Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Christian Right Derangement Syndrome

Timothy Dalrymple, having entered into the controversies over how and whether American Christians ought to be involved in politics, has suffered one of the usual consequences of engaging online with any issue — angry, intolerant, and deranged comments. One in particular inspired him to compose this test, part of a post called "Diagnosing Christian Right Derangement Syndrome" [a commenter to his post composed a similar test for diagnosing "Christian Left Derangement Syndrome"]. It is, of course best, if possible, to avoid derangement entirely. Dalrymple:
...[H]ere is a simple points-based system to indicate whether you, a progressive Christian, might be suffering from Christian Right Derangement Syndrome:
  • ENCLAVING. You surround yourself with people who think like you do (1 point), and you consume the majority of your news and commentary from sources that confirm your biases (1 point). You think Bill Maher just speaks the hard truth (3 points).
  • DICHOTOMIZING. You find cartoonish dichotomies like “Conservatives are stupid and liberals are smart,” or “Conservatives are heartless and liberals are compassionate” to be accurate descriptions of reality (2 points each).
  • BROAD-BRUSHING. When you hear the words “Christian Right,” you think of everyday Christians like myself with different political views than my own (subtract 3 points), Billy Graham (subtract 1 point), Franklin Graham (add 1 point), Jerry Falwell (add 2 points), the Klan (add 4 points).
  • CULTURE-WAR OBSESSING. You can name three groups of people Franklin Graham has criticized but cannot name the major charitable relief organization he heads (add 2 points). You cannot name three other charitable organizations founded by conservative Christians (add 2 points). You believe most conservative Christian preachers spend a lot of time addressing culture war issues in their sermons (add 2 points). You actually find it plausible that “the Christian Right” wants to establish a theocracy (add 3 points).
  • IMPUTING NEFARIOUS MOTIVES. Complete the sentence: “Conservative Christians are really motivated by…” If you answered basically the same things that motivate me, subtract 1 point. If you answered a true (if misdirected) desire to honor Christ, subtract 3 points. If you answered hatred, bigotry, ignorance, intolerance, or greed, add 1 point each.
7-12 POINTS: a mild case of Christian Right Derangement Syndrome.

13 POINTS OR ABOVE: you are suffering from a severe case of CRDS. Seek help immediately. [more]
Diagnosing Christian Right Derangement Syndrome