Christians choking morality and optimism


(Warning: Rant follows, below the fold. It’s a well justified, well-deserved rant; but stand back a bit so the wind doesn’t blow you away.)

WordPress doesn’t do well with music accompanying posts. But if I could put some music on for you to hear right now, it would be the late Madeleine Kahn singing that tune from Blazing Saddles, “I’m Tired.” I can almost appreciate Orrin Hatch’s flogging of the phrase over the last 31 years, “I’m sick and tired of . . .”

What has made so many Christians so irritatingly, depressingly crabby — and can we get them to just shut up about how great achievements are somehow sins instead?

Al Gore won a Noble Prize — for peace, not for science. Get over it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a great accomplishment, a pinnacle of human acheivement. It’s a cause for great celebration for Americans — Christians, too. It should be a great plum for Christians when Gore, a lifelong, nearly-every-Sunday-in-church Southern Baptist who followed James Madison’s example of leaving study for the clergy in order to answer a clearly much higher calling, gets the call to collect the Nobel medal in Oslo. Instead, Groothuis says (in comments), it makes his head hurt.

Hillary Clinton may not be your choice for president, but that hardly makes her evil. And like Orrin Hatch, I’m sick and tired, of people ignoring Clinton’s 40-years of advocacy for children, and suggesting instead she has no moral roots. Methodists do have moral roots, and the critics should be ashamed of such attempted character assassination. If there is something wrong with Clinton’s advocacy for children, state it clearly. But don’t pretend to be “in the know” about some imagined sins of leadership you think you know she might have committed.

Same for John Edwards, whose “ambulance chasing” established that swimming pool manufacturers and installers can’t suck the guts out of children (literally — I’m not kidding) without paying medical costs. Trial lawyers who help crippled kids don’t deserve to be kicked for doing it. Barack Obama is a remarkable man, especially considering his absentee father. His story is no less inspiring than the rise of Justice Clarence Thomas, except Obama has managed to stay well grounded in manners and keep a sense of humor, necessary to fend off some of the arrows his position and candidacy invite.

Mitt Romney is a religious man, successful businessman and faithful husband. Quit carping that he’s Mormon — it’s not much more odd than Southern Baptist, and they smile a lot more, sing a lot better, and abolished slavery sooner. Romney’s religion won’t make him any worse or better as president than Marie Osmond’s Mormonism makes her a better or worse entertainer. It’s not an issue, and talking about Romney’s faith as if it were an issue detracts from the discussion of the real issues: Romney has no solution for Iraq, either.

We can kick about any of the candidates, but the field in both major parties is as strong as it has ever been, and almost all of the candidates offer significant advantages over the current White House — none of them is running to “restore respect and morality,” which is a good sign they might actually do it. If you’re not out there advocating for one of these outstanding people, you’re a major part of the problem. You’re advocating against quality in politics. Shame on you.

Get a grip on reality, Christians (if you really are Christians), and pay attention to what’s going on in the world.

2007 was not a great year for mankind. Genocide in Darfur continued. Nero-like fiddling while the planet warms continued in Washington and other capitals. Thousands of Americans had their economic futures put at risk while the Federal Reserve Board, President, and others failed to act to fix a mortgage crisis they created. One and a half million people, mostly pregnant women and children, died of malaria, while western governments including the U.S. failed to spend the money they promised to fight the disease.

There was a war between Israel and Lebanon. The Bush administration got the North Koreans back to the position Bill Clinton had the North Koreans in during 1994, which may make South Korea and Japan safer, but we lost 13 years. China has taken over production of a majority of America’s products, it seems, and sells us lead-tainted toys that poison our children. Not that anyone would notice — Bush’s EPA isn’t doing much to eliminate lead paint in U.S. cities, that poisons more children than the Chinese ever could.

Hunger in America is rising. More Americans are homeless. At least 4 million more Americans are without health insurance this year, shortening average lifespans, but certainly killing more poor people, sooner.

Osama bin Laden is still at large. The United States is known more for executing prisoners and torturing people than any other nation.

