Sunday, February 17, 2013

Problems in the Religion Are Symptoms of Something Deeper

As so often noted on this blog, the Christian Right - or Christofascists as I prefer to call them because it better describes their totalitarian agenda -  love to loudly proclaim their godliness and piety and to condemn those they deem to be "sinners," yet by their actions demonstrate a total contempt for the Gospel message of Christ as perhaps best articulated in the Sermon on the Mount.  It's the behavior that convince me that hypocrisy and hate are the true attributes of these Christofascists.  It's also to perception of "Christians" that seems to be driving the under 30 years of age generations - including my three children - from institutional Christianity.  A post on Blue Virginia gets to the the underlying problem of these individuals and their style of religion.  Here are some excerpts:

I bet the way you act and feel in your church is a lot more in keeping with the Sermon on the Mount than the way your political leaders encourage you to act and feel.
How much of the peacemaker do your leaders foster in your heart? How much of the merciful? How much do your leaders encourage the spirit of "love thine enemies" and of eschewing contempt (Matthew 5:22)?
If you believe we should be guided by the Sermon on the Mount, are these leaders the kind you should allow yourself to be guided by?
In this particular instance -- of the church-going Republican supporters who follow one spirit in church and an opposite spirit in the political realm -- I am focusing on another kind of brokenness: a tendency to hold contradictions, without noticing or trying to resolve those contradictions. People who are inhabited by fundamentally opposing elements are not of a piece. They're broken. 

There's something broken, in this case, about someone who goes to church and says he believes in the ethic Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount, and then goes home and is a devotee of Rush Limbaugh the rest of the week, somehow manages not to see the conflict within. The spirit of Limbaugh is about as far from the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount as you can get.

The same people who don't notice any contradiction between the two opposite spirits they embrace can also embrace the contradiction of being a self-declared "patriot" who habitually relates to the U.S. government as the enemy, as if it were an occupying power. And these "patriots" include gun-rights advocates whose main arguments for allowing citizens to own weapons of war is that we citizens need to be prepared to fight the government. 

The pattern of self-contradiction -- of lack of integrity, of lying to oneself-is thriving today throughout the political right. "I SAY that I believe in such and such, value such and such; but I ACT as if I am the opposite of what I say." 

The lie is entirely fundamental to this. I tell myself I'm what I should be, but I'm giving expression to what is forbidden. 

Such contradiction is a sign of brokenness. And behind this brokenness is a force (a spirit) that fosters brokenness in everything it touches. The problem with these churchgoers -- who, in the realm of power, are obeying a spirit the opposite of what their Lord teaches - is but one instance of the larger truth.
The disconnect between claimed faith and religious belief and actual conduct towards others is nearly total as is the hypocrisy of the Christofascists.  You cannot be a true follower of Christ and at the same time hate everyone who isn't a self-proclaimed white evangelical Christian.

No comments: