I don’t like having to defend my feelings for Jesus Christ. I shouldn’t have to. In this country, people shouldn’t have to make such pledges. As I’ve just been called a “Christ hater” though, I feel compelled to say something.

For the record, I do not hate Jesus Christ. In fact, I like him quite a bit, or at least I like that part of him that was passed on to me through people that I respect, people who, I thought, tried to live their lives in accordance with his teachings. These people, and I have several in mind, were not confrontational with their Christianity. They were open, honest, and caring toward their fellow human beings. They weren’t the type of people to yell, “Christ hater,” when confronted by opinions contrary to their own. They were the type to engage in thoughtful conversation… So, with their conceptualization of Jesus in my mind, I can say with some confidence that I do in fact like Jesus. What I don’t like, however, is when people invoke his name to justify censorship, intolerance, violence or other political machinations. Perhaps it’s just my reading of the Bible, but, at least in my opinion, those aren’t things that he would have approved of.

Maybe I’m na

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  1. Andy
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The Doctor’s biggest mistake, it seems to me, is his insistence on saying that this is about Mr. Jesus per se, when it’s obviously more about what His various followers do or claim in His name. To oversimplify it, it might come down to whether a certain Christian is a Democrat or a Republican. I think a lot of people are looking at it that way nowadays. The Republicans have had a specific strategy to increase their share of votes via religion, which I have to admit was wise of them (they used to be the pro-abortion party, remember). African-American church-goers still tend to be Democrats, and Quakers, too. I look favorably upon them because I’m more in agreement with them. I like their *interpretation* of the Gospels. So when The Doctor (Senator Frist, is that you?) throws “You don’t know Jesus! You don’t get it at all!” in Mark’s face, we know that he is really merely referring to *his* interpretation. So we disagree over interpretations, what else is new? That’s practically the history of the stinkin world, innit? But it’s not about Mr. Jesus.

  2. Andy
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    And really, Doc, get off the cross we need the wood– with your own fantasies (fueled by Mel Gibson’s hawt S&M movie) about being persecuted. Liberals aren’t into putting anybody in concentration camps, so you’ll have to get yourselves off some other way. I know it makes for great fundraising campaigns, but don’t flatter yourself, mofo. Besides, we don’t have enough votes in Congress.

  3. ChelseaL
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:42 am | Permalink


    I wouldn’t have given that person any response, much less a courteous, reasoned one. Very Christian of you!

    Two expressions come to mind:
    “holier than thou”
    and “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

    La la!


  4. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Hmmm…let’s see now –

    “don’t flatter yourself, mofo”
    “fuck ’em “

    Is this the kind of “meaningful dialogue” you and your MENSA friends are talking about???



    The Doctor

    Ps Seriously, it’s been fun toying with you guys but after
    a while discoursing with people 2+ standard deviations below you in the IQ department does get kind of tedius. I hope you understand.

    Besides, you have so many bigger fish to fry.

    Northridge is just a drop in the bucket. If you liberals weren’t so afraid of black people, perhaps you’d do one of your recon visits over to Word of Faith in Southfield.

    That’s a TWENTY THOUSAND member (94%)black church with a doctrine far far different than ours at Northridge.

    The pastor is running to be one of just 100 Senators in the country and just got done with a convention in which key speakers absolutely reamed the Democratic Party for being the cradle of anti-abolitionism and the last to promote blacks to positions of high office.

    DVD’s of this message were sold for just $2/pop after the sermon so the congregants could distribute this groundbreaking message to their friends.

    The conrgregation was lined half way around the auditorium to buy these in huge lots.

    Once the political ghetto you liberals have consigned blacks to begins to crumble, you know you have no chance to win any elections.

    Pretty sweet, huh?

  5. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Oh and ps…

    You DO hate Christ.

    You really…really do.

    Trust me.



    Ps Who you ‘love’ is Santa Claus whom your parents (and apparently others) told you was Jesus. Did you know the Easter Bunny wasn’t real either?

  6. terry
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I love it when someone attacks a person’s IQ and misspells the word “tedious” in the same sentence.

