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The uncomfortable downward slope toward more conservative Christian churches

Uploaded: Jun 22, 2021
Our Christian churches in the U.S. suddenly seem be not only tilting to the right, but rather sliding down a hill to join with the conservative Republican right wing.

It happened last week in the Catholic Church, and in the Southern Baptist Church which had a battle for power, and even in many Southern and Midwest Evangelical churches who have climbed aboard the slide.

I am looking at the national, not the local scene, but even locally, I haven’t heard or read an outcry yet from Christian groups about this expanding conservative right, nor from any Catholic parishes.

As a Catholic, I feel I have a right to comment at least about my church, after reading articles in the NYT, WSJ, and National Catholic Reporter (NCR) on this topic. I was distressed when I heard Friday, June 17, that 73 percent of all the eligible voting bishops attending U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on drafting a document on rules for public Catholic officials to receive communion. If approved in early November, as it inevitably will be, it would disallow the second Catholic President of the United States to receive communion because he does not condemn abortion, one of the now-litmus tests for Catholics to prove they are real Catholics. To qualify, the bishops implied that politicians must believe in all the church’s doctrines, including the inherent suggestion that abortion is the biggest of mortal sins.

The hypocrisy and presumed righteousness of these conservative bishops is alarming Of course this new document being prepared is aimed at Biden – the committee that put this on the bishops’ agenda is composed of several Trump supporters. These majority bishops claim their decision to go forward with a draft document on the Holy Eucharist had nothing to do with politics, according to the NCR.

They were wrong. It had everything to do with politics and money put into their figurative pockets from an elite group of rich right Republicans (as described in the book, “The Power Worshippers” by Katherine Stewart) and by NCR.

These are the same elderly men who are against gay marriage and the LGBTQ community, who stood silently by for years doing nothing during the disclosure of the widespread pedophilia problem in the church (while they protected each other). These are the conservative men who never criticized Trump’s badgering – no, vitriol attacks against minorities, immigrants, who jailed the immigrants’ children seeking safety here, who paid of his female sex partners, etc.

These 73 percent, mostly older males, sat around a virtual table deciding whether a Catholic president who is prochoice can receive communion when the Church has taken a strong anti-abortion stand. They are the deciders, they declare. They were the silent ones during the Trump years.

Now, they attack Joe Biden, who is a n upright, decent, caring guy, a devout Catholic his entire life, and a man who wants to help the immigrants, the poor, and who supports women’s rights.

All that is not to say that there are some very good, caring bishops in this country. Unfortunately, they were the minority voters at the bishops’ conference.

The stand the majority bishops took is embarrassing, myopic, closed minded and politically driven. That t sounds neither moral nor pastoral., just hypocritical.

• • • • •
I think the Southern Baptists are having an even more widespread internal problem. Their church is not only divided about its moderate vs. a more conservative stance, but also women’s standing in the church, race relations. etc.

As the NYT described it: “A newly empowered ultraconservative faction in the already conservative denomination is pushing back against a national leadership they describe as out-of-touch elitists who have drifted too far to the left on social issues. Mainstream Baptist churches and those on the far right agree that the convention’s results will serve as a referendum about the denomination’s priorities and could accelerate the fracturing of an already shrinking institution.”

At last week’s conference, the Baptists’ moderate candidate, Pastor Ed Litton, won by just 336 votes, or 4 percent of those casting ballots. That vote occurred after months of angry debate over race, gender and other cultural divides, with the gender issue focused on the rights of a man over his wife, among other things.

In some ways, the Baptists’ issues are akin to the Catholic majority bishops’ concerns. They worry about people dropping out of the church, so they decide the church should have a stricter approach and more rules. The Catholic church still doesn’t allow women to become priests or deacons, and also tells a woman through its stance against birth control and abortion, what she can -- and cannot do – with her individual body.

The Southern Evangelical, churches who, surprisingly to me, supported Trump and seem to continue to be Trumpian followers, are also dealing with whether they should become a more conservative church.

This move-to-the-right is becoming more pervasive influence in our society, both politically and now religiously. The combination of politics and religion could become a powerful – too powerful? – force in our country.

I am worried.

