The Christian Right is Wrong!

The Christian Right is Wrong!

“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.”
— John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

I heard recently that the Christian Right held a protest – I don’t know about what – and some of their protest placards read, ‘What can fifty million on the Christian Right do? And on the reverse side it read, ‘whatever we want.’ This highlights the fact that not only do these ‘Christians’ fall on the far-right of the political spectrum, they also pompously and self-righteously swagger around confident that they are morally superior and we, on the liberal or left side of the political spectrum are wrong and immoral. I intend to prove that the so-called “Christian Right” couldn’t be more wrong and that they are in fact the immoral ones, not the liberals or leftists. As Noam Chomsky recently pointed out in a speech he gave at the U.N., ‘politicians often frame their speeches around discussions of ‘values’ because this allows them to avoid the serious ‘issues.’

In recent decades it has become fashionable for the Christian Right and for some of our presidents to call themselves champions of ‘family values.’ Our current president, George W. (wrong) Bush, is the most egregious example. Here are some of the ‘values’ that Bush and the Christian Right stand for or rather, stand against: Adultery; which is an all too common weakness in human nature but note that some of the Christian Right’s televangelists such as Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and Jimmy Swaggart gave in to their weaknesses. Christians should be more compassionate to those who cave in to the temptations of the flesh and ask some of the deeper questions such as why is it that fifty percent of American marriages fail. Use of hard drugs is another negative ‘value’ the Christian Right is against and one of their main spokesmen, Rush Limbaugh loved to rail against these sub-humans for years on his talk radio program. Never mind the fact that he was hooked on a hard drug he illegally got from his housekeeper for years. Or how about Nancy Reagan who started the national anti-drug campaign, ‘Just Say No?’ Her daughter, Patti Davis, said whenever she wanted to get her hands on some drugs all she had to do was raid her mom’s medicine cabinet. Of course, these were all legal because their family doctor prescribed them for her. And what about good old George W. himself who was busted for cocaine usage and driving under the influence of alcohol but now that he’s ‘born-again,’ he is okay and all those still using drugs are sinners. I have long wondered why is it that so many people feel such a strong need to escape from reality? Could it have anything to do with the fact that they can’t find a decent job, have no health care, received a pathetic excuse for a public education, etc.? The hypocrisy of our medial establishment which prescribes drugs for patients like they’re handing out candy and all the t.v. ads that tell us to pop a pill for everything is so blatant that it’s totally disingenuous for Christians and politicians to rail against hard drugs.

These same hypocrites who show so little compassion for ‘hard drug users,’ are just as closed-minded when it comes to the subject of homosexuality. And again their ignorance precedes them because they believe that homosexuality is a matter of choice and by simply going to church and praying to God, a person can stop being a homosexual. Wasn’t it that ‘compassionate conservative,’ Jerry Falwell, who said that A.I.D.S. was God’s punishment for homosexuality? We don’t have to approve of lifestyles that are personally repugnant to us but this doesn’t give us the right to publicly denounce them as immoral, less-than-human beings. Homosexuality in my opinion and from what I have learned according to unbiased, scientific minds, is a fact of nature. The statistic I have heard is that one out of every ten of us is homosexual and I believe the majority of homosexuals are good, hard-working, trustworthy, loyal citizens. The Christians who fear that every homosexual is a lurking, predator is projecting their own, dark fears regarding human nature onto homosexuals and have forgotten that only God is suppose to judge us. I say that as long as they do their own thing with mutually consenting adults, it’s their business and nobody else’s. And I believe that most of the sexual predators are in fact the so-called, ‘normal’ heterosexuals.

Another sexual deviancy that disturbs the Christian Right is the fact that many young people have sex before the age of sixteen. This just reflects once again the Christian Right’s obsession with sex and basic view that the human body is a sinful thing to be suppressed at all costs. The Christian Right believe that mankind is born sinful and the liberals, or humanists believe that we are born innocent, are basically good by nature, and that we should strive to realize our full potentials whether you believe them God-given or natural to us as human beings. I feel it is unfortunate that many young people start having sex before they are mature enough to deal with it in a responsible manner but treating them as guilty, sinful creatures is not the answer. You get a lot better results by treating young people with sensitivity and compassion. Making love is a natural urge and when done with a person whom you really care for, it is one of the highest expressions of human nature. This leads to another one of the ‘values’ that the Christian Right is against and that is pornography. Pornography like art or beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And while a lot of what is called pornography, is personally repulsive to me, I don’t have to look at it and what I hate more is for some of these Christian Right folks to tell me what I can and can’t look at if I so choose to. I find war to be a hell of a lot more offensive or obscene than most pornography I have ever seen but these Christians are among the most pro-war activists there are. Remember, ‘onward Christian soldiers!’