But Douglas Groothuis, a philosophy prof in a Denver, ivory tower, fundamentalist Christian seminary, is blind to all of that. He’s crabby instead about trivialities. Al Gore got an award. Hillary Clinton is taken seriously as a candidate for president. People, tired of such hypocrisy among the religious, are actually reading atheists’ books. The courts won’t let woo into science classes to make American kids stupider.

That’s what makes Douglas Groothuis grumpy.

Groothuis makes me grumpy.

No kidding; here’s his list, verbatim, from his blog — there is nary a mention of Darfur, nor Guantanamo, nor Bosnia, nor bin Laden (terrorism has to share an angst point with abortion); no mention of our failure to eradicate hunger, or our failure to provide even decent health care to all Americans:

Top Ten Bad Events of 2007

Near the end of the year, we are assaulted with a number of lists concerning noteworthy events of 2007. Here is my curmudgeonly list of obnoxious realities from 2007. These items by no means are meant to exhaust the list of “bad events,” nor are they the most evil things that happened in 2007. They are simply things that really ticked me off. Since my sensibilities are not perfectly calibrated to objective reality, I cannot claim too much for the list. Please add a few of your own.

1. Hilary Clinton running for president. She is the quintessentially unprincipled politico: all political machine, no character, no vision.
2. Bill Clinton writing a book on giving. This beggars belief. It is like the Marquis de Sade writing a book on abstinence. Clinton has no shame, but plays a mean game of narcissism.
3. The on going media fascination with stupid, sex-crazed, and drug-addled celebrities. Don’t expect this to change any time before the millennium.
4. The baseball steriod scandals. “Take me out to the drug game, take me out to the show…” Here is another evidence of the death of character in America.
5. Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record. I don’t like tatoos, but an asterisk on Barry’s head would be just fine.
6. The growth of “the new atheism” perpetuated by writers like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. They don’t give the best arguments for atheism, but they have raised the volume, sharpened the knives, and gone for the heart of religion–all religion. There errors are legion, their books best-sellers. (I have reviewd recent books by Harris and Dawkins in The Christian Research Journal. I have a review of Hitchen’s God is Not Great forthcoming there as well.)
7. The continued ideologically rich, but intellectually poor, pummelling of Intelligent Design by the established media and educational mandarins, particularly Iowa State University’s denial of tenure to the stellar scholar, Guarmo Gonzalez. Read about this at: http://www.discovery.org/.
8. The major television networks air the video of the evil ramblings of a mass killer, who devestated his university. He became the postmorten celebrity he desired. The national addiction to video continues–without shame, without knowledge of the truth, without respite.
9. There seems to be no presidential candidate who is both pro-life and has a realistic view of international terrorism–the two greatest issues facing the country.
10. Of lesser consequence: I was given a free Kenny G CD when I ordered a Jack Bruce recording on line. It remains unopened in my office–an object suitable for hurling across the room during a lecture on aesthetics.

(Al Gore doesn’t really get it until the comments.)

Wake up, Groothuis! Wake up, Christians. Trim your wicks and oil your lamps.

