A Moment Of Christian Truth?

David Brooks column a few days ago related an Evangelical pastor’s truly horrific–albeit edifying–experience.

A conservative preacher, Jeremiah Johnson, had reacted to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by issuing a public apology for having supported Trump. He concluded that God removed Trump from office in response to his pride and arrogance, and to humble his supporters, including Johnson.

Readers of this blog can probably guess what happened next. Johnson received multiple death threats and “thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things.” He was labeled a coward, sellout, a “traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times.”

As Brooks points out, this is a window into what is happening inside Evangelical Christianity and within conservatism right now. And he defines it accurately:

The split we are seeing is not theological or philosophical. It’s a division between those who have become detached from reality and those who, however right wing, are still in the real world.

As Carey Wallace pointed out in Time Magazine, the willingness of so many “Christians” to become divorced from reality has a long and shameful history. As she says,

In the past few days, I’ve seen all kinds of statements from Christian leaders trying to distance themselves from the violent mob at the Capitol. Christian writers known for their thoughtfulness lament that “somehow” white supremacy has crept into our churches, and the faculty of a major evangelical institution put out a manifesto saying that the events at the Capitol “bear absolutely no resemblance to” the Christianity they teach. That mob, they’re telling us, is a fringe element. They’ve radically misunderstood the real message of American Christianity.

This could not be further from the truth.

I believe the mob at the Capitol has radically misunderstood the teachings and life of Jesus. But it is an absolutely logical conclusion of white American Christianity.

Wallace proceeds to lay out the long history of Christian White Nationalism, from its approval of taking Indian land (it’s okay to steal from non-Whites and non-Christians) through slavery and Jim Crow.

For the vast majority of American history, Christian ministers have spoken with passion and vigor in favor of slavery, segregation, and white supremacy. 

Wallace insists that there can be no healing without facing up to this past–as she writes, you can’t cure cancer by pretending it’s not there. The White American church can’t pretend that the mob at the Capitol is not part of it.

Scholars of religion agree.The John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities decried the 

persecution narrative of the Christian nationalist who sees Satanic power in feminism, anti-racist efforts, or religious pluralism. I want to think we reject the hubris of imagining ourselves to be God’s violent foot soldiers in the war against such so-called principalities and powers, that whether we are religious or secular, our everyday lives have meaning through caring for others, not fantasizing the bloody deaths of political foes. How to live among those who see life as a cosmic war between good and evil, self-righteously certain of just who is evil and who shall be victorious, is the great test of our time.

A number of others cited in the linked article agreed that what we saw on January 6th was “no random angry mob, but a group led and incited by elected officials, further evidenced by Trump’s affectionate words towards them.”

The next few years are going to be difficult, and not just for Evangelicals willing to confront their past, who will be attacked by those steeped in Christianity’s White Nationalism.  Trump’s success in re-making the Supreme Court is seen as a “full speed ahead” signal by  Republican Christian Nationalists who–thanks to gerrymandering–control Statehouses in states where their beliefs do not reflect those of a majority of their constituents.

The Guardian recently reported that we should expect a “blizzard” of bills rolling back LGBTQ rights and reproductive freedoms, and further eroding Separation of Church and State. These efforts have been supercharged by something called Project Blitz, an effort by rightwing Christian organizations to push through bills furthering their aims. It provides draft legislation to lawmakers across the country, where those drafts are basically copied, pasted and presented in state capitols. In 2018, state lawmakers introduced 74 such bills, ranging from measures restricting same-sex marriage to those allowing adoption agencies to use religious criteria to deny placements.

Have I mentioned that sane Americans have our work cut out for us? 



  1. Yes, it is not surprising to see all this coming to light. The perversion of religious dogma is normal to religion, especially Christianity in the United States. Evangelical Christianity is used as a club to acquire more power. The supercilious, self-righteous hypocrisy of Evangelical Christianity has always been fronted by power-mongers who prey on the weak minds that need religion to feel whole. Those Sunday school classes for children are there for the specific purpose of creating more mindless, nodding heads to carry the torch of bigotry.

    And here we are. Amy Coney Barrett will be the Christian savant for those truly wicked groups. I’m not so sure about Kavanaugh – as much as I think he is a self-centered idiot – because of his Catholicism. Of course, it’ll be a matter of how much his massive ego influences his decisions.

