In recent years, the American people have been subjected to increasingly virulent messages of hate and and right-wing exploitation of ancient morality from the Evangelist movement. Wholly dependent upon political connections, wealthy Southern Protestants, and an American youth eager to embrace something, anything that they perceive as a unifying factor of their country. Few have chosen to stand in their way- John Kerry bent over backwards to avoid offending Protestant sensibilities and paid dearly for it, television programs and movies have begun pre-emptively censoring themselves to avoid retribution from Evangelical families who shelter their children from reality at every possible turn, and government figures both left and right are always careful to structure their platforms in such a way to capture as many Evangelical votes as possible, regardless of the benefits to the country. In the pursuit of these votes, many have overlooked some inherent hypocrisies in this movement, or chosen to ignore them.
However, as an atheist, I am not afraid to hear people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson condemn me to hell. Also, as a political outsider, I have no votes to gain- only answers. I hope. Here are some fundamental questions directed to the American Evangelist Right that I have not been able to reason answers to for myself.
1. Where was God when those evil liberals poisoned our children?
In other words, if God is directly opposed to things like abortion, gay marriage, etc., why doesn’t he simply say so, rather than ‘choose’ to speak through incompetent, fabulously wealthy intermediaries here on Earth? The question sounds fairly sophomoric until given deeper consideration. The Bible makes it clear that God has walked the Earth before, and as such, why did he simply not walk into the Supreme Court House in 1973 and tell us that abortion is wrong? Why didn’t he just stride onto the Boston Commons when the gay marriage rulings were made last year and tell us that gay marriage is wrong? God, being an omnipotent, omniscient being, would surely have the power to do all these things without even marginally exerting himself. So where is he? This is a fundamental question that seems like it would be important to get an answer for from American Protestants.
2. Since when was God in favor of killing so many people?
Here we focus on the death penalty, to start. I am at a loss as to how I’m supposed to understand that the Christian Right has taken phrases like “thou shall not kill” (from the voice of God) and “turn the other cheek” and “let he who has no sin cast the first stone” (from the voice of God’s only son, the Messiah) and turned them into “you guys down there- it’s totally cool to murder your own citizens. Even children and retards. Don’t mess with Texas!” The inherent hypocrisy is something to the effect of ‘the fundamental ethics of our religion teach us that killing our fellow Man, God’s creatures, is wrong, so the best way we can punish murder is to… you know… kill our fellow Man… God’s creatures.” Something is amiss. Maybe Jerry can explain that one to me. Please.
And then there is the War. Why has the Christian Right aligned itself with the party closest associated to rampant ‘defense’ spending and aggressive military action worldwide? How is the act of inciting global terrorism through an incompetent, money-driven foreign policy at all congruent with the ultimately pacifist teachings of Christianity?
3. Where’s the part where Jesus talks about how much he hates gay people?
Think for a moment back to the last time you read the Bible. Okay, specifically the Gospels, the word of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Saviour. Think about how many times Jesus encouraged you to feed your poor (welfare?), respect and love your fellow man (responsible foreign policy?), and promote change in the world (liberalism?!). Think about all the other cheeks he turned. Think about what his opinions on caring for the Earth that his father, God, the Lord and Creator-deity, constructed for us to have dominion over would be.
Now think about all the times he told you that gay marriage is unethical.
4. Does God hate Jeff Gannon as much as he hates Jim McGreevey?
If so, how did he slip past the careful theological net of modern Republicanism? How did this poisonous, venomous snake of a demon Satan-worshipping sodomite manage to get into your carefully controlled, family-oriented, non-white-Muslim-killing, revenge-mongering, blundering, incompetent, unaccountable, irresponsible, lazy, lying, blasphemous party? How come America hasn’t simply burst at the seams by this point? How come the presence of this dastardly servant of the dark powers hasn’t resulted in the out-and-out obliteration of this nation as we know it? Which segues nicely into…
5. Why have hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused death and destruction in regions populated mostly by devout Southern Baptists or other Protestants?
Conservatives hate environmentalists. This is just a fact. They don’t listen to environmentalists, they believe that ‘environmentalism’ is a junk science, just like other nonsense crackpot theories like evolution and that germs cause disease. As such, it is beyond them to believe that the nasty hurricanes of 2005 could be indicators of climate change, thus, no reason to panic, no reason to involve us in the inconsequentially-costly Kyoto protocols. But what should we do then? One conservative radio commentator clearly stated that God is smiting the Gulf for allowing gambling in certain states, such as parts of Louisiana. Shame on them. Thank God the destruction in Louisiana so pales in comparison to the vast swathes of natural-disaster devastation that have leveled the sodomite liberal rat holes filled with indecency, drug abuse, and broken families* like Massachusetts. Oh, wait. That’s not actually happening. That’s weird.
6. Why has God yet to smite Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh?
Ann Coulter- a middle-aged, single woman without a husband to submit herself to, no children to raise by herself. No men in her life to be obedient to.
Rush Limbaugh- a conservative radio commentator who blows family values out his asshole on his radio program despite being on his third divorce. Fun facts: also under treatment for misuse of prescription painkillers, and was on welfare until he was twenty.
7. Where’s my smiting?
I’m in line. I’m waiting. I have a lot less faith and probably a lot more sins than the poor of New Orleans, yet here I remain, seated comfortably in front of my Sony Vaio with cable Internet connection in an air-conditioned home, basking in the superior family values of Massachusetts. So God: come and get me.
No lightning yet.
Pat Robertson: come get me.
Who wants to cast the first stone?
*The liberal rat hole of Massachusetts, despite claims of being absolutely devoid of family values, has the lowest divorce rate in America.