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Ritland Daily Ramble #25

Quote of the day
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
– Jesus Christ

Rambles
969940_510713322310573_1445846187_n-1In our own image
Things Jesus Never Said is one of the funniest Christian memes. If you’re a far-left leaning Christian you may not think so, but even then you have to admit that they’re clever. This is one of my favorites.

From the beginning of Christianity people have had trouble accepting the message of Jesus. Gnostics, who believed that the material world is evil, couldn’t accept that God would become a man. So they changed that part of the message of Jesus, claiming that instead of a human he was actually something like a vampire. Jehovah’s Witnesses couldn’t accept teachings about the Trinity. Seventh Day Adventists, of Sunday being the day that Christian’s worshiped. And so on and so forth.

The most current form of this is dumbing down any message of Christianity that goes against cultural norms or popular political leanings. For these people faith is just one of many branches of their individual personality. I follow this or that political agenda, I’m a member of the YMCA, I like spaghetti…and I’m a Christian. Each aspect is simply what makes them who they are. It’s not the belief that’s important or has any sway over them, it’s how they fit the belief into what makes them who they are.

Worse than phony, this type of “Christianity” is destructive. If God is real, if Christianity is the truth, then faith and adherence to God’s revelations should be what guides everything that makes a person who they are. It should be what everything in a person’s life falls into place around. If something in Christianity doesn’t fit into a worldview then it’s the worldview that should be reconsidered, not Christianity that should be revised to fit into it.

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Picture of the day

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Another classic Things Jesus Never Said.

Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North and writes frequent Daily Rambles. Ramblin’ On catalogs his writings on culture, music (including his own projects), sports, religion, and many other topics. You can reach him via email here.

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Ritland Daily Ramble #11

Pope Francis, the religious and secular in America, a surprise musical collaboration, John Candy with a beard.

Quote of the day
Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.
– Pope Francis

Rambles
Voice of Dissent: R.R. Reno on Pope Francis and Culture
The Catholic Church disagrees with contemporary culture in many fundamental ways. Is Pope Francis helping the situation? Is America a religious nation or a secular one? How should religious and secular people move forward? I delve into these questions on my second reflection on this R.R. Reno piece.

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Surprise collaboration
It is being reported that Jack White and Neil Young have recorded an album of covers together that will hopefully be released soon. Songs include Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and one of my favorite ‘60s folk songs, Phil Ochs’ “Changes.”

I love that guys like Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney keep working on their craft instead of just resting on their past accomplishments. They don’t just re-hash their old sound, either, instead collaborating with people to keep their music fresh. Young is teaming with White, Springsteen with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello on his new High Hopes album, and McCartney with several noted contemporary pop producers on his last record New.

It’s too bad that people are largely ignoring what they’re doing. Listeners of new music don’t have time for the past and listeners of old music just want to hear the songs they’re used to. Both are ruts worth avoiding.

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Picture of the day

John_Candy

John Candy looks fucking sweet in a beard. That is all.

Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North and writes frequent Daily Rambles. Ramblin’ On catalogs his writings on culture, music (including his own projects), sports, religion, and many other topics. You can reach him via email here.