Making religion as unacceptable as racism

What would it be like if religious belief were to become utterly socially unacceptable?  Imagine a time when believing in God would be as contemptible and as shameful as racism is today.  That’s what Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is calling for.  He says that he used to be tolerant around religion, but that he has become “less liberal.”  Now he thinks that religion should become as unacceptable as racism.  And that people shouldn’t be “allowed” to say religious words.

There are so many more religious people than atheists that this is unlikely for the foreseeable future.  But, still, note the trajectory.   Being unbigoted used to mean “not discriminating according to race, color, or creed.”  Then other categories were introduced:  sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical handicap, etc.  But there are attempts now to start excluding “creed.”   But hating people because of their religion and hating people because of their race are both bigotry. [Read more...]

“National Bolshevism”: Russia’s new ideology

Vladimir Putin’s speech annexing the Crimea echoes the language of a new political ideology being formulated in Russia, according to Canadian journalist Doug Sanders.  A melange of postmodernism, nationalism, and Russian Orthodox mysticism, it goes by the name of “Eurasianism” or “National Bolshevism” (cf. “National Socialism” ).

The ideology’s founder is Alexander Dugin, who calls his movement a “Fourth Way” between liberal democracy, fascism, and communism.  Though the big enemy is liberal democracy, so that he calls on an alliance between fascists, communists, Islamists, and other pre-modern forces to overthrow it.  He describes his ideology as “socialism without materialism, atheism, progressivism and modernism.”  Read about it after the jump, noting my highlights, and then read my reflections. [Read more...]

When the church “doesn’t really stand for anything”

Newsweek has an article about how Protestantism is dwindling in the land of Luther.  It shows, I think, the futility of the liberal theology that the state church has embraced, the notion that in order to reach people you need to change your teachings so as to conform to the dominant culture.  That’s a formula for making the church irrelevant.

The article also credits the Lutheran churches of East Germany, under great persecution under Communism, for its role in the anti-communist protests that brought down the Berlin Wall.  This reminds us that NOT following the path conforming to the dominant culture can have great power and that the church is at its best in times of cultural conflict. [Read more...]

Satanism is having a Reformation

The group that is trying to erect a statue of Baphomet next to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma state capitol represents a new strain of Satanism.  It isn’t just about black masses, occultism, and deliberate acts of evil.  The new Satanism is allying itself with atheism in an attempt to destroy traditional religions.  And yet just as the atheists are having a schism, so are the Satanists, with orthodox devil worshipers complaining that the new groups are not real Satanists.  So reports Joseph Laycock at Religion Dispatches, excerpted after the jump.

Think of it as an atheist Reformation, with a greater emphasis on spreading the bad news, replacing ritualism with a personal faithlessness, and de-emphasizing damnation by works.

[Read more...]

Reducing religion & morality to what is “useful”

More from Daniel Schwindt on de Tocqueville, this time about how Americans–because of their rationalism and individualism–tend to see both religion and morality in terms of what is “useful.”  (Again, thanks to Daniel Broaddus.) [Read more...]

The global war on Christians

Religion journalist John Allen has written a book entitled The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian PersecutionThe Washington Post has an interesting interview with him about the phenomenon.  Read excerpts after the jump. [Read more...]


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