I've been doing some thinking lately -dangerous I know- on the idea of Christian Moderates. It seems as though they view themselves as some sort of hybrid Christian, they believe where it fits and have their own views where they can't reconcile the evil the bible permits.
At first glance it appears they enjoy the best of both worlds, they have their cake and are eating it too, if you will. They can believe in god and accept Jesus as their savior without believing in all the bells and whistles of the bible. This means they can accept the big bang theory or even the theory of evolution. I can see how this could be viewed as desirable by someone who is struggling with their faith. Why cast out the whole belief over some inconsistencies, magic and atrocities, there's plenty of good things and righteous morals to be learned in there too, right?
The emergence of this group feels more like a defense mechanism then anything else, certainly not enlightening. And therein, as the bard would tell, lies the rub (I always loved that line).
See here's the problem with that, you're cherry picking. That's right, you're picking out all the cute cuddly parts, or maybe just the parts you agree with and then turning around and basing your life on that. But you see, that is not how religious texts are to be read. They are the infallible word of an all knowing all powerful god. How can some parts be correct and others incorrect, and if this were the case, how could one tell which was which? Could you imagine if we read all books that way, especially books that are meant to be historical accounts?
As a moderate Christian you must accept that the bible has a lot of historical inaccuracies as well as a bunch of terribly immoral acts that are not only allowed by, but encouraged by Yahweh. In order to reconcile this, they often resort to the metaphor defense. However that only covers a portion of the problem, what about the historical inaccuracies that simply cannot be reconciled this way. One example is Jesus' birth.
In the New Testament only two of the four gospels even mention the birth of Christ, and both accounts vary so much that both of them simply cannot be true. This leaves the moderate (as well as the fundamentalist) with only a few options. You can choose which account you believe (either Matthew or Luke), or you can try to combine the two. The former option here has obvious flaws that I don't even need to mention, the latter option here leaves you with some big issues (most of which I will cover in another article later), the biggest one being that you are essentially creating a new gospel. In a sense you are saying that neither is correct, or only partially correct. Why would an all knowing god create such a discrepancy in his book?
In the end, you wind up being mafia wives. You think you're more righteous than the zealots but in truth you are the shields behind which they stand, and to quote Edmund Burke (purportedly),"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
The truth is that moderates are, in actuality, the pillar by which the entire faith is held up. This means it is through your support of this archaic system of beliefs that the zealots and fundamentalists are upheld. Without the moderates, who are the people who actually make the religion somewhat tolerable, the zealots would have no power and their beliefs would be done away with.
It is my opinion that moderates are more closely related to deists than the zealots of their own religion. So this is what I say to you, drop the dogma and just be the good person you already are. Stop supporting the zealots vicariously through this ancient and barbaric belief. Even if you openly condemn zealots, you still support them simply by perpetuating the belief in the book from which they derive all of their insanity.