Theology-related quote for the day

I’m telling you, this is what the modern evangelical church is coming to. Embarrassment. Disgrace. Unattractive to those outside the cult mentality.

Tom Rich

Two comments:

  1. The people inside the evangelical bubble really do not know how ridiculous and pathetically isolated they are.

  2. It’s going to get worse. As they sense themselves moving irrevocably to the outer margins of civil life, their anger will intensify.

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Headline of the day

Gay Teen Worried He Might Be Christian

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Bizarre theological claim of the day

A youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, explains that the union of husband and wife, culminating in orgasm, is — get ready — a prototype of our eternal relationship with Jesus in Heaven.1

Uh-huh — now there is an image I need to get flushed out of my head. The place to begin, I suppose, is by reminding myself that the Genesis creation tale is childish nonsense, so what is really going on here is construction of a cotton-candy fairy castle according to the peculiar psychology of this particular oddity.

I know ol’ Mark Twain would have thought this sermon is a hoot. Here is what he wrote about the subject of sex in his comic masterpiece, Letters From the Earth.

First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys — yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything — even his queer heaven itself — to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.

They prize it thus highly; yet, like all their so-called “boons,” it is a poor thing. At its very best and longest the act is brief beyond imagination — the imagination of an immortal, I mean. In the matter of repetition the man is limited — oh, quite beyond immortal conception. We who continue the act and its supremest ecstasies unbroken and without withdrawal for centuries, will never be able to understand or adequately pity the awful poverty of these people in that rich gift which, possessed as we possess it, makes all other possessions trivial and not worth the trouble of invoicing.

Twain would have choked at this sermon, I am certain, and then spent 10,000-words ridiculing it.

But, then, ol’ Josh Duggar may have taken it to heart.

Josh Duggar allegedly had two “terrifying” rough sex romps with a porn star while his wife was pregnant with their fourth child, the traumatized X-rated entertainer claims.

Stripper and adult film star Danica Dillon has revealed details of how sex with Duggar quickly turned violent after the disgraced reality TV star lured her into bed with promises of cash gifts.

Or perhaps the prosaic, humdrum truth was set out by Nietzsche:

With severity and pedantry, the priest formulated once and for all, down to the large and small taxes he was to be paid (not to forget the tastiest pieces of meat, for the priest is a steak eater), what he wants to have, “what the will of God is.” From now on all things in life are so ordered that the priest is indispensable — marriage, sickness, death, not to speak of “sacrifices” (meals), the holy parasite appears in order to denature them—in his language: to “consecrate.”

For one must understand this: every natural custom, every natural institution (state, judicial order, marriage, care of the sick and the poor), every demand inspired by the instinct of life — in short, everything that contains its value in itself is made altogether valueless, anti-valuable by the parasitism of the priest (or the “moral world order”): now it requires a sanction after the event — a value-conferring power is needed to negate what is natural in it and to create a value by so doing. The priest devalues, desecrates nature: this is the price of his existence. Disobedience of God, that is, of the priest, of “the Law,” is now called “sin”; the means for “reconciliation with God” are, as is meet, means that merely guarantee still more thorough submission to the priest: the priest alone “redeems.”

The Antichrist, §26

This has been a bad year for the Godly. The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, sex scandals ad nauseum — Ashley Madison, Josh Duggar, Todd Courser, Tullian Tchvidjian … I mean, damn, one or the other of them is getting caught with his pants down every day. They’re looking like over-indulged children, like people you definitely don’t want to allow to go messing with grown-up stuff — which certainly includes marriage and sex.

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1   No video; you’ll have to skip ahead to about the 24-minute mark in the audio.

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
A Criticism of the Words: Improvement, Perfecting, Elevation

§396   The priests and with them the half-priests or philosophers of all ages have always called that doctrine true, the educating influence of which was a benevolent one or at least seemed so — that is to say, tended to “improve”. In this way they resemble an ingenuous plebeian empiric and miracle-worker who, because he had tried a certain poison as a cure, declared it to be no poison. “By their fruits ye shall know them” that is to say, “by our truths”. This has been the reasoning of priests until this day. They have squandered their sagacity, with results that have been sufficiently fatal, in order to make the “proof of power” (or the proof “by the fruits”) pre-eminent and even supreme arbiter over all other forms of proof. “That which makes good must be good; that which is good cannot lie” — these are their inexorable conclusions — “that which bears good fruit must consequently be true; there is no other criterion of truth” —

But to the extent to which “improving” acts as an argument, deteriorating must also act as a refutation. The error can be shown to be an error, by examining the lives of those who represent it: a false step, a vice, can refute. This indecent form of opposition, which comes from below and behind the dog-like form of opposition, has not died out either. Priests, as psychologists, never discovered anything more interesting than spying out the secret vices of their adversaries; they prove their Christianity by looking about for the world’s filth. They apply this principle more particularly to the greatest on earth, to the geniuses: readers will remember how Goethe has been attacked on every conceivable occasion in Germany (Klopstock and Herder were among the first to give a “good example” — in this respect birds of a feather flock together).

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
A Criticism of the Words: Improvement, Perfecting, Elevation

§395   — “Illness makes men better”, this famous assumption which is to be met with in all ages and in the mouth of the sage quite as often as in the mouth and maw of the people, really makes one ponder. In view of discovering whether there is any truth in it, one might be allowed to ask whether there is not perhaps a fundamental relationship between morality and illness? Regarded as a whole, could not the “improvement of mankind” — that is to say, the unquestionable softening, humanising and taming which the European has undergone within the last two centuries be regarded as the result of a long course of secret and ghastly suffering, failure, abstinence and grief? Has illness made “Europeans “better”? Or, put into other words, is not our modern soft-hearted European morality, which could be likened to that of the Chinese, perhaps an expression of physiological deterioration?

It cannot be denied, for instance, that wherever history shows us “man” in a state of particular glory and power, his type is always dangerous, impetuous and boisterous and cares little for humanity; and perhaps, in those cases in which it seems otherwise, all that was required was the courage or subtlety to see sufficiently below the surface in psychological matters, in order even in them to discover the general proposition: “the more healthy, strong, rich, fruitful and enterprising a man may feel, the more immoral he will be as well”. A terrible thought, to which one should on no account give way. Provided, however, that one take a few steps forward with this thought, how wondrous does the future then appear! What will then be paid for more dearly on earth, than precisely this very thing which we are all trying to promote, by all means in our power the humanising, the improving and the increased “civilisation” of man? Nothing would then be more expensive than virtue: for by means of it the world would ultimately be turned into a hospital: and the last conclusion of wisdom would be, “everybody must be everybody else’s nurse”. Then we should certainly have attained to the “Peace on earth”, so long desired! But how little “joy we should find in each other’s company”! How little beauty, wanton spirits, daring and danger! So few “actions” which would make life on earth worth living! Ah! and no longer any “deeds”! But have not all the great things and deeds which have remained fresh in the memory of men and which have not been destroyed by time, been immoral in the deepest sense of the word?

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