Tuesday, February 28, 2023

You Say You Want a Jesus Revolution

I’m marginally attached enough to evangelicalism through family that I’ve been hearing a lot of radio ads about the so-called “Jesus Revolution.” And sure, the Jesus Movement itself was pretty cool with all the communes and the actual, you know, living out of Jesus’ teachings (because, surprisingly enough, Jesus was a proto-hippy – I mean, “love your enemies?”).

But I’m reluctant to see the movie.

Because from what I’ve read online, it feels like another evangelical Trojan Horse. Greg Laurie, who apparently is the hero of the movie – and, fair enough, I guess if you write the book it’s okay to be the hero – even mentions that he hopes it’s a way to stuff Millennials and Zoomers back into the evangelical box start a new Jesus Movement among Millennials and Zoomers.

And that’s kind of the problem.

Because what the original Jesus Movement did was take a bunch of idealistic kids who saw Jesus and said “lets be like that,” and turned them into a bunch of culture warriors who decided that it was more important to be in power than it was to follow the hippy-dippy Jesus of their youth.

And then there’s the very troubling airbrushing out of the story of Lonnie Frisbee, a bisexual, theologically non-“evangelically orthodox” guy without whom much of evangelicalism’s late-20th century success probably would not have occurred. I mean, for the love of God, the guy was instrumental in launching not one, but two evangelical church movements.

Let that sink in. If you take evangelical theology seriously, which I don’t, but humor me here, God used a gay man who didn’t believe all the right things to start a revival among a group of disenchanted post-Christians.

And if you don’t have a particularly evangelical theology, you can still admire the fact that large numbers of people saw Christ through Lonnie Frisbee – did I mention he was gay and didn’t believe all the “right things” – and decided that Jesus’ way was a life they wanted to live.

It’s almost like you can be Christ-like and gay. You know, you don’t have to be something you aren’t to follow God? But that’s what all those backslidden Progressive Christians say so it can’t be right, amiright?

One would think that at some point that might cause some self-reflection among evangelicals, but fifty years of history would show that one would be mistaken.

But Kelsey Grammer is cool and I find it funny that he’s playing a 40-year old Chuck Smith and the 40-year-old Jesus guy is playing 20-year old Lonnie Frisbee so I may still see it.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

In 2100, the last few thousand people in the last human settlement in the world in northern Canada will do their business at the Joe Manchin Memorial Pit Toilet.

Evangelical God

Let’s check in with the Evangelical God:

  • Requires 10-year old girls to carry the fetus of their rapist to term
  • Requires doctors to let women die in childbirth when an abortion would save their life
  • Requires people to catch HIV because he does not like the way he made them

The thread that I pulled that ultimately led to me deconstructing out of evangelicalism was inerrancy, and it’s truly on display in the modern evangelical GOP. When the entire Bible is considered inerrant and literal, despite the very clear fact that it is neither, it forces you to come up with some… novel ideas… in order to keep things together. It also forces you to ignore modern science, psychology, sociology, and even history in order to stick to a supposedly inerrant interpretation.

And in the end, it leads to evil. It leads to exclusion. It leads to hate.

And it ignores the radical, ever-expanding love of Jesus.

Friday, June 24, 2022

So basically, more babies born to parents who don’t want them and aren’t prepared to have them, and less born to parents who really want them and have the means to care for them. And, as with all social conservatives, the idea of providing services to poor mothers and children is anathema.

Well, there it is. Abortion is now illegal in about half of the country. And despite the fact that this ruling violates the religious beliefs of myself and a large number of other people who are not conservative Christians due to the fact that it prevents the flourishing of actual, living human beings for the sake of potential human lives, it’s highly unlikely that the Trump SCOTUS will care for any religious freedom other than that of the backbone of their party.

So, to recap the ideology of the Trump SCOTUS and the Christian right:

  • Fetal human life is sacred from fertilization until birth.
  • The life of the mother is immaterial. She is just the object used to bear the sacred fetal human life.
  • Once the baby is born, their life is no longer sacred. Guns are sacred, and therefore many of them will be sacrificed to Moloch.
  • If they are not sacrificed to Moloch, they will be inducted into the military and sacrificed for bullshit wars to protect corporate interests, who are another sacred person in our country.
  • They’re coming for the remaining human rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and the rights of BIPOC communities next.

“… then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

Up next for the Trump SCOTUS: Obergefell, Lawrence, Griswold, Loving, and Brown. They will not stop until all rights conferred since the 1950s are eliminated. And when Republicans seize power they will eliminate those rights nationally. Welcome to Theocratic America.

This headline is incorrect. There still is a Constitutional right to abortion, but there are six asshats on the Supreme Court who are legislating from the bench because of their religious beliefs.

Wall Street Journal falsely claims: "Supreme Court overturns Row v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion"

Wall Street Journal falsely claims: “Supreme Court overturns Row v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion”

Taking Time Off to Re-Evaluate

I need to re-evaluate whether I am a Christian anymore after today. How can I continue to affiliate with a religion that values a contested reading of scripture over the sacredness of an actual living, breathing person? And then takes the rights of that sacred person away. I follow the living Christ, incarnate in all creation, lover of all. But why should I follow that Christ in an institution that hates who God loves? When Christ can be found in the cathedrals of nature and the faces of people. And when Christ may not be the only name. Maybe it’s time to reject the institution ostensibly dedicated to Christ but in reality dedicated to patriarchy and white supremacy and follow God into the streets to burn the motherfucking system to the ground.

Church Schism

Yes, today is once again Church Schism Day on the blog. I think at this point a good church schism is in order. All the Progressive Catholics and Mainliners (and whichever nondenominational people want to come along) should excommunicate the conservatives who claim to be Christians. They’ve already basically excommunicated us already, after all. Start a movement where everyone is loved, no one is cast aside because they don’t believe exactly what our churches believe, everyone is welcome at the table, and no one’s doctrine will be imposed upon others in a statutory framework.

Friday, June 10, 2022

When the Southern Baptists meet near Disneyland, do they make a sound (for exvangelicals)?

I have to admit, unless there are fistfights, I can’t imagine anything of note coming out of the SBC annual meeting.

Oh, and nice misdirection by the SBC. Wait, there’s a large sexual abuse scandal? Look, Rick Warren ordained women! The horror!

The SBC will always SBC.

Potential future SBC President Tom Ascol thinks they’ve lost hold of the Bible. I would argue that the SBC has lost hold of Jesus. Of course, I guess that assumes the SBC ever had any sort of grasp on Jesus in the first place. Which, considering how they were founded, is a dubious proposition.

Oh, and one more thing. I think Baptist grandmothers who run Awana are the nicest people on the planet, from my experience.

Monday, June 6, 2022

August 23, 2008 to June 6, 2022.

So, after almost 14 years, I’m back. I left blogging primarily because I had three little kids and not a lot of time, but stayed gone because I got sucked into what would become the dumpster fire that is social media.

I’m trying to pull myself out of that dumpster fire.

So, I’m back on the blog. There will never be comments because the first rule of online is “don’t read the comments.” And after a short test period at a WordPress blog where I took far too much of my social media angst back into blogging, I’m going to try to be nicer here.

We will see how that works out.