Monday, March 26, 2007

Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

found at

Friday, March 23, 2007


When shall we have the courage to outgrow the charity mentality and see that at the bottom of all relations between rich and poor there is a problem of justice?
- Dom Helder Camara

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Amazing Grace

Jesus tells a story (Luke 15) about a young man who insults his father, destroys the family’s inheritance, lives among foreigners, and loses his faith. In desperation he finally decides to go back home. And is warmly and lovingly welcomed home by his father. But instead of celebrating the love of his father for his brother, his older brother jealously rejects him. He correctly points out that this younger brother has done nothing to deserve his father’s love.

And I recognise the older brother every time we Christian people evaluate the lives of those who seek the Love of the Eternal Father. We are the older brother whenever an unmarried mother seeking the baptism of her child is judged unworthy by Christian people; or when a gay couple is refused God’s blessing in a Christian church because we believe that they do not deserve their union; or when a person of another faith is not welcome to pray with the Christian community because they have not learned to do it ‘our’ way. We are so convinced that people must earn the right to be loved by God. And so bewildered by the concept of God’s unconditional Grace.

“Please Lord – unmake our hardened hearts. And convince us Christians that your Grace is best revealed in the way we show mercy to the outcast.”

Friday, March 09, 2007

"The Great Moral Issues of Our Time"

Last week, James Dobson and a number of other Religious Right leaders wrote a letter to the National Association of Evangelicals, claiming that work on climate change was a distraction from "the great moral issues of our time”.
The letter reads:
"More importantly, we have observed that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children."

Dear Dr Dobson.
I live in South Africa. We are a country that faces poverty, the ravages of Hiv/Aids, violent crime, gangsterism and drugs in our townships, and corrupt public officials. And the drought caused by global warming has ravaged the maize crops, and people are going to starve. But you want to tell us that abortion, gay marriages, and sexual abstinence are “the great moral issues of our time”? While these are indeed important issues, they are not the ‘great moral issues’. Our country needs the followers of Jesus to teach honesty and integrity, to encourage compassion for the sick, to stir a nation’s conscience to dismantling poverty, and to reclaim our sense of stewardship of the earth for God. Might I suggest that it is only the well fed, the healthy, the employed, and the physically safe who have the luxury of choosing human sexuality as the great debate of our time. The rest of us live with real issues of life and death!

But then, we are told, there was a time in history when the religious leaders debated “How many angels can dance on the point of a very fine needle, without jostling one another?..." (Isaac D'Israeli, "Curiosities of Literature", 1791) – this at a time when the general populace lived lives of quiet desperation.

Mr Dobson, Sir, please join us as debate the real moral issues of our day!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

She's a Lady

I met her at the Crematorium where I was teaching my students about death, undertakers and cremations. I was alive and well. She was not. Encased in the unfinished pressed board of a pauper’s coffin, she lay on a trolly awaiting cremation. Her name, scrawled in felt-tipped pen on the top of the coffin, read “Christina Niemand”. And the sadness of this overwhelmed me. Because the Afrikaans second name “Niemand” when translated into English becomes “Nobody”. Here lies ‘Nobody’, about to be cremated by the state as a pauper, because nobody has claimed her.

No one deserves to be a Nobody. Everyone begins life with a father and a mother. There are connections with family and friends. And yet here is someone who has lost them. So I said a prayer for Christina Niemand. Because I know that in God’s sight she is a Somebody.