Fundies: Stop Pretending to Speak for Us Mainline Christians

father-schizo-mother-christian-crazy

I just want you—the American people—to know something very important that you may be missing in the daily news. Hold onto your hats because I am going to be doing some high-pitch shouting on down the page. I am not normally a shouter in my writing, but the shouting below is done to emphasize in unforgettable terms what I have to say in regard to the title (above) of this main blog post.

Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals like Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and hundreds of other fundie leaders of that ilk DO NOT SPEAK FOR us Mainline Christians.  Who are Mainline Christians?  We are the many millions of people who are members of the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Church, Disciples of Christ Church, United Church of Christ, Congregationalist Church, American Baptist Church, Northern Baptist Church, Quaker Church, Roman Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Unitarian Universalist Church, and many thousands of other nonfundamentalist and nonconservative Christian denominations and churches here in the United States and around the world.

Why am I concerned about this? In recent weeks, more than just one famous Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical leader (or sympathizer) has stood up on the American stage in the midst of some high-profile scandal, like Joy Behar’s on-air criticism of Vice-President Mike Pence’s religious leanings, and pretended to speak to the issue on behalf of ALL AMERICAN CHRISTIANS.

People like Franklin Graham DO NOT speak for us Mainline Christians.  They ARE NOT our religious leaders. They DO NOT occupy high positions in any of our Mainline Christian churches. More often than not, Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are more than happy to state on any American stage that we Mainline Christians are not even Christians at all—AND CLAIM THAT ALL OF US ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL RIGHT AFTER WE DIE BECAUSE OUR BELIEFS ARE NOT EXACTLY LIKE THEIR BELIEFS.

American citizens—this is what I want you to know—so read it slowly and carefully:

PLEASE GET THIS MESSAGE DEEP INTO YOUR SKULLS AMERICAN CITIZENS—ALL 326 MILLION OF YOU—AND LET IT REST THERE FOREVER. AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS AND CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICALS DESPISE MAINLINE CHRISTIANS JUST AS MUCH AS THEY DESPISE THAT BEER YOU ENJOY WITH YOUR HOTDOG AT YOUR FAVORITE BASEBALL GAME. THEY DESPISE US MAINLINE CHRISTIANS JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DISLIKE THEM WHEN ONE OF THEIR HOT-HEADED STREET PREACHERS HARASSES YOU ON A PUBLIC SIDEWALK. THEY REGULARLY REMIND US MAINLINE CHRISTIANS THAT WE ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THEIR TRIBE. THEY MAKE FUN OF US, CALL US VILE NAMES, AND TELL US WE ARE NOT REAL CHRISTIANS. THAT BEING THE CASE, FUNDIE LEADERS, PREACHERS, AND CHURCH MEMBERS DO NOT SPEAK FOR US MAINLINE CHRISTIANS ON THE AMERICAN STAGE—JUST LIKE THEY DO NOT SPEAK FOR MANY OF YOU ON THE AMERICAN STAGE. AMERICAN CITIZENS—DEEP IN YOUR HEADS—PLEASE QUIT LUMPING US MAINLINE CHRISTIANS TOGETHER WITH THE CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS AND CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICALS. WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS THEM. YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT—UNDERSTAND IT—AND ALWAYS REMEMBER IT.  THEY DO NOT SPEAK FOR US MAINLINE CHRISTIANS.

Why is this important for me to say today?  Well, let me put it like this—and I hope you will take this seriously.  One of these days, some hot-headed, out-of-control leader in the Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical movement is going to say something or do something bizarrely dangerous and provocative. As a direct result of it, outraged American citizens, like those mob people with pitchforks and torches at the end of the 1930s Frankenstein movie, are going to have one word on their mind in the midst of their outrage. That word will be Christian. Like most people who are overheated with anger, the members of this citizen mob are not going to be thinking straight. If doing mob violence to Christians is on their mind, they are not going to be sorting out IFB Baptist nutjobs from United Methodists. Anyone to whom they can easily attach the word Christian will be a target to be dragged out of their home, beaten to death, and strung up on a tree. That is what angry citizen mobs do.

I just want the American people—all 326 million of you—to know that Franklin Graham and the other Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical leaders DO NOT (officially or unofficially) represent us Mainline Christians. They DO NOT speak for us on the American stage.  I do not ever want the members of my Mainline Christian family or your Mainline Christian family to be dragged from their homes, beaten up, killed, and strung up on a tree by a rioting mob that has just been provoked by the insanity of some fundie leader who pretends to speak “…on behalf of ALL Christians.”

No one wants to die—not really. However, I and the members of my family would die for Jesus alone—simply because we love him so much—were it necessary. Neither I nor the members of my family are willing to die at the hands of a violent mob ticked off by some insane fundie leader who has spoken provocative evil on behalf of ALL Christians—when that fundie leader does not represent us Mainline Christians and does not have any authorization whatsoever to speak on our behalf.

