It’s the fourth of July, the day delegates from the American colonies 236 years ago got together and declared independence from the mother country of Great Britain. Today is a day of hot dogs, American-themed hats and other apparel, fireworks, and, of course, conservatives bashing liberals for not being xenophobic, homophobic, and pro-war enough, among other things.
On Twitter there has been a trendy topic going around #HowLiberalsCelebrateIndependence. It is exactly what you would expect, conservatives saying we are anti-freedom and anti-America, because we don’t agree with their hatred of others. I’m going to share with you some of my personal favourites.
Let’s start off with this piece of conservative religious garbage since most people reading this are probably liberals and/or atheists.
I personally don’t celebrate Christmas, because I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. I know the true origins of the holiday from Pagan rituals and then corporatism. There are many atheists who do celebrate Christmas, because it is not about Jesus and God and how God (who is also Jesus… but is also a separate… but combined part of him… who is still two people… and then there’s that holy ghost guy… what?) raped a twelve-year-old girl to impregnate her with himself and then how she gave birth to God(‘s son). The holiday is about spending time with your family. As well, spending a ridiculous amount of money on things you don’t need and probably don’t even want.
Are you saying we don’t understand the history behind Independence Day, because that would be most conservatives on the contrary, or the concept of independence itself? I’m going to assume you mean the latter, because some other tweets we will get to later had similar remarks. We don’t understand independence, because why? Because we believe people should have the right to a job and a home and food? Because we believe people shouldn’t be unemployed, homeless, and starving because they “didn’t work hard enough”? Yeah, screw the poor. They don’t deserve our assistance, because they screwed up, even though most people that were laid off over the past few years were because of an economic recession which was not their faults.
Speaking of having a right to a productive life. Yes, we don’t understand independence, because we want people to have a life where they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or if they can afford to keep a roof over their head that isn’t made of cardboard and old newspapers.
So all liberals are dependent upon the government? They’re just a bunch of welfare queens scamming the system. People should work for their money. Like the trophy wives and their children who never worked a day in their lives and just mooched off of their rich husbands. They sure worked hard for their money. They deserve every penny of it and should have their taxes cut while we’re at it, since they are the job creators.
Yes, independence is a bad word to us, because we want everyone to be dependent upon the government so that they can have a house and a job and an education and a future where they feel fulfilled, even if their wallets may not be. We’ve been found out!
Conservatives use Medicaid, Social Security, police, firefighters, teachers, roads, libraries, and everything else that liberals do, they just complain about it while they’re doing it. Liberals are grateful enough that they live in a country that can provide these things to its people. If anyone is hypocrites, it’s conservatives.
Disenfranchising minorities and the poor from voting, that’s racist. Purging voter rolls, the vast majority of which are Hispanics, that’s racist. Creating laws so that cops can racially profile, that’s racist. Trying to ban abortion, that’s sexist. Trying to ban contraception, that’s sexist. Banning gay marriage, that’s homophobic. Discriminating against gays in the workplace and trying to ban them from adopting, that’s homophobic. Using the very social programmes they say are bad, that’s hypocritical. When liberals call conservatives racist, sexist, homophobic, hypocritical bigots, it’s because they are.
Now we move into the “liberals are un-American” section.
We hate America so much we now wish it hadn’t even been born. Liberals wanted to abort America, even though the Declaration of Independence was created because of liberal thought, but let’s not let facts get in the way. We still want to abort America. A very late-term abortion, since we are psychopaths who love abortions, especially late term abortions so that all the godless atheists can have more food, and want more people to get abortions, mostly white people so that the white race will end, since we also love Hispanics and blacks over white people too, especially if they are illegal immigrants who come to take jobs that the vast majority of Americans won’t take. However, we don’t want to abort any gay babies, but since being gay is entirely a choice and not something that is decided upon via genetics and biology, we will just have some babies and turn them all gay by having already gay men molest young boys to make them gay, and then America will no longer exist, since gays can’t reproduce. That’s what we want for America. That’s what all liberals want. That’s our Final Solution!
Well then… I think I may have gone a little too far there. Just maybe.
