Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'. Kenan Malik's
essay is awarded 3 Quarks Daily's
Top Quark for politics & social science by judge Stephen M. Walt
: "Soldiers in today’s culture wars believe 'European civilization' rests on a set of unchanging principles that are perennially under siege—from godless communism, secular humanism, and most recently, radical Islam. For many of these zealots, what makes the 'West' unique are its Judeo-Christian roots. In this calm and elegantly-written reflection on the past two millenia, Malik shows that Christianity is only one of the many sources of 'Western' culture, and that many of the ideas we now think of as 'bedrock' values were in fact borrowed from other cultures. This essay is a potent antidote to those who believe a 'clash of civilizations' is inevitable—if not already underway—and the moral in Malik’s account could not be clearer. Openness to outside influences has been the true source of European prominence; erecting ramparts against others will impoverish and endanger us all."
posted by homunculus
on Dec 19, 2011 -
Some lives are exemplary, others not; and of exemplary lives, there are those which invite us to imitate them, and those which we regard from a distance with a mixture of revulsion, pity, and reverence. It is, roughly, the difference between the hero and the saint (if one may use the latter term in an aesthetic, rather than a religious sense). Such a life, absurd in its exaggerations and degree of self-mutilation — like Kleist’s, like Kierkegaard’s — was Simone Weil’s.
- Susan Sontag [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Dec 19, 2011 -
"If they simply professed unusual beliefs, movement leaders wouldn’t be remarkable.
But what makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government. The new prophets and apostles believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take 'dominion' over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the 'Seven Mountains' of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world. They believe they’re intended to lord over it all. As a first step, they’re leading an 'army of God' to commandeer civilian government. In Rick Perry, they may have found their vessel. And the interest appears to be mutual." Previously. Via.
posted by brundlefly
on Jul 14, 2011 -
In a five part series he wrote a few years ago, blogger J. Brad Hicks breaks down how, in the mid-1960s, the Republican party made a conscious decision to rebrand themselves as the party of Christians, and in doing so, how they had to shift the ideology of the churches to what he calls a "false gospel
". [more inside]
posted by quin
on Sep 15, 2010 -
"Church was not part of my family life, and I don't think I ever expected to find myself being a Christian or, as I used to think of it, a 'religious nut.'"
grew up an atheist. One day she went into a church
, took communion and had a moment with God. She's now a Christian that has made it her mission in life to feed the homeless
. She's started a food pantry
in the slums of San Francisco that feeds over 450 hungry families every week.
She's also a lesbian
who is outspoken for gay marriage
and considers herself a liberal but doesn't really care for liberal guilt
posted by Hands of Manos
on Jan 5, 2009 -
The Other Christian Activists "Any Christian who believes that homosexuality is a more important issue than justice for the poor just hasn't read his Bible straight."
- David Hilfiker
"If you are waiting for a religious left to emerge to offset the power of the religious right, it may already be in your own neighborhood at a local church or synagogue."
- Ira Chernus
posted by quonsar
on Mar 1, 2006 -
How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook - "The triumph of evangelical Christianity is profoundly reshaping many aspects of American politics and society... This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to 'plant' 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. 'We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers', says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board... Many of today's evangelicals hope to expand their clout even further. They're also gaining by taking their views into Corporate America. Exhibit A: the recent clash at software giant Microsoft
posted by kliuless
on May 15, 2005 -
Born-again liberal Christians.
Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast
, buddy. Many scholars
think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State
's Marcus J Borg
, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God
, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people.
It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition
that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language
. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities
There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event
but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence
among them, after his execution
. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'.
Just don't be afraid
to ask questions
. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 19, 2004 -
"How do we nurture the healing side of religion over the killing side? How do we protect the soul of democracy against bad theology in service of an imperial state?
OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out. And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, 'The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.' The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don't work, and punitive public policies."
Bill Moyers on democracy excruciate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Jul 15, 2004 -
Anti-bullying vote blocked by Christian Conservatives
The Washington State bill would have required school districts to set up policies against harassment, bullying and intimidation. Christian conservatives that blocked the vote claim "it amounted to censorship of their right to condemn homosexuality." There is no mention of homosexuality in the bill at all. So this leads me to the conclusion that these Christians condone "harassment, bullying and intimidation." How far from the Golden Rule can you stray and keep a straight face?
posted by kokogiak
on May 1, 2001 -