In the Name of Religion

Videos are not my thing. I know many on the internet watch them daily, but as one who is hard-of-hearing and must rely on closed caption, videos are simply not my favorite way to get my news.

However, having said that, I do occasionally come across a suggested YouTube video that grabs my attention. Such was the case recently when I followed a link on Scottie’s blog. The topic was Herschel Walker as viewed by a VERY animated church pastor. But I’ll let you see for yourself …

After the pastor’s rant, Brian Taylor Cohen expands on how the Republican Party uses Christianity to further their cause … and epically fails.

22 thoughts on “In the Name of Religion

  1. Thank you so much, Nan, that is a sermon I needed to hear. A Black Christian speaking up in defense of his race and his religion. I listen to Cohen on Youtube.

    I nearly called it the mis-use of religion, the way GOP/Christian nationalists/Capitalists deceive the public, but ultimately, it is the design of the system. I watched a debate a while back between either Hitchens or Dawkins and an apologist whose name I don’t recall, but at the end of an exchange, the Apologist made the remark that his God remains, and is the most important god. But Christianity, like all religions has only survived by the sword and cudgel. It is a religion surviving on fear and the power of it’s ministers to cow the faithful.

    The Christian community, if there is a credible one, if they really believe, they should be standing in the way of it’s destruction.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Christian community, if there is a credible one, if they really believe, they should be standing in the way of it’s destruction.” They are. The preacher in the video clip is but one example – in America, such voices seem to be mostly ignored or drowned out by the intolerant (and not just intolerant Christians). Elsewhere less so. Take for example my own country where, over the past two decades it was a strong Christian voice that supported the decriminalisation of prostitution, legalisation of same sex marriage and gender self identification, to name just 3 causes. It was Christians who gave the loudest support for universal franchise and an old age pension in the 19th century, and the “welfare state” in the early 20th century. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Christian community supported our universal no-fault accident compensation and rehabilitation scheme and the replacement of marriage property rights with partnership property rights (where relationships other than marriage are treated the same as marriage with regards to property). I’ll concede that a majority of Christians opposed the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the early 1980s, but that is not the case today. By far, the majority of Christians in this country lie left of centre on the political spectrum, and in this country the centre lies much further to the left than it does in America.

      It is a religion surviving on fear and the power of it’s ministers to cow the faithful.. That is true in many places, but not everywhere. Religion is being used as a tool/weapon by the likes of Trump and his supporters, and because a majority of Americans still claim an affiliation to a Christian tradition, Christianity is the tool/weapon of choice. It doesn’t need to be that way, and in some parts of the world it isn’t.

      And in case you’re wondering, no I’m not a Christian, I’m a Quaker. I come from a mostly non-religious background – one grandparent was a liberal Christian, and of my parents and their 17 siblings, 3 became Christians as adults. My wife became a Christian in her late 30s while still holding true to her Shinto/Buddhist traditions. A minority of the wider family follow/practise (in descending order) Christian, polytheistic/animistic, spiritual, Muslim or Buddhist traditions.

      Liked by 4 people

      • “I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” – Augusten Burroughs

        “The preacher in the clip is one example–” They need more. I can cite many more who stand in the pulpit and call for the murder of liberals, Democrats, LGBTQ+, Muslims, and any ‘other’ folks who do not measure up to their version of Christianity: Christian Nationalism. Fundamental Evangelicals. It doesn’t matter whether those other people are Christians or not; if they are not the ‘right kind of Christians, ‘ they must die. Fear and hate are the underpinnings of Christianity.

        I did not mean to launch an assault on the whole body, but just a little buffing at the head. After November 8, we will better understand where the Body of Christ stands on current events.

        I spent half my life trying to be a Christian church member, which you describe very well. Wonderful people doing good things in the name of God. Devout. Working, practicing, Christians. If only they could be in charge.

