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Christianity’s Resurrection From Conservative Decline

Posted on Apr 12, 2009

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

    Are we witnessing this Easter season the decline of Christianity in America, or is this rather a moment of reform and renewal, a time when the deterioration that has been under way is arrested?

    The death and resurrection of religion, if not of Jesus Christ, has been a favorite subject of newsmagazines ever since Time, on April 8, 1966, momentously asked: “Is God Dead?”

    This trend, announced on a somber black and red cover, lasted a little over three years. Or perhaps the original question was premature. In any event, on Dec. 26, 1969, Time offered a bright white, yellow, blue and purple cover carrying the hopeful new question: “Is God Coming Back to Life?”

These conservative Christians had as much right as any other group to bring their core concerns to politics. But in doing so, they narrowed the Christian message. They sometimes became apologists for politicians whose behavior and attitudes could not easily be called Christian and forgot that Christ himself became a victim of injustice at the hands of a mighty empire.

    This Easter week, Newsweek doesn’t pretend to know God’s state, but its cover offers a stark declarative statement positing “The Decline and Fall of Christian America.”


Square, Site wide

    The article by Jon Meacham, a thoroughly knowledgeable student of these issues, offers some powerful data, notably a near doubling since 1990 of the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation, from 8 percent to 15 percent. Meacham also points to a 10-point drop in the share of Americans who self-identify as Christian, from 86 percent to 76 percent.

    As a Christian, I find these figures neither alarming nor surprising. There has been a long, steady growth in the proportion of Americans whom pollster Andrew Kohut calls “the seculars,” those disconnected from religious institutions who may or may not describe themselves as atheists. Yet the United States still runs well behind Western Europe in moving in this secular direction.

    Immigration has also made us far more diverse religiously, which will inevitably reduce the size of the country’s Christian majority. Indeed, immigration long ago reduced the dominance of Protestantism, with Roman Catholics now constituting the nation’s largest single religious group.

    Will Herberg wrote an important piece of religious sociology in 1955 called “Protestant, Catholic, Jew.” If he were here now, his book would have to be named “Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Confucian.” And even that ungainly title wouldn’t exhaust the possibilities.

    In fact, the United States has gone through many periods in which religious enthusiasm and affiliation waned, only to be renewed in a subsequent revival. Christianity is a rather durable faith. Many believers would ascribe this to the power of its truth claims, but its resilience also speaks to the adaptability of its core message.

    But, yes, something is changing, and that change will strengthen rather than weaken the Christian church over the long run. For nearly a quarter-century, Christianity in the United States has been defined to a large degree by the voices and the ideas of a very conservative strain of evangelical Christianity that, over time, became highly politicized and closely allied with a single political party.

    These conservative Christians had as much right as any other group to bring their core concerns to politics. But in doing so, they narrowed the Christian message. They sometimes became apologists for politicians whose behavior and attitudes could not easily be called Christian and forgot that Christ himself became a victim of injustice at the hands of a mighty empire.

    As James Carroll notes in his lovely new book, “Practicing Catholic,” the idea that there is no “light of Easter dawn” without “the darkness of the Good Friday noon” is at the heart of the Christian message. It entails the “exaltation of servanthood over lordship” and a Resurrection that turns “defeat into a kind of victory.”

    Religion is always corrupted when it gets too close to political power. It’s possible to win a precinct caucus and lose your soul, to mistake political victory for salvation itself.

    It is this approach to Christianity that is decidedly in decline, thank God, in part because conservative Christians themselves are rediscovering the Church’s mission to the poor, the sick, the strangers and the outcasts. This augurs new life, not decay.

    The theologian H. Richard Niebuhr offered the classic criticism of a feel-good brand of American religion that presented no challenges and posed no problems. He said it peddled the idea that “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

    Niebuhr was critiquing certain varieties of liberal Christianity, but his scolding applies to all Christians too eager to conform their faith to the political and cultural whims of the moment. Grace is never cheap, and a Christianity that is struggling with itself is on the path of rediscovering its true calling.

    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Trithoverlies, April 20, 2009 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

As normal Night-Gaunt,
You missed it again The Love is that God will not force you to believe in Him You cast yourself into Gehena, Hades, or Sheol and you choose the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne Judgment not God so stop blamming God for your own choices. You and I choose heaven or hell not God He has done everything possible to help us choose heaven but it is still our choice to make Why do you think He says “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the dore, Iwill come into him and eat with him, and he with Me.” Rev. 3:20.  I have read the other religious books you have suggested and know that none of them give their followers a assurance short of death fighting for Allah in the Quran Shihada which means to die fighting the Infadels, Jihad is the struggle for control of ones self and can be inward or through violence, the others don’t offer it they for the most part deal with going through a cycle and each time you are suppose to work off bad Kharma but there is just one problem as you work it off you also committ new bad kharma so in truth you can never work it off.
          John R. Bloxson Jr.

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By christian96, April 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt—-You say “people read with a critical
and analytical eye.”  Is it that critical and
analytical eye that led most people on earth at one
time to believe “the earth was flat” or “the earth
was the center of the galaxy?”

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By Night-Gaunt, April 19, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Well Truthnotlies such a sermon by you. I am aware of all that you spoke of. One does not become an atheist by want alone though it has happened and they are not too smart when confronted by the religiously educated such as yourself. That is why atheists recommend reading the Bible, Koran, Upanishads, Torah etc. so that they know by which they speak. Of course they read with a critical and analytical eye unlike those who are admonished to read with the idea of acceptance or what I call self indoctrination. However as I iterated before religious/occult belief is an evolutionary strategy for mutual aid and survival by larger organized numbers through shared principals.

“This nebulous god that loves all and is going to allow all despite their sin into heaven without forgiveness. A loving God loves all mankind, but because of that love He allows us to choose or destination.”

Besides the fact that the first sentence contradicts the second it isn’t Biblical either! Where is the judgment? The casting into the lake of gehenna fire? Where is the loving in that? Besides the fact that this God or is it Gods? How can you sit to the side of yourself and be the same yet two separate? Holy Ghost makes three Gods or what? [I call that Christian math where 3=1 or 1=3.] But then any inconsistencies are blamed on limited human mentality not on the obvious muddle of the stories themselves. There is no logic in this. Which is normal for magical stories. I don’t begrudge your belief or the succor it gives you, just don’t make it the law of my land. Don’t break my leg or take my purse to do it. And fornication isn’t like murder at all except in your twisted myth. See Shari’a Law for a familiar parallel.

