Christian Arrogance At Its Finest…

“Religious creeds encourage some of the craziest kinds of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and favor severe manifestations of neurosis, borderline personality states, and sometimes even psychosis.” Albert Ellis

Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the Treasury, which is proof that any idiot can rise in power in the United States.  He wrote an article a few days ago that is indicative of the arrogant hubris that so many American (US) Christians are guilty of. Roberts’ is no different, and his brand of arrogance is typical of fundamentalist Christians here in the United States of America.  His article is chock-full of facepalmery, starting with Roberts’ audacious assertion that the concepts of individuality and equality all “flow from the teaching that God so values the individual’s soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice.”

He goes on to say that, “But in Western civilization, people with integrity have a voice. So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations.”  Wait, it gets better…

And Atheists are the Arrogant Ones…? 

Right off the bat, Roberts is contradicting the doctrines and teachings of his own faith by stating that the Christian doctrine of salvation (a wonderful story of human sacrifice and blood lust) is solely responsible for bringing the concepts of individuality and equality and only Christians are capable of holding the characteristics of justice, honor, duty and fair play.  Funny, but when I think of Christianity and it’s inherent divisiveness, bigotry, hatred and discrimination; the last four things that come to mind are justice, honor, duty and fair play.

Roberts then segues into American exceptionalism by telling us that the result of the Christian faith was the United States, a “land of opportunity that… …attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one.”  Apparently it is lost on Roberts that Christianity has a long and marred history of being less than cordial to immigrants, and does not hold too high a premium on diversity of any kind.

Speaking of Diversity… 

As if he never even wrote the first part of his article, Roberts goes on to lament about how the US is going to hell in hand basket because of, well… Diversity. He states that in recent decades the power of the individual (that concept that was the result of Jesus dying on the cross) has been eroded away because Christianity and all of its trappings are no longer taught in high schools, colleges and universities, and that pesky First Amendment which keeps religion out of Government (or supposed to, anyhow). He continues to vomit his disdain for political correctness, and addresses specifically things like prayer being “driven from schools,” and Christian religious symbols from public life.

It can only be attributed to the blind hypocrisy that is part and parcel to Christianity that a man can say in one sentence how Jesus Christ invented diversity, and then turn right around and say that, “Diversity at home and hegemony abroad are consuming values and are dismantling the culture.”   Wait, what?

Speaking in Tongues… 

There is a paragraph in his piece that seems to defy my attempts to parse it.  I get the part about his belief that all peoples, races and cultures before Christianity was invented were barbarians. That is pretty typical. But what he says prior to that is bafflingly contradictory.  See if you can make any sense out of this:

“There is plenty of room for cultural diversity in the world, but not within a single country. A Tower of Babel has no culture. A person cannot be a Christian one day, a pagan the next and a Muslim the day after. A hodgepodge of cultural and religious values provides no basis for law — except the raw power of the pre-Christian past.”

See what I mean?  This man is all over the map…

Christianity Is For Everyone… 

Roberts believes that every single American, even atheists, have a “huge stake in Christianity,” because, according to him, all citizens are “beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak.”  Really, Paul? Protected the weak?  Very interesting.  Remind me to bring that up to my friends in the Black and Native American communities.  I am sure they will be quick to agree on how understanding and moral Christians acted toward them when they were at their weakest.  To this day, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why any black person would want to be a Christian.  In fact, I find it odd that anyone other than rich, white males would find attractive about the faith.  But I digress…

A Special Jab to Atheists… 

Like many Christians, Paul Roberts cannot resist Godwin’s law.  You just know that somewhere down the line he’s going to invoke Hitler, and after that is done, well, why not throw in Russia and China.  Roberts makes statements like, “Power is the horse ridden by evil,” obviously referring to atheists.  He then expounds on the millions that were exterminated by the National Socialists in Germany (run by the very Christian Adolf Hitler, with assistance and support from the Vatican), and all that death and destruction came at the hands of secularists, intellectuals, etc…  This whole argument is laughable, but what is more laughable is that Christians keep using it.

Roberts finishes up his article by touting Christianity’s emphasis on the worth of the individual, which is another standing joke in the atheist community for very obvious reasons.

But the icing on the cake is Roberts’ unmistakable hubris whereas we should all be thankful for Christianity, because it is a “religion that made us masters of our souls and of our political life on Earth” and that “such a religion as this is worth holding on to even by atheists.

How do you like them apples?

  19 comments for “Christian Arrogance At Its Finest…

  1. Mike de Fleuriot
    December 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    WTF is wrong with you Americans?

