380 posts tagged with Christianity.
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The 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study

America’s Changing Religious Landscape: The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life has published the results of a new study of the religious affiliations of Americans, and finds a precipitous drop in the share of Christians since the last such study in 2007, along with a massive increase in the share of "nones" (which includes atheists, agnostics, and believers with no religious affiliation) and a small increase in the share of non-Christian faiths. Highlights below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on May 12, 2015 - 135 comments

“Freedom Under God”

For much of the 1930s, organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) had been searching in vain for ways to rehabilitate a public image that had been destroyed in the Great Depression and defamed by the New Deal. In 1934, a new generation of conservative industrialists took over NAM with a promise to “serve the purposes of business salvation.” How Corporate America invented Christian America.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon on Apr 18, 2015 - 22 comments

Anthropology, already read

Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 18, 2015 - 4 comments

A Girl’s Guide to Sexual Purity

My friend Karla and I bought a book called And the Bride Wore White, a guide to remaining sexually pure. Three chapters of And the Bride Wore White are titled as follows: “Satan’s Big Fat Sex Lies,” “Satan’s Second Big Fat Sex Lie,” and “Satan’s Biggest, Fattest Sex Lie.” The book explained to me why condoms don’t work, why everyone isn’t “doing it,” and that oral sex is just as bad as intercourse. The author painstakingly outlined her own sexual foibles and missteps, honesty that I appreciated. I was ready to learn. I read the book steadily — during study breaks, walking through the hallways, before I went to sleep. Karla and I met at her house and talked about the different chapters while her mother brought us garden-grown beefsteak tomatoes that looked like hearts. We swore to strive for purity in every way possible. No more touching. No more being touched
Carmen Maria Machado writes about growing up, sexual assault, Christianity, family, realising your own queerness and more.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 12, 2015 - 35 comments

Chinese Christianity

Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - "Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China's Christian population the largest in the world. Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 1, 2015 - 47 comments

"I don't want you to hate me, and I don't want you to disown me."

Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.

posted by Rhaomi on Jan 24, 2015 - 70 comments

"The Bible is true, and some of it actually happened."

Marcus Borg has died at age 72. The liberal Christian theologian was one of the leading figures in the modern-day "quest for the historical Jesus," participating in the Jesus Seminar and writing prolifically about how best to interpret the Bible. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jan 23, 2015 - 8 comments

December 25: Holiday

Montgomery County, Maryland's Board of Education is coming under backlash after it voted 7 to 1 on Tuesday night to eliminate references to all religious holidays on the published calendar for 2015-2016. The decision followed a request from Muslim community leaders to give equal billing to the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 13, 2014 - 128 comments

They look nothing alike but they love each other.

"2013. In my Medieval Literature class at the University of Pittsburgh, we’re talking about Margery Kempe, a 14th century English woman who wanted very, very much to be a saint, one of the few roles an ambitious woman of her time could aspire to achieve. She talked a monk into writing down her dictated autobiography, a sort of proto-memoir/self-hagiography that – along with a lengthy explanation of how she convinced God to make her a virgin again after having 14 children – includes visions of interacting with the Christ child. There’s one in which she explains to Mary, the mother of God, how to diaper the baby." [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Nov 10, 2014 - 15 comments

"She's a little Jezebel, that one. Painted face little Jezebel..."

Jezebel. The Painted Face. She is, as we've defined her, a scheming and shamelessly evil woman. She's Lolita and Eve. A woman of easy virtue. A temptress, a mistress and a courtesan.

Call her a hussy, hootchie, hooker, whore. Harlot. Jade. Vamp. Vixen. Tart, tease, trollop, tramp. Siren, seductress, strumpet, skank. Coquette, floozy. Wench, hoe. Loose. Slut. Minx.

Find a male equivalent. Look up "gigolo" in your handy thesaurus. Find "playboy," "socialite," "pleasure-seeker," "ladies' man." A stud, a player. A father, an uncle. A boy toy. A bachelor. A groom.
Anna Vodicka: On Modesty. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Nov 5, 2014 - 25 comments

All in the Family

The World Religions Tree [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 13, 2014 - 65 comments

Dumbing of Age

As a college student, cartoonist and then-Christian fundamentalist David Willis wrote a newspaper funny called Roomies!, which inadvertently documented the beginning of his departure from his faith. Roomies! segued abruptly into a sci-fi drama after two years, which then branched into two new comics — one about domestic married life, and one about employees at a toy store.

