Liberal Christians seem so benign. They hold many of the same political points of view as I do. To one degree or another they also support a secular society. Unlike the conservative Christian or even worse the radicalized Christian, the liberal Christian is less strident, more open minded, less dogmatic and more accepting of other belief systems. Do they do less harm than the more militant fellow Christian soldiers? I contend that in some ways they actually contribute much harm to the progressive movement and equality for all. In fact, Christians of all types slow down steady progress in that direction.
Because their struggle to cling to superstition, to find a way to meet all religions somewhere in the middle, even to reform traditional religions can't succeed because they are unwilling to admit that the very scriptures that they hold dear, the very book that sits on the stand beside their beds perpetrates inequality to women, abuse of children, racism, violence as means to resolve conflict and a patriarchal world view. The Bible is brimming with statements and decrees that have kept women, for example, under the domination of men. If we want to question why the western world is struggling with violence toward women and inequality, we need look no further than our Biblical roots.
When you have verses in the Bible recommending that women should be in subjection to their husbands, that children should be beaten for disrespecting their parents, that war should be waged because there is a chosen race and many other toxic ideologies, a reformed Christian must spend a lot of time explaining why these toxic threads throughout the Bible meant something other than what is written. And they do.
Liberal Christians are forced to find explanations for why god said one thing but meant another.
In their quest to keep the Bible central to their walk with god as well as pertinent to modern societies, they must resort to claims that the scriptures are metaphorical and other convoluted explanations for why such vile things as slavery or stoning of wayward women are suggested as acceptable behavior. We now know that these are inhumane statements but apparently their god didn't know it at the time. No, wait a minute, their god did know, because he's all knowing but he isn't particularly clever when it comes to the written word. His metaphors sucked. If I were to use any of these cruel statements as a slogan for a business, for example, I'd have a law suit slapped on me so quickly, it would make my head spin.
And, then there's the idea of a new dispensation. Supposedly the New Testament ushered in a new age of love over law. Jesus was hipper than his dad. Of course, the fact that god flipped his point of view really can be confusing. Ignoring an entire collection of inspired writing, the biggest bit of the Bible was no longer completely pertinent to our lives. These new age changes made god look like a regular Joe Blow with a bad business plan, however. Something just doesn't jive.
Why can't liberal Christians retire the Bible?
Put it where it belongs in the dusty trash bins of outdated mythologies? Because they're still superstitious. They still want or need to believe in a god that is somehow involved personally in the lives of humans even though there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support this longing. They still fear that if they call the Bible what it is, an outdated, ignorant text that was always filled with lies and poor information, they'll be punished in the next life. So they try as much as possible to ignore these horrible passages in the Bible even while they fight for women's right, gay rights and equality for all. Even when they champion science and new knowledge about why things are the way they are, they cling to a book that is so anti-science as to be no better than the fairy tales we were told as children about witches who eat little kids and monsters that hold young girls captive until they agree to marry them.
Liberal Christians bug me to no end.
They've taken an old story, given it a new title and then kept their fingers crossed that nobody will notice the details. They are helping to perpetuate ignorance. They replace real solutions with the call to prayer and true inspiration with the reading of scriptures that deny our ability as a species to rely on rational thought and our creative natures to solve problems. Ultimately, they are holding back progress. One day, future generations are going to look back on their silly explanations and see liberal Christians for who they really were all along, sad examples of our ignorant past who helped to prolong a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for mankind.
I'm a myth buster. My recent published book - Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon.