Link It or It Never Happened: Lee Harris on Huckabee and “Attacking” Christian Fundamentalism

Filed under:Need a Good Editor?,Not Cool,Politics,Priorities,Religion — posted by Anwyn on December 18, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

First red flag: “…truths that need badly to be aired.” I think he meant to say “spleen that needs to be vented.”

Lee Harris tells a heart-tugging story about how what one’s raised with never quite leaves one, no matter how superstitious or ridiculous it is, and then, dissonantly, tries without links or examples to assert that attacks on Huckabee are just attacks on the intelligence and loyalty of the evangelicals supporting him.

Hey, Mr. Harris, I too was raised not to set anything down on top of a Bible and I too generally still avoid doing so. Recognizing that God will not poke me into the hottest part of the coalbed for it if it happens is good, but there’s no harm in remaining faithful to that respectful tradition. If one takes your example to its fullest extent, then you yourself are making the attack on evangelicals by suggesting that their support of Huckabee is a knee-jerk response to somebody who talks the talk. And are we seriously expected to believe Huckabee didn’t plan it that way?

Mr. Harris, you’re whining. If the attacks on Huckabee are “more and more” becoming an attack on “Christian fundamentalism,” link these attacks. And then explain to us how Huckabee inserting his faith into every issue is not a cynical use of it for political gain. And then tell us how attacking the candidate who namecalls on immigration, who lets criminals out of prison, who’s totally easygoing about raising taxes whenever the legislature wants, don’t ya know, is an attack on Christian fundamentalism. Also, explain how people inflating to presidential proportions the kind of “current of raising” you describe with so much seriousness and agitation is not open to the same charge of superstition that you labeled your own Bible-stacking reluctance as. If this guy uses the Bible to justify letting criminals free, it must be right. I must be able to trust him, right? That is taking a look at somebody who seems to be like oneself, using that likeness to cover a multitude of stupid decisions, and justifying it all behind a shield of faith while the candidate cackles and rolls around in a stack of poll numbers.

I’ve said it before: If you honestly believe that Huckabee’s policies and beliefs on illegal immigration (flipflop notwithstanding), convicted criminal clemency, and tax-and-spend are the right direction for the country, you are in the wrong party. Republican values historically, traditionally, and modernly speaking have no place in those policies. Go on and switch parties (win-win: GOP’s primary doesn’t get screwed up and Democrats suddenly find a multitude of pro-lifers in their midst), but don’t threaten to switch, like a little petty bully, by pretending that outrage over the fact that Huckabee dresses his ridiculous positions in the clothing of the GOP because his faith lends him to two of the most unstable planks in the platform is outrage at Christians, fundamental or otherwise. It is outrage at people who, whatever their reasons, including religious, see fit to attempt to saddle us with a nominee who will do many of the horrible things Democrats typically do to make America somewhat weaker, somewhat poorer, and somewhat less livable. And if those people insist on clothing their reasons in their faith, their faith will take some of the flak. It is inevitable. It is reality. Stop whining about it.

Via Hot Air.

There’s Hope

Filed under:It's My Life,Religion,Television — posted by Anwyn on September 19, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

One of my church’s current Wednesday-night classes is viewing Islam vs. Islamists, the documentary that PBS really didn’t want to show. Maybe I can hold off from the church shopping awhile longer.

How Will You Spend 9/11?

Filed under:9/11,Religion — posted by Anwyn on September 8, 2007 @ 12:04 am

I will be going about my usual life, with some thoughts of those who were killed in the horrendous attack and some thoughts for those who are working to dispel lies.

What I will not be doing is going over to Bilal Mosque, the same folks who sent their friendly neighborhood outreach representative to my church, for an “open house” that my church invites us to attend in our latest newsletter.

On Behalf of Bilal Mosque, we would like to invite you all to our sixth annual 9/11 commemoration and open house at Bilal Mosque. We started this open house right after 9-11 mostly to answer questions on Islam and related issues.

Since then it has become a yearly ritual. We hope our friends, neighbors, any one who is interested — will drop by, share some food, ask questions, have a dialogue, pray for peace and justice and generally get to know one another.

I get the feeling it’s time to start church shopping. Or maybe just become one of those “spiritual, but not religious” people I keep reading about.

