The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Don't think there's an anti-Christian sentiment?
The novelist Phillip Pullman has described CS Lewis' original book as 'one of the most ugly, poisonous things I have ever read'. With the zeal of a veteran cultural crusader Polly Toynbee of the UK Guardian cut straight to the chase: 'Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion.'
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An "anti-Christian" sentiment?
Sure. There are people who don't like Christianity. Some even write about it. And you found one. Imagine that.
And there are people who do like it. And write about it.
And there are people who don't like Islam, and write about that.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 6:41:18 AM
And more people should write about socialism, the intolerant one with the really ugly track record.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 6:50:49 AM
Quite right. People who don't like socialism should write about it, and frequently they do.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 8:38:18 AM
A bit rambling, but basically I agree with his position. The left's "progressive" agenda begs the question, "progress" toward what pre-determined end point? As best I can tell, that end point can be summed up as "sex, drugs and rock and roll". The "progressives" fail to grasp that their utopian ideal is something out of the opening scenes of Blade Runner -- hardly an appealing world to live in. Spiritual faith holds out a more disciplined but ultimately more fulfilling ideal. The leftists paranoid hatred arises from fear, and probably from an uncomfortable realization (and denial) that after all's said and done, they have nothing to fill the spiritual vacuum. Christianity does.
Posted by: DrD | 2006-01-29 8:40:57 AM
An excellent article! And being written by a secular humanist, it has even more force than if it had been written by a Christian. It reminds me of Ted Byfield's WS column "Getting God on side" of December 12, 2005. Thanks for the link.
Posted by: Herman | 2006-01-29 8:48:26 AM
Oh, what a delightful article! Brilliant in its accusations of weak Christianity, breathtaking in its willingness to admit that socialists are elitist.
Though I wouldn't say, necessarily, that LW&W was cynically "used," since Douglas Gresham, Lewis' son and a Christian himself, was ensuring the message remained true to the books. My entire family cried when we watched the movie, just because "it was really Narnia." The draw of Narnia is due to its closeness to heaven, not its closeness to man.
Posted by: Tozetre | 2006-01-29 8:59:10 AM
"The left's "progressive" agenda begs the question, "progress" toward what pre-determined end point? As best I can tell, that end point can be summed up as "sex, drugs and rock and roll".
I'm a leftist (on some issues, anyway) and an atheist. My dad is a leftist and a lifelong, devout Catholic. His political beliefs evolved because he feels Christ's teachings call for political action of the type you would call "socialist", I suppose. You can disagree with that, of course, but you can't simply appropriate Christian spirituality as the exclusive domain of the "right".
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 9:02:37 AM
Loved L,W and the W, by the way, and am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 9:04:09 AM
religion in politics
For anyone (or group) who feels they have the last word in terms of religion to the exclusion of all others, it would be nice if they remained preaching to the converted or found their own religious political party if they want to engage in politics.
Pick most religions and surely there are common elements of honesty, loyalty, integrity, combined with elements of warmth, empathy, and genuiness in all religions. High morals and ethics are probably components of all relgions if one was to look at "the books" - not only one book, but many. Each religous demonination has its strengths, its weaknesses, and, I believe, its hypocracies (when viewed from the outside). Sooooo..... Law, order, and good government has to somehow rise from the commonalities, not the differences or the extremes.
It is not so much about which "book" that is used as the basis to practice one's faith as it is about people who are making interpreations and often trying to lay these on the unconverted as being the "one and only way" that is right/the truth.
Just having watched that dreaded CBC - early Sun. a.m. - where they interviewed 3 comediens (not Rick Mercer) and it would seem that the religion component is likely going to take some heavy flack - rightly or wrongly. Actually more Rightly than Leftly, it seems.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-01-29 9:10:23 AM
This is off-topic, but did anyone see CBC Sunday Morning this morning? Not only did Evan Solomon and Carol McNeil begin by quoting the Western Standard, but Carol went on to question whether the media had bought into "the hype" by going with the idea that Harper is a big social conservative. She wondered whether the media had dropped the ball, as information about Harper taking on social conservatives within his party has been available the whole time.
What a difference a week makes on the CBC.
Posted by: Angela | 2006-01-29 9:14:24 AM
I guess Calgary Clipper and I saw different portions of CBC Sunday.