In summary, American citizens—all 326 million of you. Please. Never forget it!!! Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical leaders, preachers, and church members DO NOT speak for us Mainline Christians. They DO NOT represent us Mainline Christians or our Mainline Christian churches in any official or unofficial capacity. They have no authorization—official or unofficial—to speak publicly or privately on our behalf. Fundies do not consider us Mainline Christians to be members of their tribe. They regularly tell us so, throw derogatory shade at us, and even call us names. They love telling us we are not authentic Christians—and because of that—we are going to Hell forever when we die.

Why do fundies pretend to speak on behalf of us Mainline Christians and all other Christians? They do it to fool you—the American people—into believing that their little fundie tribe is much larger and more powerful than it really is. DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY THEIR GUILE.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized

Typical Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail

Whose Head Would the Jesus of the New Testament Bloody?

Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are famous for sending out hate mail to assorted people they dislike. One can perhaps imagine what such hate mail looks like from perusing the many vitriolic and venom-filled fundie comments seen on Facebook and in the comment sections at the ends of numerous on-line blogs and newspaper articles. However, I suspect many Americans have never read examples of the private hate mail fundies send to people in letter form via the U.S. Postal Service or personally in e-mail messages. You are about to be given an opportunity to read some of this hate mail. After you have read it, I suspect you will have a real feel for why so many of these fundies are stricken with love for El Presidente Donaldo Trump.

Michael Weinstein, the Jewish man who is founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), receives a large amount of hate mail from fundies. If you have never heard of the MRFF, it is a private sector organization dedicated:

…to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Why is the MRFF  needed? Well, you would understand it fully if you were a Roman Catholic or Jewish soldier—and your commanding officer was constantly threatening and bullying you into converting to Christian fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism. Even though such coercion violates U.S. Department of Defense policy and regulations, quite a lot of this coercive behavior goes on behind the scenes in the American military. The MRFF was established to aid and protect servicemen and servicewomen from fundie commissioned officers and noncomissioned officers who view the rigid command structure of the American military as a defacto system of slavery. This rigid system is often used to coerce members of the military into converting to and practicing Christian fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism. There are many ways of doing such coercion. For example, a U.S. Army Sergeant who is an IFB Baptist might say something along the lines of:

Private Weiss!!!  Get you butt over here—on the double!!!  I hear you are a Lutheran.  I don’t like apostate Christians like you in my outfit. There is a big tent revival in town tonight, and you are going to it.  I’ll be there.  If I do not see you under the tent tonight, you’ll be doing nothing but washing out dirty garbage cans all next week.

Apparently, from the perspective of the military officers who engage in such abuse, this coercion is necessary to create an all-fundie American military that will be certain to have God on its side when some foreign enemy rushes over the hill to attack our troops. If God looks down from Heaven and sees an all-fundie military, then an American victory is assured. On the other hand, if God looks down on American troops and sees a bunch of United Methodists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and “nones,” then God will give victory to America’s enemies. American fundies hate the MRFF because it stands in the way of their wet dream—an all-fundie American military composed entirely of “true” Christian soldiers.

Michael Weinstein is a married man, and one day his wife began reading the hate mail her husband was receiving from assorted Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. She was absolutely appalled by the contents of these letters and e-mail messages. Taking the matter to heart, she compiled and published much of this hate mail in a book. The long title of this book is To the Far Right Christian Hater, You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, but You Can’t Be Both. You may buy this book and its coming sequel from Amazon.

Valerie Tarico, a clinical psychologist and former conservative evangelical, read this book and was equally appalled that so many self-professed fundie Christians were sending out hate-filled messages to the MRFF. As a result of her reading, she was inspired to write an on-line article containing numerous excerpted examples of the hate mail published in Ms. Weinstein’s book. You may read this article and the fundie hate mail it contains by clicking on the safe blue link below. However, before reading it, please be advised that some of the language in this hate mail is coarse and worthy of a drunken sailor. Here is the safe link:

Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail

I wish it could be honestly said that such fundie hate mail is confined (regrettably) to the mail boxes of the MRFF. However, that is not the case. Over the past 25 years, I have seen numerous examples of such fundie hate mail in all sorts of places in the American media. Many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals in the United States are clearly white hot with anger at Mainline Christians and other nonfundie American citizens. Various members of their pathetic little tribe just love scorching the people they hate with such messages.  Of course, they call this hatred of theirs love—and wrongly try to pin the wrap for their outlandish behavior on Jesus of Nazareth—when in reality—it is just the fundies alone and their personal evil at work in this world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Chief Proponent of the Christian Nation Myth

Monopoly

Perhaps I am wrong, but it is my strong suspicion that many Americans who live outside of the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical bubble have never heard of a man named David Barton. Please allow me to introduce you to Mr. Barton and his work—so you will  be a well-informed American citizen.

