The Religious Right is Running Out of Sins to Condemn

In 1995, Ireland finally legalized divorce. After decades of living under the crushing rule of the Catholic Church. Malta, a country arguably more Catholic than inside the Vatican itself, managed by a very slim margin to legalize divorce in 2011. Are you as shocked as I was? Having lived in Malta, I can assure you that the tiny island which has often served as the crossroads of the world, has a long tradition of earnestness when it comes to The Church. I happened to be there during the consecration of a new archbishop, and let me tell you, the entire island was on standby. I thought Jesus himself was scheduled to arrive.

Evangelicals, the cross-eyed cousins of the Christian world, have one of the highest rates of divorce in America. Go figure! What once was considered a mortal sin to break the marriage vows among their devout has now become normalized as just another day in the lives of a born again Christian. Seems like they've embraced the new hipster Jesus. Which also might partially explain why so many far right Christians had no problem with supporting Donald Trump, a true hedonist, even though he had been married thrice, divorced twice, had cheated on both former wives and had children by all three. Trump is only the second divorced president in American history. He has formally made divorce great again while yours, mine and ours has become the new Christian family model.

Normalization of divorce, remarriage, cheating and spawning of children by lots of different dads has made it rather challenging for the good old bad old Christians to hound and shame us hardened sinners. So, they have doubled down on the GREAT sin of homosexuality. After all, none of those dedicated followers of Jesus would ever be guilty of such a heinous sin.  Of course not! They know that even hipster Jesus has his limitations.

When societies evolve, and they do, old archaic notions may eventually disappear with the dinosaurs, leaving those who perch themselves upon their high moral ground with a dilemma. How do they make the rest of us feel like shit so that they can continue to feel superior? Which cultural expectations can they insist upon imposing upon their followers before they'll give them entrance into their club and ultimately a spot at the big table in the great gated community on high.

Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales by Teresa Roberts

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Comment by Idaho Spud on September 5, 2017 at 10:22am

I like your writing Teresa.

Comment by Gary S on August 28, 2017 at 8:24pm

It will never have problems with protecting priests who are raping/molesting kids or who are having affairs with fellow members. It will also never have a problem protecting the money laundering of the Vatican bank.

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 28, 2017 at 3:01pm

Hear, hear! Teresa said it well, a few comments ago: "...currently the right wants to introduce the one step back but it's my sincere hope that they will fall away like the witch burners of the past."

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 28, 2017 at 2:56pm

Oh! Gosh! I agree with you Grinning Cat and Loren. 

"...it's my sincere hope that they will fall away like the witch burners of the past."

Grinning Cat

", how much longer can they maintain their cognitive dissonance?"

Loren Miller 

I am heartsick when I realize the consequences of this administration's thinking and actions. 

Yes, we have to keep in close contact with our Congressional men and woman and respond to what they do. More of us have to join in the effort. 

The Civil Rights Movement was a tough hill to climb, and so is the Equal Rights for Women. Both face challenges that take us back to the 1950s if not to the Middle Ages. 

Comment by Loren Miller on August 28, 2017 at 2:32pm

GC, the scariest part of the whole business of Orange Julius and the GOP is that it all seems to boil down to THE WIN.  Republicans love that THEY WON, and as for WHO won, they do what they can to shove that over to one side.

Question becomes, how much longer can they maintain their cognitive dissonance?

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 28, 2017 at 2:28pm

It's amazing and unsettling how the US religious right only last year vehemently declared tRump an unsuitable presidential candidate, yet quickly rallied around him once he was nominated.

For them, literally anyone was better than a Democrat.

"...it's my sincere hope that they will fall away like the witch burners of the past."

Mine too!

We have to keep the pressure on! (Worth a look: Writing to Congress)

And with a nod to prayer actually being a lot like talking to your cat:

From your mouth to Ceiling Cat's ears [with gray kitty 'praying']

Comment by Teresa Roberts on August 28, 2017 at 2:06pm

Grinning Cat, I agree that Trump is a symptom not an outlier. However, never before has the religious right so eagerly embraced a man of such low moral character according their former standards. They talk about going back to the good old days and family values, but no longer does their rhetoric apply. to their own lives.They have wandered so far themselves from the old ways that they're barely recognizable. Loren Miller, yes, to your statement that irrational belief is losing ground. Not fast enough for me and currently the right wants to introduce the one step back but it's my sincere hope that they will fall away like the witch burners of the past. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 28, 2017 at 1:53pm

And when some of those devout pastors and preachers are themselves caught with "luggage lifters", rent boys, or other same-sex partners, all they have to do is declare themselves forgiven in Jeezus's name.

(And sometimes "healed"... though that doesn't usually go so well, with leader after leader of the "ex-gay" movement getting caught in same-sex relationships.)

BTW, our current "unpresidented" president*, who just showed his utter contempt for the rule of law by pardoning a racist, murderous sheriff convicted of violating a court order, is NOT part of that arc towards reason. Naomi Klein writes about how he's not an outlier, but a symptom and enabler of the corporate oligarchs' shock doctrine -- and how we can fight back:

Naomi Klein: Now let's fight back against the politics of fear

(excerpt from No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics)

Comment by Loren Miller on August 28, 2017 at 1:43pm

What ultimately has happened is that the church has had to yield to human nature, even though human nature frequently violates dictates coming from its holy book.  This follows the pattern of recognizing evolution as a valid theory while attempting to maintain their deity as the ultimate cause of it all, an anachronistic POV which will likely also eventually fall by the wayside.

Irrational belief is losing ground, full stop.  There is ebb and flow to the process, frequently a dance of two steps forward, one step back, but the overall arc is away from diktat and dogma and toward reason.

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