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20 Responses

  1. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    per the civic religion link … was what Frank Schaeffer writing in the 2008-2009 period in praise of Obama “not” a form of civic religion? Not that I like the red state civic religion, either, just that it seems that civic religion is one of those areas where the us/them dichotomies and double standards have been harder to not notice in the last … twenty years. They’re both equally bad but it seems they’re not equally noticeable depending on which of them you’ve embraced.

  2. sarahmorgan says:

    Regarding “The sickness that’s killing the church”…
    After 30+ years of serving joyfully in a wide variety of churches (mostly as a musician), I had to move to a isolated town where I learned the hard way (through 4 different churches and one parachurch “ministry”) that the “Christian” community here is seriously screwed up, showing all of the points in the article and more. The one issue that I have with the article, however, is the admonition that church isn’t a place where one goes to be fed. When I was in the midst of the spiritually abusive mess, trying to understand why people (leaders and congregants alike) were acting so unChristian, anytime I considered that I was “not getting fed” I was referring to the fact that the leaders were woefully unable to help me figure out how to relate to these fellow congregants (who all wore the “happy Christian” mask, but whose selfishness, territoriality, insecurity, jealousy, and vengefulness totally blindsided me) in a God-honoring fashion. I guess I equated “being fed” with receiving discipleship, not knowing that the definition had changed so radically. Whenever I heard someone insist “Church isn’t a place where you’ go to be fed!” I couldn’t help but think, but where, then, do we go, and what, then, is church for?

  3. Outside T. Fold says:

    Here is another one to add to the list: Study: when it comes to detecting racial inequality, white Christians have a blind spot

  4. Erunner says:

    What’s up with a link written by a Mormon concerning Multi Level Marketing? We’ve all been exposed at one time or another but to link to an article expecting the reader to know that Mormons are not Christians seems odd. It’s stuff like that the Mormons use to add to their ranks.

  5. bob1 says:

    Ahhh…Jay $ekulow.

  6. Descended says:

    You had me at Civic Religion <3

  7. bob1 says:


    Read the article…

    It’s absolutely white.

  8. Anne says:

    I think this is even truer today than when first written.

    Martin Luther King from Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
    I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

  9. Kevin H says:

    I’ve already previously expressed my concerns here about how the ACLJ handled the Saeed Abedini case. The article on Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ and related parties shows a much broader array of concerns. I’m not a legal expert so I can’t give a qualified opinion to the legality of everything covered in the article, but many things spoken of sure made my skin crawl. Their high pressure techniques to get low income and down on their luck people to donate while Sekulow and his various family members and various other business entities are making more than a good living from the organization is downright disgusting.

    I am sure Sekulow and the ACLJ have done some good over the years and have taken on some worthwhile cases while not charging for their services. But sometimes you get sick of learning about the significant corruptness of so many of these big time Christian “ministries”.

  10. JoelG says:

    Thank you for the link about anxiety. Here is another interesting article on the subject:

  11. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    the Vox article is not surprising. Over the last twenty some years, whether it’s something like the Ballmer Politico piece or, on a far less formally scholarly note, a Mark Driscoll claim that racism comes from Malthusian eugenics, white Christians who identify themselves as on the left or the right, or as having been, have spent more time and energy scapegoating the “other” team within white establishment for racism than conceding the legacy of white institutional racism spans the political spectrum.

    Anne, a sign that things haven’t changed much may be exemplified in a zinger I saw in The Stranger recently. The film editor Charles Mudede wrote about how a white actress was complaining that Steven Spielberg had never cast a woman as the lead in one of his films, inspiring Mudede to ask why a white actress would think The Color Purple, which starred Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, didn’t count as a movie with female leads.

    The older I get the more I can appreciate the macabre humor in the account of the American Civil War I got from American Indian relatives who said it was about how the white racists in the North fought the white racists in the South about how to treat black people and that once that issue was settled everyone agreed to go back and kill Indians. It’s been tough to shake the impression, even here in the PNW (or especially, for those who know how racist its foundations were) that whites on the left and right have spent more time trying to scapegoat each other for a shared legacy of racism than come to grips with how spectrum-spanning the institutional racism has really been.

  12. Anne says:

    WTH- Exactly! Another dynamic is that as individuals we are often quick to defend what we see as our personal lack of prejudice or racist actions when faced with a person of color in a one on one situation but have no desire to examine let alone consider changing the structure of the institutional racism that perpetuates the injustices and preserves our privilege at others expense.

  13. Outside T. Fold says:

    As a white person, it’s taken me a while to even admit that I am racist, and to accept that, like oxygen and other American myths and ideals, white supremacy is something I’ve been taught from birth, even as I grew up in a presumably “enlightened” family where we learned “we respect people.” Dealing with removal of this huge log is the work of a lifetime. And I’ve started lated/ Wenatchee, Anne, I appreciate your remarks.

  14. Outside T. Fold says:

    arrgh. And I’ve started late. typo. can’t edit here. sigh

  15. Descended says:

    On racism

    I’m not going to fall on my sword in the name of some kind of unity simply due to my existence and humanity. Everyone is racist because everyone is of a certain race. Humans are wired to perceive similarities and differences and adjust accordingly. I like the observation that states that No-one is bleating about the Asian privilege.

    I am not racist by any standard, unless that standard is fascist.

  16. Descended says:

    Oh yeah, I’m white, at least by any non-white standard.

  17. Descended says:

    Incidentally, check out the Google definition of fascism. It’s a hoot!

  18. em... again says:

    i grew up in a town where “colored folk” had to be off the streets by sundown… in our house that law was considered bigoted and unjust and we were white

    in an all white town (our Mexican population excluded) my growing up experience with the black race was limited to the colored help that we had during a period of time when all the adults in the house were working except my elderly grandfather… i came home from school one day and there was a stranger in the dining room ironing – nobody had told me that they were hiring help and i just stood there speechless trying to figure out what was going on, why there was a total stranger doing the ironing… she took offense, “ain’t you never seen a colored person before? what you think? you think this is going to rub off on you? turn you brown?” with that she chased me out of the dining room as she tried to rub her arm on me – she didn’t last because grandmother noticed her sheet count was going down at a rapid pace… the second person was a dear and taught me how to bake – “what do you mean you can’t bake? you can read can’t you? here take this cookbook, pick out a recipe and I’m right here if you need help” – among other things that she did for me that weren’t part of her job description… people are people, no matter their color… IMHO
    Martin Luther King should be considered a hero to all of us irregardless of our color as he saved the nation from some really disastrous rebellion after WW2 – the black folk bought their share of this nation, as much with the years after the Civil War as the slavery years
    and, as far as the Civil War is concerned? do the casualty count and then tell me we haven’t paid in full for slavery

  19. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Descended, depends on who you hang out with–I heard some of my Indian relatives complain about what they regarded as Asian privilege over the years. One of the pitfalls of defining racism in such literally and figuratively black and white terms is that it skips over histories of animosity between blacks and Asians, or between American Indians and Latino populations and things like that.

    The Indian relatives never mentioned the part about the PNW tribal history in which the majority of economic activity in the region involved slave trade before it was made illegal in the 19th century. So it’s not like there are any “good guy” teams in the human race in the end.

    By and large it can seem like the only people who are in a position to lament the privilege of others are those who have it themselves, an admittedly skeptical view.

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