Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Intolerance for the intolerant

I've struggled for awhile with my growing intolerance for the Christian right. I am well aware that my feeling of disgust for them may make me almost as bad as they are. I recently finished Frank Schaeffer's book Crazy for God. I laughed my ass off at the parts I could relate to, as well as the parts where he so candidly refers to the stupidity of evangelical leaders and followers. Schaeffer's examples resulting from his direct work with Jerry Fallwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson do well to illustrate the authentic hypocritical nature of these people. Learning about the seething hate and intolerance that motivated them, I feel truly sick that the word Christian has ever been used to describe them.

Being raised in a pretty conservative Christian environment, I often rubbed elbows with evangelical Christians. My mother regularly watched the 700 Club and listened to irrational preachers when they made claims: If you give your daughter dancing lessons, she will grow up to be a stripper. Consequently, I never got to take ballet or tap. My mom was determined to spare me God's wrath by avoiding the evils that could so easily result from a 5-year-old girl taking ballet.

I know my mom meant well, she loved me dearly, but I think it came down to her desire for someone else to think for her. She didn't want to make decisions in her own life, so she deferred that task to others. Perhaps that is what attracts followers to the religious right? There is no gray area, no perceived uncertainty. When things are black and white, and right and wrong, your ability to reason proves to be unnecessary.

I wonder if these little girls will grow up to be strippers.

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