Rick Mercer knows he's already lost one revenue source - "One tonne challenge" government propaganda commercials. If anyone wants a good laugh, (at Mercer's expense), go to cbc.ca/mercerreport and click on the video "The Conservative Party Tour". Harper won't even play along, he tells him "I'm not falling for your tricks, Mercer"
Posted by: Angela | 2006-01-29 9:28:56 AM
A rambling essay, but good. I agree - there is currently a strong anti-Christian sentiment - and this is puzzling.
I'm an atheist; I don't believe in a supreme metaphysical (or physical) agent, I don't accept determinism of the future; I don't accept the concept of an Intelligent Designer. But - I do accept the concept of Intelligent Design. Any look at the detailed, intricate architecture of a molecule, a cell, a plant must lead one to conclude that these infrastructures and interactions are the workings of intelligence, of logic. But - that doesn't mean that there is a Designer.
I do accept what some call faith - which is a belief, I think, that these interactions are not random and spurious but intelligent, coherent and functional. And that therefore, the future will also function in an intelligent manner. However, this intelligent manner does not necessarily involve my own agenda; i.e., there is no-one to ask or pray to, for intervention within this complex intelligent process. There is only the knowledge that, utterly irrelevant of my life which might destruct, the whole process is constructive.
This conclusion - that there is a deeper infrastructure of life than that of the individual and therefore, of randomness, along with a rejection of a metaphysical Agential Intent - means that I acknowledge both science and religion (for in that single sense of a basic underlying 'intelligence' they share a value) - and I reject fundamentalism in either field.
What is puzzling is the hostility, particularly in the left, against Christianity. I note that it is only Christianity that is defined as 'completely fundamentalist', while other religions are acknowledged as 'moderate' as well as 'fundamentalist'.
Whenever an Islamic terrorist attack occurs, the left hastily assures Muslims that any anger in the West is only against the 'Islamic fundamentalists' not against mainstream Muslims (and even then, the left waters it down by inserting Western guilt). The actions of subservience to Muslim sensitivities rushes into the ridiculous, with banks in the UK removing piggybanks because the pig is rejected in the Muslim religion. But, the pig is rejected in the Jewish religion as well- and there has never been a word or act said about that for the many centuries of Jewish citizenship in the UK/West.
Why is the Christian religion, which is the dominant religion in the West, being defined as fundamentalist and irrational and therefore unacceptable, while other religions within minority groups, whether these are indigeneous beliefs, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc, etc..are not as vilified? That is what is puzzling.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 9:36:19 AM
"I note that it is only Christianity that is defined as 'completely fundamentalist', while other religions are acknowledged as 'moderate' as well as 'fundamentalist'."
I'm sorry...by whom? I'm a leftist with a rather broad experience of Christianity, and am acquainted with Christian thinkers and writers who run the complete spectrum from Biblical literalists to adherents of Hans Kung, from Central and South American liberation theologists to those who see in Christ's teachings the gospel of the free market. What sector is defining Christianity as "completely fundamentalist"?
I would suggest that Christianity attracts more critical attention in the English speaking world because it has been, for centuries, the overwhelmingly dominant religion of the English speaking world. We are intimately familiar with it, it has shaped our political and cultural institutions, and it is thus of more relevance to us than, let's say, Shinto.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 9:59:55 AM
“Why is Christianity which is the dominant religion …?”
ET you’ve answered your own question. It’s because Christianity is “dominant”, thus feared as competition for the religion of socialism. When practiced properly, Christianity is secular. And it is a catalyst for capitalism, particularly Protestants. All of which means that the hypocritical religion of socialism, which is not secular, fears secular Christian-capitalists. Because the religion of socialists, like Islam, attempts to rule through both religious and political methods; all of which is best expressed by the fear of competition by socialists when they hypocritically say, “religion is the opium of the masses”.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 10:08:57 AM
No, balbulican, I don't accept your argument. It is both a relativist argument and diversionary; i.e., it ignores the very public statements in the MSM against Christianity.
You are saying that the ONLY reason that Christianity 'attracts more critical attention' is because it is better known. This suggests that IF it were 'less known', then, the accusations of fundamentalism, of harm done to the population by its presence, would not exist. These accusations are readily public in the MSM, in the accusations of, for example, Bush's win as due to Christian fundamentalism, in the flurry of worry about Harper's 'God Bless Canada' when he ends his public speeches, in the accusations against churches for opposing SSM, etc.
