The Flock Flees

For too long there has been a religious presence in politics that has brought about the culture wars….those issues that have NOTHING to do with this countries well being.

There are too many ‘pastors’ that try to influence politicians…not with blessings but rather with cash…..thus the culture wars continue.

This abortion of American society has been holding politicians by the cajones for about 40+ years……but that hold may be loosening….

For the first time in the United States, church attendance has dropped below 50 percent, Gallup revealed Monday.

It’s a warning that was issued when evangelical churches began loudly pushing far-right policies and supporting Republican candidates. While there are progressive and non-partisan churches that have risen above the fray, many of the loudest voices have been those promoting conservative policies.

“U.S. church membership was 73 percent when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70 percent for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century,” the report said.

https://www.rawstory.com/churches-losing-people/

And this…

https://www.rawstory.com/gop-religion/

What could make Americans flee from ‘church’….well there is an opinion why….

Because, while church membership is declining, people are still as hungry for the things of God as they ever have been. People are still seeking justice, forgiveness, hope, love and belonging. People are still desperate for mercy, for meaning, for second chances. People are still seeking the Holy, and the Holy One is still seeking people. So the problem isn’t with those outside the church, and it certainly isn’t with God. The problem — and it is a problem — is with us. The problem is that most of the church in America looks more like America than the body of Christ.

The church makes the news for all the wrong reasons — seminary leaders who passionately denounce Critical Race Theory but are silent about the white supremacy that forms their curriculum and institutions. Pastors who care more about not being called racist than learning how to meaningfully participate in racial reconciliation. Christians who care more about defending their right to buy a weapon than advocating to end police brutality.

 
I agree that religion spends too much time trying to force Americans to believe inn their vision of the ‘perfect’ society instead of working on the souls and the spiritual needs of their flocks.
 
Time for religious leaders to step back and only comment when asked….I have never asked but I am still bombarded with stuff that means little to me.
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Namaste Alabama

I get a chuckle out of the silliness that state representatives will go to to keep from addressing the problems within its borders……this one is from Alabama…..

It seems that these guys are afraid of yoga…..why?

They think it will help spread Hinduism in the state.

Seriously!

Legislation that would have allowed yoga to be taught in Alabama public schools died in committee Wednesday, stalling a years-long battle by one state legislator to bring the practice back.

Bill AL HB246 was put forth by Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray, who wrote that bringing yoga back to school would be voluntary. It sought to overturn a ban on the practice in Alabama schools in place since 1993.

Lawmakers in Alabama’s state Senate voted on the proposal and decided against it, effectively endorsing the existing ban. Gray can attempt to pass the measure again later, but it is a significant setback.

https://www.insider.com/alabama-upholds-ban-on-yoga-in-schools-citing-hindu-influence-2021-4

Think this is silly?

Read the bill and determine the silliness….

Click to access McWord290-040-040.pdf

This is the bill that would overturn this silly ban….

https://legiscan.com/AL/bill/HB246/2021

For me this is a waste of time!

I have NO time for the religious BS….maybe concentrate on the needs of the people of Alabama and let this type of theatrics die.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–22Dec20

Just Another Worthless Religious Leader

I have never been a fan of the faux religious leaders that call themselves ‘evangelicals’…..since they emerged back in the Reagan years they have been the drivers of policy of the government…..and not until Trump has their true nature been so obvious.

One of the most irritating is Liberty Univ Falwell……and now that he has been disgraced more and more corruption has been uncovered……recently it is the amount of cash that Liberty fed to the Trump machine…..

After shocking many in the evangelical movement by endorsing Donald Trump over other Republicans for the 2016 presidential nomination, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. pumped millions of the nonprofit religious institution’s funds into Republican causes and efforts to promote the Trump administration, blurring the lines between education and politics.

