I've noticed a few things post election:
Evangelicals aren't posting constantly about how we should all "pray for the President" anymore.
Also, they have suddenly stopped claiming that "leaders are appointed by God and deserve our respect."
Funny how God only appoints and demands respect for Republicans.
Funny how they only scream about praying for the President when it is a Republican.
Also worth mentioning, none of the stay at home, Evangelical moms are posting incessantly about #savethechildren anymore.
Guess it wasn't about saving the children after all --- it was just about virtue signaling before an election.
Marylin Manson is getting CANCELED and the libs who spent years defending his edgelordism now say what evangelical crusaders against obscenity have been saying throughout the 1990s: "Manson is a terrible influence on our youth". And indeed he is probably is an abusive prick, but this will not my focal point here - the viral twitter posts that shared the story it emphasized on how he was 37 when he met 18 year old Rachel Wood and "groomed her". The emphasis was on the age difference with "grooming" quickly being picked up as new go-to buzzword of woke twitter.
A lot of women started spilling their personal stories of how they were "groomed" as 17/18 year old GIRLS by 22/24 year old grown MEN. Don't want this to sound like incel posting but problematizing legal age gap relationships is coming from the same people who are Ok with letting prepubescent kids decide if they want to be put on puberty blockers, yet somehow 18yr old chicks who fell for a hot older guy who turned out to be a jerk are told "you were groomed, sis! your brains haven't finished developing yet!"
How do wokies reconcile such contradictory beliefs?
So I posted a longish comment in the FS sub a few weeks ago, but alas, it’s lost to me because I have no desire to rejoin that sub after it went private. I don’t think I can fully recreate it from memory, but I wanted to expand on some of my main points and also address the xenophobia conversation as well.
First, a little about me: I grew up in the Slavic Evangelical Baptist in an immigrant community within the U.S. The community often visited and worked with the churches in Russia, Ukraine, and other ex Soviet republics. My family and extended family are Russian, Russian Jewish, and Ukrainian (and a few other nationalities).
Second, from my perspective, I think concerns about Ellissa and Andrii are warranted and many of them do not stem from xenophobia (though we should call out the ones that do…more on that later).
When talking about what Ellissa may experience, I think it’s important to consider that the Evangelical churches within Slavic countries are like their own microcultures. Yes, they are influenced by the broad culture, but they have their own set of rules that sets them apart. For example, you may have heard about how boisterous, rowdy, and fun Slavic weddings can be, where they can last well into the night/next morning. If Andrii’s church is an Evangelical Baptist church, however, their reception (if they have one in Ukraine) will not likely have any dancing or alcohol. (If they have a reception and it does have dancing and such…I would actually count that as a good sign…the church he goes to is more lax).
Anyway, one of the main factors that will affect Ellissa’s experience is where on the fundie scale Andrii’s church falls. One of the best-case scenarios is that it’s like a slightly stricter John MacArthur church (think fundie-lite, hyper-Calvinist, biblical literalism and inerrancy, complementarianism, etc). And I say “best case” only because it will be something that Ellissa is more familiar with, and therefore the transition will go more smoothly. Even in this “best case” scenario, she will face some differences from the typical American Evangelical church. While some rules are going to be a little more relaxed compared to the more fundie Slavic churches (e.g., women would be allowed to wear pant/jeans/shorts outside of church services), there will still be significant emphasis on style/looks. Gender roles are also going to be more pronounced than she is used to. And they don’t just pay “lip-service” to gender roles and home... keep reading on reddit ➡
These people love to lecture women about modesty.
These people love to slut shame.
These people are the first to ask what a woman was wearing before taking her sexual assault seriously.
These people love to shame women for embracing their sexuality.
These people love to lecture the world about morality.
These people love to whine and scream about how immoral abortion is.
Yet they went out, in droves, and supported a man who brags about sexually assaulting women by grabbing their vagina.... and who committed adultery multiple times, including with a porn star.
Never, NEVER let them lecture you about morality again.
Never let them shame you.
Never let them act like they are on some moral high horse ever again.
