Confronting America’s Divide - The Religion Thing
Posted: 12 April 2018 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Some of you know I’ve been wrestling with these issues a long time and that I try share with others while encouraging and hoping for feedback, interaction,
just for the hell of it because life is fascinating, and we learn more from interacting with others. 
Here’s another shot at it, sort of a distillation of six decades worth of engaged living and watching and wondering at it all.

This world is a real entity for me and I’m a part of it and it matters
and I started writing because I wanted to capture some of what I was experiencing and learning.
When I first started blogging (more than a decade ago) I thought I’d receive feedback and meet with some kindred spirits.
Now my running joke is that i’m the sound of one hand clapping
So that leaves us with, either I write total gibberish, or something else is going on.

More and more I’m starting to think that, apparently the concept of our planet Earth as a Living Being and the reality of Evolution unfolding one day at a time,
really is a superficial thing for most.  It simply can’t be related-to on a guttural emotional level like a football game or soap opera, or shopping
or such fun things everyone does to fill their fleeting time.  A post card and little more, that’s so profoundly sad.
I think Hermann would approve and that give me a smile.  :)

Well, it is what it is. 

I do like the following and I realize it’s still a draft, with more living, thinking and writing to do, before its my Madonna
but I like the way I’m getting all the pieces together.

Tomorrow it’s off to the Assembly, 500 copies under my arm.
Rather than just passing out my flier, I think this time I’m ready to start button-holing the younger crowd.  Hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times.

{Well, you know what I say, with writing, the project is never done, we just meet deadlines.
Waiting for this evening Assembly had a chance to read through and do some corrections and a few refinements. }

The Memes Courier
    Colorado Democratic Assembly -  April 13, 2018
     
Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Tribalism.

The opposing sides: Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment vs Faith-based dogmatism spearheaded by the evangelical movement
(driven by wannabe oligarchs).  Winning at the polls is only half our challenge when well over a third of our country fully supports this
amoral president and his white supremest bullying and his attacks upon our government and democratic institutions. 

Beyond winning in the 2018 elections, we need to nurture a massive grassroots movement of informed and engaged voters who are
willing to confront faith-based delusional thinking on an individual level, while also standing behind those we elect to make sure they get their jobs done.

Faith-based thinking demands a rejection of serious science along with hostility towards learning from down to Earth evidence. 
This attitude is enabled and reinforced by a constant flow of contrived high pitched fear-mongering and paranoid machinations towards
“the other” be it different people or ideas.

Why have we allowed their religion and God a free pass? When these people despise us and want to crush us?  Look at what they broadcast, it’s no secret. 
The powers behind this movement are absolutists, and they do literally want to crush us and the governmental agencies and
regulations that strive to protect our health and well-being, and they’re playing for keeps!

Why not challenge people to realize no human has ever been born capable of understanding the true “God Almighty of Light and Time, Creation and Love” ? 
We are ALL self-absorbed with our own day to day struggles to survive and thrive, while all we see and hear and experience gets interpreted though our individual preconceptions, egos, insecurities and desires.  How can anyone of us presume to grasp something as aged and all encompassing as God?

Remind evangelicals that even their Bible, in the Book of Job spells out that God is beyond human understanding.  It makes sense. 
After all, God’s Universe is over 13 billion years old, our planet Earth is about a 1/3rd of that.  Try to imagine the breadth of creation,
the infinite folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity unfolding one day at a time.  That is what God embodies.  Can you imagine that?

The true God Almighty can only be guessed at.  Which is why humans have created countless ingenious religious and philosophical shadow plays,
since the dawn of man.  Ask yourself and others: How could such an entity be impressed with our petty repetitive, yet ultimately self-serving, worship? 
Wouldn’t such a God of Creation and Love be paying more attention to how we are nurturing our brothers and sisters along with this Earth we all depend on?

There have been way too many decades of placid acquiescence to self-certain fantasy thinking
which has allowed these people to completely unhinge themselves for our physical reality here on Earth, the one we depend on for our survival. 

God and religion may be a human need, but that doesn’t mean we can master it. 
God belongs inside our hearts and is reflected in our behavior, but instead its been hijacked by greed driven interests
who demand denial of geophysical and humanistic realities. 

Which is okay when confined to the privacy of home and church, but making it the basis for public policy is lunatic.

I’m not attacking God, I’m attacking the misuse of God’s name!  I’m asking for realistic humility,
and a recognition that God is too big for personal relationships with humans who are already totally preoccupied
with their own wants and needs during their short walk across Earth’s stage.

