Canasian & Friends v2.0

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Who are the religious right? Am I one of them?

with 2 comments

Colbert will tell you who the religious right is.

So, it seems to me, as compared to the last two elections (I can only remember so far back) that religion seems to be quite the talking point this time around. And the more and more I read/watch/osmosify I find more and more of a mention of a ‘Religious Right’, some hyper-powerful conglomerate of voters that needs must be appeased in order to… blah blah blah etc.

Now, I for one don’t really identify with any of the published ideology of the so-called ‘Religious Right’ (Are they self-declared group and I’m just missing an invite?). From what the mainstream media tells me about their antics, I’m far too liberal for their tastes, but in my own sphere, I consider myself to be quite the moderate. Yes, I am a religious man, and a faithful one at that, but does that place me into the ranks of intolerant, bigoted, closed-minded Christians that the pundits and the internet tell me make up my voting demographic?

This is what I’ve been ‘told’ so far: (And when I use the term ‘we’ I refer to the entire group)

Name: ‘Religious Right’, ‘Christian Conservatives’, ‘Evangelicals’, or just plain ol ‘Christians’

Character Traits: An undying love for President Bush; vehement defenders of the second amendment; a love of war (if we’re spreading democracy and the word of Jesus); intolerant of gays, blacks, muslims, jews, etc. (but we love Israel and everything that they do); We would rather persecute and kill abortionists rather than write an intelligent response to the issue of abortion; We give our money blindly to people who often glibly claim to be speaking for God; believing in Jesus is somehow an excuse to be ignorant or discriminatory against those who aren’t religious; we want this country to become some sort of Theocracy, nevermind that there are people who believe other things in it; we would rather legislate our morals than have to tolerate opposition in opinion; and mostly, we don’t read books or something because we’re just so ignorant.

Political Endorsements: We like Mike Huckabee, if for nothing else but he was a preacher and he stands ‘for people who believe in God’. And sometimes we like John McCain because he’ll keep our military strong and proud.

Home Life: We’re white and we have large families. We like public education unless they teach evolution; endorse art that has naked people in it; or if they don’t teach abstinence-only education. Oh yeah, we hate science too. All of it. Y’know what, we’d rather homeschool our kids or teach our kids to not play with unbelievers.

My response:

I for one, resent the notion that my belief of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World automatically makes me ignorant and intolerant of others. Who says that I can’t hold my Christian belief to be sacred and still act in an understanding and tolerant (and most of all, loving) manner as I reside in a pluralist society. Just because I disagree with obscenity in films doesn’t mean I have to protest and picket and label filmmakers and degenerate. Is it not possible to believe that I would support their first amendment right to make such a film and simply choose not to see it and teach my children that they have the choice to not see it too?

How come it is so far-fetched for me to allow others to believe in other deities? It doesn’t mean that I won’t try to share what I believe with them, but if in the end, they feel fine the way they are, I’m not going to force it on them. I think it’s good to have political opposition, it should raise the level of discussion and debate in the country. And only good things can come from informed and good-spirited discussion. Both sides may well learn a thing or three. It is completely in the realm of possibility that I can become a better Christian by watching how a good Jew lives their faith. I think the political debate in America is so focused on ‘beating the other guy’ that changing one’s mind on some things (not core principles) is considered to be a defeat. Shouldn’t the debate be focused to making the country work better by presenting the best of the best arguments and having enough wisdom and humility to compromise?

Yes, there are ignorant ‘Christians’ out there whose attitude and behavior are completely contrary of the ideals of Christ. Yes, they give the rest of us a bad name. Yes, they share in the blame. But it takes an equally tolerant liberal mind to acknowledge that there is a difference between me and Bob the Bigoted Believer.

There are other factions of faith that exist.

So, mainstream media, please pull your head out and understand that there are more kinds of people than you say exists. And yes, we would like to be represented in the national forum of public debate.

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Written by canasian

February 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Greetings, I am an Atheist and have a blog site dedicated to cataloging all my observations and questions regarding the bible and Christianity. Recently, a Christian who regularly comments on a number of my posts (whiteman0o0) left a response to one of my questions that disturbed me a great deal. As someone who was raised in the church and attended Private Christian School for the vast majority of my life, I was struck by how unusual whiteman0o0’s opinion seemed, at least to me, regarding this particular issue. The issue was about whether or not everyone is born a sinner. Whiteman0o0 had earlier stated that, yes, everyone IS born a sinner. I asked him to elaborate, arguing that I believed babies and children are innocent. I used an example of an infant that dies unexpectedly in his crib of SIDS and asked whiteman0o0 if he believed that this baby would go to hell seeing that we are all born sinners and the baby would never have had the opportunity to accept Jesus as his personal savior and ask for forgiveness for his ‘sins’. Whiteman0o0 responded, stating that indeed children and babies can go to hell and his reasoning was that God doesn’t judge them for their ACTUAL lives but for the lives they WOULD HAVE lived had they not died. In other words, God creates an alternate timeline where the baby/child didn’t die and sees if they would have become a Christian or not, what sins they would have committed, etc. and sends them to heaven or hell accordingly. This scenario left me truly horrified and I am desperate to learn how many other Christians agree with whiteman0o0’s opinion.

    This is the page where whiteman0o0 left his response:

    http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/if-the-statement-is-true-your-religion-is-vile/

    I am urging, pleading with anyone that is willing, to please visit this page, read the comments (you can ignore the original post), particularly mine (DoubtingThomas426) and whiteman0o0’s, and whether you agree with him or not, please leave a comment addressing this issue. I truly appreciate it.

    Thank you and I apologize for taking up space on this page with my plea.

    DoubtingThomas

    http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/

    doubtingthomas426

    February 2, 2008 at 6:21 am

  2. Jon, I agree with your sentiments here, and I appreciate that you are focusing on behaviors you find objectionable instead of just relying on labels – which always seem to prevent rather than promote clarity.

    I consider myself a religious conservative, in that my religious beliefs inform my political positions. One of those beliefs is the importance of each individual’s freedom to choose. Thus, I think we Christians should persuade others to live righteously rather than force that behavior on them through government.

    The problem is, and here’s where I sympathize with the “Religious Right”, that religious people are not the only ones attempting to force values upon others through the government. Some liberals see public schools as their tool for injecting some rational enlightenment into children that otherwise learn values only from their ignorant and intolerant parents.

    Whether you agree with their characterization or not, you can’t tell me that using the public schools to liberalize kids is any more legitimate than would be teaching creationism in public schools.

    Let the schools teach science, let homes and churches teach morality. Schools can legitimately be used to promote general societal values like tolerance (for gays and everyone else), but not in an attempt to undermine parents’ rights to teach their kids that some behaviors (homosexuality) are wrong.

    Tyler Lloyd

    October 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm


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