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When Evidence Creates a Crisis of Faith

By Carl S ~

Got some emails from a Fundamentalist Christian woman recently. They were products of fundy organizations. I couldn't download them, and told her so, adding: “If you voted for a man who ordered children must be torn from their parents arms and imprisoned, then shame on you.” Her response told me I had no business talking about voting for compassion (as I said in a letter to the editor),when I voted for a man who okayed “252 babies torn from their mothers wombs at birth, and having their limbs torn off.” I asked her to show me evidence for that, adding, “Don't send me any more b.s.” She answered, We are through; don't bother her any more. I responded, again, asking for evidence, and added, “666 children. Shame.” I understand she's another victim of a lie her president kept repeating. It's a shame she's suffering because of bullshit. She's very vulnerable because she's high-strung, and Christian media makes a hell of a lot of money by keeping its followers anxious. You ask yourself how do loving parents come across as indifferent to the sufferings of 666 traumatized imprisoned children? But what can you say to someone who worships a god who punishes children for the infractions of their parents, a god who commits genocide which includes drowning infants, children, and pregnant women? Her evangelical propaganda media exists to keep believers entertained, agitated and anxious. This “salvation” supplies a steady supply of uppers and downers.

Only too many Christians and Catholics feel no shame about the evils they inflict. She is among the millions of already indoctrinated Americans who sincerely believe the b.s. her president repeatedly tells. It's preferable to believe in him than looking for the evidence, which, easily found, contradicts him. This is understandable. The Christian propaganda she unquestionably accepts is “repeating the lie so many times until it becomes the truth.” Blind addiction to lies is a habit called “faith.” Accepting evidence often creates a crisis of faith not only to unexamined beliefs, but to trust in that liar. She, and other true believers, won't go there.

Now, what of Christians and their alleged loyalty to Jesus? I've debated both with myself and my friend, about why they believe things obviously not true. We have just about concluded: Because they want to. Facts can't move them. We're dealing with an intransigent tradition with millions of people rejecting facts and preferring to believe lies. Is Trump more popular than Jesus to them? Their actions support him, ignore his evils, and contradict their savior's teachings of mercy, compassion, and tolerance. They've sold their conscience to men who have none, and to one man who feeds hatred and is condemned by the Jesus of their gospels. He doesn't even need to conquer death, feed thousands, or raise the dead. He reminds me of Gore Vidal’s “Messiah,” the fictional John Cave, who inadvertently creates a new religion that replaces Christianity in the USA.

The Christian propaganda she unquestionably accepts is “repeating the lie so many times until it becomes the truth.” Blind addiction to lies is a habit called “faith.” It's no surprise true believers throw their allegiance behind a man who preaches alternative realities, for Trump is just as familiar as a clergy member, priest, imam. and pope. What is the difference between his constantly repeating lies, making up shit without any evidence, and the patterns of religion? What are the differences between “Obama was not born in the USA, Moslems were dancing in the streets after 9/11, the election was rigged, Biden sanctioned newborns ripped out of the wombs of their mothers,” etc. and “born of a virgin, he rose from the dead, those who were buried came out of their graves, were seen walking by many, or that there were 500 witnesses of the risen Christ?” Do you see the pattern here? Irrationality became sacred. All of his ramblings and rantings, like those of religions, are claims to truths without an atom of evidence. And the believers are unaware: It's the same con. They're being exploited, think they're privy to special revelations, while following like sheep to the slaughter, even as they love being used.

Religions are where the power of imagination triumphs over evidence. The most ardent believers insist the only important truth is in how the believer feels. The feelings of others who disagree, or who are of different opinions, are ignored, insulted, and where possible, suppressed. Evidence is destructive of faith and superstition and creates disruptive crises of faith those without faith can't understand. And we see the same reactions whenever evidence contradicts or challenges the faith this president's many followers exhibit, immersed as they are in his alternative reality, his unrelenting-tsunami-of-lies cult. This cult is the result of one more charismatic individual raised to adoration by an audience that can't get enough of him.

The Trump Cult addiction will be with us for a long time for the same reasons Christianity survives. Will it, like the cults of Christ, Paul, Stalin, Koresh, etc, lead to violence? There are likely millions of people afraid of change, fearful of giving up their fantasies for constantly discovered real information about what is true and not. Will Christian Supremacists seek more power? When evidence creates a crisis of faith, faith rejects it. And we'll have to hold it to account by constantly pushing back with reality checks. Lots of luck. This also is reality.


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