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Showing posts from May, 2018

I'm an ex-vanglical but not an ex-christian

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There is a lovely chap on Twitter, Blake Chastain, who I first heard use the appellation "exvangelical." He even has a podcast about it. I find it a helpful term and want to explore it in my own experience. This has been a long evolution and I will use my blog to look back on my spiritual journey out of white american evangelicalism.

I have written 359 book reports. I have read more books than I have written about, but I read a great deal on genocide, inspired by the atrocities recorded in the bibilical story of Joshua, conqueror of Canaan. In his story, his god tells him to have no mercy and kill men, women and children. This was explained to me by my evangelical leaders that it was more merciful to kill the kids then raise them as their own.

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Lesson learned, evangelical cognitive dissonance is real.To be widely read is dangerous in a small minded theological construct. Studying genocide makes such absurd explanations even harder to swallow. Even then I found the dis…

"you brood of vipers!" - Jesus

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The gospel of Matthew has this well known tirade of exasperation against the religious leaders who opposed Jesus. It's sometimes referred to as the "seven woes." He's furious with their religious duplicity. We get famous metaphors from this like "straining a gnat and swallowing a camel," and "you all are like white-washed tombs, pretty on the outside, full of rot on the inside." One of the outstanding admonishments is, v.23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." In other words, the religious leaders were too busy with weighing out their spices for the church to be bothered with justice, mercy, and faith. Their priority was retaining the power they enjoyed over serving others, as God's representatives. Jesus calls them actors (the translation of…

how to respond to dehumanization

On Thursday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders endorsed this interpretation of Trump’s remarks, saying that “I don’t think the term the president used was strong enough...it took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and cut his heart out,” referring to a particularly gruesome murder committed by MS-13 gang members. - Vox
We once kept runner ducks in our backyard. I woke one morning to let the ducks out of their overnight shelter and found the plywood and cinder blocks shoved aside. The ducks had been killed but not eaten. It was possible a fox, a fisher cat, or a bobcat. It's as if the ducks were killed for fun by the predator. What the predator did not do was arrange a display of the victimized ducks.

Unlike MS-13, their hearts were not cut out. Unlike some Mexican cartels, the victims were not hung on an overpass as a warning to others. Animals are not intelligent enough to "send a message" to rivals or snitches.Animals do not keep body parts of t…