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Secular left, religious right, and prejudices

Browsing around the web you'll find a lot of tech people are very strongly against religion in all forms. Most American technophiles see only the fringes of religion: wild "you're goin' to hell!" preachers, TV televangelists, religious scams, cults, politically motivated religious groups that interfere with science and schools, right wing propagandists that hijack the secular government to push their versions of morality & ethics upon everyone else. Jesus is for the dumb, unscientific Nascar-loving redneck masses of the Bible Belt, and the idea of God & Creation, well that's for the drooling greeters at Wal * Mart. For the left, it is the anti-progress right wing that keeps the culture from moving forward. The US President, George W. Bush, is seen as a bumbling retard who is evil in every respect, from oil & greed to appeasing the right. In essence, the secular left is the epitome of everything scientific & factually accurate; a progressive and elite culture, whereas the right is only a stumbling block composed of the uneducated masses.

From an American rightist point of view, few of which are technologically savvy enough to be often found on the web, the left wing secularists plot against what is right and what is Godly. The left forces liberal judicial nominations, hidden from public vote, that rule from the bench and shape the traditional culture into a secular one. To them, the idea of the existence of God is the historically righteous position; such is an idea that the left must always fear and never accept. To the right, science today has been largely hijacked by left leaning secularists who would rather die than accept truth contrary to their own version of it. The masses clearly see what is right and what is good, what America was founded on, but a vocal minority of anti-religion extremists have been trying for the last 40 years to corrupt the public with its own version of truth. The opposition of secularism & humanism is seen as the group of those who are eroding the moral fiber of America; the inevitable downfall of the United States as a world super-power can be attributed to the moral erosion of the masses, just as it was for ancient Greece and Rome. Who are the enemy for the religious right? That would be your college professor, newspaper editorialists, Hollywood, Democrats, naturalists, secularists, humanists, progressive religionists that push views contrary to Scripture. So many have taken the wide & easy path to ungodliness, lawlessness and evil. What is evil? It is simple to determine what is evil: the lifestyle and views of the contemporary world. The path to evil is a big road and easy to travel, hence the world takes it (See Jesus' words in Matthew 7). Such is the view of the religious right in America, that is the view of the faithful. To them, the secular left is the always present alternative to godliness, and a stumbling block to all seeking God.

These two viewpoints are clashing constantly in America; turn on the TV, Fox News will be spouting on about the lies of the left. CNN will be reporting the evils of Bush. Hit the radio to listen to right wing commentators point out the flaws in the left. Or switch it down a few frequency units to hear Al Franken spit venomous insults at the religious right, savoring every moment while doing it. Even on the internet, I just participated in a discussion about the idea of Intelligent Design; not to my surprise, anyone refuting the least bit of evolution, or even suggesting the idea that God might exist was moderated down, silenced out of the discussion, and followed by a horde of secularists, posting anonymously, spewing obscene insults at anyone that didn't agree with their version of the truth.

I'm kind of jaded by all this. It has led me to believe that very few people are really interested in finding the truth; instead, it seems to me most would rather believe what they want to believe, than find the truth for themselves and, if necessary, accept correction and move on.

If I posed to you something that conflicted with a strongly held view you had, would you care to see if it were true? I really doubt it! So few are interested in the truth, it's much easier to just defend your beliefs without objectivity of those beliefs. Even more so if it is a widely held belief (such as the idea of the existence of God, or the idea that life evolved from simple single-cell organisms). How few people there are that actually want the truth and actively seek it!

There is a story told in the Jewish Talmud seems relevant in this post. There was once a rabbi named Eliezer who was arguing with the Rabbi Yehoshua (same name as Jesus, different person) and the majority of the scribes in that place over a minutia of the Torah -- as I recall, it was regarding the bricks in ovens -- if a brick in the oven was laid on the Sabbath, was the oven then unfit for use since work is not allowed on the Sabbath? Rabbi Eliezer argued for days with Rabbi Yehoshua and the scribes, until finally he was too tired to argue any longer. Rabbi Eliezer called out Heaven,

"Lord, if I am right, let this carob tree prove it!"

Suddenly, the carob tree uprooted itself and moved 100 cubits. To which Rabbi Yehoshua and the scribes replied,

"The carob tree may move, but that does not prove anything."

No doubt, Rabbi Eliezer had to be furious; here God had performed a miracle on his behalf, but his opponents were still in unbelief. So he cried out to God again,

"Lord, if the truth is as I believe it to be, let this river prove it!"

To their amazement, the stream which ran by the sages' house flowed backwards. Rabbi Yehoshua and the scribes replied,

"A stream flowing upward proves nothing."

