Change is Hard—Hiding is Taxing

How religious morality is a facade

Who among us can change our consciousness—our personality? Through the process of religion and Christian morality we learn to conceal it, to pretend—to hide behind a pious facade of deception for the sake of fitting the mask of conformity to appear acceptable.

I have a friend who currently lay in a coma now four weeks from a fall. Yesterday they discontinued life support yet he continues to breath—for now. His pious brother came to visit and the first words out of his mouth, “see what your bad decisions and lies have done for you?”

I happen to know very well the sins of the accusing brother; his endless adulteries and prideful pretending to be an honest, religious man and I confronted him (I was commissioned today to deflect the incoming negativity that was expected from the estranged brothers—one the good son, the other, who lay in the bed in front of us, the prodigal.

I cut off his crescendo and said abruptly; “you stand here over your brother to judge, but the only difference between you and him—his integrity would not allow him to hide who he was. You on the other hand, have hidden it quite well” (his wife wide-eyed and gently nodding in agreement) “while you in your perfect health stand here over your dying brother can’t even change the pride you hate about your own self”.

You see, Chris couldn’t change, but he was cursed with integrity and could not live two lives to appease. While his family sees his life as a tragedy, I see his life as an example of honesty—yet in today’s world and yesterday’s, that integrity proved too much.

Where does the honest man go but to the fringes of society, to alcohol or a recluse life on the edges, or pretend to be who he is not? Some are lucky I guess, to live life in the middle without guilt, or to live without feeling guilty about guilt. Chris is an example to me of the cost of living life on your own terms—something we all wish for but seldom accomplish til it’s too late.

The Splendor of Belief—

After a hard day of dodging tough questions—circle the wagons. Defying integrity demands it!

Faith leads to this. I cannot sum it up any better than to direct you to the secret comments between believers about faith—do not deny! HERE

The comments are particularly good. Gods chosen are judge and jury. Of course they have relinquished there own moral autonomy and know longer no better.

“Backyard in the lowering sun”

Integrity Signaling

Being saved doesn’t make you a decent person. The very idea that salvation comes through faith is a sure-fire road to an ill-potentialed [sic] life of self-excuse. In evangelical circles, sinners celebrate their weakness, often publicizing their sin as some sort of faith virtue. I’ll call it “integrity signaling”. Drawing attention to yourself, aligning to a groupthink attempt to appear human.

Remember Jimmy Swaggart, the Assembly of God televangelist “I have sinned” confession. “I have sinned against you,” he said, looking directly at Frances, his wife of 35 years, and then turned his apologies to his son Donnie, daughter-in-law Debbie, his parishioners and his God. “I have sinned against You, my Lord, and I would ask that Your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God’s forgetfulness.” His audience, plainly moved by his copious tears, wept with him, interrupting him twice with standing ovations. It is part of evangelical culture.

This type of sinner virtue born again belief is a disgusting display of false remorse, but a badge of honor to release your guile publicly. Somehow this integrity signaling is supposed to make you a decent person. It doesn’t. Good behavior and personal responsibility is what makes us all tolerable. Look here, pretending justification by pretending to be forgiven doesn’t make our problems go away. Sometimes it takes a little effort, and we all could use some of that.