by Bil Aulenbach

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Evolving

This is the story of my life—and yours too, I hope. We are constantly evolving, if we allow ourselves to. Many don’t.

In my lifetime, I suspect civilization has evolved more than in any other era of history. Most folks don’t think they are evolving, it just happens—but we have come a long way from the Neanderthal.

Unfortunately, many people can’t or won’t evolve. Much of this can be attributed to religions, most of which dislike change, love control, and are willing to kill to support their antiquated misguided beliefs.

In the United States, fundamentalists (who usually call themselves evangelicals) hide their bigotry behind an invented brand of Christianity, cherry-pick words from the Bible, and fabricate a Jesus who will support their biases. Fundamentalists believe that women must be submissive; homosexuality is a sin; all Muslims are terrorists; blacks are criminals; all abortion is wrong; the earth is less than seven thousand years old; this is a Christian country and needs to remain so; all science is evil; the Second Coming will happen in Jerusalem, so the genocide of the Palestinians is acceptable; the poor are poor because they’re lazy;healthcare is only for those who can afford it; climate change is a hoax; and the rich shouldn’t have to pay taxes. If you don’t think the way the fundamentalists do about everything, you are wrong.

American fundamentalists have only been around since the early twentieth century. Their primary aim is to make the United States their brand of Christian, to make sure that all schoolchildren say fundamentalist Christian prayers, to ensure evolution is never taught or discussed, and to make sure Americans vote only for candidates who subscribe to fundamentalist Christianity.

I would call fundamentalism an immovable force that has no interest in evolving.Anyone who tries to evolve outside the fundamentalists’ narrow box is excommunicated. I know many people that happened to.

In all my years, I have never had a real discussion with a fundamentalist. They don’t discuss, dialogue, or reason. Their thinking is always right, regardless of what the facts say. Evolution is not in their vocabulary because they pride themselves on not evolving.

I feel especially sorry for the children of fundamentalists, who are forced to grow up in a very small world and never have the opportunity to be all they can be because evolution is considered a dirty word.

Unfortunately,our country is full of fundamentalists. Even more unfortunate is the fundamentalists’ tendency to vote as a bloc, which is how Trump got elected. This is sad and not what democracy is about.

I see Jesus as a man who was constantly evolving. For example, the Jews considered the Samaritans their enemies, but Jesus portrayed the Samaritans as heroes. Lepers were untouchable, but Jesus comforted them. Women were considered property, but in Jesus’s ministry, they were mainstays. Gentiles were unclean in Judaism, but the Jewish Jesus welcomed them.

I am a Follower because Jesus was constantly evolving. Unfortunately, the Romans executed him for this. Regardless, Jesus constantly reminds me that I need to evolve, grow, and see life in different ways, even in my eighty-seventh year of life.

My only constant is agape.

Are you evolving, changing, and searching for new ways to think, act, and live?

I hope so! Otherwise, you’re missing out on life.

Image courtesy of The People Speak! (CC BY 2.0)

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