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God of the Christian Right is an ‘asshole’

God of the Christian Right is an ‘asshole’

Brittney Cooper, above, is a contributing writer at Salon, and teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey – and right now she’s pretty pissed off at Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence and  the Religious Right in general.

In a Salon op-ed this week, Cooper ripped into Pence and his ilk:

Any time right-wing conservatives declare that they are trying to restore or reclaim something, we should all be very afraid. Usually, this means the country or, in this case, the state of Indiana is about to be treated to another round of backward time travel, to the supposedly idyllic environs of the 1950s, wherein women, and gays, and blacks knew their respective places and stayed in them.

While the unspoken religious subtext of this law [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] is rooted in conservative anxieties over the legalization of same-sex marriage in Indiana, Black people and women, and all the intersections thereof (for instance Black lesbians) should be very afraid of what this new law portends.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby decision that corporations could exercise religious freedom, which means that corporations can deny insurance coverage for birth control. Now this same logic is being used to curtail and abridge the right of gay people to enjoy the same freedoms and legal protections that heterosexual citizens enjoy.

She added:

As a practicing Christian, I am deeply incensed by these calls for restoration and reclamation in the name of religious freedom  … Nothing about the cultural and moral regime of the religious right in this country signals any kind of freedom. In fact, this kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women. That means these people don’t represent any kind of Christianity that looks anything like the kind that I practice.

Of the many things Jesus preached about, he never found time to even mention gay people, let alone condemn them. His message of radical inclusivity was so threatening that the state lynched him for fear that he was fomenting a cultural and political rebellion. They viewed such acts as criminal acts and they treated Jesus as a criminal. And all who followed him were marked for death.

jesus-and-guns

This is why I identify with the story of Jesus. And frankly, it is the only story there really is. This white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus of the religious right is a god of their own making. I call this god the god of white supremacy and patriarchy.

There is nothing about their god that speaks to me as a Black woman of working-class background living in a country where police routinely murder black men and beat the hell out of black women, where the rich get richer while politicians find ever more reasons to extract from the poor, and where the lives the church imagines for women still center around marriage and motherhood, and no sex if you’re single.

This God isn’t the God that I serve. There is nothing holy, loving, righteous, inclusive, liberatory or theologically sound about him. He might be “biblical” but he’s also an asshole.

She concluded:

We need to reclaim the narrative of Jesus’ life and death from the evangelical right. They have not been good stewards over the narrative. They have pimped Jesus’ death to support the global spread of American empire vis-à-vis war, ‘missions’, and ‘free trade’, the abuse of native peoples, the continued subjugation of Black people, and the regulation of the sexual lives of women and gay people.

Let us mark this Holy Week by declaring the death to the unholy trinity of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy. And once these systems die, may they die once and for all, never to be resurrected.

14 responses to “God of the Christian Right is an ‘asshole’”

  1. Lucy1 says:

    That good lady needs to watch her back

  2. cnocspeireag says:

    Actually, the god of the Xtian right doesn’t exist. Its the Xtian right who are assholes.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Of the many things Jesus preached about, he never found time to even mention gay people, let alone condemn them. His message of radical inclusivity was so threatening that the state lynched him for fear that he was fomenting a cultural and political rebellion. They viewed such acts as criminal acts and they treated Jesus as a criminal. And all who followed him were marked for death.”

    Jesus was aware of Hebrew law, including the commandment to kill homosexuals, and said he came to fulfill ‘every jot and tittle’ of those unchanging laws. One of the many failed prophecies about Christmas was that he would be hung but he was not lynched, he was killed by crucifixion. He stated several times his word was not for all either by speaking secretly or saying not to go to some towns. Among those who followed him are leaders of the most powerful nations and empires in history. Ms. Cooper packed as many lies about her religion as she could in that paragraph. Meanwhile the Bible makes it clear she is to keep silent. The Bible is also clear that slavery is ordained by God. She claims all the neutrality and tolerance that comes only from secular thought as her own. I am not deceived or impressed.

