« Religion: Poison or Cure? | Main | Leprechauns & God »

October 17, 2007

Comments

Never mind the typo--this is excellent commentary. The public face of Christianity gets distorted by those who present the images.

If they think there's a shift, maybe (just maybe) there will also be a positive shift in the way the media portray Christians. I fear, though, as Melinda seems also to expect, that any change will be portrayed more as Christians conforming to cultural views of tolerance than as Christians actually loving others.

"She asks whether Daly is evidence of a shift in evangelicalism, a shift toward the center or a cosmetic one."

The media likes to define "center" also. The center has been creeping toward the left in the media. The Newsweek article is intended to encourage semi-Pelagian Christians to change their theology by trying to normalize an ostensible approval of homosexuality by respected Christian celebrity ministers.

"The public face of Christianity gets distorted by those who present the images."

The public face of Christianity: peace loving do-gooders making the world a better place, is a distortion of what Christianity really is: a cult driven by authoritarian fear mongering based on a suspension of logic, reason and free thought in favor of ancient superstition that hinders the progress of the human race, and gives those who claim religious authority the perfect power and opportunity to psychologically manipulate their followers. Throughout history social reform has been hindered by the religious, the most recent opposition to the rights of homosexuals is just as ridiculous as the opposition to black's and women's rights. Years from now, when the inevitable reform finally does happen, I hope those who opposed it will not only realize how foolish they were, but will recognize the source of that foolishness: religion.

Tolerance and approval are indeed mixed up a lot these days. I can tolerate people wishing to believe in whatever they want, but I cannot approve of them imposing their beliefs on the private lives of others. If Jim Daly is more tolerant of homosexuals then I think it is indeed a shift in evangelicalism, maybe a small one, but still a change, and a change in the right direction.

Steve,

Your rhetoric and intolerance makes true the saying that in our day and age "the only wrong is believing that something is wrong."

Steve,

Hello my friend, I’m confused what do you mean by “progress”? If you mean we will stop killing each other, history refutes you, as the last 100 years have been the most bloodiest in human history. Speaking in purely human vs. human terms (war), I know of no historians who would say the driving force behind World Wars I & II was religion. So I am confused by your statement and I hope you can describe to me what you mean when you say “progress” so I can better understand where your coming from.

Thanks,

-Josh

Steve wrote:

>>”Throughout history social reform has been hindered by the religious, the most recent opposition to the rights of homosexuals is just as ridiculous as the opposition to black's and women's rights.”

Christians fought for the rights of minorities (Martin Luther King Jr.) and women and Jews under Nazi Germany (Dietrich Bonhoeffer.)

Besides, last time I checked homosexuals had all the rights I do. Some people are even trying to give them more.

If your idea of reform means living under the atheist tyrants that have murdered millions in the past - I’ll take the Christian please.

>>”I can tolerate people wishing to believe in whatever they want, but I cannot approve of them imposing their beliefs on the private lives of others.”

Like homosexuals storming a recent church service in San Francisco?

You have more in common with Christians in this regard than you think.

Steve, on a different but related note, I've visited your blog and see that you've taken to Taoism. Given that being one with the Tao is (roughly) about living in balance with Yin and Yang, and given that male and female are instances of each, how is it that same-sex relations could be affirmed as good and natural within the context of such a belief system?

This story is the secular equivalent of the naive, though well-meaning, white person who refers to his black friend as "well-spoken." It reveals, in other words, the latent bigotry harbored by secularists who have come to believe the stereotypes about Christians that they helped to perpetuate over the past thirty years.

Admittedly, we don't help ourselves, at times. Nevertheless, it is clearly the case that Christians are far more tolerant of their moral deviants than are secularists. Christians have ministries to those struggling with sexual identity; secularists have "sensitivity classes"--quasi-fascist re-education sessions--for those who challenge their orthodoxy. Christians can sit through college classes for 15 weeks hearing their faith attacked, and they pray for their professors, and often inquire with folks at places like STR on how to best address these attacks in a winsome manner. Secularists alert the thought-police and scream "hate crime," homophobe, intolerant, etc. Christians put up with incessant media attacks upon their virtue. We can't even get a soda or haircut or go to a doctor's appointment without being forced to listen to some trashy music or subjected to some ridiculous soap opera. In fact, I am at Starbucks right now with a coffee cup that includes some crazy "wise saying" by some pontificating half-wit. We are confronted by entertainment options that include scores of sit-coms and dramas where nobody goes to church and their are more homosexuals than southern Baptists, though in the real world it is quite different. We put up with some s**t that we should be put in the tolerance hall of fame (if there is one).

When was the last time you heard of a Christian group requiring the state to conduct church services in a gay bathhouse? Yet, if an elderly Christian couple does not want to rent a room to a an unmarried cohabiting same-sex couple, the PC police will scream discrimination and force these Christians to have sin take place under their roof. All in the name of "tolerance."

