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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! or... Why I became an Agnostic!

"Christianity began as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When it went to Athens, it became a philosophy. When it went to Rome, it became an organization. When it went to Europe, it became a culture. When it came to America, it became a business." (From The Plain Truth About God-101 - what the church doesn't want you to know!")

L. Ron Hubbard (Founder of Scientology) once said "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion. (He also said "Le's see just how stupid they {followers} really are!" from the book - God-101 "what the church doesn't want you to know!")




While our modern day evangelists have not started their own religion, they have unquestionably improved on Hubbard’s idea.

Capitalizing on Christianity has proved to be far more lucrative than starting a new religion.

Because Televangelists are on the whole a shady lot who don't even have the morals to be used car salesman I have a natural distrust of Baptists in the United States.

They are responsible for the trouble we have between religion and politics in the States, with such notable examples as the Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement, genetic research, gay marriage, school curriculum's, religious artifacts and quotations on public buildings and in public institutions, etc. etc.

Also, a series of scandals in the 1980s resulted in the fall from grace of several famous televangelists, including Jim Baker, (and don't forget Tammy Fay) who served a prison sentence for financial improprieties associated with his ministry, and Jimmy Swaggart, who made a famous tearful confession to a dalliance with a prostitute.
Most of these televangelists have continued preaching nonetheless, even though their audiences may be a small fraction of what they were at the height of their popularity.

One of the most prominent examples of this is the notorious Oral Roberts incident of 1987, in which the televised preacher demanded that his audience give him $8,000,000 or "God would kill him".

They did. God didn't!

(From the book The Plain Truth About God-101 "what the church doesn't want you to know!" **-In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he received $8 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated; “If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.’’ Dennis Miller, SNL News

Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell achieved further notoriety in 2001 with their conviction that the September 11 terrorist attacks constituted divine retribution provoked by rampant sexual immorality.

In 2005, Robertson announced on The 700 Club that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez ought to be "taken out" by the US government. Many viewed this as a call for assassination.

Later that year, in November, Robertson warned the town of Dover, Pennsylvania of a severe natural disaster following the defeat of the local school board for advocating intelligent design.

In 2006, Robertson said God smote Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after he withdrew troops from the Gaza Strip.

Don't even get me started on Benny Hinn! That son-of-a-bitch couldn't get hired by a carnival sideshow because of his "overacting!"

Anyway, to get back on track, my distrust of Southern Baptists Fundamentalists is well founded, especially since they hold such sway over the current administration in Washington.

I was under the impression that they were in the majority across the United States but after a bit of research, to my great relief, I find this isn't true.

Sure there are a few states that have a majority of Baptists, such as Arkansas:

ARKANSAS' LARGEST DENOMINATIONS

1. Southern Baptists 665,307
2. United Methodists 179,383
3. Catholics 115,967
4. American Baptist Assn. 115,916
5. Baptist Missionary Assn. of America 87,244
6. Churches of Christ 86,342
7. Assemblies of God 67,187
8. National Assn. of Freewill Baptists 26,268
9. Presbyterians (PCUSA) 25,345
10. Nazarenes 17,110

And Kentucky - Largest Kentucky Denominations:

1. Southern Baptist Convention 979,994
2. Catholic Church 406,021
3. United Methodist Church 208,720
4. Independent Christian Churches 106,638
5. Christian Church (Disciples) 67,611
6. Churches of Christ 58,602
7. Presbyterian Church USA 36,940
8. Church of God (Cleveland, TN) 33,572
9. Assemblies of God 30,103
10. National Assn of Free Will Baptists 20,441

But on the whole Baptists, I am pleased to report, are not the majority. It seems the Catholics hold sway by a very wide margin and this gives me comfort since my wife is a Catholic and at least I understand them and the way they think.

Largest U.S. denominations

1.) The Catholic Church, 67,820,833 members;
2.) The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,267,494;
3.) The United Methodist Church, 8,186,254;
4.) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,999,177;
5.) The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875;
6.) National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., 5,000,000;
7.) Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,930,429;
8.) National Baptist Convention of America, 3,500,000;
9.) Presbyterian Church (USA), 3,189,573;
10) Assemblies of God, 2,779,095

Source: 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches

Oh yes, The Church of Allan - 12 members!

This means there are over 67 million Catholics in America compared to only slightly less than 25 million Baptists so it doesn't look like we are going to have a right wing fundamentalist uprising any time in the near future.

But then again, I've been wrong before.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) www.God-101.com

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