Grace Under Pressure: Rev. Phil Snider Speaking “Against” The Inclusion of LGBT Into Springfield’s (Mo.) Non-Discrimination Ordinance

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Meet Reverend Doctor Phil Snider of the Brentwood Christian Church and consider his fire and brimstone speech on including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual citizens under the protection of Springfield, Missouri’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Phil did his undergraduate work at Missouri State University (Springfield, MO), then earned his masters degree at Phillips Theological Seminary (Tulsa, OK) and doctorate at Chicago Theological Seminary (at the University of Chicago).

Be sure to listen to the ENTIRE speech (it’s not very long) and be in awe:

That’s real religion!

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

87 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure: Rev. Phil Snider Speaking “Against” The Inclusion of LGBT Into Springfield’s (Mo.) Non-Discrimination Ordinance

  1. Lessee if I got this right. If we give a gay couple some rights, such as the right to visit their loved one in the hospital, it will somehow remove MY rights as a straight guy. That is a magic act worthy of the great Houdini himself, with a little Kreskin thrown in for flavoring.

    I did not know all this. Glad the good Rev. Dr. set me straight. Thirteen years of university education and this is news to me. Dang!

  2. SwM, I used to have to go to Springfield once in a while to meetings. I looked for sentient life forms. Then I went home.

  3. OS, I know. I used to drive through on the way to Minnesota. The headquarters of the Assemblies of God is located there.

  4. OOPSIE!

    I did not listen to the video until the end. The money quote is in the last forty or so seconds. Listen all the way through.

    Now excuse me while I go clean the egg off my face.

  5. OS, I didn’t listen to the end either. The Christian church ( Disciples of Christ) has not been conservative or evangelical.) Good for the minister but I don’t like Springfield in any case.

  6. Man, I do love me a good sucker punch. That was truly awesome! Great find, Mark.

    And Rev. Phil Snider?

    Good on you. The whole “God is love” thing is apparently not lost on you. That is something far too uncommon in many so-called Christians today. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

  7. Mark,

    We tend to be a snarky bunch around here because of usual course of stories associated with organized religion. I don’t just mean the atheists either. The critical thinkers here tend to run hateful clowns like Fred Phelps through the wringer regardless of their own personal beliefs, from our good friend and fellow guest blogger Mike S.’s Judaic perspective to the enlightened Christian perspective of valued posters and friends like Oro Lee. It was really nice to see a story about someone using their faith to bring people together rather than divide them for a change, no matter the flavor. It was refreshing to see someone in a leadership role who seemed to actually understand the book in a way compatible with the basic teachings more directly attributable to Jesus of Nazareth and upon which his faith is founded.

  8. Well done Dr. Snider. These are the kinds of ministers I grew up with in the Congregational Church. Smart, principled, courageous, men who gave their congregants food for thought so they could reason their own way through the knotty problems within their society.

    “My role as a pastor in the Disciples of Christ is not to tell you what conclusion you must make, but rather help give you the resources you need to come to a responsible interpretation. I speak to the church, but not for the church. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to wrestle with what you believe on this matter. What I believe doesn’t have to be what you believe, and vice versa. Again, the question is not about uniformity of opinion but integrity of opinion.” (Dr. Snider “What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality? – Part I” – Summer Sermon Series 2012)

    The whole series is worth reading and if you care to do so, here is the link:

    http://brentwoodchristianchurch.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/summer-sermon-series/

  9. Whatever ones belief re: religion it thrills me to hear a Christian Minister that understands Jesus message and has the courage to deliver it in these days where so many have hijacked it to express hatred. Thank you Mark.

  10. I thought I was listening to someone from way back when. Turns out I was, until the last minute. Good argument, unless, of course, the good people of Springfield still support segregation.

  11. He says he brought the wrong notes… from the wrong century. Right….. He’s still living in a century a few hundred years before Geebus…. Hey Rev. for cue……….

  12. Zarathustra: It was sarcasm… You can’t seriously be that dense, can you?…

    Great video, great reverend. This man understands that religion should facilitate faith in a God that loves any and all who are willing to find him, and those who may have yet to. Any and ALL.

  13. Indirection can be quite effective at times. His use of a civil rights bigot’s words from long ago then applying it to another realm of bigotry was an effective tactic, especially with this background.

    Those who would have had sufficient focus to detect the change in direction at the end would more likely not want to discriminate anyway.

