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Confessions of a Former Christian Evangelist

August 28, 2010

Frank Schaeffer, who allegedly helped found the Christian right in the anti-abortion days, finds all extremes at fault for the hue and cry against Obama, the Ground-Zero Mosque, etc., and asks that people drop their extremism and seek the moderate middle ground. Sensible sentiments.

AlterNet / By Frank Schaeffer

Muslim 9/11 Debate Is off the Mark: The Real Problem Is Fundamentalism of Every Kind

Here’s the real point: fundamentalist religion OF ALL KINDS – Muslim, Christian, Hindu, whatever, is the enemy of peace and progress.

Is Islam violent? Should there be a mosque at Ground Zero…. etc., etc…

Wrong questions– bogus discussion!

Here’s the real point: fundamentalist religion OF ALL KINDS – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, whatever, is the enemy of peace and progress.

Islam per se isn’t the problem. Belief in anything without a dose of nuance, paradox and mystery is the problem.

The supreme irony in the “mosque debate” is that the American Right/Republican Party Fox News et al is now indistinguishable from the Religious Right. And the Religious Right is literally the instigator of American-made Christian domestic terror groups.

Following the 2008 election it became clear that Americans were living in a country where tens of millions of so-called conservatives would rather embrace outright and absurdly paranoid lies, go bankrupt, fail as a nation, lose our place in history and saddle ourselves with virtually infinite debt than work constructively with a moderate, decent, smart, kind and honest black man.

The Republicans became the party of revolution not-so-subtly egging on its lunatic fringe to commit violence. They did this overtly (those Psalm 109 bumper stickers calling on people to pray for Obama’s death, Dick Cheney’s irresponsible remarks about Obama “not defending America” etc.,) or passively by their silence as the Republican leaders said nothing against outrages like white rubes carrying loaded assault weapons to political meetings to “make a point about the right to bear arms” while also carrying signs repeating what was on Timothy McVeigh famous T-shirt (“The tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants”) the day he blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma city.

As a former religious right instigator I feel ashamed that I did my bit to contribute to this news story, albeit in the 1970s, when I helped start the Protestant anti-abortion movement that in years since morphed into a war on America from the right. I discuss this activity in my book CRAZY FOR GOD: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

My dad’s books denouncing America and comparing our country to Hitler’s Germany –because of legal abortion in particular and a “slide” to humanism in general in “the schools” — are still bestsellers in the Evangelical ghetto. And Dad is still hailed as a prophet by many Republican leaders even though his (and my) words set the stage for the murder of abortion doctors and the ongoing implicit threatened assassination of leaders of “the counterfeit state.”

We helped set the stage for violence with our Christian fundamentalism. Fast forward thirty or so years and here is what was on the Hutaree Militia homepage as I checked it when I heard about the arrests on March 29, 2010.

It could have been lifted (with just a few changes) from the 70-million Left Behind series of novels favored by Evangelicals (about the return of Christ) and/or an al-Qaeda website.

As Christians we all are a part of the Souls of the Body of Christ, the one true church of Christ… This is the belief of the Hutaree soldier, as should the belief of all followers in Christ be. We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded. Luke 22:35-37…This clearly states the reason for the training and preparation of the Hutaree. Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment… You can find the news we find in some of the places we have in the information sources section. Also you can get gear from some of the choice places we have on gear links…”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Meg Bourget permalink
    August 30, 2010 8:51 am

    Thank you! We are all seeing the light. Thank you for your words, may many read them and soften their hearts.

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