I wonder if there are actual conservatives in America who think something like that. I was being hyperbolic, but I truly want to know if someone really believes something close to what I said. I know some people believe certain aspects of it and that’s where I got most of those parts to put them together, but I wonder if someone believes all of that. I’m not sure if I would be more surprised or disappointed if there really was one person who truly did.
And now we support terrorists. Remember folks, the guy who first trained and armed those “freedom fighters” was Reagan.
Let me get this straight though. Because we believe Guantanamo Bay is a violation of human rights and that President Bush’s “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists” is a false dichotomy meant to divide people, we watch Michael Moore films that honour terrorists who killed innocent people. You know how conservatives celebrate independence? Watching a tribute film to the guy who killed that abortion doctor in Kansas.
This one just doesn’t make any sense. I honestly don’t know if he’s implying that all liberals are Mexicans or that all liberals support illegal immigration because we love Mexico so much and hate America or some other nonsense like that.
We want to burn the Constitution, and apparently replace it with the South African one, while roasting marshmallows, while at the same time “attacking conservatives who want to keep America FREE & EXCEPTIONAL,” because we want to destroy the country we hate so much.
American Exceptionalism: believing America is the greatest country in the world while being the country that is 37th in healthcare, 49th in life expectancy, 7th in literacy, 22nd in science, 27th in mathematics, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, and the largest military budget which is more than the next 26 countries combined. But we are the most free, having the largest prison population in the world.
God bless America.
There is a website called boundless.org, which is a website (including a blog and podcast) about young adults (by adults) and how they should live their lives according to Jesus. Their About Us section goes like this:
The transition through young adulthood is a time of adventure, discovery and excitement; but also loneliness, longing and uncertainty.
With encouragement and advice for navigating relationships, career, culture, faith and more, Boundless helps you mature in Christ as a foundation for marriage and family. That requires living intentionally with purpose by bringing your gifts, talents and Christian worldview to bear on your whole life.
The host for the Boundless podcast, Lisa Anderson, is also the “program director for young adults at Focus on the Family.” Now we can see what kind of angle they are getting, trying to brainwash confused and desperate teenagers and the like into thinking everything will be okay as long as they follow Jesus. This is not a dissection of the entire website. Just some background information which puts this all into context.
A blog post that came out Monday by the name of “Why We Fight” by Andres Hess, who works on the “broadcast production, content development and research teams at Focus on the Family. He teaches Bible and psychology classes at Colorado Christian University…”
The post starts off by talking about the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, which “tells the powerful story of a group of paratroopers who fought in World War II.” Hess talks about the shock the soldiers received when they stumbled across one of the Nazi Concentration Camps. When I first read this article, I had no prior knowledge of what the post was about or the site it was hosted on. I was not sure what to expect, until I read this part (emphasis mine):
Watching this scene, two things struck me. First, these soldiers endured extraordinary hardships fighting in World War II, and second, their sacrifices were worth the lives of the many they were able to save. The world saw the terrible carnage that results when God’s commands are disregarded.
My initial response:
Yes, the world is a terrible place when God’s commands are disregarded, even though Adolph Hitler believed he was doing the work of God by exterminating the Jews. This is directly from Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography (emphasis mine):
I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
The Bible commands that believers kill nonbelievers and those of other faiths, among many more people for many more reasons. Before anyone says it does not, please read this. God’s commandments were not being ignored, quite the opposite, they were being carried out by a faithful follower. I wonder if Hess thinks that Hitler was an atheist. He probably does, and then if pointed out all of the evidence for Hitler’s Christianity, he would probably use the classic “No True Scotsman Fallacy” that Hitler “wasn’t a true Christian.”
Hess goes on to say, “Sometimes people ask why we engage on controversial family issues like cohabitation, homosexuality and abortion.” He goes from Holocaust to homosexuality. I cannot wait to see how this one turns out.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just let everyone do what they want? Why can’t we just do our own thing and leave others to do theirs? Well, yes, that would definitely be easier. It would be much simpler to tolerate and to avoid the seemingly endless debates. So why not just leave it alone?
Yes. It would be easier, so please, as a bisexual, pro-choice atheist that is currently in a “cohabitation” with someone I care for very deeply, leave us alone and stop trying to take away our rights.