    I wonder what techniques work to convince those in the audience who where biased against LGBT … perhaps reflecting back on their racial prejudices in the context of yet another realm of prejudice would move them.

  14. Wow, Mark. Thanks. Unfortuantely these type videos are not the ones that usually go viral. I hope this one does.

    SWM, Way to stereotype an entire city.

  15. The Rev. Snider went on public record while speaking to the Springfield, Missouri city council and advocated not only for discrimination against gays and lesbians, but he also advocated for a return to racial segregation. Is this kind of racist and homophobic policy what Christians in Missouri support?

  16. Some of you folks haven’t understood the speech. Listen again. It’s marvelous. He’s pointing out precisely how ridiculous/bigoted similar speeches are. Stick with it to the end, and listen closely, and you’ll realize what he’s doing. (He perhaps should have pointed out in the beginning what he was doing!) I am sure his friends and parishioners, who know his views, understood him, but those of us who don’t know him had to figure it out. But it’s excellent. I hope this gets even wider coverage.

  17. OS, Meredith, don’t you think the real glory of Snider’s presentation was the fact that as he argued along through the beginning and middle, he HAD US THINKING we knew exactly what he was saying and it was “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”?

    And then he makes what looks like a little goof-up. (And he’s a good actor!) And then he looks like he’s trying to recover (and he’s a GREAT ACTOR!) and then he falls on his intellectual and moral sword and rises like the Phoenix from the giant adorable OOPS he has just built for us to focus on. I LOVE THIS GUY!

    Special thanks to you, OS, for providing me with a second-tier experience of “WTF?” Then when you rescued it, I had a great laugh! Special thanks to Mespo for saying “read to the end” because I would not have done so, absent that exhortation.

    THIS SHOULD GO VIRAL; this deserves a place in everybody’s mindset.

    BTW, did you watch the faces of the women behind him? Priceless! :???:

  18. Absolutely! That is the beauty of it. I hope it goes viral — and makes people realize that bigotry is simply WRONG. We now accept (well, most people, anyway…) that segregation is WRONG, and reject any idea that integration could be “an abomination before God”. By using the same language, Rev Snider shows us that people who believe homosexuality is “an abomination before God” are equally wrong. And he is a GREAT actor, I agree! He’s great. Makes me want to go to his church.

  19. The Churches are repenting becoming like the angels in Lots house not being like the I will do worse to you than them people out side Lot’s house that wanted to judge – condemn whoever was in lots house. KJV, Genesis 19 >>. 9A,The Churches are no longer seeking a vain thing thinking of others as being better than they are keeping this verse:King James Version. Philippians 2 >. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    The Churches are no longer being oppressors hearing Gods voice Isaiah 1 ;17, not seeking a sacrifice as in verse 10 – 11 no longer warring against the gay. Don’t forget the zoo, and other sexualities too.

  20. The Churches are repenting becoming like the angels in Lots house not being like the I will do worse to you than them people out side Lot’s house that wanted to judge – condemn whoever was in lots house. KJV, Genesis 19 >>. 9A,The Churches are no longer seeking a vain thing thinking of others as being better than they are keeping this verse:King James Version. Philippians 2 >. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    The Churches are no longer being oppressors hearing Gods voice Isaiah 1 ;17, not seeking a sacrifice as in verse 10 – 11 no longer warring against the gay. Don’t forget the zoo, and other sexualities too. Furries of the furry fandom need to be able to relax even as Adam,and Eve were relaxed in the garden before they allowed the devil to be their master. The church wants the Lord to be their master as of this day.

  21. Did any of you listen to the other speakers? Holy cow! The other ministers sounded like the first two minutes of Dr. Snider’s presentation, but for real.

  22. I am busy today but, that was pretty good. the man who is told by the holy spirit how to do every thing takes the wrong notes to class for a sure way to end the segregation problem. when all he had to do is file all gay and lesbians to one bathroom and all the straight to the other, segregation is solved. so gay and lesbians to one bath room and everybody else to the other one and you have gender equality also.

    do that and you will bring down the wrath of women upon you, and never p@$$ off a women. they are now in both bathrooms of the straight and the gay. problems solved.

