Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I've been thinking about my post from Sunday. Now, I'm not going to say I've changed my mind. I havent. If anything, I was quite satisfied with the sentiments expressed therein when I reread it the next day. But it occurs to me that any goal that I and others like me may have had during the Blog Against Theocracy to sway the hearts and minds of American Christians are more fantasy than reality.

Seriously, a Christian Fundamentalist could sit and talk to me all day long, and I wouldnt change my mind, so why should I expect him to do any different. No, at best, we're helping to sway someone who's straddling the line; at worst we're engaging in empty self-deception flattering ourselves that we're making some sort of difference when in fact we're merely preaching to the choir.

Actually, I dont think the worst case scenario is true; this is not all a waste of time. I do think that the primary good of this last weekend's project was mostly that it fired up the troops. We were all a bunch of Knute Rocknes, exorting each other to stand tall, be strong and go out there and beat The Army of "God".
But I'm not going to try and fool myself that I changed any minds in the Evangelista Camp. Sadly, there are only two things that can change their minds, and that's...
1) a constant hammering of opposite opinions (against which Fundamentalists have a large and effective support organization, not to mention an equally constant hammering back at us), which, seriously, is only effective against the very weakest of their minds, and...
2) the inevitable betrayal of their "inviolable" principles by one leader or another (this usually requires repeated betrayals, because there are plenty of rationalizations for "giving in to sin", none of which are applied to those outside of the Jesus Club).

Wait. You know, I think I'd like to rescind that first point, except for the part about the "weak-minded" members. Never underestimate the power of fashion in any social movement.

In the end, I think the best reason to have held (and to hold again in the future) the Blog Against Theocracy is to stand up and make sure that the Religious Right knows that it cant just walk over us "unbelievers" (i.e., those of us who dont believe exactly what they do).
So stand up.

If nothing else, it'll make it easier to get away if you have to run.


United We Lay said...

I disagree that it is mpossible to disuede Christinas from their current path. I think that a lot of people have been given a lot of false information. There ARE people questioning religion ut there. One of my good friends is a former Morman. I think the least that can be done is tha we convince people to question specific points within their religion that make no sense. Then, they may begin to question tha ay of thinking as a whole.

daveawayfromhome said...

Information is irrelevant to opinion, unless one's mind is not made up, or one has a genuinely open mind. Most people do not. Unfortunately, too much of their ego is tied up in what they "know". Think about your long-running battle with Underground Logician. He's not the exception, he's the rule. There's a reason that 30% of the nation still cant understand what an unmitigated disaster the Bush Administration is.
Hell, I'm not immune to it, and I hope you dont think you are, either. Yes, there are a lot of people "questioning religion" out there, but I'm willing to guess that half of those are only questioning details, not the central tentants, and half of those are questioning it from the angle, "how are those other people wrong?"

Maybe I could have worded my arguement better had I simply said that the people who actually do ask questions and change their minds are the small percentage of people also known as "the center", that batch of people that political consultants are always going on about.

I'd also like to point out that just becasue one asks questions doesnt necessarily mean that a change of mind will follow.
In fact, it's long been one of my own personal beliefs that it is rare that anyone asks a question without having some form of answer, however vague, already mapped out. After all, unless faced with genuine mystery, how can you even know there is a question?