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The Difference Between "Conservative Christians" and Liberal Progressive Christians

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    This is excerpted and quoted from an article titled Why the "Religious Right" Is Wrong, Part 2.)

    The Difference Between "Conservative Christians" and Liberal Progressive Christians.

    Since so many right-wing partisan Conservatives make a show of being Christians, it is helpful to observe how Liberals and Conservatives interpret Christianity differently.

    Conservative Christians focus on the patriarchal aspects and quote Jesus as saying "I am the Way, and the Truth," and "I and the Father are one," even though they don't understand what Jesus meant by that. Instead, they sum up Jesus’ message as "Believe I am God Himself and obey me or you're going to suffer in hell for eternity." It's an authoritarian, patriarchal approach.

    Liberal progressive Christians, on the other hand, focus on a more balanced approach including the matriarchal aspects that are around the Golden Rule, and around peace, love, freedom, compassion, charity, forgiveness, and pacifism, acknowledging the idea that it will be the humble, gentle, peaceful and meek who shall inherit the earth.

    Those two approaches inevitably produce the situation we have now, with proud and militant Conservative Christians trying to impose and enforce their beliefs, while Liberal Christians usually do not retaliate but instead tend to turn the other cheek.

    So, who are the real Christians? That is a crucial question that must be answered, because it goes to the heart of the dilemma we face. And we face it because while conservative traditional Christians insist they are the true Christians and tend to be theocratic, liberal progressive Christians disagree. And they have disagreed since the late 1700s.

    Thomas Jefferson, the principle author of the American Declaration of Independence, wrote: “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect (or religion) over another.

    Jefferson wrote that the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution was to “build a wall of separation between church and state.” And in his autobiography he even wrote that the name Jesus Christ should not be added to any legal government document, because we must protect “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.”

    In 1981, when the “religious right” was on the rise in America, even the conservative Republican elder, Barry Goldwater, said:  “The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups, and we mustn’t stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.”

    Walter Cronkite said:  “I consider myself a person of faith. I work very hard at being a Christian. And certainly, the Christian Coalition does not speak for me. What’s more, I am absolutely sure that the Christian Coalition does not speak for the great majority of men and women of faith in this country. And I, for one, am not prepared to stand by and permit Mr. (Pat) Robertson and his friends to get away with wrapping their harsh right wing views in the banner of religious faith.”

    Of course, today you have to be very brave to say such things, because the leaders of the “religious right” are quick to accuse critics of being “anti-religion” and of “persecuting Christians.” And even though that is not true, most real Christians are simply too polite and politically correct to voice their criticism any more.

    (Excerpted and quoted from Why the "Religious Right" Is Wrong, Part 2.)
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    Guy -- Excellent article.  I hope others read it.

    The rhetoric of Robertson and the late Falwell has been so crazy that I cannot understand how anyone would contribute money to those hate mongers. And it scares me that Pat Robertson's Regent University and Jerry Falwell's Liberty University are engaged in political indoctrination of the students that attend these universities.  Remember Regent University law school graduate, Monica Goodling, who at the age of 33 was responsible for the firing of highly qualified and experienced US attorneys that did not fit the Republican ideology?

    On the other hand, Rick Santorum accuses regular universities of being indoctrination mills: "I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely," he said. "The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”

    Yet isn't this precisely what Regent and Liberty Universities are doing? Indoctrinating.  In Santorum's Christian worldview all universities except perhaps Regent and Liberty and others like Oral Roberts University are harmful to our country.  Really crazy talk from someone who aspires to be President of the United States. In his worldview, the Monica Goodling's of this world are doing God's work, properly trained and indoctrinated for that role, of course, at Regent University.

    A Republican goal is to stack the offices of US Attorneys and judges with graduates from Liberty and Regent University or the like.  We should be wary.



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    Schmidt Wrote: Guy -- Excellent article.  I hope others read it.