  23. Actual reading of the Bible?? The last days?? What Jesus was he listening to? Unchristen views foisted on us? Uh He need to go back to seminary

  24. bettykath,

    Yes, I listened to a couple of the others and one can catch the slight nervousness in Dr. Snider’s delivery by listening to the careful, “centering”, breaths he takes … he knew the gauntlet he was throwing down. Courageous man.

  25. There should be a stop, with a text: Listen to the next sentence carefully. Continue with video, stop again and new text with the sentence which reveals what he said—-for reflection. And then let the Reverend Dr. continue.

    Some of us need help. Maybe most of us are handicapped by our exposure to media, political cant, etc. A little help goes a long way.

    Then it might go viral.

    Meanwhile spread Hanuer’s speech at TED to kill the biggest lie in modern times. The rich do NOT create jobs.

  26. Just so that you don’t have to change threads. here’s the letter to some friends about Hanauer speech at TED.
    And thanks to OS for it all.
    ——————————

    Here is a super-rich man who speaks at a conference, and declares that corporations DO NOT CREATE jobs, the middle class do—-by their demand for products.

    Pass this on to those with brains enough to listen and use the information. It is not difficult to understand, so let’em try it. It is their economy and politics it will effect.

    First a quote, and then the presentation at a conference.

    ————————
    Otteray Scribe
    1, October 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    “Via Business Insider: “As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don’t actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer’s March 1, 2012 speech up online after deeming his remarks “too politically controversial” for the site…”.

    ———————————

    ========================================

    SPREAD THE WORD.

  27. leejcaroll,

    I wonder if that is really you that wrote those words.
    Reflect and confirm so we know that is what you really believe.

  28. Um yes. I had punctuation mishap.but I am against what both said. I am not sure if you are misreading me or I thought what i wrote said something it didn’t?

  29. Leejcaroll, Bryan Fisher is a boil on the arse of the church but unfortunately he seems to be in perfect harmony with the pope. Man, they need to impeach him or slip him a bad cannoli or something. Isn’t that what happened to John Paul I, too liberal/bad cannoli for desert? I suspect John Paul I would have excommunicated, possibly flayed, Bryan Fisher.

  30. I recall commentary when Benedict was picked: they believed they picked an lder man because he would not be pope for long. Whoops.

  31. SWM, A few times. I visited a guy @ the college there[I think it was SW Missouri State @ the time] and I had to go there to interview an inmate @ the Federal Prison Hospital. Also attended a conference there. This was in the 70’s. Not a bad town but I don’t judge a town on its politics. That’s a consideration but way down the list. I live in liberal hell but it’s a nice town, nice people, etc. To each their own. I can live in, and have lived in liberal and conservative cities…no problem.

  32. leejcaroll The seminar has taught waring Pharisaical views. Those people in the seminary were acting like the religions acting crafty against Jesus. He is repeating as the world needs to repent of oppressing anyone. That means the 900 militarily bases above, and below ground need to dissolve, and be gone. Legal system showing mercy not giving evil for evil.

  33. i think next time i’ll watch the whole video before commenting. i wear a size 12 and i may have unhinged my jaw and chipped a few teeth.

  34. Otteray Scribe
    1, October 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    “Via Business Insider: “As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don’t actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer’s March 1, 2012 speech up online after deeming his remarks “too politically controversial” for the site…”.
    ————————————————-

    How is it controversial? Makes perfect sense. He understands what the rest of the 1% don’t. They’re day is coming. Is that “politically controversial?”

  35. Pete9999, this is why I opposed Clarence Thomas becoming a Supreme Court Justice, more than anything else. When he was asked by a journalist what comments he had about the statement submitted by Anita Hill, he responded that he had not read it because he would not waste his time reading lies. I immediately concluded that he should not sit on ANY COURT since he did not even read an important document having to do with HIS OWN LIFE and what someone had said he had done which she had witnessed!

    But you can be forgiven, especially since you fessed up with such aplomb and humor. You know, I tend to turn off people when they rant and rave and irritate me and sound stupid, too. The only reason I kept listening was that Mespo promised that it was short, and he said we should listen to the end, so I wanted to hear the punch line. :grin:

  36. Malisha: …”The only reason I kept listening….”

    ——–
    Yea, that was pretty sly Mespo. Well done. :-)

  37. Matt, that quote came from Business Insider. Apparently the TED producers thought it should be censored and not released. Fortunately, the video presentation was preserved and released by somebody who had access to it. I think it is a very powerful statement and Hanauer understands what most in his income bracket do not understand.

