Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner; oppositely, unconditional love is a holy love.
I don't believe for a minute that the proof of God's existence is achieved. My faith prohibits me from believing that the proof of God's existence can ever be adduced. My God is not an object for verification, He is a subject for love. My faith is not knowledge, it is acceptance. It is a matter not of calculation but of trust.
My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.
Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi.I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals--politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs.My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative “norms” of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.
I need not adapt in certain ways. I am in fact but a visitor to this world, an ephemeral gasp within its long, tired history, and, before anything else, a follower of Christ. By this alone I have the power not to shuffle away from the Faith, the power to break loose from these marching-shackles of ongoing cultural and political pretense.
Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.
For the most part, people strenuously resist any redefinition of morality, because it shakes them to the very core of their being to think that in pursuing virtue they may have been feeding vice, or in fighting vice they may have in fact been fighting virtue.
The kingdom of God works in all spheres of culture, whether church, family, education, government, arts, business, or media. It is time to stop operating under the mindset that these spheres ought to be separated into secular and Christian, hoarding all the ‘sanctified spheres’ into the church, thereby leaving the world struggling in a vacuum of death. When we suck all the living water into the church, the world is left to die of thirst.
I'd be willing to bet that the notion of the end of time is more common today in the secular world than in the Christian. The Christian world makes it the object of meditation, but acts as if it may be projected into a dimension not measured by calendars. The secular world pretends to ignore the end of time, but is fundamentally obsessed by it. This is not a paradox, but a repetition of what transpired in the first thousand years of history.... I will remind readers that the idea of the end of time comes out of one of the most ambiguous passages of John's text, chapter 20...This approach, which isn't only Augustine's but also the Church Fathers' as a whole, casts History as a journey forward—a notion alien to the pagan world. Even Hegel and Marx are indebted to this fundamental idea, which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin pursued.Christianity invented History, and it is in fact a modern incarnation of the Antichrist that denounces History as a disease. It's possible that secular historicism has understood history as infinitely perfectible—so that tomorrow we improve upon today, always and without reservation... But the entire secular world is not of the ideological view that through history we understand how to look at the regression and folly of history itself. There is, nonetheless, an originally Christian view of history whenever the signpost of Hope on this road is followed. The simple knowledge of how to judge history and its horrors is fundamentally Christian, whether the speaker is Emmanuel Mounier on tragic optimism or Gramsci on pessimism of reason and optimism of will.
There is this common notion that people are shallow and ignorant until they go out and see the world. I, on the other hand, went out and in comparison realized I was in pretty good standing.
ITS nomimal without all on transfer of regard, that weight of a measure of lines cannot be equal in comparison. The want of privacy is a need of personality not character. Only through devotional love not modernity can you coolect the past, present and future. Timeless is not what you think or hear. Patience is not any big reveal. Never see make how all free?
Our poor world aspires simply to point out where Christians have gone wrong, and that is pretty much where it goes wrong. It is as though many of us, when of the world, are actually all the more judgmental: for we are stuck on a bad Christian while the Christian is pinned to a good Christ.
The meaning of life in western secular society is to be successful. So many people are success mad and they are encouraged to reach for something and have so called worthwhile goals. Money, fame, power, good looks, possessions are the indicators of success and the media and advertising companies exploit this. People are conditioned to believe that they can only feel happy or good about themselves if they have these things. This of course is not true.
At present, the successful office-seeker is a good deal like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, but draws everything else to him. There are so many societies, so many churches, so many isms, that it is almost impossible for an independent man to succeed in a political career. Candidates are forced to pretend that they are catholics with protestant proclivities, or christians with liberal tendencies, or temperance men who now and then take a glass of wine, or, that although not members of any church their wives are, and that they subscribe liberally to all. The result of all this is that we reward hypocrisy and elect men entirely destitute of real principle; and this will never change until the people become grand enough to allow each other to do their own thinking.Our government should be entirely and purely secular. The religious views of a candidate should be kept entirely out of sight. He should not be compelled to give his opinion as to the inspiration of the bible, the propriety of infant baptism, or the immaculate conception. All these things are private and personal. The people ought to be wise enough to select as their officers men who know something of political affairs, who comprehend the present greatness, and clearly perceive the future grandeur of our country. If we were in a storm at sea, with deck wave-washed and masts strained and bent with storm, and it was necessary to reef the top sail, we certainly would not ask the brave sailor who volunteered to go aloft, what his opinion was on the five points of Calvinism. Our government has nothing to do with religion. It is neither christian nor pagan; it is secular. But as long as the people persist in voting for or against men on account of their religious views, just so long will hypocrisy hold place and power. Just so long will the candidates crawl in the dust—hide their opinions, flatter those with whom they differ, pretend to agree with those whom they despise; and just so long will honest men be trampled under foot.
[Cornell University will be] an asylum for Science—where truth shall be sought for truth's sake, not stretched or cut exactly to fit Revealed Religion.
We are all priests before God, there is no such distinction as 'secular or sacred.' In fact, the opposite of sacred is not secular; the opposite of sacred is profane. In short, no follower of Christ does secular work. We all have a sacred calling.
Some people are ignorant of the world but educated in Scripture, and are therefore prone to missing the relevance of Scripture - these sometimes, later, amidst life's challenges and doubts, turn from the faith; other people are ignorant of Scripture but educated in the world, and are therefore prone to missing the truth of Scripture - they are often those who ridicule the faith. The apologist stands somewhere in the center. He articulates where some are prone to understanding the truth in beauty, others the beauty in truth - that of a spiritual Creator in relation to his scientific creation.
Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partly with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.
—Then, said Cranly, you do not intend to become a protestant?—I said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost self-respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?
As the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
Jefferson also founded the first intentionally secularized university in America. His vision for the University of Virginia was for education finally free from traditional Christian dogma. He had a disdain for the influence that institutional Christianity had on education. At the University of Virginia there was no Christian curriculum and the school had no chaplain.
One major teaching of the Protestants that we the Protestants of today must go back to is the fact that the European Protestants did not emphasize five fold ministry the way we do today. Today our teaching on the five fold ministry only tends to view only those called to the five fold ministry as those called to be ministers, while the rest of the congregation is just viewed as laity who just go to secular jobs.
Believing this country to be a political and not a religious organisation ... the editor of the NATIONAL CITIZEN will use all her influence of voice and pen against 'Sabbath Laws', the uses of the 'Bible in School', and pre-eminently against an amendment which shall introduce 'God in the Constitution.
The secular world often finds its constituents disenfranchised and solitary as it has spent a great deal of time debating the religious community while failing to build a true community of its own.
Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.
The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should insist on the need to engage in a meaningful debate on the entire issue of the truth or falsity (or probability or improbability) of religious tenets, without being subject to accusations of impiety, immorality, impoliteness, or any of the other smokescreens used by the pious to deflect attention from the central issues at hand.