    The rhetoric of Robertson and the late Falwell has been so crazy that I cannot understand how anyone would contribute money to those hate mongers. And it scares me that Pat Robertson's Regent University and Jerry Falwell's Liberty University are engaged in political indoctrination of the students that attend these universities.  Remember Regent University law school graduate, Monica Goodling, who at the age of 33 was responsible for the firing of highly qualified and experienced US attorneys that did not fit the Republican ideology?


    On the other hand, Rick Santorum accuses regular universities of being indoctrination mills: "I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely," he said. "The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”


    Yet isn't this precisely what Regent and Liberty Universities are doing? Indoctrinating.  In Santorum's Christian worldview all universities except perhaps Regent and Liberty and others like Oral Roberts University are harmful to our country.  Really crazy talk from someone who aspires to be President of the United States. In his worldview, the Monica Goodling's of this world are doing God's work, properly trained and indoctrinated for that role, of course, at Regent University.


    A Republican goal is to stack the offices of US Attorneys and judges with graduates from Liberty and Regent University or the like.  We should be wary.



    Schmidt,

    I'm glad you liked it. And your points are right on.

    That's why we need to be persistent in telling the truth, and exposing bigotry, hypocrisy, and deception.
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    Since about 5% of Universities are "Christian" I'm certain the anti-Christian 95% will prevent any conspiracy theory re:Judges and Attorney Gens.Obama's boys are in charge now are they not, so lets start with some conspiracy theories the other way, sounds like the Christian Univ..are the 1%
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    Cracam,

    Your comment doesn't make sense to me. But if you would like to discuss the issue I have raised, it would be better.
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    Not sure how you think the Republicans are "stacking anything since they are not the Gov't. My point was your sounding like Christian universities are the "elite 1%" that are getting all the legal nominations. Do you not think the reverse would be true if it was a Democrat in a position to appoint jobs/positions?
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    Cracam Wrote: Not sure how you think the Republicans are "stacking anything since they are not the Gov't. My point was your sounding like Christian universities are the "elite 1%" that are getting all the legal nominations. Do you not think the reverse would be true if it was a Democrat in a position to appoint jobs/positions?


    What are you talking about?  I said nothing about universities. I said nothing about an "elite 1%." And I said nothing about "legal nominations." Therefore your question makes no sense.

    If you could frame a question that is relevant to what I've written, they I'd be glad to address it.
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    Every religious affiliation's goal is to indoctrinate the pupil.  Knowledge, itself, is the indoctrination of the student.  To know only one 'truth', or side of it, is to limit society's ability to progress for the benefit of all.  We are all, what; how 'bout Americans.  Second, we are what; how 'bout Indivduals?  Each of US has a different outlook, prospectus, abilities, and a whole lot of other differences.  Yet, we call ourselves, Americans.  Why Americans, and not some other name?  Maybe, cause we remember, deep inside, that the American is Tolerant.  That's the 'Bill of Rights' allowing each of US, to be what we aspire to be; the Idividual.  Where Religion is, is based on our Individual Fears.  If one is afraid of Hell, then one may create there on; Right here on earth.  The Church and The State, intertwined form the Left Communist, and the Right Totalitarian.  Only in the Middle, as spoused by Martin Luther, can Church be Seperated from the State.  Where Morality, spoused by St. Augustine, and more recently, Madison, is the cornerstone for life in the State.  Religion, Right or Left, Christian or Muslim, is an extraordinary means to compel the Individual to conform to the wishes of the group, the 'single minded' society, or 'the will' of the State, or all three.
    Where every student has the ability to educate themself, before, during, and after college indoctrination, is to allow the progress of thought, for the increase of knowledge.
    Let's not be afraid of where we are going; let's be cognisant of the path we are on. 
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    Since a mind taught rational thought will question the beliefs of a religion it only makes sense that the religious leaders would feel threatened by the public unversities, and PBS and NPR and The Muppets.... and strike out at them.
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    DaveRHancock Wrote: Every religious affiliation's goal is to indoctrinate the pupil.  Knowledge, itself, is the indoctrination of the student.  To know only one 'truth', or side of it, is to limit society's ability to progress for the benefit of all.  We are all, what; how 'bout Americans.  Second, we are what; how 'bout Indivduals?  Each of US has a different outlook, prospectus, abilities, and a whole lot of other differences.  Yet, we call ourselves, Americans.  Why Americans, and not some other name?  Maybe, cause we remember, deep inside, that the American is Tolerant.  That's the 'Bill of Rights' allowing each of US, to be what we aspire to be; the Idividual.  Where Religion is, is based on our Individual Fears.  If one is afraid of Hell, then one may create there on; Right here on earth.  The Church and The State, intertwined form the Left Communist, and the Right Totalitarian.  Only in the Middle, as spoused by Martin Luther, can Church be Seperated from the State.  Where Morality, spoused by St. Augustine, and more recently, Madison, is the cornerstone for life in the State.  Religion, Right or Left, Christian or Muslim, is an extraordinary means to compel the Individual to conform to the wishes of the group, the 'single minded' society, or 'the will' of the State, or all three.
    Where every student has the ability to educate themself, before, during, and after college indoctrination, is to allow the progress of thought, for the increase of knowledge.
    Let's not be afraid of where we are going; let's be cognisant of the path we are on. 