  4. Broga says:

    The God of the bible is an “asshole.” Why restrict the biblical savage to the Christian right?

  5. Broga says:

    On the subject of “assholes” I have just seen a fashion parade of the royal family parasites arriving at church to be greeted by a man covered in a gold frock. I wonder if he dare mention “Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.”

    Not much chance of the royals being admitted, loaded with funds and privileges extracted from, amongst others, the poor.

  6. JohnMWhite says:

    @Trevor Blake – well said. I really am getting tired of ‘good, liberal’ Christians pretending their good or liberal ideas have anything to do with Christianity. They lie as much as the homophobic zealots, even to themselves, as they try to claim their faith has anything to do with them not hating certain people. It’s bullshit, and not even self-serving, because it just diminishes their own accomplishment of having a conscience rather than being programmed by dogma.

    She doesn’t even make any sense. She claims the right-wing version of god is both biblical and yet not theologically sound. What? These convoluted word salads are irritating, and reveal a desperation to keep hold of some semblance of a god they clearly have rejected.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    @Anton

    Spot on!

  8. Daz says:

    Trevor Blake

    You’re right, of course, but my take on it, for what it’s worth, is that getting rid of religion is a very long term goal. If possible at all, it’ll take generations. In the short term, I’d much rather have to deal with Brittney Cooper’s church than Mike Pence’s. Call it damage limitation, I suppose—the harm done in the name of politically-right-wing religion tends to be much more substantial and, frankly, life-threatening, than the more—philosophical?*—harm done by churches who actually try to help people.

    *Not sure if that’s the word I’m looking for. Put it this way: the religious right harm people directly, in material ways. The damage done by the left tends to be more in the manner of promoting fuzzy thinking and the like. They’re both unrealistic and dangerous, but the one is by far more unrealistic and dangerous than the other. As an atheist, I want both gone. As a secularist, I’ll happily work alongside religious secularists.

  9. John Dent -Smith says:

    Many of the reply comments highlight how correct she is in everything she has written. A left wing commie hippy was never going to connect with right wing white America.If Jess were to come & declare his message in today’s “Christian Community he would be ridiculed & sectioned under mental health legislation.
    Since the moment the Roman legislative adopted theChristian faith it was doomed to become a political tool of state

  10. Cali Ron says:

    @Trevor Blake
    I understand and agree with your take. I think it’s important to make distinctions between dangerous religious nutters with self serving agendas and basically good people trying to do good things through their delusional god beliefs. The world would be better off without religion, but not all religions are equal or equally bad, so it might be best to start by targeting the most offensive and dangerous to society.

  11. JohnMWhite says:

    Obviously the more dangerous and extreme end of the religious spectrum is the priority, but I think it stands to reason to push back as firmly as one can against the ‘good’ ones who just lie endlessly about what their faith supposedly means. Their deception and delusion about their hodgepodge of belief and misunderstandings of their own foundational texts are what provide cover for those extremists.

    America wouldn’t be going through a bizarre contortion with religious freedom bills right now if it weren’t for the cultural zeitgeist suggesting that people who worship a human sacrifice nailed to a tree have something to say about who should be allowed to buy a wedding cake. The ‘liberal’ religious are only the allies of reason until they come under scrutiny, then we’re the bad guys for not leaving people of faith alone. Not to mention how many of them pretend that anyone who is religious who does anything they don’t like wasn’t really religious in the first place. You can’t combat hatred based on a holy book when people convince themselves that those who are hateful just made it up.

  12. Cali Ron says:

    JohnMWhite-No argument from me, your logic is sound. I guess I have a soft spot because my mother is a born again, one of the “nice” ones (at 80 years old still doing volunteer work and assisting the elderly, who are mostly older than her), but god deluded none the less. And at 80 years old there’s no chance she’s going to change now. sigh!

  13. dennis says:

    @Anton “my family tree” not really been looking for this picture but their it is in all its glory. I find no peace in it.

    @Trevor Blake this beautiful Afro-American broke my heart at “as a practicing ” I was so on the band wagon with her then that control function of religion raised its horrible smoke and mirror.