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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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