Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

America’s secular revival

with 5 comments

Interesting article.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 September 2011 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Religion

5 Responses

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  1. It’s interesting to me, subsequent to our very enthusiastic discussion last week on schadenfreude, how the attitude of the religious to the sick isn’t one of charity, but rather of “personal responsibility” as if you somehow brought that illness upon yourself, or simply didn’t work hard enough to be able to afford insurance. Do you still think that concepts of vengeance and “just desserts” aren’t rampant in Christianity?

    Steve

    1 October 2011 at 8:41 am

  2. It depends on what you mean by “Christianity”. I tend to use the term to refer specifically to the teachings of Jesus, which (to me at any rate) defines the core concepts. Others use the term to refer to the franchise, as it were: all the churches now operating under or partially under (Mormons, for example) that rubric. But, as you point out, many of those churches and adherents have pretty much abandoned the principles set forth by Jesus and have embraced an angry faith, hostile to anyone (Christian or not) who fails to be a member of their particular group. That use of Christianity (more or less the exact opposite of Christianity as set forth by Jesus) to me is simply confusing.

    Jesus pretty explicitly bars vengeance, so I don’t see that as being a part of Christianity (as I understand the term), though certainly many groups portraying themselves as Christian embrace it.

    BTW, the attitude of the religious to the sick is indeed one of charity—or not, depending on which religious you’ve selected. It’s a highly diverse group, and I think it’s difficult to find consistency in it. But quite a few of those supporting universal healthcare and the public option in this country were religious, as were those opposing it. It sort of shows that religion has little effect on behavior and attitudes, I suppose.

    LeisureGuy

    1 October 2011 at 9:26 am

  3. I agree. It’s all somewhat schizophrenic; groups supposedly emerging from the same core faith with different interpretations to suit their particular characters. Motivated reasoning at its best. And yes, I am referring to the franchise when I say “Christianity” since Jesus didn’t propose a new religion; he was a Jew operating within that faith but providing a different perspective on its tenets. The -ity came later when disciples and subsequent generations interpreted his teachings.

    It shows you that the Ego can corrupt anything it touches. The Muslims also know all about that.

    Steve

    1 October 2011 at 10:24 am

  4. It’s pretty obvious that the franchises have drifted far from the original mission statement. E.g., many ostensibly “Christian” religions seem to harbor some deep hatreds of (and/or anxieties about) homosexuality, which Jesus didn’t think was even worth a mention and certainly not worth the sort of condemnation he gave agains wealth (which these same franchises seem to worship devoutly). OTOH, Jesus had sharp words about divorce and anyone who would go there, and those same franchises have quite made their peace with divorce, despite the teachings of the person they claim to worship as God (but obviously do not).

    My own view is that Jesus said much that was valuable, but divorce is a (sad) recognition of reality and, as a guy who never married, he had no idea what he was talking about in this sphere. Still, on the whole, many valuable lessons imparted.

    LeisureGuy

    1 October 2011 at 11:50 am

  5. Not to mention Catholicism’s (and likely other religions’) inconceivable record of child abuse. Whatever happened to Jesus”, “Suffer the little children….”. He didn’t say, “Make the little children suffer”. I can’t conceive that Catholicism continues to even exist….with a Pope at the helm who was instrumental in covering up the events of the last 30 years. It’s a disgrace.

    Steve

    1 October 2011 at 12:43 pm


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