Sunday, August 2, 2009

The perils of giving Christians power proven yet again

I would like to start this blog by saying that I really hate to say "I told you so" but that would be a lie. I love saying it. But I do realise that this is a rather annoying character flaw and I'm working on it. Still, once in a while something so vindicating happens that its hard for me to contain myself. Little over a year ago I wrote a blog post on how badly Christians handle power. Now I think the examples I listed there as well as the history of Christianity since Constantine (and perhaps earlier) proved my point just fine. So really when Jeff Sharlet released a book called "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" it was really just icing on the cake. On the other hand its the kind of icing that makes you sick to your stomach and thats the reason I'm not currently doing the I-told-you-so-dance. Like most people I found out about this group of Christian politicians when a series of sex scandals involving these good Christian Conservatives hit the news. That alone should have been a sign that there is something wrong on a much deeper level. After all if a group of people all living in the same house all got cancer we would suspect that there may be something carcinogenic in that house. Similarly the fact that about 5 men living in the same house and belonging to the same organization all suffered serious moral failings should have been a clue that there was something seriously wrong with the atmosphere in that house! So then I really shouldn't have been this surprised by this interview with the author and yet I never imagined things would be this dark:



When studying Judaism I came accross something facinating regarding the Name of God - the concepts of chillul Ha-Shem and kiddush Ha-Shem. Any deed that increases the respect accorded to God or Judaism is referred to as kiddush Ha-Shem, "sanctification of The Name", on the other hand, any act that causes God or Judaism to come into disrespect or a commandment to be disobeyed is often referred to as chillul Ha-Shem, "profanation of The Name". I think here we are dealing with a clear case of chillul Ha-Shem. I am a Christian and stories like this leave a bad taste in my mouth. I can't even imagine how this goes over among non-Christians.

You know as much as I like to say "I told you so" there are times where I would have much preferred to be proven wrong instead...




For more information on The Family, check out the Wikipedia entry

5 comments:

digapigmy said...

this isn't surprising. their belief system sounds like a weird calvinist predestined philosophy - it's barely christianity, but that's neither here nor there.

any time you get a group that has a lot of power together, you will get stuff like this. if you have a religious background, you are in power because God put you there, if you're Obama it's just because you're smarter than everyone else.

Eugene said...

I agree, power corrupts and it doesn't really matter if you are atheist, Methodist or Muslim, sooner or later those in power will abuse it.

The problem I have here is the bad name they give to Christianity. This clip in particular shows how this news gives Bill Maher - who already enjoys making fun of believers - yet another stick to beat Christians with. It becomes just so much harder to convince anyone that Christianity offers something better than the rest of the world with wackaloons like this making the news.

digapigmy said...

you can't worry too much about a guy like bill maher. by his logic, your average history textbook is "wicked". his mind is made up.

i meant to say in my previous comment that the only people likely to care about this are people who have made their minds up one way or the other -- you're either bothered by it because you're Christian or you're amused by it because you hate Christians and love it when people who claim Christianity do stupid things.

digapigmy said...

my dad found this - good luck confirming it. It's funny, though, that the LA Times was investigating this group 7 years before Bill Maher gives someone credit for being the only one looking into this stuff.

http://www.drudge.com/archive/105531/clinton-coe-and-christian-mafia

Plucky said...

Christians love power . . . They crave having the "power of the Holy Spirit" yet only want their version of what that looks like . . . Usually whatever can make them look as though they are better than you, closer to God than you and somehow more put together than you . . .

As always, the fruit of the spirit takes a distance second in priority . . .