Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Message to Evangelicals and Fundamentalists

There seems to be a lot of tension centered around religion, pro and con. May I inject my perception here?

Most of this seems to be generated by the Fundamentalist or Evangelical crowd, which in turn provokes the bear-baiting which others engage in.

Personally, it is not of any consequence to me what you feel or think or 'know' about a deity and/or a possible afterlife. You can await John Frum to bring Cargo (but why to North Dakota, I have no idea) or Allah to give you 72 virgins in Paradise (not me, I'm pleased to admit), or hang out with Jean-Paul Sartre in his Existential Hell, for all I care. Just keep it to yourself, okay?

And this means:

Don't try to convert my family members to your Creed. That's an unfriendly thing to do. I don't try to convert your kith and kin to Lutheranism. Kindly return the favor.

You can entertain whatever private morality you wish; just don't try to make others conform to your restrictive standards of human conduct. We're not doing harm by having a drink, watching a R-rated movie, or in our choices of bedmates. Butt out!

You can believe in Zeus and worship phallic gods if you wish. But pray privately and don't subject the rest of us to your displays of faux piety. That end of those public prayers, "In Christ's name we pray . . . ." is a studied affront and a deliberate exclusion of our Jewish, Muslim, atheist, and other fellow citizens.

We're NOT a Christian nation. We are a secular one. We have no established church, no religious test for public office. It is true that we have more adherents to one belief system than others, but even among Christians there are widespread differences in terms of what is believed. Find out what those differences are, and respect them.

I DON'T want to have a Blessed Day. Give me an okay one. Or a nice one. Why must you turn even a commonplace pleasantry into a religious message?

Now about who is a Christian: A Christian is an adherent to a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as prophicized in the Old Testament anddescribed in the New Testament. His disciples at Antioch were the first to be so-described. The ordinary definition of Christian includes Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, and even members who are Jehovah's Witnesses or Unitarians. To pretend that your flavor of Christianity is the true one is to commit the sin of Pride, traditionally regarded as the most subtle and deadly of the Deadly Sins.

In short, stop TRYING to be the enemy. Leave the rest of us alone.


  1. Well written! I agree with your sentiments!

  2. I agree that some religiously-inclined people are overbearing and un-humble in projecting their beliefs.