  • Like her or not, Hillary Clinton has more guts and a more consistent application of high morality than carping Christians. She held her family together and crusaded to help abused children when the churches were still denying abused children are a problem. There may be good reasons not to vote for her. Claiming she is unprincipled, however, only shows your own lack of moral compass. Don’t like her? Vote for somebody else. But you’d better be out there, at the caucus meetings, at the county and state conventions. You’ve sat on your hands long enough.
  • Bill Clinton was right about giving. Listen to him. Quit withholding, and get out there and give.
  • Don’t carp about a fascination with celebrity culture while you campaign against PBS and NPR, against Huck Finn as a key book kids need to read, and while you argue that the problem with the lack of quality television is that Democrats over-regulated it, when the Democrats haven’t regulated it in 40 years. It’s your votes for people who claim to be moral that bring us the celebrity culture. Your guys work to kill libraries, and you blame in on liberals. Satan, get thee behind me (and out of my library and city council).
  • Barry Bonds and steroids? When Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich ran Congress, Congress didn’t care. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got action; Congress held hearings, steroids were outed. It was not an accident that it was a Democratic former senator who headed the commission that spotlighted the trouble. You called him “immoral” when he was in the Senate. Need a recipe for crow?
  • Don’t worry about Dawkins and Hitchens — they are just celebrities (your own fascination with celebrity gets you in trouble). You rail against the social gospel as evil, forgetting that it brought us an end to child labor, safe food and drug laws and regulation of addicting drugs for the first time, a Federal Reserve Board and a 40-hour, family-friendly work week. Of course, you complain about each one of those miracles, now. You don’t smell the brimstone? The question is, when do we return to Christians ministering in neighborhood churches, instead of in mega-media auditoriums? Its in your hands, and you’re applauding a celebrity culture in another way. Thousands of Americans follow their noses on Sunday to the biggest congregations with the most Starbucks coffee brewing, and you applaud it. You didn’t notice the dust devil where you sowed those seeds?
  • Don’t tell me you want to lie about science to innocent children, and ever, ever claim to be a moral man again. Intelligent design is a scam; it’s fruitless, as science. (Jesus had something to say about fruitless trees, remember? No, I didn’t think so.) It’s hollow as theology. America’s leadership in science and technology are critical if this 218-year-old republic is to go for another 100 years (no republic has ever made it much past 300); your advocacy of intelligent design over evolution hammers at both our science and moral foundations. Woo is not equal to science, and your claims that it is show how much you’ve adopted moral relativism. Never mention “firm standards of morality” again, you hypocrites. Moral relativists have no more right to teach our children than anybody else. If they don’t teach, and at the university level, if they don’t practice their discipline, they don’t get tenure. That’s called “high academic standards.” High academic standards means no creationism or intelligent design, but it’s the moral way to maintain our education system.
  • Don’t complain about post-modernism as the villain when a mentally-ill man kills innocents. Where was our mental health care system? Where were the churches? It wasn’t philosophy that killed kids at Virginia Tech. It was a massive failure of our social safety nets, private and public. You’ve hammered at the mental health care system for years, and the churches couldn’t compensate. All we had left was television, and all it can do is expose the problem. This failure is no orphan, even if the father doesn’t want to admit paternity.
  • Nobody knows what to do about international terrorism . Torturing nationals from other countries has been proven to aggravate the problem. Join us in calling for a closure of Guantanamo? No? There’s a story about this in Genesis; you interpret it to mean a loving relationship between two members of the same gender is wrong; Ezekial tells us it means Abu Ghraib is wrong. There is a moral divide here, and you’re on the wrong side. Also, we know how to reduce abortion: Eradicate poverty, make meaningful work, provide people of child-bearing age with accurate information about family planning, meaning birth control. Seven years of “abstinence only” and the teen birth rate and STD rates all rise. You’re asleep with your lamps out of oil. No presidential candidate agrees with you? That’s why the rest of us are hopeful.
  • You wouldn’t have to order your music on-line if your president didn’t let Clear Channel ruin the radio waves as an outlet to sell music — then the neighborhood record shops might still be in business, selling little on vinyl, but catering to local tastes. The spy software that your president uses to track down the trysts of your preachers also tells the CD people that someone who likes Jack Bruce, also likes Kenny G. If you needed a reason to oppose the PATRIOT Act, that would be one more clue. You’ve taken none of the others, and you’ll probably blame this one on Kenny G. I hope you wake up in a cold sweat some night, and ask this question: If the software claims you need a free shot of Kenny G, what does it tell our U.S. KGB about who to arrest to stop terrorism? Either you’re a great fan of Kenny G and don’t know it, or you just realized one more benefit of defending civil rights.

Dr. Groothuis, Ezekiel told us why God smoked Sodom and Gomorrah. It had nothing to do with homosexuality. Sodom failed to look after the widows and orphans, and it tolerated sexual humiliation of people who should have been guests. Look at our present social safety net, review the circumstances of Abu Ghraib, and tell me why we shouldn’t be bracing to run and not look back, will you?