The culmination of his efforts was the creation of a university-funded campus “think tank” — which has produced nopeer-reviewed academic work and bears little relation to study centers at other universities — that ran pro-Trump ads, hired Trump allies including former adviser Sebastian Gorka and current Trump attorney Jenna Ellis to serve as fellows and, in recent weeks, has aggressively promoted Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

The think tank — called the Falkirk Center, a portmanteau of Falwell’s name and that of GOP activist Charlie Kirk, who co-founded it — purchased campaign-season ads on Facebook, at least $50,000’s worth of which were designated by the network as political ads, that promoted Trump and other Republican candidates by name.

“Pray For Our President,” declared one, featuring a photo of Trump with his hands clasped in prayer.

“Be a radical for our republic,” said another Facebook ad that ran over the summer with a photo of a beaming Madison Cawthorn, the rising GOP star and congressional candidate from North Carolina who spoke at Trump’s convention.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/14/jerry-falwell-trump-liberty-university-444661

Time to tell these creeps to go back to serving their flock and leave the running of this country to the bureaucrats…..they have helped turned this country into a ‘combat zone’ that continues to tear the people apart.

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–06Dec20

How many of my readers attended Sunday School?

That many?

Then they will recall the story of David and Goliath….where this boy with a sling killed the Giant warrior of the Philistines…..

A great story and life affirming tale that size matters not……

Sorry to say but that story was like so many myths….probably pure BS……

Early versions of the Bible describe Goliath — an ancient Philistine warrior best known as the loser of a fight with the future King David — as a giant whose height in ancient terms reached four cubits and a span. But don’t take that measurement literally, new research suggests.

Archaeological findings at biblical-era sites including Goliath’s home city, a prominent Philistine settlement called Gath, indicate that those ancient measurements work out to 2.38 meters, or 7 feet, 10 inches. That’s equal to the width of walls forming a gateway into Gath that were unearthed in 2019, according to archaeologist Jeffrey Chadwick of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Rather than standing taller than any NBA player ever, Goliath was probably described metaphorically by an Old Testament writer as a warrior who matched the size and strength of Gath’s defensive barrier, Chadwick said November 19 at the virtual annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

The biblical warrior Goliath may not have been so giant after all

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Closing Thought–30Nov20

Since the election of 1980 the religious right have had a strangehold on the GOP and its policies and rhetoric…..is it possible that the hold could be weakening and possibly ending?

Donald Trump, by his own words and actions, does not appear to be the most religious person.

He has claimed he doesn’t seek forgiveness from God, and he once tried to put money in a Communion plate. Apart from his controversial photo op while holding up a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, he doesn’t seem especially concerned with Christian symbolism.

And yet 76% of white evangelical voters supported him in the 2020 election. It’s clear American evangelicals value something other than his religious devotion.
As a Christian ethicist, I’m especially interested in the ways Christians seek to gain and use political power. Why did so many Christians vote for Trump? And what are they afraid of losing when he leaves?

Many evangelical Christians are drawn to Trump’s promises to protect religious liberty. President-elect Biden, meanwhile, has also promised to protect religious liberty. But it might not be on evangelicals’ terms.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/evangelicals-stronghold-on-american-politics-may-finally-be-over-thanks-to-trump/

Could the religious right have finally met its match with Donald the Orange?

Personally if it has then I can thank Trump for his breaking of the power that these zealots held over a political party…..religion has NO place in government.-

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Devil–What You Know Is Wrong!

It is Halloween and if normal there will be all sorts of creatures out and about…..and that included “devils”…

Speaking of the Devil….what you think you know is probably wrong……

The Devil is one of those figures that pretty much everyone has heard of, and pretty much anyone who’s heard of him has a good idea of what his deal is. They know what he looks like, what his real name is, what his secret origin story is, and all about how he wages war against God for the souls of humankind from his blazing kingdom of the damned in the depths of Hell.

And while for many people, the Devil is a folkloric figure or even just a metaphor, many others believe in a literal Devil who has real impact on the world. So even though it would be impossible to be “wrong” about a folkloric Devil, if you want to believe in a biblical Devil, you should know what the Bible does — and more often, doesn’t – say about him. Spoilers: all the things you know from the first paragraph are wrong.