In 2010, however, Willis began writing a new strip set in Indiana University, the same setting as his original Roomies! With Dumbing of Age, Willis takes advantage of the decade-and-a-half he spent developing his characters and refining his craft — but just as importantly, he brings to this new strip the perspective and wisdom of his own experiences with faith. It is an explicitly autobiographical comic, at the heart of which is the relationship between homeschooled Christian Joyce Brown and her best friend, Dorothy Keener, who is ambitious, studious, and unabashedly atheist. It is marvelously well-made, and even if you are not usually a fan of webcomics (I'm decidedly not), Dumbing of Age is worth your giving a look.
posted by rorgy on Oct 12, 2014 - 53 comments

Long live Þórr

In recent days, news stories have emerged about a wilderness expedition company, Amaruk, rejecting an applicant due to her religious beliefs and affiliation with a restrictive Christian evangelical school. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Oct 10, 2014 - 83 comments

The American Dream has really good PR.

Guernica: In propagating a vision of life that's about wealth in the individual, perhaps the influence of these churches lies in what they obscure.

Anthony Pinn: Right. It hides the larger problem. The problem is poverty. And it hides the problem. We often associate black churches with a history of protest. But prosperity gospel and megachurches tend to be rather soft on political issues. T.D. Jakes doesn't take a major stand on political issues. Creflo Dollar certainly doesn't.

But it's the American way. So it seems to me that what they are doing is training black people to be even more American. To buy into this system rather than critique it. And if you're not gaining from it, to assume that the problem's with you. It provides a spiritual lesson that's very similar to the idea of "poor people want to be poor; if they just worked harder they could have more." Here, spiritual people could have more if they were just more spiritual and lived out scripture more authentically. So the prosperity preachers are training people to be better US citizens [laughs].
Meara Sharma at Guernica talks to Anthony Pinn about the ongoing embrace of prosperity gospel by preachers and parishioners at black megachurches across America: Divine Acquisition. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 7, 2014 - 35 comments

"Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Sea of Faith: a six-part documentary television series, presented on BBC television in 1984 by Don Cupitt. [youtube]
"The programme dealt with the history of Christianity in the modern world, focussing especially on how Christianity has responded to challenges such as scientific advances, political atheism and secularisation in general"
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 7, 2014 - 4 comments

The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker

"The protesters say they're opposed to abortion because they're Christian," Parker says. "It's hard for them to accept that I *do* abortions because I'm a Christian."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus on Aug 1, 2014 - 48 comments

Love and Death In the House of Prayer

A former member of a tight-knit college prayer group describes his community's disintegration — and how one of its members ended up dead.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Jun 19, 2014 - 68 comments

Jedi is not the 2nd most popular religion in any state? How disapointing

The second-largest religion in each state
Christianity is by far the largest religion in the United States; more than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians. A little more than half of us identify as Protestants, about 23 percent as Catholic and about 2 percent as Mormon. But what about the rest of us?
posted by davidstandaford on Jun 5, 2014 - 104 comments

Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples?

A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.
Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on May 13, 2014 - 154 comments

Prayers get a new blessing

The Supreme Court ruled (PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 5, 2014 - 167 comments

Why and When is Easter?

Easter is the most famous movable feast in our calendar. Its date appears to change unpredictably from year to year, and different branches of Christianity disagree on when exactly it should be marked. In some years, like 2014, western Christians and the Eastern churches (such as the Greek and Russian communities) celebrate Easter on the same Sunday – but that is not always the case. [via BBC]
posted by marienbad on Apr 21, 2014 - 84 comments

That's right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 13, 2014 - 165 comments

Eppur si muove

The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf) by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 comments

Why are Christians so concerned about sex?

