Sunday, December 6, 2015
Holidailies Day 6: Holy Hypocrisy, Batman!
It seems like this always pops up at least once during Holidailies. Christians in the media being so completely over the top dumb that I feel compelled to remind people that we're not all like that. Some of the things are just out and out ridiculous, like the "War on Christmas" which is largely a war on traditions that have less than nothing to do with the religious significance of the holiday.
Then there's the big ones this year: Refugees and those Muslims that are already in country. Oh yeah, and the whole Planned Parenthood debacle. Two mass shootings in a week, one perpetrated by two Muslims, one by a white dude. Obviously, these are all issues that are going to incite huge amounts of ire from all sides. There's no way to get around it.
The problem is when we forget the the people who may have a different opinion are actual people. They are not inanimate targets to throw verbal knives at. I spend my days trying to get kids to realize that their actions affect other people. So I am going to try to say this in the most loving way possible, because I recognize this:
Christians are often the worst when it comes to this. We all know it. Except maybe the ones who continue to say the truly... oh, this is rough trying to be truthful without being insulting. Truly ignorant? No. Idiotic? No. Radical? Sure, we'll go with that. The ones who say the radical stuff, the ones who get soundbites on the news that make logical, loving people cringe, even if they sorta agree with the opinions. I started out there, sorta agreeing. I'm slowly starting to realize that I can't keep sorta kinda agreeing on anything that pisses me off that much. That's another topic though.
See, I'm not here to discuss all these situations in detail. Honestly, I've been too entrenched in my schoolwork to pay super close attention to the details about all the issues, and I don't feel comfortable putting forth strong opinions on events I haven't had the time to research. I'm here to discuss the way we discuss it. The amount of times that I have gone on Facebook and seen some comment about the way that a conservative Christian leader said something that no decent person should say... it's too much. Too often. Sometimes it's unfounded. Sometimes I have the time, take the time to look it up and see the context, and it's not what's meant. More often than not, I look it up and it is actually what is meant, and I am left shaking my head.
I'm aware that not all the nasty surrounding these issues is centered around Christians. But Christians are the ones that have a list of specific commandments that direct us to Love. Love God, yes. But God loves you, and God loves everyone else, so by extension, loving God means loving those he loves. Which is yourself. Which is everyone you come in contact with. Which is even people on the internet who agree with you. Which is even people who may or may not be trying to kill you, but are probably just trying to escape from those who are trying to kill them. Which is also (while we're at it) people who look different than you, people who love differently than you, people who think that you're a crazy radical by association. Yeah, them too. There are no conditions on it.
I have this conversation with kids all the time at work: "But he hit me first!" "Well that doesn't mean you had to hit him back." I feel like it's the same for us. Just because they are jerks first doesn't mean that we get to be jerks back. Granted, I'm bad at this often. I let my inner jerk take over my mouth more often than I would like. But I'm trying to be better about it, and you know why?
Because I love Jesus. I love that He took a stand against this, to show us how. He honored Samaritans (culturally just about as reviled as Muslim radicals), He honored women, He honored the sick, He honored the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the blue collar workers, everyone the elite looked down on. He even forgave the people who killed Him. If my goal in life is truly to be more Christ-like, how can I not love everyone?
How can we really look at the situations around the world and not see Love as the answer? The more angry rhetoric thrown around, the more we joke about carrying guns so we can "stop those Muslims", the more we refuse to see people who are displaced from their homes as people and only see them as a threat, the more we cause the very issues that spur terrorism. The entire point of terrorism is to create fear. Yet, "Perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18).
We have the answer. Now, are we going to actually use that knowledge or just pretend that we're so far apart from this world that what happens to it doesn't actually matter?