Christian Dominionists Are Not Christians
When Jesus the Christ (JC) allegedly walked this Earth, his crowning achievement was the clearing out of profiteers from the Jewish Temple. Such activities were offensive to his rural sense of how a spiritual life ought to be lived, with reverence for sacred things and the hope that our care of them could be offered up, wholly, to the divine.
For this offense, the more urban people of Jerusalem chose to crucify JC over a Passover holiday, an act that both violated Jewish practice and tradition of the time. The Latin INRI inscription over his head, “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum,” was meant to mock and frighten any Jew who dared offend Roman rule or, as it turned out, the wealthy Pharisees in charge of running the business aspects of the Temple.
Contemporary Christian Dominionists (CCD) — the ones ideologically aligned with SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett — posit that the life of a fetus is determined at conception, not at birth and not during gestation. The Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, determined after considerable secular study that the rights of the mother superseded the rights of her unborn child for, at least, the first three months of the fetus’ life, leaving each individual state to decide how much farther along in gestation they would be willing to consider the rights of the pregnant mother. The Supreme Court made an admirable business decision in the interests of preserving freedom of religion and the right of privacy for all to include those who view Science and Reason to be the only basis upon which to base sound judgment. CCD’s have never been comfortable with this split between Church and State and have been seeking, actively, to destroy it root and branch on the grounds that God’s Will is superior and more manifestly correct than the will of secular government, composed of mere mortal men (and now, women).
The arrogance and pomposity of the CCD worldview is obvious enough to those whose ideological leanings are secular, but I will argue that the CCD worldview is also incorrect from the standpoint of the spiritual content contained in their own Holy Bible.
First and foremost, the Holy Bible needs to be understood as the multi-generational biography of man’s understanding of his relationship with a god of his misunderstanding that it is. The belief that the Holy Bible is ineffable or the perfect word of an Almighty God is patently absurd as either a fact of Science or as a tenet of faith. Anyone with even a cursory understanding of the reign of Constantine and the Egyptian roots of Judaism can clearly see that the Bible is composed of the cause and effect relationships between sincerely held beliefs and the results of those beliefs over time. As the beliefs changed, so did the behaviors taken out of reverence or deference to the religious beliefs of the time. As the effects changed our understanding of the “workings of God” in our world, changes were made to the stories and parables and psalms contained in the Bible, not to mention a shuffling of the order of many of the books which were written under an obsolete understanding of our Creator(s). And if a canonical book contained largely redundant or heretical information, of course such material would be excluded, even if such material held historic value. If you wish to believe, as a tenet of your faith, that all of these historical machinations are to be taken as God working through men to purify and sanctify the affairs of mankind, one cannot escape the fact that those acts could not have ended with the final publishing of the current King James version of the Bible. You might well be staring at sanctified revelation, itself, and refuse to accept it as such because you do not possess the faith which passes all understanding; because you have your understanding and beliefs, while the truth of the matter cares not a whit. God reveals while man conceals. Once the money-changers figured out how to capitalize on the faith of the believers at the Temple, they were not at all interested in any new information from any outside source that might conflict with their ability to make an honest buck and feed their families. And so it was that Jesus had to die, and die horribly. No new information is good information as far as established religions and society at large are concerned.
So while the Holy Bible is an important historical, cultural and spiritual reference document, it cannot be considered to have been created by anything like a perfect, supernatural being. Quite simply, perfection does not contradict itself, ever, that is why it remains perfect, forever. No one who has studied the Bible for any length of time but sees numerous contradictions. And it is these contradictions, I would argue, that teach us about the many paths the faithful have taken along the path of history and where each of those paths ended up. And so it is that the many precautions and rules in the Bible, when allowed to reach fruition, result in often devastating tragedies and traumas that cripple and maim believers who refuse to embrace new information about the obsolete understanding of a god they are choosing to worship.
Christian Dominionists bristle at the notion that anyone but the Papacy or its proxies can offer edicts or edits to canonical wisdom. This relic of thought stems from a time when only Scribes or scholars were capable of contextualizing the information stored in the contents of the Bible with the spiritual commentaries of the day. Religious Fundamentalists like the CCD’s have a point in that worship of charismatic yet insane individuals can lead the faithful astray, not to mention hucksters looking to make a living off of the naiveté of the faithful. But even the systematic refusal to acknowledge revealed truth as has been practiced in Roman Catholicism has done nothing to rid the laiety of false prophets and hucksters. However, considerable good can be said to have come from including these new ideas with the old ideas of religious antiquity. The point here is that newly revealed truth can come from anyone at any time because of who they are as a child of the universe. You may not believe that the membership of humankind is inherently equal and you may not practice such a belief, thereby refusing to accept any new information into your mind’s eye. Your beliefs do not concern the truth of any matter, but your askewness from the truth does concern you and those whom you would lead. Living according to false information results in a life that requires more time and energy to keep stable than a life lived in accordance with revealed truth.
