Tag Archives: The Family

Does a belief in God constitute religion?

e-bible-quiz-booth-salvation-o-meterWhile reading “The Family”, I got to wondering about God and religion. If one assumes God exists, does it then become necessary to form religious beliefs? Are they one in the same?  There are over 4200 active religions in the world, all of them thinking they’re the one true religion. The average Christian religion posits one cannot attain heaven if one doesn’t take Christ into both their lives and hearts. That would leave out all atheists, Jews, Muslims and non-Christians. Quite a large group of humans destined for someplace other than heaven.

Jews believe Christ has not been on this planet, Buddhists believe in Buddha, Muslims believe in the prophet Mohammad, etc.. Would a God, any God, exclude such a population because of something they don’t  believe in? God supposedly told the Prophets, after the flood, He would not interfere in the affairs of man again. One can take that to mean there was no Son of God on earth, because if He did, wouldn’t that make God a liar? Can God lie?

My point is religion can be both a good and bad thing, and at the same time. How many wars have been fought in the name of religion? How many humans slaughtered in the name of Religion? Do those wars justify religion in any way? Conversely, and maybe more importantly, does religion justify war? Believe me, I know religion is abused by any number of people, Tony Alamo being one example, but the majority of religious people are good people. But is religion, in the long run, necessary to attain heaven? Is a religion, such as Catholicism, any better than an Australian tribe worshiping  Uluru? My opinion would be emphatically no. My base belief is if one lives the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, that is all that is needed to attain heaven, assuming, again, heaven actually exists. That, to me at least, is not a religion, per se, but a core belief in humanity. Does that mean I’m destined for the bbq pit? I have no problem with religion, I just don’t think any organized religion is a deciding factor when it come to God’s judgment: He judges on how one lives their life.

Okay, can open: your thoughts? (Imagine this post on TBTSNBN)

jamnmer5

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Filed under Ethics, Life Lessons, Religion

The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

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“Of all the important studies of the American right, The Family is undoubtedly the most eloquent.  It is also quite possibly the most terrifying.”  Thomas Frank

As many of you hopefully noticed the author of this book  left a comment on one of Jammer’s Posts encouraging others to read his book which has produced the most in- depth rsearch on this invisible network of fundamentalists.  Mr. Sharlet apologized for departing from blog etiquete.  I approved his message and I think anyone who has a number 4 on the NY Times bestseller list, can depart from usual courtesy.

I bought the book today and have started it.  Guess how many pages into the book before both Sam Brownback and Toddly Tiahrt are mentioned?  Yes, that’s right both made appearances before page 30.

These people are scary, as Thoms Frank notes above.  Their Jesus has a decidedly “world-conqueror” bent to his philosphy.  George W. Bush supposedly found Jesus at one of  this group’s establishments.

It is a long book, but despite that short coming it would be a great book-club read.

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Filed under Book Reviews

C Street and the Family

political_religious_tshirt-p235994469140287946trlf_400Doug Coe, the leader of the Family,  has said “One of the things [Jesus] has said is ‘If any man comes to me, and does not hate his father, mother, brother, sister, his own life, he can’t be a disciple.’ So I don’t care what other qualifications you have, if you don’t do that, you can’t be a disciple of Christ.”

This is the foundation of the quasi-religious group called the Family.  Abraham Vereide founded the group in 1934 in response the Franklin D Roosevelt’s new deal. He felt Roosevelt’s new deal would allow unions to take over the Seattle’s  government. He organized prayer breakfasts that included politicians and business leaders that included anti-communist and anti union discussions, thinking both were one in the same.  The prayer breakfast discussions took off until they were in over forty cities, and in 1943 incorporated into the the national committee of Christian leadership, with it’s offices in Chicago. The following year he changed its name to International Christian leadership, and moved to Washington D.C..

Flash forward to today:  The Family represents “Jesus plus nothing,” as its leader, Doug Coe, puts it, the “totalitarianism of God,” in the words of an early Family leader, a vision that encompasses not just social issues but also the kind of free-market fundamentalism that is the real object of devotion for core members and insiders. At the heart of the Family’s spiritual advice for its proxies in Congress is the conviction that the market’s invisible hand represents the guidance of God, and that God wants his “new chosen” to look out for one another.

This is the basis of the politicians who belong to the group. Coe has stated on numerous occasions the group is at its best when it can act like the mafia: acting in secret can accomplish more than in public.

Fellowship leader Doug Coe repeatedly urges a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that he compares to the blind devotion that Adolf Hitler demanded from his followers. Coe has stated “Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had, these nobodies from nowhere,” and later in the same sermon: “Jesus said, ‘You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself. With Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people.”

Is the influence this group appears to have with politicians violate the separation of church and state? I think that’s a good question, considering their background and stated mission.

Read further here:

And here:

jammer5

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Filed under Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans