Notes from underground

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Archive for the tag “God”

Americans’ views of God shape attitudes on key issues – USATODAY.com

Americans’ views of God shape attitudes on key issues – USATODAY.com: “Surveys say about nine out of 10 Americans believe in God, but the way we picture that God reveals our attitudes on economics, justice, social morality, war, natural disasters, science, politics, love and more, say Paul Froese and Christopher Bader, sociologists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Their new book, America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God — And What That Says About Us, examines our diverse visions of the Almighty and why they matter.

Based primarily on national telephone surveys of 1,648 U.S. adults in 2008 and 1,721 in 2006, the book also draws from more than 200 in-depth interviews that, among other things, asked people to respond to a dozen evocative images, such as a wrathful old man slamming the Earth, a loving father’s embrace, an accusatory face or a starry universe.”

It would be interesting to see how that compares with other countries and regions of the world. And I’m reminded of the Orthodox theologian Christos Yannaras, who said

Starting from such a concrete and existential concept of sin, the Orthodox tradition has refused to confine the whole of man’s relationship with God within a juridical, legal framework; it has refused to see sin as the individual transgression of a given impersonal code of behavior which simply produces psychological guilt. The God of the Church as known and proclaimed by Orthodox experience and tradition has never had anything to do with the God of the Roman juridical tradition, the God of Anselm and Abelard; He has never been thought of as a vengeful God who rules by fear, meting out punishments and torment for men” (Yannaras 1984:35).

Christian witness: God is love, and He hates you


What do you when street preachers appear proclaiming a message of hate?

Jackrabbit’s response was to distribute “Love” signs among the audience.

Jackrabbit Goes Down the Rabbit Hole: Fear, Loathing, and “The Laramie Project”: Jackrabbit vs. the Street Preacher:

By the time I got back, the hate preachers were in full force, and I suddenly went from wet-my-pants terrified to extremely determined, which was totally a God thing. I started by working the crowd with my big yellow signs, handing them out to anybody who wanted one, and then stood on the top of the amphitheater in the middle of the quad with a huge LOVE poster.

Isn’t repentance important? Indeed it is, but I’m not sure that this is the best witness to the need for repentance:

… when a girl in a very short plaid skirt bent over to talk to her friends, he pulled out a camera and basically up-skirted her. He did all this while wearing a “no porn” button on his shirt. I found this very interesting for a man who claimed that he had stopped sinning the moment he accepted Jesus.

I think I prefer the examples of repentance of wicked politicians like John Profumo and Adriaan Vlok.

Sarah Ruden, a joyful iconoclast – Rod Dreher

Sarah Ruden, a joyful iconoclast – Rod Dreher:

In many South African NGOs, I saw played out the paradox that faith is the basic thing that brings social justice. Activists who relied on their human capacities were ground into the dust. Activists who believed that God was in charge were unstoppable. If they got things wrong, they just tried another way, because they saw themselves as weak sinners with a very partial vision; it was okay, and in fact comforting, to admit they were wrong. If their practical goals turned out to be destructive or impossible, they could cheerfully let them go–to love God was their mission, which no one could take away from them. And like Paul, they have done far more for human justice than they ever consciously intended, merely by impressing on people–who had never heard such a thing–that God cared about them and had suffered for them.

I know from personal experience that that is very true. I saw it on a blog, which was quoting another blog. I really with Sarah Ruden would write a blog. I’d like to read more like that. She describes hereself as a Quaker pacifist.

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