Musings from outside the mainstream.
What do we do about Roy Moore and the Christians who support him? Some Christians say that Moore is being unfairly targeted because he has stood up for Christian principles. His brother goes so far as to suggest Moore is being persecuted like Jesus Christ was persecuted.
This isn’t true, of course. Moore has been roundly and rightly criticized for ignoring legal precedent and turning government positions into his own private bully pulpit. Moore’s arrogance has led to his removal from the Alabama Supreme Court not once, but twice.
Moore was removed the first time in November 2003 for refusing to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments commissioned and installed by him in the Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders by a federal court to do so. In May 2016 Moore was removed for the second time for directing probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite the fact that this had been deemed unconstitutional.
Conservatives speak of the rule of law. Yet the religious right displays its continuing willingness to make their own laws. This is because Christians still believe they are being persecuted when what is really happening is that America is rejecting a rigid belief system and practice that is not in line with the faith’s teaching, nor in line with Democracy and Separation of Church and State.
I’ve seen many ridicule believers, but that’s not going to get us anywhere. Roy Moore keeps getting re-elected and they’re hunkering down, even with many credible stories from women who were preyed on by Moore as teens. We may never reach these believers, but I will try and I will try without dismissiveness and sarcasm.
I was raised in a Christian home and confirmed at age 14. What drove me from belief was a combination of things. The major issues were when God did not answer prayer and the hypocrisy of believers. Between the two I simply saw no evidence of God. Later, a violation only confirmed my disdain for religion. And it wasn’t even the violation that was the most egregious; it was the lack of contrition. This is my personal history.
Many believers claim this country was established as a Christian nation. But the history of this country is painted by a religious viewpoint that rationalized slavery and genocide and a host of other evils that Jesus never taught. Jesus led by example, a model of humility and love. He did not exclude or dominate.
Christian extremism, assumption and judgement coupled with noted failings (BSA and RCC) have led to the dismantling of the notion that your belief system is more moral or righteous than any other. This is so much more than a cultural shift away from a perceived shared valued. It’s a wake up call.
You can no longer assume that we are all Christian. And those of us who are not (or who interpret scripture differently) won’t tolerate being painted as lacking or immoral or dangerous. When we disagree with you, this is not persecution. When hypocrisy is pointed out, this is not persecution. When we resist and reject one religion attempting to define morality and law, this is not persecution.
I’ll bet we have more in common than not. And I’d rather focus on that. In the meantime, I’ll attempt to make sure my tone is respectful. And I’ll attempt to include and engage you in conversation.