Readin’ Books: The Rise of Liberal Christianity.

Even though the general public gets the idea “Christianity” is about screaming anti abortionists and gay haters, another force has been acting on the faith as well.  It is the business of selling books on liberal Christianity.

Through these books, people learn they can interpret the spiritual realm for themselves. That the publishing industry saw this as a money makers a few decades ago has meant people by the millions have discovered independent thinking while reading books in the privacy of their homes.

The downside to liberal denominations is when individual conclusions become the norm , the need for denominations falls.  Thus, numbers in liberal denominations have declined.

A similar change is atheism took place.  Until rather recently, major publishing houses would not publish books by or about atheism.  Perhaps to their surprise, atheist’s books, like those by Professor Richard Dawkins, have been huge successes. The result is the number of atheists is growing.

The book world has, of course, been complimented by the Internet.  Both forces allow an individual citizen the opportunity to find information and viewpoints from outside the sealed container of their particular branch of religion.

From the vantage point of Freethinkers, spiritual people finding their individual place in the scheme of things is a great development.  When a person finds his/her individual niche of the spiritual world, it’s likely she will not view the niche as one that applies universally to all people and, consequently, the people’s government.

Hopefully, the march of liberal Christianity will continue.

http://religionandpolitics.org/2013/01/29/book-culture-and-the-rise-of-liberal-religion/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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17 Responses to Readin’ Books: The Rise of Liberal Christianity.

  1. Henry says:

    That Jon sees liberal Christianity as an ally is an indicator that the movement is suspect. The truth is that liberal Christianity ultimately won’t give Jon what he demands. Sure, Jon will get the right answers on his pet subjects from liberal Christianity. For example: Gay marriage? Sure. Abortion up to age two? Sure. However liberal Christianity will never counter the reasons of why Jon is compelled to be an atheist. When they have served their usefulness to Jon, they will in turn be attacked.

  2. entech says:

    reasons of why Jon is compelled to be an atheist.
    Wow Henry, your brain power increases by the second.
    Not only do you have infallible access to and knowledge of the mind of God you know why Jon thinks the way he does.

    Where on earth (or in your case, where in heaven) did you get the idea that any form of Christianity could be an ally for any form of atheism. Of course, Christianity is basically a belief that says “if you are not for us you are against us”, for some, and I believe you are one, this actually extends to other denominations (liberal?) that don’t agree with your narrow version.

    Perhaps you could tell me why I have found it very difficult (almost impossible) to believe any of it, or Dawkins, Dennet et.al. why any one could disagree with you :mrgreen:

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 2:57 “Perhaps you could tell me why I have found it very difficult (almost impossible) to believe any of it..”

      Henry could really be a service to human kind if he would provide several of us the help you request from him here.

  3. Michael Ross says:

    “Through these books, people learn they can interpret the spiritual realm for themselves. ”

    I thought we went threw this sort of thing in the ’60s:

    “You do your thing, I’ll do mine, and if we meet, its beautiful”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 5:44 “I thought we went through this sort of thing in the ’60′s.”

      Certainly, it seems like the 60′s were a time when authorities were questioned in a big way–at least business and government leaders. Now it includes religious leaders.

      I was wishing for the 60′s, and challenge to government authorities, when Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. But, the “smaller government” people, the “we need our guns to fight against our government” people, all the right and many in the left were rolled.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Same here Jon. As much as I like young people today I am disappointed they so passive in regard to our interventionist foreign policy. They are too much into PC issues like smoke free campuses.
        P.S. Thanks for correcting my spelling. I should go back to 3rd grade.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Michael 4:21 As I read your post I had the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearings on CSPAN. He said he and others resisted naming Iran a “Terrorist Nation” (or “threat”, can’t remember the term). That was because so naming Iran gave the President the right, or let the President assume he had the right, to bomb or invade. Senators did not want to give this President, or I assume any other President, this flexibility.

          This goes back to W. Bush. I’ve read confirmed accounts that Bush told Congressional leaders in a closed door meeting he would like the flexibility to invade Iraq if he learned they were an immediate threat. Both Dems and Republicans agreed this was reasonable. The problem was, he was already hell bent on invading. As we know, his team sexed up the intelligence for weapons of mass destruction, etc.

          This is all the more unfortunate because his mistake now takes military intervention off the table politically. If a genuine threat reappears in the next few decades, no one will trust the President, no matter who he/she is, because Bush tricked them into giving powers that he was not capable of handling.

      • Jinx says:

        Ever since I was a small child I questioned the statement “its always been that way and it always will be.” If thats so, then “it” demands to be examined, dissected, compared, tested and revised or exiled to the the useless old fallacy pile. Drove my Mom crazy! Can’t help it, gotta do it to this day!

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          jinx 10:49 “..demands to be examined, dissected, compared, tested and rivised or exiled..gotta do it to this day!”

