Enlightenment

3 10 2008

So I hear you’re one of those cool new, trendy, modern-minded, Obama-supporting Christians.

Good for you! It must feel so wonderful and original to no longer be associated with those stuffy old white people. I really have to hand it to you, going the extra mile to be the type who’s making Christianity cool to the mainstream public again. And you’re right, if you’re ever going to convince people that Christianity is cool, you just can’t let that pesky conservative mindset overshadow you.

You’re a culturally relevant, enlightened free thinker, and I completely agree that making your trendy new image feel like a genuine part of your identity is really more important than the good of the country. How forward-looking of you to realize that it’s more important for Jesus to be socially palatable than it is for any kind of morality to be exhibited in the candidate you vote for.

It’s such a cool, more subtle and effective way of rebellion you’ve got there. I mean, who needs to become an atheist nowadays to feel like a free spirit? It’s so much better just to invent this newer, cooler version of faith you’re creating, this Christianity 2.0, where you not only embrace the faith of the past generations, but you refine and redefine it so much that you’ve made the old version completely obsolete. I bet those old, stuffy, out-of-touch Christians of decades past just never even GOT Christianity the way that you do. How amazingly awesome you are!

So you’ve decided that it’s important to make a statement that the Republican Party is not the “Christian” party. And who can blame you? You’ve spent your short lifetime so far demonstrating to the world just how cool Christians can be. See? We’re the cool, new Christians. The ones who are totally cool with dropping the F word in regular conversation. The ones who are totally relaxed about stuff like getting drunk, and being gay, and pretty much any other antiquated “sin” that’s really just fine nowadays and not really a sin at all because we decided to make all of that cool now. And so it’s important to show that, just like we can be “Christian and get drunk,” or be “Christian and gay,” we’re just as capable of being “Christian and liberal.” Because, see, that’s just so much more AWESOME than being Christian and conservative.

You’re right. This country doesn’t need another stuffy old white man in the White House. And you’re right, a woman for vice president would have been cool, but this lady is just too traditional. She’s all talking about morals and stuff, and she is just NOT the next-generation Christian image we’re looking to project at all. Let’s get us a rock star instead, just like the ones we throw onstage to make our church services appealing to the younger, unchurched masses. This Obama guy, I mean, he’s got charisma. I could totally see him hosting the Video Music Awards on MTV next year. We really need him in office.

I totally understand what you mean when you say we need to hop on his bandwagon and leave behind those fundamental losers. Isn’t it obvious that supporting Obama is what all the EDUCATED people are doing? I mean, Christians have been painted as ignorant bigots for a long time, right? So what better to bust all of those notions than to say, “Hey, I’m a Christian, and I’m all for Obama, even though he’s cool with turning our democracy into socialism, and even though he voted in favor of stuff like puncturing the skulls of newborn babies and sucking their brains out with a vacuum hose.” I mean, that stuff’s unpleasant, but isn’t more important to show that Christians are FREE THINKERS?

Besides, this McCain guy is totally not modern enough to be president. His policies are like that other white guy who’s been messing things up for eight years. And what’s more important than anything is using our VOICE, right? We’re finally old enough that people are taking our opinions seriously. There are actually enough of us to get out and vote in large enough numbers to show that we’re bad-asses and can influence an election. It’s time to show the country that our generation can get in there and elect somebody different. Won’t all those stupid, old, white people be surprised when we blow their candidate out of the water?

You know, I don’t even feel bothered by the fact anymore that we’re quickly turning into Democratic parrots spouting off the intelligent-sounding crap we’ve been spoon-fed by the media. Because we’re not just spouting it off for the sake of being parrots — we’ve bought into it, and as such have EDUCATED OURSELVES. And now we’re so damn proud of ourselves for being so damn educated that it’s high time we made everyone recognize just how modern, tolerant, enlightened, informed and freaking BRILLIANT we are! We’re sure going to show them, aren’t we?

And what’s with all those old and busted, single-issue voters, anyway? Don’t they realize that abortion is just a fact of life and it’s time to move on?

We’re way into more important stuff now. Our method is to put it under this cool, modern-Christian bubble called “social justice.” It means that we can focus on stuff that Democrats get excited about, stuff like AIDS relief, anti-genocide measures (oh, but ONLY in places like Tibet or Darfur that have no oil — if they have oil and we intervene, we might accidentally look conservative again), and poverty relief. We can totally exploit the fact that the old, stuffy version of the church has overlooked these “social justice” issues and use that to further differentiate ourselves from them.

