*No True Scotsman* and *Fake Christians*Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


*No True Scotsman* and *Fake Christians*

14 July 2019 at 8:59:20 AM

Have been thinking a lot about this lately, that there are so many instances in which promiment *christian* people say the most ugly, outrageous, selfish, bigoted comments. That includes, for example, Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress. When those 2 come up on my radar, I always wonder why there is any person of ethics doesn't immediately recoil from them. It has led to considering that they aren't *true christians* as if there is somehow one standard for what amounts to a cult-loving mythology. There isn't. My entire life I've seen one group of so-called christians use the Bible and sometimes non-Bible beliefs that nevertheless feel comfortable, to indicate their brand of religion is better than someone else's. Leaving out any other type of religion than christianity, I've heard Baptists say they're better than Episcopalians or Pentecostalists or Catholics. Since there is no agreement about what actually constitutes a *real* brand of religion, and the fact that it based on mythology, the idea that one can set a standard for what is a true christian versus a false christian isn't logical. And it also sets up a sort of validation for christianity by pretending, when one says a given person is a "fake christian", that somehow there is a *real christian* out there. Of course there isn't. 

And to play into this whole argument about what constitutes a *real* christian or debating whether any given person is more of a christian than another christian, is a waste of time. And particularly egregious when it's been me, an atheist, doing it. I certainly don't believe that someone that calls him or herself a christian is somehow morally superior on that basis than anyone else. And in fact, there are far too many examples of people being just as good or bad as anyone else regardless of a self-description. A person who self-describes or is in a group called *christian* can be as criticized as any other person. 

Over the last weekend, Mike Pence and others from Congress visited the concentration camps on the border.Because of his demeanor at the border when viewing men in cages, he was descried as a "fake christian". However, given that there are so many *christians*, particularly evangelicals, that are not outraged at what is happening to people at the border, he actually represents *christians*. Here is a report on child separations by trump administration, dated July 2019 by Congress. 

The Trump Administration’s child separations were more harmful, traumatic, and chaotic than previously known.

o At least 18 infants and toddlers under two years old were taken away from their parents at the border and kept apart for 20 days to half a year.

o At least 241 separated children were kept in Border Patrol facilities longer than the 72 hours permitted by law.

o Many separated children were kept in government custody far longer than previously known—at least 679 were held for 46 to 75 days, more than 50 were held for six months to a year, and more than 25 were held for more than a year. 2

o Even after being reunited with their parents, hundreds of separated children continued to be detained for months in family detention facilities—far longer than the 20-day limit under the Flores case.

o More than 400 children were moved to multiple CBP facilities, more than 80 children were moved to multiple ORR facilities, and at least five children were moved to multiple ICE facilities—including to one, Port Isabel, after the Administration claimed that “no children will be housed at the facility … even for short periods.”

o At least ten separated children were sent to the “tent city” in Tornillo, Texas, the notorious emergency influx facility near El Paso, before the CEO of the facility’s parent company refused to continue operations as a result of the Administration’s pressure to expand capacity despite delays in releasing children.

• The Trump Administration has not been candid with the American people about its purpose in separating children. The records obtained by the Committee indicate that the Trump Administration separated children unnecessarily—even under its own rationale—causing lengthy delays to reunifications and separations that continue to this day. The Administration claimed that separating children was necessary to criminally prosecute parents. But the documents describe parents who were never sent to federal criminal custody, as well as others who were briefly taken into custody and then returned within a day or two likely because prosecutors declined to prosecute their cases or because they were sentenced to time served for the misdemeanor of illegal entry. In some cases, parents were readmitted to the same facilities they left just hours before, but their children had already been removed. These parents were then sent to separate detention facilities and in some cases deported without their children.

• The nightmare of child separations continues. Hundreds of additional children have been separated from their parents since the end of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy in June 2018. These continued unnecessary separations have contributed to the current crisis of children suffering in overcrowded, poorly-run government detention facilities at the border. In addition, at least 30 children separated from their parents under the zero tolerance policy remain separated, despite a federal court order more than a year ago to reunite these children with their families or an appropriate sponsor.

The information obtained by the Committee indicates that the Trump Administration’s decision to separate thousands of babies, toddlers, and children from their parents and put them in government custody for months or years is causing immense suffering. This staff report provides numerous case studies that illustrate their trauma in stark terms. These child separations were not required by law and were not in the best interest of the children. Instead, the policy of separating children from their parents appears to be a deliberate, unnecessary, and cruel choice by President Trump and his Administration

The fact that we don't hear and see *christians* not merely speaking out against this, but sitting on their hands doesn't speak to whether they are *real christians* or not, but does show a lack of human decency and empahty. 

Atheist Revolution brings an interesting point of view to this. 

The recent outrage toward Vice President Mike Pence based on his demeanor while visiting Border Patrol facilities in Texas is not difficult to understand. Its scope and intensity made me wish that social media had been what it is today when Dick Cheney was having people tortured. As far as I'm concerned, Pence should be criticized, and I see little wrong with efforts to highlight the discrepancy between what he claims to believe and how he behaves. I just think that this probably could be accomplished without suggesting that Pence is not a "real Christian.".... Mike Pence is a "real Christian." The manner in which he behaves may not be consistent with some forms of Christianity, but it is entirely consistent with his brand of conservative Christianity. This is something we need to acknowledge. To suggest that he is a "fake Christian" because he doesn't act like some Christians misses the point. It also feeds into Christian privilege by suggesting that Christians do not behave like Pence. We have to recognize that his actions are consistent with the worrisome form of Christianity he represents.

People choose to join groups that reflect their interests or persuasions, Choosing to join a *christian* group does not give a person more ethical authority that any other group, such as a Weight watchers group, knitting circle, gun club, tractor club, etc. It's just another way to join with others with whom one has something in common and should be given no more weight of being somehow a more ethical or superior group than any other. So it isn't whether a christian is *fake* or *real*, but whether people of decency should want to associate with people of ANY club that celebrates people of ill repute and hatred, such as Trump. 


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