Millions are hungry, you worry about celebrity. Millions are unclothed, you want to teach children woo instead of good science. America’s moral leadership has been surrendered, and you worry when people read books by atheists that talk about moral leadership.

It’s a tired whine. I’m tired of it, anyway.

2008 can be a great year. We’re electing leadership — new leadership — in federal, state and local elections. We’ve got a foreign policy that recognizes there is a problem in Palestine, and that the North Koreans will be a bigger threat with nuclear weapons than without them. We still need an international solution in Darfur, to make the “never” in “never again,” now.

I don’t need a crabby Pharisaic look at 2007; I need someone with realism in their veins and brain to look to 2008 and pledge to make it better. Refusing to engage, whining about great acheivements, yammering about the old dividing lines, will not get us to 2009 in good shape.

Christians, now is the time to practice your faith, hard.

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21 Responses to Christians choking morality and optimism

  1. meson says:

    I’m a catholic christian. It hurts that christians are being called stupid. So, i hope we are not grouped together next time. Use the term protestant or non-catholics or whatever. Catholics had learned a 400 year lesson and admit that science is indeed the truth and acknowledged evolution. So should the other churches, or are we that eager to go back middle-ages.

    The neccesity of teaching Intelligent Design (ID) as alternatives to evolution to school children as claimed by Craig is zero. As a comparisson, there is thousands of alternatives to existing theories in Physics. We don’t teach that because it has little power in scientific predictibilty and un-elegant. Of course, evolution are not concretely proven. So does the existence of atoms and black hole, if your definition of concrete proof is being able to observe everything by the naked eye.

    If the curiculum demands we teach alternatives to accepted theories as well, we will found in our children textbooks; “The mechanics of light in ether” and “Sun orbitting the Earth” theory. Those are all alternatives and their arguments are quite good, the only problem is it lacks predictability, observation and elegance.

    Nor does ID has any predictibilty, it just say it couldn’t. There is no worse explanation in science than to admit it cannot be explained. That is the same logic used by the ancients on why human cannot fly. They admit we cannot fly.
    Result: stagnation.

    We do instead acknowledge the study forwarded by the ID groups for giving a glance on subject of possible interest. But it doesn’t justify the theory of ID. It simply means that there is other mechanism we are not aware of. This are not enough to claim ID are on par with evolution.

    As for Douglas Groothuis, the guy is stupid. I rather have leaders that have less of the so called respect than having one that are stupid. I would even rather have a liar for a leader than a stupid one. Quoting, “A leader are the only ones with the privelage to lie”, i welcome intelligent smooth talkers. In this respect, Hillary Clinton probably put up the the largest farce of them all, so vote for her. I’m sure it’s a better vote than an idiot who cannot smooth talk North Korea and plunge us into Nuke war and concern himself more on the free cd he gets.

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  2. Chris says:

    Brilliant. Thanks.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Yes, I exaggerated when noting Craig Blomberg as “the liberal” at Denver TS. Though, one might, and many Christians do, hope there are several political liberals, to represent the Jesus side of the discussion. (Will I hear about that?)

    Craig Blomberg said earlier:

    When you come to your post-Doug’s blog “rant,” as it sounds like you yourself acknowledge, you lose a fair amount of the credibility you gained in the first part through overkill. In many instances, it’s not a case of rejecting Doug’s concerns but subordinating them to the larger global ethical issues you rightly stress.

    One of the more difficult tasks we face is keeping perspective. It’s okay to focus on the small things and worry about them when we don’t forget the big things, and vice versa. In a year of reading Dr. Groothuis’s blog, I don’t feel I see the larger perspective. I’ve not heard his preaching, but his titles don’t encourage me.

    The only place in this section where you need to do a lot of reading of Michael Behe, William Dembski, et al, is on intelligent design. This is NOT “scientific creationism” (which IS bogus science) but a completely different movement–the highlighting of irreducible complexity in numerous parts of the natural world that, thus far, atheitstic evolution has failed to explain. What IS unfair is to hide this information from students, Christians or otherwise, even if people will disagree on its explanation.