        Any form of assault against our democracy is met with determination to resist, “to protect and defend”. Should we make an exception for religion? I’m sure that if those who took part in the 1/6 attempt at taking over the government had been Muslims or Maoist, they would have died on the spot. But they were waving the bible and their crosses, therefore they get a pass. The more passes they get, the more society excuses an infraction or two, so whatever they do will eventually be acceptable.

        The history of religion tells me that priests are more concerned about staying in control of the enterprise and either being the ruling force or sitting very close to those who are. They cannot tolerate opposition or dissension. The most prominent gods are those whose nation has the strongest army and the least intellectual followers. In its present state, Christianity falls under “…all enemies, foreign or domestic….” We have no problem identifying radical Islamists but refuse to do so with Christianity, so we allow it to metastasize. The radical elements are allowed to exist because they are the cudgel that keeps the religion in power.

        “Blessed are the meek, for they are much easier to control.”
        Wiley Miller
        Non Sequitur

        Liked by 1 person

        • When you write, “In its present state, Christianity falls under “…all enemies, foreign or domestic….”

          Does that include the majority of democrats who happen to be Christian as well? You do realize most democrats are in fact Christians, yes?

          https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/religious-landscape-study/party-affiliation/democrat-lean-dem/

          We can address and criticize the insanity that is right-wing Christian Nationalism without the need to engage in ridiculous hyperbole and lump people together who don’t share those views simple because they both claim a shared name.

          Liked by 3 people

        • I found the “The American Religious Landscape in 2020” PRRI (July 8, 2021) quite telling. It found 83% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats identify as Christian, but while 68% of Republicans identify as white and Christian, only 39% of Democrats do. At the time of the survey, 29% of republicans identified as White evangelical Christians, which is rather alarming. I imagine it’s even higher now and continuing to climb, constituting the largest single block of Republican supporters. No wonder Trump and his allies are pandering to this group.

          Liked by 2 people

        • I think one of the most significant differences between the US and NZ is our respective attitudes towards religion. Here all major religions – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism have a 90% approval rating as does Māori spirituality and atheism. Only a third of the population claim a Christian affiliation and less than half of the population have any religious affiliation at all. I can’t find any recent surveys of of attitudes towards religion in the US, but a 2014 survey indicates that Americans have much lower levels of approval of religions other than their own.

          No New Zealand politician would ever consider saying “God bless New Zealand” or “God bless Aotearoa” in the public forum, yet I can recall every American president from Kennedy to Biden invoking “God bless America” on multiple occasions.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Here in Finland we have the state Lutheran and Orthodox churches. They collect tax revenue from their members. 70% of Finns are members of the Lutheran church, but most have hardly ever thought about gods, or anything like that and attend service only on occasions like weddings and funerals. The church is run by priests and a bunch of bishops, who come from state universities with an academic degree in theology and in general are fairly liberal. There are some fundamentalist conservatives within the church, in particular in an agricultural area of the countryf furthest of the Russian border, that prospered during the era of great colonial sailing fleets, when almost anybody could make a buck by making and selling tarr. This created a cultural idea, that if you do not have success, it is because you are lazy. When the colonial powers changed into steel ships with engines, the trade went down and fundamentalism raised it’s ugly head. These fundies try to stand in the way of all progress, wich has been advocated and brought forth mainly by Socialists (many pf whom are/have been Communists and/or atheists) across the country, both intellectuals and factory workers alike and often the church has tried to balance itself between progress and conservatism. This has led to a situation where the state Lutheran church needs to pander to the conservative minority base, wich in turn causes dwindling of numbers by regular people who see the immorality of the fundies and the double standard of the church. Not all who leave become atheists, they just reject the curch as an organization, but not all who remain believe in a god, they may just see the institution as part of cultural history.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Is that two state religions? Do the taxpayers fund them? If religion is so unimportant, why have it?
          Oh. I know. To employ priests, pastors, bishops, cardinals, and popes.
          You get to choose your oppressor.
          I don’t want that to happen here.

