The Malleable Beliefs of Evangelicals

pexels-karolina-grabowska-4202960

What happens when your political idol’s actions and words diametrically oppose what your religion promotes?

Do you stand firm by your faith, or do you bend to political idolatry?

Is it worse to be ostracized by your church or shunned by your political, social group?

Oh, the pain and discomfort of internal conflict!

But wait, there’s another way!

With the advent of Republican Jesus, you can stand by your religion AND swear allegiance to a demagogue who espouses the opposite views of your lord and savior!

Isn’t America Great?

Republican Jesus is no less wonderous than the birth of Original Jesus (or Extra Crispy Jesus, for that matter).

People have been bending religion to fit their world and political view since the beginning of time. All gods are man-made. When you start with that fact, everything you see in today’s Evangelical community regarding politics makes perfect sense. And let’s face it, it becomes easier to bend and contort one’s religious views in a world where god is less visible than ever before.

Fuck being uncomfortable with contradiction; let’s be Christ-like and Un-Christ-like in the same breath! Once you start, it’s easy! After that, it’s a brand-new, all-encompassing, carpet-bomb-the-caravan-and-fuck-the-disenfranchised religious freedom!

Step 1. Cherry-pick your favorite bits and pieces from that book written in iron-age ignorance.

Step 2. Infuse it with a political ideology that suits your worldview.

Step 3. Well, you get the gist.

Before the first charlatan saw religion as a money maker and a kingmaker, religion’s primary purpose was personal and somewhat benign (at least initially). 

Religion eased our fear of death and explained the unexplainable. In the hardware store of life, you could find religion in the aisle for caulking and other “gap fillers.”

Now that politicians know just how fluid the beliefs of Evangelicals are, they are taking full advantage. And the President is leading the way.

To politicians, malleable faith has become the low-hanging fruit of our electorate. Evangelicals’ susceptibility to authoritarianism and an innate fear of different people represents political opportunity, money, and votes at the ballot box.

Today’s Evangelicals are evolving (how ironic!) before our very eyes. In a swirling tsunami of hypocrisy and verbal gymnastics, Evangelical leaders dismiss adultery, kidnapping, and murder, so long as political bed-mates deliver favors unto them or to their America. And the Evangelical flock follows blindly. Their relationship with the President is like a loveless marriage – purely transactional in nature. 

They give him support; he packs the court. 

All the contradictions of the President’s behavior to their faith get dismissed or obfuscated.

I suspect, like the rest of us, Evangelicals understand if Donald Trump (or either of his sons) knocked up the help, there’d be an abortion doctor on the doorstep faster than you can say “fetus.” 

But Evangelicals have struck a Faustian bargain with the Orange Devil, simultaneously turning their heads and supporting his un-christlike policies.

Anyone with an ounce of intellect (and intellectual honesty) knows Trump is less Christian than a salamander or a turd. Instead, Trump uses his relationship with Evangelicals in a quest for power and money.

To the skeptic and realist, all of this is as clear as day.

Our best hope for turning this shit show around are young people, who are generally less religious than their parents, and who see the marriage of politics and religion for what it really is, a marriage of convenience that benefits the few and endangers the rest.

Let’s hope they get out and vote because the longer this goes on, the harder it is to stop.

DOMA, Dogma minus the G

pexels-georgia-maciel-2194355

As the date for opening arguments on the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act (DOMA) approaches, we are seeing a flurry of newspaper articles and talk show discussions related to the case.

The defense of marriage act (DOMA) defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and inter-state recognition purposes in the United States.

Predictably, those affiliated with the Catholic church and religious-right believe DOMA is constitutional, but argue their case mainly on the basis of morality.

On the state level, RI lawmakers have introduced bills to legalize Gay marriage. This week Bishop Tobin, called on Rhode Island’s General Assembly to reject same-sex marriage in the state, stating that same-sex marriage is “immoral and unnecessary” .

Now, in my opinion, the catholic church preaching about morality is akin to the Chinese government espousing the virtues of freedom and democracy – that boat don’t float.

Many hundreds of years ago, the religious powers-that-be saw homosexual behavior as out of the norm and, without the benefit of science or understanding, labeled it as sinful, immoral, and abhorrent.

Now, fast forward to today, where, with the benefit of science (and a slightly more tolerant society) we know and understand that sexual orientation is an innate trait. Homosexuality is not a disease to be cured any more than eye color or hair color is. But still the Catholic church and religious-right refuse to acknowledge science, reason, and basic fairness and instead remain blindfully obedient to dogma.

If we woke up in “bizarro world” tomorrow, where heterosexuals were the minority, would we not fight for our right in the same manner that gays and lesbians are fighting today? I believe we would. Would we naturally continue to prefer the opposite sex? Yes, we would. Would we just accept being labeled as perverted, sinful, and immoral? God, I hope not.

I’ll end with a message and some advice to the catholic church:

You are on the wrong side of this argument. More and more people, especially young people (you know, the ones you should be trying to bring into the church!) understand that homosexuality is not a learned behavior or character flaw. They see hardworking, caring, and intelligent people who “happen to be gay”. Be open to the idea that many hundreds of years ago, when mankind did not have the benefit of science, the church mistakenly characterized homosexuality as a sin. Don’t continue to mischaracterize it, instead, embrace the science, reverse your position (no pun intended) and stick to what you’re good at, providing spiritual guidance and helping the needy and the poor.