Then comes Jesus.  Why not put Jesus and his story into a more realistic light? 
The Passion of Jesus, is beautiful, meaningful, and an endlessly useful parable for countless people. 
But, he is not the ticket to an idyllic after-life. 

Jesus is a guide for this life. 
To help us through our own times of trials and tribulations here on Earth, during our lives.
Consider that in the course of many lives comes a time we must face our own mortal sins and failures. 
Doing so successfully requires going through stages of personal crisis, reflection, pain and transformation that
Jesus outlined for us and that his teachings and love can guide many through. 
The process culminates with an annihilation of the self, a death on a cross of our own making. 

Time passes, if one has been honest there is a morning after, as we awake renewed. 
Different, better than before, ready to continue living with a transformed appreciation and perspective, a reborn spirit. 

But, it’s not only our self-created crosses that Jesus speaks to.  Sometimes life deals out sudden overwhelming losses,
Jesus can be there to comfort, guide and support some through the loss and darkness and back to another day and the sunlight.

All this is beautiful and necessary and this is what has given Christianity it’s staying power, Jesus as hope in suffering and an example to live by.
As for Jesus as the one and only way to Heaven, that’s the stuff of fairytales and con-men seeking control over others.

Think about it in some depth. 
What are we but a union between body and spirit? 
Without your body, healthy or frail, liked or hated,
who are you, what are you? 

What can be experienced once we die and our bodies fall away? 
The spirit and energy our bodily vessel held and nurtured through a lifetime,
  of growing and experiencing is released and absorbed by the living world you’ve just departed. 

There’s much beauty and peace to be found in that reality, but it takes deep understanding of Earth and time.

It can seem harsh,
though from my personal experience I know truly substantive spiritual strength comes through deeper appreciation of Earth’s Evolution
and its intimate connection with who and what I am.  This is what provides me with a spiritual foundation and peace of mind in the face of death,
that no preacher or Bible or words can come close to matching.

Today avaricious pick-pocket evangelical personalities,
have turned Christianity away from such purity and morphed it into a powerful business/political weapon of brainwashing and mind control
for acquiring unheard of power and profits, tax free. 

Democrats have given all this a free pass for way too long - look at what this avoidance has gotten America. 
Evangelicals and oligarchs and a lot of brainwashing elevating a clueless promoter, an absolutely amoral thug into our Oval Office. 
A man who’s mentality never rises above narcissism, vandalizing and self-enrichment. 
This is what faith-based thinking achieved for our country.

No one wants to talk about these things, but that’s exactly what affords them free reign. 
Amoral evangelicals offer dogma, tribalism and hostility towards others along with loads of willful misunderstanding, lies, contrived distrust and hostility. 

Children of the Enlightenment offer objective observations and learning based on experience and facts. 
They have established Science, which could be said to be founded on the understanding: We need each other to keep ourselves honest. 

Science strives for honest constructive debate.  Opponents and their arguments/facts are honesty represented. 
Mistakes are learning tools to better grasp the situation.  Achieving a better and honest understanding is the goal. 
It has no absolutes, it’s substance is always provisional, awaiting more information, and always striving for better resolution.

Right-wing arguments, on the other hand, are dependent on hypotheticals; contrived hostility and suspicions;
and the erection of straw men that ignore the true substance of their opponents’ arguments, plus a huge dollop of self-certainty verging on absolutism. 
They use mistakes as bludgeons to further personal agendas with a haughty disregard for education or truth. 
Dogma and self-certainty drives them, rational learning is their enemy.

Such childish, but increasingly threatening tactics ought to be called out, with compassion and a recognition that all sides have a lot to learn and a lot to offer. 
Nevertheless, today’s egotistical blind self-certain faith-based rejection of unavoidable geophysical reality has got to stop,
lest today’s self-certain absolutism becomes tomorrow’s totalitarianism.

Citizenschallenge at gmail

[ Edited: 13 April 2018 04:12 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 12 April 2018 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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looks much better in two columns under a masthead   :cheese:

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Posted: 13 April 2018 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There’s a very common adage in writing fiction - show don’t tell. I think that applies to what you’re doing too. You can’t tell people what they should do, how they should think. Especially nowadays there’s just so much competing for people’s attention big speeches just get lost. A perfect example is racial equality. You can tell all the people you want how racism is bad etc. But you know what’s more effective? When they see a black guy and his white wife (or visa versa) in a commercial for ABC carpet cleaner wondering how they’re going to get stains out. Or the commercial where a white guy picks up his black daughter at school, I think an ad for a car or something. Just showing people in a non-confrontational way what racial equality LOOKS LIKE is far more effective than lecturing them. Same goes with any of the things righties want to divide people with.