This Just In: Bill Moyers Is an Ass

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Religion,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 25, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

Out: Christians elect Christians, unacceptably mixing church and state. Oh, those dumb Christians.

In: Christians elect entities run by people they think are Christians but who really aren’t. Oh, those dumb Christians.


… reports were circulating that [Karl Rove] himself had confessed to friends his own agnosticism; he wished he could believe, but he cannot. That kind of intellectual honesty is to be admired, but you have to wonder how all those folks on the Christian right must feel discovering they were used for partisan reasons by a skeptic, a secular manipulator.

And Rove calls the PBS ombudsman to respond, after an intervening interview with Chris Wallace and Moyers standing by his statement:

In his call to me [PBS ombudsman Michael Getler], Rove said, “If someone says he is a believer, why is that not accepted? He (Moyers) has decided he will be the judge and the jury about whether I’m a believer. He attributes this to unknown parties and then defends it in a letter to Chris Wallace, with no personal interface with me at all. How does the San Antonio Express know? They don’t. They don’t know me well. He (Moyers) then relies on a blogger who says ‘I could be wrong here.’ Well, he is wrong.” Rove calls Moore an “incredible left-wing ideologue.” Bill Israel, he says, “was once my teaching assistant. He was no more a close friend of mine than the man in the moon. I attend church in my neighborhood and here in Washington. I was married in church, worship in church, tithe to the church. My faith is my business. This is just beyond the pale.”

Aside: The ombudsman at PBS doesn’t like Moyers pulling this crap on PBS’s dime? That really is just in.

H/t Allah and the Quote of the Day.

Pick Your Battles

Filed under:Religion — posted by Anwyn on July 16, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

British girl loses lawsuit against school whose uniform policy forbids her “chastity ring” while permitting headscarves and Sikh bangles.

The court’s finding is entirely appropriate. A chastity ring is not mandated in the “rules,” such as they are, of Christianity and therefore is not a good hill to die on in opposing your school’s dress code.

Guess you better get a more oppressive religion if you want it to be accommodated. Or pick a symbol more integral to the religion if you want to win the case.

This Kind of Thing Serves Nothing, Got It?

Filed under:Jerks,Religion — posted by Anwyn on July 12, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

…but as ammo for anti-Christian people. Write your senator and tell him or her that you don’t think a country with “In God We Trust” on the currency should open sessions of the legislature with a prayer to Shiva, fine, but calling a Hindu clergyman “wicked” and his prayer an “abomination” and getting yourselves arrested for disrupting the senate chamber are the acts of puffed-up, overly sanctimonious blowhard exhibitionists with an axe to grind that, in my view, doesn’t have much to do with Christianity.

Whither the Muslim Mothers?

Filed under:It's the Jihad,Mothering,Priorities,Religion,Sad — posted by Anwyn on July 7, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

One line from this Telegraph article that Allah linked in his round-up of coverage about the Glasgow/London bombing attempts really jumped out at me, emphasis mine:

By the time he had graduated from medical school in the Iraqi capital in 2004 his views – already so hardline that reportedly his mother would not dare remove her headscarf in his presence when he was a schoolboy – had become positively toxic because of the US and British invasion.

“He” refers to Bilal Talal Abdulla, 27, being held by the police after the failed attack.

Why aren’t these boys taught from an early age that they’d better fear their mothers more than Allah? Why is it that she feared his reaction even as a schoolboy so much that she did not “dare” remove her headscarf? Surely he was not strong enough, as a schoolboy, to harm her. We know one answer–in a culture that murders women for being raped or for breaking their marriage vows, we can assume that most of them cannot stand up to their husbands and thus will not to their sons, either. Thus the sons are raised as the ultimate expression of the spoiled brat–“Don’t offend me or I will throw a tantrum that will result in your death.” Even in a more moderate form it involves riot violence defended as a natural consequence and a mistaken notion that they have the right to control the speech and behavior of others.

Obviously, also, there are many hardline mothers, or grandmothers, out there who believe in the cause as much as their sons do. But why don’t the more reasonable mothers care enough about their sons’ lives to do everything in their power to halt their progress down this deadly path, possibly to end in suicide bombing? Maybe it’s because they’ve spent years thinking their sons will kill them if they get out of line while the boys’ hardline education at the hands of religious extremists teaches them to do so. What a horrible cycle.

