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Would You Have Became A Christian


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as coined by Walter Uhler in this fab article

Crackpot Christianity and America's Current Moral Degeneration


I liked this article - bloody good read...so I've pasted some of it share.....but what about 'Crusading Christian Crackpots" - its got a nice ring to it.


"So now as I'm leavin' I'm weary as Hell The confusion I'm feelin' Ain't no tongue can tell The words fill my head And fall to the floor If With God on our Side by Bob Dylan




starts here....No one should decidedly adhere to an exposition of Scripture that with sure reason is ascertained to be false...in order that, from this, Scripture not be derided by the infidels. ?- St. Thomas Aquinas [from Lev Shestov, Athens and Jerusalem, p. 300]


With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil ? that takes religion. ?- Steven Weinberg


History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. ?- Thomas Jefferson


Although he might not agree with my use of the term "Crackpot Christians," Kevin Phillips is certainly correct when he claims that "the radical side of U.S. religion has embraced cultural antimodernism, war hawkishness, Armageddon prophecy, and in the case of conservative fundamentalists, a demand for government by literal biblical interpretation." [American Theocracy, p. 100]


These Crackpot Christians are largely responsible for placing one of their own, George W. Bush, in the White House. Their astounding ignorance, unquestioning faith, war hawkishness, and fascination with the End of Time subsequently rendered them gullible to the Bush administration's lies and exaggerations about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (especially the apocalyptic "mushroom clouds") and ties to al Qaeda. Thus, they cannot escape responsibility for supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq.


Judging by recent polls, Crackpot Christians continue to provide the residual support that prevents the total collapse of the worst presidency in American history. Their insouciance toward the ever worsening daily horrors in Iraq - so vividly reported by Jeffrey Gettleman in the August 2006 issue of GQ ? is daily testimony to their moral degeneracy. And, by their refusal to repent and improve, Crackpot Christians become responsible for the precipitous collapse of U.S. moral authority now occurring around the world.


Yes, thanks to the moral degeneracy fostered by Crackpot Christians and the perverse "moral clarity" of their leader, the world now considers the United States to be a country more evil than it was when President Clinton merely disgraced the White House with immoral sexual escapades.


But, then, Crackpot Christians have a long history of moral degeneracy. Simply look back to America's Civil War and you'll find southern clergymen - clergymen! ? citing verses from the Bible (e.g., Exodus 20-21, Matthew 10:14 and Ephesians 6:5-6) to justify slavery. According to Martin E. Marty (perhaps, our foremost authority on religion in America), "The South especially cherished the most literal readings [of the Bible], because on these terms it could find biblical passages in support of slavery." [Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America, pp. 302-303]


"Scripture, the Confederate clergy advised, even justified secession." [Phillips, American Theocracy, p. 144] And even after Union forces delivered God's just retribution (speaking in Crackpot Christian terms) for the South's evil ways, southern clergymen soon were abetting their perpetuation ? which subsequently spread into America's southern Midwest and across America's Southwest ? by fostering the self-deception of "redemption."


Readers of Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, can see Crackpot Christianity at work today, subverting America's liberal democracy in an attempt to impose Christian "Dominion" - essentially southern political and religious culture ? over the entire country. According to Ms. Goldberg, "Dominionism is derived from a theocratic sect called Christian Reconstructionism, which advocates replacing American civil law with Old Testament biblical law." [p. 13].


"?Dominion theologians,' as they are called, lay great emphasis in Genesis 1:26-27, where God tells Adam to assume dominion over the animate and inanimate world." Moreover, "dominionism...has been hugely influential in the broader evangelical movement," [ibid] thanks to the influence of the Crackpot Christian par excellence, Pat Robertson.

...More of this article can be found here:





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allow me to identify myself:


I'm an ex-Fundy Baptist from South Carolina who converted to Judaism two years ago but who has also been studying religion academically since 1996. I teach religion in universities professionally at the adjunct level while studying American religious history academically in my second year of Ph.D, as it says in my testimony.


of course Ms. Goldberg, an NYC elite at Salon.com, would argue that the "Christian" South is trying to over run the country with a "dominion" theology that justifies "slavery" theologically. Kevin Phillips' use of some mutation of E. Franklin Frazier's tired-old hypothesis that "the South" (or African Americans) is somehow "more religious" than the rest of the country is joked about at all the academic conferences these days. Sure, Donald Matthews demonstrated back in his 1960's Religion in the Old South that Southern preachers (mainly the Southern Baptist Convention) did use the Bible to justify slavery, but Abraham Lincoln also used biblical arguments to justify racism and wanted to send all the African Americans on a big boats back to Africa because they believed them to be inferior.(Lerone Bennett, Forced into Glory) Christine Herymann's [/i]Southern Cross and Mechal Sobel's The World They Made Together also show that Christian evangelicalism didn't even start to overtake the greater majority of the South until the early 1800's.


The spirit of American Christianity began in the North first, with some progressive Puritan "missionary" mentality that believed it was society's job to change people for the better... now we just call that crap "liberal," but it's just as "Christian" theologically speaking.


And city folk just want to blame all of America's social problems on "rural" and "backward" Southerners. In reality the biggest problems are happening in our cities, and institutionalized Christianities other than Southern Evangelicalism (Catholics, Mormons, "Mainline" Protestants) run the political machines of most of the country's cities.


Uhley's analysis ignores the notion that Northern evangelicals have been just as crazy and missionary oriented as these so-called southern Crackpot Christians. And that "heartland" Christianity is also very much a "Midwestern" phenomenon.

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