The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Monday, July 30, 2007

My Best Rant Ever!

A myspace friend posted this in response to my objection to John Hagee and his Political/Religious Organization.

"I am surprised that you, being raised in west Michigan, think that way. West Michigan is knows for being on the conservitive side. I admire Hagee for standing up to what he believes is and for standing strong in his faith. God tells us that there is only one true God (which I am sure most religions argue that theirs say the same thing) but it all depends on where your faith lies. War will happen whether people think the Christians started it or the Muslims. I personally believe that the world is coming to its end and I do read the prophecys from Hagee to La Haye to the Van Impe's. But there is not point arguing with an unbeliever about will stick to your side and I will stick to my side. But say there isn't a God, I don't think I wasted too much time going to church, raising my family in a christian home, and having a personal relationship with Christ. Then I will decay like all dead things. But say there is a God....that would make judgement day interesting, now wouldn't it."

Here is my response.

I am thankful that my conscience, my values, and my faith survived 19 long years in West Michigan. Years that make up most of my childhood and two thirds of my life so far. I was bombarded with one single point of view from my peers and authority figures other than my parents. Many Grandville educators tried to mold my developing mind with their neoconservative/calvanistic ideas and whitewashed versions of history. As I grew older and more aware of the world onside of West Michigan reality, reason, history, science and truth began to contradict the one-dimensional view of society and morality that was given to me.
It was not easy growing up in Grandville as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. The majority of Christians in my home town had little knowledge of their own faith's history let alone an understanding of mine. Despite being a two thousand year old Christian institution my church was seen and described as a cult by most Grandville Christians. I was told in so many ways that my family, my church, and I were all destined to hell. I was also going to hell for my understanding of evolution, American history, human rights, for voicing my beliefs that homosexuals have the same rights under our constitution as everyone else. I was most certainly going to hell for not hating the Clintons and being a "liberal". My father was in danger of hellfire for being an anthropologist. As stupid as these West Michigan sermons were they made me feel very insecure until I started to understand how and why people take a literal view of a Bible they have so little understanding of, let alone even read.
In Kentucky I was certainly going to burn for not supporting Bush and a war based on lies, and/or not being Southern Baptist. I love Kentucky because it was there that I learned so much more about the history and concepts of American Fundamentalism. Most people I met there where rational, loving Christians. In Kentucky most assumed just assumed I had the same faith. Unlike the many West Michigan Christians who are first to assume one is "not saved" unless you attend their church. Both of these are generalizations and all my friends from both areas would not fall into these categories.
The Christian conservatives in West Michigan have nothing on the ones in Kentucky. I assure you that in the eyes of a Primitive Baptist, Landmark Baptist, or Holiness church member the evangelicals and non-denominational of GR are not 'saved' but 'luke warm' and will, as quoted in scripture 'be vomited out of Gods mouth' and into the fires of hell. It is strangely amusing that one fundamentalist burns in another fundamentalist's eternity.
I never stated that I did not believe in God or that Jesus is his son. I resent being called an 'unbeliever'. I also listen to the same people you mentioned and many more (From Dobson to Rushdooney, to John Nelson Darby), but I also listen to the people and ideas on the other-side. That other-side that is so often demonized or labeled as Secular Humanists, socialists, liberals, un-American or bad american. None of these terms are ever used correctly or fairly, but they serve a purpose, keeping the "true believers" from hearing anything other than a black and white/good vs. evil theology. It is keeping us polarized and ignorant.
Over the past ten years it has become shockingly clear to me that this unholy marriage of fundamentalist Christian ideology with the neoconservative political force is eroding the middle class, fueling a religious war, and dismantling our constitutional rights, and pitting us against each other. The ideals and rhetoric from Hagee, Lehaye, Dobson, Coral Ridge, 700 Club, Way of the Master, Hal Lidsay, Van Impe ect. is hateful, manipulating and maladaptive, and unequivocally wrong. It has the potential to lead us to nuclear war or a theocracy, or both. It will not lead to this rapture or Armageddon the religious right speaks so fondly of and pray for. These modern interpretations (left behind, Van Impe ect.)of Revelation and other scripture are relatively new and quite localized. They originated from Dwight L. Moody and the Great Awaking.
I never suggested Christians are wasting their time in church or raising Christian children. God Bless you for doing what you believe in.
I will say, with confidence, that those who subscribe to any eschatology and zionism are jeopardizing a future for their children and grandchildren and unfortunately mine and everyone else's. I will stand up for what I believe in. And I won't have to scream and pound my chest like John Hagee and others like him. I will not have to use deception and pseudo-science to stand for my beliefs. I will not have too slander the disenfranchised to push an agenda. I will not have to sacrifice my children's future in order to promote an ideology. I refuse to trade knowledge and thought for fear and ignorance. I refuse to glorify poverty and illiteracy. I will not confuse arrogance and hatred for righteousness or Godliness. I refuse to put God in a box. I refuse to speak for God, but I will continue to listen and to read. This is what I will stand for.


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