Evangelical tribalism: 3 more data points

Life inside the evangelical tribal bubble is a wondrous place.

Come with me inside, through the un-looking glass, wherein we will learn that the oldest churches aren’t sufficiently traditional, that a 47-year-old white rapper is the pinnacle of Christian art since “Butterfly Kisses,” and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are more authentically evangelical than T.D. Jakes.

1. Fuller Seminary’s Burner blog redefines “traditional” and “conservative”

Here’s a snippet of the Burner’s review of the Wild Goose West festival:

Those who attended the “Denominations: Dead or Alive” discussions would have found that no traditionally conservative denominations were present. Catholic, Anglican, Episcopalian, and Lutheran were present to discuss, but nobody else.

That right there is why evangelicals can be so confusing. For American evangelicals, only younger, newer, innovative American forms of Protestantism are “traditionally conservative.”

Those old denominations that have been around for centuries? Liberals.

But the Presbyterian Church in America — the splinter denomination founded in 1973 — I’m guessing that’s what they mean by a “traditionally conservative denomination.”

And this kind of makes sense if you think about how they think about “conservative.” You start clinging tightly to the absolute truth, pure and undefiled. But the longer you endure as a denomination, the more likely it is that your grip may slip or that you will be tainted and defiled by the very fact of having existed for so long in this worldly world. Conservativism isn’t something than can be conserved forever. The purest denominations — the “most conservative” ones —  will thus always be the newest.

2. Christianity Today reports: “TobyMac Tops Billboard 200, First Christian Album at No. 1 in 15 Years”

Fans of Christian artist TobyMac may remember him from his days as a member of DC Talk. In the late 1990s, DC Talk notched five appearances on the Billboard 200, the main U.S. album chart.

Now TobyMac has landed at the top, earning his first appearance in the No. 1 slot of the Billboard 200 this week. His latest album, Eye On It, is only the third Christian album ever to reach the top spot.

The only other Christian albums to hit No. 1 were LeAnn Rimes’ You Light Up My Life — Inspirational Songs in November 1997, and Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) in June 1997.

Got that? TobyMac’s is “only the third Christian album ever to reach the top spot.”

Let me just turn down the exultant Gospel strains of “Land of Hope and Dreams” here so I can concentrate while I type this: a nice Catholic boy like Bruce Springsteen clearly doesn’t count as someone making “Christian albums.” Wrecking Ball may be a Christ-haunted musical meditation on death and rebirth, but that doesn’t make it a “Christian album,” so it doesn’t matter that it was No. 1 on Billboard’s chart back in May. (Sorry about that, John Fea.)

And Evanescence’s recent No. 1 album doesn’t count as a Christian album because, like, they’re all Goth-y. A “Christian album” is one by someone who is an outspoken, born-again, evangelical Christian.

You mean an outspoken, born-again, evangelical Christian like Carrie Underwood or Justin Bieber, both of whom had the No. 1 album earlier this year?

But no, of course they don’t count either. Underwood is on Arista Records and Bieber is on Island/RBMG, so sales of their records don’t profit the Christian Music Industry.

And, let’s be clear, that’s what “Christian album” refers to, both inside the tribe and at Billboard. It has nothing to do with the faith of the artist or with the expression of faith in the music. It’s a function of who owns the label and who gets the money.

That’s why Johnny Cash’s Live at San Quentin doesn’t count either.

3. David French explains, yet again, that “evangelical” is just a euphemism for anti-abortion white Republicans.

Par for the French, it’s a rehash of the usual circular argument. All evangelicals are anti-abortion. What about the more than a third of us who are pro-choice? Ah, says, French, that proves we’re not really evangelicals.

And, as far as he’s concerned, no one can ever refute the tight circle of that argument. You can never show him one legitimate evangelical Christian who doesn’t make it a priority to criminalize abortion because anyone who doesn’t make criminalizing abortion a top priority isn’t a legitimate evangelical Christian. Q.E.-fricking-D!

As for the millions of American evangelicals who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, French says either they will repent and vote for God’s Annointed Republican this time around, or else they were not really evangelical Christians either. Says French:

Many of the “evangelicals” who worked most diligently to advance President Obama’s cause have turned out to be, well, not all that evangelical. … It turned out that Obama-love was part of the exit process, rather than a new movement within evangelicalism.