Perhaps the most passionate value that the Christian Right are against is abortion and they call themselves ‘pro-lifers.’ Yes, human life is so sacred to them that they have killed doctors who performed abortions. They turn a blind-eye to all the Iraqi women and children who are dying from our bombing, the years of sanctions, and the depleted uranium and etc. we have dumped on Iraq. They are so pro-life that they have joined with Bush and his ‘compassionate conservatives’ in rolling back every social welfare program created in the last hundred years i.e. welfare, unemployment, medicare, overtime pay, social security, etc. I would have a lot more respect for their so-called anti-abortion position if they truly practiced what they preach and there were no orphans in this country. And finally regarding this issue, I believe that most women don’t have abortions casually and feel plenty guilty enough already without the additional guilt laid on them by these Christian Right hypocrites.

The subject of abortion is closely linked with the next anti-value of the Christian Right which is living together before marriage. This is an issue which reminds me of a chance encounter I had with a young Christian many years ago. I was waiting on a bus and a young guy came up and asked if I knew Christ. I said no, I’m not a Christian and here’s why. I and my girlfriend are living together and we’re not married. You say that this is a sin or is immoral or wrong. I say it’s natural, normal, healthy, warm, loving, and positive. His response was that he didn’t say this but rather the Bible said it. I said that the Bible is interpreted by people and can be used to prove or disprove anything you want but I was not going to accept the guilt trip that you Christians want to lay on me. This is clearly related to the last anti-value of these folks which is sex between two single people. Once again I believe sex is a natural bodily function just as eating, drinking, and breathing are. I also believe that it is the repression of this normal function of human beings leads to most of the violent, sexual crimes committed in this country. And repression is precisely what the Christian Right is all about though they cleverly proclaim that it is they who are being repressed.

The left-wingers, liberals, progressives, humanists, etc. believe basically in freedom and instinctively react negatively to the attempts by the Christian Right to repress their freedoms. Here are some of the values that the Left believe in. Probably first and foremost among the hierarchy of values on the Left is honesty. Most people will say that they are honest and believe in honesty but whenever it is inconvenient or uncomfortable for them to speak their personal opinions, they will remain silent. Left-wingers are often called unpatriotic or too negative because they bring up a lot of issues that aren’t pleasant to face. I say that those of us who dare to criticize our government are actually far more patriotic than those sunshine patriots who claim they are true, loyal Americans. None of us can be honest one hundred percent of the time but the Christian Right and the ‘compassionate conservatives’ are far more dishonest the vast majority of the time because they only want whatever policies that are going to put more money in their pockets.

Next in the pantheon of leftist values is courage which is obviously closely related to honesty. And the form of courage that is most critical for a democracy to flourish is the courage to speak truth to those in power. A lot of Americans believe mistakenly in slogans like, ‘America, love it or leave it.’ My own mother-in-law has tried to silence me a few times when I was saying things she didn’t like with this simplistic slogan. I maintain that just as a parent must have the courage to criticize their children when they are doing things they don’t feel are right, we as citizens of a democracy have not only the right but the duty to criticize our representatives if we love our country. We must have the courage of our convictions and dare to speak them no matter how outnumbered we are and no matter how unpopular our views may be. This is not to say that we have the right to silence others whom we don’t agree with. Two wrongs don’t make a right, just as in two wrong ‘Bushes’ don’t make a right or moral person!

