Religious conservatives make up smaller proportions of each successive generation, from 47% of the Silent Generation, 34% of Baby Boomers, 23% of Generation X, and 17% of Millennials.
The mere fact that we are here, and the mere fact that we sing and pray, and come to church—we believe in God. Well, there’s some truth in that. But we must remember that it’s possible to affirm the existence of God with your lips and deny his existence with your life. The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism —that’s the most dangerous type.
And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t.
We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism.
the largest single group of religious progressives are Catholic, who make up nearly 3-in-10 of this coalition; followed by white mainline Protestants (19%), religious floaters who are not formally associated with a religious tradition [love that term!] but who nevertheless say that religion is at least somewhat important in their lives (18%), and non-Christian religious Americans such as Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims (13%). Notably, white evangelical Protestants constitute only 4% of religious progressives. By contrast, white evangelical Protestants constitute more than 4-in-10 (43%) of religious conservatives...
In our analysis, it quickly became clear that identifying religious progressives would also be challenging due to the complex relationships between theological beliefs, opinions on social issues, and opinions on economic issues. For example, an individual can be liberal on economic issues while adopting conservative positions on social issues. Likewise, some prominent evangelical and Catholic leaders have argued that theological conservatism can be consistent with political progressivism. In order to allow for these complex relationships, we developed three independent scales for each dimension, and then combined them into a final composite scale to create a map of the American religious landscape consisting of religious progressives, religious moderates, religious conservatives, and nonreligious Americans
The dominance of the right in Christianity has always sort of puzzled me
Without trying to Google the exact quotes and instead depending on my admittedly hazy memory of Scripture, the authors of the New Testament alluded multiple times to the dissolution of the old law.
Fundamentalism is a protest against all these definitions which the modern man finds it necessary to make. It is avowedly a reaction within the Protestant communions against what the President of the World's Christian Fundamentalist Association rather accurately described as "that weasel method of sucking the meaning out of words, and then presenting empty shells in an attempt to palm them off as giving the Christian faith a new and another interpretation." In actual practice this movement has become entangled with all sorts of bizarre and barbarous agitations, with the Ku Klux Klan, with fanatical prohibition, with the "anti-evolution laws," and with much persecution and intolerance. This in itself is significant. For it shows that the central truth, which the fundamentalists have grasped, no longer appeals to the best brains and the good sense of a modern community, and that the movement is recruited largely from the isolated, the inexperienced, and the uneducated.
There is also a reasoned cased against the modernists. Fortunately this case has been stated in a little book called Christianity and Liberalism by a man who is both a scholar and a gentlemen. The author is Professor Machen...
Modernism, he says, "is altogether the imperative mood," while the traditional religion "begins with a triumphant indicative." I do not see how one can deny the force of this generalization. "From the beginning Christianity was certainly a way of life. But how was the life to be produced? Not by appealing to the human will, but by telling a story; not by exhortation, but by the narration of an event." Dr Machen insists, rightly I think, that the historic influence of Christianity on the mass of men has depended on their belief that an historic drama was enacted in Palestine nineteen hundred years ago during the reign of Emperor Tiberius. The veracity of the story was fundamental to the Christian Church...
The liberals have yet to answer Dr. Machen when he says that "the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but on an account of facts." It was based on the story of the birth, the life, the ministry, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That story set forth the facts which certify the Christian experience. Modernism, which in varying degree casts doubt upon the truth of that story, may therefore be defined as an attempt to preserve selected parts of the experience after the facts which inspired it have been rejected. The orthodox believer may be mistaken as to the facts in which he believes. But he is not mistaken in thinking that you cannot, for the mass of men, have a faith of which the only foundation is their need and desire to believe. The historic churches, without any important exceptions, I think, have founded faith on clear statements about matters of fact, historic events, or physical manifestations. They have never been content with symbolism which the believer knew was merely symbolic. Only the sophisticated in their private meditations and in esoteric writing have found satisfaction in symbolism as such.
Complete as was Dr. Machen's victory over the Protestant liberals, he did not long remain in possession of the field. There is a deeper fundamentalism than his, and it is based on a longer continuous experience. This is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. From a priest of that church, Father Riggs, has come the most searching criticism of Dr. Machen's case. Writing in the Commonweal Father Riggs points out that "the fundamentalists are well-nigh powerless. They are estopped, so to speak, from stemming the ravaging waters of agnosticism because they cannot, while remaining loyal to the [Protestant] reformers... set limits to the destructive criticism of the Bible without making an un-Protestant appeal to tradition." Father Riggs, in other words, is asking the Protestant fundamentalists, like Dr. Machen, how they can be certain that they know these facts upon which they assert that the Christian religion is founded.