The Devil isn’t God’s archenemy

In the popular conception of the Devil, he is the embodiment of pure evil, and as such, he’s God’s opposite number. The idea is that God and Satan are constantly at war with each other for the souls of humanity, each sending out their angels against the others’ in order to destroy their greatest enemy. This view, however, isn’t supported by the Bible at all. As the Encyclopedia Britannica points out, it’s only in post-biblical Jewish literature that Satan becomes an adversary of God. The idea of Satan as the ruler of fallen angels who rebelled against God simply does not exist in the Hebrew scriptures.

The idea of more or less equal forces of good and evil battling against each other likely entered into Jewish (and subsequently Christian) thinking as a result of the Jews being exposed to the more dualistic religion of Zoroastrianism when they were exiled to Babylon in the 6th century B.C.

While in the New Testament Satan is portrayed more clearly as an enemy of God, he’s still not anywhere close to equal in power. The best he can do is try to tempt Jesus into abandoning his mission of salvation and worship him, all of which Jesus resists without much effort. It’s only weaker-willed humans like Judas who succumb to Satan’s power. Satan and his minions don’t stand a chance against Jesus.

….Read On…..

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/268331/things-people-get-wrong-about-the-devil/

Happy Halloween and just pleased to able to make that wish in person….

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do We Need Religion?

The weekend and I thought maybe a little debate would be good for the soul….

Before we start…please this is a debate…..if you cannot logically and rationally state a case then move on…..

I read a piece in a journal entitle “Public Discourse”…..and I would like to hear opinions from my readers…..please read the article before going off on some mindless rant……

A great irony of the Jewish and Christian faith traditions: One must be willing to accept suffering and sacrifice for a greater purpose that transcends one’s particular material and sensual needs and desires. Counter-intuitively, it is these transcendent qualities of faith that eschew utilitarian aims for a greater purpose that create the circumstances for greater material well-being.

“Too much religion is bad for a country,” asserts Max Boot in a recent Washington Post op-ed. Boot cites a number of indicators—average GDP per capita, unemployment rates, poverty rates, homicide rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, education, and degree of political liberties—that suggest that “less religious nations are much better off.” Indeed, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Japan, some of the least religious nations in the world, rank best in the aforementioned categories, while many of the most religious nations in the world (the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Thailand, India, Nigeria) are among the worst. America represents a unique case in this regard, being both wealthy and developed, but more religious than her Western counterparts. Would she be better off if her religious practice were to decline to levels found elsewhere in the developed world?

Would America Be Better Off without Religion?

Me?

I do not think it must be front and center of society…..it is a personal decision and should remain just that…..personal…..but I will say I do not think organized religion has done society any favors of the centuries from the past.

But here are a few things about religion and government….

The separation of church and state has come under scrutiny again this summer after the Supreme Court sided with religious conservatives in a series of rulings. One of the rulings allows states to fund religious schools indirectly, while another protects religious schools from federal employment discrimination lawsuits.

Americans have been debating where to draw the line between religion and government since the country’s founding. And even as the percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans rises, church and state remain intertwined in many ways – often with the public’s support.

Here are eight facts about the connections between religion and government in the United States, based on previously published Pew Research Center analyses.

8 facts about religion and government in the United States

I believe it is time for true Christians to take back their religion from those extremists that only use it to further their agenda.

Right-wing extremists continue to promulgate falsehoods about religion in American society. Their claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation is easily refuted by noting that the word “Christian” does not appear in any of the founding documents. The First Amendment unequivocally prohibits the government from the establishment of any state-endorsed religion. John Adams reaffirmed this succinctly in 1796 in the Treaty of Tripoli: “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Nonetheless, the fearmongers of Fox News and other right-wing propaganda outlets continue to peddle hate, suspicion and exhortations to violence to stand against the infamous, but nonexistent, “War on Christianity.” Christianity is dying in America as a result of the internal corruption, hypocrisy and deceit of those who claim to be the stalwarts protecting their faith.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/09/28/genuine-christians-must-speak-up-takeback-dying-religion/5841981002/

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die”

Your thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Blame It On Gay Marriage!

