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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 09:43AM

NOTE: Mormons also claim that both the founding fathers and the US Constitution were "divinely inspired" and the USA is a "christian" nation.

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2018/02/13/christian-nationalism-heresies

God doesn’t bless America.

That’s not how this works.

I’m sorry to break it to you, Bible Belt Christians—but that’s just how it is.

I know this kinda wrecks the convenient narrative you’ve been working for the past 60 or so years (and hitting especially hard the past eighteen months), but honestly that nasty bit of heresy has done enough damage already and it needs to go. It’s straight-up of the devil.

I’m not sure where you’re getting your taglines and hat slogans from, but I know it isn’t from the Bible. I know it isn’t from your coveted and regularly trotted out John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God loved the world.
God is in the world-loving business—not the America-blessing business.

You remember the world, don’t you; that massive, spinning sphere of 7.6 billion disparate human beings: brown people, Muslims, LGBTQ folks, Atheists, shithole countries—and lots and lots of non-English speaking, non-Americans?

Check out the Old and New Testaments again.
Read through the Gospels a few times.
Use any translation you’d like:
No America First.
No Making America Great Again (or at all.)
No flags or national anthems to pledge allegiance to.

A few other bits of news from the Scriptures:
Jesus was born in the Middle East.
He didn’t speak English.
He wasn’t white.
He wasn’t Evangelical.
He wasn’t a Republican.
He wasn’t American.
Heck, he wasn’t even Christian.

Jesus was a Rabbi who spent his days as an itinerant street preacher, living off the generosity of strangers and speaking in parables about a new “Kingdom of God:'” a radical way of living where the poor were cared for, the oppressed freed, and the outcasts welcomed in.

Jesus came to usher in a countercultural kind of interdependent community, in direct opposition to the power-wielding Roman Empire he stepped into. It was a diverse, barrier-breaking, border-transcending, nation-defying movement of generosity and mutual affection. It had nothing to do with blessing a Government or building an army—or creating a gated community of white folks in North America two thousand years in the future.

To claim that America was at all the point of the Gospels is flat-out heresy.
To assume any God-ordained supremacy based on religion, nation of origin, pigmentation, orientation, or native tongue—is a perversion of the work of Jesus and idolatry of the worst kind.

I’m sorry to break all this bad news to you. I understand the actual words of the Gospel are problematic, given the story you’re selling to those whose fear you’re leveraging in America right now.

It’s impossible to be devoted to the Jesus of the Scriptures, while refusing refugees, expelling immigrants, demonizing Muslims, vilifying people of color, worshiping political power, and neglecting the poor—which is exactly the point.

As long as you continue to conflate God and America, you’re going to be whitewashing the Good News, shrinking God into your own image, and bastardizing the message of Jesus in ways that can only be described as fully and violently heretical.

If your God is America—you need a bigger God.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 09:59AM

Wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 09:59AM

A great deal of Mormonism is based on the notion of American exceptionalism. As I have said before, it is not the Church of Christ.It the Church of Cleon Skousen, and in that theology the words of Jesus in the Gospels were just a warm-up act for the real Jesus as depicted in the Book of Revelation. And America is to lead the way. That sentiment even today guides many of the church's leaders.

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 10:21AM

And this guy is a Mormon. And the church leaders have not called him in for a chat. Like they did with Sam Young.

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Posted by: Mordor, not logged in ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 03:10PM

When did Jesus become a knight of Gondor?

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: October 22, 2021 07:40PM


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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 10:32AM

But Jesus did carry a side-arm, right? You know, just in case the crowd turned on him for not providing enough fish and loaves.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 01:04PM

Jesus didn't share any loaves and fishes with anyone, because, that would be socialism. :-\

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 01:19PM

Judas thought there should be a work requirement for fish and loaves. The dispute grew quite heated.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 10:45AM

Sadly the opinion piece is on the money for much of the church in America, where religion and politics are seemingly interchangeable.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 21, 2021 11:04AM


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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 01:01PM

Christianity has been connected to nationalism/imperialism since Constantine threw his cloak around it, bound up its wounds, and elevated it to the Roman Empire’s new pet religion. The first thing he noticed was how discordant it was and he had philosophers and bishops gather at Nicea to make it “universal” or catholic. Disagreements were rampant and the stalemate was awesome, so with a little politics behind the scenes, a single faith for all was born taylor-fit to please an emperor and enable his ease of rule.

Christian nationalism is the default historical state of that faith — both in terms of temporal duration and in the amount of Christians who have adhered to its more imperial forms and/or entertwined it with their national identity. Even after the Catholic monopoly broke over Western Europe, monarchies found it convenient to tie their legitimacy to it. For Greek Orthodox, up until the Turks sacked Constantinople, Christianity was explicitly imperial: the emperor was the head of the church. For Catholics, Christianity has always been what they think it is. For Protestants, monarchies have still tied their divine right to rule to the faith.

