Thursday, March 18, 2010

Will The Real Christians Please Stand Up?

I'm sorry if you are a Christian and if you are open-minded and if you take offense to this article, because you may feel this is directed at you. It is. That is, it is directed to you to show you what fundamentalism is and what it does and what it looks like - and why it has to be stopped. Rest assured, I am aware that there are other kinds of Christian - the kind that concern themselves with their own well being - and the well being of their own spirituality. The kind that lives by the words "there, but for the grace of God, go I" - and rightly will not make themselves guilty of passing judgment upon other people - whom they are in no position at all to judge. That is why this article is for you.

No, I don't hate Christians - or Christ - or Christianity. What I stand against is fundamentalism. I will spell it out again - F U N D A M E N T A L I S M.

However, if you are such an open-minded Christian who refuses to judge others, who believes in the principle of free will and refuses to allow harm to come to others simply for their beliefs or for who they are, then I implore you to open your eyes and ears and see the injustices being done in the name of your faith and your God and your savior and YOU as a Christian - and to stand up to these impostors, frauds and false prophets - and say "ENOUGH! NO MORE!"

If anyone wants to see what fundamentalism looks like they should only look at countries such as Iran - a Muslim country ruled by Muslim fundamentalists. Even the Christian fundamentalists often use Iran as an example of how bad and oppressive a fundamentalist regime is to its people - but more often to show the dark side of Islam - and yet, what they aspire to and advocate - and work towards is EXACTLY THE SAME THING, but with a cross instead of a crescent.

I don't know about you, but oppression is oppression - no matter what flag it is under. Prejudice doesn't suddenly become right just because of what name you fill into the blank spaces. Hatred and bigotry don't become righteous just because of what God you apply as a bludgeon. Murder doesn't become justified just because you happen to be a Christian and you believe the other person isn't. And just because you say God hates the person you hate, does not justify it - or make it true.

Should you want to see what a Christian fundamentalist state looks like - just examine Uganda. There is another African country cheerfully digging its own grave. In fact, no other country in the world reminds me as much of Nazi Germany as does Uganda, with its "strength through joy" ideology of the 1930's - simply reworked with a religious twist. Poverty stricken, corrupt and at the same time hyper-religious, it is currently plagued by religious fundamentalism in the extreme form - that of passing laws which will in effect legitimize genocide. That's right - gay and transgender people are "sinners" according to the fundamentalist misinterpretation of the Old Testament - and so they feel this gives them license to commit state-sanctioned mass murder.

All this in the name of God and Christ of course - a Christ who is supposed to have given his life for ALL people, not just the pious and the straight and the straight-laced.

If this knowledge alone has not yet sickened you, perhaps you should have a look at all the articles on the events leading up to this point. Perhaps once you have, you will see why it is that so many people - gay and straight alike, have turned away from God. Not because they are hated or hounded by God or by Christ - but by those claiming to be Christians. And of course, this sort of hatred, persecution and prejudice is far from unique to Uganda, or the USA - it is rearing its ugly fundamentalist head here in South Africa too.

The Time Saving Agency” by Christina Engela
The TSA liked having fresh agents on the job with a clear mind and steady hand.  Time travel wasn’t for the faint of heart.  The pay was good enough, but as Scrooby had decided long ago, that even if he didn’t get paid for it, the thrill alone was payment enough.  Then again, the TSA realized they couldn’t afford to have disgruntled employees with the power of God at their fingertips, so the pay was very, very good.

Things happen at a certain time in a certain way, which in a sense, is what it’s all about.  If it didn’t, then things would be completely different. Johnathan Scrooby was extremely tense. His job at the Time Saving Agency was a tough one.  Billions of lives depended on him not screwing up.  Once, he’d screwed up in only a small way and people wore those little yellow smiley faces on t-shirts for decades afterwards.  And that was just a small screw up.

