Our gods are more a part of us than we realize. We pattern our thoughts and actions after them. Only by understanding how we have defined them can we begin to understand the underlying forces that make us think and behave the way we do. How have we defined Yahweh, Allah, Jesus the Christ? How has Christianity defined the Christian Trinitarian God?
Within the American psyche there is prideful obfuscation of religious differences caused by the worship of these different images of God. Americans are proud of their belief in “religious freedom.” It is, after all, a part of their history. As a result, there is a political correctness that holds back any kind of deep and penetrating religious discussion. For example, Americans take comfort in pretending that the three religions that came from Abraham are in most respects, inherently good. Any kind of open criticism in a negative sense is muted.
For this reason, in the public domain words are carefully chosen so as to be religiously correct. Meanings are obfuscated. Muslim suicide bombers are singled out and defined generically by the single word “terrorist”, while hateful Koranic references underlying their beliefs are carefully removed from the discourse. Americans therefore only know what terrorists are by that one generic name, not by how Islamic religious fanatics think and by what they religiously believe.
As with Muslims in the America, the same holds true for those American Jews who defend their fellow Orthodox Jews in Israel. Those Orthodox Jews believe it was given to them in their Torah over three thousand years ago by Yahweh. So as they tenaciously hold on to a land with a centuries old Palestinian claim, there is a feeling of bitter hatred and humiliation worldwide among hundreds of millions of Muslims. At the same time, the American press discussion of Palestinian Muslim rights and claims is muted. Nor is there any reference made to Muslim historical religious claims.
In America, what Christianity is and what it is not is equally muted. As a result, American Christianity is presented to the world as a cartoon distortion of its real first century meaning. Homophobic judgmental evangelicals overwhelm the voices of moderate Christians. Seldom does a moderate Christian appear on national TV. An unspoken political correctness has allowed these powerful religious extremists to take center stage and, while drowning out moderate voices, place on Christianity their own fundamentalist stamp of approval.
These self-appointed spokespersons for Christianity judgmentally lash out and attack those whom they choose to define as corrupted instruments of the devil. Only they understand true Christianity. Everyone else is wrong. Only they have found true salvation. Only they will be saved. Only they have found the true definition of what American values are and are not. In their rhetoric they pronounce 9/11 as God’s punishment of a decadent, corrupted American society. In their exuberance they feel ordained to give their blessing to one presidential candidate over another.
History has shown that many of those behavioral patterns that grew out of the Hebrew Bible as well the interpretations of that bible by Christian orthodoxy have repeatedly violated the sanctity of human life, inflicting pain and suffering. As this was true in the past, it is true today.
So, in the political arena we see no challenge to the virulent forms of Abrahamic religious fundamentalism that have plagued human civilization for all these years and continue to plague it.