A notable book for this religion infused election season

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    Frank Schaeffer son of theologian and Presbyterian pastor Francis Schaeffer, was pivotal in the creation of the Religious Right

    Quotes below taken from a Rob Boston book review at:



    Consider these choice quotes from Schaeffer’s recently published book,

    Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back:

    “What I slowly realized was that the religious-right leaders we were helping to gain power were not `conservatives’ at all, in the old sense of the world. They were anti-American religious revolutionaries.”


    “Pat Robertson…would have had a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement.”

    “Dad could hardly have imagined how they would help facilitate the instantly corrupted power-crazy new generation of evangelical public figures like Ralph Reed, who took money from the casino industry while allegedly playing both sides against the middle in events related to the Abramoff Washington lobbyist scandal.”

    “Long before Ralph Reed and his ilk came on the scene, Dad got sick of these idiots' as he often called people like Dobson in private. They wereplastic,’ Dad said, and `power-hungry.'”

    “There were three kinds of evangelical leaders: The dumb or idealistic ones who really believed. The out-and-out charlatans. And the smart ones who still believed – sort of – but knew that the evangelical world was sh*t, but who couldn’t figure out any way to earn as good a living anywhere else.”

    “Dad seemed lost in a depressed daze. He had recently been saying privately that the evangelical world was more or less being led by lunatics, psychopaths, and extremists, and agreeing with me that if `our side’ ever won, America would be in deep trouble.”




    I would just say that you shouldn’t focus on what the “religious right” does. We are fallen people who follow are own way. Our actions are not obvious God-like as I’m sure your personal actions are sometimes not.

    I would just listen to the message of the Gospel and make up your mind on where you stand.

    The Gospel (”Good News”)

    There is one God who created everything (Heaven and Earth). That God is all powerful and is without sin.

    God created man who fell, by trying to be God (worshiping creation rather than creator). In other words, we create idols (house, car, vacation, family, job, intellect, etc.) that lead us away from God.

    Man is eternally separated from God in a state of rebellion. Man will die, permanently separated from the God of the Universe without a plan for salvation.

    God so loved the world that he created that he sent his own son (Jesus) into creation to take on our sin so that we may be reconciled to him.

    The Holy Spirit purpose is to convict us of our sin and to point us to Christ. By turning towards Jesus, God removes the sin the separates us from him.

    The Bible was divinely inspired by God to allow us to learn about Jesus and the perfect plan of redemption.

    If you doubt that God could do all such things, then your God is too small!

    The New Year would be a perfect time to turn from your current ways (if not a Christian), keeping your eyes on eternity, with a new life of meaning, living for the God of the Universe rather than yourself.

    This has nothing to do with elections, a Christion-nation, homophobia, men/women domination, abortion, etc.

    It is just figuring out that you are not the center of your universe and that there is an eternal being that you need to be justified with.

    As C.S. Lewis said, was Jesus was either a lunatic or a liar or Lord. You must make a decision!



    Ken, you starting to make me think you are bit of a conspiracy theorist….

    So people are not perfect and when any religion has too much power abuse begins, I agree. People have agendas? Most people do. But this swings everywhere, not just the “religious right”. Almost everyone in politics, or it seems, does things that some people do not like.

    Do you like Dave Barry?

    “The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and time again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.”

    Soo good, everyone is guilty, everyone is fallen, just like Findlay said.

    Findlay, email me sometime!



    Gotta love Dave Barry…



    You think I despise charlatans and hypocrites because I have never been exposed to the “gospel”? I am from North Carolina. I have seen it close up and know a few of the children of major fundies. I have been a cast member in a traveling evangelical show. I have lived in Christian fundamentalist communes and compounds.

    I have no problem with the gospel, my issue is with those who read it, and ignore the words of Jesus to concentrate on those parts of the old testament which reinforce their own prejudices, and justify their hatred and averice.

    Throuout history there have been those who use religion for personal gain, political power or as a cover for their mental health issues. There have also been good and decent people who derive great comfort and strength from their belief.

    It is when the former use the latter for personal gain that I get upset.

    I see above a sweetened up standarization of Calvinism with the parts that scare people glossed over or removed. Lets look at the thing in a bit brighter light.

    “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.

    1. That there are three Gods.

    2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, is nothing.

    3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit the faith.

    4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.

    5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save.”

    — Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822

    And in response to Dave Barry, lets try Garrison Keillor

    You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz. […]

    It is painful to look at your father and realize the old man should not be allowed to manage his own money anymore. This is the discovery the country has made about the party in power. They are inept. The checkbook needs to be taken away. They will rant, they will screech, they will wave their canes at you and call you all sorts of names, but you have to do what you have to do.

