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Posts tagged ‘social justice issues’

Rant: Christian American Quiz

Christian American Quiz

Please answer the following Questions:

1) Which is the only country in the world to have dropped bombs on over twenty different countries since 1945?

2) Which is the only country to have used nuclear weapons?

3) Which country was responsible for a car bomb which killed 80 civilians in Beirut in 1985, in a botched assassination attempt, thereby making it the most lethal terrorist bombing in modern Middle East history?

4) Which country’s illegal bombing of Libya in 1986 was described by the UN Legal Committee as a “classic case” of terrorism?

5) Which country rejected the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to terminate its “unlawful use of force” against Nicaragua in 1986, and then vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?

6) Which country was accused by a UN-sponsored truth commission of providing”direct and indirect support” for “acts of genocide” against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala during the 1980s?

7) Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in December 2001?

8) Which country renounced the efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brought an international conference on the matter to a halt in July 2001?

9) Which country prevented the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at a small arms conference in July 2001?

10) Aside from Somalia, which is the only other country in the world to have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

11) Which is the only Western country which allows the death penalty to be applied to children?

12) Which is the only G7 country to have refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, forbidding the use of landmines?

13) Which is the only G7 country to have voted against the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998?

14) Which was the only other country to join with Israel in opposing a 1987 General Assembly resolution condemning international terrorism?

15) Which country refuses to fully pay its debts to the United Nations yet reserves its right to veto United Nations resolutions?

Answer to all 15 questions: The United States of America.

Do you call these actions “Christian”!!!!!

Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Let me admit that q friend eeyorn posted this on his Blog back in 2008 before MySpace erased our Blogs in 2008. The references to Bush still does not date this piece.

There are many who think that should the Jesus of the Gospels appear in the USA today, he’d get a nasty welcome, but this has got to be the best writing I have yet seen on the topic. – Ninure da Hippie

The Crucifixion of Christ, American Style
By Jerry Ghinelli

“For God so loved the world…” he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.
 
Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ—and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.
 
Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named “Liberty” and “Church” in New York City, located at what has come to be known as “Ground Zero.”
 
Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.
 
Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable—breathtaking, you might say—in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan.
 
Songs like “Jesus Is Just All Right With Me,” “Amazing Grace” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.
 
Martin Luther King’s “dream” was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, “red staters” and “blue staters,” even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.
 
The media frenzy was unprecedented.
 
It was “all Jesus all the time”: round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.
 
Mel Gibson, who produced the film “The Passion of the Christ,” was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson’s identical twin was married.
 
The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, “60 Minutes.” And for good reason: This was to be “the greatest story ever told.”
 
On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a “miracle of faith,” and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, “Let freedom reign and God bless America.”
 
Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
 
The clock in the corner of the TV screen read “Countdown to Jesus” as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted.
 
At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, “deafening” silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named “Trinity Place.”
 
Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.
 
“Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you,” he offered.
 
“I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where over four years ago, at this exact moment, man’s inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to.
 
“Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as ’believers,’ but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act,” said Christ.
 
The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of “hallelujah, hallelujah” sent goose bumps up people’s arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.
 
For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.
 
Christ continued. “But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.
 
“To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America—or any country, for that matter—which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago.”
 
On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in “shock and awe” at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior.
 
A few cheered, but Christ’s condemnation of America’s response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush—the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth—drew immediate and harsh disapproval.
 
Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.
 
Fearing that Christ’s message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to—as they term it—”swift-boat” Christ.
 
“Swift-boat” is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning “to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom.”
 
A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth.”
 
Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, “set the record straight.”
 
They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of “love your enemies” was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.
 
“George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack—even pre-emptively attack—our enemies. Notice that I say ’attack,’ not ’love’,” said Judas.
 
Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus’ “love your enemy” message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm’s way.
 
“Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.
 
The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney’s clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum.
 
One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term “Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling “have you hugged a terrorist today” teddy bear wearing a little turban.
 
On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh—the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of “ditto heads” —asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.
 
According to Limbaugh: “Thorns can only cause flesh wounds, and nails in your hands and feet are not lethal.”
 
Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, “should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth . “What’s next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?” Limbaugh mocked .
 
Immediately after the show, on sale at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of “thorn-resistant” “holy” garden gloves, and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves ever fail.
 
On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ’s “meek shall inherit the earth” remark as “communist infiltration and extremism.”
 
He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values.
 
Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question “perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?”
 
President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will.
 
“Christ is my brother,” Bush emphasized, “and brothers often have differences of opinion, that’s all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas—dead or alive,” he said to applause from his troops.
 
