|Rachel Held Evans|
To judge by the comments, Christian conservatives are incapable of addressing the arguments of their more moderate brothers and sisters. If the more moderate brother or sister in question is Roman Catholic, he or she is called by their conservative critics a heretic. In Roman Catholic circles, that's even worse than calling someone a smelly, cross-eyed, cognitively impaired, pus dripping, parasite infested whore. Not that there is anything wrong with being a smelly, cross-eyed, cognitively impaired, pus dripping, parasite infested whore, if that's what you're into. If the more moderate brother or sister in question happens to be Protestant, they are called some version of inexperienced, self-absorbed, dangerous, arrogant, foolish, attention-seeking, self-serving or, God forbid, a feminist. In fairness, men are seldom called feminists - probably because the limited definition of feminism in
What underlies all of these behaviors is an extremely thinly veiled (and unearned)
|The Flying Spaghetti Monster|
None of this would matter all that much if it weren't for the fact that most of these critics have a lot of time on their hands and have been convinced they are personally responsible for any bad ideas that may be floating around. This derives primarily from the misinterpretation of a passage in Ezekiel in which God made Ezekiel responsible for the beliefs and behaviors of the people of his time. One of the basic intellectual and interpretive mistakes of conservatives is the very selective ability to differentiate between specific instructions in the Bible that applied to one person(s) at a specific time in history and general instructions meant to apply to all people for all time. When it comes to things like a kosher diet, conservative Christians very correctly hold that Christians are not required to keep kosher. When it comes to believing they are responsible for the orthodoxy of others as Ezekiel was, they fail the test rather dramatically - or perhaps very conveniently, as someone obsessed with the behavior of others has very little time left to check their own behavior.
When this kind of distorted feeling of responsibility is coupled with having a lot of time on one's hands and a Internet connection, the result is the kind of publicity that drives just about every reasonable and even marginally intelligent person away from Christianity as
In a world of limited energy, it seems to me that we need to make a decision about where that limited