Peaceability, or getting along with one another is high on the left wing’s chart of values but not peace at any price. The right-wingers love to denounce the Left as being too soft on communism, too soft on crime, too soft on terrorism, etc. but this is a patent lie and has been repeated ad nauseum to the point that it seems a truism to most Americans. The right-wingers have never met a weapons program they didn’t like and have run up the national deficit to such an extent that we may collapse from within like the Russians if something isn’t done to stop them. The Left have supported many of America’s wars but believe more in funding programs that benefit the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, and etc. The Right believe in funding the rich with the taxes of the working class. And this leads to the next value of the lefties i.e. self-reliance and potential. This is another way of saying independence as in freedom of thought and freedom of speech or that rugged, individualism that we used to praise as one of the primary strengths of the American character and which made this country strong. Left-wing liberals believe though that prerequisite to this value we must have an equality of opportunity in terms of education, health, and welfare institutions which will ensure a level playing field. Right-wingers claim this value too but with an important exception which is; the government should only intervene in their business affairs when it is beneficial to them i.e. subsidies and protective tariffs. The Right doesn’t want the government to interfere when it comes to how they treat their employees or how they treat our environment and other troublesome matters.

Left-wingers also believe in self-discipline and moderation. This means that they believe in disciplining or regulating themselves in all matters that are matters of personal choice i.e. sexuality, drug usage, etc. and not having self-righteous religious people tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies as long as they are not hurting anyone else. Right-wingers believe that most people can’t be trusted and therefore we need religious leaders to direct and control every aspect of our lives including how we dress, what we read, what we drink, etc. etc. etc. Related to this value is respect. The Left respects the rights of all people whether they be homosexuals, women who have had abortions, drug users, adulterers, pornographers, people having sex outside of marriage, people of color, poor people, or whomever. The Left respect the rights, the worth, and the dignity of women unlike the Christian Right whom treat women as second-class citizens who are suppose to be subservient to their husbands, barefoot, pregnant, and never leave their kitchens.

And you can’t appreciate the Left’s value of love without having respect for women or men. Love is one of the deepest and most enduring of human values or emotions. Love is also one of the strongest forces on earth and is our greatest asset in preventing the negative forces such as violence and greed. Love is what gave Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. their moral strength to stand against overwhelming odds. Personally I believe in a loving God and not in a vengeful and wrathful God which so many on the Christian Right believe in. I view love as an all-embracing, ocean that engulfs all of humanity rather than the narrow, restricted version of love as espoused by the Christian Right which labels as sinful any form of love outside of marriage as defined by the so-called ‘moral majority.’ Generally speaking it seems to me that people on the Left love humanity far more than those on the Right because they have more trust and faith in the basic good of humanity and they also feel a primordial sort of love for Mother Nature which is hard to put into words but which I feel when I am in places like the California Redwoods.

Very much related to the spiritual value of our places of natural beauty are the Left-wing values of unselfishness and sensitivity. Left-wing liberals aren’t against businessmen making a profit but we are against obscene amounts of profits by corporate C.E.O.s, boards of directors, and stockholders when for instance they fire thousands of their employees and then triple their salaries. Liberals believe that there is enough natural resources and profit to provide a fair wage and decent standard of living for all of humanity and that we don’t need to and indeed can not afford to keep on raping the environment which gives us our very lives. The Christian Right don’t give a damn about the environment because they believe in ‘the Rapture’ and since the end is near, they feel we shouldn’t worry about Mother Earth. Liberals also believe in being sensitive to other people’s feelings and have a compassion for all of humanity not just Americans. Christians are some of the most callous people on earth and yet they casually and cheerfully ignore the orphans of our wars against others, our homeless, our neglected youth, our citizens dying from A.I.D.S., our prisoners rotting away for possession of a little marijuana, etc. Most on the Christian Right are about as unselfish and sensitive as the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz or Marie Antoinette when the poor of Paris came to her begging for bread and she replied with, ‘let them eat cake.’

And this relates to the next two values of Leftists which are kindness and friendliness. Kindness and friendliness of course are closely linked to the other values of the Left like peaceability, respect, love, unselfishness, and sensitivity. While the 1960s reflected some excesses on the parts of the student protestors against the war in Vietnam and the indulgences in drug experimentation, on the whole I am proud of the general kindness and friendliness on the part of most of the younger generation. I use to wish when I was younger that I was about five years older so that maybe I could’ve been more politically aware of what was going on as I lived through the 1960s but nonetheless it was a great time to be alive and to be young. We naively and romantically and idealistically believed we could change the world. We believed in sharing everything. We sought to get back to nature. We rejected the life offered to us by corporate America. We stood up for civil rights and we opposed the imperialistic ambitions of the military and industrial complex. When you first meet those on the Christian Right, they appear friendly and kind but if you are honest and courageous enough to speak your mind they soon drop their pleasant facade and their horns slowly appear. Recall the Bible’s warning, ‘beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing?’