“Semper fi,” shouted Bush.
 
Bush declared, “Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander–in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that… all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can’t stand our freedoms,” Bush said, to a standing ovation.
 
Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of “The Lord’s Prayer”:
 
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
 
Hallowed be Thy Name.
 
Thy Kingdom come.
 
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
 
And never forgive the terrorists,
 
who trespass against us.
 
And lead us not into appeasement,
 
and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.
 
The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act.” .
 
Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to—as they term it—”Bork” Jesus.
 
Like “swift-boat,” “Bork,” taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning “to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats’ single issue of abortion.”
 
Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.
 
Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, “Jesus did not have sexual relations with that woman!”
 
With Clinton’s declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.
 
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ’s message that “the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
 
Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.
 
They added that “to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.
 
Jewish groups, fearing that Christ—who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine—would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.
 
When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to “self-hating Jew.”
 
Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church’s sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.
 
President Bush’s press secretary has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question “when did Christ stop beating his gay wife.” 
 
Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle.
 
Ann Coulter, the “angelic”-looking “Republican Party Doll,” appeared on The O’Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O’Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of “Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz.” However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the “wicked witch of the west” when she said: “…with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden.” O’Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.
 
But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth,” approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern–born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda.
 
Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah.
 
With silver selling today at about $16.81 an ounce, thirty pieces of silver—about $504—just doesn’t buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for his “fifteen minutes of fame” instead.
 
He is scheduled to appear on “Oprah” tomorrow, “Larry King Live” at night and “Good Morning America” the next day.
 
President Bush has invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for some spiritual guidance. Judas, it is expected, will assist the President in “clearing brush” at his sprawling Texas compound this Easter weekend .
 
All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas’s agent at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.
 
With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the “disciples for truth” that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location.
 
The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ’s incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.
 
Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: “We wash our hands of this case.”
 
The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of former WorldCom (MCI) C.E.O. Bernard “Bernie” Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated.
 
Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero’s welcome in his hometown. Signs of “Give us Bernard” appeared everywhere.
 
Outside the court at Christ’s hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read “crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free.” He was immediately arrested.
 
Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners.
 
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances.
 
His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a “high-tech crucifixion.” The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.
 
Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing.
 
“Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, once again, for they know not what they do.”
 
Amen
 
Jerry Ghinelli writes essays exclusively for Information Clearing House (  www.informationclearinghouse.info) and contributes his time and efforts as a private citizen, with the hope of encouraging readers to think more broadly about the important issues that threaten the peace and security of the world community. Positive feedback should be sent to email@jerryghinelli.com or visit http://www.jerryghinelli.com for more information.

People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”
    — Martha Gellhorn, writer/journalist   (1908-1998)

Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

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Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/Ninure

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

John Mark Ministries
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/

Dear Dr. Laura – a blast from “my” past.

Ahhhm how “they” quickly forget!!

Then again, there are have been numerous versions of the letter below posted to newsgroups, on blogs, and forums in the last 30-womethging years. There are many GBLY and progreesive Christians who have never seen it.

It is one of those “tongue” in cheek yet true articles that all of us “liberal” and GVLT christians should have close at hand. – Ninure da Hippie

============

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have
learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.

When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply
remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End
of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws
and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price
for her?

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are
around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not
Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him
myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I
don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and
unchanging.

Sincerely, A Concerned Crusader
(Author unknown)

King Did more than Dream – a selection from a speech

The only question I have is, “If I am truly a follower of Jesus, should this not be obvious? – Ninure da Hippie

Love-Force

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The gospel at its best deals with the whole [person], not only soul but body, not only spiritual well-being, but material well-being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of [people] and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial….

I had almost despaired of the power of love in solving social problems. The “turn the other cheek” philosophy and the “love your enemies” philosophy are only valid, I felt, when individuals are in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations are in conflict a more realistic approach is necessary. Then I came upon the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. As I read his works I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance. The whole Gandhian concept of satyagraha (satya is truth which equals love, and graha is force; satyagraha thus means truth-force or love-force) was profoundly significant to me.

As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time that the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. At this time, however, I had a merely intellectual understanding and appreciation of the position, with no firm determination to organize it in a socially effective situation.

When I went to Montgomery, Alabama, as a pastor in 1954, I had not the slightest idea that I would later become involved in a crisis in which nonviolent resistance would be applicable. After I had lived in the community about a year, the bus boycott began. The Negro people of Montgomery, exhausted by the humiliating experiences that they had constantly faced on the buses, expressed in a massive act of noncooperation their determination to be free. They came to see that it was ultimately more honorable to walk the streets in dignity than to ride the buses in humiliation.

At the beginning of the protest the people called on me to serve as their spokesman. In accepting this responsibility my mind, consciously or unconsciously, was driven back to the Sermon on the Mount and the Gandhian method of nonviolent resistance. This principle became the guiding light of our movement. Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method.

The experience in Montgomery did more to clarify my thinking on the question of nonviolence than all of the books that I had read. As the days unfolded I became more and more convinced of the power of nonviolence. Living through the actual experience of the protest, nonviolence became more than a method to which I gave intellectual assent; it became a commitment to a way of life. Many issues I had not cleared up intellectually concerning nonviolence were now solved in the sphere of practical action….

The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.

Source: I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

Childrens’ Day?

(Note: I’ve hit my files again with an article I read back in 2007. I’d make a terrible parent, but nothing gets me as mad as the awful way this so-called Christian nation treats children. Whether it is to ignore their needs – for food, housing, education, or healthcare – as a country, or adults abusing them physically, verbally, or sexually. – Ninure da Hippie)

We habe Mother’s Day, and Father’s Dat…I think the cars companies are trying to get Grandparents’ Day, Uncles’ Day and Aunts Day too.

But as a fromer child, I think their ought to be a Children’s Day.

Not a day to give some kids even more presents, but a day to allow those who care to commit to protecting children from harm. A day to cmmit to seeing that children might receive all that they need, eevn of their parents are stupid and/or lazy.

It makes me angry to read of adults coming up with excuses to treat children in ways that they would not tolerate for themselves for five seconds.

It is in that spirit that I share this article with you today.

Sightings  5/3/07

Christian Discipline of Children
— Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore

At Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, only a short distance from my home, religious leader Gwen Shamblin encourages parents to spank their children, describing corporal punishment as a “time-tested, ancient teaching of the Bible” necessary to shaping adherence to God’s authority.  According to the February 7, 2007, issue of the Tennessean (and here was one time when I really hoped the reporting was unreliable), parents who bring children to the nursery have foot-long glue gun sticks in their diaper bags for physically disciplining them.  These details hit the news because eight-year-old Josef Smith died in October 2003, and his parents, members of Remnant Fellowship, were finally facing trial for whipping, confining, and beating him to death.

Although later in February the parents were sentenced to life plus thirty years, the debate about Christian discipline is far from resolved.  On the one hand, social scientists such as Alice Miller indicted Christianity in the 1970’s and 1980’s for perpetuating parental abuse.  Initially Miller simply argued that narcissistic parents use children to meet parental needs — an iniquity visited on following generations, as emotionally deprived children become parents who use their children to get the affirmation missing in their own childhood.  Over time, however, Miller became more strident, and eventually accused Christians of perpetuating a “poisonous pedagogy” of cruel mental and physical techniques designed to render children obedient, described in horrifying detail in childrearing manuals.  Meanwhile, Philip Greven and others found ample historical and psychological evidence to argue that such discipline can indeed be quite hazardous to children’s health.

On the other hand, in recent years some sociologists, such as John Bartkowski and Brad Wilcox, have tried to modify such assessments.  Empirical research, they say, documents increased affection and paternal involvement as positively related to an emphasis on children’s submission to parental authority and use of corporal punishment.  There is even initial evidence that such punishment does not have adverse emotional or behavioral repercussions, an outcome that may result from its place within a broader set of positive parenting behaviors.

More than anything, all this politically loaded research suggests that Christians of all stripes should be wary of extreme claims on both sides.  Subtle agendas shape social science facts and have serious social implications.  Christians must take their troubled disciplinary history seriously, admitting the harm done in Christianity’s name, and yet also question sweeping accusations that Christianity itself is inherently abusive.  News about Josef Smith’s death powerfully reminds us just how hazardous careless use of Christian proclamation can be, especially as it impacts those least able to protect themselves and most dependent on adult benevolence.  Fervent promotion of doctrines about sin, obedience, and bending the will to God have had and can have devastating consequences.

At the same time, seeing children as sinful does not de facto lead to their harsh punishment.  It can, in fact, have an inverse affect of assuring respect for their full humanity and agency.  Many classic theologians commonly associated with ideas about children as depraved, such as Augustine and Calvin, did not condone corporal punishment, offered nuanced views of children’s spiritual capacities, and even found such doctrines cause for greater compassion for all children, especially poor children.

