Friday, November 19, 2004

Bush, the Neocons and Evangelical Christian Fiction: Article discusses the relations between the Neocons and the Christianist right. It raises the question of how far, how long, how deeply and how deliberately the Right has targeted Evangelicals to support the Neo-liberal, neo-con agenda. And to that extent, whether it is a mistake for people of conscience to abandon churches as merely 'superstition', thereby creating a potential for them to be deliberately influenced and manipulated by neo-liberal and neo-conservative forces. There is no human society where religion does not play a role. The need for community, ritual, ceremony (birth, marriage, death etc), spirituality, moral teaching, guidance, pastoral care etc appears to be universal.

All religions contain a tension (which mirrors the situation elsewhere in society) between morality and dogmatism, between freedom and authoritarianism. The good fight always is the fight of morality, compassion, justice, knowledge and humanism against dogmatism, fanaticism, ignorance and fundamentalism; a fight of physical and spiritual freedom against enslavement. To abandon the field thinking it is of no further import may well be a strategic blunder.

If humanists and others who cannot stomach hypocrisy abandon churches then what creature instead will slither in and curl closely around the fundamental human need for faith and hope, and the basic rituals of the seasons and of birth, marriage and death?

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