Thursday, April 5

Welcome to the Blog against Theocracy cafeteria.


Turns out we blogswarmers have been indicted as the perpetrators of the Hit Job on Easter. Memo to Bob Ellis: what's happening to you as you watch your hit counter today? It's called a woody. And thanks for shutting out all outside commenters to your blog. Shows you're a coward for Christ. I'll be praying for ya.

Lots of people are posting this weekend. People I've never heard of before. It's delightful.

I'm going to start putting up links at the blogswarm site asap. They won't be in any order except I'll always add new ones to the top of the list. I want people to browse and really, celebrate the wide variety of bloggers and how they approach this issue.

I wanted to blog a little today about a common accusation made against Christians like me, that I'm what's called a "Cafeteria Christian." It is what it sounds like: apparently there's this food pyramid called church doctrine, and if you don't take the whole thing in your mouth, well, you are just letting Jesus and the Church down, big time. Oh. And you'll probably go to hell.

Lemme give you a specific for instance from my own family: my kids are asking about Easter this week, and the oldest asked me why Jesus came back after he died. My answer, which would probably have the distinction of making both James Dobson AND Richard Dawkins gag, was this:

"He came back to show us that God loves us, and we don't have to worry about what happens after we die."

I mentioned this to Mr. Blue Gal (what they call a cradle-Episcopalian), and he laughed, rolled his eyes and said, "Wow! That's a pretty liberal interpretation of the Atonement!"

Hey. Blue Gal says, tough titties. The world is such a scary place, particularly now. Bees are abandoning their hives. God, that sounds like another poem, doesn't it? We are losing our planet. We are losing it. (I am losing it. Sorry.)

And one thing that happens, when humans get afraid, is they get insular. They look for an island of safety. For many, that means a limited, limited view of God and the universe. For others, it means locking up "the enemy" without a trial and without looking back. Invade and "fix" another country. Go shopping. Sale on flat-screen TVs. "You owe it to yourself." Spring into spring.

Oh. Sorry. Religion: "The Bible tells me so" is safe. Don't veer from it. Don't trust your own logic. Worship this book, it will keep you safe. I mean, sure, the Pope hates cafeteria style religion, that's his job. But for the rest of us, I just don't think we can go on anymore adopting dogma for the sake of dogma, whether it's from a church, a political party, or even "What Not To Wear". We've got to evolve, people.

Sorry this is already such a rambling post. My heart is full. The dialogue with Northstate Science, for instance. I can't get over, I just can't GET OVER, that what's happened with this blogswarm is that lefty-Christians and lefty everybody else?

We are finally talking to each other.


  1. Very interesting post.

  2. "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

    the buddha

    this is what i go by. i've had it on my blog a few times and i've sent it to others during discussions about religion.

    naturally, i had people assuming that i am buddist. i am not, but i have a friend who is. actually he is a soldier and has been in iraq twice.

    trouble with this quote is it says one has to actually THINK and compare and to take personal responsiblity for one's actions.

    much much easier to just go by 1 book or creed and find like minded people to reenforce those beliefs.

    in some sects that means bigotry is not only a good thing, but a holy thing. slavery, wife beating, murder, you name it, i'll bet it's sanctioned somewhere in someone's should live and breathe and grow as the times grow.

    i think everyone has their path to walk and i hope that everyone finds one that sustains them and helps them to be a better person. that path may be to not believe at all. that is a path too.


    some faiths just don't see it that way and so instead of finding the common ground we all share as human beings, we give into the worst of our natures from time to time and we are blashphemous and arrogant enough to do it in gods name.

  3. Thanks again for putting this thing together. It's gonna be HUGE.

  4. I've photoshopped up a special piece of propaganda for the occasion, feel free to use it:

    Blog Against Theocracy

  5. Yup. We will be talking to each other this weekend. Starting with this post.

    The question is, will we all be listening to each other? Because that to me is the problem, especially with the Left.