And as voters and churchgoers, I we must speak out. I don’t want to be a silent sheep, I want my Catholic bishops to know that I (and I hope others) object to their sanctimonious positions that our president, who is Catholic, should not receive Communion because he supports abortion. We have to hold our bishops accountable.



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Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Bob Ohlmann, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

Bob Ohlmann is a registered user.

This is just one of the reasons I have looked for other spiritual sources rather than the Catholic church where I was quite active here in Palo alto 30 to 50 years ago. The hierarchy just did not seem to follow the principles laid out by Jesus as I understood them, so, to me, they failed as Christians, and I couldn't follow them any longer. I admire the patience of liberals who have stuck with the church in spite of its failings, but that is not my approach as I found spiritual guidance much more effective elsewhere.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 22, 2021 at 4:12 pm

Anneke is a registered user.

The Catholic church is lucky to have such a moral president as part of their religious community, and they should recognize he is a gift to the church. My siblings and I grew up with the Catholic church, and we all disliked the hour and a half we had to sit through Mass when we were young. As a result, none of my siblings are members of any church anymore, and I have joined the Episcopalian church, which is much more open. I am not a greater believer in God per se; however, I do believe in the Go(o)dness of human beings. The Catholic church has done a lot of harm in the past. Just see some of the movies about the unwed mothers and the orphanages in Ireland, in addition to the ongoing pedophilia.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 22, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Perhaps you'd be happier in a more liberal church. It's a very personal decision, and a decision only you can make.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by vmshadle, a resident of Meadow Park,
on Jun 22, 2021 at 5:30 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

How can the Roman Catholic Church claim moral authority over anyone after perpetrating sexual abuse upon generation after generation of children, persecution of Jews over millennia, and decades if not centuries of persecution of LGBTQ peoples? (I'm sure I'm leaving out other groups on their "enemies list," for which I apologize.) Furthermore, why does a complete and unadulterated patriarchy get to control women's bodies? It all beggars belief (pun intended/unintended).


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Neal, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:15 am

Neal is a registered user.

The Catholic Church is just another business trying to stay afloat. Their membership and finances are cratering and they are hoping a move to the far right will reenergize their base. This is right out of Trump's playbook. Trump was pro choice before he ran for president and then made an about face to appeal to his conservative base.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Monica Preston, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:05 am

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Seems to me that the simplest solution to this quandary is to leave the church or change faiths as others here have either suggested or done. In addition, it is foolhardy to allow caliphates to replace one's own thinking with religious dogma and prejudice. Organized religion is just another way of controling [ignorant] people while drawing-in various amounts of tax-free revenue and/or political support. It preys on the fears of the [ignorant] who do not bother to question anything. The Catholic and Islamic faiths are prime examples of this dogma generating machine.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Rodney Bloom, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 8:16 am

Rodney Bloom is a registered user.

Church has been replaced by modern science and rational thought processes. It was important back in the days when things couldn't be fully explained or understood via logic and empiricism. Religion is on its way out except for those who are unable to comprehend matters with their own brains.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 8:55 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

I'm not Catholic, but this isn't the first time Biden was denied communion. It happened in South Carolina in 2019. Christianity is inherently conservative/moderate. To try and micromanage Christianity to fit into your far-left politics is absurd. To say religion is moving to the right is as silly as saying Berkeley has decided to lean left. Be realistic. There is no such thing as being a "real Christian." A true disciple of Christ and being right with God.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Francisco Alacante, a resident of Stanford,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 10:01 am

Francisco Alacante is a registered user.

"Christianity is inherently conservative/moderate." @Jennifer Most Christian faiths are conservative/moderate with the possible exception of the Unitarians who keep a pretty open perspective on just about anything including extraterrestrial devine interventions. They represent liberal Christianity in that they do not judge others by either church doctrine or Bible. And you are correct in that there is no real or true Christian. We are all sinners from the standpoint of our past deeds and personal flaws. That is why Jesus essentially died for nothing (i.e. the sins of man). Over 2,000 years later, nothing has changed on Earth except for technology and a better understanding of science. Human nature remains a constant. As far as President Biden is concerned, he shouldn't fret over Communion as there are no guarantees in life or the afterlife. As some others have stated...it's just dogma being spewed by those who want to control others and many of the so-called church leaders are hypocritically self-righteous, just like most of the extremely conservative Christian sects and Republicans. As George Clinton expounds, "free your mind and your a** will follow."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:46 pm

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The Bible says "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", and Jesus said "Do this in memory of me". Christianity is made up of sinners. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Saints are those who have admitted their failures and confessed their sins. Communion is an act of obedience to Jesus' command. I have nothing to say about the proposal by the Bishops or the stand by organized religion. I just think it is important for those commenting to understand what the Bible says about such things in context.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Wilhelm Gerhardt, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Wilhelm Gerhardt is a registered user.