Well when it comes to the last two values of the Left that I am going to discuss, justice and mercy, we see some of the most glaring examples of the merciless, fang-bearing wolves in sheep’s clothing as represented by the Christian Right. But first I am going to offer some of the positive examples of these values as represented by the liberal Left. The ‘freedom bus riders’ of the 1960s who risked life and limb to protest the treatment of Blacks in the American South are just one of the first representatives of justice as practiced by those on the Left that come to me. As for mercy, as exemplified by those on the Left, I would argue that most of us on the Left argued passionately and continuously for the lifting of the sanctions against Iraq since the end of the Gulf War. It has been estimated that over half a million children died in Iraq due to the sanctions the U.S. imposed on them and the deliberate targeting of Iraq’s infrastructure such as their water-purification plants, their power plants, their hospitals, and etc. Don’t forget that George, ‘Dubya’s’ daddy had the audacity to call for a ‘kinder and more gentler nation’ when he was in office.

I want to now give a brief review of some historical examples of the Christian Right’s ideas of righteousness, justice, and mercy which spotlight also the indistinguishable actions of the State due to their incestuous relationship with the Christian Right. One of the first and most damning examples is that of the Christian Crusades against the Islamic infidels. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together harmoniously in Jerusalem for centuries until the Jews decided they needed their own homeland in the mid-twentieth century. The Spanish Inquisition was another tragic example of religious intolerance and the barbarism which often accompanies the self-righteousness of the Christian Right towards all who don’t share their particular ideological views. And it reflected their twisted and perverted logic in that if you didn’t confess you were guilty and deserved to die by torture and even if you did confess, you were still killed but it was perhaps a little more merciful and quicker. Don’t forget that these mass murders were committed with the sanction and assistance of the various nation-states of their times. Or what about Christian missionaries who were not content to persecute their fellow citizens but felt called by God to spread their message of ‘love’ to the four corners of the earth. And the aspect of the ‘heathens’ lives that these missionaries found most offensive was their lack of shame regarding their bodies and their sexuality. Before the Christian missionaries, these ‘savages’ lived, worked, and played in their natural naked state because it was an age-old custom and suitable to their natural environment. There were no sexual crimes, no sexual perversions, no guilt, no shame, etc. But, after the righteous Christians spread the word of God – as defined by them – the heathens realized the error of their ways and lo and behold, violent sexual crimes began to occur and the natives began to cover their ‘sinful bodies.’ Of course the Christian Right prefer to leave out of this proud history of theirs the fact that some of the missionaries could not contain their own lustful desires and fornicated with and forced themselves upon the ignorant savages.

And speaking of ‘savages,’ one of the most heinous crimes against humanity – in my opinion and in my heart – committed by America, the latest and so-called ‘highest’ representative of ‘civilization’ – was our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is incontrovertible evidence that it was totally unnecessary for America to drop those bombs. How many on the Christian Right protested this savagery on a scale hitherto unknown to mankind? What about the state-sponsored terrorism unpopularly known as the genocidal war waged against the Native Americans which came neatly packaged by the Christians and the politicians as ‘Manifest Destiny’ i.e. God told us that we were meant to rule the world and these savages lives weren’t worthy of our consideration. Or what about the long and sordid history of slavery in America which, by the way, isn’t over yet because the modern day slaves are all those unfortunate souls who are forced to work in cruel, inhumane conditions simply because they are ‘illegal’ or ‘alien’ residents in this land of the free and the brave. How many good Christians got rich due to their slave-laborers who poured out their blood, sweat, and tears? Or, even more significantly, how many of these good Christians protested the common practice of lynching Blacks for the smallest of infractions?

And like those good old God-fearing Christians of the Klu Klux Klan, the Christian Right were staunch defenders of the racist Dutch in South Africa and their policy of apartheid. But unlike the oppressive, hate-mongering phoney Christians who claim to believe in God and Jesus Christ – who preached love and compassion – the real thing i.e. Nelson Mandela overcame the racist regime and emerged from prison with his soul and character intact. I will wind up this brief historical review of the atrocities either committed by Christians or approved of by them because they didn’t stand up and condemn them with the fact that the U.S. has supported, trained, and financed dozens and dozens of bloody dictators around the world and these Christians have stood on the sidelines, cheering the dictators on. Here are just a few of those wonderful dictators our compassionate conservative Christians supported; Marcos in the Philipines, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah of Iran, Pinochet in Chile, etc. etc. etc. I could go on and on with examples of how these wolves in sheep’s clothing a.k.a. the Christian Right have completely missed Christ’s message of loving one’s neighbor as oneself but this should suffice for now.

