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Gavin Aung Than | Self-Understanding Begets Wisdom / assets.amuniversal.com

"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans."  --Max Ehrmann, author of Desiderata

Gavin Aung Than | Self-Understanding Begets Wisdom  / assets.amuniversal.com

The Evangelical Persecution Complex

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  • The theological and cultural roots of a damaging attitude in the Christian community
  • Tony Dungy, a Hypocritical Creature From the Ignorant Abyss of American Christian Extremism

Alan Noble, The Atlantic

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Members of the First Assembly of God Church in Waco, Texas, reenact the crucifixion of Jesus. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Aug 4 2014 | Persecution has an allure for many evangelicals. In the Bible, Christians are promised by Saint Paul that they will suffer for Christ, if they love Him (Second Timothy 3:12). But especially in contemporary America, it is not clear what shape that suffering will take. Narratives of political, cultural, and theological oppression are popular in evangelical communities, but these are sometimes fiction or deeply exaggerated non-fiction—and only rarely accurate. This is problematic: If evangelicals want to have a persuasive voice in a pluralist society, a voice that can defend Christians from serious persecution, then we must be able to discern accurately when we are truly victims of oppression—and when this victimization is only imagined.

There are some understandable reasons for this exaggerated sense of persecution. Globally, Christians face incredible discrimination. In North Korea and many Muslim-governed countries, Christians risk imprisonment and death for their faith. The Christian community in Mosul, Iraq, was exiled, and many Christians are still persecuted by the ISIS, a jihadist group. Christians with a global perspective on their faith rightly identify themselves as part of a persecuted people in the 21st century.

Alan Noble is the managing editor and co-founder of Christ and Pop Culture. He is an assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University.

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Related:

Tony Dungy, a Hypocritical Creature From the Ignorant Abyss of American Christian Extremism, Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet

  • The U.S media has been pitifully remiss in sounding the clarion call alarm regarding this festering, open wound on the American body politic, allowing this sick sectarian infection of fundamentalist Christian fascism to appear “mainstream” and metastasize.
  • The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums.

 

Child Sex Abuse Crisis of the Religious Right Grows, July 18, 2014

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  • We must confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Religious Right.
  • Part 1: Calls for Resignation Mount for Minnesota Archbishop in Scandals
  • Part 2: Rubén Rosario: Archbishop Nienstedt needs to go. Now.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Calls for Resignation Mount for Minnesota Archbishop in Scandals

John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has been accused of having sexual relationships and protecting abusive priests. Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune, via Associated Press

Laurie Goodstein, New York (NY) Times

ARCHBISHOP-sub-articleLarge.jpg John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune, via Associated Press

July 15, 2014 | Just two years ago, the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis was making headlines as a leader in the battle against same-sex marriage. But for the last year and a half, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, has been battling to hold onto his post in the face of a series of scandals, which further deepened on Tuesday with the filing of an explosive affidavit by the former chancellor of the archdiocese.

The troubles started in May, 2013, when the accountant for the archdiocese pleaded guilty to stealing more than $670,000 in church funds, and intensified when the chancellor, Jennifer M. Haselberger, quit and went public that autumn with allegations that the archbishop and his inner circle had covered up the actions of pedophile priests in recent years and funneled special payments to them.

Laurie Goodstein: New York Times National Religion Correspondent. Covering the reverent and irreverent since 1993.

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Part 2: Rubén Rosario: Archbishop Nienstedt needs to go. Now. 

 

Archbishop John Nienstedt should step down or if he refuses, be removed from his post.

Rubén Rosario, St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press

07/18/2014 | I picked up a summer must-read this past week. It has drama, conflict, intrigue and zips along at 107 pages.

No. It's not "Invisible" by James Patterson, though I really wish it were fiction. This read has a decidedly boring title: "Affidavit of Jennifer M. Haselberger."

