Preferential Treatment. Again.

shh

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

pied_piper

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

Christianity and QAnon

Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Some of you may have already seen this, but if not, it’s definitely worth a read:

Pastors are leaving their congregations after losing their churchgoers to QAnon

On the morning of the Capitol riot, Vern Swieringa told his wife during a walk with their dogs: “Something is going to happen today. I don’t know what, but something’s going to happen today.”

The Christian Reformed Church pastor from Michigan had been watching for months as some members of his congregation grew captivated by videos about the QAnon conspiracy theory on social media, openly discussing sex trafficking and Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

[***]

So when hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol hours after his premonition, Swieringa was shocked, but not surprised.

“I think some of the signs had been there all along, and it just all came to a perfect storm,” Swieringa told Insider.

Even more startling is the following from the article:

[A} survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute found that more than a quarter of white evangelical respondents believed in QAnon and that three in five believed that President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election was “not legitimate.” 

Much of this smacks of Christian Nationalism, which some of you have spoken out against. Let me assure you, it is a very real movement. I won’t address it here, but urge anyone who is not familiar with their goals to do the research. Wikipedia is a good place to start. You may also want to read this article.

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Your Final Thoughts

I read a blog post this morning in which the writer shared a story that triggered some thoughts I had not previously considered.

Briefly … a little background.

The blogger had been a Christian most of his life and dutifully raised his children in the faith. However, in 2007, his oldest son declared himself to be an atheist. As would be expected, this disturbed the family to no small degree, but it also prompted the blog writer to look more closely at his own faith.

Over the next several years, he spent considerable time reading and doing research related to Christianity and its roots. Little by little, he began his own journey toward atheism.

It was during this time that his aunt, who was a believer, faced imminent death and he went to be with her. Although she (and his mother) were both Christians, he said he managed to avoid discussing religion and simply shared past experiences.

Reading his story, a rather probing question occurred to me — and I’d like to ask it of my atheist audience who have had a religious backgroundespecially those who have been in the evangelical movement where the teaching of heaven and hell is so prevalent.

Imagine …

You are at life’s end. In mere moments, you know you will take your last breath and it will be … The End. Kaput. Finis. The Grand Finale. The Endgame.

My question: Can you HONESTLY say you would be totally free of ANY thoughts related to your eternal destiny?

While at this moment in time I can personally say with confidence that I no longer harbor any fears related to my demise, I do recognize the power of my former Christian beliefs related to life’s end. And I am forced to admit … they could intervene.

So what about you? If you know you’re at death’s door, are you absolutely certain of your final thoughts?

(Please remember — this question is for former believers. If you’ve always been an atheist, it obviously has no relevance. Further, I’m not soliciting thoughts related to any kind of “spiritual” afterlife. It’s all about “that moment.”)

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Image by doodlartdotcom from Pixabay