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Category: Evangelicalism

Songs of Sacrilege: High in Church by Trevor Moore

This is the seventy-fourth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is High in Church by Trevor Moore.

Video Link

Lyrics

I’m high in church
I’m high in church
Oh Lord forgive me
This is the worst

I’m high in church
I’m high in church
Oh God please help me

This is the worst

Went home for Christmas
And Brian came over, I was nervous
Cuz he brought a bag of shrooms and pot
And I’m new to this, I’m just learnin’
Got a little too high on accident
Yeah that’s right, not on purpose
Then mom busted in my room
And said we have to go to midnight service
We’re in the minivan
And my friends don’t understand
I’m freaking out here man
Trying to remember who I am
My mom is talking to me
And that’s just making it worse

We walk into the lobby
Oh shit, I’m high in church

I’m high in church

I’m high in church
Oh God please help me
This is the worst

I’m high in church
I’m high in church
I’m high as hell
This is the worst

Went to go grab a pew
I’m freaking out, don’t know what to do
There’s an old war vet snoring next to me
And I think he’s been here since World War 2
I’m peaking here
I’m wigging out
They know I’m stoned
There is no doubt
Brian is reading the Bible and laughing
I plead for him to cut it out
But he’s giggling loud, he starts to cry
He’s turning red, I don’t know why
He’s like a goddamn neon billboard saying “Hey y’all, we’re super high”
I ask him what his problem is
And what’s making him laugh
He points to a verse that says
The Lord opened up the mouth of an ass
Oh my God, that’s super gross!
Why the hell is that in there?
My mom shushes both of us
And people turn around and stare
I take the book from Brian
The choir begins to sing
It dawns on me that I’ve never actually read this thing
I opened up the pages, and then start flipping through
I find it calms me down and gives my mind something to do
It says some beautiful things about forgiveness and love
’til I get to the end when God comes back
Wilds out, and straight up fucks Earth up!
Holy shit, did you know this?

Read this last part, what the fuck?
Spoiler alert, God comes back with dragons
And murders everyone!
What happened to the lovey-dovey stuff from the other verse?

Oh shit man, I can’t handle this right now, I’m high in church!

I’m high in church
I’m high in church

Oh God please help me
This is the worst

I’m high in church
I’m high in church
I’m high as hell
This is the worst

Need to get where no one can see
So I excuse myself to take a pee
But in the bathroom my old youth pastor
Comes up and stands next to me
Oh great, he’s probably gonna start yapping about how my soul is eternal
But instead he justs asks why my pants are down at the urinal
Oops, umm, sorry about that
Nice to see you, gotta go
Oh my God, I’m high as balls
And there’s no way he doesn’t know
Shit is getting out of hand
I’m getting higher
Need to make a plan
Maybe tell mom I’m sick
And try to get the keys to sleep this off in the van
I scoot back to my seat and notice everyone has stopped singing
The pastor asks if there is anyone here who is visiting

Mom gets excited, raises her hand
I tell her no, but she makes me stand
Pastor asks is I’m just here for Christmas
And I say “I am”
The congregation turns around
The pastor asks me how I’ve been
And that’s about when
The goddamn shrooms decided it was time to kick the fuck on in

“Trevor you’ve really done it now”
Holy shit, what’s going on?
What is that voice? I’m freaking out!
“This is Satan and you’ve summoned me to seal your doom”
Whoa, hold up, wait a minute
I don’t even think I believe in you
“I exist within subcounciousness down in your mind
But you did drugs and went to church, so now your soul is mine
For all eternity! You will never escape my clutch”
Okay uh, first of all I think that seems like a little much
A joint and couple caps and stems
Is that all that a soul is worth?
And God made everything I’ve done tonight!
All of it’s from the Earth!
The mushrooms and the pot, yo He made it all!

The nitrous, and the Adderall!
Muscle relaxers, maybe a little coke
But if that damns me for etenity
Then if you ask me the system’s broke!

