avanta7: (Liberal Jesus)
avanta7: (Straight Not Narrow)
Linking for posterity's sake to this blog entry by [livejournal.com profile] blaueteufelin.

I couldn't agree with her more.

Whose God?

Jul. 4th, 2007 02:10 pm
avanta7: (Blog Against Theocracy)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lots of stuff in that First Amendment. The Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm concentrates on that first bit about religion.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The United States of America does not have a state-sponsored religion and is prohibited from having one. Its citizens are free to practice the religion of their choice, and the freedom to have no religion is implied. Seems simple enough, doesn't it?

In this country, the vast majority of those who claim a religion claim Christianity. A vociferously vocal segment of that population wants our legislators to make laws based on their fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Holy Bible. They agitate and speechify and take out large advertisements in newspapers, proclaiming their desire to return this nation to its "Christian" roots; they want to ban certain publications, restrict medical procedures, deny civil rights, all in the name of their God. Which is the only God that matters, apparently.

What if the predominant religion in this country was Orthodox Judaism? Buddhism? Islam? Rastafarianism? Pastafarianism?

These religions have no less validity than Christianity (except for, maybe, the Pastafarians). How do you think the Christian Right would feel if one of these religions began agitating and proselytizing in the same fashion? They'd feel threatened, don't you think? Perhaps even persecuted? Hey, turnabout's fair play, and all that, right?

All of us with any sense make decisions based on our own set of moral values, our determination of what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust. It's expected, even demanded, of us as rational adults and participating members of our community and country.

I have no quarrel with you if the conclusion you reach based on your set of values is different from the conclusion I reach. I must draw the line, however, when you seek to enforce your values by proclaiming "God's Law" and limiting my freedoms under the Constitution.

Whose God? Who decides?

Thankfully, our founders took measures to prevent such a thing by giving us the First Amendment. Your religion can dictate what you do, but it can't dictate what I do.

Thank God.

A contribution to the Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm, July 1-4, 2007.

First Amendment Center
First Freedom First
Theocracy Watch
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
avanta7: (Straight Not Narrow)
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can't have one without the other

Love and marriage, love and marriage
It's an institute you can't disparage
Ask the local gentry
And they will say it's elementary

Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one without the other

Unless... )

A contribution to the Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm, July 1-4, 2007.

First Freedom First
Theocracy Watch
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
avanta7: (Blog Against Theocracy)
Years ago, I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The story takes place in a near-future United States, now known as the Republic of Gilead. In this new society, women are not permitted to have jobs or money of their own, or even the most basic freedoms. They are assigned to various classes: some are Wives, sterile, childless, but superior in station by virtue of their husband's place in the heirarchy; some are Marthas, or housekeepers; and those who have borne at least one child are Handmaids, who rotate from married couple to married couple and serve as surrogate mothers, assuming, of course, they manage to conceive. We see this world through the eyes of Offred, a Handmaid, who longs for her life "before", when she had a husband and a home and a family of her own. Gradually, we understand that a declining birth rate triggered an extreme right-wing religious coup, resulting in a new theocratic government designed to control women and their reproductive abilities.

It is still the most frightening book I've ever read.

Oh, the times, they are a-changin'....or are they? )

I am one small person in one small town. My power is my vote. And I vote pro-choice. I urge you to do the same. The Republic of Gilead is closer than we think.
A contribution to the Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm, July 1-4, 2007.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
First Freedom First
Theocracy Watch
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
avanta7: (Blog Against Theocracy)
First things first.

I am a Christian. I believe in God. (The two are not mutually inclusive.) I attend the church of my choice fairly regularly. I sing and pray and worship in community with other like-minded believers. I recite the Apostle's Creed without cringing and partake of communion at the appropriate times. My faith brings me great joy and peace and comfort.

I am not a fundamentalist. Nor do I take the Bible literally. My Bible is a sacred text that contains truth as filtered through fallible human experience; it should be interpreted metaphorically and symbolically rather than literally. My God gave me a brain and expects me to use it. S/he expects me to think for myself, to make decisions for myself, to act in accordance with His will to the best of my understanding.

