Thursday, December 11, 2008

The GOP's "God Problem," Part Four

A reader responds to a post on Rod Dreher's blog:

I am that, which for many American conservative and or literalistic and or fundamentalist Christians, does not exist: A gay man who is a Christian.

And that is a big part of their problem. Beginning roughly in the late Nixon era and increasing by leaps and bounds, a very intolerant, totalitarian faction of Christians shouted down all other Christian voices in the republican party. Just as anyone who dared to argue that torture was not an American way to conduct war was screamed down as unpatriotic, just as anyone who dared suggest our enemies were the the people who declared war on us on 9/11 and not Irak, was labeled a traitor, so any Christian who dared to point out that the republican party was not God's Only Party was hastily shown the door.

I believe it was the sad Shiavao death in Florida which ultimately forced other genuine Christians to come out of their ecclesiastical closets, stop muttering "but they are only a very loud minority, they don't speak for my Christianity" and say: Enough.

It is not so much that the voters left the republicans, it is the republicans who left the voters. Look at the number of conservative thinkers who were tossed under the bus, fired from their editorial chairs and roundly reviled in the months leading up to the election. George Will was made out to be somewhere to the left of a Marxist-Leninist-Fascist-pinko-commie. Chris Buckley (not over fond of him personally, but I know good writing when I read it) was reviled as some sort of Trojan horse at best, a turncoat most likely. I could go on for hours, even Douthat got a pretty rough trouncing for daring to apply reasoned analysis to the mess.

Instead of seeking a dialog, these Christians have vilified everyone who does not share their goals exactly . I am gay, therefor any recognition of my civil rights must mandate that the church be forced to marry me. If someone suggests we could reduce abortion by providing teen-age girls with better sex-education, it is equated with opening a neighborhood brothel and making daddy's little girl put on those fish-net hose and stand on the corner.
When a vaccine is offered which will reduce a young woman's chances of dying a horrid death from cancer is brought to market, both the manufacturer and those who advocate saving women from cancer are typecast as the spawn of satan...

OK, I will stop there. Speaking directly to these fundamentalists, now:

I believe in monogamy, committed life-long marriage and find no-fault divorce a horribly bad idea. Abortion appalls me. Guess what? Instead of making me your ally, you strip me of my rights, equate me with the most debased of criminals and try to have children adopted by gays and lesbians stripped from them. You have made enemies of us, and done so in God's name. There's a pretty severe injunction on that...oops, forgot, it being OT, it no longer applies. Right, only those texts in the Bible which support your views count. And anyway, what is the word of God's son against Paul's Christianity? Goodness, in the end, Jesus was only God incarnate as a Jewish Rabbi who ran around offering salvation and the joy that comes of knowing God. What is that when you can push hatred and intolerance? They work, for a while. Eventually, they always fail. And that is exactly what has happened.

Fine, you say - but since I'm gay, who cares? Well, the republican party says only somewhere between 1.7 and 2 million of us gays voted republican this year. By their own estimate, at least 2/3 of us voted against you or stayed home. Now add in all the other Christians you booted out, all those who actually were awake and present in Macro and Micro Economics 101, all those who oppose torture and senseless wars...and there you have your problem.

In all honesty, if Sarah Palin is the future of the republican party in the eyes of fundamentalist and or literalistic and or conservative Christians, that alone should tell you it's time to read those parts of the Bible which talk about Jesus message of love. You have re-interpreted the Bible's message and Christianity to mean what you want it to mean. For the first time in quite a while, the Americans didn't fall for it.

I couldn't have said it better.

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