    Look at the bars below the title of the blog, and see especially “Intelligent Design: A pig that does not fly.”

    Intelligent design is more bogus than creationism because it dresses the pig up in even more sciency language. Irreducible complexity is an interesting idea; unfortunately, Dr. Behe made some major academic errors in his explanation (such as claiming research did not exist, which does, and claiming certain processes cannot occur without all human parts, though, as in the case of blood clotting, they can and do. Plus, every example of a potentially irreducibly complex structure Behe proposed in 1994 has been found to have solid evolutionary explanations, not irreducibly complex at all. And alas for intelligent design, irreducible complexity was the only significant hypothesis it had going for it.

    I find it interesting that you describe evolutionary explanations as “atheistic,” though Darwin himself was Christian (and quite devout at the time he discovered evolution, and active to the end of his life), as was evolution co-discoverer Alfred R. Wallace; and major thinkers in evolution throughout history have been Christian, too. I’m not sure what distinguishes atheistic explanations from Christian or Jewish or Moslem or Hindu explanations, but if they explain things better, we should stick to them — that would be the Christian thing to do (and I don’t use that phrase in Twain’s sarcastic mode).

    The court case in Pennsylvania went directly to the issue of whether ID is science. In court, under oath, under penalty of perjury (though, for some ID witnesses that didn’t seem to be much of a deterrent), ID advocates tended to agree there was no science behind ID. Worse, all the evidence was very clear that “intelligent design” was simply a phrase used to substitute for “creationism” after the Supreme Court agreed with two circuits that creationism is not science. In the blogosphere, ID is sometimes known as “cdesign proponentsistsism” after the bad cut-and-paste job done by the ONLY intelligent design textbook (for high schools — you can’t get college training in intelligent design). The publisher, with a book ready to go to press as the Supreme Court ruled in 1987, went to the word processor and did a search and replace exercise, finding every mention of “creationists” and replacing it with “design proponents.” In one particularly bad edit, not all of “creationists” was deleted, leaving the book noting the views of “cdesign proponentsists.” Intelligent design not creationism? The evidence says otherwise.

    As Behe testified in the Pennsylvania trial, if we expand the definition of science to allow ID, we must also allow astrology. Sidney Omarr is not going to get a Nobel in Physics, I regret to inform you. Behe’s not in for Physiology or Medicine, either.

    Consequently, I think suggesting to innocent children that ID is an alternative theory to evolution earns one the millstone Jesus warned about. Lying to young children is not a virtue, even to protect cultic views of Jesus — which is what ID and all other forms of creationism are in my view, cultic views of Jesus.

    As Franklin observed, if a religion can’t get its own adherents to pay its way in church, the state’s obligation is somewhat less than the zero obligation the state had in the first place to advance it. If you want to teach ID in your Sunday School class, go ahead. I think it’s bad theology, too, since it ultimately ends up making God a great deceiver, having created the entire universe to look differently than it is, but in America people are free to believe any fool idea they choose. The state is not obligated in any way to teach it, under the Constitution. Science, on the other hand, is tested, is essential to our economy, and there is no reason evolution should not be taught with gusto, though it rarely is, which is one reason the Chinese and Indians are surpassing us in agriculture, medicine, and other biology-related areas. Evolution is as good a science theory as one can get.

    Maybe someday a Christian kid will find where Darwin erred. I guarantee you that if that day ever arrives, it will not be a kid who was raised thinking Darwin was evil, or that his theory was in error. The history of science shows that those who find the errors, those who invent new sciences, are those who thoroughly understand the old paradigm and can figure out why it appears to work so well. None of the critics of Newton came close to figuring out what Einstein did.

    So keep calling us to account, but in more measured ways (unless your main purpose is just to speak to those who are already your supporters), and be assured that there are a lot of evangelicals who wish more of OUR numbers were saying similar things!

    “Measured ways,” I suppose means “polite.” I was polite about it for a few years. Polite didn’t work. Do you remember the old story of the mule and the two-by-four?

