Tuesday, January 15, 2013

To My Politically-Charged Readers

[Over the last few weeks and months, really going as far back as last spring with the marriage amendment issues, I've received some very passionate emails regarding political issues, as well as witnessed and engaged in some heated social media discussions (not to mention the real world stuff), from people who claim Christianity - and frankly would be fighting mad if you questioned their Christianity. The following isn't aimed at any single person, even if I've encountered many who fit every scenario within. It's a generic, yet serious, response to the entire animal of conservative cultural Christianity.]


I really don't know quite how to talk to you these days. What's odd about it is that I fit so neatly into your world not all that long ago. Once I determined to no longer be a sheeple (while remaining a spiritual person), that fit wasn't nearly so neat, as I could no longer base my course on emotion, pet issues (while excluding all else), "the bible says", or worst of all, where the herd who wore the same jersey was headed. It certainly isn't because I have all the answers and you don't, because I have few answers and tons of questions. I've been fortunate to arrive at a place where the questions no longer frighten me, but rather interest me, and I feel in no way threatened by them - knowing that any belief system threatened by questions isn't worth its weight in fear.

While much of what I'm writing today is about sociopolitical issues, I wanna look at it, ultimately, through a spiritual and practical lens, because it's the spiritual + political math that I can't make work when I consider your professed attitudes about one and your professed attitudes about the other.

I watched you often froth at the mouth against gay people last spring, railing about the "sanctity of marriage" and "God's design", when more often than not your own personal experience with marriage would demonstrate that you don't give ish about its sanctity nor God's intentions. You were being "faithful" to your political paradigm, and God be damned if necessary. When called on this, you usually fell into the ignorant "love the sinner, hate the sin" spiel, which I'm sure made you feel better about your spirituality and all, but aside from being freaking impossible in application, isn't even something "the bible says". Pretty sure the bible talks about your own sin, and not your American right to officiate the sins of others, but you've seldom allowed a lack of knowledge about what's actually in the bible prevent you from telling me what's in the bible.

When you go into the voting booth, the entirety of the bible becomes nothing more than the three Super Sins: abortion, gays, and Islam. You no longer seem to care whether we feed the hungry, take care of the sick, et cetera. "That isn't a government issue" you say, while apparently abortion, gays, and fighting against Islam are entirely government issues. I'd call that a politically convenient argument. I'd also call it bullshit in a form of purity rarely seen.

I've seen you write off half of your countrymen as moochers, freeloaders, leeches, and people who vote for Santa Claus because they want free stuff and are too sorry/lazy to work for it, et cetera. Many of those people are the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the hungry, and people who work harder than you've ever worked in your life.


Every time a natural disaster happens, you call it "God's judgment" on America - largely because of abortion, gays, and Islam. First of all, if that were true, your God really sucks at being God, and second, in most cases, I think you want and need it to be true just to show those evil liberals how right you are and how wrong they are.

I've seen you talk about your patriotism...while desiring the failure of our current President (who I didn't vote for, btw). I've seen you call him a Muslim, when there's ZERO evidence to support it, and when challenged on this lack of evidence, I've watched you dig your heels in deeper, unwilling to see the man as anything but a Muslim regardless of fact. Truth is, you're so thoroughly committed to your hatred of the man that you willingly adopt even the most delusional "truth" about him pulled from the innermost sanctuary of some lunatic's ass. According to your own bibles, your attitude about your President is founded almost entirely on something called "false witness". For instance, you're convinced that he's coming for your guns, and believe all kinds of blatantly delusional things about it, saying brain-dead stuff like the old "pry it out of my cold, dead hands" mantra, when he's never so much as hinted at any intention of disarming you in any way. You're so committed to it that you grieve the brutal murder of 20 children by rushing out in record numbers to buy the exact same weapon used to kill them. Your solution to America's problems would quite often seem to put you behind the sights of your gun with a finger on the trigger.

My response to you is as follows...

You don't get to talk about Jesus to me.

30 comments:

  1. No kidding. There is a huge gun debate going on in blog circle I'm on the fringe of, and I can't stand it because of all the right wing religious politics and the citing of statistics that have no relevance to each other (like guns banned in X country and 10 years later 300 Christians killed because they didn't have guns with which to defend themselves). I did my own post about it but approached it from the direction of Paul telling Peter that even though he could eat pork, he shouldn't, because of the harm he was causing by flaunting it. What bothers me is these Bible thumpers that read that and still tell me I've got it wrong.
    Because I don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They also use a very literalistic reading of history, offering no context of how those people actually died. Kinda of how they read the bible!

      Delete
  2. I'm currently reading a book on the history of "foreign aid". It's very enlightening about what is really going on in the world.

    I last heard that only 17% of evangelical American Christians voted in the last election. In comparison to the looming problems that could topple the USA, they voted on 2-3 basically insignificant issues: Gay Marriage, Abortion, Obamacare.

    Christianity is being USED. Those topics are distractions in our news and pulpits that takes away from the real and bigger issues that are more likely to cause the destruction of the ideals of the Founding Fathers as well as possibly global collapse.

    And to think people want to talk about Jesus. In reality, they're manipulated and distracted from truly more important issues so that other men can make a lot of money and not have anyone watch.

    If people want to talk about Jesus... well... they might want to start looking at what powerful men are doing (who don't want us looking at what they are doing), and ask the question, "What Would Jesus Do if He saw what we've been ignoring?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Christianity is being USED."

      Yes. Indeed. Prostituted by politicians. And when you start to pay attention, you feel just that dirty.

      Delete
    2. A guy named Brad Hick has an interesting (and appalling) series of essays on how certain types of Christianity became wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Republican Party.

      Part 1:
      http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/118585.html

      Delete
  3. This is probably my favourite of your posts. Thanks for writing it. You are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's extremely kind, Roro. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. I can definitely identify with having far more questions than answers. Things are not always what they seem. And I am realizing that I have only been given information about one very small side in a multi-faceted problem. I have no idea where I will ultimately land on this. But hopefully, I will land where I can do some real, hands-on good. Not just on an ideological line somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are issues that have been troubling me also. I live in the "Bible belt" and I've seen these issues stir up a lot of fear and hatred. Many of these issues I've been programmed to feel a certain way about and I am really questioning a lot right now ... questioning my political stance, my religion, my ability to trust. I feel like my whole foundation has been ripped out from under me and I'm not sure how to piece it back together. I know some pieces don't belong, but then I don't know which ones do.
    I really like how you say that "any belief system threatened by questions isn't worth its weight in fear". I'm feeling this very strongly right now. Problem is I don't know what to believe. I don't know who to ask the questions. I don't know who has the answers. I keep holding onto Christ and love, but to me Christianity is looking less and less like Christ all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lewis, you took the words right out of my head. Yes, yes, yes. I don't even know how to relate to many who call themselves Christians these days, with their hatred of anyone who is not just like them, with their "herd mentality," with their fear of the government. They seem to pick and choose the verses of their beloved bible that they follow, leaving out the verses that say judge not lest ye be judged, and let him who has not sinned cast the first stone. They are so judgmental of anyone who is different. It's one of the reasons I don't call myself a Christian anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You hit the nail on the head with this post. I can't tell you how many "friends" I have had to unfriend on fb and in real life because I just can't stand the hypocrisy. Individuals that hold the views you outlined here are not practicing Christianity as outlined in the gospel period, end of story.

    Like you I did not vote for President Obama but I also did not vote for Romney and if forced would have gladly supported the President over the former governor. Evangelical Christianity as practiced in America today has moved so far from the true Christianity recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that it has become a cult and as with most cults those in the group are completely intolerant of any views but their own. If you don't agree with them you are evil, hence their hated of the President and anyone who shares any of his views on any topic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i'd but 10 for the right price funniest gun ever shot you need to try one its a blast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May need you to translate with punctuation.

      Delete
    2. I believe it's supposed to say: I'd buy 10 (assuming reference to the AR-15) for the right price. It's the most fun gun ever shot. You should try shooting one; it is a blast.

      Delete
  9. Can I share this post on Facebook?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. I think there's a share button up near the bottom of the post.

      Delete
  10. Not gonna' talk about Jesus. Just give you a real life example of why my husband and I do believe in our 2nd Amendment right to keep weapons for self defense:

    My husband teaches in a prison and has for thirteen years. He currently has an inmate in one of his classes who decided, on a whim, to kick in the door of a house as he was walking through a neighborhood. Ended up killing the husband, wife, and their daughter with a knife before it was all said and done. We can't help but wonder if things might have ended differently if these people had been armed.

