For those of you who’s gut reaction is to disagree with the title statement, please hear me out.
I believe that those who say they stand against a woman’s right to choose because they are “Christian” are provably deceived (or in some cases, plain old Liars). The same goes for those who say Christianity is the reason behind their racism, opposition to interracial marriage, opposition to gay marriage and on and on.
Here’s the thing. If something happens because of another thing, that other thing is, of course, logically the cause. So if being a Christian caused anti-choice sentiment, then there logically and reasonably could not be Christians all across our Country who support a woman’s right to choose. Their Christianity would inherently cause them to be anti-abortion. If being a Christian caused people to be anti gay, there would not be millions of Christians across the land who support marriage equality. In fact, there are churches throughout the US filled with not only those who support marriage equality, but also with Christians who are gay!
Let me state once again that I’m attempting to lay out an argument using reasonable and provable statements.
As you likely know, there are hundreds of thousands of so-called “Christian” denominations and sects. Many of these claim to “just believe the Bible” while at the same time completely disagreeing with each other.
So, let’s look at a basic definition of “Christian.”
The suffix “ian” means “of, relating to, or resembling. A Follower.”
Christ – ian.
Christ – Follower.
Many/Most right-wing fundamentalist evangelicals are anything BUT Christ-Followers! No matter how much they think they and their group are “God’s people,” they are often/usually not Christians in the strict definition of the term.
Many are Paulians, OldTestamenians, or Bibleins (More on Bibleians later). No small number, deceived by religious charlatans, may be FranklinGrahamins, or JamesDobsonins, but definitely Not Christians. These folks have a grotesque perversion of the term “Christian.” I’ve often heard preachers talk about the difference between being nice, and being Christian (aka “Saved”). Inherent with their definition is focus on Fire Insurance. Not Going To Hell is their focus. This was NOT the focus of Jesus. When they put avoiding hell over being “nice,” (Nice would include things like not taking away the rights of others) they are in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus, who’s main focus was honed in on how you treat others Right Here, Right Now! (Plus, the version of “hell” they’re avoiding doesn’t even exist in their bible!) Jesus repeatedly and intentionally contradicted his Bible (our Old Testament), and his anger was directed towards hypocrites and the religious establishment of his day.
The provable fact is that many real Christians have been at the forefront of progressive causes.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a Christian! His fight for equality was inspired and guided by his faith.
Rosa Parks was a Christian.
On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton spoke out about her Christian faith.
President Barack Obama is a Christian.
Our own Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg is Gay And Christian!!!
So, logically and reasonably, If Christianity was inherently the problem and the cause of racism, sexism, homophobia, parental abuse, patriarchal control etc., NONE of the people I’ve mentioned could in fact be Christian.
But they ARE!
Now, don’t get offended BUT here is where the non-religious world, including many atheists, the news media and others have been guilty of aiding and abetting the so-called “Christian Right” (which is neither). They have allowed, and gone along with letting Right-wing fundamentalist evangelicalism lay claim to a term that not only doesn’t belong to them, but does not even apply to them: “Christian.”
I claim that Christianity is not the problem because the people fighting against the progress of humanity are by strict definition NOT CHRISTIAN! Their views, politics and actions not only have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus but, rather, they most often directly oppose them! They may be very religious, but when engaging in the ways I’ve mentioned, they are not being Christian. They are following many things, but the teachings of Jesus are not among them. And to be fair, fundamentalist religion in other sects (like Jews, Muslims and many others) are also to blame.
So, my assertion is that Right-Wing Fundamentalism, in all forms, is the problem. Plus, since I believe “Christ-ian” is to follow the path of Jesus, I also believe it is kind of “come-and-go.”
Since it has nothing to do with an eternal destination, and rather is based on our actions towards others, I can say that some days I’m Christian and, sadly, some days not so much. Hell, some minutes I’m Christian, and some not so much.
I know millions have been hurt, some irreparably, by religious fundamentalism masked as Christianity.
But through history, there have always been followers of Jesus (Christ-ians) who have stood against the abuse, torture, destruction, prejudice and horrors perpetuated “in the name of God” by organized religion; predominantly institutionalized false Christianity.
Our founding fathers, many of whom were Theists, stood strong for the separation of church and state.
Today’s right wingers have in too many cases performed a wedding ceremony once again marrying the two. They want a monstrosity of (non)”Christian” Nationalism; a theocracy instead of a democracy. The very thing that was escaped by those who formed this New World we call America.
But there are millions of Christians who stand firmly for the wall between church and state and other freedoms that are frightfully on the chopping block. Let’s not demean our allies by associating those Christians with the cesspool that is right-wing fundamentalist evangelicalism! Fundies are truly the modern-day Pharisees. The ones Jesus fought hardest against.
I wish to state loudly and clearly (and I believe that Jesus’ teachings bare this out) those “fundies” wouldn’t know Jesus if Jesus bit them on the ass, and the God of right-wing fundamentalist evangelicalism can go to hell!
(I know. I know.)
– And now, a Blog Within A Blog –
Some of this has been covered in my previous posts, but while you’re here I promised to talk a little about Bible-ians, or Bible followers.
Y’all would do good to read Rob Bell’s “What Is The Bible,” whether you “believe” in it or not. I am, again, surprrised that Christians and non-christians alike hold many of the same misconceptions about the bible. When you ask some non-christians why they don’t believe in God, they will oddly point to something in the bible and say “I can’t believe in a God who would do that.”
I’m sorry, but if you don’t believe the bible, how can you use that information to form an argument as to why you don’t believe in God. Seriously my friends, does that sound remotely logical to you? It doesn’t to me.
As stated in the post above, even Jesus would quote the bible to the Jews and then basically say, “Nope. That’s not true. Here’s how it really is.” (One example of this is Matthew 5:38)
People from all camps will often say concerning the bible “You can’t pick and choose.”
Um, yeah. You can.
Most people know but do not apply the fact that the bible is not a book.
I mean, it is a book, but it is not A book.
It is 66 books (more in the Catholic bible). 66 books written by many authors with many agendas in many places over thousands of years. Those who claim the bible never contradicts itself are either deceived or in may cases flat-out liars. (And there is nowhere in the bible itself where it claims for itself inerrancy. It is provably not.) The bible does not speak with a single unified voice. It speaks with many disparate voices. Much of what we see Jesus doing is correcting people’s view of God that was falsely based on their use of their bible.
OK. You’re saying “But the teachings of Jesus you speak of are in the bible!”
Yes. They are. This is why I stated one Must “pick and choose.”
The 4 Gospels, the books that focus on Jesus, do have some discrepancies. But for the most part these different writers with different agendas generally agree on the details of Jesus’ life.
So that’s where I start. With Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. I don’t believe they are infallible, but that’s were I and many others turn for inspiration.
What came before was often wrong in it’s understanding of the nature of divinity.
What came after was often interpretation and creation of new and often contradictory doctrine.
So when people try to reconcile all of that with the statement that the bible doesn’t contradict itself, they are choosing a fool’s folly. If the writings of, say, Paul contradict the teaching of Jesus, then I have no choice but to dismiss those writings as “religious but not Christian.” If a narrative in the Old Testament speaks of God condoning or commanding genocide, then since it is in direct opposition to the understanding of God presented by Jesus, I MUST dismiss that as a false accounting of what actually happened. In those cases I believe what is often happening, and sadly is still happening, is people justifying their violence and hate by saying “God said so.”
No. God did not.
If I’m right (and I always try to allow for the possibility that I am not) and there IS a God, the god often described in the OT is NOT that God.
Anyway, like I said, this false understanding of scripture isn’t limited to religious folks. But when we use the same arguments against God that they do FOR God, we agree with their assessment of what the bible is, even if we don’t believe in it.
Well, if you’re still reading, “Thanks!” If nothing else comes of this post, I really hope it helps some of my non-christian friends (whom I totally respect and have a lot in common with) at least better understand why some of us hold on to our faith, while completely rejecting the sheer evil of right-wing fundamentalist evangelicalism.
OK. If you’ve read enough, please don’t bother with this. Especially if you’re already bored out of your mind. This is only semi-related, but in writing the above posts a memory came back that I have to “share.”
I had what I thought was a very strange experience some time ago while watching a documentary called “Hellbound.” There was this guy named Robert McKee. He doesn’t believe in God (that’s fine). He doesn’t believe in hell (neither do I). But he was practically in tears that there were Christians who don’t believe in hell! This man who doesn’t believe in God or Hell was upset that Christians were making God, in his word, “wimpy” by not believing in hell. Christians were making God, whom he doesn’t believe in, wimpy!
I was seriously like “What the fuck?!?!” I’m sorry, but if you don’t believe in something, you don’t get to tell me how I have to believe in that thing. It just goes to show that religious people don’t have a corner on the “dumbass market.” I’ll never get over that one. 🙂