    For example, I think the ethical error of advocating ID in public school science classes is a claxon warning that the faith of the advocates has gone off the rails and people’s lives are in danger (not to mention salvation of the advocates). There is a train rushing onward, and people still dallying on the tracks. Polite can’t be heard over the train’s roar, nor over the train’s horn, and they seem oblivious even to those. Worse, they are leading my children to walk in front of that train.

    Measured? You’re not really serious, are you?

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  4. Craig Blomberg says:

    Not a liberal, and certainly not “the liberal” as Ed suggests two posts above. The misrepresentation Hannah J. complains about continues. It’s interesting to compare bloggers reactions when I point out factual inaccuracies. Most apologize and promise to do better. Those that don’t usually just go after me a second time in some less than constructive fashion. But it at least it helps me to know which to pay further attention to and which really aren’t interested in the truth they often claim to seek.

    Ed, I could be wrong, but I bet the person who asked, “who made you God?” was responding to my post and not to you at all. It’s an interesting question either way–whether they were responding to you or to me. If the person is an atheist, then the question of course is meaningless from their perspective and it can be ignored. If the person is a theist, then by definition they would know that neither you nor I am God and it need not be taken seriously. I’m guessing what they really meant (if it was addressed to me) was, “what gives you the right to speak as if you are communicating only true facts?” If that’s the case, then my answer is, because I tried to avoid opinion and state only facts (the parenthetical comment about scientific creationism being bogus science being perhaps the one exception, though I’m not so sure).

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  5. That was a righteous rant, brother.
    Maybe next year you’ll decide to put in some careful and explicit (and seemingly unnecessary) disclaimers that you’re not ranting against all Christians: maybe adding “noisy” as a qualifier in various places. Or maybe you won’t figuring that it really wouldn’t change the reactions if you did. I have no dog in that fight anyway.

    But thanks especially for citing that juicy explicit description of what the bad people of Sodom did. It’s badly needed and seems to be completely unknown.

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Sage says it sagely: “For all the open minded crap people tend to spout, they certainly aren’t very open minded when it comes to seeing those of faith with fair eyes.”

    And never is that more true than when the person of faith calls them to heed their own, or calls them to stick to what scripture really says, or points out that Jesus didn’t hate homosexuals and was silent against homosexuality, or points out that Jesus never voted Republican and didn’t endorse Pat Robertson or George Bush for president.

    And what really ticks ‘em off is when a person of faith reminds them that honesty is a virtue, and that the issue of honesty alone should raise questions about “intelligent design advocates.” No kidding — look above, it even got the liberal from Denver Seminary.

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  7. HannahJ says:

    In the original post: “These items by no means are meant to exhaust the list of “bad events,” nor are they the most evil things that happened in 2007. They are simply things that really ticked me off.” Careful of misrepresentation…that’s one of my top 10 worst things in the history of the world.

    Sage says it sagely: “For all the open minded crap people tend to spout, they certainly aren’t very open minded when it comes to seeing those of faith with fair eyes.”

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  8. Ed Darrell says:

    Scavenger said:

    And who made you God?

    I’m not sure how to answer. Is the question directed to me, or to another commenter?

    How is the question asked, which has a bearing on just what the question is. Is there a typo or punctuation error? Should it really have been, “And who made your God?” Or should it have been, “And who made you, God?” directed at the big guy Himself? Or is it as I read it at first, really a shorter version of “Who died and made you king?”

    I think it’s not appropriately asked to me, since gods ostensibly don’t need to rant, but instead can fiat their rant-worthy issues away. In my case, ranting is the exercise of the little bit of power I really have.

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  9. [...] rant from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: What has made so many Christians so irritatingly, depressingly crabby — and can we get them to [...]

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  10. Sage says:

    You realize that not all Christians respond as you seem to think. I’m Christian, a very devout believer, but half of everything you’re ranting about…or more… only describes the Christians that prefer to be in the limelight, or go on a crusade trying to change people. It doesn’t describe those Christians who act quietly and try to do what they can to change things without drawing attention to themselves. Blessed are the meek… not the glory hounds.

