Monday, February 2, 2009

The Abstractions and Neuroses of Fundamentalism

Ted Haggart appeared on TV yesterday, but not on stage, not shouting sin and damnation.  He was unusually quiet and speculative.  After all, he had fallen from grace. No longer does he castigate homosexuality as he did to all of the youngsters who attended Jesus Camp.  No, that was before he had a gay sexual relationship.  

Haggart has taken off his fundamentalist blinders and now sees a broader spectrum of God and a more encompassing view of society.  He has experienced an epiphany.  He suffered the pain of hypocrisy, but was especially hurt by the shunning he received from fellow fundamentalists after his fall.  He suggested that fundamentalists need to be less judgmental and more open to all saying, "Jesus proved his faithfulness to me more than ever. He said he came for the unrighteous, not for the righteous."

Andrew Sullivan who pens,  The Daily Dish, said this after watching the CBS interview:

I watched the whole thing. I feel for Haggard - because he is trapped between who he is and his internalized belief that God cannot love him for who he is. But God can love him for being gay. And does love him for being gay. This is hard, I know. Accepting God's unconditional love for me was the hardest part of keeping hold of my Christian faith.

Fundamentalists, as I have come to know them on this blog, are a narrow-minded lot, more interested in pointing out why people have fallen rather than lifting them up.  Perhaps I am wrong to cast all fundamentalist Christians in this light, but these are the only ones I know about, the only ones whose words I have read, whose sermons of righteousness I have struggled through.  

Sullivan says, 

"Haggard's betrayal, his lies, his compulsions, his deceits are the excruciating function of this human dead end. What we have to do as Christians is open up this always-closing door, to find a way past the abstractions and neuroses of fundamentalism to a more honest and more human acceptance of gay people as God-like. Gay people, like all people, need love. We need family. And yet we are uniquely and cruelly denied these things. And no love and no family can be genuinely based on the deceit or self-hatred that are the alternatives."

Here in Toledo, the bloggers who often land on this blog all [correction:  "most"] come from the same church, the Holland Free Methodist Church.  Are the so-called the abstractions and neuroses of fundamentalism unique to this church, this pastor, this congregation? I do not know.  What I do know is the constant homophobia penned here and on other blogs by the members of this church.

Their bigotry offends me; their righteousness sickens me.  Their hypocrisy is maddening. 

Lefty Blogs