    I also notice this new one’s handle is also the title of a mediocre Cheap Trick album. Being a fan of the band I would have called myself “Dream Police” or “Budokhan” instead.

  7. Stephanie
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    If any of us thought that Mark was paranoid before, I think your comments, good doctor, have convinced us otherwise. Thank you for that.

  8. Jim
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I wonder what the pastoral staff at Northridge would think of “the Doctor” engaging in this kind of mockery and namecalling on their behalf. The Doctor writes that he has written content for their website, so perhaps he is involved in church leadership. (He has not responded to Chris’ suggestion that he is actually senior pastor Brad Powell.) I would hope that Northridge’s pastors would repudiate his invective. If not, we should thank the Doctor for revealing the ugliness behind the shopping mall facade. His comments speak much more poorly of Northridge than does Mark’s original post.

  9. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I love it when someone attacks a person’s IQ and misspells the word “tedious” in the same sentence.


    I hate when I do that!


    The Doctor

    Ps Good catch!

  10. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    This is by far my most favorite post:

    “I wonder what the pastoral staff at Northridge would think of “the Doctor” engaging in this kind of mockery and namecalling…blah…blah…blah”

    Let me translate:

    “I’m telling Mrs.Snotly on you!!”


    This proves my long standing theory that these Christ-haters are more like the weeny fundamentalists they caricature us as then any church-lady I’ve actually met in a church.




  11. Doug Skinner
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    To disagree with the message of one sermon — or the style of one church — does not make someone a Christ-hater, a Nazi, or a devil. It just doesn’t. “The Doctor” is bearing false witness against his neighbor, which is forbidden by the Ten Commandments. He is not a Christian.

    If the Doctor is still reading this, I invite him to replace the word “liberal” with the word “Jew” in his posts, and then to read Matthew 7:3.

    And happy first day of summer, everyone. Remember, our earth keeps turning, despite our petty quarrels. Cheers!

  12. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “I invite him to replace the word “liberal” with the word “Jew”

    Wow! I guess that replace ‘Christian’ with ‘Jew’ truth hit a little too close to home, huh?

    Ouch! lol!


    The Doctor

    Ps If 1/10th of what you libs smear Christians with were said about Jews, this site would be on the ADL hate page.

    And no the Jew = liberal substitute is bogus. Many Jews are conservative. Ever heard of Max Fischer? Being a liberal is just being a hater and the overwhelming majority of liberals in this country are gentiles.

  13. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    “The Doctor” is bearing false witness against his neighbor, which is forbidden by the Ten Commandments.”

    Hmmmm…I wonder what commandment is broken when you bear false witness by accusing me of bearing false witness?

    I guess it’s a good thing kooky liberals like this one wasn’t around during the time of Moses.

    God would have had to make it eleven commandments.



    Ps And counting…

  14. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “If any of us thought that Mark was paranoid before, I think your comments, good doctor, have convinced us otherwise. Thank you for that.”

    And if any Christians were worried about liberal kooks being a strong political force in the 2006 midterms, the comments in this blog have convinced us otherwise.

    Thank you for that.


    The Doctor

  15. Posted June 21, 2005 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    “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.

    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

    -Matthew 6:5-8, King James Version.

  16. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    “Your a hypocrite!”
    “You broke a commandment!”

    Sheesh, if I wanted to be around this many church-ladies, I’d have stayed back at the old Temple Baptist Church!




    Ps Hmmm…Let’s see now, it’s about 10 liberal kooks vs me.

    Better send in some reinforcements…

    …for the liberals


  17. Doug Skinner
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Yes, it’s just a bunch of church ladies around here. Too close to the spirit of real Christianity for you, eh Doctor?

    Since my point about you bearing false witness was true, it wasn’t false witness itself. Sorry!

    Since name-calling makes you so happy, you’re welcome to call me a “liberal kook” as much as you like. Have fun!

  18. Ken
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Mark, this is what happens when you make fun of krumping, you just leave the door wide in for the kooks!

    PS – LOL!!!

  19. Jim
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Must..stop…feeding…the…troll…but it’s hard not to, because he discredits his brand of Christianity with every post.