    Personally, my gripe with Hilary Clinton is that she stayed with her husband after he messed around on her. She has that little respect for herself, how can she respect our nation?

    And it DOES boil down to respect. It has nothing to do with her being a Democrat.

    I don’t like Al Gore because he’s pompous. Has nothing to do with being a Democrat.

    I don’t care for Giuliani~and it has nothing to do with him being Republican. It’s because he’s not a big believer in faithfulness either, from what I’ve heard. If a man can’t keep his vows and promises to his wife, it doesn’t say much for the promises he’d make to an entire country.

    If you want a rant about what people are sick of, I’m sick of people painting all Christians with the same brush as the Bible thumping, brimstone and hellfire and you’re all damned type you see on TV. We aren’t all like that. The vast majority of us aren’t, yet people like you imagine we’re a dime a dozen, made from the same mold.

    I imagine you would love it if those of faith turned around and said that anybody that doesn’t believe in God is an amoral, dishonest, lying, thieving, whoring hypocrite who is only out for his or her own good. You wouldn’t care for it much~more, most Christians don’t believe that. We see non-believers and it makes us sad because they don’t see what we see, they don’t know what we know, and they don’t have the peace that we have. But we see generally decent people, not evil ones.

    For crying out loud, stop painting all of us the same. Take a bit of time and talk to some Christians outside what you see on TV. LEARN and try to understand before you denounce entire groups based on what you see portrayed in the media, or what little you might encounter in real life.

    For all the open minded crap people tend to spout, they certainly aren’t very open minded when it comes to seeing those of faith with fair eyes.

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  11. turtledovess says:

    Hilary Clinton’s platform to reform healthcare should be addressed with one question: “What about HIPAA?” Hillary is the mascot of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance program. HIPAA is expected to cost the healthcare industry at least $3.8 billion between 2003 and 2008. 3.8 billion would give a lot of uninsured babies and children health care! She might be moral (and she did stick by her man) but how she campaigns for health care reform is amazing to me.

    Some of that 3.8 million might have been used for the mentally ill who kill innocent people.

    There has always been poor and starving people, and that will never change, and it was never God’s intention to make them the sole responsibility of Christians. And there has always been war, and that will never change until Armageddon.

    Evolution is just a theory and until further notice should be taught as such. Period. There is no definitive proof. Get down to the cellular structure of animals and humans and you’ll back off that science.

    There are millions of homeless because our borders are wide open. I’m in California and and vouch for who’s on the street corners.

    Stop beating up the mega churches. That’s so yesterday. Besides, the big mega church down the street ministers not only on the streets of the USA but in Rwanda.

    Christians aren’t controlling Bush’s decisions. Come on, you’re kidding, right?

    You have no proof that social organizations are run by non-Christians.

    And finally, you’re blaming Christians for every bad thing that’s ever happened–which is old hat. I don’t mind a good rant, but at least direct it at the person or persons who set you off. 33% of the population can’t be all that wrong (or bad).

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  12. SC&A says:

    There is much merit in what you have to say.

    Steak for thought.

    Well done.

    Like

  13. isaiah30v8 says:

    Irreducable complexity?

    Distiguished Professor?

    I am a simple man who likes to look at the world in straightforward terms. I think that is waht distinguishes me from the academics.

    At one time I was an atheist and had a conversation with some Christians which troubled me.

    It troubled me for a long time.

    Decided to find out for myself using scientific methods and the Internet which 7 years ago was something new to me and almost the entire rest of the world.

    I read the bible, asked myself and others simple questions which should have tangible or measurable answers and then went on my quest.

    I did find answers . The composite total were just too many. It drove my own scepticism beyond acceptable limits.

    I am now a Christian.

    Decided to write about what I found and also the very simple straightforward method I used.

    It’s an article I called “Armchair Archeology”

    In this article I pretend to be a distiguished Archeologist.

    I am convinced that what I discovered is true however, What IS unfair is to hide this information from students, Christians or otherwise, even if people will disagree on its explanation.

