“Would Jesus have carried a gun?”
That was the question Christian activist Shane Claiborne posed in an article this Saturday.
“ Jesus did not tell us to kill our enemies. He told us to love them.”
These words come as a response to the shocking and repulsive comments by Liberty University’s president Jerry Falwell Jr. who, in a speech to his institution’s students, sneering declared that “if more good people had concealed-carry permits […] we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.”
I shouldn’t have to explain how despicable those words are. And readers- I’m not going to.
If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume (to hope) that you have an iota of humanity in you. A speck of morality. A single shred of basic decency. I don’t think I need to describe what vile, bigoted, demonic filth that statement is. I don’t think I could even begin to. The heinous, cancerous insanity that Falwell spouts doesn’t merit a response.
Shane Claiborne, on the other hand, does.
Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, Christianity, Islam, morality, news, religion
Tagged Bible, Christianity, Concealed Carry, Evangelicals, gun, guns, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jesus, Liberty University, morality, Muslim, Muslims, pacifism, Shane Claiborne, slavery, Temple, torture, Violence, Whip
Well readers, it’s that time of year again. Mildewed jack-o’-lanterns are being unceremoniously swept away from doorsteps as families hang lights and holly around their homes. Carols are beginning to play in stores across the nation and cheery folks, bundled up in their coats, are already beginning to make their lists. The elves and reindeer aren’t waiting for December and so, readers, neither shall I. And let me kick off the holidays here at Culture War Reporters by declaring this:
I hate Christmas.
Generally speaking, I always have.
And my family did celebrate the holidays, with my parents (who make Buddy the Elf look like Ebenezer Scrooge) even making a few luckless attempts at getting me to celebrate advent as well.
I’d say that my mom isn’t as bad, but her holiday tradition is- I make no exaggeration- screaming “IT’S # DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!” at the top of her lungs.
But for all the zeal my parents had I was generally free from the hustle and bustle of the season. One of the benefits of growing up in the middle of a primarily Muslim country is that one isn’t generally blasted with “Carol of the Bells” until one is prepared to put a drill to one’s head.
Coming to America, that was something I had difficulty adjusting to, to put things mildly. But that’s not the issue I have- not entirely anyways.
It was the expectation. Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, Christianity, design, film, media, morality, music, religion
Tagged carol, celebration, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, Commercialization, cups, design, elf, Europe, holiday, Jesus, Joshua Feuerstein, non-Christian, Pagan, season, secular, snow, Starbucks, The Family Man, The Santa Clause, tradition, War on Christmas
Back when this blog started up, Evan and I had a discussion about a lecture given by Socialist novelist China Miéville. During that lecture, Miéville commented that “if one person hears what you’re saying and does something horrible, the issue’s probably with them. If hundreds of people consistently start doing horrible things, it’s probably time to re-examine your message.”
Those words returned to me a few months ago as I watched Family Guy’s “The 2000-Year-Old Virgin”, which depicted Jesus as a cowardly shyster, lying about being a virgin in order to bed Lois Griffin (and more than a few other women).
Family Guy: Season 13, Episode 6
Grotesque? Repulsive? Offensive beyond all description?
For me, it wasn’t.
It was certainly far from being funny, but readers, yours truly simply was not offended.
As sacrilegious and bitingly edgy as I’m sure the writers thought the story was going to be, I was merely disappointed by it. While I’m not going to excuse the laziness or insensitivity of Seth MacFarlane or any of Family Guy’s writer’s, I actually don’t think the majority of blame should be placed on them.
I think it should be placed on Christians.
Continue reading →
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged art, Axe Cop Saves God, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Contextualize, dali, Darren Aronofsky, episode, Facebook, Family Guy, Futurama, God, Godfellas, gun, I see no God up here, Isaac Asimov, Jesus, literature, Megan Kelly, Miracle, music, Noah, Odin, One Like Equals One Prayer, Our Lady of Nagasaki, race, The 2000-Year-Old Virgin, The Last Question, white, Yuri Gagarin, zues
On May 19th In Touch Weekly published an article alleging that when Josh Duggar was a teenager, he molested five underage girls, including several of his sisters.
I didn’t want to write about the Duggars, but I felt compelled to. I wanted to write about this case because I am a Christian, so I understand a lot of the rhetoric of forgiveness that the Duggars and their supporters have used to explain their stance towards the eldest son. However, I am also a feminist, and I have seen the effects of sexual violence on the lives of people I love. So for this post, I want to explain why the Duggar’s act of forgiveness doesn’t make me angry, instead, it is the decisions they made along with that gift of forgiveness that have left me in disbelief.