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By Trithoverlies, April 19, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Did I say Christians are perfect No infact we are no better and or no worse than non Christians we are all sinners. Does Catholicism, Baptist , Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopol excetra… have the conner on Christ No their are christians among all the sects that have the same core beliefs. Christ died according to the Scripture and was raised bodily on the third day acoording to the scripture, and appeared to Mary Magdalene, The two on the road to Emmaus, the ten in the upper room and the eleven including Thomas a week later, and to a crowd of five hundred before He ascended to sit at the right hand of the father. Real Christianity is not about schism, or controversy, its about the unity of belief in the foundation not whether you baptize by dipping or pouring over the head, its not about making the sign of the cross and its not about a bunch of rules. Its about a relationship with God where you can speak to Him and he understands you make misstakes, so Christians are far from prefect we all stumble at the simplist temptations. For ALL have sinned and missed the mark. NONE are righteous not even one. While we were yet SINNERS Christ died for us. Did you get that its not about being perfect, following all the rules, or attending Church that is where you Night-Gaunt have it all wrong you see God is bigger than that He created it all Universes, planets, stars, trees grasses, animals and than Man in HIS Image giving us the free will to do right or wrong, we choose to disobey and yet He still loved us so much that He took our place on the Cross that each of us deserved while we were still sinning against Him. WE have to look at the root cause of our rebellion it is Selfish PRIDE we want to be our own boss owing nothing to nobody but that is impossible. We have an eschewed idea of what is right or wrong because of our rebellion and this is why we war, steal, Murder, committ Adultery and fornication, cruse God, and hate. We are all like sheep without a shepherd and have wondered away from the right path and because of this we are devoured by the wolves of religion, whether it be Evolution with No god, or Christianity bound by man made rules. There is ONE CHRIST, ONE SAVOIR, and not many ways. Catholisism is bound by rules, all Denominations have rules some for our own good but many man made boundries that have nothing to do with Jesus the Christ. That is what had happened to Judaism of the first Century it had become rules bound by other rules so that God could nolonger be seen just as Religiosity today with all its rules presents a Christless Christianity. I went to a church from the time I was eleven until I graduated from High School and don’t remmember one sermon on Christ the Cross, and Easter it was all about doing good to show we loved god. This nebuleous god that loves all and is going to allow all despite their sin into heaven without forgiveness. A loving God loves all mankind, but because of that love He allows us to choose or destination. That God also will not allow sin into heaven for justice sake, in order for us to enter heaven, a way had to be made to bridge the chasim that Sin had made the Cross did so but only if we believe Its by grace through Faith that you have been saved not of works least any man should boast does that drawbrigde come down.
            John R. Bloxson Jr.
P.S. You can see that all the religion in the world will avail you of nothing the same question Pilate ask What then shall I do with Jesus the Christ. In the end its will not be about church attendance, obeying the rules, or bowing down toward Mecca five time a day. It will be What did you do with Jesus the Christ?

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By suziekidder, April 18, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

I think it might be illuminating to redo the questionaire and give the public a different set of options?  I know many people who would not label themselves as belonging to any specific religion.  Instead, they might call themselves “spiritual,” and yet when you question them about their values you would find considerable overlap with the core beliefs espoused by a majority of the “mainstream” religious traditions.  They may not go to church on Sunday, but they try to walk a “righteous” path 7 days a week.

There is a broad river that runs through all the world’s major religions that describes what it means to be a “good person” and to live a “good life.”  Perhaps if we asked “do you believe that all human beings wish to be happy,” and “do you believe that we are all - to some extent - responsible for each other, and “is it possible to harm someone else without doing damage to yourself?” .... you might find that it’s only around the edges that we actually stand in disagreement with one another?

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By Night-Gaunt, April 17, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

          John R. Bloxson Jr.

“P.S. There is a world of difference between Christianity and all the (other) religions you named. Religion is man’s attempt to get to heaven despite God, where as Christianity was what Jesus the Christ did to reach us.”

Sorry Trith but Christianity in all of its incarnations, schisms, sects and offshoots can easily be classified as such. I am aware of your need to proclaim that yours is real and all others are just ‘religions.’ you must know that everyone of them claim the same thing you do from virgin birth to resurrection and change of the world. I keep track of the fundies here and elsewhere and that is one of their schticks. And I must say that tautologies do not work with me either.

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By christian96, April 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Don’t be fooled folks!  Jesus was crucified because
he not only challenged the relious leaders of the
day but also upset the BUSINESS leaders of his day,
i.e., turned over the tables of the money changers
and cast demons into pigs which committed suicide
by jumping in the ocean.  Then, the BUSINESS men
who were making money off the pigs ran Jesus out of
town.  Watch out folks.  Wall Street may be building crosses for you people being critical of them.  Come to think about it, forget the “TEA PARTIES.”  What
our country needs is millions of people on Capitol
Hill and Wall Street performing mass exorcisms!  Now there is an idea for you!  What an idea for a movie!

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By vegdude, April 16, 2009 at 3:23 am Link to this comment

Jesus was peacefully but firmly opposed to the power structures of His day.  He said that His kingdom was not of this world, and that those who live by the sword would die by the sword.  He condemned the religious leaders of His day as hypocrites, liars, and murderers.  While He opposed the existing governmental power as well, He refused to take on political power Himself, even when people tried to force Him to become a king.

The apologists for systems of power, whether governmental, religious, media/entertainment, big business, big unions, etc., instinctively oppose Christianity, and Christ, for this reason.  They wish to rule over others by force; Christ wishes to rule over His people by love, and by their voluntary consent.  Further, He empowers His people to rule themselves . . . to learn to live justly and well not because of some external force telling them to, but because by being gradually conformed to His image, they *want* to live justly and well.

People do not go to hell because they have the “wrong religion” but because, after failing to love God with all their being and their neighbor as themselves, they also refuse to acknowledge this or to seek His forgiveness, which He makes freely available to all who believe.

A lot of people claiming to be “Christians” will land in hell, probably myself included.  But I also believe that many people who did not claim to be Christians, but nonetheless tried their best with His help to live lives of love and devotion and service to others and to Him (whether they recognized Him exactly as we do or not) will be invited to share in His presence forever.  Not because of their actions themselves but because those actions are evidence of His grace and mercy, which He does tell us how and where to find, but which certainly are not limited to those we think are “worthy” or “like us” or belong to the right “religion.”

Others are welcome to their spiritual beliefs, and insofar as they may be consistent with those of Christ, I welcome and seek to learn from them.  Of course, on those points where they contradict what Jesus said and taught and did I have to respectfully disagree.  I certainly don’t think that “Christians” have a monopoly on virtue or knowledge or anything else.  We do not even have a monopoly on Christ, nor would we wish to . . . we wish for all who are willing to know and love and be loved by Him as we are fortunate and blessed to be ourselves.

Others are welcome to their political beliefs as well, but if they contradict God’s law of Love . . . that we must love Him with all our being, and our neighbor as ourselves (which implies at a minimum that we respect his or her rights to life, liberty, and property) . . . then I will oppose them just as Jesus did . . . peacefully, but firmly.

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By Trithoverlies, April 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

BruSays we don’t damn anyone to hell if they are damned it is their own doing and Islam says it is exclussive but it doesn’t even promise assurance to those who follow it religiosly Mohamid wrote that some are damned before birth by Allah even if they follow all the rules, and Judaism in its purest form, would be to follow the Messiah the Christ the Annointed one so Judaism can’t promise eternal life in its present form because their is no blood sacrifice for the attonement of sin so again no assurance of Heaven is available I am a Messianic Jew who found the Messiah ten years ago and He has changed the way I see the world. Oh sure I see sinners, but so what 10 years ago thats where I was I tell people what convinced me and they can take it or leave it that is between them and God. Sure I believe we should not tempt fate with dangerious stunts and behaviors, but to the ones involved in these behaviors it still comes down to choices they make. I can not force them or continually brow beat them into acceptance so I tell them wehat the Bible says, What Jesus said and leive it at that. Do I believe murder is wrong yes do I believe it should be punnished yes but do I believe it should automatically call for the Death penalty No. Do I believe abortion is wrong yes do I believe that it is a sin that can’t be forgiven NO, there is only one sin that can never be forgiven that is to die without choosing Jesus, but again that is between God and the individual do I believe that God’s laws the ten Commandments in particular are the best to follow no because whether you will admitt it or not you nor I can keep them. We let things get in the way we worship our selves we worship our pocessions, we worship our jobs and many other things so we break the first commandment daily. We have lied to our parents countless times while growing up so there’s another one we broke, we say we hate someone that is committing murder in our heart, we lie to each other. We all have stolen something from some body be it change on Dads dresser, or someone elses toy when we were little. What I am saying is that the Ten Commandment were meant to show us our need daily for a savior its not a list of rules we can live by as some legalist a try to say Christianity is all about Grace what a loving God did because we couldn’t. He took our place on the cross that we deserved and offered us eternal life if we follow Him so you are right Christianity in its purest form is exclussive. But it is also inclussive in that there are no ethnic or race requirements no monetary, or ecconomic requirements, no Intelegence assessments all are welcome. the only requirement is recognition that you are a sinner and that because of that you need the redeemer Jesus the Christ.
              John R. Bloxson Jr.
P.S. There is a world of differance between Christianity and all the religions you named Religion is mans attempt to get to heaven despite God, where as Christianity was what Jesus the Christ did to reach us.

