I think the right wing evangelical radical Christian movement has reached a dangerous tenor. Paul Krugman sums the case up nicely, so I won’t belabor the obvious reasons why this is so. The question is, what to do?
As in Krugman’s essay, I find myself, like many, on shaky ethical ground here. I firmly believe in the free exchange of ideas and would adamantly defend the rights of those who think differently than me to do so. So it is difficult for me to be intolerant – even of those who are intolerant. But I do think that Krugman is on to something. It is that tolerant nature that the intolerant are playing against us. But it can’t be just that simple. After all, if they were doing this in the name of some ceramic dimestore idol, they would just be dismissed as crackpots. Their intolerance would be harmless.
However, they are doing this in the name of the Christian religion. The religion practiced by the majority of Americans. Further, they have asserted that to be Christian, you must believe as they do, and much of their ideology has roots in one biblical passage or another. I think this makes it very difficult for more well-adjusted Christians (which I believe are most of them) to take a hard stance against the radicals. Many are still having occasional crises of their own faith, and it’s hard to be called anti-Christian when you are trying to be just the opposite. Still, I think they are the only ones who can do the job.
Krugman seems to think the Democrats need to step up. I don’t think they can. I don’t think the Jews can, or the Media, or the Veterans, or the Gays, or the Atheists. None of these groups are in a position to denounce the radicals’ actions as being non-Christian. And without that denouncement, the radicals will always be able to fall back on the position that they doing the Christian God’s work in His name.
In order to defeat the radicals and their not-so-hidden agenda to control our government, media, and nuances of our lives they have no business even addressing, it is necessary to rob them of their mighty Christian banner. That is the source of their power, and they are abusing it. They are giving real Christians a bad name, and they should be as much an embarrassment to them as the radical Islamics are to ordinary Muslims. But only the Christian groups can do that. Until mainstream ministers, bishops, etc. start to expose radicals for the frauds they are, they will continue unabated. Ultimately, the masses of good Christians out there need to rise up and label these radicals as something else. Something different. Something that exposes them as the minority they are. I think it’s time for the Christians to act. If not in our defense, then in their own.