7th October 2010

“In the United States, the megachurch movement is solidly aligned on one side of the culture wars. Suspicion of enlightenment assumptions, like the need for critical reading of texts or the notion of an evolving universe, is a mark of most new-breed evangelical religion. Megachurch preaching targets homosexuality and feminism. The flip side of rapture is an aggressive anti-intellectualism. The reason to oppose this American manifestation of religious enthusiasm is not just because it’s bad religion: it’s bad culture and politics, too.”

James P. Carroll

23 Responses to “7th October 2010”

  1. tech Says:

    My Salvation is a personal thing.I for one will harm no one on my Christian journey.But I’ll will do my up most to help my fellow man in any way I can.

  2. Atheist MC Says:

    Astute quote and follows on a bit from yesterday’s conversation. The secularist argument is not with people (as tech professes to be) who have personal religious beliefs, but with political movements who use them as a basis for legislation and social engineering. It is particularly manifest in conservative U.S politics, and the Mega Church movement (which necessarily has to appeal to the lowest common demonator intellectually) is a disturbing influence.

  3. konzo ..... Says:

    sad, but all too true. but then again, America, like the rest of the world
    is full of mis-guided, terrified, and dangerous assholes.

  4. PEB Says:

    It’s all very sad. These Mega McChurches and their ‘supersize me’ messages have very little to do with religion. Followers willfully abandon free thought and promote the ideals of the church leaders who have their own political and financial goals.
    These followers aren’t dangerous but they are kidding themselves that they are christians. They are simply religious consumers.

  5. tech Says:

    Peb whats you definition of a Christian? Konzo we can thank the good Lord that the really Dangerous ones are not in control because this world as we know it would no longer exist.Many years ago it was noted that there was an enough explosives in our world then to destroy our world a dozen times over.

  6. Dan Says:

    “Salvation” is a peculiar psychological state. It’s really not a psychological state that is required for humility, compassion, OR intelligence. Not in the slightest. It’s just a slightly more polite way of saying “My belief system makes me better than you,” despite all evidence to the contrary.

  7. tech Says:

    Dan, I’m truly sorry you feel that way.I don’t feel that I’m better than anyone, I have accepted my Salvation.Its free to all who except it. My beliefs cause me strive to do the best I can each and everyday.To be the best person I can be.Many times I fall short of that. Does that make me better than you? I don’t so.Dan I read a quote one time it went something like this.”be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be,since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” So my friend If you search ,you will find.Again I say I will not boast of how I am,because I’m only sinner saved by the Grace of God. I can’t help you perceive me,but I’m no better than the next person.I do not have the monopoly Salvation.

  8. Dan Says:

    You should perhaps do a little self-reflecting if you aren’t self-aware enough to recognize that you’re waving around this term “Saved” as if it means something. What is the value of “being Saved” anyway? Is there any point to it at all? Why would anyone be proud of something so meaningless?

  9. tech Says:

    Meaningless to you Dan, but not to me.I live a very happy life.I couldn’t always say that.

  10. konzo..... Says:

    tech……i want to agree AND dis-agree……

    first, i agree about the existing “explosives .” the nuclear arsenals are
    incredible in both their size, and destructive power. and yes, the warheads DO explode…….but initial explosion is only the un-leashing
    of the masive ( collective ) destructive capability of the weapon.

    ( quick side-note : if you believe that ANY actual nuclear dis-armament
    has EVER occured in this world , well, at best, you’re an innocent.
    never happened…never will )

    i have to disagree about the dangerous people ( read ” world leaders “)
    in our world. look around you. korea…iran….iraq….libya…india…
    russia. i am 63 yrs old, and have been examing this world all my life……….and my examinations leave me depressed and pessimistic.
    even MORE so in the wake of 911. i am convinced that global nuclear
    destruction is coming……………………one of these maniac/assholes
    is going to push the big button. and, once they do, i think you can
    envision the result.
    so, to put a little finer point on my disagreement with you, i think the dangerous people are already in power….and have deeply commited and extremist followers who are quite ready to step in, should their leader die.

    i know ive gotten off point, somewhat, from the quote……..but not that far off: when things start to get scary , vis-a-vis nuclear war, you can bet
    the mega- preachers will be right up front calling for either retaliation,
    or a pre-emtive strike……and then, the weasel really WILL go pop !!

  11. Dan Says:

    “[Salvation is] meaningless to you Dan, …”
    Thank you for recognizing that.

    Why though does it mean anything to you?

    Don’t you find it a really very silly thing to be focused on, salvation?

    Why would it matter if Yahweh, Appollo, or a guy named Bob “Saves” you?

    And most importantly, what exactly is being saved? Not your life, your sanity, your emotional well-being or your financial status. What is left to “Save” that’s of any importance???

