Let me try to set the tone here from the beginning so you’re not guessing where this is going. A little honesty to kick things off so you don’t feel I’ve led you down a click-bait path of boredom.
First fact, Donald Trump and I don’t agree on much.
Second fact, Christianity and I don’t agree on much either. Love others and treat them as you would like to be treated is about it.
But let me be clear, I care deeply for those in the Church — it’s the institution that I struggle with.
Before you write this post off as negative diatribe, I think it’s worth dipping your curiosity in a little further to see what would make me say such terrible (or obvious) things.
Yes? Let’s go.
Neither has moved with the times.
Donald, if it’s OK to refer to the President as Donald? Donald, Mr President, Sir, still lives in the past. He lives in a land where fossil fuels are a great idea, where oil & gas are powerhouses of success, signs of wealth and beacons of a progressive nation.
He lives surrounded by people who serve, as servants, in an ivory tower of fortune like a Park Lane property in Monopoly with maximum hotels purchased.
He plays golf like it’s still the 1960’s and Mad Men are pitching him on the latest cigarette commercial first thing in the morning.
Where ‘Men’s only’ clubs are a thing.
Women? He thinks it’s ok to ‘ grab them by the ***** ‘. This has never been OK but perhaps in his younger years, ‘the good old days’, this objectification was more commonplace.
It’s never been OK Mr Trump.
Christianity struggles with the same challenges (not the ‘grab them’ one…I bloody well hope not!).
It outright believes in a book of how you should live that was written 2000 years ago, a book that was never written to withstand this length of time or the change that it has come up against.
I would link to a cited reference at this point but if you google this topic the results are rife with posts from theologians holding tight to their chosen studies.
If Christianity holds to true to the belief that the book is the single truth, it means they are still forced to follow old traditions, not able to withstand the changing times.
While the basic tenant of Jesus was ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, Christianity seems to have gotten lost along the way.
You may have seen the meme where Jesus says to a crowd:
“ A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
..to which a follower in the crowd calls out:
“But what if they are Gay, or of a different religion, or are poor and dirty, or have different coloured skin, or were born in a different country, or vote different to me?”
Unfortunately, the way Christians often live is different from John 13 34:35.
- Men as the head of the household
- Science, and its place in Christianity. It has a place, Christianity has ensured that, but is it really complimentary?
- Dealing with the legalisation of previously illegal drugs i.e. Weed, Pot, Marijuana.
LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, technical evolution and scientific discovery — these things challenge it constantly.
Christianity hasn’t moved with the times, partly because it can’t, it’s not really allowed to.
Neither has a belief in proven truth
Mr Trump (I’ve restored formalities) seems to be struggling with the concept of global warming. Despite a few obvious indicators it might be true, including:
What Mr Trump has managed to do is withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement — actioned by him this week and taking effect this time next year.
He has ensured his supporters in the coal and oil industries are protected through a thin veil of ‘jobs for Americans’ chants. American is now the worlds top oil producer so it seems too convenient to disbelieve global warming at this time.
Personally, I’d rather I was alive than employed, you?
Ultimately…we’re all going to get toastier unless America, which is the worlds second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, gives Potus a jolly good wake-up call on the reality of global warming.
Global Warming, who?
Global Warming!, WHO?
GLOBAL WARMING, WHO????
You get the picture.
Christianity also struggles with similar proven truths, it also struggles with unproven truths. Let’s start with a few of those.
- A belief that a man took on the sins of the world and died bearing them? The topic of sins is a whole other topic. No offence to anyone but it’s pretty vague, no?
- And then he came back to life…or rose up physically 3 days later?
- That there was a virgin birth?
- That God physically heals people? As a former 20-year career Christian, I am yet to see evidence, anywhere. But I’m open people, hit me with some science-based evidence!
When I was a child at Sunday School I was told that Dinosaurs were probably not real, and they weren’t something worth believing in…um…OK?
I should probably have prefaced that by saying this was a few years ago but, you might be surprised to find that a lot of Christians still don’t believe in Dinosaurs. Many are just very confused about the whole topic.
Christianity in North America is strong. A Gallup poll suggested that 46% of Americans believe that God created them in human form sometime in the last 10,000 years. I think that might leave the Dinosaurs feeling a little left out.
Christianity, as a generalisation, also doesn’t believe that people can be Gay, that there must another reason for their choices in life. There are Gay Christians but…are they perhaps just Gay people who believe in God?
In contradiction to Christianity, Science learns from itself. It believes a truth until that truth is proved to be untrue, and then it moves on to greater knowledge from there. It’s almost like compounding interest…but totally different.
This is how science evolves and ever improves.
Gay rights and the place of women in the household are two examples of how it is challenged. Only a small part of Christianity has embraced this change, and in doing so it’s technically breaking rank, and ostensibly departing from true Christianity.
Both create bubbles of support
Mr Trump has demonstrated, through many changes in rank and file, that he likes to be surrounded with people who agree with him, and generally believe what he believes. Anyone challenging him either quits or is exited from their positions and replaced with someone more agreeable.
It’s been demonstrated since his tenure began.
From the start of office with support from individuals like Steve Bannon, Trump has ensured that ‘Yes’ people, or agreeable people, are close at hand.
Side note — with the impeachment enquiry looming I believe we’re starting to see the evidence that his list of ‘true faithful’ believers may be starting to run thin. He’s possibly running out of ‘Yes’ people and America is expecting the current Whitehouse staff to stand faithfully by America and speak truth to the Ukraine quid pro quo, the USA and its people, and not the President.
Christianity is also good at staying insular (yes, that is a total generalisation but a good one — disagree? Let’s discuss in the comments.).
Other than a few organisations that get out into communities and get their hands dirty, the Church is frequented by Sunday Christians who step into Church on the weekend and spend time with people just like them, behind closed doors.
It’s a classic human trait really, we group for support.
If you were to politicise this post you could compare it to the way Democrats and Republicans stick to their own sides of the aisle despite what truth may be apparent. The recent vote on impeachment where 100% of Republicans voted against a public process is a good example. Surely someone in the Red lane thought it might be a good idea to start open proceedings? Anyone…no?
Anyway, back to Christianity…
During the week Christians go to their jobs and coexist with others, out in the wild, while aiming to shine their light, but evening events at Church, social time and weekends are spent with family and other Christians — Christians who believe what they believe.
It’s like a religious clique really — looks like me, talks like me, believes in what I believe in.
This in and of itself is fine — no judgement! It’s just that Christianity is all about outreach and acts of service outside the Church walls.
If anyone challenges the group, the group rallies to defend the truth, whatever that perceived truth might be.
I have seen many a liberal thinker get moved out of leadership in Christian positions if they challenge the status quo.
If you don’t fit in, you’re likely to be moved out.
What makes it so hard to change?
Former Christians are like ex-smokers, they’re zealous about exposing the truth of how silly something is from the other side of the experience. I’m a double threat.
There are some wonderful things to be said about Christianity, less about Mr Trump, so I am not trying to put down the good that is inherently there.
I do, however, feel constantly bamboozled that despite endless amounts of data and scientific evidence, in conjunction with moral evolution, Christianity and Mr Trump fail to evolve with the rest of the sensible world.
My prediction, if I made one, is that both will be written about in historical novels one day. That both will eventually pass into the annals of the past. Maybe not soon, but one day.
Disagree? Let’s discuss.
Originally published at https://iamcicero.com.