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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-07-15 04:30
Subject: [links] Link salad wakes en Mass
Security: Public
Tags:cool, culture, guns, links, music, nature, personal, politics, religion, science
The Problem Is You — The Internet and work ethics.

Google+ Improves on Facebook — (Via my Dad.)

Dawn probe set to orbit Asteroid Vesta

Loss of predators in the food chain can alter the ecosystem — As the Tea Party says, "We cannot elevate nature above people. That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights."

The Mere Sight of an American Flag Can Shift Voters Republican — Exposure to Lee Greenwood has the opposite effect on me.

A Gun Activist Takes Aim at U.S. Regulatory Power — When you vote Republican, you're voting for this nonsense. Hope you're proud of it.

Church Doctrines and Politics — Conservative Commentator Daniel Larison on Michele Bachmann's religion. He's cheating a bit in this essay, in that he sidesteps the fact that Bachmann's church explicitly declares in so many words that the Pope is the Antichrist. Not that I care personally in that other people are free to argue all day long over their imaginary friends, but that's a bit more than the abstract doctrinal difference Larison is pretending is at stake. Also, c.f. Jeremiah Wright, who was very important to the press during the last election. Will Your Liberal Media treat Bachmann or Romney's religious beliefs with the same critical eye they brought to Obama?

The Bible on marriage, in its own words — And Jesus was a single dude who mostly only hung out with men. One man, one woman, my ass. Read your own damned Bible, Christianists, instead of laying the hate on my GLBT friends for wanting the same rights you already have. (Snurched from Dispatches From the Culture Wars.)

Secular charities don't discriminate — Making the point that religious charities, pretty much by definition, do. Mmm, that thousand points of light really shines.

?otD: Con this weekend?

Writing time yesterday: 2.5 hours (Sunspin)
Body movement: n/a (suburban walking to come)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-07-15 12:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is a misconception that religious charities discriminate by their nature. I wouldn't be surprised if some do, but most religious charities do not discriminate, and many do not mix proselytization with charity work. We looked at adoption through Catholic Social Services and Lutheran Social Services, for example, and neither organization asked our religion or attempted to proselytize us at any point, and there was no religious test to participate. On the other hand, I have a relative who is a "youth minister" with a christian charity that "helps" teen mothers, and I can tell that proselytization is a huge part of the organization's mission, so I ignore the letters she regularly sends to family asking for support. (She is also taking a trip to China to proselytize, even though that's illegal in China. She's hoping to fly under the radar and proselytize on the down low, which annoys me a lot.)
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-07-15 13:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Absolutely. It really depends upon the religious charity. Those from traditions with a strong history of proselytizing will extend that tradition even into their charity work (and I might point out this is not limited to Christian charities, either).

Larison also really does miss the point, though one of his commentators makes it for him when someone who was raised fundamentalist Baptist commented that they viewed Lutherans as Catholic light (Lutherans really, really don't see themselves that way). My Missouri-Synod-raised Lutheran husband cracks jokes all the time about Catholic bead jigglers, in response to the Catholic wife and son....but he also comes from a family where Lutherans and Catholics predominate. I have been all but explicitly told by my Evangelical relatives that I'm cursed because I'm associated with the Whore of Babylon, i.e., Rome.

But that's okay because I just shrug my shoulders and say "Hey. That Rapture stuff you believe in? That's heresy, folks. No Biblical or liturgical authority for premillenial dispensationalism. Nineteenth century theology. Heretic!" (trust me, if it gets to that point in my family, we're semi-serious. Too damn many ministers and wannabe ministers in the bloodlines, including yours truly at one point in my life. Though the Catholic Church was much more willing to give me more liturgical authority and roles than the Prots ever were...says the ex-liturgical and Extraordinary Eucharistic minister).
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User: daveraines
Date: 2011-07-15 21:11 (UTC)
Subject: Those nasty church charities
Hey, thanks for giving those of us with imaginary friends a chance to come out and play. Though I prefer the term "invisible friends."

Your accusation is even more sweeping than Ed's, who at least noted that church charities do all kinds of good work. And the whole thing basically is about Catholic adoption agencies refusing to serve gay couples who desire to adopt. Personally, I agree that this is a tragedy. But leaving aside the question of whether a sample of three constitutes a "trend" (which Mike Meno says it does, and I'd probably agree, but it's bad statistics) - I'd make these points:

1. All agencies discriminate. When resources are scarce, who do we feed? The church I led for seven years decided to feed, not simply the poor, but the community: 50 homeless people, three times a week, but also church folks and neighborhood folks. Didn't turn anyone away, didn't proselytize, but we "discriminated" on the basis of folks who wanted to be part of this kind of atmosphere. Secular agencies discriminate on a different set of criteria. And I'm glad they do. We have our niche, they have a different mission. Again, I think the decision by Catholic adoption agencies to close is tragic. But they've decided they can't serve people under the conditions the state laid down. So members of the agency who are people of faith found another way to serve as individuals.

2. You're a world traveler. I'd encourage you to blog about your experiences feeding the hungry, or seeing them fed; sheltering the homeless, or seeing them sheltered; starting community gardens; all of which my church of 70 attenders did. Or telling tales about seeing wells dug, buildings built, health care delivered to the sites of the planet's most desperate humanitarian disasters, including the Sudan and Haiti; both of which my denomination is involved with, and many more.

I know you're aware of these things. As your time and energy and spoons permit, I think it would be really fascinating for your to share your experiences, not only your opinions, nor even your reasoning. I think that would help us understand each other.

Here is the original post that spawned Ed Brayton's response:


(- a title which, again, is not true, but there you go.)

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User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-07-15 13:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just a FYI: Clicking on the Google+ story link takes you to the Secular Charities article.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-07-15 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fixed, thank you.
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Kevin Roche
User: kproche
Date: 2011-07-15 13:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think this might be the correct link:
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-07-15 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fixed, thank you.
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