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  #41  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:25 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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I grew up in Arkansas so it's hard for me to know how long this stuff has been going on in the rest of the country. We had snake handlers and tongue talkers around all the time.

When I went to the University of Arkansas in the early 80's, we used to get baked and go party at Sister Cindy's rallies on campus.

Has anyone else here ever seen this woman and/or her now-husband Svengali Brother Jed on their campus? I think they stick to mainly the Midwest and South. Funny stuff. I have fond memories of the good times we had hooting it up with Cindy ranting about 'whores' and 'whoremongers'.

This clip gives a bit of a taste, but you'd have to see Cindy live w/o hubby in tow to really appreciate what a hilarious whack job she is.

I don't suppose this furthers the discussion of the thread any but I had a good time reminiscing about the old days being told I was going to Hell for smoking dope and fornicating.

"Hey Cindy, can you point me to some of these whores? I haven't fornicated nearly as much as I'd like the past couple months."

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In the late 80s/early 90s we have brother Jed every spring at Ohio University. It has to be the same guy. It was pretty awesome (entertainment wise). He would stand on the street corner and preach and yell at women passing by about how they were dressed.

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He's everywhere. He made many, many appearances in Hawaii too, venomously calling any random passing female student a whore and raving in general. I remain amazed he hasn't eaten more fists, because he goes way beyond a little too far.
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  #42  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:27 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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great post wookie. i didn't mean to suggest that fundamentalist christians operated in the spirit of christianity. i just think that if they were to draw the line in the sand, many christians who view themselves as socially moderate/liberal would fall in line-- referendums regarding gay marriage come to mind.

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I agree with you tarheel. People who do not classify themselves as fundamentalist at all but who call themselves Christian will very often get in line behind a cause. I think religious people in general fall in line, often without giving it much thought.

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And without wanting to admit it. Yay free ride and not having to live up to your own professed beliefs or take a stand on anything! A lot of religious beliefs are at best "morality lite."
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  #43  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:29 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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I have a sister who is an atheist and she thinks it's terrible for my other sister to raise her children to study the bible. She thinks it's a horrible thing to do. Now I doubt she would ever say such a thing to a devout Jew or Muslim or Buddhist but when it comes to Christianity she thinks it's indoctrination.

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I find it hard to believe your sister would not object to submerging kids in the old testament but would do so for the new.
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  #44  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:32 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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This strikes me as truly awful and artful reasoning devoid of human empathy. It must be nice not to be the outcast or care about those who might be shunned, even if children. I could never get my conscience in that place, and if there were a God, I would pray with all my might that I never would.

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So you can't refute my logic so you resort to the tried and true dabte tactic of attacking your opponent's character. Since I am apparently devoid of human emphany and lack your moral compass my statement has to horribly wrong? Sorry that my opinion doesn't count since it is at odds with yours. Wookie's religious views would tell him to turn the other cheek. My views tell me just to say good day sir.

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Do better next time.

And empathy does matter, a lot. If anyone deserves it, at least kids do. Surely you can spare at least that much. But if you can let yourself indignantly off the hook about even that, bravo I guess.
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  #45  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:07 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

JAK,

I think we're probably on the same page here, but I feel like discussing this further. I don't actually have a problem with Christians setting certain standards of modesty of dress or other codes of decency for themselves. There is some Biblical basis for modest dress, and every reasonable Christian will tell you that we should strive to be pure and holy in the eyes of the Lord. It is perfectly reasonable to try and live a God-pleasing life, in attire and in action. Where I take issue is in the following:

1. When Christians try to force these same codes on others. You could argue that parents are forcing these standards on their children, but the relationship (as it pertains to instilling moral codes) between a parent and his or her child is clearly different than that between two adult peers.
2. When Christians exclude or exclude themselves from people who don't follow those same codes.
3. When the focus of following those codes ceases to be looking pure and holy in the eyes of the Lord, and instead becomes looking pure and holy in the eyes of the world. This is a fine and yet tremendous distinction, but this small change in attitude about why you're doing what you're doing can make a huge difference in how you live your life. Jesus himself addressed this very issue, instructing us to pray in the privacy of our rooms, not making a scene on a street corner, to tithe anonymously rather than with fanfare, and when you're fasting, dress well and look good rather than putting on a show of looking wretched and feeble from your lack of food. Christians are instructed that piety is an issue between oneself and God, not between oneself and the world.