Mothers and feminists should be making common cause to break it. But it’s hard to expect that out of feminists who don’t view motherhood as important in the first place and who spend much of their time, like the hardline Muslims, working to control the behavior and speech of others who offend them. Muslim mothers need to be able not only to speak up but to consistently raise their sons in such a way as to prevent their sons’ departure down the path that will end in their deaths and the deaths of innocents. Western women need to find ways to support them in doing so.

Muslim Speaks at My Church, Calls Me “Naive.” Also “Tough.”

Filed under:Religion — posted by Anwyn on June 25, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

None of my friends or acquaintances are Muslim. Maybe none of yours are, either. So when a speaker from Bilal Mosque was invited to speak at my church to “introduce us to Islam,” quoting from our church newsletter, I was interested in hearing what he would say and in asking him a few questions, since I’ve never had the opportunity to ask an individual Muslim how he or she views the gulf between the henchmen of radical, violent Islam and the rest of the world. His presentation consisted largely of a few facts about Islam guaranteed to appeal to liberal hearts, such as that “Allah” is used to name God because the word has no indication of gender, and some rambling stories, supposed to be heartwarming, about how the Muslim faith of people he knows is helping them through a horrific life situation and he’s not worthy of their belief. Here’s a brief recap of a few of our exchanges in the discussion period, the ones where I (or somebody else at my church) asked him a question and he responded.

I asked him about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch MP, former Muslim and self-described “Muslim atheist” who left Holland after being evicted from her apartment so that her neighbors would be safer from Islamic threats to her life. He responded that her situation is “contrived,” that she’s not in any danger, “it’s all to sell books,” “you watch,” she’ll live long and make lots of money. And on further reflection, he decided that I am “naive” for believing her tales. Who would bother with her, he asked rhetorically.

Well, obviously, the same people who killed Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker with whom Ali collaborated on the film for which he was killed by a second-generation Muslim Dutchman. From the above-linked article:

Ms. Hirsi Ali first got police protection in 2002 and then went into hiding in November 2004, following the murder in Amsterdam of Mr. van Gogh by a second-generation Dutchman of Moroccan descent. The killer plunged into Mr. van Gogh’s chest a long knife, which pinned to the corpse a rambling and venomous note addressed to Ms. Hirsi Ali. It vowed that she, too, would die.

Naturally I then asked about the murder of van Gogh. Our speaker’s response: “An aberration.” Surely the stated target for murder of even an “aberration,” as Ms. Ali was targeted by van Gogh’s killer and has been publicly marked for death in the last three months, must be in danger? No, it’s all contrived.

But how can it be contrived or an aberration when so many rioted over the Danish cartoons? His answer: “Touch Mohammed and there will be riots.” He went on to stipulate that it’s fine with him if I then turn around and say that Islam is not a religion of peace, but nevertheless, touch Mohammed and riots will happen.

So let me get this straight: Riots of thousands are the natural consequence of offensive newspaper cartoons, but a brutal murder is an aberration, and danger to the murderer’s stated next target, who has been driven out of her home because all her neighbors believe the danger to her was dangerous to them, is contrived? Hirsi Ali has gained traction in part because of the riots that are threatened because of her presence and the riots that actually took place around the cartoons and the death of Theo Van Gogh. But instead of disassociating himself or Islam itself from those acts, our speaker denied their existence, wrote them off as an anomaly or preached that we must accept them as a matter of routine when Mohammed is insulted. Which is it: anomaly or routine?

A member of our church asked why we don’t hear more from Muslims who condemn violence committed in the name of Allah. His pat answer: “Where are you, during the illegal occupation of Palestine?” Me: “But it doesn’t justify people strapping bombs to their chests and blowing up innocent people.” Him: “If that’s what you think, that Palestinians are always going in and killing Israelis, then I can’t change your mind.” He flatly stated that CNN and our other internal news sources, as opposed to CNN International, are basically a web of lies and propaganda. Yeah: propaganda against the Palestinians. Chew on that one for a minute. At this point I was fairly sickened at the way a few members of my church spoke up eagerly to, basically, agree with him on the point of Jewish lies and propaganda.

