Time to turn the tables: Conservatives do NOT define Christianity!
I’ve been seeing a lot of crap online lately about Christians having to follow a certain conservative-defined set of beliefs. I’ve been complaining about it on Facebook and Twitter; I’ve been feeling abused, traumatized, and very, very tired.
So yet another conservative (Matt Walsh this time) is shooting his mouth off about what “Christian” means and saying,
I don’t care how you feel about Trump, if you’re a Christian you cannot support Joe Biden. The fact is that Joe Biden supports and will impose policies that contradict the moral tenets of your faith at the deepest levels. The same cannot be said for Trump. And it’s that simple.
(I replied, “NOPE. Conservatives don’t get to dictate to us what “Christian” means. They’re backing a monster. I’m sick of people saying you can’t be “Christian” if you’re a Democrat. I’M DONE.”)
And the other day I learned about a pastor saying that people in his church who are “woke” need to be subjected to Matt 18 church discipline, with excommunication a possibility. Then there’s a poster on The Ancient Way forum–who I remember from when I posted there between 2005 and 2010?–saying this:
Well, as far as whether kooks are dealt with appropriately, I’d say it’s the general problem of people entering the Church and thinking their own ideas to be the mind of the Church, and refusing correction from the consensus of Holy Tradition. Many walk around with all kinds of ideas out of whack with Tradition. Some think divorce from other churched Orthodox and remarriage to be perfectly fine and necessary, others that same sex sexual relations or other sexual relations outside of holy matrimony are not sin, still others that women ought to be priests, some hold that the words of Christ on some issues today are not relevant, a few do think that interracial marriage is somehow bad, and even more think that a majority race ought to be prosecuted if not persecuted for imagined “privilege” and alleged inherent unconscious racism, all ideas that were never taught by the fathers. This refusal to be corrected by the Tradition of the Church constitutes sin, a failure of obedience, humility, and submission. Anything we say, including me, should be subject to such correction. —rusmeister
(I remember this person. I saw him as a fanatic 15 years ago, too. He’s the one who yelled at me when I came to the forum asking for advice after witnessing Tracy abusing one of her kids. It shocked another poster, who privately messaged me with resources if I needed them. Rusmeister is an American convert always praising Russia and dissing everything Western–and, by the way, he said that blacks have no right to complain about how they’re treated because he sees REAL oppression in Russia. ? )
Then there’s the Ayn Randites who say screw poor people, screw the old, screw the sick, take off your masks and just let them all die: It’ll siphon off the excess population and be great for the economy. (You’ll find such a person, Matthew Harvey, in the comment section here.)
Then there’s the multitudes of conservatives acting all butt-hurt because the rest of the world doesn’t want to follow their Archie Bunker ideas anymore of what makes good TV or comics or movies or books. Maybe we got tired of how women and minorities were being portrayed. Maybe we got tired of fat jokes and wife jokes and dumb women having to be rescued. DEAL WITH IT. The culture has moved on.
And don’t forget how, for many years now, we’ve been called libtards, Demoncrats, feminazis, accused of having a mental disease, because we refuse to let money-grubbing fat capitalists tells us what’s best for us or the environment.
Then there’s the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories–Illuminati, QAnon, New World Order, Soros, etc.–which all come straight out of the Nazi playbook.
Plus there’s a multitude of forum posts, tweets, blogs, placards, bumper stickers, TV shows, magazines, articles, etc. etc. etc. telling us that “Christianity” means “vote for the GOP so they can make abortion/homosexual marriage etc./whatever we don’t like illegal!”
You know what? You can shove it all. I’ve read the Bible so many times I can’t even count anymore. What you’re pushing is NOT CHRISTIANITY. It’s your own Pharisaical, man-made Christianity. There is no truth in it, only oppression, only white patriarchal dominance.
