The Death Of Piety

Many of us shake our heads at the support of Donald Trump by some religious leaders. One way of looking at this is to recognize what used to be religion left the room. Most of Christianity has been about, to one degree or another, piety. It was testifying as to one’s faith and living in ways prescribed by the faith. It has morphed into something else.

With the endorsement of Trump and Moore, we see former standards ignored. Piety has been forgotten and perhaps it is now claimed no one ever cared about it anyway. The preoccupations of those who formerly said it was all about faith now say it is about the perceived threat from LGBT people, Muslims and Mexicans.

It is about nationalistic politics and patriotism, or at least one version of patriotism. Patriotism no longer includes military service. Patriotism is using privilege to avoid military service. The current version of patriotism is banning Muslims and building a wall to keep out brown people. Piety, is not important.

White males have always been in the high positions of privilege. We have been Presidents, corporate kings and heads of our households. Now women are the main sources of income in a large percentage of households. This spreads alarm and anger.

Lower middle class white people were the big demographic for President Trump’s victory. It is also a demographic which identifies as Christian but is experiencing the largest fall in participation of adults in church.

Its “church” has become identity politics.

15 Responses

  1. Schmidty

    I literally feel bad for ol’ man Lindgren. An atheist has only a “tip of the iceberg” view of all that Christianity actually is. They cannot understand, nor do they really want to.

  2. Ervin Miller

    How sad to denigrate Christians! Christians offer compassion and support for the needy via their churches, missions and outreach programs. Collectively they donate multi millions of dollars to help those suffering from natural disasters, (Puerto Rico, Florida, Houston, etc) they donate clothing/food,, volunteer time to help restore their homes and provide comfort. They also fund help for the homeless, food pantries, shelter for abused women, homes for unwed mothers, help for those suffering addictions and many other outreach programs. They don’t shoot up malls, airports, schools and any other terrorist activities. They are generally respectful of others and their views, many of our most notable Christianity authors were at one time atheists. I recognize the atheists consider it foolish to pray for others, Christians are admonished to pray for those who denigrate them. As an individual who accepts Jesus as my savior, I pray for anti-Christians, I pray that they come to a change of heart and recognize the good that Christians do for their fellow man. Christians don’t charity is there for all who have need, regardless of their beliefs.

    1. Ervin 11:06 Thanks for the nice post. The tenets of Christianity, miracles, myths and such, are helpful to many people. Those, like yourself, who are helped by them should continue practicing the faith. The tenets are not helpful to others. Those who do not find the tenets helpful should not have them forced upon them in the form of religion legislated into our laws. Laws against abortion, gay marriage and other religions are on the docket of legislative bodies every day of the year somewhere in the U.S. Those branches of the faith that promote this are harmful and unpatriotic.

      I try not to paint all Christians with the same brush here. Qualifying and separating out the many branches in every comment borders on the impossible.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        “I try not to paint all Christians with the same brush here. ”

        Not sure that would ever be possible. From the very beginning, Christianity was a myriad of differing doctrines (see Ehrman’s “Lost Christianities”) . It has continued that way up to today.

  3. mark anthony

    Bottom line: if it works for you fine, if it doesn’t that’s fine too. That way, we can avoid any substantive discussion of abortion, SSM or anything else that smacks of “religion”. It also means that the cards are stacked from the get go in favor of the atheistic/ leftist world view.

    1. mark 8:58 Bottom line: if it works for you, fine, if it doesn’t that’s fine too. That way, we can avoid any substantive discussion of abortion, SSM or anything else that smacks of “religion”. It also means that the cards are stacked from the get go in favor of the Atheistic/leftist world view.

      In all due respect, and if history has taught us anything, that is precisely wrong. In Europe, there have been and continue to be state mandated religions. Attendance at churches has been low to non existent for decades. In the U.S. there has been no government mandated religion and church membership/participation has held up much better.

      In real time we are seeing efforts by some Christians to put religious ideas into law. Church attendance and Christian identity peaked a few years ago and is falling. There are, not doubt, many variables in this but those two events are happening at the same time. It is my view this decline has been exacerbated by branches of Christianity which have wanted laws prohibiting equal opportunity for gay citizens. Prejudice against gay people among those under 20 years old is really low. Prejudice against gay citizens among those over 60 is much higher. If Christianity just stayed out of that issue it seems like it would be much better off today.

  4. mark anthony

    that’s all well and good. unfortunately, however, your comments don’t touch on the substance of my argument. my point stands.

    1. mark 12:35 that’s all well and good. unfortunately, however, your comments don’t touch on the substance of my argument. my point stands.

      Thanks. I assume you are saying I did not address your remark, “We can avoid any substantive discussion of abortion, SSM or anything that smacks of ‘religion’.” You are correct I did not touch on that part of your post.

      It is hard to reply to that statement because I do not know what constitutes a “substantive discussion” of religious concepts. The reason given for opposing abortion is that some branches of Christianity claim they have religious reasons to believe the one fertilized cell is a human being. For Catholics the source of this comes from the church hierarchy. A “substantive discussion” of this would have to start with whether or not there is a god and what the invisible god told Catholic officials. This religious view runs head on into the rights of women who oppose having the government take control of their lives during their pregnancy.

      With gay marriage it is the same thing. There is a religious view that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman. What you call a “substantive discussion” would have to be about whether there is a god and what the invisible god is thinking. Again, this discussion of religion will go on as it has since forever never finding evidence there is such a god. In the meantime, taking away economic benefits from one segment of society for no reason other than it is disliked is contrary to the prevailing view of U. S. society. If a “substantive discussion” is that we should allow discrimination of a group that has no choice is their sexual orientation this seems other worldly.

  5. mark anthony

    jon, a substantive discussion is simply a discussion which tackles both sides of an argument in some depth. and which does not simply assume that “religious” arguments as such can be ruled out of court without further consideration. after all, religious people can put forth arguments based on natural law or secular considerations that have little to do with faith in God. and even if they do invoke God in support of their views, their views still have a right to be heard in the public square. as I have said, your take on the matter simply stacks the deck in favor of atheist ideology.

    1. mark 6:55 religious people can put forward argument based on natural law..

      I guess we need examples here instead of generalizations. I’ve been arguing with “natural law” people for 40 years and never heard anything but religion. Perhaps you could introduce me to some that is not religion, especially on the issues of homosexuality and abortion.

  6. mark anthony

    attempted to respond to your question. it bombed, something about a security issue. too tired right now to try again.

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