do to be the exact people that God made us to be--we must abandon codependent/sick forms of ¨being¨ for standing up for our personal integrity-- certainly, no one could think much of us if we didn´t...Christian or not
and the the Episcopalian and Anglicans who are both ¨liberal paraders¨ and ¨conservative excluders¨ do what they must do to reassure assure themselves of their safety in the great and shallow ¨religiouslike¨ dark hole they dig and hide in...neither represents me in much anything they do and I AM a Episcopalian/Christian too.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

On another note (but related):

I notice that a few of the well-known pro-LGBT and heterosexual women clergy who are out of jobs seem to be blackballed...they seem to be having a hard time getting interviews and jobs--three of these people (I´m sure there are many others), one in Latin America and two in England are extremely talented (in different ways) and offer such passion for their inclusive callings that they´ve become threats to the ¨covenant ramming¨ Rowan Williams and his accomplices-- the old standards for nurturing, lies and deceit seem to be in full force at the heart of Anglicanism itself--the Church of England/Lambeth Palace/York...few, can be naturally attracted to that particular form of religion building.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

What I notice with the "new Atheists" is the same brand of vitriol that fundie Christians use. I don't get it. I'm perfectly happy to let atheists live and let live. But they seem to want me gone just as much as the fundie Christians do, and they want the world scrubbed of all traces of theism. I don't get it. Other people's expressions of their faith don't bother me. Why does it chafe them so, if they are so safe and secure in their atheism?

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Why does it chafe them so, if they are so safe and secure in their atheism? K

I think they are just plain olde MAD! I understand completely after listening to a lifetime of righteouspeoples spew about LGBT´s simply fury for being abused by the zealots, the anger runneth over (and it has been lifetimes in coming).

IT said...

The militant atheists are the counterpart to the fundamentalists.

JCF, to deal with your concern--I've put this up over at FoJ again--but here's the point as I see it.

The liberal churches make a point of not getting into the mud. Individuals get involved, but unless and until the institution stands up and barks back, I'm not sure how you can counter the other side.

Perhaps TEC and others are just too politie or well mannered. perhaps they are afraid of shedding even more members if they get political. And that's not an unreasonable concern. Why should you get into the mud with them?

But standing above the fray concedes the field.

maybe what you need to do as a churchn is talk to the other Christians. And it's not clear how much of that happens....on line we are (mostly) in our own little sounding chamber, amongst people "like us".

So how do institutions stand up? The Roman Catholic bishops speak with one voice on political issues, even though they obviously do not speak for their people, but they still get away with it. The Episcopal bishops , not so much.