Voices from Russia

Sunday, 17 February 2019

17 February 2019. A Warning on “Enemies Within the Gates”

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The REAL Church doesn’t uphold the rich and the present order… I thought that you might like to know that

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I fear that the plug-uglies won’t go quietly into that dark night. Sadly, Bezos and Buffett will find defenders amongst ordinary sorts. A tip-off is whether someone is Evangelical or not. Interestingly, Mormons and JWs are Evangelicals socially, but not religiously. Evangelicals take Calvin to the extreme, teaching that God blesses the rich. To be fair, Jean Calvin himself would’ve rejected such an interpretation, but American Evangelicals do believe that. The richer you are, the more blessed by God you are. The historical ignorance of most Americans enables the spread of this lunacy. They simply don’t know that Evangelicalism is a relatively-recent heresy, being a product of the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th-century. Since its inception, Evangelicalism devolved into nothing more than a barely-religious apologia for American Exceptionalism, with no resemblance to any form of historical Christianity. The amorphous religious anarchy present amongst Evangelicals mirrors the social anarchy of laissez-faire Capitalism of the most feral sort.

If it came to it, Bezos and Buffett could call on White Evangelicals to uphold their buccaneer Crapitalism. It doesn’t matter that the order of society now regnant is repugnant to and counter to all tenets of historical Christianity. The White Evangelical is ignorant; furthermore, they revel in and relish their ignorance. That’s why Orthodox must be wary of all converts from this movement, as it isn’t Christian in any possible way. Indeed, a “whole new world” must arise in the mind of anyone who transits from Evangelicalism to any form of Christianity (let alone Orthodoxy). That’s why we shouldn’t ordain former Evangelicals as clergy. Experience taught us that they never give up their Evangelical heresy; they merely become Evangelicals with a liturgical itch… one need only look at Trenham and Damick to see the truth of this.

Yes, the White Evangelical would take up arms to defend the rich. In return, the rich would allow them to attain some of their goofier societal notions. That’s why the pro-life movement is evil to the core. It’s not so much about pro-life as it’s become an apologia for the most feral wing of the Republican Party. I fear that real Christians and other people of good will would have to take up arms to defeat this diabolical system and its deluded defenders. No, the neoliberal buccaneers won’t go quietly into that dark night (whether they call themselves “conservatives” or “liberals”, they’re all the same). Whether led by Trump or by Clinton, they’re the culmination of the evil that arose and mushroomed in the age of Reagan and Thatcher. Don’t be deluded. The White Evangelical will form ranks around the rich and their Upper Middle running dogs. Never mistake them for Christians.

Sadly, I’d remark that we must say that of virtually all converts from Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy. They drag Christ and His Church through the mud to defend the rich and the present neoliberal order. Yes, the rich do run things and democracy is deader than the dodo, as the last presidential election proved. Trump and Clinton are two sides of the same evil debased coin. Here’s the most curious part… the typical White Evangelical doesn’t share in the prosperity of the One Percent, but they defend the present order as God-given.

Have a care; we live in parlous times. Yet, there’s hope… the Oak of Mamre collapsed, but new shoots came forth and local Christians nurture and protect them. That’s a sign for us… the times will be difficult, our trial may be very harsh, but we’ll prevail, and life will blossom forth anew. However, in the near term, we must defend ourselves against “enemies within the gates”. Remember, “Not all that glitters is gold”. In like manner, not everything that claims to uphold life does so. Take my hand… the road ahead is very rocky, indeed…

BMD

Friday, 11 May 2018

Is the Christian Right Driving Americans Away From Religion?

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Two societal shifts rocked religion in America in recent decades… the rise of Christian Evangelicals as a right-wing political force and the increasing number of people who decline to affiliate with any faith tradition. New research presents evidence that these trends, usually discussed separately, are in fact related. It reports the rate at which people disassociate themselves from religion is higher in states where the Christian Right exerts its political muscle. A research team led by Denison University political scientist Paul Djupe wrote:

Religious attachments fade in the face of visible Christian Right policy victories. There’s clear evidence that people… probably, those without strong relationships with houses of worship… use the Christian Right as a proxy for religion as a whole, and discontinue their religious identities as a result.

In the journal Political Research Quarterly, Djupe and his colleagues analysed the intersection of personal faith and religion-driven politics on a state-by-state basis. Using polling data aggregated by the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, they noted the percentage of people in a given state who identified as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” (known collectively as “nones”), and how it changed since 2006:

A preponderance of the states appear to have experienced some degree of growth in religious “nones” in recent years. This particular pattern holds whether the individual state in question is generally thought of as being a “red” or “blue” state.

However, the rate of growth varied considerably from state to state… and not in the way one might predict. They reported:

Rising “none” rates are more common in Republican states in this period.