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By BruSays, April 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

To Vegdude and all others who take the “I respect your beliefs or non-beliefs but Christianity works for me” position:

Ah, were it only that simple. We have two problems here:

It is a constant challenge (one that our founding fathers clearly recognized) to keep ones religious beliefs separate from the everyday workings of a democratic society. To wit, our continued battles on capital punishment, evolution, gay rights, abortion, drugs, school vouchers, war & the draft, polygamy, prayer in schools, head scarfs in public, nativity scenes, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. etc.

If, in feeling that you want nothing more than to believe as you wish; that you feel you’re a better person because of these beliefs; that it “works” for you - you’re telling only half the story; you’re ignoring the bull in the china store because you’re ignoring the impact YOUR religion has on everyone else’s lives. 
Christianity proclaims, as does Islam and Judaism, that it and ONLY it is the true religion. To worship any other god or prophet earns you a hot seat in Hell. ONLY those who believe in the specific doctrine of that religion will achieve eternal life; all others burn in Hell for eternity. NO EXCEPTIONS. This is exactly what each of those religions maintain and there is no ignoring their “exclusivity.” Heck, even WITHIN those religions there’s huge division; Roman Catholic doctrine clearly states that non-Catholics cannot earn a place in Heaven. Shiites and Sunnis have their battles, to say nothing of Mormons or other so-called “fringe” religions.

Each claim true validity and at the end of the day, there are NO other alternatives.

So please, don’t try to sugar-coat it. Don’t hand me the “well, it works nicely for me so why can’t we all get along in peace and harmony and worship how we please and everybody’s happy and….” bull.

Bottom Line? You can’t have YOUR beliefs without damning to hell someone else’s. That’s the problem with “Religion” with a capital “R.”

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By Carole, April 15, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. And of course it had to be the rib-woman, since the scribes of the bible were men.

Religion functions on two planes, the spiritual and the temporal. The spiritual is basically a personal matter. The temporal is about power. Throughout history, from its founding day, the christian church has focused on building temporal power. This is why priests (the temporal) communicate with lay practitioners, and monks (the spiritual) get locked up in monasteries. If lay christians acted like monks, they wouldn’t need the church.  They would develop their own link to spirituality rather than needing the church’s religiosity as a go between to “God”.

I’ve always wondered—if the pope wore jeans and a polo shirt instead of the disgusting jewels, brocades, velvet, and gold threaded robes, he would not garner the awe of the ignorant masses. They are like kids at a carnival - shiny, glitzy smoke-and-mirrors seduce the ignorant completely. atheist for 60 years.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 15, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

”...notably a near doubling since 1990 of the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation, from 8 percent to 15 percent. Meacham also points to a 10-point drop in the share of Americans who self-identify as Christian, from 86 percent to 76 percent.”Meacham

“No religious affiliation,” doesn’t mean atheist or agnostic the same with the 10% drop in those who label themselves as “Christian” could easily mean they are a Muslim or Jewish or other convert or even just a ‘spiritual’ person with no identified religion or affiliation.

My philosophy is one of to train for war but work for peace. One can defend one’s self, even kill but only if you are attacked first and those that fight you will not stop. I would not want to experience what it is to kill another human even if it is a psychopathic murderer. [Evolution.] Pacifism to me is a good idea only if all others agree with you. [Evolution at work.] If they do not you can be killed or worse enslaved and they shall continue on unstoppable. Humans create and pursue both good and evil, it is up to us to stop it. The only justice in this universe comes from us. Just as all other things we believe is real and gives us purpose. We do have the capacity to do it ourselves if we try.

However there is a growing group of very dangerous people whose nucleus is the very rich here in the USA, mainly, who wish to dominate the earth. Shift brought them up and gave a very good reference to them on the net. They wish to bring down our republic and from its ruins raise an empire of a corporate/Aryan-Christian/military/free enterprise with no restraints like they have now. Our ‘empire’ is an inverted one with so many restraints like still playing ‘democracy’ rigged or not which get in “their way” to what they want. Ever since 1934 when they failed the first time and weren’t punished by FDR but bide their time till 1980 when they got their man in office and made us a debtor nation then and since. It is no coincidence that the best times for the Middle Class (lower to upper) came into being and prospered was from the years 1945-1980 and has been going down ever since.
You will find out about the “7 Pillars or Mountains” from which they will take over and exert control of us. Suffice it to say they haven’t lost just yet.

there is also which also covers it which is considerable amount of information on what they are doing and how they are doing it. One of their net addresses is to hear it from their own mouths so-to-speak.

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By Shift, April 15, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Stop the denial.  Christians cannot separate themselves from Christianity by claiming to be followers of Jesus.  Is there not a Trinity.  Is the Bible not the word of God?  To Christians, yes is the answer to both.

The Papal Bull Inter Caetera, quoted in an earlier post, became the basis for the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion that enabled the Native American Genocide.

It enables it today in continuing policies of genocide in America.  Examples:  The theft of twenty two million acres of Western Shoshone land by the U.S. Congress for fifteen cents an acre.

Indian Trust:  The leasing of Native American lands by the U.S. Government supposedly on behalf of Native Americans, yet, the Government has failed to pay an estimated one hundred billion dollars of collected moneys to Native American peoples.

Indian Treaties:  Of the estimated 360 treaties between Native Nations and the Federal Government, the Government has failed to live up to it’s treaty obligations.  Remember, these treaties traded massive amounts of land for benefits.  These benefits have not been provided.

The failure to tell the historical truth about Native American History.  The current PBS series that is supposed to be from the Native perspective is a fraud.  It whitewashes the truth.  The commentators are mostly white.  It only tilts at the truth without revealing it fully.  Changing history to the benefit of the Christian invader and occupier is an act of genocide.

Christianity has helped the Native Peoples only if they convert to Christianity.  Christians do not help Native People absent religious conversion.  That too is a continuing policy of genocide.

There are perhaps only one quarter million Traditional (non-christian) Native American People alive today.  Traditional Native beliefs are not Christian beliefs, they are not compatible, they are different. Yet Jesus followers continually show up at our Traditional Ceremony attempting a back door conversion tactic.  THIS IS CULTURAL GENOCIDE !

The Native American Culture resides in just this one quarter of a million remaining TRADITIONAL Native Americans.  Once they are gone the Native American Genocide will be complete.  So why are the Jesus followers attempting to interject Jesus into Traditional Native American Ceremony?  Christians and Jesus followers believe that they have the right and obligation to destroy beliefs other than those of Jesus and Christianity.  They practice Christian (Jesus) dominion (genocide). 

These are just a small sampling of the continuing genocide.  Christians (Jesus followers) are inseperable from genocide based upon the Biblical doctrine of dominion.  Denial of these facts is not possible and a sure ticket to hell for those who try.

Finally, the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion is the written historical basis for the Northwest Ordinance that is the document that Native American lawsuits confront, and the lose.  Since the Northwest Ordinance was enacted based upon the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion, WHERE IS THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE?  There is no more clear evidence of continuing genocide than the active negative effects of the Northwest Ordinance upon justice for Native Americans.

So in truth, Christians (Jesus followers) are automatically hell bound based upon their fundamental religious beliefs in “Dominion,” (Genocide).  May your hell fires be hot and the hell winds be strong!