Then Satan disappeared, and shrieked a shrieking sound!
I sent him back to Hell because I fucking stood my ground!
The church stares at me! Their eyes are open wide!
And the pastor asks if I’d stop shouting and please go outside

Uh, sure. Sorry, it’s just that…

I’m high in church
I’m high in church
Whatever man
I guess it could be worse
I’m high in church
That’s what I am
Sorry mom, I guess
I’ll be outside in the van
Whatever man
I’m gonna be out listening to the radio
Wake me up when you guys are done

Songs of Sacrilege: Gays Got Married by Trevor Moore

This is the seventy-third installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Gays Got Married by Trevor Moore.

Video Link

Lyrics

I grew up in an American town
No locks on the doors
When we all bedded down
To sleep
Met a pretty young girl, and made her my bride
After church on Sundays, take the kids for a ride
Down the street
Swimming holes, catching fireflies in jars
Spend the evening staring at the stars

Then the gays got married (gays got married)
And the plant shut down (plant shut down)
And the crops dried up (the crops dried up)
Everywhere around (Everywhere around)
Then the gays started kissin’ (started kissin’)
And the state said “Cool” (cool)
And they made all the kids
Be gay in school
’cause them gays got married (gays got married)

They announced it on TV
Jumped in my truck and slammed reverse
I had to get to my family
Before the gay could get there first
Hauling ass down the interstate
In my throat I could my heart
I didn’t know how much time I had
Before all the orgies would start
And they’re grabbing guys like me
And they’re pulling us out of our trucks
And they’re kissing our lips, and nibbling our ears
And all sorts of sexy stuff
And they’re taking us out to fancy hotels
And partying the night away
And they’re saying how good we look in their shirt
When we wake up the next day
No, I dare not look back
To see what’s behind
They almost got me once
When I was surfing online
But as strong and straight as I know I am
Every man can be pushed too far
I’ve seen the devil, and the devil looks like
Mario Lopez in jean shorts washing his car
I pulled up into my house
And I quickly ran inside
I grabbed my lovely spouse
But I felt no love when I looked in her eyes
The gay had gone airborne
And I didn’t make it in time
My family unit
Had already been undermined
Because

The gays got married (gays got married)
And released gay spores (gay spores)
And all the straight people (all the people)
Weren’t in love no more (never love no more)
’cause them gays got married (gays got married)

Been in this bunker three long years
Canned food and recycled air
Yet I shudder when I think about
What must be happening up there
A radioactive scorched desertscape
Ruled by roving biker gangs
With scary tattoos and muscley arms
Blue eyes and super cute bangs
So I’ll seal myself off from everyone
And hide here until I die
Confused and angry, sad and alone
And I know the reason why…

’cause the gays got married (the gays got married)
The gays got married (the gays got married)
The gays got married (the gays got married)
The gays got married

 

Songs of Sacrilege: The Atheist Hymn by Intermittent Explosive Disorder

This is the seventy-second installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is The Atheist Hymn by Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

Video Link

Lyrics

We pray to you, o nothing
To the cold and heartless void
And though you cannot answer
We never get annoyed
We worship Richard Dawkins and
The lovely Brian Cox
Who sport their heathen head-gear
And put on godless frocks

From “The God Delusion”
We divine our moral code
And from Mr Hitchens
A sacramental for the road
We reject your sky-god for
A sinful life, it’s true
We just want to blaspheme and
Have rampant bumming too

Every Sunday morning
Science opens all our eyes
We watch Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and
We bake fresh apple pies
Darwin’s theory is the
Sacred law by which we live
We denounce the profane
Creation hypothesis

Just one final thought we
Want to get in to your skull
This shit never happens ’cause
It’s not a faith at all
Atheism is the absence
Of belief in gods
It’s not a religion
Your argument’s a fraud …

… A-rseholes

 

Songs of Sacrilege: Atheist Funeral by Dan Sartain

This is the seventy-first installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Atheist Funeral by Dan Sartain.

Video Link

 

Songs of Sacrilege: The Agnostic Gospel Song by Andy Corwin

This is the seventieth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is The Agnostic Gospel Song by Andy Corwin.

Video Link

 

Once Again, Ken Ham Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture

ken ham

I previously wrote about that fact that Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient.  (Please see Ken Ham’s Ark Project Shows He Doesn’t Believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture.)  Evangelicals like Ham supposedly believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. I say supposedly, because upon closer examination of their orthopraxy (correct practice), Evangelicals are quite willing to ignore the Bible when it suits them.