To determine why, the researchers measured the political clout of the Christian Right in each state (utilising the expertise of journalists and scholars). They also noted when and where these groups sponsored high-profile initiatives… usually, ballot measures to prohibit gay marriage. The researchers found that, while such efforts were often successful, they created a backlash “that didn’t redound to the benefit of organised religion in general”. They estimated that in states where such campaigns… and their backers… were widely publicised and debated:

Religion lost somewhere between 2 and 8 percent of the population. By 2010, a ban (on gay marriage) was in place in 29 states. These states were more likely to be Evangelical and had smaller populations of “nones” in them in 2006. However, by 2010, that gap between the “nones” in marriage-ban states and those in states with no marriage ban had been cut in half.

This suggests that, in those traditionally religious states, the anti-gay-rights campaign soiled the name of religion for a significant number of residents, and they responded by stepping away from their former faith. Djupe and his colleagues concluded:

The decision to de-identify and disaffilate with religion aren’t solely individual psychological processes. Rather, reactions to specific policy skirmishes that gather public attention and shape decision-making can drive that deeply personal shift.

The results suggest Evangelicals would be wise to consider the consequences of their political advocacy. In a clear case of unintended consequences, it appears to drive people from the pews.

1 May 2018

Tom Jacobs

Pacific Standard

https://psmag.com/news/is-the-christian-right-driving-americans-away-from-religion?utm_source=Pew%20Research%20Center&utm_campaign=25f8d1d984-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-25f8d1d984-399905625

Friday, 4 May 2018

Is the Christian Right Driving Americans Away From Religion?

__________________________

Two societal shifts rocked religion in America in recent decades… the rise of Christian Evangelicals as a right-wing political force and the increasing number of people who decline to affiliate with any faith tradition. New research presents evidence that these trends, usually discussed separately, are in fact related. It reports the rate at which people disassociate themselves from religion is higher in states where the Christian Right exerts its political muscle. A research team led by Denison University political scientist Paul Djupe wrote:

Religious attachments fade in the face of visible Christian Right policy victories. There’s clear evidence that people… probably, those without strong relationships with houses of worship… use the Christian Right as a proxy for religion as a whole, and discontinue their religious identities as a result.

In the journal Political Research Quarterly, Djupe and his colleagues analysed the intersection of personal faith and religion-driven politics on a state-by-state basis. Using polling data aggregated by the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, they noted the percentage of people in a given state who identified as an atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” (known collectively as “nones”), and how it changed since 2006:

A preponderance of the states appear to have experienced some degree of growth in religious “nones” in recent years. This particular pattern holds whether the individual state in question is generally thought of as being a “red” or “blue” state.

However, the rate of growth varied considerably from state to state… and not in the way one might predict. They reported:

Rising “none” rates are more common in Republican states in this period.

To determine why, the researchers measured the political clout of the Christian Right in each state (utilising the expertise of journalists and scholars). They also noted when and where these groups sponsored high-profile initiatives… usually, ballot measures to prohibit gay marriage. The researchers found that, while such efforts were often successful, they created a backlash “that didn’t redound to the benefit of organised religion in general”. They estimated that in states where such campaigns… and their backers… were widely publicised and debated:

Religion lost somewhere between 2 and 8 percent of the population. By 2010, a ban (on gay marriage) was in place in 29 states. These states were more likely to be Evangelical and had smaller populations of “nones” in them in 2006. However, by 2010, that gap between the “nones” in marriage-ban states and those in states with no marriage ban dropped by half.

This suggests that, in those traditionally religious states, the anti-gay-rights campaign soiled the name of religion for a significant number of residents, and they responded by stepping away from their former faith. Djupe and his colleagues concluded:

The decision to de-identify and disaffiliate with religion aren’t solely individual psychological processes. Rather, reactions to specific policy skirmishes that gather public attention and shape decision-making can drive that deeply personal shift.

The results suggest Evangelicals would be wise to consider the consequences of their political advocacy. In a clear case of unintended consequences, it appears to drive people from the pews.

1 May 2018

Tom Jacobs

Pacific Standard

https://psmag.com/news/is-the-christian-right-driving-americans-away-from-religion?utm_source=Pew%20Research%20Center&utm_campaign=25f8d1d984-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-25f8d1d984-399905625

Saturday, 21 April 2018

21 April 2018. Science and Religion Don’t Argue… Just Because Fundies Don’t Like Science Doesn’t Mean the Rest of Us Are Like That

00 Charles Darwin humanity 210418

This is what Darwin taught. The rightwingers hate this. What does that tell you about them?

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Several trolls attempted to draw me into certain subjects that appear controversial. Let me give a simple straightforward reply. If anyone tells you or asserts that the earth is only about 10,000 years old, that the species didn’t evolve from a common ancestor, or that the Book of Genesis is in any way literally true, don’t bother to listen to them about anything, no matter what else they may try to tell you. Fundamentalists almost always miss the meaningful reality of the Genesis stories. Once we recognise theology as a search for meaning and not an immutable expression of a concrete reality, we begin to grasp the meaning in these stories. Until that time, sheer ideology traps our theology.

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

Editor:

By the way, Patriarch Kirill agrees with Vladyki Lazar, not his detractors. In his words, “Genesis isn’t a textbook on anthropogenesis”. The loudmouth konvertsy rightwingers not only distort what our true archpastors actually teach, they make a mockery of Christ and His Church. They’ve refused to reject their evangelical rot…

BMD

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