    Read it if you want here:

    http://ablebodiedman.blogspot.com/

    I am not a doomster however, Yes, The end is almost here!

    regards

    Geoff

    Like

  14. Scavenger says:

    And who made you God?

    Like

  15. Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary says:

    You will perhaps be surprised to know that I agree with almost all your points in the first major part of your post, before you reprint Doug’s blog. My biggest concern is that you tarnish all of Denver Seminary with the same brush. Doug makes it very clear on his blog that he gives his own opinions, not those of the seminary. In many instances, he takes views that a majority of us on faculty would disagree with. Close to half of us are registered Democrats. Our Institute for Public Ethics is a bipartisan effort designed to present all sides on controversial issues. We have more of an emphasis on heping the poor, thinking globally, and understanding social ethics than most evangelical seminaries. So “ivory tower” and “fundamentalist” just don’t apply to us as a whole at all.

    When you come to your post-Doug’s blog “rant,” as it sounds like you yourself acknowledge, you lose a fair amount of the credibility you gained in the first part through overkill. In many instances, it’s not a case of rejecting Doug’s concerns but subordinating them to the larger global ethical issues you rightly stress. The only place in this section where you need to do a lot of reading of Michael Behe, William Dembski, et al, is on intelligent design. This is NOT “scientific creationism” (which IS bogus science) but a completely different movement–the highlighting of irreducible complexity in numerous parts of the natural world that, thus far, atheitstic evolution has failed to explain. What IS unfair is to hide this information from students, Christians or otherwise, even if people will disagree on its explanation.

    So keep calling us to account, but in more measured ways (unless your main purpose is just to speak to those who are already your supporters), and be assured that there are a lot of evangelicals who wish more of OUR numbers were saying similar things!

    And, despite Geoff’s post, another case of throwing the baby out with some definitely dirty bathwater, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Like

  16. blueollie says:

    Wow! Well done.

    But the biggest thing to grumble about is my favorite football team not winning enough games. :)

    Like

  17. isaiah30v8 says:

    Don’t tell me you want to lie about science to innocent children, and ever, ever claim to be a moral man again.

    Actually, lying to Christian Children is not a new thing.

    Please indulge me:

    Here is some reason I (a Christian) don’t like Christmas and have been heavily persecuted for my dislike.

    Millions of little Christian children around the world are told that Santa Claus is going to visit on December 25th and if they have been good they will get toys.

    These little children believe it……………. I did.

    When these little children grow up and start attending kindergarten or school they soon learn that Santa Claus is not real. They return home and ask their parents who will eventually have to relent and confess that Santa Claus is not real.

    What is one of the first and true lessons learned by these millions and millions of very young impressionable minds?

    That its OK to lie!

    Taught to them by the most important people in their lives…..their parents!

    Do you think that has anything to do with Jesus?

    I don’t.

    It flies right in the face of everything Jesus Christ said as recorded in the bible.

    In fact it seems like a more ingenious and subtle Satanic machination.

    An unrighteous deception very deeply rooted into our world wide Christian Religions.

    I also will not bring a Christmas Tree into my home and decorate it.

    There is a scriptural reason why:

    Jeremiah 10:1-4
    1Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2010:1-4;&version=9;

    I am a Christmasophobic and have been persecuted by so called Christians (and pagans) because of it.

    This Santa Claus / Christmas thing has absolutley nothing to do with morality.

    So called Christians who are deceived into Christmas deserve to choke on it.

    That’s my rant

    regards

    Geoff

    Like

  18. [...] Darrell at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub takes a whiny Conservative Christian to task for focusing on the wrong problems, and turning a blind eye to the contributions his compatriots [...]

    Like

  19. tuibguy says:

    Ed, thanks for this.

    Consider me a sycophant if you will, but I think this is a fantastic post.

    Mike

    Like

  20. John Moeller says:

    Well put, Ed. Let’s make this world a better place for everyone.

    Like

  21. [...] Christians choking morality and optimism [...]

    Like

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