>I just think it is important for those commenting to understand what the Bible says about such things in context. Interpretation of the Bible is subject to individual interpretation (if one a functioning mind). As Bob Dylan once wrote, "don't follow leaders and watch your parking meters." Besides, how can someone sworn to celibacy even have a clue about heterosexual marital relationships let alone offer sound advice to troubled couples and individuals? The best bet is to steer clear of these so-called and self-proclaimed religious leaders as most cannot relate to the real world.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Wilhelm Gerhardt, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:04 pm

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>> [if one has a functioning mind]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by StarSpring, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 23, 2021 at 5:48 pm

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As a recovering Catholic I don't have a dog in this fight, though I can see why Pope Francis tried to warn off the Conference of Catholic Bishops. This will do nothing but fragment the Church in the US - furthering the trend towards agnosticism. (not that I think that is necessarily a bad outcome) It was all downhill after Vatican II anyway...


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 24, 2021 at 5:06 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "To qualify, the bishops implied that politicians must believe in all the church's doctrines, ..." FYI: This is but another instance of a long-running controversy in the Roman Catholic Church in the US. The abortion variant goes back decades, resurfacing when a prominent politician who was Catholic was a too prominent advocate for abortion rights. Biden is just the current example. But the generic version goes back centuries. For example, the Protestant Reformation. For example, King Henry VIII separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church because he rejected the Catholic doctrine interference in affairs of state -- Henry's determination to avoid yet another bloody civil war resulting from there not being a legitimate heir to the throne.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Willis Freeman, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:13 am

Willis Freeman is a registered user.

The Southern WHITE Baptists are a peculiar group and separate from the black Baptist church. Southern white Baptists are extremely conservative and racist. And it is the predominant organized religion of churchgoing KKK members and white supremacists. The black Baptist church tends to be more progressive and the music at the services is far better. The black Baptist church emerged because white Baptists segregated their churches in the South. Like comparing apples and oranges.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Johannes Siefert, a resident of another community,
on Jun 24, 2021 at 8:41 am

Johannes Siefert is a registered user.

The Spanish Inquisition was perhaps one of the best (or worst) examples of non-church/state separation. The Catholic Church forced Spanish Jews to convert to Catholicism, coerced Catherine Medici to initiate the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and impoverished most of the inhabitants of The New World. Today the Catholic Church remains a big business operation along with being one of the largest real estate holders in the world. Their stairway to heaven is paved with gold.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by ALB, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm

ALB is a registered user.

So why are some of the Catholic bishops in the US weaponizing communion. They are Trumpers. In Europe this will not fly. Pope Francis needs to stand up and state his opposition to their divisive document which would further harm the church. The church is two things. The religion which is derived from Judaism think the ten commandments and the mass as a seder. All were Jews who supped with Jesus at the Last Supper. Then when Romans converted into Christianity they brought their bureaucratic ruling Nation State to the religion which is the Vatican. This nation state is filled with frustrated men. Ireland is a post Catholic country. France engaged in a revolution to overthrow the monarchy and also the Roman Catholic Church. Priests were allowed to marry in the early church. Then a pope decided they must be celibate. You see how that has been a disaster. Many still identify with the religion but are not practicing. Many have gone into the wilderness. The church does do good works in helping the poor and there are many courageous nuns and priests who are decent people. In WWII many Jewish children were hidden in convents. St. Vincent de Paul and the St. Anthony's Dining Room in SF are examples of helping society. Unless Pope Francis rejects this dogmatic and archaic decree more Catholics will flee.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Old teacher, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 24, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Old teacher is a registered user.

