Evoman (1000+ posts) Thu Jun-05-08 04:14 AM
Original message
Confronting Right Wing Christians: Is it worth it or are we going about it the wrong way?
Edited on Thu Jun-05-08 04:18 AM by Evoman
One of the conventional ideas I see from many of the atheists here, along with a heaping number of liberal christians, is the idea that we need to confront the fundies and right wing christians. Not only do we need to disagree with them, but we need to be active in "fighting" them or debating them.

The more I think about it, the more I am starting to come to terms with the fact that that is the wrong way to go about doing things. These realizations come less from conversations I have with people on DU or on the internet, but more with the realities of my life and experiences. It's something I have been spending considerable brain power on, for one reason or other.

As many of you know, I have several christian friends, including a couple that would actually classify as right wing christians. No lie, I am friends with christian fundamentalists. Good friends. Since elementary.
If they were truly your friends, you wouldn't see the need to change them. You would love them as they are.

......... So what am I trying to say here? As far as I've seen, there are three useful, effective ways to get fundies to change their world-view:
1)Introduce to them to people who don't believe as they do, and force them to confront their prejudices and stereotypes. If they hate gays, get them to meet gay people.
Note the use of the word "force." Nice.

2)Subtly encourage them in any intellectual pursuit. I like to think that I encouraged my friend's interest in history, which led him to university to study history. Education, especially in the social sciences, correlates high with a reduction on religousity (so I've heard).
So if you didn't encourage them, they would never engage in any intellectual pursuit? Riiiiight.

3)Encourage them to see fundamentalism as non-normal. If there is one common characteristic I see of fundies, is that they like being a majority, and like to conform. When they stay insulated in their christian communities, they don't get a chance to see that fundamentalism is really not as big a majority as they think it is.
Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's "non-normal."

..........It ain't always fucking easy, thats for sure, but I'm serious. Fundies, despite all their bullshit, have some good chacteristics. Many of them can be loyal, hard-working people. They just have to broaden their damn horizons, and they can't do it unless we all give it shot. I think liberal christians have a better shot at this than we atheists do, but we can't just sit on the sidelines.

On a higher level (society level), I agree. Don't think I'm getting soft, because I'm not. When fundies are trying to pass laws, change government, and oppress people, you got to keep them in fucking check with everything you have. You have to fight the fight. You can't give them a free pass, like we have been giving them for the past 30 years.
Suppress the will of the people!

But on a personal level, fighting just isn't going to get you anywhere. The fundies have such compartmentalized mind, and are so immune to reason, that we aren't going to change minds by fighting. If you fight them, if you confuse them, if you out-logic them, they just run back to the isolation of their fundie communities, and you just lost your chance to do something important. Influence can be so fucking strong if you give it a chance.
The ignorance and hate in the post makes me want to puke. And he doesn't even know it, he thinks he's doing good by keeping people in "fucking check," that's the scary part!

AlinPA (1000+ posts) Thu Jun-05-08 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Yep, but I'd prefer just to ignore them and not associate with them. Life is too
precious to try to do maintenance on irrational people.
Patience is maintenance.
Nice stereotyping. Apparently, that's only ok when liberals do it.

And so on and so on....