That’s the French twist: We know that the Christians who voted for Obama weren’t really Christians because they voted for Obama.

French isn’t wholly wrong — for quite a few young former evangelicals, the 2008 election really was “part of the exit process” — the beginning of a process in which people like David French shoved them toward the exits and out the door of the church, slamming it behind them and ordering them not to return until they were sufficiently anti-gay, anti-abortion and Republican.

So if voting for Obama means you’re leaving Christianity behind, what is French trying to say about the millions of black Christians who voted for Obama in 2008 and fully intend to vote for him again in 2012?

Well, to French and his brethren at the National Review, those black Christians are just as mute and invisible as Clint Eastwood’s imaginary Obama.

 

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  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    And, let’s be clear, that’s what “Christian album” refers to, both inside the tribe and at Billboard. It has nothing to do with the faith of the artist or with the expression of faith in the music. It’s a function of who owns the label and who gets the money.

    Weird.  I’m sure I’m missing something, being a decadent heathen and all, but doesn’t Christian Michael Buble’s Christmas album count? 

    http://www.billboard.com/news/michael-buble-s-christmas-jingles-at-no-1005625352.story#/news/michael-buble-s-christmas-jingles-at-no-1005625352.story

  • Tricksterson

    Guess not.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/keepthemuse Connor Park

    Michael Bublé is a Canadian.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Heh, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that American RTCs don’t consider Canadian Christians to be Real and True.

  • AnonymousSam

    Of course not. Canada’s full of SOCIALISTS and UNAMERICAN NON-AMERICANS, so of course it can’t be a place where REAL TRUE CHRISTIANS live! Plus they allow FRENCH people and GERMANS there, and as we all know, they don’t speak AMERICAN, so they don’t know the language of the KJV, the ONE AND ONLY REAL BIBLE.

    </RTC Troll>

  • Tricksterson

    Plus they all worship Baal, except the Quebecois  who worship Cthulhu.

  • vsm

    Incidentally, I saw Bruce and the band on that tour’s European leg. He may be a bit too sincere to fully appeal to my joylessly cynical sensibilities, but he has to be one of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen, along with the band of course. Somehow, they managed to play for four hours without losing a drop of intensity, whether it was modern gospel or those 80’s hits. Their take on Light of Day was particularly good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo6GEzKWZ_A

  • LL

    RE Billboard: and “Now 43” (which I assume is the 43rd iteration of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” collection) is #4. Which makes me think Billboard no longer has its finger on the pulse of America’s youth. Then I go to the top 100 song list and it is full of musical acts I’ve actually heard of (though none I listen to). So not sure what to think of the album list. I honestly am surprised to hear Billboard is still a thing. I figured iTunes had replaced it as the arbiter of music popularity. 

  • friendly reader

     That’s just it – we’re in a post iTunes world, which means while albums don’t sell very well, songs do. That’s what the Hot 100 (radio airplay + streaming) and Digital Songs (# of d0wnloads) measures, as opposed to CDs-sold for the albums. Very few performers even bother with “albums” (as in, all the songs come together to express a central theme) anymore.

    Personally, I feel vaguely ill that “Whistle” is back to #1 again. Why?!?!

  • Lori

    I think those “Now” collections are, in a way, the perfect expression of the current state of music sales. They’re just collections of singles and, as friendly reader pointed out, that’s how music is selling these days. The Now collections just allow folks to do that at a slight bulk rate discount.

  • LL

    “Now That’s What I Call Music 43” is #8 on the iTunes top 10 album chart, so what do I know, except that millions of Americans have terrible taste in music. TobyMac is not on that list. I guess it’s all in the way you count stuff. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    He’s at 17 (14 if you don’t count preorders)

  • Scott Hanley

    Well, to French and his brethren at the National Review, those black Christians are just as mute and invisible as Clint Eastwood’s imaginary Obama.

    Was he mute? Were those not real voices in Eastwood’s head?

