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Sunday, April 24, 2005

No Tolerance for Intolerant Paranoid Christians


“Justice Sunday” is only the latest attempt of anti-Biblical Paranoid Christianity to portray itself as a victim instead of the victimizer. As the linked article states, when they start saying that liberal judges are a greater threat to Christians than Al Qaeda, they are stretching so far they should be a laughingstock. Instead, Republican leaders like Bill Frist have chosen to grant them political legitimacy by pandering for their support. Woodshavings gives a nice breakdown of this event (in case you have missed my own writings on it).

Of course, Christians are not being persecuted in this country at all. Do not, however, underestimate the extent to which they will reach to claim victimhood . Simply promoting diversity is an attack on Christian values? I must have missed that in the Bible. Perhaps it is in the apocryphal book of Retribution or something.

Paranoid Christianity always portrays itself as being unpopular and persecuted. They find succor in the words of Mathew 5: 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” I’ve commented several times that this leads to a masochistic philosophy where inciting violence against yourself is seen as pursuing the kingdom of God. If they were of any other faith; they’d be vilified in a heartbeat.

This is brought out in a rather scary fashion by comparing this story of two Muslim girls held in prison without charges because they wrote about suicide bombing (thanks to Old Town Revue for the heads-up) with the comments made by Tom DeLay (thanks to Majikthise for the link)and John Cornyn (thanks to Think Progress for this link) concerning violence against Federal Judges. Muslim girls get locked up for talking about bombs, but both DeLay and Cornyn shrug it off as understandable and don’t even get rebuffed by their own party leader.

No More Apples brings up the point that this grab at theological-political power is both anti-American and anti-Christian. From a prophetic point of view (I’ll admit that Revalations is my weak-point in theology – if the world is ending, I don’t want to know until I’m dead), it appears that the Paranoid Christian movement may actually be doing the work of the anti-Christ. I wonder how they’ll work this into NBC’s television version of the end times . Jesus Politics actually traces this back to the George Wallace campaign – which puts a different spin on the Dixiecrats and Trent Lott’s comment concerning Strom Thurmond’s bid for the presidency .

Deceptionconhell shows how the media goes along with this false victimization. As anyone who has been around a spoiled child can attest, such attention only encourages further misbehavior. However, when the behavior is dangerous – such as a child running into the street or the Paranoid Christians taking over American politics – you have to respond. I expect FOX News to be biased towards this group of core viewers, but CNN has nothing to fear from calling them fear-mongers and, to borrow a term from the < a href= http://ravingatheist.com/ > Raving Atheist , godidiots. That would, I believe, be a more “fair and balanced” description – so you’ll never hear it on FOX.

It is important, I think, to keep in mind that the Paranoid Christians are not just wanting to take out Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists – there is also a significant anti-Catholic bent to their teachings. I remember several times hearing someone in the pulpit talk about how the Catholic church wasn’t really Christian at all. Steve Hart (no relation) at The Opinion Mill reminds us that this prejudice used to be a real threat to survival in this country. Perhaps this is the “good old times” to which so many Paranoid Christian leaders seem to want to turn the clock back.

It’s also the basis of many discussions I’ve had on UnitedStates.com bulletin board on a number of topics. The ones that most immediately come to mind are those concerning the ACLU and Boy Scouts . It also bleeds into half a dozen topics from abortion rights to sex education to school prayer and “in God we trust” on our money.

Christians have been favored by government for so long that they no longer understand what it means to be equal with other religions. For my part, it does not weaken my faith at all if my neighbor worships another God or if they pray at all. It does affect me, however, when someone works in the name of my beliefs and my government to attack my neighbor because of his private beliefs. It’s just incredibly offensive that they do this while proclaiming that they are being persecuted.

I’m not sure what the answer is. At some point, intolerance has to be confronted. Exactly how to do this while maintaining a consistent stance towards tolerance is a bit prickly. Tolerance, it seems, simply cannot be tolerant of intolerance.

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