|Evangelicals - A study in hypocrisy?|
As regular readers know, I have little use for or tolerance towards evangelical Christians who consistently reveal themselves to be among the most selfish, self-centered inhabitants of America. They make a great show of their supposed religiosity and piety yet where the rubber hits the proverbial road, lies and hypocrisy are the main realities one sees. Their charity rarely extends far outside their own circles and their churches are exclusive clubs for those who look and believe like themselves. Equally disturbing is their belief that any restriction on their ability to abuse and mistreat others is tantamount to persecution. A piece in Christian Science Monitor looks at the self-centered attitude and desire for revenge on "liberals" and those they deem "other" that motivates these poor excuses for humanity. Here are article excepts:
After eight years of feeling “like an outcast” as a Christian, David Cox has been walking a lot lighter the past few weeks.Given an election where more evangelical Americans voted for twice-divorced Donald Trump than they did for church-going George W. Bush, Mr. Cox has witnessed a major mind-set shift among many fellow Evangelicals – from trepidation, even fear, to hope – a sense, he says, of “being accepted again.”
[H]e believes a Trump presidency will help reconnect the country to its Judeo-Christian values, much like his own 187-year-old Union United Methodist Church re-laid original antebellum wooden beams as the foundation when it built a new sanctuary in rural Georgia’s Henry County.
“Christians really got a chance to see what could happen to this country under Obama, and we knew we needed a change,” says the retired small-business owner, one of the 81 percent of Evangelicals who voted for Trump. “Now it’s liberals who are finding out that if you try to grab too much, it can come back to bite you – hard.”
In many ways, that is now the question before many Evangelicals like Cox: How much to push back. Should they attempt to roll back laws that they see as antithetical to Christian values – from LGBT rights to abortion – or should they focus on defending their constitutional right to freedom of religion, which they feel has been infringed upon?
The forces that would turn the tables on those who, many Evangelicals feel, have essentially targeted a Christian way of life are strong. But there is also evidence that some wish to use this moment to change the conversation to ensure that Christian concerns are more heard and respected going forward.
“Yes, there is a sense of relief [among Evangelicals],” says Michael Griffin, senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga. “The perception of the Obama leadership allowed for extreme overreaching in LGBT activism, and that impetus is no longer going to be there.
For many Evangelicals, the Obama administration’s promotion of transgender rights on bathroom choice, as well as the mounting number of lawsuits against religious business owners has felt like persecution.
Some 32 percent of American evangelical leaders say they currently experience persecution for their faith, while 76 percent believe they will experience persecution in the form of social, financial, and political pressure in the future, according to an October survey by the National Association of Evangelicals.
Now, Republicans are marshaling forces to expand the ability to invoke religious values in the public square. Congressional leaders including Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah said this week that they will reintroduce the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).
The bill would prohibit the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person who acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
Likewise, state legislators have been emboldened by Trump’s victory.
The lifting of a sense of persecution on one side, however, risks simply shifting it back to the other side, with the LGBT community, in particular, noting that they have felt persecuted for centuries. That looming clash could make common ground difficult to find, constitutional law experts say.
“The debate is [now] in the control of extremists on both sides: FADA goes way, way beyond small business and the wedding industry, and the gay-rights movement increasingly wants no religious exemptions of any kind – not even for religious nonprofits,” says Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia law professor.
Americans are divided on the extent to which the Constitution protects Christians and other religious adherents who say they are compelled by their beliefs to push back in some way.
In my view, evangelical Christians should never "be accepted again." Christianity helped bring on the Dark Ages and, if allowed, Evangelicals and their embrace of ignorance and rejection of science are a threat to the nation's future. They need to be defeated as a force in society once and for all. Let them worship as they wish, but keep their poisonous views out of public policy and the civil laws.