The trouble with liberal religion.

Via Austin Cline

Infidel in Exile: What do we do?

In order to function as Christians, liberal Christians must reconstruct their entire religion, downplaying or eliminating its sexism, racism, and inherent authoritarianism, and ditching ideas like The Fall and Hell and the vengeful Old Testament God that moderns find repugnant. Why bother doing all this?
The problem is that decent loving liberal Christians are acting as enablers for what is essentially a cult of authority that will neither rest nor sleep nor stop until each and every human on earth is a Christian and all other forms of belief have been stamped out, world without end, amen.
Protestantism, begun with the laudable goal of letting each person worship God according to his own conscience, has simply evolved a variant on this authority structure. Having killed the Pope, Protestants promptly erected a thousand little Popes in his place. Modern progressive Christians want to discard the authority but keep the structure, but the result is an odd compromise: progressives discard the authority of the Church over themselves, but the authority itself remains. Thus the problem of Authority remains unresolved. One sees this in liberal Catholics who ooze reassuring warm fuzzies about their local churches, and their declaration that "Rome does not rule here!" which does nothing for the problems that progressives the world over will face as a result of the appointment of a hidebound German reactionary to the highest seat of the Roman Church, nor does it address the inherent wrongness of a religion run as a fuedal authoritarianism rather than a progressive democracy.

Thus, the problem is not that someone has "hijacked" Christianity and turned it into a cult of authority -- it always *was* a cult of authority whose core values must be radically reconfigured in order to make them compatible with a loving, democratic, and progressive worldview. Rather, the problem is that liberal Christianity is providing ethical, social, and financial cover for the malevolent version of Christianity that is currently overruning the United States. Even if the current effort to preserve a democratic United States is successful, this problem of Christianity-as-Facism will only recur. Authority-worship is built into the structure of Christianity as a missionary religion whose mandate is vested in Divine Authority, in a Jesus to whom "every knee must bend." In other words, Christianity does not prepare Christians to be loving members of a democratic society, but to be unquestioning followers of an Authority Figure -- and then makes them missionaries for that belief. The liberal Christians opt out of and even actively oppose this system does not make it go away. The time has come for those of us, Christian and not, who value pluralistic, secular, democracy, to start seeing Christianity as a recurrent, long-term problem, and stop enabling the spread of an inherently undemocratic authority-belief that is inimical to a loving, progressive society.


Socialized medicine is EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Greg Saunders writing at This Modern World: "If it weren't for those Republican dickheads in 1994 and their cries of 'socialized medicine' we might not be where we are now. Americans die of preventable causes every day because a bunch of selfish, elitist scumbags decided that they'd rather let poor people die than wait in a line. It's sickening and we all know who has blood on their hands."


QuizFarm.com :: Which religion is the right one for you?

Big surprise.
You scored as atheism. You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul.

Instead of simply being "nonreligious," atheists strongly believe in the lack of existence of a higher being, or God.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

QuizFarm.com :: What is Your World View?

This is mine.
You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.















Cultural Creative


What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
created with QuizFarm.com


If democracy is to survive...

Op Ed: What's Wrong with Electronic Voting Machines:
DRE machines must have a voter-verifiable paper audit trails (sometimes called a voter-verified paper ballot). This is a paper ballot printed out by the voting machine, which the voter is allowed to look at and verify. He doesn't take it home with him. Either he looks at it on the machine behind a glass screen, or he takes the paper and puts it into a ballot box. The point of this is twofold: it allows the voter to confirm that his vote was recorded in the manner he intended, and it provides the mechanism for a recount if there are problems with the machine.

Software used on DRE machines must be open to public scrutiny. This also has two functions: it allows any interested party to examine the software and find bugs, which can then be corrected, a public analysis that improves security; and it increases public confidence in the voting process - if the software is public, no one can insinuate that the voting system has unfairness built into the code (companies that make these machines regularly argue that they need to keep their software secret for security reasons. Don't believe them. In this instance, secrecy has nothing to do with security).

Computerised systems with these characteristics won't be perfect -- no piece of software is -- but they'll be much better than what we have now. We need to treat voting software like we treat any other high-reliability system.

The auditing that is conducted on slot machine software in the US is significantly more meticulous than that applied to voting software. The development process for mission-critical airplane software makes voting software look like a slapdash affair. If we care about the integrity of our elections, this has to change.

I would add that an additional standard should be a minimum number of voting machines per thousand in each voting precinct. One of the big problems biasing votes is having plenty of machines in precincts that tend to vote for one party and fewer machines in precincts that vote for the other party. Long lines in the low-machine precincts discourage voting.

I would like to note that no state meets either of the standards EXCEPT Nevada which does have voter-verifiable paper audit trails.

The religious right: An anti-American terrorist movement

The religious right: An anti-American terrorist movement: "The religious right of twenty-first century America is anti-American, inherently violent, and a cruel, tyrannical, punitive, force of death and destruction."


Thank you!

slacktivist: Persecution: "In many times and in many places, Christians have faced persecution because of their faith.

The United States in the early 21st century is not such a time and place."

Via Creep and Blink

What Liz Lenton said

CityScapeThree - Keywords about Cities :: What's the Matter with Kathy Martin?: "The idea that America was founded by Christians is the product of an uneducated, ignorant rural population"


The Official God FAQ

The Official God FAQ

Sums it up QUITE well.

Fuck you Johnny Hart!

Syndicate: Nobody Pulls 'B.C.' Evolution Strip

Link to original strip.

A fact of life that keeps me out of the Libertarian camp.

Labor Blog: When Leaving a Job Isn't an Option: "But the basic point is that 'the labor market' doesn't function the way libertarian utopians try to picture, which is why strong regulations and unions are needed in the first place."

On social issues: drugs prohibition, prostitution, sexuality, etc. the Libertarians and I agree whole-heartedly. It's the free-market fundamnetalism that seems to enthrall them that sticks in my craw. Labor, health care, and transportation (airlines, mainly) seem to get punched by the guiding hand of the free market rather than gently massaged by it.


Theocracy, here we come!

Pandagon: You have the freedom to be Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, or Jewish (for now)

Plus, Atrios nails it. "'Judeo-Christian' is just a polite way of saying 'Christian.'"


The Spiritual Malaise That Haunts Europe

The Spiritual Malaise That Haunts Europe

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