Ruben Rosario: Rican born, NYC raised award -winning writer --15 years at the NY Daily News. Joined St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press in 1991 as city editor. Switched to column writing in 1997.

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The lawless religious right: Time to stop caving to their ridiculous tantrums

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  • With a whole new set of complaints and demands, here's how to finally stand up to the terror they're wreaking
  • Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

Katie McDonough, Salon

 

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bachmann_santorum-620x412.jpg Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum (Credit: Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com /Salon)

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 | The Employment Non-Discrimination Act never really stood a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House during an election year, but it remained a symbolically heavy piece of legislation. And for good reason. It’s a measure that would do the simple but important work of shielding LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on their sexual and/or gender identities. Discrimination that is completely legal in most states. It is a strange and sad thing to be living in a country where something so basic — the right to show up to your probably crappy job — is still being fought over, but here we are. Despite being utterly uncontroversial in its premise and even though LGBTQ groups and individuals fought exhaustively to ensure the strongest and most inclusive version of the bill moved forward, ENDA has languished in congressional purgatory for decades.

But the left may just have killed it, at least in its current form. Because it needed to be killed. This week, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous and sweeping Hobby Lobby decision, progressive and LGBTQ groups one-by-one withdrew their support from the measure. But far from being demoralizing, there was something electric about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Transgender Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union issuing biting condemnations of the measure’s gaping exemptions for religious organizations, exemptions made all the more gaping by the high court’s decision to grant a religious conscience to 90 percent of the corporations in the United States. The message behind the move was clear: We don’t want a weak ENDA. A version of the bill with wide-ranging exemptions for the very organizations and companies most committed to discriminating against LGBTQ people was pointless, and an insult to those who fought hard for the measure over the last 20 years.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice.

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Related:

Special Project | From the Archives: Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left, George Monbiot, Guardian UK

  • Conservativism may be the refuge of the dim. But the room for rightwing ideas is made by those too timid to properly object.
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
  • Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes

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Muslim Slaves in America

Today's selection -- from Rebel Music by Hisham D. Aidi. Many slaves in the New World were Muslim, and brought their religious practices with them.

delanceyplace.com

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/uploads/picture6.png Bilali Muhammad

5/12/14 | In 1501, less than a decade after Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola, Queen Isabella of Spain issued a decree instructing the governor of Hispaniola to ban Jews, Moors, 'New Christians,' and heretics from entering the Americas. The queen had just quelled the Morisco rebellion of Alpujarras (1499-1501), and as Muslims and Jews fled eastward toward the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish monarchs feared that these religious outcasts would board ships in Seville and escape to the Americas. The last thing Ferdinand and Isabella wanted was for their centuries-old battle with Islam to continue in the New World. And they took great measures to ban the importation of Muslims. Several church decrees, cedulas, were passed (in 1501, 1532, 1543, 1550, and 1577) to stop the flow of 'white slaves' (esclavos blancos), as Moors were called, and to deport those who had trickled into the New World. The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors saw the Moors as 'agents of Islam,' 'intractable and rebellious,' and feared their radicalizing influence over West African slaves.