We can’t and won’t disengage on these issues because we love people and hate things that destroy people.
That old “hate the sin, love the sinner” nonsense. His entire blog post seems to be an elongated version of that overdone message, mixed in with some “we’re going to keep doing this, even if the world hates us for it, because we love Jesus and Jesus loved people, so we love people.”
These next bits are just… I really do not know how to describe it. Just read (emphasis mine):
Some may not see the connection between the evil of the Nazi war machine and the evil of abortion and sexual sin, but biblically, they are analogous. It’s sobering to consider all sin is a serious offense against a holy God and reaps punishment from Him. The Bible is clear. All sin offends God and deserves eternal punishment away from His presence.
Yes, he is comparing the Holocaust, one of the worst tragedies in history that killed ten million innocent men, women, and children, to gays and people living together who are not married.
How do Christians reconcile the idea that murder is just as bad as homosexuality? I have always wondered how they manage to think that loving someone deserves the same kind of punishment as murdering someone. “All sin offends God and deserves eternal punishment” is how they seem to do it. The punishment given to gay people who love each other is the same punishment as murderers. How is that “holy”? How is that moral?
Hitler’s sin and my sin both evoke God’s righteous wrath. The holocaust was one of the worst eruptions of evil in the history of the world, but what awaits those who reject God is worse, far worse.
Not only are homosexuality and cohabitation just as bad, according to Hess’ god, as the Holocaust, but rejecting his god, being an atheist like myself, is “worse, far worse” than systematically slaughtering entire races of people. Seriously?! How is it moral to think that not worshipping something, which has no evidence for its existence, is worse than killing countless numbers of people?
This is the kind of religious garbage that is passed off as just and fair morality to children who do not know any better. The website itself is aimed at teenagers who will grasp onto anything that will throw them a raft when they feel that they are drowning. These are taught as good and moral values to have. How are these things considered good? How is it moral to think like this? These thoughts and beliefs are immoral and dangerous.
If anyone who was not religious thought these things and expressed them on a daily basis, everyone would believe they are disgusting people who need to be locked away before they hurt anyone. However, once we tack on “God told me to,” wrapped in a bundle of nicely worded bigotry, then they are moral, righteous people, and we should respect their viewpoints, even if their viewpoints say that many people should have their rights taken away.
During the most recent episode of Dogma Debate, we had on John Christy, a Christian listener of the show, for David Smalley and the rest of us to converse with. The segment was supposed to be only about twenty minutes long, maybe forty at the most, but we ended up talking to him for over an hour and a half. A reason for that is because 1) we had a lot to talk about, and 2) he takes forever to say anything.
He was a nice guy. I am not trying to hate on John. I like him as a person. I am not a bigot against Christians, as much as Christians (and some atheists) would like to think I am. I do not like his beliefs. I do not like what he stands for. I do not like the source he claims is his moral compass. There’s a difference. If the Christian can say, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” then we can say, “Hate the beliefs, not the believer,” which is how I felt about John.
A very big problem I did have with him during the show was how when asked very specific and direct questions, he would employ how it takes forever for him to say anything, which derails the conversation to avoid actually answering the question. While the show was going on, I got comments from listeners who were saying exactly that. When repeatedly asked the same question because he was avoiding it, he just continued to ramble on as if he did not hear a thing (which maybe he honestly didn’t because he was calling in on Skype).
Getting onto some specific points from the discussion.
John claimed that Jesus was breaking the Mosaic Laws, such as when he broke the Sabbath, and this is why we shouldn’t follow those laws anymore. The problem here is that it’s not biblically accurate, which is funny, because John kept saying that we weren’t being biblically accurate, neither was the North Carolina pastor who wanted every gay to be put into a giant concentration camp for them to die off in.
The reason John is not biblically accurate is because Jesus was angered by the Pharisees for not following the Laws of Moses, as is clear in Mark 7:9-13.
And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Jesus is clearly mad that people are not following the Old Testament laws, especially the hypocrites who claimed he was not. Jesus wants us to follow the Old Testament laws of Moses. Jesus wants disobedient children to be executed. It’s right there in black and white.
