Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Death, Dying and Continuous Attacks on the Religious Right

It's becoming more and more popular to attack religious conservatives these days, separating them from the bulk of Christianity and making a public example of their extremism. First, the article Joey linked to in the SF Gate, and now a treatise on how Christians like death more than life from the NY Times. This should make us happy, right?

Yet, the indie kid inside me just thinks it's all getting a bit lame. Now that everyone is discovering how easy it is to attack fundamentalists without dragging down the rest of Christianity, I can't help thinking about how much I have in common with the religious right. Sure, there's enough there to make me hate with all the intensity of a 1000 fiery suns, but we do hold the same beliefs on who Jesus was and what he came to earth to do. I can't really say the same about myself and Unitarians.

Is it a bad thing to have a foot in each camp, kind of straddling the fence between obsessive fundamentalism and enthusiastic relativism? Or am I painting this in too stark of terms? Maybe the middle ground is much larger than I give it credit. All I know is that I don't feel very communal these days.


At 4/14/2005 12:14 PM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

The middle ground is unfortunately a vast landscape of uncertainty and apathy. Being at an academic setting that places itself "in the middle," I am constantly bombarded by ridicule of those who I consider friends in the "fundamentalist evangelicals." I agree with you Jonny, I remember being at Huntington and mostly enjoying speaking about how ridiculous and hypocritical the evangelicals were, but now I realize that I'd trade 1,000 mainline protestants for 10 fundamentalists who are doing something about what they believe. Meanwhile, most christians across the board are ignorant and do nothing.
The NY times article is mistaken in focusing too much on the death love of coservative christians and forgetting that this is matched if not overwhelmed by the death loving of the rest of culture. Instead, he sees a conservative Christian behind every death lure in our culture, including the new NBC mini-series, Revelations, which is created by the writer of the Omen, not your standard Left-Behind reader.
Overall, the conservative fundamentalist is the new radical liberal, easy to bash but in the end nothing but a strawman. The response is not to ridicule and make fun but to present an alternative ethic of life and hope instead of judgement, cynicism, and "liberal" freedom.

At 4/15/2005 4:14 AM, Blogger Jeff BBz said...

Amen! That's all I really have to add. I am in exact agreement. that's all i got.


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