Christian Fundamentalists, Conservative Evangelicals, and Modern Science

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

If you have not done so already, please read the article at the safe link shown below. It was written by Preacher Paul Prather and published in the Lexington Herald-Leader, which is the main daily newspaper in Lexington, Kentucky. Prather preaches at a Pentecostal church in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Here is the safe link to his article:

Evangelical Christians Should Balance Their Faith in God with a Faith in Science

After reading that article, I felt incredibly angry. Why? I am not really sure. It just pushed one of my buttons. I have spent nearly three years of my life trying desperately to keep the members of my family and the folks who read here safe from the COVID-19 virus and its variants. In fact, I have pretty much exhausted myself doing it. As most of you know, I am a Mainline Christian and a retired professional scientist who works hard against fundie ignorance.

While Jesus was  hanging on the cross, he made a remark to God the Father about those who were jeering at him and killing him. He said:

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)

Christian Fundamentalists (including many of the Pentecostal ones), Conservative Evangelicals, Trump followers, and other people who are drowning in ignorance have become the witting and unwitting allies of the COVID-19 virus in its murderous rampage across our nation and the rest of the Earth. I wonder what the living Jesus Christ of today thinks about the great masses of American fundies who are clear and unequivocal accomplices in the viral murder of so many people (headed toward 800,000 in the United States alone—-including children). Does Jesus forgive them for they know not what they do—–“because theyzuns iz jist simple, low-church, country people”?  (You know the old fundie motto: “A simple gospel for a simple people.”)

Personally, in my angry mood right now, I would like to squeeze every simple American fundie into a gigantic classroom with bank vault doors that lock behind them. Then I would pull out four textbooks—–one on chemistry, one on microbiology, one on public health, and one on biological evolution. I would hold them up high and speak this to the captive fundies:

Each one of you is going to go through four courses of study involving these four books—-right here in this gigantic building. No one will be allowed to leave until they make an “A” on each comprehensive test at the end of each course. A very few of you will be here for at least one year. Many of you will be here for two years, four years, or seven years. Some of you will never go home. You will die from old age right here while still trying to make an “A” on each test. However, some relief from your studies will be allowed. Just as every student is forced to attend chapel each day at a fundie college, each one of you will be forced to attend a high-church chapel service every day—-no shouted amens, whooping, hollering, or hillbilly buck dancing for Jesus will be allowed. Our high-church chapel is much like this one:

I suppose the Roman Catholics and Episcopalians would view such required studies and worship as appropriate penance for the typical fundie church life. After all, incessant ignorance and stupidity is no way to lead any kind of life—-much less a church life or Christian life.

But I have to tell you the truth. I was once young, and now I am an old man. Many of the past relatives in my own family (and their friends) were born and raised as simple country people. My parents were two of those people. One quit school in 6th grade, and the other quit in 8th grade. As my mother once told me:

Daddy wasn’t much good at book learning.

The two of them accidentally killed my baby sister with an overdose of aspirin in 1936. Why? They were simple, ignorant country people who were apparently unable to understand that you do not give a whole lot of aspirin to a 2.5 year old toddler with a high fever. Death by aspirin poisoning was what the medical examiner wrote on her official death certificate. My parents spent their whole lives telling me she died from pneumonia—–to cover up the awful ignorance that rested in their rural mindset.

No one taught me to do it. All by myself, as a child, I grew up hating simple country people and the simple country ways in which they lived. At some point much later in my adult years, I finally realized that it was not the country people that I hated—–not really. What I really hated was the awful evil that geographic isolation, cultural isolation, poverty, ignorance, rejection of book learning, and simple-minded fundie religion do to so very many people who live in the back sticks areas of the United States. That is why I would like to send each one of these fundie, moron bastards to a really difficult school (and high-church chapel) where they could learn how and why to quit supporting the murder of their fellow human beings with COVID-19 and its variants.

And Preacher Prather, if you ever read this blog article of mine, I do not want to hear about how you grew up in blue overalls with holes, how you milked the cows every morning for momma, how you walked barefooted 20 miles in snow to the nearest two-room schoolhouse.—and how that old-time country way of life was so near and dear to your little childhood heart. I do not give a damn about your rural childhood. Neither do tens of millions of other Americans (including Christian Americans) from coast to coast. Hello!!! 21st Century. Urban. Even far more urban in the coming 22nd century.

Please do not get me wrong. I love the landscape and the natural environment of rural places. I just wish the rural people, their ignorant back sticks culture, their red necks, and their ignorant fundie religion would disappear from rural areas so they would finally, once again, be the pristine wildernesses God created several billion years ago. God does great work. Rural fundies and fundie Trump followers who use their ignorance to murder their neighbors—-not so much.

Okay. I need to go somewhere, have a snack, and cool down. Exhale!!! Did this article by Preacher Prather make any of you regular readers angry? Do you have any opinions as to why it made me feel so angry? Feel free to register your opinions by leaving a comment. If you are not a regular here, please be sure to read the Blog Policy and Contact sections of this blog before leaving a comment.

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