Why? One would think that if a religion and its axioms are well-known and have a long history of constructive use, then, claims of fundamentalism and harm to the people would be readily dispelled by the knowledge that such claims are false.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 10:11:26 AM
"You are saying that the ONLY reason that Christianity 'attracts more critical attention' is because it is better known."
I'm afraid you misunderstood. It's not because it's "better known": it's because it's one of the foundations of our culture, and has enormous impact on all of us. No other religion even comes close, and therefore no other religion is likely to stimulate discussion and debate.
Are you more interested in discussions relating to the English language, or to those concerning linguistic structures of Ojibwe?
Are you more interested in Canadian political reform, or in the reform of the Grand Caymans representative government?
I think it's more a question of relevance than familiarity, myself.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 10:18:38 AM
ah- thanks, nomdenent, it's becoming clearer.
Religion and modern science haven't been incompatible (though they were in the medieval period)but that was a political use of religion to prevent the development of individual thought in the population.
Again - I'm an atheist; I don't believe in any agential intent, force or determinism. But, my work in science, has led me to the inescapable conclusion that our world (except for human behaviour???) is basically and operationally, intelligent. This axiom means that 'faith', which is an acknowledgment that the future will be as intelligently organized as the past, is a necessary part of our world's operation. (For anyone's particular interest, I compare this property of faith to the actions of a genetic algorithm).
Why attempt to displace this belief? I think nomdenet is right. The left - and it's only the left that has redefined Christianity as a fundamentalist scourge - seeks to replace religion, with socialism as a religion. And socialism as a religion is deeply hostile to individualism, to free thought, to analysis and dissent, to exploration and requires submission of the individual to the State. Makes sense.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 10:22:20 AM
But the problem, balbulican, is that the MSM and public interest in Christianity is not that of an objective analysis, which ought to be the case from your examples above.
You are claiming that the focus on Christianity is due only to its familiarity and dominance in the West. But, such variables (familiarity and dominance) should not lead to such an irrational and hostile rejection of Christianity as is now found in the public voice.
Such a perspective would mean that, in the Islamic world, they ought to be deriding Islam because it too, is 'familiar and dominant' in their history. So too in all other countries where a particular religion is dominant (Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism etc)...However, this is not the case.
The derision against Christianity is not objective and analytic, but comes from one perspective, the socialist left, as nomdenet has pointed out, and is irrational, non-analytic and subjective. That is what is worrisome - that irrational and emotive rather than rational analysis.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 10:36:41 AM
And socialism worships the idea of a world government with its Temples being the UN and Brussels EU headquarters. Maurice Strong is one of the many High Priests and so on. Therefore this Transnational gang all hate born- again-Bush for reminding them that it ain’t gonna work.
Also socialism uses the neat trick of pounding away at the idea that we must be secular, to the point we can’t even say “God Bless Canada”. That’s because they want to hide their religion as being the only true secular movement that separates religion and state; when in fact the opposite is true, i.e. that reformed Judeo-Christianity is truly secular and socialism is not.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 10:47:40 AM
Your argument rests on a few debatable premises, I think. I grant you that these premises widely accept in many conservative circles, to the point that they've become non-debatable axioms. These include the notion that something called "the Public Voice" and/or "MSM" have united in a concerted, irrational and hostile rejection of Christianity.
These views are usually supported (as was the case in the article that heads this discussion) by cherrypicking specific examples that support the observer's perception. Unfortunately, I simply don't think that's a valid argument.
There is certainly derisive criticism of Christianity out there, as there has been since the founding of the religion. But for the most part there's intelligent doctrinal debate from each side of the political spectrum, including the views of many Christian socialists, some of whom are respected theologians. Christianity is a robust institution, and Christianity can take it.
There is, FYI, rather a lot of discussion within the Muslim community about Islamic reform, and an enormous anger among younger and more educated Muslims about what's going on in many of the Islamic states.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 10:52:18 AM
Traditional, mainstream Christianity is NOT taking in very well. It is not robust. What is robust are mega-churches who are reacting to the secular extremists or socialists or whatever. BTW some of these mega-churches don’t even have a cross in them, they are even more modest than my Presbyterian Church, but they are coming out of the closet and admitting they are Christian even in downtown Toronto where the Globe and Mail still puts up editorial cartoons about us Christians. I’ve been pretty noisy about my Christianity every since the G&M went over-board last spring.
Enough …. I’m off to Church hehehhehe
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 11:04:50 AM
I'm taking a longer term view, I guess, Nomdenet.