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Posted: 13 April 2018 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This isn’t about “telling anyone’ anything.  :roll:

And you labeling it as “fiction” is quite the red flag.  ;-P

Christ almighty, always with the insecurity and defensiveness. 
You make my point exactly the right-wingers and libertarians are incapable of simply shutting up for a moment and listening to another perspective.
Always too busy shoring up your self-certainty.

THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE AND THIS I AM SHARING, folks can then do with as they choose.

It’s all a resonance thing.  :blank:


{sorry CuthbertJ, but that was pathetic, you’ve done better.}

[ Edited: 13 April 2018 04:26 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 15 April 2018 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Looks like that took care of this discussion.    :-/

meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As they say, in the end it’s like the blink of an eye. 

It’s done and I’m feeling good about it.  500 fliers,
I stuck to my resolution and engaged with nearly 400 people, actually more, I’m not counting declines. 

Though I kept them to a minimum since I was targeting a specific audience, young, intelligent, serious looking like they were here for business.
Of course, scientific method loving people was there in my introduction and that sorted ‘em out in a hurry,
with over three thousand people I wasn’t planning on wasting copies, or time, I was looking for the chorus and pretty much found them.  ;-) .

Walking around scanning the crowd, you could say profiling.  In fact, I did say it, it was a good ice breaker. 
Not that everyone was chronologically young, many were rather flattered to hear they made my liberal cut, exuding youthful vibes goes a long ways.    ;- )
Dare say I swept up a number self identified scientists, cool people, love the hard eye, yet willing ear, then some nice discussions.

Stuff like that lets me know that I’m not totally bonkers and that I best keep doing whatever it is I’m doing. 
Guess that’s what ‘bliss’ about, no other options if you’re going to be honest with oneself

I had a basic pitch thought out and it held up fairly well through a couple hundred variations. 
I was reassured at how many people engaged my intro question with stories and outlooks of their own,
before returning back to the flier I was holding in my hand.

Would like to write about it sometime, but not tonight.
___________________________________________________
There is this last item, ironically in light of various discussions centered on evangelical amorality, hypocrisy and their blind-sidedness,
after returning to my room, Dartagnan at Kos pointed me to this timely, illuminating opinion piece.

I never thought about evangelical patriarchy quite this way.  Hessinger and Tobey wrote a column that’s like a good hypothesis -
it clears up a lot riddles.  As for my title, today at the Convention I saw the hope, the following describes the problem. 
I’m quoting the first few paragraphs to get your interest, please read the full column, bet you’ll find it time well spent.

President Trump gets a 17% ‘Stormy Daniels bump’ with evangelicals

By Guest Columnist/cleveland.com | Posted Apr 11, 2018
Rodney Hessinger is a history professor at John Carroll University. 
Kristen Tobey is an assistant professor of religion and the social sciences at John Carroll University.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio—The most recent Pew polls suggest that President Donald Trump hasn’t just held his support
amongst white evangelicals but actually has grown his support since the Stormy Daniels story took hold.


With his white evangelical support having dropped to 61 percent in December, Trump now enjoys 78 percent support,
just a shade beneath the support he won from white evangelicals on Election Day. …

In fact, there are good reasons why we should expect this result.
The history and sexual politics of evangelicalism in America fit well with Donald Trump and his message.

White evangelicals, particularly in the South, long ago lined up their party with “family values,” which above all else has meant patriarchy.

As historian Christine Heyrman displayed in her classic book “Southern Cross,” the authoritarian dynamic was central to Southern antebellum families.
To win Southern hearts, evangelicals buttressed patriarchy, empowering fathers and looking the other way when they took prerogatives which crossed moral lines. …

But despite this early and enduring success, evangelicals still often see themselves as embattled outsiders.
As sociologists of religion have observed, religious outsiders have much to gain from boundary maintenance,
often courting outcast status or even persecution to rally the faithful.  …

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/04/president_trumps_stormy_daniel.html

[ Edited: 15 April 2018 06:19 AM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 15 April 2018 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Keep up the good fight CC. You seem to be in the middle of a creative burst. I like the theme of “attacking the misuse of God’s name”. That theme is prevalent even within mainstream Christianity, although they keep it kinda quiet. They express a degree of discomfort with that evangelical church down the road, but they like to keep them as partners too, so they don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s a long tradition of believing the church can be fixed. That’s an essay in itself.

On the enlightenment side, I’ve tried to give a few more concessions than you did here. There was a lot of work undone back a few centuries ago and were just getting to it now with BLM and #metoo. You might want to check this out. https://youtu.be/yuWNL8riIUI I had a couple questions for her, but the line was pretty long so I didn’t get to ask them. She covers the intentions of the movement and where it failed pretty well.