  • Carstonio

    And, let’s be clear, that’s what “Christian album” refers to, both
    inside the tribe and at Billboard. It has nothing to do with the faith
    of the artist or with the expression of faith in the music. It’s a
    function of who owns the label and who gets the money.

    And as far as music critics and casual listeners are concerned, the music of Springsteen and Evanescence wouldn’t count as Christian because these performers don’t slap fish magnets on their cars, metaphorically speaking.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    And this kind of makes sense if you think about how they think about
    “conservative.” You start clinging tightly to the absolute truth, pure
    and undefiled. But the longer you endure as a denomination, the more
    likely it is that your grip may slip or that you will be tainted and
    defiled by the very fact of having existed for so long in this worldly
    world. Conservativism isn’t something than can be conserved forever. The
    purest denominations — the “most conservative” ones –  will thus always
    be the newest.

    Isn’t “The church of our fathers has gotten too worldly so we’re foundign a new one to get back to good old-fashioned burning people at the stake for heterodoxy,” pretty much the origin story for christian denominations?

  • Richard Hershberger

     “Isn’t “The church of our fathers has gotten too worldly so we’re
    foundign a new one to get back to good old-fashioned burning people at
    the stake for heterodoxy,” pretty much the origin story for christian denominations?”

    Its older than that.  In the Middle Ages there was a recurring pattern where someone would look at the existing church institutions and see that they were corrupt and worldly, and so would found a new monastic order on pure principles.  The people, including the rich people, would see these godly monks and shove money at them:  if you are going to pay someone to pray for your soul, surely this is more effective the more godly that person is.  This would lead to people joining the order for the wrong reasons, and to general dissipation and corrupt worldliness.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  The Reformation can be seen as a twist on this older pattern.

    On the other hand, something like the split between the Eastern and Western churches, to say nothing of the Miaphysites and Nestorians, is much more of an good old-fashioned schism.

  • AnonymousSam

    Isn’t that the opposite of what’s happening here, though? Now we’ve got people essentially splintering off to form their own churches because their creed is worldly and corrupt.

    Jeremiah Cummings always comes to mind. He somehow has gotten the impression that Matthew 19:23-24 advocates being rich. Literally. He couldn’t quite quote it from memory, but the wording he began with was “It is better for a rich man…”

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Isn’t “The church of our fathers has gotten too worldly so we’re foundign a new one to get back to good old-fashioned burning people at the stake for heterodoxy,” pretty much the origin story for christian denominations?

    Not for Quakers or the Church of England or most denominations, actually. If you took out that “burning people at the stake” bit, it would apply more widely. Most Christian denominations are not actually founded on the principle of killing people.

  • Kubricks_Rube


    That’s the French twist:  We know that the Christians who voted for Obama weren’t really Christians because they voted for Obama.

    Also known as the No True Frenchman fallacy.

  • Tricksterson

    (Throws a duck at you)

  • JayemGriffin

    Aren’t we not supposed to do that? Or was it sheep? I remember a vague prohibition against throwing farm animals at the commentariat.

  • cjmr

    We promise not to kill you with sheep.  (Or, sometimes, do you promise not to kill us with sheep?)

    But we can throw ducks all we want.

    Or cushions.

  • Joshua

    Turns out there are a range of products for throwing ducks. I give you:

    http://zingerwinger.com/xcart/product.php?productid=16428&cat=265&page=1 

    Isn’t the internet wonderful?

  • Matri

    Isn’t the internet wonderful?

    I am mildly disturbed yet strangely fascinated…

  • Tricksterson

    You’re not supposed to kill people with sheep.  I was using ducks and anyway I was only trying to stun you so it’s okay.

  • c2t2

    Pfft! You’re clearly a quack.

  • D9000

    And that was clearly a canard.

  • Tricksterson

    Mooo!

  • VMink

    Set waterfowl to “three-day hangover.”

  • VorJack

    I may be miss remembering, but I think Evanescence was placed on the Christian charts when they first broke.  One of the members of the band stated in an interview, bluntly, that they shouldn’t be on the chart.  (I think his exact words were “What the f*** are we even doing there?”)  They were immediately pulled from the list and received some bad press from Christian music reviewers.