Sure it means we have to turn a blind eye to the abortion issue, but we’re really over that, right? They’re just babies, right? Fetuses, even. We’re educating ourselves so that we can just dismiss the notion that those fetuses are people. See how educated we are? We’re so freaking awesome!

And even if all this stuff that those stodgy old Republicans are saying comes to pass, if we elect Obama and we end up paying a steep price for it, if morality falters and that old version of Christianity fades into obscurity, it won’t matter, because we’ll be the cool new Christians, the ones who have abandoned all of our old Christian identity for this cooler version of Christianity that we’ve created. It will all have been worth it, because nobody will confuse us with those uncool, conservative Christians of the past. They’ll know that we’re modern, free-thinkers, and that’s all that matters.

Right?

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25 responses

3 10 2008
Aryn

Brilliant! Love it! I am speechless! I am glad somebody had the guts to write it! Miss you guys!

4 10 2008
Arthur

It’s about freakin time someone said that. So many people I used to respect have bought into the media propaganda, it’s a relief to see that there are still some people our age that think and reason instead of giving in to the bs that’s going on.

4 10 2008
Terri

Great blog Rob…FYI I am still your friend because I am neither on the consertive side nor libral side i am unfiliated. Plus I am a Novemeber 5th Christian who is putting our country in the hands of GOD allowing him to work his will and purpose for out country. (related to a question Maragert Feinberg asked in her talk on Tuesday night)…..So in all honesty I haven’t really been watching the debates or anything having to do with any of the candadates because I have been praying and have given this whole election over to GOD that his will be done. But I will say the part I don’t agree with is that the christians are acting like these new christians having it all together no matter what caniadate they choice because it wouldn’t be fair not to say that people who are christians jumping on the Mcain band wagon aren’t acting the same way….Bottom line christ followers then to think for themseleves and seek God instead of hanging on everyword of either canidate.

4 10 2008
Emily Straw

So here’s to you, Mr. Christian Obama supporter! (Oh wait, I thought I was reading one of those Budweiser commercials or something 🙂 ) This is AWESOME! I’m so proud of you! I am unaffiliated as Terri is, but I think it’s so incredibly important to vote if you are unaffiliated because those are the people who make things happen in our country. Every election I have been allowed to vote in I have watched the debates and read up on the candidates hoping to figure out who I’m going to vote for. Last time I almost voted John Kerry because I thought he had a lot of good ideas. But this year there really is no question; SARAH PALIN!! (Oh wait, um, I mean John McCain!) I think it’s really important for those of us who consider ourselves unaffiliated to vote because I truly believe it’s important to vote on principles, not on parties. (Though if you saw the two morons running for governer of CO this year you would probably roll your eyes). I consider myself very “educated” (at least on what society terms it to be) by having my bachelor’s in a LIBERAL DEGREE and yet I’m still voting Republican this year. The education did not turn me “liberal,” rather, it just forced me to look at my beliefs and why I believe them exactly. I did switch on a few things, but the overall big issues like abortion still remain exactly where they were when I voted my first time. I urge those of you who are unaffiliated yes, to pray that God will put His will in place this election, but to also look at the candidates this year and consider what they are proposing to do. Absolutely, God will use this next president for His will. I just hope that His will isn’t the start of the apocalypse 🙂 Love you cuz and great job!

4 10 2008
Leah

Thanks Rob! Totally spot on. 🙂

4 10 2008
Anonymous

“… I felt like both churches came to the table with a them and us mentality, them being the liberal (non) Christians in the world, and us being Christians. I felt, once again, that there was this underlying hostility for homosexuals and Democrats and well, hippie types. I cannot tell you how much I did not want liberal or gay people to be my enemies. I liked them. I cared about them, and they cared about me. I wanted everybody to leave everybody else alone, regardless of their religious beliefs, regardless of their political affiliation. I wanted people to like each other. Hatred seems, to me, the product of ignorance. I was tired of biblical ethic being used as a tool with which to judge people rather than heal them. I was tired of Christian leaders using biblical principals to protect their power, to draw a line in the sand separating the good army from the bad one. The truth is I had met the enemy in the woods and discovered they were not the enemy. I wondered whether any human being could be an enemy of God. I felt like there was a war going on between us, the Christians, and them, the homosexuals and environmentalists and feminists, the liberal… I would overhear comments by my friends, destructive comments about the political left or about homosexuals and Democrats, and I never knew what to do with those comments. They felt right in my head, but not in my heart.” – A Christian Author

I’m supporting Obama. I’m a Christian.