Thank you, Diane, for your wise and honest appraisal of the hypocrisy of the American Bishops who are criticizing President Biden, while they did not criticize so many dishonest and corrupt politicians in the past: Newt Gingrich, Bill Barr, Chris Collins, and so many more. As a Catholic, I also feel free to criticize the hypocrisy.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Ali Khalid, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:19 am

Ali Khalid is a registered user.

~ The Catholic and Islamic faiths are prime examples of this dogma generating machine. As a former Muslim, I crossed the line when I fell in love with and married an Orthodox Jewish woman who I met while we were graduate students at Berkeley. I have been shunned by my family in Saudi Arabia and her Israeli parents have told my wife that she is no longer welcome in their home. Our children are considered 'untouchables' by both families and will never be considered a part of their respective family trees. As a result, we have blown them off as well and our 'family tree' is now a sapling. Religion as a spiritual outlet is OK but when it becomes a tool for extending prejudice, hatred, and political ends it no longer serves a positive or constructive purpose. There are no ceremonial prayer rugs or candleholders in our home and as far as Communion with strings attached, why even bother?


 +   22 people like this
Posted by Sam Willoughby, a resident of Stanford,
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:22 am

Sam Willoughby is a registered user.

What religious zealots and ignorant people call 'miracles', rational and intelligent people refer to them as nothing more than mathematical anomalies (aka flukes). There is big money involved in selling miracles and false hopes. And to date, no clergyman has ever come back from the dead to share a firsthand experience so why BUY into the blather?


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Cecilia Vegas, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 8:51 am

Cecilia Vegas is a registered user.

The Catholic rules to live by are very strict BUT since all of mankind are sinners to begin with the Church offers a convenient route to heaven. (1) Sin at will, (2) Confess your sin's, (3) Place some coins (or large currencies) in the coffers and light a candle, (4) And presto...you are now absolved of your sins! (5) Repeat process as needed.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jeffrey Jones, a resident of another community,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 9:09 am

Jeffrey Jones is a registered user.

I have resorted to the Presto Method on numerous occasions and I am praying that it works.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Baron Newberry, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:08 am

Baron Newberry is a registered user.

To be ex-communicated from the Catholic Church is not that big of a deal unless one allows their universe and afterlife to be in the hands and doctrines of what is essentially an enormous business enterprise selling salvation.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by John B. Sails, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:19 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Well said, Mr. Newberry. If only Biden would do the right thing, on behalf of a minority that is greater than black people, gay people, and hispanic people: science-respecting atheists and call religion what it is: superstition.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Squidsie, a resident of another community,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Squidsie is a registered user.

By definition, the religious are people who believe in certain principles which they believe are the directives of God. These beliefs are constant, and do not follow the fashionable thinking of the moment, creating tension with those follow what is socially trending. If churches were groups which followed the popular thinking, instead of set beliefs, they would be called "fan clubs" or affinity groups. If you expect your church to adopt the currently popular thinking, perhaps you are not truly religious.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Gerry Philbin, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 26, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Gerry Philbin is a registered user.

> the religious are people who believe in certain principles which they believe are the directives of God. How can these directives be proven or established? Chances are these 'directives' are concocted by caliphates and church bureaucracies who merely want to control others. In other words...vested interests. BTW...I am an excommunicated Mormon and getting tossed out was the best day in my life!


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Melba Cotton, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jun 27, 2021 at 8:22 am

Melba Cotton is a registered user.

Missionary work destroys native (and oftentimes primitive) cultures by turning self-sustaining hunter-gatherer societies into agrarian peasants who in turn, support the church. The Catholic Church (in the New World), the Congregationalists (in Hawaii) and the Mormons (all over) are major recruiters selling salvation and the same goes for the wealthy TV evangelists here in America. They are the real devils (if one really wants to believe in the subversive actions of Lucifer).


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Larry Costa, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:48 am

Larry Costa is a registered user.

> Saints are those who have admitted their failures and confessed their sins. Communion is an act of obedience to Jesus' command. Saints are generally martyrs or those who have tried to spread Christianity through missionary work. It is more along the lines of a Catholic Hall of Fame and the selection process is oftentimes political (within the Church itself). Communion is more of symbolic re-creation of The Last Supper and the ceremonies vary depending upon the respective churches. At a Unitarian communion I participated in decades ago, the minister was very hip & liberal...he served small wedges of Round Table pizza and shots of Mondavi jug red wine. I have since become a Rastafarian as their communion is more to my liking.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Justin Turley, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 27, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Justin Turley is a registered user.

