Several threads and posts have prompted me to start this thread. I have no idea, as I start, where this will end up. Bear with me and we'll see.
I'll start with an old adage from I know not where: "Conservatives are easily focused - they always look inward at what they want to protect. Liberals are easily fragmented - the always look outwards at what needs changed. They all end up looking in different directions and, hence, are not easily focused." Apart from the labels "conservative" and "liberal" being outdated and less easily defined, I think this still applies.
For several years, I have posited that there has been an inherent problem with liberal/ progressive/ mainline Christianity (LPMC, for short going forward) that is allowing a distinct minority of extreme Fundamentalist Christians to snowball the effects of their fear-mongering and propaganda into a popular ideology of exclusivism, hatred and elitism. The problem, I surmise, is that not only did LPMC not counteract millenialism, dominionism, end-time theology, or whatever other name is goes under, but that it did the opposite - it slowly syncretized some aspects of this phenomenum into its own beliefs and practices.
A number of threads and posts here are are dealing with different aspects of the same problem. They are each highlighting individual problems, but they are really part and parcel of a bigger problem. These are just some of the threads dealing with some aspect of "dominion theology" or "prosperity theology" - they are interesting reads:
NathanATX's "The Christian Embassy" http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1749
Emproph's "Theocratic Treachery" http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1677
Joe Brummer's "Gay Activists Need Non-Violence" http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1753
LadyinRed's "rticle on Talk to action about people being programmed into violence." http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1742
These cover a number of different scenarios that are unmistakably related.
A current popular evangelical theology is blindly accepted by a lot of Christians who may not know the source or the underlying precepts of prosperity theology, which is the basis for millenialism, etc.
In 2004, I wrote (I will try to reduce the size of this quote, or highlight significant areas):
Do the tenets of Prosperity Theology ring a bell when we consider what is happening in so much of our country? If so, who is immune? It hinges on the addiction to power, position, prestige and profit (for the leaders), or the fear of loss of any or all these things (for the adherents).
Certain attitudes from this theological outlook have seeped into virtually every LPMC church, and have set up a stage upon which "dominionism" can preach it's popular, but hateful, rhetoric. How many LPMC churches have copies of the "Left Behind" series of books on their shelves? How many in one way or the other glorify the wealthy, powerful or prestigious members?
GLBTQ and immigrants are not alone in being demonized - it's just that many groups have yet to realize that is what is happening. In much more subtle ways, racism is alive and well in the efforts to dismantle the gains that have been made. To the Prosperity Theology crowd there are far fewer in the "Christian like us camp" than outside it. That camp excludes the poor (even though these make up a lot of unwitting supporters), people of color, GLBTQ folks, socially moderate to liberal on the spectrum, non-Pentecostal and non-Fundamental conservatives (they don't have the "right" Christian characteristics) and, of course, every non-Christian on the face of the planet.
Not only is the upcoming Left Behind game, being promoted by many conservative church hierarchies, about a right-believing Christian commando force slaughtering unbelievers (those who believe differently), but we are already at war, or in serious antagonistic diatribe, with non-Christian nations over protection of resources. We are also, despite our verbal insistance on human rights, standing by as millions of people are slaughtered. Why? Because they are not economically important. They are simply collateral damage in a game that is about acquiring more and more advantage - with the key players being those who are specially anointed by God.
So who's included in the elite camp: powerful (God-given, remember), wealthy (ditto), MALE (unless you are married to one of these males, and even then ...), European descent (and then only some), heterosexual (a must) - well, we could go on narrowing the field down. And they will do just that because the fewer players, the greater the return for each of the elite.
Who needs to be on-board for this to work? Government, big business, military and social leaders. Oddly enough, who are the subjects of many of the threads talking about these radical conservative movements - it's the same people.
How does a war like this start? When one - only one - "side" declares a war. That war has been declared, and most people of the world, including the majority of those in our country, are expendable. How do you get people to sign onto a war like this? By convincing them there are Godless enemies that are out to take away what you have - not just out there in the world, but inside our culture. That includes, obviously, Muslims, GLBT, abortionists and women who have had abortions, and all manner of other people. Fear is the driving force behind the success of the leaders.
Call it what you want - end times theology, as is popular today - is all about the end of times as we know it. We are in this with a whole bunch of other people - so what do we do? We cannot keep thinking that we have to deal with just our own particular symptoms - e.g. lack of rights for GLBT. This is a much larger phenomenum and to combat it, non-violently or not, will take a large network of allies.
Okay, this portion of the tirade is over. WhatTell me what you think. Did the revision make it any clearer? By the way, it is okay to tell me I'm just a conspiracy wingnut.
www.revandylittle.com - Andy's blog
Sins are always worse when they're different than mine
Last edited by andrewlittle; 12-13-2006 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Some clarity might be good