  6. Bob thinks we're trying to eliminate all expression of Christianity?

    Put down the communion wine, Bob, these are not the droids you're looking for.

  7. Anonymous4:25 PM

    I left some feedback on the post at Dakota Voice... whether anyone actually cares or reads them, I don't know. But I couldn't not say anything:

    "If, as you say, Theocracy doesn't exist, then why are you so afraid of people blogging against it? Anyone in this country should be against the idea of Theocracy - regardless of whether or not they think it's happening. And, as for religious groups being criticized heavily by the media - haven't we been criticizing Middle Eastern religions, Atheism, etc for a long, long time? Do they not get equal consideration, as religions (or lack thereof)? There are a lot of religious people who are against Theocracy - most of the people I've heard talk about it are Christian, even. In your case, it seems like you don't see Theocracy happening because it's favoring your religion, but what about those out there who are being denied the rights to worship or not, and to be free from laws that favor particular religions (and hinder others). I'm just asking that you think about it, and consider that you might be wrong."

    Religious people don't make me angry. People who don't think do. People who use their religion as an excuse for why they don't think, doubly so.

  8. i think a lot of christians are having to(for the first time) face the reality that they are NOT the only religion.

    it was always a "given" that the majority in this country and that went for our govenment as well, just spoke of holidays as christian and assumed that when they mentioned god in politics, in washington d.c. or in the classroom etc. that, of course it was jesus/god the father/ son and holy ghost,
    with a grudging nod toward jews.
    i can remember as a small child, the term "judeo-christian" was unknown.
    it was institutionalized christianity along with institutionalized racism and sexism.
    few thought anything about it unless something really awful brought it's unfairness and worse to the light of day.

    and so, now you have christians that are the "my way is the ONLY way" type
    kicking and screaming.

    they would never ever even settle for tolerence, they damn sure aren't going to let any "equality"
    happen without a fight.

    so they do the, you hate christians you hate god song and dance!

  9. "Theocracy doesn't exist..."

    Right. Tell that to these two.;_ylt=ArN9RDXpauPNwcEFYdo0LFLMWM0F

    Please note the part that says they had to go to CANADA to get married.

  10. I subscribe to the Holly Near philosophy that says: "ain't nothing wrong with a personal savior, except when it leads to bad behavior."

  11. Anonymous8:50 PM

    As I have commented before, I wish I had faith that the next Kleenex would pop up, but I don't. And it doesn't always.



  12. As we have seen, separation must be the way.

    If these folks cared so much, nothing and no one would want for anything if they were true to their beliefs!

  13. Faith is such a personal thing, and it amazes me how Christianity assumes that everyone is Christian (or oughta be.) In my own post today, blogging against Theocracy, I talk about those assumptions. But I also address my own assumptions which often come out of contempt prior to investigation.

    We need to talk to each other.

  14. i think that blue gal's post hit the left on the head. there are those of us who are just really sick of having christianity forcibly thrust down our throats. if we hadn't started lumping all of the christian folks together- and posting about it- i have my doubts that the 'thinking' christians would have moved to take their religion back from the neo crazies. just a thought for 'easter blogswarm 2007.'

  15. Anonymous10:37 AM

    i don't have room here to describe everything that bob ellis doesn't understand. just be glad you don't have to deal with him on a daily basis.

    especially when bob was one of the loudest proponents of anti-abortion legislation in a state whose constitution has a trigger-clause to automatically follow a federal overturn of roe v. wade.

    yeah, there's no theocracy, bob. pfft. moron.

  16. Let's be clear here- Theocracy and Christianity are two different things altogether.

    1. An objective explanation of what a theocracy is, or in what sense that term is used, has to deal with two very different approaches. For believers in a religion whose institutions have been more or less equated with the state's institutions in a theocracy, a theocracy is a form of government in which the divine power (for example, in monotheisms, the one God) governs an earthly human state, either in person (e.g., as incarnation in a human being) or, more often, via its religious institutional representative(s) (e.g., church, temple), either replacing or dominating the organs of civil government as clerical or spiritual representative(s) of god(s).

    Most modern descriptive dictionaries explain that the word is used in most carefully edited texts in English to mean either government by immediate divine guidance (close to the usage described above) or, more commonly, as government by or subject to religious institutions and priests (or a state ruled in this way). In other words, for people who do not believe in a theocracy's religion or feel that its religious institutions do not represent the religion well, a theocracy is a form of Gleichschaltung that purports to fulfill a divine intention but instead simply fulfills the goals of the ruling priests.

    AND Christianity-

    2. Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. With an estimated 2.1 billion adherents in 2001, Christianity is the world's largest religion. It is the predominant religion in Europe, the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippine Islands and Oceania. It is also growing rapidly in Asia, particularly in China and South Korea.

    Christianity shares its origins and many religious texts with Judaism, specifically the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament. Like Judaism and Islam, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion (see also, Judeo-Christian).

    The name "Christian" (Greek Χριστιανός), meaning "belonging to Christ" or "partisan of Christ", was first applied to the disciples in Antioch, as recorded in Acts 11:26. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Greek Χριστιανισμός) is by Ignatius of Antioch.

    So let's not marry the two when debating the reason for being anti-theocracy!


    Now that's an "ocracy" I will stand behind proudly...

  17. I need to get my ass in gear and post my theocracy blog.

  18. Wait, who's a "cafeteria Christian"? Aren't these the same guys who claim women can't be preachers but ignore the SAME epistle that says women aren't even allowed to speak in church and must wear headscarves? Aren't these the same guys who say they aren't homophobic and only oppose gay marriage, citiing Leviticus, but ignore the rest of the book that calls for homosexuals (and unruly children and persons who marry outside their race and people who don't keep kosher) to be put to death? The same guys who interpret EVERYTHING in the Bible literally EXCEPT Matthew 19:16-28? GAH! These apostates drive me up the wall!

  19. Anonymous9:39 PM

    I think that the Roman Catholic Church ought to have its name change to the Roman Cafeteria Church because only a small number of Catholic would agree with all the "menu items" in its theological "menu". After all, one can't sample everything in a large cafeteria or buffet. We would all be obese or a priest.

  20. Cafeteria Christian. I like it!

  21. Anonymous10:42 PM

    But for the rest of us, I just don't think we can go on anymore adopting dogma for the sake of dogma, whether it's from a church, a political party, or even "What Not To Wear". We've got to evolve, people.

    Just what I said today, more or less!

    Great minds.

  22. In addition to Cafeteria Christians, there are the Amway Christians -- the Christians who’ve forgotten that the original message of Jesus was to give away all your possessions and help the less fortunate. These Christians often celebrate how rich faith and prayer will make them; they often combine Christianity with capitalism without seeing the contradiction.

    Amway Christians attend a lot of rallies to get pumped up for recruiting more Christians. They treat heaven like a pyramid scheme...the more heathens they convert, the bigger mansion they get.

    After the rallies, they get in their big cars, get on their cell phones and run red lights because it's incomprehensible that they should be the first person who didn't make it through the left-turn signal.

    Amway Christians are the religious right who nailed Jesus to a tree, and they don't have time to repent because there are so many other people to save, and so little time...

  23. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Regarding the "Hit Job on Easter": Puhleeeze! I am SO beyond tired of Christians playing the victim card wherein they are all victims of some imaginary persecution.

    I am tired of militant Christians demanding that I greet them with Merry Christmas or demanding whatever it is they feel I should be doing at any given time.

    I don't care how anybody worships and I'm not trying to stop anybody from worshipping. I don't know anybody who is so it is very difficult for me to understand where this perception of persecution is coming from.

    Many Christians of my experience need to tend to the beams in their own eyes before considering the motes in the eyes of others.


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