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By Archie1954, April 15, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have always detested hypocrites and I know from within my own heart that I never wanted to be one. I don’t attend church except on the High holidays. I don’t feel comfortable there. I look around at these wonderful people sitting in the pews and think, “I’m not a good enough person to be here”, but I love God and have been saved. To me that should mean that I no longer sin, however I still do and I don’t want anyone who is looking up to Christians, to look at me and stumble when they see me sin. For the most part I live a circumspect life and try to be a good person but I still falter regularly. Maybe that is why I was so disappointed and angry with the former president who professed Christianity yet destroyed lives and property in far away places and never lost one moment of sleep over it. It was too close to my own feelings of hypocrisy within myself. I desperately did not want to be like him, did not want people all over the world to stumble and think that Christianity was Satanism. Is there anything worse than causing individuals to lose their souls to the devil?

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By Trithoverlies, April 15, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

It wasn’t the romans that Jesus had to worry about they would have accepted His message of peace but the religios ritualist of the liberal church of the Temple the Sadducees that did not believe in a hereafter, and the Sister burtha’s better then yous the Pharisees that had to be given the best seat, wear the best clothing, and say the loudist prayers so everyone would know how pious they were. It was How you looked out side that counted not what was on the inside so if they had not agitated the crowds on that friday morning. Pilate would have released Jesus but He was a threat to the Church of Satan Oh I mean the Relious Hipocrits. So the Romans were threatend not by Jesus, but the unrest stired up by the Pharisees, and the Saducees the far left of the church and the far right of the church which still exist in groups like Battleboro Independant Baptist in Kansas, and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and the Liberal churches that will accept anybody as long as their money is good.
          John R. Bloxson Jr.
P.S. Mormans and Johovahs Witnesses worship another Christ so I don’t consider them Christians just as I don’t consider the Branch Dividiands Christians they are Mormans, and J.W’s. with the same right to worship as anyone.
Please don’t get me wrong All religions have the same rights as long as they do not preach that you should harm someone becaus they believe diferantly than you. the Mundane Muslim Is no diferant than the Mundane Hindu or Baptist, or Catholic that is what our Constitution demands. But for those who teach open hatred like the White sepretist Church, or the Wahabist Mosque, or the Shi’ite Radicals or the Talhiban, or the Klu Klux Klan, or the Liberation Theology Churchs they have no rights to spread their message of hate.

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By vegdude, April 15, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

I can’t speak for others, but can offer my own observation that before I learned about Christ I was a pretty rotten person, not because I necessarily did profoundly bad things but because I didn’t do anything truly good.  I did not love God, and I did not love my neighbor.  Since that time I have struggled to learn to do both. 

I don’t know for sure that I am a true Christian, that I am among those whom He has called.  Frankly I doubt it.  Yet, I believe I am a better person, or at least a less bad one, because of what He has taught me.  I have at least some compassion, whereas before I had none.  I have at least some integrity, whereas before I lacked this.  I now at least try to show kindness and love to those around me, and to those less fortunate than myself, whereas before I only used them.  Before I cared only about the present, and only about myself, and only about pleasure.  Now I at least try to find ways to leave the world, and those around me, better than they would have been if I were not here.  The jury is definitely out on whether I have been successful, but before, I did not even try.  Now I do at least try.

Would I have grown to be a better or less bad person without knowing Christ (or at least knowing *about* Him)?  No one can say for sure, but I tend to doubt it.  My best moments are those in which I behave the most like He did, and taught.  My worst moments are those in which I do the opposite.

Could Mohammed or Confucius or Darwin have taught me to become a better person?  Perhaps, for their very different conceptions of “better.”  Perhaps as a Muslim I would have volunteered for the lesser jihad to expel foreigners from the holy lands.  Perhaps as a principled atheist I might have helped people recover from the emotional damage that organized religion (which is NOT what Jesus is about) tends to cause.  I don’t know.  But I do know that that isn’t what happened.  I know only that I was lost, and now, if I am not found, at least I am not nearly so lost as I was before.  I know the road to eternal life, and through God’s grace, I can help people to find that road.  I’m not sure I’m on the road myself, nor am I sure God will bring me to its end.  But I know it is there, and before I did not.

Are there others who seem to genuinely seek to follow Christ, yet struggle and often fail?  Certainly.  I know many such people.  They try, they stumble, they fall, but then God picks them up and dusts them off, then they try again.  Sometimes it takes them a long time to overcome things like addictions and whatnot.  Sometimes they never do in this life.  But then, as Christians, we do not believe that this life is all there is.  We have a hope that even what God does not finish in our earthly lives, He still will, just maybe not here.

Are there plenty of decent, kind, compassionate, and honorable atheists or pagans or Muslims or Shintos or agnostics?  Absolutely.  I prefer many of them to many so-called “Christians.”

Can I prove to you that God and Jesus and Christianity are real?  No, and I won’t try.  I can’t.  I understand that those whom God calls will believe without what others would consider “proof,” and that those whom He does not will not accept proof any more than people did when Jesus walked the earth and performed miracles, which some of those around Him claimed were miracles performed by the devil rather than by Him.

But I have good reasons to believe what I do, which is that Jesus is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead, and that those who truly believe Him will not perish but have eternal life.  I am willing to share these with those who honestly wish to hear them, but they will not be convincing to those who already have made up their minds and hearts not to believe, or, rather, to believe in a god or deity or other belief system of their own choosing, rather than in the One who is real and true and eternal.

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By Ivan Hentschel, April 15, 2009 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This horse has been in the throes of death for a long time, and the herd is dwindling…finally. Articles like this (which have been appearing everywhere, of late) are vainglorious attempts to breathe life back into it, and to instigate a hoped-for resuurection?

The commercially sustained, fiduciary based, crowd-control based, guilt ridden, morally insipid cultural aberration known as ‘Christianity” has been a blight and a scourge perpetuated by western civilation for hundreds of years,causing far more strife and misery than it has alleviated. Good riddance, may its continued demise be swift and more articles like this one cease and desist to waste our time and energy.

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By JupiterInLeo, April 15, 2009 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

It has always seemed odd to me that those who have invited the Prince of Peace into their lives and are really good people, seem to be really good people in *spite* of their faith/belief/religion/church—not because of it. 

If “by their fruits ye shall know them,” then it doesn’t look so good for the religion of Jesus.  I posted below about how if all the Christians who called other Christians not real Christians would disappear, there’d be no Christians left, and people are doing this right here in this very thread.  If the murderous rampages through the “new lands” (i.e. “missionaries” and their forced conversions, “re-education” of people away from their *own* life-long, cherished beliefs, and enslavement of indigenous peoples by the thousands and tens of thousands wherever the missionaries found them, etc.) are any indication, the verdict is not so good.  I bet the missionaries in question thought they were being pretty good Christians—they left their own homes for years and sometimes lifetimes to do their “work”—I’m sure they would take great offense to anyone’s insinuation that what they were doing was anything other than ordained by God and kissed by Jesus himself.  They were living their “faith”—who is anyone now, all these hundreds of years later, to tell them otherwise?

I gather from my own Mormon/Christian upbringing and from talking online to people about this, that having faith in Jesus and going to church does not automatically make you a better person—and the failings of the Christian church are to be put squarely on the shoulders of those who are misinterpreting their scriptures or who succumb to the weaknesses of men, or whatnot—which always leaves me wondering, how is this in any way different from living your life *outside* the church—you still have to learn how to be your own good person, avoid falling into tempting traps, and all of that, except maybe that you are not encumbered by the belief that you are doing “God’s work” which too often seems to become an excuse to,  at first, fudge the rules a little bit, until in some cases it becomes mass pedophilia and molestation of children, covered up, enabled, and winked at—on a global scale, just to name one example.  If it’s everyone’s own job to learn morals and figure out how to be a good person on your own, then religion only hinders this process, it doesn’t help.

