Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just Because

Midterms are coming up. I'm pretty worried this time. For ASL I have to sign a book report. I'm not nearly fluent enough yet to feel comfortable doing that. Also, my webcam seems to have a time limit that is roughly 20% of the time I need to sign everything. It's making me pretty nervous.

For my Experiences in Diversity course, I have to do a presentation on one aspect of American culture. I decided to do it on "Capitalist Calvinism," having come to the conclusion during my research of Orthodoxy that Calvinist "Christianity" is at the root of much that is wrong with our society. I guess it was pretty silly of me to think I was the first person to recognize that; at any rate, I found an overwhelming amount of writing on the subject when I began to research. Some of it is pretty intensive. I found a long article about the Dutch West India Company, examining the writings of the directors and their religious affiliations, and was both disgusted and betrayed to find that for most of the Reformed community, the New World was as much a place to overthrow Catholicism as to practice their own religion. The writings of the directors and of the leaders in early Reformed colonies are anything but reminiscent of a desire for freedom. Quite the contrary, they are as self-righteous and oppressive towards others as anything ever said by the Roman church. It's very hard, after reading their writings and about their political practices, to think of them as anything but a pack of "ME-FIRST"ers pouncing on what they saw as available territory to create their own religious fiefdom.

It's very strange that so much of what the self-titled "Fundamentalists" believe is anything BUT "fundamental" to Christianity. This course is incredibly depressing.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

About being selfish...

One of my Facebook friends posted a status about her political views that I responded to. And after responding I decided to repost my comment here, because I expressed some things I feel are important. Her point was that while she may be an Obama supporter, she's tired of being treated as if she agrees with everything he does. And she tried to point out some of the many ways in which she feels the big picture is flawed. She made the comment that "we are a selfish nation." And this was what I posted....

"'We are a selfish nation.' That is so true; and what people won't recognize is, we have been that way from the beginning in spite of the many good qualities our forefathers possessed and attempted to instill, and religion has done NOTHING to change that. In fact, it has exacerbated it in many ways. I know many people who argue that without Christianity we would not have civilization anywhere; but that simply isn't true. When you define "civilization" as a culture based on Christian principles and "Christianity" as a religion based on the Old Testament, you warp the very definition of both from the outset. It also warps definitions when you define "selfishness" as needing something you do not have access to, or as believing the government should not dole out charity. There are many reasons to want an inherently capitalist government out of the charity business; the first and foremost being that it is for them a BUSINESS, and they make a ton of money from it. I know many people who recognize these issues and form their opinions accordingly. It's the ones who deny them I have a problem with. You don't have to agree with me, but you owe it to everyone to be informed about your opinion."