On the subject of Islam’s treatment of women, he told the story of Mohammed’s first wife, Hadijah, and how she had built up a vast caravan business, how she proposed marriage to him, how it was she whom he went to when the angel visited him, etc. I asked how this prominence of woman squares with their treatment in, say, Saudi Arabia. His instant answer: “Saudi Arabia is a problem.” He compared it unfavorably to Bangladesh (where he is originally from, I believe) in oppression of women, etc. I asked if this is because of the government structure; his response was “it’s cultural. Mostly cultural.” I had previously asked about supporting governments that suppress freedoms, such as the freedom of women to dress how they choose, and he had countered with Turkey, where, he said, women are not allowed to veil. Actually, though, according to The Economist, it’s only women who work for the state who are barred from veiling.

He told the story of Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael. In the Bible, Abraham’s twitchy, childless wife, Sarah, told Abraham to take her servant, Hagar, as another wife and get children from her. When Hagar’s son, Ishmael, was about fourteen (according to the Bible), upon Sarah’s insistence, Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert and left them. I asked how Muslims interpret God telling Abraham to take Hagar and Ishmael out and abandon them. He replied, basically, so what, or why does that bother you. I started: “Because I’m a mother–” he got animated. “You are a mother through the mercy of God. … He could snuff you out” *snapped his fingers.* I.E. there is no explanation needed–God said to do it, Abraham was therefore justified in doing it, end of story. Whereas I always look on the story of Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael as a shameful example of the frailty of humanity in both Sarah and Abraham–and Hagar and Ishmael as well, since it was their open contempt of Sarah and Isaac that got under Sarah’s collar to begin with. To my further question of how Muslims interpret God deliberately setting Isaac and Ishmael on paths that were bound to clash, he answered that the Koran says that God could have made us all one people, one brotherhood, all hugging all the time, all loving all the time, and what would be the meaning in that? He says it’s to test us, and may you never be tested. I wonder how he supposes one is to get an “A” in this particular test.

So, I asked, if God created us differently on purpose, then in the same way you resent Christians asking you to convert (something he’d mentioned before), you’re not in favor of Muslims asking Christians or others to convert? His response was, essentially, an appalled God, no. There is no missionary component to Islam, he said–our faith and our souls are our business. He’s to take care of his own. Later, after the discussion of Hirsi Ali, I went back to this regarding Muslims who leave the faith. He said that of course they’re not happy when somebody leaves the faith, that he’s been introduced before to people who have become Christian from Muslim and “…I’m supposed to be happy about this?” (he most clearly was decidedly UNhappy). Me: “So how does that square with ‘take care of yourself and let others do the same?'” His instant, honest response: “It doesn’t.”

He even had his own Muslim version of Truthernut salad. With no prior question or mention, he brought up Chechnya, which, he said, has been trying to “break free” for hundreds of years. Me: “What about Beslan?” He said that was unacceptable, or wrong, or words to that effect, but followed it up with the idea that Beslan may have been orchestrated by Putin. A “school of thought,” he said. I alluded obliquely to “schools of thought” cropping up their ugly heads in the U.S. but didn’t really want to go down the Truther road any farther.

While our speaker is of Bangladeshi origin and I do not know how long he has lived in America, he is a PhD in electrical engineering and works for Intel. When our pastor, on his “feel-good” side of the agenda, asked if “we should be afraid of Muslims,” our speaker’s response was “It’s up to you.” There was more to it, and he went on that he hoped we wouldn’t, that he makes efforts like this (the interfaith sessions) to overcome that fear, but that response in itself is in no way reassuring. If the violence, other than the riots over Mohammed, is aberrant as he says, why is the answer not “Of course not”? It must be because we infidels will eventually again “touch Mohammed” and invite it on ourselves.

Some of this took place in the general group, some afterwards when me, my pastor, and two other people stayed around to discuss some more. During that small discussion after some semi-pointed exchanges, he shook my hand (he was preparing to leave but ended up staying for more discussion), said “We’ll get through this” (meaning the larger strife), paused and added, “She’s tough,” indicating me. I walked with him to his car after it was over–we were parked next to each other. He said he appreciated being at our church and having the discussion and talking about the hard questions; he said he thought feel-good fluff was a waste of time, that nothing can be solved that way. On that point he has my total agreement.


