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PostPosted: January 3 19, 8:27 am 
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Freed Roger wrote:
+.
Has to be frustrating for you.
The media help create Trump this way too. WashPo, this isn't fringe.
There's been examples of these type going away from relevance without commanding all the free attention,...ie is Pat Robertson still alive. Glenn Beck (not sure his religion) is not a factor. That weird church out of Kansas (Westboro?).

But still, this group of people that are of Falwell's brand are significant devoted Trump voters. I can't put that on media.


You are right that Trump/Falwell's position represents a significant portion of voters. I suppose they have bought the power and attention they have because people support them and agree with them. With regards to the media, I don't often see mainline or non-fundamentalist Christian views presented along side the extreme. I think it's because the media has little respect or knowledge of even traditional/historical theology outside of the lens of modern evangelicalism (which really is just a construct of the 20th century). The media often attacks religious fundamentalism with sociological/philosophical concepts, which they can do with some measure of effectiveness, but better is to give voice to religion that presents a valid alternative to religious fundamentalism. In other words, if one group is playing baseball (religious fundamentalists), don't try to make them beat you at tennis (sociology/philosophy). Play baseball better than they do.

What's a better argument to a fundamentalist Christian:

Christian reader: The Bible says "render unto Caesar" so I should support the government and respect it as those God has chosen to lead me.
Philosopher: Yes, but can't you see how that leads to oppression and the loss of liberty?
Christian reader: Yes, but that's what the Bible says, so it's what I have to believe.
Philosopher: ....... But, that doesn't make sense.

Or

Christian reader: The Bible says "render unto Caesar" so I should support the government and respect it as those God has chosen to lead me.
Brueggeman: No. Jesus was crucified because he imagined and then created an alternative kingdom to that presented by Caesar and the Jewish leaders. He threatened them; he did not blindly follow them. And now he is calling you to imagine that kingdom and live it in the world, which will be a threat to the established order. So, yes, "render unto Caesar" -- pay your taxes and follow the laws. But, love your God and neighbor above all else, even when (and it will) that leads you into conflict with law.
Chrisitan reader: ......... Yes, but, I like Trump and Falwell.
Brueggeman: Then you are not of Jesus' kingdom.


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 8:42 am 
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Freed Roger wrote:
Interesting history. Harkens to the social justice Catholicism which was promoted back in my youth.

However, we are talking about a 3rd world nation with little other means of community, communication and path to resistance. There have been other religion fueled regime changes in this way. i.e. Shah of Iran

I hesitate try to make a point here, without reading enough of the history. I want it to be the case, but am skeptical that the Christianity of the opposition to Pinochet was the difference, even if the Christian charism of the opposition leadership was based upon it. (sorry if I am misinterpreting your premise)

Also, as a side, Pinochet was a US backed dictator in his coup and some years thereafter. That support ended before he was ousted.

Reagarding giving good Christian people (as opposed to likes of Falwell) more a platform by larger media i.e. Washington Post- a bit of irony that an agnostic of sorts, like myself doesn't need to hear a scholarly and theologically sound 2 Kingdoms reasoning to determine Falwell &Trump are wrong. I sense, if given the same platform, your guys would be just preaching to the already convinced - including agnostics - instead of converting the self-described Christians that support Trump.

And FWIW, the Pope has indirectly criticized the ways of Trump and the nationalism. Church leaders spoke out against the regime's unChristian treatment of migrants. Maybe not with the platform of Falwell WaPo, but I read it. I am not sure if it has swayed the #s of Christian's supporting Trump.


You would have to read the book. His argument is very compelling and he places the change within Catholicism within the greater context of socio-political upheaval that brought down Pinochet. It was not Catholic leaders exerting their control theocratically and pushing Pinochet aside. It was this wonderful blending of grass-roots theology, religious devotion in defiance of oppression, and personal sacrifice in the name of liberty.

You're right that Chile was different. Catholic influence there was/is extreme compared to the western world. But, it does represent a model of how even well-entrenched minds can be changed in the context of social oppression through living theology.


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 8:49 am 
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Fat Strat wrote:
What's a better argument to a fundamentalist Christian:

Christian reader: The Bible says "render unto Caesar" so I should support the government and respect it as those God has chosen to lead me.
Philosopher: Yes, but can't you see how that leads to oppression and the loss of liberty?
Christian reader: Yes, but that's what the Bible says, so it's what I have to believe.
Philosopher: ....... But, that doesn't make sense.