Undoubtedly feeling more confident in his miracle-asking skills, again Eliezer inquired of God,

"If I am right, let the walls prove it!"

The walls of the study house began to lean inward and cave in on them; Rabbi Yehoshua questioned the walls, as to what business they had in arguments between scribes.

The walls, out of respect for Yehoshua's wisdom, stopped caving in, but remained leaning inward for the sake of proving Rabbi Eliezer. Finally, as a last-ditch attempt to prove himself right to the others, Rabbi Eliezer passionately and with all enthusiasm & sincerity called out to God,

"Lord! If the Law is according to my interpretation, let the heavens prove it!"'

A loud, thundering voice called out and was heard in the sanctuary of scribes,

"Why do you argue with Eliezer? The Law you are arguing is as he says it is!"

To which Rabbi Yehoshua and the scribes sneered,

"The Law is not in Heaven."

Point of the story [in my context, at least]: even if one's belief goes against the very thing you are arguing for, one would rather continue to argue and have conflicting viewpoints than admit wrong and accept correction. Here we have rabbis, teachers of the Law, striving to be holy to God by works and by following perfectly every minutia and derivation of the Law, yet they ended up having to deny heaven and disregard God's own instruction (heard in a loud, thundering voice no less). Instead of admitting wrong, they would rather continue on in error and follow the majority. [Note: the Jewish interpretation of this Talmud passage somewhat differs, but I won't discuss that here.]

Whether you believe in God or not, this story, fictional or otherwise, has one helluva point to teach: people are generally opinionated and prejudiced to the point that, to prove them wrong is of little bearing: even if one is wrong, he is still right in his own eyes. I think the key to unlocking truths in the world, whatever truths you might be searching for, is to keep a mind that is free from prejudice and open to all possibilities.

I've opened myself to the possibility that God doesn't exist, that Jesus is not the Messiah, that Creation is a lie, that human beings are nothing more than evolved organisms that will have zero consciousness after death. And on the political spectrum, I've opened my mind to the possibility that the right wingers are evil, that the left is the intelligent, progressive group we ought to be a part of, the uneducated masses are the only ones keeping religion alive. I've considered those things because they have been forced down my throat by secularism that surrounds all of us. I've considered those things, and I've rejected some things -- not out of prejudice -- but out of searching for the truth on my own. I've also come to the realization that not all of what I believed previously is true, and have accepted correction as a result.

I've discovered the Republican Party is not the epitome of all things good (surprise!), as I once thought it to be. I've come to the realization that, unlike my previous thinking, much of the right wing is wrong, many are concerned about the wrong things, and many are caught up in war, politics, money. I've accepted correction, and now to me, politics and God seem odd bedfellows. I will cast my vote for a righteous man, but being righteous is not limited to any particular political party. In my new way of thinking, "righteous"and "politician" are nearly exclusive terms.

Then in other cases, I've been right since the beginning. I've found that going back into early human history, there was a false godhood, created primarily by Babylonians, out of which evolved nearly every false religion and every false god we have today. There was once a real God. I've come to the realization that that same real God is still here today, while all the false gods will die off, then be reinvented later, only to die off again. I've discovered that the messiah fit perfectly into the plan created for mankind; it is truly astonishing how well the Messiah, Jesus, fits perfectly into the original plan, fulfilling every God-inspired forespoken word about Him. I've found that man is not a mistake or made by chance, but by deliberate acts from the real author of the universe. With our will to learn, our creativity, our human spirit, our striving to find our creator, the very deliberate layout and organization of the universe, leads me to confirm that there is an God behind all this, the same God that started it all, was known from the beginning of time, followed by righteous men, mocked by the contemporary world, the same God that has always had one set of rules to live by, the Law, and has had one way to be freed from sin, the shedding of blameless blood, which has been made complete with the blood of a blameless lamb, Jesus the Messiah. That God is still with us today and hasn't changed since the beginning of time.

The secular left's downfall is that they reject God and appease humanism, they are lost in their own elite ideas, blinded in their betterment of mankind through human rights preservation. The political right wing is equally wrong; even though we on the right accept God, we are self-righteous hypocrites, we are constantly condemning others, judging what we perceive to be wrong (even trying to pass laws blocking such supposed wrong doings)! How much better it would be for us to try to change the people instead of judging them and passing laws to block their lifestyles? How much better off would we be if both sides were to find the truth instead of pushing their political ideas and prejudices?

Seeking the truth instead of accepting your own inherited ideas as truth has its rewards in new enlightened thought and the realization of what is actually right and wrong. As Paul put it, "For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good."


