Christianity, American Style

Steve Kinsman By Steve Kinsman, 4th Dec 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/xvafyonm/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Much of what could be called "American Christianity" has over the past couple of generations morphed into something that can only be called ugly.

Sometimes up is down, forward is back, and right is wrong

"...By their fruits ye shall know them"

The essence of Christ's teachings, and thus the essence of Christianity, is to me encapsulated within the Sermon on the Mount, but the Christianity observed and practiced by millions of Americans today, as well as by the majority of our presidential candidates, bears no resemblance to that essence.

Let me tell you -

I'm tired of God being wrapped in the flag.

I'm tired of Bible thumpers calling for war.

I'm tired of Christianity being appropriated as the exclusive province of the Republican Party.

I'm tired of megachurches, whose pastors sport gaudy diamond rings on their fingers.

I'm tired of people targeting gays and lesbians with discrimination and hate in the name of God.

I'm tired of all the vile war rhetoric that issues from the mouths of so-called Christians.

I'm tired of so-called Christians saying climate change is nothing to worry about because Armageddon is nigh.

Spare me from the rank stupidity of TV evangelists like Pat Robertson.

Spare me, please, oh please, from any more of this nonsensical drivel that masquerades as Christian faith.


Preview image from wikimedia commons

Tags

Opinion, Christianity, Evangelical Protestantism, Evangelicals, Megachurches, Preachers, Religion, Steve Kinsman, Tv Evangelists

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar Retired
4th Dec 2015 (#)

It might be better for our mental health if we stopped reading their drivel. The saying, "What you resists, persists" is apt here. Let them carry on in their own way, until they wake up to the fact that we really are all in this together...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
4th Dec 2015 (#)

Good point Christopher. Thank you.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
4th Dec 2015 (#)

Steve, I have to say that what I have seen recently scares me very much indeed.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
4th Dec 2015 (#)

Me too. Thanks Peter.

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author avatar M G Singh
4th Dec 2015 (#)

Steve great post. This rhetoric is in all religions. You see it in Christianity because America has more Christians. Fact is religion is out of date, only man will never accept it.

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author avatar chrysolite
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Well said, I totally agree!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
4th Dec 2015 (#)

I could not agree with you more Madan that religion is out of date.That so many cling to ancient and medieval beliefs, like virgin births and bodily ascension to heaven is nothing short of ludicrous.

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author avatar Retired
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Err ... Steve? Ancient and medieval beliefs? Astrology for example?!!

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author avatar Retired
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Oops, missed this one...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Sorry, John, but your ignorance of the truth of astrology is due to your knowing absolutely nothing about it.

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author avatar Vicky Pino
5th Dec 2015 (#)

There are more true Christians than false ones and those who act out as something else other than Christian ways aren't Christians The Bible is very clear on stating what christian principles should be, or at least, the New Testament. Beware of the Jews that are even more dangerous than the Muslim. The Jews have always hated Christianity and they'll do whatever in their hands to destroy us. If not why have they been spelled from every country? they should ask themselves why nobody wants them in their own land. There's a lot to know about their ways. Good article.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Dec 2015 (#)

I'm sorry Vicky, but your anti-Semitism is repugnant.

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author avatar chrysolite
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Yes, repugnant!!!

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author avatar Retired
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Not only that, it is ignorant and illogical.

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author avatar Retired
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Vicky: Please allow me to share with you a true story.

In 1979 I was a Church of England Sunday School teacher and youth club founder/leader. In truth I had already experienced first-hand the levels of hypocrisy to which some church-goers and even an ordained minister or two could descend. In fact, by then, I'd begun to realise there was more hypocrisy within than without. However, I kept my mouth shut.

Then I was invited to become a lay preacher and it served as the straw that broke the camel's back.

At the one and only tutorial I attended, one of my fellow 'students' grabbed a Bible from the table, stood-up, raised The Bible in his right hand and bellowed, "Every word in this Book is The Word of God".

I couldn't believe my ears, but as I looked around the table, all of the heads (except mine) were nodding in agreement.

I desperately wanted to reply to my fellow student and the others, but something told me to bite my lip and keep quiet.

So, I sat there with the words of my response echoing silently in my mind's ear ...

"No sir! Every word in that Book is NOT The Word of God, but man's interpretation of The Word of God. And goodness knows how many times those words have been re-interpreted and even corrupted over the millennia simply to suit man's insatiable appetite for power over his fellow man."

A few weeks later, after much prayerful contemplation and a lot of anxiety, once and for all, I placed my trust in God and walked away from the church, and I haven't been back since.

Yes, the journey has sometimes seemed a solitary one. But I can assure you the spiritual rewards have been manifold, and entirely free of dogma, creed and ostentatious religious ritual.

Steve, Chrys and John ... please excuse me barging-in here, but I wanted to maximise the chances of Vicky seeing, reading and absorbing what I've written.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Thank you so much Lewis. I really appreciate your response to Vicki.