    I can agree with much of what you said, though not much of it is relevant to my original post. But I disagree with some of what you said.

    Knowledge gained through life experience and formal education is not "indoctrination." 

    The main definition of Indoctrination is that it is designed to cause an individual to believe in a certain religious or political doctrine or set of doctrines, or ideology, especially dogmatically. And doctrines and dogma are not necessarily based on truth, but on belief and ideology.

    Granted, some teachers and professors in our schools and universities teach beliefs along with truth and facts. Nevertheless, formal education can help students gain knowledge and learn truths and facts, and they can think for themselves to establish their own beliefs.

    But you are right that every student has the ability to educate their self, ultimately. I have learned much more on my own than I ever learned in schools and universities.

    You are also right that we should not be afraid of where we are going, and we should realize what path we are on. But I would add that that we'd better be damned sure we learn the lessons of history, understand and accept where we been and why we're here, so that we can proceed toward a brighter future.
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    WovenGems Wrote: Since a mind taugh taught rational thought will question the beliefs of a religion it only makes sense that the religious leaders would feel threatened by the public unversities, and PBS and NPR and The Muppets.... and strike out at them.


    I don't think all religious leaders feel threatened by higher education, or by science. In fact, I think most religious leaders are fine with it.

    Fundamentalist religious leaders, however, are definitely threatened by higher education and science -- especially fundamentalist Christians. And I think the reason why they are threatened and why they slander, attack, accuse, demonize and label "godless secular humanists" is because of a fundamentally flawed theology based on a literal and false interpretation of scriptures.

    Fundamentalist biblical literalists misunderstand the true purpose of religion, which is why they simply ignore the Golden Rule, or the Universal Divine Imperative: Treat all others as you would want to be treated if you were them.

    Fundamentalist religious leaders simply do not understand why critics and most people are against them, because most people are against "religious" bigotry and hypocrisy, and theocratic imposition, NOT against religion.
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    Guy Dwyer Wrote:
    WovenGems Wrote: Since a mind taugh taught rational thought will question the beliefs of a religion it only makes sense that the religious leaders would feel threatened by the public unversities, and PBS and NPR and The Muppets.... and strike out at them.


    I don't think all religious leaders feel threatened by higher education, or by science. In fact, I think most religious leaders are fine with it.

    Fundamentalist religious leaders, however, are definitely threatened by higher education and science -- especially fundamentalist Christians. And I think the reason why they are threatened and why they slander, attack, accuse, demonize and label "godless secular humanists" is because of a fundamentally flawed theology based on a literal and false interpretation of scriptures.

    Fundamentalist biblical literalists misunderstand the true purpose of religion, which is why they simply ignore the Golden Rule, or the Universal Divine Imperative: Treat all others as you would want to be treated if you were them.

    Fundamentalist religious leaders simply do not understand why critics and most people are against them, because most people are against "religious" bigotry and hypocrisy, and theocratic imposition, NOT against religion.



