Also sometimes referred to as secular, modern, or humanistic. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, that view the Bible as the witness of God rather than the word of God, to be interpreted in its historical context through critical analysis. Examples include some churches within Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ. There are more than 2,000 Protestant denominations offering a wide range of beliefs from extremely liberal to mainline to ultra-conservative and those that include characteristics on both ends.
|•||Belief in Deity |
Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty. Many believe God is incorporeal.
Beliefs vary from the literal to the symbolic belief in Jesus Christ as God's incarnation. Some believe we are all sons and daughters of God and that Christ was exemplary, but not God.
|•||Origin of Universe and Life |
The Bible's account is symbolic. God created and controls the processes that account for the universe and life (e.g. evolution), as continually revealed by modern science.
|•||After Death |
Goodness will somehow be rewarded and evil punished after death, but what is most important is how you show your faith and conduct your life on earth.
|•||Why Evil? |
Most do not believe that humanity inherited original sin from Adam and Eve or that Satan actually exists. Most believe that God is good and made people inherently good, but also with free will and imperfect nature, which leads some to immoral behavior.
Various beliefs: Some believe all will go to heaven, as God is loving and forgiving. Others believe salvation lies in doing good works and no harm to others, regardless of faith. Some believe baptism is important. Some believe the concept of salvation after death is symbolic or nonexistent.
|•||Undeserved Suffering |
Most Liberal Christians do not believe that Satan causes suffering. Some believe suffering is part of God's plan, will, or design, even if we don't immediately understand it. Some don't believe in any spiritual reasons for suffering, and most take a humanistic approach to helping those in need.
|•||Contemporary Issues |
Most churches teach that abortion is morally wrong, but many ultimately support a woman's right to choose, usually accompanied by policies to provide counseling on alternatives. Many are accepting of homosexuality and gay rights.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Taken down ... 'Man of Leisure, King George' by Washington artist Kayti Didriksen.
A cartoonish painting of US President George Bush in the nude has been taken down from the wall at the City Museum of Washington.
The picture, titled Man of Leisure, King George, adopts the pose of a famous Impressionist painting, Edouard Manet's Olympia, that scandalised Paris in 1863, and now hangs in the Gare d'Orsay Museum in Paris.
The painting by local artist Kayti Didriksen, shows a caricature of Bush, reclining in the nude on a chaise lounge, his head propped up by pillows.
Instead of the female servant who stands behind Olympia's couch, a man in suit and tie resembling Vice-President Dick Cheney stands nearby, holding a cushion with a crown and a miniature oil rig on top of it.
The painting was part of a "living room art" show called Funky Furniture - a variety of painted furniture and other items that were set up in the museum last week.
Expected to formally open this month, the show, including the Bush painting, was abruptly shut down on Monday after some of the artists' themes were considered unsuitable.
Myra Peabody Gossens, a public relations consultant for the museum, said the exhibit was not what had been expected.
"The museum is not an art museum," she explained. "It gets mostly groups of children, with teachers trying to tell them something about history."
In addition to the Bush painting, the exhibit included a decorated church pew with pictures and writing that accused former president Ronald Reagan of ignoring the AIDS crisis and an end table decorated with drug paraphernalia with a quote from former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry, who was jailed for drug possession.
"This is not what we were bargaining for. We thought we were getting functional furniture," Leslie Shapiro, co-chairman of the museum's board of directors, told the Washington Post.
The City Museum of Washington, operated by the Historical Society of Washington DC, is primarily a place where local and regional history is on display. The museum's executive board decided the museum was "not an appropriate venue" for the exhibit.
Art-O-Matic 2004, a confederation of local artists which organised the project, now is looking for another space to house the exhibit, said Jim Tretick, a member of the group's board of directors.
"About a dozen people may have seen it on Sunday," said Tretick. "The exhibit wasn't completely mounted. Then it was taken down on Monday when the museum was closed."