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author avatar chrysolite
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Thank you , Lewis for sharing your sentiments! I was very young when I placed my trust in God like you did and then walked away from all religions.

My life has been an adventurous and very happy one and if I look back there is nothing I would ever want to change. But as you experienced, too, my journey also has sometimes seemed a solitary one - until I met my husband at the age of 40.

We agree, we love each other and we walk together through this maze of ignorant, fearful and stubborn people that seem to account for the majority these days.

Why do they hold on to their ignorance, fears and stubborness, their negativity and hatreds?

We don't know and have moved on.

Lewis, you are certainly not barging in here. I had contemplated yesterday to write a seething reply to Vicky, but thought better of it. There seems to be no hope for brainwashed bible bashers like her, but I do sincerely wish that she may encounter freedom of mind, peace and happiness real soon.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Chysolite, Vicki's comment proves the point of this article. If you read the posts on Wikinut put there by "Christians" like Phi Jellerson and Jessica Russell, you will see that they peddle ignorance, anger and fear - and nothing else.

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author avatar chrysolite
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Yes, Steve, that is exactly right and has been right since "religion" exists.

There are, of course, people out there who simply want to pay money to the likes of Phi ... etc., etc. for their spiritual salvation. BUT, we can only advance if we work on our spirituality ourselves. It is not difficult, I found. The difficult thing was to say "Good Bye" to religion and deal with the disadvantages of this action. But I've certainly not ever regretted it.

Steve, could you please add another line or two to your article?

Please, please, save the children from being raped by catholic priests.

It happens constantly here in Europe, but they NEVER EVER get prosecuted!

And also, please, please save the children from begotted fathers who to this day beat them up SEVERELY in the name of their religion.

Or might this become another article? How many adults suffer from the shame and pain of those acts committed in the name of religion?

Thank you.

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author avatar Retired
5th Dec 2015 (#)

To quote Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad".

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author avatar chrysolite
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Maybe Niezsche had never heard:

What a wonderful world - LOUIS ARMSTRONG. - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2VCwBzGdPM

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author avatar Retired
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Just for fun I checked the dates - Louis Armstrong was born almost exactly one year after Nietzche died!

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author avatar chrysolite
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Which is why ...! ;)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Yes.

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author avatar jak2010
5th Dec 2015 (#)

I am a Christian and still believe that Chritsian faith can apply to any situations irrespective of time and space. However, I do see your point from American perspective, of which I sometimes hate those fundamentalists and radicals who call themselves Chritsians and do contrary to its teachings. It is good that you brought it up here as there is already americanization of their culture including their style of Christianity all over the world.

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author avatar Carol Roach
5th Dec 2015 (#)

you got to tune out because they will never change

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author avatar Retired
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Who was it who said that you know that God is on your side when it turns out that he hates all the same people that you do?

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author avatar Shamarie
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Great share, Steve! Thanks!!!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Dec 2015 (#)

Thank you Shamarie.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Well stated Steve,God's name is used by those special interests like those evangelists that after a Bible sermon and cry on tv go and get a prostitute and get high on their parishioners monies. Those so called assassins like the Planned Parenthood killings under the name of God. Those people standing outside planned parenthood clinics and mentioning the name of God for their aggression. Who are we to judge? Let our Holy Father be the real judge not us humans here on earth. Everyone uses the name of a religion and their God to conduct killings! Nice post Steve and very truth and reality filled one! I still remember the Bakers, bastards!!!!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
7th Dec 2015 (#)

I remember the Bakers too.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Sadly Steve, religion has been hijacked by few, just like politics, to the detriment of the vast majority. It ends up more as the writ of few and not God's word. It is used like a weapon of mass destruction of the minds, free will!

I feel it is more of escapism, even self-serving, including self-enrichment. I meet who quote the scriptures at the drop of a hat, but hate everyone including themselves in the way they live! There are also the many who never talk about religion but one can trust our lives with them!

There are also the charlatans taking advantage of religion, pitting the vast majority against one another. The essence of the goodness of all beliefs are lost; it is more of competition and money power.

The South Indian city of Chennai has been reeling under floods but the silver lining, saving grace, has been the unity and oneness when calamity struck; people poignantly message - please don't divide us again!

I can never accept to be manacled by any belief, to live my life like a horse with blinders/blinkers on. When one takes upon himself strict religious practices, it is tough to accept others who live without a care and seem to enjoy life "too much" as my friend used to say!

Sadly, the vast majority is being used by few. I don't take life seriously but do what is needed, when needed, and what they are we all know without understanding any religion. I feel we are divine beings but have to listen to inner voice to lead an upright life - siva

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author avatar chrysolite
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Thank you, siva, for the last two sentences of your comment! This is how I like to live my life as well!

I'm glad I met you here on Wikinut, my friend!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
7th Dec 2015 (#)

Awesome comments Siva-ji. You always speak truth to power.

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author avatar spirited
8th Dec 2015 (#)

Your article contains some very sensible sentiments to at least some of us, Steve, with which we agree with too.