    So true. The problem both Christianity and Islam are facing is that their religions message has been stolen by fundamentalists. And both religion are fighting an uphill battle due to the worldwide press wanting clowns in news. And let's face it, good folks doing good things won't make the news. 
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    A very interesting stream of thought here today. Some deep penetrating explanations and ideas. (I'm not sure I can add anything to this, but  I will try anyway.)

    The problem with the "right wing" Fundamentalists, is that they are not so much a religion as it is a group of ideologues who "use" a False Religion to propagandize people to their Political Viewpoint. -- It is subversion of government, masquerading as spiritual faith. Insidiously as they progress, the intent is to brain-wash their converts to Fascism.

    METHODS used by the RIGHT WING to "indoctrinate" people to THEIR BELIEFS:

    When trying to indoctrinate a free nation into accepting Fascism (& abandoning their Freedom) one has to have a tempting "carrot" and a punishing "stick" approach. The best way to do this (not to cause suspicion) is to use the FACADE of a Church. You know --- those innocent places of spiritual enlightenment. To save souls & refresh the spirit? But in cover of darkness, underground from prying eyes of government, they are now enabled to brain-wash their subjects (in the congregation) very subtly thru all the "carrots" of salvation, brotherhood, & heavenly grace. And keep them in line by fear of Damnation, Hell, & rejection by the flock (the "stick.")  It doesn't take long, with the usual unsuspecting & naiive mind, to keep their people under control. 

    Then the minister can preach that the EVIL in this world is due to the "liberals" or the Democratic party. (Since nobody is monitoring their right-wing messages, for truth and accuracy. Most people do not even realize that this insidious "indoctrination" is going on). BUT in fact this has been going on, with increasing intensity, for the last 50 years.

    As I have said before, the JBS (Birch Society) began in 1958, formed by 12 Republican millionaires, & their goal was to subvert democracy in America, & to form a Theocracy if possible, & at least an oligarchy ---- Rule by the Wealthy, & by the Corporations.

    In just 50 years, the JBS have 50% of our American voters "brain-washed" to believe anything they tell them. If Rush Limberger announced that the Easter Bunny was a subversive plot to destroy Free Markets and the Global Economy, the right wing would go out & shoot the Easter Bunny, & have joint gatherings with the GOP, the NRA & the T-party to celebrate.

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    Veronica,

    I agree with you about the “fundamentalist religious right.” They are basically Theocrats who violate the intent of the Founding Fathers. And their false religion, which is based on an extremely theocratic version of Pauline Christianity, violates the intent of Jesus of Nazareth.

    I would disagree with you about “Liberals,” however.

    When right-wing extremists tried to make "liberal" a dirty name, many Liberals started calling themselves Progressives. Of course that’s not to say that Liberals and Progressives are necessarily the same, because there can be some differences, and some Progressives are more to the left. But the meaning of the words is similar.

    Liberal means : "Favorable to progress or reform; advocating individual freedom of action and expression; advocating representational government as opposed to aristocracies or monarchies; advocating freedom from bigotry and prejudice; open-minded and tolerant; characterized by generosity," etc.

    Progressive means: "advocating progressive reform, especially in political and social matters, employing or advocating liberal ideas and new methods."

    I only mention that because I think we should be careful with our words and terminology. The more simple and concise our message and narrative, the more effective it will be.

    I consider myself an Independent Liberal Progressive. My political ideology is founded on the Jeffersonian idea of a Democratic Republic. But it has been shaped and advanced by a modern view provided here, which reminds us of why the Founding Fathers wrote Article 5 of the Constitution. They KNEW we would have to alter and reform our government, so they made provisions for it.

    I basically agree with you. I used to be pretty vehement and even angry about all the greed, hypocrisy, unfairness, inequity and injustice. But it’s taken a terrible toll on my body, so I now try to be positive, helpful, and try very hard to express a spirit of good will.  (And I've noticed that your posts are much more tempered. Congratulations, and good job.)