I disagree that moral relativism, nihilism, and iconoclasm pose the greatest threat to Christianity. I think Christians are naturally resilient to this kind of assault on their beliefs -- they are often discussed in the Bible. Even the fundies manage to get that part right. I think the greater threat is tearing the church apart from the inside out. The abuse of Christian teachings is much, much more likely to grip those Christians who would otherwise be well-meaning, and it can irreparably damage the image of all Christians in the eyes of many who might hear the calling. This is really why I get so riled up whenever talk of the fundamentalists comes up.
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  #46  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:24 PM
Brad1970 Brad1970 is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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JAK,

I think we're probably on the same page here, but I feel like discussing this further. I don't actually have a problem with Christians setting certain standards of modesty of dress or other codes of decency for themselves. There is some Biblical basis for modest dress, and every reasonable Christian will tell you that we should strive to be pure and holy in the eyes of the Lord. It is perfectly reasonable to try and live a God-pleasing life, in attire and in action. Where I take issue is in the following:

1. When Christians try to force these same codes on others. You could argue that parents are forcing these standards on their children, but the relationship (as it pertains to instilling moral codes) between a parent and his or her child is clearly different than that between two adult peers.
2. When Christians exclude or exclude themselves from people who don't follow those same codes.
3. When the focus of following those codes ceases to be looking pure and holy in the eyes of the Lord, and instead becomes looking pure and holy in the eyes of the world. This is a fine and yet tremendous distinction, but this small change in attitude about why you're doing what you're doing can make a huge difference in how you live your life. Jesus himself addressed this very issue, instructing us to pray in the privacy of our rooms, not making a scene on a street corner, to tithe anonymously rather than with fanfare, and when you're fasting, dress well and look good rather than putting on a show of looking wretched and feeble from your lack of food. Christians are instructed that piety is an issue between oneself and God, not between oneself and the world.

I disagree that moral relativism, nihilism, and iconoclasm pose the greatest threat to Christianity. I think Christians are naturally resilient to this kind of assault on their beliefs -- they are often discussed in the Bible. Even the fundies manage to get that part right. I think the greater threat is tearing the church apart from the inside out. The abuse of Christian teachings is much, much more likely to grip those Christians who would otherwise be well-meaning, and it can irreparably damage the image of all Christians in the eyes of many who might hear the calling. This is really why I get so riled up whenever talk of the fundamentalists comes up.

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Many fundamentalists would argue that alot of messages coming from the pulpit nowadays are too soft peddled because we're afraid to offend anybody...that the Gospel isn't preached the way it was intended. Look at the state of the world nowadays. I can't say that I totally disagree.

But, by the same token, I don't believe that the over-the-top, forcing of your worship practices, dress, etc on others is the answer. There needs to be something in the middle.
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  #47  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:30 PM
J.A.K. J.A.K. is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Wookie,
Thanks for responding. Yeah, reading back over my post those examples did not convey what I meant. In the minds of that church, the dress code was what God intended for all believers. I was trying to convey that they thought this attire served as one's testimony. I remember my coach saying he doesn't wear shorts in public because God intended that only his wife see certain parts of his body. Perfectly fine for him, given the context, but obviously not an "absolute" blueprint for all Christians.

