Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

“Defend” the Faith

I’ve been absent lately if only because I’ve spent more time mulling things over in my head rather than writing anything down. Trust me, there’s been plenty to think about that may some day meet the light of your computer screen.

Mostly what I’ve been doing is plumbing the depths of Christian fundamentalism. In my past I’ve been liberally unaware to fundie-lite and back again. Having been there for awhile and married to a former fundie-medium I understand the allure of these sorts of things even though it is not something I can abide any longer which makes for awkward family moments.

Really, when it comes to matters of faith, I tend to understand most people like Frank Schaeffer who freely admits that he flows between belief, agnosticism, and atheism. I’m working my way through his newest book, “Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics – and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway” a bit at a time, though it’s an easy enough read that I could likely finish it up in one sitting if I was so inclined.

In the interest of full disclosure, chapter two squicked me out. This poses a real problem for me as I’m reading the library’s copy and can’t underline anything. There was a particular passage in there that I thought apt, but I didn’t write it down and now I don’t know if I can go back through and read it again. Instead, I thought I’d share a passage from chapter three that I thought equally apt. This way, not only will I not lose the passage, but perhaps it might encourage you to read the book for yourself…and if you do, maybe you’ll find the passage in chapter two I’m looking for.

This passage here is something I’d file under “couldn’t have said it better myself”:

What also pisses you off is to stumble again and again on “non-believers” who seem happier than you are. You say you hate the Sin, not the Sinner. But since “Sinners” are rarely grateful for this sort of “love” and resent being judged, pretty soon you get into fights with Sinners and start to rebuke them.

Those who fight to “defend the faith” in its fundamentalist harsh incarnation, as Evangelical “professional Christians” often do, have a special need-based interest in making sure other people live by the letter of the Bible’s “inerrant” Word. As modernity has threatened the belief system of conservative Christians, their resentment has grown into alienation. Rather than rethink their beliefs, many Christian leaders seem hell-bent on forcing the world to conform to their fears.

Edited to add: Schaeffer and I will have to agree to disagree on the abortion thing. I think he lets himself off the hook too easily and has a far rosier picture of the way forward than I do. I actually think he borders on delusional when it comes to that last part, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

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