(The sound gets better once she starts speaking)

Oh yeah, the other thing, about Jesus. I know it’s popular to acknowledge that there is something valuable of his teachings, and it’s another way to build a relationship with a believer, but I also think it’s a good place to chip into their armor. It’s too easy to wave a hand, quote a line or two and say Jesus was great, even if you want to qualify it as “the gospel authors”. But what specifically? I’ll eventually compile the data, but I’d say there are maybe a dozen good parables and a few more mentions of good deeds. Those mentions come in half verses surrounded by long explanations of hating your own body and giving your mind to Christ. I wouldn’t come right out of the gate with that, but I keep it in the background and let them flounder while they try to think of something the Bible actually says.

[ Edited: 15 April 2018 07:46 AM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 16 April 2018 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks Lausten.

Lausten - 15 April 2018 07:40 AM

...
Oh yeah, the other thing, about Jesus. I know it’s popular to acknowledge that there is something valuable of his teachings, and it’s another way to build a relationship with a believer, but I also think it’s a good place to chip into their armor. It’s too easy to wave a hand, quote a line or two and say Jesus was great, even if you want to qualify it as “the gospel authors”. But what specifically? I’ll eventually compile the data, but I’d say there are maybe a dozen good parables and a few more mentions of good deeds. (A)

Those mentions come in half verses surrounded by long explanations of hating your own body and giving your mind to Christ. (B) I wouldn’t come right out of the gate with that, but I keep it in the background and let them flounder while they try to think of something the Bible actually says.

It’s late so I’ll have to read all this again tomorrow.
Still do tell me more.
So fair I see two themes, your main thesis.
Then the juicy stuff, self-loathing and mortification of the flesh.

I’ll check out that video tomorrow.

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Posted: 17 April 2018 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I can’t do too much at work, but here’s a few tidbits. There’s better stuff on the self loathing. As for theme A, that’s more general than specific.

Take Colossians, a letter from Paul (ignoring any discussions about authenticity for now). Sounds pretty cool
1:26 the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.

1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
But what is this “mystery”? The epistles and gospels constantly tease us with that. Look a little earlier and you get the thing everybody does know, the blood sacrifice.
1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

1:20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
People will focus on the “fullness” and the “glory” and brush by the “blood”. If you ask, they’ll say something about needing to read your Bible and understand the whole story. In other words, don’t worry about details, just believe.

Or, how about “God is love”.
4:12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
This is from 1 John, the letter, not the gospel. It’s a wild ride of a letter, mostly about sticking to your own tribe and casting out anyone who doesn’t go along with the crowd, if you ask me. He talks about love and neighbors, but chapter 2 seems to be about exclusiveness. It can get kind of convoluted:
4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
Or, in that same week of the Lectionary in the gospel of John, you can get the fruits of being with God, but you need to abide in Jesus. I don’t think that is the same use of “abide” used by the The Dude. This is much more commonly stated than anything about helping each other or visiting the sick.
The message; accept without questioning and you’ll get something.
15:4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

One of the stronger statements about caring for others is in Matthew 25
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
But this same verse also is used in a Chick Track to explain that if you didn’t know Jesus in life, you’ll burn in hell forever
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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Posted: 17 April 2018 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 13 April 2018 03:55 PM

This isn’t about “telling anyone’ anything.  :roll:

And you labeling it as “fiction” is quite the red flag.  ;-P

Christ almighty, always with the insecurity and defensiveness. 
You make my point exactly the right-wingers and libertarians are incapable of simply shutting up for a moment and listening to another perspective.
Always too busy shoring up your self-certainty.

THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE AND THIS I AM SHARING, folks can then do with as they choose.

It’s all a resonance thing.  :blank:


{sorry CuthbertJ, but that was pathetic, you’ve done better.}

Sorry Citizen you completely missed my point. I didn’t call what you wrote fiction. I said like fiction, one should show not tell. I.e. your piece isn’t fiction, but like fiction, you are better served to show not tell. And all your piece is is lecturing lecturing lecturing. You’ll never convince anyone of anything lecturing them, especially right wingers. So save your breath.

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Posted: 17 April 2018 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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CuthbertJ - 17 April 2018 04:26 PM

Sorry Citizen you completely missed my point. I didn’t call what you wrote fiction. I said like fiction, one should show not tell. I.e. your piece isn’t fiction, but like fiction, you are better served to show not tell. And all your piece is is lecturing lecturing lecturing. You’ll never convince anyone of anything lecturing them, especially right wingers. So save your breath.

