Posts Tagged ‘God’

While I tend to believe in the broad diversity of expression within the Christian church, and honor it as a good thing, occasionally I find a version so utterly toxic that it irritates me greatly.

Such was the case when I read about weekly Bible studies held by members of the regime’s Cabinet.

“Ralph Drollinger’s own ministry declared him ‘not biblically qualified for spiritual leadership.’ And yet, he leads the… study group, organized by Vice President Pence and faithfully attended by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, CIA Director [now Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among others.”

The Message is that
Governments and leaders “must send a constant message that sin will be punished”
Entitlement programs have no “biblical authority”
Liberal Christians aren’t really Christians, they’re “simpletons”
Catholicism is “one of the primary false religions in the world”
“Radical environmentalism” is a “false religion”
“God only hears the prayers of leaders and citizens who are upright, who live righteously through faith in Jesus Christ”
“God is a capitalist” and because of excessive environmental regulations in the U.S. “the economic benefits God intends from private property ownership have been greatly diminished”
“Righteous” people with government positions should not “compromise Biblical absolutes” and should hire only other “righteous” people

I could argue against each of these, some on First Amendment grounds, others as gross distortions of Biblical scholarship, but suffice to say that the exclusivity of this mindset of the faith I find disturbing.

Oh, and Franklin Graham states that Trump stopped sinning when he became President. I was looking up the Ten Commandments. There’s one that reads: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Given his propensity for prevarication, one must assume that he has sinned at LEAST once in the last 15 months.

Meanwhile, lame-duck Speaker of the House Paul Ryan forced out House chaplain Patrick Conroy, though he was soon reinstated. Daily Kos cheekily wrote, it was reportedly for being way too Christian, unprecedented in House history in the middle of a session.

“In the prayer he gave back in November on the first day of the mark-up of the tax scam bill [he] gently nudged members to think about the meek.

“‘May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.'”

Speaking truth to power – wasn’t that part of Jesus’ message? On this day of Pentecost, which makes the church the church, it will be interesting to watch which strains of the faith are considered genuine over time. I certainly have MY theories.

There’s an article, Quoof and other family nonsense, which is about the mispronunciation of words, both intentional and otherwise. I have done both.

There are a slew of words I simply cannot spell unless I say them – sometimes in my head but occasionally aloud, albeit in fun – the way they are spelled. For instance, I’d say epitome is EP-i-tome, not e-PIT-o- me; facade is fa-CADE, rather than fa-SAHD . And my favorite word, because it has all the vowels in alphabetical order, is facetious, which I like to do as FACE-tious, rather than fa-SEE-shus; it also works with the adverb form, by adding the -ly.

But one word I simply had never said aloud was omniscience, which I knew from reading, often religious books, meant the state of knowing everything. When I saw it, I thought OM-ni-science. Now I could, and have, pronounced omniscient, and so I knew the emphasis was on the second syllable. But that last syllable confounded me.

I discovered this on Mother’s Day, when the youth of the church was running the services. So, instead of going to choir, I attended Christian education for the adults. Folks took turn reading this paper written by the leader, my friend Grace, about “Exploring the nature of God and the existence of suffering in the world.”

The word omniscience showed up, not once but about five times. After I butchered it a few times, someone said aloud, “om-NI-shents”, and the brain said, OK. Truth is, if this had happened some years ago, I would been mortified, and probably depressed, for days, or probably longer.

During the church service, two of our church high schoolers gave the sermon on diversity fighting hatred. One of them was Sofia, the daughter of the Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery – well, not for too much longer. So I jokingly say to Pastor Miriam, in front of Shannan the Presbyter, “So we got someone to take your [preaching] job.” But I was misunderstood, with both of them thinking I wanted to get rid of Pastor Miriam, instead of sideways complimenting Sofia. I so hate being misunderstood.

And since Eric Burdon’s birthday was this month, it’s time for a #15 song in the US in 1965 by the Animals, oh, Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

For at least the last dozen years, there have been a handful of religious “leaders” who, after some tragic and horrific event, will proclaim that it happened for some reason related to that place somehow offended God. We heard it after 9/11, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, among others, and now after the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee blamed the school shooting on failure to have compulsory prayer at school; damned that inconvenient separation of church and state! Others have blamed disasters on the acceptance of abortion and gay marriage. Some Tennessee pastor specifically said the mass shootings take place because schools teach evolution and “how to be a homo;” I shan’t link to it.

For sake of the argument, let’s assume that God is the spiteful, vindictive entity that some religious leaders say God is. Still, how do they KNOW it’s THESE particular activities that’s ticking off the Deity? Read the rest of this entry »

I had written all my ABC Wednesday posts up to G. I said out loud, to myself, “What should G be for?” The Daughter said, “G is for God!” I thought to myself, “Which god?”

I had a rare opportunity to go to adult education at my church this spring; usually, it clashes with choir rehearsal. The leader of the study was showing a video, and the Christian theologian on the DVD made an interesting observation about how Read the rest of this entry »


(Title inspired by We can’t see DeForest for the trees.)

Dan from albanyweblog.com griped:
Okay Roger… How come it’s so damn hot right now?
I want a thorough answer.

Sure.

I went to Google and put in why is it so damn hot. Unfortunately, all that got me is why certain types are hot, e.g., “Why are Canadian girls so damn hot?” Read the rest of this entry »

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