Islam, the American way: A new generation of Muslim Americans separate what is cultural, what is religious, and what is American, finding that the ‘straight path’ isn’t the same path for all.
Pope Francis has struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone towards atheists and agnostics, saying that God will “forgive” them as long as they behave morally and live according to their consciences.
The unprecedented gesture came as his incoming number two, the Vatican’s newly nominated secretary of state, said the rule that priests should be celibate was not “a dogma of the Church” and could be open for discussion. (Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
Well that’s nice of him.
This is an enormous chain and I’m sorry, but I need to say this:
The laws in the Old Testament were set forth by god as the rules the Hebrews needed to follow in order to be righteous, to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve and to be able to get into Heaven. That is also why they were required to make sacrifices, because it was part of the appeasement for Original Sin.
According to Christian theology, when Jesus came from Heaven, it was for the express purpose of sacrificing himself on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. His sacrifice was supposed to be the ultimate act that would free us from the former laws and regulations and allow us to enter Heaven by acting in his image. That is why he said “it is finished” when he died on the cross. That is why Christians don’t have to circumcise their sons (god’s covenant with Jacob), that is why they don’t have to perform animal sacrifice, or grow out their forelocks, or follow any of the other laws of Leviticus.
When you quote Leviticus as god’s law and say they are rules we must follow because they are what god or Jesus wants us to do, what you are really saying, as a Christian, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was invalid. He died in vain because you believe we are still beholden to the old laws. That is what you, a self-professed good Christian, are saying to your god and his son, that their plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.
So maybe actually read the thing before you start quoting it, because the implications of your actions go a lot deeper than you think.
/An atheist who understands Christian theology better than Bible-thumpers do.
"The left, which is largely made up of people who don't believe in Jesus Christ's blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism! That's a return to the most pagan of paganism! And look at what nutty political views it ends up supporting!"
Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt, explaining why he thinks progressives are so concerned about gun-caused violence.
We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those that spring from any other cause.
Back in August, during a Springfield City Council public hearing on amending the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity protections, Rev. Phil Snider of the Brentwood Christian Church lashed out at the council for “inviting the judgement of God upon our land” by making “special rights for gays and lesbians.”
He goes on to invoke the bible and morality and the end of days a few more times before suddenly appearing to lose his train of thought.
And then something pretty amazing happens.
You HAVE to watch until about the two-minute mark. Let me put this in picture form for you:
Seriously, watch the whole thing. Good payoff.
Rise of the atheists: U.S. Protestants lose majority status as church attendance falls
For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.
One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.
The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 per cent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 per cent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.
A poll released today by the Arab American Institute explores attitudes Americans have toward Arabs and Muslims.
“The data extracted,” the Institute writes, ”indicates that anti-Arab and anti-Muslim political rhetoric has taken a toll on American public opinion, especially along age and party lines.”
Takeaways from the report:
1. Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans, and American Muslims have the lowest favorable/highest unfavorable ratings among the groups covered.
2. Muslims were the only group with a net unfavorable rating.
3. Note that one in five Americans were either unfamiliar with or not sure of their attitudes toward these communities.
4. Sikhs and Mormons also fare poorly, but in the case of Sikhs, one in four Americans are “unfamiliar” or “not sure”.
5. There is a deep generational divide, which is reflected in a partisan divide.
6. Younger Americans (18-25) rate Arabs and Muslims up to 17 points higher than the older generation. They also rate Arab Americans and American Muslims higher as well.
7. Younger Americans rate Catholics and the various Protestant denominations covered in the survey almost 20 points lower than do older Americans (65+). The younger group also rates Mormons 15 points lower.
8. This is reflected in a deep partisan divide and even more so in a division between those who describe themselves as Obama or Romney voters. For example, note how the ratings given to Arabs and Muslims by Obama and Romney voters are mirror reflections of each other. While Obama voters give Arabs a net 51%/29% favorable rating and Muslims a net 53%/29% rating; Romney voters give Arabs a 30%/50% net unfavorable rating and Muslims a 25%/57% unfavorable rating.
9. Democrats and Obama voters give no group a net negative rating. Republicans and Romney voters only give strong negative ratings to Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans, and American Muslims.
Image: Detail from The American Divide: How We View Arabs and Muslims.
Select to embiggen.
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition.