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Tag: Theocracy

Can Evangelical Christianity be “Reformed”?

evangelical betrayal of jesus

I was part of the Evangelical church for fifty years. Saved at the age of fifteen, baptized by immersion, and called to preach two weeks later, I set out on a path of loving and serving Jesus. At the age of nineteen, I enrolled at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan to prepare for the work of the ministry. After three years at Midwestern, now married to a beautiful preacher’s daughter, I moved to rural northwest Ohio, beginning a career spanning twenty-five years pastoring Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. I pastored churches that were Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB), Southern Baptist, Christian Union, Sovereign Grace Baptist, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC), and nondenominational. In addition, I preached for Assembly of God, Reformed Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Baptist Bible Fellowship (BBF), Church of the Nazarene, and sundry other garden variety Evangelical congregations. From 2002-2008, my wife, Polly, and I visited more than one-hundred churches as we sought a church that took the teachings of Christ seriously. Many of these churches self-identified as Evangelical. (Please see But Our Church is DIFFERENT!)

I am almost sixty-six years old. Though I left Christianity fourteen years ago, I have continued to carefully follow the machinations of Evangelical Christianity — the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have been blogging since 2007. I was still a Christian — barely — when I started this blog, but it was not long before Jesus and I had an acrimonious divorce. As a former Evangelical, my goal as a writer has always been to tell my story and help those who have questions and doubts about Christianity. I have no interest in converting people to atheism. That said, I do provide pointed critiques of Evangelical beliefs and practices. While I don’t know everything there is to know about Evangelicalism, I am not an ill-informed, uneducated outsider. And my critics know this. My observations cannot be easily dismissed. So what do Evangelical apologists and zealots do instead? They attack my character, and in some cases, malign my wife, our six adult children, and our thirteen grandchildren. The most hateful people I have ever met are Evangelical Christians — especially Independent Fundamentalist Baptists. Preachers, in particular, are the worst of the worst. Why all the hate? Shit, I am just one man with a blog. Sure, thousands of people read my writing, but I am a nobody. Why not just give me over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh and move on?

I suspect zealots feel threatened or troubled by what I write. I have had several former congregants tell me that they could no longer be friends with me. Why? My writing upset them and made them feel “uneasy” in their skin of faith. Countless other Evangelicals choose a different tack. Unable to refute the message, they attack the messenger. Instead of contemplating the truthfulness of my writing, they attempt to marginalize and discredit me. Over the years, I have highlighted for readers some of the things Evangelicals have said about me. Awful stuff, things I would never, ever say to another human being.

If you are an Evangelical reading my writing for the first time, I said the things above so you would understand that I am not an outsider. I may be an atheist today, but I spent most of my life deeply immersed in the waters of Evangelical Christianity. While I am not a fan of appeals to authority, when it comes to Evangelicalism, I know what I am talking about. This is especially true when it comes to the IFB church movement. Why does my writing resonate with so many people — even Christians? I suspect the main reason is that my experiences match or are similar to theirs. Here I am, an insider, talking out of school, daring to share where the bodies are buried. How dare I, right?

Over the weekend, my friend Clint Heacock posted on Facebook a post by Josiah Meyer about “reforming” Evangelical Christianity. Meyer was asked by a friend, “You seem to be giving up on (Evangelical) Christianity over a few problems. Why not try to reform it?” (I can hear many of you sighing now. 🙂 ) As you will see in a moment, Meyer is an insider; a man with decades of experience with Evangelical Christianity; including academic training in Christian Ministry. Meyer is someone who cannot easily be dismissed. He knows what he knows.

“Why not reform Evangelical Christianity”? Meyer’s friend asked. He replied:

I have tried. And simply, I am done trying. Now, I am speaking my truth and (when necessary) warning people that there are dangers there. Ways in which people can get hurt. Steer clear.

When I was studying for my Doctorate in Christian ministry (yes, I have a shitload of education on religion), one of the courses was on cults. The teacher told us of a phrase he had coined to describe Mormons: “Conservative shift.” ”Every generation,” he warned, “the terminology gets closer to (Evangelical) Christianity. However, the core doctrines do not change.” We learned that one of the characteristics of all sects and cults was deceptive terminology.

Oh, how we missed the opportunity to look in the mirror on that one!

Over the past twenty years or so, I have seen what I thought was a great softening, from the hardline Fundamentalism of the Baby Boomers and before, to a softer, more accepting Evangelicalism of Gen X and Millennials.

But is it better? Is it really?

20 years ago, many people believed in a young earth (everything was created only 6,000 years ago). Today, that number is still on the rise, and I was not able to get a job teaching in Evangelical Canada, in large part because I believed in science on this issue.

20 years ago, it was pretty common to hear that woman is the help-meet, she is created for man, and finds her true place in the home. I used to make a big distinction between “patriarchal” and “complementarian” teaching. But what is the difference? Evangelicals still believe that women are “equal in standing, but have different roles.” In other words, they are born to serve. Nothing has changed.

20 years ago, we didn’t hear much about LGBTQ. We did hear, however, that there was one way to be male, one way to be female. Homosexuality was a taboo and those who practiced it were going to Hell. Today, it is still not talked about, but when it is, it is said that, “practicing homosexuals” will be punished. Aka, it’s still a sin, you’re just not sinning if you stay celibate. In other words, no change.

20 years ago, it was pretty common for churches to be terrified about the end of the world, the “Mark of the Beast,” the rapture, and the antichrist. Things like cell phones and credit cards were identified as potentially being “the mark of the beast” while every political leader from Hitler down to Obama have been called the antichrist by somebody. Nowadays? Do I need to say it? Vaccines are the mark of the beast, and Fauci is (to some at least) the Antichrist. Good lord.

20 years ago, it was common to pull away from society, and educate kids in private Christian schools. The main reason was to “protect us from evolution and other sinful ideas.” Today, this has blossomed into a multi-million dollar homeschooling industry, where kids can be sheltered not only from contemporary science, but also from “woke” ideas like gender equality, racial reconciliation, environmentalism, and social justice.

A product of such an education, it was not until I was 38 that I really heard, really understood the concept of “consent.” One of many things somehow missed in my privileged education.

20 years ago, it was starting to get somewhat common for Christians to create a subculture of herbal remedies, favorite recipes, and cooking groups. It was cheerful, charming, yummy, and harmless. Then it became the MLM empires that burned through our social groups. And with Covid? Sigh. Many went off the deep end into Qanon conspiracy theories, or (laughably, but not funny) herbal remedies to cure Covid.

20 years ago, it was pretty common to be concerned about outlawing abortion. But this was before the Evangelical vote became (in my memory, at least) completely fused with the conservative/republican vote. These things have changed, but not for the better, with Christians voting for the likes of Trump, and staging riots and coup attempts at our capitals.

Try to change it? Good God, I have tried. And I have failed.

The problems were too big for me or maybe, they were never mine to carry at all. Will others take up the call? Will change happen? Is it possible?

Here’s another question. Has anything changed? Really changed?

Or has only the terminology changed; becoming more friendly; more diplomatic; deceitful; “seeker sensitive?”

This burden is, at any rate, no longer mine to carry.

Meyer hits the proverbial nail on the head. Has Evangelical Christianity “changed”? If you only look at the periphery of Evangelicalism, then, sure, they have changed. I am a Baby Boomer. The Evangelical church of my youth is very different from what I see today. However, it’s the window dressing, the facade that has changed, and not the core Evangelical beliefs and practices. And that’s Meyer’s point. Look beyond the worship teams, overhead projectors, and hip preachers. What do you find? The same dogma and extremism that’s always been central to Evangelical faith and practice. And as Meyer poignantly makes clear, these things have actually become more shrill and extreme. Evangelicals have largely embraced anti-culture ideology, viewing their unsaved, non-Republican neighbors as enemies. How else do we explain the fact that almost eighty percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump — not once, but twice? How else do we explain the fact that many Evangelicals plan to vote for Trump again in 2024, and those who don’t plan to vote for Ron DeSantis — a man arguably more dangerous than the twice-impeached ex-president. How else do we explain the fact that Evangelicals were the dominant religious force behind the January 6th Insurrection? Evangelicals (and conservative Catholics) are behind the uptick in book bans and attempts to ban teaching critical race theory in public schools. These same people want to reintroduce teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in public schools, ban any support for LGBTQ students, and teach creationism in science classrooms. Politically, Evangelicals are anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage, anti-premarital sex, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and anti-separation of church and state. Is it any wonder that Evangelical Christianity is one of the most hated sects in America?

I am sure some Evangelical readers are screaming at their computer or smartphone screens: NOT ME! MY CHURCH IS DIFFERENT! MY PASTOR IS DIFFERENT! It goes without saying that this post does not describe ALL Evangelicals. I am sure Meyer would say the same. Evangelicalism is a big tent, giving space to everyone from Evangelicals-in-name-only to hardcore Fundamentalists. That said, much like a man who always seems to date blondes, Evangelicalism has a type. The late Fred Phelps and Albert Mohler are Baptist preachers. The former was known for his vitriol and homophobia. The latter is a smooth-talking Southern Baptist; a well-spoken media darling. Yet, when you peel back their outward appearance, what you find is that both men have similar beliefs. The only difference between the two is style and presentation.

Many Evangelicals distance themselves from the extremists within the sect, thinking that they can somehow rescue Evangelicalism from itself. However, when pressed about their beliefs, you will often find the same theology as that of ardent Fundamentalists. When someone tells me that they are not like the Evangelicals I critique, I typically ask them if they believe in the exclusivity of the Christian gospel; that all people are saved or lost; that unsaved people will go to Hell when they die? Their answers to these questions will tell me everything I need to know about their flavor of Evangelicalism. If believers don’t believe in the exclusivity of the gospel, the necessity of personal salvation, and the eternal punishment (and reward) of the lost, are they, in any meaningful way, Evangelical?

Those on the progressive end of the Evangelical spectrum often think that Evangelicalism can be reformed; that if Evangelicals will abandon their social Fundamentalist beliefs, reinterpret the Bible to fit modern sensibilities, and not be dicks Evangelicalism can be “saved.” However, it is fair to ask that once Christianity is made more palatable and friendly, is it still Evangelical? I think not. If someone like me ends up in Hell after death, the rest of your theology doesn’t matter. But, Bruce. I believe in annihilation. God will punish you for a time and then turn you into a pile of ashes. Surely, that’s better than eternal punishment! Ain’t God awesome? Uh, no.

Can Evangelical Christianity be “reformed”? The obvious answer is no. To paraphrase an old gospel song, “Evangelicals have gone too far to turn back now.” I see no path of reformation or redemption. Once Evangelicals traded their souls for a bowl of pottage; abandoning personal piety and salvation for raw political power, there’s no going back. Does anyone seriously believe that Evangelicals will return to the privacy of their houses of worship to await the second coming of Jesus? Not a chance.

Evangelicals will eventually destroy themselves from within. The problem, of course, is that they could take the rest of us with them. Have you been paying attention to what is going on in the House of Representatives or what Republican supermajorities are doing at the state level, including in my home state of Ohio? Scary stuff. What is the common connection between these extremists? Drum roll, please. Evangelical Christianity; men and women with theocratic objectives. We truly live in dangerous times.

Instead of talking about reforming Evangelical Christianity, the American people would be better served if we discuss ways to limit Evangelical control of the levers of power. Whether this can be accomplished remains to be seen. I live in rural Ohio. Evangelicals rule the roost, both at the state and local levels. There’s little non-Evangelicals can do to stop them. Seventy percent of locals vote Republican; Democrats have no chance of unseating Evangelical officeholders. I do what I can, but I often feel I am pissing into a hurricane.

Meyer encourages people to steer clear of Evangelicalism. I take it one step further. I say RUN! FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE! Evangelical beliefs and practices can and do cause psychological harm, and, at times, physical harm. Evangelical Christianity is not a benign religion, and it is time for the media and bloggers to say so. For people inclined to believe in God, I suggest you seek out kinder, gentler forms of Christianity.

Thanks to Josiah Meyer for provoking me unto good works. 🙂 Meyer blogs at Josiah Meyer: Spirituality, Philosophy, History, and the occasional Profanity.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Quote of the Day: What Would the United States be Like if it Was Like Israel?

juan cole

By Dr. Juan Cole, Informed Comment

What would the United States be like if it was like Israel?

After the most recent election is held, the president comes out and says that settling North America is the exclusive privilege of white Christians. He is determined to make some parts of the U.S. whiter and more Christian by giving incentives for people to move there. He names Detroit and the south side of Chicago, the state of Hawaii, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole oil-rich lands in Oklahoma.

Only white Christians are allowed to be cabinet secretaries and congressional majority and minority leaders.Non-white non-Christians like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are expelled from the House for their inflammatory speeches questioning white privilege. The citizenship rights of all Native Americans outside the original 13 colonies are revoked and they are put under martial law.

In this future Christian Zionist America, the U.S. has invaded Canada and occupied British Columbia, including Vancouver and the Great Bear Rainforest, a First Nations reserve. That is another place the president says there have to be more white Christian people, displacing the Wuikinuxv Nation, the Heiltsuk Nation, the Haida Nation and other first nations tribes. Vancouver residents from Hong Kong have their citizenship revoked and are expelled back to China. Washington State is now connected to Alaska, which the president maintains is necessary to the security of the U.S., given that you can see Russia from there. The U.S. army goes back to using conscription to have enough troops to patrol Vancouver and the rest of the province.

The new president then announces that ultimately British Columbia will be formally annexed to the United States, making the fifty-first state and renamed White Columbia. He says, however, that Washington only wants the land and real estate, and that British Columbians will never be given U.S. citizenship.

Ottawa’s vehement protests against this Yankee land grab are disregarded, and Canada is reminded of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Washington vows that Canada will never be allowed to have a nuclear program of its own.

When armed gangs from Vancouver manage to fire some rockets at Seattle, the U.S. Air Force scrambles F-18s and bombs the city, bringing down apartment buildings. People in Kitsilano are called and given an hour to get out of their homes before they are bombed. The U.S. also bombs the airport and stops any flights out of Vancouver, and forbids people in British Columbia to go out in fishing boats since they pose a security hazard. What with being able to see Russia and all.

The president appoints the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to oversee Christianity in the United States, and to decide who is a white Christian. Only Southern Baptists are considered Christians. Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics are declared ineligible to have “Christian” written on their identity cards. They can be American citizens, just as non-whites can, but they are second-class citizens.

The new president declares that white Christian businesses don’t have to serve gay people or trans people or single women who are dressed indecently and in the company of unrelated men. One of his cabinet secretaries suggests that white Christian physicians shouldn’t have to treat gays, either.

The president of Christian Zionist America declares that all oppressed white Christians around the world, such as the Afrikaaners in South Africa and the Germans in Brazil, are free to come to the United States and will be given citizenship immediately. They would be wise to become Southern Baptists and get properly baptized on arrival, though. They will be given government help to appropriate resources from non-whites and non-Christians, especially in First Nation reserves in British Columbia and in Asian-majority neighborhoods in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Stamps are issued honoring Dylann Roof (who shot down African-Americans) and Wade Michael Page (who shot down U.S. Sikhs),

Both inside the U.S. and in its occupied territory in the northwest, 33 million settlers, ten percent of the population, will be mobilized to establish apartment complexes in these places. Only white Christians will be allowed to live in them. They will be built on land confiscated from its present owners. The white Christian settlers will be allowed to walk around with assault rifles and defend themselves from any attacks from the angry owners of the land and other resources that the settlers have just helped themselves to.

Any local non-white person who makes a fuss about all these outsiders moving in and taking their land and petroleum will be put in federal penitentiary and kept in solitary, without charge or trial, for as long as the local white Christian sheriff wants. This includes children and minors. Sometimes to teach them a lesson, bulldozers will be brought in and their family homes will be destroyed. If they try to rebuild, the home will be demolished again, hundreds of times if necessary.

These African-Americans, Latinx people, Asian-Americans and indigenous North Americans will be reminded that settling North America is an exclusively white Christian right.

Note: I do a lot of writing about the theocratic tendencies of Evangelicals. Israel, with its recent political changes, seems intent on establishing a full-blown theocracy; one where Palestinians are not welcome. I suspect many Evangelicals think what is happening in Israel is a blueprint for what they would like to see happen in the United States.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Letter to the Editor: Lifewise Academy, An Evangelical Trojan Horse

letter to the editor

Letter to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News

Dear Editor,

Evangelicals have now set their sights on taking over and transforming public schools. Not content to homeschool their children or send them to private Christian schools, Evangelicals are increasingly clamoring for school boards to acquiesce to their theocratic demands. Sadly, school boards seem all too willing to bulldoze the wall between church and state, reintroducing sectarian Christianity into our schools.

Take Lifewise Academy. Lifewise, an Ohio-based Evangelical ministry, is a Trojan horse that has been rolled through the front doors of numerous local schools with no pushback from school administrators or the media. Exploiting a quirk in Federal law, Lifewise purports to teach ethics and morality. Who wouldn’t want schoolchildren to learn morals and ethics, right? What is not told to parents is that their children will be taught these things from an Evangelical perspective; and that the goal is to evangelize non-Evangelical children.

Children will be taught that they are “sinners,” inherently broken and in need of fixing. Of course, the “fix” for their brokenness is salvation through Jesus Christ. Children will be taught that they are not inherently good; that their good works will never merit them favor with God. Lifewise makes it clear in its materials that personal transformation through the salvific work of Jesus Christ is the goal for every child. Do local parents really want their children to be targets for proselytization? Lifewise’s program literature states “Our continual appeal to students will be to believe the gospel, repent from sin, trust in Christ, and get connected with a local church.” Is this what you want for your children? If so, take them to church. If not, I implore you to not let your children attend Lifewise’s classes. Their “training” is not benign. As someone who has been investigating and writing about Evangelicalism for decades, I can testify to the incalculable harm caused by such indoctrination.

Further, children will be taught that the mythical stories found in the Protestant Bible are real; that the universe was created by the Christian God; that Adam and Eve were the first humans, and all of this happened a few thousand years ago. These teachings, of course, directly contradict what students are being taught in their science and history classes.

Lifewise’s objective is indoctrination, not truth. The goal is to make new soldiers for Jesus, not well-rounded, well-educated citizens of a diverse, pluralistic society.

Sincerely,

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

For readers who want to investigate Lifewise Academy further, please check out their sample curriculum here. Local Lifewise statements obfuscate what is clearly revealed in their curriculum. The goal is “saving” unsaved children.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: The Dangerous Theocratic Delusions of Andrew Torba

Why are we allowing our country to be ruled by atheists, Satanists, and pagans? This is a Christian nation.

Gab founder Andrew Torba, Right Wing Watch, February 1, 2022

gab

At this point we [True Christians] have no choice but to “build our own” everything. That starts by supporting those who are already building and share our values. It’s not about simply building our own social networking platforms anymore, it’s about building our own Christian economy. One without cancel culture. One that doesn’t embrace the demonic and degenerate cult religion of critical theory.

Critical theory (cultural marxism, the cult of social justice, etc) is a fraudulent, vapid, and pathetic subversion of well-meaning Christians, churches, and Christian values in general.

It lures decent God-fearing people into practicing a false and demonic pseudo-religion designed to accelerate their spiritual and literal demise. It preys on the malleable minds of our youth. It enslaves those who practice it and seeks to destroy those who do not.

It is a demonic imitation gospel and most certainly not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It must be mocked, shunned, and rebuked by all Christians. Now is not the time to sleepwalk through history on this subject. We must know the enemy’s fake gospel better than they know it themselves so we can lead others away from it and towards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Talk to your kids about these things. Homeschool them if at all possible. Cut the cable cord. Delete the Big Tech apps from their phones and your own. We have a lot of work to do, but remember that we have the Creator of the Universe on our side. Through Him all things are possible.

I was talking about some of these things with a friend this morning and she used a term that made a lot of sense to me: “the silent secession.” At the moment this secession is largely digital and economic, not geographical, but perhaps that will change at some point in the future. I, for one, am in full support of Jesusland.

America is a Christian nation. The foundation of Western Civilization itself is built on Christianity and more specifically: on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. The second that changed is the second the destruction began.

— Andrew Torba, GAB News, The Silent Christian Secession, February 1, 2021

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Dear Christian: YOU are the Problem, Not Your God

odin
Compare this picture to the descriptions of the Christian God in the book of Revelation. Similar?

Atheists do not hate God. While Evangelical Christians will certainly suggest otherwise, I do not know of one atheist who “hates” God. Think about it for a moment. Do atheists believe in the existence of the Christian God, or any other god, for that matter? Of course not, so it makes no sense to say that atheists hate a non-existent, mythical being. Surely, even the densest of Christians can understand this. If I asked Evangelicals, Do you believe in the existence of Odin, the Norse God? how do you think they would respond? I have no doubt Evangelicals would laugh and say, Odin is a mythical being. It would be silly of us to hate a being that doesn’t exist. Bingo. Just like atheists and the Christian God.

Evangelicals often refuse to accept at face value what others say/believe about their God. When atheists deny the existence of the Christian God, Evangelicals say that atheists are suppressing their knowledge of this God. Supposedly, atheists KNOW that the Christian God exists, but they, having a hard heart and a seared conscience, deny his existence. Couldn’t the same be said of Christians who deny the existence of Odin?  Christians KNOW that the Norse God exists, but they refuse to accept this, clinging to a God who is no God at all.

The fact is this: atheists do not hate God. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either deliberately ignorant of what atheists believe or are so blinded by their own beliefs that they cannot fathom any other belief but their own. Wait a minute, Bruce, Evangelicals say. If atheists do not hate God, then why do they spend so much time talking about God? Good question.

While atheists know that the Christian God is a myth, they also understand that much harm has been done in his name. It is not the Christian God that is the problem. God, divorced from his followers, is little more than an ancient explanation for human existence. Who cares, right? Myths, in and of themselves, have no power. The Harry Potter books tell a wonderful story of mystery and magic, but no one in his or her right mind thinks the stories are true. Imagine if a group of people believed that what was written in the Harry Potter books was some sort of divine message from God. Does the fact that this group of people believes the stories are true mean that they are? Of course not. So it is with Christianity. That people “believe” is not proof that something is true. Millions of people believe in the Mormon God, yet Evangelicals, for the most part, believe Mormonism is a false religion. I fail to see how Mormonism’s God is any different from Christianity’s God. Taken at face value, both myths are absurd.

The real issue for atheists is what Christians DO in the name of their God. It is Christians that are the problem, not their God. If Christianity was little more than a Kiwanis Club, I suspect that most atheist writers such as myself would put down their digital pens and turn their attention to other pursuits. However, because many Christians will not rest until the entire world worships their God and bows to their interpretation of an antiquated religious text, atheists, humanists, agnostics, and secularists are forced to do battle with Evangelical zealots. Believe me, I’d rather be writing about sports, photography, or train collecting, but as long as Evangelicals continue to clamor for a theocracy governed by Biblical law, I intend to raise my objection to their theocratic ambitions.

Eleven years ago, I wrote a post titled, If Christianity Doesn’t Matter, Why Do You Bother With It? I think what I wrote then still applies today:

Bruce, if Christianity doesn’t matter, why do you bother with it?

Good question.

On one hand, Christianity doesn’t matter. The Bible doesn’t matter. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, the Church — none of it matters.

If Christians want to worship their God, I have no objection.  I subscribe to the “live and let live” school of thought. Each to his own. May Jesus be with you. May the force be with you. May nothing be with you. I don’t care.

However . . .

I do care about the influence Christianity has on our culture and government. I do care about the damage done in the name of the Christian God. I do care when people are hurt, maimed, and killed in the name of Jesus.

When Christians want to turn the United States into a theocracy . . . It matters.

When Christians want their religion to have preference over any and all others . . . It matters.

When Christians demand atheists and agnostics be treated as the spawn of Satan . . . It matters.

When Christians attempt to teach religious dogma as scientific fact in our public schools . . . It matters.

When Christians attempt to force their religious moral code on everyone . . . It matters.

When Christians attempt to stand in the way of my pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness . . . It matters.

When Christians abuse and molest children in the name of their God . . . It matters.

When Christians wage wars thousands of miles away in the name of their God . . . It matters.

When Christians mentally and emotionally abuse people . . . It matters.

When Christians expect preferential treatment because of who they worship . . . It matters.

As long as Christians continue to force themselves on others, and as long as they attack and demean anyone who is not a Christian . . . It matters.

As long as pastors and churches get preferential tax code treatment . . . It matters.

That said . . .

As to who you worship and where? It doesn’t matter.

As to what sacred text you use? It doesn’t matter.

I want all Christians to have the absolute freedom to worship their God.

And . . .

I want that same freedom to NOT worship any God or another God . . .

And as long as that courtesy is not extended to me and to every human being on earth . . .

It matters.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Thirteen Ways Catholic Christianity Influences Daily American Life

atheism

#1. Christianity is the basis of Western culture. “Christianity has, for more than seventeen centuries … has been a major determinant of Western culture….”

#2. Christian values inform all aspects of life. “Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not)….”

#3. Christianity infuses even secular culture despite all efforts to the contrary. “Christian dominance has become … invisible … the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate….”

#4 Catholicism is the basis of all forms of American Christianity. “One [example] of institutionalized power … is the dominant Western form of Christianity that came to power when the Romans made Christianity the official religion….”

#5. Schools are Christian institutions. “Christian institutions have also played a deep, founding, and shaping role in U.S. school systems.”

#6. Prayer in public schools and the knowledge of the Ten commandments are important to Christian education. ”[P]ermitting prayer in schools and … posting of the Ten Commandments … lay the groundwork for more oppressive laws….”

#7. Christianity teaches that there is no compromise between good and evil. “A major Christian belief … is that everything not associated with good and Godliness is connected to the devil (Satan)….”

#8. The word Crusade still resonates with the notion of noble goals. “The word “crusade” … resonates with images of good white Christian knights fighting against evil.”

#9. The Blessed Mother still prevails as the model for all Christian womanhood. “Mary … exhibits as much transcendence as a woman can achieve as a passive and virginal (therefore perfect) receptacle for God.”

#10. The hierarchical model of Creation in which humanity rules over nature is still in place today.  “[W]e must free ourselves from the restraints [Christianity] has imposed … so that we can establish … mutuality, cooperation, sustainability, and interdependence with all life.”