A week ago, the American War of Independence was fought in Mexico. Yesterday Napoleon managed to dig a tunnel across the English Channel, invaded London and everybody at the Agency ended up speaking French for a while. Sorting that out had been… well, challenging. Mon dieu.

Something smelled funny in the Anals of History.  Things were not as they were supposed to be. Someone somewhere was tinkering with the works. Somehow, he had to go back and fix it or who knows what might happen this time.

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What does this teach me about Christians?

It teaches me that Christians are my enemy. That they are possessive, obsessive and aggressive. That they are prone to paranoiac fits of nationalistic fervor and even genocidal zealotry aimed at any and all other groups which happen to have a different ideology, outlook, orientation or viewpoint which may differ from theirs to any degree. That they are selfish, hateful and hostile to people who dare to think outside the little box they would close us up in, and nail shut and cast clods of earth upon. That they will not grant us any place in the sun - but will do their utmost to conspire against diversity and equality and plot and scheme to cause the system of democracy to fall on its own sword in order to cast their shadow on us, and obliterate us completely.

Have I got it right? Or is there another kind of Christian? Is there?

If you have walked in ignorance about the matter of Uganda these past three years, it will have been quite a shock - we in the pink community have been following this matter for years now - trying to raise awareness and to give outlet to our sense of outrage and hurt and utter disappointment at the lack of decisive action taken by the world - and the world's Christians - who don't seem to mind that the bulk of the influence that caused this appalling situation came from their churches and their leaders and their coffers and their faith. Your apathy is your hands stained in our blood. Your silence is our crying voices snuffed out.

Of course, I could walk into a barber shop and just randomly shoot four men dead - and claim I did it because I am a feminist. That wouldn't necessarily make it true - and it would undoubtedly outrage hordes of feminists - and women too - because my actions and my claim would make them look bad and tar them with the same brush. Of course, I might have read some feminist books, and I might have hated men, and I might have believed the injustices done to womankind by men warranted my actions - but it would still make me a murderer. You could also argue that it might make me insane and a threat to society. Wouldn't it?

Yet these dangerous folks are out there - in Uganda, America and in South Africa, spreading hate, lies, intolerance, and inciting violence and death and oppression and persecution, albeit by state sponsored means in the name of religion and using that as a vehicle and a motive and a justification in itself.

These people are making inroads into places of authority and power, they are seducing conservative and selfish people with tales of righteousness and godliness and glory and the "coming of the kingdom of God", when they are doing little more than mocking the God they claim to serve and insulting the work of his hands and the love with which this God is supposed to have made us all.

They seek to divide this world into two - between those who they believe should have everything - themselves - and those who they don't like and who naturally, should be treated like criminals and have nothing.

To them, liberals are the greatest evil, because they challenge people to think for themselves, to make their own choices and to question all things - and to test their virtue, value and validity. They don't like independent thought and questioning minds, because this weakens their control and undermines their power.

Conservatives and fundamentalists don't want people to have choices - except choices they make for everybody - and then claim "God said it". You can have religious freedom, as long as you stay within our guidelines. Human rights, as long as you fit our narrow description of what is human and a right.

Liberals want all people to have choices open to them - which does not mean that everyone HAS to choose things they don't want to or don't agree with. Quite frankly, I don't see why any sane human being would have a problem with that.

How long will the world sit by and watch these fundamentalist zealots and ignore them? How long will those good Christians - yes, YOU - who love your fellow human beings and treat them as you would be treated yourselves, sit by in idleness while these vipers work to plunge the world in chaos, darkness and death in the name of your God? When will you act to address their hate mongering? When will you start to take their threat seriously? When they begin to win elections? When they begin to turn openly militant? When they have successfully infiltrated and gutted political parties and structures which are supposed to safeguard the freedom, liberty and equality of all people - and not just fundamentalist Christians?

Too late, I think. They are already starting to congratulate themselves. What are you going to do about it?

So the next time you accuse me of hating Christians when I am defending against "Christian" fundamentalists and opening myself up to your attacks, remember all this, and know why.

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