A Rasta-Unitarian may be the spiritual route to go!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 27, 2021 at 7:20 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Many churches are trying to stay relevent by indicating some observance of the national priorities. I was at a Good Friday service on the east cost at a large, big city national church when they signed up to "White supremenacy". Excuse me - back in Roman Days it was the Christians against the Islams - no indication of white vs black. They have taken church history and contorted it to support some current rant.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by mary ann, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Jun 28, 2021 at 9:20 am

mary ann is a registered user.

Take your faith to another church that fits your moral principles, it's time some people get un comfortable about abortion at the moment before birth.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Simon Platte, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jun 28, 2021 at 9:41 am

Simon Platte is a registered user.

#Excuse me - back in Roman Days it was the Christians against the Islams...They have taken church history and contorted it to support some current rant. And now many Islamic leaders are preaching their faith and practices VS those of the western world.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Jun 28, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Alan is a registered user.

There is a difference between believing abortion is wrong, and believing government should be used as a tool to prevent abortion. People should follow their conscience where it may lead them - in a "conservative" or "liberal" direction - so be it. But they should be aware that using the government to enforce that morality comes with its own issues... There is a time to use government to enforce morality; conventional homicide is an example. But there are all sorts of problems that arise when its used to enforce convictions concerning abortion. Even ancient scripture made an exception: Exodus 21:22-25 : 22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. [e] or "has a miscarriage" I think the translators inserted the word "prematurely" because they realized the implications, not because the original text implied that this only referred to successfully delivered premature babies. A few thousand years ago, a prematurely born baby would rarely live. Here we have the famous "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" passage - and right before it, an attack on a woman, causing a miscarriage, that can be addressed through a financial exchange. This is something much more clearly immoral that a typical abortion - and it is not addressed like a murder. This is before the very famous passage demanding draconian measures against murderers; which Jesus replaced with "turn the other cheek". In world where retributive justice was considered OK - even there, an exception was made. That doesn't mean anyone has to feel comfortable with abortion; but I have never heard anyone try to make sense of abortion bans in light of this passage.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 29, 2021 at 8:29 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

"Excuse me - back in Roman Days it was the Christians against the Islams - no indication of white vs black." Wrong historical period referenced here. You're thinking of the Medieval Crusades, when relatively backward Western European Christian forces thrust themselves into a complex civilization whose sophisticated trade practices and knowledge stimulated transformative change in the West. The question does come to mind, though, about what role indigenous subjects-white or black or other- of Roman rule were allowed to play under Imperial rule.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 29, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Too many people commenting here who have not read their bibles or understood the message that Jesus taught. It has nothing to do with organized church dogma, everything to do with remembering the command, "do this in remembrance of me". Repentance, yes. Forgiveness, yes. Obedience, yes. Judgment, not by man but by God.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Orville Bentley, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Orville Bentley is a registered user.

° Too many people commenting here who have not read their bibles or understood the message that Jesus taught. Jesus' message is clear except that organized religion has polluted the concept with their dogma, revenue generating streams, and hypocracy. We do need need ministers and priests to indicate the various paths to eternal salvation or damnation. If one can read & interpret the bible on one's own, these individuals and their parasitic bureaucracies are absolutely unecessary.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by The Moral Compass, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 29, 2021 at 2:54 pm

The Moral Compass is a registered user.

> "We do need need ministers and priests to indicate the various paths to eternal salvation or damnation." @ Orville B. Assuming you meant > We do [NOT] need clerics to lead us by the nose!