  1. Hello Judah,

    Interesting post. This coming from a scientific NASCAR-loving redneck in the Bible Belt. :)

    Don't let them get you down. To unbelievers the word of God is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). I am glad to see that you realized that the Republican party is wrong on many things. I think that we screw up when we place our trust in anything or anyone other than God.

    I think that there are Godly people on all sides of the political spectrum, so I try to avoid generalizations (at least when I am being led by the Spirit and not the heat of the moment). I think that extremists on both sides have been allowed to define the parties as a whole.

    You have the "anything goes" attitude of one side and the "let's pass a law to control everyone's behavior" attitude on the other side. Yet, what God wants is for us to love Him with all our heart and love others as we love ourselves. Pretty simple words, yet very hard for many Christians to get their arms around.

    I don't believe that people are drawn to Christ by His children hitting unbelievers over the head and telling them to do better (or passing legislation to make them do so). They are drawn to Him by His love shining through us.

    I think that this is the same thing you said, but in different words.

  2. Gary, thanks man, I appreciate the encouragement.

    Nascar loving?! Haha that's great. I'm a sports guy, but I just can't get my head around Nascar. Kind of like golf or chess, going to the actual event or participating would be fun, but watching just isn't for me. :)

    You're right on with the statement of what God really wants. In fact, that is pretty much what Jesus said when the rabbis asked what is the greatest commandment in all of Torah: Jesus replied that loving your neighbor and loving God are the two laws on which all the Law hangs. If every believer could actually practice those 2 laws, I think the world would look on us quite differently.

  3. I must say, though, that I found your post appalling. Not only is your use of logic and reason contrary to the very principles of the blogosphere, your willingness to admit that you might be wrong is tantamount to blasphemy. Such civil, reasonable behavior should not be tolerated in Bush's America.

    Seriously, though, a thoughtful and interesting post. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Richard Crawford (, a left-wing liberal Christian nut

  4. Haha, now imagine if I were a hardcore right-wing political nut, I'd be offended and have to delete your comment. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by and posting, Richard, I appreciate the comments.

  5. Good post.

    The left says that the right and especially Christians are not tolerant and do not have an open mind (like they do). Well, tolerance does not equal an open mind. Tolerance is acceptance of bad behavior. Being open minded means you have reasoned that the behavior is good or bad and choose not to do it or to do it.

  6. judah. i saw your new username registered on; welcome.

    i hate false dichotomies. i guess by some definitions, i'm a "liberal" because i vote for democrats and find protecting the environment (no, creation) to be a high priority. from there, all of my beliefs and practices don't fit into any of the dichotomy's categories; i passionately love Jesus, i don't believe the earth was created in 6 days, i don't think abortion is ever good, i don't think laws against abortion help nearly as much as loving families do, i hate Foxnews, i don't support war in any form, i'm a minister of a church, i believe Jesus treated women like a feminist would, i believe God is sovereign and that humanity is depraved and in need of grace, which comes only through the cross of Jesus Christ.....


    so, i can't be pigdeon-holed into either of the oversimplified categories our culture has created. and i get very frustrated when people insist on maintaining those unhelpful constructs! it only leads to demonization of all things "other."

    anyway, thanks for the post. peace.


  7. Hello Judah,

    I have been reading the "Gay marriage & darwinism parallels" discussion on CP. I didn't really feel led to contribute, but I have been involved in similar discussions. In general, I think that people on both sides of the fence aren't really interested in considering the other persons point as much as they are in trying to irrefutably argue their own point. I know that the following was not the point of your discussion; however, I would like to share.

    For me, it is too easy to get sucked into the Creation vs. Evolution debate...that is why I try to stay out of them. As someone who believes in God, I see everything in the universe testifying to His glory. The only thing science sees is observable data.

    I think that some Christians believe (me included until recently) that if they can somehow show that science points to God then they can win over people who use science to declare there is no God. But, what is really important is how they respond to Jesus. Apart from the Christian sharing the Gospel and the conviction of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, they have no hope and all of the scientific evidence in the world will be of no consequence. Yet, some Christians think that God needs them to prove His existence or to argue His case. I have been just that presumptuous in the past.

    Thanks for letting me share,

  8. I was wondering whether you'd show up there. Thanks for sharing here.

    The thing I find disturbing, but not suprising, is that any idea contrary to the accepted norm is scorned. Think about that: aren't scientists supposed to be objectable? Yet any idea that conflicts with the popular scientific view is automatically wrong, no buts about it. I think that's a problem with contemporary science: there's no room for ideas outside the accepted ones.