In response to when I pressured him about this, John claimed that Jesus was a law-breaker, that he broke the Sabbath repeatedly. This is partially true. Jesus was accused of working the Sabbath by the Pharisees, because he ate grain on the Sabbath, which required work. Also, the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing the sick. However, according to an apologetics site, Jesus was not sinning when he worked on the Sabbath.
When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He was not breaking the Sabbath, but fulfilling it, because one is not at rest when afflicted, oppressed and bound by disease or infirmity. As many scriptures show, God delights in redeeming and restoring the afflicted, and giving them the rest exemplified by His Sabbath. God “hears the cry of the afflicted. When he gives quietness [rest], who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:28–29).
I’m not saying that I agree with the either John or the apologetics site, but it’s funny to see how Christians disagree with each other so much with their interpretations of who Jesus was, what he did, what he taught, and how we should live our lives according to his teachings.
Now the reason John brought this up was because he was saying that the coming of Jesus, that his time here on Earth, was him creating a new covenant and getting rid of the Mosaic Laws, such as stoning gays, disobedient children, people of other faiths, people who work on the Sabbath, and other people for what today would be considered barbaric and for arbitrary reasons. Well, that same article on Jesus breaking the Sabbath has this to say on that.
Had Jesus Christ actually broken the Sabbath, He would have been sinning. But the Scripture says that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Had He sinned, He could not be our Savior. But He, being undefiled and separate from sinners, offered Himself without spot and without blemish to God for our redemption (Hebrews 7:26; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18–19).
Breaking the Sabbath, according to these Christians, is a sin even today. John did not say that Jesus did not break the Sabbath because he was doing God’s will or because it was a matter of life or death, only that Jesus broke the Sabbath, because he was creating a new covenant for people to live by. I, if I were a Christian, would spin this to say that the new covenant had already been made, so Jesus was still perfect and had not sinned, therefore he could still be sacrificed to God (who is himself…but is also his father…but is also a part of him…who is still separate…and then there’s that Holy Ghost thing…what?) for the sins that he let happen.
Speaking of, Smalley also tried to get an answer out of John on this one. Jesus was a sacrifice to God for the sins that God was fully aware were going to happen. God knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin by eating from the Tree of Knowledge. John responded to this by going around the question and speaking for a really long time without really saying anything that had anything to do with the question.
Here is the difference between Christians and atheists. Christians, when faced with the tough questions, will make excuses and/or go around the question itself. Atheists will straight up answer that question.
Another thing he claimed was that Christianity does not command the murder of people for things such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery, working on the Sabbath, etc. This is why he thought, when we played the audio of it, that the North Carolina pastor was being biblically inaccurate for what he said. However, nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus, or anyone for that matter, say that the laws of Moses have been voided, and it is all the more clear that Jesus himself wants us to follow those laws with how he quoted them himself. If he did not want us to follow these laws, then it would be just another contradiction added to the mountain of contradictions found in the Bible.
My favourite part of the interview, the part where you just want to facepalm so badly, is when John said this.
I’m not even allowed now to have my own opinion to myself. I don’t go out and attack homosexuals. I disagree with the Westboro Baptist Church, you know. But I can’t even just think that it’s sin in my own life. Now I have to conform to what society believes, otherwise, I’m gonna be in trouble. I’m gonna lose my friends…
Bigots should be ostracised. Why is the KKK ostracised? Why is it considered a hate group? Because it is! Soon NOM and other anti-gay groups and people will be seen as the same, and they should be. Persecuting others for their sexuality or their gender or their race is not acceptable. Thinking that they are inferior, that they are going to hell, that they are going to be eternally punished because of something that they can’t control should be frowned upon for so many reasons.
However, Christians are not persecuted in America. Christians are not banned from holding public office in several states. Christians are not misrepresented in the media. Christians are not told that less than half of all Americans would vote for them. Christians are not legally allowed to be discriminated against in the workplace. Atheists are. Gays are. No Christian can say they feel persecuted in a country where 80% of the population are Christian.
If you have visited an American high school in the past few years, you might have seen something called “See You At the Pole,” where students go to the flagpole on campus and pray to God. Students will gather in numbers ranging from a small handful to, at least the largest one I have seen in photos, a few hundred.