  • Carstonio

    Now I’m curious – does the Christian chart in Billboard lump in CCM with gospel? Stylistically the two genres have little in common. I’m a huge fan of ’60s and ’70s soul, and the few times I’ve been in churches over the past two decades, I’ve longed to hear the music that Sam Cooke and Al Green and Aretha Franklin cut their teeth  on. “Hey Father, could we hear something with groove?”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    On point #1: writing a review with a theme of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” is not just exceedingly hackish and trite, it’s also inherently negative due to the structure. You’re quite literally structuring your review to spend 2/3rds of the time on things that are bad; bias is quite literally baked into the title. 

    From “the bad” section, we get more clear bias:
    the “more tolerant” section of Christianity didn’t invite the “less tolerant” section of Christianity to the table. (To be fair, maybe they were invited and the invitation was refused. 
    So it’s entirely possible that the ‘less tolerant’ folks were absent by choice, and that the absence of a “show of true tolerance and grace for those that believe differently” wasn’t possible, because those who believe differently chose not to attend. I suspect the author would bemoan the lack of KKK speakers at an NAACP rally… as a fault of the NAACP. 

    Even the author seems to recognize that more voices wouldn’t make for a better conference (the discussion between Nadia Bolz-Webber and Mark Driscoll on denominations may not be productive) but still apparently believes that not having unproductive discussions is a “bad thing”.  

    Tip for every reviewer, blogger, and writer: Do not  use “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as a review style! EVER! Using that structure forces you to discuss things only in terms of “was it good” and “was it not good”, 

    On point #2: Following link after link gives almost the exact same  press release. If I were a betting man, I’d say that the problem is less “tribalism” as defined by Christians, and more tribalism as defined by Billboard.  I suspect Billboard’s the one calling his album “Christian” while cutting out the more mainstream performers. 

    As for point #3…. it’s the Corner, where such intellectual luminaries as Jonah “Liberal Fascism” Goldberg post. It’s a trainwreck of unsupported assertions* masquerading as arguments and utter non sequiturs are feebly passed off as logic.** The writing of those posts is intentionally lazy and aimed towards the echo-chamber. Expecting citations, proof, or supporting evidence is simply not part of “The Corner”, and is barely a function of NRO in general.

    *I consider the “abortion celebration masquerading as the Democratic National Convention” to be a good example of the genre’. The ‘why’ or ‘how’ of this claim is never adress, but simply presented as a given. That the DNC is a ‘celebration’ of ‘abortion’ is not a part of the post, but merely a piece of the scenery. 

    ** This is a gem of a non sequitur: ” He was supposed to create jobs, but disability claims are rising faster than employment” 
    Not having a job makes you disabled?
    In the construction of a sentence, saying “He was supposed to create jobs, but X are rising faster than employment”, unless X = unemployment, you’re stating that he did create jobs. 

  • TheDarkArtist

    Wow, Lutherans and Catholics aren’t “traditionally conservative.” Whoever wrote that has absolutely no connection to reality. Like, none. At all. In any sense of the word.

    I honestly don’t get it. I’m honestly glad that I don’t.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Wow, Lutherans and Catholics aren’t “traditionally conservative.” Whoever wrote that has absolutely no connection to reality. Like, none. At all. In any sense of the word.

    Lutherans! Those young upstarts with their fresh new ideas! They got nothing on us :)

  • Robyrt

    On the one hand, Fred is implying that sheer age makes a denomination “traditionally conservative”, which is simply not true any way you slice it. Whether you’re talking about theological or political conservatism, the distinction is clear and widely understood, and has nothing to do with the complex and largely irrelevant Protestant family tree.
    On the other hand, any definition of “traditionally conservative” which doesn’t include Catholics is wrong. Granted, they are more ecumenical than the Baptists and PCA Presbyterians, but it’s not like they will give an inch on biblical inerrancy or premarital sex or hell or substitutionary atonement or abortion.

  • Quietreader

    “On the other hand, any definition of “traditionally conservative” which doesn’t include Catholics is wrong. Granted, they are more ecumenical than the Baptists and PCA Presbyterians, but it’s not like they will give an inch on biblical inerrancy or premarital sex or hell or substitutionary atonement or abortion.”
     