"But Moorish women did not face the same persecution. In 1512, King Ferdinand issued an order to send moriscas to the Americas in order to avoid 'carnal relations between the colonists and native women.' Spanish and Portuguese officials issued licenses to have these mujeres publicas ('fallen women') transported from Iberia to the Americas to serve in brothels. No sooner had they arrived than the colonists established these casas publicas throughout the Americas. In 1526, Charles I authorized the establishment of a brothel of moriscas ('casa de prostitutas blancas') in San Juan, Puerto Rico, again to avoid mixing between Spaniards and indigenous women. The demand for Moorish women actually made the Church decrees difficult to implement. In 1543, when an order calling for the deportation of enslaved Moors was issued, settlers in Hispaniola requested its annulment, 'because slaves and free persons from this background were few and very useful in a variety of occupations.' The order was rescinded in 1550.5/12/14 | In 1501, less than a decade after Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola, Queen Isabella of Spain issued a decree instructing the governor of Hispaniola to ban Jews, Moors, 'New Christians,' and heretics from entering the Americas. The queen had just quelled the Morisco rebellion of Alpujarras (1499-1501), and as Muslims and Jews fled eastward toward the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish monarchs feared that these religious outcasts would board ships in Seville and escape to the Americas. The last thing Ferdinand and Isabella wanted was for their centuries-old battle with Islam to continue in the New World. And they took great measures to ban the importation of Muslims. Several church decrees, cedulas, were passed (in 1501, 1532, 1543, 1550, and 1577) to stop the flow of 'white slaves' (esclavos blancos), as Moors were called, and to deport those who had trickled into the New World. The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors saw the Moors as 'agents of Islam,' 'intractable and rebellious,' and feared their radicalizing influence over West African slaves.

Delanceyplace is very simply a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  

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Addicted To War – The 12 Step Solution

  • Love, tolerance, and service to our fellow man are the hallmarks of 12 Step fellowships, and these principles can and will free us from the bondage of man’s selfish, self-centered, and addictive behaviors if we want that freedom badly enough.
  • What else do you have?

 

Johnny F, Peace Anonymous

 

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Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpg  Monday, 12 May 2014 | 12 Step programs are recognized as the world’s most effective tools in dealing with addictions. Why would  the Steps not work for man’s addiction to war? Well meaning peace organizations and anti-war groups don’t often talk of America’s obvious addiction to war. Perhaps it is because they don’t understand the realm of addiction or perhaps they don’t understand the solution. But rooted in the ego our leaders have developed a bottomless hole they can never fill up and I understand that feeling implicitly.

Mankind has no “natural” enemies. We are not born with an instinctive desire to kill our neighbors. The spiritual malady to do harm to others is a learned behavior and American President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of that when discussing the U.S. Military Industrial Complex stating, “We create enemies so there is someone to buy our bombs.” Today we know, beyond all doubt, political and corporate leaders do “create” enemies, in order to “create” war. Corporations profit in billions by selling weapons and, as a result of invasions, gain control of the “enemies” natural resources, primarily oil and drugs. The evidence indicates the more unstable and damaging the world is for the global community, the more profitable it is for the few who profit from war. Do we really want those who profit from war involved in the decision making process of going to war?

Johnny F: Recovering alcoholic, former oil industry employee and current peace activist

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Milquetoast Liberal Religion Won’t Challenge Conservative Values

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  • In the progressive era the banner for economic justice had been carried by the Social Gospel movement with its belief in the redemption of the sociopolitical order, a message inspiring enough to set the stage for some of the most significant reforms this nation has ever seen. We could use more of that alleged political naiveté today.
  • A History Lesson

Sheila D. Collins, Religion Dispatches

 

caspar_milquetoast_302.jpg H.T. Webster’s best-known comic strip character, Caspar Milquetoast.

March 24, 2014 | Congress’s year-end slashing of food stamps and refusal to extend unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million people whose benefits were about to expire are just some of the latest examples of the heartless approach to poverty and unemployment that characterizes contemporary policy making. Not only have millions of the long-term unemployed started the New Year with no safety net, but many of those with full-time jobs earn less than the poverty level for a family of four (18 million people in 2012 or 17.5 percent of all full-time, year-round workers).

It was not always like this. There was a time in our history when the poor and unemployed experienced a more compassionate government. During the Great Depression the federal government not only provided safety nets in the form of relief, food aid, public housing, mortgage assistance, unemployment insurance, and farm aid, but more significantly, it undertook a series of job-creation programs that gave back to millions of unemployed workers and their families precisely what the Depression had taken from them—the opportunity to support themselves with dignity.

Sheila D. Collins is Professor of Political Science Emerita, William Paterson University and co-editor with Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg of When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal (Oxford University Press, 2013).  

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