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8.11.04

Religious fundamentalists

Who are these religious fundamentalists?

Let's look at one particular school: Hyles-Anderson College. Someone I know actually goes there. Fun campus life activities includes soul winning. Men are permitted to hold jobs; women are not. Girls are taught to be "a successful leader's wife ." To be submissive wives.

HAC is not impressed with Devil State University or Satan U. Or the Christian Colleges. Heh. Other strong Christians are on the same "you are going to hell" wavelength as me as Satan U. "Should you come to Hyles-Anderson? Not unless it is the fervent goal of your life to be a soul winner." Wow. No wonder I didn't give the school any consideration. I had other goals in life. "Our approach to subject matter is unique. We are opposed to the stuffy, bookish, all lecture style of teaching. We think it is ridiculous for a Christian to spend hours and hours in a psychology class studying what the rats do when they run a maze. In most psychology courses, the professor is concerned about what makes an individual's eyes the color they are. We are more concerned about looking an individual in the eye and communicating truth to him. We are a bit tired of the snobbish, intellectual sophistry of much of the education of our day. We think it is time to get down to earth and give people what they need for life. Oh, we teach psychology and many other secular subjects, but we teach them from a practical, Scriptural approach." (i.e. we need you to be brainwashed. And if we actually teach you, you might start to think for yourself.)

Hmm...they are right. These things (dress code, "old fashioned discipline,"evangelistic atmosphere, fundamentalist approach, and separatist position) are things that I wouldn't like. Oh, and the "we will brainwash you" part too would make me sick. And the, "if you don't agree with us, you will go to hell" insinuation. The absolute and utter lack of toleration. Why exactly can't females wear pants? Does easy access to the...nevermind. No hand holding?? Does hand holding automatically lead to sin? Or rather, to sex? And if they actually *think* this, how on earth do they reproduce and create more of these brainwashed kids?

The entire "weekly soul winning" stuff scares the shit out of me. Do they have shirts "single handedly brainwashing 10,000 people yearly?" Ok, no drinking and smoking, I would understand. But no dancing? What is this, Footloose?? No dancing of any kind? Any kind?? No funky chicken at a wedding? No hokey pokey?? Wow. And no Hollywood movies? Does this include Disney cartoons? What about G rated movies without sex and swearing? Is that because most of Hollywood is liberal?? Or are movies inherently sinful and I just never knew? And no playing cards? Not just "no gambling," which as fundamentalists I would understand, but since when is Soliaire of the devil's making? And does this include Solitaire on the computer? I'm not sure I would have survived college. That and mindsweeper... "We do not fellowship with liberals..." Well, fuck, don't they want to win my soul?? (Oh, I bet that language is not appreciated...) And ironically, in the next section, they talk about Christian grace. I guess that Christian grace doesn't extend to evil liberals.

What I find ironic about the "no fellowship with liberals" is that I am a Christian too. Why can't Christians be liberal? I read their Doctrinal Statement, and I actually agree with most of that. That, I think, scares them. That a liberal could agree with their religious beliefs? I have read of the articles that the Christian can't be liberal. Excuse me, but I think the fundamentalists are blowing off portions of the Bible to be hate mongering, intolerant, judgmental sects of people.

But I think that as a liberal, I am more true to Jesus teaching than they are. Since when is compassion for others not like you evil or unreligious? What about Jesus's divine compassion? A serious question I have, how do fundamentalist reconcile their intolerant positions, fear, and even hatred with Jesus's teachings and compassion? His love for those who were part of the minority, those who were shunned by the majority? For women and children, for those with disease such as lepers who were forced to avoid human contact, for prostitutes, for tax collectors, for the poor. He healed the daughter of a pagan.

Rather than show compassion for others who, in their view have sinned, the fundamentalists have decided to hate them. They can't talk to me as a liberal?? Are you fucking kidding me? Because I'm compassionate and they don't want to be? Jesus was a friend of sinners. Fundamentalists would rather hate the sinner for the sin. From all accounts of the word, Jesus was a radical. Pushing change. Forcing change. I hate to be the ones to break it to them, but Jesus would have been, in today's terms, a liberal.

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." And in unison, the fundamentalists respond, "Yeah, but we don't like that part of the Bible. Let's ignore that part. It's irrelevant to the really bad sins." In this most recent election, it was homosexuality, but I guess it's a sin being a liberal too. Of course, that was Jesus's response to the sin of adultery. I guess that's not a major sin. It's just a little sin...that God thought was worthy enough to put in the Ten Commandments. There are lots of other sins that weren't in the Ten Commandments, I know, but that was important enough to actually put there. And Jesus's response - it's not your job to judge.

And the separation of chuch and state that you so hate? "Give the Ceasar what is the Ceasar's and God what is God's." They can be separate, and still both have their own place in the world. In your heart. Moreover, the Bible actually speaks against praying in public. "And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when you pray, enter into the closet and when you have shut the door, pray to the Father which is in secret...."

Maybe you are right, you can't be a liberal and a Christian. Perhaps those who show compassion for others are not going to enter the gates of Heaven. So it will only be you fundamentalists smugly sniffing, "we warned them..." Sounds like Hell to me...

3 Comments:

  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Well put, Stephanie.

     
  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said…

    He transcends our silly political controversies. Anyone who argues that a Christian cannot be a political liberal or a political conservative is just plain wrong.

     
  • At 4:37 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Word, Stephanie.

    Was that you on the Randy Rhodes show a few minutes ago? (Stephanie, from Cleveland)

     

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