Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who are the Real Americans?

Nobody is born a Christian. Nobody in the world would be a Christian if someone else did not sell them on the idea. The same is true of every religion, of course, but right now I want to tackle Christianity since I live in that world.

Jesus instructed his disciples to go out and spread the good news (gospel) to the world. And it’s still spreading, 2000 years later. One would think that a real god could get the message out about his existence much better if he took charge of it himself, instead of relying on fallible humans, but maybe God just wanted to observe the ensuing chaos.

So God, talking through Jesus, who is really just Himself, sent his disciples out to tell everyone. That certainly implies that those millions or billions of people who are living now and who have lived since the time of Jesus who haven’t heard the gospel are doomed to hell. Nice going, God. You just condemned the majority of your souls.

Now I’ve heard some Christians say that those who never hear the word are not condemned by God, neither are young children who are not yet old enough to commit. But if that is the case, then why should Jesus have commanded his disciples to spread his news? Think about it. If those who never hear the news of Jesus get a free pass to heaven, and if telling them about it allows them to choose to reject the news (so they go to hell), then wouldn’t it be better for heaven’s population figures if all Christians just kept their mouths shut? To save souls, believers in Jesus should keep the secret to themselves at all cost.

What Christians really want to do, of course, is to increase the membership in their exclusive club, never mind about heaven. They want the congregants; they want the money. Most importantly to many of them, they want the power. They want the power to elect members of their club to high office where policies and laws are made. They want to control school curricula. They want to control Congress and every state legislature. What they really want is to have a Christian version of Iran or Saudi Arabia. And if they get to use the Constitution of the United States to make it happen, well then they are proud Americans.

And, yes, I’m mainly talking about the hard-line conservative Christians, the fundamentalists. But the moderate and liberal Christians are not off the hook, either. You are the enablers. You are letting it happen.

But who are the real Constitution-upholding, freedom-loving Americans? Well, let’s compare:

- Fundamentalist Christians, who are far and away social conservatives, want to pass laws that prohibit or limit same-sex marriage or even civil unions. They want to take away a person’s hard-fought right to bargain collectively with their employers. They want to impede the progress of science when that progress conflicts with their own narrow view of history or morality. They want to quash science education by diluting it with myth and legend. They want to re-write the facts and evidence of history and of science to make it comply with what their bible says. They want to deny a woman her right to end a pregnancy and to consult only with her doctor about the decision. And they want to force compliance of their own set of moral values on all citizens of America, regardless what other people may believe in.

- Secular humanists (atheists, agnostics, doubters, and skeptics), who are mostly progressives, want to allow people to marry whomever they wish, regardless of gender. They want to protect a person’s right to collectively bargain. They want to promote the progress of science. They want to uphold science education based on facts and evidence. They want to grant a woman her right to reproductive freedom. They are willing to allow everyone to choose to do whatever they wish as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others to do the same.

Look at the action verbs in each of the two preceding paragraphs. If you are a control freak, if you are a fascist, if you want to be part of an army of mindless drones, you love the verbs in the first paragraph, the one describing fundamentalists. But if you like liberty, if you like justice for all that is fair and equitable, and most importantly, if you love truth, then you prefer the verbs in the second paragraph, the one describing humanists. That makes you a real American, not one of the faux, control-freak Americans who really are only American as long as they can use its freedoms to gain control of the masses and turn them into mindless, unthinking Christian drones who couldn’t care less about reality.

As an American, I vote for the second option.

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