Why Evangelicals Just Can’t Help Themselves

Fantastic cogent comment from Metafilter commenter Pastabagel:

How colossally arrogant is it to think that you can be a congressman and hit on underage pages and not think you are going to get busted? How arrogant is it to be the head of the organization that has made ant-gay preaching a foundational principle and then go hire a male prostitute on a monthly basiss and not expect to get caught?

It’s addict mentality. They know they shouldn’t do it, but they can’t stop themselves, like the drunk who can’t say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations – soft, comfy, middle-class weakness. Unable to sacrifice, unable to deny themselves even when it’s in their best interest, unable to resist their appetites.

That’s why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you’re too weak willed to do it yourselves. But don’t project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc.

We can control our tempers and our feelings, and we don’t need fairy stories of gods and demons and prophets and wizards and unicorns and whatever the hell else is in the Bible or Book of Mormon or the Urantia book or Battlefield Earth. We don’t need magic when we have self control and compassion.

If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don’t need a priest, you need a therapist. You need a university faculty analyzing you around the clock.

Or as Jerry says to George:

You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.

If we take the Joseph Campbell vein and look at all explanations of human nature ( and nature in general) as ‘myths’ then this makes even more sense: these men and women are disgusted with their own desires and appetites and find a black/white rules-based spirituality and system to explain that it isn’t their own perceived moral failing (or authentic hypocrisy), but that the Devil is fighting over them with God for their soul. George Bush isn’t an lazy, redneck, racist, whoremongering, cokehead, alchy, lying, hypocritical, profiteering war criminal – he’s been Born Again and Jesus has cleansed his past sins so that he can live in wealth and freedom because only the poor are lazy and only the rich work hard and the middle class is there to keep everyone disrtacted… That the Evildoers are out there – this is a bit like a paranoiac casting themselves in the middle of a global conspiracy – they get to be The Star of their own X-Files wet dream. Granted Bush isn’t really a paranoiac – he actually is at the center of a massive global network of strangeness and crime.

2 thoughts on “Why Evangelicals Just Can’t Help Themselves

  1. Joe

    I believe Shakespeare said it best: “Me thinks thou protest too much.” Well that and “Physician heal thyself.”

    Anyway here’s my question…Why is an evanlegical minister conference calling with the President on a weekly basis? I honestly don’t know what the calls were about. Was it spiritual guidance for the GWB, lobbying over the gay marriage stuff, setting and deciding administrative policies? I’d really like to know…Because I find it very disconcerting to think that an evangelical minister is possibly having that much of an impact on the administration’s policy making.

  2. barb elgin

    wow, bud – i found your new ‘andymatic’ look googling ‘ted haggard’! love the banner with you and your kitty!

    you’ve got to stop by my blog ‘Authentic Loving’ and read my take on the haggard state of ted.

    of course, i take a mushier approach as usual. what an opportunity this is for a person on the other side of the fence to hop that fence and come to his senses – to have a ‘consciousness-raising’, so to speak. but yes, i know, it’s unlikely that will occur. i can see the headlines now, in a year or two, haggard will write his ‘recovery’ book that will be read in ex-gay meetings the world over! haggard is most likely too embedded in christian evangelical culture to extricate himself.

    no, but seriously, it is interesting how evangelicals don’t ‘own’ their stuff and instead blame satan. it’s no different than anyone blaming anything outside (or even inside themselves – such as ‘chemical imbalances’, physical withdrawal etc.) for acting in a particular way. so, in that way, haggard is like everyman. but, where he parts company with everyman is in the arrogance and inauthenticity. where it’s dangerous is in the corruption of his power. i mean – this guy was talking to george bush every week, apparently.

    authenticity and integrity take courage for all of us. folks like haggard are lacking in true morals – because they are afraid of thinking for themselves or of questioning the meaning of life, they cling onto a large cultural movement and it’s bible.

    it’s sad, this guy needs some education on psychology, develop of true self, ethics, etc., but, perhaps he’s too ‘brainwashed’ to be persuaded to begin questioning? indeed, even jim bakker is back on the tv evangelism circuit i see!

    also, it’s ironic – to me haggard, if he isn’t gay, is similar to the true sodomites (straight men who raped other men to dominate/overpower them) mentioned in the bible, not gay men who get together out of love or sexual attraction.

    i have a sneaking suspicion tho, that haggard is probably gay. read my post for my interpretation!

    lastly, let’s thank mike jones for coming forward.

    xoxoxo, barb

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