I grew up a non-Christian in a nation that, while I was growing up, seemed to think of itself more and more as a ‘Christian Nation‘. At least that’s how it played in the Media.
More religion found its way onto the airwaves. While it had always been there (in various flavors – ‘sanctimony’, ‘racism’, ‘bigotry’ & ‘ignorance’), TV seemed to inspire the deep down carny barker inside every religious con man who sees every crowd as a naked opportunity for ‘wealth redistribution’. Television allowed some of these charlatans — with their increased electronic reach — to become ‘celebrities’. Billy Graham comes to mind… . With celebrity came ‘gravitas’ — as if by becoming famous, Billy Graham’s relationship with god ‘deepened’ somehow.
Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve watched extreme Christianity (no relationship to Jesus) steadily impose itself and its regressive, human-hating culture upon a country that never asked for such a thing to happen to it. I’ve watched a War On Drugs get launched only to fizzle and fly way off course, frequently destroying things it was never meant to destroy — all while costing countless gazillions of dollars — all because of a perverse CHRISTIAN need to PUNISH PEOPLE for their ‘PERCEIVED’ weaknesses.
Pssssssst, Magical Thinking Christians — there are people who look at YOU the same way cos you turn to Magical Thinking instead of Reality.
Ya see — that’s the very root of the problem: MAGICAL THINKING.
I’ve made this argument all over this blog: I’m a big fan of Jesus (‘his’ message anyway): “Do Unto Others”. I believe that one could live a good and successful life keeping that front and center every day. It baffles me that so few Christians seem to do it…
As we’ve learned (again and again and AGAIN), Magical Thinking solves nothing. Cos it’s not based on anything other than magic. And magic — while fun and charming and unpredictable — ain’t real. Real is real.
And, having gone through a long, painful cultural adolescence, American culture is FINALLY beginning to let go of the Ooga-Booga it accepted in childhood and turn to the KNOWLEDGE and THINKING SKILLS it will need going forward in a dangerous, complex world.
America NEVER WAS ‘A Christian Nation’. The men who did the heavy lifting of founding the country may have been Christians but they were, a lot of them, not what any contemporary American Christian would recognize as ‘Christian’. Their Christianity was tempered and, to a degree shaped, by the French Enlightenment. There was a fair amount of Jean-Jacques Rousseau running around in their heads. Their very idea of a deity was not what your average American Christian would think of as ‘God’ (or even A god).
Data says Americans (the younger ones especially) are significantly less ‘religious’ than their parents. Not surprising. The fuzzy logic and morality of religion always lost when most people read voraciously (knowledge being ignorance’s kryptonite). Now, more information flows way more quickly and all those quaint ways of thinking seem ever more quaint.
It is the bullshit notion that America is a Christian Nation that gave us slavery. It concentrated power into the hands of Wealthy White Men. Christians, of course. And, until very recently, it managed to KEEP that power there.
But — as we’re witnessing — Truth has finally overwhelmed the fiction. Father does not know best (and never did). White Christian Men have made a fucking hash of the greatest experiment in human history. Good thing America’s Women have arrived en masse to (as usual) fix the mess the menfolk have made.
And one of them is the myth that America is — you know what I mean.