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The Religious Right are Hypocritical You Say?

November 7, 2016

Bill Maher has recently spoken about the hypocrisy of the religious right that Donald Trump has exposed.

 

*Disclaimer: As an atheist, you may expect me to be a fan of Bill Maher. I am NOT a fan of him, in fact; but not because of his vocal criticism of religion. The reason I am not a fan is that despite his pompous embrace of logical skepticism regarding religion, I find him disappointingly illogical in his embrace of other beliefs.

 

For example, Bill Maher has on multiple occasions made anti-vaccine comments, and then there is his abhorrent use of the "facts" from the Zeitgeist film in his own movie Religulous when attacking the historicity of Jesus. (Note: While I do not believe Jesus existed, rather than the error-ridden arguments found in Zeitgeist, I prefer the research of Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald, or Raphael Lataster over what appears in the Zeitgeist film)

 

That being said, I do find Christian support for Donald Trump to be almost maddeningly contradictory to the ideals proposed by Jesus and his followers in the Bible.

 

As examples I put forth:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

 

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

 

"And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'" John 8:7

 

So if you are not a Christian you may be wondering, how could a Christian support Donald Trump? Well, there are layers to that. For one thing, most Christians are shockingly unfamiliar with the Bible. We are not dealing  with people who read a book and made a logical decision regarding their worldview. We are dealing with a group of people who just need this book to exist and need the general overall principles to be true.

 

Now, while I think that the previous statements regarding Christians' belief in the Bible are true in general, I think there may be an even more influential problem in place here. As I stated in a previous post, there are multiple ways our brains make mistakes when trying to understand the world around us. The human brain needs to process an incredible amount of information. In order to process this information efficiently, the brain takes shortcuts. One way that the brain takes shortcuts is to generalize. It is far easier to use easily gleaned information to reach a decision than it is to carefully consider a vast amount of information about someone before reaching a conclusion.

 

What does this mean? It means that people are pre-programmed by evolution to take the easiest route possible to reach a conclusion about others. If we are serious about trying to spread the appreciation of logic and reason, the dispelling of faith over reason, then we need to be mindful of these kinds of flaws in the human brain.

 

A little understanding can go a long way, especially in these days where an almost tribal-like sense of hatred can be so vitriolic.

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