Take Ham’s latest monument to Fundamentalist ignorance, the Ark Encounter: a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. The Bible records in Genesis 6-9 the mythical story of Noah and the flood. According to the Bible, God, sickened and angered by the sin of human race, decided to use a global flood to kill everyone, save Noah and his family. Out of the millions of people on the face of the earth, only Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, were deemed worthy of God’s grace (evidently Noah’s grandchildren didn’t make the cut).

God told Noah to prepare a big boat, by which he, Jehovah, would save Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:13-16, God gave Noah strict engineering plans to follow when building the ark:

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

God told Noah to use gopher wood for the Ark’s construction. The word gopher is used only once in the Bible. Some English translations leave the word untranslated, while others, especially modern Bible versions, translate the Hebrew word as cypress or cedar. Knowing these things, imagine my surprise when I read that Ken Ham is using spruce trees (Englemann spruce) to build his replica of Noah’s Ark. Ham writes:

When you visit the Ark Encounter next year, one of the things that will just blow you away is the massive scope of the Ark and the colossal size of the trees that were used to construct it. We’ve heard people ask what type of trees they are and where they came from. The trees were standing dead Englemann spruce that were over 200 years old.

….

They were responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah. There are select forests managed by the forestry service where dead trees, before they begin to rot, are harvested and repurposed; then the forest is replanted for future harvests. What’s really nice about these gigantic 66 foot tall logs that are 50 inches in diameter is the fact that they are already dry, so they won’t move or twist once in place.

Why isn’t Ham using gopher wood? Surely, God meant what he said when he told Noah exactly what wood and dimensions to use in constructing the Ark. Evidently, Ham doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient. If he did, he would either scour the earth looking for gopher wood or he would use cyprus/cedar to build the Ark. Instead, Ham chose a wood that met project engineering and cost requirements. In other words, he allowed modern science and mathematics to dictate the construction of his modern-day Ark. It is too bad that Ham can’t do the same when it comes to the creationist story of Genesis 1-3. Why does Ham demand a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1-3, yet ignore this hermeneutic when choosing which wood to use for building the Ark? Ham demands that modern scientists bow to the authority of the Bible, yet he is quite willing to ignore it when it suits him.

Ham presents the Ark project as one that is environmentally responsible. Ham says the project’s spruce trees were “responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah.” What he fails to tell readers is why these trees were available for what Ham calls the “largest timber-frame structure in the world.” According to the The Salt Lake Tribune, spruce beetles have destroyed the state’s once burgeoning Englemann spruce population. In 2011, Brandon Loomis, a writer for The Tribunewrote:

Some three-toed woodpecker in these woods is pleasantly plump on beetles, but the buffet can’t go on forever. It lasts only as long as the trees.

The gluttony is written on and around a stocky spruce that looks green and mostly healthy to the untrained eye, except for the fact that it’s pecked nude from the waist down.

No bird harmed the tree, though. The damage was already done.

“These trees are loaded with bugs,” said Liz Hebertson, a U.S. Forest Service entomologist, down from Ogden to survey this year’s spruce-beetle infestation in south-central Utah. Peeling back a neighboring spruce’s bark confirms that larvae are maturing, readying for the short flight of their lives in search of new pine prey.

It’s nothing new to her. Mountains of Utah’s verdant spruce slopes are gone. If climate scientists are right, they might never be back.

After a rain, Utah’s high spruce forests evoke the misty Pacific Northwest — unlikely lush islands rising from redrock desert and olive chaparral. Now a complex set of threats conspires to take them down.

One is natural — the beetle with a taste for older trees, aided by a decade of tree-stressing drought. Another is a century of fire suppression that built up fuels to the bursting point. Aiding both those killers is a rising thermometer.

Even if a warmer climate can again support Engelmann spruce — the state’s dominant commercial-grade tree — it will be 200 years or more until they grow back to the towering sentinels that 20th-century Utahns knew. In the meantime, subalpine firs may spring up in their place, replacing green for green but not with dollars. Subalpine firs are more brittle — not lumber material.

….

It’s been a losing battle so far, and science suggests it’s a long-run lost cause.

First, there’s the insect’s physiology and its response to increasing warmth. The cold-blooded spruce beetles in these hills once took two years to mature from the egg and fly on to breed in new trees. In the early 2000s, Hebertson said, forest scientists documented a switch to one-year cycles here, which boosted the population and primed a disaster.

