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American Christianity: a post-Trump indictment

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I am not Christian, and I don’t have much tolerance for many Christians in America, to be perfectly frank, because of their horrible behavior. This isn’t to say that I don’t have Christian friends; even some of my family members are born-agains. It also isn’t to say that I don’t respect the Christian religion, as opposed to the churches that purport to represent them. I was born and raised a Jew, and Jesus, after all, was a Jewish boy until he died. I always was rather fascinated by him, to be perfectly honest. I see Jesus as having been one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. I have a deep understanding of Jewish beliefs, which were Jesus’s beliefs, as well, and that gives me some understanding into his character and historicity.

Moreover, I have read the New Testament many times. I am familiar with the role that Christianity has played in the evolution of European art, culture, philosophy and history. Therefore, it would not be true to call me “anti-Christian.” What I am “anti” is what modern-day Christianity has become, especially in the form of its most rightwing branch, evangelicism. Fundamentally, I am anti-Christian privilege, which is the attitude on the part of so many Christians that they, and only they, are in possession of “the truth.”

“Christian privilege” was the subject of a workshop organized by George Washington University’s Multicultural Student Services Center last week. The session was billed as an intellectual discussion exploring how Christian America takes on a new set of tensions as our population of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist neighbors grows.” Surely, in an America that is increasingly multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, not to mention New Agey, agnostic and atheist, this is a good area to explore: how can we all get along? But it didn’t take long for the Christian extreme right to scream foul. Pat Robertson’s failing T.V. station, the Christian Broadcasting Network, castigated G.W.U. for making campus Christians feel “persecuted,” and quoted Christian students who urged G.W.U. to  “do a better job of protecting Christians on campus.”

Laura Ingraham’s show—the same rightwing shock jock bully who insulted Andrew Hogg and lost most of her advertisers as a result—hosted a G.W.U. student who whined about the Multicultural Student Center’s event. It’s shocking…this is a university-endorsed seminar…trying to tell Christians how to live out their relationship with God.”

And then there’s the rightwing televangelist, Franklin Graham, who warned his fellow Christians [to] be aware of candidates who call themselves progressive. Progressive is generally just a code word for someone who leans toward socialism, a person who does not believe in God, and someone who will likely vote against Godly principles.”

The trouble with these holier-than-thou people is that they’ve gotten used to running things in the U.S. They forget, if they ever knew, that America is not a theocracy, but a republic and a democracy. The Founding Fathers [women didn’t count back then] were Christian in name only; in practice they were “theists”–secular humanists, who deliberately crafted the Constitution’s first amendment (in their minds, the most important) declaring that no official religion shall ever be established in the new nation.

Look, no one is “trying to tell Christians how to live out their relationship with God.” No one is “persecuting” Christians. That’s a slur and a lie. But it’s ironic that Christians should use this line, inasmuch as they have told everybody for the past two thousand years how to live their lives, and have severely persecuted everyone who didn’t agree with them. The Christian Church brought us the executions of the Inquisition, Jewish pogroms, the Crusades, sending homosexuals to the flames, priestly pedophilia, and violently forcing indigenous people to convert to their religion, or die. The Christian Church has repeatedly thrown Europe and the world into the most disastrous wars in history. So much for the “peace of Christ be upon thee”!! This is a church entirely intolerant of dissent. It is a church that demands obedience to its theology, no matter how ridiculous, a church that will enforce obedience at the point of a gun, if necessary. It is a church that is fucked up, sexually and psychologically, in need–not of God–but of psychotherapy.

So next time you hear a Christian complaining that “liberals” want to make their religion illegal, know that you are hearing the noise of untruth. Fortunately, some sane Christians themselves are realizing this fact. They understand that the extremists on the tea party-evangelical side are besmirching their religion; they are finally taking tentative steps to root out the pro-Trump factions, on the charge that they might not even be real Christians, after all.

For example, the Boston Globe last week ran an opinion piece, “Are ‘Trump Christians’ Really Christian,” in which the writer examined just what kind of “Christians” people like Franklin Graham really are, and concluded that these Trumpites are not real Christians, but “old white evangelicals, nearly all men, rich, the ones benefiting from the tax cuts.”

Sounds more like the money-lenders Jesus drove from the temple, not the idealistic young men who followed Jesus and inspired the world.

 It’s not my interest or task to define who is a “Christian” and who isn’t. I’ll leave that internecine battle to others. I will say that Christianity is doing itself no favors, here in America, by continuing to stand by a serial adulterer, an abuser of women, a pathological liar, the most uncompassionate and inconsiderate president ever, a rude bully and thug, a greedy cheater who is about as “Christian” as the steaming piles my dog, Gus, deposits on our daily walks.

In the end, it won’t be non-Christians like me who indict Christian lies and hypocrisy and find them guilty; it will be independent Christians themselves, who love Jesus and their religion enough to state, openly and loudly, that the “Christians” who support this regime are blasphemers who must be drummed out of the party, and condemned.

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    “Progressive is generally just a code word for someone who leans toward socialism, a person who does not believe in God, and someone who will likely vote against Godly principles.”
    I was no great fan of Billy Graham, but I think in this case the acorn fell somewhat far from the tree. I don’t think that Billy was ever this extreme.

  2. I agree. The son has become a total tool of the NRA/tea party/neo-nazi wing.

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