It was out of the Enlightenment which the idea of separation of church and state came, and there were many reformulations of the way Christians thought of their orthodoxies to accommodate this new idea. They didn’t like it at first, but it grew on them, because maybe they were thinking that with the government constitutionally off of their backs and with free speech, they each thought they would someday be on top.

America was founded on this Enlightenment ideal. Each of the original colonies, though — the whole reason there were different colonies, especially in New England — were each founded with a state church of varying sects. But when they formed a union, when they became these United States, the federal union was forged on enlightenment ideals because some anti-Christian men who read Locke and Rousseau played expert politics to make it happen. A very American kind of Christianity was soon born that respected the constitutional separation of church and state, but even then these sects dreamed of the day when Christ came to meet the bridegroom (pick a church, any church) and make it his political kingdom on earth, or in other words: the government. Mormonism was no exception. Mormonism itself prophecies that a day will come when the majority of Americans reject Christian religion altogether and in that day, it says, they will be ripe for destruction.

Christian Nationalism is coming out of the closet because it had its dominant sects’ hopes dashed recently that their future takeover is secure. It’s looking like their aspirations will drown in the rising tides of secularism instead. They feel so entitled to rule and to dominate that they don’t ask themselves whether the trend away from religion is because of their own bad examples and the people’s disgust with their hypocrisy and totalitarian hunger. They created the “None” trend. First they predicted without any instigation from anyone else that their own ideas were so silly the day would come when people realized how silly they were and leave it, and then they fulfilled their own prophecy by being such amoral and ignorant Benny Hill-style blowhards and ruffians that self-respecting people not in bondage to a librocracy, or the gentocracies and priesthoods that it typically fuels, took a hard look at the Bible and decided that its relevancy was expired anyway and they moved on.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2021 01:06PM by Cold-Dodger.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 29, 2021 01:00PM

I believe it went down exactly as you depict, but I recognize how easy this history is to dismiss by simply 'believing' that the events unfolded as ghawd intended: ghawd's plans could never be frustrated!!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 01:59PM

The Jesus candidates swept...the polls. But why? He drove out money lovers. He healed not hurled insults. He chastised the rich and didn't care about dodging taxes.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 02:35PM

in b 4 ~ north america is the best america ~

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 04:22PM

One of the reasons that Christian nationalism continues to thrive is the lack of knowledge among … Christians. Few, especially among the evangelicals, have any knowledge of how the Bible was created, the actual stories that are in it, and the kind of lifestyle that Jesus actually lead. No, the people who know most are not the current Christians but rather those who have studied and learned their way out of their respective faiths.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 07:55PM

Those are pretty bold and sweeping claims. Do you have data to support them?

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 11:10PM

In terms of statistics and actual reports, nothing. However, I very much agree with Dagny's Exhibit A (see above) and I'll add one more point.

Several years ago (I think it was around 2010), NPR's Diane Reehm (she's now retired) had as a guest a professor who actually studys the Bible as history and culture. While I forget his name now, he demurred when several callers asked whether or not he believed that Jesus Christ was the savior.

More to the point of this thread, though, was the very intelligent caller who asked him why people seemed to not see the contradictions inherent even between the Biblical stories themselves. His answer was that most of the people who read the Bible for religion did not sit down and read all of it at once; rather, they focused on a single story and focused on the lesson in that story. However, if they came across another story several nights (or even weeks or months or years later--remember, these people are reading only one story at a time), they would not remember the first story and what it taught thereby erasing any hope that they would see any contradiction between Biblical narratives.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: October 21, 2021 11:24AM

So, more personal opinion than empirical fact the way you presented it. I have no problem with opinion. Sweeping generalities are another matter.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 20, 2021 08:44PM

Exhibit A: Many evangelicals (a lot!) vote for the party that supports the exact opposite of how Jesus was actually portrayed in the Bible. So, they are either hypocrites about what they claim they believe, or they don't actually know the Bible stories.

As the saying goes, often the person who believes the Bible is Christian. A person who studies the Bible isn't.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 21, 2021 12:13PM

I'm pretty sure that the day will come when many of us will be ashamed and perhaps repentant of being Americans. This day may come sooner that we would like. I'm nearly there, myself; I'm trying to buy residential property in northern Italy.

I try not to do the whole "God bless America" thing myself, and try to emphasize it by flying the flags of several favorite countries on their particular national days. For instance, I lived in Germany for 13 years, and witnessed the reunification of the country on October 3. So on Oct. 3, I fly the German flag in recognition of "Tag der Deutschen Einheit." I fly the French flag on Bastille Day, and the Canadian flag on Canada Day. Of course, I also fly the American flag on Independence Day, but I limit it to that.

