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Is the United States Being Punished by the Almighty?

With the recent horrific incident in Aurora, many leaders on the Christian Right are claiming that the United States is being punished for immorality. Is this the case?

It always seems to follow, that when any local, regional, national or global catastrophe occurs, it is immediately followed by a number of conservative Christians leaders interpreting the incident as a direct message from the Almighty condemning some aspect of society. Usually the event is closely linked to whatever the “hot button” issue is at the time, whether it’s same sex marriage, abortion, etc. Although the response has become expected, it never ceases to amaze me that these people who call themselves Christians are so quick in their condemnation and their willingness to link unrelated events in the manner of some biblical prophet.

This practice, by certain acknowledged Christian leaders, is not only reprehensible but is clearly dangerous to the stability and well being of society. These Christian leaders are a group of, primarily white males, who are gifted with their ability of charismatic rhetoric, moving their followers emotively and “brainwashing” them into a state of blind obedience to the doctrines, dogma and practices of an extreme form of religious Christian philosophy predicated on a belief of a select few. These charismatic leaders advocate a set of moral imperatives that they claim are G-d given, taken from the King James version of the Christian Bible and must be strictly adhered to as they interpret their true meaning. However, these leaders and this movement is not just content with attempting absolute control over their committed followers, but want to extend it to society in general, creating for all intents and purposes, a religious/political society based on their unique interpretation of morality and correct action; in short a theocracy.   

It has always been my understanding that the teachings of Christianity was directed to the adherent on how to live within a sinful and corrupt world without becoming a part of it, with the secular world representing the domain of the dark forces. Over the course of time that simple principle has changed to include a movement to craft a society that complies with a set of rigid moral principles that if not complied to will result in serious consequences. To me, this seems contrary to the principles and commitment to what the Christ advocated. So the logical question is why does this movement strive to change society and force everyone into compliance with their belief system?

For the outside observer, like me, it is all about the grabbing of secular power and wealth. During the 1970s the powerful conservative Christian leadership emerged from behind the curtains to become a voice for what they believed to be the disenfranchised political majority of Americans. One must remember that this was coming on the heels of the 1960s and early 1970s where the nation had been in political turmoil over the war in Vietnam, the restructuring of American society and the Civil Rights Movement. The emergence of the strong charismatic characters like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, put the Christian social conservative movement front and center and in a position to be king makers; which they did with the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. Since that time, the Christian political movement has never looked back. Shortsighted conservative politicians came to the Christian Right to gain votes, but sold their souls in the process.

It now has come to the point that the Christian Right has created an “acid test” for politicians and the politicians must pass before they can gain the support of the social conservatives. In the recent Republican primaries and caucuses, the potential candidates were stumbling all over themselves attempting to establish who had the most conservative credentials. I find it a bit humorous that Mitt Romney came out on top, not because he was the most social conservative, but he was seen as being the most electable, to unseat the incumbent, Barrack Obama.

People should be fearful of the intent of the Christian Right and the elimination of one of our most fundamental democratic principles, freedom. When I speak of freedom, I am speaking of freedom of thought, free speech, freedom of choice and freedom to pursue one’s happiness. The Christian Right has proven to be the antithesis to the principles of our founders. This minority wants to severely restrict our freedoms.

What is the Christian Right all about; it is secular money and power under the guise of religion and the use of any means possible to obtain it. This is precisely why the leadership of the Christian Right makes such claims that horrific random events are G-d’s punishment of society. It is all about scaring the hell out of the vulnerable to keep them in compliance and never questioning.

Often you’ll hear Christian leaders refer to the shepherd and his flock. That is a true representation of the Christian Right; the shepherd in the form of the charismatic preacher and his followers, the sheep. Just like sheep they must be led and protected, because sheep don’t think for themselves. It is time for this nation to wake up and stop this insidious slide into theocracy. Sheep must learn to think for him or herself or continually face shearing by their leadership.

The Christian Right is not what this nation is all about. Whether it is political tyranny or religious tyranny, it’s still tyranny.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Denise Konkol July 30, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I'm Catholic, and that is NOT what we believe. I wish folks would stop catching the quotes from those who are on the fringe and applying it to anyone who is a Christian. It's downright fatiguing.
CowDung July 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Nick: It seems to me that you might be the one that is attempting to 'infuse the populace with fear'... http://shorewood.patch.com/blog_posts/why-ayn-rand-objectivism-the-extreme-right-and-paul-ryan-all-have-it-wrong-for-america "Those of us who are Progressives and Progressive Conservatives must engage against the dark and evil forces of the Randian Right." "Regardless of their looks, their personalities, their personal fortunes, and their fine educations, the adherence of politicians such as Paul Ryan and the others to Objectivism makes them a HUGE danger to this Nation." "America’s democratic republic is being threatened by these Randians"
Bren July 30, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Joel Osteen, from what I've observed, is all about self-empowerment and self-forgiveness. One in my family, who honestly needs a self-reflection of a life selfishly lived in order to emotionally and spiritually evolve, has told me, "Joel Osteen says you can't change the past." Perhaps one can't change the physical past, but one can reflect upon what one could have done differently, and discuss/resolve those mistakes with the people one has hurt with behavior. Thanks to Joel Osteen, that won't happen for my relative. How many others has Joel Osteen affected in this way? Another example of how the Christian "Right" is impeding social advancement in our country.
Lyle Ruble July 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM
@Denise Konkol...It is going to continue, with the fringe speaking for the vast majority of Christians, until the Christian majority begins speaking out and advocating the difference. What we used to call main stream Christianity has given way to a highly politicized religious minority who are attempting to dictate what it means to be a "true Christian". It turns out to be more about politics and wealth and less and less about personal salvation.
Luke July 30, 2012 at 08:41 PM
@Lyle - On the contrary, it will continue until the press is no longer attracted to the extreme. I just heard that the world was going to come to an end because of cow flatulence.

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