Or

Christian reader: The Bible says "render unto Caesar" so I should support the government and respect it as those God has chosen to lead me.
Brueggeman: No. Jesus was crucified because he imagined and then created an alternative kingdom to that presented by Caesar and the Jewish leaders. He threatened them; he did not blindly follow them. And now he is calling you to imagine that kingdom and live it in the world, which will be a threat to the established order. So, yes, "render unto Caesar" -- pay your taxes and follow the laws. But, love your God and neighbor above all else, even when (and it will) that leads you into conflict with law.
Chrisitan reader: ......... Yes, but, I like Trump and Falwell.
Brueggeman: Then you are not of Jesus' kingdom.


What % of Christian leadership--pastors, philosophers, authors--is represented by people like Bruggemann?

Why is that number not 100?

What do you see as being the roadblock that precludes that number from ever being 100?

What do you think it is about religion, human nature, or the interplay of religion and human nature that will prevent that roadblock from ever being fully lifted?


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 9:09 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
I just spent about 10 minutes reading about him and I like the idea of this dude because he seems to be anti-consumerism and materialism and thinks nationalism is goofy, all of which I'm in line with.

Here's his biggest challenge. Take 10,000 Americans who identify as Christian, Catholic, or Evangelical. Ask them a lot of questions under the supervision of a psychologist and a lie detector. What you'll find out is that about 80% of them believe in the Virtue Of Financial Success more than what Bruggemann writes about. What you'd find out is that about 80% of them, even if they're not, consider themselves wealthy because they're white and religious and virtuous and the virtuous who work hard in America but who are not on-paper wealthy are just wealthy in waiting--it will eventually come to them via the lottery or inheritance or a miracle or a big job promotion or a MLM scheme or something, it just hasn't happened yet is all.* This is why the religious in America will pass the altar of Bruggemann for a stop the altar of Trump and the alt-right. Our real religious cult is materialism and Bruggemann is way out of fashion in that regard. That's why he's not on TV. He's too far outside the scope of the mainstream. A Christian who's talking about living a simple life on TV isn't a good cutaway to "Now a word from our sponsor re their new boner pills." A guy telling you nationalism is bad is a horrible segue to an ad with a white dude driving a Ford Truck through a craggy field of flags and red rocks.

*This is why we have an entire genre of American cinema: the film noir. It plays off our greed, and our belief that we deserve and can in the short term attain more. Riches, Rita Hayworth, a life without care, it's all at our fingertips with very little work involved. We deserve it. And when we attain it we will be virtuous.


Glad you liked Brueggemann. Read his book.

I don't think you're very far off from what Brueggemann says. The dominant kingdom is the dominant kingdom -- filled with its consumerism and materialism and power and influence. It consumes us all because it is the only world we have touched, tasted, smelled, and watched. It is all we know. So, yes, the vast majority of people are only going to see that kingdom as the only kingdom.

But, from a Christian perspective -- or, heck, just a human perspective -- it is false. It is not real. It does not fulfill. We are hardwired to consume, gain, and take, but our souls (regardless of religious persuasion) longs for relationship, love, community, and lasting significance.

So, Brueggemann says it's our job (as prophetic voices) to help people imagine first and then realize something that their hearts long for but the dominant worldview is actively trying to suppress. And, yeah, it feels/sounds/looks weird next to ED commercials, but that's the nature of dominance vs. an alternative.


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 9:35 am 
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Fat Strat wrote:

I don't think you're very far off from what Brueggemann says. The dominant kingdom is the dominant kingdom -- filled with its consumerism and materialism and power and influence. It consumes us all because it is the only world we have touched, tasted, smelled, and watched. It is all we know. So, yes, the vast majority of people are only going to see that kingdom as the only kingdom.

But, from a Christian perspective -- or, heck, just a human perspective -- it is false. It is not real. It does not fulfill. We are hardwired to consume, gain, and take, but our souls (regardless of religious persuasion) longs for relationship, love, community, and lasting significance.

So, Brueggemann says it's our job (as prophetic voices) to help people imagine first and then realize something that their hearts long for but the dominant worldview is actively trying to suppress. And, yeah, it feels/sounds/looks weird next to ED commercials, but that's the nature of dominance vs. an alternative.


Ah yes but then those people who are consumed by the physical world they know and live in who say "but I'm a Christian" are not really Christian, right? They don't live a Christian life. So should they not commit one way or another?

I believe in the physical world I inhabit and I don't believe in heaven or in hell. I believe in being as good as I can in this world because I think the secret to life, the meaning of life, is the legacy or whatever that you leave behind whether it's kids, published works, small little steps in life that make things better on the micro/nano level in your community. I think that the physical world is all there is. This is my belief. I don't live that way and say that but secretly go pray at night to hedge my bets, I don't think that I should live two ways just in case I'm wrong about heaven. I'm consistent in what I say I believe and how I act.

