Early in life I made the mistake of conflating God – The Creator, The Big Guy, Yahweh, The Man Upstairs – with religion. I associated the Almighty with a weekly dose of boredom and repetitive gestures that held no meaning for me. School was relievedly compelling, in contrast. I remember winning a Bible or something for memorizing a long string of verses, but my victory lay not in the content of the verses, but rather the personal best of how much I could memorize. It helped kill time, especially when I was informed I could not bring small, quiet, unobtrusive paperbacks to while my way through the sermon and uninspired hymn-singing. Snoozing was out of the question, but Pastor Beenkin had a soothing voice and the temptation was great.
Flash forward a bit to when The Republican Party and Christian Fundamentalism began flirting in the late 1970s. Being a Liberal Progressive all my adult life – a Far Left conservative, as I put it on Facebook – I knew the Republican Party would therefore never want the likes of me. Feeling was and is mutual, dudes, check it out! Same with fundamentalist religion – I had to adhere to Republicanism to be a ‘good’ Christian, with the converse being true as well? I don’t think so.
So it is with a certain joy that I see fissures appearing in the ChristPublican alliance. Somebody’s going to get voted off the island! A sea change? Perhaps. I can hope.
And that joy stems from my eventual sorting out of God from all the brand name religions and the centuries of man-made barnacles. God and I have made amends, and part of that process has been watching with sickening regularity God’s majesty being dragged through the mire of politics. The people who claim that this a Christian nation, and think that this glorifies God – the same people whom this article in the religious press is about – are tragically mistaken.