Losing Our Religion…Book

Had a chance to catch S.E. Cupp on Bill Maher the other night and she has a new book out ‘Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Religion‘.

First off, I like the book title. Secondly, she’s an atheist. Thirdly, she’s a Religious Studies major (an area I am thinking of getting my Master’s in). Irony, an athiest defending religious freedoms and reporting on the slant she see’s in the ‘liberal’ media to ‘attack’ religion. Absolutely brilliant!

I see a lot of what she is doing in what I am doing – except from varying sides of the religious spectrum. I take a critical approach to the Christian faith (and sometimes religion in general) and seek to see changes in thought and pattern occur – but not to the demise of the religion – to it’s improvement. In one hand, I am criticizing many things in Christianity and in another hand I am also seeking to uphold it…my delicate balance in life.

This lady is an atheist that is seeking to see religion maintained because of it’s needfulness in society (she actually thinks it does more good than harm). I also agree with her 100% and also make many of the same defences (in debates) when talking with non-Christians about the usefulness of the Christian religion (in society). She was a great guest on Bill Maher, took him a bit to task – admirable because she was someone I think came to this subject with a balanced style – and that’s getting tougher to find these days.

I was just thinking I would like to meet someone who kind of thought like me…and ta-daa!

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18 thoughts on “Losing Our Religion…Book

  1. The necessity of religion, for what exactly? Faith is something other than religion is it not? So then why does humanity need any religion to guide faith. If someone truly believes in something then it stand to reason that they do not need a community or an organization to verify that belief. But if the belief/faith is actually rooted in the communal belief, stemming from the group, then this probably demonstrates a belief in humanistic explanations more than in the necessity of the religion.

  2. Ok, this is a total side track, but do any of you 1st nation guys golf? I would love to mosey on down to Saskatchewan and have a round or 2 of golf and pints with you guys. 🙂

  3. “The necessity of religion, for what exactly?” (Johnny)

    Well according to Cupp it helps society more than it hurts it. I am not sure her exact reasoning (would need to read the book – which I will do) – but it goes along the line religion or faith in God actually can help people become better societal beings.

    I agree 100%. For me, religion or faith helped me turn the corner in my life to bigger and better things. It provided the proving ground for me to balance my life off of and learn from. I can actually testify that Cupp is accurate in her conclusion via experience.

    “Faith is something other than religion is it not?” (Johnny)

    I don’t think so…they are kind of synanomous terms. When I use faith I know I mean someone’s beliefs about God (or the teachings they follow about God). Religion is a more institutionalized and communal version of that. I have problems with the institution of religion (fact).

    “If someone truly believes in something then it stand to reason that they do not need a community or an organization to verify that belief” (Johnny)

    I agree. This is a trend we are starting to see grow in the past 15 years. People are leaving organized religious groups because of their inflexibility and co-ercion tactics. Churches, for example, leave people feeling superior and inferior. That can leave a bad taste in peoples mouths.

    Faith is faith regardless of it’s tie to a religion or ideology…we all use forms of faith from day to day.

    “But if the belief/faith is actually rooted in the communal belief, stemming from the group, then this probably demonstrates a belief in humanistic explanations more than in the necessity of the religion” (Johnny)

    It probably does. It seems to reveal our need for a social structure we can bond to. However, just because religion provides this place for some – does not mean this is not one of the core needs of being human (ie: acceptance, favor, and social activity).

  4. “Ok, this is a total side track, but do any of you 1st nation guys golf? I would love to mosey on down to Saskatchewan and have a round or 2 of golf and pints with you guys?” (John)

    I would be game, I just don’t have golf clubs or anything. Maybe we could rent or even go play some pool at a lounge and make a day of it?

    Or we could also hang out a local lounge and just debate all day on any topic…I enjoy that as well. I am the real life version of this actual blog (lol).

  5. I golf and I would love go for a round!

    I live in Saskatoon, but if Jason is willing to go golf around, I would be willing to drive down to play!

  6. sounds like a good book!

    side note: Bill Mahr is a moron. he is about as knowledgeable on religion as i am on advanced bio-chemistry.

    other side note: golf?! mweh…. pints?! cool! one day i’ll join y’all. maybe even this fall as there is a church i’m looking at up north. details later!

  7. Luke, of course your welcome to be there – wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I like Bill Maher’s comedy and tv show…it’s very entertaining and inquisitive. He’s very liberal and despises religion – but his points have their concerns and I get where he is going with them (the intents). He means well IMO.

  8. i don’t think he means well at all. he’s an intellectual snob that has no intelligence in that particular field. his attempts to discredit religion and religious people are anemic at best. i viewed his “Religulous” movie and my entire opinion of him is in the toilet in terms of theology. politics, he’s got something going. but on this turf, no way no how.

    two dead give-a-ways: 1. trashes fundies (anyone can do that) yet doesn’t challenge the Jesuit Physicist in anyway shape or form. completely biased reporting despite the whole “i’m honestly searching…” crap at the beginning.

