Science and Christian Faith

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Just came across this article written by an individual who was educated at a conservative seminary, trained as a minister, and served as a pastor

To get an idea why I found the article worth sharing, here is one of the author’s leading statements:

From Darwin to COVID the church has been wrong. 

Wow! That statement … coming from a believer? Will wonders never cease!

Here is what he says towards the end of the article: 

There is nothing to fear from scientific data and proper research. There is something to fear from the fearful and ignorant. Anyone who is not willing to question their own belief structure, or anyone that remains in their own echo chamber, is dangerous. That is why there is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. It is expressing the fear of people who claim to have none.

If you are a person who recognizes the dangers of COVID-19 and its variants — and finds it mind-boggling that Christians refuse vaccines (!) — I think you will find this article very refreshing. 

Take a gander …

Evangelicals, science and the vaccine:
Refusal is built on deep-seated fear

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Image by Jeyaratnam Caniceus from Pixabay

A Look at “American Values”

The following post was written by an individual whose writings I have shared in the past. In this instance, I decided not to just “reblog” since only a portion of his thoughts would be shown here — and this time I wanted to be sure visitors read the entire post. 

The writer has chosen to remain anonymous and goes by the handle of “Ends and Beginnings.” Regular readers may remember him — or may even be a subscriber to his blog themselves.

In any case, I look forward to your reactions and comments related to his perspective on the Afghanistan situation.  

The vast majority of the western world has learned its history and formed its opinions of the Middle East from a book of fables, the Bible and Hollywood movies. You see, Charlton Heston really isn’t Moses and Elizabeth Taylor isn’t Cleopatra. And the illustrations in our picture Bibles growing-up as kids of Arab men, looking more white than brown, with long beards, flowing robes, and living in silk tents with camels in the desert isn’t the whole story.

We, Anglo-Christians, manufactured this history because of Jesus and for the last 100 years or so Americans have tried to mold a region and a people into a vision that we created, a vision that is false and a fantasy. Towns, cities, community, and commerce have been a reality of the Middle East long before the idea of an America was even a dream. We, the Western world, treated the Middle East like they are some backwoods, bum fucks, living in the hills of the Smoky Mountains. That without us, our smarts, our religion, our democracy, they would just be eating sand and herding goats. Obviously, the Middle East, for the most part, has progressed a little beyond that, check out the skyline of Dubai for instance, but Americans simply can’t let go of those images or the need to be thanked for bringing them into the 21st Century.      

I am not a Middle East expert, but I have spent a considerable amount of time reading about the history and the conflicts, particularly the American conflicts. What I have concluded is this, our “issues” in the Middle East can be boiled down to two matters, oil, and Israel. Everything else is ignorance and noise on our part.

The oil rush in the Middle East began in the early 1920’s and 30’s thanks to Henry Ford. The United States and Great Britain staked claims, literally this is your country, and this is ours, bringing workers, technology and greed to a world that had happily existed without our intrusions, our values, and our religious beliefs for centuries. As Americans are known to do, we raped and pillaged the resources paying pennies on the dollars to sultans, kings and tribal leaders making them wealthy while the everyday common Omar and his family got nothing. Unfortunately, mister common Omar became a problem and continues to be a problem even today.

Israel became a point of conflict in the 1940’s and 50’s when the Christian world decided they were going to take it upon themselves and enforce God’s edict to Abraham that “Unto thy seed have I given this land”. The problem with this “transaction” was and continues to be that Abraham’s “Seed” includes both the Jews and the Muslims and to a lesser extent the Christians, but that tidbit of history didn’t fit in the Judeo-Christian narrative then or today.    

What we, Americans, have done is support the Jews supposed rights to Israel and eliminated and erased any rights the Muslims have or had all in the name of Jesus. The Evangelical thinking is, and continues to be without a nation of Israel how or where will Jesus return?

We have spent 20 years and billions of dollars in Afghanistan defending what? According to Lindsey Graham 9/11. He contends that the blood we have shed and the dollars we have expended are to avenge and prevent another 9/11 from occurring. I think if we all dug a little deeper into the reelection bank accounts of war hawks like Graham, we would find out why endless, unwinnable wars are so important to them. Campaign contributions from the manufactures of guns, tanks, and bombers.