Religious people--or people who claim to be Christian--who don't live religious/Christian lives are hypocrites, yes? They say they are Christian and don't practice Christianity, which was the point of the thread title when this convo got locked last time--"why are Christians not more Christ-like?"

Similar to the questions I asked above, what % of people who self-identify as Christian/Evanglical/Catholic do you think are living that hypocritical lifestyle? Does that number frighten you a little? Does it make your work seem hard? How does that change, short of the media--a bunch of people who are driven by facts that can be proven, followed up on, double checked, then published as facts--being friendlier to something that as only a belief system is antithetical to journalism?


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 10:02 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
Fat Strat wrote:

I don't think you're very far off from what Brueggemann says. The dominant kingdom is the dominant kingdom -- filled with its consumerism and materialism and power and influence. It consumes us all because it is the only world we have touched, tasted, smelled, and watched. It is all we know. So, yes, the vast majority of people are only going to see that kingdom as the only kingdom.

But, from a Christian perspective -- or, heck, just a human perspective -- it is false. It is not real. It does not fulfill. We are hardwired to consume, gain, and take, but our souls (regardless of religious persuasion) longs for relationship, love, community, and lasting significance.

So, Brueggemann says it's our job (as prophetic voices) to help people imagine first and then realize something that their hearts long for but the dominant worldview is actively trying to suppress. And, yeah, it feels/sounds/looks weird next to ED commercials, but that's the nature of dominance vs. an alternative.


Ah yes but then those people who are consumed by the physical world they know and live in who say "but I'm a Christian" are not really Christian, right? They don't live a Christian life. So should they not commit one way or another?

I believe in the physical world I inhabit and I don't believe in heaven or in hell. I believe in being as good as I can in this world because I think the secret to life, the meaning of life, is the legacy or whatever that you leave behind whether it's kids, published works, small little steps in life that make things better on the micro/nano level in your community. I think that the physical world is all there is. This is my belief. I don't live that way and say that but secretly go pray at night to hedge my bets, I don't think that I should live two ways just in case I'm wrong about heaven. I'm consistent in what I say I believe and how I act.

Religious people--or people who claim to be Christian--who don't live religious/Christian lives are hypocrites, yes? They say they are Christian and don't practice Christianity, which was the point of the thread title when this convo got locked last time--"why are Christians not more Christ-like?"

Similar to the questions I asked above, what % of people who self-identify as Christian/Evanglical/Catholic do you think are living that hypocritical lifestyle? Does that number frighten you a little? Does it make your work seem hard? How does that change, short of the media--a bunch of people who are driven by facts that can be proven, followed up on, double checked, then published as facts--being friendlier to something that as only a belief system is antithetical to journalism?
Fat is way more equipped to answer these questions than me, but in The Sermon on the Mount Jesus addresses some of your questions. At least how I interpret what he’s saying.


““Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.7.21-23.nlt


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 10:50 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
Freed Roger wrote:
A lighter note- ever notice how awards and prizes tend to be bigger when less merit or skill is involved. The obvious one being lottery 33rd mention. We love it all the more when we can rationalize that the pure luck is divinely deserved. Have to laugh that lottery winners merit HGTV show about their lottery dream home.


Inheritance is a big one too. My father in law is quite wealthy. One of my brothers-in-law is not very successful but he says crap like how he's supporting Trump to keep his taxes low, because HRC would have ramped up his taxes. He talks like he's in the upper 5% when he talks about money. He also borrowed $50K from my father in law, without telling his wife that he borrowed the money from her dad, because they were underwater on their mortgage and he didn't want to tell her that they were flat broke*. But he believes that he's wealthy because his wife stands to inherit a significant amount money and when he says "we need low taxes to protect what we've earned from people who want to take it away" he's talking about protecting what someone else earned and what he wants to take without working for it. It's a trash mentality.

*They're Catholic though, so a two-cult home, so she'd never leave him even though she has told literally everyone under the sun that she can't stand him, doesn't sleep with him anymore, and wishes she'd never married him. It would disappoint her parents too much in the last few years of their lives if she got divorced at age 67, plus the church says it's a no-no. Super healthy. The irony of this is that this mooch who thinks her parents money is his will then probably get his hands on it and blow it because she doesn't have the nerve or common sense to divorce him. There's a bunch of other stuff beyond the borrowing money, the guy is an overall poon.


