“A warm welcome to the 250th Post of the Christian-Atheist blog Zingcreed, which is written by a retired science teacher from North London. It is my personal polemic, and I take full responsibility for the contents, although it must be said that very little in it is original as I borrow heavily from the Jesus Seminar and other modern writers on theology. I go with St James in believing that faith without works is a waste of time. Zing! Swoosh! ‘Just do it!’ ” Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.
The Zing Pledge
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its zing, how will it be made salty? It then has no further use than to be thrown out and stomped on.” (Matthew 5:13, Scholars Version)
For believers and non-believers alike.
(1) that the gospel story of Jesus has provided inspiration for many activists and revolutionaries throughout history;
(2) that there are visions of a better world that are are valid, attainable and worth fighting for;
(3) that the world today is divided into a privileged, corrupt elite who are rich at the expense of the powerless oppressed majority; and if I don’t oppose the system I am condoning it, like a white Afrikaaner in South Africa at the time of apartheid. As things stand They are poor so that I may be rich;
(4) that I need to educate myself about the real causes of poverty, ecological meltdown, injustice, and war in today’s world;
(5) that more can be achieved by the actions of groups than by individuals acting on their own;
(6) that , problems aside, the world is a place of beauty, a place of infinite utopian possibilities; where there are enough resources for the whole family of man if they are distributed fairly.
Our lives should not be put on hold while we participate in ‘the struggle’. Music, love, family life, poetry, pets, gardening, sport, parties and delightful gratifications of the flesh (write your own list!) should all have pride of place in our lives. They are a part of the better world we’re fighting for!
Let’s break open the champagne every time we achieve a victory, however small.
(1) to reflect regularly on Jesus’s words of wisdom and acts of healing, as I seek to spread love and liberation, generosity, forgiveness and subversion like he did;
(2) that henceforth my goal will be to work for a better, fairer greener world in my lifetime;
(3) to side at all times with the exploited and marginalised in our world in their acts of self-liberation; to offer solidarity to the vulnerable especially children, women and the disabled;
(4) to educate myself and others on the state of the world today using all means necessary;
(5) to join in and work with others, whether believers or not, in, for example, a trade union, the green movement, neighbourhood groups, anti-capitalist organisations, campaigns for social justice, the peace movement and anyone else who can help implement worthwhile goals, even setting up new groups if necessary;
(6) in spite of the seriousness of these goals to maintain a sense of fun and to enjoy all aspects of life to the full. After all, even the creator took a break on the seventh day!
You can get the full flavour of the Zing project by checking out these early Posts:-
The Zing creed: now with numbered lines (and the 17 subsequent brief commentaries)
Nuggets gleaned from Jesusite websites
Throwing the baby out with the bath water
About Zingcreed FAQ
The thinking behind the Zingcreed
Zing – a decaff creed? (Yes, actually)
To be a Pilgrim? Seekers v. Believers
See John w. Loftus’s “Commitment Page” on p.467 of his excellent book “Why I became an atheist. A former preacher rejects Christianity” Prometheus books (2012)
When you register online as a ‘Bright’ (atheist) see the-brights.net
Has Peter Turner got delusions of grandeur – a Pledge indeed! Who does he think he is?
Consider this extract from a radio interview with Dr Julie Holland of New York’s Bellevue Hospital on some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder:
“When someone’s manic, it’s more about how they can influence the world….They’ve written a manifesto they want to share with everybody, or they’ve figured out an answer that needs to be – you know, they need to enlighten other people. It’s much more about how they can have an impact on the people around them as opposed to how the environment is having an impact on them.”
(p.151 M. S. McCormick’s “Atheism and the case against Christ” Prometheus Books (2012))
(Joke) ” For your information I’m not insane, my mother had me tested!” Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory (my favourite TV comedy show)
Zing! Swoosh! “Just do it!” Sign the Pledge!