Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Religion and Dissonance Theory

My latest interest is dissonance theory.

Phil Zuckerman has a great piece at Huffington Post that does a nice job of illustrating the theory at work.

He focuses on the contradicting practice and theory of modern American Christian theology and its seeming hatred towards the positions taken by the man, Jesus, believers call their "Lord and Savior".

He illuminates how this hatred isn't really a conscience contempt but rather it reveals a confirmation bias that ameliorates the prosperity American Evangelicals enjoy which would be anathema to the eschatology of Jesus's 1st C. Apocalyptic Judaism.

"Evangelicals don't exactly hate Jesus -- as we've provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can't stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself -- his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill -- most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain."

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