The Dire Threat of “Christian” Certainty

I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid!

More and more when I watch the news, I want to shout this at the TV.  Whether it’s Kim Davis or Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz or Bobby Jindal, every day I’m faced with an onslaught of far-right “Christians” (aka, Christians in Name Only, aka CINOs) who not only take the parts of the Bible they like as the absolute and incontrovertible Word of God, they present it as the base truth from which we all work. Their belief makes it fact and the thing we should all pay the most attention to.  

Barry was a pretty smart guy - in some ways.

Barry was a pretty smart guy – in some ways.

None of them seem to care that we haven’t all had the same glorious rebirth they believe they have.  We don’t all believe in the same God that they do. Some of us don’t believe in God at all. More importantly, in spite of that, we’re all citizens deserving of consideration and representation.

If you’ve taken Jesus as your personal savior and that makes your life happier or easier or just helps you make sense of everything, that’s terrific. I’m happy for you. We all need to find what we need. We all need to find the things that fulfill our unique needs.

What I hate is the smug, sanctimonious way these “Christians” come off as they talk about how in touch they are with what God is thinking and how their interpretation of the parts of the Bible they like are absolute truths never to be questioned.

I have heard several of them – Huckabee and Jindal included – come up with the obvious solution to the problem. It’s simple: Everyone just needs to come to Jesus. Once we’re all God-fearing “Christians” we can live together in harmony and steer this ship we call America into safe waters where women and gays and blacks and poor people all know their places again and where Beaver and Wally Cleaver come over to play with our kids every afternoon.

Jeepers, that’d be swell!

Wars will never end - religionNews flash: Just because the “Christians” believe something is true doesn’t make it so.  No matter how much they believe they’re filled with the Holy Spirit, that’s all it is. Belief.  Not fact or truth to anyone outside of the faith. Their God and the Bible are ideas that may give them strength and purpose but they are no more or less valid than those of Muslims (horror of horrors!), Buddhists, and every other faith that exists today or has in the past.

If the “Christians” are going to find any way to exist in a changing world, they are going to have to accept that their truth is not everyone’s truth. They’re going to have to let go of The Word as the be all and end all. They’ve got to become Christians, reasonable people of faith.

The world really isn’t changing all that much in real terms. The “Christians” and the Christians have always shared it with Muslims and Buddhists and agnostics and atheists. Attitudes are changing, though, which means it’s getting harder to get away with irrational behavior by saying, “God tells me.” It won’t work for a serially divorced “Christian” county clerk who won’t grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples or for maniacs who fly jets into office towers.

“God tells me,” is a dangerous reason that absolves whoever uses it from any responsibility to think through his actions before or after and allows for completely insane mental leaps that can’t be justified in any rational way. I don’t want my country, my state, my city or my dog pound being run by someone who does not think for him or herself. Nothing good can come from holding stubbornly to magical ideas as fact no matter how many other people share them. Groupthink is groupthink.

Remember: We haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. We haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. We haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. And we’re not likely to.