Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Reasons Why I Refuse to Accept the Conventional Wisdom That Christianity is Nothing But The Republican Party At Prayer

Why am I just so goddam stubborn about not giving up?

Why not just recognize the fundamentalist right's copyright on Christianity? Why make it so fucking hard on myself? Face it, the Republicans own Christianity like they own Amerikkka. Other people let them have it. The press gives the right wing fundies their claim all the time without question. Everyone gives them a pass. Why not me?

Why not quit? Why not go with the flow and say that Christianity is all about the supremacy of rich white men? Why not concede that it's all about punishing women and sexual minorities? Why not agree that it's just an American imperial cult just as it once was a British imperial cult, a Spanish imperial cult, and a Roman imperial cult?

Why not just give up and toss it all out as just so much superstition and bigotry?

Here are some reasons.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Archbishop Oscar Romero

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dag Hammarskjöld

James Baldwin

Mahalia Jackson

Fr. Mychal Judge

Thomas Merton

Harriet Tubman

Frederick Dennison Maurice

John Wesley

William Blake

Jonathan Swift

Bartolome de las Casas

David Kato

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Davis MacIyalla

Bishop Gene Robinson

Anne Hutchinson

Fannie Lou Hamer

Mary Dyer

George Fox

Dorothy Day

Julian of Norwich

Hildegaard of Bingen

Theresa of Avila

Jonathan Daniels

Bishop Barbara Harris

Bishop Mary Glasspool

Bishop John Shelby Spong

Jay Bakker

Bishop James Pike

Paul Tillich

William Stringfellow

Archbishop Michael Ramsey

FannyAnn Eddy

C. Welton Gaddy

Bishop Charles Gore

Simone Weil

Mary Oliver

Carter Heyward

Gustavo Gutierrez

Alice Walker

James Cone


Why not keep this Cloud of Witness growing? I'm open to further suggestions.


Tristan Alexander said...

So your reason for not giving up is because there have been others who also denied reality? Christianity may have started pure and good...BUT, that did not last past the death of Jesus!

Counterlight said...

Yes that's right. MLK should have just chucked it all and recognized that it's a white man's world.

Bonhoeffer should have just accepted that Hitler won that election in 1932 fair and square and kept his mouth shut.

Talk about denying reality!

You're right Tristan. I'm going with the winners.

No God. No hope. Republicans always win. Why fight?

I'll vote for the Republicans because they always win.

I quit.

Anonymous said...

You can hope-but you've got to base your hope on facts you can prove. Otherwise it's just your wishes against other peoples' wishes. How do you know you're on the right side? You can't base your life on feelings-that's just childish.

Raven~ said...

JohnBear and I are grateful that you do not, have not, quit.

I've been reading Paul Knitter's "Without Buddha, I could not be a Christian." I recently suggested it to Rev. E., and now I'm telling everybody I know. -- there's wisdom in that book! :-)

Apparently, I was born to live in hope. Perhaps it's in my DNA ... I strive to accept, to release, to detach, to embrace, to love -- whether believing the fundamental assertions of Buddha, or of Christ, or of Paul, or of church -- whether believing, or merely tipping my hat in their general direction -- I know "hope" is the right thing to do, and I set my feet to that path, because it is the right thing to do.

I also know that Republicans do not always win

And the Khristianistas will eventually implode :-D

IT said...

I refuse to concede anything to the REpublican Christianists. And I refuse to cede them the title "Christian". And I'm an atheist.

Very inspiring, Doug. Thanks.

Leonard said...

I´m with IT. I concede nothing...nothing I tell you...I almost believed the crap...I almost killed me...I mean, they are good, good at defending their vicious, frightened, greedy, jealous, exploiting good they turn it all on those who are more willing to be authentic and share the world with a genuine generous spirit...nope, I´ll give them nothing (or more than nothing until they stop their deadly selfrighteous, selective Scriptural, betrayl of more gentle and loving human beings..that would include us amongst others).