    I suspect, however, that our troll is not much of a Christian, but just a garden variety wingnut: he is trying to reframe this discussion of religion as a political debate, and he’s switched his favored slur from “Christ hater” to “church lady” and “liberal kook.” His Christianity seems about as deep as the closing “Love” with which he baptizes his snark.

    And sorry about the snotty tone–it’s a product of my Evangelical Christian upbringing.

  20. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Since the doctor is new to the site.. He should know that not agreeing with the moonbats labels one a troll (non trolls agree with everything, and can usually trace all of society’s ills to either Republicans or Christians (As Dean said it is the party of white Republicans)). If they post snotty articles about your church.. well its all in the name of tolerance and diversity.. As long as that diversity doesn’t include your dissenting point of view. Whatever you do, don’t let other members of the congregation find out about this blog. They would certainly be labeled trolls.

  21. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    opps.. I misquoted Dean in the last message.. He called the party of White Christians.. I hope this quells the avalanche of posts pointing out my mistype.

  22. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    John Galt…

    You nailed it dude.

    In fact, if you read up about a post or two I predicted it would only be a matter of time before these braniacs would call me a troll.

    Liberals are sooooo predictable.

    I guess that’s why we roll over them in every election, huh?

    The Doctor

    Ps Good catch about their love of ‘tolerance and diversity.’

    For them it’s

    Jews need not apply.

    Oops, sorry, I meant to say:

    Christians not need apply.

    Now it’s ok, right kooks?

  23. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    They whine about Jesusland (red states and the ignorant masses that live there), but why would people in those states vote Dem, when with exception to the months running up to elections they denigrate the values of the people living there. If the Dems as Dean said during the election really want to get the vote of “the guy who drives a pickup with a confederate flag on the back” (which I found to be an offensive sterotype of the south) They’ll have to do something to appeal to those voters. Respecting their values would be a start. They seem to have trouble respecting the beliefs of people who think Israel was behind 911 as we’ve seen from the recent Conyers mock legislative session.. and the subsequent rebuke by Dean of the anti-semitic literature being distributed there.

    here’s a clip from an article at the American thinker

    So the Democrats in Congress are now giving voice and credibility to the view that Israel was responsible for the Iraq war. And other Democrats, watching the hearing at the DNC, are hosting anti-Semites who argue that Israel had advance warning of the 9/11 attacks and is therefore responsible for allowing the attacks to occur. And even deeper into familiar anti-Semitic tropes: that Israelis withheld the information so as to benefit financially.

    This sounds exactly like classic anti-Semitism. These messages were not being conveyed on anti-Semitic web sites, or on Palestinian TV and radio on Thursday, but at a Democratic function from a meeting room in Congress, with more than 10% of the Democrats in Congress in attendance, and at Democratic National Headquarters. In all likelihood, these outrageous charges are now being communicated and rebroadcast throughout the Arab and Muslim world, with the imprimatur and legitimacy of the Democratic National Committee, and the US Congress as the reliable source.

    Until late Friday, no Democratic Party official or Congressman, had expressed any discomfort with what happened. Now, we have a statement by Congressman Barney Frank, saying he was out of the conference room when the bad stuff happened in the mock impeachment trial, and that he thinks McGovern

  24. Jim
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Only one person–me–has called you a troll, and I did so because you seemed to be interested only in name-calling, and not in substantive discussion of Mark’s original post and the issues it raised. If you do have anything constructive or informative to say, please say it, and I’ll be happy to correct my misjudgment of you.

    I’m very interested in the megachurch phenomenon, so if you can add anything to Mark’s account, I really would like to hear it.

  25. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    ,b>Only one person–me–has called you a troll, and I did so because blah blah blah…

    No need to get all defensivedude.

    Guess it sucks to be busted, huh?


    The Doctor

  26. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    To John Galt:

    GREATfind on the DNC 911 conspiracy story.

    I guess these guys do hate Jews as much as they hate Christ.

    Man…who woulda thunk???


  27. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    “I’m very interested in the megachurch phenomenon, so if you can add anything to Mark’s account…”

    Yeah, I do.