Beetles have taken 2 million acres of Utah forest in roughly that time, the largest share of it spruce. The outbreak started in the 1990s around Cedar Breaks National Monument in southwestern Utah, where Hebertson has seen no evidence of spruce regeneration since.

The Forest Service has found that higher temperatures aid and speed beetle production. The Utah Climate Center at Utah State University finds that since 1970 the mercury has risen swiftly when it counts most — more than 3 degrees on average during bug-killing winter lows at a monitoring station at Capitol Reef National Park in southern-central Utah.

A decade of beetles-gone-wild might not spell doom in normal conditions. Big outbreaks have shown up before, and the spruce have rebounded. This time, though, computer models based on society’s carbon emissions aren’t looking good. They show Engelmann spruce practically blinking out in Utah by 2090, limited to a strand in the High Uintas.

….

Global warming is the reason Ham found reasonably priced spruce trees for the Ark project, the very climate change Ham denies is materially affecting the earth. Rod J. Martin, a self-described independent researcher with no stated scientific credentials, explains Answers in Genesis’ official global warming position this way: (link no longer active)

The Bible does not speak directly about what we call global warming. It does, however, provide a framework for evaluating the merits of global warming claims. To reiterate, the global warming discussion centers on CO2 (the atmosphere) and trees (plants). The Bible, of course, addresses the atmosphere and plants. The biblical framework for evaluating global warming is primarily found in Genesis. The RATE study mentioned above established that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 (the Creation account) was narrative. The study also determined that the Flood account (Genesis chapters 7 to 9) is also narrative (Vardiman et al. 2005, pp. 661 and 667). This paper will also briefly reference the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel in the summary. Although the RATE study did not evaluate the Tower of Babel, I believe that if the creation and the Flood passages are narrative then the tower of Babel passage is narrative also. These passages describe real events and real people. The following sections briefly discuss passages related to the atmosphere and plants.

….

The biblical history of the earth, contained in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a useful and sufficient framework for evaluating the current global warming issue. As we have seen, CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas that is essential for man’s existence. It is not a pollutant. The atmosphere is likely deficient in CO2 compared with the original created atmosphere. Reducing CO2 would definitely create problems, but increasing it will not. Burning fossil fuels merely returns CO2 to its place of origin. Forests are to be used for man’s benefit. They are not needed to produce O2 and they have no intrinsic rights, but should be managed responsibly and effectively.

Basic science is consistent with the biblical history and argues strongly against the global warming hypothesis. Melting glaciers and changing climates are not an indication of man-made global warming. These natural phenomena have been operating for thousands of years. Temperature histories are imprecise and unreliable. Global warming is built on an evolutionary earth history and an evolutionary time scale. Anything built on a faulty foundation cannot stand. Global warming is an offshoot of evolutionary thinking and is needlessly creating mass hysteria. God is in control of the earth, not man.

It can be expected that several trends evident since the Flood, however, will continue: sea level will rise as polar glaciers continue to melt, and deserts will expand. These trends, as we have shown, have little to do with CO2, they are a consequence of a God ordained event, the Flood. Governments with either ocean boundaries or deserts should consider how to efficiently and economically address these trends. There is no viable justification either biblically or scientifically for limiting the generation of CO2 or restricting logging of forests.

….

When it comes to the type of wood to use for his colossal tinker toy project, Ham ignores the Bible and, instead, buys a wood that is affordable thanks to global warming. Yet, when it comes to the warming of the planet and what problems rising global temperatures will cause, Ham, Martin, and the “astute” scientists at Answers in Genesis, demand a return to a strict, literalistic reading of Genesis 1-3. Simply put, global warming is much ado about nothing, because…drum roll please, the BIBLE says. While Ham uses modern engineering practices and cost studies for building the Ark, he reverts to knuckle-dragging, young-earth-creationist talking points when it comes to global warming.

I wish Ken Ham would make up his mind about the sufficiency of the Bible. Either it’s God’ divine science textbook or it’s not. Either God did or he didn’t tell Noah everything he needed to know about building a large boat in the desert. Which is it? Or perhaps Ham, like all Evangelicals, gives lip service to the sufficiency of the Bible. When it suits him he demands literalism, but when necessary Ham is quite willing to abandon the all-sufficient Bible in favor of modern science and technology.