Scriptural accounts of Jesus’ ministry actually set a high disciplinary standard.  Nowhere does Jesus advocate physical punishment.  Instead, he goes out of his way to heal children, says they embody the kingdom, and threatens eternal damnation to anyone who would harm their faith.  “Discipline” and “disciples” share the same root.  The disciples follow Jesus not because he stands over them as commander in chief, but because he aligns himself with them and elicits their love, trust, and admiration.  Perhaps influenced by Christianity more than she realizes, Miller herself concludes: “We do not need to be told whether to be strict or permissive with our children.  What we do need is to have respect for their needs … as well as for our own.”  For Christians, discipline means fostering conditions that induce a desire to love God and seek the good of others.

Whether Remnant Fellowship Church (or any congregation that talks openly about how to discipline children) encourages this kind of discipline or rather condones abuse is still up for debate.  But when it comes to corporal punishment, there is ongoing need for serious caution, and for the work of a practical theology that studies not so much the truth of doctrine but how doctrine gets lived out in daily life.

For children in particular, what people believe about Jesus or God — whether God demands obedience or offers love — matters.

References:
“Child’s Death Renews Scrutiny of Local Church,” by Anita Wadhwani and Heather Donahoe, The Tennessean (February 7, 2007).

Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Vanderbilt University, and author of Let the Children Come: Reimagining Childhood from a Christian Perspective (Jossey-Bass, 2003) and In the Midst of Chaos: Care of Children as Spiritual Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2006).
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The current Religion and Culture Web Forum features “From Altered States to Altered Categories (and Back Again): Academic Method and the Human Potential Movement” by Jeffrey J. Kripal.  To read this article, please visit: http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/index.shtml.

———-

Sightings comes from the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Submissions policy
Sightings welcomes submissions of 500 to 750 words in length that seek to illuminate and interpret the forces of faith in a pluralist society. Previous columns give a good indication of the topical range and tone for acceptable essays. The editor also encourages new approaches to issues related to religion and public life.

Attribution
Columns may be quoted or republished in full, with attribution to the author of the column, Sightings, and the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Contact information
Please send all inquiries, comments, and submissions to Jeremy Biles, editor of Sightings, at sightings-admin@listhost.uchicago.edu. Subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage your subscription at the Sightings subscription page.

There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths. The murderer rises at dusk to kill the poor and needy, and in the night is like a thief.
– Job 24:13-14

To be a follower of Jesus means in the first place to enter by compassion into his experience, with all that it expresses of the divine and of the human. And it means in the second place to enter with him into the suffering and the hope of all human persons, making common cause with them as he does, and seeking out as he does the places of his predilection among the poor and despised and oppressed.
– Monika K. Hellwig
from Jesus: The Compassion of God (The Liturgical Press, 1983)

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“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”</center?


Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
Feed a hungry person today:
http://www.hungersite.com

God is still speaking
http://www.stillspeaking.com

Hippie Rant: Acceptance, Tolerance, Intolerance, and Bigotry

I wrote this for a Blog I used to have on MtSpace.

There were a number of comments I received to things I wrote in that Blog that indicated that some people may know HOW to read, they weren’t able o COMPREHEND WHAT THEY WHERE READING.

I seem to be seeing a lot more from people who seem to have the same problem with understanding that difference between freedom of religion and freedom FROM Christianity.

If ypu know any people like that, feel free to share this with them (just give me due credit). – Ninure da Hippie

Acceptance, Tolerance, Intolerance, and Bigotry

Acceptance: There are peas on my plate. Peas are not my first choice to eat when I am humgry, but I eat them.

Tolerance: There are peas on my plate. I don’t care for peas, I am not that hungry, so I leave them alone.

Intolerance: There are peas on my plate. I HATE peas. I hurl the plate on the floor and jump and down on the peas. I try to file criminal charges against the person who cooked the peas.

Bigotry: There are peas on my plate. Not only do I hate peas, I hate the people who cook them, who grow them, and anyone who likes them. I spend a great deal of my time trying to outlaw peas, and deprive anyone who grows or likes them of their human rights. I proclaim that anyone who has anything to do with peas hates God, abuses children, and is a terrorist.

The Christian Right’s top 10 reasons for not allowing gay marriage

Respect the “sactity of marriage” by waiting fro the person you know is right for you.

The Christian Right’s top 10 reasons for not allowing gay marriage and the top 10 rebuttals:

1. Being gay is not natural. And as you know Amwecns have always rejected unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalising gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because, as you know, a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. The sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

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