I’m about to quote Phil Robertson, but this is not about Duck Dynasty. This is about religious intolerance in a general (but American) sense. I just heard that in Robertson’s GQ interview, he also said something about Shintos. Of course, that in itself is kind of funny because not that many people in the United States know what Shintos are. But I understand. Robertson is a college graduate and started his career as a teacher. He’s also clearly smart. But I had to find out what the old man said about those nasty Shintos!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actually interview so I had to settle for a quote from a Dylan Matthews article where he’s being pretty silly, 9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about Duck Dynasty. It delighted me to read it. Matthews introduces it by saying, “Here’s Robertson on why he thinks Shintoism—much like Communism, Nazism and Islamism—leads to violence.”
Before we get to the Shintos, let’s discuss the Nazis. They were explicitly Christian. Now I know what Christians always say to this, “But they wouldn’t have behaved like that if they were real Christians. If they knew Jesus’ love, they wouldn’t have behaved that way!” This is the same thing they say when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic or does any number of other horrific things in the name of Jesus. But if that’s the case, then Christianity is totally unaccountable. I could say that only people who don’t read Frankly Curious lie. And then when someone who does read it is shown to lie, I could just say, “Yeah, but they weren’t a real reader. If they understood what Frankly Curious is all about, they wouldn’t lie.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but my understanding was always that the start of World War II was a fairly complicated thing. That is to say that bombing Pearl Harbor didn’t happen in a vacuum. But regardless, that was all much more about the emperor. I don’t think it had anything to do with Shinto beliefs. Regardless, we here in the 80% Christian United States decided to not so much fight the Japanese army as the Japanese civilian population, which we laid to waste. I don’t recall where Jesus said, “And if you are attacked, be sure to kill as many enemy civilians as you can because they’re just fucking Shintos who will murder you if they get half a chance.” Note, Wikipedia says, “Shrine Shinto is associated in the popular imagination with summer festivals, good luck charms, making wishes, holding groundbreaking ceremonies, and showing support for the nation of Japan.” I just don’t see the murder part of that, but moving on.
As for the Communists and Islamists, I just don’t see them as any more violent that the 80% Christian United States. But what the quote really says is, “Christianity is better than all the other religions, of which I am ignorant.” That’s usually a big problem when a group of people are overwhelmingly of the same faith. They start thinking that somehow they’ve got hold of the Truth. In this particular quote, we’re to believe that it is the lack of Jesus that makes people violent. But what about Jainism? Certainly that is a far more peaceful religion than Christianity. No one can question that. They don’t even kill animals to eat. What does the Christian say about the non-violence of Jainism despite its complete lack of Jesus?
Well, he was just providing an example! The point point always was that Christianity is it. This is why in America, Christianity and nationalism are so closely linked. When they chant, “We’re number one!” they mean both the United States and Christianity. This kind of intolerance and ignorance of other religions shows a shocking level of insecurity. Because as all good Americans know, there is nothing that need be taught to an American or a Christian. And sadly, there is usually nothing that can be taught, either.