     On one hand I agree with you. Catholicism in general is a rather conservative faith. On the other hand … biblical inerrancy? Unless I’m mistaken about how you’re using that term I don’t think most Catholics consider the entire Bible to be inerrant. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s one of the topics Catholic theologians like to pull out and argue about when they’re bored. As for hell, same thing the definition of it and who if anyone is there or will be there and why they might be there has been changed numerous times and is still occasionally debated.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Also Substitutionary Atonement? Really? Where do you get that idea? The first time I ever heard the words Substitutionary Atonement was a theologically orthodox Catholic moaning about Aslan’s death in TLTWATW being “blatently substitutionary atonement”.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Fourthing or whatever the others.

    Biblical inerrancy is definitely not our thing. So far away from being our thing that we have all sorts of jokes about how loosely we regard the Bible. I have seen respected Catholic biblical scholars talk about how Moses probably wasn’t a real guy and various stories were pinched from other cultures and Israel was polytheistic for centuries and Song of Solomon is at least partly erotica and the dominant response from the audiences has been “oh, that’s interesting, tell me more”.

    Atonement theories are also open–various interpretations have been more or less favoured at one time or another. It’s certainly not something the average Catholic spends much time at all being exposed to.

    I grew up Catholic and moved a lot, so I was exposed to a bunch of different parishes and Catholic schools. In each of these there was more emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount than on the entire body of atonement dogma and epistles put together. 

  • Carstonio

    I’ve been to a couple of Catholic weddings and funerals, and at the latter, the priest swings a smoking metal ball. When he passed by, I caught a whiff and realized that it was incense. Took me by surprise – I had thought of incense as something used by Asian and Native American religions or by hippies.

  • The_L1985

    Incense–especially that frankincense you smelled–has been used in lots of religions for millennia. The Catholics got it from the Jews and Pagans before them.

    Before the Protestant Reformation, use of incense was never an “out-there” thing to anybody. I think the thought process was, “people like good smells, heaven is Up There, so let’s send some good-smelling smoke Up.”

  • Carstonio

     I never realized before now that frankincense was in fact incense. I never knew what it was. If it weren’t for the opening of Life of Brian, I wouldn’t know what myrrh was, either.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I’ve been to a couple of Catholic weddings and funerals, and at the latter, the priest swings a smoking metal ball. When he passed by, I caught a whiff and realized that it was incense. Took me by surprise – I had thought of incense as something used by Asian and Native American religions or by hippies.

    The smoking metal ball is called a thurible. One of the things I like about being Catholic is the incorporation of sensual experiences in our sacred ceremonies–burning incense, anointing with oils, the bread and wine, chants, bells, spoken communal prayers, the sign of peace, genuflecting, adopting different body positions at different moments in the mass etc. We’re not disembodied spirits, and our bodies are not base things to be despised or shut down*. We’re sensual creatures, so it’s appropriate that our worship be a sensual experience. Just as we’re communal creatures, so it’s appropriate that our worship be communal.

    I remember feeling surprised and kind of sad when I first came across Protestants who expressed the view that the “bells and smells” aspect of Catholicism was “primitive”–fitting for Spanish peasants maybe but certainly beneath advanced intelligent cultures like good old modern Anglo-Saxons. I wondered if they lived their whole lives as if the only things that count are intellectual propositions. Is the experience of love for them a list of positive attributes that they recognise and affirm in the object of their love, or is it like it is for me–a kind of stomach ache?

    *The fact that so many Catholic leaders have, for generations, believed and acted contrary to this idea is a symptom of messed up theology and messed up psychology, I think, but in my lifetime I’ve seen things turning around, at least at the local level.

  • Carstonio

    Although I wouldn’t have thought of the incense as being a sensual aspect of the ceremony, I can appreciate that aspect, just as I can appreciate the overall value of ritual in worship. When I first learned of the use of sacramental wine, I was surprised  because I had assumed in my teenage years that devout Christians were opposed to alcohol consumption. There’s something distasteful about some of the Etiquette Hell entries complaining about weddings with no alcohol (Southern Baptist, I think), as if this was the same as going without food. 

