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Nov 28 2012

Holy Mohler

Did you know that Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has an almost daily round-up of of issues of concern for good conservative Christians called The Briefing? It’s on his website, under the category Urgent, because it’s all very, very important stuff, you know. I browse it occasionally to see what’s making Christian hemorhoids burn now; it’s kind of like the flip side of The Morning Heresy, if Paul Fidalgo were a glassy-eyed regressive conservabot zealot, but it’s not quite as demented as trying to read WingNut Daily — Mohler, dull and blinkered as he is, is someone mainstream religious conservatives take seriously.

Anyway, you might want to look in now and then, just to see what the staidly stupid Christian right is up to. Here’s a summary of a recent edition:

  1. He defends Black Friday, that orgy of raging consumerism, because “Christians must understand the moral complexity of a market economy”, and we must support retailers so they can keep people employed. What would Jesus say?

  2. Something I agree with: the state should not be involved in religious education at all. Of course, his reasons are a little different: it’s because state religion is a “tepid, lukewarm, lifeless distortion of Christianity” which led people like Dawkins and Hitchens to repudiate religion altogether.

  3. OMG, the University of Wisconsin-Madison funded the Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics student group on campus, to a degree comparable to that of Christian clubs! Beware, those universities are hotbeds of secularism.

  4. Paul Krugman has “assaulted” Marco Rubio for being a creationist. Doesn’t Krugman realize that this means he denies the truths revealed in the Bible?

  5. Britain isn’t making typewriters anymore. How sad. That damn future keeps rising up and burying the antique relics that established his worldview.

The nice thing about it is that you quickly realize that Christians and atheists are mostly interested in exactly the same issues. The big difference: Christians are mostly wrong about everything.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    shouldbeworking

    No more typewriters?!!! Thanks, I’m really feeling my age now.

  2. 2
    Zeno

    But I like typewriters! (They’ll have to take my IBM Correcting Selectric III from my cold, dead hands!)

    (Funny how the typewriter is the one thing we can really relate to in that list of inanities!)

  3. 3
    skeptifem

    He defends Black Friday, that orgy of raging consumerism, because “Christians must understand the moral complexity of a market economy”, and we must support retailers so they can keep people employed. What would Jesus say?

    most people don’t know that jesus actually owned a chain of corndog stands.

  4. 4
    zoebrain

    Something I wrote on the Australian Skeptics list. Apologies for the length.

    On 28/11/2012 11:12 PM, Kevin Salter wrote:
    >
    > Sorry to hear the sad news Zoe.
    > Hope the send off and celebration of your mum’s life goes to plan.
    >

    Pretty much it did. Some technical sound problems, but nothing major.

    Hymns – Abide with Me, and Amazing Grace – both beautiful pieces of music.

    Main reading – 1 Corinthians 13

    The New Jerusalem version is what the Catholic church uses today – I prefer KJV 1645 but no matter.

    1. Though I command languages both human and angelic — if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.
    2. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains — if I am without love, I am nothing.
    3. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned — if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
    4. Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,
    5. it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.
    6. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.
    7. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
    8. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.
    9. For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly;
    10. but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.
    11. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.
    12. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.
    13. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.

    Pretty much, yes. Belief in gods optional.

    You can know all the various scriptures, Bibles, Korans, the Bhaghavid-Gita and Book of Mormon, and Babylonian Talmud backwards and forwards. But if you’re a dick, you’ve missed the point.

    Hold grudges, be “Holier than thou”, insist on your rights no matter who it hurts or how disproportionate that is, and generally be a theologically (or atheistically) sound obnoxious twerp, you’ve screwed up completely.

    Be Kind. That’s about it.

    Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 31a
    On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, ‘Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.’ Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder’s cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, ‘What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.’

    Rabbi Hillel was probably the greatest of the Pharisaic scholars. Which puts a new light on Matthew 22:34-40 (also a reading I chose – 35-38 for Mum, 39-40 for both of us)

    34. But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together
    35. and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question,
    36. ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’
    37. Jesus said to him, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
    38. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
    39. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
    40. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.’

    Epic Pwnage, using a Pharisaic saint’s words back at Pharisaic rules-lawyers – the original quoted Hillel exactly, but things got lost a bit in re-re-re-transation.

    Horatio Nelson said:
    “But, in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside the enemy.”

    Same idea in a different context. If it’s not obvious what the right thing to do is – you can’t go very wrong by doing as you would be done by. In case of a clash, for example between religion and unbelief – just be as kind as you can, and don’t sweat the small stuff. The Holy Family church certainly didn’t when it came to me. The Pope may have said that Intersex people are Vermin, a threat to the Human Ecology, but that was inconsequential to them. They were kind. I may not believe in gods, but I tried to be kind too.

    Thanks everyone for your support. It’s helped.

    I fear Mr Mohler’s lost the plot.

  5. 5
    hexidecima

    ““tepid, lukewarm, lifeless distortion of Christianity”

    as opposed to Mohler’s hateful ignorant version of Christianity. Oh look the TrueChristians(tm) strike again.

  6. 6
    jose

    Why are christians in America so pro free market.

    We have socialist christians over here.

  7. 7
    jose

    I mean free market as in “savage, unregulated free market that thinks if you lose your home you should die on the streets because its your fault so fuck you” – that type of free market.

  8. 8
    Larry

    No more typewriters??

    The horror.

    The horror.

  9. 9
    Zugswang

    Britain isn’t making typewriters anymore. How sad. That damn future keeps rising up and burying the antique relics that established his worldview.

    I still haven’t recovered from the transition of horses to automobiles, or abacuses to calculators. I refuse to do any calculations that don’t involve moving beads across rods.

  10. 10
    Becca Stareyes

    jose @ 6

    I think it’s because the Republican Party has so courted the extreme Christians that they’ve become convinced that the Republican Party is the political arm of the church, and the church is the religious arm of the party — so they have to be pro-laissez faire capitalism and anti-government anything and anti-environmentalism because that’s what God’s Own Party says is right and just.

  11. 11
    Sili

    I keep getting surprised that Mohler is a Baptist. I can’t help but think that he sounds like he should be a rabbi.

  12. 12
    xenithrys

    Britain isn’t making typewriters any more? Why pick on Britain? Nobody is making typewriters now. The last factory closed a couple of years ago. It was in India. But I see why this is a crisis: where is the Southern Baptist Seminary going to get its typewriters from when the old ones wear out?

  13. 13
    cswella

    Typewriters? Is that like some new brand of keyboards?

  14. 14
    DLC

    Someone tell Dr Righteous that we don’t make buggy whips much anymore either, and to get a damn computer and a printer like everybody else. Crikey.

    Why does the religious right love Jesus so much ?
    They don’t. They love power, and saying “my authority comes from God” means no one can ever take it away.

  15. 15
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    If a typewriter was good enough for Jesus, why do we need more?

  16. 16
    marcus

    Another excellent, concise and articulate take-down by Paul Krugman. Brilliant.

  17. 17
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Britain isn’t making typewriters anymore!?!?

    Is this also the end of the horse-drawn zeppelin???

    (frantic typewriter noises) Fly! Damn you! Fly!!!

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