|il fiore bel |
I guess some people just want the benefit of appearing charitable without actually being charitable, so that everyone will know what good people they are.
Five stars for "Who ordered the piping hot asshole?"
I think Christian conservatives are charitable, they give to their church. That's charitable, isn't it?
They're demonstrating loyalty to their tribe.
I am starting to think that just about every major negative in the human psyche finds its roots in old primate instincts: tribal loyalty, schadenfreude, getting angrystupid when encountering obstacles, and so on. Useful on the savanna two million years ago, a little less so today.
Binro the Heretic
It's been my experience that the vast majority of donations to churches never fund the feeding of the hungry or care of the sick or what have you.
Most of the money donated to churches goes towards "Gods work" which can be anything from resurfacing the church parking lot to sending the Sunday school kids to a creationist museum to buying crates of little bibles to give out and "spread the good word."
Also to cover "administrative costs" which can mean keeping the lights turned on or big fat paychecks to the administrators.
On a different scale, my family and I were driving through rural Southwestern MO on one of the fairly major highways. We passed through several flyspeck towns, many of which had dilapidated and vacant houses, yet we could count 5+ different churches in each, all with billboards with "witty" religious slogans that read like a mix between a bad pun book and Rush Limbaugh.
I'm wondering where the money to have that many churches in the middle of nowhere was coming from.
Were they Baptist churches? Baptists seem to always be the biggest believers in "clever" billboards.
I think we saw Baptist, Pentecostal, and 7th Day Adventist, all well-known for "y'all a-goin' to HAY-el when Jeebus REE-turns next week with FAHR for the SAW-domites" fire & brimstone banter.
If there were other denominations, they didn't display their sect's title or they were "normal" Protestant denominations that were just trying to keep up with the crazy so they didn't lose parishioners.
He has some good writers, good delivery and he's a good moderator/makes funny quips in panels, but jesus fuck is the man dumb as a fucking rock. I believe he may have actually smoked himself retarded.
Any time he's in a 1 on 1 interview with someone slightly intellectual or with a complex issue to discuss I just can't stop cringing.
Someone's gonna comment that Christianity has always been terrible, but that's not quite it -- Christianity is terrible when it's used to enforce the status quo, but it can be pretty good when used to challenge the status quo, which (according to what Christ allegedly said) it was intended to do.
I'm just talking about its impact on the world; its theological merits are another thing altogether.
Ain't it the truth. Take a look at this photo from Billy Graham's 95th birthday party:
Sarah Palin? Rupert Murdoch? Donald Trump? Billy doesn't look to be pleased with the company he is forced to keep these days.
I love the Rupert Murdoch is the only one wearing a name tag in that pic. Like he's the special kid at the party who keeps going up to people and introducing himself over and over.
yeah, Billy's birthday crew caused a bit of a stir in his pretty liberal home town: http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20131110/COLUMNISTS09/3111000 65/Boyle-Franklin-Graham-sullying-Billy-s-legacy-
|Binro the Heretic |
There used to be a time when Christians realized the world was an unjust place. The phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I," is an acknowledgment of that fact. A major point of the story of Job is that we should all realize terrible things happen to good people who don't deserve them.
Nowadays, every misfortune is seen as a punishment for some transgression or other. People who consider themselves "Christians" will happily let people go hungry, shiver in the cold or die of disease because they feel God is somehow making things "right".
What's funny, in a horrible heartbreaking sort of way, are the hypocritical assholes who scoff at evolution but insist large numbers of people dying as a result of poverty is just natural selection at work.
I'm not sure I would say there was a time Christians understood the world was an unjust place, OR that they don't understand it now. I suspect it's always been the way of things that Christians with power tend towards assholery, while Christians without power tend to be truer followers of Christ. And a LOT of American Christians have a lot of power, or at least believe themselves to.
Bob Jones University used to consider it their Christian prerogative to practice discrimination, while MLK Jr stood against racial discrimination and later (the part everyone forgets) against poverty and war in general.
160 years ago you'd find Southern Baptist preachers championing slavery and Northern abolitionist preachers railing against it; John Brown got a bee in his bonnet after a particularly stirring sermon.
You can even go back as far as the Eastern Roman Empire, where monks would condemn aristocratic women for wearing earrings in church that could feed multitudes. (I mean if you sold them; they weren't magic earrings that could create food out of thin air. We need to be extremely clear on this point.)
As Archbishop Hélder Câmara was famous for saying, "when I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
@Bort, it seems to me that it's only more recently that Christianity as a whole is swinging back around to actually worrying about poor people and where their former allies in government are steering the nation/world.
I think it was when their old buddies, Fox News and Bill-O, started using the phrase "social justice" as a slur. This was followed by the realization that if social spending was done away with, the wingnuts in gov't somehow thought churches could handle the load. Then, I'm sure, they noticed more and more of their congregants were losing their homes/jobs thanks to various banking, taxation, and overseas employment jobs that favored the wealthy, and that meant less dosh in the collection plates.
Maybe conscience and a heartfelt return to humanitarian principles was at play, but I think the bottom line is what really got the ball rolling on what appears to be a swing away from supporting the assholes who say Jesus wants more tax cuts for the Koch Brothers.
I won't deny that the Religious Right got really bad there for a while, like an infection that nearly killed the patient (who BTW is not out of the woods yet). I just don't know that we can speak of Christianity as a whole, or even American Christianity as a whole. American Catholicism, for example, never quite went "libertarian" the way that fundamentalists typically did; nor did they go anti-science. Anti-abortion and anti-gay, sure, but the Catholics were there first; prior to the 1980s the Catholics were the only bunch that gave a damn about the unborn.
Then there's the matter of generational differences: hating on the gays is a hard sell to the young, even among fundamentalists, and the fundamentalist community is not sure what they can do to hold on to the young.
It's a matter of different tendencies that manifest to different degrees depending on which Christians you're talking to. But yeah, it feels like entitled asshole Christianity is on the downswing right now, and it's still got a lot of downswinging to do before I feel like they're no longer a threat.
The problem with charity, just generally, is that the very same mindset that creates American superchurch hypocrisy also tend to make it very tell the genuinely needy from the gutter capitalist. And I'm eventually going to have to ask God to his face about this, but I feel morally/ethically wrong about giving to the professional bum, just like I feel wrong about giving to the false prophet and the Tax-Deductible Charity Organization With Fun Runs And A Marketing Department.
Doesn't help that the conservative politics appendant to religion make ASKING for charity when needed as much of a sin as anything else they disapprove of. And then it comes down to what happens when I see government charity being abused on a daily basis, from all sides of the political spectrum.
My rule tends to be just be really open about a willingness to help out among friends and family. I'll give until it bleeds if I know it really helps. I just actually feel like I'd be contributing to the problem if it's just a perfunctory fiver at a street bum. And also, just like never not tipping, one never DOESN'T give to the Salvation Army at Christmas. Fuck your politics, fuck their politics, you just do it. Shut up.
I have zero problems with welfare. I'm personally below poverty line, so I'm unlikely to give money to street bums. I find it fairly bizarre that it's always the same bums on the street corners on my commute route, though.
Binro the Heretic
Problems that make you unemployable (mental illness, addiction, criminal record, antisocial behavior, etc.) are hard to shake and tend to keep you unemployable.
Every time I hear the "welfare queen" trope as a reason to cut social aid, I think we should probably de-fund all firefighters, since lots of people pull false alarms every day.
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