ET, I just went back and reread the article in question, and I stand by what I said: the author presents personal opinion and a number of assumptions shared by his readership as things that are simply beyond question, then goes on to explain why. I'm sorry, but there's little or no support for those big assumptions.
The reference to Pullman is interesting. Pullman's novels are quite explicitly anti-Christian: the studio is currently tearing their hair out trying to make them LESS so, and remove to the extent possible Pullman's anti-theological stance from the script.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 11:11:49 AM
Have any of you heard of that fellow who used to hang out at sporting events with the John 3:16 sign? How many in our culture know what that reference actually means now? How many people when they saw that sign thought he was signaling some compatriot to meet with him in the "john" at 3:16? The tenants of Christianity cannot be said to be well known anymore, we "think" we know what Christianity is about but in truth even those who call themselves Christians (which I do) do not all really understand what it means. I believe that the irrational hated/intolerance towards Christianity is grounded in a lack of understanding of what Christianity is all about. Don’t tell me that people revile Christians because they believe that “their way is the only way”, Muslims and Jews believe the same and no one calls them intolerant. Don’t tell me that you revile Christians because we are hypocrites, all men are hypocrites--Christians included. As for the argument that Christianity is “dominant” how long has it been since that statement was true—and not just wishful thinking on our part? The 1950’s, 60’s earlier?
ET, I too during college was an atheist but I came to the conclusion that design meant designer (in this case Designer), and I have faith that you too will realize that there can be no design without a designer just as a house does not spontaneously spring from bundles of lumber (would that that was true, I would be a carpenter.)
And in case you are still wondering about the John 3:16 sign:
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
Posted by: Daniel | 2006-01-29 11:12:31 AM
"Why is the Christian religion, which is the dominant religion in the West, being defined as fundamentalist and irrational and therefore unacceptable, while other religions within minority groups, whether these are indigeneous beliefs, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc, etc..are not as vilified? That is what is puzzling."
Good post ET. I found your outlook on the topic, as an atheist (you), enlightening. I'm catholic -- not so much as I'm a subject of the church , but as in a spiritual sense. I do believe in the holy trinity, and that unity has some sort of franchise on us and the world at large, although I admit, I'm not sure what -- but whatever it is, I'm comforted by it.
Anyway, your question as to why Christianity is vilified is a good one. I think one of the problems is that the religion is generally ridiculed by secular-elitist society; where as other religions are only criticized (if at all) for their fundamentalist subsidiaries.
They do it, simply, because we let them. There's no Jesse Jackson’s or rainbow coalitions threatening to launch a campaign or a mass boycott of advertisers' goods. We take it. We bitch, but in the end we take it. And if we did rise up, who in the media would support us with their pens? Not many.
Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-29 11:13:57 AM
Read CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters if and when anyone gets a chance.
Posted by: RZ | 2006-01-29 11:22:12 AM
I've read it many times. Even better, I think, is "The Great Divorce", a wonderful allegory of salvation.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 11:28:17 AM
No, balbulican, the premises in your argument are, I think, invalid.
You are attempting to deny the validity of my point, which is an empirical and objective observation, that the MSM and public voice are strongly against the Christian religion, by
1)moving this empirical data into the non-empirical by redefining the location of its expression as, instead, an ambiguous agential force rather than a statistical and enumerable set of statements; and
2) inserting a coherent agenda to this ambiguous force.
You are doing this by semantic tactics of defining this aggregate of data as, instead, an agent: 'something called' the MSM...[What is this 'something'??You are redefining it as agential!]-- and, by inserting an agential intent to this force of the MSM.
That's illogical and invalid;The MSM is not a 'thing'; there is no singular agential intention located in the MSM or public. The MSM and public voice are simply the site where the public is expressing its opinions.
3) Then, you add another fallacy, which is the claim that I am selectively picking data to support my axioms. No - I am not; I am going by a statistical observation - which is the larger-than-average number of accusations that authoritative actions (vote, war, nominations for Supreme Court, public statements etc) are based, not in logic, not reason, not pragmatic empirical observation - but- are due to a fundamentalist (and therefore irrational) Christianity.
That observation cannot be denied - and you cannot claim its existence is only due to MY singular action - of 'cherry-picking'.
4) And, your other tactic is to attempt to reduce the importance and relevance of this surge in hostility to Christianity, by a faulty classification of this hostility as exactly similar to the ever-present critiques of a theory throughout the ages. No, this is not the case; the accusations in the MSM are not critiques but fear-mongering attacks.