Why are Christians so concerned about sex? When English interpretations of the New Testament talk about ‘sexual immorality’ they are really translating the Greek word porneia (πορνεία), it’s used almost every time the topic of sex comes up and often when talking about the worst sins in general. If you can really grok what Paul was talking about as he uses the root for the word over and over again (it appears 32 times in the New Testament) then the rest falls into place. Now porneia has always been translated into Latin as fornication, while being understood by many conservatives to just be a 1:1 stand in for ‘any sexual expression not between husband and wife’. However, Porneia in post-classical Corinthian Greek did not mean generic sexual sin, or even sex outside of marriage, at all exactly and neither did fornication in actual Latin. The truth, like in many things, is a little bit more complicated and a lot more interesting. TRIGGER WARNINGS AHEAD FOR DEPICTIONS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN CLASSICAL GREECE, ALSO AN NSFW VASE. (SFW version) [via mefi projects]
posted by jaduncan on Mar 26, 2014 - 108 comments

Being Gay at Jerry Falwell's University

"Yes?" she asked me, and the tone of her voice calmed me down. It was as if she was saying, Brandon, I already know what you want to tell me. Please, just say it. Brandon Ambrosino writes about coming out as a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Recently Ambrosino was hired for Ezra Klein's new journalism venture, Vox, a decision that has bred controversy. Andrew Sullivan explains, and defends him.
posted by shivohum on Mar 14, 2014 - 182 comments

Forgive me for being longwinded, but I was speaking from the heart.

As Gawker has done for a couple years now, they sent letters to all the U.S. death row inmates who have execution dates in the upcoming year. Texas inmate Ray Jasper, who is set to be executed later this month, responded with an incredible letter on his thoughts about the US justice system, race, Christianity, and society as a whole.
posted by gman on Mar 5, 2014 - 84 comments

The Bushel Basket

W.H. Auden had a secret life that his closest friends knew little or nothing about. Everything about it was generous and honorable. He kept it secret because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Mar 4, 2014 - 55 comments

Trusting God

Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
posted by zarq on Feb 18, 2014 - 154 comments

Apartheid in South Africa (1957) Documentary

This film produced by the United States Federal Government in 1957 explores South Africa's apartheid policy, focusing on issues such as race relations, political practices, and segregated dwellings. The footage very radically contrasts the bleakness of black life with the privileges enjoyed by most whites as well as including several interviews with black leaders, while also giving the architects of Apartheid a platform to defend themselves and their policies. (34:11)
A fascinating snapshot of the time.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 12, 2014 - 4 comments

The Missing Christians

For years, Fred "Slacktivist" Clark has been dissecting, page by page, the Left Behind series of Evangelical Christian potboilers. Clark, a Christian himself, goes far beyond merely mocking them but also analyzes the theology, philosophy, and politics underlying them. As an aside, he's looked at other Rapture narratives and is asking, "Why are Rapture stories always so dull?" To this end he examines The Missing Christians, a 50-minute 1952 movie about the Rapture, which is available to watch on YouTube. Clark warns: "This is far, far worse than you’re expecting even if you take into account that it will be far, far worse than you’re expecting." As usual, Clark goes beyond (but certainly by way of) just mocking the film to get at the core of what he argues the Rapture idea is really about, and why, despite the Apocalyptic material, these stories always end up so dull.
Part of the problem here, as in Left Behind, is that the “storytellers” of Evangel Films aren't nearly as interested in telling their story as they are in settling the score with their perceived enemies. These are the same enemies that haunt the sleep of Tim LaHaye — those sophisticated “liberal” Christians who refuse to concede the expertise of “Bible prophecy” experts. Just like Left Behind, The Missing Christians is a revenge fantasy in which those evil sophisticates are “proved” wrong and the righteous are proved right.
(More Slacktivist on MetaFilter)
posted by Legomancer on Feb 12, 2014 - 115 comments

The Millenial Gospel

If Jesus and company were around today, the Bible may look like a art & fandom Tumblr project, complete with meta essays, headcanons, and playlists. Their writers aim to "follow in the Judeo-Christian tradition of questioning, evolving, and shaking up the status quo in order to update scripture for a secular audience, offering it up as a volatile mix of narrative, social commentary, spirituality, and punk rock." In this version Jesus is a cat-loving activist, Mary Madgalene is a hijabi punk, and the mystics are spoken word artists, musicians, and bloggers.
posted by divabat on Feb 3, 2014 - 18 comments

The Wars Over Christian Beards

To shave or not to shave? That is the question which has divided the Christian Church for 2000 years.
posted by cthuljew on Jan 26, 2014 - 40 comments

What is it like to be an African-American atheist

In this short documentary, filmmaker Darrin Johnson explores the status of atheism within African-American families and communities, and meets some non-believers from California about their experiences with breaking from religion.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 19, 2014 - 27 comments

"My desire is, as always, to pursue the truth."

