Shitbagginess without shitbags
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I’ve been on an anti-Evangelical kick lately. Well, I’ve been on an anti-Evangelicism kick lately. I don’t want it to be confused with an anti-Evangelical kick.
I was raised Evangelical. And I worry that my writing might be construed as in opposition to the people who raised me. But I don’t feel that way at all.
I’m learning about the real roots of sexual abuse. As it turns out, most people who sexually abuse minors aren’t pedophiles. And most pedophiles never abuse children. Most crime are crimes of opportunity. Someone is in a very bad place and finds themselves in a situation in which it’s easy to make the wrong choice.
There’s comfort in the idea that there are good people and bad people. And that we just need to get the bad people away from the good people. But that’s not supported by the data at all. The data indicates that most people are pro-social most of the time.
Evangelicism is a system that produces extremely bad results. I’m not mad at any individuals who perpetuated Evangelicism. I think most, if not all, people in Evangelicism thought they were doing the right thing. They were simply wrong.
The problem with Evangelicism is that it’s a system which resists reform. Evangelicism ensures that its adherents can’t acknowledge or grapple with the vast, compelling evidence that it causes more harm than it ameliorates because it’s at root antagonistic toward evidence.
Evangelicism is shitbaggery without shitbags. It’s a bunch of people trying to do the right thing who cannot do the right thing because they can’t even see what the right thing is because evaluating right and wrong would require looking at the empirical evidence and they’re not able to do that because Evangelicism forbids it.
And that’s kind of my worldview now. Shitbaggery doesn’t result from shitbags. It results from systems which promote shitbaggery and resist reform.
Making the world suck less requires a lot more than rounding up individual shitbags and dealing with them. Instead, we have to attack the systems that perpetuate shitbaggery.