I just moved back to Texas, but I have an evangelical, Creationist relative whom I began an email conversation with while I was still in Vermont. The exchange has been incredibly frustrating. Perhaps I am not cut out to argue with these people.
However, I have had an insight into the evangelical mind, if not all of them, at least his.
Religion is ultimately about narcissism.
He wrote me earnestly, giving his testimony in a business venture he recently started with a friend. He told me Jesus had given him business advice (“Do not be selfish or greedy”) and had blessed the venture by not allowing what other’s said or did to drive a wedge between he and his partner. He said that Jesus was looking out for them because they used “Biblical” precepts in their business model.
And the word is they’ve done well, although I’ve heard it’s been mostly his hard work that’s built the business while his partner does little and gets much of the fat. I suppose Jesus wanted it that way.
So Jesus has selected my uncle for success, his great family, his comfortable life. Meanwhile, it places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is 96% Christian, over 1000 are brutally raped every single day. Let that number sink in for a second. 1000. Such brutal chauvinism and selfishness is savagery that worships the fleshly desires that are so scorned by those who contributed to the Bible.
So where is Jesus for these women? Why doesn’t Jesus stop the raping in this overwhelmingly Christian country? Is it because they’re black? Is it because they are women? Is it because they’re not the “right” kind of Christians? Is it because they do not have enough faith?
Evangelicals will point to the “Fall of Man” in the Garden of Eden as their reason why evil is in the world. But it does not answer why men born in the USA in the latter part of the 20th Century seem to have the luxury of most of Jesus’ blessings.
It comes down to their own egos, their own narcissistic beliefs. They’ve worked hard, but it was Jesus blessing them specifically, even giving them business advice. Jesus smiles on them, and they are blessed. Jesus is on the lookout for them. Amongst evangelicals, doing well means God’s finger is touching your life, so you MUST be a holy man.
And that’s why evangelicals can justify anything, especially the ones who’ve made it, become rich. When Jesus is in your pockets, you cannot possibly be wrong. Jesus loves all the little children, but he loves them more.