Wednesday, June 08, 2005

On Us vs. The World

Okay, so everyone who has ever wondered where the Religious Right is coming from needs to read this post over at Johnson City Forum. Brook looks at a post from DailyKos that gives a lot of insight as to why the more radical conservative Christians seem so completely out of touch with the rest of the world:
It starts with the fact that we as conservative Christians are taught to see America as our land. I mean, you guys in Europe and the loonies on the East and West Coasts think the Founding Fathers died to bring us religious freedom.

They so did not. They died to give new Christianity a place where it could flourish. And if you think that Catholicism was flourishing perfectly fine before that, thank you, then you don't understand conservative Christianity. See, I grew up being taught that Catholicism was almost-sort-of-not-quite-but-we-won't-talk-about-it cult. Really.
Conservative Christians are taught all our lives that we are constantly engaged in spiritual warfare. [...]

And I can't really explain to anybody who isn't familiar with conservative Christianity, but we are taught that this is real. Demons? Real. Angelic warfare? Real. That passage in Ephesians about putting on the full armor of God? We take that seriously. We take everything Paul said seriously, actually. Way, way, way too seriously, but the reason we take it so seriously is because Paul has this way of delineating Christianity as a practice so that you can live it out very easily. He basically teaches Christians that they are to live every day as though they are battling persecution. Paul is the classic propagator of the Us/Them mentality. Them is the World. The World is evil and sinful and wants to persecute Us. It is Our job as Conservative Christians to don our armor and wage war against the World.
How this plays out is that you begin to filter your environment as a conservative christian based on what you can easily categorize. Once you have identified, say, George Bush, as one of Us, it's much easier to disregard negative news about him because the Media is one of Them, and the two things can be easily canceled out in your mind.

Honestly, read the whole thing. It really is enlightening, and if Aja's experiences really are consistent with the rest of the Southern Conservative Christian experience, we've got a whole new way of looking at and addressing this increasingly powerful segment of society.

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