There has been so many things that have been blamed on the institution of gay marriage……but the best is that this pandemic is God’s revenge on humanity for gay marriage.

A religious leader in Ukraine has done just that…blamed gays for the pandemic…..but there is a twist here……

leading church figure in Ukraine who previously described the coronavirus outbreak as “God’s punishment” against gay marriage has contracted COVID-19.

Patriarch Filaret, leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, is in a stable condition in hospital after it was announced on September 4 that he had contracted the virus.

“We inform you that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine tested positive for COVID-19 during planned testing,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate said in a statement.

https://www.newsweek.com/patriarch-filaret-coronavirus-gay-marriage-ukraine-1530261

If there is a God then he has proven that he has a sense of humor…in my book.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Religious Hypocrites

I seldom write on religion….for one I do not care much for organized religion….butt mostly because most of the leaders are outright hypocrites….they rail about everything from protesters to fornicators to gays to Muslims…..and only the weak minded believe their babbling…..for most prove over time that they are NO better than the rest of us regardless on how much scripture they spout.

This post is about the fate of a staunch evangelical, Jerry Falwell….preachers and head of Liberty University, the university that teaches family values…..

It seems that he and his wife have been caught up in some sort of sex scandal…..

Jerry Falwell Jr. made several different headlines earlier this year, including when he told students they could come back to Liberty University during the pandemic, made a cringey face mask “joke,” and stepped down from Liberty after an odd photo of him emerged. Now, in an exclusive statement to the Washington Examiner, Falwell explains he’s been suffering from depression, prompted by an affair his wife, Becki, had with a former family friend who then threatened to expose the affair and tried to extort them. Falwell says he and Becki met 21-year-old pool attendant Giancarlo Granda in 2012 at a hotel in Miami Beach, and the couple was “so impressed by his initiative” they included him in a real estate deal. Shortly after, however, Becki entered into what Falwell calls an “inappropriate personal relationship” with Granda. “I lost 80 pounds,” Falwell says of his reaction after discovering the affair.

And it soon became a “roller coaster” and a “Fatal Attraction-like situation” after the Falwells tried to distance themselves from Granda, Falwell says, claiming that Granda got “increasingly angry and aggressive” and threatened to out the affair and embarrass the couple and Liberty University unless they paid him “substantial monies.” Media outlets had reported on Granda’s ties to the Falwells last year, which included whispers of “racy” photos involving the three. Granda denies to the Examiner any type of extortion attempt, calling the claim “defamatory” and promising that “the WHOLE truth will come out.” The one silver lining for the Falwells: They reconciled after the affair. “Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better, too,” Falwell says

The “Other Guy” has come out of the woodwork……

The news about Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally clarified: The evangelical leader tells the Wall Street Journal that he is indeed out as president of Liberty University in Virginia. Falwell says he submitted his resignation to the school’s board Monday night after conflicting reports about whether he had or had not resigned. The confusion apparently stemmed from negotiations over how much money he is due. His resignation follows a tumultuous few weeks. Coverage:

  • His view: “The board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract,” Falwell told the Journal. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”
  • Scandals: First came the photo he posted on social media, with his pants open and his arm around the waist of his wife’s female assistant, whose pants also were open. Then came the Reuters story detailing how his wife, Becki, had a years-long sexual relationship with a younger man, and how Falwell would watch them having sex. And before all that, Falwell took flak for his decision to bring students onto campus in March amid the pandemic, notes Axios.
  • The code: Falwell may call his critics “self-righteous,” but they in turn see hypocrisy. The Liberty honor code for students reads, “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
  • His wife: While Falwell, 58, has been influential in politics and an ardent supporter of President Trump, his wife, 53, is also a political figure, notes Reuters. Among other things, she served on the advisory board of Women for Trump, and she spoke at CPAC on a panel with her husband and Donald Trump Jr. last year.
  • Other man: Giancarlo Granda says he met the Falwells in 2012 at age 20 when he worked at a Miami hotel as a pool attendant. Jerry Falwell has acknowledged his wife’s affair, but he calls Granda an “extortionist,” adding, “Most of what that guy said … is not true.” BuzzFeed detailed in 2018 how the three went into business together.
  • The shift: Politico reports that Jerry Falwell attempted to buy out Granda from their business venture in 2015, just before getting involved with Trump’s campaign. Granda sees it as an attempt by Falwell to erase evidence of their relationship before taking on a bigger national profile. Falwell “admired Trump’s strongman public persona,” Granda tells the outlet. “Also, there was a noticeable personality change after Trump was elected. He was drunk on power and felt like he could get away with anything.” Falwell’s endorsement of Trump was seen as pivotal for his 2016 candidacy

