Every day there is another pundit who thinks that the source of all the grief in the world and everything wrong with their lives can be blamed on those who claim the mantle of Christianity. Never mind if the "crackpots" in question actually follow the teachings of Christ. Who cares as long as you can slam God?
Specifically today I am speaking of the article on this site by Walter Uhler which can be found here:
The problems contained in this piece are varied. The first quote that stands out is:
"These Crackpot Christians are largely responsible for placing one of their own, George W. Bush, in the White House."
Really? Bush allegedly had over 50 million votes in 2004. Is Mr. Uhler seriously suggesting that the majority of these voters were "crackpot Christians? What about the fact that the election was probably stolen? Was it those dastardly Christians who perpetrated that as well? What about the media who clearly sided with Bush during the run-up, where slime like the Swift Boat Veterans for Lies were given excessive air time despite their being debunked and there was a different standard for Bush, where all he had to do was make a coherent sentence in order to get praise? I guess that had nothing to do with Bush being "placed" in the White House. Or is Mr. Uhler referring to the year 2000 when the same media problem existed and the Supreme Court installed Bush as President?
Mr. Uhler continues, "Their astounding ignorance, unquestioning faith, war hawkishness, and fascination with the End of Time subsequently rendered them gullible to the Bush administration's lies and exaggerations about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (especially the apocalyptic "mushroom clouds") and ties to al Qaeda. Thus, they cannot escape responsibility for supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq."
I again point Mr. Uhler to the media that sold us the lies. I point to the NY Times and all consolidated media in this country that has led to the packaging of the news instead of the reporting of it. I might add that faith in and of itself means to not question. Once you question, you no longer are demonstrating faith. English semantics aside, to assign gullibility to the Bush lies only to the "crackpot Christians" is quite silly. Mr. Uhler seems to forget that more than half this country supported the Iraq invasion, I not being one of them. Never mind those pesky statistics, let's blame those wacky Christians!
Moving on, "Judging by recent polls, Crackpot Christians continue to provide the residual support that prevents the total collapse of the worst presidency in American history."
While I agree that this is the worst presidency ever, I seriously doubt the 30-35% of people who still approve of this president are all "crackpot Christians." The base is simply not that large. Unless Mr. Uhler is smearing all Christians of any denomination because his article does not seem to differentiate much. Uhler continues, "Their insouciance toward the ever worsening daily horrors in Iraq - so vividly reported by Jeffrey Gettleman in the August 2006 issue of GQ -- is daily testimony to their moral degeneracy. And, by their refusal to repent and improve, Crackpot Christians become responsible for the precipitous collapse of U.S. moral authority now occurring around the world."
It is getting quite tiresome to hear people generalize all Christians as being apathetic toward the violence in Iraq. It is simply untrue and a smear on the level of anti-Semitism, if it was leveled at the Jewish people. But it has become fashionable to smear Christians in America in recent years. Perhaps the more offensive statement here though is the ridiculous notion that it is the Christians that have led to the loss of moral authority. Mr. Uhler continues to confuse political occurrences with religious ones. The decision to invade Iraq was a political one decided before 911. It was decided based on oil and money, not religion.
Uhler then decides to go back into history to find some people quoted the Bible to justify the current economic model of that time which allowed slavery! So, now it is time to blame slavery on those crackpot Christians as well? Why stop there? I am sure we can go back throughout history and find some obscure quote in each era that shows a Christian siding on the wrong side of history. Not content with merely sliming Christians throughout history, he then decides to mock those who would believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. It is apparently not enough to merely blame the Christians for the state of affairs in the world and for everything wrong in history, but instead it becomes an imperative to degrade their beliefs as well.
This kind of unseemly rhetoric serves no one. Are there people of radical belief in the Christian community? Absolutely. There are also radical people on every side but they represent the exception, not the norm. The generalizations made by Uhler and others are as much a part of the problem that he speaks so passionately against. I am a born again Christian and I can tell you unequivocally that for every fanatic there are ten other Christians who see the horrors in the Middle East and are very concerned. Instead of writing hit pieces however, they pray for peace.
It is corporations that run this administration, not Christians. It is big business and big money that make the decisions. Fanatics on the Christian side may have signed on because they have a fixation on prophecy but that does not mean all Christians do. Most Christians recognize that the Bible tells us we are not to know the time or hour of the second coming of Christ. We are not supposed to be concentrating on when He returns but rather, what we are charged with doing between now and then. Are some led astray? Absolutely, as the Word says they will be. But does this borderline hate speech help the situation or inflame it? Is referring to Christians as crackpots, blaming slavery on them, and defiling their beliefs and faith a positive step in resolving these problems?
A true Christian believes in the red letters of the Bible. They believe in the Sermon on the Mount. They are the majority of the Christians in America today. Unfortunately there are precious few Christian progressive voices out here. They are largely ignored by the media which has its own agenda. On one side they have people like Bush who at least likes to say the name of Jesus Christ, regardless of whether the fruit he bears is Christian. The fact that people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell get the coverage they do, does not help the situation. But having people on the other side mocking Christian beliefs and ridiculing us as "ignorant" is just as damaging if not more so.