Thursday, August 28, 2014

I've Got a Little List

Another of my right-wing acquaintances, this one a guy I went to high school with, posted a link to the above meme last night.  It's worth noticing, I think, because the claim that Bibles and prayer aren't allowed in school is so popular in certain circles, and because it's a flat lie.  I commented:
It's false that Bibles are not permitted in schools. I realize that the truth doesn't matter to Christians; I'm just pointing it out for the record.
I didn't really expect to get a response, but this morning I found that another person from my high school had asked:
To what Christian types does the truth not matter?
I replied:
Just for a start: those who post stuff like this.
I think I've said before that there seem to be some public-school teachers and others who may genuinely believe that they mustn't allow their students to pray on their own initiative during the school day, or read the Bible, or use Biblical material in class discussion or for writing assignments and the like.  But that would certainly be because they've believed the false claims of religious reactionaries who misrepresent Supreme Court decisions which forbid public schools to impose religious observances (like prayer or devotional Bible-reading) on their students.  (A misrepresentation which surely casts doubt on the implication of the meme that people who read the Bible are more honest or conscientious than those who don't.)

Of course, I exaggerated slightly in implying that there are no Christians to whom the truth matters.  I can think of several; but I think of them as the exception that proves the rule, since they generally are the targets of attack from other Christians for what they say and write.  Ironically perhaps, they aren't particularly "radical" (whatever that means in a modern Christian context) or even dissident in their theology: I have in mind the scholars James Barr and Dennis Nineham, from whose work I've learned so much.  Both are ordained clergymen in mainline denominations as well as scholars, and they seem comfortable enough in their churches.

But here's another example of dishonesty about religion from a source I've noticed before:

This one was shared by some Facebook friends who are gay and not religiously orthodox but still seem to want to find shelter under His wings.  My objection is what it was before: I see no reason to believe that there's a supreme or superior being who's doing anything for starving babies or people with cancer.  This meme is like a kid saying, "Mom, I don't have time to take out the garbage, I'm doing my homework, I have a big test tomorrow I have to study for!" -- while really he's watching Internet porn.  And if there's anyone who can't use the excuse of not having time, it's God.