In a speech in Ankara, Turkey the other day, the President raised the ire of hardcore Christians the other day, and he did it in the usual way: by having the temerity to state the benign and the obvious.
In a press conference before the address, the President reached out to his largely Muslim audience, reminding them that the United States of America is not “a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation.” Rather, he insisted, “we are a nation bound by a set of ideals and values.”
This is neither revolutionary nor inflammatory–at least to people who don’t spend most of their lived contemplating the sight and smell of their sigmoid colons.
In short, President Obama assured his audience that we have nothing to fear from each other, and that we have a great deal in common. Such was the peace-making message of this US president.
But back home, there are men and women on the right side of the Christian spectrum who have responded with dismay and disbelief, accusing the President of “throwing Christianity under the bus.”
Which speech were they listening to? Or does a reaction like that suggest that they were not listening at all?
People like Tara Wall (above link) can hear just fine. They simply refuse to contemplate things which overthrow long-cherished ideas such as “America is a Christian nation.” No matter how plain and inescapable the evidence appears to mentally intact folks, people like Wall are, when presented with this evidence, simply incapable of not repeating the “founded on Judeo-Christian principles” line and related memes just as deeply entrenched. Whatever intelligence these types demonstrate in their everyday affairs, when it comes to Christianity, they in effect become cows which have suddenly developed fully functional vocal cords and larynges but retain their bovine intellects. All they can do is make what amounts to curious lowing and bawling sounds, not unlike the teacher from “Peanuts.”
The maddening thing about reactions like these is, to me, not really about the Christian-versus-secular aspect. It’s that this sort of Christian unabashedly considers herself intrinsically superior to people of other faiths. When Obama noted that the U.S. is equally free of undue Christian, Muslim, or Jewish influence, the cow-Christians don’t hear this as “everyone is equal.” They instead feel badly slighted for not being afforded special privileges. These are people with the laughable temerity to fancy themselves paragons of humility, but it’s hard to imagine anything more fundamentally and profoundly arrogant.
There’s really nothing to be done about these assholes and their merry death-cult except wait for it to gradually slide toward meaninglessness, as is happening now. It won’t occur within my lifetime, but the jig is mostly up; in a world where virtually everything contradicts the idea of any sane person believing the Bible to be true, there will ultimately come a time when only those who really are insane will be on board with this, just as those positing a literal Zeus today would be regarded as lunatics.
The whole “Christian nation” issue is garbage anyway. Christians are free to worship as they please, gather in big pretty buildings they don’t have to pay taxes to perpetuate, and agitate for causes that basically seek to fuck up the country, although they can’t see it that way. Apparently, this freedom is not enough for some of them.