We are getting off on a tangent, but I have picked up on this as well. The "economic anxiety" that a ton of middle-aged white people have is that they will lose their inheritance when their Boomer parents die. They are not doing great, probably have very little saved for retirement, and so they are banking on that inheritance.

Millennials overall are a pretty liberal group, but there is a strand of them that are not only banking on their inheritance, but their parents are also helping them out while they are still alive. For example, I know many people whose parents helped their adult children with a down payment to buy a house. So although they are a minority, I think some Millennials are conservative because they want to protect their parents' income, as well as their inheritance. It's hard to blame them. We haven't given these people many other ways to accumulate wealth than to mooch off their Boomer parents. Mooching/banking on inheritance might be extremely lame, but it is a rational response to the world we have created.


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 11:03 am 
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Bob Marley singing Get Up, Stand Up in counterpoint to this piece of crap, Falwell.



Sidenote: Brueggemann and Niebuhr both attended/taught at Eden Seminary up the street from me. As I understand, it’s on its last legs. Unlike, say, Liberty U. What does that say about the state of divinity? What are the thriving instititutions dedicated to training thoughtful Christians?


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 12:33 pm 
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pioneer98 wrote:
We haven't given these people many other ways to accumulate wealth than to mooch off their Boomer parents. Mooching/banking on inheritance might be extremely lame, but it is a rational response to the world we have created.


Wait....kids who have parents wealthy enough to leave them a sizable inheritance....don't have employment opportunities in America? Maybe I'm missing your meaning pioneer, but this does not compute. There was/is not a shortage of education and employment opportunities for white people born to upper-middle-class homes between 1950 and 1980 in America.


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PostPosted: January 3 19, 12:37 pm 
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Tim wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
Fat Strat wrote:

I don't think you're very far off from what Brueggemann says. The dominant kingdom is the dominant kingdom -- filled with its consumerism and materialism and power and influence. It consumes us all because it is the only world we have touched, tasted, smelled, and watched. It is all we know. So, yes, the vast majority of people are only going to see that kingdom as the only kingdom.

But, from a Christian perspective -- or, heck, just a human perspective -- it is false. It is not real. It does not fulfill. We are hardwired to consume, gain, and take, but our souls (regardless of religious persuasion) longs for relationship, love, community, and lasting significance.

So, Brueggemann says it's our job (as prophetic voices) to help people imagine first and then realize something that their hearts long for but the dominant worldview is actively trying to suppress. And, yeah, it feels/sounds/looks weird next to ED commercials, but that's the nature of dominance vs. an alternative.


Ah yes but then those people who are consumed by the physical world they know and live in who say "but I'm a Christian" are not really Christian, right? They don't live a Christian life. So should they not commit one way or another?

I believe in the physical world I inhabit and I don't believe in heaven or in hell. I believe in being as good as I can in this world because I think the secret to life, the meaning of life, is the legacy or whatever that you leave behind whether it's kids, published works, small little steps in life that make things better on the micro/nano level in your community. I think that the physical world is all there is. This is my belief. I don't live that way and say that but secretly go pray at night to hedge my bets, I don't think that I should live two ways just in case I'm wrong about heaven. I'm consistent in what I say I believe and how I act.

Religious people--or people who claim to be Christian--who don't live religious/Christian lives are hypocrites, yes? They say they are Christian and don't practice Christianity, which was the point of the thread title when this convo got locked last time--"why are Christians not more Christ-like?"

Similar to the questions I asked above, what % of people who self-identify as Christian/Evanglical/Catholic do you think are living that hypocritical lifestyle? Does that number frighten you a little? Does it make your work seem hard? How does that change, short of the media--a bunch of people who are driven by facts that can be proven, followed up on, double checked, then published as facts--being friendlier to something that as only a belief system is antithetical to journalism?
Fat is way more equipped to answer these questions than me, but in The Sermon on the Mount Jesus addresses some of your questions. At least how I interpret what he’s saying.


““Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.7.21-23.nlt


I don't mean to be gauche here or anything but that doesn't answer any of the questions I asked, it just quotes a line in a book that I don't put any stock in. I'm not particularly interested in what's in the Bible, I'm more interested in the real-life stuff like how people who say they believe act in the tangible real world. Since I don't believe in the afterlife I don't have any questions about the ramifications of life after our bodies stop working. And I'm curious as a pastor how Fat understands and deals with those questions that I asked. I'm really interested how real true Christians who practice and believe find their place in Christianity as a whole, especially since people like Fat are so far outnumbered.


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