Religion

Iceland Bans American Televangelists…

 

Iceland bans American televangelists. Traditional Icelanders living in turf houses rejoice.
Iceland bans American televangelists. Traditional Icelanders living in turf houses rejoice.

From Laughing In Disbelief

Reykjavik, Iceland – This island nation situated in the North Atlantic took a monumental leap forward today by passing legislation banning American televangelists.The Icelandic Psychological Defense Act (IPDA) takes effect immediately. No American televangelist may set his or her foot in the small nation of 330,000 souls. No programming by such people may be shown on Icelandic television or played on the radio.

Genesis of the Icelandic Psychological Defense Act

Like most of the world, Iceland is watching the United States of America with growing concern. President Trump won the election in part by blowing demagogic dog whistles so loud even racist German Shepherds across the Atlantic could hear. Many in Iceland wondered if he could’ve won without the support of conservative churches and their faith-based flocks hoping for the biblical apocalypse?

The answer is obvious.

Prime Minister Andrew Kanard touted the IPDA while soaking in one of the many hot springs the country enjoys:

We in Iceland value our relationship with the United States of America. It is a great nation with a history they should be proud of. Currently, however, they seem off whatever medication their doctor prescribed for them. Iceland wishes to support our friend in need. In that spirit, we are sending teachers over there to educate and assist rural communities infected with ignorance and superstition. What we will not do is allow ourselves to be invaded by that ignorance and superstition which is propagated by televangelists.

Icelandic Psychological Defense Act’s Controversies

The decision to ship vital resources to the United States is done with a heavy heart. Much needed resources slated for sub-Saharan Africa must now be directed to the country with the most bloated military budget in the world.

“It’s a waste. They are willfully ignorant. It doesn’t matter how many math textbooks you give them. They have the Bible,” remarked one anonymous African politician.

Icelandic and American conservative Christian relations soured ever since Iceland declared Christianity a public health threat. This new action is causing American televangelists to declare a spiritual holy war against Iceland.  Prayer groups are forming to pray-bomb Iceland back into the Bronze Age. If they are successful, then it is expected the country will become the 14th state of the Confederacy.

President Trump recently announced a brand new strategy of adding more troops in Afghanistan to fight religious fanaticism that is different from American religious fanaticism. In a tweet, the President announced that troops could easily put down rebellions in NATO countries affected by secular fanaticism.Iceland isn’t taking those threats seriously. With Trump under siege politically at home, the American President is probably too busy destroying his own country than to attack little Iceland.
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Study Shows Religion May Be Contributing to Unprecedented Political Divide

 

From Friendly Atheist

People in the United States might be more politically divided than any other time in recent memory, but what’s causing it? According to a new study, religious groups could be a part of the problem.

Researchers found that religious leaders are even more politically divided than the majority of Americans — including people in their own congregations — with certain denominations (such as Unitarians and Reform Jews) leaning extremely Democratic and others (such as evangelical Christians and Baptists) considered “overwhelmingly republican.”

The authors of the survey, called Partisan Pastor: The Politics of 130,000 American Religious Leaders, also noted that congregational religious leaders are “elite influencers” that affect the attitudes and behaviors of ordinary Americans.

Watch Religions Spread Around The World…

 


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Losing my religion: life after extreme belief…

 

 

Megan Phelps-Roper
‘I weep thinking about how callous and unmerciful I was’: Megan Phelps-Roper. 

From The Guardian

Megan Phelps-Roper, 30, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church

My first memories are of picketing ex-servicemen’s funerals and telling their families they were going to burn in hell. For us, it was a celebration. My gramps was the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, so it wasn’t just our religion – it was our whole life. I don’t remember much before the picketing. I was allowed to mix with other kids early on, but over time my world shrank.

We believed it was a Good vs Evil situation: that the WBC was right and everybody else was wrong, so there was no questioning. It was a very public war we were waging against the “sinners”. I asked a lot of questions as I got older, but there’s a big difference in asking for clarification and actually questioning the beliefs you’re taught. I spent so much time reading the Bible, trying to see the world through this very particular framework, that to have truly considered [it was wrong] was inconceivable. I’d seen members leave in the past, including my brother, and the thought of ever leaving the church was my worst nightmare.

Bill Burr on christianity, church, religion, and god…

 


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The Importance of Religion by State…

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Joseph Campbell: Metaphor and Religious Mystery…

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Excerpts From Thou Art That (2001)
Joseph Campbell

Metaphors only seem to describe the outer world of time and place. Their real universe is the spiritual realm of the inner life. The Kingdom of God is within you.

The problem, as we have noted many times, is that these metaphors, which concern that which cannot in any other way be told, are misread prosaically as referring to tangible facts and historical occurrences. The denotation—that is, the reference in time and space: a particular Virgin Birth, the End of the World—is taken as the message, and the connotation, the rich aura of the metaphor in which its spiritual significance may be detected, is ignored altogether. The result is that we are left with the particular “ethnic” inflection of the metaphor, the historical vesture, rather than the living spiritual core.

Inevitably, therefore, the popular understanding is focused on the rituals and legends of the local system, and the sense of the symbols is reduced to the concrete goals of a particular political system of socialization. When the language of metaphor is misunderstood and its surface structures become brittle, it evokes merely the current time-and-place-bound order of things and its spiritual signal, if transmitted at all, becomes ever fainter.

It has puzzled me greatly that the emphasis in the professional exegesis of the entire Judeo-Christian-Islamic mythology has been on the denotative rather than on the connotative meaning of the metaphoric imagery that is its active language. The Virgin Birth, as I have mentioned, has been presented as an historical fact, fashioned into a concrete article of faith over which theologians have argued for hundreds of years, often with grave and disruptive consequences. Practically every mythology in the world has used this “elementary” or co-natural idea of a virgin birth to refer to a spiritual rather than an historical reality. The same, as I have suggested, is true of the metaphor of the Promised Land, which in its denotation plots nothing but a piece of earthly geography to be taken by force. Its connotation—that is, its real meaning—however, is of a spiritual place in the heart that can only be entered by contemplation.

List of Religions and Spiritual Traditions…

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From Wikipedia

Abrahamic religions

A group of monotheistic traditions sometimes grouped with one another for comparative purposes, because all refer to a patriarch named Abraham.

Bábism

Bahá’í Faith

Bible vs Quran — Test Your Knowledge of Who Deserves Death in Which Religion…

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From Valerie Tarico

The world has watched in horror while members of ISIS justify the next mass murder or icy execution with words from the Quran, followed by shouts of Allahu Akbar—God is the greatest! If beliefs have any power whatsoever to drive behavior—and as a psychologist I think they do—there can be little doubt that the Quran’s many endorsements of violence play a role in how exactly ISIS has chosen to pursue religious and political dominion.

At the same time, it should be equally clear a sacred text filled with violence is insufficient to trigger mass brutality unless other conditions are present as well. Culture, empathy, education and empowerment—and other factors that scholars understand only in part—appear to have a protective influence, safeguarding even most fundamentalists against the worst teachings of their own tradition. We know this in part because the Bible contains commandments and stories that are as horrific as those being used to justify butchery in Iraq and Syria.

The following 30 violent exhortations are a mix, drawn from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures. The generic word God is used for all deity names, and names of places or people have been replaced with generic terms. How well do you know your Torah, Bible, or Quran and Hadith? Can you tell which is which? Give it a try and then check the key at the bottom.