Sunday, October 17, 2010


Welcome to the new blog, focusing solely on religious issues. For those new to the "Twisted" series of blogs, I encourage you to check out the other ones to get more of an idea of where I am coming from. For everyone else, this one will be devoted to finding and exploring all of those issues that makes religion somewhat ridiculous at times.

A quick statement of fact: I am a Christian. It is at the very core of everything I do and say and drives how I live my life. It is, in short, the most important part of my life.

That being said, however, I am not what many would deem as a "typical" Christian. How so? Well, that is much easier to answer over the course of several posts discussing issues ecumenical in nature; I can't just lay out everything to begin with, after all. In other words, even if you are an adamant atheist, you may very well find some things of interest here. In fact, part of the reason the question of how I am not typical will be answered by discussing the very nature of what the term "typical" even means.

As an example, let's take a look at a recent article written on the premise that more and more young people are declaring themselves atheists and the cause of their chosen path:

So, why this sudden jump in youthful disaffection from organized religion? The
surprising answer, according to a mounting body of evidence, is politics. Very
few of these new "nones" actually call themselves atheists, and many have rather
conventional beliefs about God and theology. But they have been alienated from
organized religion by its increasingly conservative politics.

During the 1980s, the public face of American religion turned sharply right. Political
allegiances and religious observance became more closely aligned, and both
religion and politics became more polarized. Abortion and homosexuality became
more prominent issues on the national political agenda, and activists such as
Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed began looking to expand religious activism into
electoral politics. Church attendance gradually became the primary dividing line
between Republicans and Democrats in national elections.

But is this accurate? Has organized religion become "increasingly conservative" and "turned sharply right"? I would say this is short-sighted, but that would give people with glasses a bad name.

Abortion became a more prominent issue in the 80s, and this is evidence for organized religion moving to the right? Seriously? I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Roe v Wade was in 1973 and then grew to be a major political issue every day after the decision was handed down. No, that can't have anything to do with it. And it is also highly likely that homosexuality was considered perfectly okay within religious circles before Boy George hit the music scene.

Of course both of these notions are equally ridiculous and blatantly ignore the facts. Christianity, as a whole, has always been opposed to abortion; it simply became a political issue when our country's supreme court decided to make it legal. Likewise with homosexuality; at no point in history has Christianity looked favorably upon the act itself; it has only become a hot-button political issue as activist groups started pushing for rights.

Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with my views on whether those issues are right or wrong; that is an entirely separate issue. This speaks solely to the ludicrous notion that Christianity is somehow "moving right" of where it used to be. The simple fact is that our country and its politics have moved decidedly left and Christianity has stayed more or less the same on major issues (though I would argue that organized Christianity, as a whole, has moved slightly left as well, it has still stayed far to the right of where our country has moved).

The article addresses two main points of which this blog will focus: One, the inaccurate views many hold of organized religion, and two, the ineptitude of organized religion at certain historical junctures to police itself according to its own doctrine (and, with certain religious views, why the doctrine itself is the root cause of problems). Both of these topics have proven an endless supply of humorous discussion, and I'm sure that they will continue to do so.

A Twisted Sense of Religion is, in its essence, about poking fun at the absurd side of religion while still trying to understand the source of a great many confusions and misconceptions that exist regarding the topic. In other words, I hope to make you laugh and think at the same time; so don't be surprised to see jokes about priests and rabbis walking into bars while throwing out algebra problems. That's how we roll here.

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