I live in a very right-wing and working class city, where men in Ford 350's rumble back and forth on the city streets flying T**** and Confederate flags from the bed of the truck, and where people fight over wearing a mask--in the hospital, no less. I'm half concerned that someone will come to my door to complain about the French flag, while they themselves are flying a Confederate flag that, to me, represents treason and loss.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: October 21, 2021 10:54PM

What area are you thinking? I have a friend from the Liguria area. It looks beautiful there and the food amazing.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 24, 2021 05:06PM

I'm for settling in the Monferrato area of Piemonte. Maybe even in Casale Monferrato.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 27, 2021 04:09PM

Ignore this space.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2021 04:11PM by cludgie.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 22, 2021 05:57AM

Be careful, Cludgie, you'll be close enough that I'll just have to visit...

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 24, 2021 05:06PM

And we'd finally meet in person? There are worse things.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 26, 2021 02:35PM

I think it would be good. One day (I retire in three and half years' time ;-). Will you be there by then?

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 27, 2021 04:10PM

Obviously, I put my comment in the wrong place above. Anyway,...

The hugs and kisses is foursquare against the idea. She lived with me for 4 years in Rome, and had a hard time with how Italians do things. I don't. I love Italy, Italians, France, the French, Germany, etc., etc. All countries have different ways of doing stuff, and none if it is inferior or superior to anything that Americans do. I would, however, prefer a place in which I can speak the language, that that includes 2 1/2 languages, German, Italian, and sort of French. My French is not very good anymore, but I'm still up on Italian and German, and comfortable with them, because I've had extensive training and experience in both.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: October 30, 2021 01:48AM

Lovely area. I am enjoying looking at houses for sale there. I think it gives you the best idea of what it's really like to live in a place. They are not big on bathtubs and almost all have cellars and a bidet. Lots of vegetable gardens. Kitchens are smaller than they are in the US but really, how much do you need? So many historic houses too. There is even a castle on the market. I will be poking around this area for a long time. Thanks cludgie :)

I wonder how much it would take to make this little house livable.
https://www.casedicollina.it/en/castle-historic-on-sale/city-of-casale-monferrato-villa-regina-apostolorum/CC1006/info.html

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: November 08, 2021 01:38PM

I forgot to answer your link. It's important when looking for an older property in Italy to notice if it says "abitabile" ("habitable") or not. If it's "abitabile," it means that, even if it's not in the best of condition when you move in, it is at least functional--the water runs, the toilet works, it has electricity and is connected to public sewer or septic tank, etc. You can always build on that. As expensive as some things are there, renovation is no more expensive than here. A property like the one you show in this link comes with more difficult things; like in the UK and some other countries, historical preservation is paramount. This property would have some level or grade of protection, possibly a pretty high one, like "grade-1 listed," or something, so you would be constrained to meet with a planning board and discuss your plans, and then they would tell you what your are allowed to do and what you can't do. Some of the instructions or limitations might also seem a bit brutal. On a brighter note, where else would you find something like this, and have a hand in preserving it? In Iowa? Utah? Sadly, no.


I don't --I really don't-- think that a person could go wrong by choosing to live in Italy, unless you come from some buttoned-down religious or government culture. Some people in my family love Italy for being open and welcoming, for allowing citizens to exercise more personal choices than we allow here. Conversely, some people in my family see that very thing as some kind of affront, allowing random people to do more or less what they want.

Still, I'd want to appease DW by living near a town like Vercelli, where there is a beautiful Mormon ward building. It could work for her because she is very introverted, and the Italians wouldn't pester her to accept a calling.

(There is an LDS kid from Rigby or Rexburg, Idaho, who can help people find a home in Italy. He has a big presence on YouTube, and goes by "Dauvo." He married an Albanian-Italian woman, and they live in Lido (south of Milan), where they are apparently active in the Mormon ward there. He fancies himself an "entrepreneur," and clearly his speciality is finding properties for other Americans. I think he might be a good resource.)

Don't forget the superior quality of life in some other countries--like Italy, for instance. And practically each region is a wine-producing region, and all their wines, I'm almost sorry to say, are superior to most other. Can't hate that. Brunello, Chianti, Soave, Nero d'Avola... The list is tremendous.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2021 01:58PM by cludgie.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: October 28, 2021 12:23AM

The United States was founded by a diverse group of people who had varied views on things. Some were religious and some were not. What they did agree on is they wanted to be free of the British Empire and it’s taxation without representation. They wanted a government by and for the people. They did not want a state religion but they wanted freedom of worship.

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