Several readers wrote me today asking me why I feel that Christian fundamentalism is, as I have written, “the most dangereous toxic social movement in the country today.” Was it just some “liberal bias against believing Christians, or do you really have evidence?” I think that is an important question so today’s SR is dedicated to answering it.
I want to be very clear here. I am not anti-Christian, or anti any religion. Personally I am best described as “spiritual but not religious” as Pew Research has it. But I understand formal religious affiliation is an important part of many people’s lives, and I respect that.
However SR deals in facts, and the facts are quite definitive: a large albeit minority of people in this country, using Christianity as their cover story, have serious psychological issues which they constantly and passionately try to impose on others who do not hold their beliefs. These people should not be confused with what used to be called traditional mainstream Christianity. And wherever this theocratic right minority are successful the social outcomes that result are notably inferior. On the basis of facts the Theocratic Right’s view of how to order the world, again and again has produced measurably disastrous anti-life, anti-wellness results.
So let’s start with the sexual dysfunction of the Right and what results.
I am doing this edition because we face a civilization threatening trend, climate change, and the Theocratic Right in a hundred ways is stopping us from dealing with it appropriately. I stress again, my position is not anti-religious. Religion is simply the form, not the substance of the issue.
In early February, Kelly Wortham’s sixth-grade son brought home a letter from Jarrett Middle School in Springfield, Missouri. The letter, from the Missouri State University School of Social Work, informed Wortham and other parents at Jarrett that their children were “being invited to take part in an abstinence-based education program designed to reduce teen pregnancy in southwest Missouri.”
The program, the letter assured, “is designed to teach teens about the benefits of choosing abstinence and how to better communicate with parents/guardians, families, and peers.” The course would utilize “Choosing the Best,” a self-described “abstinence-focused” curriculum published by a Georgia-based company of the same name. Unless Wortham and her husband chose not to sign the letter and consent to the program, it would be taught to their son in the upcoming month.
Wortham, concerned by what her son might be taught in their “deeply conservative state,” contacted the school and asked …