Weekly Ponderings

Here are some of the posts I’ve read lately that made me think and/or taught me something. Inclusion does not necessarily mean full endorsement. To read the whole article click on the title at the bottom of each excerpt. Anything in bold is emphasized by me.

“The “It’s not me, it’s God” defense is troubling for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it allows me to disavow a situation and enjoy its benefits.

For instance, my dad often said that if he had been God, he would’ve made men and women equal, but since he’s not God, he just does what God says. This is fantastic because he gets to be more sympathetic than God and enjoy the benefit of a system that puts him in charge. He doesn’t make the rules; he just enforces them.

The second reason this troubles me is its removal of human moral agency, or “the capacity for human beings to make choices” (Wikipedia). By this logic, we are not moral agents who use our consciences and judgment to tell right from wrong. There is no array of options; it is black and white. There is only A or B, obedience or disobedience….

…the fundamentalist believes these:

  1. the Bible is absolutely true, and
  2. my interpretation is the only “clear” interpretation
  3. I don’t interpret.

The difference between a fundamentalist and (for example) me is that I believe what I believe is true, while the fundamentalist knows what he believes is true. The idea that there is no source of truth that outranks the Bible is, to the fundamentalist, not a belief held in faith but absolute truth…

The brilliance of ignoring the way hermeneutics works is that it allows fundamentalists and evangelicals to pretend (a) that God shares their prejudices and, in a marvelous sleight-of-hand, (b) they don’t have them.

I’m Not Prejudiced; God is Prejudiced on my Behalf  by David M Schell

“Could it be possible that God is free to love all of us, regardless of our decisions, circumstances, or backgrounds? Or is His will a slave to our choices? Is He bound to torturing unbelievers in hell because they made the wrong choices in this life? Is that out of His control or is it really the most loving thing He can do with us?

Do our actions force His hand so that He can do nothing but punish us? Do we really have more choice than God over the decisions He makes? Or does Jesus need to twist His arm to even love us in the first place? Is He free to forgive all sin or just the sin of repentant believers or the elect few? Does the cross really mean nothing until we believe in it? Is our belief a more potent spiritual force than Jesus’ sacrifice?

A God who cannot or will not love or forgive unless we or Jesus can otherwise convince Him to is a most impotent God indeed…”

The Incompetent God by Russell Croft

“Because they think that everyone is owned by someone, fundagelicals think that if parents aren’t the total owners of their children, then obviously someone else is–and in this case, that total owner would be “the state.” The idea that nobody owns anybody is a completely foreign one to them. It’s not something they can relate to. They think it’s a liberal lie spawned by Satan to trick people. Back in my day as a Christian, we exulted in being slaves “to Jesus,” and even sang songs about how wonderful that was. We knew that some sinners thought that ownership of humans was bad, but we just pitied them because they didn’t understand that they were slaves themselves–in this case, to “Satan,” to the world, to sin. By contrast, we’d chosen to be owned by “Jesus,” which was about the best a person could do in our eyes. If you had to be enslaved by somebody, at least you could choose to be enslaved by the entity that could save you from Hell if you obeyed as a slave should…”

The Gaze of Dead Children Follows Me Today  by Captain Cassidy

“When you don’t have respect for a segment of population, that ends up in violence,” she said.

Ms. da Silva works with Tem Local, a site that documents attacks on gay and transgender people in Brazil, in an attempt to make such hate crimes more visible.

“Before these things happened and were not seen,” she said. “Now we are starting to combat this.”

Torture and Killing of Transgender Woman Stun Brazil by Dom Phillips





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