Saturday, September 14, 2013

Facebook Faith #26: Not A Fair Exchange Rachel

Today on Facebook, Rachel Held Evans posted an article she wrote for CNN.  In it, she offers a bargain:
So, atheists, I say we make a deal: How about we Christians agree not to throw this latest Richard Dawkins thing in your face and you atheists agree not to throw the next Pat Robertson thing in ours?
In other words, you ignore gaffs our side makes and we will ignore gaffs your side makes.

Gee.... what a deal....

This reminded me of conversations I have had with my friends on the political Right.  They too want to make the case that BOTH sides have their share of crazies:
"Yeah, we have crazy voices on the radio - Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and such; but you have.... uh..... you have.... ummmm.... YOU HAVE NPR!!"
And from this, they want to frame equivalencies.

In the same way, Rachel is trying to set reality as if both sides make the same errors and both sides are playing the game the same way.

We are not.  Let's be honest... at the end of the day, religion has a lot more batshit crazy to explain. The exchange she offers is just too lopsided.

I do appreciate Rachel's attempt to encourage dialogue and make it respectful.  But in her article I see her put in a position she often finds herself - having to excuse and try to make palatable all of the nonsense that goes on in her religion.

As I have said before on this blog,  I believe Rachel is a good and honest soul.  I think she would be amazed at how much further she could go in her humanity if she would let go of the double minded juggling she is forced to do within her religion.  It takes a lot of energy to call a book full of bigotry and violence, peaceful.  It is laborious to try to reframe an exclusionary religion as loving.  Everytime she tries to build something beautiful, she watches in horror as her own people tear it down.

What she does not yet see... or can't see.... is that folks like Robertson are not people who are smearing her good religion with bad things.  The religion itself is the source of these troubles... folks like Robertson just bring that reality into sharp relief.

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