______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Persecuted? June 11, 2014

I just watched a trailer for a new film about “christians” being persecuted in America.
It’s imaginatively titled “Persecuted.”
As a person of faith in Jesus, I grow weary of this self-induced paranoia.

These extremist groups keep crying “Religious Freedom,” when that’s the last thing they want!
Most right-wing fundamentalist evangelicals have made it abundantly clear that they only want freedom for THEIR religious views.
They don’t want everyone to be saying Buddhist prayers in our schools.
They don’t want people swearing on the Quran in our courts.
They don’t want homage paid to Shiva during our sporting events.
They don’t even want to acknowledge the millions of Christians who disagree with them.
So let’s call their cry for religious freedom what it is:
They’re not talking about freedom. They’re talking about privilege.
Privilege for a particular segment of a particular form of a particular religion.
What they actually want is a Dark Ages system of Church/State control and forced religious compliance.
They are as far from the heart of God as were the Pharisees.
There are Christians that suffer real persecution (including torture and death) for their faith, and these prophets-of-doom extremists are an insult to those truly suffering.

Michael Bussee puts things in perspective this way:

“I hear they won’t let Christians get married. And that gay bakers won’t make them cakes. And that they have special programs that can cure them of being Christians. And that there are lots of homeless Christian kids in America because their gay parents reject them when they come out as Christian…”

Movies like this cater to the lowest common denominators of elitism, religious superiority, quasi-faith and simple fear.
They are desperate calls to rally the troops of a dwindling and hopefully soon dead cultist belief system that’s scratching and clawing for it’s final breath.

persecutedThe makers of this celluloid dung should be ashamed of themselves for feeding these fires of self-importance, delusion, and devotion to a false and dangerous view of God. A view that is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus.

Sadly, this ear-tickling movie will probably do well at the box office.  We can only hope and pray that more and more people of faith will speak out against this kind on nonsense, and toss it in the garbage along with the “Left Behind” movies and the propaganda of the Westboro Baptists.
– df



…And I Feel Fine November 3, 2009


I’ve just finished reading another article about the year 2012.  Here we go again.  I’m so tired of this crap.
So many were sure the year 2000 would do us all in.  Y2K had the country worrying about computer crashes bringing the world to a technological end, if not a complete end.  I remember telling people I thought 2000 would come and go just like every other year.  It did.

I think people, for some reason, like instilling fear.  It’s like some kind of perverse game.  Just look at the dozens of  “Beware” of  this-or-that emails forwarded.  Ninety-nine percent of these are sheer fabrication.  People just blindly forward them on, without checking them out.  I especially hate the ones that falsely include the tag “I checked this out on Snopes, and it’s legit.”  Well, I check them out on Snopes, and they’re usually NOT legit.  Forwarding these things is a total act of irresponsibility.  So is using scare tactics involving the calendar.

How many hundreds of years of false predictions will it take for people to wake up?  Remember “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In ’88?”  I think they’ve had one every year since.  In my research, I found a list of failed end-of-the-world predictions, starting in AD 30.  Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at 500 AD.  Charles Wesley predicted 1794.  On and on and on.
Some Christians seem to wear this paranoia like a badge of honor; like it somehow serves or pleases God.  I’m convinced it certainly does not.  If anything, it detracts from the central message of Jesus.

Jesus said “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”  Over and over Jesus teaches that the kingdom is here.  The kingdom is now.  We are the kingdom people.  We are God’s house.  We are the new Jerusalem.  It’s not about the “sweet by and by.”  (By the way, show me where ‘heaven’ has streets of gold.)

Could 2012 be “the end of the world as we know it?”  Sure.  So could tomorrow.  But concern over the end of the world gives us the wrong focus.  This all distracts from how we are to treat other people.  It distracts from how we are to treat the earth.  After all, the world’s going to end soon, so who cares if I dump my trash in the street!  It takes our minds off of important things, like social injustice, hunger, and other areas where we are to be the “salt of the earth.”  It ignores, or worse, violates the part of Jesus’ prayer that says “on earth as it is in heaven.”

How are we to live today?  The answer to that question shouldn’t change whether the world ends in 2012, or tomorrow, or ten-thousand years from tomorrow.



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