  38. So this guy the rev. has gay written all over him and more importantly…why sir are you wasting your time with this?? This has zero impact on your job, your faith, your marriage, your kids or you choosing to be a closet case bigot. I am sick of middle America and their ignorance. YOUR GOD does not reflect God….it reflects selective hate and segregation. You people are pathetic.

  39. Otteray Scribe 1, October 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Matt, that quote came from Business Insider. Apparently the TED producers thought it should be censored and not released. Fortunately, the video presentation was preserved and released by somebody who had access to it. I think it is a very powerful statement and Hanauer understands what most in his income bracket do not understand.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Perfect.

  40. You don’t have to be an akin supporter to have what Obama stands for….. That’s easy enough to do all by its self….

  41. @Appalllllledatyouall Did you watch the WHOLE video? You have to watch the WHOLE video right ’til the very end. And please don’t diss all of middle America. We’re not all close-minded bigots, you know. I’m from Minnesota and I literally started clapping at the end of this video, with tears in my eyes. Simply awesome. BTW, I’m a woman, straight as can be and married for 23 years.

  42. I can’t help wondering: I’m not gay, but if I married another man, would I still be destroying the sanctity of straight marriages even if the marriage was never consummated?

  43. How in the world can ANYBODY destroy the sanctity of someone else’s marriage? I would think there’s a law of logic against it.

  44. What is against the gay is not behaving like Jesus.Therefore it is the enemy of jesus against the gay. The zoosexual too. People hiding in wait for people called the pedo to catch men trapping them. do not do what Jesus would do. It has to be clear that evil is a against the gay. It goes way beyond the marriage or not. .it includes the aids HIV thing too. It is part of the tapestry of hate to make people hate. No truth can be in it. Believe me, all now whatever age keep appointments http://www.upcspine.com.or on the web upper cervical health centers.

  45. The bible says nothing about the color of a person’s skin being a sin. It does say homosexuality is a sin. The two arguments can’t be compared, since once has biblical merit and the other does not. Yes God is love. He is also holy. Because He is love, He warns over and over in His Word that all homosexuals will spend eternity in the lake of fire if they refuse to repent of their abominable acts which so offend His holiness. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11). This doesn’t change since Dr. Phil says so. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

  46. THE BATTLE WITH THE ONE-PERCENTERS, chapter Hanauer
    ===================================================

    There are as usual several more themes to be found in the TEC versus Hanauer story. TED does good work, it makes money off its frequent worldwide staged conferences.

    And like all successful channels, it wants to make more and may well accept money from those who wish to guide its program choices, and its info spreading actions.

    The reception which Hanauer got was enthusiastic but mild in comparison to what most top mini-speechs receive.

    This reception shows it was not popular with many in the audience. All in the audience are essentially old or mostly new moneyed folks. People with money like to believe they are “deserving” of success, a point Hanauer made. In fact, to summarize him, you are either an insider or you are a luckily placed outsider in time, place or connections—-and maybe, just maybe a good entrepreneur….. If the latter, come back and tell me how many winners you’ve “made” in the meantime.

    This is one explanation of how TED works, how our society controls info flow, and why/how we are steered.

    It’s a pain to have to search for snippets of real news, to search the Guardian, RT, your favo anti-system channel, etc.

    But MSM is totally, repeat, TOTALLY dependent on the powers that pay them via ads; and powers which collude with other ad buyers. AND the powers that pay are however dependent on whoever is in the majority position—-even if it is a democrat regime.

    They will lobby the official powers, and will need the medias’ support in that task. So they will support with the admin when the admin/congress supports their line, and also quieten the medias voice, suppressing what we need to know otherwise.

    Sorry it takes a while to get my message across. Hope it was worth reading.

  47. Want to become an internet person? Want to be modern.
    Then specialize in “watching” some question that interests you, at whatever level or subject you like.

    And spread whatever that needs a summary, a newsflash, a viral item, a loss for the moneyed (seldom) or a win for the 99% (seldom).

    Use your time and your skills to acquire more skills and become an internet reporter to JT’s to begin with.

    Be it oil depletion allowances, corporations impeding EPA functions, destroying our education system, our paying via our taxes for exportation of American jobs,
    the Pacific Free Trade Agreement which will allow international corps to control what has been areas of governent sovereignty, the World’s Bank policies and actions, etc, etc.