    Quit cheapshotting my church A-hole.


    The Doctor

    Ps (Oops! I used a coarse word. Let the reign of the Church Ladies fall upon us… LOL!)

  28. Jim
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Doctor, since you’ve already told us that you work in the ministry at Northridge, would you care to identify yourself? I’d like to know whether you are actually a member of their pastoral staff.

  29. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Don’t do it, if you do they’ll post pictures of you on the main page and threaten to call your employer.

  30. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Doctor, since you’ve already told us that you work in the ministry at Northridge, would you care to identify yourself? I’d like to know whether you are actually a member of their pastoral staff


    Pastor Powell: Hello?
    Jim: Hello Pastor Powell, You don’t know me but, I am a liberal kook who hates Christians. A man who works in the ministry and identified himself as _____ just called me an A-hole!



    Sheesh, is every liberal on this blog a nanotechnology engineer??



    Ps You know right now they’re scurrying around trying to skip trace my ip so they can find me and sift thru my garbage in the outside dumpster. LOL!

  31. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    And I guarantee you when I get to my office tomorrow morning, everyone’ll be buzzing about a bunch of nasty emails coming to **** (our webmaster) from some ‘bloggers’ upset that someone who identified himself as NRC staff was mean to them.


    What a bunch of wussys liberals are….

    The Doc

  32. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    they’re not wussys, they are tolerant people who respect diversity of culture and opinion, in fact they are much smarter than the people who live in Jesusland, If they were in power we’d have universal healthcare (if you can get an appointment), we would be respectful of torturous dictators (not threaten them), and we would better understand and accomodate people who want to kill us for not being like them (sorta ironic).. Lets go see what these “enlightened idividuals” have planned for the 911 memorial…

    remember its all our fault.. I’m not sure personally why 3K ppl had to die, but apparently we did something wrong as a country that made them hate us.. If only we’d looked the other way more.. and if you listen to the DNC, the Jews set us up the bomb.. Remember the mantra “Bush lied people died”.. You never hear “the people who hate us slaughtered 3k innocents”.. of course that doesn’t rhyme.. If only Jesse Jackson were a republican.. I bet he could come up with a catchy chant.. And remember Saddam only killed his own people.

    Crap I should have posted under a Jewish name, otherwise they don’t think you have a reason to despise anti-semetism (thanks to chris for pointing out my wrongheadedness).. Christians are supposed to hate Jews you know.. It must really confuse them that so many christians support Israel (and accept diversity of religion.. You know Jesus was a Jew.. Paul was the one who disbanded Taulmaic Law for christianity, (I’m so glad I can eat shellfish)).. Maybe they’re really French or something.. Ahhh Dhimitude.

  33. mark
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    For what it

  34. The Doctor
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    John Galt,

    You are great, dude.

    I’m going to leave this august blog in your hands now.

    With all apologies to Shakespeare, these fellows in here are far to clever for me.


    Love and Kisses,

    The Doctor

    Game over.
    Thanks for playing.
    Final Score

    The Doctor: 2,654,789
    Liberal Kooks: 0.000666

  35. john galt
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Two expressions come to mind:
    “holier than thou”
    and “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

    yep, nice way to invite discourse… Please keep calling people to find my phone #.

  36. chris
    Posted June 21, 2005 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    OK, is it April 1? John and the Doctor have begun speaking to themselves outloud and they have started to get answers.

    It is like John is a troll antibody and the doc is an antigen and we should at this point be immunized against the latter.

    OK I am stoned, BUT now when I see the name Galt I automatically scroll to the next entry or posting. AND maybe John knew that we were beginning to ignore him and voila! the Doc!

  37. Andy
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    John Galt,
    Some idiots were at DNC headquarters handing out literature that accused Israel of having a hand in 9-11. I don’t agree with that, and I don’t know anyone who does.
    Former CIA intel analyst Ray McGovern claimed that the invasion of Iraq was for the purpose of oil, military bases and so that Israel and the US could “dominate” the region. The oil thing hasn’t happened, but if at some time in the future Iraq starts giving us a good deal on their oil, then I will consider it true. Will we keep military bases in Iraq? In all likelihood, yes, but again I will wait until after our proper pull-out to say so conclusively. Will Israel “dominate” the region? Not necessarily, but their enemies are certainly being neutralized by us. I do believe that we, at least in part, did invade Iraq for the good of Israel. I further suspect that this is why Sharon is fitfully agreeing to empty some illegal settlements (the UN’s resolutions against them, btw, have been perfectly valid and necessary). The Israeli-Palestinian issue was one of the main reasons America got hit on 9-11, so in a roundabout way, Bush may in fact be solving the problem. Which would make me happy, if it pans out without too many more innocents dying. Iraq was never about WMD, gassing Kurds in the 80’s or their supposed threat to us.
    In any case, the only anti-Semitism involved was the unnamed “activists” handing out lit, and implying Israel’s intention is agressive domination other than mere defense. Dean did the right (and incidentally *true*) thing of disavowing that Democrats support these things:
    “As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could ‘dominate’ the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America, let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric,” Dean said.
    “The inferences are destructive and counterproductive, and have taken away from the true purpose of the Judiciary Committee members’ meeting,” he said. “The entire Democratic Party remains committed to fighting against such bigotry.”
    The piece you link to attempts to hold all Democrats responsible for this. Nice try (to siphon off Jewish voters). More Republican propaganda to divide and conquer via faith. Unfortunately, not accurate. Whoever those “activists” were, they’re never getting in the door again.

  38. Doug Skinner
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Neither party is anti-semitic — or rather, you can find both liberal and conservative anti-semites. You know that, Mr. Galt. And where did you come up with “Christians are supposed to hate Jews”? According to who?

    As for The Doctor, he seems happy that he “won”; but I don’t know why he thinks he did. All he did was spout some insults, and then crow about it. I suspect he’ll look back on it with some embarrassment.

    And all this because Mark didn’t like one church service! You say you haven’t liked every church service you’ve been to, Galt; I guess The Doctor had better call you names too!

  39. ChelseaL
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 9:37 am | Permalink


    Please accept my apology for “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” I hadn’t meant it against any one specific person and shouldn’t have said it.

    Just a few very small points, if I may, addressing some of your prior remarks:

    I don’t think it’s fair to decide when the “game” is over, especially when others are still discussing.

    I consider myself liberal and am not afraid of African Americans.

    My IQ is in the “superior” range (though that isn’t necessarily saying much).

    Mark: Have you ever seen a movie called “Jesus of Montreal”? One of the best.

    Cheers, dears.

  40. Posted June 22, 2005 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I know this was posted AGES ago, but for the record, Doctor, (everybody else here knows this) I am a liberal Christian and do attend a church that is at least 94% African-American and happen to agree with Mark’s version of Jesus. I’m quite certain Jesus is not a fan of such vitriol.

    Mark – I’m going to put you up for canonization for dealing with the Doctor and John.

  41. Rush
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    well I go to a church that is 95% black (which means that it’s more diverse than yours) and also agree that mark is jesus.

  42. mark
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Do they call you Rush because of the rush you get from crushing up and snorting oxycodone?

  43. [steph]
    Posted June 23, 2005 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read the pamphlets. I do think that the distribution of false information is unfortunate, and it’s too bad that that happened. I don’t know whether there was any explicitly anti-Semitic content within the pamphlets, but I haven’t heard mention of any. Unless I am mistaken reading these posts, it seems that the suggestion that Israel withheld knowledge of 9/11 for its own gain is what is being seen as anti-Semitic. I guess I just don’t see that. If the pamphlets said (and I openly admit that I don’t know, so maybe they did…) ‘Israel withheld knowledge of 9/11 for their own gain because they’re evil, dirty Jews!’ then it might be clearer to me.

