The Gulag Supremacy: Judgment in the Hands of the Christian Right

Posted on May 13, 2011


Author: Stan Moody

As an evangelical pastor and theologian, I find myself increasingly at odds with American Evangelicals on a wide range of topics. In my 2006 book, McChurched: 300 Million Served and Still Hungry, I predicted this about the Christian Right and its agent of political dominion, the Republican Party:

You will not be welcome in the Promised Land envisioned by the Christian Right. That is not a place that welcomes believers in the sovereignty of God.

Nor will you be welcome in the evangelical Church. That is not a place that welcomes broken people.

Since that time, I have become increasingly alarmed at the disdain for critical thinking among “people of the book” and the social impact of the Christian Right. A “good-vs.-evil” ethic has emerged that feeds into the worldview of the self-righteous, Christian or otherwise.

The Inerrancy of the Bible:

Underpinning the theology of both the Christian ideologue and the Christian philosopher/theologian is the inerrancy of the Bible. In the one case, the Bible is the final authority, supporting through select verses unchallenged parochial ideas such as America or modern Israel being God’s chosen instruments of divine judgment.

In the other case, the Bible becomes a historical revelation of the super objectivity of the Godhead, rendering genocide and infanticide mere expressions of divine selection.

A current example of indifference to the fate of the “evil” among us concerns the 100,000 to 1 Million Iraqi civilians who perished in the Gulf War. As well, the resurrection of the Gulag in America as a vehicle for segregating and oppressing rebels and minorities is greeted with objective indifference unless prospecting for converts.

Happy to Quit This Earth:

Theologian and Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, in his Reasonable Faith web site, posts his interpretation of Old Testament infanticide against the Cannanite people:

…if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

Projected into the modern era, we should rejoice when children are killed in time of war because they are going to heaven. As for those of evil distinction above the age of accountability, they were destined for Hell anyway, a premature execution of divine predestination waived only in the case of infanticide.

There is one notable exception for the Christian Right. It is abortion, which, under the microscope of objective morality, ought to be a matter for great celebration. Every aborted fetus is a life happily rescued.

American Prisons – God’s Will for the “Evil”:

The moral objectivity of the Creator becomes the imprimatur for genocide, infanticide and the domestic version of Gulag Supremacy, the American prison. There, “evil” folks are summarily contained. What happens to them within their containment or thereafter is of little concern or consequence apart from budgetary considerations that impact the lives of us “good” folks.

According to Bill Boyarsky in an article in Truthdig, however, the rush to increase minimum sentencing and abuse of three-strikes laws has unmasked an evil of racism and classism within the criminal justice system. “Who cares about the criminals?” he asks. “Some of the journalists I met with last week said they get the same reaction from their editors.”

In the wisdom of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Who Cares About Another Sex Offender?:

Here in Maine, we recently passed the 2nd anniversary of the death by ruptured spleen of Sheldon Weinstein in Solitary Confinement, with nary a peep out of the Attorney General’s Office. “Who cares about another sex offender?” “Who cares about another Jew?” “One less mouth to feed!” Would the Christian Right dare say, “He got what he deserved”? I have heard it more than once!

A few of us care. Those of us professing Christians somehow incapable of objectifying murder within prison, carried out directly or indirectly by staff, are saddled with the burden of thinking that, unlike with the Cannanites, God’s timing may have been short-circuited.

Moral Cleansing:

Then there is that sticky matter concerning objective salvation, the antidote to objective immorality – that we are somehow called to love our enemies at a somewhat deeper level than wiping them out for the glory of God, or, interchangeably, for the glory of America.
God save us from the Christian Right before we, too, become targets of their cleansing under divine objectivity through indifferent human agency.

• Greta Christina. “One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up”, AlterNet, April 25, 2011.
• Bill Boyarsky. “Three Strikes and Civil Rights”, Truthdig, May 9, 2011.