5)Your other faulty classification error, is to attempt to merge these emotive attacks and equate them with scholarly and analytic academic critiques. They are not the same- there is absolutely no comparison of a theoretical analysis of a religion to the MSM accusations that decisions made by leaders are irrational and autocratic, due to 'religion'.
6)I am aware of the discussion in the Muslim world about the Islamic religion; this is not comparable to the MSM attacks on leaders that they are making decisions for 'religious reasons' and that, therefore, their conclusions are aberrant, irrational and wrong.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 11:32:30 AM
"You are attempting to deny the validity of my point, which is an empirical and objective observation, that the MSM and public voice are strongly against the Christian religion.
Ah. Perhaps my failure is that I'm not privy to the empirical and objective observations to which you refer. My own observations and experience have led me to somewhat different conclusions.
Since your argument hinges on this, perhaps you'd provide me with your empirical and objective sources?
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 11:36:44 AM
Babulican old chap, I assert the sun will rise tomorrow. Do you believe this, or do I need to provide empirical evidence such as a link to Environment Canada, or perhaps Isaac Newton's wikipedia entry? Do you not accept any truth that your fellow debaters cannot or will not step and fetch at your whim? Or the Google corporation cannot verify? I'm just trying to isolate The Breakdown here...
Posted by: Anonalogue | 2006-01-29 11:49:51 AM
I'll assert that the sun will NOT rise tomorrow. What empirical evidence would you like to believe that indeed, the sun does not move at all, and in fact it is your perception of the sun rising as the world turns?
Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-01-29 11:59:33 AM
Oh, hi, Anonalogue. Still waiting for your response on that other matter.
ET, you did make specific reference to "objective and empirical" sources backing your assertion that "that the MSM and public voice are strongly against the Christian religion". As a media practitioner with a strong interest in such things, I am very interested in those sources. Could you point me towards them?
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 12:12:03 PM
Balbulican - All you have to do, is a google search on key words. At least 2/3 of the hits will be relevant.
White House and Fundamental Christianity:
fear fundamental christianity
public fear of christianity
US vote and christianity
Iraq war and christianity
Take a look at sites such as articles in The Guardian - which claim that the foreign policy of the White House is dictated by fundamental Christianity. There are lots of other articles, lawsuits against prayer, against nativity scenes (how about the ridiculous one where the store would allow only the animals in the manger, but none of the human beings!)..and so on.
Consider the gradual dissipation of Christian religious symbols and events, such as Christmas, the cross, prayers and etc.
These are all public presentations of a popular fear of and antipathy towards Christianity.
Now- I'm not against a theoretical examination of any religion. For example - I've always been fascinated by the rejection of Arianism and the acceptance of the far more authoritative Athanasium perspective in the Christian religion. BUT - these academic analyses have nothing, nothing, to do with the current mainstream popular press and leftist rejection of Christianity.
I concur with nomdenet; I think the reason is that the left is inserting its 'religious' perspective - the state as God - and ultimate authority against the free will of the individual.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 12:16:03 PM
Sorry, ET, but saying "There's lots of people writing nasty stuff about Christianity out there" doesn't constitute "objective and empirical" evidence of bias in an undefined sector ambiguously referred to as "MSM".
You're quite convinced that there's a surging "fear and loathing" of Christianity on the rise. I've seen specific events and articles cited to support that view: I've seen specific events and articles debunking that view. You understandably choose to believe those sources that support your position.
If anyone is aware of actual, credible studies on the topic, I'd be very grateful for a link or reference: this really is an area of great interest to me. Thanks!
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 12:23:06 PM
You are so far ahead in this debate the others think they are coming in first place. Of all the ramblings on this subject over the past few days you have hit the nail squarely on the head. These guys have served up some softballs and you have simply hit them out of the park. I believe this one area the secularists have marginalized themselves and in which they would have been well advised to let sleeping dogs lie.
No matter how they want to spin it a clear majority of Canadians associate themselves with, or identify themselves as Christian. The narrow mindedness of attacking only that one religion and identifying it as some how being scary, or that anyone being a Christian cannot be fit for public office is truly remarkable, considering every leader of this country's past has been identified with some sort of Christian faith. Even the more recent ones who have hypocritically gone against their faith to push a rather secular agenda.