Rant over.

If you do not wholeheartedly approve of and condone homosexuality, you are considered 'anti-gay'. (And a whole lot of other words I won't repeat here.)

It does not matter how we treat homosexual people. If we do not support this lifestyle 100% and openly state that it's acceptable, then we are hatemongers.

Steve's comments illustrate this point beautifully.

Mo is right, there really is no middle ground. The example that Francis Beckwith provided really illustrate the situation well. "if an elderly Christian couple does not want to rent a room to a an unmarried cohabiting same-sex couple, the PC police will scream discrimination and force these Christians to have sin take place under their roof." Ouch... I can sympathize, believe it or not, I was raised a Mormon, and Mormons consider even more things sinful than most Christian sects do. But I truly believe the greater "sin" lies with the Christian couple. Christians will just have to deal with it by either separating their spiritual and secular lives, or being very careful about how they involve themselves in the secular world. Just like Mormons don't work in bars and Hindus don't work at McDonalds.

In response to Paul Scott Pruett's question about homosexuality and Taoism, yes, homosexuality is an imbalance of the nature, perhaps it's some kind of sickness, perhaps it exists to balance out the people who have too many kids, I don't know. You can go to thetaobums.com and see what I've posted there if you want more of my thoughts on this.


I didn't get the memo in which the secular society was given the metaphysical power to be the arbiter of the parameters of Christian belief.

The couple in my illustration own their home--their private domain; so private, in fact, that the Supreme Court has asserted that the government cannot tell them whether or not they can use contraceptive devices, engage in sodomy, or arrange for an abortion at the local clinic. And yet, if they want to exercise their religious liberty by forbidding the occurrence of sin on their property, the government will intervene and force them to disobey conscience.

It is beyond me how anyone cannot be disturbed by this state of affairs.

Steve,

Why is your view right and my Christian view is wrong about homosexuals getting married? How did you come up with this conclusion?

You just made a whole bunch of claims about Christianity that are just blatantly false.

I would love to know how my free thought and reasoning have left me and how are you so enlightened?

Can you define the term cult?

How do you know Christianity is full of superstitions?

Oh, I misread, I thought they were hotel owners or something. If it's their own home they have every right to do that.

Steve's post on 10/9:

"It's my belief that we can loosen our stranglehold on logic, embrace the mysteries of the universe instead of trying to solve them, and live by intuition, observation, meditation, and following the moral law."

Steve's post earlier in this thread:

"...what Christianity really is: a cult driven by authoritarian fear mongering based on a suspension of logic, reason and free thought in favor of ancient superstition that hinders the progress of the human race..."


Steve, it seems like you want to champion logic and rationale when you think it can be used as a weapon against Christianity, but then throw it to the wind whenever it undermines your own position.

Logic and reason are valuable tools for interpreting the world around us. But there are situations where the other things, like intuition, faith or following your heart, are more useful. Logic fails in the metaphysical realm, any "logical" attempt to explain Christianity stands on assumptions that are not realistic.

"Christianity stands on assumptions that are not realistic."

Care to give an example?

Steve wrote: "Logic fails in the metaphysical realm, any "logical" attempt to explain Christianity stands on assumptions that are not realistic"

Is its corollary also true, i.e., any logical attempt to refute Christianity stands on assumptions that are not realistic? If not, why not?

Shalom

I am quick to grant that Christians have mishandled our relationship with the gay community. I have never understood why we treat homosexuality (inside or outside the church) as any different than any other sexual sin (adultery, premarital sex, etc.). They are all the same in the eyes of God. Also, as Paul said, "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?" Yet we have flipped them around, trying to change the lifestyle (of an outsider) before changing the heart (and bringing them within the church).

Unfortunately, the ones who get the most media coverage are the ones pushing hate and bigotry under the guise of Christianity. Only a love that is just as outspoken will change the public's image of Christianity and win those within the homosexual community to Christ. After all, how do we expect to direct them to a lifestyle in line with the calling of Christ without the Holy Spirit working in their lives?

“I have never understood why we treat homosexuality (inside or outside the church) as any different than any other sexual sin (adultery, premarital sex, etc.)”

Jared,

I don’t think ‘we’ being Christians, do. I believe if someone wore the fact they were an adulterer on their sleeve with honor, and claimed it as a lifestyle; the Christian community would act the same. Also, the current environment plays a big role. Many Christians feel that because part of the “homosexual movement” or agenda is to convince the community there is nothing wrong with that lifestyle; there has to be a resistance. Whereas, a particular group would fail to convince the community that adultery should be an acceptable lifestyle – no resistance needed.

They present their actions as if it is some sort of ‘race’ issue all under the guise of ‘civil rights.’ This hits deep with Americans; just hearing the word ‘rights’ makes us quiver. Just my thought.


The comments to this entry are closed.