    Our founders and earlier courts were absolutely correct in building that wall between church and state. But Evangelicals have nowhere else to go except back to the roots of church-controlled government to secure their power, you know just like the saga of Henry VIII and his battle with the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Hell, he invented a religion based on himself. Sound familiar?

  2. “A man is known by the company he keeps.” Aesop

    Using the required legal term and considering the vast number of “alleged” crimes the Trumpist government’s Evangelical Christians have committed, and the vast number of “alleged” acts of Trump’s treason and sedition they continue to support; they should be referred to as “alleged” Christians. No proof of their actual Christianity can be seen.

    “Going into a church does not make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a car.” Unknown source quote which appears to be rather silly until you see the wisdom it contains.

  3. JoAnn,

    So why do so many people flock to churches when they continue to practice utter hypocrisy? Because they are told that they will be forgiven. My in-laws will lie, cheat, steal and otherwise behave very much NOT like their revered savior. Then they’ll just shrug it off by saying that they’re forgiven and everybody who doesn’t believe in Jesus is an apostate and will burn in hell.

    I’m not making this up. Most of the state of Texas’ white people think this way. The 40% who DON’T think this way are the Democrats. Is it any wonder that Texas keeps elect drooling morons to represent them?

  4. A BETTER FUTURE FOR AMERICA! At least now we will have a president who respects ALL faiths, ALL races, ALL cultures, ALL religions, and ALL Americans. President Biden will have an inclusive administration that celebrates diversity and inclusion rather than Trump’s narrow-minded, discriminatory, one religion regime. The days of uplifting white, Christian males and their obedient, subservient Christian females are OVER! All races and religions are welcome!
    President Biden will allow America to blossom into a multi-colored, beautiful and fragrant flower garden with all varieties each with it’s own special contribution to the whole. Tolerance & diversity will be our focus instead of arrogance, bigotry and discrimination. Trump’s vanilla flavored, “white daisy only” flower garden in DONE………thank God!

  5. Vernon; I see primarily the Catholic church as the denomination which has committed the vilest Identity Theft in history, the theft of the name Jesus Christ and twisting, bastardizing and ignoring his words to suit their personal needs. They have become wealthy in doing so and maintain women as chattel to “go forth and multiply” to increase their numbers. The Catholic Archdiocese has distributed a document to their churches which states that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain cells from abortions; without telling priests to discourage or forbid their women congregants from getting vaccinated, the message is clear. The third vaccine they spoke outright against.

    The movie “The Two Popes” is an excellent picture of Pope Francis’ history and the differences between he and Pope Benedict. At the end; they came together, heard one another’s confessions and bestowed God’s forgiveness on each other for all their sins. How convenient!

  6. This term cracks me up, “Christian White Nationalism.”

    That is just foolishness at all levels. First off, Christ wasn’t white since he was born in the Middle East. In three short words, we have a cacophony of oxymoronic and ignorant falsities.

    I’ve been spending some time with international preachers, and they have all been discussing “apostasy.”

    I’m sure John will have a few words to add about these “Christians” – both the heretical leaders and those professing to be followers of Christ.

    All those professing that God chose Trump aren’t people of religious faith and should be referred to as a more appro term.

  7. Go to “faithfully magazine “ to view the QAnon shaman praying in the Senate. It was captured by Tne New Yorker. I’d include the link but lack the skill to do so. Judge for yourself.

  8. JoAnn,

    Oh sure. I was married to a former nun for 5 years and heard all the stories about the back rooms. Even though there is a fragment of idealism remaining, modern religions simply defy the advance of knowledge in that it clings so tenaciously to the fairy tales upon which they are based.

  9. Maybe evangelicals will look back on this time as the Fifth Great Awakening. This is not the first time evangelicals have succumbed to political and religious comotion stirred up by individuals not necessarily of their religion. Its an old American tradition., particularly with evangelicals.

  10. The evangelicals should not refer to themselves as Christian. If Jesus were here today, they would most likely hang him.

  11. So, the two Popes did the Trump pardoning trick for one another!
    Sadly, the entire backdrop of all this craziness is the fairy tale that religion is based upon, in the first place. I believe I understand the need for religion, as in an attempt to put the very random, apparently senseless events of the world into a framework that provides a sense of comfort and control. As a result, we have a culturally supported delusion.
    Those who stay with the supposed “word” of their presumed savior, think and act differently from those who spin out to tack on further mythology.
    Apparently, and you’ve heard this before, I’m pretty sure, most every religion “knows” itself to be the real thing. And so, it’s tribal warfare all over again.
    It appears that some people of the cloth have a corner on bizarre, as in “detached from reality” ideas such as Pat Robertson, the Westboro Baptist Church leader, and many another, who have convinced their flocks of some of the most outrageous things, including Christian White Nationalism.
    So, what is “Christian Truth?”

  12. For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; and they will turn their ears away from the truth.” (2nd Timothy 4:2-4)

    “Woe to those who are saying that good is bad and bad is good, those who are putting darkness for light and light for darkness, those who are putting bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

    An expression used by the apostle Paul at 2 Thessalonians 2:2, 3 in warning of the great anti-Christian apostasy that would develop before “the day of God.” The Greek word for “apostasy” here used, a·po·sta·siʹa, denotes more than a mere falling away, an indifferent sliding back. It means a defection, a revolt, a planned, deliberate rebellion. In ancient papyrus documents a·po·sta·siʹa was used politically of rebels.

    It’s a revolt against the true teachings of Christianity, a revolt against the teachings of God and of Christ. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics. Those that call themselves religions today are really not religious in any aspect of the term, they are the ones who are dishonest brokers and will eventually destroy everything that they hoped to accomplish. The backlash is going to be dramatic, and the crying and gnashing of teeth will be deafening.

    Paul warned the Christian overseers of Ephesus that after his going away “oppressive wolves” would enter in among true Christians and would not treat the flock with tenderness but would try to draw away “the disciples” after themselves (not just making disciples for themselves but trying to draw away the disciples, Christ’s disciples). (Acts 20:29, 30)

    “However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron……. [feeling less, seared, so that they do not feel any twinges of conscience because of hypocritically speaking lies];…… Forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving.” (1st Timothy 4:1-3)

    John spoke of “the last hour” of the apostolic period, and said: “Just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists . . . They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But they went out that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort.” ( 1st John 2:18, 19;)

    All the time that I’ve commented on this blog, I’ve tried to bring out the things that I was aware of, I know that what these churches teach is not scriptural, I also know that there was prophecy leading towards what’s happening today! Unfortunately, people’s minds have been so disturbed by what they’ve seen, they will throw out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. And, that’s a shame because, and a prophetic sense, that’s the way it was said to begin!

    So, it just reinforces my personal beliefs, and, galvanizes others in a way that they refuse to see what’s happening unless it comes from someone that they believe in or have trust in. The captain of the Titanic had the trust of the passengers and crew, but, obviously they didn’t use the appropriate discernment. Anyway, the ship hit the iceberg and most died because the trusted captain did not keep on watch!

    Organized religion disgusts me, and it has nothing in common with scriptural teachings! You can’t believe in Scripture and make a deal with the resistor, then, you are in the resistors house as they say. False prophet or an apostate is nothing more than a foreign agent seeking to disrupt the organizations it was designed to actively work against. And, those resistors, those foreign agents, have been astoundingly successful!

    So, I just sit back and watch knowing that at least what I’ve learned over the many years of research and study was not wasted. Although, being right about great angst and pain should not make anyone feel good, the question is, what do you do with that knowledge?

  13. Wow! The conversation today reminds me of wonderful Friday evening Shabat dinners with friends in Jerusalem. MaLes and I would be the only Christians at the table. Easy pickings. Christians are a less than 2% minority in populations both sides of the Separation Wall. Shabat dinner discussions mirror much of the same fervor, except for religious identity. Jews can be unrelenting demonizing each other for false witness to justify means, including the Wall. Then the laugh is on me when a mega-church from Texas comes with fully loaded caravans of 55 passenger buses culminating at the appointed hour on Mt Zion to be lifted into heaven. The exact moment comes and nothing happens. Amazing thing is that they all had return flight tickets paid for in advance. The lead preacher has a ready explanation and brings another caravan the following year. I am a Christian observant to Scripture that teaches “faith without works is dead”. And today I am humbled more than ever to witness my faith grounded by current reality.

  14. Mitch,

    These Christians as they call themselves, have sealed their fate! What they claim they’re fighting for, is not anything that Christ would’ve done himself. I’ve been saying this very thing since I’ve been posting on this blog, unfortunately people seem not to get the gist of my comments and that’s unfortunate.