Not to fret if you are a supporter of Falwell…..he will get out of his presidency of Liberty with a wad of cash……

Jerry Falwell Jr. has officially resigned from Liberty University, and he told the Washington Post Tuesday night that he’ll get $10.5 million in severance, as specified in his contract. That’s because he resigned in good standing, without being formally accused of or admitting to any wrongdoing. “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” he tells the newspaper. “There wasn’t any cause. I haven’t done anything.” He’ll get $2.5 million over two years, the equivalent of what his salary would have been during that same period, and he’s agreed not to work for a competing university during those years. At the end of that period, he’ll get the rest of his severance in retirement. A source tells Fox News Falwell has agreed to consult for Liberty during the transition to a new president.

His resignation comes, of course, on the heels of a controversial photo showing him with his wife’s scantily-clad assistant, which was quickly followed by Falwell’s admission that his wife had had an affair. Reports have claimed the affair lasted years and Falwell would watch his wife and her lover have sex; Falwell claims the man tried to extort the couple, and his wife denies Falwell watched, per Fox News. Her alleged lover on Tuesday issued new accusations against Falwell, claiming he shared inappropriate photos of a Liberty student; Falwell tells the Post it was simply a funny, non-sexual image of a friend of his daughters-in-law. Also Tuesday, Falwell confirmed it was President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen who helped him years ago when someone tried to blackmail the Falwells over sensitive photos. Cohen claims he asked Falwell, as a “personal favor,” to endorse President Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Really?

Doing what demagogues do…..blame someone else for their screw ups…..instead of manning up they go into excuses….I am old enough to remember Swaggart’s sex scandal……

Falwell is typical……My thinking that evangelicals are hypocrites and have seen nothing to change my mind as of yet.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Rohingya–Another Forgotten People

I have recently wrote a post about the Muslim minority in China, the Uighurs.

They are not alone in this world of mistreatment….there is the Rohingya Muslim minority of Myanmar(Burma)…..probably most Americans are ignorant about the plight of these people….and that is where the Old Professor comes in…..

The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya in the Southeast Asian country.

The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Nearly all of the Rohingya in Myanmar live in the western coastal state of Rakhine and are not allowed to leave without government permission. It is one the poorest states in the country, with ghetto-like camps and a lack of basic services and opportunities.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/rohingya-muslims-170831065142812.html

I have written about the plight of these people…..some 3 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/the-rohingya-search-for-a-home/

The Rohinyga have fled to Bangledesh and are now in camps in a country that hates them….

The exodus began on 25 August 2017 after Rohingya Arsa militants launched deadly attacks on more than 30 police posts.

Rohingyas arriving in Bangladesh said they fled after troops, backed by local Buddhist mobs, responded by burning their villages and attacking and killing civilians.

At least 6,700 Rohingya, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the month after the violence broke out, according to medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Amnesty International says the Myanmar military also raped and abused Rohingya women and girls

The government, which puts the number of dead at 400, claims that “clearance operations” against the militants ended on 5 September, but BBC correspondents have seen evidence that they continued after that date.

At least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine state after August 2017, according to analysis of satellite imagery by Human Rights Watch.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561

AS usual I will try to help my readers that have an aversion to the printed word with a couple of short videos…..

And for those that need the video crisis is explained…..

The Rohingyas are yet another minority that deserves more attention than they are given.

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“lego ergo scribo”