Republican Fundamentalist Christianity
I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed
to force me to believe as they do. (anonymous)
The republican-fundamentalist-christian sickness currently polluting America has got to be stopped before humanity dies from it.
Let's get some things straight right off the bat. Christianity is the belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago following his crucifixion by the Roman government. This death and bodily resurrection of Jesus is to be construed as a substitute sacrifice for one's own death which one otherwise would deserve as the penalty for sin and the resulting separation of self from the Holiness of God. If one willingly accepts this substitute sacrifice, God looks away from the believer's sin, and considers that person to be "forgiven" and to be deserving of life after death. That is what the Christian Belief is. An obvious prerequisite for this belief-system is that one must "believe" that there is an ontologically real god responsible for conducting this system of forgiveness. Another postulate of this belief-system is that, even though "God created Man in His image," the perfect God managed to create a free-will version of Man that quickly proved to be sinful. As it is now stated, Man is intrinsically "evil," and needs God's plan for redemption if he is to have any chance for anything Good to happen.
The modern American republican-fundamentalist-christian has recently begun to use the expression "christian values" in a particularly distorted manner. To speak of traits such as Fairness, Kindness, Charity, Responsibility, and Love as being "christian values" is to imply two things: (1) that only christians do possess such values, and (2) that non-christians most definitely do not possess such values. This assumption, I declare, is THE SINGLE GREATEST EVIL currently on the planetary surface. "Decent Values" are values held by decent people world over; by decent Jews, decent atheists, decent Buddhists, decent Moslems, decent Hindus, decent PEOPLE. The audacious implication by labeling these values "christian" is that it creates a typical "us / them" mentality, much like Hitler did 60 years ago. Christian history is full of moments where christians offer a "convert-or-die" choice to others: the Crusades, The Inquisition, the Salem witch hunts, etc. Isn't this what is basically happening now in America? Sixty years ago we fought a war to stop Hitler before he could "cleanse" the world of everybody different from his imagined idea of "correct" people. This is precisely what republican-christian America is doing right now: The secret "No-Fly" lists that prevent "different" people from getting on airplanes; The prevalent sense that all non-christians are basically evil while christians (though by definition evil too) are at least to be trusted. This attitude utterly negates the fundamental principle of American "freedom for all," the freedom supposedly won by the American Revolution and also the French Revolution. Any person that continues to use the expression "christian values" instead of "decent values" is creating division on the planet, and is contributing to increased evil on Earth. A christian and a non-christian are completely determined by whether the person believes in the mythology of (1) god, and (2) the resurrection of Jesus, outlined in the first paragraph. A christian and a non-christian are NOT uniquely determined by the type of values that they hold here and now.
A christian that believes that Man is inherently evil also believes that goodness is impossible without christian belief. Thus, they treat non-christians as being evil. To the atheist, this belief is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy. A christian "knows" that no good can come on Earth as a whole, so one mucks along converting those they can, and hoping for a post-mortem afterlife where all is well in heaven. This is a defeatist position. As long as christians keep believing this, atheists will continue to consider this belief to be abhorrent. There is no chance that Man will embrace Good as a principle, while people continue to embrace a God-theory that labels Man as evil. The presence of such believers is the worst possible thing that can happen for humanity.
We now live in a world with problems of a size that past generations could scarcely have imagined. Overpopulation; pollution of the air, water, and soil; decreased nutritional value in the foods we harvest from the earth; increased starvation in some places in recent years, wealth-inequity hundreds of times greater than at any other time in history; global warming with cataclysmic weather alterations and ocean-pattern disruptions; changes in the magnetic poles; depletion of oil and other natural resources; ecological disaster and species extinctions all over the planet; growingly resistant viruses and bacteria; increases in cancer and other serious diseases; and growing hatred between nations in response to these problems. And all these problems are intertwined and interconnected; a solution to one problem now usually implies an increased problem in some other category. And the republican-fundamentalist-christian, supporting the capitalistic business practices that CAUSE much of these problems, is willing to watch the Earth go to Hell, then claim it is a sign of the End Times, wait for their own paradise later in Heaven, and just trust God to deal with Earth now as He sees fit. As every last person suffocates from lack of oxygen due to deforestation, these christians will continue to believe their nonsense. These republican-fundamentalist-christians ARE THE REASON the Earth is being destroyed. This CANCEROUS belief-system must be removed from humanity, if humanity is to have a chance to survive. We need ALL people to be liberally educated and to contribute to imagining the solutions to Humanity's problems. We can afford NO ONE to sit back in their "freedom-of-religion" blissful state of ignorance, contributing to Earth's annihilation by their very act of BELIEVING IN GOD.
Fundamentalist christians should be forced to prove the existence of their god in a court of law before being allowed to inflict their beliefs on others via the legal structures of America. I see no god; therefore I state the fact aloud. They see no god either, but believe in one anyway. They are responsible for the burden of proof; not the non-believer. As Dan Barker said, addressing christians in Losing Faith, "You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?" This requirement for "faith" is a mental derangement. This is not what will save Mankind. The constant whinings of these people to re-admit formal prayer in tax-paid-for public schools is tiresome. They want to teach what they call "Creationism" as an equal contender to "Evolution" and "Cosmology" as scientific idea. To quote Tom Weller from his book Science Made Stupid (1985) "Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successively. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to [the] complex and technical subject [of the origin of the Universe, Earth, and Life.]" Hebrew mythology, like all the world's mythology, is interesting as literature and as symbolic statements of cultural values. But to wish that any of it be taught in public schools as science is a sign of mental retardation. Defenders of such ideas should be kept away from my children.