Fundamentalist Lutheran Peter Scaer Wants the Right to Discriminate Against Gays 

fear the gay agenda

Recently, Dr. Peter Scaer, an associate professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, a fundamentalist Lutheran Church-Missouri-Synod institution in Fort Wayne, Indiana, took to the opinion page of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette to demonstrate his Bible-driven view of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Scaer wrote:

The First Amendment guarantees our rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion. Yet, college campuses have implemented speech codes and created “safe spaces” to protect people from opinions they find disagreeable. Corporations have followed suit, as have governmental agencies. Increasingly, differences of opinion are labeled “hate speech,” thus ending reasonable debate.

Now the Indiana legislature, through Senate Bill 100, is on the verge of weaponizing this politically correct movement by giving protected-class status to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. People with differing worldviews can coexist as neighbors who care for one another. This, sadly, is not where the politicized LGBT movement is leading. Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla Firefox, was stripped of his position simply for supporting a traditional marriage amendment. Kelvin Cochran, an African-American fire chief, lost his job for writing a book on marriage. ESPN commentator Craig James was fired for expressing his views on traditional morality. Government agencies and corporate America have grown inhospitable to people of faith.

I believe in marriage equality, but I hold to the definition of marriage that has itself defined civilization. Every child has a reasonable right to a father and a mother.

Parents are equal but not interchangeable. Not every couple has a child, but every child has a biological mom and dad, and for that there is marriage. While some disagree, this position is based on reason and love.

Meanwhile, as our society moves from same-sex marriage to legalized polygamy, polyamory, temporary, open and even incestual marriage, we do well to encourage public discourse. Together, we need to ask, “What is marriage?”

Our opponents seem to think that marriage is a societal construct, something we can change as we please. But any type of marriage that purposefully deprives a child of a mom or dad is unjust.

SB 100 is called a compromise by offering certain protections for churches and religious institutions. There are two basic problems to this approach.
First, SB 100 turns our inalienable rights into privileges and exemptions. Second, rights belong not simply to groups, but to individuals. The free exercise of religion is more than the freedom of worship; it is the right of every single person to live according to his conscience.

…..

While Scaer doesn’t directly mention the Bible (he is much too smart for that), make no mistake about it, it is, for Scaer and his fellow Missouri-Synod Lutherans, God’s infallible word that has the final say on human sexuality. The Lutheran Church-Missouri-Synod (LCMS) denomination officially espouses Evangelical beliefs such as creationism and Bible inerrancy. Missouri-Synod Lutherans vehemently reject homosexuality and same-sex marriage, considering both to be sinful rejections of God’s version of Masters’ and Johnson’s book on human sexuality (see LCMS position papers on human sexuality).

This post is designed to briefly show that Fundamentalism is not only the domain of Baptists and Evangelicals. Every Christian sect has a wing-nut division.

Note

For further information on Indiana Senate Bill 100, please read Who’s protected — and who’s not — in Indiana’s LGBT, religious rights bill, a November 18, 2015 Indy Star article.

Fundamentalist Jeremy Wiggins: Non-Christians Don’t Believe in the Existence of Evil

evil

Writer Jeremy Wiggins, a frequent contributor to The Stand, the official blog of the American Family Association, suggests that non-Christians don’t believe in the existence of evil. Wiggins writes:

The world has a problem with evil in that it basically denies the existence of evil. Unless of course, you disagree with the world’s rejection of evil, then you are evil. Confused yet? I know I sure am.

….

Individuals commit acts of violence because of the evil within their hearts. Period. How do I know this is true? Because, without Christ, we are all evil. By refusing to acknowledge that evil exists, the world refuses to see when one religion teaches evil and another religion teaches to love one’s enemies. While the religion of Islam may teach the slaughtering of infidels, let us remember that Muslims, pagans, Buddhists, and all other people, religious or not, are going to face the judgment of God.

….

While the world may not recognize evil, we, as Christians, know it exists; it exists very close by indeed – mostly within ourselves. We recognize the inherent wickedness of man, and that no one is righteous apart from Christ. We also recognize that the only solution to the problem of evil is the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice is the only thing that stands between our eternal destination and theirs.

