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Giving Christianity a Bad Name (2005)

Giving Christianity a Bad Name (2005)

©2005, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2005, Fall). A word from the editor: Giving Christianity a bad name. Transgender Tapestry, 109, p. 6.







Giving Christianity a Bad Name 

By Dallas Denny

It’s been said politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel, but it’s rather more likely that politics is but a waystation on the road to scoundreldom. Witness, for instance, convicted felon Charles Coulson. Coulson was one of Richard Nixon’s henchmen… er, aides. When politics failed him and he found himself in prison, he turned to—guess what—religion. Specifically, he became a born-again Christian, which has made him quite a lot of money. Nowadays, abetted by the right-wing Christian broadcasting industry, he gets paid to fill the airways with moral indignation. He uses Christianity— not only his own (which I am cynical enough to believe is not genuine), but yours and mine to preach hate for anyone other than white, upper-class Anglo-Saxon males. He frequently targets transgendered and transsexual people.

Unfortunately, Coulson is but one of scores of pundits who use a façade of Christianity to justify attacks on racial minorities, women, immigrants (legal and otherwise), LGBT folks, non-believers (that is, those who don’t worship a god or whose God is a little different from theirs), and even the disabled. Think Rush Limbaugh. Think Sean Hannity. Now, think of punditry legitimized by the title Reverend: Jerry Falwell. Pat Robertson. James Dobson.

These pundits, are, of course, the mouthpieces of a right-wing “Christian” industry that sometimes seems to exist only to attack, demean, and defame me and you. Claiming to defend traditional families and marriage (which are not “traditional” at all, being only several hundred years old ^), and using organizations which include words like “American,” “Traditional,” “Values,” and “Moral” in their names, they obsess not on God, as they should if they were truly Christian, but on people who are not like them—and especially on people who, in their estimation, erode moral values and contribute to a supposed decline of society. That’s you, fella or missy, and me. GLBT people are squarely in the sights of this propaganda machine, which works tirelessly to stop legislation to ensure our civil rights and to repeal the few existing laws that do so.

They go way beyond not liking us. They have become intensely and intimately involved in politics—a politics that supports the already privileged ultra-wealthy at the expense of the common people, despises nature and our beautiful planet, and is engaged in a dangerous and destabilizing course in world politics. They have taken over the Republican Party, the Presidency, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the governorship and legislatures in many states and are busy installing “right”-minded judges in state and Federal courts with an eye to, among other things, overturning Roe vs. Wade. (But these are not “activist” judges, oh no. Only Democrats can have activist judges).

This American Taliban, these Western-Mullahs will not stop even when they have succeeded in packing the courts with judges who will not punish those who intimidate, harass, and kill us. They won’t stop when they’ve passed laws forbidding our behavior and mode of dress and outlawing our expressions of sexuality and gender. They won’t stop even when they have robbed us of the very freedoms for which our forefather fought and died. They won’t stop when they have succeeded in repealing Roe vs. Wade and forced women out of the workplace and back into roles as housewives. They won’t stop when they’ve turned their sights to and done away with civil rights laws that protect racial minorites. They’ll stop only when they have succeeded into turned America into a theocracy, only when they have managed to force us, at threat of our liberty and of our lives, at gunpoint or threat of stoning or burning at the stake, if need be, to worship their God and to conduct every aspect of our lives according to their view of what is right and proper and holy—if they even allow us to live. Just like in Iran.

To all this, my Christian friends say “Don’t judge us by Rush Limbaugh.” “Don’t judge us by the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells. They’re not the real face of Christianity. Christianity isn’t like that.”

To my Christian friends, I say, “Christianity is indeed like that. Christianity is exactly like that.” To my Christian friends I say, “These folks are the face of Christianity today. They’re in control. If you don’t fight them, if you don’t do whatever is necessary to reclaim the church and the airwaves and to stop them from using God’s name to justify a politics of hate, if you don’t throw them out of the temple, then you have forsaken your god and your religion.”

Like it or not, the zealots have taken over Christiandom. The madmen are running the asylum. Christ is, of course, nowhere in it, but like it or not, Robertson and Falwell and Coulson and their ilk have become the face of Christianity today. They overpower and overrun the voices of reason, which don’t speak loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough or in numbers enough to be heard above their cacophony.

If you’re Christian, you should be incensed that these heretics have hijacked your God and your Christ and your religion. If you care about Christianity, it’s incumbent on you to wrest control of Christianity from them and to throw them out of the temple and to dismantle their hate-filled propaganda and political machines. If you don’t, and if you truly believe in Christ, you’ll need to find a new name for yourself, lest you be identified with this tribe of the unholy, this group of sacreligionists, these “Christians.”

Hatemongers have taken over your Christianity. Be outraged. Be outraged.

 ^ Truly traditional families are not comprised of Ward June, Wally, and The Beaver. Truly traditional families are not nuclear, but extended, with parents, siblings, grand- and great-grandparent, aunts, uncles, and cousins living together or in close proximity and working together to advance their common fortune and protect one another, raise healthy children, and care for their elderly and infirm. Truly traditional marriages are not based on romantic attraction; they are arranged, with an eye on bringing extended families into alliance and increasing the common wealth and property holdings. Romantic marriage and nuclear families are artifacts of the Industrial Revolution, which removed people from their villages and crammed them into cramped, dirty cities. They are not traditional at all, but social experiments which have bred many of our modern ills, including juvenile delinquency, a high rate of divorce, a poverty-stricken elder class, the general anomie that pervades XXIst-centuryAmerica.