    These religious organizations are going to be dismantled, and, it’s not going to be pretty!

  15. Vernon @ 8:18 am, “Even though there is a fragment of idealism remaining, modern religions simply defy the advance of knowledge in that it clings so tenaciously to the fairy tales upon which they are based.”

    I agree 100%.

  16. FWIW, one part of the capital hill marauders came from a so-called “jericho’s march” organized by some ‘christian group.

  17. one segment of the ‘capital hill marauders’
    came from a socalled “jerico’s marched organized by some christian group

  18. Excellent article, By Jillian Kramer
    PUBLISHED January 8, 2021 National Geographic Science.
    Why people latch on to conspiracy theories, according to science.
    Misinformation spurred the mob that stormed the Capitol, highlighting the disastrous effects such theories can produce.

    Experts say that the majority of people do not easily fall for falsehoods. But when misinformation offers simple, casual explanations for otherwise random events, “it helps restore a sense of agency and control for many people,” says Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge.

    The allure of conspiracies in a chaotic world
    People use cognitive shortcuts—largely unconscious rules-of-thumb to make decisions faster—to determine what they should believe.

    Experts also say that people are more likely to believe misinformation that they are exposed to over and over again—such as allegations of election fraud or claims that COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the flu. “The brain mistakes familiarity for truth,” van der Linden says.

    Collective narcissism
    Another psychological factor that can lead to belief in conspiracies is what experts call “collective narcissism,” or a group’s inflated belief in its own significance. Marchlewska’s research suggests that collective narcissists are apt to look for imaginary enemies and adopt conspiracy explanations that blame them.

    This urge is particularly strong when narcissistic people fail, or members of their group fail. “For some people, conspiracy beliefs are the best way to deal with the psychological threat posed by their failure,” Marchlewska says, adding that this phenomenon was likely at work as rioters stormed the Capitol.

    The Trumpet can not accept defeat. He had to create a scenario to explain defeat, which was voter fraud. Elected officials and courts that affirmed Biden’s win, participated in the “stab in back”. The fact there were so many judicial defeats just validated The Trumpet’s message of the “deep state” or “swamp”.

    For the Bible Thumper’s the forces of Satan were also part of the mix. So it it is easy to believe the Bible Thumper’s would resort to either literal or figurative stoning.

  19. If you want to talk about a complete disconnect from reality, I stumbled on a press release from Congressman Mo Brooks. He was one of the inflammatory speakers before the Capital attack. He is being called out by his fellow congressmen for censure over this speech. His response is absolutely amazing, or if that word has too strong of a positive connotation, disgusting.

    Maybe he believes what he is saying, or maybe he is just manipulating voters, either way it is enabling the continuation of the lies.

    I could not find a place on the house.gov website to report false or malicious content. Post-truth Republicans, are really just pre-fascist politicians.

  20. To Mitch…remember the Red Queen’s explanation to Alice? “Words mean exactly what I intend them to mean.”

    Religious apologists will always say “Well…so and so is not a REAL Christian/Muslim” as if they and only they know what a “REAL” Christian/Muslim should be. It’s the perfect excuse, especially since they never bother to explain the difference.

  21. I have many problems with Jeremiah Johnson, even in his refutation of Trump. He says God removed him from office. That implies God put him in office. God did neither. Evangelical Christianity takes too much power away from people, just as it puts way too much power in the hands of Satan. God’s will comes about in marvelously subtle ways, molding this inspired individual’s actions with that one’s, bringing this and that event’s consequences to bear; weaving all in ways too high for our understanding. Thank God. When individuals don’t listen to the grace of God, we end up with people like Trump — people who see in either/or; people who want to control by fear; people who lack the humility to consider the subjective. When we do listen, we get people who are wise, who listen, who know they don’t know it all, but who are willing to try to move us toward the good.
    God brings out the good, however, even when we make huge mistakes. Trump showed us how racist we are. Trump showed us what rule by fear and selfishness can result in. Trump showed us just how little violence against women matters to the majority, including evangelical Christians.
    Yes, Sheila, we have a lot of work to do.

  22. I am not a racialist or a white nationalist because I was fortunate to be raised a catholic in a mixed race community. My first job was as a laborer working with latinos, blacks, and rednecks all of whom taught me a lot. I worked my way through engineering school and traveled the world teaching technology. I was blessed and I knew it. I do not respect extremist.