Those of us who have managed to get out, can see this.  Those who are still in, and whose lives are still ruled by belief in thousands-year-old writings by men who thought the world was flat an the sun was pushed across the sky every day by a giant beetle, can’t.  This doesn’t automatically make them a bad person—and as I said above, I’ve met many fine Christians who exemplify in their own lives the teachings of Jesus.  Good for them.  But I have met equally fine people, who are without religion, and it makes me wonder, how is it that the people *in* religion think they are any better off? 

If you get up in the middle of the night and it’s freezing in your house, you could pile all your furniture in the middle of the room and set it on fire, yes, that would warm things up—but you could also just get up and turn up the thermostat—it’s less messy, far less incendiary, and benefiting from thousands of years of human progress since the technology of the Bible.

Religion is like that.  Some people manage to warm the room by setting fire to the furniture without burning down the house.  While their fellow believers run around setting all kinds of destructive fires, equally convinced of their own grasp of the Divine.

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By vegdude, April 15, 2009 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Regarding the atrocities perpetrated against Native people (in the Americas, Australia, Africa, and elsewhere) by those claiming to be Christians, I condemn these MORE strongly than if the perpetrators did not claim to be Christian.  The Way of Christ is LOVE, not persecution, not slaughter, not biological warfare, not colonialism, not oppression or injustice of any kind.  While I was not around when most of it happened, and don’t have authority to speak for anyone besides myself, I would very much like to offer an apology.  I am sorry that it happened.  I am sorry that in some ways (e.g., due to government policy with regard to Native lands and people today) it continues even now.  I am sorry for this.  However, my apology means nothing.  Actions are what count.  And I pledge to you that I will learn more about this issue, and will use the limited influence I may have to write and speak about it, and to try to persuade those who support current U.S. policy with regard to Native peoples - mostly through ignorance - to do otherwise.  If there is more you feel I can do to make amends for what has happened, please let me know, but also please understand that under no circumstance could I possibly ever wish to “disown” or “distance myself from” the Prince of Peace.  He is not the cause of your troubles.  People are.  He is the SOLUTION.  The ways He taught, the life He lived, the death He died, and His resurrection (which I know you don’t believe, but I do) lead to peace and justice and cooperation and ultimately to reconciliation.

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By ender, April 15, 2009 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

A/Ibrahim(not his name yet) was a priest of the Sumerian deity EL.  His tribe was small and had maintained a separate culture from many of the other followers of the Sumerian Trinity of Gods, so as a tribal leader, he declared a revELation from El(as in Israel -chosen of God, and Daniel - beloved of God) that the tribe could take no other God before HIM, El, and by the way, never say or write MY NAME again, except in a code understood only by the priesthood, so we can forget about that whole EL/Triumvirate thing.  Abraham was a capable leader and warlord, and his tribe prospered. The priesthood he founded included much of the Sumerian religions myths of creation and the flood into their repertoire and maintained their ‘secret’ knowledge of the Sumerian calendar and astrological systems to keep themselves in position of power. They taught their tribe cultural racism and apartheid, but allowed enslaved and captured women to bare legitimate children, to avoid the inbreeding that even prehistoric humans knew, led to birth defects.  So….slavery was ok, but not of your close neighbors, because that might defeat the purpose – diversity of the gene pool.

This tribe maintained its genetic and cultural uniqueness very successfully.  The shared religion allowed leaders to exhort them to martial ferocity, when wronged, or to take some other tribes property and land.  Remember the time they were supposed to kill every living thing in Canaan and make the land theirs?  It took uncommon will, devotion, and brutality for such a small tribe to conquer a larger more technologically advanced civilization such as the Canaanites.  This cultural bigotry served them well for over a thousand years.  It also made them a universally hated tribe.

So, after they have been defeated and displaced several times, and finally completely conquered by the Romans, a group of radical Jewish rabbis,  Zoroastrian priest, and Roman Freethinkers, used the local stories about a Jewish Rabbi/carpenter, embellished them borrowing heavily from the messianic traditions of Judaism which were stolen from the Sumerian religion, created the Christ myth.  It took them quite a while, and they didn’t get around to recording all of this until decades after the events supposedly had taken place.  But…it is much easier to make up events after the fact, when the people who were there/then aren’t around to dispute the ‘facts.’ 

A few hundred years after that, a learned merchant that lives a life of leisure due to marrying a much older but wealthy widow, studies the Jewish religion, and realizes its real problem is its exclusivity.  So he copies large parts of it, and creates a religion that invites everyone to join.  In fact it often insists.  He keeps the most holy spot in his homeland though, and discourages translations from the Arabic, so his tribe maintains Top Dog First of the First status.  The End of Time myth involves a leader, or Great Caliph, that can really only come from his tribe.  So, in typical tribal fashion, members of the other powerful and rival tribe in the region, the Persians, claim the Arabic descendants have gotten it wrong, and they are the true carriers of the flame.

So, Christians begin loosing ground to Islam and begin the Crusades and the Inquisition.  Islam gets pissed and begins taking parts of Europe in order give the Infidels a chance to convert.  That only gets so far as the Shia/Sunni/Persian/Arabic infighting keep them too occupied with each other to maintain their triumphs over the Christians.

It ain’t over yet folks.

Men create religions to consolidate tribal power and control other tribes of men.

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By christian96, April 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Virginia 777—-I agree with you.  I am not sure what
the “religious right” is but Christianity sure needs
to rescue itself from false teachers and prophets
and there are plenty of them.  Of course, Jesus said
there would be when the disciples ask him about the
signs preceeding his second coming.  The first thing
he said was “Beware of false teachers.”  I can spot
them in a minute because I have been studying the
teachings of Jesus 32 years, almost to the day.  I
began this journey on April 10, 1977.  Today, April
15, 2009, is my birthday.  I am 69 years old.  I
haven’t taken care of myself like I should have and
my health is suffering for it but I believe Jesus
is going to keep me around until I can write a book
for children about how the Bible relates to their
everyday lives.  I try to answer some questions
of sincere people who are searching for answers on
this site but I can’t really do it in a few paragraphs.  It will take a book for people to understand what I am trying to say.  I’ve been up
working on my income taxes.  I’m almost done.  I’m
tired.  I’m going to bed.

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By Virginia777, April 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

Christianity can be an answer.

Chris Hedges writes often about the very dangerous moral decline in America. Christianity - True Christianity - can help here.

It needs to rescue itself from the baggage of the religious right.

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By christian96, April 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Shift—-I don’t understand your response to my question asking for one example of Jesus teaching
“Genocide.”  God appointed men and women to be
stewards of the world but it sure hasn’t been Christians who are responsible for the rape of the
earth’s resources.  That was done by people who
worship money.  Now, a few of those people may have
called themselves Christians but Jesus said a person’s works will tell you if they are Christian
or not.  Would a TRUE CHRISTIAN be responsible for
the rape of the earth for money’s sake?  I don’t think so.  Don’t blame Jesus for what people do in
his name.  Regarding the Native American genocide,
I believe that can be attributed to the greedy white
man’s army more than it can TRUE Christians.  If the
Protestant or Catholic leaders had anything to do
with the genocide then they should not only apologize
but compensate the Native Americans.  I believe that’s what the army tried to do by placing them on
reservations but they were sorely WRONG!

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By eileen fleming, April 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

It has been said, tell me your politics and I will know who your god/God is:

A god of war, or the God of peace? A god of injustice, or the God of justice? A god who seeks vengeance or the God of compassionate mercy? A god of violent retaliation or the God of nonviolence?

When we who claim to be Christian learn of and worship the God Jesus illuminated; the God of peace and nonviolence, not the god of state or nation, we will be a person who seeks peace by pursuing justice and remain physically nonviolent, but never silent.

Jesus was NEVER a Christian; the term ‘Christian’ was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus/AKA: The Prince of Peace walked the earth and taught that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God, NOT those that bomb, occupy or torture others. 

2,000 years ago The Cross had NO symbolic religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry.

When JC said: “Pick up your cross and follow me” everyone THEN understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads into Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Empire and Military Occupying Forces.

Jesus, while never a Christian, was a social, justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against the corrupt Temple authorities and challenged their job security by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God LOVED them just as they were:

Sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation.

What got JC crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Empire and Occupying Forces by teaching the subversive concept that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation above the elite and arrogant.

The early followers and lovers of Jesus were called members of THE WAY-being THE WAY he taught one should be and that his sisters and brothers were those that DID the will of the Father: “What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8


“Everyone in the world knows that Jesus and his teachings were non-violent: except Christians.”-Gandhi


Jesus has been accused of being a pacifist, but his nonviolent responses to evil were never passive!

Turning the other cheek when struck is the sublime response to resist violence by disarming the attacker by maintaining the highest ground: self-controlled nonviolence.

“You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome. You might own guns and you might even own tanks…you might even own banks. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”-Bob Dylan, 1979.

Imagine what a transformed world it could be, when every Christian would ponder upon just who is their Jesus, just what god/God do they serve?

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By rick, April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i live in an area with a religious television station where local preachers can have their own television ministry.  i happened upon one such program and was informed that for a mere 50 dollars a month sent to a post office box in the next zip code area to mine i could have the supernatural enter my life.  the p.o. box number she gave didn’t match the one on the screen.  i found that curious.

she then proceeded to try and use the bible to explain how such a thing could happen all for the low, low price of 50 dollars a month.  she didn’t read the bible passages, she just gave names and chapters and said what she claimed it said, and all in her own colorful little inept style.

the christian right is doomed.  it has gotten to the point where nothing they say makes any sense.

they embraced a woman who had a personal witch hunter and never said a word about it.  they never questioned her loony toon church.

the vast majority of americans don’t want any part of this type of nonsense any longer.  we are tired of being told we have to give superior credence to anything these yahoo’s have to say because of religion.

it isn’t working any longer.

it won’t be long before people stop prefacing things they say with “as a christian”.

preachers are a dime a dozen.  and they usually end up going down in flames when the truth is revealed.

look up aimee semple mcpherson.  katherine kuhlman.  billy sunday.  rev. ike. father caughlin.  my spelling is wrong on a couple of those. 

they are all being exposed for the frauds they are and any true believers are going to be such a minority that they will be driven to the wayside because of their backwards beliefs.

and the pope isn’t doing the catholic church any good either, to say nothing of the anglicans letting their church get hijacked by people they used to use as slave material and couldn’t be allowed to become christians because you couldn’t own a christian.  setting up that whole blacks are lesser peoples thing.

they are doomed, doomed i say.

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By BruSays, April 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Hey everybody, sing along! You know the tune!

Oh, you better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why -
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice - 
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

Oh! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why -
Santa Claus is coming to town!

In my view, most kids don’t really “grow out” of Santa Claus. They just grow up and replace him with something else.

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By Shift, April 14, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Christian96, I answered two questions that you put to me, yet, you have not addressed my answers.  That is the kind of disrespect that Christians have for Native American Peoples. 

Now I will ask you a question.  Why can’t Protestant and Catholic Religions officially recognize and apologize for the Native American Genocide?

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By christian96, April 14, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Christian organizations like “World Vision”, “Christian Childrens Fund” and “Feed The
Children” help feef and clothe poor families around
the world including America.  Why don’t some of you
antichristians mention the positive work being done
by Christians rather than digging in the dirt to try
to find something negative about some Christian
organizations and individuals?  Could your protest
against Christianity be selfish?  Is Christianity
telling you not to do something that you want to do,
just like a little child?  Give me!  Give me!  Mine!
Mine!  How much did you give to charitable organizations this year?  How many widows and fatherless children did you help this year?  Perhaps,
it would behove you to check out your mirror and ask
yourself, “Do I love and serve other people?”  Be

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By Shift, April 14, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Christian96 requests: “Find me
one passage in the Bible where Jesus ever taught
hatred and killing! “

  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (King James Version).

  “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” (New International Version).

  The vast majority of Christians read this text and conclude that God has appointed them stewards and caretakers of Earth. As Sara Diamond explains, however, some Christian read the text and believe, “that CHRISTIANS ALONE ARE BIBLICALY MANDATED to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns—and there is no consensus on when that might be.” That, in a nutshell, is the idea of “dominionism.”

The Christian belief in dominionism led to the issuance of the The Bull Inter Caetera (1493)

The Bull Inter Caetera (Alexander VI), May 4, 1493.
the bull Inter Caetera became a major document in the development of subsequent legal doctrines regarding claims of empire in the “new world”.

First paragraph:

“Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the illustrious sovereigns, our very dear son in Christ, Ferdinand, king, and our very dear daughter in Christ, Isabella, queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon, Sicily, and Granada, health and apostolic benediction. Among other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself.”

This Bull became the basis for the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion that unleashed the massive genocide of Native Americans.

If you would like to read the horrid specifics of the killing of the first twenty million written by Father Bartolomé de las Casas I will be happy to provide them to you.

Finally, Christian Native Americans are assimilated people.  Traditional Native Americans are the true carriers of the Native American Culture.

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By Trithoverlies, April 14, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

You will find if you bother to do the research that the Pew Group has kept good records throught the years and Barna has polled out millions of people calling themselves Christians. Pew and Barna disagree with your assumptions. It is not the Conservative Church that is refinding the inner Christ missions. Did you know that Conservative Christians are three times as likely to be involved in community outreach over Liberal Christians, and even worse 8 times over Liberal none Christians. So first your primmise is dead wrong. Some of the first to respond to Katrina were The Southern Baptist Men Desaster relief teams, same with 911 and every other desaster in the last 60 years. It wasn’t the Conservatives who ran from the inner cities in the 1950’s and 60’s it was the liberal denominations. Conservative Christians give 2 times as much to charities as liberal Christians and three times as much as liberal nonchristians. The war on poverty started by big Government in 1968 was in actuality a war declared on the family by the liberal Social Scientist/Engineers of the rebellion against old authority. The father with a need for new job skills was forced out of the home so that his children wouldn’t go to bed hungry and if a teen wanted better they ran into the Social Scientist saying no you can’t work part time and save money to go to College or trade school. They gave these young people a choice quit and use the nest egg immediately or your 3 little brothers or sisters will be taken off the welfare rolls. this kind of big brother mentility crushed the spirits of those who wanted a better life so it insued a perpetual generational curse on people thus giving Social Services a Job for life.  In the 1960’s the conservative inner citty churchs found themselves increasingly under the gun they recieved less money from the liberals and were forced to do more for the poverty stricken. They developed Food kitchen, food pantries, homeless shelters. ran inexpensive daycares, successful drug rehab centers and did it with less as big government poored billion and trillions into failed secular programs so stop spreading the myth that the conservatives didn’t care when it was the liberals that pulled out and the liberals that built the prepetual poverty machine called welfare. One example in 1962 before the war on poverty my mothers little church of 108 started a food kitchen and a food pantry in 1969 the openned a homeless shelter and expanded their prison ministry but they did all of this without government help infact they were hindered by government restrictions and regulations while doing so and as the liberal church put more money into their church buildings, and less into helping the poor, this small church put their money and their hands and feet where the liberal churches dare not go because of the unwashed sinners the drug addicts, unwed mothers, fatherless children, thieves, and gangs. So don’t blame the conservative Church for the pulling away from the sinners blame the Lukwarm liberal Chruch.
          John R. Bloxson Jr.
P.S. You probably looked at the myth that the liberal media has perpetuated against the Conservative Church rather than the truth. The media hates us for our backwards thinking that most problems in this world lead right back to the sin of self pride, and the false idea of what tollerance means and what is and isn’t working. Socialism has never worked when forced by big brother, only in the church mostly the poor conservative churchs has it worked. The Galations gave till it hurt the small church my mother was a member of gave and voluteered till it hurt, so don’t get on a high horse because the liberal church has rediscovered the tax exemptions for working with the homeless, and poverty stricken.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 14, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Christianity is not wrong because it’s bad. Christianity is bad because it’s wrong.