    Become an extension of Elaine Magliaro. You don’t have to write to do a significant report. Elaine would be glad for the chance to help—-as long as there is media space here at JT’s.

    My suggestion to the Professor is that we can eventually establish a permanent weekend blog (if the interest and report volume motivates it) for “reports from the net”, or some other way to let readers get a wider range of news.

    Not law, you object. It bloody well is.
    They use law to get what they want; be it tax rebates or agrobusiness crop supports.

    Readers? Poténtial reporters? Professor?

    Whaddaya say?

    From the eternal activist.

  48. Gene:

    Thank you for referring to me as a friend. I feel the same about many of you on this blog. I never would have coined “Alsoranistan,” but, thanks to you, I spend it for all its worth!

    The “enlightened” part is a bit over the top. I’m really just struggling, trying to debarnacle myself of well over half a century of religious indoctrination.

    This is the first of two rather lengthy posts and they are both all about me. Mea culpa, but I have been scarce around these parts the past few weeks and won’t be able to post as frequently for some time to come so I don’t feel too bad about taking these liberties. More pertinent for fellow readers is that my lack of time for this blog is a direct result of being involved on this blog. The writings and suggestions of kindred spirits have prompted a self-edification process that undoubtedly is going to revamp my thinking about God and religion. How the hell does that happen to an old man? I want to share that with said kindred spirits.

    It all started about 20 years ago with a new client – a southwest Indian tribe.

    Nothing in my education, training, or life experiences prepared me for the job – it was all OJT and I was way behind the curve. I neither sought nor wanted the assignment and agreed only because it was “temporary” work. I did the best I could, uncritically accumulating and absorbing whatever I needed to get up to speed and get the job done.

    As I served Indian tribes and their members over the years, two things happened. First, I realized what I and other folks like me thought we knew about Indians was just plain wrong.. I now tell people that if all they know about Indians is what they learned in public K-12 then they don’t know Squanto – they don’t know that Tisquantum (aka “Squanto”) visited Europe on two occasions before meeting the Pilgrims and that he taught them European – not Native American – methods of farming. I’ve made it a personal interest to de-mythologize our historical understanding of Native Americans

    At the same time I became more reflective of the genesis of federal Indian law — the extreme racism, Eurocentrist superiority, and even self-dealing in the seminal Supreme Court cases that to this day undergird this area of jurisprudence. This mindset warranted the Court’s adoption and creation of even more myths to justify wag-the-dog-opinions granting the greatest civilization of the Americas such powers as needed to deal with native savages obstructing its manifest destiny. You think Citizen United was bad? – it’s just a little taste of what regularly befalls Indian tribes. I’ve made it a professional interest to de-mythologize legal precedents pertaining to Native Americans.

    It is my good fortune that at this late stage of my life, my personal and professional interests are now one.

    The second thing that happened as I became aware of those attitudes which created and sustain the myths justifying the conquest and continued subjugation of Native Americans is that I became aware of the same attitudes in another important area of my life – my religion. The same mindset that I was finding in our courts I was finding in my church. The evermore apparent self-righteous delusions and rank hypocrisy among my own tribe, evangelical Christians, unmoored me from blind allegiance and awakened me to the dangers of Christian myths.

    I no longer believe many of the things that I first believed about Native Americans.

    I no longer believe many of the things that I first believed about the Supreme Court.

    I no longer believe many of the things that I first believed about my religion, but I’m not really sure what to do about that!

    I am fortunate that I am familiar with primal (“primal” as in first, not primitive) culture – it is inappropriate to refer to primal religions for there is no real distinction between what we would call religion and other life activities for such cultures.

    I have studied general works pertaining to primal culture – as well as those specific to the southwest Indians. I followed that with Mike Spindell’s suggestion that I read Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Since then I have read naturalistic theories of the creation and evolution of religion, finishing off this week with Daniel C. Dennett’s “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.” I hope to read Robert N. Bellah’s, “Religion in Human Evolution, From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age,” by the end of November

    This is a new path and I don’t know where it will end, but I have a preliminary feel for the lay of the land:

    I am not willing to declare that there is or is not a God – I certainly have doubts about the God of the Abrahamic traditions.

    Regardless of whether there is a God, I am not willing to declare that on the whole religion is a good or bad thing.