  23. Vernon what you are describing is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace” in his book titled “The Cost of Discipleship”. He was a Lutheran minister who was executed by the Nazi’s.

    As I recall Jesus warned his followers to beware of false prophets. There are many in this nation.

    John Dominick Crossan made a statement at the end of one of his lectures about the gospel writings. He said that Jesus presented us with a god of peace and love,not one of power, war, judgement and that we don’t want that.

    Jesus was not an “alpha male”. His teachings rebutted the principles of the Roman empire which was brutally oppressive. He also confronted Jewish authorities who were colluding with Rome in a desperate bid for cultural survival.

    And we certainly do not want to love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us. I certainly do not want to pray for “Christians” who invaded the capital.

    Sadly, many people still use their religion as a cloak for their fear of the other, as a means to avoid vulnerabilty, to resist spiritual enlightment that requires one to embrace the painful truth about one’s own “defects of character.”

    The self righteousness and pride of evangelical Christians and Christian nationalists protects them from those painful truths.

    What we need are Christians like Pete Buttigieg who understand the principles of servant leadership, who support leaders who truly want to serve our country, not those whose egos seek applause, whose lust for power has overcome their desire to work for the greater good.

    I find myself praying that God heals the blindness of those caught up in the “Big Lie” and that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can somehow move us toward a nation founded in respect and civility.

  24. Norris,
    What’s the difference between the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic
    Law Covenant, and Christ’s Law?

  25. I have always considered science and faith to be opposite sides of a coin. Science and the scientific method that filled and will always be filling the body of scientific knowledge is all about actually measuring reality at all scales and based on evidence concluding how the universe really works.

    But there is a great deal about human life that is so complex as to be beyond measurement because we each have an outside and an inside known only to us. So faith is what we choose to assume about things that we either personally don’t know or science hasn’t been able to prove as reality.

    One obvious arena that faith defines all of our knowledge about is a supernatural being. That’s pretty important stuff so we all are compelled to assume some things about it. Nobody knows the truth in a scientific way so everyone has to rely on lots of things including their personal culture to fill in the blanks.

    I like to say that therefore faith is as personal as sex is. We each “roll our own” to use an archaic metaphor.

    So Trumpism is a matter of faith but doesn’t have to be. A lot of his influence can be boiled down to measurable cause and effect, well-established facts, black and white science. Some of us are motivated in that direction but others not so much. They’d rather believe and ignore what’s known and have faith in assumptions that serve who they fundamentally are.

    So Trumpism is faith and that makes it a cult and cults can behave in ways that require assumptions that the rest of us don’t see and don’t make.

    Of course in that sense, white superiority and other beliefs are similar. They are faith in something not measurably knowable. The danger in all of that is that people who build faith upon faith upon faith and end up so far from the norm that they are beyond our understanding.

    Like in Jonestown.

  26. Wayne:
    The video you mentioned is at: https://faithfullymagazine.com/capitol-hill-attack-video-pray/

    John – Why can’t you limit your deism to that of Jefferson and Paine instead of rattling off the pointless and irrelevant babbling of ancient men who saw the wheel barrow as a wonderful invention? There is as almost as much vile nonsense in the Bible as in the Koran. While I’m impressed by your knowledge of that claptrap, there must be more rewarding ways to apply a logical mind like the one you possess.

    Let me describe to you a man who lives by the principles Christ taught while making nothing of his religion. He is the principal of a high school in North Charleston in a district where 90% of the families live in poverty. He also serves on the county council. Three nights a week he works at Wal-Mart and donates his earnings to local charities to lighten the burdens of his very needy students. It’s not particularly relevant, but he is Black. Show me a church where this kind of behavior predominates and I will cut religion a little more slack, but I will not abandon my belief that all religions and their epistemology are as contrived as Trump’s observations on how elections work.

    As for Jeremiah Johnson, how did we get lucky enough to have legions of people who can read the mind of the Creator of The Universe with such certainty? Presumably he can rise to lesser challenges like reading the minds of human beings, in which case he would be more prosperous than Gates and Bezos combined. Is he?

