Creating a culture

nbruce writes "Ted Olsen at his blog for Christianity Today writes:

"Forbes magazine ran a series on Christians in business. Others have noticed that Christian books like Left Behind, The Prayer of Jabez, and The Purpose-driven Life have become bestsellers. Some were shocked at the marketing savvy Christians showed in promoting The Passion and the underground means of getting Christians to spend 40 days reading and discussing a book.

Well, the Technology Review has a good look. The culture war rhetoric that pits morality-obsessed Christians against the "liberated" rest-of-the-country is too simple, it says. Christians who reject a perceived valueless culture are not only refusing to watch television, or abstaining from movies. They're creating their own stuff."

The whole article in Technology Review is worth reading in its entirety."

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Re:On the contrary

I find Christians are more likely to be thieves, than even some of the rest of us. They just like to cloak it in godliness....

When you say "more likely", do you mean you've done something objective like assembling a valid sample of the population and using an ANOVA to ascertain that professing Christians are indeed more larcenous than everyone else? Or is this judgement based on impressions from your experience (modulo perhaps your pre-existing opinions of religion)? Can we trust your impartiality on this matter?

Just noticing now?

I have known in the tradition, the (American) Restoration Movement, that I have grown up in that effectively an alternate culture was being created. The movement saw as initial leaders Barton W. Stone, Alexander Campbell, and David Lipscomb (among many).
  My fear is becoming too insular really. Checking out of society is not always a good thing to do. The recognition at Christianity Today that an alternative society is being created is not really new news. The danger is that such a trend pushes one away from evangelistic tendencies. It is a little hard to take the Word to the ends of the earth if one becomes so insular that one "checks out" on the world around.

They're not the only ones....

...tuning out from "mass culture".

I don't watch television, go to the movies, etc... but my values are in direct opposition to Evangelical Christians. (I'm a militant atheist, a militant childfree, and a practitioner of BDSM, to name only three.) I'm also in support of intelligent entertainment (which is woefully lacking from the "big name" entertainment companies) and against intellectual property law abuse (which is what said "big names" specialize in).

The difference is that in the US, I'm something of a (relative) rarity; the main "culture war" is between corporatist profit-driven lowest-common-denominator values and fundamentalist religious ones. Stuck between those two (IMHO) evils, I'm strongly considering emigrating the hell out of here for Canada once I have my MLS.

Re:They're not the only ones....

Good luck in finding the country that allows you as much freedom to pursue your personal desires and happiness as you want. You'll be in our prayers. And remember, "Good-bye" is short for God Bless Ye.

*lol*....

Good luck in finding the country that allows you as much freedom to pursue your personal desires and happiness as you want.

Based on my research thus far, it's called "Canada".

You'll be in our prayers.

If you wanted to make a meaningless statement (from my perspective), you succeeded. ;)

And remember, "Good-bye" is short for God Bless Ye.

The etymology of a given word does not its current definition make. "Goodbye" today is defined thusly: "Used to express an acknowledgement of parting." I'll be saying "goodbye" quite enthusiastically if/when I get out of this country. :p

On the contrary

I find Christians are more likely to be thieves, than even some of the rest of us. They just like to cloak it in godliness....http://www.guidinglightvideo.com/shop/kingdom.html For just one of many examples.Not that I like Disney worth a damn, but if the stuff I were interested in were as popular, I'm sure they'd be ripping it off. Just like the movement ripped off the WWJD creator....-- Ender, Duke_of_URLÖ

Clarification--WWJD

Charles Sheldon, if alive, would be about 150 years old, and the copyright lapsed on his book, In His Steps, which popularized "What Would Jesus Do" by telling the fictional story of a congregation which was challenged to take such a pledge. He wrote sermon stories, and told a chapter a week from the pulpit, and this was one of them.

"Sheldon received practically no royalties, what little he did receive he gave to charity. When he was informed by Publishers Weekly that the book had a greater circulation than any other except the Bible, Sheldon said, "No one is more grateful than I am, as it confirms the faith I have always held that no subject is more interesting and vital to the human race than religion." " from Guideposts

Re:*lol*....

Based on my research thus far, it's called "Canada".