The nation-wide SYATP event is supposed to be on the fourth Wednesday of September for those students who are participating to, according to their own website, “…lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God,” with a prayer rally before class starts, but individual campuses are encouraged to continue it every week, or whenever they can, and the people at my high school did just that.
But why is See You at the Pole such a big deal? Okay, some people are getting together in public to basically write letters to Santa, but what’s the real harm? None, depending upon one’s own view of the matter. If one takes the Christian fundamentalist perspective of simply: students worshipping God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost (sure sounds like monotheism), trying to get friends and other believers gathered together, and not being afraid to show their faith in a public area, then I guess there is no harm in the event.
Now, if one were to take the rational person’s perspective, then one should see the hypocrisy and damage these kinds of events can cause. The big one for Christians themselves is that Jesus said that you should not pray in public areas, because it makes you a hypocrite, and that instead you should pray in your own room, where God will reward you (Matthew 6:5-6). Those who pray in public are wanting to be seen by others; they want their piety shown to the world, and Jesus, their own Lord and Saviour, is calling them hypocrites for it.
In the About section of their website, under a brief description of the event, it has a list containing its supporting ministries. After a quick look through the list, one finds a ministry that most of us should be familiar with, Focus on the Family. Yes, a supposedly loving event that is about bringing students closer to their deity is in association with one of, if not, the most anti-gay rights organisations in the country. Look through some of the ministries that they have listed, and one will see some of the most fundamentalist, dominionistic rhetoric that exists out there today.
The event, which started in Texas (big surprise) back in 1990, claims to be a “global movement of prayer which is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led.” So it’s all supposed to be about students who are just gathering together to show their love of God? Alright, then why does the Baptist General Convention of Texas own the trademark for the See You at the Pole name and event? Why do the Student Discipleship Ministries, also from Texas, produce and distribute promotional devices for the event? Why do the National Network of Youth Ministries (which is the only non-Texas based organisation in the bunch) handle all of the media relations and promotion for See You at the Pole? Sure does sound like it’s all just spontaneous student action!
The SYATP prayer events are evangelism and dominionism masquerading under freedom of religion. Dominionism, in case one is unfamiliar with the term, are the beliefs and actions taken by conservative Christians to influence or replace a secular government with one that is either run entirely by Christians or with a system of government that is based on biblical teachings and principles. The organisations that run and promote the event or are associated with it are dominionistic. Focus on the Family, First Priority of America, Advocates for Faith and Freedom, Campus Crusade, Life Teen, and many of, if not, all those listed by the SYATP website are: dedicated to converting students, third-worlders, and other vulnerable people, anti-gay, and anti-secular schools and government.
The SYATP is a peer-pressure group. They promote proselytising of other students in school to bring them to Jesus, more so to bring them to their narrow interpretation and rituals concerning the Christian scriptures. They are a discrimination machine. At a SYATP event at an Oklahoma high school, the names of non-Christian students were written on pieces of papers and nailed to a wooden cross that someone had brought to place by the school’s flagpole, which is in violation of separation of church and state. However, secularism is not the main issue here. The issue is that people in a majority Christian school, community, and state that were not Christians had their names posted for all the fundie Christians of the school to see. “Oh look! Johnny is a pagan, Rick is a Jew, Susie is an atheist, Aisha is a Muslim. We better do whatever we can to bring them to Jesus!”
All in all, despite nothing legally that can be done about the event as far as I’m aware, the See You at the Pole event is not “student- initiated,” “student-organized,” or “student-led.” It’s run and promoted by and associated with ministries and religious organisations that are aimed at converting as many confused and vulnerable teenagers as they can by any means necessary and are threats to freedom and equality, especially concerning gays and religious minorities, and to secularism in America. It’s harmful to the community of a school environment, which is supposed to be a safe place for children of all socio-economic, political, and religious backgrounds, not a place where religion can be shoved in the faces of the student body and could be utilised as a discrimination and harassment tool used against gays, religious minorities, and non-fundamentalist Christians. It’s stealth evangelism hiding in a smokescreen of religious tolerance and freedom.