It is troubling that many fundamentalist Christians are crying “persecution” when people simply disagree with him. This writer doesn’t see any arenas and lions. Where is this persecution? Many claim the left is "intolerant" while being unable to recognize their own intolerance. Moreover, as an old friend reminded this columnist, many people create chaos and then whine about being victims of the chaos they created!
Actually, it would seem that these Christo-conservatives have the upper hand in the U.S.A. A relative (but very influential) minority opposes the “American” idea of separation of church and state and even attempts to revise history so that kids won’t know we are a secular nation. In fact, we are not “Christian” in both the legal sense and in that more and more Americans worship a false idol: ultra-conservative political agendas that only really benefit rich white males. Many certainly “bear false witness” against their neighbors (consider the lies about Obama or Hillary). They are, of course, very sincere but don’t seem to know that rich white males are laughing all the way to the bank.
Many seem to forget that the First Amendment also grants them “free exercise” of faith with very little restriction. They get the same tax breaks as other faiths. Televangelists have the right to bilk people out of millions. Rev. Pat is allowed to blame the Las Vegas tragedy on criticism of Mr. Trump. They are also able to demand (and be heard by lawmakers) that such unscientific ideas as creationism, “abstinence only” sex education, and climate-change denial be taken seriously. It seems that it is really those who are rational that are under attack. Who would throw who to the lions?
Their opposition to abortion is not about “life.” It is an attempt to maintain the patriarchy. They do not seem to care about a fetus after it is born as evidenced by their opposition to rational heath care, social “safety nets,” contraception, and comprehensive sex education. While not all, or even most, Christians take this view, many believe that it is God’s will that women remain subservient to men. A small minority (thankfully) even support the death penalty for gays. And, ever hear of the “spank your wife for Jesus” movement?
This writer does not hate Christians or any other faith. What he highly dislikes is the disinformation and intolerance of disagreement on the part of many such Christians. It is offensive when they are hypocrites and condemn other faiths, such as Islamic extremists, when much of their agenda is similar, including trying to force their faith on others.
It is annoying that they support a mean, nasty, selfish and inhumane political agenda that has nothing to do with the Jewish and Christian Bibles. This liberal/progressive only gets upset when Christians say or write the hateful stuff in the name of God. Isn’t that at least a form of “taking God’s name in vain?" Their pride and arrogance is also annoying. In fact, he is unsure that Jesus would have liked it either.
It may surprise some, but this columnist is not ignorant of the Bible. He has studied it for years. He knows the Bible well because his devoutly (and truly) Christian grandmother did not read him children’s Bible stories but instead the actual text in the King James Version.
Some conservative Christians claimed last year that they knew Trump was God’s choice for president. Which god told them this? Did he tell them audibly? From a burning bush? From a mountain? Or, was it from the mouth of a jackass?
Let’s just assume God really chose Donald Trump. Was it a blessing? If they really read the Bible, they would know sometimes bad rulers are sent to punish people. Since we have become a mean, ugly and narcissistic culture, is God teaching us a lesson by choosing a president just like us?
Finally, of course creation science is a pseudo-science! While creation myths, including biblical, should be taught in schools in humanities or literature classes, they have no place being taught as science in science classes in a public institution.
Maybe they call it persecution but if this writer were a public school or college administrator, he would probably fire creationists too if they were teaching it as science in a biology or geology class. If people want their kids to learn this, they can send them to a private school, not demand public money (including vouchers) to teach something that real scientists do not take seriously.
Why? Because these stories, taken literally, are not science and many, if not most, Christians and Jews take them metaphorically, at least to some degree. And, the Bible is a much more powerful book if one does not take all of it literally. Literalists “cannot see the forest for the trees. That is their right, but some wish to impose on the rest of us a minority view not even held by many people of faith. Some present their views as the “Christian” view when they do not represent the diversity in Jewish and Christian theology and history.
The real scientific community, whose research is peer-reviewed, is open to change. Creationists are not. Their "research" cannot be replicated. They deny empirical evidence. Therefore, legitimate scientists do not include them in their community.
Creationism is actually similar to Medieval "science.” The church had a model and all the data had better fit it. Ask Galileo. Creation science starts with an assumption that only the Bible, literally interpreted, can be true. Then, all the data must fit that model. So, you get such ludicrous ideas that the earth is only 6,000 years old or, that fossils only look old because of Noah’s deluge.
This writer has been to creationist lectures. They badly misinform kids about what science is. A few even say Copernicus was wrong! What else do they want? Geocentrism and Flat-Earthism taught in public schools? Stoning for those who disagree?
(Scott Cracraft is a taxpayer, citizen, veteran and resident of Gilford.)