One does not condemn Christianity because of the evils ascribed to it, legion though they may be. To be taken seriously in this debate, one must also recognize the good that has come from Christianity. Now, one could argue that that which is good in Christianity is not uniquely Christian, but was borrowed from previous religions and social constructs, but let’s be honest and give the the Christians a little credit, at least for popularizing certain moral parameters which could be said to benefit greater society.

None of that would mean that the Christian god exists, or that his son visited the planet and sacrificed his corporeal body for his subjects. It wouldn’t constitute an argument for Christianity as intrinsically superior to any other religion. Nor would it make the case that morality needs god or any other imaginary father figure to enforce it.

The god of the gaps has been rendered useless - and even an obstruction - in the age of science. To grant absolute authority to a bronze age document translated, interpolated and then interpreted, over and over again, is not only willfully ignorant, it is insulting to those who have dedicated their lives to furthering mankind’s real knowledge.

Once upon a time, in an ancient world of superstition, augury, idolatry and cruelty, Christianity may have served a purpose. But that dark period of human history has passed, and it’s time to step aside.

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By GW=MCHammered, April 14, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christianity ... it’s in the BuyBull.

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By ender, April 14, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

“By christian96, April 13 at 9:10 pm #
SHIFT——Would you please give me ONE example of
Christianity’s genocides and eithnic cleansings?
Thank you.”

Slavery may be worse than genocide, and the only xtian organization to oppose it in the US was the Quakers.  Most of the protestant churches actively supported it and called it god’s will.  And it is if you believe that vile creation of Man to control men, the bible.  The christian church was created by Constantine to unite the Roman Empire.  He saw the cross as a sword, and that it what it has always been to the govts that keep christianity alive as an source of a willing army of CRUSADE(GWBs word for Iraq), empire and conquest.

Let’s not oversimplify this though.  The Jews and Muslims are just and genocidal and murderous.  But since we have better technology, muslims use terrorism instead of B52s and cruise missiles, but between us and Israel we have slaughtered more humans in the name of a CRUSADE in the last 20 yrs than the muslims could possibly accomplish.  But its not for lack of effort.

All of the Cults of Abraham were created to support male dominated murderous nations.

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By godistwaddle, April 14, 2009 at 3:49 am Link to this comment

I’m only 65. I’ve NEVER met a christian who was not a liar and a hypocrite.  Jesus said sell all you have and give to the poor.  Christians do not. They argue he was speaking to one rich man.  Okay, then the sermon on the mount was spoken to THAT crowd, and doesn’t apply any more than selling all you have. Jesus said you can tell a tree by its fruit.  Rotten fruit=rotten tree.  christians, murderous filth from the start, are the rotten fruit of christianity.

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By bachu, April 14, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I for one like to pretend that I am a Christian and there are millions upon millions just like me. I would not put much stock in the reported numbers.

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By christian96, April 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

Shift—-I happen to be a decendant of a very famous
Native American Chief, Quannah Parker, in Oklahoma.
I am very sensitive to what the white man did to
Native Americans but you are going to have to come up
with a better example of Genocide than that.  Find me
one passage in the Bible where Jesus ever taught
hatred and killing!  Save yourself some time and trouble, there are none.  Jesus taught love, kindness, and service to others.  Some white man may
have taught “killing in the name of Jesus” but don’t
blame Jesus or Christianity for what some MAN OR
WOMAN did and continues to do in his name.  I am a
Christian but there are times I don’t act like a
Christian.  At those times I am a poor respresentative of Jesus but don’t blame Jesus for
my Antichristian behavior.  When I act in an antichristian manner I can pray to Jesus and receive
forgiveness.  Who forgives antichristians?

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By Shift, April 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Christian96 asks for one example of Christian genocide.
The Native American Genocide is the largest genocide on this planet in the last five hundred years.  That genocide resulted in the deaths of an estimated one hundred twelve million Native Americans.  It is based upon the Papal Bull Inter Caetera and is more widely known as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion.  That genocide continues to this day.

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By Wilberforce, April 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like these self proclaimed rationalists cherry picking history to trash religion. They must not have noticed science’s charming contributions: the a bomg, gas chanber, and global warming. While ‘rationalists’ have been sitting on their lazy butts, irrational christians have been serving the poor and defending the oppressed. They call faith irrational, but don’t notice their own taste for rhetorical tricks and mental masturbation. Please.
They do us all a diservice, trying to drive a wedge between secularists and liberal religion. We are natural allies. But the secularists here seem to have been hired by commercial media to drive us apart.

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By Joe Gall, April 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are no Christians in the USA.  They are all fake Christians, every damned one of them.

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By irreligious72, April 13, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Its hard to believe that anyone still believes in talking snakes or virgins giving birth. But if you do believe that and find yourself being taken by a slick con man or politician I have little sympathy for you, except that I hope you get the help you need.

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By JupiterInLeo, April 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

“If all the Christians who have called other Christians “not real Christians” were to disappear, there’d be no Christians left.”

I don’t know who said that, but it’s funny cos it’s true.

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By christian96, April 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

SHIFT——Would you please give me ONE example of
Christianity’s genocides and eithnic cleansings?
Thank you.

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By ocjim, April 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

After eight years of Bush sanctimony and exploitation of religion—intentional or not, I am surprised anyone calls himself or herself a Christian. Karl Rove consciously used religious images and emotional religious language to push the Bush administration agenda. We all know that religion has been exploited for power and money for eons, but never was it used so coarsely by a US administration.

EJ describes a small decline in religion considering the damage done by Bushies.

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By Shift, April 13, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Vegdude, if you are a Christian you cannot separate yourself from Christianity’s genocides and ethnic cleansings.  If you place money in the collection basket you are supporting genocide and ethnic cleansing.  Christianity supports empire, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and poverty.  Jesus is your symbol of love exercised in death.  Without a change in Protestant and Catholic religious practice there is no seperating yourself from it, except in your own mind.  I seriously doubt that is the ticket to heaven.  If you believe that organized religious organizations are not practicing the word of jesus then why support them, why belong to them?  If you are a follower of jesus then you too are a christian and just as responsible.  Don’t insult peoples intelligence with fables and rationalizations. We know better.  Native American’s have five hundred years of experience with continuing Christian genocide based upon the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Dominion based upon the word of god in the bible.  jesus is a mass murderer and uses nice words to mask great genocides.  Christians are delusional and the proof is in their actions and inactions.  Christianity is death !

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By vegdude, April 13, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Christ did not sanction murder.  He did not endorse (and in fact explicitly opposed the Roman) empire.  He did not endorse genocide or ethnic cleansing.  He Himself was poor, and instructed His followers to relieve the suffering caused by poverty. 

Certainly some so-called “Christians” are guilty of every one of these things.  Which makes my point pretty clearly.  They were not following Christ.  Just the opposite.

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By Shift, April 13, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Christianity is a killer religion.  Followers of christ are christians and cannot escape that fact by rationalizing otherwise.  Believe as we do or we have the right to kill you is their religious belief and is born out in practice in front of the jesus lovers again and again without objection.  christians are killers pure and simple and their theology endorses it.