    I am willing to say that it is possible and maybe even probable that whatever great truths of human nature and the place of humans on this planet may underlie religions, the farther the religion has moved from its primal origins the more likely those truths are unrecognizable if they even continue to exist.

    That last possibility alone is enough to spur me on in service of Native American communities – for the good of all humanity.

  49. Despite the previous comment, I still number myself among the evangelical Christians of the Southern Baptist Association persuasion. In fact I am a Democrat and a civil rights advocate because of the theology of Southern Baptists, These scripture verses – John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11:6; Hebrews 11:1 – are the basis of my democratic, freedom loving ideals and are not offered not for the truth of the matter asserted, but merely to explain their impact on the basis of my political leanings.

    These verses indicate that the most important decision I can make, the one with eternal consequences, is whether to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. No one can make that decision for me. As a self-aware person, it’s all up to me.

    And God, because I can’t make that decision without God-given faith. Nothing else works, only faith and only the kind that God can give me. It’s a gift, free for the taking. I can take it or leave it. So, yeah, it is really all up to me.

    And every person who has lived or ever will live must make the same decision, in their own way given the facts and circumstances of their own life situation. But the deal is freely offered to each one. And the decision is up to each person.

    My take-away? God treats everyone the same. God gives everyone ultimate say over their lives. One man, one vote. But God doesn’t force the outcome. That’s Democratic.

    If God is going to let me and everyone else make up our own minds and decide for our own selves this most important of all decisions, then to the greatest extent possible I should let everyone else make up their own minds about the things that affect their lives. I can help and even freely provide the means to enable a person to make a good decision – for example, I can offer on a take it or leave basis good family planning resources such as sex education and contraceptives, but the woman has the ultimate say so over her body. That’s Liberty.

    And it all hinges on God-given faith, which means that if Christians are to remain true to the clear teaching of scripture and to their faith, they must always humbly admit that they can be wrong about the whole shebang. Baptists have a [anti-works] saying, faith plus anything is anything but faith. If something, like the existence of God, can be proven then wherefore faith?

    Mark Twain wrote something along the lines that it was a school boy who said that faith is believing in something that you know ain’t so. That might be a little over the line, but it is probably fair to say that Christian faith is unwarranted belief in something for which there is no proof. If it can be proven, . . .

    I remain a evangelical Christian because in its best traditions, it is about loving others – meeting needs that cannot otherwise be met even if it means sharing from our poverty.and encouraging others to do likewise. I remain an evangelical Christian because on its best days, it’s RADICAL. Passersby stop, mouths agape, and exclaim, “See how they love one another.”

    But I could be wrong.

  50. I don’t know, Oro. That all sounded pretty enlightened to me. I hope you find what you are looking for and don’t be a stranger. Take the time you need and know that as long as JT keeps the doors open, we’ll leave a light on for you.

  51. Thank you, Gene.

    As far as time goes, I don’t think I’ll have much to spare if I hope to finish the Bellah book by the end of November. I’m afraid it is at the edge of capacity of understanding. And long, too.

    I meant to give a plug in my first missive to the following movie: Bless Me, Ultima.

    With respect to the second, I had an aside about organized religion which I also think applies to the Republican part but there wasn’t a good place to put it — so here goes.

    I find something abhorrent about a political party or any organized religion, and something deviant in its members, the foundations of whose social policies seem to be determined by running around with its nose stuck up peoples’ crotches.

    Finally, I beleiveMike once mentioned that religion’s policies re women exist to reinforce the idea that they are but chattle property of their families.

    I think it may be worse than that. I believe groups of folks in our society are going atavistic and that these abusive policies are designed — albeit unwittingly — to keep certain segments of our population on the lower rungs. Good girls from good families can easily obtain necessary contraceptives and the morning after pill, it just takes money — it’s the girls of poverty who can’t and thus will be forced to have that baby or to visit some back alley quack. Of course the mother and her children who might have competed with the good girl’s children will remain mired in poverty.

  52. Oro said, “I find something abhorrent about a political party or any organized religion, and something deviant in its members, the foundations of whose social policies seem to be determined by running around with its nose stuck up peoples’ crotches.”