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 30, 2021 at 1:23 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

As a Christian, I find this blog entry to be shocking in its generalization of historic Christian churches and beliefs. You might not like the doctrinal tenets of the historic Christian faith; however, the Christian faith isn't created in your (or my) image. It is supposed to be created in the image of God. Most Christian doctrines -- including those pertaining to morality -- are exceedingly clear in the New Testament (upon which Christianity is built). Thus, the problem that some people have isn't necessarily with "Christianity" but with biblical beliefs upon which Christianity was founded and for which Christians hold to be sacred. Essentially, criticizing Christians for holding to moral views based upon their sacred beliefs is a lot like criticizing a weatherman for his forecasts. The weatherman doesn't make predictions that he simply WANTS to be true. He's simply declaring what he believes is the truth. More importantly, my issue isn't with what anyone personally believes. People vote according to their conscience and moral compass. Morality is often shaped by sacred religious beliefs. However, imagine if this blog entry focused upon Jewish individuals. What about Muslims? Other religious groups? Such comments would be considered "politically incorrect" -- especially if they attacked a group for sociopolitical beliefs or influences based upon moral views derived from their sacred faiths. There are reasons why many Americans adhere to a particular set of social views. It isn't because of priests, ministers or lay teachers. Rather, it's usually because the faith itself expressly teaches a very particular world view. We don't have to agree. However, we shouldn't criticize those individuals for following their conscience either.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dana Clarkson, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 30, 2021 at 6:54 am

Dana Clarkson is a registered user.

> the Christian faith isn't created in your (or my) image. It is supposed to be created in the image of God. And who exactly has the right to define this image? The self-serving clerics and caliphates who take it upon themselves to decide what is 'sacred' and what is not? The canonization of The New Testament eliminated other key Gospels that told the true story of Christ. Thank you Rome for the cover-up. And as far as right-wing Conservative Christians go, they are expounding the OLD TESTAMENT where a ticked-off God is constantly coming down on his naughty children...not the more FORGIVING tenets of his son Jesus. Most of the so-called 'sins' that the fundamentalist Christians either misinterpret or hold true to their hearts/minds emanate from the Old Testament...judgmental and condemning. The Conservative Christians are not true Christians...just a bunch of right-wing zealots riding the waves of the Old Testament.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Rvengosh, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Jun 30, 2021 at 8:13 am

Rvengosh is a registered user.

I'm not religious and have never been, and it always shocks me when intelligent and capable people outsource their moral compass and modern day decisions to organizations founded when we didn't know how lightning happened and that have not changed their world views for the past two millennia. ????


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Christian, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 30, 2021 at 8:45 am

Peter Christian is a registered user.

~ We do NOT need ministers and priests to indicate the various paths to eternal salvation or damnation. Absolutely. Save the dogma for the mentally challenged. And speaking of the Catholic Church... During the 1500s, the Dutch astronomer Copernicus established (via mathematical analytics and observation) that the sun did not revolve around the Earth as the Church had professed to its followers. He was immediately excommunicated and branded a heretic by the Catholic Church. About 100 years later, Galileo invented the telescope and proved that Copernicus was correct. Galileo was then excommunicated and branded a heretic by the Catholic Church. See the pattern? In some ways ardent and myopic Catholicism is more along the lines of a wealthy organization fleecing a cult following. The 'Church of Scientology' is another example of a sheep mentality.


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Posted by J. Goldberg, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:25 pm

J. Goldberg is a registered user.

ALL right-wing Christians pose a danger to American society as do all extremist sect Muslims because they are extremely closed-minded.


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Buford Layne, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 1, 2021 at 7:31 am

Buford Layne is a registered user.

In defense of conservative Christians, we only wish to reinforce the norms that are condusive to the preservation and well-being of our great nation America. An ongoing commitment to God and country is the only way we can protect ourselves against infidels, atheists, and the various non-conformists who exist solely to disrupt our traditional American way of life. The founding fathers emphasized this perspective in both their Constitutional writings and it is explicitly noted on our coinage and currency, "In GOD we trust". How much more clearer does it need to be? And for anyone who begs to differ, there is an afterlife awaiting them in a blistering place that is un-impacted by climate change and global warming.


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Posted by Ben Stallworth, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jul 1, 2021 at 9:43 am

Ben Stallworth is a registered user.

You do not need to attend church regularly to be a good Christian as the constructive deeds and thoughts come from within. Jesus warned us to 'beware of false prophets' and many of our so-called church leaders are as corrupt and sinful as the next person.


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Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 8, 2021 at 9:08 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It seems to me that there is open season on Christianity and Christian churches. I can't see that a similar article if written about any other religion would not be given the label of hate speech. I value the criticism of free speech. But I do ask the question as to whether "he who is without blot should throw the first stone".


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