Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Conservatives straining gnats and swallowing camels

Just in case ever wondered why this blog so often takes aim at American conservatives, I think I found the perfect way to explain.  No, it's not because I'm a left wing socialist hippie.  It isn't because I'm a Democrat or a huge fan of President Obama either.  No, it's nothing like that.  I found a great visual aid to help me explain though.  Check out this movie trailer, it contains the distilled essence of why I find American Conservatives so incredibly annoying:

Conservatives frustrate me to no end because they are endlessly obsessed with non-issues while happily ignoring real problems.  They are just tone deaf beyond belief!  This trailer showcases it perfectly.  First you have all this talk about how America is changing, how rights are disappearing and the constitution is under attack.  That's a great start because it's all true.  This is a conversation that needs to happen, Conservatives need to call out Liberals on the fact that under Obama:

  • Indefinite detention without trail became legal.
  • State sanctioned murder without trail of citizens at the president's discretion became legal.
  • The books get cooked regarding the collateral damage of drone strikes by simply labeling all casualties as enemy combatants regardless of whether they were or not.
  • The Bush era warrantless wiretapping and surveillance program was extended, and
  • the only people prosecuted in relation to spying on citizens and torturing POW's were the whistleblowers who alerted the public of government misdeeds.
So yes, liberty is under attack.  Freedom is in danger.  The constitution is being undermined.  But guess what?  When Conservatives say those things they aren't referring to the Fourth Amendment becoming increasingly pointless.  No, instead all they ever get riled up about is the idea that America isn't Jesus-y enough.

Instead of dealing with any of the many real problems they instead choose to play the martyr over the most ridiculously superficial things like putting up religious displays or whether people say "Merry Christmas" or not.  It's as if the religious right have no idea what "freedom of religion" even means!  Not getting to put giant crosses, mangers and a baby Jesus on every piece of public land in no way affects your freedom to worship.  In fact, last I checked the Bible specifically warned against turning your faith into a public spectacle.  Unless I'm mistaken, those verses should be in American Bibles too.  This has nothing to do with freely practicing your faith and everything to do with making a public display of piety.  Just a thought, but if the only indications of your faith are your lawn ornaments your faith may very well be superficial to the point of nonexistence.  If you can't be happy in your beliefs without forcing everyone else to go along with it, what does that say about your beliefs?  This movie may depict a fantasy world where evil secularists are trying to oppress Christians but that bears no relation to real life. It's just fantasy role play.  It allows you to pretend to be brave Christian heroes when in reality you are being neither brave, Christian nor heroic.  If you keeping the 10 Commandments on the local courthouse to be more important the suffering of the poor in your community then you really have nothing to offer but empty gestures and hollow symbols.  You are not fighting for freedom, you're not being noble, you're being a pompous ass.

It's  actually easy enough to figure out whether your religious liberty is really in danger or whether you're just suffering from Persecution Envy.  Just answer the following questions honestly:

Are you free to do business? Are you free to take part in your country’s political system? Are you free to share your opinion in the press? Are your children welcomed in public schools? Are you able to work? Are you free to go to the church of your choice? Are you able to freely purchase and read a Bible? Do you have free access to Christian radio and television broadcasts? If you answered “yes” to these questions then you are most certainly not being persecuted.

Does your government ever raid your church? Are you forced by law to meet in secret? Are you in any danger of being shipped off to a concentration/internment/”re-education” camp for your religious beliefs? Are you forbidden to vote or run for office due to your religious beliefs? Are you legally forbidden from raising complaints about government policies? If you answered “no” to these questions then you are definitely not being persecuted.

Comedians making fun of Christianity or aspects thereof may be guilty of bad taste but they are certainly not guilty of persecuting you. Placing an atheist sign next to a nativity scene may be a dick move but it doesn’t count as oppression of the Christian faith. Matt 5:10 only applies in cases where people are persecuted, insulted and mocked for doing good. It does not apply to cases where Christians are insulted (or prosecuted) due to fraud, blatant dishonesty, unfair censorship and general douchebaggery (See 1 Pet 2:19-20). As long as you have the freedom to disagree, people expressing opinions contrary to yours regarding religion, abortion, birth control and homosexuality are not guilty of persecuting you either.

So no, your religious freedom is just fine.  So why pretend it isn't?  Why ignore all the extremely valid criticisms of Obama's presidency in favour of imaginary issues?  Why attack straw men when there are real problems to address?  Because as long as you keep doing that, it's going to be very hard for people to take you seriously on anything.  If you put all your efforts into avoiding reality, don't be surprised when it renders you increasingly irrelevant to people in the real world.

So the movie's villain just happens to be a liberal black lawyer?  Real subtle!


GumbyTheCat said...

Nice post as always. Good to see you referencing your Persecution Envy post, possibly my favorite post of yours. I looked at the trailer. Oh good gawd, that looks like a terrible movie!

Eugene said...

Well Chuck Norris personally endorsed this movie and did promos for it so that should tell you everything you need to know about its quality!

I'm a little sad that I have to keep referring back to my Persecution Envy post. Is this ever going to change?