On Friday, June 5th, there was a report, and I am not sure of the source (was it MSNBC, was it Jon Stewart, perhaps Bill Maher). It was Bill Maher, but Jon Stewart has talked about this also. There was a montage of clips showing one mournful Republican after another, mostly Presidential candidates, claiming that there is a War on Christianity in America.
The story was full of the fine comedic commentary that is best known on the left. It implied that there was some truth to these mostly paranoid remarks offered up by Republicans. Perhaps these Christians, often labelled Evangelicals are trying to garner some sort of cultural sympathy, or perhaps they want to call out Liberals as Godless and therefore unelectable on grounds of immorality. This may all be Evangelical political propaganda, but also may not be totally false.
I am a liberal who has no patience with the Christianity of these Evangelicals. They are, for one thing, way too self-righteous, as if they speak regularly and directly with God and they know what will please him, something those without “faith” cannot know. Not only do they have a monopoly on Patriotism, but, clearly, also on Faith. And yet these folks are not perfect; they are still as flawed as any of us. We are constantly learning about their human failings.
Evangelicals are citizens in a democracy which has always read our founding documents to say that our government is a secular one and that freedom of religion is a key aspect of our Democracy. In order to insure these two things the importance of the separation of church and state was certainly at least implied by our forefathers. Lately though, it is clear that behavior in American is being judged by those on the right through the screen of their Evangelical faith.
The Evangelical Church seems to have taught some very distasteful and self-serving messages to our public servants. Their religious study seems to support the central position of the white male in the universe. Their studies have led them to believe that the Bible admonishes women to be submissive. These two points of doctrine convince them that America was intended to be a nation of Christian white couples paired up male/female and bent on procreation, not fornication.
Since men are appointed to guide women then women will agree, if they are good Christians, as all Americans should be, that abortion and contraception are against the natural order of things. Since white males rule and they claim that evolution is wrong, and humans can never harm the earth since it was given to us by God for our use, then these things are true and “beyond contestation”. Next we will be having witch hunts. I certainly never believed we would reincarnate our Puritan past but if could very well happen if we let Evangelicals get their hands on our government.
What I loved about movies like Star Trek and Star Wars was the operational equality between men and women. There was banter between sexes and there was still some abuse of women in some cultures, but when it came to winning and losing the men and women pitched in and got the job done. (Even in the Harry Potter books this equality between the sexes holds.) I was hoping for a future with more tolerance for our differences, with more cooperation and less competition.
Evangelicals represent a sort of “super” Christianity which I think we do reject. That does not mean we reject Christianity or that we are at war with Christianity. I am and I’m guessing many others are dead set against turning America into a Theocracy lead by Evangelicals, Christians, or any other religious group. And, more childishly, they started the war, we are just defending America from an Evangelical takeover.
It is certainly interesting that Evangelical Christians believe exactly the things that keep “good old boys” where they think they belong – in charge. I cannot like this emphasis on white male domination and this dismissal of science even if it means I am a terrible sinner and that I will never make it to the Rapture.
By Nancy Brisson