Guess you didn’t notice the beginning of this, I was rather selective with who the intended audience for this was.

I’ll looking for the few with whom this would resonate.

This isn’t about trying to change people’s minds, it’s about helping those who see through the lies, but haven’t made out the patterns yet.
It’s about finding community.
To define something to the best of my abilities and sharing it with people who are on same quest.

Still, thanks for sharing, since I figure now its time and turn it into a column and yes, there I’ll have to get more genteel and
will try to keep your admonition in mind.  We’ll see how it evolves. 

Although, on the other hand, I am past apologizing, too many horrors and nothing ever learned, only the young are innocent.
It won’t be long before, we’ll get the complacency kicked out of us. 
Already happening for too many, but as they say, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

For what it’s worth J, here’s the intro my blog, AmericanforKochProsperity.blogspot. it comes with a warning.

Confronting Science Contrarians
This is a learning (and sharing) project dedicated to dissecting, examining, and confronting the deception dependent Republican assault on climate science and rational constructive debate (and thinking about the Nov 6th, 2018 US election) ~ I invite good-faith discussion. *** ADULT ADVISORY *** Contains tough love!

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Posted: 18 April 2018 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Continuing the Bible study:

You really can’t talk about how Paul thinks the flesh is bad, without mentioning his thorn from 2 Corinthians 12:7. He starts out talking about himself in the third person and how he heard Jesus in the third heaven, but can’t tell us what he said, typical. This makes him special, but then he has to prove he is humble, so this “thorn in the flesh” torments him. Christ tells Paul “my grace is sufficient”, so Paul says he is content with weakness.

This theme is repeated in Ephesians 2, which is probably not Paul, but later writers who wanted to emphasize this idea of being saved by grace alone, “and that not of yourselves, it is a the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” i.e. it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re nothing.

For a pretty clear explanation, you can’t do much better than Romans 8
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

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Posted: 20 April 2018 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten - 18 April 2018 07:37 PM

Continuing the Bible study:

You really can’t talk about how Paul thinks the flesh is bad, without mentioning his thorn from 2 Corinthians 12:7. He starts out talking about himself in the third person and how he heard Jesus in the third heaven, but can’t tell us what he said, typical. This makes him special, but then he has to prove he is humble, so this “thorn in the flesh” torments him. Christ tells Paul “my grace is sufficient”, so Paul says he is content with weakness.

This theme is repeated in Ephesians 2, which is probably not Paul, but later writers who wanted to emphasize this idea of being saved by grace alone, “and that not of yourselves, it is a the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” i.e. it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re nothing.

For a pretty clear explanation, you can’t do much better than Romans 8
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Unfortunately all the bible study in the world won’t help. It’s like the saying anyone can lie with statistics. Any one familiar with the bibles can cherry pick passages til the cows come home, and prove the exact opposite of what someone else concluded using the same source material. The point is, for true believers, the bible really has very little to do with their holding beliefs. It’s social, emotional, psychological, etc. I have a feeling some day, a thousand years from now, there will be an entire religion based on Harry Potter. And no amount of rational argument about JK Rowling being a fiction writer, etc. will convince people that there’s no actual place called Hogwarts.

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Posted: 20 April 2018 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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CuthbertJ - 20 April 2018 10:04 AM

Unfortunately all the bible study in the world won’t help. It’s like the saying anyone can lie with statistics. Any one familiar with the bibles can cherry pick passages til the cows come home, and prove the exact opposite of what someone else concluded using the same source material. The point is, for true believers, the bible really has very little to do with their holding beliefs. It’s social, emotional, psychological, etc. I have a feeling some day, a thousand years from now, there will be an entire religion based on Harry Potter. And no amount of rational argument about JK Rowling being a fiction writer, etc. will convince people that there’s no actual place called Hogwarts.

This is getting off topic, but I’ll address it at least once anyway. What you say doesn’t make sense. Historically, it was the people who went out and searched for original manuscripts and worked on fixing the translations that led us to where we are with our knowledge of who wrote the Bible and why. It began as a religious quest, but has become an historical one. That historians in seminaries schools have maintained their integrity and taught these truths is why we have people like Bart Ehrmann, as well as liberal pastors spread all over the world.

What you are referring to is those who are ignoring this scholarship. That’s a different problem. It’s a problem that there is a different standard for the study of theology that allows for a variety of interpretations of the facts. All other disciplines deal with this problem with varying success, but the problems of so many religious institutions not dealing with it, does not make the effort to come to a consensus any less worthy. You don’t have to look very far back in time to see changes in how non-believers are treated to see that work making a difference.

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