Conservatives vs. Christianity? October 20, 2010Posted by Matt in Christianity, politics.
Tags: Christianity, conservatism, homosexuality, youth backlash
Is Conservativism killing Christianity?
According to a recent article in the L.A. Times that echoes the sentiments of many others I’ve read in recent years, the answer may be a affirmative.
The article states that 17% or Americans (as opposed to 7% in 1990) say they have no religion, including 25-30% of those in their twenties. It goes on to say:
So, why this sudden jump in youthful disaffection from organized religion? The surprising answer, according to a mounting body of evidence, is politics. Very few of these new “nones” actually call themselves atheists, and many have rather conventional beliefs about God and theology. But they have been alienated from organized religion by its increasingly conservative politics.
The article goes on to say that one of the biggest issues alienating America’s youth from Evangelical churches is that good old Conservative bogeyman, homosexuality. The hardline view of conservatives since the 1980′s on this issue, caused a major backlash with the youth of the nation who increasingly “saw religion as intolerant, hypocritical, judgmental and homophobic.”
From where I sit, as a 33 year old man with deeply held progressive values and strong spiritual beliefs, I sense their frustration. Over the years, I’ve walked away from two churches because of their hardline conservative politics and/or theology and I have often wondered if there is a place for people like me. Are we destined to always be marginalized outcasts in the greater world of American Christianity?
Thoughts? Will Conservativism kill Christianity?
Next Stop: Crazytown March 23, 2010Posted by Matt in politics.
Tags: Birthers, conservatism, hatred, insanity, Rebublican party, tea party
It has become increasingly apparent over the past two years that civility in dialogue, particularly among many Conservatives, is a thing of the past. Again and again, through tea parties, birthers, and other nonsense, they have proven themselves incapable of coherent thought.
Note: There are plenty of people who hold to a conservative viewpoint for intelligent, well-thought out reasons. This is not about them. This has more to do with the misguided paranoia currently running rampant through their movement.
A new Harris Poll that will be released in full tomorrow illustrates this point well. According to their findings:
67% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Socialist.
57% believe that Obama is a Muslim.
45% say that Obama was “not born in the United States and is not eligible to be president.”
38% say that Obama is “doing many of the things Hitler did.”
24% say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
There is really nothing else that can be said about these people, but it is sad to see that so many Americans are so eaten up with hatred and spite that they would completely divorce themselves from reality.
Another Work Conversation January 16, 2010Posted by Matt in Christian Beliefs, politics.
Tags: church, communal living, community garden, conservatism, Memphis, racism, sharing possessions, stereotypes
Yesterday I was involved in another crazy conversation at work that I have to tell someone about. This one took place between J (not the “no epidural” guy I wrote about before) and I. J is a very conservative Republican and a Southern Baptist who lives in some exclusive neighborhood in Germantown, but we are about the same age and have small children, so we do actually have some shared interests.
Yesterday’s discussion began with him asking me questions about our community garden in Whitehaven. He prefaced his response to my answers with, “I think its a great idea, but,” before launching into a diatribe about how he doesn’t believe that there are people living in Memphis who cannot afford healthy food and that the people who use our garden are probably just taking advantage of us. I tried to explain to him that the object of the project was both benevolent, in that the produce is available to everyone free of charge, and communal, in that we work alongside others in the community for the benefit of the area, but he remained adamant in his statement that it was not a worthwhile project because “they” would just take advantage of it. I told him of some of the people who help and have been helped, but it was all to no avail.
So, being the instigator that I am, I decided to push things a little farther once I gauged the situation. Next I told him of another project I’ve begun to work on that I haven’t even presented to the church yet, which would offer an avenue for the sharing of possessions and skills in order to better reflect the community aspect of the early church. As you might expect, this did not go over well either.
J: So, does your church teach Jesus?
Me (a bit bewildered): Um, yes. Why wouldn’t we?
J: Well, I know that churches who are into that kind of thing usually don’t.
Me: Really? You know that?
J: Yeah, I’ve heard all about that at church. It sounds like Communism.
Seeing that this conversation wasn’t going to go anywhere, I decided to push it even farther. My thought was that even if he didn’t agree, it might cause him to think over things a little bit.
Me: Have a told you about our future plans for communal living.
J (with an incredulous look on his face): Seriously?
Me: It’s still a long way off, but we are talking with another family who are our closest friends about moving in together. We’ve even looked at some homes in Memphis to get an idea of what might work.
J: Is this some weird wife-swapping thing?
Me (tersely): No. Have you ever heard of missional living?
J just looked at me with an expression I can only describe as aggressively concerned, as if he thought I was making poor decisions and he was ready to jump on me for them.
Me: The idea is that you and others move into an area and work to better it.
J: And you have another family to do this with?
Me: Yes. It’s the same people who keep our kids during the week. They actually live close to here (where we work) in Whitehaven.
J: Wait just a minute. Your friends live in Whitehaven.
Me: Um, Yeah.
J (in a hushed tone): Are they black?