What then is the place for religion in our society of today, is there even a place for it?

Would Jesus Christ have approved of the gay way of life, as it is being lived now?

It seems to me though to have gone towards love more recently, and it has moved away more from lust, in the last few years.

It was all lust-driven I suspect in the days of the bible story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, where God reportedly stepped in and destroyed the cities.

A religion to me is only as strong as its love is being given out lovingly, and not being given out forcefully to power others into complying in any way to its beliefs.

Love accepts all, and blesses all, and love speaks when no-one else speaks, and hears when no-one else hears.

A return to the religion of love is the only answer.

God is love, become also this love yourself, and all else will fall into place then, even as Jesus himself once reportedly said in the Christian bible.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.

I come myself from a Christian background, and it is hard to move away from a preaching way of writing in my writing sometimes, but I do try to do so.

I try to just share my own thoughts on things.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Dec 2015 (#)

Well said spirited. I think religion, in the organized sense, with its rules, restrictions and dogma, needs to be transcended. It's archaic.

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author avatar Retired
9th Dec 2015 (#)

"It's archaic". Unlike astrology, presumably!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Dec 2015 (#)

John, what's archaic is to be so completely uninformed about astrology as a result of not learning anything about it, and then presuming that one does know something about it.

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author avatar Retired
9th Dec 2015 (#)

Steve, If you define "archaic" as meaning "old or old-fashioned", then surely astrology meets that definition!

I have certainly tried to inform myself about astrology, but what I cannot get my head around is the notion that the position of stars and planets can have the remotest effect on what happens to individual human beings, and to the extremely detailed extent that astrologers claim.

I will allow that remote bodies exert gravitational influences, and there are such things as cosmic rays that come from deep space, but surely these will affect everyone equally if at all.

To believe otherwise is surely a matter of faith and beyond proof - exactly like religion in that respect!

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author avatar chrysolite
9th Dec 2015 (#)

Difficult to reply to, John! I'm gardening by the moon and follow the teachings of Rudolf Steiner who initiated the bio-dynamic agriculture.

Rudolf Steiner was a visionary and he saw the universe, our world including humans, animals and plants as a whole. Just a vision?

I don't think so. Not only was I brought up on bio-dynamic food, I prefer the lovely taste and the full nutrition of the bio-dynamic products and, at 60 years of age I'm healthy. Really healthy and I'm certain that my good health is due to the healthy food intake for 60 years.

Maybe one has to distinguish. The Astrology columns of the tabloids are probably made up more or less and might serve as entertainment, but I have a friend who has studied Astrology as has Steve and there is more to it than meets the eye.

I personally never "believe" in something, I simply take a statement for what it says and then I try it out. Gardening by the moon is simply more successful than just planting without concept and as Steve suggested, I'm now looking into what the "void of course moon" can do to help in my gardening and in my life.

And to be sure, my friend did a birth chart for me and there I could read all about the positive and negative traits of an Aries and I found it was up to me to "check" the negative traits and develop the positive traits more. Surely that is a good thing to do?

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author avatar Retired
10th Dec 2015 (#)

You need to be careful about the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Just because something happens after something else does not mean that the first happening must have been the cause of the second.

Likewise, the laws of logic make it clear that you must take all possible causes into account befiore being definite that one particular cause produced the effect.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Dec 2015 (#)

John, I believe in astrology, as I'm sure all astrologers do, not as a matter of faith, but because it works.

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Dec 2015 (#)

I think John needs a dose of being sensible. Astrology is a science, but very few can master it. It is like there was only one Einstein.
I will like to inform all those who doubt astrology, that it is close to the divine. In India at Hoshiarpur the horoscopes cast by the Saint Astrologer Bhrigue 4000 years back are available. One can read them now and they give the forecasts of people living TODAY. Its awonder and also shows the truth of rebirth. There is no hanky panky about astrology.

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author avatar Retired
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Madan, If it were a science, then it would be open to the rigours of scientific method and proof.

Investigations have been done according to strict scientific methods - agreed by astrologers as well as investigators - that have shown that predictions made by astrologers have not been any more accurate than pure guesswork.

The word "pseudoscience" was coined to cover activities such as astrology, and it seems to be a very good word to use.

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author avatar chrysolite
10th Dec 2015 (#)

There are many, many things science with today's method's cannot explain. Why? Beause the parameters applied are not complete. Which is also why science changes its view constantly. When more parameters can be applied, they do so and if not, then they say it's not scientific.

The solution?
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

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author avatar Retired
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Chrysolite,

The Greek philosophers who "invented" metaphysics did do as a way of explaining the world when they did not have access to the methods and techniques available to modern science. As more of the world has been explained, the need for metaphysics, religion and astrology has declined.

Science doen't "change its view", if by "view" you mean a vague hypothesis based on opinion. It formulates new theories as fresh evidence becomes available.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Thank you Madan. I appreciate your comment.

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