I don’t know of one non-Christian who denies the existence of evil. Not one. Evil exists. We know this because we observe its work and influence. What non-Christians reject is not evil in and of itself, but Wiggins’ naive, simplistic view of the world. Wiggins, wanting to absolve Evangelical Christianity of its Islamophobic tendencies and the complicity of the United States in birthing modern terrorism, says that evil is a heart problem. People commit evil acts because their hearts are wicked. Instead of attempting to understand the reasons for terrorism, Wiggins reduces the matter to one of belief. According to Wiggins, ISIS terrorists recently slaughtered Parisian concert-goers because their hearts are evil. If the terrorists would only repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus, all would be well. His argument, of course, ignores the fact that many terrorist acts  are committed by people who worship the Christian God.

Lewis Dear Christian Terrorist

Just recently Christian Lewis Dear shot up a Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic, killing several people, including an Evangelical pro-life police officer. Surely Dear’s murderous rampage is an act of terrorism? Yet, here’s a man, Dear, filled with the Holy Spirit, committing an evil act. Should we reduce Dear’s actions to a matter of the heart? (I suspect that many Evangelicals secretly applaud Dear for doing what he did.) Or should we consider whether the recent inflammatory Planned Parenthood videos and subsequent Evangelical rhetoric and hysteria played a part in Dear’s decision to commit an act of domestic terrorism?

Wiggins, a Christian Fundamentalist, believes every person is born into this world a sinner. We don’t become sinners, we are sinners. According to Wiggins’ inspired, inerrant Bible, every person is dead in trespasses and sins. Every person is at variance with God. Every person is the sworn enemy of God, and unless each accepts this God’s Evil Solution™–the blood of Jesus–all will die in their sins and go to hell.

Taking Wiggins’ theology to its logical conclusion, every non-Christian is a potential terrorist. If, as the Bible saysthe heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it, doesn’t this mean that every non-Christian is evil? Of course, Wiggins doesn’t really believe this. No Evangelical does. Wiggins thinks certain people–Muslim terrorists (and perhaps Muslims in general)–are evil. Are there degrees of evil? Doesn’t the Bible say that God is no respecter of persons? Surely the Holy God of Evangelicalism doesn’t categorize sinners into different evil categories depending on their geographic location, ideology, and skin color? No, he doesn’t (actually he does, but I’ll leave that subject for another day), but Evangelicals like Wiggins certainly do.

While it would be easy to dismiss Wiggins’ words as the rantings of a simple-minded Evangelical, doing so misses the fact that his view has real-world implications. If terrorism is just really a matter of the heart, then the answer to the global terrorist threat is the slaughter of Middle Eastern Muslims. Kill the evil bastards, Evangelicals cry, and that will put an end to terrorism. (Oh the irony of the followers of the Prince of Peace advocating violence as the answer to anything!) Yet, despite the decade-and-a-half war on terrorism, the world is not one iota closer to eradicating terrorism.

While I have no objections to calling terrorists evil, I refuse to absolve Christian America of its own imperialistic, oil-driven terroristic tendencies. Crucial to ending the wars in the Middle East is getting Americans to understand the economic, social, political, and religious views that drive events in the Middle East. Simplistic views such as Wiggins’ reveal an ignorant understanding of how the world works. I wish everything  were as simple as Evangelicals think it is. But it is anything but simple, so we must continue to dig deeply into the reasons why a small percentage of Muslims are hell-bent on destroying Western Civilization. And while we are at it, let’s take a hard look at how the Evangelical view of the world fuels domestic terrorism. We truly cannot understand the complexity of terrorism until we are willing look at ALL the facts, not just those that line up with a literalistic, Fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian Bible.

Note

Jeremy Wiggins Bio: (link no longer active)

Jeremy Wiggins is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.A. of Religion and a Minor in Biblical Studies. A veteran of the United States Air Force, he and his wife were stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV, where Jeremy was an F15 Avionics Technician. He has written for the AFA Journal, One Million Dads, and has also had his work quoted in World Net Daily and Christianity Today. He has served as a guest host of AFR Talk’s Financial Issues, Nothing But Truth, Exploring the Word, and AFA Today. Since 2009, Jeremy has served at the American Family Association to help restore America’s Biblical and moral foundations.

