Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Creech on Insanity

Here's the Reverend Mark Creech, columnist for for the Christian news outlet Agape Press, lecturing us about the nature of insanity:

Only those whose judgment has been profoundly diminished -- whose ability to think and carefully weigh the facts, after witnessing the rioting of Muslims around the world over something as silly as a cartoon -- would still believe Islam is essentially a peaceful religion. Only those who are not thinking straight would believe redefining marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry could ever be in the best interest of the nation. Only those who've been brainwashed by the screwy philosophies of our time would defend abortion, pornography, euthanasia, gambling, premarital sex, stem-cell research on embryos, the legalization of drugs and prostitution, removing the influence of prayer, Bible reading, and the Ten Commandments from public life. This is all a form of madness!

And later:

Real wisdom comes from God. Those who turn from their sins to Christ, the living Word, find it. And those who live by the inerrant written Word, the Bible, discover it. Other voices are simply unreliable and can lead to a darkened understanding, a defiled mind and conscience -- much like what's demonstrated in the many arguments of the atheists, the evolutionists, the theological modernists, and the secular humanists of today.

This is usually the point where some well-meaning commenter feels compelled to explain to me that actually people like Creech are a fringe minority, that they only speak for a small percentage of religious believers, and that I shouldn't get so worked up about the fanatics.

Spare me. I've heard it before. It isn't true. Creechism is the dominant religious view in many parts of this country. Try living in Kansas for a while if you don't believe me. Walk into almost any Christian bookstore and it is Creechism you will find being promoted. It wasn't theologically moderate people who made the Left Behind series so successful. It wasn't theological moderates our President was thinking about when he struggled to answer an audience member's question about whether the rise of terrorism is a sign of the apocalypse. It wasn't theological moderates that Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was appealing to when he complained that faith plays too small a role in modern American discourse. It wasn't moderates who proposed a resolution making Christianity the official religion of the state of Missouri, and it wasn't moderates who allowed that resolution to make it to a floor vote.

I could go on. The fact is that the Creechists of this country are so numerous and politically powerful that every Republican of any prominence is either one of them, or bends over backward to make everyone think he's one of them. The genuine theological moderates need to wake up and realize that, in terms of deciding public policy, they have far more in common with the atheists and secular humanists than they do with the religious right.


At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if Mr. Creech wants to see insanity, he need only look in a mirror.

Truly scary indeed.


At 4:57 PM, Blogger Drek said...

Fantastic post, Jason. More and more I'm coming to the same conclusion. I have some very close, liberal religious friends, but they are entirely too few and far between.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Joe C said...

I can only hope that more and more people, faced with the colossal blunders of our "born again" President see that faith-based government is not the answer.

If you want to see a faith-based government, look at Iran.

Keep up the good work, Jason.

-Joe C.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked the post.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Speedkill said...

Mostly irrelevant, but sort of funny: The Einstein story he starts his column with isn't true, according to Snopes.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez - I find comments like Creech's profoundly disturbing. If it all gets too much for you you're all welcome to come down to New Zealand for a while.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Creech is merely projecting himself onto others. In reality, he fears his own madness by imagining others to be mad. That's how someone can view a Muslim as insane while still considering themselves sane whilst believing the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

The same bible-beliver mindset is also at work in opposition to what they term as "immoral." Bible-believers are afraid of their own fallibility - specifically their dormant subconscious urges of sexuality -- that they project lack of self-control on others; and then erect laws to control others.

When, in reality, what they are trying to do is control themselves. That is why the same mind also tends to be reactionary and conservative. Any variation from a controllable enivornment is "overload" and must be simplified/controlled.

Is this psychobabble? Perhaps. But, in my experience, I have discovered that it goes a long way towards understanding the fundamentalist mindset -- the same mindset (at root) that motivates conservatives of every religious stripe - Muslim, Jewish, Christian, etc.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

The thing about Creech is that even if you agree with him, you haven't agreed enough. Let's say that I accept Jesus and turn away from my sins. What exactly are my sins? Thinking that homosexuals are acceptable as humans? Is that a sin? Thinking that evolution makes sense? Can half of the Christians in the US make it through Creech's filters unscathed? The effect of his assertive, peculiar dogmatism is that other Christians are drawn into tacitly accepting his viewpoints rather than appear to be denying their Savior. He, and those who push the same message, represent the anti-intellectual black hole of Christianity.

At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the worst things about religion, the idea that God and the bible are the only prerequisites to wisdom. Where is the struggle, the learning through experience, the careful deliberated - no cut it short, where is the thinking???

Just look at the Pope. All you have to do is cloister yourself up in the catholic church, read the bible, pretend to have some truth revealed to you by God, get voted in and hey presto, you're the pope. Being Italian probably helps too. When you look at Ratzinger, do you see wisdom? Do you see a wise old man, a prodigiously philosophical spiritual leader of hundreds of millions? I just see an old fool.

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