    There is a lot about groups psychology that is disturbing, but that’s certainly true about both our political parties and organized religion. One of the more troubling aspects that bothers me is that groups breed what is known as social loafing, i.e. the individual contributions grow proportionately less the larger the group size because responsibility becomes diffuse. If we could over come this tendency? We might be able to cross the threshold from a competitive species to a cooperative species. While becoming a cooperative species instead of a competitive species would solve many of our problems, it wouldn’t and couldn’t solve them all, but it would certainly enhance the survivability chance for the species. Tribal fighting (also a reflection of group psychology) over ever scarcer resources will probably be the death of us all.

  53. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)”.

    Jimmy,

    For my edification can you quote me any of Jesus’ teachings on homosexuality from the first four gospels? Corinthians was written by Paul, who the Catholics deem a Saint, but who by his own admission never personally knew Jesus. Since you and many others deem this an issue of major importance I would like to be guided by Jesus specific words on homosexuality, to rest my mind that he preached against it.

  54. I had been alerted to watch and listen to the end so I don’t know if I would have gotten his point by hearing him out or not. What I do see is a number of regular commenters who weren’t willing to hear him out before judging him and the city. Then, they went back and got the message.

    Perhaps it is because this is my home town (although I haven’t lived there since 1957) and where some of my family live, but the repetitious characterizations of the people and politics of the area, as if there were nothing more to be said of them strikes me as the same kind of “not hearing out” that happened with the video. Yes, there are some genuine no doubt about it rednecks in SW Missouri and they, along with many who are not rednecks at all, are conservatives and from generations long Republican families. Still there is much reason for the kind of people who appreciate Professor Turley’s blog to distinguish themselves by a more careful and thorough reading and understanding than sweeping characterizations permit.

  55. Oro Lee,

    All your comments were eloquently stated and uplifting. That at a later stage of life you are willing to keep finding/re-examining beliefs marks you as a wise person. The concept of “Free Will” which intertwines with your comments is one that many supposedly religious people miss. Without “Free Will” the concept of God must be that of a Cosmic Puppeteer, animating us for its own amusement and playing out a pre-conceived story.
    This is really a degrading view of any Deity. If we are to be judged by a higher authority then we must be given rein to behave as we are by nature and in the end repentance must not be seen as a “get out of jail free” card, or living a moral/ethical life would have o meaning.

    Thank you too, for your needed work with and for Native Americans, for they truly have been badly mistreated and even worse misunderstood and denigrated.

  56. Oro Lee,

    Your words in earlier blogs have always marked you as special. Today you have topped it in spades.

    Your last twenty years have shown that you have not wasted your time here. Good luck in your search, seriously said even though I am of the other persuasion. There is no god who relates to me as
    a person, to earth as a special planet, nor the solar system—-all the way up. “All is loneliness….”, as New York’s blind “Viking” sang on the streets there.

    Religion is in my eyes a control device, not one to guide us ethically (which it does poorly), nor give us a promise of heaven if we bow our heads to our secular leaders or God himself, to be given something better that this hell on earth. Now in the name of religion many evils of obvious nature are now committed, but I do not accuse you for others failings.

    I would rather believe that we can grow to find truths about ourselves, and that we can become my ideal which GeneH expressed, and I have constantly sought. Cooperation, not competition through unjust means.

    This is offered as a personal essay, and in no way an accusation of you in any way. A good man turning over rocks or wherever he searchs should be encouraged.
    He is doing no mischief—-for the moment.

    As we sit around the campfire, regarding the heavens, we should strive to help each other and to improve things and ourselves, without destroying our mother, the earth. Myths do have power, the concept of a great Spirit is comforting, and myths are created daily by Karl Rove, Shell Oil, Chase Manhattan, etc. to mislead us ans GeneH, MikeS and others have written here. But searching for an ultimate wisdom outside of yourself and other humans is not my way to go, nor do I believe it to be the best of alternatives.

    Again, good luck. And keep us informed. You are always welcome whether as prodigal son or other form.
    Postcards from foreign places are always inspiring, even solely the effort of the traveler inspires.

  57. God seems pretty small if he really cares about stuff like whether people trim the corners of their beards, or wear wool and linen mixed fabrics, or for that matter, touch the genitals of someone of the same sex. Why does God communicate to humanity his wishes regarding the uses of genitalia but remain completely silent on issues like the deployment of nuclear weapons?

  58. Idealist for some reason I dont like to watch videos so i did not watch to the end, thght appalling enough I did not need to bother. That’ll hopefully teach me. With that ending my comment was aboslutely not what I would have thought or said had I bothered to go the extra minute

  59. Jimmy Pettigrew

    Do you abide by these; just as 3 examples:

    Do you think someone should be put to death of they work on the sabbath?
    Exodus 35:2
    For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.

