IMPORTANT NOTE: The Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog does not advocate or support physical violence in any form against Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical individuals, groups, churches, or power centers. Just as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Old Testament prophets did, we understand that the fountain pen and the raised human voice really are mightier than any metal sword in bringing about religious reformation and change in American society. Jesus did most of his 1st century work in this world in peace with words and positive deeds alone (Matthew 23). We are dedicated to doing the same in peace, and it is our sincere hope that all others will do the same.
Our country needs more people who take the words and deeds of Jesus seriously—people who choose to be outward and very vocal followers of Jesus Christ who say and do according to his words in their own lives and the lives of others. I believe Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have hijacked the Christian faith in the United States over the past 100 years. It happened simply because the authentic Jesus followers and Jesus doers in the mainline Christian churches chose long ago to be passive and silent in the face of fundie wickedness and excesses. The historical attitude and perspective of Christians in the mainline churches of my own geographic area can be summed up as follows:
1) The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are mostly ignorant and poorly educated people who believe a lot of silly and wrong things about the Christian faith. The best thing to do is just keep quiet and ignore them in the blessed assurance that most other Christians and nonChristians will somehow see through them too and just steer clear of them. Ignore them and they will go away.
2) Our various Christian denominations in the United States have made an unwritten peace treaty with each other in the interests of brotherly and sisterly love in Jesus Christ. Therefore, to maintain the current peace, we must be quiet, hold our tongues, and be extra careful not to openly criticize what the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe and do. (Never mind that the fundie side of the fence never embraced that unwritten peace treaty and has always conducted open, militant warfare against other Christian denominations and churches for the past 100 years.)
It is all a very sad situation today—but it is a situation that can be changed. Indeed, it is already changing. An awakening and a new reformation is already underway. The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who once thought they owned the United States of America and all of its people as their exclusive personal property to use, abuse, control, and shove around as they please are already frightened and on the run. With but few exceptions, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against their various attempts to gain political power and use that power to dictate their terms to the American people in the same way that the Iranian Mullahs do to their people. Indeed, they are failing on many other fronts as well. Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical youth are abandoning their churches in droves. This usually occurs soon after graduation from high school or college.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals dizzy and reeling from shock. (God forbid that an arm of the U.S. government would fail to officially recognize fundie churches as God’s sole representatives on Earth.) Their now desperate attempts to find creative ways to viciously strike back at LGBTQ people by institutionalizing discrimination, bullying, infliction of pain, and the adoption of measures that are known to drive confused children to suicide is showing the whole world just how much hatred is really in their minds and hearts. They are showing all people their true colors with their deeds, just as Jesus said that people of their ilk would do. Love the sinner and hate the sin has become a hollow statement of thought. Hate the sinner and hate his sin even more have become the actionable rule of the day for many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals as a matter of day-to-day practice.
The Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical movements in the United States need to be defanged and declawed. This needs to be done so they cannot continue to pervert and subvert the authentic Christian faith. This needs to be done to prevent them from inflicting any more pain, hurt, agony, and suicide on the lives of ordinary people who are facing very difficult and confusing challenges in their lives―and desperately need to experience a sense of being loved in a world where many who claim the Christian faith can provide nothing but 100 percent condemnation and zero percent authentic love. The old Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical copout that “sharing Christ alone is love—and I have no Biblical love responsibilities beyond that alone” never cut the mustard before, it does not pass muster now, and it never will pass muster.
Today Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism in the United States are at their weakest points in a very long time—and they are getting weaker by the day. Now is the time to make it clear to them that their 100 years of wickedness, spiritual arrogance, social excesses, pain infliction, and politicization of the church on the American stage; their willful ignorance of God’s love; their condemnation of everyone else’s sins while brazenly ignoring their own sins; and the debasement of those Jesus called “the least of these” are headed downhill toward their end. They have to understand that they have slammed into a steel wall. No one is going to allow them to continue with fundie business as usual without a voice of powerful public opposition and church opposition screaming truth right back into their faces and ears.
All nonfundamentalist Christians, nonconservative Christians, and nonChristian American citizens have to do right now is turn up the heat on the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals until it is white hot, pour on the public pressure, and regularly do the following:
1) Cease from being silent. Cease!!! Jesus spoke up all of the time. You should too!!!
2) Quit being a self-volunteered doormat for Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals to walk on. Intervene peacefully to prevent them from walking on “the least of these” in this world―particularly poor people, lonely people, hurting people, hungry people, sick people, imprisoned people, oppressed people, etc. The Bible demands that you speak up on behalf of these people and against their oppressors.
3) Criticize and expose the many falsehoods, faults, and failures of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism—and do it before the eyes and ears of the whole world. Be an Old Testament prophet and speak the truth to the fundies and their power centers. As old Baptist Harry S. Truman said, “I just speak the truth to people and to them it sounds like Hell.”
4) Use the words of the Bible against the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals (an incredibly soft spot where they are extremely vulnerable).
5) Demonstrate to the public that the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are often more interested in saving the elements of a man-created American culture (often rural, racist, Scots-Irish southern culture, etc.) than they are in following the sayings and doings of Jesus. In other words, they unconsciously conflate their secular cultural affectations with their religious beliefs. This is another place where they are incredibly vulnerable.
6) Use the facts of science and the never-ending Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical rejection of known facts in a wide variety of academic disciplines to make them look just as ignorant, backwards, and silly in the public eye as they really are. All truth, including academic facts and numbers, are God’s truth. The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals need to be shown that there is no escape from God’s revealed factual truth―no matter how hard they try to run away from it and its implications.
7) Organize and be very, very, very loud in their faces and ears, and do it before the eyes of the whole world. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, though small in number compared to other Christian groups combined, have had so much success with their American agenda since 1970 simply because they were the loudest voice in the room. Shout them down and deny them that loudest voice in the room.
8) Be aware that the Christian fundamentalist opposition is an upstart, homegrown perversion and subversion of the original, authentic Christian faith, a perversion and subversion that was born in the Great Lakes Region of the United States only about 100 years ago, was marketed mostly to poorly educated rural pastors in the early 20th century, and has become far more perverse, subverse, and politicized since the 1970s—not to mention having their churches regularly bedded down like cheap whores by crooked Republican politicians who have no real interest in the words and deeds of Jesus.
9) Do not waste time spinning your wheels in a hopeless, foolish, and vain effort to change the blinded minds and cold hearts of heavily committed Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. It is like talking to a tree stump, and you will get nowhere. That is not our purpose. Our goal is instead to prevent nonchristians and nonfundies from becoming Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—and encourage these new people to become instead real and authentic followers of and doers for Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and our fellow men and women all over the world—and help these people to find decent churches where they can settle down, be surrounded by love, and worship and serve God in spirit and in truth.
10) Pray hard, love people as much as you can find it within you, never give up, never give in, and never cease. Use your pen, typing fingers, and voice. Be a part of the New Christian Reformation and put Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism on the run until they lose their public voice, diminish in influence, and retreat into obscurity—and then keep them there. Hammer!!! Hammer!!! Hammer!!!