By Shanna Babilonia | 10 November 2015
While many Christian Americans are thoughtful and productive people simply going about their daily lives like the rest of us, there exists within our country a fanatical segment of Christian followers whose ideology is tarnishing our country and obstructing our progression.
Here are 10 common ways Christian fanaticism is obstructing American progress:
1.) Deeper Division of the classes.
Although the Christian Bible quite plainly repeatedly encourages followers to help the needy and poor, many fanatical Christians seemed to have overlooked their book’s message on this subject and have instead chosen to label those who are struggling as “lazy” and undeserving of any kind of relief. This is a problematic disruption for America because instead of supporting our own improvement by helping others escape poverty, many Christians are doing the exact opposite by treating those who need our help the most with disgust and indignation. This mentality only serves to create a deeper divide between the classes of our country.
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”
~Deuteronomy 15:7-11 ESV
It is not only ethical for us to treat our fellow citizens with dignity (regardless of their current circumstances), but it benefits us all when we work to find ways to help those who are struggling improve their livelihood, rather than shaming them and banishing them to a life of scarcity. When we help one another, we improve the overall experience of our society, because we create productive citizens who are capable of attaining their own abundance. When we shut them out and cast them aside, we eventually create desperate people who sometimes do desperate things. What we should be doing, whether we are believers or non-believers, is collectively seeking ways to support others in empowering themselves to reach higher standards; not besmirching their existence as our fanatical Christian political propaganda would have us do.
2.) Education – Historical and Scientific inaccuracies.
Many fanatical Christians are unable to accept historical events as they occurred and insist on altering history in order to fit their religious version of events. This mental intrusion can be seen in many spectrums of our educational system; including an array of scientific and other academic disciplines. Additionally, fanatical Christians persist in asserting that past genocides and other atrocious acts (such as Hitler’s extermination of the Jews) was not a Christian-instigated endeavor; when in fact, the comments, publications of the time, photos and speeches used in those campaigns suggest otherwise.
Even more disturbing is the fanatical Christian (specifically Christian Revisionist) effort to alter public educational instruction so that America’s youth are taught that our nation was founded on Christian principles, rather than the secular values of our founding fathers. This is a problem because many American Christians are not even cognizant of the fact that our original money and pledge never mentions God, nor are they aware that, although many of our founding fathers were men who believed in a god, they were not Christians at all and found the Christian Bible and religion completely oppressive and abhorrent.
“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
~Founding Father George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792
Our founding fathers were free-thinkers of the enlightenment and in fact, a primary reason in them establishing this country was to flee the oppression of their theocratic Christian homeland. In reality America has always been a secular nation from its inception – a fact fanatical Christians want Americans to forget by amending history to fit their agenda.
3.) Climate change denial.
Many fanatical Christians are living in denial of the obvious changes happening in our natural environment. This is a dilemma that affects everyone on this planet and must be addressed expediently; or we will all suffer by our own inaction. Rather than working together to improve the health of our planet, many fanatical Christians have chosen to delay the process of expunging our world of harmful toxins and human practices in favor of debating whether climate change actually exists. This ridiculously profound waste-of-time and tax-payer funds is an impediment to Americans using our time wisely to improve our habitat – and thus our own health and human experience.
Truthfully, whether climate change exists or not is irrelevant to whether we should be working to improve our natural environment. Is it really necessary that we confirm that our world is suffering in order to comprehend that treating our planet with respect is always the right course of action, regardless of whether the climate is actually changing? Shouldn’t we be consistently working to improve the health of our world and using clean and efficient resources to power our planet? Why must we debate common sense?
4.) Religious voting.
Those we elect as the leaders of our nation – who create the laws we all must abide by – is a serious matter. However, many fanatical Christians are not as concerned with a candidate’s ability to effectively perform the duties of their office in a way that serves the people’s interests as they are with the religious belief structure that the candidate chooses to follow. This is an extremely concerning trend that enables leaders to hold positions in this country that empower them to oppress citizens with regulations that benefit their specific religion, irrespective of how those citizens who do not agree with Christian principles will be affected. In fact, that is the intention of fanatical Christian politicians and their electorate – to turn this country into a Christian state where we are all obliged to follow Christian principles of morality and “freedom”.