4 10 2008
Rob in Gallup

I could blog for years about all the things that I think the church has mishandled, and homosexuality is at or near the top of that list. I don’t deny that I see the same hostility that this book passage mentions.

But I see so many people, particularly ones my age, jumping ship and deciding that the solution is to join the “other side.”

I think that the reality is that both parties have degraded into angry, misguided, dangerous factions in a bitter war with each other. They’re both wrong. But even within that, I think it’s possible for one to be more wrong than the other. And when I see one that has sunk so far into its perversion of morality that infanticide is acceptable in the name of “freedom of choice,” that seems a pretty clear indicator which evil party is the most evil.

So you’re a Christian and you’re supporting Obama. I’m not contesting your right to vote as you please. I’m not going to say I question the reality of your faith, as I have seen some misguided conservatives do. But I think even the strongest people of faith, people who are genuine Christians well-versed in Christian doctrine, are not above being deceived, and the greatest deception is making you think you see through the deception, and convincing you that your deceiver is really your truth-speaker. If you hear nothing else that I am saying, hear this: You have been deceived.

4 10 2008
Anonymous

Jesus was very clear what our responsibilities on earth are: love God and love one another. Take care of the weakest and most vulnerable, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick. He explicitly says that if you don’t do those things, you will be sent away to eternal punishment.

I vote the way I do because I don’t want government and church mixed because I want my church to be safe from government intrusion, and I don’t want the government to have the power to compel me or anyone else to believe or worship in a particular way. In other words… if I wanted to live in a theocracy, I’d move to Iran.

For me, forcing religion on people ranks as one of the most heinous things you can do; it totally corrupts religion in the service of power. It makes a travesty of faith, demoralizes and endangers the one to whom it is done, and demonizes the one who does it. If you don’t believe me, read up on the Christian Crusades or study the plight of women in Saudi Arabia under Islam.

I have had every opportunity that a person born into a white, upper-middle class family could have. A loving and supportive family. An excellent education. Financial help, especially in times of crisis in my life. I definitely won the lottery in life. To act as if the playing field is level, or that I somehow deserve what I have, would be ridiculous.

I vote the way I do because I believe that every child born in this world should have the right to the same things I had and have. A supportive family and community. A decent place to live. Food to eat. Health insurance. A good education. Help through the rough spots of life. This does not make me a guilt-ridden liberal; it makes me an average every-day Christian.

So I vote for people who share that vision, who believe that what has made America great is not her military might, but her commitment to the ideals of freedom. And I vote for policies that will create that vision.

Your insults actually help affirm my support for Obama. And from one Christ follower to another, try to keep your mind’s eye open and please realize that we’re all in this together.

4 10 2008
Rob in Gallup

If you’re hoping to hear me defend the church’s track record on caring for the hungry, the sick, and the needy, you’ve come to the wrong place. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I take issue with quite a bit of Americanized Christianity.

There’s an inherent fallacy in thinking that voting the democratic ticket somehow protects your religious freedom or keeps your government from intruding on your religion. God’s kingdom is exactly that — a kingdom — and I think you would be hard pressed to demonstrate how you are gaining more religious freedoms with the expansion of democracy. I don’t need to see our government calling itself “Christian” or plastering the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. But you’re deluding yourself if you don’t see your religious freedoms disappearing as we move further into the Golden Age of Tolerance.

It’s commendable that you’re so dedicated to seeing the ideals of freedom being extended to “every child born in this world.” It’s one of the platitudes that the liberals have right and on which the conservatives, historically, come up sadly short.

But simply having someone who claims to share that vision alone is not enough to win my support. I’m not willing to overlook the fact that Obama, in his short time in office, has played a part in continuing the genocide against the unborn, even to the point of infanticide as another commenter already observed.

I am no great lover of John McCain. But when I look at Barack Obama, I see reflected in his eyes the same crafty deception that, from the beginning of time, attempts to seduce us under the guise of “enlightenment,” “knowledge” and “wisdom” into perverting the ways of God and following our own selfish desires, which can only lead to destruction.

