As Obama's poll numbers drop, I start to get nervous that we are looking at electing another idiot. And that has made me pretty angry at my conservative Christian friends. I know they are better people than this. I don't get why they can look at the current GOP's and their war on the poor, disabled, environment, women, etc. and not wince. I don't get why they can't look at Obama and see someone who is shockingly conservative--given all the rhetoric about his radicalism.
But mostly, I am increasingly angry at conservative Christians. In the last 30 years, they have made Christian America a theme, and have nearly required that their politicians be conservative Christians. Reminds me of two responses. One was Anglican, who used to respond to the Christian America with the very apt response, "so how Christian did we act?" The other was a paraphrase on Ghandi, who famously said, when asked what he thought of western civilization, that he thought it "would be a good idea."
But set aside the history of Indian removals, land theft, treaty violations. And let's forget slavery, child labor, and the invasion of Mexico--by our supposedly Christian ancestors. Let's just look at the last 30 years. Conservative Christians have taken over the Republican party and routinely push their faith in our halls of government. How has that worked out? Are we a more moral people? Are we better to the poor and needy? Are we more about peace and less about war? Do we value honesty and ethics more?
When I watch Palin, Bachmann, Perry--all the favorites of the religious right--I am stunned by their hostility to others, their derision toward anyone who disagrees. And I am stunned by their heartlessness. And none of those actions cause any problems among their conservative backers. Christians I know and respect just shrug off behavior that they would never tolerate in their own kids.
And what about policies? It is harder to get an abortion in this country, that is for sure. If that is good for you, then I guess you cheer it. I am not convinced. And we seem to see less nudity in films. More violence, but less nudity. If that is good for you, then woohoo.
What else have we accomplished? We have more kids in poverty. We have a growing obesity problem. And, as I noted, while we might not show breasts as much in film, we had a very popular television show that celebrated and defended torture. We have more people, in general, in poverty. We have stagnating wages and vast and growing income inequality. We have a healthcare situation where some parts of America are like a developing country in need of Doctors without Borders, but the religiously pious call healthcare reform "socialism." We easily bomb other countries, but do very little about famine in Africa. Ethnic cleansing and genocide barely make the news, but we were consumed for months about whether the President was, in fact, born in Hawaii. We have Christians who now, routinely, deny scientific evidence, not because they see flaws in the methodology, or data collection, but because they just don't like the conclusion and don't "believe" it to be true. And we have Christian conservatives cutting funding for the neediest of the needy while cutting taxes for the rich and powerful.
If that is Christianity, then I am confused.