  27. The references by Monotonous today were excellent in describing what is happening between our ears. I, for instance, when reading or hearing death threats from Christians and ordinary thugs, have a first reaction of issuing death threats to those who first made such threats, but then my experience and sense of community kicks in and I abandon such a first response to such intimidating tactics in favor of the democratic idealism that undergirds the common good.

    There are some religionists who recognize and support the schism between church and state, but there are others who seek to swallow up these two pillars of society into one authoritarian grouping where the vote of the people is subservient to the will of God (where such “will” serves as a convenient authoritarian foil for a new political arrangement that is anything but democratic). Biblical “sinning” such as liberally practiced by Trump is forgiven by the idea that a greater good is accomplished by maintaining such authority in power by whatever means since otherwise the sinful and wicked (who apparently are not entitled to the forgiveness Trump enjoys) will destroy the country.

    Such an argument is illogical, but when confronted these so-called religionists (aka politicians in clerical garb) can always defy reality by escape into “what God has decreed,” even in the face of red letter biblical language attributed to Jesus Christ as the first believer in separation of church and state when he noted that we are to “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is to God’s.” Brought down to today this means that neither popes nor Falwells nor Grahams nor TV preachers have any business in telling people how to vote or politicians what policies to formulate, and I agree with Jesus.

  28. Terry,
    Those individuals you brought up, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson believed in those faithful that came before them!

    And, as I brought out, Aristotle felt the same way! I’m not here to do your research for you, but it’s available if you look! Many of the great philosophers of history pointed towards religion, and those religious individuals who predated them.

    Referring to claptrap, most of the claptrap I see concerning politicians and political entities, is that they exist to dominate their fellow man no matter the form of government. Men of Goodwill espouse wishful thinking which never usually materializes because they are in the extreme minority! Those who are just seeking power Allah Donald Trump, manipulate religion to manifest their own destiny that they have written in their minds.

    Scripture, not religion, but scripture has predicted the exact chain of events that we are dealing in right now, and with the outcome will eventually be which is demise of that religion.

    Knowledge is the key, because no matter what anybody else says, I research what I speak about, and what I speak about relates directly to the situation being discussed. Whether anybody agrees or disagrees is beside the point. I don’t post to get along or go along!

    Religion as it exists now has basically run its course to its finish, and governments of men will eliminate most of these organizations fairly quickly I would imagine. Because they continue to meddle in the political realm, and, as it states in Romans 13th chapter, those rulers or the superior authorities are the ones to be obeyed and not the religious leaders that espouse working against those authorities!

    I have my books by Jefferson and Thomas Paine, and, another individual that reads a lot during this particular pandemic, is Marv!

    We’ve read some of the same books, and come to some of the same conclusions, albeit not 100%.

    It’s a shame that you keep missing the point Terry, but I can’t force you to know better, you just need to focus and do your research.

  29. John,

    Since those ancient men I spoke about had such awesome ability to predict things, and you are steeped in the knowledge they imparted, please tell me about something that will happen next week or next month or in 2030. Did they predict anything relevant about our times that science has neglected to comment on? What, for instance, did they tell us about war in the 21st century or about flying machines or communications or how a good society should be organized or anything, for that matter, that is worth predicting.

    And, as I said, Paine and Jefferson rejected scripture.

  30. Dan,
    That is quite a bit of nonsense from Brooks, and it leaves me a bit stunned to see how twisted he, and, I’m sure, others who are not QAnon freaks, can still be. I visit Alabama, from time to time, as I have a bit of family there, and am a little familiar with the bible thumping that goes on there (“If you are reading this sign, we are praying for you.”)
    The piece about “collective narcissism” and this who have failed, seems so spot-on.
    I hope you are right, but I’m not going to hold my breath. These so-called Christians have shown the world what they are really made of, but they have so many brain-dead followers here, and are so good at creating excuses for themselves, sucked in, uncritically, by their sheep, that coming apart is probably not going to happen at all. It is obvious to me, and I expect others here, that “What Jesus would do” is not anywhere in their repertoire.
    So, is Brooks, with his verbal masturbation, taking the role of the Red Queen? Gee, why do I suspect he’d not be happy with that concept? LOL

  31. Actually Terry they did not! They rejected religion, not scripture! There is a difference! I’ve read the Jeffersonian Bible terry, have you?

    I think if we go back two and a half years or so when I started posting on this blog, I’ve pretty much called the entire chain of events! But it wasn’t me, it was the study of prophetic scripture, not religion or politics!

