Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thoughts for Easter

American Christianity, the Christianity of George Bush, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Fred Phelps is only possible in a semi-literate state where "history" is another word for oblivion. To say that these people do not speak for American Christians is rather like saying that Gravel speaks for the Democrats.

The notion that one can petition God for intervention in our temporal affairs is, even to many believers, a nauseating atavism, a backsliding to the Golden Calf. How many people would panhandle that god, that needy, suck-upable God, a God composite of their least attactive features! They might as well sacrifice virgins to reverse global warming.

Christian culture as an incubator of ethical behavior is historically up there with multi-level marketing and the sex trade. Only a kitschy sentimentality insists otherwise.

Religion, insofar as it is salutary, is always an inwardness. When adapted for broadcast it always degenerates to dogma, idolatry taboo, bigotry and monarchy. A people cannot adore a Heavenly King without aspiring to make one on Earth.

You would think that the jihad, as prosecuted by kamikaze and suicide bombers would shake our faith in Faith. But faith is proven immune to fact by the way we double down against the jihadists, betting ever more that our God is bigger than theirs.

For every act of Christian charity and forgiveness, there are ten (100? 1000?) of hypocrisy, bigotry, atrocity.

Belief in sin is anathema to ethics; it is resort to taboo. There is no more inherently wrong with homosexuality, extramarital sex, or catching a buzz, than there is with eating pork, graven images or menstruation. This does not stop the inquisitors from making war on any of them, as the whim or need arises.

"God hates fags," says Fred Phelps, the one preacher in American Christendom who speaks candidly from its heart.

Every conversion is a seroconversion; Jesus plus the GOP is love plus AIDS.


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