    — Garrison Keillor 06/06



    Wow, I like this thread!

    The religious right (as created by the aforementioned Schaeffer et al) is _absolutely_ un-American. Although the colonies were initially established by Puritans, the States rose above the divisive aspect of religion by keeping it at arm’s length. The Founding Fathers could see how unfettered mixing of church and state restricted the freedom of the people to choose how they worship, not to mention how they live in general.

    PS I love Dave B. and G.K.



    the problem with mixing religion with politics is that you start talking about one and end debating the other.

    there is no way to debate religion. it’s sort of like friendship. you hang out a bit, expose each other to your ideas and if something speaks to you, you delve further.

    democrats are only playing the right wing agenda game when they allow themselves to be tricked into talking religion instead of politics.

    that said, i agree, this has been a most interesting thread.



    Isn’t true that what you believe shapes how you live? So wouldn’t it be also true that this would come up in politics as what the canidates believe affect how they will run the country?

    JoB, how would you define “truth”?



    Well one thing is for sure. This ain’t truth:


    For real fun read the ones equating Mormonism with satan worship.

    See details. Another Dominionist who feels lying in the service of God is no sin.


    If men only believe enough in Christ they can commit adultery and murder a thousand times a day without periling their salvation.

    — Martin Luther, Table Talk, quoted from John E. Remsberg, The Christ, p. 279

    Martin Luther, after admonishing Philip of Hesse to tell a “good stout lie,” defends his advice in the following words:

    “What would it matter if, for the sake of the Christian Church, one were to tell a big lie?”

    — Martin Luther, quoted by Moehlman The Story of the Ten Commandments (p. 269); narrative from Joseph Lewis The Ten Commandments (p. 558)



    Congratulations Ken you have managed to show that christians are not perfect! Although, it’s pretty easy to do.

    So I have been wondering why you have so much hostility towards christians? Have you been hurt by a christian?

    You mentioned you use to travel with some evangelical christians, so would you say you are a christian now?

    I guess I want to know where you are coming from, because your posts seem like you are very agitated.



    I remember those horrible tracts from 30 years ago. I had no idea they were still published. Talk about anger, hostility, and hatred. Even as a kid I wondered why, if religion was so great, you had to be scared into it.



    JT, I agree. I do not believe you should be scared into it, although I don’t think there is anything wrong with being fearful of Hell if it is real. Fear helps us stay away from harm everyday.



    Wes, i suspect you and i have similar beliefs… up to a point. and yes, they frame how we look at things.

    i will admit that having been raised in a church, i tend to evaluate political action from a Christian viewpoint… but not from a Christian framework. In other words, i ask myself, “was that a Christian thing to do?” … Not, “does that person frame their argument in Christian terminology”.

    When we focus so much on a candidate’s religion we focus on the latter.. how they frame their campaign promises… not whether they will behave in a Christian way.

    Answering how i define truth is even more difficult. i don’t believe that anything but personal truth exists where belief is concerned.

    and possibly not where “scientific” truth is concerned either… since scientific truth is gained by finding a way to prove what you set out to prove.

    i don’t believe you can make any decision about truth without disclosure of all of the assumptions that the truth you are evaluating was based on and finding any circumstance in which you can even discover absolute disclosure is almost impossible.

    who was it that said something to the effect that truth was hard to define but that you know it when you see it? works for me. You look at the facts and you make your best guess based on both your source material and your experience… and of course on your estimation of how much the experts you rely on understand their material.

    Whew! pretty philosophical, huh. you might want to know how i walk down the street each day trusting the sidewalk to stay put with such a slippery grasp on the truth.. and some days i wonder myself…

    But what i know is that i can trust my experience of sidewalk because i have gained it the good old fashioned way: i listened to my elders, i decided they didn’t know everything, i tested the sidewalk’s limits, i tested my own limits and i walked. And of course, i keep testing my own limits because they change and that is life…

    I can’t speak for Ken, but the problem i have with evangelicals is that they think they know or can discover by some set of their own rules what my relationship with god is and they judge me based on their assumptions. And what is worse is that they do so without speaking with me and asking questions. They base their assumptions on how i dress, how i speak (ok, i confess, i have been known to swear) and what my politics are. Like most assumptions we make about people based on superficial evidence, they are most often wrong.

    i don’t judge others because they choose or don’t choose to worship their god their way. In fact, most of the time i don’t have a clue what their personal religion is… it has often caught me unaware. Just as i am not terribly curious about race. ethnicity.. now that interests me but because of customs, not bloodlines.

    speaking of customs, i am off to hear madeleine… an interesting woman, i hope. because my priorities are with thought over appearance, i will go in jeans and a sweater… i wonder what assumptions that will create;)

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