New York Times Essay Calls for More Respect for Astrology

By Bo Gardiner.  Excerpts from the full article at Patheos.

Are astrology and other New Age beliefs a kind of religion for those without religion?  Real or not, should that religious stature grant them greater respect and less scoffing?  The stars say yes in a New York Times op-ed this past week by writer Krista Burton.  Does she make a good case?

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“Wonder Girl” is one of countless popular YouTuber astrologers offering daily life advice.

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Can We Please Stop Whitewashing Jesus?

As I write this, Twitter’s top trending hashtag is #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.

Guys, we need to talk.

Certainly it helps to expose the hypocrisy of conservative Christian “values voters” by comparing their economic views to those of Jesus. And it’s often a powerful point.  Jesus would not be thrilled with the spreading Trumpian philosophy that virtue is measured by financial success — the logical evolution of recent wildly popular “prosperity gospel” ministries.

So Twitter is filled with tweets like these today, that (no) God willing, will hopefully touch some hearts and minds:

Jesus may have been to the left on economic policy, but on social and military policy?  Sorry, but Jesus was no pro-gay, religiously tolerant peacenik.  Have we forgotten that there’s only one Christian god, and Jesus is the God of the Old Testament?  When we promote the Sandaled One’s words, we promote genocide, torture, slavery and rape and religious intolerance.  Just a few verses after the lefty favorite, “Blessed are the meek,” Jesus reiterates his support for the Old Testament, including his dad’s approval of genocide, slavery, rape and gay-stoning. Let the man-god himself remind you:

  • I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!  [Luke 12:49]
  • …for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people.  [Luke 21:22-23]
  • Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.  Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…  [Matthew 5:17-19]

Upset with right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry?  Tweeting how Jesus said we should be kind to strangers?  Inviting people to follow Jesus’ lead in respect for nonChristians?  Jesus?  Come now…

Read the rest at Patheos.

How 36,000 U.S. Christians spent this Sunday morning

Will the centuries of Abrahamists declaring jihad on disbelievers never cease?

Here’s what THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND “loving” American Christians did this Sunday morning: they spread a near-literal declaration of war on nonChristians, sharing on Facebook a war cry from Rev. Franklin Graham:

With the election drawing closer… as Christians we realize there’s another battle going on—it’s a battle for the soul of our nation… The forces of godless secularism want to remove the name of God and His Son Jesus Christ from the public realm… ‘take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day…’ Have you put on your armor?

The bigoted rhetoric is nothing new: Graham is finishing up his war campaign in all 50 states to stoke fear in the Christian majority and dehumanize the “wicked” nonChristian minority.

Graham doles out charity to the victims of religious strife, while ensuring there will ever be more with his drumbeat of religious hatred.

—Bo Gardiner

Jill Stein: Swing-State Voters Should Still Vote for Me Even If It Means Donald Trump Gets Elected

Jill Stein: Swing-State Voters Should Still Vote for Me Even If It Means Donald Trump Gets Elected

[Excerpt.  Read the full article at Patheos].

Al Jazeera’s UpFront host Mehdi Hasan confronted Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein last week about continuing her campaign knowing it could produce a Trump victory.

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Her responses seemed startlingly detached from reality, by

  • pretending she might win, despite polling at only 3-4%
  • denying that a progressive should be more alarmed by Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton
  • dismissing any personal responsibility to “get out of the way” of those working to stop Trump
  • rejecting the advice of prominent fellow Green Noam Chomsky to swing-state Greens to vote against Trump by voting for Clinton
  • immaturely insulting the man she asked to be her running mate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who now passionately urges voters to stand with Clinton, by suggesting he’s not acting on deeply held principles but rather that he’s someone who has “drunk the Kool-Aid.”

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Instead of Feeling ‘Blessed’ and ‘Praying for Haiti,’ Please Stop Voting to Make Their Storms Worse

Instead of Feeling ‘Blessed’ and ‘Praying for Haiti,’ Please Stop Voting to Make Their Storms Worse

The BBC reports that Hurricane Matthew has killed over 900 people; nearly wiped out whole towns; left tens of thousands of families homeless; destroyed crops, livestock and food supplies;  contaminated the drinking water; and released sewage that’s spreading disease.  The U.N. says “Haiti is facing the largest humanitarian event witnessed since the earthquake six years ago.”

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[A scene in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, photo via the U.N.]

While the U.N. and other nations help Haiti rebuild, some missionaries have gone to take some supplies and most likely the opportunity to evangelize victims, like Franklin Graham’s Christian mission Samaritan’s Purse.  The charity is asking the public for donations and “prayers in Jesus’ name.”

But part of their work, at least for its CEO, Rev. Graham, is to ensure the situation only worsens for Haiti.  He must like the hurricane-relief business, since he’s also America’s leading Christian crusader for Donald Trump, going to all fifty states to get out the vote for him in his Decision America tour.  Trump, who says climate change is a hoax concocted by the Chinese, will almost certainly increase our CO2 emissions and threaten global climate treaties if elected.  Graham himself calls climate change treaty efforts “godless,” “frightening,” and leading toward “moral depravity:”

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