June Butler said...

What a splendid and moving gallery, Doug. The pure and the good are very much around 2000 years after Jesus. Thanks be to God!

The Republicans own Christendom. They do not own Christianity.

MarkBrunson said...


If this is your view, you may as well give up on everyone and everything . . . including yourself.

There is no perfection, and humans are incredibly dense and poorly-equipped for dealing with reality. Humanity is, in point of fact, a useless pile of genetic material, a viral infection of an otherwise harmonious earth - when viewed from such a perspective.

Tristan Alexander said...

Doug, I expected that reaction since you clearly are in a foul mood (and I understand). My point was not to back the Republicans OR that those people you pictured were denying reality in the sense that they fought against the status quo...but when it comes to Christianity and defending it or trying to say the huge amount of evil people who call themselves Christian somehow are not! Well THAT is the part I think you are denying reality on! Nothing, short of your "God" showing up in person and destroying those so called false or bad Christians will change the facts! They represent Christianity and control it for the most part, so you will never see a time when Christians are not seen by many many people as a bad thing! Judgmental, dictitorial and hateful! said...

Doug, Thank you for that. I forget that there are wonderful caring Christians who really understand the message of the Christ as exemplified by Jesus. I think you should add Bishop John Shelby Spong to your list.

There are a lot of people out there who claim the name of Christian but are so far from understanding the message that they have missed it completely. Again thank you.

it's margaret said...

Doug --this is so very good. Thank you.

Tristan --no. 'They' don't own Christianity. 'They' own Christianity as much as propaganda is close to news, and pornography is something close to love. Just sayin'.

MarkBrunson said...

They represent Christianity and control it for the most part, so you will never see a time when Christians are not seen by many many people as a bad thing! Judgmental, dictitorial and hateful!

Then that is not objective fact, but subjective reaction. I understand that that is subjective reality for you, but it describes you, not Christianity or what it means to follow Christ. This is, in its way, its own denial of reality - which is a natural state of the human mind.

Reality is what is before you - I am here, Doug is here, Margaret is here and we are real and Christian and want the things you want - while there are so-called "Humanists" like NixonisLord/Brad, or even this Turnip Ghost, who could care less about the well-being of those things and people you value - people who respond with hate and abuse who want the things that the right-wing want. They are no more the "reality" of atheism/humanism than Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are the "reality" of Christianity/religion-in-general.

Easy answers are easy because they are wrong.

JCF said...

You can hope-but you've got to base your hope on facts you can prove.

OK, prove you're not a troll. Or prove you've ever loved anyone, or anyone's ever loved you. Prove your life has any meaning. What are the "facts" here?

My point, is that NO ONE, not the most Nietschean, Dawkinsian empiricist LIVES like this. The most IMPORTANT things in life---our relationships w/ other beings (human and animal), those things we find "beautiful---are NOT a question of empirical evidence: "facts" we can "prove." [That's even true of Our IT {Mwah!} who lives around empirical evidence than most of us]

I really *DO*NOT*CARE* whether people believe in God or not (much less, God-in-Christ). I WILL RESIST w/ every (empirical!) fiber of my being, a reductionist analysis of existence, that attempts to squash all Mystery, Beauty and Romance from Life.

Are we here for a few decades, at most, or Eternity? EITHER WAY, I *choose* to see it filled with AWE, with the warmth of COMPASSION, with the wonder of COURAGE. I *choose* to see LOVE as THE Greatest Force (Mass, Time, Energy, Velocity!) in this universe, or any other. You sterile nihilists cannot intimidate or humiliate me out of this choice.

I choose Love. Even more, I love LOVE! :-D

Let the congregation say "Amen" y'all!

JCF said...

[Ahem, that out of the way---]

Yo, Doug, maybe a few more XX people (for your ikonoblogsis ;-p)?

