A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Michael Harrington, author of The Other America which impacted Kennedy and LBJ's war on poverty and founder of DSA, also wrote a work on religion called The Politics at God's Funeral which touches on the collapse of a liberal framework where questions of meaning and ultimacy could be worked out. A number of the ideas I've been working with have come from this 21 year old book but it seems more pertinent today than when it was written.

Harrington writes "The political and social God of the western tradition is dying. An atheism of fools could rejoice in the emptiness of the heavens he leaves behind; a theism of fools could keep on singing the old hymns. The real issue is whether the horizon is being wiped away. No politics can answer that question-and only a politics of all those concerned with the survival of the spirit, whether it is said to be holy or only human, can work to create the social structures in which people are more likely to answer it for themselves"


At 11:12 PM , Blogger gratefulbear said...

"a theism of fools could keep on singing the old hymns"

Sounds like a good description of George W. Bush and his evangelical cronies!

At 7:44 AM , Blogger Blue Hobgoblin said...

Excellent blog. Check out mine, I think you'll like it:

At 9:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Our prayers have been answered.

I am so thrilled to tell you that my son has just received word that he successfully completed his studies at Liberty and will be ministering right here in our hometown come Fall.

I also wanted to share with you the exam he was able to procure and the one on which he scored the highest grade. It is fascinting to get a glimpse of all the vast knowledge we worked so hard to secure for him come alive through his heart and mind. I think you will find the concept and content extraordinarily interesting and marevelously complex. Who knew the rigors our good pastor’s go through to become instruments of faith and guidance.

This truly is a heavenly blessed day.

Valneeta snd Joe “Rusty” Russell
Crawford, Texas

FINAL EXAM, Spring 2005

The Counter Argument; The Snare of Satan.

Instructions: (Read carefully and completely so that your answers apply to the question asked. This can be challenging in that the argument you put forth is based on the antithesis of this statement. The process and the narrative are then true expressions of the course of thought necessary to become untangled from Satan’s masterful snare of tangible evidence, objective deduction, and the most deadly poison to faith of all, critcal thinking.)

This exam follows a sermon format whereby appropriate verses are inserted for justification and obsfugation of glaring flaws in logic that can often derail the most earnest of preachers. When considering your answers are choice points and therefore can be arbitrary.

You may only use the verses referenced in the exam questions. Use of any other biblical quote will result in the deduction of 50 points per usage. You must have 250 points to pass the exam.

Question: Why aren’t all biblical laws proclaimed as current and enforceable as other more oft quoted ones regarding human relations, morality, character, and deed? If you legislate, ratify, and enforce laws based on few of the many, what is the rationale? [i.e., Leviticus 18:22. Leviticus 20:13.] {Historical context is a spurious argument, so avoid using it here as an answer.} 25 points

And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail, Luke 16:17

Question: “Love thy neighbor as they self.” Would this not account for the extraordinary amount of self-hatred in this country now as exhibited by the levels of violence, including rape and domestic abuse, serial murders, gun ownership, adultery, graft, corporate corruption, ad infinitum? {You are strongly encouraged to use current census, justice department, federal, local & state crime figures, in your answer.} 25 points

Of 284 million Americans ninety three percent or 264 million of them are Christians.

Question: Explain the divorce rate under one man - one woman marriage laws. 10 points

The US has the world's highest divorce rate, bar none--twice as high as the next highest country (Sweden) and 50 times higher than some countries.

What impact does this have on the children from one man - one woman intact family units? How will it impact those children with same-sex parenting and behavior modeling? And, most importantly, describe how the crime numbers are so high. 50 points

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION: Why does crime news, often of a heinous nature, include the following variations of the same declaration; “she / he (the criminal) was a good christian” or “she/he comes from a good Christian family,” and never ‘she/he is a good Buddhist (Jew, Bahai, Catholic [except the priests], Wiccan),” or comes from those families of faith? Are they really “good christians” if they had the propensity, capability, and take action that results in the crime? 50 Points

Question: Rationalize all these statistical facts. Place responsibility and accountability for these failing nnumbers on a third party or entity (i.e., the media, gays, Jews, liberals, and or activist judges). 25 points

IMPORTANT: {100 Points will deducted if there is even the slightest mention of any facet that could be related to evolution or an evolutionary process. Intelligent Design is the only acceptable framework for any argument structure or choice point.}

Lev 21:14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die. (Leviticus 20:10)

If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be "cut off from their people" (Leviticus 20:18)

Deuteronomy 21:18-21. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard."  Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Ecclesiasticus 30 -- Whoever loves his son will beat him frequently, so that in after years his son will be his comfort.

Ephesians 5:24 -- Wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.

Question: What impact do these infaliable and sacred texts have on the children from one man - one woman intact family units? 50 points (Female students can earn 75 points)

Religious or church leaders who preach that divorce is acceptable are guilty of apostasy. By not enforcing the law, or even perhaps a more lienient act, ostracize and lock out offenders, they too are quilty eventhough they do not preach the words directly.

Num 30:2 When a man voweth a vow unto Jehovah, or sweareth an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Question: Discuss the above freely as they apply to the question preceding. 25 Points

Question: Pick three of the biblical references / laws below and explain how they are not relevant today and why they should not be enforced. 75 Points

Don't have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19) {there goes what little is left of the Oregon agri-economy}

Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)

Don't cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)

Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus

People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God (Leviticus 21:17-18) {This would considerably diminsh the “offerings” collected by televangalists during their tent healings.}

Anyone who curses or blasphemes God, should be stoned to death by the community.† (Leviticus 24:14-16)

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.

You may sell your daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.

Burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, as it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9.

Exodus 35:2 clearly states one should be put to death if found working on the Sabbath.

Eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10

YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE EXAM. Turn your answers face down on your desk and signal the proctor that he may collect it from you. Once he has your exam in hand you are to leave the testing room immediately and go directly to the chapel where there are prayer services in progress.

At 7:01 AM , Blogger 04-04-04 said...

Good to see Mike's picture again. We miss his voice these days. I don't know that book, but I'll head to Alibris and find it.

John Welch
(Military Families Speak Out
Chicago Area Draft Resisters / un-retired)

At 12:48 PM , Blogger Alcuin Bramerton said...

A man with a wooden leg
Sits down to read a book.

The book is not about men,
Or wooden legs,
Or sitting down.

Not all books are.

Some books are about women,
Fleshy legs,
Or gymnastics.

But not all books are.

This one isn't.

This book is about
Rocket science.

It has big friendly writing
And lots of pictures.
And there is an interactive section.

You can pretend
That you are an American,
And you can shoot
Laser-guided rockets
At unprotected
Third World civilians,
In the war on terror.

It is good to interact.

At 10:45 AM , Blogger Faithful Progressive said...

Michael Harrington is a long time favorite of mine, too--the Other America is also very relevant to Post-Katrina American Politics which has to include some kind of a New War on Poverty.I am going to find this book-thanks.


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