Ironically, Jesus was a anti-religion, commie, anarchist, who believed in loving, sharing with and forgiving EVERYBODY (no f@#kin exceptions)... and thought the rich had as much chance of getting into heaven as a camel did getting through the freakin eye of a needle. NONE. Conservative political and religious forces of his day executed him and have twisted his message into something TOTALLY self-serving and polar opposite ever since. If he reappeared today the same conservative religious and political forces would persecute him all over again as a liberal/commie/anarchist for embracing the crackheads, the prositutues, the poor, the prisoners, the sick, the outcasts, etc. Personally, I think there's a special place in hell for those that have hijacked him and despicably twisted his message.

Excuse my off topic detour.

On Daily Kos this past week there have been dueling diaries regarding religion. The usual anti-religion pieces, which go over big because DKos is the only sizable blog I can find, not specifically atheist, that has a majority of registered users who are either agnostic or atheist. This week though, we've had the liberal Christians who say they're getting picked on because of their beliefs. Then we had people posting that we should be kind to the Christians for the sake of winning elections.

Here's one of my posts:

I have no more use for a Democratic President expressing his Christianity than a Republican doing the same thing.

President Obama says that his faith tells him marriage should be between a man and a woman. There's no way that anyone with real Christian faith (which Obama claims he has) can separate that from policy. I agree with Sam Harris that our President should be made to unpack that statement. There should have been some followup questions.

What does your faith tell you about slavery, Mr. President?

What does your faith tell you about Armageddon?

Which of the many downright evil, bullshit parts of the Bible might affect your performance of the duties of President of the United States of America, and which will not?

To me it has nothing to do with political party. I want Christianity to stay the fuck out of my government.

I DO care about my President's beliefs. I care a lot.

In American Society at large, Christians are usually in the majority. What is happening is they're encountering Daily Kos, one of the very very few places where agnostics and atheists outnumber them and it's a shock to their system. They interpret it as an attack.

When I say "Christianity is bullshit and has a detrimental effect, overall, upon our society", they can see that as an attack on Christianity, or not. I . Don't. Care. What is it really? Me. Saying what I believe. Daily Kos is a place I can do that. There aren't many.

There is a reason anti-religious diaries regularly make the rec list here. They get a lot of goddamned recs. They always have. Democrats still win elections. And when when Democrats don't win elections, it has virtually nothing to do with a few posters on a blog with just over 300,000 registered users being mean to some Church Folks.

To which some fellow replied...

It's about coalition forming. The problem with the anti-Christian diaries is that they are counter-productive to the goal of winning.

Take a look at this this very important study done by Pew.

Some key numbers:

Total US religious affiliation (percent of population):

Evangelical Protestants: 26.3%
Catholics: 23.9 %
Mainline Protestants: 18.1%
Historically Black Churches: 6.9%
Mormons: 1.7%
Jews: 1.7%
Unaffiliated (all types): 16.1%
Specifically atheists (subcategory of unaffiliated): 1.6%

Party Affiliation of each affiliation: Lean Democrat + Registered Democrat

Evangelical Protestants: 34%
Catholics: 48%
Mainline Protestants: 43%
Historically Black Churches: 78%
Mormons: 22%
Jews: 65%
Unaffiliated: 55%
Specifically atheist: No data

There's much more here, that maybe deserves it's own diary (if anyone has the time), but the numbers highlight several things:

1. Atheists are a smallish minority in the US

2. In every religious group--including the Mormons, there is a significant Democratic Party affiliation.

3. While there will be differences of opinions on a variety of issues, this is fertile soil for coalition building to push for a liberal agenda. This can be done by messaging in a manner that is consistent with the belief systems of the religious groups.

4. Ignoring or attacking belief systems is counterproductive to winning elections which can push a liberal agenda.

I don't think I've seen any religious person here at DK attempt to proselytize. No one here wants to toss out atheists. In fact, I don't think I've seen atheists be attacked for their non-belief. To do so would not be a liberal/progressive thing to do.

What we should be doing is working with both peoples of all traditions/faith systems/non-believers to build coalitions so that we can get more folks on our side. That includes groups like the Evangelicals who are often demonized here, despite there being a significant percent of that group which supports Democrats.

In other words, why push away potential voters who can help you win?

That's why the pie fights are so ridiculous....

And my answer to that....

There are maybe, MAYBE 100,000 active Kossacks [Daily Kos users]. That's about 3/10ths of a percent of the U.S. population. Out of those, how many are Democrats who will not vote Democratic because I say Christianity is bullshit and harmful to civilization?

Two people? Three? A dozen?

The most likely answer is Zero.

It continues to amaze me how vastly overestimated Daily Kos's influence upon elections is. This site is a forum. One with some superb writers. All kinds of writers, not just political writers. Pie fights are ridiculous? So are erudite political phrases like "coalition forming" in relation to the political force of any online forum. And let's face it, online political forums (on the left and right) persuade fish to prefer water over kerosene.

You know where we influence elections the most? Money. The political contribution drives. Those work. Next would be the phone drives and canvasing efforts organized or publicized here. We'd have to go way way down the effectiveness scale to find "pretending Christianity isn't stupid and harmful".

Christianity is bullshit and harmful to civilization. Saying that isn't attacking anyone. It's stating what I believe. If they feel attacked, maybe they're a little too sensitive. And in fact that's about as strong an anti-Christian statement as I've seen here.

I haven't seen Christians attacked. All I've seen is Christians complain about it. And gun owners. There's another oppressed bunch of Kossacks, right there.

The one true religion...

Church of the Latter-day Dude

What would the Dude do?

That is the central spiritual, if not theological, concern of the Church of the Latter-day Dude, the totally not-fake religion based on the ethos of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, the slacker savior of Joel and Ethan Coen's 1998 cult masterpiece "The Big Lebowski."

Dudeism traces its origins back more than 2,500 years to the "rebel shrug" of Chinese Taoism and its progenitor, Lao Tzu. Through the ages, the Dude's "way" has surfaced in various spiritual traditions, the "Abide Guide" explains, including Christianity, Sufism, "John Lennonism and Fo'-Shizzle-my-Nizzilism," to name but a few.

... the Dudeist tradition, Jesus Christ is considered to be a proto-Dude or prophet, along with various other gurus of grooviness such as the Buddha, Walt Whitman, Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia and Emily Dickinson.

That "Dominionism" sounds similar to the Norway gunman's 1500 page manifesto for a new Christian Crusade.

Rick Perry looks exactly like what you would expect the devil to look like, a la Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate. Smooth, handsome and rotten to the core.
Not exactly on-topic, but not exactly off-topic:

I've seen this painting on the Internet:

I unfortunately cannot ID the artist--the image size is small enough in every Google-able copy that the sig is unreadable. Anybody have a clue who might have made this? Moreover, is this painting a parody of US Christian conservatism; or, is it an actual earnest display of admiration for a God-fearing empire of Jesus freaks?
Originally posted by xen0phile:
Not exactly on-topic, but not exactly off-topic:

I've seen this painting on the Internet:

I unfortunately cannot ID the artist--the image size is small enough in every Google-able copy that the sig is unreadable. Anybody have a clue who might have made this? Moreover, is this painting a parody of US Christian conservatism; or, is it an actual earnest display of admiration for a God-fearing empire of Jesus freaks?

John M. Petersen. Doesn't look like he's a jesus freak.

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