Timothy Stanley, a right wing writer at The Telegraph, argues that America’s evangelical Christians deserve respect despite being wrong about the Rapture. While I would not form an opinion of all evangelical Christians based solely upon the Apocalyptic views of one Christian cult, I cannot accept Stanley’s argument. He concluded:
Across the United States, atheists are gathering at Rapture parties to celebrate another day of life on this corrupted Earth. Their joy as Camping’s error is plain mean. While they knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs, thousands of evangelicals will be providing care and love to prisoners, homeless people, drug addicts and the poor. It is a noble calling worthy of a little tolerance.
There are evangelicals and non-evangelicals of a wide variety of views who do charitable work. Non-evangelicals actually do more than “knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs.” You cannot judge a religious or philosophical viewpoint by highlighting the charitable work of one segment of the believers in one viewpoint and mischaracterizing the behavior of others. The real way to judge the group is by the beliefs held by the whole group.
It is hardly worthwhile to devote any time to analyzing the validity of fundamentalist Christian belief as most people have already made up their opinions here and it will not be altered by a blog post. I will just make two points here: 1) those who have a low opinion of evangelical Christians do so based upon reasons having nothing to do with their charitable work and 2) my primary objection is not with their beliefs as much as with their actions to impose their beliefs upon others.
Stanley, incidental, is working on a biography of Pat Buchanan. If he misses why people with integrity are opposed to the Anti-Semitism and homophobia of this Nazi-sympathizer, it is not hard to see why he would miss the all the harm caused in the United States by the religious right.
Update: Camping Says End of the World Is Still On For October. Majority of Evangelical Christians believe Rapture will occur by 2050.