Parting Glances: JHVH’s Rainbow Scapegoats

By |2014-04-10T09:00:00-04:00April 10th, 2014|Opinions, Parting Glances|

It’s something of a psychological truism that when problems seem insurmountable – too overwhelming to cope with – “smaller” problems are created as a distraction.
It happens in life. It certainly happens in American religion.
These so-called, more manageable strategies become an automatic postponement to avoid facing alarming, bedeviling, subliminal truths that just won’t go away. The Devil in the details, sort of thing.
For fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, gays, same-sex marriage, reparative therapy – masturbation, abortion, sex itself – have all taken center stage as today’s rallying causes to keep true believers – biGODts – from facings some troubling sociological truths about their brand of Christianity.
For starters, America’s fundygelicals are facing competition from a growing number of religious and spiritual competitors. Islamic faiths are making inroads. The Mormon Latter Day Saints is now considered the fastest growing church in America. Then there’s yoga, Scientology, Jehovah Witnesses, cults galore! All tax-free competitors for tithe-paying members. Hence, mega-churches. Safety in numbers.
As for missionary work, fundygelicals are increasingly being excluded from preaching in a number of countries: India, Russia, China, Antarctica. (Mormons, who had a special – and most convenient – “revelation” in 1978 that black males could at last be members of its set-apart priesthood, are winning converts big time in South America.) Unfortunately, Uganda is an egregious LGBT hate-mongering outreach, thanks to fundygelical biGODts.
According to these theocrats, JHVH created Adam & Eve & Serpent 5,000 years ago. New archeological and paleontological findings almost daily expose this nonsense to millions of Americans by way of the internet. Scientific literacy is available at the touch of a keyboard, or by iPhone. Science versus mythology. E = mc square!
The internet has also made possible another bugaboo for fundygelicals: x-rated sites. There are now about 90,000; some, non-missionary-position to be sure, play no small part in the appearance of a new religious sharing phenomenon: support groups for Christians guilty of watching porn. Biology versus belief.
Fundygelicals say all this social unrest, all this spiritual upheaval, is because we’re living in the Last Days. Such anxious saved souls expect Jesus to return and ‘rapture’ all true believers heavenward. After 2000 years, it hasn’t happened. (The New Testament says Jesus is to return to those living in his day.) Such pressure is psychologically stressful. Especially without sex.
The winter issue of The American Scholar features an in-depth article, “The Empty Cathedral: Why Evangelical Christianity is going the way of the drive-in movie theater.” Highlight quote, “Young people complain that churches are too focused on sexual issues and their own institutional development. Christianity no longer looks like Jesus.”
“Many of these same youth are leaving because of anti-gay preaching.” Amen.

About the Author:

Charles Alexander