Modern American Republican Christianity Confounds Me
Those of us that look to logic, data and facts to explain the world around us, sometimes have a hard time understanding the rules of religion. I understand and mostly follow the teachings of the Bible, not because they are the words of God (that, as the VP would say, is hogwash) but because treating others as I would myself, generally seems like a good idea. I don’t need “God” to tell me that. It’s not the Bible that I find confusing, but rather the modern rules of Christianity as currently practiced by many Christians in this country.
I suppose it would be more accurate to describe them as Republican Christians because in many parts of this country, and certainly in the media, church has merged with the GOP. It may be a vocal minority of right-wing religious nutjobs (James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly, the list seems endless), but there’s no denying that the most high profile Christian “leaders” have chosen to call the GOP home and in return, the influential fascists (George Bush, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, another disturbingly long list) have laid claim to Christianity. It’s a symbiotic relationship. The politicos frame their agenda as a religious crusade and the preachers turn their churches into campaign offices. The losers in this deal are the rest of us, including the true believers.
If this relationship weren’t so dangerous, it would be funny, if for nothing else than the confounded logic employed to explain away the bad behavior of politically minded Christian leaders. Take for example, this story in the news today. According to modern American Republican Christianity, as practiced by the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals Ted Haggard, putting your dick in the mouth of a male prostitute doesn’t make you gay. I guess that means God still loves good old Ted.
But Ted, what if you stick your dick in your wife’s mouth while pretending she’s a male prostitute? Is that okay? God knows your thoughts right? Or is it simply that you can engage in gay sex or fantasize about gay sex while engaging in heterosexual sex as long as you feel ashamed by your thoughts and behavior afterward? Surely God wants His followers to hide who they are, have plummeting self-esteem and feel shame for simply being human. Probably just as much as He wants political dogma preached in His house.
What we take away from any book has a lot to do with who we are when we read it. I guess the Bible isn’t special in that regard.