They must reply that they know them from reading the Bible. This reply is, however, unsatisfying. For obviously there are many ways of reading the Bible, and therefore the Protestant who demands the right of private judgment can never know with absolute certainty that his reading is the correct one. His position in a skeptical age is, therefore, as Father Riggs points out, a weak one, because a private judgement is, after all, only a private judgement. The history of Protestantism shows that the exercise of private judgement as to the meaning of Scripture leads not to universal and undeniable dogma, but to schism within schism and heresy within heresy. From the point of view, then, of the oldest fundamentalism of the western world the error of modernists is that they deny the facts on which religious faith reposes; the error of the orthodox Protestants is that although they affirm the facts, they reject all authority which can verify them; the virtue of the Catholic system is that long with a dogmatic affirmation of the central facts, it provides a living authority in the Church which can ascertain and demonstrate and verify those facts.
The long record of clerical opposition to certain kinds of scientific inquiry has a touch of dignity when it is realized that at the core of that opposition there is a very profound understanding of the religious needs of ordinary men. For once you weaken the belief that the central facts taught by the churches are facts in the most literal and absolute sense, the disintegration of popular religion begins. We may confidently declare that Mr. Santayana is speaking not as a student of human nature, but as a cultivated unbeliever, when he writes that "the idea that religion creates a literal, not a symbolic, representation of truth and life is simply an impossible idea." The idea is impossible, no doubt, for the children of the great emancipation. But because it is impossible, religion itself, in the traditional popular meaning of the term, has become impossible for them.
If it is true that man creates God in his own image, it is no less true that for religious devotion he must remain unconscious of that fact. Once he knows that he has created the image of God, the reality of it vanishes like last night's dream. It may be that to anyone who is impregnated with the modern spirit it is almost self-evident that the truths of religions are truths of human experience. But this knowledge does not tolerate an abiding and absorbing faith. For when the truths of religion have lost their connection with a superhuman order, the cord of their life is cut. What remains is a somewhat archaic, a somewhat questionable, although a very touching, quaint medley of poetry, rhetoric, fable, exhortation, and insight into human travail. When Mr. Santayana says that "matters of religion should never be matters of controversy" because "we never argue with a lover about his taste, nor condemn him, if we are just, for knowing so human a passion," he expresses an ultimate unbelief.
For what would be the plight of a lover, if we told him that his passion was charming?—though, of course, there might be no such lady as the one he loved.
—Walter Lippman, "A Preface to Morals", 1929
Jesus also said that the law was "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Jews understood by the Kingdom of Heaven nothing else than a kingdom of God which will be realized on this earth, and which mankind will enjoy while they live. There is no doubt that this was the idea of the Kingdom of Heaven which the Jews always entertained, and which they still entertain. This being so, then when Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven he meant just what the Jews meant. In other words, Jesus actually meant the Kingdom of Heaven to be realized on this earth, and to be enjoyed by mankind while they live. Since this idea of Jesus is the soul and essence of Christianity, it clearly follows that the followers of Jesus perverted and distorted the idea of Jesus, and Christianity was and is only a perversion and distortion of the idea of Jesus. Since Jesus thought only of a Kingdom of Heaven to be realized on this earth, it follows that Christianity must identify itself with the material world, and cooperate with the revolutionary forces that work for the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth for living humanity.--A Program for the Jews, an answer to all anti-semites, a program for humanity / Harry Waton
But if you want to get people to take action and support it, especially people for whom this is not on their radar or not an important and personal issue for them, there is campaign work that needs to happen to raise awareness and encourage action. Legislative change doesn't happen just by noting inclinations, and you can't expect people to be active on issues they don't know exist yet.
spaltavian: "Jesus didn't repeal Leviticus, and in fact the Bible quotes him as saying the Old Testament is still valid. But Leviticus is just the easiest target."
spaltavian: "Jesus wasn't the nice guy liberal Christians want him to be; he killed a fig tree because he was mad it for not bearing fruit out of season! "
spaltavian: "He criticized the Pharisees for not executing obedient children."
spaltavian: "The whole eye plucking thing."
Matthew 10: 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
spaltavian: "So are you saying Jesus doesn't consider dishonoring ones parents to be coming out of their mouth and defiling them?"
spaltavian: "But, since you brought it up, maybe you can explain how this:
Matthew 10:34-36 Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
is a parable of an open, liberal society?"
spaltavian: "You didn't quote the eye-plucking thing, though. Unless I am remembering the quote incorrectly, it's telling the reader to pluck out one's own eye if that leads them to sin.
I am going to go ahead and say that's a bad thing to command people to do."
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