Mounting the soapbox )

As I said earlier, God gave me a brain and expects me to use it. And frankly, my interpretation of God's will is quite probably different from yours. Instead of saying "It's God's will that I support/oppose [insert issue of your choice]", we should defend our decisions with sound secular arguments, even if those decisions are made out of spiritual biases.
A contribution to the Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm, July 1-4, 2007.

First Freedom First
Theocracy Watch
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
avanta7: (Religion Back)
Jerry Falwell dies at age 73.

I am not now and never have been an admirer of the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and founder of the Moral Majority. I disagreed vehemently with his politics and abhorred his version of Christianity. His God was much too small for me.

But the outright rejoicing (?!) over the man's death currently going on in the BookCrossing forums and elsewhere on the web utterly baffles me. See this thread and this one.

Who was it that said "Every man's death diminishes me"? *search* Ah.

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

~~ John Donne

Rev. Falwell's passing deserves to be treated with the same dignity each of us may wish for our own. And so I offer this small memorial:

  • He had the courage to live his convictions. I respect that.
  • His family loved him. I respect that, as well, and offer them my condolences.
  • He founded a church and brought comfort and guidance to a great many people.
  • He founded a university and educated a generation.
  • He changed the face of contemporary American politics.

Sleep well, Rev. Falwell. Perhaps we'll meet in heaven someday.

Then again, perhaps not.
avanta7: (Religion Back)
It never ceases to amaze me what people send out as e-mail to everyone they know, expecting the recipients to ooh and ahh and say "Wow! I never knew that!" and then send it on to everyone they know. I usually check on Snopes and send "reply to all" with the Snopes link debunking the latest urban legend to make the rounds.

This process has trained my sister to ask questions before sending anything out. Here's the latest thing she passed along:
The e-mail )
My response )
Okay, faithful readers, if I've made any errors of fact, please let me know. If my sister is going to rely on me to do the debunking, I don't want to propagate any further errors. Opinions, however, are yours to keep.
avanta7: (Axiom Testing)
Nabbed from my new LJ friend, [livejournal.com profile] the_methotaku

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Modern Liberal




Classical Liberal


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic




Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
avanta7: (PinkWall)
I answered this post in [livejournal.com profile] christianleft, and wanted to preserve my answers in my own journal. Comments welcome. Or answer the questions in your own journal as you wish.

Cut because it's long long long )
avanta7: (Default)
Christian Alliance For Progress

A friend e-mailed me a link to an online petition called The Jacksonville Declaration, which I declined to sign (I think online petitions are a waste of time--YMMV), but thought the rest of the website was worth sharing.


Apr. 9th, 2005 01:21 pm
avanta7: (CartoonAngela)
You must see this San Francisco Chronicle column:

We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions.

Yours in love,
Sister Pepper Spray of Loving Kindness (aka [livejournal.com profile] avanta7)
Get Your Unitarian Jihad Name!

(Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] pepperjackcandy who posted the link in [livejournal.com profile] christianleft and provided my guffaw of the day.)
avanta7: (Sanctuary)
This post is inspired by a similar post by my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] alicefanclub. I appreciate hearing about others' search for God, or spirituality, or oneness with the universe, or whatever label one chooses to apply, and wanted to share a little of my own experience.

Sometimes people seem to think that organized religion should be perfect, and are bitterly disappointed when they discover it is not.

There is no religion that as a whole that practices 100% tolerance, 100% compassion, 100% acceptance. What I try to keep in mind (and remember, I'm a Christian Protestant, so this will be a Christianity-oriented viewpoint) is although Jesus Himself was perfect, and practiced perfect love and perfect acceptance, we, His followers, are decidedly not perfect. We fall far short of the example Christ set for us.

My story )

P.S. I love the television series Joan Of Arcadia. The God depicted in that show is more or less the God of my understanding.


Nov. 22nd, 2004 10:51 pm
avanta7: (Default)


When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin".
I'm whispering "I was lost",
Now I'm found and forgiven.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible
But God believes I'm worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His Name.

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou.
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow.
I found this posted on ChitChat tonight. Sometimes it pays to go into those threads.

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