          Good for you, jinx. I wish everyone did.

          • Jinx says:

            I wish so as well! My mother did not appreciate my questioning her believe that ‘god always was and always will be’. I was a 6 year old in catechism and told her that can’t be true because everything starts from something and thats what I was going to believe!

  4. buzz marick says:

    We need a national blog to direct our leaders because they don’t seem to have the ability to do so. We would have 24 hours to vote,thus giving a guidepost to elected officials. Padding vote protected of course.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buzz “24 hours to vote.”

      Wouldn’t that be interesting, actual votes instead of polls? But, we would need some way of punishing public officials who lied before the vote. W Bush virtually promised us there would be weapons of mass distruction. He should have been sentenced to drive a truck dodging IED’s in Irap, where he said we would be welcomed as heros.

      Doesn’t the parlimentary system work something like that. An election of a government can be called at any time? Maybe entech can explain.

      • entech says:

        It is complicated Jon. Australia, New Zealand and ,of course, Great Britain (many other commonwealth countries as well) operate on what is called the Westminster System, the basic element is that whichever party has the most seats in Parliament (the House of Commons all members elected) forms the Government of the country, the leader of the governing party is the Prime Minister, the actual prime minister can be changed at any time by a vote within the party. In the event of what is called a hung parliament, that is no one party has enough seats to rule in its own right, agreement from independent members (not affiliated with any party) to support one party is the basis for sufficient strength for one party to form government, support is usually guaranteed only for financial bills and votes of no confidence. Like America this usually resolves to a two party system with minor parties and independent members, there are cases where two parties, otherwise independent agree to mutual support, a coalition; Australia has a long standing agreement between the two liberal parties (sorry had to phrase it that way for fun), both economic or classical liberals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism), the leading conservative party is actually called the Liberal Party while their coalition partners are the Country Party – vaguely your Republican, the other main party is the Labor Party (note actually spelt the American way as opposed to the stand British/Australian labour) roughly equivalent to your Democrats.
        The way in which an early election can be called is through a vote of no confidence, although this often is a rejection of the supply bill, if the government has no supply (of money) it cannot govern, unless this can be resolved quickly an election is called and the government goes into “caretaker mode” in which only limited powers are retained. The actual procedure would be that the Prime Minister would advise the Queen (in Britain, the Governor General in Australia etc.) to dissolve Parliament this advice is always accepted (it is possible that the queen could dissolve parliament on her own initiative, it is also recognised that this would probably be her last act as Monarch – just as the Tea Tax on the (then) American Colony precipitate what became the end of a British Monarch for America {and quite rightly I say}).
        This has happened very rarely, most recently:
        In Britain, 1979 James Callaghan (Labour) giving rise to the election of Margaret Thatcher (conservative).
        In Australia, 1975 Geoff Whitlam (a complicated situation and an interesting study). The Whitlam Government failed to get supply even though they had an effective majority in the lower house. The opposition had a majority in the senate, and used that majority to defeat the finance bill. Malcolm Frazer the leader of the opposition advised the Governor General to dismiss parliament which he did (his last act as his term of office was cut short), Frazer never actually took control of parliament as an immediate vote of no confidence was carried, however the election had already been called, The vote of no confidence is made by the combined membership of both houses, Whitlam had the combined majority but it was too late.

        I believe Switzerland is one country that has a range of options for the population to call for a referendum on contentious issues and even to recall an elected member to stand for re-election (if he had the nerve).

        May be not exact as it is a long time since I took an active interest in politics, an idiot in terms of my 10:00pm post.

        • entech says:

          PS. One other scenario I could imagine (just) is that internal dissent within a party could cause enough incoherence that some members would support a vote of no confidence against themselves. Difficult to imagine as it is obvious on occasion that power overrides principle. In America it is almost possible to imagine the Republicans becoming divided between economic and religious issues, not sure, don’t reside, don’t vote, don’t know enough.

  5. entech says:

    Buzz, your post reminds of an interesting talk I watched, I think it was the Commonwealth Club of California. The topic was Democracy and a lot of time was spent on The old Athenian version and how practically everyone had the right to attend and vote (except slaves, women etc) and that the word idiot was derived from people that didn’t take that right. Politicians were people that spoke for or against a cause or proposal, with no greater voting rights than any other adult male, their only influence was in how many they could get to agree in the assembly at the time of the vote. I am guessing that America is the same as Australia in one sense, all the pollies (interesting thing that the Australian abbreviation turns out to be the same as the abbreviation for parrot) all talk of “transparency” which, as more and more is kept secret by both sides is a joke. Also the exact cost of building the Parthenon was known, all public works had the accounting chiseled into the foundation stones.
    Back to the talk, the talk ended by talking about California (this was a few years ago) where it was becoming hard to get a vote passed and often a referendum decided issues, after a long talk on the virtues of democracy this was derided as “mob rule”.

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