A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a book by Mel White – former pastor and seminary professor – describing how the evangelical “Religious Right” has managed to grab a handful of verses from the bible, capitalize on the ignorance and paranoia of the average fundamentalist, and gain enough political traction through strength or subversion to realize their dream of subjugating women, criminalizing homosexuality, and establishing a Christian nation. I can’t help but copy and paste the summary of the major players …
He covers the major players in the fundamentalist movement:
- W.A Criswell, who “fired the first shots in the fundamentalists’ war to purge ‘moderates’ and ‘progressives’ from their churches”
- Jerry Falwell of the anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-secular “Moral” Majority: “This movement was the pivotal turning point for the “threat” of the gay community and the rise of political power for the Evangelicals and Baptists.” He also coined the term “gay agenda”.
- James Dobson of Focus on the (Christian Heterosexual) Family, who has no idea how birth control works and is perfectly happy lying to his followers to prevent women from being able to access it. “Dobson continued to use the fear and loathing of the gay community to raise millions and recruit support to “take back America.”
- Pat Robertson: “He perfected the demonization of the gay community and reduced their existence to “disease, despair and decadence.” Anything that went wrong was attributed to the gays.“
- D. James Kennedy, “Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, grew a mega- church in Florida and lead 459 Christian fundamentalists, pastors and leaders to sign “A Manifesto for the Christian Church” in 1986. […] The direct link between gays and the destruction of America is centered in this document.”
Notice a trend? Yeah, they all hate gay people, which only makes sense since that’s all the bible talks about. Am I Godwinning myself by mentioning the obvious parallels between someone like Pat Robertson, who makes it a point to blame all of the ills in the world on homosexuality and … well … another individual who had a great deal to say about the Jews about 80 years ago? Maybe. But such a blatant scapegoating can only lead to anger, resentment, and more violence against those who have seen plenty already based on nothing more than their sexuality.
This is the kind of thing we can expect to see more often, thanks to the vitriolic rantings of such influential, “moral” people. But hey, it’s part of their religion, so we have to “tolerate” it!
Anyway, this is just a summary of a brief review, so there are now two degrees of separation between you and the book in question. Go pick it up. I intend to … after I’m finished with my current backlog.