I grew up in an extremely conservative church because of my parent’s beliefs. I never understood why christians were so outspoken about being AGAINST things more than the values they were FOR. I never understood why you would want to align yourself with a religion that was more excited about Sarah Palin than MLK.
Well. Here it is you assholes, the numbers show that if you identify as a Christian, you’re identifying as a hateful trump supporter. Think you’re one of those “good” ones who can change the momentum of an entire religious institution? Nope. You’re just telling me that it’s more important to have an identity as a christian than to actually live a life of kindness and love for others- because guess what, you don’t HAVE to be a part of a religion to believe and live those things, but you’ve chosen to stick by it regardless.
In my opinion, if you wanted to truly be a part of a community that wanted to show love toward humans of this world, you would distance yourself as far away as possible from anything with such a toxic, political, hateful, exclusive, and selfish group if people.
EDIT: To all those saying “not all christians”, my rant was not about how christianity can’t be kind and inclusive, the point is that- like it or not- you are choosing to identify with a large sector of the population who loudly and majority supports trash like Trump. Like it or not, that is what you’re identifying with right now. Anyone who is targeted by that bigoted rhetoric is going to stay far far away from you. There is another option- still believe in your god and work to be kind and loving and inclusive but distance yourself from that terrible reputation. Just a thought.
Throughout the past few election cycles, we have seen misinformation propagated by prominent Evangelical leaders based on political motivation.
Prominent Evangelical leaders such as John MacArthur, who claimed that "there was no pandemic" based on the spurious evidence that "only 6% of COVID deaths were actually from COVID".
We've seen Franklin Graham compare the perceived 'betrayal' of Donald Trump by GOP leaders refusing to overturn the election to that of Judas and Jesus.
We have seen Robert Jeffress call Evangelicals who chose not to support Trump "morons".
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just intended to flavor the discussion with well-known examples of Evangelical political activism.
We have heard that Evangelicals will lose influence as their share of the population shrinks (https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/).
However, their share of the voting populace remains strong (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/07/how-religious-groups-voted-in-the-midterm-elections/ and http://www.christianitydaily.com/articles/8710/20161206/faith-played-huge-role-election-2016-barna.htm)
Recently we have also seen Evangelical publications express concern over perceived spread of conspiracy theories being propagated: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/christians-conspiracy-theories/
What sort of effects can we expect Evangelical political activity to have on our electoral landscape moving forward?
It absolutely blows my mind that so many fundie and evangelical christians vote for their countries' conservative/right wing political parties (not just in America), that actively prevent people in poverty (also people with mental illness or other hardships) from having proper access to healthcare, resources, foodstamps, and financial support for education. They preach about following Jesus and rant about it all day on social media, and then vote against anything that would actually help people. Every. Time. Jesus helped people. Jesus cared for people. Jesus called out the excessively wealthy and the insincere religious people. So what's not clicking???
AND THEN these same christians have the audacity to turn around and call LGBTQ people "against God". And also call progressive christians who don't agree with them "fake christians, deceivers, etc". Like??? YOU don't follow Jesus, you follow select verses from the bible that make you feel like you have a clear black & white view of good vs. evil that you can use to feel holy (but only the verses where you don't actually have to do anything or help anyone of course, beyond going on useless and often harmful missions), you follow easy crusades like being anti-abortion, and then you idolize a fake image of conservatism being "wholesome and pure and Godly". So hypocritical and shameful.
As a teenager, I was forced to go to an evangelical church with my family. What they preached is truly some of the most cruel things that broke my already cynical attitude towards religion. They would sing these hymns amongst themselves, detailing how great the “rapture” will be. I do not know how hoping for and wanting a time when millions, if not billions, will die and suffer torment for the rest of their lives just because you can live in a vague “paradise”. I was maybe 15 when I heard of the rapture in the church, and I asked the pastor about it. He said something like “well, that’s because we can finally leave this twisted world”. My feelings about religion, more specifically Christianity, were already poor, but after that I felt nothing but despise towards Christianity, particularly the evangelical brand of it.