          Liked by 2 people

        • @ Cagjr, the two state churches have a legal right to collect their tithes through the taxation system. If you are a registrered member of either of these religions you pay a little extra tax, that goes straight to them. In Finland progressive income taxes are paid by your employer from every salary. ALV is included in the prices shown in shops, so you do not need to do the pointless math of how much of your purchase goes to the government coffers and in general people feel, that they are getting their moneys worth as free education, reliable police, free healthcare, strong defence forces, uncorrupt officials, working infra and indeed moderate, non-political, fairly easygoing churches. It is only the rich who complain, altough they are the ones who can afford expensive advice how to awoid as many taxes as possible.

          Because the secular society provides social safety nets and because of long cultural history as a country, where most people have never been regular church attendants, simply since the distances between the farmsteads and church buildings have been long enough to give an acceptable excuse, and I dear say harsh natural conditions have taught us culturally to assume, that when the winter comes you die unless you have spent your days rather working, than praying, religion is not so much a social community issue and is seen as a very private matter. It is considered impolite to even bring up the subject matter. This has led to a situation, where many priests are really just glorified property managers of empty churches. What the people believe is hard to know. Maybe on some intuitional level they expect to get a piece of real-estate from them Heavens, like they expect to get a pension from the state by being good taxpayers, or perhaps most do not think about it at all. They just do what they think is expected of them.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been waiting to see something like this

    NAZI Republicans are slapping African-Americans in the face with a cartoon caricature of what they think African-Americans are dumb enough to vote for

    Herschel Walker is a caricature of what they think is African-American

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ha! Just like Sarah Palin was a caricature of what they thought is feminine – ie. stupid – even more stupid than the men in that crowd, who are also incredibly petty and ingrained with ridiculous gender role models, so that they could not stand an intelligent woman. I wonder wich causes wich. Is it the cultural caricature images, as basis of their own identities, causing insecurity and thus limiting their ability to understand reality, or could it be some form of pathological stupidity and inability to understand the world causing the insecurity and as such a need to hang their identity on these caricature images of others and propably of them selves as well?

      Like

        • I guess, you are right Barry. Often the loop may be generations deep. To think, that we as individuals can be subject to such strong cultural influence and even without us ever becoming truly aware of the phenomenon, is scary. Who knows, if you and I are as fixated to some notion similarly affecting and dumbing us down?

          Liked by 2 people

        • Definitely Americana in presentation. I can see why someone outside the Untied States would not necessarily grasp the stereotypicalness of it. It’s ingrained.

          They could have as easily picked OJ …

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I heard yesterday a poll putting Walker in the lead in Georgia. Total desperation. Whoever conducted that poll contacted only the MAGAt faithful. and even then they barely got the result they wanted. IF Walker wins, someone is definitely cheating!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Since I don’t have a reply button:

    consoledreader:

    “Does that include the majority of democrats who happen to be Christian as well? You do realize most democrats are in fact Christians, yes?”

    Oh no. I’m much too shallow for that. Really?

    “I nearly called it the misuse of religion, the way GOP/Christian nationalists/Capitalists deceive the public, but ultimately, it is the design of the system.”

    Since there are no Democrats calling for the end of democracy, I didn’t feel I needed to name them specifically. My anger is toward those who are actively trying to deconstruct our government. The Christian nationalists are very upfront with their demand that Christianity becomes the state religion and that the Laws of God supersede our constitution.

    My argument is that the Christian community recover its religion from these insurrectionists.

    “The Christian community, if there is a credible one, if they really believe, they should be standing in the way of its destruction.”

    That is what I said.

    Barry:

    I’m glad you have that good religious community, all living in apparent harmony. That’s a good thing.
    Now, suppose one of those religions decides to take control of your government and to make theirs the official state religion, and they are going to take over public education, and the populace will be taxed to support their religion and to replace your systems of laws with the laws of their god. Would you speak out while you still have the freedom to do so? What if they decide you cannot vote?