I want to end this essay with a somewhat lengthy and wide-ranging diatribe which I hope communicates the anger in my heart. President Bush became our current president largely due to the support of the Christian Right. I believe Bush is using the Christian Right to give his corrupt administration a veneer of righteousness. The chief co-conspirators in this national brainwashing campaign are Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. I can’t remember the exact quote from Falwell but he said something to the effect that Islam is an evil force, shortly after the tragic events of 9/11. What an example of Christian piety. This bile-spewing maggot is the lackey of those in power and is furthering their agenda of repressing all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfield, et al are the real terrorists and they are waging a holy war against not only Islam but also against the U.S. public and the world in general.

With the ramming through of the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act, Bush and his cronies have effectively trashed the U.S. Constitution and totally subverted our democracy. Bush Sr. announced when he was president that America was establishing a ‘New World Order’ and this was a very telling statement. But the truly frightening reality is that this ‘New World Order’ that the Bush-whackers were referring to is more closely akin to the nightmarish world George Orwell painted in his masterpiece 1984. I won’t belabor the point but remember in Orwell’s book there were ‘thought police?’ Well, am I reaching when I say that with the Homeland Security Bill, they are now checking our library checkout records and our bookstore purchases and this sure as hell sounds like the ‘thought police’ to me? What about the outrageously rigged election of George Dubya? I say this ‘War on Terrorism’ is in reality a massive campaign to distract us from the war they are waging on the poor, the working class, and etc. here in America. They are working steadily to roll back every bit of progressive legislation for the past 100 years that was passed to help those of us who weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths like George the Wrong.

What’s really depressing is that the Christian Right seem to sincerely believe what George the Lesser says. The Christian Right are the champions of home-schooling and I agree that this is probably the best option at present given the pathetic state of public schooling. But, I disagree strongly with the reasons why the Christian Right take their kids out of public schools. Christians believe there is a secular humanist conspiracy to corrupt all our children and want to protect their kids from the immorality of the non-Christian American public. I argue that we should take our children out of public schools because they are being dumbed-down to borrow a line from John Taylor Gattto who’s book The Underground History of American Education I heartily recommend. Bush and the ruling powers purposely keep students in the dark in order to prepare them for the corporate world of mindless consuming and blind obedience to the State and their corporate masters. The greatest immorality in my opinion is ignorance and as Gandhi so eloquently put it, ‘the greatest violence is poverty.’ Through our public education system, the power elite maintain and manipulate the general public’s ignorance. The Christian Right are completely asleep at the wheel and obviously don’t know anything about history because throughout history the two most powerful institutions in every country have been the Church and the State. This is why our founding fathers stressed the importance of separating these two institutions because they knew that whenever these two forces are allowed to join, the poor and the public in general is doomed. The Left, the liberals, and the secular humanists are not the enemy of the Christian Right but are in fact the greatest defenders of the Christian Right and anyone or any group because we stand up for free thinking and free speech. I don’t know if it’s as William Blake said, “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,’ or if we’re in fact headed down the road to oblivion? What I do know is that the Christian Right are wrong even though many of them may in fact really practice true Christianity by being loving, compassionate human beings. I just hope and pray that they wake up before it’s too late and join forces with us on the Left to fight the evil and greedy whom Jesus spoke out against more than any others. The Christian Right claim to care so much about ‘family values,’ but those of us on the Left care about human values!

I have only written to one politician in my life and that was to President Clinton and I included this quote in my letter to him; “ ‘I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that ye may be mistaken.’ I should like to have that written over the portals of every church, every school, and every courthouse, and, may I say, of every legislative body in the United States. I should like to have every court begin, ‘I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that we may be mistaken.’ “ (Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Learned Hand, 1872-1961) I wrote to President Clinton to ask him to pardon Leonard Peltier.

2 replies
  1. mef
    mef says:

    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      and please keep on responding, it gives me the energy to keep on keeping on. Together perhaps we can find some solutions to the various crises facing us?

      Reply

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