- Review: Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity
- Burn a Koran Day called off; Ground Zero "mosque" agrees to move
- Lazarus Rising: Is The Religious Right Ready To Be 'Born Again' In The 2010 Elections?
- Pat Robertson passes the buck on bigotry
- Keep Looking – 9/9/2010 Atheist Cartoon
- Send Pastor Terry Jones to Afghanistan to Burn a Quran
Posted: 09 Sep 2010 05:47 PM PDT
Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About the Bible
Diana Agorio's Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianityis a masterful tour-de-force into the realms of ancient culture, astrology and religion, one that offers a revelation of truly Biblical proportions. Agorio's thesis is that Christianity and Judaism have their roots in the ancient cultures of West Asia (Mesopotamia, the Levant and Anatolia),
The myths of the ancient world are central to this story, and Agorio brings them alive with consummate skill. The myths were represented in the star patterns of the zodiac, and priestly knowledge of the stars was an important source of their power from the days of ancient
Contrary to Biblical myth, the Hebrews emerged in the land of 'Canaan' (
Agorio's deconstruction of the Biblical myths places the writing of most of the Old Testament solidly in the Hellenistic, a time of resurgent priestly power after the relatively secular government of the Persians. Whilst this late dating of the Biblical texts, known as 'minimalism', is controversial to religionists who ardently insist on ludicrously-old dates and equally-ludicrous literal interpretations of the myths, the truth is that the literary styles and the contents of the texts themselves clearly mark them as Hellenistic.
But if Agorio's conclusions about the Old Testament seem revolutionary, her treatment of the New Testament is earth-shaking. Even readers who are familiar with the 'mythicist' hypothesis that there never was a historical Jesus are in for a shock. Agorio explains that Jesus was essentially a Palestinian, Semitic version of the savior-god Adonis. Inasmuch as Jesus' story in the Gospel of Mark perfectly follows the Babylonian Star Chart, from baptism to death and resurrection, it reveals a profoundly disturbing theology of child sacrifice and ritual drug use articulated in opposition to emergent Judaism. The apostle Paul, in turn, is revealed to be another sacred-drug-user and boy-lover, and a eunuch to boot, a member of a despised and radical Roman subculture who engaged in these practices. Paul's own letters (the authentic ones) take on a whole new light: Paul, like Leviticus before him, condemned homosexual relations between freeborn adult males which were outside the confines of the 'sacred marriage' practice in his cult. His supposed condemnations of homosexuality in Romans chapter 1 were in fact condemnations of "lustful" same-sex liaisons. The letter to Philemon proves to be a sordid and chilling request for Paul to keep the slave Onesimus as his personal boy-toy.
A bold challenge to entrenched religious obfuscation,Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianitystrips away the facades of faith to reveal the Bible's true and sordid origins. If you read no other book on the origins of Christianity and Judaism, read this one. Meet the gods who became men, and the boys who became gods.
Posted: 09 Sep 2010 02:51 PM PDT
Terry Jones, pastor of the
Even after General David Petraeus warned that American troops overseas could die as a result of the event, and after video of protests in Afghanistan and Indonesia, among other Muslim-majority nations, made it to the mainstream media, Jones had held firm, saying, "The general needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them. We are burning the book. We are not killing someone. We are not murdering people."
The US State Department had today issued a global travel alert for Americans, citing potential anti-American demonstrations, and Interpol had issued a global alert to its member countries warning of strong likelihood of violent attacks.
CNN reports that the FBI visited Jones a few weeks ago, and again on Thursday. No report was offered of what was discussed.
In a news conference today, Jones announced that he is cancelling the event because the leader of the Park51 Islamic Community Center (the "Ground Zero Mosque") has agreed to find a new location. Jones and Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida will visit
In related news, Rackspace Hosting terminated DWO's website hosting agreements because the two sites violated the hate speech provision of Rackspace's acceptable use policy, according to Rackspace spokesman Dan Goodgame.
Posted: 09 Sep 2010 09:05 AM PDT
The past two years have been difficult for the Religious Right. President Barack Obama opposes the agenda of the religious-political movement, and congressional leaders have generally turned a deaf ear. Some commentators even pronounced the Religious Right dead.
But claims of the Religious Right's demise are often premature. Like Frankenstein's monster, the Religious Right has proven hard to kill.
Religious Right groups are waging a massive under-the-radar campaign this fall to register church-going voters, drive congregants to the polls and elect favored candidates. These organizations believe their allies in the Republican Party are poised to make significant advances, and they want to make sure that one or both houses of Congress move to GOP control.
Upcoming events include:
Sept. 10-11: Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference & Strategy Briefing, Washington, D.C. Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed is attempting a comeback with a new Religious Right organization. This D.C. event will be the group's first major public conference, and Reed – a political strategist implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandals – claims to be raising $32 million to steer conservative Christians to the polls.
Sept. 17-18: Values Voter
Sept. 19: Pray & A.C.T.,
Sept. 20: 40/40 Prayer Vigil. Sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, this nationwide 40-day event claims to focus on personal spiritual revival. However, it begins with a prayer for voter registration, includes a prayer for Christians to run for office and ends with a prayer for "discernment of candidates" and for "God's people to vote."