    I save all of my comments, on a hard drive from this blog and others! And it astounds me, that the same people make the same arguments on a consistent basis without paying attention to what’s actually in the comments that they’re arguing about! That being said, you are free to go back and scroll through Sheila’s blogs for the past 2 and 1/2 years, and look at the comments, and see who’s been more correct!

    So, if you are really truthful about your curiosity, then you’ll go back and do the work! If not, I’ll take it for what it is Terry!

  32. Jo Ann, Please provide evidence to your comments about Catholics being discouraged from getting vaccinated. It seems to contradict the fact that both St. Vincent/Ascension and St, Francis Hospitals are vaccination sites in Marion and surrounding counties. Most of the older Catholics that I know, men and women, are seeking or have already begun vaccination protocols. I also get regular communications from the Diocese and the parish where we live. None of those communications have come to us in any form.
    (FYI, I am no longer a practicing Catholic.)

    As far as the movie, it is a drama based on a play. In other words, it is fiction.

  33. JD; The latest newsletter from the Archdiocese to local Catholic churches. And I said they did NOT specifically discourage women from being vaccinated; the information regarding cells from abortions, which are prohibited by the Catholic church, was a dog whistle.

  34. Terry – Paine and Jefferson may have properly rejected an authoritative reading of scripture but they applied some of the lessons of scripture with their covering Athenian democratic view that “all men are created equal” and other such exhortations in following both biblical lore and the Florentine awakening. Truth and/or our perceptions of it vary with the times, of course, but we cannot dismiss history whether divine or profane by a judgmental reference to what was believed at the time. Thus shall we discuss the motives of Tojo for Pearl Harbor? The scuttling of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor – or what it was doing there in the first place but to intimidate colonialist Spain in our expansionist greed for more territory (and sugar)? The Mexican War? The patently illegal act of those who conducted the first tea party in Boston Harbor, all while we currently insist on the “rule of law” and due to gerrymandering still have revolutionary “taxation without representation” in our political stew – and not only taxation.

    As I often write elsewhere, history is linear and useful as a guide but not necessarily as a determinant of where we should go in formulating policy today, and the secular history of the ancient Jews under Roman dictatorship only varies in kind and degree with what our forefathers endured with English colonizers. So let’s give history some slack in telling us why as well as what happened and didn’t happen other than imaginary stories by religious zealots in trying to avoid the reality of a murderous Roman occupation by concocted stories of a Jewish history (albeit stories that have lasted until today in our culture), and be careful not to apply the laws, customs, mores and folkways of today to those who spoke in other times to the issues in their day. Why? Well, things (so to speak) change, have changed, are changing, will change, and the nature of change itself in this Silicon Valley and agnostic culture will change, perhaps rapidly, so let’s ride it out, learning as we go and responding rationally to issue signposts as we traverse an unknowable future, as did all our predecessors.

  35. There will never be peace in America until it is accepted that religious belief is a mental illness.

  36. So, in Indiana we give our tax dollars to religious groups in the form of vouchers so they can teach whatever they want to their religious gatherings. The voucher law in Indiana specifically prohibits the state from any form of control over the curriculum. Numerous charter schools in Indiana have a religious context. The state has permitted religious groups to create a charter school which is then promoted as a public school. The only thing public about them is that they take tax dollars while objecting to any form of control from those paying the taxes. The advocacy for “local control” had been relentless by the Republican Party for a number of decades. However, it appears that the Republican Party gave up that mantra as they realized that they could gain hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from those who would benefit from the largess of tax dollars for their “private” school venture. The bottom line is that religion is abused in Indiana for the benefit of those involved in charter and private schools. Our society will not be united when any religious group can organize its school and indoctrinate its attendees about the direction of government.

  37. Terry,

    I’m back home looking through my previous comments and some of my other blog posts other than Sheila’s.

    Those who had developed the separation of church and state, you can safely say, Jefferson was influenced by John Locke, Thomas Paine, Viscount Bolingbrook, and Joseph Priestley!

    They believed in deity, although the deity should be kept private! It should not be injected into politics or used as a bludgeon against those of other beliefs. Read John Locke’s; ” A Letter Of Toleration,” and or, “The Reasonableness Of Christianity!”