#11. Most modern holidays have Christian inspirations, even the “secular” ones. “Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian.”

#12. The “capitalist” or free market system is a product of Christianity. “[C]apitalism [came from a] Christian culture whose prime focus was individual salvation….”

#13. Christian morality still informs the present economic system that is opposed to socialism. “Our challenge is to reject … Christian morals by … building an economic system … based on mutual support, cooperation and a commitment to meet people’s basic needs.”

— Edwin Benson, Return to Order, 13 Ways Christianity Influences Daily Life that Secularists Hate, June 23, 2021

Quotes, I believe, were excerpted from the Christian Hegemony website.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Do Atheists Want to Turn the United States Into an Atheist Nation?

anti atheist sign

I speak generally about atheists and atheism. I cannot speak for all atheists.

The short answer is no!

I do not know of one atheist who is working to turn the United States into an atheist nation. I do know a number of atheists who are working very hard to stop theocrats from turning the United States into a Christian nation.

Most atheists want neutrality. Theocrats want authority, domination, and control. When it comes to government and public education, atheists want Christian dogma checked at the door. Atheists want science taught without creationism and other mythical Bible stories being part of the curriculum. Christians are free to learn about creationism at home or in their houses of worship. They are also free to home school their children or send them to Christian schools. However, when it comes to public schools, evidence-based science is the only science that should be taught in classrooms. Atheists expect public school classrooms to be free of sectarian prayers, Bible readings, and attempts to proselytize school children.

Atheists want oaths and prayers to God banished from the halls of Congress and any place our secular government does its business. Atheists want the first amendment and the separation of church and state strictly applied. Atheists know that the United States is a secular state, and they expect the government to function as a secular state.

Atheists promise to fight attempts to use government funds and programs to support churches and private religious schools. Atheists promise to work to end church tax exemptions, clergy tax exemptions, and the clergy housing allowance. The fight is direct and to the point . . . there is no place in the United States for state sanctioned, state funded religion.

Atheists respect the right of religious people to believe what they want, and they ask Christians to extend atheists the same courtesy. Atheists have no desire to turn the United States into an atheist state, and they sure as hell do not intend to let theocrats turn the United States into a Christian state. Atheists know that history clearly shows that when church and state are one, people die and freedom is lost.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Rebellion and How an Authoritarian God Deals With It

rebellion

Rebellion is a common word in the vocabulary of Evangelical Christian pastors, church leaders, husbands, and parents.

Here’s what the Bible says about God’s view of rebellion:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

Those who practiced witchcraft were to be put to death (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:9-11), so it is clear that God considered rebellion a serious matter.

God commanded a harsh punishment for a rebellious son:

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

The Old Testament is the written record of how a thrice Holy God dealt with a rebellious people, Israel. Page after page details God’s judgments against his people and those who got in his way.

When we get to the New Testament, the word rebellion is not used. Does this mean that God has changed? Of course not. How is it possible for a perfect God to change? Malachi 3:6 says:

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

The Bible says, speaking of Jesus:

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

It is clear, from the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God that God is immutable. He doesn’t change (though there are a few texts that seem to suggest otherwise).

Evangelical churches and pastors generally believe that both Testaments are authoritative (especially those Old Testament verses about tithing). Granted, Evangelicals are quite contradictory in their interpretations of the Old Testament, picking and choosing what they want to believe, but they do say all sixty-six books of the Bible are authoritative.

The key word is AUTHORITATIVE.

Evangelicals take seriously the matter of rebellion because they believe that the Bible is an authoritative text, and from that text they deduce an authority structure.

It goes something like this:

  • The Christian God is the supreme authority over everything. He is the sovereign King and Lord over everything. He is the creator. He is in complete and absolute control. Even with salvation, no one can be saved unless God permits them to be saved. Both Calvinists and Arminians alike believe God is the final arbiter when it comes to salvation.
  • The Christian God has established an authority hierarchy in the church. Under Jesus Christ, pastors (elders, bishops) are the head of the church. They have been called by God to teach, correct, lead, and direct the church. They are to initiate discipline when necessary to ensure the church is a pure, holy body (though many churches have a pretty low standard for pure and holy).
  • The Christian God has established authority hierarchy in the home. Again, under Jesus Christ, the husband is the head of the home, and his wife is to submit to his authority. Children are to obey their parents, and submit to their authority.
  • The Christian God has established an authority hierarchy for nations. All nations are to bow to the authority of the Christian God. Their laws should reflect God’s law. Better yet, theocracy, God rule, is the best form of government.

Evangelical Christians believe God rules over everything. There is no King but Jesus, and no God but the trinitarian deity of Christianity.

The problem here, of course, is that Evangelical Christians are human. Contrary to all their talk about being saved and sanctified, Christians are pretty much like the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world. For all their praying and confessing sin, they live and talk just like everyone else. Simply put, like all of us, they do what they want to do.

And that is a big, big problem.

You see, the authoritative God of the authoritative Bible demands absolute obedience. God expects Christians to implicitly and explicitly obey his commands. All of them. God will have none of this picking and choosing that American Christians love to do.

So everywhere you look you have Christians in some form of rebellion against God, their pastors, their parents, or their husbands. No matter how much they pray, read the Bible, go to the altar, and promise to really, really, really obey God this time, they continue to lapse into sin and rebellion.