This is a major problem with religion and other faith-based thought systems: they can countenance multiple contradictions in their dogma and in their policies, while being able to justify these flights from reason as, “matters of faith.” Secular society cannot and must not tolerate nonsense in its laws and in its policies. And no religion can be tolerated that demands that secular society conform to any of its faith-based, or contradictory, belief systems as these religions threaten the separation of church and state AND the freedom of religion for secular society as a whole. It makes zero sense to tolerate the free expression of a religion that demands that there be no freedom of religion in the first place. Such religions, because of the inherent dishonesty and blaring logical contradictions between policies and beliefs, require vast sums of money, political influence, time and energy just to keep their religions afloat. So if we simply agree that truth is always and forever true, we can continue to disagree about the nature of truth, but we cannot deny the impacts of living in accordance with falsehoods: they require more time and energy than living according to the principles inherent in revealed truth.
Now let us look deeper into this idea of the sanctity of innocent life, particularly the life of the unborn human living in and through the uterus of the human female.
CCD’s believe that abortion, or the termination of a pregnancy, is an affront to the god of their understanding. Yet they claim to worship a god which is inherently perfect. And we know that their god is believed to be perfect because they believe their god is the ultimate survivor and source of all life. What escapes the minds of these believers is the contradiction inherent in being a child of perfection which is so clearly imperfect its physical form does not last anything like forever. In fact, to suggest that perfection yields imperfection is to suggest that placing an apple pie in an oven yields you a box of cigars, or something other than a baked apple pie. That which is perfect yields perfection. So whatever it is that this perfect deity or universe created, it most certainly was not the human body, or even the physical universe. As wondrous and magical as it is, the human body does not come from a perfect god, but clearly something must and that something must be perfect. It must survive at all times and under all circumstances. The only aspect of human experience that comes anywhere close to this notion of perfection are our ideas and beliefs that transcend our limitations. The very idea of limitation is anathema to perfection, and so it is that the trappings of the idea of who and what we are that are based in an egoic self are not of a perfect god. We must have made them up. We insisted that this falsehood of human experience exist. We demanded it. We could find no cause to believe in the existence of an almighty godhead if we could not perceive the difference between our limitations and the obvious escape from those limitations that our godhead represents. Perception requires opposition, contrast and conflicts that cannot be a party to perfection. Perfection cannot be perceived, yet in knowing perfection as we do, we can choose to align with it or rebel against it in some manner or form. This is the miracle of human experience and of life: we are able to have knowledge of perfection, yet we remain seated in the only place where we can be perceptually aware of the existence of such perfection: in an imperfect vehicle of understanding. So CCD’s can hem and haw as to the effrontery of their belief in the miracle of life and the brutal termination of a pregnancy, but to suggest that the realm of perfection finds any belief in sin as legitimate is to accept the poor wages of such a belief. In short, human experience has no reality in perfection, only our perfect thoughts, ideas and beliefs can enter that sacred space. An almighty god can have no such concern over the end or termination of any specific life form, any planet, or even the physical universe, itself. Almighty god is impersonal, has no ego for the faithful to worship and would strive to teach us all how to come home to this original experience as often as we can.
In prayer and meditation debate has no place. Neither does it have a furious, power-driven argument, nor the dramatic cries of men and women who look upon the tragedy of abortion but completely overlook the tragedy of the bacon and eggs they had for breakfast in the morning. Or the murder of hundreds of thousands of their fellows achieved through their mindless political embrace of an individual predisposed to commit genocide rather than see himself as the soulless cretin that he is. Just because a human form can operate in the human landscape and appear to be human does not make them human beings of ordinary order. Psychopaths, narcissists and borderline personalities have lost their souls through some traumatic process of hollowing-out, and while their stories are tragic, we dare not compound their tragedy by allowing them to revisit their tragic origins upon the rest of us. No one who is skilled in the fine art of meditation and contemplation has anything but pity for those who would embrace a narcissist in order to obtain the dubious luxury of rending a developing human ego from the fires of economic degradation, rape and trauma. There is no debate among the contemplative individuals who can feel the hollowness to the core of our current President, and I would call into serious question the character of any human being who would allow themselves to be party to a high office under the circumstances such individuals often provide.
My choice for President isn’t up for debate. I have to choose the one I know possesses a conscience. And I can’t abide the character of any individual who would use this opportunity to ascend to a higher throne of importance or moment. It is anathema to the ideals of Christian ideology to believe that sin must be battled; sin does not exist. What does exist is ignorance and Jesus said as much from the cross when he asked those among him and his Creator to, “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I can forgive you for embracing the obvious manifestation of the antichrist in our midst, but I do not have to like it, nor do I have to agree with it.