An Indulgence

Indulge me, while I ramble on about religion. I will say in advance that what I know of Christianity is….not much. What I do know is from the point of view of an outsider and subjective (I am not a fan of organized religion and its role in humanity’s history) and mostly from sources somewhat hostile towards it.

The Myth Of American Exceptionalism is tied directly to Christianity. From Jefferson and many of the Founding Fathers grounding in the Enlightenment and the rejection of theocratic governments to the concept of Manifest Destiny that lead to the genocide of Native Americans to the current expression of that line of thought…American Exceptionalism.

The birth of Protestantism by Luther was based in part on the selling of indulgences, the concept that one could, by bribing the Church, buy ones way into heaven. This lead eventually to the Puritans, who according to American Myth, ‘founded America’ when they landed on Plymouth Rock. Then they bought Manhattan for $24 and started killing Injuns to steal more land from them. Somehow, this was a good thing. Because they were Christians and the Injuns weren’t.

I have heard that Calvinism includes the concept that if you are rich, that means that God has blessed you. Therefore, the richer you are the more God loves and thus the holier you are. Therefore if you are poor, God doesn’t like you. Ipso facto, God hates poor people so to be truly holy, you have to be rich.

According to Manifest Destiny, God loved American Protestants so much he granted them the right to kill anyone they wanted and steal their land.

So, just as when a touchdown is scored the credit goes to Jesus, God has been responsible for the greatness of America.

But when somebody fumbles in the end zone and the other team wins, you never hear them blame Jesus. When times are good, it is because God is smiling on America. Just ask Sarah, America is exceptional…it gets exceptions because God loves ‘us.’ (Well some of us, he also destroyed New Orleans cause of teh gays.) As long as America worships their God in the Right(‘s) way, we can do no wrong. Kill, torture, steal, hate…it is all good, God has said so.

So what does that mean when times are bad? Like….now.

Fundamental Christianity reached a zenith under Bush. Bush has said in effect God wanted him to be President. So after 8 years of Fundamentalist ascendancy and a President personally appointed by God….we are losing two wars and are quickly going broke. By the means God uses to judge us…granting us victory in war and making us rich…well, um….

What does this mean? Sarah? Can you help me out here? Is God telling us something? Again, excuse my ignorance on this subject, please indulge me and explain how this all works.


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  1. (belief system) Things are a little different;to wit…

    Karma, it is not a philosophy, it is The Law!


    But hey, I am both poor and not out to conquer anybody, what do I know?

  2. There’s no mystery about his religion: Avast! Worship him and enjoy the pirate lifestyle.

    Virtually all other religions are much more convoluted than this.


  3. In my new undisclosed location there is a TV and I am watching CNN for the first time in over a year. They just cut to commercial with a shot of the Blue Angels buzzing SF and the announcer remarked…..”Ah the gentle sounds of freedom!”


  4. Fundamental Christianity has yet to reach a zenith. Oh it might recede a bit. Expect it to linger in fierce anger against Obama if he wins and for them to hound him every step. ( Never mind that he identifies as a Christian he isn’t the proper kind. ) Expect it to stretch ugly claws even further into our lives if McCain wins.

    I know some individual Christians I think quite highly of. Funny kind and hard working people for whom I have tremendous respect and who treat me kindly despite my openness about that fact that I am fine with Jesus but his followers generally leave me cold.

    Another feature of the fundies that translate frequently into political battles is their imagined persecution for their beliefs. They love to invoke that persecution complex whenever someone objects to giant statues of Jesus and the cross on public domains. I hear it all the time when I provide opposition how I am persecuting people for their beliefs because most of them don’t actually believe in democracy so opposition is by definition persecution.

  5. because i dont have this calvinist mindset, i have to, like you, rely on the historical construct as it was explained to me…and that was pretty much as you state.

    ironical in all of this is how directly contrary any of this is to the actual message of the guy who put the ‘christ’ in ‘christianity’ (and ‘christmas’, too, for that matter ;).  that guy probably didnt know how to write, but people who did tried to write down what he said (you’d think the all-knowing, all-seeing messiah could have conjured up a voice recorder, or a video camera, or a laptop or something…), and he was pretty specific about the monetary wealth thing…

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

    i happen to know quite a lot about christianity (12 years of catholic school, yo), and i see none of it in this neo-christian neo-conservative movement.  

    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Romans 12:21

  6. was on that list of complaints against the Catholic church that Martin Luther nailed to their door.  We have protested here to the indulgences granted by the bail-out to the wealthy, and I think we should nail that whole series of essays to the door of Congress.

    Martin Luther had to hide out after his demonstration.  Start packing.  🙂

  7. …for example, New Amsterdam was not settled by Puritans, but by the Dutch East India Company.  Jefferson was one of the authors of manifest destiny, betraying his own principles to consummate the Louisiana Purchase.

    Power knows no faith.  And manifest destiny, and American exceptionalism, is about power.  Religion is not the cause of power-seeking or exceptionalism; it is an ex post facto justification of that behavior.  Religious rules and bylaws have their origin in the benefit of the tribe; you kill the Injuns not because they aren’t Christians, but because you want what they have.  That they aren’t Christians is not the reason – it is the excuse.  Bush said that God wanted him to be President; how convenient for him that what God wanted turned out to be what he wanted.

    In my humble opinion, the facts show that it is far more likely that God is not the cause, but the excuse.

  8. All you nice folks at Docudharma are just cute as the dickens when you try to talk about religion!

    But all the hockey moms and Joe Six-Pack’s out there know that Jesus didn’t make the stock market crash.  It was the liberal Democrat Congress that caused this little hiccup in our economy.  God bless ’em, they just can’t help themselves when it comes to raisin’ your taxes and redistributin’ your wealth.  

    The only message God is sending you is that Barack Obama is just too darn much of a terrorist to be our President!  Listen to Him, buddydrama.  You hear it, don’tcha?  

  9. then isn’t “Satanity” about Satan?

  10. Dems and even less practical progressives don’t realize is that you cannot make deals with the Christian right. You can’t go bi-partisan with them in exchange for future consideration. They will betray anybody they consider not one of them and justify it all with Jesus. And they won’t lose sleep over it either.

    • Edger on October 10, 2008 at 21:59

    when times are bad like now that it’s time for them to pray to their god that their god doesn’t exist?

    Being all powerful he should be able to answer that prayer and grant their wish for the ultimate indulgence to let them off the hook one last time, no?

  11. If I’m not mistaken the puritans were basically chased out of Europe in the 1600’s for being too uptight, religion and other-wise. The whole religious freedom story is bad revisionist history.

    As for our current batch of fundies i’d love to see the IRS crawling around every church whose ministers have said word one about politics, or who have sent political mail or who in any other way have expressed a partisan political opinion. Separation of State and Church must be absolute, and if hasn’t been then seize their assets and toss them out in the street. I have no interest in their so-called religion and I want my government to protect itself from these people. No more tolerance for liars and hypocrites.  

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