The left hates the church. This is fact and not fiction. You can count on them to use the coronavirus in an attempt to damage Christianity. Their ultimate goal is to sell preachers on a future church with a vastly decreased influence on the nation.
They proved both their hatred and their future plans by the way they closed the churches during this pandemic. They should have found a way to keep churches open, and they could have done so, easily: they found a way to keep “necessary businesses” like Planned Parenthood open. – Mario Murillo, May 1, 20202
“Christian convictions are under attack as never before,” Republican candidate Mike Huckabee said. “We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”
Kindergarten Religion is a religion that thinks of itself as the single most important spiritual expression on earth.
Kindergarten Religion is that kind of religion that lives in a perceptual world of superstitious moral absolutes.
Persecution is essential to Kindergarten Religion. Venture with me into Kindergarten Christianities version of Plato’s cave.
The foundational attitude of right-wing evangelical Christianity is that persecution is a sign of the true church.
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).
Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you (1 John 3:13).
Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man (Luke 6:22).
Therefore, under the watchful eyes of the Jesus of Kindergarten Religion, conservative political and religious leaders capitalize on this. Fanning flames of fear such religious charlatans use straw man imagery to rally literal-minded believers who seem to think a conservative Christian with his hand out asking for money is the most Christ-like thing a man of God can do and be.
Mario Murillo, for example, asks believers to accept the idea that public safety as a policy is not less important than freedom of religion, but less important than when meetings can be scheduled and held at the expense of a vulnerable community.
The idea that civic leaders must subordinate public well-being to the self-important aggrandizement of individual religions leaders is silly. There are many more churches who find ways to hold virtual meetings online with participating congregations that are in no way believing their spiritual way of life is threatened by government edicts.
The Mormon Church of my childhood culture recently held its semi-annual general conference – a tradition now almost 200 years old – in its mostly-empty Conference Center digitally complete with the usual sermons and Tabernacle Choir music that was broadcast world wide. The Church was not harmed by this, is still going strong and is not at risk of being damaged by American civic authority.
My St. Luke’s Parish of the Episcopal Church has been conducting digital services complete with digital sermons and almost daily updates from our Rector and Priest. We receive weekly updates and on-going group-participation emails from members participating in the Education for Ministry program from which we self-quarantined almost 11 weeks ago.
Christianity is not fading out or becoming meaningless in this country.
The very noise made by the public priestly buffoons and positive responses from believers generates sufficient proof that American Christians are not going away anytime soon.
What has been going away for some time now is the historically treasured religious and racial majority previously enjoyed by a white majority in this country. Whites are no longer the majority race in this country and that majority is not going to return.
Fundamentalist evangelical Christianity is no longer the vital force it once was. It’s rigid, inflexible and judgmental domination of society ain’t there anymore. When you spend a lot of time at the top of the heap, the risk of someone else grabbing your ankle and pulling you off your throne can be threatening if you live a life of fragile egotistical security.
Folks like Franklin Graham, Murillo, and the coterie of evangelical toadies around a U.S. President are planted only on a sandy foundation. They continue to cling to his hypocrisy when he says what they want to hear and then acts in an entirely different direction
To be blunt about it, white fragility seems to be as virulent as Covid-19 itself.
True religion is not organized religion governed by imaginary theological concept and club rules of participation.
True religious freedom was and still is the intent of the 1st Amendment. Nothing in that amendment authorizes persecution of anyone else. Nor does it authorize obfuscation as a tool of political manipulation.
Real religion is personal, private and serves well to inform personal integrity without artificial moralities defined by someone else and enforced socially by someone else.
Kahlil Gibran on Religion
Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”
All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.