Richard Thompson has been talking a lot lately, mostly at the "intelligent design" trial in Harrisburg, PA. Actually, talking a lot is what most Christian leaders, particularly proponents of intelligent design, have been doing lately. And they're speaking a similar message, namely, that people who are not afraid of a higher deity have no moral or ethical foundation and cannot possibly ascertain right from wrong. "There are two Americas today, one that's still very religiously based, and another that has no foundation, where everything is relative, where everything goes," Thompson told reporters.
I'm dumbfounded by this. Some of the most heinous acts of cruelty and evil have been perpetrated in the name of the Lord. By the same token, much good has been performed by people who don't necessarily subscribe to a monotheistic belief system. Only an evangelical, steeped in dogma and terrified of eternal damnation, could conjure the notion that all non-Christians are misguided and immoral. Even Christ didn't believe this, or He never would have told the parable of the Good Samaritan -- supposedly noble, Godly people refusing to go out of their way to do good, while a supposed "infidel" performs a great act of charity and love for a complete stranger.
So, basically, according to Richard Thompson, there are two Americas. Only two. No more. All the people in America can be sifted into two camps. His camp, and the other camp. That's it. Game over. You're either "in" or you're "out." Every time I think its safe to embrace my faith again, someone like Thompson comes along and makes it impossible. My fear is that if I lie down with these dogs, I'll be getting up with worse than fleas.
My dilemma, I suppose, is finding a way to believe without associating with people I honestly perceive to be evil -- not intentionally evil, but accidentally evil, because they are small and blind and afraid.
It's almost enough to make a girl turn pagan, isn't it?