    2. constantly spells “revelation” as “revelationS.” this is one of my pet-peeves. if you’re seeking to discredit something or blow away someone’s eschatology (or even establish and eschatology) then at least get your freak’n source material spelled correctly. i know i misspell a ton of stuff, but this is a blog, it’s free… not a multi-million dollar film attacking fundies.

    • Bill Maher is great at what he does and if you do not agree with him then that is fine; he disagrees with you. His job as HBO t.v. host is based on presenting topics that would not otherwise be covered by CNN, NBC, or Fox, etc., and religion happens to be one of those fetishistic taboo objects that he rails about. In fact he was booted off network t.v. for simple comments about 9/11; which says more about US political culture than most US political pundits would care to imagine. Do I agree with everything he says, of course not. But I certainly agree with his open critiques of the power of religion and human obedience to age old and ridiculous theologies. Frankly, it is time for immense criticism of religion as a human invention and Bill Maher is an equal opportunity religious critic.

      But the hypocrisy of your Maher-rejection is obvious, you are mad that Maher attacks Christianity and discredits it at will, which he does a fine job at. But you certainly are not mad when he critiques fascist-Islam, or Scientology, or Mormonism, are you? Which he does more than any other t.v. personality. So then as long as your particular belief system is left alone then that is fine. It is great when he goes after those “fundies”, as you delightfully discredit them, but look in the mirror you might just be one of them; and maybe that offends you more than his off colour television-based critiques of religion. Which by the way you can physically turn off at any time by hitting the “power” button on your remote control. But it is you who chooses to watch him and not the other way around and perhaps you like the sentiments he presents more than you care to tell.

      • it’s not that he attacks Christianity, it’s just that his attacks are inaccurate, simple, and opportunist; very unlike his political ones. that’s why i no longer watch him.

  9. “i don’t think he means well at all. he’s an intellectual snob that has no intelligence in that particular field” (Luke)

    He’s no expert in theology – true. He’s also a literalist with regards to religion…and one dimesional on that viewpoint (restricts himself on purpose).

    But he does mean well – this I can attest to. I think his main concerns are that religion is being used to help do evil things on this planet…I am with him on fighting this evil. I am also with him not sparing religion from serious critique – this needs to happen if religions are ever going to change. He goes a bit further than that (eradication of religion) and when he goes down that path – I am no longer beside him.

    But I have been watching him for some time now – maybe 2 years or more…he makes some good points on basic Western religious thought and how one-dimesional it can become and has.

    • “He’s also a literalist with regards to religion…and one dimesional on that viewpoint (restricts himself on purpose).”

      which is LAME. don’t have time for that. he doesn’t do that with his political/philosophical stuff, why the change with religion?

  10. Jason and Luke

    By the way, Doug has a new post that requires a password. If you need the password give me a shout at my email address. He would love it if you guys respond. You too, wilf and Johnny.

  11. “trashes fundies (anyone can do that)”

    A very good real world working definition of a ‘fundamentalist’ (or “fundie”) is: a person that is 1. willing to die for their belief system, or 2. is willing to kill to defend their belief system. If a religious, or political, believer fits that mould in either way then it is safe to say they are likely a fundamentalist thinker and believer.

    Thus the question then that theistic believers have to ask themselves is: Am I willing to perish, and/or kill, for a theology? If the answer is ‘yes’, then please check the “fundie” option in your mental belief-survey. If not, then the theology is not probably central to your identity and any mere critique of that theology would have no real effect on your mental make-up.

    • i am willing to die for my beliefs, yes. the real question is: which ones? i’m a mixed bag there.

      am i willing to kill? i don’t think i am, but a question of harming my family, then i will resist as long as i can and then take that last option. that’s why i subscribe to a Just War doctrine.

      we all have a bit of fundie in us… on what issues are you a fundie?

  12. “A very good real world working definition of a ‘fundamentalist’ (or “fundie”) is: a person that is 1. willing to die for their belief system, or 2. is willing to kill to defend their belief system” (Johnny)

    If this is an accurate definition, which I don’t think it is, I would fall into category 1 but not into category 2. Does this make me 1/2 a fundie?

    I think Jesus’ message was absolutely non-violent and his actions prove this point – as he releases his life into foreign powers to be killed (he never did fight back). Then the stories of his disciples are also in that same vein according to Acts. Later Christian narrative actually starts using ‘martyrdom accounts’ to help ease people into the fact they would likely be killed for their faith by Roman power (in certain places).

    It seems to me Jesus died for his faith (and so did his disciples) but did not kill for it (and the same goes for his disciples).

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