Me: Well, yeah. Most of our closest friends are.
J (with that concerned look again): Man, you better be careful.
J: You heard me. Ya’ll better be careful who you trust, especially if there is money involved.
Me (shocked that anyone would come out and say something like that): So, let me get this straight. You are saying that we shouldn’t trust our best friends because of their skin color?
J: I’m just sayin’. I’ve lived in this area a long time. I know what “they” are like.
Me: Do you realize how offensive that is?
J: I’m just sayin’.
And then I walked away in a state of shock, utterly speechless. The conservative stereotype is alive and well.
So, You Think Your Elected Officials are Crazy? December 4, 2009Posted by Matt in politics.
Tags: Arlington, conservatism, Facebook, hatred, Obama, racism, Russell Wiseman
I’ll bet you they’ve got nothing on Russell Wiseman, the mayor of the Memphis suburb of Arlington.
Earlier this week, Mayor Wiseman made a few comments on his Facebook page in which he clamied that Barack Obama’s Tuesday night speech on the war in Arghanistan was deliberately timed to block the Christian message of the Peanuts Christmas special.
Among the quotes is this gem:
“Ok, so this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch ‘The Charlie Brown Christmas Special’ and our muslim president is there, what a load … try to convince me that wasn’t on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute dissertation about it when the answer should simply be ‘yes’”
Later on in the thread, he went after Obama’s supporters, saying:
“you Obama people need to move to a muslim country … oh wait, that’s America … pitiful.”
Then later on in the rant, he let this one fly:
“You know, our forefathers had it written in the original Constitution that ONLY property owners could vote, if that has stayed in there, things would be different …”
Wow…. That’s all I can say, just wow.
These People are Insane September 3, 2009Posted by Matt in education, politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, conservatism, insanity, public schools, speech
From my second grade daughter’s school folder today:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On September 8, 2009, at 11am, President Barack Obama will deliver a national address to the students of America. During this address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.
Our school board decided President Obama’s message will be shown at school. If you do not want your child to hear a message the Department of Education says is not political, sign this letter and your child willnot have to hear the program. You decide what is best for your child.
There is something seriously wrong with you if you refuse to allow your child to hear the President of the United States speak on the topic of education. I guess there really is no bottom to the dark pit of ignorance and vitriol.
And the school board had better be glad they approved of the message. If they hadn’t they would be dealing with at least one extremely irate parent.
An Interlude September 3, 2009Posted by Matt in politics.
Tags: conservatism, liberalism, Obama, public school address
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Testin’ Testin’….is this here thang on?
Hey, this is sum’a Matty boys nay-bores down here in Southaven. Matt don’ ever cause no trouble or nuthin’ but I done new there was somethin’ wrong with him win I seen that Oh-bama bumper sticker on his lil’ car on over thar and by the way, what kinda man drives aroun’ in one a’them things anyways? I betcha my truck’ll roll right over it. Hale, if the good Lord hadn’t’a tole me I’d go ta hale fer doin’ it, I rightly woulda betcha on it. But I dye-gress.
Now we done had’ta tie Matt up to git to his blog, but I figger its worth it. That pore boy a’his is bein’ fed all that there lib’rul propa…propa..propaganta all day so we done set him up in the livin’ room with a John Wayne marathon on the teevee and my Toby Keith CD turn’t up to full blast. That boy needs a educashun and I figger its about time we done took matters inta our own hands. I shore hope he was named after Stonewall Gawd rest his soul Jackson and not some queer that rote a book or nothin’.
I done this cuz I figgered that all ya’ll out thar on the internets oughta be warned about whats’a comin’. That thar Oh-bama’s dun got plans ta take over the hole durned world! He’s a-gonna kill granny with them thar death panels he’s a-putting together an’ he’s gonna take away my daddy’s Medicare an’ replace it wit’ one’a them govament programs. I mean, that man wadn’t even born in this country. I no cause I heard on the raydio that he’s a-from Keenya. An’ thin thar’s educayshun, what’s this I here ‘bout that Oh-bama wantin’ to talk to our childrun in the public schools? I was listnin’ to Glenn Beck the other day an’ he done sayed that Oh-bama is gonna in-dock-tra-nate our children. You know wut I thank? I thank that Oh-bama’s done set up satellites up thar in space an’ he’s a-gonna send laser beams down threw them teevees into our childrun’s heads and its gonna turn them into a buncha ‘merica-hatin’ queers. They’s a-gonna be burnin’ flags an’ spittin’ on baby Jesus an’ turnin’ to Communists. I tale you, it’s the end’a the world. Them Mooslims and Mex’cans are gonna come an’ make us there slaves an’ steal our women an’ our chickens an’ anything else thay can git thar hand’s on and the whole world’s gonna go to hale.
So this here’s a protest. Git out your teabags an’ your guns cause we’re gonna have’ta reevolt against this here teerunny.
Hey Cletus, turn on some a’ that Larry the Cable Guy next. This pore boy don’ even no what’s funny.