    The stance, on both political sides, seems to be that no one wants to speak critically against Israel for fear of being seen as anti-Semites. Apparently, one can’t disagree with Israel’s political actions without hating Jews. And I don’t really get it. While Israel is a Jewish state, Israel does not equal all Jews everywhere or Judaism itself. You can disagree with Israel’s policies without hating Jews. (And now I am referring to Israel’s real political actions, not false ones claimed in a pamphlet.) Just like you can dislike the actions of other religious nations without hating the religion itself or all its followers (as I’m sure there are Christians who can hate the crusades, the inquisition, etc, without hating themselves and all other Christians.) Plenty of groups have made mistakes and acted very badly in the name of religion.

    I am an atheist. According to Jewish law, though, I am still a Jew, whether I believe in God or not. Since I don’t believe in the authority of Jewish law, I can comfortably say that I am not a Jew. However, most people would disagree. That’s fine, it really doesn’t change much for me. It makes me very uncomfortable how a pro-Israel stance is seen as almost required nowadays. Back in Hebrew school, we were taught that everything Israel does is right, and those who might disagree with Israel’s actions are enemies of Jews everywhere. Last Thanksgiving, I believe it was, I was having a discussion with my family about how Israel had parked bulldozers and tanks outside a Palestinian encampment (perhaps it was a village, I don’t know) and gave the people there 24 hours to get out before they demolished the whole thing, whether there were people still there or not. My response was one of disgust. As was that of my family, however they were disgusted that the Palestinians wouldn’t just get out of Israel already and stop bombing everyone. In discussions with my Jewish family, an audible gasp can be heard if someone (me) even questions Israel’s politics. The view is that what Israel does is right, and we don’t even have to know what action we’re saying is right, because anything Israel ever does, has done or will do is right, because, I mean, c’mon, it’s Israel. And that view frightens me.

    While my knowledge of Israel’s politics is admittedly limited, I can’t say I agree with the majority of their actions. I am also uncomfortable with any religious nation, no matter what the religion. I am in favor of religious freedom, and I’m glad that, at least for now, we still have that here, to a large degree.

    On another, apparently related topic, maybe I have no say as a kooky liberal Jewish atheist, but I wasn’t offended by Mark’s post. As far as I know, all religions, Christianity included, have evolved (or should I say, “have been Created”) toward what they are today many times by a voice of dissent at the way the religion is currently being interpreted and the way its followers are conducting themselves. While I doubt it’s Mark’s goal to revamp Christianity, he is only doing what others have done to make the religion what it is today: observing a kind of worship, behavior, or attitude that he feels could be considered contrary to the true teaching of the religion and starting a dialogue. If someone out there feels he is mistaken in this observation, why not explain your position, and let him know exactly how some of the things that happened at the church fit in with Christianity? He seemed genuinely curious to know how some of the things he heard in that church followed the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    I know plenty of people who are religious. The majority of people I know, my family, friends, and just about everyone I meet are religious in some way. I don’t hold it against them. I do disagree with some of their ideas about the world, but it doesn’t stop us from being friends. I do think that I am right and they are wrong, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t believe what I do. And I know they think that they are right and I am wrong. That’s all fine. I don’t have any problem with religion as a concept, or with religious people as a group. I do have a problem with the teaching of hatred, intolerance, suspicion and fear. I think the question that has yet to be answered is this: Was that sort of teaching what was going on during this church service? If not, please explain. And if so, how is that not contrary to the teachings of Christ?

    On one more note: Did anyone see the Daily Show piece within the last couple weeks about the disgusting habit of comparing things one doesn’t disagree with to Nazis, Hitler, and/or the holocaust, on both political sides? Very insightful.

  44. Ken
    Posted June 23, 2005 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Very well written [steph] but you forgot to post where you cut and paste it from. I kid!

    One point that you made really sticks with me. It is when you say that Jewish people automatically support everything that Isreal does no matter what. I think that this is the team sport mentality that is plaguing everybody these days. It is just like your home football team and you support them every Sunday even when they do dumb things and they lose. You also talk trash about the opposing team. Republicans do this. Democrats do this. No insult is out of bounds either. Including calling them Hitler, or Nazis.

    I saw that piece you are talking about on the Daily Show and it was well done. I think the closing line was something like, “For Hitler’s sake, stop calling people Hitler”.

  45. [steph]
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think they also said something about “playing the Hitler card,” and that amused me.

  46. Mike
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    After reading the multitude of posts from Christ hating liberals here, I just had to chime in. Sorry, but you CANNOT fight to have every reference to God eliminated from public view by supporting groups like the ACLU and by voting for liberal Democrat politicians and then turn around and pretend you like Jesus! Doesn’t work that way! Who did Howard Dean think he was fooling when he pretended to be a Christian? He showed his true colors, as did other liberals like Dick Durbin. As for Mark…NO ONE who loves Jesus, or even LIKES Jesus is upset over churches reaching a “mega” audience!! Real Christians find it gratifying that Christ’s word is spreading and reaching people, they do not look at it as some sort of disease that people like Mark do.

  47. Doug Skinner
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “Real Christians” have often disagreed on what “Christ’s word” is. Just look at the long history of bloodshed between Catholics and Protestants.

    I’m an agnostic myself: I take the loony liberal position that everyone has the right to his beliefs; that I will defend his right to his beliefs; and that I also have a right to call him on them if I think they don’t make sense. Takes all kinds, huh?

  48. Doug Skinner
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    “Real Christians” have often disagreed on what “Christ’s word” is. Just look at the long history of bloodshed between Catholics and Protestants.

    I’m an agnostic myself: I take the loony liberal position that everyone has the right to his beliefs; that I will defend his right to his beliefs; and that I also have a right to call him on them if I think they don’t make sense. Takes all kinds, huh?

  49. Posted June 24, 2005 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “Doesn’t work that way!”

    Explain yourself.

  50. Jim
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Mike, although Mark was critical of many aspects of Northridge, I don’t think that he criticized them for having a large membership.

    Are you saying that anyone who criticizes an Evangelical church is a Christ-hater? If so, is anyone who criticizes a Catholic, Orthodox, or Liberal Protestant (or Mormon, or Christian Science, etc.) church also a Christ-hater? Is anyone who criticizes a Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu group a God-hater? This line of reasoning only makes sense if you believe that Evangelicals are Christ’s inerrant representatives on Earth (a claim that Evangelicals often criticize the popes for making).

    If you suspect Mark and Jan’s motives, why don’t you ask them why they visited Northridge and blogged about it?

  51. Ken
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I think you are confusing “every reference to God eliminated from public view” with “sanctioned in a government facility”. Churches are in public view and they can put out any references to God they want.

    Billboards are even bought to advertise different aspects of religion and nobody gives a hoot about that. This isn’t Communist Russia the Christians will get the word out and their voice will be heard. It just shouldn’t take precedence over another religion in the setting of the US government. Why should Christians get special treatment in that respect?

  52. Ken
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey [steph], I was going to make a “Hitler Card” but a quick Google search proves there is nothing under the sun!

    Hitler Card

  53. [steph]
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 1:44 pm | Permalink


    Very creepy. I’d prefer H’s instead of J’s, or maybe swastikas (I’ve never had a pro-swastika preference before…) but this will do.

  54. mark
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    There is no state religion in America. This is not a “Christian” country. Yes, a majority of people living here my be Christians, and some great things in our country’s past may have been accomplished by Christians, but that does not change the fact that we as a country have steadfastly throughout our history taken efforts to avoid such a designation… This, I should point out to you once again, does not make me a “Christ hater.” It doesn’t even mean that I’m not a Christian. What it means is that I, and a majority of other Americans throughout history, have agreed to the principle of religious freedom. It

  55. dan
    Posted August 14, 2005 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hey, here’s another Northridge member, and while I was hoping no one did respond from Northridge, now that someone has, I guess I would like to too!

    Let me just say, it’s not about the church or the mega-church and I’m certainly not going to call you a Christ-hater because I have no clue.

    I have to say though, as a negative toward you (don’t worry, in a non-screaming from the pulpit sorta way), I do think, as far as fair “research” (even observational research) goes, this was something that was not established in a way that was fair, or was reported fairly in large and small detail (“kill me if I change”, gift shop? vs. Bookstore–small detail, very different sound…selling of the sermon–did you check the low cost/overhead instead of letting it sound like a marketing/money-making scheme, phsycology tricks–isn’t all of education? Checking into the passion of Willow Creek Association–make church relevant for today’s society/current needs plus an array or global prgrams such as aids outreach, poverty programs, etc, looking into copyright law like you did other things instead of leaving it as an idea that the church has somehow theived it or broke the law….But that again, is not the issue.)

