Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is the Moderate Christian Moderately Delusional?

Most people I know are moderates. Moderate Republicans, moderate Democrats, moderate believers. I’ve even met moderate atheists. These people subscribe to many of the conventional stances of the group, but not all. Some hold to the basic tenants, some to the fringe. For this blog, I’m defining a Moderate Believer as someone show calls themselves a believer, but doesn’t follow all the tenants of Christianity. By that, I mean, the Moderate Believer understands and accepts evolution, supports equal rights for gays, opposes bans on abortion and abortion coverage by insurance companies, supports comprehensive sex education, and goes to church from 2-3 time per month. Have I described any REAL people? I hope I have.

Actually, I’d say I’ve described a lot of people. Most of the religious blogs I read that are not by the usual few but the random dude transcribing his own thoughts are written by people like this. It leaves you with the question why they call themselves believers. I’d say the answer is community, companionship, and camaraderie.

Now, in my experience, these are the last people to engage in religious discussion. Most don’t understand or want to understand fully how they have been duped into this delusion. They are comfortable here and don’t argue to be right but argue to maintain comfort. This, I think, is why so many arguments with moderate believers end with insults and anger. This is why they think I attack them on a personal level. I’m attacking their comfort. It isn’t the pillow they want; it’s the soft place for their head.

This makes the moderate believer such a mystery. They don’t know the argument for or against their position, and they don’t care. They don’t know why they believe, or why they feel guilty when they miss church or why they don’t like questioning delusion, they just know it’s uncomfortable. Worse, many have been led to believe that outside this comfort zone is nothing but despair, anguish and pain.

Moderate belief is the goal of religion. Fundamentalists are nuts. Everyone knows and recognizes the Westboro Baptist nuts as a hate group. Yet they have the bible more on their side than the moderates do. No, the fundies are not what clergy want. They want people who believe and don’t know why. They want people who obey because they feel guilty when they don’t, but they don’t know why. They want people who will run from logical argument rather than stand and debate. These are the people who will lend support when asked, so long as the petition is “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

You’d think the moderate would grow weary of the never-ending abuse from the religion of their choice. They do not, because they are told this abuse is from god, and it means he’s watching you and he loves you. Since they are not in the habit of questioning the word of god, they accept it.

You’d thing the moderate would tire of always having to accept more and more on faith. They do not. They have been told to do so makes one more righteous, and since god has sent some punishment our way recently (shit always seems to happen, after all), we need to be more righteous in any way we can.

You’d think the moderate would eventually figure out all this bullshit is bunk. If they do, they simply stop going to church, but still call themselves believers.

So, if you are a moderate, let me ask this:

If you are convinced the religion you call yourself is wrong most of the time, what has convinced you of this? What has convinced you they were right on anything else? Are you really convinced they weren’t wrong ALL the time?

I tried, I REALLY tried to remain Christian after I left Catholicism. I really wanted SOMETHING to have been true. But what I want to be true and what is true cannot be made the same with faith.

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