    Maybe those Protestants simply don’t trust humans to show restraint when it comes to sensual experiences, like the old joke about sex leading to dancing. Some of the adults in in family seemed to believe that, and they were a mix of Presbyterian, Lutheran, and northern Baptist.

  • The_L1985

    Basically, yes.  A lot of Protestants don’t trust others to have self-control.

    As if flailing about wildly doing whatever was any good for anybody.  We wouldn’t even have a society if most people didn’t exercise self-control.

  • The_L1985

     This is why I love Paganism.  It’s the “bells and smells,” without the….Vatican. :P

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     One of the things that the Catholics have that several of the major bunches of the protestant faiths (particularly the ones associated with puritanism) lack is the spectacle.  For a lot of them, this is deliberate; that whole “The church of our fathers was decadent and corrupt, we need to get back to being pious and dour and self-flaggelating” thing.

    If you were most anyone in medieval europe, with the limited access to fine fabrics and pigments, and a shortage of pretty much anything that did not at least superficially resemble dung, the church was supposed to be the place on earth that gave you a little hint of what heaven was going to be like.

  • Tricksterson

    If by Biblical innerancy you mean a literal approach to the Bible, Catholics do not believe in it.  They consider large chunks of it symbolic.  That after all is what the whole priestly hierarchy is for, to tell the masses what the Bible “really” says.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    On the other hand, any definition of “traditionally conservative” which doesn’t include Catholics is wrong. Granted, they are more ecumenical than the Baptists and PCA Presbyterians, but it’s not like they will give an inch on biblical inerrancy or premarital sex or hell or substitutionary atonement or abortion.

    You mean the Vatican, not Catholics. Those are entirely different things.

  • Turcano

    Evanescence doesn’t count because ew, Evanescence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    While being fully-cognizant of their flaws (trite, angsty, melodramatic lyrics, overblown and pretentiously swollen music), I actually like Evanescence.  I think Amy Lee has a great voice, and it works very well with their overall metal lite sound.

    In fact, I’ve been having a pretty rough time over the past few weeks, and the other day one of their standard dead boyfriend songs shuffled into rotation and, I have to admit, it…got me.  Solid blow straight to the chest, despite being an exemplar of their worst musical excesses.

    Of course, maybe at heart I’m really just an emo teenage girl instead of a middle-aged man…

  • Mike Timonin


    maybe at heart I’m really just an emo teenage girl instead of a middle-aged man…

    Aren’t we all, though?

  • Lori

     

    Of course, maybe at heart I’m really just an emo teenage girl instead of a middle-aged man…   

    I’m pretty sure that at heart we’re all emo teenage girls a lot of the time.

    I hope things get better for you soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I hope things get better for you soon.

    Yeah…that’s probably not going to happen in the foreseeable…ever, but thank you.  I’ve been – and will be – mostly fine, for a Jon-specific value of “fine,” but there are a lot of rough patches.

    It’s just going to take a while for me to fully integrate this latest thing in with everything else and get accustomed to its presence (or, absence, in this case, I suppose).  In the meantime, I will, on occasion, get knocked upside the head/punched in the chest, etc. by the odd sad song (or some other trigger).

  • Tricksterson

    As long as you keep that emo teen girl in your heart and not chained up in your basement I think you’re okay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    We’re safe in that regard, at least inasmuch as I don’t have a basement.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Of course, maybe at heart I’m really just an emo teenage girl instead of a middle-aged man…

    Having emotions doesn’t make you an “emo teenage girl” — it makes you a normal human being. I’m sorry things are rough for you right now. Please don’t feel you’re less masculine because you’re human. (And please don’t insult teenage girls, they have enough to deal with.)

  • AnonymousSam

     For that matter, emotions aren’t an indicator of masculinity or femininity, nor is either a negative trait to have if such a thing even exists. I hate the whole concept of dividing up behavior or feelings by gender. Men cry, women get pissed off and have to break things, and at the end of the day, we all came from the same orifice and share >99% of our DNA with each other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I understand that, and it’s not my masculinity I question, it’s my intelligence (or lack thereof, which is ultimately what led me to this situation).