Sept. 26: Pulpit Freedom Sunday. During this event sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, evangelical pastors nationwide will be encouraged to violate federal tax law by endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit.
The Religious Right And The GOP: BFFs?
Why so many events and projects that feature voter mobilization or other activities tied to electoral politics?
The Religious Right's fortunes are closely tied to the Republican Party's. When the GOP lost power in
Eager to regain power in the nation's capital (and in state legislatures), the Religious Right is going all out to do whatever it can to help its political allies get elected to public office.
Voter registration, mobilization and get-out-the-vote efforts are key to the effort. Polls show that regular churchgoers are much more likely to vote Republican. In addition, a recent poll conducted by the Pew Forum found that 74 percent of evangelicals say they are likely to vote in 2010. Religious Right groups are eager to keep this segment of the GOP fired up until Nov. 2.
A steady string of conferences, voter registration events, voter-guide distribution and other activities will help.
What About The Tea Party?
Some political analysts have speculated that the Religious Right has been overshadowed by the Tea Party movement.
This is an oversimplification. The Tea Party remains a wild card, but there's no reason why this movement cannot exist alongside or in tandem with the Religious Right. Although they don't see eye to eye on every issue, the Religious Right and the Tea Party share the same goal: drastically changing the political calculus in
It is true that the Tea Party – a loosely structured conglomeration of anti-government activists – remains divided over social issues. Some activists want to incorporate these issues into the movement, while others want to keep the focus on matters like low taxes and deregulation. Because the Tea Party is decentralized, there is no reason why the factions that favor adding social issues to the plate can't pursue that goal and work with the Religious Right.
Religious Right organizations are working to woo the Tea Party – or create their own version of it. The Family Research Council held a special session for Tea Party activists last year and plans to do so again during this year's "Values Voter Summit." In a recent e-mail message promoting the event, FRC President Tony Perkins noted that U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, "a Tea Party favorite," will be among the speakers.
Some right-wing figures, notably Sarah Palin, straddle both camps and may serve as a bridge between the two. But in the end, it almost doesn't matter if the two arms formally cooperate or not. Their goal is the same: elect as many ultra-conservatives to public office as possible. They can work together on this or do it on parallel tracks.
Another example of cross-pollination between the two camps is Glenn Beck. Beck, the bombastic Fox News Channel host, held rallies at the
Polls show that many voters are unhappy over the state of the economy and high unemployment. If this sentiment creates a political shift that elects more Tea Party-friendly candidates, it's inevitable that some of those elected will also have a far-right social-issues agenda. In this sense, the Religious Right gets a free ride for its issues.
No related posts.
Posted: 09 Sep 2010 08:57 AM PDT
It's said that you can find justification in the bible for anything and everything. Rev. Pat Robertson found go-aheads for bigotry and discrimination, but it's not his fault — he didn't write the danged book.
During a program aired last year on the Christian Broadcasting Network that's still on YouTube, a woman with an atheist fiancé asked, "How do you think we can interact with each other peacefully when it comes to spiritual matters?"
Robertson answered: "There is no fellowship between an atheist and somebody who is a believer in God. . . . I hate to tell you, you've got to go find somebody else. . . . I mean, he's gonna be serving the Devil and you're gonna be serving God. It's just that simple."
Dan Barker, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president, rightly took umbrage and fired off a long letter Aug. 24 to Robertson, in his guise as chairman of CBN: Barker called Robertson's simple answer "a blanket prejudicial smear against the character of all nonbelievers," and asked why it's acceptable to slur only people who don't believe in God.
"Discrimination is no longer socially acceptable. If it's shameful to be racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic or homophobic, why is it laudable to be 'atheophobic'? What gives you the freedom to engage in the irrational, fearful hate-mongering against secular people?"
Barker asked Robertson to apologize and said, "Your callous anti-family advice may have broken up a good marriage, a union between two people who obviously love each other and are searching for a peaceful way to live in tolerance. Instead of harmony, you preach exclusivity, Christian superiority and cultish segregationism."
On Sept. 2, Robertson answered from
Barker said he appreciates getting an answer from Robertson, but that, as a former evangelist minister, he tried for years and years to "contact the author" but finally gave up because there was never anybody home.
Posted: 09 Sep 2010 08:35 AM PDT
Posted: 08 Sep 2010 10:11 PM PDT
I have the perfect solution for Pastor Terry Jones! Let's give him a ride to downtown
I'll bet General Petraeus, who has strongly condemned Jones, would be happy to help out. Why, I'll bet Petraeus would love to give Jones a ride in a nice, fast jet straight from
But maybe Petraeus doesn't want to rile things up in
It seems to me if Jones is really committed to Jesus and his Bible, he'd want to take his message right to the infidels. Why preach to Christians, they're already saved! Show those Muslims that their Holy Quran is false! Just think of the impact it would have if Jones burned a Quran in front of thousands of Muslims, right in the heart of
So pass this along to your friends, and tell them to forward it to Pastor Jones'