Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bible Study In A Nutshell


I'm an open-minded guy. This study had some surprises for me, so I mention it:

What daily practice may help American Christians become more concerned about issues of poverty, conservation and civil liberties?

Reading the Bible.

The answer may come as a surprise to those locked into viewing religious practices in ideological boxes. However, a new study by Baylor University researcher Aaron Franzen found frequent Bible reading predicted greater support for issues ranging from the compatibility of science and religion to more humane treatment of criminals.

The study, one of the first to examine the social consequences of reading Scripture, reveals the effects of Bible reading appear to transcend conservative-liberal boundaries.

Thus, even as opposition to same-sex marriage and legalized abortion tends to increase with more time spent with the Bible, so does the number of people who say it is important to actively seek social and economic justice, Franzen found...

...

Consider some of the findings:
  • The likelihood of Christians saying it is important to actively seek social and economic justice to be a good person increased 39 percent with each jump up the ladder of the frequency of reading Scripture, from reading the Bible less than once a year to no more than once a month to about weekly to several times a week or more.
  • Christian respondents overall were 27 percent more likely to say it is important to consume or use fewer goods to be a good person as they became more frequent Bible readers.
  • Reading the Bible more often also was linked to improved attitudes toward science. Respondents were 22 percent less likely to view religion and science as incompatible at each step toward more frequent Bible reading.
  • The issues seemed to matter more than conservative-liberal tags. In the case of another major public policy debate, same-sex unions, nearly half of respondents who read the Bible less than once a year said homosexuals should be allowed to marry, while only 6 percent of people who read the Bible several times a week or more approved of such marriages.


Of course, I've been saying here for a long time that many self-described Christians seem to be clueless about the liberal policies that Jesus espoused. Nothing wrong with finding out, eh? Maybe it's just that reading the Bible is a marker for being willing and able to read at all. Or maybe reading the Bible actually opens their eyes. To some things. Doesn't seem to help when it comes to gay rights. But I suppose we should take what we can get.

It's a start.


6 comments:

Chuck Sigars said...

As my wife would say, you can't read the Gospels, whether you view them as literal, historical or just philosophical, without becoming radicalized. Cognitive dissonance again, resolved by grasping your Bible firmly, carrying it so everyone can see, and not opening it.

Anonymous said...

Here in San Diego, we have a large cross, which appears to have been thriftily built with cinder blocks; it is on top of Mt Soledad; thousands go there for the panoramic view.

Large groups of loud, fervently praying believers - carrying well-thumbed bibles - frequently infest the cross.

Publicly they claim it is a "War Memorial." That is because it is on public (now federal) land and many people here feel that the cross honors only Christian beliefs, to the exclusion of other faiths, and should therefore be removed.

They sometimes circulate as pretend visitors to start up conversations with tourists that are actually visiting; they might say, “ I hear they want to take the war memorial down.”

If the response they get is sympathetic they reveal themselves as members of the prayer group and stop speaking of "The Memorial Cross ” and switch to “They want to remove "Our Cross" and ask the visitor to join in the public prayer.

This is wrong and sickeningly phony on many levels, yet I have not seen anyone point out the hypocrisy of the bait and switch methods employed for their political agenda.

When I was approached this way, I replied “You can’t build the house of the Lord by using the tools of Satan.”

The response to that was blustering anger, at being caught in the act of lying for Jesus.

If they would actually read those well-thumbed bibles they would find the following:

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."

Amen!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

I can only assume the change is from their increasing doubt. Because there isn't much liberal or nice about the message. After all, the main character in the gospels seemed to think the OT was a swell thing.

-MV

Anonymous said...

No God? So how do you explain Mila Kunis?, and don't tell me bout no damn Evil-lution...
Finally something we can agree on besides how we'd like to get Michelle Backman in the sack after a couple of fiorinals...
Thats why I like OUR God, Thor, I mean Jehova, dishing out lightning bolts and plagues like nobody's business, and the fact that Pharoh was an A-rab makes it even better...
And when our Messiah comes back, he won't be performing low-rent magic tricks that even the Amazing Kreskin wouldn't stoop to...
"Walking on Water"?? its SURFACE TENSION, Duh, all kinds of insects do it and we don't worship them.
"Turning Water into Wine"?
my great grandfather could turn water into whiskey, and nobody mistook him as the Son of God...
And whats with the risen Hey-Zeus not letting Mary Magdalene touch him? So he can pay for man's original sin, withstand scourging, crucifixion, and the BO of 12 middle eastern dudes, but he's Howard Hughes when a hot chick shows up?
and Monica Beluci was hot...

and if you wanta have fun, go to a screening of "The Passion of the Christ" and laugh insanely like Deniro in "Cape Fear" during the parts where Jesus gets his butt whipped...
Umm might not wanta do that in Georgia, but my ban from the Mall of Georgia expires in 2014...

Frank "Jesus Sucks" Drackman

Anonymous said...

Here's another great one for all the TeaBagging B-thumpers who apparently go blind when reading what God has to say about trashing the poor.

Isaiah 10:

Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make victims — laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children.

What will you have to say on Judgment Day, when Doomsday arrives out of the blue? Who will you get to help you? What good will your money do you?

Amen to that too!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

"Walking on Water"?? its SURFACE TENSION"

So, according to DrekMan, Jesus is a lightweight?

EugeneInSanDiego