    And I also didn’t want to insult teenage girls (or middle-aged men, for that matter), but I’m afraid I drew a blank when coming up with another appropriately recognizable cliche that indicates that I’m spending some time wallowing in self-created drama and exaggerating the direness of my situation.

    I suppose I should have said that I’m just not very pleased with myself and my behavior, and left it at that.  Or said nothing at all.

    In any case, my apologies.

  • The_L1985

    Meh, their 2003 album was pretty good. And that’s the one Fred’s talking about, not the travesty that was The Open Door.

  • Nicanthiel

    Yeah, the quality of their music (content wise; technically, they’ve still got it for the most part) has been going downward since the beginning. Origin and pre-Origin were excellent, Fallen was decent, TOD was a travesty (though I did like her use of Lacrimosa) and Evanescence is… not as bad as TOD, but still not great.

  • SketchesbyBoze

    Yeah, Catholics don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture (which is one major reason I’m becoming Catholic). Also, not to go all theological on you, but they don’t interpret substitutionary atonement in the way most Protestants do. Protestants believe Jesus was crushed beneath the wrath of God as a divine substitute, basically because God had to pour out His wrath on someone and so Jesus took the penalty. Catholics don’t believe that Jesus had to bear the wrath of God.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Protestants believe Jesus was crushed beneath the wrath of God as a divine substitute, basically because God had to pour out His wrath on someone and so Jesus took the penalty.

    Not all Protestants believe that. But I was raised in a (Lutheran) tradition that sort of does, and it’s more complicated than that. As I understood it, it’s not about God having to hurt someone — it’s about the necessity of God walking among us to learn more about us and to teach us, and then the mystical importance of a sacrifice, both so that God may learn what it is to die and so that we can realize, through God sacrificing his son who is himself, how much he loves us. 

    Nearly every religion I know anything about has some god or other being who dies and is reborn, either once or every year. Rome was a hotbed of all sorts of different religions around the year 0 C.E.,  and Jerusalem was one of its central cities, where people of many traditions met, fought, married, and birthed new traditions. There were a lot of mystery cults popular in the heart of the Empire around Jesus’ time, and those of both Isis (who re-assembled Osiris) and Mithras (who died in winter and was reborn in spring) were especially popular. 

  • Will Hennessy

    Left Turn ahead: The Boss is a big part of the reason I play a Telecaster. And also the place I go to when I want to hear uplifting songs about “caring for each other like Jesus said that we might” (yes, from Wrecking Ball).

    Funny how I don’t go to a Christian music station (or store, or artist) for that…

  • Carstonio

    Trying to apply labels like liberal and conservative to denominations seems misguided, and not just because my knowledge about the doctrinal differences is very limited. Catholicism could be deemed liberal for its stance on helping others in need but conservative for its stance on gender roles, but both of these would be political labeling and not philosophical categorizing. Would one categorize Unitarian Universalism as liberal because it’s more accepting of individual differences in belief than other denominations? Suppose this stance lasts for hundreds of years – would one then label UU as conservative by using the traditional definition of opposition to change?

  • http://raewhitlock.com/ Rae Whitlock

    Hmm. I’m an anti-abortion black independent voter who didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 and will not this year either. Do I even exist?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I’m an anti-abortion black independent voter who didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 and will not this year either. Do I even exist?

    According to recent polls, if you’re also planning to vote for Romney, the answer is “no, you do not exist”.

    But setting that aside, the real question is are you describing yourself as an “independent voter” because you are open-minded
    and don’t vote consistently for one party or another, or merely because you haven’t registered as a Republican? Because if it’s the former, (open-minded, willing to change voting patterns each election) then no, you probably don’t exist, at least, not in the way you’re labeling yourself.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    A “Christian album” is one by someone who is an outspoken, born-again, evangelical Christian.You
    mean an outspoken, born-again, evangelical Christian like Carrie
    Underwood or Justin Bieber, both of whom had the No. 1 album earlier
    this year?

    No, some conventional born-again evangelical Christian(TM) knockoff like Johnny Hammer, who is marketed as “Just like Justin Bieber, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”


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