This would be better translated as, “If you don’t support our fantasy that America is a Christian Nation, you should get out.”
Because America is not a Christian nation. It has never been.
I’m sure we’d know: the Constitution would say so.
But it doesn’t.
Yet this is the position we hear often from the minority block of Evangelical voters, who comprise just 24 percent of the electorate (of whom, one-quarter are not extreme enough to want to ban abortion in every instance).
There is more than a little hubris in a member of an extremist minority claiming ownership of an entire country to the detriment of the other three-quarters of the population. But then the old cry of “America, Love it or Leave it” always had overtones of “America as I imagine it” rather than “America as it is” or “America as it was meant to be.”
Yet that’s just what Christian broadcaster Joni Lamb said to her viewers the other day: “that if you live in America and you understand that we are a Christian society then you can’t be offended by things like that or you shouldn’t live here.”
This all came about because of a Christian prayer at a graduation ceremony. We all know that fundamentalist Christians love to use graduation ceremonies as a proselytizing opportunity, a chance to cement the supposed bond between the Church and young people as they enter adult life – a sort of coming of age thing.
Graduations are often held in churches or imbued with religious overtones, much to the discomfort of the non-Christians who make up a growing segment of the population.
Fundamentalist Christians see nothing wrong with this. To their mind, it is not the non-Christians who are the victims, but the Christians who are being told they cannot force their religion on the other students.
To their mind, anything which impinges on the special rights of Christians is a form of persecution.
Like doubting the “eye witness” account in the Bible of the earth’s creation, which. asserts Bryan Fischer, proves the job was done in seven days (and in the process, refuting the Big Bang and evolution): “So, the only eyewitness account we could possibly have would have to come from the creator himself, and fortunately he left us an eyewitness account.”
The Religious Right has had a very rough time of it since Election Day, showing themselves to be even more intransigent (if possible) than the anti-government Tea Party racists and plutocrats who are the other major components of the Republican Party.
We’ve seen how they prayed for Obama’s defeat; we’ve seen how they’ve dealt with the belief that their god said “no” to their prayers. We’ve seen that their reaction has a lot of “if only…” in it: if only everyone still went to church; if only there weren’t so many icky brown people wanting free things; if only young unmarried women didn’t all want unrestricted access to penises without consequences…if only…
The other part of their reaction revolves around God’s punishment. One of the realizations they took from God’s denial of their prayers was that his judgment is upon us all for electing Obama. I mean, they hate Obama; how could God possibly approve of him?
You get the idea – and this is far from the first time in history this has happened – that God is more of a artificial construct created with the purpose of justifying and legitimizing their bigotries and hatreds. Fundamentalists were not created in God’s image; God was created in their image.
The old expression “as above, so below” has become “as below, so above.” If it is true here, it must be true in heaven. Meaning God is some ugly-ass middle-aged white man with a huge round belly who doesn’t bathe often enough and has a gun-rack in the back window of his pickup right alongside a Confederate flag decal.
So their hatred and bigotry has resulted in the belief that God is mighty angry on behalf of his troubled white children over their bullying by the icky brown people. He hasn’t turned anyone into a pillar of salt yet, but boy, you just wait till your Father gets home…
Franklin Graham says God is so mad he’s going to bestow on us sinful Americans an economic collapse. That’ll teach us! For the audacity of daring to believe we have to fix our economic problems without factoring God into our economic forecasts, Franklin says God will slap the smiles off our faces:
“What has happened is we have allowed ourselves to take God out everything that we do – and I believe that God will judge our nation one day…maybe God will have to bring our nation to our knees – to where that we just have a complete economic collapse. Maybe at that point, people will again call upon the name of almighty God.”
Sweet Jesus! Yeah, I’m sure that will work.
Even more upset than Franklin Graham are the clowns at Liberty Counsel. Reports Right Wing Watch,
It has been two weeks since President Obama was re-elected and Mat Staver and Matt Barber do not seem to have gotten over it yet as they dedicated a recent program to lamenting that America has re-elected the “most liberal, socialist, anti-liberty, anti-Israel, anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-religious values, anti-religious freedom, anti-free enterprise and pro-regulation president in American history” and, in doing so, has brought God’s judgment upon itself by “adopting sin as official public policy.”
I look at that long list of sins and my first thought is, “So apparently the God of Moses hates regulation?”
Well f*ck me sideways! Who knew?
See how much God resembles his worshipers? To the male Jahwists who comprised the top 1 percent of post-exilic Israel’s population, God was a bearded, self-righteous Jewish male who wanted to subordinate women and tell everyone in the kingdom what to believe and how to go about believing it. He was just the God they needed, embodying as he did all their bigotries and prejudices.
To the various authors of the New Testament God was also just who they needed him to be, creating a whole lotta dysfunction and contradiction in the new Gentile covenant with the God of Moses. For a group that stresses an inflexible doctrine over moral relativism, the God of Moses has been a God of a whole lotta various things, depending upon the needs of the moment.
He isn’t a God at all. He is every religious extremist’s bitch. A sock puppet.
And if we don’t like it, we can get out?
Pardon us for saying, “Whoa there, just a minute. Back up and explain yourselves.”
There is something almost charming about listening to the clueless chatter of a defeated minority who thinks they’re a majority, dealing with cognitive dissonance.
I said “almost” charming.
Because laugh at them as we will (and we will), there is real venom in their words and actions. They seriously believe we all ought to get out. They seriously believe we all ought to do as they say, if not as they do. Be warned: In Kentucky, if they can’t make you get out for denying their god, they can sure as shootin’ put you in prison.
Ugliness and hypocrisy abound in Evangelical circles: General David Petraeus and his hypocritical policy of “spiritual fitness” for the soldiers while he was getting it on with his biographer; an attorney for the fundamentalist anti-gay organization, Alliance Defense Fund, which though dedicated to “transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family” has attorneys like Lisa Biron working for it. Lisa was arrested. She allegedly loves ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine and forcing young girls into sexual relationships.
Apparently, if we don’t approve of such things – and logically, God must approve – we should get out.
That’s their play.
And God is somehow mad at us liberals. God hates black people. He hates women. He hates Latinos. He hates government.
He LOVES rich people, even though his son who was also himself and some sort of spirit-entity, had not one good thing to say about them.
You would think at the very least Obama’s re-election would cause some head-scratching but they seem more sure than ever of the sanctity of their discredited position.
On some deep level they actually seem to revel in the seeming evidence of their persecution as they continue to drive around in big fancy cars and living the high life while bilking the gullible sheeple of their hard-earned fleece.
So while you’re packing your bags, don’t shed a tear for David Petraeus. He’ll be fine. Fundies love a good redemption story. He’ll find out he hadn’t found God after all but he’ll find God now, good and certain, and be a popular hero again. Lisa Biron will find out she was possessed by a gay demon and submit to gay therapy, to be at last the demented fag-hating heterosexual God always meant her to be.
And America? Once all the icky brown people get out, America will be white and Evangelical, just like the Good Lord intended.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.