    So, if we look at John Locke who was Thomas Jefferson’s biggest influencer besides Joseph Priestley, a conclusion was jointly come to, and which toleration coupled with intellectual support pointed to a day of reckoning before a just God! So, if they didn’t believe in God or a deity, then somebody was fibbing!

    These 5 men, from different backgrounds, all came to similar conclusions! Thomas Paine’s; ” The Age Of Reason,” if you decide to read it, gives a lot of insight into his thought process on deity. Which he felt that specific written dogma would have hamstrung the supreme deity therefore, written dogma must be cast aside!

    As a matter of fact Terry, one of Thomas Paine’s famous quotes was “the word of God is the creation we behold and through this God speaketh universally to man!”

    Thomas Paine and Jefferson were aware of the false doctrine that permeated Christianity, basically written by Un-inspired men. To basically release Christianity from the darkness!

    Priestley was a Unitarian minister, and penned the book ” History Of The Corruptions Of Christianity” which was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson’s. Joseph Priestley convinced to Jefferson that faith and reason could coexist!

    Therefore Thomas Jefferson was convinced of the philosophy of Jesus the Nazarene, (Jesus Christ) because of the great faith of Joseph Priestley and his convincing arguments.

    Viscount Bolingbrook was disturbed concerning the conduct of the churches, and, so much confusion in written documentation, that it would be difficult for him to believe in all perfect deity would have tolerated imperfect man. Jefferson therefore felt he needed to elevate God to the stature of a rational creator! Jefferson wanted to simplify Christianity and religion in general.

    One thing that Jefferson gleaned, was that; ” what all men agree on is probably correct, but what no two agree on is probably wrong!” This thought process was more than likely taken from; (Matthew the 18th chapter verse 15-16)

    And, all 5 of these men were probably correct because Scripture is not complicated but man’s dogma and his assertion of doctrine foreign to Christianity, and insertion of that dogma into every day religious practices made it confusing for everyone and therefore could be claimed a mystery by those who use it for power and not compassion.

    So Terry, I hope this helps, and I hope it doesn’t corrupt your opinions of your idols, LOL.

    And, I apologize if I seemed short, but it was a long day dealing with my sick son and his doctors appointments. And I didn’t have access to my notes and work, so I felt caught short so to speak!

    I hope there’s no hard feelings Terry because I truly like you!

    And Gerald, I hope you find the above comment interesting also.

  38. I’m a life-long Christian who has long battled those in various religious communities who do not believe in the separation of church and state and who are racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-health care, anti-immigrant, and more. So I caution everyone not to paint all white Christians with the broad brush of “white Christianity” for whom discrimination is a cloak of faith and practice.

    There are differences of opinion on biblical texts within denominations, congregations, and even families. Bible verses were used as a defense of slavery in our own country. That doesn’t mean Jesus whose own faith was based entirely on the Old Testament thought slavery was acceptable, but Jesus was a revolutionary who constantly reached out to those who were the ‘other’. The world would be safer for everyone if we’d just follow and model his example.

  39. I think the reason the violent insurgents stormed the US Capitol was because they had faith in what their renegade Potus told them. Planning & gathering his fans for a big assault on other branches of government needs to be brought to justice. The Big lie was the impetus of the violence, which is also reinforced by mass media and social psychology of their silo/group and leaders.
    I see no Christian tenates that they were carrying out. Storming the Capitol to do harm to law makers is in no way Christian. The mind set that they’re annointed by God & DJT to bring everyone else under their dominion is authoritarianism, and is embedded in some organized religions. The clash in the US Capitol pitted authoritarian terrorism against Democracy, and as the smoke clears it looks like Democracy gets a reprieve for now.

  40. Don: “Post-truth Republicans are really just pre-fascist politicians.” YES. I hope you don’t mind if I steal this!

  41. I haunt the skeptic and atheist web, especially YouTube call-in shows like Atheist Experience, Cosmic Skeptic, Holy KoolAid, Talk Heathen, etc.

    John Sorg is just another Bible banger, with an arrogant presupposition that his autodidact PhD in theology impresses anyone, and the discredited “I’m not doing your research for you” gibe.

    John should challenge Matt Dillahunty to a man on man debate where he has to make his points on their own merits instead o a string of “must have been influenced by” logical fallacies.

    This forum has no direct replies, and no ‘like/dislike’ buttons, so it just becomes basically people venting into webspace.

    Sheila: what’s the possibility of an upgrade?

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