Dehumanizing the Other: Afghan Body Parts, Soldier Suicides, the Poor and the Evil Conservative Strategy By Randy Woodley

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The first casualty of war is the truth. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes your truth. Urinating on dead bodies; cutting off fingers for sport; murdering women and children; night raid home invasions on civilians; and the most recent embarrassment of soldiers posing with dead body parts, are all possible during times of war because of the original lie that starts the war, which must include dehumanizing the enemy. It goes against human reason, after all, to kill another human being. In most … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part III by Randy Woodley

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I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ! -Gandhi Christians in America are infamous for being so unlike Jesus. I like the bumper sticker that says, “When Jesus said love your enemies I think he probably meant don’t kill them.” Ever wonder how Christians went from loving their enemies to killing them? We love to blame it all on Constantine, and true enough, he contributed to the problem, but I think the problem goes deeper and farther back—all the way to … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part II by Randy Woodley

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The customs of the Nacirema, a still very poorly understood tribal group, came to the attention of anthropologists about forty years ago. They are a North American group living in the territory roughly between the Cree and the Tarahumare tribal groups. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east.In the mid-seventies a group of anthropologists formalized the studies of this very strange and powerful culture. I’ve dusted off an old copy of their s … [Read more...]

Why We Can’t Win In Afghanistan by Randy Woodley

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(Note: I am interrupting my own series on Strange Religion: American Dualism because of the urgency of this situation. Life interrupts perceived reality. A recent ABC News - Washington Post poll (http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Americans-Believe-Afghan-War-Not-Worth-Costs-New-Poll-Finds--142296305.html) shows that 60 percent of U.S. citizens believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth its costs. These cost are both monetary and counted in the loss of human life. Although the slaying of … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part I by Randy Woodley

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What has been particularly harmful about American Christianity has not necessarily been the beliefs professed by American Christians but rather the worldview that makes professions of belief more real than living them out. Within this schism of reality exists classic American dualism.With just a reference to our nation’s fondness for war, our crime statistics, our rising poverty rates and an apparent increasing lack of concern for the most disenfranchised of society, we simply do not measure … [Read more...]

Jesus and American Exceptionalism by Randy Woodley

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It seems the concept of American Exceptionalism has made a comeback. This is especially notable if you listen for even just a few minutes to the Republican Primary debates. The term is kind of new, but the concept began many years ago. Basically, it translates to mean God favors America more than God favors (at least most) other nations.The early Puritans had a similar spiritual vision to build a "city upon a hill" as a sign for God’s will for all. They wanted to create a “New Jerusalem” and … [Read more...]

I Like the Bible but I’m Not Sure I Know All the Words by Randy Woodley

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I had been learning to play bass guitar for two years when I was finally asked to be in a real band. The fact that I had a new Fender Jazz bass and an Acoustic 360 watt amp that I had worked and saved for the summer prior didn’t hurt my chances of being asked to be in the band. At 15 years old, I was anxious to show all the stuff that I knew, and as a singer I could remember an incredible number of words of various songs. There I was, for the first time with the band, in one of the member’s liv … [Read more...]

Quoting God by Randy Woodley

Ok, I first need to admit to you, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I’ve been around unorganized Christianity for a while. I was involved in some of the early Jesus people movements, several Christian communities and some wildly charismatic churches and “non-denominational denominations.” I was even a student, and later a chauffer, at Jim Bakker’s PTL Club (pre-prison conviction days). Believe me, I have heard some pretty crazy things attributed to God in the past.For example, once I wa … [Read more...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!)It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old caveWith camels and horses and cattle she laidKnocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy besidePsycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied No time for a cleaning, no time for midwifeThe stable wa … [Read more...]

Racism and the Fear of the Other

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Woops! It surfaced again. Most of the country was shocked to hear the news of an interracial couple being kicked out of the all White, Freewill Baptist Church in Pikeville Kentucky last week. Sure, we were a bit surprised but after all, it is “rural Kentucky” and wasn’t the word “Baptist” used? Easily dismissed as a anomaly, we store the occurrence in the “you know you’re a redneck when” file of our brain and move on but please…Not so fast…What about October 2009 when a Justice of the Peace i … [Read more...]


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