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More lately, I have realized that evangelicalism is rife now. Everywhere you look it’s grown to monstrous proportions. It is bloody frightening too if you ask me.
Of course, not being an expert in these matters, it is possible that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are different things but, to me personally, it would be a difference that makes no difference.
Politically, this evangelical fervor is particularly dangerous.
In religious terms, unless you have the misfortune to live somewhere like Iran or Saudi or one of the places in America where the Christian mentalists are, it doesn’t tend to be a bother for most of us.
Clearly the Islamic sort is a bit of a bother in Blighty. Mainly because they occasionally decide to run people over on bridges, or blow bits of the country up, which is understandably a worry.
On the whole though, religious mentalists, apart from the aforementioned and 9/11 and so forth, are occasionally a worry. A big horrific worry at times, yes, but not necessarily a constant worry.
It’s the political evangelical, fundamentalist, absolutely mentalist, ‘my belief is a fact because I believe it’ kind of thing that is a real, clear and present constant worry for me.
The political hatred that created President Trump. The continued hatred that will probably see him continue for a second term. he might not, but, then again, he might.
The extraordinary and divisive hatred that has resulted in the Brexit referendum.
You know what? Well, no, you don’t so I’ll tell you.
I am a moderate. Really. I am. Me. Me??? A moderate??? Me? Really? Well, yes. In ways I would not have believed could ever have happened in a million years, I am a moderate in something.
I voted ‘remain’ in the Brexit referendum. I was extremely reluctant to. I did it for my daughter primarily. She wanted to remain in the EU so I voted for her.
I am a ‘Brexiteer’ who voted ‘remain’.
The thing is, I was never a particularly passionate ‘Brexiteer’.
I hate the idea of a ‘United States of Europe’ because I do and that’s an end of it. I distrust the EU and, frankly, the last time a European leader wanted to control Europe, it didn’t end well did it?
No, I’m not comparing the EU to Hitler and his Nazis, but, the passion shown by some European leaders for a centralized EU government governing us all does have some alarming similarities to the early thought processes of a certain, late, Austrian corporal formerly known as Schicklegruber.
Anyway, regardless of that, my views are, on the whole, that I voted for what my daughter wanted and, ultimately, at my age, it probably won’t make a huge difference to me either way so sod it.
That view actually puts me ‘in the middle’ politically speaking. It does you know. Why? Simple. Because virtually every ‘Brexiteer’ and ‘remainer’ in the land have now become so evangelical in their beliefs that anybody who does not wholeheartedly agree with them is an enemy.
You have the audacity to ask a polite question of their beliefs on a ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ Facebook page and all you get is hate and vitriol.
You dare to politely question their beliefs, and you end up very grateful indeed that you are not a resident of Saudi Arabia publicly questioning the existence of Allah.
I have never, in my lifetime, known anything like it. It is alarming to say the least.
There was always the risk of getting punched by a Manchester United fan if Oldham Athletic beat them – and yes, it did happen once, many many seasons ago.
There was always a risk of getting a clip around the ear from an angry parent if you refused to eat your Brussels sprouts.
There has always been a degree of evangelical like fervor around for any number of reasons.
My mother hates, with a passion, virtually every TV program I like and, as a child, I found this out easily enough because she wouldn’t let me watch Monty Pythons Flying Circus.
The thing is, it was localized. There was never a particularly national evangelical passion that caused hatred and division, often without any degree of logic to be found anywhere within it.
This, to me, bizarre evangelical political hatred that is spreading globally can only lead to something very bad indeed.
If you suggest Trump did something good, the Trump haters spout vitriol. If you suggest he did something bad, the Trump lovers spout vitriol.
If you suggest the EU is not to be entirely trusted, ‘remainers’ spout vitriol. If you suggest leaving carries huge risks, ‘Brexiteers’ spout vitriol.
A far right maniac stabbed to death a left wing Labour MP.
Far left maniacs want a Marxist government and, if you disagree, you are a fascist.
We are living in a time of political extremes. A very dangerous time of political extremes.
A time when, if you dare to be moderate about anything, both sides will spout vitriol and, on occasion, make actual threats against you.
You dare to question their evangelical political beliefs, then you are the enemy. You must be destroyed for the greater good. Their version of the greater good. The greater good that they believe in. The greater good that is absolutely and unequivacably the correct greater good, because it is the one they believe in.
You can’t go and sit in a pub, enjoy a cold pint of beer and debate politely the pros and cons of Brexit anymore.
Well, you can but, if the chap opposite you holds a different view, don’t be surprised if you find his empty pint glass heading towards your face at some point.
I never thought I would live to see the day when I would be a moderate.
The fact that I am, only goes to serve as clear evidence that the world has clearly gone absolutely barking mad.