Does christianity endorse empire?  Yes there is no theological effort to end it.

Does christianity endorse genocide?  Yes there is no effort in America to end the quiet genocide against Native Americans.

Does christianity endorse ethnic cleansing?  Yes, Christian support of Israel is clear proof.

Does christianity endorse poverty?  Yes and has done little to end the policies of the United States Congress to punish the poor and reward the wealthy.

Does christianity have a soul?  No, it is a religion of death.

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By vegdude, April 13, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

I’m not good . . only God is good.  And I’m not sure I am a “real Christian.”  Actually I tend to doubt it.  But I am quite sure that the only valid brand of “Christianity” is the Christianity of Christ, which is a matter of historical record, not subject to significant interpretation or redefinition by you, me, organized “religion,” or anybody else, in spite of the best efforts of many.  If you feel I misrepresent true Christianity please feel free to critique me accordingly.  If not, then your problem is with Him, not me.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 13, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Just gotta love it. Another Christian apologists declaring some other interpretation of their creed evil, destructive and dead, while their brand of Christianity is good and loving and reborn.

Someone needs to come up with a good term for this phenomenon of obfuscation by redefinition.  Because the only question that matters is, do you employ reason or some form of magical thinking as the principal methodology of knowing, and making decisions about the world?

It just won’t do to claim that “I am the real Christian and I’m good, therefor Christianity is good”. Christianity is just as much Jim Jones as it is Mother Theresa. You don’t get to define it arbitrarily. It is what it is, and should be judged accordingly, for ALL its faults and merits.

If one narrows the definitions enough, one could make torture sound like a force for good. But what would such an exercise have to do with the truth?

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By AnalogKid, April 13, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So 85% of the population still thinks unicorns and space giants are real.  Great progress.

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By vegdude, April 13, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

This aspiring Christian agrees completely that the mixture of church and state has corrupted both, and CHEERS the decline of the phony, feel-good, me-centered “religion” that falsely calls itself Christianity.  True Christianity is based on Christ, who is Love (but who also is Truth).  He is merciful, but also just.  He promises the reward of His eternal presence forever, to all those whom He has chosen (and all who sincerely come to Him).  But in this life, He asks us to take up a cross - an instrument of suffering and death - and to follow Him.  He asks us to love not only our friends and our neighbors, but even our enemies.  He asks us not to persecute others, but to be willing to face persecution ourselves.  He asks us to live in such a way that by our fruits - the results of our actions, of the way we live our lives - we will be known, and God will be glorified.  You can oppose true Christianity if you want to, but you will fail.  On the other hand, phony “Christians” who practice hate instead of love, who love themselves rather than God, and who value this world rather than the world to come, do more to discredit Christianity than all of its critics combined.  I far prefer the company and conversation of intellectually and morally honest atheists, to that of false and fake “Christians.”  And I suspect that the former may be closer to the kingdom of God, without even realizing it, than the latter.

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By ender, April 13, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

The radicalism and hatefilled message of Reichwing Xtianity has led to this decline. 
Now we need to educate our youth in the sciences, and make college available to all those with the aptitude, and we will see the Cults of Abraham finally start to disappear. They’ve wrecked enough havock and misery on the world and should go the way of the other dead mythologies.

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By godistwaddle, April 13, 2009 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

To have “faith” of any kind is to reject reason. My “faith” that boiled carrots make people bowlegged is greeted by demands for evidence from Christians.  That’s rational thinking on their part.  My demands for evidence for their “faith,” are greeted by a stony silence and the look one gives a person who’s farted in church.  Modern life is so based on reason that their “faith” will be backed into smaller and smaller dens, although Christians will remain vicious when cornered, like rats.

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By laluz, April 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A couple of decades ago Christians who spoke from fundamentalist perspectives were given the room to speak by more liberal Christians instead of being challenged and confronted because they understood the fundamentalists to be more psychologically and emotionally fragile people who needed the certainty along with their enthusiasm for a saving, healing faith. Many liberal Christians have had faith stages where they had been “like that” and so gave their more immature brothers and sisters some latitude to grow.  That kind of common faith progression has been documented by sociologists through history. What the liberals didn’t know about was the below-the-radar Dominionist movement, a subversive rightwing conservative group who used religious jargon and propaganda to prey upon the fundamentalists’ fragility and manipulate them into merging their religious perspectives with rightwing poltical agendas.  Pat Robertson, like other leaders of that takeover movement, masterfully used the donations of the gullible to build an influential and wealthy media empire to keep the message coming along with their “true Christian” view of politics and religion so that the fundamentalists remained in the less mature stages of manipulable faith, as well as socially ill-informed. I hope a correction is in the making as the aging fundamentalists movements desire a deeper, more mature faith, see the hypocrisy of the leaders they have overly admired, and seek instead to follow the example of the Christ of Scriptures or look for truth in their hearts as opposed to what they are told to believe.

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By jackpine savage, April 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

What’s disturbing about the last 30 years has been that the large number of not so conservative, evangelical Christians tied tightly to a single political party have allowed one portion of their “flock” to dominated the discussion to the point of coming to represent American Christianity.

But we should keep the record straight, Christianity has been wedded to various states whenever possible and corrupted by politics since, oh, roughly 300 AD (at the latest).

The Church of Good Friday to Easter…and those that have made minor breaks with Mother Church…has always played politics for the sake of power.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, it’s clear Christianity has declined. 

It used to be a radical Christian was named Daniel or Phillip Berrigan.  Now it’s Haggard or Eric Rudolph.

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By christian96, April 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

I just posted the following comments following the
“Obama Tube: Passover/Easter Edition” video and believe they are also appropriate here since the
decline in Christianity can be traced to the failure
of the Christian Shepherds to educate the flock:

Either President Obama is ignorant or being deceptive
as a politician.  Perhaps, both!  The word Easter
appears only once in the Bible and was wrongly translated.  The word should have been Passover.
It should be Passover that Christians are celebrating
and would be if they hadn’t been misled by their
Sheperds.  Their Shepherds also brought about the
tradition of Good Friday.  Jesus said, like Jonah,
he would be in the tomb three days and three nights.
You don’t have to be to far along in your educational
development to realize that you can’t get 3 days and
nights in between Friday and Sunday.  Passover is
known as a High Sabbabth which was unknown to the
shepherds who thought Sabbath meant Friday night
to Saturday night.  Jesus ate his last supper with
his loved ones on Wednesday night and was crucified
on Thurday(Passover).  Why this has never been corrected by those intellectuals in seminarys, I have
no idea.  I can tell you that it hasn’t been corrected by TV evangelists because their money supply would quickly dry up.  There will come a day
when all Jewish Festivals will be kept by Christians.
Zechariah 14:16 tells us that people from all nations that fought against Jerusalem will come to
Jerusalem year after year to worship Jesus and to
KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES!  Would someone please
educate President Obama?

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By Bill Jones, April 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have long thought that the “Evangelical” right Christians should be renamed Christianists: It’s a form of tribalism where the focus is on being a “Christian” rather than following Christ’s teachings. These “Christians” use their religion primarily to create the other Groups to be hated, liberal atheists and of course,+ most notoriously, Muslims.

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By rollzone, April 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

hello. religion is so personal. true faith never declines. those able to experience it may decline. religion can only be doubted to its cornerstone, and when challengers cannot destroy the religion; it must have life of its own. counting atheists or believers of different gods is amusing, and the inherrent supposed ramifications on a social level are; as well. is knowing faith more complete; or delusional? does your mind rule your spirit? what others experience in no way is what i experience. it is the same for you. is death the decline of life?

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ApprxAm's avatar

By ApprxAm, April 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

The decline in the influence of one party on Evangelical?  Really?  Where does that stat come from?

Sounds to me hopefulness and not reality based.

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