Dorothy Day. Fannie Lou Hamer. Clare of Assisi. Hildegard of Bingen. Anne Hutchinson. Mary Dyer. +Barbara Harris and +Mary Glasspool (still living).[And going all the way back to] Mary Magdalene. Mary, Mother of Jesus.

Counterlight said...


I was in a perfectly fine mood until I saw that irresponsible comment of yours. And your follow up isn't much better.

As far as I'm concerned, you're the twin to all those pious cranks I have to deal with on other sites. You do the exact same think they do, paint everything in big over-simplified reductivist abstract strokes.

So they believe in God and you don't... a technicality.

Counterlight said...

I'm beginning to suspect that Turnip Ghost and Nixon is Lord are all the same person trying to evade my spam blocker.

Counterlight said...

If Christianity has an enemy, it's not secularism or Islam or any belief or non-belief. It's despair.

Leonard said...

Bishop Pike

Vulnerable, human, constantly seeking, questioning -- authentic to himself and others (and quite a inspiration to me as a very young man in San Francisco)

Anonymous said...

My problem with religion was church and the ceremonies; I thought they were really boring. I would rather sleep in on Sundays than have to get up early and go to church. And ethically I don't see any difference between atheists and religious people-and this includes both sides of the political spectrum.
Why run twice as fast just to stay in the same place?

Unknown said...

Oh, Tristan, I so feel for you with your frustration at a world who does not accept and love. The wonderful thing is that so many really do care in this world, too! That is the blessing!!

Counterlight said...

Fine Brad, sleep in on Sundays. I really don't care. Boring is hardly the worst thing in the world. I think NASCAR racing is pretty damn boring, but I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it just because I'm not interested. If people enjoy it and want to watch it, fine with me.

MarkBrunson said...

I find constant whining about "people who won't do for themselves" boring. I find people who frequent blogs that espouse views opposite theirs boring. I find constant harping on what people who do that think about boring. I find those people boring.

Please, sleep in on Sundays, and whenever you feel the need to post on a blog, as well. Spare us all the intense tedium.

I also nominate to your list C. Welton Gaddy, who was the chaplain at my college in the '80's and worked very hard to warn people about the new Republican-crypto-libertarian religious right and its takeover of his (the Southern Baptist) denomination.

MarkBrunson said...

The last paragraph for Doug, of course.

Anglocat said...

Charles Gore, I think, is a worthy addition to the Cloud of Witnesses.

it's margaret said...

Simone Weil.
Ruth Burrows.
Mary Oliver.
Carter Heywood.
Deacon Hazel Red Bird.
The Blue Coat sisters here in Eagle Butte --who feed 200 people a week at the church out of their own pocket --here, in the poorest place in our nation, and they among them.
S. Dog Eagle. For her continued and quiet faithful service.
Just to name a few of the faithful I see living generously without expectation of reward --but because it is the right and glorious thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Pike-the one with the Ouji board? Who got lost in the desert with his third wife?

it's margaret said...

No, Turnip Ghost... you silly. Bishop Pike --the one who after my dad walked dog poop (from his prize winning basset hound) all around the dining room table, and we kids tried not to laugh, and mom burst in to tears --Bishop Pike is the one who took my mom's hand and said, 'there there Joan --every body's shit stinks.'

THAT Bishop Pike.

it's margaret said...

James Cone.
Alice Walker.
Gustavo Gutierrez.

Counterlight said...

I think Brad Evans, who obsesses over mainline Protestants like Hitler obsessed over Jews, has overstayed his welcome.

I will say one thing for him. He's my biggest fan. Consider how much time, money, and energy he puts into evading the spam blockers!

MarkBrunson said...

Detractors of Pike's later years take particular pleasure in ignoring the depths of despair and desperation to which grief will drive one.

Counterlight said...

I too have wondered how rock hard and rigid would be the faith of the "orthodox" facing the same circumstances as Bishop Pike.