Graham has never had a solution nor offered a way out of the war in Afghanistan, but doesn’t he sound righteous on Fox News throwing everyone else under the bus? To date, 2,300 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and over 20,000 have been injured. For what, so we can Americanize the Afghan people? Introduce them to Jesus, McDonalds, and Walmart?

It is well past the time that we quit forcing our values, or politics and our religion down the throats of others. 9/11 happened because mister Omar wanted to get our attention. He wanted us to know that he has had enough of our continued support and bloody defense of Israel and that the Persian Gulf War was not our war to fight. It is high time we acknowledge his concerns.  

Some Things Never Change

Things I Never Learned in Sunday SchoolRecently, in response to a nice compliment from someone who read my book (Things I Never Learned in Sunday School), I commented that although it was a bit “long in the tooth” (published in 2012), I felt the information I shared still had merit.

Later, as I thought about these words, I realized how much truth there was in them because, in actuality, not one part of my book needs changing. Why do I say this? Because there is not one part of the Christian story that has changed. It’s still the same-old, same-old tale related to “redemption from sin” through one man’s death on a cross — as well as all the other “stuff” (hell, satan, anti-christ, last days, etc.) that accompanies this venerable event.

In other words, the contents of my book mirror the familiar saying that’s found in the Christian bible:  “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

(Although the language of the Bible has occasionally been “modernized” over the years … or explained when it tended to be controversial … the narrative within its pages has remained stagnant.)

What boggles the mind is that in a world where changes are taking place in mere seconds … often faster than we can keep up with … Christian believers continue to cling to a story that was written over two thousand years ago and which, for all intents and purposes, has no connection to modern existence.

Beyond this, they continue to peddle this ancient tale to anyone who will listen (or read) – and often exhibit indignation (and even anger!) when others point out the improbabilities of its credibility.

Of course all this is fine and dandy with me because as long as the human race remains susceptible to myths, legends, and fairy tales … the contents of my book will continue to remain relevant.

And that warms my heart. ❤

Preferential Treatment. Again.

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As many of you know, I live in Oregon. I mention this because I don’t know how other states are handling reports of the Corona-19 virus cases — so what I’m about to report could very well be commonplace.

An article in the local newspaper related to the virus indicates that the “public health network” is following several current church outbreaks. It goes on to say that at one church, more than 15 people have been infected and “secondary cases from that outbreak have been found at several local businesses, health care facilities and schools.”

Sidenote: Definition of secondary in this instance would be “depending on or incidental to what is original or primary.”

The article further states that the county will not publish the names of the churches with outbreaks.” 

Yet in all other instances, the names of the workplaces, nursing homes, and schools experiencing outbreaks have been provided! According to the article, this non-disclosure of religious entities is a ruling by the Oregon Health Authority.

Need I point out this is just ONE MORE incident where “religion” has received preferential treatment?

The First Amendment to the Constitution (just like the Second Amendment) is repeatedly used to support fallacious ideals. Contrary to what many claim, the Amendment was never meant to be the Defining Principle for U.S. citizens. Its primary goal was/is to allow people the freedom to worship. Period. It was NOT to allow preferential treatment to individuals just because they claim some religious identity!

Yet again and again this tends to be the standard course of action. 

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(BTW, it’s probably best that you don’t share this post because it addresses religion and may fall under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy established by some overzealous bureaucratic entity!)  *Snark!*

Breaking With The Pack

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The following comment was made by “TheOhioRealist,” who occasionally writes blog posts at OnTheFenceVoters.com:

It takes great courage to break with the pack and think for one’s self. 

While the comment was made in reference to political philosophies, it also relates quite solidly to those who follow Christianity because, generally speaking, once the die is cast, there is little to no room for debate. Or, in many (most?) instances, even for discussion.

Generally speaking, this resistance can be attributed to the doctrines new converts receive at their conversion … and which are reinforced weekly by their chosen pied piper.*

While there are a (very) limited number of Christians willing to consider, examine, and/or discuss their personal spiritual beliefs, few of them are open to conflicting theories (i.e., facts). For most, the original core teachings are the “gospel truth” and are not open for debate.

It’s unfortunate that thinking for one’s self has almost become a lost art. For far too many, the siren’s song of conformity is just too appealing. And sadly, breaking with the pack too often invites ridicule and/or vituperation from the duly dedicated.

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*Pied Piper:
–One that offers strong but decisive enticement
–A leader who makes irresponsible promises
–A charismatic person who attracts followers