    The issue is what you said yourself and which is why I don’t think a response from a church member is needed in a negative way(paraphrase): “There is one way” –(expanding) through realization that we are sinners, Jesus did die for us and through His acceptance we have that path to eternal live in heaven….nothing else–not deeds, not community outreach, not being good (you did get the point exactly). You may have not gotten saved, but to go into a place of worship and scathe those presenting for reflecting on why Jesus and Christianity as The Way, not new age practice, and further commenting on the passion of style and way in which to deliver this message over the long haul, is no different that what you just did by saying that this “marketed mega church” is a form of worship we should make ourselves “aware” of then you point out all the negatives, call it hypocritical, etc. Isn’t that a bit off? I understand you are on the left and I actually respect that more than you might think–do you show the same balance and fairness in what you present?

    Again, it’s not about the church, it’s about an issue….a belief. Find and seek truth–was there something untrue?

    All the best,

  56. mark
    Posted August 14, 2005 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for taking the time to leave this note, Dan. Contrary to what you might think, and in spite of the ugly comments that were left by a fellow parishioner of yours earlier, I am interested in knowing more about your church and the ideology behind it. As for my article, I don

  57. Posted September 19, 2005 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Hello friends. I found this site by accident while searching for something else entirely. I did however scan the blog and instantly became sucked in to this thread about Christ-hating (or not) and the ever-escalating culture war in America. Since I am a neo-Gnostic alchemist whose religious gnosis approaches a kind of post-Matrix cosmic solipsism, I have no interest in Jesus one way or another. All I can say is that I think he was a truly great philosopher- if he in fact existed. But back to the culture war. What neither side seesm to realize is that their respective causes are IRRELEVANT and serve only to generate partisan hate. Both liberals and conservatives, as well as repubs-dems, pro/con war ranters, or the ideological denizens of ANY OTHER divisive polarized category, are equally useless in terms of affecting substantive positive change in our world. If you love/hate Jesus, Bush, the war, etc etc, then you have checked yourself OUT of the relevance game and will only be preaching to your choir or demonizing your opponents. Any converts won will be from the opposing side- the numbers will not change meaningfully. So what is your point? All of this destructive rhetoric does nothing good for anyone.
    I once posted some hopeful opinions about the need for moderate voices in the Middle east to two different forums- one Jewish, one Muslim. The Jews called me “an apologist for terror” while the Muslims accused me of being “a Zionist puppet”- and it was the EXACT SAME POST. Now insert your own favorite dualism into the slots- pro and anti Christian views, for example. The rhetoric generated on this blog sinks to a new low of irrelevancy, and shows that both sides are apparently incapable of mutual respect and considering anything beyond a reinforcement of their assumptions.
    So I ask again, what is your point?

  58. mark
    Posted September 19, 2005 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Can someone else take this one?

  59. Posted September 20, 2005 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I think the point is that the First Amendment protects American’s right to practice any religion, not just christianity.

    When government starts specificaly endorsing one belief-system it’s problematic to those of us who don’t believe in that particular belief-system.

    The point is that even the minority should expect the right to believe or not believe in any god(s) they like without interferance from government.

  60. Shanster
    Posted September 20, 2005 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Right on, Steven. I was beginning to think I’d never agree with you.

    I’d like to tackle one point of Abraxas’ dissertation. “If you love/hate Jesus, you have checked yourself OUT of the relvance game.” B frickin S. In no way does my passion for my belief diminish my ability to present a rhetoric-free non-demonizing respectful argument.

    However, many of us here do use rhetoric, I suppose it’s not so much to make the argument, but to toss a stone into the crowd of the other side, and see who gets riled and how they respond.

  61. mark
    Posted September 20, 2005 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    (And occasionally you nail someone square on the head with said hypothetical stone… and that can be a hell of a lot of fun.)

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