  12. Ernie Says:

    “These Mega McChurches and their ‘supersize me’ messages have very little to do with religion.” – PEB

    I recently finished reading Barbara Ehrenreichs Bright-Sided and in it she talkes some about how the mega-churches, now resembling corporations, have removed the crosses, fire, and brimstone and replaced it with prosperity. You can have it all if you pray hard enough and show some faith (give money to the church) is the message. People are tired of hearing that they are and will always be filthy wretches. They want to hear that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and God will help. So its really very political and profit oriented.

    “I have accepted my Salvation.Its free to all who except it.” – tech

    Oh no you do pay…..with your brain.

    “My beliefs cause me strive to do the best I can each and everyday.To be the best person I can be.Many times I fall short of that. Does that make me better than you? I don’t so.” – tech

    Why bother with the beliefs then if they do not provide any advantage?

  13. Kaptain Says:

    @ Tech,
    The one thing I have found to be consistent with religious people is the underlying fear. Fear of Hell, fear of the Dark, fear of Dying, fear of the Unknown, fear to be accountable, fear……… Your fear is unfounded and once you realize this, then and only then will you be truly free. It’s your chance to grow and move on instead of relying on a 2000 year old religion for your salvation.

  14. CaptainZero Says:

    What precisely are we being saved from, Tech? We know there can have been no such thing as ‘original sin’ since there were no first humans. Without original sin, why Christ?

  15. YIPES !! ...... Says:

    NO FIRST HUMANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NO FIRST HUMANS ???????????????

    it is to LAUGH !!!!!!!

  16. Ernie Says:

    What he means is that there were no first two humans ie. Adam and Eve suddenly spoken into existence from nothing or crafted from mud and bone, but that humans developed as a species over time which is not only possible, the evidence backs it up.

    The former is far more rediculous and childish at best.

  17. CaptainZero Says:

    Thanks for the defense Ernie. That’s what I was getting at. We’re the result of a process that hasn’t stopped working. We’re different from earlier versions that we have no difficulty labeling ‘human’. We were not POOFED into existence by sky-daddy.

  18. Eric Says:

    The Megachurch movement’s most insidious little side effect is the complete distraction it foists on the political agenda. For example, the gay marriage issue, abortion, 10 commandments, prayer in school, America the Christian Nation etc…while irritating, in the grand scheme of things these are not the issues our govnerment should be focusing on. I want discussion on HOW we’re going to correct deficite spending, HOW we’re going to finish the wars we’re in, HOW we’re going to reign in healthcare spending. I don’t want to be distracted by the social issues that seem to be the foundation platform of the right stemming directly from the religious agenda.

  19. Dan Says:

    Concerning the “no first humans” bit, indeed, it’s a pretty controversial statement to claim that speciation can occur in a single generation. And you’ll probably get looked at funny by anyone with a hint of knowledge of biology if you claim that speciation can occur at the level of the individual (i.e. speciation occurs at the level of the population).

    So there could only be “first humans” if you re-define first to be something very very imprecise.

  20. Ernie Says:

    CZ no problem. I am sure mr. ahem yipes knew what you meant. I’ve a feeling it was just a hit and run.

    Cool Dan thanks for that.

    I agree with you Eric. I’ve seen a few things about Christine O’Donnell lately and she’s just fueling the fire. She is very irritating.

  21. CaptainZero Says:

    Eric – good point. The rise of political christianity has completely ruined the republican party and overshadows the valid points that ideology might make. I, for example, have sympathy for financial restraint but when the party whose core issue is supposed to be said restraint allies themselves with end-times, clinic bombing, homophobic bigots, I have to part company with them.

    The hand-in-glove nature of the republican party with religious fundamentalists has poisoned all civil discourse in this country by castigating as ‘evil’ all those who prefer ACTUAL strict construction, that is, a secular (and effective) government. When one side says that reform of our disastrous health care system, for example, amounts to euthanasia then you’re not dealing with people who are rational enough to have a productive discussion. That kind of irrationality is of a piece with the irrationality of believing in end-times and of demonic hobgoblins whispering into the (black!) president’s ear.

  22. goodbye.... Says:

    i am giving upon this site.

  23. GreatEighthSin Says:


    I agree wholly. Once I removed my fear of God’s damning love and stood up for myself, all the pieces began to unravel and I began to truly think about mortality and life in a more calm and rational way. George Lucas said it best, “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”. This notion not only applies to how you treat others, but how you can treat your own self, too. You fear God’s wrath and then turn your anger inwards to yourself and your “mistakes”, and finally, parts of your life begin to disappear as you suffer from personal guilt and silently suffer the missing parts of your own life.

    And people say religion isn’t abuse or a form of control *sigh/eye roll*