Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Evangelical Wars Episode II: Calling Out Supremacists

Words these days, like the dollar, are getting less and less valuable. Do you ever notice how a firmly defined word can instantly have its meaning changed to fit someone’s agenda, or to make someone feel better about themselves for something they do not want to associate themselves with.

After all, our country isn’t torturing people. Sure, we’re admittedly doing something that came right out of the Spanish Inquisition, and something that we executed Japanese officers for during World War II (Water boarding). We’re happy to ignore the last 700 years where every book written in every language referred to this practice as torture. We don’t want to refer to it as torture though, because the United States does not torture. We just have Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

Now of course violations of the dictionary aren’t illegal like violations of the constitution are . . . but they sure do make us look stupid. Not that we need much help with that, after all, while really important issues are happening all over the world and in our own country, our government is debating whether or not people lived along side dinosaurs or not.

I am seriously wondering what the Star Spangled Banner will sound like on a banjo with a few “YEE-HAWs” thrown in for good measure.

But on that note, there is another big word that people hide from the definition of, too. Supremacism. We all know that supremacism is a bad word. Who wants to be a supremacist, after all? Many will do about anything to avoid being called a supremacist anymore. Well, almost anything. They’ll do the easy thing . . . they won’t necessarily go as far as to stop being one, but they will certainly disassociate themselves with the word in order to make themselves feel better. At the end of the day, it’s easier to warp the truth to fit you than it is to change yourself to avoid an unsettling truth.

Since people are already pretty good about labeling racism when we see it, and most of us know that racial supremacism is pretty much wrong . . . who am I talking about? Well, if you’ve read my last entry, chances are that you can guess I’m talking about Evangelicals and Religious Extremists.

It's very easy for people to be offended by being called out as a supremacist. If anyone of the Evangelical persuasion is reading this, then I refer you to the dictionary of your choice. I didn’t write it . . . and I’m not going to apologize for proper use the language. The very basis of the Evangelical agenda is one of supremacism.

The definition is simple: A supremacist is someone who believes that either they as an individual, or as a part of a particular group, are superior to all others. This goes far beyond simply believing that they are right and that others are wrong (pretty much everyone does that), but often it involves a belief that a person or group should have acknowledgment of superiority and/or rights and power over other individuals or groups who they deem inferior.

If anyone still wants to dispute this, check your dictionaries. Failing that, pay homage to our one true God, Wikipedia. Because we all know, it’s helped us through more college courses than anything else.

So here’s the deal. Most people are in a bit of denial. We’re mostly in agreement that supremacism is wrong. Right? If some fool got on television and started saying that this was a White nation, and that whites should have more rights, freedoms, and have preferential treatment, they wouldd receive a great deal of flack. And rightfully so . . . So how come Evangelicals get away with it?

Evangelical ideology certainly fits the real-life definition of supremacism, after all. I’m not going into defining the theological doctrines held by Evangelicals; anyone reading this probably already knows them. Suffice it to say, it is an ideology that promotes that they hold the one ultimate truth, and that anyone who is different than this is inferior and must be changed in order to be accepted. Further, though not all Evangelicals go this far, the bulk of the demographic seeks to fight for their superiority of anyone (even those from the same religion) who deviate from some of the common beliefs (such as homosexuals). An overwhelming majority of these either hope for, or actively pursue, their beliefs being passed into laws.

It is a Christian nation, they say.

This is a disturbing line seeing as the Ku Klux Klan’s big thing is to say that this is a White Christian nation. (See their website if you’re bored and don’t mind getting a little angry . . . or a lot angry).

The big time Evangelical leaders are not the only ones saying these things. We’ve all heard the lines and seen the tactics. There is of course the aggressive recruitment policies, but then there are the aforementioned attempts to control everyone by making their beliefs into law, and then who can forget the incites to violence? Pat Robertson was quoted having said on the 700 Club, “Call me old-fashioned but I think non-believers should be manacled, publicly flayed and set afire by the Council of Elders with the assistance of the town smithy.”

Ok, now tell me ANY of this stuff isn’t Supremacism . . . and some of it pure hatred. Robertson would be pulled off the air if the words were “black people” or “Mexicans” in place of “Non-Believers.” And anyone who would dare to say “Black people can’t get married” and then try to fight that legally . . . well, do the math.

A bit historical trivia for you . . . the last laws preventing black and white people marrying each other was only taken down as recently as 1967. That’s only forty-one years ago.

I am getting very weary of this . . . I really don’t care who thinks who is right, or wrong. I don’t think people should need to view everyone as being “just as right” as they are. We’ll all have disagreements no matter what, and that’s normal . . . However, when most people think someone else is wrong, they don’t harass or threaten them, or try to attain legal superiority over them. The worst you can expect is that one party may call the other one stupid. They will not view you as an abomination, or a lesser human. Just wrong, and that’s no big deal. But the sheer arrogant attitude that stems from the Evangelical movement leaps way past that and into a big steaming pot of supremacism . . . albeit supremacism that is sometimes presented with a smiling face.

Let’s face it . . . If little Timmy is born into an Evangelical family, little Timmy is likely to be forced to go to Church at an early age. Evangelical children become born-again and accept Jesus as their savior often as early as four years old. It’s highly common to be sent away to bible camps, and go to continuous other activities to . . . um . . . teach them. By the time little Timmy is a teenager, little Timmy knows he is right, and that everybody else is wrong. He is Evangelical, which is technically a minority among Christians, and most certainly a minority in all of the world’s religions. Timmy, out of 7 billion people, just happened to be born into the right one. And he knows it. Little Timmy is right, and you are wrong. End of story.

Timmy knows this is a Christian nation because it is what he was brought up to believe. Just like little Tommy knows that this is a White Christian Nation from how he was brought up.

The fact that this kind of attitude still exists disturbs me. Well, actually what disturbs me more than the attitude is the actions . . . the coercive recruitment, and the need to have power and rights over others.

This, my friends, is Supremacism. Those who partake in it deny it, and those who are not part of it seem afraid to call them out on it. Not that I really think people should be “called out” on an opinion, per se. After all, it’s America, and we have rights. A person has a right to be an asshole if they want. Calling them out on actions like trying to control others and harassing recruitment? That’s another story.

I rather think people should call themselves out. It’s too difficult to call someone out on what they think or feel. None of us can know what is in another’s heart, truly. Enough of the mincing words . . . people are smart enough to use them. If you’re a supremacist, you’ll know it yourself if you’re honest.

The question is: What if you find yourself a supremacist? What will you do about it?

Will you reconcile with the fact that you are one? Or will you knock off the supremacism?

After all, it’s quite possible to be proud of your racial heritage without looking down at someone else’s. Can’t it be done with religion?

No comments: