I have a very dear friend who is going through the most terrible time of her life, yet her Christian faith has never wavered. She once told me you could sum up Christianity in a sentence. “What is that?” I asked. “Christ died,” she answered, “so we would be nice to each other, even before […]
The never-ending election of 2012 has given me pause to think about God, faith, and freedom. I have felt since the beginning of this campaign that the religious Christian right is out to get me. Not me personally. I’m too old and insignificant to be worth paying any attention to at all … but anyone like me and certainly, anyone like me still young enough to bear children.
I’ve put a lot of thought into this for a great many years and after all the years and all the thinking, I’ve come back to where I began: I don’t know the Truth and neither do you.
Therefore, I will let my conscience be my guide and do what feels right.
You can believe whatever you want, but you don’t know a single thing more than I do. You believe in God, but you have no proof there is one. What you have is faith. Faith is not proof; it is opinion dressed in fancy clothing. It doesn’t matter how many people believe the same thing you do. A few or many, faith is neither fact nor proof. You believe what you believe because you believe it. You can’t prove anything.
You want certainty, but all you have is faith. You’d like me to buy your faith and accept it as proof, but as it turns out, I’m a hard sell.
A little history
Christians have a special enthusiasm for killing in the name of Jesus, who was a pacifist. Never mind the contradiction; it doesn’t have to make sense. During the Crusades, the armies of God marched across Europe murdering every Jew they found, often by rounding up a whole village, locking them in their synagogue, then burning it down with every man, woman, and child inside. When these fabled romantic heroes ran out of Jews, they began to slaughter their fellow Christians with no diminution of enthusiasm.
Marauding Crusaders wiped out entire Christian villages and depopulated provinces while on their way to save Jerusalem from the Infidels. By the time they got to the Holy Land, between their various squabbles and disease, they were significantly reduced in number and didn’t get to kill very many infidels . No matter. They had racked up impressive kill numbers of Jews and other Christians. It’s easy to kill unarmed people. It was harder when they actually encountered Saladin and other leaders who fought back. Then, blood-lust quenched, and Jerusalem still firmly in the hands of the infidels, the victorious armies wended their way home, raping, pillaging, and killing as they went.
This is the kind of history that has made me wary of embracing Christianity. Forgive me if I detect a degree of ambivalence in how Christians feel about me.
Back to the present
This election was the last straw. I believe everyone should be free to practice their religion and customs in peace. But it’s time to stop worrying about everyone else’s rights and start giving some thought to my own.
When I add current attacks by right-wing fundamentalists to several thousand years of historical persecution by Christians, I don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling.
I realized today that I’m weary of the endless war. I’m tired of being bullied. I’m tired of explaining patiently over and over that yes, I believe in choice for women. No, I don’t believe that a 4 week old embryo has the same value or rights as a starving five-year old.
I don’t want prayer in public schools. That’s what churches and other houses of worship are for. I encourage anyone who feel a need to pray to attend one.
People who would refuse food stamps to hungry kids have no right to claim the moral high ground and lecture me on the morality of abortion. Moreover, anyone lacking a uterus should really just shut up. Women do not need to be instructed by men in what do about their own uniquely feminine health issues.
I grew up in the world before Roe versus Wade. I remember the terror of coat hanger abortions, sepsis, and deaths. Lives were lost, lives were ruined. In my opinion, if you don’t have a uterus and a vagina, you have no right whatsoever to tell any woman what to do with her own body. I’ll believe that God opposes abortion when God tells me Himself.
I’m weary of being bulldozed by a Christian majority. I’m tired of having my beliefs belittled and my concerns dismissed.
Fundamentalist Christian bullies have done their co-religionists a serious disservice. They pushed until they drove a lot of us from a passive, relatively sympathetic neutrality to active hostility. Even though their agenda has been soundly rebuffed, they keep pushing. It isn’t going to work. Those of you who are pushing should stop. You are not advancing your cause; you are hurting it.
I want my freedom. Keep your religion out of my life, out of my email, and off my website. Believe whatever you like; I will never interfere. Pray in your own schools. Keep Christ in your Christmas; I’ll try to keep fruitcake in mine.