    That’s no easy thing to do, especially when we have speak truth to power and tell the truth even though it criticizes and exposes wrongdoers. I’m still trying to learn how to do that in a positive way. It aint easy.
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    Hello Mr. Dwyer: (ha) More specific than just saying "Hi Guy" --- I always enjoy your posts as they are somehow moderate and calming, while telling it exactly as it is. I really wish I could remain calm like that, but I have this insistent urge to scream "fire" instead of just going to the wash room to get a glass of water to pour over it. It is the clear understanding of the imminent peril we are in (election in less than 6 months) that makes me insistent on giving out the facts. Otherwise I could just relax & overeat & let Rome burn. By the way, did you notice it WAS burning? Especially in Colorado. That is some beautiful area. The Air Force Academy, the Garden of the Gods, & some gorgeous mountains there, like Pikes Peak. I used to go there a lot when I was a kid.

    I have read your links several times, & really believe 99.9% of it. (Even if I do not see any real difference between the terms: "liberal" & "progressive", it's not really too important).
    However, the substance of all you say (in the LINKS) is incredibly beautiful, idealistic, & almost mystic. It speaks the way Jesus would speak about America if he were here now.

    The true religions of the world preach peaceful resistance, tolerance, turn the other cheek, & being meek & mild, surrendering in the face of evil. This was a method that would allow you to survive from Roman times to the present, by not getting yourselves all killed in revolting against superior armies wielding brutal power over you. It worked.
    But NOW, we have only 2 choices. Submit and surrender. Or be into full Revolution.

    If we submit and surrender, all is lost. Democracy will disappear overnight, & we will wake up to a Nazi horror or Fascist tyranny. If we fight, the odds are incredibly against us, the money & brutal forces are on the side of EVIL. There is one great HOPE. Just remember David and Goliath. And even the Roman Empire & Nazi Germany (even when they had ALL the power on their side) were taken down by the infinite power of God. 

    Yes, being meek and mild has its place. Ghandi & others like him could "fast" for long periods of time & get lots of people on their side. But they also did not know that fasting is very damaging to the body & could weaken or even kill them, if it continued very long.
    But often being meek & mild is a self-defeating behavior. There are many who would consider that as a sign of weakness & stupidity. And they love to exploit those things.

    If there is a vicious snake in your path, & you cannot go back or change your direction, then you can stand there & let the snake bite you, OR you can crush it under your foot.
    Now maybe some folks could be a "snake charmer" & hypnotize the snake with music and opium. But most would have to defend themselves the old fashioned way.

    Believe it or not, a short ways ahead on our Nation's path, there is a vicious snake, & it may wave a flag that says "Don't Tread on Me" --- the decision is yours to make.

    I wish this had happened 10 or 15 years ago, when we still had TIME to gather all the votes necessary to Amend the Constitution, & erase the rules that allowed corporate interests to overtake our citizens rights. When we could use the Supreme Court for its divine purpose, as a last measure to protect "citizen's rights" against the Corrupt. But right now, today, the Supreme Court will defend the Corrupt against OUR legitimate grievances. MONEY has taken over our Govt, & that is anti-democracy & anti-God.

    Every word on that website you advocate, your personal LOGO, is completely accurate and I believe it is divinely inspired. You treasure the same ideals that I do, the belief in Christian principles, while also realizing that NO religion should claim supremacy over any other, but all share the common goal of living life for the GOOD of mankind. If we could all realize that living in "harmony" with all our brothers & sisters, is the ultimate source of Peace & Salvation, then we are already THERE. 

    Sometimes I believe that the ideal of Heaven is not really for all of us individually, but the ultimate civilization we will create, when living according to divine principles, will be "like heaven" to them then. This is a "new wave" thought, that our own genetics are our form of "living forever" as our dear DNA will reproduce us, over and over, as long as Time endures. That in some form or other, our DNA is the soul, --- & if you have seen, as I have seen, "duplicates" of my ancestors being born in this century, you just have to wonder. -- The Bible says, "you must be born again." Could that be REAL?