    Any form of assault against our democracy is met with determination to resist, “to protect and defend”. Should we make an exception for religion? I’m sure that if those who took part in the 1/6 attempt at taking over the government had been Muslims or Maoist, they would have died on the spot. But they were waving the bible and their crosses, therefore they get a pass. The more passes they get, the more society manages to excuse an infraction or two, so whatever they do will eventually be acceptable.

    I’m not at all willing to defend Christianity or any religion. My oath is to the Republic and the constitution that supports it. Part of my oath says that I will defend rhe right for anyone ro worship whatever they please, but not if their intent is to take over the government that gives them the right to exist. Where are the people responsible for keeping the church on the straight and narrow? All the churches belong to an organization that supposedly has authority over the body.

    I was not, am not, concerned with your religious views. But I believe the Christians you and I are familiar with are fading away. Christians who do not study their bible and the history of the religion are subject to only know what their priest/pastor wants them to know. It is an evolving system, and if it is to continue to be about spiritual growth and a looking forward to the fruits of the afterlife, then the faithful need to wake up and retake Jesus from the theives.

    “Any appeasement of tyranny is treason to this republic and to the democratic ideal.”
    — William Allen White

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not going to miss the arrogant infallibility. Assholes treating me like I’m the one that doesn’t know anything because they’re convinced it’s not taking their god’s name in vain to declare they speak for their god ~ who need no one to speak for it ~ to declare in arrogant infallibility that that they know the mind of their god ~ a mind that can’t be known ~ convinced they’re in on some kind of secret the rest of us are not.

      Sell their daughters into prostitution Saturday night and stand up to sing praises Sunday.

      This world will never know Peace until we resolve this little problem.

      No one listens …

      Liked by 2 people

      • Christianity has made a lot of inroads in the past few years, thanks to Justices Alito and Thomas. It s so ingrained in our society that many people think it is the state religion. Only Islam is more intolerant, yet they are aggrieved that everyone does not agree with them. They want religious freedom, but only for Christians of their own ilk.

        Superstition of all ages
        Men must have formed very sinister and very cruel ideas of their God whom they call so good, in order to persuade themselves that the most frightful calamities and the most painful afflictions are signs of His favor!
        baron d’ Paul Henri Thiry Holbach. Superstition In All Ages (1732)

        This book is based on the manuscripts of a Catholic priest, Jean Meslier. When he died, it was discovered that he had left three manuscripts and a letter asking forgiveness from his parishioners because he did not believe in God.

        “Voltaire often mentions Meslier (referring to him as “a good priest”) in his correspondence, in which he tells his daughter to “read and read again” Meslier’s only work and says that “every honest man should have Meslier’s Testament in his pocket.” However, he also described Meslier as writing “in the style of a carriage-horse.””
        (I copied this from the Wikipedia article.)

        My point is not everyone who cries, Lord, Lord, believes in the Lord. Yet they have the audacity to call us heathen, Pagans, reprobates, and a host of choice words because we are unbelieving and intolerant.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? …Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
    Thomas Jefferson

    People who have annointed Trump .King Of Isarael, The man of God, The Second Coming of God, ad Infinitum, humongous Bull Shit
    https://religioninpublic.blog/2019/11/25/was-donald-trump-anointed-by-god-are-all-presidents-anointed-by-god/
    (That link still works.)

    Has anyone heard of Project Blitz?
    Follow this link to see what Rightwing White Fundamental Christians are planning for the future of America. Nothing less than a Theocracy.

    Click to access Project%20Blitz%20Playbook%202018-19.pdf

    (This link still works.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Project Blitz thing is far too long for me … besides the fact I can easily discern what it’s all about simply by scanning the first several pages. –GAG–

      But thanks for including it. It does validate what many of us see as the End Goal of the Christianites.

      Liked by 1 person

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