The stated purpose of the visit, from my church’s perspective, was printed in the newsletter: “In an increasingly fragmented world in which followers of other religions are often viewed with fear – how wonderful it would be to build bridges.” But when we’re told flatly, “Touch Mohammed and there will be riots,” it’s obvious that it’s less about bridge building and more about schooling us as to how we are and are not to behave to avoid what Muslims who think like our speaker believe are the reasonable consequences of offending Islam–or even the more “aberrant” consequences. Ironically, this pattern reminds me of radical feminists, whose aim is to curtail the behavior and speech of people, particularly men, whom they deem offensive. In both cases, this reveals an absolutely infantile grasp of human relations that insists you tightly align your behavior with their proscriptions because they simply cannot handle, or respond appropriately to, what you might say or do. Our speaker, in answering my questions about the Mohammed cartoons, asked vehemently and self-pityingly why we could not leave Mohammed alone, why Islam cannot have even one thing that is sacred from the opinions of others (my words). I remember pathetically wondering this myself when my sister wanted to play with my toys–when I was about eight. But this begs for control of the behavior of others rather than planning for measured responses of one’s own.

Confronting this rigid insistence on speech and behavior control, Christians, atheists, and Jews should be making common cause to resist this backwards thought process. But I watched while at least three members of my church eagerly attempted to make common cause with the speaker who had essentially just told us we were not entitled to publicly express our own opinions of Mohammed, who repeatedly gave himself away with anecdotes about being introduced to non-Muslims whom he was sure he would hate until he actually met them, and who tried to make jokes about the wives he knows ruling the roost over their husbands, but told several stories of their actual subservience and dependence on their husbands’ pronouncements.

You cannot build a bridge from only one side of the river–but too many Muslims expect non-Muslims to bridge 100 percent of the gulf between our “offensive” behavior and their delicate sensibilities.


Many thanks to See-Dub of the ol’ JunkYardBlog, who provided encouragement and assistance as I wrote this up.

Long Weekend

Filed under:Language Barrier,Miscellaneous,Politics,Religion,Sad,Television — posted by Anwyn on March 29, 2007 @ 12:17 am

I’m off for the weekend, so just a few thoughts until I return next week.

1) Dear Dr. Dobson, don’t you realize this kind of thing annoys even Christians? It’s not your business to pronounce on whether any other man is a Christian or not, and it’s far worse than arrogant for you to redefine “Christian” to mean “public figure who speaks openly about his faith.” If you want to see an outspoken Christian in the White House, say that. And then say whom you endorse. Say whom you won’t endorse because they’re not outspoken enough, but when you say they’re not Christian enough, you’ve crossed the line. Please get over yourself. Or, rather, pay attention to your own Christianity and let Mr. Fred Thompson take care of his, both public and private. Love, A Christian

2) Speaking of Mr. Fred Thompson, I think I love him.

3) In an internet whirlwind of headline-skimming and soundbite-grabbing, you may not have 45 minutes to watch this. If you don’t have 45, trust me: watch 20 or so. A taste:

The modern liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. … They’re convinced that … the real cause of war, poverty, crime, and injustice must be found, can only be found, in the attempt to be right. See, if nobody ever thought they were right, what would we disagree about? If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight. If we didn’t fight, of course we wouldn’t go to war. Without war there’d be no poverty, without poverty there’d be no crime, without crime there’d be no injustice. It’s a utopian vision, and all that’s required to usher in this utopia is the rejection of all fact, reason, evidence, logic, truth, morality and decency.

Speaking truth to flower power.

4) Your Dancing with the Stars prediction: It’ll come down to Laila Ali and–yeah, I’m as surprised as you are–Joey Fatone, formerly of N’Sync. The girl can groove, and the boy can move. The rest of the top five will be John Ratzenburger, Ian Ziering (did his mother really name him Aye-in, or is that just a conceit he plastered over Ee-in?), and Apolo Anton Ohno. The women are always at a disadvantage on this show, because if a man gets the steps right and has a little charm, he’s good to go, but if a woman doesn’t have the fiery persona of the ballroom dancer, it’s instantly all too obvious. And this season the women just aren’t feeling it so far, so it’ll be all men in the final weeks–except, of course, Laila, who could win it all if she keeps going like she has been. Football hero can mambo; boxer can mambo.

5) Last but not least, thoughts and prayers for Tony Snow.

Don’t Drink the Water, Stupid

Filed under:Jerks,Religion — posted by Anwyn on March 7, 2007 @ 9:57 am

I’m not Catholic, so somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but everybody knows you don’t drink the holy water, right?

