Like the enabling mother in a dysfunctional family, modern Christianity has changed history and created lies in their attempt to ‘cover’ for a God of their own making and choice.
I’m not talking about the likes of Westboro Baptist Church, those wily attorneys who disguise their profit-based litigiousness with insane protests and hate-mongering. I’m talking about the majority of evangelical Christians today. You know, the ones who believe that the earth is only 4,000 years old and back then, Jesus rode a dinosaur.
Think about it. The majority of American Christians today (at least the ones that watch Fox News) have completely disregarded the historical truth, science and beliefs of the world and have created a God of their own making. This is not the God familiar to those in historical times, or even the 1800s. This is a new, troubled and truly nasty God.
Consider that in an alcoholic family, the alcoholic/their addiction is the “elephant in the room.” The entire family dysfunctional belief system hinges on the attempt to convince the family that Dad’s outrageously selfish, destructive and abusive behavior is normal. Through perhaps no fault of her own, good old Mom has accepted Dad’s/God’s abusive behavior as correct and natural. She then spends the rest of her life trying to convince herself and everyone else that everything’s just fine, thanks.
Let’s compare modern Christianity to the roles in an alcoholic family. Maybe Mom herself was raised in an abusive or dysfunctional home…but for whatever reasons, she has accepted Dad (her version of God) and all his issues. (In our God scenario, Mom would be the “modern” Christian who has missed out on science, logic, reasoning, history and common sense.) Mom’s God/Dad is the result of a post-1900 biblical literalism fad, poor education, lack of intellectual curiosity, narrow-mindedness, and misinterpretation.
1. God/Dad, the Drunk
Everyone else revolves around him. He’s shame-based, and uses shame to control his family. He hides his loneliness, feelings of inadequacy and guilt by blaming and punishing his family.
2. Mom/Christians, the Enabler
Dad is a real bastard. He can wreak tornado- and tsunami-like destruction in the lives of those he’s supposed to love, but instead of calling him out, Mom scurries around, cleaning up and tittering, “Well, we must have deserved it.” She doesn’t want to hear the truth because then her whole sense of self and her belief system would crumble into ashes.
3. Our Son, the Hero
No, I’m not talking about Jesus. I’m talking about the televangelist. The pastor of the megachurch. The family hero takes all the focus off destructive Dad and lets the family rejoice in all his success. Oh, he’s bought into Mom and Dad’s skewed view of the world, but he is such a star that, well, it helps make the family feel so much better.
4. The Mascot Who Cheers the Whole Family Up
Sometimes you need a little humor to fight off the bleakness of being Dad’s progeny. The family mascot always keeps the laughs going and really helps everyone forget that Dad just threw up on the sofa again. I classify the Rush Limbaughs and Bill O’Reilly’s of the world as mascots.
5. The Scapegoat
The scapegoat is truly troubled and angry. These are the people who sense the anger and dysfunction of the family but can only express their outrage and pain through hostility and self-destruction. I would classify as scapegoats those who bomb abortion clinics, NRA members and anyone else who acts out because of their damaged relationship with drunk Dad/God. Scapegoats are “tolerated’ by Mom and the rest of the family because, well, after all, they ARE part of the family/Christians.
So, like the alcoholic, modern Christianity can’t get the help it needs until it can admit it has a problem. Until then, all is just smoke and mirrors. Dad will continue to drink the family savings and beat the shit out of Mom, Mom will continue to clean up the broken crockery and hide the bruises, the family hero will continue to take the focus off the real problem, the mascot will keep everyone in stitches, and the scapegoat will continue to act out and destroy what it cannot fix.
If only there were a twelve-step program for religion…