David Barton is a citizen of Texas, a staunch right wing Republican, and a man without any college degrees in the disciplines of American history, world history, or American law.  Arguably, he is the chief proponent of the Christian Nation Myth or Christian Nation Lie (whichever you prefer). This myth is the very odd, historically inaccurate claim that the United States of America was originally and intentionally founded as a Christian nation. This false claim shows up in lots of modern fundie religious literature.

Here are a couple of must read items that will further introduce you to David Barton and his…uh…pseudo…uh…histor…uh…just take a look here:

Biography of David Barton

Understanding the Fake Historian Behind America’s Religious Right

For many years, I have studied and worked with various aspects of American history in my own career, and based on my own personal experience with it, the Christian nation concept is clearly a myth. (I actually prefer the term bold-faced lie.)  Most professors of history at major American universities and many other reputable American scholars would wholeheartedly agree with me on that conclusion. However, Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are totally enthralled and rapturously in love with Mr. Barton, his Christian nation presentations at churches, and his many writings about the United States being founded as a Christian nation. In fundie eyes, Barton is a man who can do no wrong.  He is the man who feeds one of their deepest and most aching inner desires. Now, what is that?

You have no doubt heard the very loud and worn-out exhortation of fundie Christians to TAKE AMERICA BACK!!!” Well, if you are going to take something back, it is absolutely necessary for you to have owned it as your exclusive property at sometime in the American past. However, if you are going to make such a wild claim, you had better have a set of coherent historical facts—or at least a crock of historical-sounding bullshit (BS)—to prove that past claim of exclusive ownership.

Texas is well known for its cattle ranching, and it has BS by the billions of tons. Mr. Barton’s pseudo-historical writings from down Texas way provide a steady stream of historical BS to Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals all over our nation. They eat it up like candy because it falsely underpins their delusional claim to an original Christian nation that they believe our American founding fathers established just for them. In turn, this false history gives the fundies an imaginary claim basis to take back the United States to be their exclusive property. Once in hand, they will operate the United States and its government according to fundie religious ideology. If they can make that happen one day, then all 326,000,000 American citizens (you and me) will be under their hard-pressing thumbs and subject to their fundie dictates in every aspect of their lives (a.k.a. a living American nightmare).

Real American historians and nonfundie Christian scholars have had a field day debunking the historical contents of Mr. Barton’s writings. The first, most famous, and most influential of these debunking efforts was a book written by a very nice woman named Chris Rodda. It is still in print if you would like to order a copy through Amazon. The highly appropriate and totally ironic title of this book is—————-pinch your cheeks to keep from laughing out loud:

Liars for Jesus

Ms. Rodda has written a second debunking book that is also entitled Liars for Jesus (Volume II), if you would like to obtain that one as well.

Let us take a close look at one of David Barton’s most famous American history lies and watch Chris Rodda debunk it with real American history. Please click on the white triangle to play the following safe video clip:

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Our Current Understanding of the Apostle Paul’s Writings May Be Wrong

Apostle Paul Teaching

David Bentley Hart has developed his own translation of the New Testament at the request of Yale University Press. In doing so, he came to the conclusion that past translations of the New Testament got the message of the Apostle Paul largely wrong.

Who is David Bentley Hart?  You may read some biographical information about him at the following safe link:

Biography of David Bentley Hart

Dr. Hart synopsizes his conclusions about the Pauline books of the New Testament in the following short article published by Aeon and picked up by the on-line magazine The Week. You may read it by clicking on the following safe link:

Everything You Know about the Gospel of Paul Is Likely Wrong

I sure would like to read his new interpretation of the New Testament.  It is unclear to me if the Yale University Press has plans to publish it. Given the nature of the task and the sheer time and expense necessary to complete it, I would think that its publication would be a necessity.

Photograph Credit: LDS Media

Posted in Uncategorized

Will Your Health Be at Risk?

Trump Hand

TODAY — The Trump administration, in a dangerous move, created a new office to enforce religious refusals, which could target women and LGBT people for discrimination. Read our full breakdown here.

The newly formed Conscience and Religious Freedom Division — a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights — will be tasked with shielding health workers who cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse to provide treatment, and to punish employers who don’t allow their workers to do so.

READ MORE

Just use your imagination, and you’ll probably be able to come up with any number of scenarios in which just about anyone could be denied treatment for just about any reason:

• A doctor could refuse to provide critical care to an LGBT person simply because of who they are.

• Victims of sexual assault could find it hard or even impossible, depending on where they live, to find a pharmacist willing to dispense emergency contraception (or any birth control at all).

• Health care workers could conceivably use this rule to refuse to treat individuals who belong to a religion other than their own.