"I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will "try on" atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else's circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result)."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 15, 2014 - 130 comments

Mr. Rick Wakeman on keyboards ... and various other concerns

Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 21, 2013 - 34 comments

The Lord is my happening; he's where it's all at.

In the late 60s, Lutheran clergyman John Rydgren hosted the weekly radio Silhouette, broadcast across the US and in Vietnam, and squarely aimed at the flower power generation. Silhouette Segments (1968) was a double-album which compiled short excerpts from the show. I've compiled as many of the tracks as I can find (see below). But perhaps it makes sense to begin with the Hippie Version of Creation: "The Cat flipped a switch, blinked those big, eternal eyes, and he dug the switch action. 'Yeah... I'll take it.' " [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Dec 15, 2013 - 19 comments

July 30, 762 to February 13, 1258

In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual and cultural legacies the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally), a dynasty, an empire, a city, and a library all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day. Now, how about for some context? [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 13, 2013 - 39 comments

Paul Crouch is Dead.

TBN head Paul Crouch died Saturday, November 30 at 79. Under Crouch, TBN grew to “84 satellite channels and over 18,000 television and cable affiliates around the world.” But he was a controversial figure, even among televangelists. (Previously on Metafilter, [via Slacktivist])
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Dec 3, 2013 - 35 comments

496 years ago, bittersweet day in church history, great for a potluck.

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses by Dr. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. or 496 years ago today. [Original Latin]
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2013 - 56 comments

The Bible as fanwank and flamewars

Confused about who wrote the Bible we have, and why? Jim MacDonald has the answers. How was the Canon of the Christian Bible selected? There really isn't a better, or funnier, short account than this. After all, if fandom is a religion, then religions must work like fandom, right? And the epistolatory disputes of late antiquity were just Usenet to the Greeks. So if you want to know how the Doctrine of the Trinity became important, this will explain it: [more inside]
posted by alloneword on Sep 13, 2013 - 151 comments

"Riding with the Ghost"

Panzer Dragoon was a series of video games released between 1995 and 2003. Created by Yukio Futatsugi, the series quickly became a hit among gamers for its arial combat and great soundtrack. And if that weren't enough, apparently the ending of the third installment helps explain the Holy Trinity.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 20, 2013 - 20 comments

Who gets to speak, where, in front of whom, and about what  

Why the controversial (and somewhat backfired) Lauren Green interview of Reza Aslan is is about more than just Fox News idiocy.  
posted by Artw on Jul 31, 2013 - 162 comments

The rise of the religious left

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute [PDF], 1 in 5 Americans can now be defined as "religious progressives". These people, who eschew the current Republican agenda of religious social conservatism, have Republican leaders caught in the middle between an aging religious conservative majority and young religious progressives.
posted by reenum on Jul 24, 2013 - 183 comments

American Rhetoric

Perhaps slightly obscurred by its charmingly primitive web design, my new favorite website is a fantastic reference resource for delving into American speeches that have changed history as well as discovering new amazing ones. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 17, 2013 - 5 comments

Christians fight the Right

The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. [more inside]
posted by No Robots on May 16, 2013 - 362 comments

The Old Believers

Alaska is home to two small villages of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers," whose ancestors left the church and their home in Siberia in 1666 in the face of state-issued church reforms. They have traveled more than 20,000 miles over five centuries in the search for the perfect place to protect their traditions from outside influences. Now, assimilation into American culture is slowly overtaking them. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 5, 2013 - 49 comments

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

'Church,
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.' [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 11, 2013 - 80 comments

"There was no return from apostasy."

Leaving the Witness. "In one of the most restrictive, totalitarian countries in the world, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to think." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

Gay Mormon Records Reactions To His Coming Out

This Gay Mormon Spent 1 Year Recording His Friends Reacting To Him Coming Out. (SLYT). He's rather chipper, considering his church says he can't get married or have sex...
posted by shivohum on Mar 3, 2013 - 93 comments

Let his love pop a cap in your butt

Rappin for Budda! (100x more realness than Rappin For Jesus) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 12, 2013 - 17 comments

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