This is what Jesus told his followers in Matthew 5:48:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

It seems “nice” Jesus didn’t lower the standard when he came to earth. God expects and demands perfection. God will have none of this “I am not perfect, just forgiven” cheap grace Christianity. Jesus expects his followers to walk in his steps. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they have been given everything they need pertaining to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)

The difference between atheists and Evangelical Christians is guilt. Evangelicals live in a constant cycle of living right, rebelling, feeling guilty, repenting, and going back to living right. This cycle can go on numerous times a day. Atheists can feel guilty at times, but since they are not encumbered by a long list of Biblical laws, commands, rules, regulations, precepts, or standards, they are less likely to feel guilty. With no God hovering over them and no pastor preaching at them, the atheist is pretty much free to enjoy life. Generally, atheists try to live by the maxim: don’t hurt or cause harm to others, and when they fail they are likely to make restitution and ask for forgiveness from the people they hurt. No need for a God, Bible, church, or pastor. As humans, atheists have all the faculties necessary to be a good person.

What makes it worse for Evangelicals is that when they go to church on Sundays, their pastors remind them, from the Bible, of course, of how rebellious they are. These fallible, frail, sinful men of God point out the sins of their congregants, reminding them that God hates sin. These whitewashed sepulchers call on rebellious church members to repent. You would think that people would get tired of all this, but each week they dutifully return to church so their pastors can remind them of their sinfulness and need of repentance.

Children, especially teenagers, get this same treatment from their parents. When children don’t obey their parents, they are chastised and reminded that God hates rebellion. But kids will be kids, as every parent knows, and in most homes, it seems that children are either starting into rebellion or coming out of it.

Parents are commanded by God to beat the rebellion out of their children (Proverbs 13:24). God provides himself as a good role model to follow.  Hebrews 12:5-10 says:

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

The Bible records how God goes about chastising rebellious Christians. He maims them, makes them sick, kills their families, takes away their possessions, starves them, and, if necessary, kills them. God goes to great lengths to make sure a Christian seeks after the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Here’s how God expects Evangelical Christian parents to respond to the rebellion of their children:

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. (Proverbs 23:13,14)

Let me tie this all together.

A divinely authoritative text from an authoritarian God establishes authority structures (hierarchies) for the church, family, and nations. Disobedience to God-ordained authority is to be punished.

For those of us raised in this kind of Christianity, we well know how this works out practically. The Bible, in the hands of God’s man, the pastor, is used to dominate and control people. Individuality and freedom are discouraged, and, in some cases, severely punished.

Pastors remind their churches about “pastoral authority.” Parents remind their children that they are to be obedient, and threaten them with punishment if they don’t. Husbands remind their wives that they are the head of the home and their word is f-i-n-a-l. Collectively, Christians warn government officials that Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and God demands they submit to the authority of God, the Bible, and his people (this is the essence of the theocracy movement in this country).

Some readers are likely weeping by now. Their minds go back twenty years or more to a time when they were teenagers. Their parents considered them rebellious. Often their rebellion consisted of things such as listening to rock music, smoking, getting pregnant, talking back, having sex, or smoking marijuana. Their parents, needing to show them that they were in charge, sent them off to group homes to get their “rebellion” problem fixed. What really happened is that they were cruelly misused, abused, and debased. Years later, their lives still bear the marks of the Godly “rebellion” treatment they received.

It is hard not to see cultism in all of this. I am sure Bible-believing Christians — people of the book — will scream foul, but the marks of a cult are there for all to see if they dare but open their eyes. Millions of people attend churches that believe the things I have written about in this post. This is what Bible literalism gets you. How could it be otherwise?

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Quote of the Day: What Does U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr Really Want?

bill barr

But at least since Mr. [Bill] Barr’s infamous speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School, in which he blamed “secularists” for “moral chaos” and “immense suffering, wreckage and misery,” it has become clear that no understanding of William Barr can be complete without taking into account his views on the role of religion in society. For that, it is illuminating to review how Mr. Barr has directed his Justice Department on matters concerning the First Amendment clause forbidding the establishment of a state religion.

In Maryland, the department rushed to defend taxpayer funding for a religious school that says same-sex marriage is wrong. In Maine, it is defending parents suing over a state law that bans religious schools from obtaining taxpayer funding to promote their own sectarian doctrines. At his Department of Justice, Mr. Barr told law students at Notre Dame, “We keep an eye out for cases or events around the country where states are misapplying the establishment clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith.”

In these and other cases, Mr. Barr has embraced wholesale the “religious liberty” rhetoric of today’s Christian nationalist movement. When religious nationalists invoke “religious freedom,” it is typically code for religious privilege. The freedom they have in mind is the freedom of people of certain conservative and authoritarian varieties of religion to discriminate against those of whom they disapprove or over whom they wish to exert power.

This form of “religious liberty” seeks to foment the sense of persecution and paranoia of a collection of conservative religious groups that see themselves as on the cusp of losing their rightful position of dominance over American culture. It always singles out groups that can be blamed for society’s ills, and that may be subject to state-sanctioned discrimination and belittlement — L.G.B.T. Americans, secularists and Muslims are the favored targets, but others are available. The purpose of this “religious liberty” rhetoric is not just to secure a place of privilege, but also to justify public funding for the right kind of religion.

