I have a problem with many so-called Christians in this country. First of all, they aren’t Christians. They are filled with a false self-righteousness, based on a holier than thou attitude. They are eager to force their point of view on everyone. They want prayer in the schools, because everyone should be ‘Christian’. Our founding fathers knew the dangers of theocracy and made a point of keeping religion and the state separate. What we have with Rick Santorum and many others like him, is an attempt to establish a theocracy. A theocracy is a nation in which the state religion and the government are intertwined. Political decisions are based upon a religious agenda. The religious values of the state religion are imposed upon everyone. Those who oppose the state religion are persecuted, passed over for jobs, passed over in educational opportunities. Historically, the ultimate consequences are herding the heretics into their own ghettos and being subjected to inquisitions. It is insane.
Rick Santorum talks about a gay agenda, but I will tell you what the gay agenda is. It favors freedom to express oneself without fear of reprisal. It is the belief that one’s sexual orientation is their own business, and no one else’s. It is about telling the truth, instead of perpetuating a phony set of values. It is not about imposing the gay point of view upon everyone else. (actually I would argue that there isn’t necessarily a gay point of view, they disagree among each other as much as anyone). I am not gay (why do I feel I need to point that out? Is it because I want to be accepted by the bigots who read this blog?). But I support the values held by most gays far more than I support the values of hypocritical, self-satisfied, so-called Christians.
Real Christianity is about acceptance, tolerance, and love. It is not about relentless judgement and discrimination. It is about genuine love. It is certainly not about a political agenda of imposing your values on others. Relentless judgement is what is key here. That is what I encountered from a very young age. If you looked a certain way, or said certain things you were called ‘queer’ or ‘gay’. Even just a few years ago, in Las Vegas, some bonehead yelled ‘hey faggot’ out the window to me as I was walking down the sidewalk. Was there something about the way I walked that prompted that response? Or was there a way that I looked? Who knows, and who cares. Even those ‘Christians’ who condemn this sort of thing, still make those kinds of judgements, although they are unspoken. There is a deep undercurrent of hatred towards blacks, hispanics, jews, arabs, gays, the list goes on and on. And this hatred is held by church going sanctimonious people who pride themselves on being good Christians. They are not.
I still find traces of this stuff inside my own mind, and have to remind myself that this is a residue of crap that I learned when I was a kid. We need to work hard at changing our attitudes and electing someone like Rick Santorum is a serious step backward. I don’t think he has a real chance of winning. In fact, I suspect Mitt Romney will win the nomination, but I could be wrong. The fundamentalist evangelical Christian right feels unrepresented and they are angry that the country is becoming multicultural. From their perspective the country is too liberal. They want to see some good old family values once again. This always gets a big response. Everyone supports family values. But what does that mean exactly? I grew up in a family that was very supportive of family values. It was a household in which you could not question the Bible, and you were expected to get good grades, go to college, get a good job, get married, raise a family etc. You were placed on a treadmill from the very beginning. No one questioned anything. It was largely devoid of love, and genuine respect. It consisted of following a program handed down generation after generation. It was robotic and meaningless. It makes me sick to think about it. But I don’t blame my parents because they had been just as victimized as myself when they were young. They were only doing what they were told was right, and didn’t give it a second thought.
That is what my blog is all about, telling the truth. Of course there was love in my childhood and afterward, and I was able to bludgeon my way into expressing an objection to the prevailing agenda. I exaggerated in the previous paragraph to an extent, to make a point. My intention is to wake people up to what is really going on. Are our lives authentic? Or are we following some mindless agenda which was foisted upon us? This is the problem I have with so-called Christianity. Christianity, in my view, was hijacked long ago. It was made to serve a political and social purpose, a means of controlling the masses. This is particularly true of Catholicism. You are not to question, only obey. Within this framework, our lives are not our own. However, I don’t believe the original message of Jesus Christ was extinguished. It is usually found where it was originally found, among the persecuted minorities.
I cannot even begin to express how much pain I feel inside when I consider the way in which my spirit was crushed when I was young. There was a ruthless, brutal lack of acceptance for anything that wasn’t part of the accepted culture. I despise that culture. I fear that the United States is in danger of entering into a very ugly phase, typified by a lack of tolerance. Fascism thrives in this kind of atmosphere. People like myself may be persecuted, herded away, and eventually killed. It is not that far fetched.
I have been reading a ‘new’ history of the Third Reich by Michael Burleigh. In that book I could see how very ordinary, seemingly decent people could be persuaded to do the most horrendous things in the name of a false ideal. If the followers of the more extreme forms of ‘Christianity’ felt it was God’s Will, they would also be capable of doing horrendous things. For me, Rick Santorum represents a kind of American ‘Christian’ Taliban. It smacks of the same kind of intolerance.