“We should help our enemies because it’s what makes us better than them.”
This quote from the Doctor is from the graphic novel Assimilation 2 featuring a crossover between Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Now this is ironic, because when I came to the realization that your view of Christianity can humorously though accurately be called Zeitgeistianity, the first thing that came to my mind is that you are BORG;-) For fun I re-wrote the Lord’s Prayer and re-dubbed it “The BORG’s Prayer”, which goes like this:
Our Zeitgeist, who aren’t in heaven, holy be your fame. Let assimilation come. Let your will be done on earth, albeit not in heaven. Give us this day our daily consensus, and forgive us our independent thoughts, though we don’t tolerate them from others. Let us not be tempted to challenge a consensus, but deliver us from such evils, for yours is the transitory kingdom, the fleeting power, and ever-morphing glory of the Borg, forever, Amen!
Those who has read chapter 7, entitled “The Ruler of the Whole World: The Invention of the Totalitarian State by the First Christian Emperor of Rome” in Jonathan Kirsch’s book God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism (Viking, 2004) of knows what the Borg really is: i.e., Dogmatic, orthodox Christianity. The spirit of the age is now against dogmatism and enforced orthodoxy. You’ll just have to deal with it, Mr. Borghianity.
The Wall of Separation in the Constitution broke your Borg.
“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved—the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” ~John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 3, 1816
In reality, my kind, i.e. people who reject the Trinity doctrine, the doctrine of eternal torment, the just war view, etc, have historically suffered at the hands of “orthodox” Christianity, so I think you’ve got your BORGommunity confused:-) I suppose it’s hard to think clearly when your own thoughts are constantly drowned out by the collective.
I’m as far from the doxyborg as one can get.
“I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819
But maybe we can find some common ground; I too reject the trinity doctrine.
“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, July 30, 1816
I too reject the Demonism of torture dogma.
“I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
I also reject the supernatural.
“To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But a heresy it certainly is.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, August 15, 1820
In my younger days, when engaged in conversations with Trinitarians, I often quoted Jefferson’s letter to James Smith (see below). As time went on, however, it occurred to me that, as witty as Jefferson’s words seemed to me at the time, they’re probably too in-your-face to win someone over in the world of ideas about who God is. I even felt a little guilty for a while for having quoted Jefferson in such conversations, but then William Lane Craig actually used Cerberus in his effort to illustrate how a Triune God can be intelligible, and my guild was mitigated;-)
“Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs…. In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea?” (December 8, 1822)
Thanks! I don’t quote Jefferson to convince anybody. After being dechurched 20+ years, and being friends with a dechurched ordained minister who refused to identify as a Christian anymore, I wouldn’t even be calling myself a Christian except that Jefferson did. And it’s fun to make the Barton disciples who think America was founded as an evangelical fundamentalist nation think a bit.
Huh. I didn’t know Jefferson identified as a Christian.
More evidence that religion isn’t about belief!
I am a Christian I am a real Christian I am of a sect by myself monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/jeffersons-religious-beliefs
My goodness, he really is showing his British Empiricist lights there, isn’t he?
These days, of course, scientists believe all sorts of things that ‘present no idea’.
This is a little strange, Sean.
How can you accuse James of being part of an assimilatory collective when he’s far more of an outlier in terms of his belief than you are, when it comes to American Christianity (and that’s still the dominant religious position in America)? You have your heresies, sure (thanks for mentioning them, very interesting), but he shares all of those!
And I don’t know what to make of this idea that he doesn’t tolerate independent thought. How is he any less tolerant than you? He argues for what he believes in, sure, but so do you — quite stubbornly and trenchantly, what’s more, and I’ve never had much of a sense from you that ‘I believe this, but it’s quite fine for people to believe otherwise’.
Is this just a way of saying he disagrees with you?
Humor looses its value if you have to explain it;-) I’m happy to chalk this up to another instance where my humor fell flat.
I take it that there was a serious point underlying the humour, but I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s that an unchallenged consensus is unhealthy. In that case you should be happy because the consensus *is* challenged. Although all scientists think that the earth is 4.5 billion years old about half the American public think it is 6000 years old.
The quip about zeitgeistianity is, presumably, a criticism of those who are supposedly blown about by the winds of intellectual fashion. But if intellectual fashion is constantly changing then the consensus must be open to challenge, and this seems to be what you want.
It all depends what you’re helping your enemies to do…
I appreciate a person who says a lot in a few words:-)
Sirach 12, 1-7 If you do good, know for whom you are doing it, and your kindness will have its effect. Do good to the just man and reward will be yours, if not from him, from the Lord. No good comes to him who gives comfort to the wicked, nor is it an act of mercy that he does. Give to the good man, refuse the sinner; refresh the downtrodden, give nothing to the proud man. No arms for combat should you give him, lest he use them against yourself; with twofold evil you will meet for every good deed you do for him. The Most High himself hates sinners, and upon the wicked he takes vengeance.