The current republican-fundamentalist-christian supports George W. Bush's policies. They have attempted to make "The Republican Party" synonymous with "The Christian Party." This is a slap in the face to the American concept of Separation of Church and State. Apparently, since non-christians are treated as evil, then non-Republicans (presumably by the distributive property of mathematics) are also treated as evil. The only thing evil here is this current Republican belief. The quite unconstitutional Homeland Security structures recently brought into existence and defended by these fascist republicans go against every attitude towards freedom ever held in America's past. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, pointed out concerning ancient Athens (one of the models for "freedom" that our founding fathers considered) "In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom . . . When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again." This describes modern America perfectly. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." To those that value FREEDOM, the current mind-set of republican-fundamentalist-christians in their support of Bush's policies is totally unacceptable.
Christians claim that the most treasured words spoken by Jesus are those of the "Fulfillment of the Jewish Law" known as the "Golden Rule." "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." And "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself," etc. Do these words translate into economic or medical fairness? Apparently not. Republican-fundamentalist-christians are ultimately more indoctrinated by "capitalistic values" than they are by "christian values." You would think christians would be in favor of socialized medicine FOR ALL. But, they note, capitalistic medicine produces superior results. Indeed yes, for those that can afford it. But certainly not FOR ALL. You would think christians would be in favor of socialistic attitudes towards wealth inequity, namely that it is WRONG and should be eliminated; that their neighbors, just AS THYSELF, are deserving of a share of the planetary wealth. But children born into poverty do not have the same share, or even potential share, as do the rich-born. If I ever hear a christian defend this inequity as "God's Will," then I know I am in the presence of a purely EVIL person. The first-century Christian Church embraced a communistic economic system (e.g., "give everything to the church, and be part of the group") and a governmental system based on that of Plato's Republic (e.g., a council of elders made decisions for the group; decisions were not made by democratic vote). They formed a Communistic Republic. Capitalistic Democracy is about as unbiblical as you can get, and yet all modern "republican"-fundamentalist-christians assume Capitalism and Democracy are signs of Godliness.
There's nothing worse than a person who does something charitable for one or two other people, but then votes in a way that is hurtful to millions. We need to end the repugnant need for giving charity! We need to vote, in the first place, for economic fairness FOR ALL. Republican-fundamentalist-christians seem to demand that the world be kept unfair so that their god can credit them for acts of charity. Evil doesn't get much more recursive than this.
There is no such thing, no such possibility, as a "capitalist" "christian." They are either confused "capitalists" and not really christians, or they are confused "christians" and not really capitalists. Christians live in a bubble. I see them in their bubble and understand them as a component of the human universe, like it or not. But they, in their bubble, look out in every direction and all they see is the bubble. Their circular reasoning is airtight. It is a masterpiece of deception. However, as the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) said, "Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death...Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man." However, the more one confronts a republican-fundamentalist-christian with thought, the more they rely on faith to avoid this thought. To quote an anonymous author, "the mind of the fundamentalist is like the pupil of the eye: the more light you pour on it, the more it will contract." Faith is definitely their shield, as they say; it shields them from having to embrace Reason.
One of the final masterstrokes of christian circular reasoning is their idea that christians are content and at peace, while presumably non-christians are always writhing in a sea of tormented unrest and unfulfillment. One can only quote George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) from his Preface to Androcles and the Lion: "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." Self-deception and denial of the harshness of the universe undoubtedly make for a more contented person. But such a person will certainly never contribute to any possibility of the world becoming a more heavenly place.
To those financially poor republicans that become seriously ill and cannot afford proper health care, I say to you, isn't it splendid that you have become brainwashed into the unfairness of the Republican way of thinking, though it obviously isn't in your own best interests. After you suffer and die, and your parents mourn for you, I'll be happy for you that your belief system - that you chose "freely" to believe - led to your end, and you would have it no other way. Congratulations!
To those of you Republican students that spend 4 years of your life and countless dollars in college, and then find it difficult to find a job worthy of your education, I will rejoice with you, while you starve, that you believe that this is the right way for society to be structured. Congratulations!
For that ultimate paradoxical marvel, the republican "music major," I say to you, when republican ideology, placing no value in music education, cuts the funding for your position, after you are a homeowner and a parent with dependent children, and you are at a complete loss for what to do next, I say to you, isn't it wonderful! I praise you for boldy believing in the philosophy that has crippled your life. Congratulations!
The total current set of attitudes of American republican-fundamentalist-christians have no precedent in christian history. This neo-christian political indoctrination is evil, it is harmful for the future of humanity on this planet, it is unfair, it is unjust, it slaps the concept of American Freedom in the face. In short, IT MUST GO.
It is more loving to confront people with their error (so that they have the choice to change for the better, and avoid an even larger pain in the future) than it is to hide behind a facade of polite smiles so as to avoid the smaller pain of having one's world-view shattered. Those of you with ears, let him hear.
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Dr. Jody Nagel
November 9, 2004