Sunday, May 2, 2010

Religion Rundown: Week of April 30th


Christianity (Uh... I think, sadly):

From The Huffington Post:

"A Facebook group accused of "praying" for the death of President Barack Obama has raised controversy online, with many calling for Facebook to remove the group as "offensive speech."

The group, which lists its location as "Marysville, OH, 43040," currently has over 1 million members--Facebook users who say they "like" the group. It includes an album of anti-Obama imagery uploaded by the group's members--what Facebook labels "fan photos--that show the president against a communist flag, juxtaposed with insulting and derisive captions, or even a cartoon "associating Obama to Hitler."

The group is called, "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN."

Geekosystem notes that the title is "likely a riff on a letter circulating New Jersey teachers' unions earlier this month that employed similar language with respect to (Republican) governor Chris Christie. The president of the New Jersey Education Association went on to issue a formal apology for the email."

Another group, "Petition to remove Facebook group praying for President Obama's death," has been created to denounce the anti-Obama group and advocate for its removal. The group, which has just over 650,000 members, is asking users to "Please act to encourage facebook to remove the page praying for the death of President Obama," and lists three steps Facebook users can take."

To read the rest of the article, click here.




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It was obviously a bad week for President Obama and some Christians. From Think Progress:

"On Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and several other elected officials boosted Fox News host Glenn Beck at an event at the Oil Palace in Tyler, TX. The day was full of right-wing flame-throwing, including Perry saying that he was “proud” to be in an “army” of anti-Obama Americans. Another prominent theme during the event was that the country has “drifted far away from its founding values”:

Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and state Rep. Leo Berman also spoke, all delivering similar messages.

Berman told the crowd, “I believe that Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president.”

Gohmert said, “The longer we go, the more we see how important it is to stick with principles.”

Beck later stated that the U.S. Constitution was “divinely inspired” and our rights “come from God.” “If God is with us, who can possibly stand against us?” Beck asked. “The answer is no one.” On his radio show last week, Beck claimed that he was carrying out God’s “plan.” "

To read the full article, click here.

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And talking about my generation: 72% of Millennials are "spiritual" as opposed to "religious". From USA Today:


"Most young adults today don't pray, don't worship and don't read the Bible, a major survey by a Christian research firm shows.

If the trends continue, "the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships," says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group's survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they're "really more spiritual than religious."


Among the 65% who call themselves Christian, "many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only," Rainer says. "Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith."

Key findings in the phone survey, conducted in August and released today:

•65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.

•65% rarely or never attend worship services.

•67% don't read the Bible or sacred texts.

Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.

"We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church," Rainer says.

The findings, which document a steady drift away from church life, dovetail with a LifeWay survey of teenagers in 2007 who drop out of church and a study in February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which compared the beliefs of Millennials with those of earlier generations of young people."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

2 comments:

RisingPhoenix23 said...

Wow. Watching that video breaks my heart a little bit. Also, to pray for someone's death is the exact opposite of what that weapon was intended for. In a way, it's like abusing a great gift and privilege.
I guess we just need to see these statistics and views in order to remember that we have to be true examples of followers of God. Not preaching AT people (abusing the title of Christian), but showing love and living life as best as we can according to God's Word. We've either gotta be totally in or totally out. There is no in between because then we send other people messages that confuse and make them want to back away from anything God related.

Alisha De Freitas said...

Sigh... this week's Religion Rundown left me... pretty much speechless. I guess because it effects our generation so much. There is definitely a correlation between hate-real and perceived- of the disgusting type that would pray for someone's death (whatever happened to praying for your enemies? Um, Jesus said to) and the very real drop in young people living for God. While they may say they are rejecting "religion" i.e., stuffy old churches full of rules, these stats show they are rejecting God straight out (if you're not praying alone or with others, reading the Bible or fellowshiping with believers, what do you have?).

I do think we are inadvertently sending the wrong message. Many of us are wishy-washy about spending time in prayer and don't know the Bible, either. Some of us confuse politics with a relationship with God. Others keep their faith so insular, no one even knows they are Christians!

I guess I'm not so speechless. Just sad. :-(

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