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A “fundangelical” is someone who identifies him- or herself as a Christian, but one who is fundamentalist, evangelical, or charismatic. Fundangelicals can be identified by a number of heretical beliefs, most notably the idolatrous notion that the Bible is as infallible and inerrant as God is. Fundangelicals believe they are followers of Jesus of Nazareth. They are mistaken:
Jesus said, “Love thine enemies.” Fundangelicals create enemies and then curse them — liberals, gays, feminists, pagans, Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics, abortionists, pregnant rape victims, the ACLU, Moveon.org, People for the American Way . . . whoever incurs the wrath of James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, or other fundangelical leaders.
Jesus said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Fundangelicals adore telling people how they're going to Hell if they don't convert and believe everything the televangelists tell them to believe. They sit in judgment upon your lifestyle and mine. They condemn me, a woman, for being uppity. They persecute homosexuals for daring to love — the “wrong” persons.
Jesus upset the status quo. He challenged popular assumptions about which rules need to be followed and which do not. He hung out with people the Pharisees of his day considered untouchable (people with skin diseases, sex trade workers, tax-collection goons, etc.) He broke rules that needed breaking. He rejected elements of the culture that needed rejecting. Today's fundangelicals are attempting to return our modern culture to first-century values: Because the Bible takes women's supposed inferiority for granted, for example, fundangelicals say that God wants men to unfairly dominate over women for all time. Some fundangelicals, such as those who believe James Dobson, even want to reinstitute slavery. Since the Bible, which was written during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, takes slavery for granted, these bibliolaters say that obviously God wants us to take slavery for granted. (Just like Jesus?!)
Jesus instructed his followers to give all their wealth to the poor. Fundangelicals practice “prosperity theology,” in which God is a super-vending machine: You put in your prayers, and out comes that SUV you've been wanting, that lottery win, that mansion, that sports car. With some groups, you don't even need to pray — just give your “anointed” church leader all your disposable income.
Jesus had many female disciples and apostles. It is clear from all gospels, both canonical and not, that Jesus loved and respected women. Fundangelicals want to return society to the first century, and instruct women to “graciously submit” to being treated as subhuman. (Domination of one group by another group is soooo Christian!) Come the fundangelicals' planned theocracy, women will return to the same status they had in 30 CE — not allowed to vote, control their own bodies, make their own health-care decisions, work outside the home, control their own money, or do anything without the permission of their male owners. After all, that's the way men treated women in Jesus's time, so that's the way God wants it to be forever.
Jesus said,“ The greatest among you will be your servant.” One of the factors in the oil and gas corporate takeover of the U.S. government has been the Republicans' 25-year campaign to consolidate political power, which is characterized by a rigid hierarchy (currently with Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld as the boss and his two top henchmen) and constant, unremitting Bushwah cloaked as fundangelical language. Bush meets every Monday at 10 a.m. with Dominionist fundangelicals whose avowed goal in life is to turn the United States into a theocracy in which religious dissent is labeled heresy and punished by death. (These self-described “Christians” quarrel among themselves, however, as to whether it will be death by stoning or death by burning at the stake. Whom would Jesus murder?)
Jesus made errors. He is portrayed as confusing Jeremiah with Zechariah (Matt. 27:9-10, Zech. 11:12-13); he is portrayed as cursing a fig tree in early April, even though fig trees don't bear fruit until August, as he jolly well knew. (Matt. 21:19, Mk. 11:13-14. The fig tree was a symbol of Judaism, btw. Most fundangelicals don't know that.) Jesus admitted he was wrong to the Canaanite/Syrophoenician woman and her puppies. (Matt. 15:21-28, Mk. 7:24-30) Fundangelicals claim that he was God in a man-suit, incapable of making any errors, much less admitting them.
Jesus hung out with society's outcasts — the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the abused. People with scary-looking skin diseases, sex trade workers, tax-collection thugs and goons. Fundangelicals persecute gays for daring to love, women for daring to want to control their own bodies, Jews for daring to “murder Jesus.”
Jesus went to his death rather than cause suffering to another human being. Fundangelicals portray the Second Coming as Jesus with a bloody sword in his hand, murdering billions in the name of the God of Love. Then he will rule as a Stalin-like dictator for a thousand years, while you and I, the pope, Mother Theresa, and Desmond Tutu scream in agony in Hell. Because hey, what's a God of Love without agonizing torture of non-fundangelicals for all eternity?
Jesus told us not to worry about tiny little details like where our next meal or change of clothing is going to come from; we are to trust God and live in love. Fundangelicals tell us we must obsess about (a) heaven and hell and (b) the End Times.
Jesus told us that love must be our motivation for everything we say, do, and are. Fundangelicals tell us that self-interest must be our motivation: Only by jumping through all their hoops will we attain salvation and escape eternal damnation. Suppose a guy named Fred is driving down the road, THINKING about giving his life to Jesus on fundangelicals' terms, but not ready to actually DO it yet. Fred is a good man: He loves God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength and loves his neighbor as himself; he gives all or virtually all of his disposable income to causes that support charity and social justice; he turns the other cheek. He just doesn't believe that Jesus was God in a man-suit or that the Bible is as inerrant as God is. But his fundangelical neighbor has been harping and harping at poor Fred, and so he's thinking about becoming a fundangelical. Then there's an accident, and Fred dies before he can “give his life to Jesus.” Fundangelicals tell us that because he did not confess that “Jesus is Lord,” Fred will suffer literally excruciating agony for all eternity — billions upon billions upon googolplexillions of years.
Jesus told us that God loves us as tenderly as a daddy loves his babies, as a mother hen loves her chicks. Fundangelicals SAY that God is love, but they TEACH that God is a malignant sadist who will have no problem watching Fred suffer for all eternity. Fundangelicals SAY that God is omnipresent, but they deny emphatically that that means that God would suffer along every moment with poor Fred.
Jesus was against poverty, oppression, marginalization, abuse, and injustice. Fundangelicals are in favor of wealth, exclusiveness (“we're going to Heaven and YOU are going to Hell”), misogyny, persecution, arrogance, and, in the case of the Bush Administration, secretiveness, duplicity, and corruption.
Tom Delay, a criminal, is apparently a darling of the fundangelicals, at least if the news clips I've seen on TV are any indication. Pat Robertson thinks it's a mark of being a good Christian to hate and to recommend assassination. While religious leaders around the world decried this evidence that he is NOT a Christian, I've noticed that he has incurred no rebukes from fellow fundangelicals, and no diminution in power, authority, or respect. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves . . . Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter God's Perfect World, but only the one who does the will of my Abba in Heaven.” (Matt. 7:15,21)
Jesus taught tolerance. Fundangelicals practice intolerance. They murder physicians who perform medical procedures of which they disapprove (knowing SO much more about medicine and biology than any professional!); they murder homosexuals; they condone such murders and similar acts of violence committed by others, as long as the violence is committed in the name of the God of Love and the Prince of Peace.
Jesus taught compassion. Fundangelicals teach that Katrina was the fault of its victims — overwhelmingly poor, black, and disenfranchised. “Why didn't they just pack up their SUVs and go to their summer homes to wait the storm out?” (At least, the ones I've been reading about in the newspapers appear to me to feel that way.)
Fundangelicals are not Christians. But here's a conundrum for you, everyone: How are Christians supposed to love fundangelicals as much as they love themselves? How can you teach tolerance to the intolerant, compassion to the heartless, justice to the unjust, grace to the ungracious? Especially when the intolerant, arrogant, unjust folks in question claim that THEY are the Christians and anyone who disagrees with them is going to Hell?
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