Friday, March 23, 2012

Faith or Fear? Tilting at Windmills That Don't Really Exist

While Rick Santorum was campaigning recently, he was introduced at a campaign event/rally by fundamental Baptist preacher Dennis Terry...

I'm having trouble finding anything accurate in what Terry had to say. Anything at all. It's as if fundamentalist Christianity has invented a whole new, alternate reality to live in, a world where they're being persecuted relentlessly and a theocratic nation is our only hope.

Let's look at the litany of fallacies in Terry's introduction...

(Some paraphrased - his assertions in bold)

America was founded as a Christian nation - Not even slightly true. America was founded (predominantly BY Christians although not entirely) as a nation which favored no particular belief system, hence religious freedom. In this country, as long as you behave lawfully, you're completely free to worship Batman as a diety if you so choose.

We worship one God and His name is Jesus - Technically, Jesus is the name of the SON of God, the Messiah.

I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words - No one's told him anything like that. Even fundamentalist nutjobs have 1st Amendment protection.

As Christians we can't voice our beliefs - Bullshit. 1st Amendment, pal.

Telling us we can't pray in public - Jesus actually taught against public prayer in Matthew 6:5-6, but far be it from me to suggest that he listen to Jesus.

If you don't like America and the way we do things, GET OUT! - Seems anti-American. The idea that people who immigrate here are required to assimilate to a certain "American" culture, rather than be free to follow their own culture, is anti-American. Nothing in the Constitution, or in any law or piece of legislation, mandates that new Americans immediately love baseball, apple pie, drive Ford pick-ups, and become born-again fundamentalist Christians.

All of the above was in just the first minute of his speech.

We don't worship Buddha - He's speaking waaaaay out of turn on behalf of ALL Americans. Some Americans do worship Buddha.

We don't worship Mohammad. We don't worship Allah - Some Americans do.

We worship God - Some Americans worship the Christian God. Some others don't.

I believe the church is to be the conscience of the nation, state, and local communities - He's free to believe that, but seeing as how nothing in the biblical canon (even his beloved KJV 1611) commands anything like this, perhaps he shouldn't project his personal beliefs onto all of the church body AND nation and judge everyone else by them.

Sexual perversion normalized - While probably half his church is addicted to porn.

Telling our children they cannot pray in public schools... - Nothing, short of unconsciousness, can stop anyone, children or otherwise, from praying to whomever, whenever and wherever, they choose. No one, outside of them and their God, has to know anything about their prayer life.

...and in open, public places - Jesus tells your children that in Matthew 6:5-6.

Somebody's gotta take a stand and say "God forgive us!" - For obeying Jesus????????????

Tearing down and attacking traditional marriage - If someone's gay marriage in ANY way tears down, attacks, or threatens your straight marriage, your marriage was and is a joke.

Christians are the key to revival, the economy, jobs, if we'll put God back in America, our pulpits, our homes, our statehouse, and in Washington - What a weak, puny, powerless version of God this man projects. A God that we essentially boss around.

Anyone who would listen to this guy is easily emotionally led around by the nose, wrapping up their faith with an American flag. Even Santorum stands and applauds.

His speech reminds me of someone else...

I hope the fundamentalist cultural warriors will someday rejoin the rest of us in reality before people end up getting hurt by their "patriotism".


  1. Watching that preacher-- wow. I remember when I used to sit under preaching like that every Sunday. Thank God we found a church where sanity and humility reign!

    A couple of other gross misstatements:

    I know of no one who claims to worship Mohammed. Muslims worship Allah alone, and it's insulting to them to say otherwise.

    When he says "Somebody's got to stand up and say, 'God forgive us'" -- that is in no way, shape or form what these kinds of churches stand up and say. What they say is, "You deserve that tornado. You deserve that flood. God is judging you, you godless liberals!"

  2. Thank you for saying this, Lewis -- that entire speech of his was flatly ridiculous.

    You may wish to clarify that the worship of Buddha or Mohammed is as uncommon as the worship of Elijah or Moses. They were prophets or wise men, not deities, and I think it would be really difficult to find a Buddhist or Muslim who claimed otherwise.

    1. I appreciate you and Kristen clarifying those issues. I was admittedly generalizing and hip-firing there.

    2. You betcha! One more thing the Good Reverend didn't quite get is that Allah is merely Arabic for... God.

      Same one Christians and Jews worship. So, yeah, we do worship Allah here, we just call Him by His English name ;)

  3. Watching Terry's video first and then Hitler's, they're different, but exactly the same. Scary how close they are.

  4. The church I used to attend couched these ideas in less inflammatory language, and included reminders to "love the sinner, hate the sin", but it really wasn't much different. I can't believe there was a time I would have agreed with some of the statements in that video.

