Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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Back November 16th, 2004 Forward
dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]blackperson)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/theferrett/403747.html

dogemperor [userpic]
Alternet: Acting like real Christians

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

This Alternet article talks about what needs to be done to counteract the fake piousness of the righteous rightwingers:

Of all the loathsome spectacles we've endured since Nov. 2 – the vampire-like gloating of CNN commentator Robert Novak, Bush embracing his "mandate" – none are more repulsive than that of Democrats conceding the "moral values" edge to the party that brought us Abu Ghraib. The cries for Democrats to overcome their "out-of-touch-ness" and embrace the predominant faith all dodge the full horror of the situation: A criminal has been enabled to continue his bloody work with the help, in no small part, of self-identified Christians.

With their craven, breast-beating response to Bush's electoral triumph, leading Democrats only demonstrate how out of touch they really are with the religious transformation of America. Where secular-type liberals and centrists go wrong is in categorizing religion as a form of "irrationality," akin to spirituality, sports mania and emotion generally. They fail to see that the current "Christianization" of red-state America bears no resemblance to the Great Revival of the early 19th century, an ecstatic movement that filled the fields of Virginia with the rolling, shrieking and jerking bodies of the revived. In contrast, today's right-leaning Christian churches represent a coldly Calvinist tradition in which even speaking in tongues, if it occurs at all, has been increasingly routinized and restricted to the pastor. What these churches have to offer, in addition to intangibles like eternal salvation, is concrete, material assistance. They have become an alternative welfare state, whose support rests not only on "faith" but also on the loyalty of the grateful recipients.


I'd change "coldly Calvinist" to "Corporate Calvinist"- but they do have a point here.

Mainstream, even liberal, churches also provide a range of services, from soup kitchens to support groups. What makes the typical evangelicals' social welfare efforts sinister is their implicit – and sometimes not so implicit – linkage to a program for the destruction of public and secular services. This year the connecting code words were "abortion" and "gay marriage": To vote for the candidate who opposed these supposed moral atrocities, as the Christian Coalition and so many churches strongly advised, was to vote against public housing subsidies, childcare and expanded public forms of health insurance. While Hamas operates in a nonexistent welfare state, the Christian right advances by attacking the existing one.

Of course, Bush's faith-based social welfare strategy only accelerates the downward spiral toward theocracy. Not only do the right-leaning evangelical churches offer their own, shamelessly proselytizing social services; not only do they attack candidates who favor expanded public services – but they stand to gain public money by doing so. It is this dangerous positive feedback loop, and not any new spiritual or moral dimension of American life, that the Democrats have failed to comprehend: The evangelical church-based welfare system is being fed by the deliberate destruction of the secular welfare state.

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One last lesson from the Christians – the ancient, original ones, that is. Theirs is the story of how a steadfast and heroic moral minority undermined the world's greatest empire and eventually came to power. Faced with relentless and spectacular forms of repression, they kept on meeting over their potluck dinners (the origins of later communion rituals), proselytizing and bearing witness wherever they could. For the next four years and well beyond, liberals and progressives will need to emulate these original Christians, who stood against imperial Rome with their bodies, their hearts and their souls.

Back November 16th, 2004 Forward