Mr. Barr has a long history of supporting just this type of “religious liberty.” At Notre Dame, he compared alleged violations of religious liberty with Roman emperors forcing Christian subjects to partake in pagan sacrifices. “The law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy,” he said.

Barr watchers will know that this is nothing new. In a 1995 article he wrote for The Catholic Lawyer, which, as Emily Bazelon recently pointed out, appears to be something of a blueprint for his speech at Notre Dame, he complained that “we live in an increasingly militant, secular age” and expressed his grave concern that the law might force landlords to rent to unmarried couples. He implied that the idea that universities might treat “homosexual activist groups like any other student group” was intolerable.

This form of “religious liberty” is not a mere side issue for Mr. Barr, or for the other religious nationalists who have come to dominate the Republican Party. Mr. Barr has made this clear. All the problems of modernity — “the wreckage of the family,” “record levels of depression and mental illness,” “drug addiction” and “senseless violence” — stem from the loss of a strict interpretation of the Christian religion.

The great evildoers in the Notre Dame speech are nonbelievers who are apparently out on the streets ransacking everything that is good and holy. The solutions to society’s ills, Mr. Barr declared, come from faith. “Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct,” he said. “Religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline.” He added, “The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.”

Within this ideological framework, the ends justify the means. In this light, Mr. Barr’s hyperpartisanship is the symptom, not the malady. At Christian nationalist gatherings and strategy meetings, the Democratic Party and its supporters are routinely described as “demonic” and associated with “rulers of the darkness.” If you know that society is under dire existential threat from secularists, and you know that they have all found a home in the other party, every conceivable compromise with principles, every ethical breach, every back-room deal is not only justifiable but imperative. And as the vicious reaction to Christianity Today’s anti-Trump editorial demonstrates, any break with this partisan alignment will be instantly denounced as heresy.

….

“What does Bill Barr want?”

The answer is that America’s conservative movement, having morphed into a religious nationalist movement, is on a collision course with the American constitutional system. Though conservatives have long claimed to be the true champions of the Constitution — remember all that chatter during previous Republican administrations about “originalism” and “judicial restraint” — the movement that now controls the Republican Party is committed to a suite of ideas that are fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution and the Republic that the founders created under its auspices.

Mr. Trump’s presidency was not the cause of this anti-democratic movement in American politics. It was the consequence. He is the chosen instrument, not of God, but of today’s Christian nationalists, their political allies and funders, and the movement’s legal apparatus. Mr. Barr did not emerge in order to serve this one particular leader. On the contrary, Mr. Trump serves a movement that will cynically praise the Constitution in order to destroy it, and of which Mr. Barr has made himself a hero.

— Katherine Stewart and Caroline Fredrickson, The New York Times, Bill Barr Thinks America Is Going to Hell, December 30, 2019

Quote of the Day: The Rise of Christian Fascism

chris hedges

The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself. Capitalism, because God blessed the righteous with wealth and power and condemned the immoral to poverty and suffering, became shorn of its inherent cruelty and exploitation. The iconography and symbols of American nationalism became intertwined with the iconography and symbols of the Christian faith. The mega-pastors, narcissists who rule despotic, cult-like fiefdoms, make millions of dollars by using this heretical belief system to prey on the mounting despair and desperation of their congregations, victims of neoliberalism and deindustrialization. These believers find in Donald Trump a reflection of themselves, a champion of the unfettered greed, cult of masculinity, lust for violence, white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, religious intolerance, anger, racism and conspiracy theories that define the central beliefs of the Christian right. When I wrote “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” I was deadly serious about the term “fascists.”

….

Tens of millions of Americans live hermetically sealed inside the vast media and educational edifice controlled by Christian fascists. In this world, miracles are real, Satan, allied with secular humanists and Muslims, is seeking to destroy America, and Trump is God’s anointed vessel to build the Christian nation and cement into place a government that instills “biblical values.” These “biblical values” include banning abortion, protecting the traditional family, turning the Ten Commandments into secular law, crushing “infidels,” especially Muslims, indoctrinating children in schools with “biblical” teachings and thwarting sexual license, which includes any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Trump is routinely compared by evangelical leaders to the biblical king Cyrus, who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem and restored the Jews to the city.

….

The ideology of the Christian fascists panders in our decline to the primitive yearnings for the vengeance, new glory and moral renewal that are found among those pushed aside by deindustrialization and austerity. Reason, facts and verifiable truth are impotent weapons against this belief system. The Christian right is a “crisis cult.” Crisis cults arise in most collapsing societies. They promise, through magic, to recover the lost grandeur and power of a mythologized past. This magical thinking banishes doubt, anxiety and feelings of disempowerment. Traditional social hierarchies and rules, including an unapologetic white, male supremacy, will be restored. Rituals and behaviors including an unquestioning submission to authority and acts of violence to cleanse the society of evil will vanquish malevolent forces.

….

Christian fascism is an emotional life raft for tens of millions. It is impervious to the education, dialogue and discourse the liberal class naively believes can blunt or domesticate the movement. The Christian fascists, by choice, have severed themselves from rational thought. We will not placate or disarm this movement, bent on our destruction, by attempting to claim that we too have Christian “values.” This appeal only strengthens the legitimacy of the Christian fascists and weakens our own. We will transform American society to a socialist system that provides meaning, dignity and hope to all citizens, that cares and nurtures the most vulnerable among us, or we will become the victims of the Christian fascists we created.

— Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Onward, Christian Fascists, December 30, 2019

Bruce Gerencser