From the Biblical America Resistance Front website
URL: http://www.barf.org/boardarch/0033/print.html
 
HOME  ·  FEATURES  ·  ARCHIVE  ·   LINKS

BARF BoardRoom/Soapbox Archive
Revolution, post-growth strategies, and holy race-ism
By Mike Doughney


Time: Tue, 24-Aug-1999 02:36:42 GMT     
IP: 207.239.111.82

::Y'know, sometimes I think the most offensive
::part of the evangelical's repetoire is his
::or her insistence that the prospect doesn't know
::anything, or is incapable of even beginning to
::discern right from wrong without their own
::particular brand of absolutism.
:
:Audience don't be fooled. Everytime someone
:says "no absolutes, no abolutes!" he's promoting
:an absolute of his own.

Nowhere did I say "no absolutes."  You must have
me confused with some manifesto-spouting
humanist somewhere. :-)

There are certainly a few absolutes out there,
and if they're not absolute the exceptions are
rare.  Here's one: people in a peaceful,
prosperous society who prepare to make war on
their peaceful prosperous neighbors are a threat
to everyone, particularly when it's civil war or
a war of revolution that they're desperately
trying to justify and forment.  Ultimately such
wars result in mass destruction, suffering and
death.

This example is topical, since pretty much
everywhere I look, across both the fringes of
Catholicism and what seems to be the mainstream
evangelical leadership, a coordinated attempt to
justify revolution (in every sense of the word)
is underway.  It is not confined to any
"spiritual" realm (as I hear you about to again
claim) but it is very much in the political and
physical realm.

::Fact is, we know a great deal.  
: 
:Who said you didn't?

The assumption that autonomous decision-making
is faulty without subservience to a particular
belief system or mass-movement assumes that
those who deny that belief system or movement
are unknowing and therefore somehow dangerous.

::Some things are almost too obvious to mention
::or even think about. Peace and prosperity and
::wealth almost fade into the background if you
::don't take a moment to consider what we should
::be thankful for.  And that peace, prosperity and
::wealth is the product of billions of individual
::human decisions, most of which have been made by
::people with little or no religious faith - and
::certainly not that extreme absolutism of the
::evangelical.

:Your measuring a very small part of history to
:suggest that these things are a bi-product of
:thinking, & doing that goes contrary to
:absolutes.

Um, which absolutes were you thinking of?  The
bogeymen invented by today's evangelicals, or
something else?

:Anyway, are not honesty, kindness, hard work,
:justice just a few of the absolutes that created
:an atmosphere for these things (peace,
:prosperity, wealth) to blossom? Are they not
:ethics promoted as absolutes by Christians?

Actually, no.  Not only Christians promote those
things, and Christians (if I understand you to
be making some kind of generalization across a
mass movement of a lot of different groups
generally called "Christian") across time
promote different things at different times,
because they _do_ change.  What Christians spend
their time promoting today, based upon that
subset of Christians doing actual promoting of
something to the population at large, runs
something like this:

1) Maintain a frenzy of activity, much of it
pointless or calculated to engender frustration.
(That includes what passes for "prayer" among
many, which is often focused on action at a
distance, that is, getting other people to do
something they're unlikely to do.  "Prayer
warrioring" is nothing more than an unhealthy
frustration generator, preparing people to go to
further extremes to get their way when outsiders
don't go along.)

2) Beat the bushes for converts.

3) Repeat (2).

4) Do anything to coerce individuals to convert
at the margins of society, or among those who
are easy targets, who can't walk away, or can
easily be considered "broken."  This is why you
get full-page ads for so-called "ex-gay
ministries," petitions to reinstate so-called
"school prayer" (unrestrained evangelism in
schools is what they meant to say,) large-scale
prison ministries, and much more.

There is nothing about ethical behavior in any
of this, nor any understanding that people must
be free to walk away from their evangelism. (If
anything the complete reverse is true - the
intent is that you don't get to walk away from
them in many contexts.)  These are what I call
"post-growth strategies" in that they are all
counter-productive in the long term.  Combine
that with the fact that evangelism seldom works,
and the picture is that evangelical Christianity
is eventually (over a very, very long term)
doomed.  It's just a question of how much
violence we must endure from people who can
never accept failure as succeeding generations
attempt to stem the decline.

And for proof, turn on TBN or browse most any
Christian bookstore.

:Take just a few of these Christian absolutes
:out of your society & see how long your peace,
:prosperity, & wealth last? Trace the current &
:past histories of nations who neglected such
:absolutes.  What did it spell for them? Chaos!
:President Kim blames the downfall of Korea on a
:lack of honesty.

The absolutes you describe are by no means
Christian, though perhaps those who suffer from
certain forms of cultural myopia will
appropriate them for their own purposes.

Having seen for myself that Korea is one of the
more Christianized lands of east Asia, I suppose
that you might have a counter-example on your
hands there.

::What we know is that as a result of what
::people do on their own, without the aid of your
::particular faith, we have what must be called a
::"right" outcome.

:Again, your utilizing something unique to North
:America & isolating a puny portion of history to
:prove your point. You have a good idea of where
:your peace & prosperity will go if justice is
:neglected, racism rises, & truthfulness fly out
:the door.

I'm still waiting to see some kind of
counter-example to support what you describe.
Christians hold no monopoly on "justice,"
"truthfulness" or anti-racism.  As for the last,
the way evangelical Christians behave today
belies something that I call "holy race-ism" -
that they are pure and eligible to implement
"Godly government" and that everyone else is to
be pushed to the margins, second-class
citizenship, or purged.  This has all the
elements of racism, only that the privleged
class is not based on a biological race or
ethnic lineage but on a "holy race" united by
cultural identity, ritual, symbols and
association.


Home · About Us · Features · Archive · Links · Contact
 
© 1997-2006 by the authors.