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I disagree that moral relativism, nihilism, and iconoclasm pose the greatest threat to Christianity. I think Christians are naturally resilient to this kind of assault on their beliefs

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But there is a generation of people whose only view of Christianity is fundies garnering media attention, and Hollywood portrayals. People like Bill Maher can say a few soundbites stereotyping all Christians while garnering applause that give his sentiments false impetus. In order to increase or maintain membership and relevancy, I think the Church has shifted either as an overreaction in distancing itself from the kookies or in becoming more socially acceptable within their respective communities by placating p-correctness and adopting a laissez faire approach towards the moral teachings of scripture. It seems ministers are apologetic regarding some of scriptures that hit us where we live or simply avoid them altogether so as not to offend. A subtle creeping of moral relativism IMO. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Edit: The Celestial Railroad a short story and easy read by Hawthorne addresses this issue beautifully! (A little OT for the thread but relevant to this post)
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  #48  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:31 PM
ChipWrecked ChipWrecked is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

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I grew up in Arkansas so it's hard for me to know how long this stuff has been going on in the rest of the country. We had snake handlers and tongue talkers around all the time.

When I went to the University of Arkansas in the early 80's, we used to get baked and go party at Sister Cindy's rallies on campus.

Has anyone else here ever seen this woman and/or her now-husband Svengali Brother Jed on their campus? I think they stick to mainly the Midwest and South. Funny stuff. I have fond memories of the good times we had hooting it up with Cindy ranting about 'whores' and 'whoremongers'.

This clip gives a bit of a taste, but you'd have to see Cindy live w/o hubby in tow to really appreciate what a hilarious whack job she is.

I don't suppose this furthers the discussion of the thread any but I had a good time reminiscing about the old days being told I was going to Hell for smoking dope and fornicating.

"Hey Cindy, can you point me to some of these whores? I haven't fornicated nearly as much as I'd like the past couple months."

[/ QUOTE ]

In the late 80s/early 90s we have brother Jed every spring at Ohio University. It has to be the same guy. It was pretty awesome (entertainment wise). He would stand on the street corner and preach and yell at women passing by about how they were dressed.

[/ QUOTE ]

He's everywhere. He made many, many appearances in Hawaii too, venomously calling any random passing female student a whore and raving in general. I remain amazed he hasn't eaten more fists, because he goes way beyond a little too far.

[/ QUOTE ]

Judging from some other clips I've seen now from campuses, the party atmosphere continues. Looks like it's just Jed these days, I guess Cindy is barefoot in the kitchen like a good fundie woman now.

"The piiiiiiig is a per-fect symmmmmmmmbol for the University of ARK-in-saaaawwww....."
*cheers*
"Long ago Gawd declared the piiiiiiiig an unclean animal..."
*cheers*
[rant continues]

25 years later ole Jed still carries on. Bless his loony soul.
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  #49  
Old 11-29-2007, 05:44 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Brad, JAK,

I'll give you a more thorough answer later, but I do need to get back to work. The short answer is, what are the two greatest commandments? First is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength," and the second is, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Those are spelled out in no uncertain terms, and to them, all else is peripheral. The other thing I bear in mind is that, at least to me, the words of St. Paul are secondary to the words of Jesus. St. Paul was a good man, but a man just the same, and he was generally tougher on the drunkards and the fornicators et al. than Jesus was. With that all in mind, if the church is to be spreading a message that misses Christ's mark, I'd prefer they spread one that is overly permissive, accepting and loving than a message that is overwrought with hate, division, and exclusion.
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  #50  
Old 11-29-2007, 05:57 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Wow, long thread, and read everything. I cannot say that any of it choked me up. I think that I share the same page as diebitter. We are both agnostic and believe that our brains can be used for more profitable purposes than worrying and arguing about religion. I am glad that this did not turn to a flame war.

I am not going to quote, or say I remember who is who, I am only going to do a blanket post, and hope I remember everything.

On history:

Anyone who has studied history knows that Christianity was popularized on hippocracy, extremism, and greed. In many ways, that is still the case, and that since this religion has that scar, it will always have that scar. As long as people feel self-righteous, there will always be a loud, violent, extreme thought process about issues.