One has only to look down south to see what happens when Christians have been pushed just a little to far. It was interesting to see the revival of Christmas and a clear denouncing of any store seen pushing or at least accepting a secular message. With an overwhelming number of their customers being Christians and finally standing up to the rhetoric the stores had no choice but to go back to a pro Christian message.
Of course the hard left will blame George Bush, for pushing his "hard right agenda", when in fact he was voted in by an overwhelming majority of Christians to straighten up the mess. By waking up the Christian vote down south, by being on the wrong side of almost every issue the secularists have done themselves perhaps irreparable damage.
Will the same happen in Canada? Only time will tell, but I would suggest that Christianity be recognized for the institution it is and afforded at least some tolerance from the left. And the people who identify themselves with it afforded at least some measure of respect.
Personally I hope the left has not learned the lessons of the past, for it will be its undoing.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-01-29 12:28:27 PM
By the way, Daniel, with reference to your "I too at college was an atheist' and your claim that eventually I will accept that there is a 'designer'.
I'm probably a lot older than you are, and most certainly, though I'm an academic, am no longer in college.
I accept design, as self-organized, for the only function of energy/matter, which is the 'basic reality' is to remain, as such, in this universe. That requires organization. Without organization, this energy/matter dissipates to thermodynamic 'nothing'. That is the reason for design. But, I completely and totally reject that there is any designer.
I accept a fundamental freedom in the universe (not the randomness of neodarwinism, however), but, this freedom is embedded within the constraints of the requirement for organization of matter.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 12:36:35 PM
I have a great time reading all those interesting comments. They truly reflect the search for truth. Especially Balbulican, ET.
I wonder why many people don't use their names and feel compelled to invent pseudos. I'm proud of my name. I fear no one except the Lord.
I shall pray specifically for ET and Balbulican. I believe you are not far away from receiving the grace of God. I encourage you to listen to the song: "Amazing Grace".
Many people believe all religions are more or less valid and equally moral. If you understand religion as I do, I can tell you Christianity is not a religion but an intimate, deep, true relationship with Jesus. So Christianity is not a religion and has nothing to do with it. Myself I was into religion for a long time. I became rightly tired of the emptiness I felt and started looking for the true thing. Socialism is not the true thing. It is emptiness like any other secular religion like humanism.
Since there is only one true God (the I am), there is only one truth because He said so. How do you get there? It's like coming out of a dark cave where there is only one way out of the cave. If you take any wrong way, you will not get out and see the light.
Why is Christianity so much under attack? Because it is the true thing. It is the real ennemy of darkness. And darkness don't want you to find the way and triumph over darkness.
Now what is the way? Myself, I found it when I was desperate and sick. I didn't know what to do so I cried to the Lord. And he answered me.
Jesus is the way. You have to come to Jesus. All other ways are untrue. Why? Because all their founders are still in their graves. Jesus is risen and alive. That is why I have a relationship with Him.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
How to find the way? Just ask Jesus: He will show you. Remember He is alive.
To reinforce, read Revelations 3:20:
Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart), and knock: if any man (woman) hear my voice, and open the door (of his heart), I will come in to him (her), and will sup with him (her), and he (her) with me.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-29 1:00:22 PM
balbulican - again, you are using logical fallacies. You are changing the meaning of my terms.
1) I said 'an objective and empirical observation that the MSM and public voice are strongly against the Christian religion'. The semantic meaning of 'objective and empirical' means: 'actual, quantifiable, observable in time and space as a differentiated unit, as a discrete entity, as numerable, measureable, etc.
'Objective', in this case, means " physically external to the observer', and thus, a differentiated spatiotemporal entity that can be counted, measured, etc.
Therefore, what I said was that there are actual, quantifiable, measurable units whose content is 'against the Christian religion'.
You are trying to change the meaning of my terms 'objective and empirical' from the physical to the psychological. You are changing my meaning of 'objective' (see above) to the psychological use where it means 'a form or type of analysis', in this case, a non-subjective and impartial analysis. That's not what I was talking about - and you are changing the meaning of my terms.
2) Additionally, you are inserting emotive ambiguity and therefore, additional and unintended meaning, by your statement of "undefined sector ambiguously referred to as 'MSM'. The MSM, the mainstream media, is not undefined, is not ambiguous, but is quite clear. It is the 'mainstream media', which is to say,
the public communication systems of print, television, film, radio, internet. Your insertion of these two terms 'undefined' and 'ambiguous' is an attempt to weaken the relevance of the existence of the MSM! It exists!
