Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dear Christian Right

Dear Christian Right,

We need to have a talk, you and I. We’ll need to come to an understanding, now that secularism, Atheism, and non-Christian faiths are on the rise in America. And it is time for you to accept that your vice-like grip on politics WILL soon come to an end. You’re not going to like losing power, but I promise you, you have nothing at all to fear from secular people and non-Christians. That is, unless, you proceed with enacting self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s explore.

There is no war on your religion in the USA. You are top dog. Indeed, it is considered taboo to speak badly about your religion. It is considered an assumed fact, that unless otherwise stated, that someone in this country is a Christian, even though we all know not everyone is. It is completely obvious that your religion is (currently) a sort of prerequisite to hold public office. While this WILL change, we’re not there yet. Unlike you, people outside of the Christian faith haven’t been able to organize to the level of ‘megachurch’, as you have. But we will one day. And you ought to ask yourself one thing: Will you allow other points of view to exist, or will history repeat, and you go on a ‘crusade’?

Here’s the thing. Even if you proclaim yourself to be a right-wing Christian, you cannot be a Christian without compassion. Any faith on the planet is supposed to teach peace, love, and community. And, I dare say, the right-wing faction of Evangelical Christianity is all but completely devoid of compassion for those outside of your club. Indeed, this is evidenced by the radical right Tea Party, who espouses views bordering on ‘White Power’, xenophobia, and rabid nationalism (this is known as fascism, and it does not know compassion, as your Jesus Christ character in that Bible thingy taught, and you seemingly ignore). The phrase “Take America Back” is a thinly veiled code-speak for “We want White Christian Males to stay in power”. You are not fooling us.

The reality is, Christianity is having a very hard time defending itself against scientific knowledge. We all know (well, most sane people) that the earth took a fuckload longer than 7 days to ‘be created’. Science can prove the earth formed out of the dust created by a newly ignited star, our sun, some 4.5 billion years ago. We even know that our moon was once a stray planet that at one time collided with our earth, hence its orbit around us. We can scan the cosmic microwave background, and, with continually refined calculations, know how the universe actually formed. And you know, that’s a whole lot more convincing to some than the belief that some cosmic deity snapped his or her or it’s fingers and BAM! Adam and Eve had incestual sex, thus the human race. Any person with a lick of sense knows this is the theory of ancient humans who had no knowledge of the natural world, and struggled to fill in the gaps.
Most of us non-Christians realize that you are sticking to your guns because of several things. Tradition, cognitive dissonance (or the fear of being ‘wrong’), fear of Hell (which is funny, because Hell is not in the Bible, and ‘Satan’ is just a Hebrew word for ‘adversary’ and not an actual ‘person’), and of course the main reason: You are a dominant social club that enjoys an IMMENSE amount of privilege, wealth, and political clout. Who would want to give that up? Nobody. BUT you will soon have competition for this, which brings me back to the original reason for writing this.

You are going to need to learn the concept of sharing. Stop with this ridiculous notion, first of all, that Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, or even American Muslims want anything to do with attacking you, harming you, or otherwise giving you grief. You are playing an interesting game here. From our perspective, when we see the fear-mongering phrases such as “Atheists are trying to destroy America”, we all look around and try to figure out how you got that idea. You are attempting to create controversy where there is none to gin up fear of what you do not understand. Why the hell would I waste time ‘attacking’ physically, anyone? We can have debates, but debates do not constitute ‘an attack’. An ‘attack’ would most likely look like me with an aluminum baseball bat, your knees, and a lot of swearing. And I don’t really feel like going to jail. So stop with this ‘we’re under attack’ stuff in America. You’re not. And you won’t be unless you throw the first punch. And even then, we’re mostly all pacifists and don’t do the whole ‘crusade’ thing. Check yourself.

Back to the concept of sharing. You’re going to have to learn to deal with less privilege. Just as white males are on the decline in America in terms of power, so too will Christianity go down this path. There isn’t anything you can really do about it, except perhaps show some maturity instead of trying to convince people that people like me are evil. I’m so not an evil person. I probably follow the tenants of your Jesus more closely than you do. The ONLY difference between you, and I, is that I do not take the Bible as a literal truth. I don’t believe that some character, created and imagined by man, could possibly be real without direct proof, which you so conveniently state only comes to you when ‘you have faith’ (read: believe it cos I say so, and stop questioning it). I don’t believe that out of literally thousands of different beliefs in deities on this planet, Christianity can claim their beliefs as more true than any other. In fact, I remain convinced that all religions have simply said “Here, I wrote a book. Believe in my characters so that we might unite around these principles. Also, give me money.”

Well, I do like money. I like community too. And I also love being a good person that helps other people. So let’s unite around those principles. We are all Americans, and must share this land with each other. We’ll need to come to the understanding that we all have the right to live, be happy, and express our ideas without fear of ‘the other side’ smacking us down, or suppressing us. It’s probably best if we focus on what the human condition is, rather than jockeying for control of it. The human experience is diverse. There are many peoples, many traditions, and many beliefs, and all can be considered and should be, without accusations of ‘heresy’ or ‘blasphemy’. That’s just Dark Age stuff right there.

In any case, I hope that despite our philosophical disagreements, Christian Right, that we can come to an accord to preserve the essence of what it is to be American: Free to be who you want to be, love who you want to love, and do what you want to do. You don’t own America. It really was NOT founded on ‘Christian Principles’ which is a lie I hear all too often. It was founded on the basis that a state or nation cannot favor one belief over another. It was founded on the principle that we as a nation should not have a foreign king taking our money without our ability to negotiate for its uses (taxation without representation, which is what your Tea Party was truly about). This is a nation of immigrants, with everyone’s ancestors having come from somewhere else. This is a nation of diversity. And it will get more diverse.

If you cannot come to grips with this, I’m afraid you’re just not going to live happy lives. You’re stressing yourself out worrying about non-Christian boogeymen. Relax. Enjoy life. Learn to share it with others. We’re not coming for your kids, we’re not burning your churches, and we’re not trying to beat you up. The only thing we’re not doing is ignoring science, contributing to your collection plates, or knocking on your door to ‘share our love of science’ (which hey, that’s not a bad idea…). Let’s learn to share this world instead of trying to control it ok? And just drop the ‘War on Christmas’ thing. We don’t care about your quaint little holiday that you stole from Pagans and Germanized. I’ll celebrate Winter Solstice right alongside your Christmas. Nobody gets hurt. That sound alright to you?

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