 

Is Ken Ham a Sincere Christian?

Ken Ham

I have been asked many times if I think creationist Ken Ham is a sincere Christian. It certainly would make things easier if  Ham were a money-grubbing Elmer Gantry. We could then dismiss him as a con artist and shake our head at those who are duped by his pleas for money to fight the secularist horde at the gate.  However, as I ponder my own one-time blind devotion to Jesus, I’m inclined to think that Ken Ham sincerely believes the Bible is a God-written science and history textbook. I’m sure there’s nothing that will convince Ken Ham, at the ripe old age of 64, that he is not absolutely right. Ham believes that God speaks to him and has called him to preach the creationist gospel. When people are certain God is on their side, there is little hope of disabusing them of their belief.

Now, we may rightly think Ham’s beliefs are ignorant and superstitious, but millions of people hold to similar beliefs, and we should at least acknowledge that they are sincere believers. Before we can understand Ken Ham, we must first understand his belief system. A lot of atheists and evolutionists fail to do this, foolishly attacking Ken Ham the person and not Ken Ham’s beliefs.

Ken Ham is a true-blue fundamentalist, and part of his religious DNA is the belief that the world will become more evil the closer we get to the rapture. Ham believes there are Satanic forces at work trying to destroy Biblical Christianity. Anyone who has been a part of the Evangelical church for any length of time knows how this kind of paranoid thinking permeates Evangelicalism. Atheism is on the rise in the West and Ham sees this as an attack by Satan on all he hold holds dear.  He fears that if he and his followers don’t repel secularism, atheism, evolution, and non-Fundamentalist Christianity, that America will be judged by God and destroyed.

Everything Ham does is an attempt to promote Biblical Christianity and turn back the unrelenting attack of Satan. Yes, Ham makes a good living off his work, and his promotion of young earth creationism attracts millions of dollars in fees and donations, but I suspect that Ham would still do what he does even if he isn’t financially remunerated.

I remember when I used to think like Ken Ham. It was never about the money. My goal was to preach the good news of the gospel to as many people as possible. I was willing to go to great lengths to serve God, even if it meant living in abject poverty. My calling in life was to obediently follow the teachings of the Bible and be a faithful messenger of God to a lost and dying world. There was a time in my life that Ken Ham and I would have been best buds.

When secularists, atheists, and scientists attack Ken Ham the person they make themselves  look bad. They need to focus on his beliefs. Using reason, they need to challenge his assertions, knowing that they may not cause Ham to change his beliefs. There are always doubting Christians lurking in the shadows, watching our behavior and reading our writing. These are people who are most likely to be swayed by sound intellectual arguments.

I may hate what Ken Ham believes and I may think those beliefs promote ignorance, but if my objective is to counter his beliefs, I must focus on what he teaches and not on his person (even when it is very hard to do so). To put it in religious parlance, I must be a good witness and I must always remember that people are going to judge me by the words I say and write. If I personally attack someone, I know that some religious readers will not hear what I have to say. And I don’t blame them.

My friend Kerry left a comment that I think sums up well what I am trying to say:

Name calling does nothing to advance the understanding between world views. I didn’t do it as a believer and I don’t do it as a non-believer in Christianity. I do, from time to time, rework the pithy little sayings so many Christians use, such as; “Love the sinner but hate the sin” which I change to “Love the believer but hate the belief.” For the various beatitudes that get quoted, I usually quote from Confucius or Buddha which sound the same but are a little bit different. They of course do not notice until I point it out to them and educate them on the fact that these sayings are some 600 years before God gave them to the Jews. There are ways to make the point about the facts we as atheists have embraced without doing it in a manner that closes off all minds and debate.

Notes

I am well aware of the fact that Ken Ham does not afford me the same treatment I’ve outlined in this post. While I find this irritating, I must be a better man than he is, if for no other reason than it points out that a person can treat others with decency without being a Christian. I wish more atheists would understand this. I know, it’s hard to be kind and decent towards people who think you are a reprobate and are headed for God’s S&M chamber in the bowels of the earth. If humanism is the way forward for the human race, then we must kill people with our kindness (and our facts).

 

No Muslims Allowed: Was Islam Banned From the USA in 1952?