I’m sick of people like this telling me what “Christianity” means and–every time somebody tries to point out that Trump is the opposite of Christian–saying that Dems, Biden, whoever, is in favor of abortion. That’s just whataboutism, ignores all the realities of the issue, and takes the focus off the real atrocities being committed in the name of Christ by an antichrist named Trump. So we’re supposed to forget all about the kids in cages, the poor being oppressed, people losing their healthcare, women losing their hard-won rights, minorities and immigrants and LGBTQ+ feeling frightened, because Biden doesn’t believe in the government getting between a woman and her doctor and conscience?
We’re supposed to back down and say “Oh, I’m sorry, you know best, I don’t” and let you keep dominating the discussion? We’re supposed to let you keep defaming the name of Christ? We’re supposed to let people like this continue to smear mud all over Christianity just as they have for hundreds of years? These people are the reason why non-Christians hate Christians! They are the reason why we don’t get more converts, why so many people are instead leaving the churches in droves! They see the hypocrisy and want no part in it!
It’s time to fucking turn some tables over. It’s time to stop letting the conservatives dominate everything. It’s time to stop being polite. They DON’T define Christianity. They don’t even know what it is.
This also kind of relates to another issue: A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted,
Someone else’s post on a totally unrelated incident re: abuse and shame turned on a light bulb for me: Even though I myself published on my site my stories of abuse, I still get uneasy about “exposure.” Why is that? Because the abusers made me feel ashamed, and it still lingers.
Basically, in a private forum, there was a discussion about someone who posted their abuse story, and whether it was the right of other people to share it. Someone noted that abusers so shame their victims that they still fear exposure, even when they know what was done to them was wrong.
It explained to me why I get nervous about people reading the many abuse stories I’ve posted here, even though they are public. You’ll note that I don’t use my real name; I also get very protective about my real name on Twitter, where a group of trolls occasionally tries to “out” me.
That’s because my many abusers tried to shame me, make me feel like it was my fault they treated me that way. It still lingers, still comes out when I see trolls or abusers going through my site, still occasionally makes me want to take all the stories down off the Web.
But this is all part of the Shame culture perpetuated in conservatism: It permeates everything, from your sexuality, to your beliefs, to your thoughts, to any deviation from the accepted dogma on any issue, whether religious or political or social.
Shawn, for example, shamed me because he had taken in himself the patriarchal Purity culture idea that the woman is responsible for stopping a man from whatever he wants to do. So even though it was always his idea, and I always let him lead, he turned it into MY character failing, MY fault, MY disgustingness.
Phil shamed me for not letting him be right in everything, for not letting him have his way in everything.
Tracy shamed me for not following a strict code of behavior from the oppressive Purity culture; she and Richard shamed me for not following the extrovert’s code of behavior.
All of them are WRONG.
I have no reason to be ashamed because other people abused me. That is all on them.
I have no reason to be ashamed because I don’t fit somebody else’s idea of what it means to be a Christian. I have my own mind, my own heart. I can think for myself. I can reason. I don’t have to submit to anyone else’s ideas.
Time to turn some tables. DON’T YOU SPEAK FOR ME.
You mentioned Russia. The things you are discovering about Russia have been increasingly obvious for the last few years. Russia is a deeply narcissistic nation, at least as narcissistic as many members of the dominant culture in the United States. And Russia is being led by a man who promised to make Russia great when he first came into power. Now, over 20 years later, the Russian economy is no bigger than the economy of Italy. Russia, like the United States, is being ravaged by COVID-19 and wildfires induced by climate change. Russia’s population continues to shrink. And the Russian Orthodox church, like the White American evangelical/Protestant church, serves as a pillar of national narcissism.
The national narcissists in the United States are decompensating. I expect that we will start to see a similar decompensation shortly in Russia.
Putin was scary some 20 years ago when he was first rising to power. I remember how he took over in a country that was suffering from not converting to capitalism very well. It was ripe for an authoritarian. I’ve seen how he’s been catering to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is turning into his puppet. All very familiar. I also wrote about this in a previous post, https://nyssashobbithole.com/main/trump-putin-antichrist/ Authoritarian leaders seem to follow a familiar playbook.