3) And, you are back to your equation, where you say that there are equal amounts of 'specific events and articles' that affirm and equal amounts that deny that there is an increasing fear and hostility to Christianity in the MSM.
You, without evidence, declare that the two are statistically the same - when I say that there are far more instances that affirm that there is an increasing fear/hostility. Check out google.
4)Then, you ask for STUDIES on the topic - I presume you are asking for studies of the rise of a definition of Christianity as 'fundamentalist' and of a rise in the fear of this fundamentalism as an authoritative factor in western government?
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 1:06:25 PM
FYI similar discussion here worth checking out: http://tim.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2006/1/24/1721156.html
Posted by: Paul Canniff | 2006-01-29 1:22:43 PM
ET: please forgive me. I misunderstood your point: I really did think that when you referred to "objective and empirical" support for your assertion, you were using the terms as an academic (the word you used to describe yourself with) would. I didn't undertand that you meant simply "things external to yourself", which has a bit less supportive value in terms of your argument.
So, in fact, you have no actual replicable analysis to confirm your subjective impression, and that of others who share your view? Is that correct?
Just out of curiosity, how do you define "empirical"?
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 1:26:35 PM
By the way, Remi, thank you for the kind offer. You'll forgive an old atheist his doubts about the efficacy of prayer, but I know your offer is kindly meant and I sincerely thank you for it.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 1:51:08 PM
to answer a request by Balbulican:
I think the website: answersingenesis.org/
has good reports on attacks on Christianity especially by evolutionists and secularists.
An organization in US called ACLU is constantly attacking with lawyers and using actual laws to receive money from the government for doing so.
They are the ones responsible for removing crosses, ten commandments plates, bibles from schools, interdiction of prayers in schools, plates and books at the Grand Canyon, Arizona Park Offices, etc etc..
I recommend strongly that site because people there are high level scientists and many world wide reknown ones.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-29 1:51:31 PM
balbulican - again
1)When I used the terms 'objective and empirical' to refer to quantifiable units - that IS, IS, IS, an academic and scholarly and valid meaning! You are now trying to denigrate my meaning by suggesting that my use of the terms was not such as would be 'used by an academic'.
Nope. You are wrong; it is a valid meaning and a valid meaning 'as an academic would' use the term.
The term 'objective' means 'having an actual, independent existence outside of the mind'. That's a classical scientific -(academic) meaning.
2)Therefore, my empirical, objective, quantifiable evidence - which is all 'actual' is NOT 'less supportive in terms of my argument'. The evidence is 'out there in the real world'. You are quite incorrect. That's like saying that 1,000 documented cases of 10 cm of rain per hour is invalid evidence of 10 cm of rain per hour!!!
The objective, empirical evidence of MSM hostility to Christianity is well-itemized within the many google links. You can check out key word searches and the articles yourself.
3)This evidence 'out there' in the objective world is NOT a 'subjective impression'. It's objective; I can count the number of cases of hostility against the religion; I can even do a word-count within articles that include words which conclude that Christianity is something to be feared.
And, this is not a subjective perception. Are you actually trying to say that such search results are a 'subjective impression'???
Why are you bringing in the phrase 'that of others who share your view'?? I'm not the spokesman for a group; I'm speaking for myself. What are you trying to imply - other than ad populum? The evidence is there, replicable and actual. You can check out the google hits yourself, and then, go and read the many articles...
4) 'Empirical' means - that which can be proved or disproved by reference to objective evidence and/or experiment.
5) You are trying to change the infrastructure of our discussion. You are now switching from documented cases of hostility to Christianity to ANALYSES of hostility to Christianity. That's quite different.
My point remains as valid - there is strong evidence, objective and empirical, of hostility to the Christian religion in the current MSM.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 1:53:43 PM
Yes, I understand what you're saying: there are documented cases of hostility to Christianity (and Judaism, and Islam, and Hinduism) in the MSM. Thanks.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 2:05:25 PM
No, balbulican - don't change what I am saying into your own perspective of absolute and non-evaluative relativism.
I am NOT saying that there are documented cases of hostility to Christianity, Judaism,Islam and Hinduism in the MSM.
I am saying that there is an increasing show of hostility to Christianity in the MSM. It is far stronger than any hostility to the other religions you mention, and the fact is, as well, that this hostility is not being expressed by non-westerners or members of other religions but by secular westerners.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-29 2:36:22 PM
Oh, sorry. It's just that you seem to slipping a bit between frames of reference here. Help me clarify it what we're talking about.