    That said, I knew beforehand I'd rile up some darwin defense fervor when posting that and was careful not to get too deeply involed into little pointless skirmishes. I found especially fitting the prejudice that shined through most of the arguments posted there, as you said, no one is interested in the other's view. It was a real-life example of the prejudice spoken of in this blog posting.

    I certainly don't feel like God has to prove Himself to me; God has already done that by providing everything I need in my life including my family, my possessions, my spiritual life, my job. For me, God exists whether contemporary science can prove him or not.

    One thing that bothers me, it seems like there's confusion about what to believe if you're religious and scientific. Take Genesis literally? That seems like the best route for following Scripture. Take Genesis' creation account as a allegory? God's way to explain life to an ancient, nonscientific world? Intelligent Design? First act creation, second act evolution? There's a lot of confusion, and I think it can have a negative effect on one's faith; unsure whether Genesis is God's Word.

    It seems to me that much of the confusion is due to religious people being afraid and embarrassed to publicly and openly support creation. No, scratch that, anything outside the accepted ideas of evolution. It's just not popular to do. You get scorned and mocked, called names and moderated out of the discussion, as seen at CP and /.

    While we should be opened to possibilities, I also think believers ought to have a unified front. I think that front is literal creation as spoken of in Scripture.

  9. Just some quick comments :

    I think you've made an important observation about human nature ... people believe what they believe and you cant change that by "forceful" means .. be that physical or physicological means. Seriously, a warm and congradulating pat on the back for you.

    In regard to aren't scientists supposed to be objectable? from your last reply I must point out that first and foremost scientists are human and therefore they are subject to your observation above.

    Also from the last reply :

    Yet any idea that conflicts with the popular scientific view is automatically wrong, no buts about it

    You forgot "till proven correct"

    that's a problem with contemporary science

    There is nothing "contemporary" about it .. it's always been that way in science .. and not just science.

    there's no room for ideas outside the accepted ones.

    I thought this was pretty much the whole point of your posting .. the fact that this is true for everybody .. left as well as right.

    it seems like there's confusion about what to believe if you're religious and scientific.

    I'm sure most scientist will disagree with you. I see no conflict between science and God.

    Take Genesis literally? That seems like the best route for following Scripture

    Okay, I need to take some literay license here and your welcome to correct me because I am certainly not a Bible scholar of any level. But wasnt one of Jesus' complaints against the rabbis of the temple that they worried more about the "letter of the law" than the "spirit of the law". To me that thought would apply to the "literal" interpretation of scripture.

    Jesus replied that loving your neighbor and loving God are the two laws on which all the Law hangs. If every believer could actually practice those 2 laws

    Had to repeat that ... just because it is worth repeating .. and cant be repeated enough.

    I'm sure I could go on and on but I think it's clear I enjoyed your posting and it gave me a chance to "Think God" (remember the Oh God movies with George Burns :-) ) for a moment .. always a nice break in the day.

    Perhaps for your next post you can explain how come there can only be *one* right religion ? ..

  10. David, thanks for stopping by and posting, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    You raise some interesting points. Yes, science accepts things that are proven correct. However, why should it mock things that disagree with contemporary views? Shouldn't an honest scientist investigate all possibilities? Somehow I don't see that happening; all I see is mockery of opposing views. That's not science, that's prejudice.

    You make some good points; I don't necessarily believe there is conflict between science and God, however, it is apparent that there is confusion among scientific believers in God; it is scientific suicide to believe in creation, let alone any other theory that doesn't completely adhere to Darwinism (Intelligent Design, for example).

    As far as letter of the Law versus spirit of the Law, I do have some factual insight on that one, being Law-observant myself. Jesus was speaking of the Pharisee's tendencies to condemn every little breaking of the law, while not following what the law was designed for. God didn't intend for the Law to be a basis for endless arguments over whether bricks laid on the Sabbath make an oven unfit for use. But rather, the sabbatical laws were meant for humans to have rest from work once a week (a very good idea in my humble opinion!).

    If you wanted to stretch that to include creation as an allegory, one could stretch it to include creation, but it seems to me Christ wasn't teaching the Pharisees to interpret Scripture as allegorically when he talked about the letter of the Law. FYI, Paul also touches on this point, urging believers not to get bogged down into pointless debates over the Law (letter of the Law).

  11. Also, David, I forgot to answer your question at the end there. My next post I'm afraid will not be on *one* religion, as I've already started constructing a topic based on recent conversations I had with a follower of Islam. Hopefully you will find that interesting.

    I'll have to keep the one religion idea in mind for a future post.

    God bless.


    These two sites tell it all.


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