“We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.”
~Founding Father John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785
This is a grim conundrum for countless Americans, because for those of us who follow other religions, or no religion, the threat of Christian theocratic rule is real. It is disturbing when we comprehend what will happen to our freedoms if religious voters and the politicians who lead them are successful in turning our country into an oppressive, religious, legal nightmare.
5.) Ineffective Sexual Education.
For decades, fanatical Christians have denied the reality of sex in the human experience by restricting access to comprehensive sexual education for our young citizens. They have done this by implementing (and even using tax dollars to fund) abstinence only programs that simply don’t work. In fact, they can have a detrimental consequence because when we deny our youth of necessary sexual education, many of those youths enter into adulthood ill-prepared for the accountabilities of sexual activity; while also leaving them uninformed of safe sexual conduct.
Abstinence only programs are completely ineffective and generally only serve to delay sexual activity by several months, rather than its intended result of preserving virginity until a marital relationship is established. Furthermore, young people who are deprived of comprehensive sexual education in favor of abstinence only teachings (and follow those instructions) often marry earlier than their educated peers as they are convinced that sexual activity is only suitable within the confines of a marital relationship. This can lead to the young person to marry from a place of biological sexual frustration rather than a genuine mental decision – certainly a situation that is not beneficial to any party involved.
Additionally, it only stands to reason that if Christians oppose abortion, they must be willing to support the alternative – contraception methods – something taught in comprehensive sexual education. It is unrealistic to expect that a human youth will, in fact, wait until a marital relationship is established to engage in sexual activity – because most don’t, regardless of their original lessons about sex. Sexual education is not only beneficial to overall health of all involved by making people more informed about safe sexual practices, but it is essential for those who oppose abortion to support a resource that actually helps prevent any abortion from ever becoming necessary – but, this is not what happens, because many fanatical Christians are still convinced that restricting sexual activity is effective – when in fact, it’s not; nor will it ever be as it’s in direct opposition to natural human tendencies.
6.) Televangelist con artist and the fear machine.
Turn on your television and you can easily find Christian channels full of televangelists making outrageous statements about how god is punishing our country, derogatory declarations about the LGBT community, how atheist should be shipped off somewhere else, and how the end times are upon us. Interestingly, after filling the viewers mind with fear and hatred towards their fellow citizens, they proceed by insisting on a financial offering, which many followers freely provide. Meanwhile, these same televangelist live in multi-million dollar homes, build extravagant churches and do very little to actually help those who are truly in need, all while paying no taxes to spread their propaganda and exerting huge influence over millions of American voters.
This is disconcerting as it vastly contributes to perpetuating a religious cultural fear and discrimination in our society while swindling the believer out of their hard-earned resources. At the same time, followers of these con artists are mentally persuaded that their hatred and bigotry towards their peers is justified as good moral conduct and that their ideas place them in a mental position of superiority based solely on religious contentions. This is a problem because millions of Americans rely on these religious tricksters for their religious instruction, and those teachings translate into votes for politicians whose policies affect everyone in this country.
7.) The continuation of the war on drugs.
There is an enormous problem within our prison system that has been largely understated for many decades. Our “war on drugs” is a monumental failure that has done nothing more than incarcerate addicts and perpetuate a cycle of crime; often leaving those same individuals unable to become productive members of society after they are left with a record that hinders their ability to find gainful employment. All this, while private prisons make record profits off of imprisoning non-violent drug-users, instead of helping them recover from addictions.
Many fanatical Christians (especially those Christian politicians who are in a position to influence federal and state laws) are perpetuating this problem by insisting that our failed war on drugs must remain the standard for our treatment of drug users. This is absurd because it is obvious that our current method of imprisoning drug users and addicts is highly ineffective and wildly expensive for non-profit prisons supported by tax payer funds. Yet, many fanatical Christians are against drug law reform and insist on preserving a system that criminalizes drug users rather than helping them recover from addictions and become more productive members of our society. While many of our more free-thinking politicians and citizens’ support reforming our current stance on drugs in America to a more humane and helpful program, fanatical Christians continue to obstruct progress in this area by refusing to acknowledge – and work to change – the problem.