Well, we're working on it. We still can't buy your firearms but at least you can buy our drugs.

Unfortunately, our hate speech laws are truly asinine. They must have been written by Jesse Helm's "good" twin.

Our libel laws are five hundred year old anachronisms (by Henry VII) that are based on an assumption of guilt, with a concomitant shift of the burden of proof onto the accused, and you can be found guilty of libel even if you told the truth if there was malicious intent.

Liberal - conservative; coke - pepsi; yadda, yadda, yadda . . .

Re:Just noticing now?

My fear is becoming too insular really.

I think you are right that we shouldn't become too insular or check out of society--not at all. However, I do also think that evangelical Christians have in many ways assimilated themselves too much to the surrounding culture. Much of Christianity seems to revolve these days around attracting people by meeting their "felt needs" or by promising them health and wealth, and such things. One well-known church where I live has bumper-stickers proclaiming "We believe in you!" There's not much "deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me" left in such churches, it seems to me.

The answer, I think, lies neither in insularity nor in assimilation, but in doing the hard work of thinking through (and talking through with others) a consistently Christian attitude toward culture. Sadly, this kind of thing isn't all that popular among believers nowadays.

Re:*lol*....

Canada.

Canada is much more restrictive in regards to free speech rights than the US. Particularly in regards to pornography (that which is "degrading or dehumanizing", see R. v. Butler, 89 D.L.R. (4th) 449 (1992)), hate speech (which is disturbingly all-encompassing) and other areas. The gun registry is certainly a limitation on freedom as well as a financial black hole.

Of course, it is a Western country and therefore you have many freedoms. The US isn't perfect but it certainly isn't the oppressive state you think.

150 years?

So what? That's barely out-of-bounds under today's copyright law, and won't be for long. And things can go back under copyright, we've had plenty of those. The lack of desire to put things under copyright is a killer to that argument however :)-- End er, Duke_of_URLm

Re:Public domain and theft

Let me see if I follow you. If YOU access Project Gutenberg which has over 6,000 works in the public domain and hundreds of volunteers, you're OK, but Christians who do it are stealing? Is it the action or just the minority you personally dislike that create an atmosphere of crime?

I'm not going to keep an eye on WWJD jewelry or t-shirts, but librarians should pay attention to what is being removed from the public domain, particularly gov't documents.

*sigh*

Particularly in regards to pornography (that which is "degrading or dehumanizing", see R. v. Butler, 89 D.L.R. (4th) 449 (1992)), hate speech (which is disturbingly all-encompassing) and other areas.

Reading R. v. Butler and R. v. Keegstra, I had quite the sinking feeling. Damn you. (Not really.) :p

The gun registry is certainly a limitation on freedom as well as a financial black hole.

I'm not as concerned about that; being able to own firearms at all is a positive step over some regions of the US.

The US isn't perfect but it certainly isn't the oppressive state you think.

Try telling me that if/when they overturn Roe v. Wade, enshrine hatred as law via a Marriage Amendment, and mutilate the First Amendment with a "Flag Protection" Amendment.

I feel as if I'm trapped no matter where I turn; I can have one set of rights, or another - but not both.

Re:*sigh*

Try telling me that if/when they overturn Roe v. Wade, enshrine hatred as law via a Marriage Amendment, and mutilate the First Amendment with a "Flag Protection" Amendment.

Come on. If the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, then they would leave it to the states to vote on. This is what they did in regards to the death penalty and arguably that has settled the issue by leaving it up to the democratic process. In my opinion, the primary reason that abortion is such a contentious issue is that the Supreme Court took the issue away from the democratic process and thus it has festered for 30 years. If it were left up to the states, then the fine folks of Massachusetts or Iowa could vote to keep it legal and the folks of Florida and Nebraska could vote to limit it.

I wouldn't hold my breath for a flag amendment, it is tough to amend the US Constitution. Also, if one looks at the Rehnquist Supreme Court (and their rulings the past 15 years) they are pretty 1st Amendment friendly; especially the two most unlikely justices, Scalia and Thomas. The only ruling that I can think of that is not pro-freedom of speech is the recent upholding of McCain-Feingold.

I feel as if I'm trapped no matter where I turn; I can have one set of rights, or another ...