    • Sandman
      December 27, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Simple answer:

      Comlex Discussion Point:

      To run a modern plural nation state on the basis of a 200 year old badly written contract in 18C legalese, rather than on an evolving framework of socially responsive organic laws, is a recipie for disaster.

      You see the USA IS Exceptional….so the exceptionalists are actually right.

      The USA is exceptionally “not one of us”.

  2. December 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    He seriously claims that Christianity fostered individualism? That’s as laughably horrible as it is horribly laughable. I cannot think of any pre-20th-century institution in the western world even remotely as hostile to individualism as Christianity. (And in the few 20th-century political systems that rival it, at least one — Naziism — used Christianity as a key element in promoting total submission to the state.)

    Christianity has *always* promoted obedience to higher authority and conformity with the system — not just with threats of eternal suffering in a putative afterlife, but with imposition of very real suffering in this world, from shunning and imprisonment to torture and execution.

    Top-of-the-head examples include centuries of persecution of “heretics”; general condemnation of women, regardless of the personal acts of individual women; open warfare between Catholics and Protestants because of each considering the other to be of the “wrong faith”; Christian resistance to ending the institution of slavery in America; and sermons from the Middle Ages to the present day, in many denominations over many years, exhorting the masses to put up with whatever suffering they endure from the upper classes and/or government to be rewarded in some putative afterlife (for which they have no evidence whatsoever). And that’s not even including the relatively small stuff, such as efforts to intimidate artists and musicians into producing only “acceptable” works.

    In short, Christianity promotes individualism in much the same way that chlorine gas promotes breathing.

    ~David D.G.

  3. alanuk
    December 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    “There is plenty of room for cultural diversity in the world, but not within a single country. A Tower of Babel has no culture. A person cannot be a Christian one day, a pagan the next and a Muslim the day after. A hodgepodge of cultural and religious values provides no basis for law — except the raw power of the pre-Christian past.”

    Seems a funny thing to me; you have this place where the people are followers of sundry pagan religions, then Puritans come in a boat and set up shop there, and Baptists, and Episcopalians, and Jews, and Catholics, and Orthodox, and Deists, and some with no religion at all. None seem to bother about the fact that the place is teeming with other religions. They conspire to create one country despite their different religious views. They then invent new religions like Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses. They force others of various African religions to join them and finally allow then full citizenship. They allow in Muslims and Buddhists. They make no law regarding religion and everyone is allowed to practice their own religion and and to convert to any other religion – and they do, and try to persuade others to do likewise.

    All this within one country. Has it no culture? Has it no basis in law? What is this man smoking?

  4. Brian F
    December 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    The mystery paragraph seems clear enough to me. Roberts is saying it is fine to be different than he is (aka “diverse”) so long as you stay where you belong (aka “somewhere else”). That a mixed culture, having no specific well-defined culture, has no culture at all. That since values are black and white, and entirely defined by your religious affiliation, it is hopeless to attempt to blend people of from different cultures into a functioning unit. It does not occur to him that the best from each culture may rise to the top as the worse dissipates, because, to him, the “best” is Christianity and the most we can hope for is a dilution of what is already optimized.

  5. DaveG
    December 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Maximal facepalmery by Roberts. I can add nothing to your takedown.

  6. December 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Not just christian arrogance … it includes a major does of christian irrationality, willful ignorance, and self-contradiction. Just imagine trying to have a reasonable, logical conversation with this guy!

    • December 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      Sorry … make that “dose” not “does”

  7. Sandman
    December 27, 2011 at 3:34 am

    These lies and distortions are only allowed to live and thrive in a country like the USA, and only because you good folks sit back and let them be repeated unadressed.

    Theres a comment box below that article. Get out there and post your disgust below the article itself, and do so in the most strident terms. And keep doing it every time such nonsense is spouted.

    That or write to the paper itself and post a correction. Demand that it gets publshed….balance and all that.

    Make 2012 the US Year Of Hitchslapping Theocratic Dickwads Down.

    • brianthomas
      December 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      You’re right sandman. It’s time to start speaking out against the likes of Paul Craig Roberts when they open their mouths and spew this crap. And we have a duty to be optimistic that we will defeat these theocrat bastards. There are more of us, and fewer of them, than we realize. Regarding the article, I thought it best to use one of my favorite quotes from James Madison as a rebuttal to Roberts’ non-sense: “During almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”

  8. December 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

    he appears to get most of his knowledge about history and the world (i.e that outside the US of A) from films by that idiot Australian or other crap stuff such as Crusader myths or that crap book the DaVinci Code – what an absolute moron

  9. barbf
    December 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

    As heinous as the Christian Right is in all of its ignorant bias, I would appreciate it if some individuals in the rest of the world – yes we do know there are other countries- would credit the possibility that not all USA residents are as dim witted as the press portrays us. For the most part, many of us perceive ourselves to be citizens of the world as well as holding joint citizenship with our incidental birthplace. Americans (used in this post to refer to the US with apologies to South America, Central America, Mexico and Canada) are descendants of the very people who look at us as if we have grown two heads.

    We are just as angered and frustrated as anyone over what has transpired. Who knew that money was indeed as corrupting as promised by various philosophers. How does something that starts with so much promise become such a disaster. We followed the european model of empire building, Rome, France, Britain etc. Oh, I see, not a particularly good role model. Christianity came with us as well as the distrust of “others” destiny and all the evils that beset the older cultures still. Sorry for the rant.

    To get to the point here, the inability of the christian right to put a sentence together that does not contradict itself before it ends, is an incredible demonstration of self delusion and confusion. I cannot tell you how many times I have voiced my disagreement. I have called Mr. Cantor, Mr. Boehner and other buffoons of the wingnut variety. I have written and phoned and emailed and contributed to those who are as close to center as I can find. Forget finding a liberal, they are all on thorazine trying to escape the madness I guess. It is difficult to be heard when the reporting sources answer only to GOD, which seems to be spelled GOP, right wing lunatic fringe these days.

    • Sandman
      December 28, 2011 at 3:20 am

      the most effectve tool you have for dealing with politcians is your vote.

      NEVER vote for any candidate that espouses religion. NEVER.

      If you get a chance get hold of candidates focus groups and image managers and make them understand that the days of politicians playng the god card are over. Say the G word and you dont get my vote. EVER.

      Encourage non god botherers to run for everything from School Board and local mayor and sherrif to governor and senator posts. And when they do you support them all the way.

      We in the UK may not have the utopian deal society, but we DO know what to do with god bothering twats like David Cameron….we vote them out of office the first chance we get, and in the meantme throw his god bothering stupidity right back in his face in print and news media.

      Its up to you as US voters…allow the contnued rise of the evangelical twats, or see em off and run em out of office.

      • sqlrob
        December 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

        NEVER vote for any candidate that espouses religion. NEVER.

        So, don’t vote then?

  10. Sandman
    December 28, 2011 at 3:11 am

    As I said above….left uncorrected this nonsense goes unadressed.

    Ive posted a comment below the drivel piece….. so now its your turn.

    That or carry on having ths nonsense repeated over and over and over in endless OpEds.

    Your move kids.

  11. December 28, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Unlike the UK the US cannot initiate a vote of no confidence and have an opportunity to change. Our elections are set in stone. In some respects they are never endingly occurring one after the other, but in another, they seem to take eons to arrive. The opportunity to speak to issues is taken on many fronts. The opportunity to vote is the key. There is, unfortunately, a widespread feeling of uselessness in even going to the polls. The propoganda of the plutocrats and the wingnuts they bankroll is devastatingly incapacitating. It would be as if I were put in a room and forced to listen to heavy metal punk rap all day every day until I gave up and put in earplugs, eyeplugs and mindplugs. We need some of the WWII billboards that were used during the Battle of Britain. We also need focus. It is easier to marshal forces if there is a single identifiable opponent. Look at the array of possible candidates for rebuke and you will see part of the problem.

  12. December 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    No kidding. I’d like to see someone try to vote for a candidate who doesn’t pander to the Christian base. Chances are, they’ll just have to not vote.

  13. anfractuous
    January 2, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I agree with Sandman; it is our responsibility to stand up and speak out. Unfortunately, this is an exceedingly overwhelming, even dangerous, thing to do in many areas of the US. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, of course. How often do we hear, “Where are the moderate Mulsims. Why don’t they condemn the extremists within their ranks?” While most agree condemnation of extremism is warranted, many are unable to oppose them, sometimes for very good reason.

    However, I accept the chastisement, Sandman, and vow to try harder, and with more forceful words, to oppose the extremism, misinformation and bullying that thrives in this country; it thrives because we don’t call it out often and thoroughly enough.

    I rarely even comment on atheist blogs for various reasons, one of which has been ferocious misogynist attacks when I first started reading them. Thank goodness I feel much more comfortable at FTB, and for that I sincerely thank you Al, and the others here.

Leave a Reply