The half-liter bottles of Holy Drinking Water are being distributed by Wayne Enterprises. They only carry the blessings of Catholic and Anglican priests, but company president Brian Germann plans to expand to other faiths.

Query: What “other faiths” give out blessings of physical substances that anybody actually believes have a tangible effect? (That’s not rhetorical. I’m actually wondering.)


Filed under:Authors,Religion — posted by Anwyn on December 11, 2006 @ 10:58 am

Dawn Eden promotes the soul-deep virtues of chastity — in the New York Times!

Via See-Dubya, who dares to think that because Dawn actually is “born again” considers herself to have had a “born-again experience” that it’s okay for the Times to call her “born-again ^ Christian” rather than “Catholic.”

Cross-posted at Electric Venom.

Edited to remove potentially frightening literal implications of “born again.”

What the Hell Heaven?

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Religion — posted by Anwyn on December 8, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

This is really ticking me off. Allah’s got it posted but doesn’t think it’s nearly as serious as I do: “The ribbing is gentle, but it’s still surprising to see this kind of religious stereotyping in an ad. Even if it is intramural.” Just watch:

It’s not gentle, Allahbabe. It’s self-loathing masked as the snottiest of self-righteousness and superiority. “See, teeming masses of Christian fear and loathing so great that you deny yourselves the simple pleasures of ‘Christmas’? We’re not to be feared! We have no rules that you must follow that might take you out of your comfortable lifestyle! You can wear jeans to church! It’s all good!” I don’t have a problem with the jeans. I have a problem with the stereotyping, which is laughably wrong, and with the doctrinal implications, which are lamentably watery.

Let’s assume for a moment that their stereotypes are correct, that buttoned-down man is the one who carries his Bible, listens to whatever passes for [younger, Christianer] Amy Grant and Cynthia Clawson and Keith Green these days (I wouldn’t know, I don’t listen), and wears those stupid fracking WWJD things–and memo to Community Christian Church, those bracelets were popular eight years ago. I haven’t seen them around in a good long time.

But I digress. Let’s assume the portrayals are correct. Suit Guy is annoying as hell, but at least he’s armed, and yes, the Word of God is referred to as a sword. Jeans Guy follows Christ … how? The same way you’d follow a diet? “Yeah, I follow Atkins, but man, I just had to have that Krispy Kreme after lunch today. Hee hee.” He doesn’t seem to need a guide; he just follows Christ in how he lives his life. Swell. Will we see him dying on a cross any time soon? At least most people know that’s what Christ did; Jeans Guy seems to be carrying all he needs to live a “Christ-following” life around in his own head, so hey, no need for those pesky rulebooks and ethics studies and … oh yeah, “morality plays.” Whatever the hell those are. Seriously. Suit Guy may be insecure enough that he feels he has to flash his religion to the world, but is it safe to assume he secretly doesn’t take it as seriously as Jeans Guy for that reason? Of course not.

Now let’s get to the truth: that the stereotypes are way off. On the contrary, it’s the newer, “seeker” Christians, the ones who fancy themselves sooo hip, as if they are the first to discover how cool Christianity can be if you only lighten up a little, who are more likely to walk around with the books in their hands, the music in their ears, and WWJD in their mouths. You put “WWJD,” “God led me to see ____,” and “This is where God wants me” into a sack one of those seekers is carrying around and just see which falls out first. Or if it’s not a seeker, it’ll be an older Christian trying desperately to remake Christianity over into something that won’t frighten the young fry away. They talk the most talk, try to grab the most non-Christians by the elbow, and try to shake the hands of the most visitors to the church. The problem is, it’s not just going to be the Bible they’re walking around with. Koran … Purpose-Driven Strife … God’s Politics … to Suit Guy’s books and superiority, they add wide-eyed enthusiasm and Jeans Guy’s non-judgy perspective. It’s the worst of both worlds. It’s all good … as long as you can say God led you there. Most of the older Christians I know are more of the “don’t pray on street corners” variety. They carry their Bibles … because they need to read what the pastor’s referring to when he speaks.

Apparently being a “Christ follower” means you get to pick and choose and live however you happen see Christ as living. Unfortunately being a Christian takes a bit more guts and commitment than that, even if it means disdain from others. (Newsflash: it always has meant that!) Too bad Community Christian Church doesn’t seem to want to man up.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace