Social Question

Zuma's avatar

Is there such a thing as "religious correctness"?

Asked by Zuma (5908points) February 6th, 2010

Recently, I forced myself to watch as much as I could of an episode of Glenn Beck (Ann Coulter was on, so I didn’t last long). One of the things that struck me, apart from their fevered conspiratorial tone and their repetition of conservative cliches, was their almost obsessional preoccupation with the Left’s “political correctness,” which seemed to be their principle mode of understanding the Left and framing their narrative that the Left is monolithic mindset of consisting of enforced politeness that stifles individual freedom of thought and expression.

When Beck called Obama a racist, it seemed very much as though he was projecting onto Obama very thing he was guilty of. So, I wondered if there might not be something equivalent to “political correctness” on the Right—which having been almost completely taken over by the Religious Right, might be called “religious correctness.” After all, the Right seems (at least to liberals like me) to be the regimented, cult-like mindset of dittoheads living in their own alternate reality, completely bereft of the critical thinking skills necessary to form an independent thought.

As it turns out, I’m not the first person to have this thought. But the literature is scant. What are the tenets of “religious correctness”?

It seems to me that one of them is that the separation of church and state is a lowdown dirty liberal lie, and therefore, the ACLU, which fights for the separation, is “against God.” Secularists believe in evolution, and don’t care for prayer in public schools; so they too are also “against God,” as are humanists who refuse to declare their fealty to God by turning their lives over to Jesus.

Anyone who is born-again Christian is, by definition, a “good person,” a “real American,” patriotic, pro-life and going to go to Heaven. It seems to follow that anyone who isn’t born-again isn’t really a Christian, isn’t a good person, isn’t a “real American,” is unpatriotic, is pro-death, if he’s a critic he is a communist, socialist or fascist, and, of course, is going to Hell.

One of the tenets of born-again evangelism is that human nature is basically selfish and depraved. Corporal punishment is Biblical. therefore parents should demand strict obedience from their children, using corporal punishment to compel instant, unthinking obedience. Adults who transgress should likewise be punished harshly. Those who criticize the born-again movement should be silence, And those who attack us should be tortured and killed. Harshness is good, empathy is bad.

Homosexuality is an abomination before God. Therefore homosexuals are selfish and inconsiderate because their acts so anger God that they risk calling down His wrath on the rest of us. Therefore, in order to discourage homosexuality (and please God) homosexuals should be shamed and deprived of their rights so that they stay out of sight, and if they disobey, kill them.

Abortion is likewise selfish and also murder, and also invites God’s wrath. Government is bad when it promotes rights and equality; it is good when the world is hurtling to destruction because that will trigger the Second Coming. Government is when it is used to purify the world of evildoers or unbelievers, then all manner of coercion and violence are desirable.

Please help me think through the rest of it, and develop it as a meme.

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15 Answers

Pazza's avatar

Left-ism, right-ism and religion have no place in politics, or maybe I’ve got the game wrong, maybe politics needs to go.

As for political/religious correctnous, they have no place in society. Freedom of speech is paramount. Freedom of speech can’t be taken away, it just is, if your silenced, its because you got caught out by their rules.

mattbrowne's avatar

Political correctness aims at controlling communication in ways that tries to minimize the possibility for offense. But I think there are useful limitations. Followers of inherently intolerant ideologies whether political or religious cannot expect tolerance from otherwise tolerant people.

Neo-nazis promoting “racial hygiene” would be one example. Hard-core Taliban want to exclude girls from getting a good education. These people are truly deranged and we should not invent terminology for a dialog with the Taliban minimizing the possibility for offense. The same goes for people in Saudi Arabia who stone women to death because they were raped by men (it was the women’s fault of course because they lured the poor men into doing something like this). In this case stoning is murder and we should call it murder, nothing else. Religious correctness would be out of place.

Christian fundamentalists who are essentially forming hate groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church cannot expect religious correctness either.

But the Amish do. We might choose different lifestyles, but we have to respect theirs. Calling them primitive would be both politically and religiously incorrect.

So to answer your question @Zuma, yes, the concept of religious correctness does exist. But there’s a lot of overlap with political correctness.

ragingloli's avatar

As for political/religious correctnous, they have no place in society.
Sorry, but no. Political correctness is not taking away freedom of speech. It is the realisation that how you say things might hurt or anger others and might have negative repercussions on yourself, your friends and family and the whole of society, so it is in your best interest and the interest of us all to not act like an ass and instead express your thoughts in a more civilised manner. Political correctness is not ‘not saying things’ but saying things tactfully.

Pazza's avatar

@ragingloli – thanks, I just read back my comment, it does sound very anti-social, I should have spent more time clarifying my position.

So, what I meant to say was that I don’t think speech or thought should be regulated by the government, that is to say that freedom of thought and speech that cause offence should never be punished by fine or imprisonment.

However that being said, if a politician want’s to cause offense by being politicaly/religiously incorrect then they’re (or you would think) not going to be in politics very long, that will be the peoples choice. Since politics has been hijacked by corpoate interests you don’t see a lot of that happening.

Anyone in society who causes offense by being politicaly/religiously incorrect is not going to have many friends, if we bring our children up correctly with compassion, understanding, tollerance and ethics and that politicaly/religiously incorrectness is just plain ignorant then you would probably see a lot less offence being caused.

As for offense, at the end of the day, I was taught ‘stick and stones’, there are many things in life which are going to cause us to be offended, its just part of life, if we stopped drilling into our children that being politically/religiously incorrect is wrong and that its just part of life, then we’d all grow up a lot more tollerant.

At the end of the day feeling offended is just an emotion, it doesn’t cause injury or death, your just offended, if you can’t cope with that….......

I mean some people are offended by women breastfeeding in public, the most natural thing in the world!...........

Were will it end, “you burped, an I’m offended!”, right then lets criminalise burps.

Cruiser's avatar

@Zuma Your question and the examples you have proffered is exactly why there are so many issues with a “religious correctness” in that specific requisites are defined or attempted to be defined and if you fall even a tiny bit outside the shadow of those definitions, you will be deemed a threat to those views held.

Just adding “correctness” to anything nowadays creates a sort of punitive nature to the climate surrounding that activity and virtually eliminates all freedom of expression of ones own personal thoughts and views again at the risk of being indicted of failing to conform to the strict views defined by the “correctness. Right of Left these definitions of “correctness” choke the life blood out of life and frankly I think it all sucks.

While we are at it, let’s talk about spiritual correctness….

slick44's avatar

I cant wait to see some of the answers on this one!

mattbrowne's avatar

Spiritual correctness is a good alternative term.

Qingu's avatar

Wouldn’t “religious correctness” be the idea that you can’t criticize someone on the basis of their religion?

Like how Muslims try to portray any criticism of Islam as “Islamophobia” and Christians declare saying “happy holidays” is a “war on Christmas”?

Zuma's avatar

I was just reading in Republican Gomorrah that in Sarah Palin’s Pentecostalist Assemblies of God Church, they espouse a Dominionist “Third Wave” theology which holds that in the Garden of Eden, the Snake had sex with Eve, begetting Cain, from whom are descended all the smart, educated people in the world, who, being thus afflicted, are “against God.” So, here is a religious foundation for anti-intellectualism, expressed in the “religiously correct” sneer that “elites” are the enemy.

And here is an example of the godly, fag-hating “religiously correct” redneck outlook they are trying to promote. (@mattbrowne & @Cruiser, see if you think “spirituality” is a concept that applies to this man.)

She and her fellow “prayer warriors” believe in the power of imprecatory prayer, a kind of Christian voodoo which she and her flock in Wasilla practiced against a rival evangelical preacher in town because he allowed openly gay parishioners into his church. So, in this respect, she participates in her own death panels so it must seem entirely natural to her that the other side does too, since they are on the side of Satan and all his wickedness.

To people who hold such beliefs, exorcisms and anointings to protect against witchcraft and demons would tend to seem perfectly natural. It’s not that they go out of their to demonize their enemies, they actually see them as demons, or demon-possessed. Now those pictures of Obama in Joker makeup with a Hitler moustache, all begin to make sense, as does all the commercialized paraphernalia being sold with Obama’s name and Psalm 109.8.

Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church, sometimes called the “evangelical Vatican” also subscribes to this Third Wave theology; so when he was caught with a male prostitute and a bag of meth, it was chalked up to demonic possession, which he was cured of in just three weeks of strenuous exorcism and prayer.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think all the “Christian Fundamentalists” really understand some of the uber right wing teachings. I get so sad for my friends. I go to a Lutheran Church, which is from a more conservative synod. Most of the people I worship with tend to align themselves with this right wing fundamentalist politics. I wonder sometime if they realize that while they welcome their votes, most of them think that since we have infant baptism and are not immersed that we are going to hell. I wonder if they realize that many of them believe that Lutherans don’t believe in salvation and are outside of the Christian Church? I don’t see how they can’t see that if these extremists were to get their way, WE would be the new enemy too.
I’m already an enemy because I voted for Obama.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think they understand political correctness if this is the way they’re using it – because it seems to me they’re the stifling ones.

mattbrowne's avatar

Healthy religion promotes healthy personality. Unhealthy religion promotes unhealthy personality. Religious nutcase crusaders pose a clear and present danger. The price of freedom after all is eternal vigilance. We’ve got to watch the Billy Bobnecks of this world very carefully.

billybobneck's avatar

@mattbrowne – not as close as God and soon-to-be President Cheney are gonna be watching you, son!

billybobneck's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – we ain’t stifling no one, sweetpea. Once y’all know God then there ain’t nothing He ain’t gonna do for you!

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