Time to stop their lies and fear mongering.
I have been responding to right wingers for a while- I have some in my family and have crossed swords with quite a few on the internet. Some are thinkers, but the bulk of them simply repeat what they have been told – whether it came from church or the TV or radio. If you can get them to discuss the rationale behind what they think is "right" – especially if it is something like homophobia and Muslim terrorists, you will reach a point where they simply regurgitate dogma. But, one and all, they will end up at the same point. Invariably, if you talk with them for a while, their viewpoint reduces to "God said this." At this point, no amount of reasoning will work. They have closed their mind and retreated to the walls of their religion. Their version of the Supreme Being has spoken, and the matter is settled – case closed. No matter what you say, nothing will change their minds. Or maybe not. Follow me here:
Disclaimer: I grew up in the deep South in the sixties, and sat through a lot of sermons while I was growing up. I heard segregation preached from the pulpit. I heard how the Bible said that Negroes were inferior to the white race. I heard rants about the godless hippies in the sixties. I heard sermons on how a wife should be subject to the husband. And more. And I had an uncle who was a down to earth, help the people type Catholic priest so I have a pretty good idea of how to talk the language of the Sunday Service. Wingnuts hear certain keywords, phrases, terminology, and cadences that trigger their "I believe! switch", but they seldom hear those same keywords used against them, and rarely outside the walls of a church. So what follows is couched in the language and dogma of the Southern Protestant Churches, and does not necessarily reflect my beliefs or viewpoint of Jesus as leader of the Christian Church. Like they say, you don't have to be born in France to speak French...
I have been responding to right wingers for a while- I have some in my family and have crossed swords with quite a few on the internet. Some are thinkers, but the bulk of them simply repeat what they have been told – whether it came from church or the TV or radio. If you can get them to discuss the rationale behind what they think is "right" , especially if it is something like homophobia and Muslim terrorists, you will reach a point where they simply regurgitate dogma. But, one and all, they will end up at the same point. Invariably, if you talk with them for a while, their viewpoint reduces to "God said this." At this point, no amount of reasoning will work - they have closed their mind and retreated to the walls of their religion. Their version of the Supreme Being has spoken, and the matter is settled – case closed. No matter what you say, nothing will change their minds. Or maybe not. Follow me here:
The modern day Christians, and I do not tar all Christians with the same brush, base their belief on the Old Testament, but, and here we begin the logic thread, all believe that they are "saved" through Jesus Christ. I first noticed this when I was going to the YMCA to work out: They had many little signs about, all saying what "God" said, but none, even after three years of going there, quoting the teachings of Jesus. I began to wonder why, and recalled my days of sitting on a hard pew, listening to a preacher tell me why segregation is "right", and why I am going to hell, but Jesus will save me. And I remembered a book I read way back when "Psychotherapy, East and West" by Alan Watts, which gives an overview of the world’s religions and philosophies. I then realized that it was fear that was an important tool in the arsenal of the preachers. They used fear and "the wrath of God" to generate hate, and drive their flocks into a huddle, form which, they could easily be manipulated into maintaining the flock. But, as a Teenager (and born trouble maker) I watched the near idolizing worship of Jesus, all the pictures of the benevolent being with the halo who "Suffered the little children to come to me". etc. And something started to chew on my conscience there was something here that wasn’t quite right – the fear and wrath did not lien up with what Jesus said. At all. So I began, to read more about what Jesus said in the Bible, and I got a totally different message than what the preachers were preaching- a message of love, and kindness to your fellow man- doing good. Not judging others. Pray in private, and let others judge you by what you’ve done, not by what you say. Pretty good, I thought. And later on, when I read Watt’s book, I came to understand that this was the basis for a lot of other religions and philosophies, too, so maybe what Jesus taught wasn’t so unique, after all. When I grew older, I spent some time with my uncle the Priest – a very practical person, and we had a discussion about "Salvation". That is, how does a Christian get it? And he said to me that most Christians believe in Salvation by Faith- that is- simply say it, and it becomes so. But there was another way, he said- that of salvation by works, and Jesus talks about this –"by their fruits ye shall know them." Uncle said quite wryly, "The faith way is what most Christians choose, because it’s easy and does not require work or sacrifice. But the other way is much harder, because (and here we reach the heart of the matter) it requires knowing what Jesus taught, and doing it. Every day, not just on Sunday." And here is the problem with most Christians- they do not follow the teachings of Jesus, they just want the name and the church to go to.
So much for the background. On to practicality:
Here is the way to handle the wingers: It will help a lot to know what the verses are to refer to, but Matthew 7 has the bulk of it. The Beatitudes is another. Jesus said to take care of the sick, the elderly, the afflicted, the poor. Etc. The Golden Rule, too, and the 9th Commandment (I love this one- do not bear false witness – I use it as an opener when some wing nut spouts some lies they heard from Beck or Fox). Take them straight into the teachings of Jesus- don’t bother trying to reason with them – they will not respond. But they will, for sure, when you begin with, "Are you a Christian? Well, what did Jesus teach about that?" Note - do not respond to any attempt to get off the subject- simply refer back to the Bible’s words of Christ- don’t get drawn into a personal argument – stay on the quotes. If they get into name calling, simply respond with, "that is not a Christian thing to do at all." You are not attacking their faith, but you are exposing their hypocrisy. And do it without mercy.
I recently had a FB dialogue with a rabid winger- The usual lies, etc., saying that Rush & Beck were "right", Obama is Satan, spouting Fox talking points, and telling me that "God will prevail". Rather than address their BS, I confronted them with the teachings of Jesus (since these types think they are all really good Christians, but always ignore the teachings of Jesus), quoting Matthew 7:1-5 (hypocrisy). Of course they came back with a dodge, which was how dare you judge me, which left them wide open for "I am showing you the Words of Christ as written in the Bible, which you refuse to listen to, by your own choice. Open your own Bible and read them for yourself." This threw them into a fit - Name calling, ranting, etc., and all the while refusing to even acknowledge the Bible quote. I returned with another quote from Matthew 7, "wolves in sheep's clothing", and that sent them over the edge.
This is the nuts cases’ weak spot, and I can't stress it more- the dichotomy of what they believe, vs. what Jesus taught in the Bible. They all consider themselves "God Fearing", but the haters of them never pay attention to what Christ taught. Hammer them with this point – they are refusing the Words and teachings of their "Savior Lord Jesus Christ" Simply put, if they did, they would not hate. Anything they come up with can be easily refuted with what Jesus is quoted as saying. Just keep going back to that- "What did Jesus say about that?" then say "Now Jesus didn't tell you to do that, did He? Of course not." And to drive the point home (and watch it here, because this is where they will blow a fuse) "I have pointed out to you the teachings of Jesus, His words from the Bible and you refuse them. You deny His words and, by doing so, you deny Jesus Himself. There is no wiggle room- Jesus told you what to do and you refuse to do it." And this will drive them nuts, every time. I have used this method several times, and it always works. Elaborate as needed.
And, yes, it's time to call them on their lies, hate and fear. And the time for reasoned discourse is over. Time to stand up for what is right. Time to hit them where it matters, and their bent version of the Christian Religion is it. In sum, you can’t have a "Christian" Nation, and ignore what Christ taught. The two go together, or they don’t go at all. Call them on it.
Comments, opinions, add ons, editing?