Abraham's enablers

May 2009

“A mother accused of homicide for only praying while her 11-year-old daughter died of untreated diabetes knew the girl was gravely ill at least a day before she died […]”

These are cases of religion gone pathological, of belief so absurd and so deep that it denies truth and has overt negative consequences. Moderate Christian believers will read about this and dismiss it as irrelevant to their faith; sure, they'd pray, but they'd also get their children in to legitimate doctors who would give them effective treatment.

I have to say something that is heartfelt, and is also meant to offend. I do not absolve you mealy-mouthed moderates, I do not regard your beliefs as harmless. If Colleen Hauser or Leilani Neumann were in your church, you'd tell them to get medical care, but you'd also validate their belief in prayers. You would provide the soothing background muzak that says prayer is good, prayer is virtuous, prayer will connect you to the great lord who can do anything, prayer will give you solace in your time of worry.

Modern day Isaacs

Nato commented:

I believe Dawkins makes a similar argument, pointing to hell houses, arguing that while progressive and moderate Christians don't do such things, they make it more acceptable to do such things.

So I try to avoid acquiescing to fundamentals. When people ask me 'are you a Christian?', I worry that if I say yes, they might see this as a reason to believe in a fundamentalist God, because I may inadvertently contribute to the idea that belief in a fundamentalist God is ok. So when people ask me if I'm a Christian, I chuckle, and ask them to define their terms. Or I give them a long talk :P

Jim commented:

By that same logic, he could not absolve someone who drinks alcohol from guilt for road accidents caused by drunk drivers...

to adapt: "of course, if they went to your local Pub, you'd tell them to get a cab home, but you'd also validate their use of alcohol, You would provide the soothing background muzak that says alcohol is good, alcohol is fun, alcohol will connect you with your peers as you partake of it together, alcohol will give you a great night night out."

which could mean the logic is wrong, or maybe we should all be straight edge.

Matt commented:

I disagree, Jim. Drinking alcohol is not necessarily or logically followed by driving drunk. Religious fundamentalists, on the other hand, are just taking to a logical extreme what many Christians claim to already believe and think right.

Drinking in a pub does not necessarily endorse drink-driving. Moderate Christianity does endorse belief, faith, the efficacy of prayer, and trusting in God to come through for you. Even the Bible tacitly encourages stupid behaviour like this – ‘if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed.’ And when does Jesus ever send someone to see a doctor? He doesn't – he just miraculously heals them himself.

This is one of the things that drove me away from Christianity – much of the stuff moderates argue is not Christianity is Christianity, it's just that the moderates are too sane to truly live it. Fundies and penties are in many ways living Christianity better than the moderates.