The reason somethings are considered "issues" is because there are two extreme groups who loudly protest each other. WW2 was not an "issue" in America because every one believed in it's cause and we were more than eager to join the war. There was no debate, the vote to go to war was unanymous - 1.

If you ask the average person what they think about abortion, the answer will be "I don't know." Roe vs Wade will never be over turned, not because it is a moral issue, but it is an issue of privacy and infringement. Most issues are like like this. Most American's consider themselves Christians, but do not really know the answers, don't care enough to go to church, etc. They try to be kind, and hope that Jesus will forgive them of their sins. That is something that I cannot judge either way.

Most Christians in America probably don't care about the meanings of holidays. The new movement by the Christian base is to stop saying "non-offensive" phrases such as "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays." No, they tell you to say Merry CHRISTmas." Is this a real "issue?" I don't think so, but a few loudmouths have to make an "issue" out of it.

To beat a Fundy, you simply talk to them about reality, and even easier, recite the very thing they throw in your face: The Bible.

All of our holidays were taken over by the Christians from the Pagans. My grandmother told me how at the beginning of the century, Christmas did not exist. It was called Solstice. Solstice involved the use of a Tree, lit with candles, and presents. Same holiday, different name. Solstice was also a day of reflection on the past year, with a one day fast, and thoughts on the year to come.

Halloween was once named Samhain. It was NOT a religious holiday so much as a celebration of of the Harvest. The Christians got the word "spirit" confused with "ghost." Samhain was also used as a time for an appreciation of those who passed.

Beltain was converted to Easter. Beltain was a celebration of the "new year" and a celebration of the planting. It was a celebration of life, a time of marriage. It is ironic that most marriages are still performed at this time of year.

The Founding Fathers were all Christians. Many of them were able to recite passages from the Bible, and there were many who were able to recall the entire thing. Our Constitution is based, in many ways, on the Bible, and all Fundamentalists will tell you that. However, the Constitution guaranteed the one thing that Jesus taught the most ardently: toleration.

I tell anyone who jumps in my face that they should read "Acts," the book that deals with how the Apostles spread their beliefs. It does not involve standing on a street corner screaming beliefs.

I have been all over the country, and I have seen some disturbing problems dealing with religions of all types. If you ever go to New Orleans and see the Tarot readers on Jackson Square, the readers on the southern side are considered "good" (so-called white magic users) and the readers on the north are considered "evil" (so-called black magic users). I have seen large fights in between these sides, and it is scary to think the extremes of their thinking. The Christians picketed the north side of the Square constantly.

America is a country of extreme thought processes. Think of how the Abortion/ pregnancy thing turned out in California. Here, it is considered wrong to let a child be born with no prenatal care. Any mother of low income has free mandated prenatal care. One one extreme, you have people who say that these mothers should not have the option to abort, and the others say they should be able to abort. Somewhere in the center, it was agreed that the parents should have the choice to have a child, and the child should not suffer.

On one extreme you have pure capitalism (republican party) and the other on socialism (democratic party). There are victories on both sides. While a child can have a free pass to being born and food in his belly while he is helpless, a free basic education, he is on his own when he has to pay for his own health care, education, and income bracket. People slip through the cracks in this system. There are essentially two classes of people in this country.

Most people in America are not religious nuts, and make the choice to ignore Religion. I live within walking distance of at least six churches, along with tens of thousands of others. Most people will agree that one of the scariest people are the people who will walk up to you and say "Let's talk about Jesus."

As for England. Isn't there some American expatriate dude who writes for the Guardian who write a pile of venom every week about how America is falling apart? When is the last time he set foot on this soil? What does he really know? Does one of the world's most respected papers ever ask themselves this? How could we expect common folk to question him if they are told by a media leader that this is all true? I could make up tons of things about the world, and we see this happen all the time, even here. That is the nature of propaganda.
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