We Need Forgiveness More Than We Realize
Those of you who know me in person have probably chatted with me about Christianity. I’ve struggled with it a lot over the last few years, and considered throwing the label out the window altogether. However, there are a few things that keep pulling me back to the faith I grew up in. One of these things is the tenant of forgiveness.
You have probably all heard some kind of variation of the quote I included above. While most of these sayings have essentially become cliches, I honestly believe the act of forgiveness can help wounded individuals in their journey of healing. In my own life, I’ve had experiences that could have easily led me to foster an intense bitterness towards certain individuals. The theology I grew up with helped me to understand those individuals as damaged people, which made it much easier to move on from those events.
The tenant of forgiveness extends far beyond the Christian faith. Forgiveness is a valued aspect of most world religions, and is even recognized by doctors and psychologists as a key part of healing. However, there are certain aspects about the Duggar case that undermine their appeal to forgiveness. Continue reading →
Posted in Christianity, religion, sex, television
Tagged 19 Kids and Counting, Advanced Training Institute, assailant, Bill Gothard, bitterness, Christianity, counseling, curriculum, Duggars, empower, Family Research Council, family values, feminism, forgiveness, healing, homosexuality, Jesus, Josh Duggar, leadership, molestation, pedophilia, perpetrators, purity culture, quiverfull, sexual abuse, silence, submission, trust, victims
The past two decades has not been kind to American Christians.
In spite of the Bush presidency, largely supported by Evangelicals, the former administration’s efforts were focused on the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than at home. In 2000 only a single state recognized same-sex marriage. Today only 12 states do not, and gay rights have rapidly moved from a fringe issue to a widely accepted stance. Support for Roe V. Wade has seen a slow but steady increase, and belief in evolution has seen similar growth- even among conservatives.
With these defeats, it would be understandable if conservative Christians claim that their once mighty “Shining city upon a hill” has fallen into disarray, with the forces of secularism closing in for the final siege.
Enter Dr. Ben Carson, 2016 presidential hopeful, and, to hear many talk, one pale horse shy of the second coming.
Continue reading →
Posted in America, Christianity, Evolution, government, lgbt, morality, news, politics, religion
Tagged 2016, abortion, Ben Carson, bestiality, candidate, Christian, Christianity, church, conservative, Culture War, Detroit, Dr. Carson, Evangelical, Evangelicals, evolution, gay marriage, GOP, interview, Iraq, Jesus, national prayer breakfast, National Review, obamacare, orphans, palestine, palestinian, pedophilia, politics, poverty, Presidental Race, prison, Prosperity Gospel, republican, same sex marriage, widows, Zondervan
On December 28th Leelah (Josh) Alcorn committed suicide. In the Tumblr note she scheduled to upload after her death, Leelah implies that her parents’ strict rejection of her identity was one of the factor that led her to this decision.
I’m not a parent, so I don’t want to ignorantly hand out parenting suggestions. However, I do want to start a dialogue about this story in the Christian community.
Instead of offering my own naive words of advice, I’ve pulled out three quotes from Leelah’s note to focus on. Each of these three points highlight things Leelah seemed to deeply wish that her Christian parents would understand.
1. You can’t force your child to accept your beliefs
“They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy…”
I love what Jamie (the very worst missionary) once said on this topic. In her post titled “Not All Pastor’s Kids Are Christian. Sorry.” she talks about her own experience as a pastors wife, parenting a child who now identifies as an atheist. While Jamie expects their children to act respectful towards her and her husband (and their chosen profession), when it comes to their faith she only asks her children to be honest with her in their journey towards truth. She doesn’t ask them to pretend to be something they are not:
“Believing in Jesus? Receiving His redemption? These are not commands to be given by a father and obeyed by a child. They are a loving invitation from God to his people, every last one of His people, and He is patiently awaiting their reply…”
Continue reading →
Posted in Christianity, family, health, lgbt, religion
Tagged #RealLifeTransAdult, acceptance, adolescent development, Atheist, beliefs, Beyond Ex-Gay, Christian, Christianity, Community, computer, corrective therapy, cruelty, dangerous, dialogue, embarrassment, ex-gay, faith, family, forbidden, gay, honesty, internet, isolation, Jamie the very worst missionary, Jesus, Josh Alcorn, Leelah Alcorn, lgbt, love, mental-health, Not all Pastor's Kids, pain, parenting, parents, peers friendship, phone, Public Health Agency of Canada, reddit, repression, safety, social media, solidarity, strict, suicide, suicide note, support, survivor, tough love, Transgender, truth, Truth Wins Out, Tumblr