as i've read reports of the republican national convention, my mind has been occupied with the dangers of religious fundamentalism. i worry about all those children whose minds are being twisted by the lessons being taught in home schools and in "christian" schools. one of the blogs i follow, monkey mind (www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeymind/), recently wrote a post entitled, "is teaching kids creationism child abuse?" based on bill nye's recent big think video on youtube, "creationism is not appropriate for children." this, too, elicited more thought on the arguments against the path that evangelical christianity is taking in our country. the very fact that "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" have become synonymous tells us much about the perception of christianity in this nation.
what will be the role of those home-schooled and "christian-academy-schooled" children in our political life as they become adults? will they continue to believe that the biblical account of creation is a scientific account? will they think that they can use God for their own political-religious purposes as their parents do? the very idea that one can twist the bible to mean whatever one wishes to prove a predetermined philosophy is so far removed from my idea of what the bible's purpose is that i want to disavow this approach as strongly as i possibly can.
i am always suspicious of those who are convinced that they have the answers to all of life's questions, and the religious and political certitude of the christian right frightens me beyond measure. the suggestion that their principles are unquestionably correct and that there can therefore be no compromise with those who disagree defies everything upon which this country was founded. those who subscribe to the christian right's philosophy and methods appropriate God for their own purposes, and i fear that they will lead our nation to a moral precipice from which we will all fall as the nation ignores reason, restraint, and mutual respect.
why are our progressive churches not crying out against this danger? why are we who are progressive christians not joining forces with other progressives to speak out and to fight these wrongs? is it because we believe that as champions of tolerance and freedom we will be guilty of the same narrow vision as those we oppose?
my prayer today is that all of us who oppose the idea of religious fundamentalism and right-wing bigotry will stand up for what we believe, seeking common ground with other political and religious points-of-view where we can, but never knuckling under to the bullying of the right in the name of tolerance. shalom.