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symbolsThere are times when I might be hard put to define what a Christian is. Oh not from a technical standpoint. Any good dictionary will do for that, and certainly either the Nicene Creed or Apostles’ fits the bill.

What I mean is that in examining the speech and behavior of some people, I’d be hard put to define them as Christian, and this from a person who loathes the judgmentalism that is prevalent among some of the faithful toward those whom they disagree with.

I’ve been known on a forum to exclaim more than once, that I am “stunned and would surely never assume this place was a religious forum but for the sign on the door.” I hear things said that are to my mind at least decidedly unChristian in nature. I refrain, I truly do, from the judgment that might follow, for I recognize that only God truly knows the mind of another.

Yet the post at AlterNet is truly troubling. It’s not that I haven’t read the statistic before, but well, this article is simply devastating in fleshing out the numbers. Fully 54% of non-Hispanic, Catholic, white evangelicals and mainline Protestants find torture okay in some circumstances.  More appalling perhaps is that these folks are “regular” church goers.

It’s almost incomprehensible that the teachings of Jesus can be so misunderstood, ignored, or twisted in order to support the intentional infliction of serious pain on another human being as a means of “getting information.” More shock? Those who rarely attended church were rather convincingly against torture.

Those of you who recall The Brothers Karamazov, recall the Grand Inquisitor having Jesus before him and saying:

“Didst thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil? … We teach them that it’s not the free judgment of their hearts, but mystery which they must follow blindly, even against their conscience. … In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet [and] become obedient. … We shall tell them that we are Thy servants and rule them in Thy name. … We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated if it is done with our permission.”

It sounds indeed as if someone in the Bush Administration read the book and discovered the means to controlling people–fear.

There is much more in the article and I urge you to link up and read it. It is chilling.

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QuakersHats off to the Quakers! For some decades at least, Quakers have blessed same sex relationships. Now their full communion, meeting at York University, has opted to extend their efforts to legally marry same sex couples.

This relates to Britain, but I understand that American Quakers also bless same sex relationships, so I wonder if they are moving in this same direction.

I recall in reading Robin Meyers’ book, “Saving Jesus from the Church,” (reviewed here recently) he mentioned that he thought that perhaps Quakers had gotten Jesus and the early church most right of anyone.

This move would tend to suggest that at least to me.

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st-peterMeanwhile, the Vatican is said to be none too pleased by the actions of the Drug Agency in Italy which has approved the use of an abortion pill in the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

It is not believed it’s use will be wide since it is considered to be “self-excommunicating” to use it, prescribe it or administer it.

It has however been being used on a trial basis and is commonly used throughout Europe.

It seems that even Italy is no longer safe from what religious would refer to as secularism.

 

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EPLogoAs many no doubt have heard, at the recent General Convention, the Episcopal Church voted to end the moratorium on GLBT members who seek discernment as priest and bishop. All are to be admitted for discernment and processed without regard for sexual orientation.

It appears that such matters are underway as dioceses in California and Minnesota to elevate  gay priests to the office of Bishop.

Previous to this the Archbishop of Canterbury had urged that TEC continue to honor the moratorium. The decision to not do so was passed by a rather strong majority of voting members.

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