8.) Representation without taxation.
Most religious institutions in America are exempt from paying taxes, yet Christian fanatics and politicians insist on forcing a religious Christian agenda onto the American public – all while paying no taxes to support the various financial necessities of our country. There is a reason religious institutions don’t pay taxes – because they are not supposed to be represented by our government.
“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
~Founding Father James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”
Our government is explicitly discouraged from supporting one specific religion as a federal endorsement of religious concepts. Our founding fathers understood this necessity to separate religion from governmental functions in order that all may remain free to worship (or not) according to their own conscience. However, some Christian fanatics have attempted to redefine the meaning of “religious freedom” by demanding their religion be given special representation by our government, above all other religious organizations and creeds. They do this by insisting that our country was founded on Christian principles and relentless attempts to force federal laws to submit to Christian concepts.
9.) Forced Division.
If there were no push to turn this country into a Christian theocracy, to eliminate and restrict the rights of women, LGBT and other minority groups. If there were no voter fraud meant to keep progressive ideas from advancing the minds and experiences of our country’s people. If there were no Christian fight for the right to publicly discriminate against the LGBT community. If there were no obstruction of science, technology, history and sexual education, among many other issues – there would be no necessity to counter it, and therefore, less division of our population over ideas that affect us all.
Christian fanatics force this country to divide amongst itself because those who are unwilling to have their lives and thoughts religiously dictated to them through legal processes must react. It is essential that they react – because if they don’t, they will soon find themselves in a precarious situation, where the life and freedom they once knew is taken from them by a group of people whose values do not reflect their own. For this reason, our courts often uphold rulings that keep religion (all religion) out of the public square; and even then, Christian fanatics cry foul when they are unable to use their religion to dominate an entire nation and its people.
“Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression.”
~Founding Father Oliver Wolcott, Connecticut Ratifying Convention, 9 January 1788
It is unfortunate that we are unable to agree on the most basic principles of many aspects of American life and freedom, but if those who don’t agree with Christian fanatics don’t speak up – who chooses? What principles reign over our country? And who then will speak for those who don’t identify with those ideas? What becomes of their rights? Their justice in courts? Their freedoms? There must be a retort in order to prevent our country from losing the freedom and unity that we as a people are fully capable of enjoying, so long as the proclamations of our founding documents are upheld.
10.) Global credibility.
Much of the developed world has already reached a perceptive and educated understanding that our religions are merely our current myths, just as our past religions were the ideas we understand as fables today. However, American Christian fanatics refuse to concede what is already palpable to much of the developed global community. Our reluctance to surrender our archaic ideas and embrace reality has left a stain on our credibility, because more informed citizens of other developed countries perceive our citizens as gullible and undereducated.
Furthermore, when our Christian leaders use their power to alter history and our educational system to fit into their religious concepts (rather than thoroughly researched and proven facts) our citizens become less equipped to compete in a world where facts, evidence and knowledge are increasingly important and necessary for global opportunity and expansion.
Christian fanatics love to live in a country where we are all free to practice our religion as we please. However, their view of “religious freedom”, truly only applies to one specific belief – their own. What their words and actions honestly exhibit, is that: we are free to worship as we choose (or not), just so long as we agree that Jesus is god, that our nation is a Christian nation and that all citizens should accept and acknowledge the Christian political, social and moral agenda.
In reality, the Christian fanatic is not concerned with religious freedom at all – they are concerned only with religious supremacy and using their religion to coerce our nation into abandoning its secular, enlightenment and free-thinking roots. Religious liberty is not achieved by enabling one religion to attain political and legal dominance over a nation; it is achieved by comprehending that one religious group must never achieve that authority.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
Frank Schaeffer: How to Stop Being a Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas): God Wrote The Constitution And Created America
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