I’ve seen this graphic a handful of times recently on Facebook, always posted as a legal justification for Donald Trump-like bigotry towards Muslims. In every instance, this  meme was posted by someone claiming to be an Evangelical Christian. As Polly and I were watching last night’s episode of The Trevor Noah Show, I mentioned that Donald Trump has exposed an ugly truth about the religious right; that bigotry and racism is flourishing among those who say they are followers Jesus, a man who had far more in common with Middle Eastern Muslims, Palestinians, and Jews than the white Americans who worship him today.

Last I knew, Evangelicals still consider lying a sin. Why then, do Christians continue to post falsities like those mentioned in this graphic? It took me all of 30 seconds to determine that this graphic is false. While this meme might express the wet-dream sentiment of white, redneck Evangelical bigots, there’s no truth to it.

Here’s what the venerable Snopes.com has to say on the matter:

The meme sharply escalated in popularity following an unprecedented statement from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who on 7 December 2015 suggested that the United States should bar all Muslims from entering the country until such time as lawmakers could “figure out what [was] going on” in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino that had occurred five days earlier.

….

Simply put, the rumor maintained that Muslims as a group were ineligible for admission to the United States based upon a law that prohibited entry to any alien who “belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” The meme didn’t directly reference the Islamic State (ISIS) as the organization in question, instead suggesting that Islam itself (particularly because of Sharia law and adherence to it by devout Muslims) was a prohibited group.

The law referenced was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran–Walter Act. Its text is available in full at the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS) web site, where a preface indicates that the law has “been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.” The meme cited “Chapter 2 Section 212” of the Act, which is subtitled “INA: ACT 212 – GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF [INADMISSIBILITY].” Subsection (A) of that section pertains to “Classes of Aliens Ineligible for Visas or Admission,” subdivision (3) of which is titled “Security and related grounds.” Paragraph (a), subsection (iii) excludes as ineligible for admission the following persons:

In general any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was not without critics, among them President Harry S. Truman, who vetoed the bill on 25 June 1952. In a letter titled “Veto of Bill to Revise the Laws Relating to Immigration, Naturalization, and Nationality” and addressed to the House of Representatives, President Truman described the bill’s provisions as both antithetical to American values and discriminatory:

The greatest vice of the present quota system, however, is that it discriminates, deliberately and intentionally, against many of the peoples of the world … The desired effect [of selective admission of immigrants] was obtained … People from such countries as Greece, or Spain, or Latvia were virtually deprived of any opportunity to come here at all, simply because Greeks or Spaniards or Latvians had not come here before 1920 in any substantial numbers.

The idea behind this discriminatory policy was, to put it baldly, that Americans with English or Irish names were better people and better citizens than Americans with Italian or Greek or Polish names. It was thought that people of West European origin made better citizens than Rumanians or Yugoslavs or Ukrainians or Hungarians or Baits or Austrians. Such a concept is utterly unworthy of our traditions and our ideals. It violates the great political doctrine of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” It denies the humanitarian creed inscribed beneath the Statue of Liberty proclaiming to all nations, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It repudiates our basic religious concepts, our belief in the brotherhood of man, and in the words of St. Paul that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free …. for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

….

The “ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952” meme proved popular following a period of increasing rhetoric similar to that which Truman decried as discriminatory and outdated in 1952. The meme’s basic claim hinged on the tautological assertion that adherence to Islam alone constitutes participation in an “organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” Most major religions involve basic, agreed-upon sets of tenets by which their faithful live, and no widely-accepted understanding of Islam encompasses a prohibition on following the laws of any country or advocates the overthrow of government.

….

The meme “ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952” claimed that adherence to Islam and/or Sharia law constituted definitive membership within an “organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” Multiple non-factual statements or implications were presented in the meme, including the notions that all Muslims strictly adhere to Sharia law, that Sharia law is a cohesive faith-based form of governance, that adherence to Sharia law is mutually exclusive with adherence to the laws of the United States, that Islam in some way demands the eventual overthrow of the United States government, or that any “organization” to which Muslims purportedly belong by merit of their faith somehow places them under the provisions of section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Not one of those assertions or implications is supported by extant law, precedent, or any accepted interpretation of Islam, United States immigration policy, or the act in question.

 

Bruce Gerencser