The Collapse of American Fundamentalism

So a very sad and very good thing happened recently, and if you’re in any close communication with American Fundamentalist Christianity, you are most likely aware of it: Jack Schaap finally got nailed for sexual misconduct. I’m saying “finally” because the man has exhibited a history of alarming unhealthy sexual tendencies in his preaching (like this) and his doctrinal statements.

(Warning- this man is an abuser, and this particular clip has him saying some pretty ghastly things. I’ve personally never listened to more than a few seconds.)

I’m saying sad because in my heart, I feel truly sorry for the family and friends and, well, everyone who has been personally touched by this atrocity. But mostly I’m saying this is a good thing. The event itself is deplorable, but it’s really just a symptom of a much greater problem that has all but eclipsed American Christianity and has been slowly been imploding in recent years. It is the poison of a controlling church (or in this case, an entire movement). It has taken people who wish to seek out and know their maker and replaces healthy spirituality with a dictatorial human and a complicated set of accompanying rules. As the author of this post, I should mention that I personally enjoy being a Christian, and I like discussing my spirituality with people.

I know that people like Jack Schaap and the Westborough Baptist crazies (and generations of other crazies before them) have been using the label “Christian” so much that the two seem to be interchangeable in our society, and now the word ‘Christian’ = narrow-minded, mean-spirited pig. I cringe when I hear about a so-called “Christian” in the news saying or doing something awful and throwing around Christian-y words as if they speak for all of us. American fundamentalists have been doing this for a long time though, and shouting loud and long that not only do they have a monopoly on God, but that they are not in any way being authoritarian about pushing their beliefs. They are unquestionable, unassailable in their own minds, and have a birth-right mentality about their beliefs. I could theorize about the origin of this thinking, but I’m not gonna go down that road. Now these guys are getting called on the carpet, and I’m glad it’s happening. American fundamentalism is being turned inside out, and it may well be purified by fire.


About kirinjirafa

I have far too many interests, start far too many projects, and buy far too many books. Many of them are about giraffes, but not nearly enough. View all posts by kirinjirafa

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