  5. Just skimmed this, but what is truly ironic for me is all the Evangelicals jumping on the bandwagon for Rick Santorum. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard Rick is- good heavens- a Catholic?! Funny how that doesn't seem to matter anymore to people who are SO Protestant when they're at home...

  6. A moment of lightness here.....
    Nothing in the Constitution, or in any law or piece of legislation, mandates that new Americans immediately love baseball, apple pie, drive Ford pick-ups, and become born-again fundamentalist Christians.
    What about those of us who drive Chevy's and are mainstream Protestants who like football, brats, and beer?

  7. Thanks, Lewis. I agree completely and I am getting really tired of this "new truth" the fundamentalists are proclaiming. Revisionist History is anything but.

    Though I agree--Buddhists don't worship Buddha. I am Christian; my husband is Buddhist. He tells anyone who wants to know (and asks), "Buddha was just a guy. He had some good ideas. But he was just a guy." (Note, he waits until they ask. Buddhists do NOT evangelize. You can feel free to tell any fundies you like. Heh.)

    1. Neither do Sikhs. I really respect that in both faiths.

  8. Yep. Saying the allowance of alternative marriage somehow tears down "traditional" marriage is akin to saying that if my next door neighbor doesn't mow his lawn, my lawnmower will break down. It's dumber than a box of rocks. And that goes for the people saying it too.

  9. Eh, politics ... it seems it is always "bread and circuses" appeals to the people, throwing them something to satisfy their basest desires instead of actually tackling important issues, you know. And basest desires can include unfounded fears ("you can't pray in school anymore!").

  10. I must admit that I am baffled by many preachers and equally baffled by the believers that sit under them. to me the basic difference between faith and religion is that religion’s success will somehow end at the feet of the worshipper, whereas, the success of faith ends at the feet of God. Hence, religion is all about man, and faith is all about God. Religious people are not exercising faith in God; just listen to them talk to realize that life for them revolves around their behavior, knowledge, or attitudes. Honestly, I have no interest in stating the obvious, but all religious people are failures. If there was one thing I would've changed in my early life as a Christian, it would've been to take all of the religious people and move them to the fringe of my life. I have a silent disgust for all things religious & for all religious bullies. outward-appearance bullies exalt themselves, insinuating we are less than and therefore must take our place in the proper caste system. the video above is religious *bullshit*.

  11. After listening to the video my question is, Where is the Gospel? People sitting through a sermon like that will leave all stirred up over what they think they can't do but have no idea of who the living Christ really is. What have they learned about the teaching of Jesus? Nothing. Where is the growth? And we wonder why Christians have such little knowlege of the Bible and have such a shallow faith. It has to do with the shallowness of the preaching and lack of actual teaching from the Bible. It has to do with preachers preaching on personal opinion rather than preaching on Gods opinion and what the Bible really says.

  12. Off-topic, but some of your readers may be interested: Bill Gothard, or someone who use his name, just commented on my blog:

    I quoted something said of him here:

  13. If you are a Christian who speaks Arabic, you pray to Allah.It's not a big deal but it helps to remind people that the three monotheistic religions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic) pray to the One God. Their understanding of God is not the same but you could say the same about Methodists and Baptists, or, probably, any two Baptists.

  14. ...and apparently, this church is trying to scrub the internet of this video!

  15. Speaking as a non American it might be nice if you got God back into Wall Street - you know rich man/eye of needle, God or Mammon,love of money/root of all evil etc. Does Mr Terry think Jesus condones rampant excess and greed, conspicuous consumption, materialism? I can't see a verse in the 4 Gospels about pornography, homosexuality, contraception but there's quite a few to suggest He didn't like the 1%. Who did he throw out of the temple? Hint - it wasn't Planned Parenthood.


  17. But.... America was founded on "Christian principles". Our forefathers acknowledged God and His divine plan.

  18. I hope that is sarcasm. Otherwise, try history again.

    1. We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.
      John Adams

  19. O. M. G. This is scary stuff. Proves that Christians only believe in separation of church and state until they're trying to get one of their own into office.

    Thank goodness Santorum has dropped out. Not that I thought he was going to win, but maybe now we won't have to listen to the hateful rhetoric.

    There was a time in my life that I wouold've been standing in that crowd clapping too. I'n so glad I saw the light!