Have you every lived in another country? I bet you aren't that old. Early 20's?

Re:*sigh*

>>Try telling me that if/when they overturn Roe v. Wade, enshrine hatred as law via a Marriage Amendment

Canada is a fine country however may recommend the Peoples Republic of China?

Infanticide, specifically for those with the misfortune of 2 X chromosomes, is state-subsidized. The only downside may be a dearth in "available" women. Hence BYOM (Bring Your Own Mate) if so inclined.

I predict you would also enjoy the heavy-handed hegemony of the CPC (Communist Party of China). Unfortunately they do have a constitution but don't sweat the messy U.S. precept of amending through publicly elected state legislatures.

As for libraries, classification is based upon book cover color....red.

Re:*sigh*

This is what they did in regards to the death penalty and arguably that has settled the issue by leaving it up to the democratic process.

Leaving a fundamental right up to "democracy" is the worst possible move. Should we have left slavery up to the states?

I wouldn't hold my breath for a flag amendment, it is tough to amend the US Constitution.

That's my hope; I'm far more worried about the banning of same-sex marriage in the Constitution.

Have you every [sic] lived in another country? I bet you aren't that old. Early 20's?

I don't see the relevance of your question; you could ask that of most people on this site, and receive the answer "no". FWIW, I'll be 26 this year.

Re:*sigh*

Canada is a fine country however may recommend the Peoples Republic of China? [...]

Tell me - do you even expect a serious reply to that, or are you merely content being an obnoxious twit?

Re:*sigh*

Leaving a fundamental right up to "democracy" is the worst possible move. Should we have left slavery up to the states.

Up until 1973, abortion was NOT a fundamental right. This right was found as a penumbra right emanating from "right to privacy" which is another penumbra right emanating from the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 9th Amendments to the US Constitution. Prior to 1973, it was left up to the democratic process, in some states it was legal and in others it wasn't legal. If it was left up to the democratic process, then abortion would be probably be completely unrestricted and legal in most states, in other states there would be some restrictions and in a small number of states it would be illegal.

Unfortunately, the issue of slavery was included in the US Constitution. The Southern colonies included slavery during the constitutional convention. As I recall, in the 1850's and 1860's the Southern "slave states" were afraid of popular elections in regards to "slave states" or "free states" in newly admitted states.

In so far as leaving a fundamental issue like slavery up to the democratic process: the English Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. This dealt with all slaves in the whole British Empire. They even started the ball rolling by passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

I think gun ownership is a fundamental right due to the fact that the founders included it in the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. Unfortunately, it gets restricted quite a bit; however, I think the Canadian gun registry is a lot more restrictive that any state or local restriction in the US simply because the Canadian gun registry is national in scope.

I don't see the relevance of your question; you could ask that of most people on this site, and receive the answer "no".

Maybe this will show the relevance of the question. I could ask that question to most people on this list; however, none them are claiming that the US is such an oppressive regime that is so bad that they would presumably considering renouncing their citizenship and moving to another country. You appear to hold that view; therfore I am asking the question of whether or not you have lived in any other country. It is sort of a "the grass isn't always greener on the other side" argument. I wish you luck in moving to another country; however, it might not as free as the place you left.

Censorship in Canada

By way of illustration, see this article in the Maratimes news section of Canada.com.

Excerpt:
The province's health department is also offering cash awards to citizens who monitor the airwaves and newspapers and report any use of what the government calls "outdated, negative, inappropriate'' terms -- including "madman,'' "nutcase,'' "fruitcake'' and "kooky.''

The government even says the terms "mental hospital'' and "nervous breakdown'' should be out of bounds, not only in stories dealing with the mentally ill, but in all public discourse.

Please note that I do not advocate mocking or stigmatizing the mentally ill, but trying to ban these words seems like a cure worse than its illness.

Re:On the contrary

Duke,I find nothing wrong with selling/buying videos with some alternative views and morals in the hands of parents who want to give their children something other than Disney. I believe guidinglightvideo.com provides that very well, sure they have to make money , so do you and I, what is so wrong with that. Infact I find that their services are much greater than that of amazon, look at what they give back (on their site) and you will see for yourself.al

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