So you're not asserting simply that there are documented cases of hostility to Christianity in MSM: you're now saying that this is "increasing" (a quantifiable term). Is this "increase" in MSM hostility you refer to measurable in any way, or is that based strictly on your personal impressions?
You previously suggested that your definition of "MSM" was quite clear, and consisted of "public communication systems of print, television, film, radio, internet". Are you including Hindu, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Palestinian, Israeli, Congolese and other "public communication systems of print, television, film, radio, internet" services in your analysis? I only ask because many folks who make this kind of broad, sweeping, unproven assertion are actually referring to a small sliver of media with which they personally are familiar: I was wondering if your analysis is actually comprehensive, since your assertion certainly was.
Posted by: balbulican | 2006-01-29 3:02:48 PM
ET the hostility isn’t “ by the secular West”, you are a conservative-atheist in the secular West and you aren’t hostile, you are tolerant of religion. Rather it’s from the socialists in the Western world aimed at the religious in that same Western world. Socialists who falsely claim to be secular about their religion. There’s a reason for this socialist hostility, it’s fear.
I think the fear factor by the left of Christianity stems from the knowledge that people of faith tend to:
- Have faith in the future; therefore they don’t need a nanny state to hold their hands. Also they have lots of kids that are obviously necessary to maintain this society of liberty.
- Parents with lots of kids don’t want to leave a socialist society behind them that creates a culture of dependency for their kids.
- Agree with Bush’s ideas of democracy and freedom and an “ownership” society which all tend to marginalize the goals of socialists.
- Think that Bush’s faith helps him stay grounded and less concerned with the socialist propaganda of the MSM and therefore he pushes his agenda irrespective of where he stands in polls, this unnerves the socialists. I might add that his wife Laura probably has as much to do with his staying grounded as his faith.
To sum up, the hatred of Bush is emotional, not logical, because why would anyone fight the concept of trying to democratize the world. Unless, unless they don’t really want to democratize the world, they want to rule it with their religion: socialism. Hence they try to attack Bush with the outlandish notion that he’s planning to turn the White House into a Theocracy. And here in Canada the same crowd has tried to tag Harper, a conservative who champions individualism, with being Bush-like, GOP think-tank supported, a religious zealot and so on.
I think it’s commendable, everyone, that we’re talking about religion and being civil.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 3:10:28 PM
"To sum up, the hatred of Bush is emotional, not logical,"
I certainly don't "hate" Bush. I am critical of him, however. Surely you wouldn't jump to the conclusion that criticism equates hatred?
"because why would anyone fight the concept of trying to democratize the world."
Hehe.. is that what Bush is doing?
Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-01-29 3:15:28 PM
Ian Scott, come on, have you not seen Bush=Hitler anywhere?
Yes i think Bush’s Iraqi experiment is about trying to implement democracy in the region. Ditto Afghanistan and Libya disarming and Syria pulling out of Lebanon; all part of the goal to democratize this tribal region. And now we’re about to see if Iran can be tamed into a democracy without a war. And hopefully Palestinian elections cause Hamas to take responsibility for its people versus recklessly sabotaging everything in its region.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 3:40:00 PM
"Ian Scott, come on, have you not seen Bush=Hitler anywhere?"
Yeah, I've seen that. I've also seen some that come across logical criticism of Bush project that the criticism equates to hatred. Have you not seen that?
"all part of the goal to democratize this tribal region."
With the ultimate goal of what, exactly? Do you truly believe that "democracy" is going to solve the world's political problems? What happens if and when Iraqis elect a majority clerical government?
"Democracy" can be just as religious and mystical as any other religion. Personaly, I'd prefer to live under a dictatorship which the only goal was to assure inherent rights of all instead of a democracy where millions voted to take from some to give to others.
Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-01-29 4:03:34 PM
Yeah, I’ve seen that.
Democracy doesn’t solve the world’s problems. But it outs them and deals with them faster than any other system of government. Witness what’s happening to our Librano$.
The tribalism that exists in the ME can’t work with large populations in a globally connected industrial network. Democracy is the only answer.
I can’t predict how secular Iraq will become. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing a theocracy that buries hundreds of thousands of its own citizens alive, just to stay in power like the last regime did. I’m betting it will continue to get better in Iraq and the ME.
You’re the first person I’ve ever heard say that they would prefer a dictatorship, there’s a few left, better hurry.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-29 4:32:23 PM
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