The goal is to eradicate faith. Pretending to know things you don't know is hazardous to both your personal health and the body politic. Trusting nature to care about your problems is about as smart as trusting a hippopotamus to do the same. That said, to be without God is the fundamental fear of a theist. It is not the abandonment of comfort that we must concentrate on, but the coping with fear.
Imagine someone religious on their deathbed. They're at peace because they think they're about to meet jesus or bang 72 virgins or walk in the fields of Elysium or whatever. They're expecting ecstacy that never ends as soon as their heart stops. Why? Because the fear of death is infinite. It is a wishing well of infinite depth. You can toss the most absurd, massive, peaceful fantasies into that fear and never hear an echo to confirm or deny it. All you can do it wait. You may hear a retort from someone standing beside you, but the coins they toss in don't echo either. It's a personal preference to wait or not.
At what point do you stop waiting? At what point do you accept that the hole is infinite?
You can tell someone their fantasies, their God delusions, are trash. And they might be. But it's not the coin they toss in that's the problem. It's the hole. They see millions of bodies falling in that hole every day and the best they can do is throw sacrifices at it. They hope it will leave them alone or at least have a table set for them when they're pulled in. And in the meantime as a bonus, the structure of the coin tossing rituals help take their minds off their impending doom.
Do you have any better ideas?
I don't, at least not at the moment. Atheism is great at helping people save their coins, but it's garbage at helping them cope with the fear of death. I've heard a thousand atheists poke holes in religious doctrine for literal decades between two individuals and it doesn't work. Even if it did, there are plenty of other faiths (Q) that they can use to distract themselves from the fear.
To be without God is not to be free of the needs that lead to a God.
How do we help people cope with fear? What comes after atheism?
Peter Boghossian is not an a-hole
Being technical about this, I understand that atheism has nothing to do with the fear of death. I am not debating the existence of a God here. The sub is called debate an atheist, not debate atheism. I am debating whether or not a fear of death is a primary motivator for holding... keep reading on reddit ➡
I've been thinking about some of the pandemic-related posts on this sub recently. There's Sean Feucht with his super spreader events, Morgan encouraging everyone to visit that coffee shop, and churches holding massive services despite restrictions.
Many of these churches and individuals are part of hyper-charismatic movements. For example, Bethel's whole focus is on "bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth". While most Christians would agree that God can perform miracles, churches like Bethel take this to an extreme, basing their entire ministry on dramatic "signs and wonders". For example, church members have claimed to see angel feathers and gold dust falling from the ceiling during services. If anyone hasn't read it, BuzzFeed has a really good article on Bethel's "School of Supernatural Ministry", (to give you an idea, they call it "Christian Hogwarts")
Of course, when someone says that they're healed, or that they got a "prophetic word", it's hard to verify. I used to go to a church where these practices were common. People would share "prophetic words" during the service like "someone will find something that they have lost". We were told that the prayer team cured someone of vertigo, and that people were receiving "supernatural financial breakthrough" because of their faithful giving.
Right now though, the pandemic is exposing the limits of what these churches can do. For one, they can't heal Covid. You don't see them going into the hospitals and "declaring" Psalm 91 over patients on ventilators. They prophesied over and over in 2019 about "revival harvest" and how "God is going to do a new thing", but none of them predicted that the world would essentially be shut down in 2020. And none of them know when it will end. (A church in my hometown was talking about the "defeated Covid virus" back in March. That sermon didn't age well)
Of course, churches can't ignore that people are suffering, but they don't want to admit that Covid is a threat. It undermines their entire belief system. Instead, they're making a choice (consciously or not) to see government and health officials as the real enemy. They've done so in the past (think creationism in schools and the anti-choice movement) so it isn't too ha... keep reading on reddit ➡
Since I live in the United States, I will try to sum up what those values mean in my country:
Hating abortion, gays, immigrants, women's rights, science, universal health care, social poverty programs, animal rights, gun restrictions, democracy, environmental protections, truth, Democrats, and non-Christians.
Add more if I missed something.