Do I realize that we’re all in this together? Absolutely. Do I realize that Christians have many different viewpoints when it comes to politics in general, and particularly our presidential candidates? Yes, I do. I’m acutely aware of this. And do I think that there are many Christians, blinded by the many, many mistakes of the Republican party, have been lured into thinking that voting for the morally misguided Barack Obama is somehow the way to steer both our government and our faith back on track? It’s unthinkable to me, but I know unquestionably that the answer is yes, they have.

I can’t force anyone to accept my viewpoint, and I can’t force anyone to open their eyes. But I refuse to accept that being “open-minded” means I need to keep my thoughts to myself.

4 10 2008
pennepasta

1) Barak Obama also put forth a bill to legalize infanticide, in the case of botched abortions. He didn’t call it infanticide.

2) John McCain never answers any of the egregious things Obama says. He’s the one who WILL be the president. Not Sarah Palin, no matter how much anyone likes her. He’s pretty much a democrat in elephant clothing, but without Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers.

3) Ron Paul was the only candidate who supported a return to the constitution, massive tax cuts, power to the states and an end to abortion. He was running as a Republican, and had a huge following, although one would never know it from the mainstream media……who are as unbiased as Pravda was….. Check out his website, anyway. It makes you glad to be a Christian American. He makes you remember what it was like.

4) Our country is under judgement. The blood of forty million of our most vulnerable people stains the hands of everyone from the one who made it legal to the one who wields the ‘vacuum’–even the RN who sorts through the tiny pieces afterwards, to make sure they’re all there, so they don’t get a lawsuit when the ‘mother’ hemorrages… Their blood cries out from the ground and speaks more eloquently than the blood of Abel. Abortion is a judgement. Sodomy is a judgement (THEY call it ‘gay’….). Euthanasia is a judgement. Liberal Christianity is a judgement, if that isn’t just a misnomer. The ostensible bailout, illegals with the same entitlements and rights as citizens, landowners being evicted to save rodents, cockroaches: judgement.
And, unless I’m wrong, this next president may be a judgement like we’ve never dreamed.
4) This is good, Rob in Gallup. And well written.

4 10 2008
Rob in Gallup

Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement. There are pieces of your response that I agree with, and others that would make for extended debate if we were ever so inclined. And really, for as much as I’ve read about (and by) him, I don’t see Ron Paul as being the solution (or even a significant part of the solution), either. I think the problem with America goes much deeper than what any president will be able to fix. I often question whether it is fixable at all, or whether it will ultimately lead to the nation’s demise. We’ve grown tired of hearing that it’s “always the lesser of two evils,” but in a system where we essentially have only two choices, I opt for the one that is less of an affront to Biblical morality. And that person is NOT Barack Obama.

4 10 2008
Anonymous

Wow. You deleted my comment from earlier. It’s pretty sad that you can’t accept opposing viewpoints.

You are part of the reason why people turn away from our faith. I hope you realize that.

Sleep well tonight.

4 10 2008
Rob in Gallup

I didn’t delete your comment. You’re posting from an anonymous login, and as such, your comments must be approved before they appear. It helps to keep the level of spam and trolling to a minimum. Your comments have been approved, and you should now see them above.

I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to come into my personal blog and, without knowing much about me, make the declaration that I’m “the reason why people turn away from our faith.” That’s amazing that you can arrive at such a deduction. I bow to your intellect and insight.

I would respect your thoughts considerably more, and be likely to give them more careful consideration, if you had the courage to sign your name and stand behind what you’ve written rather than taking cheap shots and then hiding behind the blanket of cyberspace anonymity. What are you so afraid of?

4 10 2008
pennepasta

It would do all Christians well to look up ‘hate’ in the Strong’s, and see what God says about it. The New Testament didn’t usurp the Old. It validated it. The law is good. Obedience is good. God doesn’t hate sodomites, per se. But if I, as a Christian, know lying is against His law, but delude myself into believing it’s all ok because I’m forgiven, and make a PRACTICE of lying….. Or if one makes a PRACTICE of sodomy…… Do I hate him? No. Does God say not to even eat with such a one, if he calls himself brother? Yes. The Word of God is full of good things, but sometimes ‘good’ isn’t exactly what we thought it was….
Dear Anonymous, don’t let your good intentions keep people in their self-destructive life-styles. And look a little more closely into your candidate’s past and voting record. You may be surprised.

4 10 2008
Jenn

Well, Rob — I can say a few things.

