Is a Neurotic Form of Christianity Destroying America?
July 12, 2013
Posted by: Robert De Filippis
“The deconstruction of Christianity is not an attack on the church but a critique of the idols to which it is vulnerable – the literalism and authoritarianism, the sexism and racism, the militarism, and the love of unrestrained capitalism with which the church in its various forms has today and for too long been entangled, any one of which is toxic to the kingdom of God.”
“Strategically, diplomatically, socially, politically, morally, economically, evangelically, in every possible way we are witness today to a low point in American leadership, an ethical, social, political and biblical catastrophe.”
These passages from the book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture) by John Caputo, taken out of context, might suggest that religion is the singular cause for the continuing trajectory of a deepening dysfunction in our society. But a twisted popular form of Christianity catalyzes two other more powerful ingredients; predatory capitalism and a government that serves the interests of big money.
These three powerful components work together to drag us down the slope to more and more dysfunction in the name of a more moral society – a moral society based on a set of values that are so misapplied as to become destructive.
In other words, these three components create a moral society that destroys its own villages in order to save them.
For instance, while we hammer home the lessons of radical individualism in the guise of moral virtue, we reduce the resources or opportunities required to become self sustaining for great portions of our citizenry.
Just to be sure no one mistakes our moral lesson of self-sufficiency, we raise the interest rates on student loans, and the vital college education needed for success in the future becomes less accessible to the masses.
To be sure our moral lessons continue, we keep our taxes low and maintain our spending on defense against an imagined enemy and our educational system is gutted to balance the budget.
We are cursed with near sightedness. We can’t seem to see the long term effects on the country when a low skilled, minimally educated workforce must shoulder the tax load of the future or compete with highly educated citizens of other nations.
We have an amazing ability to blame the victims in our troubled society and justify our accusations on a revisionist Christian morality which would be unrecognizable to the Christ himself. Not so much because Christianity was St. Paul’s invention, but because of the absurdity of present day revisionist interpretations.
This modern form of Christianity has become an expedient for the infiltration of a radical form of capitalism intermingled with our public institutions. The very same institutions that were formed to protect the interests of the citizenry, who are now doing the bidding of the mega wealthy, while pointing to the moral failure of the masses they were intended to serve.
Yes, Mr. Caputo, we have many idols. And although I’m encouraged by your efforts to deconstruct Christianity, I doubt our ability or willingness to take the same actions with capitalism and governance.
It would never get through the Republican led House of Representatives. That’s the one with all the good Christian Tea Party moralists.
Rather, they are satisfied to keep Americans dancing around the golden calf, with the improbable hope that eventually some of capitalism’s largesse will trickle down into their laps.
We are minimum wage, millionaires-in-waiting, fully immersed in this form of idolatry, trusting our day will come.
If there is an unpardonable sin, it’s using religion to separate and discriminate rather than to connect and make whole.
On America’s behalf, Mea Culpa!
Robert De Filippis