    Is a woman unclean after giving birth and must she sacrifice a lamb?Leviticus 12:1-8

    If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

    6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

    A woman who has physical relations, she should be killed?
    Numbers 31:17-18

    17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    .

    And how many translations of the Bible has there been? No one really knows for sure what G-d may have originally wanted to say.

  60. MikeS,

    Paulus is a strange figure, the little I know.
    He refers to himself as afflicted. Shall we speculate it belongs to the “sins” he condemned? Surely a physical one would not be worthy of mention, and one he would admit it was not.

  61. Why in the hell are we even listening to religious fools?
    Obviously debates that effect society and its people need to be done by intellectuals who are up to date with modern understandings.

    This preacher was able to announce some shocking words in our history that are in no way agreeable today. The punch line that we have moved on from the churches previous stance is not being heard by all.

    If religious followers still want to place segregation in peoples love for each other no matter what their sex or ethnicity or any other differences they may have, then we can disregard any of these religious ridiculous fools from the start.

  62. Oro Lee, right non. Not only will the good girl from the good family’s competition remain mired in poverty, but this too: her children will be expendable humans. They will be real “human resources,” because if they don’t toe the line and do whatever it takes to get peanut butter and white bread on the table (even if that amounts to working themselves to death while remaining subservient and obsequious at all times), for their whole lives, they’ll make a little mistake and get sent to jail where they will work for 17 cents an hour and/or they can get killed if necessary or if they have “bad luck.” They sure won’t get medical care if they get sick; and if the sickness is a mental illness, they’ll get literally tortured to death.

    One of the main uses of abortion on demand was to free poor women or women without support groups from having to fail miserably while trying to take care of their children, knowing this was the only future in sight. The new and corrupt “child support enforcement” offices of each state have not changed that; they have made young Black and Hispanic men vulnerable to repeated bouts of six-months-at-a-pop imprisonment without due process, that’s all. And the child support enforcement offices are filled with the employees who were recycled from the welfare offices who used to make sure at least infants and young children had cheap junk food to eat.

    There has been a shifting of responsibilities from the rich to the poor ever since this country went through a cosmetic “SHRUG” to throw off what they called slavery, only to replace it over the course of 150 years with a more palatable kind of mass exploitation not all that different from its prior incarnation.

    Once you can see it you can hardly stop seeing it.

  63. I thought of GeneH’s use, which Malisha reminds me of in her historical view, of the Constitution.

    There it stands (roughly) “that no one may be a slave or indentured other than as punishment for crimes…..”!

    And Malisha made the question come—-What crime did the 99 percent commit to become indentured/slaves to the onepercenters?

    It was near starvation which drove the Swedes and the Norwegians to use collective peaceful actions to bring down the onepercenters there in the 20s–30s.

    See my links today to sources describing their non-violent resistance and takeover of their nations.
    These articles even make clear that neither are paradises, then nor now.

    Are we too fat yet? They have rationalized/eliminated the workers, moved the jobs to China, free trade means no trade or income for us, right to work means right to slave, etc.

    Hungry mouths demand food. We ARE TOO FAT now.

  64. Here’s how the Norwegians used non-violence to extinguish such types. They avoided the bubble collapse. Read how.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/153929/how_swedes_and_norwegians_broke_the_power_of_the_%271_percent%27?page=0%2C0
    Written by a veteran protester, a Quaker Professor.
    ——————–

    The second is about how the Swedish workers did it non-violently in 1931. You may have seen the movie: “Ådalen ’31″.

    http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/swedish-workers-general-strike-economic-justice-power-shift-dalen-1931
    ——————-

    Note: Thanks to SwM. Swarthmore.edu does good things.

  65. Thanks for pointing it out because I don’t want to seem like I am on the wrong side. ((*_*)) Glad I went back and lostened.

  66. Not sure what’s worse.
    Reading about idiotic religious nuts, who still feel that an almighty is watching over them who wants to dictate if any living species shouldn’t be allowed to love each other?
    Or the spammers that post their ‘new’ comments on very old topics!

    Just for everyone’s info, religion lost, as per expected.
    Every year they become more and more undone, something about how knowledge wins in the end. ;)

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