    My husband has his CHL -- and he always has his pistol with him, unless there is a sign specifically restricting licensed handgun owners from carrying on the premises. Sadly, there is evil in this world that makes it necessary for good people to be extra vigilant. We're not "conspiracy" types and laugh at the Ron Paulistas who think spraying vinegar at the sky when jets fly over spreading "chem trails" through the air. Having said that, as students of history, it's a certain fact that ours would not be the first government to try to take control of the populace by restricting and eventually eliminating the right to own weapons.

    We're not itching to pull the trigger on anyone -- but we'd prefer to have the option to protect ourselves if it became necessary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm all for our right to own weapons for self-defense.

      Delete
    2. Just think: if Treyvon Martin had been armed, maybe he could've defended himself from George Zimmerman!

      ...But probably not from the cops.

      Delete
    3. IF that's a parody of the Tea Baggers, very spot on.

      Otherwise, you're just plain wrong.

      Your bloody Quaker president sabatoged peace in Vietnam to win an election. Or what about the administrations that armed Saddam Hussein? Or those who built the network that became Al-Qaeda?

      Quit blaming the latest shmuckle puppet, and start blaming your bloody government's insecurity complex.

      Delete
  11. Too bad I gave up FaceBook for lent, because this would be all over my wall. I'd be stirring up trouble to do it, but boy would it be worth it. I'll at least link to this on my blog if you're amenable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. Link it wherever you'd like.

      Delete
    2. Here ya go:

      http://desertpetrichor.blogspot.com/2013/02/decalogue.html

      Delete
  12. For someone who's not a Muslim, he sure loves to support them, celebrate them, and give the foreign crazy ones weapons.

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of whom are you speaking? You've just described every President of our lifetime.

      Delete
  13. Hi! It wouldn't be fair of you to clump all conservative Christians in your list of wrongs up there. Every political party has it's failings, and I would call myself a conservative and also a Christian, but my Christianity is far more important to me than my political leanings. Therefore, I try not to let political issues get in the way of my Christian obligation to love my neighbor, pray for our leaders, and trust that Jesus is in control (therefore, we don't need to be). Because of this, though I disagree with almost every blogpost I've read of yours, I find harmony with you in your love for God, and that is what matters most! Thoughts? Am I not being consistent in your opinion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't trust that Jesus is in control. That's a religious cop-out.

      Delete
  14. Be that as it may, it seems to me that you are treating Liberals/Conservatives like it's an "Us against them" type thing, ignoring our similarities, and honing in on our differences. You focus on the extreme right wing, making it sound like all Christian conservatives are like that, when the truth is, they simply speak the loudest, and are the most obnoxious, so they are noticed more easily. However, your opinion is your opinion, it simply seems to me that 1) you are not well informed, or 2) you really are trying to create unnecessary friction between Christians. I realize that there are problems within this group, and there are several cult-like, ugly, followings that claim the titles of Conservative Christianity, but there are problems elsewhere too. Bill Gothard, and others who have done so much harm should be jailed. Those who spiritually manipulate their children pain me greatly. But this happens in more than one place. The problem with Conservative Christians is that they believed for so long that they were "too good" "too holy" for these awful things to be happening in their midst. We are not. Some of us bought into this lie, and payed for it dearly. You can mock me all you want for what I have written; if you do, I will not respond. If you are interested in a respectful discussion, great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Us against them wouldn't be as accurate as them against everything. I see conservative Christianity as the greatest dead-weight pulling against our (and any other) society, both socially and politically. Conservative Christianity isn't a political party - and the fact that you automatically see it as the GOP (which you did in your first comment) should tell you something about the blurred line I often write about. I don't break things down into camps of liberal or conservative (it's destructive and most of what's wrong with America), but I've no control over how you read what I write.

      If you feel that I write with a slant to a particular side of the spectrum, and you disagree with practically everything I write, do the math and see if I'm being unfair to you in what I write.

      For the record, I just write. Wherever it falls, there it is.

      Delete
  15. "I don't break things down into camps of liberal or conservative (it's destructive and most of what's wrong with America)"
    Completely agree. The only reason I commented in the first place was because it seemed you were doing the exact opposite, but I think I get your meaning now.
    It's not that I disagree with everything you write. It's just that in each blog post I usually find something that I am very suspicious of, or seems wildly overblown. But that's ok, and I am confident that you could care less. so we're good.
    (I am only anon from lack of an account)

    ReplyDelete