There’s a lot of stuff going around the Web, the conservative talk shows and blogs, and the Christian right-wing press about how Christianity and The Church are being badmouthed, demonized and otherwise mistreated by those terrible atheists and other unbelievers of whatever stripe. To hear them tell it, they’re beleaguered on every side, and unless all True Christians stand up and be counted — hopefully at the polls — the Will Of The Lord is in danger of being contravened, all that is Good toppled, and the Reign Of The Serpent will be upon us.
What’s that all about, anyway?
After all, isn’t this a Christian country? These same folks are at great pains to explain to us how 90% of Americans are Christians, the country was founded by Christians, the US Constitution is based on Christian ideals. Some even cling to that Manifest Destiny stuff. If that’s true, how can a small minority demonize anything?
You can’t have it both ways. If this is a Christian country, then Christianity is safe in it. If not, someone’s lying for reasons of their own.
If this is a Christian country, I see no likelihood that anyone is going to seriously harm people’s faith — at least not in the near future — and yet that, too has become a rallying cry. I see no likelihood that a book or a movie is going to change the minds of enough people to be any threat at all. (Yes, yes, I know about the one fallen sparrow thing, but — ya know what? — I think God can probably handle it all by herself.) I see no threat in a few atheists, pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and others of that ilk (like me). If the Christian apologists are right, then they’re right. So what are they afraid of?
You know what? Us minorities aren’t that powerful. We just want to be left alone. But not them. Oh no, not them…
Would you like to know where I see the threat? Not in the “10%” of “unbelievers,” but in the even smaller percentage of ultra-Conservative folks who want this country run their way. They aren’t interested in us little minorities. What they’re interested in is getting the majority of folks scared enough of us poor little bogeymen that they will suspend their reasoning ability and do as the Conservatives would have them do: cede one right, then another, then yet another — in the name of The Lord’s Work — until we have a country of far fewer rights with far greater problems than we have today.
Look at the failure to fund education: ignorant people are easier to control. Look at the record of the past seven years and more. Look at what you’ve lost. Look at the other stuff they want to take away. Tell me you’re better off.
Tell me I’m wrong.
In fact, as a member of the other 10% who are constantly being attacked by the Christian Right (which isn’t), I feel distinctly demonized myself.