Religion can be a positive force for uniting our communities behind the values of fairness, responsibility, and consideration for all people. But religious freedom has never meant the right to use religion to discriminate or to disregard laws that everyone else must obey.

Today’s announcement radically redefines religious freedom and turns faith into a weapon to divide our communities. Will you take the first step and share this news with your friends?

START A CONVERSATION

In Solidarity,
Sonja R. Miller
Outreach and Faith Coordinator, TFN

TFN advances a mainstream agenda that promotes religious freedom, individual liberties, and quality public education.

Texas Freedom Network
P.O. Box 1624 | Austin, Texas 78767
Phone: 512.322.0545
tfn@tfn.org
Posted in Uncategorized

Feeling Sad and Down Today

Hatred Not a Family Value

Hi folks.  I just did some surfing around the worldwide web, and it made me feel really sad and down. From all the different things I read in a wide range of places, several matters became clear to me.  They are as follows:

(1)  The year 2018 and several consecutive years to come will be years when American white racism against dark-skinned peoples and American white hatred against ethnic minorities will become more common, widespread, lifted up, and normalized. If you are an African-American, a Hispanic American, an American Indian, an Asian person, or part of an ethnic minority group, life is going to be harder than in past years. Emboldened white people will be slinging hateful epithets at you in public or in the media with huge smiles on their faces. Discrimination will become less subtle and increasingly more overt—in spite of the laws against it. Donald Trump, the Alt-Right, and the Republican Party have succeeded in liberating white racist bigots all over the nation—-and they are in the mood to celebrate. They will do so by behaving badly just to demonstrate their newly found freedom.

(2)  American Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are so angry at LGBTQ people and same-sex marriage that they have effectively declared open warfare against such persons in government and commerce. The increasingly conservative federal courts are going to punt the football rather than run with it to help you and protect you. Efforts to institutionalize discrimination and hatred against you in the religious realm, government realm, legal realm, and economic realm are going to get worse with each passing year and for several years to come. If you think your lives have been miserable in the past—then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  The worst—the far worst—is yet to come. The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost…well…they took the last train to the coast—the day all love and mercy in Christian hearts….died.

(3)  American girls and women—you are next on their target list in 2018 and beyond. Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and the Religious Right are convinced that the birth-control pill set off the so-called “Sexual Revolution of the 1960s.” They believe this sexual revolution gave rise to modern feminism, women’s rights, women in the workplace, female hatred of American motherhood, and abortion. The female genie was let out of her bottle—and when that occurred—the disintegration of the perfect American family and “perfect” American society of the 1950s began. The fundies and their political allies firmly believe that a concerted national effort to roll back female contraception, abortion rights, and support for women’s health will once again return all you American girls and women to perpetual pregnancy.  This will render you unable to work, and thus, unable to use your God-given aptitudes and talents at the highest levels of American culture. It will chain you to your kitchen stove, immerse you in house cleaning, and render you fully submitted to enslavement under the dictatorial rule of your husbands. When that Holy and glorious day comes, the fundies believe the following things (said tongue in cheek) will happen:

(A)   All the dark clouds over our nation will lift away.

(B)   The American family will be saved.

(C)   American society will cease to disintegrate.

(D)  The 1955 black and white Pontiac sedan will be resurrected.

(E)  Happy Days will return to American neighborhoods and soda shops.

(F)  All will be right with the American world.

That’s right American girls and women. Your enemies in the Trump administration and thousands of fundie churches believe a new Golden Age of American Conservatism (a.k.a. reign of the right wing extremist nutjob) has dawned upon the land. In earnest, they will begin waging this war against American girls and women in 2018. Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, Republican extremists, and other American conservatives want to put all of you back in your proper place in American society. After they have ignited their militancy against those American citizens they regularly call “niggers, wetbacks, chinks, redskins, faggots, dykes, and trannies,” their next target in 2018 will be you. The battlefields of this war against you will be the U.S. Congress, federal courts, newly created federal offices, state legislatures, your workplaces, the conservative news media, medical facilities, and even your local pharmacy.

I regretted having to write this main post. The matters discussed above appeared to be clearly incubating during my worldwide web surf this evening. Unfortunately, I have allowed all of this to make me feel sad and depressed. Prior to November 8, 2016, I was sure that most of the American people had moved beyond their pet prejudices and pettiness. As a Mainline Christian, I had especially hoped that most of it had been purged from so-called “Christian” hearts in American churches. Clearly, it has not been. It was only hibernating for years in the warm, deep darkness of its smelly animal burrow—waiting for liberation by an orange-pated messiah.

Posted in Uncategorized

Another Horror in Fundieland

Abuse

Fundie Child Abuse Is Not Part of God’s Promises

Please dear readers.  Take a good, long look at the following horrifying story from ABC News:

Another Horror in Fundieland

You may read more about this at the following safe links:

Read More

Read Even More

 

Posted in Uncategorized