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religious right

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…Douthat’s column reveals a deeply broken southern religious culture; one in which too many churches spend more time bemoaning an alleged deterioration of society’s moral fabric than they do focusing on the One who redeems us from our personal deterioration. The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and Cultural Christianity in the Deep South

The religious right has lost the national battle over whether or not LGBT Americans deserve full equality, so much so that efforts to take their rights away elicit scorn and ridicule. And this loss is on the front lines of the fundamentalist war which has been waged in this country for decades. The battle over gay marriage, and equality for all, is over. And evolving public opinions on other hot-button issues, such as abortion and creationism, show that the religious right’s national political hold is over. Sure, rural and exurban pockets of America will continue to champion religiously-motivated policies backed by fear and hatred, and those who represent such fears will continue to be elected. But those pockets, be they in Georgia or Minnesota, are being consolidated, rather than spreading. Those Sounds You Hear? They Are the Death Pangs of the Religious Right

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But here’s the thing — we’ve all been banished into Ninevah. Jonah and his fellow bullies imagine it must be awful in there, inside that wicked unclean city full of wicked unclean people. And so they stand outside, baking in the desert sun, smugly convinced that they’ve managed to punish all the out-of-control people that an out-of-control God refused to smite. What they don’t realize — what they’ll probably never realize — is that banishment into Ninevah is no punishment. Ninevah is a party. Ninevah is the party — the party to end all parties, the banquet at the world’s end, the marriage supper of the Lamb. It’s out of control. What do the bullies for Christ hope to gain?

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The most basic reason many Christians and other cultural conservatives are opposed to homosexuality is not because the Bible teaches it, because they have high moral standards or an exalted view of marriage. At its root, their disapproval is not about ideas. It is not first about values, family or otherwise. It is not primarily about social concern or the welfare of children. These are the things people talk about. These are the reasons people give. These are the talking points in the debates and articles. But they are secondary to the real issue. The real issue, the one no one wants to talk about, is that many Christians and moral conservatives are repulsed by gay sex. It’s a visceral thing, not an intellectual thing. It’s about what they feel in their gut, not what they find in their Bibles. When they say it’s an “abomination,” what they mean is not that homosexual practice is worthy of judgment, they mean it makes them gag. When they say it is “unnatural,” they are not advancing a natural law argument, they are saying “Yuck!” They find gay sex repugnant, sickening, gross. The Real Issue (that no one wants to talk about)

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As much as I wonder how conservative, American, Republican, culture-war, nation-worship can can still be, in any meaningful sense, called Christianity, I am certainly not going to say farewell to Evangelicals, as they did to World Vision. World Vision’s Decision Was Still a Watershed Moment

Do these fiscal conservative Christians who identify as capitalists understand that the phrase [Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8] is contextualized in a passage of scripture about a radical redistribution of wealth and property delivered through the government? Judas Practiced Austerity; Jesus Occupied

The persecution complex and the paranoia give birth to a third phenomenon: an almost messianic belief that only Far Right religious conservatives can save the country from certain doom. In my years of attending religious right gatherings, it’s this talk that has struck me the most. I sometimes get the feeling that extreme religious conservatives, despite their frequent displays of hyper-patriotism and their tendency to venerate national symbols, such as the American flag, don’t like the country much. Modern America is too secular, too gay friendly, too focused on sex, and so on. Every year these gatherings are predicated on the promise of a pending divine punishment that never seems to come (although some among the religious right are sure that things like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other bad storms are signs of the deity’s displeasure). Backsliding, sin-obsessed America is due for a hiding very soon, speakers at these events love to say. The only thing that can save us is to allow fundamentalist religious zealots to make the rules for everyone. The ultimate guide to debunking right-wingers’ insane persecution fantasies

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