One, you know we disagree greatly when it comes to some things, and that we are definitely on very opposite sides of this election. I am excited that Obama is in this race, and I hope he wins.

Two, regardless of our differences, I respect your opinions, beliefs and the fact that you’re so open about stating your mind. And I’m not sure who the “anonymous” person is, but I can assure them, as someone who is disgusted by most Christians (no offense to anyone reading), grew up in a Christian household, and has witnessed the bowels of the bowels that can come from corrupt churches and the people in them… that Rob is not, and never could be the person who turns folks away from Christianity. He’s the most open minded, friendly, “be the example” guy I’ve ever known. He’s always warmly and openly discussed my VERY opposing viewpoints with me, and would never turn away the opportunity to discuss things, or look at them from another point of view. I am confident that Rob and I could go have coffee and talk all afternoon about Obama vs. McCain, and emerge even better friends afterwards. And as a note… using a blog (essentially, a diary in public view) as a place to vent, get out frustration, or write an open letter to someone, does not make him a bad person or a bad Christian.

Thirdly, a big, BIG congratulations for writing this blog. I know you have told me you struggle with just coming out and saying things that you know will piss people off, blogging your mind and your strong, strong opinions regardless of how people will react. Bravo, dude. And seriously, I don’t agree with you… but I love you. ;)~

5 10 2008
Granny

Wow! I accidentally found this blog this morning. I have been sitting here 30 minutes reading it – fascinated. I thoroughly agree with Rob but if I don’t get off, I am going to miss having lunch with him and his family! Goodby!

5 10 2008
crapburger

i think you’ll find condescension rarely changes minds. the only person being fooled here is you. do a bit of digging, and you’ll see just how christian the john mccain ticket is.
fact: after his first wife was disfigured in a car accident, john mccain cheated on her with a billionaire whom he eventually married (cindy mccain).
fact: he called her (cindy) a c*nt and a trollop in front of a reporter.
fact: he laughed when one of his supporters called hilary clinton a b*tch.
fact: sarah palin wanted to ban books when she was mayor. BAN BOOKS, dude. i can see jesus doing that…
fact: sarah palin rejected a bill funding a halfway home for pregnant teenage girls (guess she only cares about them if their name is bristol palin).
fact: sarah palin made rape victims pay for their own rape kits. this is a $1200 expense, not covered by insurance. hope no woman you know ever gets to experience sarah palin’s christ-like views in this regard.
also, and perhaps most importantly, fact: not everyone considers a fetus, or a zygote, or a clump of cells, a person.

a final question: how would you punish a woman who has an abortion?

6 10 2008
pennepasta

That would be the ultimate irony, Granny. What’re you having?

6 10 2008
justspeaz

We’re not having anything, Penne. Our van got stuck in the mud 😦

6 10 2008
mommyrose

Well done Rob. I’m not even American and was totally impressed by this blog. 🙂
Wish you lived in Canada so I could get your advice on who to vote for! We are having an election this month…and I’m a little lost on who to vote for. Politics here are a little different as the election was just called last month and we have to vote on the 14th…hardly any time to really think things through!

Krista

6 10 2008
Jeremiah

You are my hero. Let me know if I need to explain what that means since you never understand what I am talking about.

6 10 2008
Mom2

I want so badly to leave a well thought out response to this entry but I truly do not have the time to devote to it until after Wednesday at least. What I want to say now is that your comments have endeared you to me more than ever and I echo the sentiments of all that say that you are calling things as you see them and trying to fit that into how God sees them and for that good on ya! More later?….

8 10 2008
pennepasta

Thinking about crapburger’s comment: Did Rob say McCain/Palin was a ‘christian ticket’? Or is he saying, if one calls oneself a Christian, he needs to seriously consider his support for Obama?
Thinking about your reply to me, Rob: I never saw Ron Paul as any kind of savior, either. I just preferred him to McCain, during the Republican primaries.

6 11 2008
Aeron

You are seriously intelligent and bang on the spot on, let’s see, everything you said! I would love to meet you someday. I’m all fired up and excited after reading your comments! (P.S. I got here from Donal Miller’s blog. You should check out the comments I left there. Thanks, man!)

6 11 2008
Aeron

I have to write again. I can’t get enough of this post. It is electrifying! I feel that all the things I’ve been frustrated and concerned about, but have been so confused in how to voice them, have burst forth in brilliance. I seriously appreciate the encouragement you have given me. Mad props Rob!

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