Monday, November 6, 2017

It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban


The Council For National Policy” is a Conservative Think Tank, made up of a who’s who of prominent conservatives; Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Reince Priebus, Tim LaHaye, Bobby Jindal, John McCain… the list goes on…


This article, published by the Washington Post, but reported elsewhere, lays out the group’s plan to “restore education in America,” by bringing god into classrooms.
I have said for years and years, the Christian Right is really seeking to establish a theocracy in the United States — at least regionally, throughout the deep south. And this latest effort by the “Council for National Policy” lays further proof to that claim. This is an effort which — in spite of what many Christian leaders say — is NOT supported by the Constitution. The Constitution strictly prohibits the establishment of Religion, as part of the First Amendment, which also guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. The purpose of this “Separation of Church and State” is intended to do two things:
1. It protects religious freedom for everyone.
2. It prevents the tyranny of any one religion.
But this fact won’t stop many southern christians, who feel it is their duty — as christians — to make the United States “a godly nation” in their eyes. And they will cite the numerous biblical passages in which god exhorts all nations to be faithful to him and condemns those nations who are not, as the basis for this duty — which they feel is their right.
I grew up in this world, so I know what I’m talking about. As a kid, during the 1970’s, I attended churches in Atlanta with my devout grandmother. I heard Jerry Falwell speak numerous times at First Baptist on Peachtree. I was indoctrinated into the evangelical way of thinking by a fiery minister in Smyrna. I studied my “King James” bible. I feverishly read Ernest Angley’s book about the “end times” that depicted christians being boiled alive by the antichrist. I loved “The Omen” movies, wholly believing they portended something real. Trust me. I’ve been there. Fortunately, I had the sense to give it up. By age 15, at the peak of my adolescent sexual curiosity, I realized that any religion that demanded giving up my basic humanity was nuts.
Of course, not all christian evangelicals share this extreme view. Nevertheless, the extremists always give themselves away with their trademark refrain, “I’ll pray for you,” as if you are possessed by demons and in need of an exorcism. They seem completely unaware of how this statement makes them appear; that they alone understand “truth,” that everyone else is “ungodly” and in need of “redemption,” as they see it; by being “born again,” and baptized, and accepting their world view. This self-righteous arrogant presumption is at the root of all religious extremism.
Evangelicals in churches and state houses across the country support laws and political systems that brutalize and imprison MILLIONS of African Americans, that deny equal rights and protections to LGBT people and tacitly support violence toward them, and seek to deny women the right to govern their own bodies, often with threats or outright acts of physical violence. They seem hell-bent on ejecting science from education and replacing it with their own creationist ideas.
In doing these things, evangelicals are advocating a religious extremism that is no different from muslim extremism, which projects religious authority over all people in their domain, which limits the rights of women, controls and limits education, and enforces strict adherence to a moral code, which naturally rejects and punishes all forms of “decadence,” including; “deviant sexuality,” science, reason, and any questioning of authority. Christian fundamentalists, if given the power, will do the same things.
Evangelical christians in the United States condemn muslim extremism as a threat to the country and their way of life, while clearly endorsing their own form of extreme religious authoritarianism. This form of religion establishes a tribally divisive “us” versus “them” mentality, which places “our” rights and prerogatives above the needs of any other group. And it’s used repeatedly as the basis for denying other people’s rights — particularly their freedom to choose and even their right to exist. It’s worth pointing out that in the south religion buttressed this tribal mentality to force a separation between whites and blacks, who were/are seen as inferior. This tribalism is deeply embedded in white suburban christian thinking, and accepted without question. I shouldn’t have to point out that, in the end, this is not Christian at all.
Religious extremism is religious extremism. Using words like “righteousness” or “faith” or “Christ-given mission,” and hiding behind ideas like “tradition” and “heritage” and “family values” won’t cover up this fact. And it is up to every freedom-loving person, who prefers freedom of choice, freedom of worship, who cares about protecting women’s rights and equality for all, and advancing reason and scientific knowledge, to be aware and oppose it.
I do not suggest that evangelicals should give up their faith. But I strongly suggest they should not trample on other people’s religious beliefs, or insist that people should conform themselves with the evangelical worldview.
If evangelicals hate tyranny, they should be very wary of becoming tyrants. But evangelicals will never see themselves as tyrants, because they are commanded by their faith to be “missionaries for Christ.” This mandate engages them in a zero-sum game to convert the country, indeed the whole world, to their faith. And over the decades they have increasingly reached for more and more political power to achieve this goal. This is exactly what ISIS proposes, by trying to establish a global muslim caliphate. The goal of religious extremists, regardless of faith, is always the same: Dominion.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” ~Genesis 1:28
Evangelicals are The American Taliban. To many, that will seem a garish and inconceivable statement. The entire purpose of this article is to point out that religious extremism also exists in America as it does in other parts of the world, and that it is not just radical muslims who are extreme, it’s also radical christians … and that religious extremism can start with something as simple as, “I’ll pray for you.”
By J.C. Weatherby, 24 February 2017
Medium


Reprinted with permission from the author.
JC Weatherby (Jan Carson Weatherby — his family and friends call him Carson) is a multi media creator, novelist and filmmaker. He is the creator of “Evocronik,” a cyberpunk animated series. Follow him on Facebook at @JCWeatherby

11 comments:

  1. Wow! Great article, with a mention: nor other Christian denomination are behaving differently. Orthodox Russian Church, other Orthodox churches, do make use of the vey same rethoric...

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  2. You have the nerve to publish this ignorant pack of lies after 26 Christians were brutally massacred while worshipping God? Really? You are inciting terrorism against Christians and you have blood on your hands.

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    1. Infortunately the author is so right - I remember a Christian pastor that burned the Quran. The burning of the books - sure sign of extremism, when unable to discuss ideas, burn them!

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    2. Get over yourself Nick, the guy was a certified nutjob.
      Its that rightous attitude of yours that is at the root of the problem.

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  3. Nick , were you equally outraged when Muslims were shot while praying in a mosque ?

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  4. Wow, what a blatantly bigoted article!! Next time Christians are lining people up and cutting their heads off, setting fire to them, stoning them, or tossing them off buildings, or strapping bombs to themselves and blowing themselves up in a mall, please let me know.

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    1. In other words, you didn't read the article. Typical.

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  5. And by the way, the Constitution does NOT prohibit the establishment of a religion by STATES, only by the nation itself. If a state chooses to recognize a certain religion as its state religion, it is welcome to do so, as long as it does not conflict with STATE law. Massachusettes had Christianity as its state religion for many years after the Constitution had been ratified. So try again.

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  6. In case you were curious:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/04/north-carolinas-proposed-state-religion-isnt-as-unprecedented-as-it-sounds/274646/

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