It is Time for a Non-Christian President

Diversity-Vulcan
Is this a Star Trek dream?

In a country where Christians are persecuted dominant, there has never been a non-Christian President.  No surprise.  In this excellent article by Sreedhar Potarazu on CNN, he asks questions that need to be asked over and over in a “free and pluralistic” nation.

We cleared a big hurdle in 2008 [electing a non-white president]. We may clear another in 2016 [electing a woman]. But religion may well be the biggest hurdle of all, especially while we are waging a war against religious extremists who are hell-bent on destroying Western civilization.

But the question nevertheless must be asked: Can we, the citizens of the greatest democracy on earth, elect a president who is not a Christian? And if we do, can we then evolve to the point that the president’s religion isn’t an issue … isn’t even worth mentioning?

-Note:  I may disagree with the writer about “progress” when public schools close for more religious holidays (with so many, would there be time for education?), and I think he could have stressed the need for a non-Religious President, yet, he is raising monumental questions for our future.

 

No, Virginia, there is no Santa-God

santa-god

I posted this re-write of the famous piece in the New York Sun (1897) on the Christmas Baby blog.

btw, I’m not interested in “taking the magic” out of the season or jumping into old moldy debates over the myths, including the myth of the “war on christmas.”

I’m only interested in the goodness-in-the-madness of the “holidays” and enjoying the natural beauties of Nature–the real “reason for the season”–though Nature needs no “reasons.”

So, I wish everyone a Wonder-filled Solstice and, for those of you who celebrate something good and meaningful: a Very Merry Christmas!

Secular Chaplain Prays with Muslims

Muslim orphan praying during Ramadan, Thailand

Way way back in Evangelical college days, I was invited to pray with a small circle of Muslim students from Saudi Arabia (their government liked the “protective environment” and restrictions at our conservative school).

Wahleed and I had become friends (over foosball in the student union) and he asked if I wanted to join them for prayer in an empty classroom on campus.  It was a little awkward, but I was already becoming more curious about faith than certain about faith.  They put their heads to the floor while I sat and said a silent prayer to the Somebody Somewhere.  I think I went for two reasons:  my deepening interest in the study of World Religions, and, my friendship with Wahleed.

Teaching World Wisdom over the years, primarily in churches, I always thought back to that early experience of prayer with those guys.  I would tell my classes–and I still do sometimes–how important it is to know the People of this or that faith, before making judgments.  This is, of course, a major lesson lost in many of the conflicts we see every day in our world.

Which brings me to a dream.  Last night I dreamt I was in a room at a school–maybe a college–and I was talking and laughing with a group of Muslim guys.  A basketball game was going on in the gym and I walked in with the men.  It was half-time and we walked right out to half-court and knelt down to say prayers.  I was fully aware the entire time of the irony:  a secular guy “praying” with these Muslim men.  I don’t think there was anything but stunned silence in the arena.  Then we went back to the room with a sense of joy.  I stood watching over–I suppose–while the guys bowed for more prayer and then they were all sleeping, curled up safe on the floor.  I remember feeling protective of them, and proud to be standing (and kneeling) with them, as a nonbeliever, in the face of fear and misunderstanding.

I went out in the hallway where I told a woman I knew that we had prayed on the basketball court. She was very happy with a big smile, until I told her they were Muslim prayers.  Her smile turned to a frown and she walked away.

That was pretty much my dream.

I find it intriguing that as a secular who is a strong advocate of the Separation of Religion and State, and a strong critic of Prayer itself, I had this dream.  On the other hand, I’ve been reading lately of so many coaches and players who flaunt their Christian prayers on the fields and courts, parading their piety in public.  Then I read so much of the growing irrational fears people have of Muslims that, in many ways, resemble the ignorant fears of Freethinkers.  And I’m always inspired to hear of people of one faith standing in solidarity with people of another faith, or people with No Faith standing beside the faithful.

Maybe the “spirit” of my dream needs to be seen in action in more places, prayer or not.

 

Signs of the Secular Season

Cascade Mountain in Winter

It’s the time of year again to either do the Santanic thing worshipping a huge white guy who tracks reindeer poo into homes across the world. . .or do the Babygod thing which is much cleaner and more sanitary (though legend has it he was found in a stable surrounded by animals).

OR

It’s the season to get a smile or smirk from the Secular Chaplain Posters while simply staying awake for the good natural light and beauty of Nature, family, friends or quiet times of winter nesting.

Happy HA!Days (Heretics Anonymous)

Radicalized Christianists

President Jesus

It’s time to tell the truth about a big open secret in America.  It’s time to call out, in particular, the “leaders,” esp. the Presidential Candidates (it’s not even partisan to say they’re all Republican) and their frenzied faithful.  Time to call them what they are:  Radicalized Extremist Christianists.

These are the people who demand domination.  They pound their pulpits across the nation (from debate lecturns to stumpifying stump speeches) with their shrill demand for exclusive exceptionalism.  They demand bibles, prayers and anti-science taught in public schools.  They demand city councils, courts, colleges and congress to be guided by their anti-Secular agenda.  They demand, finally, a Christian America.

And there are millions who would gladly hand them the keys to the White Church House.  They would cheer a cross for the new Washington Monument.

Claiming to be followers of the Galilean, they do not even try to hide their fearful lies and judgments and calls for war, even as their “savior” called for non-judging truthtelling by loving peacemakers (remember their hero, Ronald Reagan and his “peacemaker” missiles?).

They are masters at sleight of hand and tongue.  While they denounce “Radical Islamists” and “Terrorists” while waving bibles and flags, they are distracting attention away from their own radicalized terrorizing of the mind.  I find this at least as alarming as their chicken-little cry that “The Terrorists/Immigrants/Gays/Atheists. . .are Coming!”

Stepping back for a voice of Reason. . .across the pond, this article on the BBC is a helpful mirror for identifying the smoke on the mirrors used by our radically dangerous and deceptive Jihadists for Jesus:

“Becoming Radicalized:  And Keeping a Secret”

The article is speaking of Islamic extremists, but I find it useful to identify those in our midst–Jihadists for Jesus– who have been radicalized in their peculiarly Ameri-christ ways:

-Some identify with extremist organizations (think of their association with anti-choice, anti-marriage equality and other hate groups)

-Some follow their own extremist beliefs (think of those who claim to “talk to God” and “walk with Jesus”)

-Some are unhappy in their own lives (note the angry rhetoric and the demonizing of others while attacking different perspectives)

-Some are looking for a cause bigger than themselves (consider the way some act like Crusaders defending “the faith,” “the nation,” “the world” from “evil”)

-Some are radicalized by personal crisis and loss (listen closely to the stories our wannabe leaders tell about their troubled early lives)

-Some are very good at hiding things–their real selves (think of the many “fallen” and disgraced–even jailed–preachers and politicians)

-The radicalized challenge the rest of us to sort out “where danger lurks,” to stop any violence before it happens.  This is where WE come in.  This is where Knowledge, Reason, Science, Common Sense in a Secular (not anti-religion) Society is essential.

We can’t stop the dangerous powergrab and terrorizing of these people until we identify them, call them out, tell the truth.  These people who arrogantly demand to lead us with their hateful, fear-based faith,  who seek to lead the nation backward into the ignorance of ancient worldviews, must be stopped.  Shining the bright light of Reason on them is the first way to stop them.  In a free and secular society they need to be on our “Watch List” (and please don’t give them more guns).

Finally, as Timothy Egan says in this acerbic article, No More Thoughts and Prayers (NYT),

“[When] people with abhorrent views are not challenged, their hatred only hardens.”

It’s time to stop avoiding the obvious:  we have Radicalized Extremists in our midst–“hiding” right in front of us. . .and not a few are telling us their God wants them to lead. . .they demand the divine right to lead a Secular Nation, claiming Jesus is handing them the keys to the White House.


Speaking of Radicalized Christian Extremists. . .here’s what Jerry Falwell Jr, president of the largest non-profit university in America and the largest Christian university in the world, had to say about gun control, after the killings in San Bernardino:

“If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now …,” he said while being interrupted by louder cheers and clapping. “Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know,” he said, chuckling.

“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause while he said, “and killed them.”

That pretty much sums up the state of Fundamental Jesus Jihadism in God Loves Guns America.

{Keeping in mind here that millions of Christians strongly disagree with this radicalism and the likes of Mr. Falwell.  We might just wish they would speak up more, as “moderates” in the Muslim community need to do}

 

 

 

 

War on Prayer, War on Christmas and Lying For Jesus

Jesus lie

Self-Sainted Todd Starnes is at it again.  Lying for Jesus.  Of course, it’s his job.

Now his FAUX outrage is against the godless demons like the Secular Chaplain. . .you know, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU.  Why?  Because a public high school in Indiana can no longer claim Christian privilege and allow a Nativity Show.

Ban on Baby Jesus

The judge (why does this always have to go to a judge?) said,

“The living nativity scene impermissibly conveys an endorsement of religion and thus runs afoul of the Establishment Clause.”

God’s Liar Starnes really has his Christmas Shorts in a twist over this.

“The Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU of Indiana had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a family whose child is in the production.

The FFRF and the ACLU are anti-Christian bullies — vicious rabble rousers — on a crusade to eradicate Christianity from the public marketplace. They will stop at nothing to silence followers of Christ.”

Our Religion can’t be the center of attention!  Whaaaaa.

That’s not FAIR!  Whaaaaa.

So, what does Rev. Whiner call his FAUX followers to do:

“Once again a public school system is under attack from an activist judge doing the bidding of a bunch of godless bullies.

The school district needs to stand up for religious liberty and disobey Judge DeGuilio’s unconstitutional ruling.”

In other words, break the law.  Brilliant.

Oh, maybe His Liarness will pay the court costs?

The Godless Bullies (like me) who challenge Christian Bullies taking over the Public Square to be the center of attention, are just so, so, so God-Less!

Cleaning up his drooling mess of lies, the Hot Toddy ends with this lament:

“Then again, anything is possible in today’s fundamentally transformed God less America.”

Yes, yet another Public School has to go to court (wasting time and educational money) to stop the Christ Crusaders from claiming everyone and everything for Jesus.

And WE’RE the bullies. . .