Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Bad" Christianity

Gotta love the election season! It seems an old topic has resurfaced. It's a little more pointed in today's extremely rough economy, but the bottom line is the same.

It's not "class warfare," it's Christianity

Where to begin?  I saw this article posted on Facebook by my cousin. I don't ordinarily read the Washington Compost myself, but being a sucker for politics and serious about Christianity, I couldn't resist reading. My mistake was reading before I went to bed because my blood pressure went right through the roof. I found the author's very broad, sweeping generalizations to be so offensive (not to mention inaccurate and hypocritical) that I couldn't even organize my own thoughts and responses to it. I literally felt my heart pounding in my chest. My mind was on overdrive and I'm sure that when I finally fell asleep it was the result of pure exhaustion.

My thoughts on this article are too numerous and still too jumbled to be able to capture them all here, but I will try to address the main things I take issue with and then attempt to summarize. Here goes...

1. The author generalizes that conservative Christians want to "amass wealth" and therefore hate the poor. Let's get real here. I wouldn't say that 100% of people who identify themselves as Christians are all good people (that's me not generalizing) but to try and say that conservative Christians as a group only care about themselves and amassing their own wealth is absurd and hate-mongering (yes, I used one of your favorite terms against you. Bazinga). I don't get how anyone can make a generalization like that about an entire group, especially since she includes zero statistical back-up.

2. Her explanation of conservative Christians' viewpoint: Let me be clear as I can be. We need to understand the so-called “Christian” underpinnings of the anti-tax, anti-government, anti-the-poor, “let him die” approach to economics and public policy today as completely un-Christian, as well as un-American. Is she serious? I honestly don't know a single person who wishes there were absolutely no government, no taxes and for all poor people to die. And I know a lot of conservative Christians. Again I beg, let's get real. Stop trying to act like all conservative Christians are some kind of extremists. 

3. Her quotes about the biblical approach to economics.
     A: “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common... There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.” Acts 4:32-35. It is absolutely a tenant of Christian faith to love one another and to help those in need. No argument from me on that. What the author fails to acknowledge is that the folks did this because they wanted to. It was their choice, not the law of the land. No one said to them that they must give up their property and fork over the proceeds. No one forced them to share. Their hearts desired it. SO MUCH good is done every single day because people care and not because they were forced by lawmakers. Furthermore, this works great for the disciples, a small group. It makes sense for a small number of people like this to look out for one another and share resources such as in a family (or other group giving up their lives to study?). For an entire nation, or even the world? Unrealistic and a proven failure because it depends 100% on the willingness of everyone to contribute meaningfully. The result is a few contributors supporting a mass of non-contributors to equal poverty for all.
     B: "Part of the way we got here is by Christian conservatives ignoring a lot of what the Bible says on wealth and poverty, and being highly selective in what they call “biblical.”" Wow. It's conservatives who are picking and choosing from the Bible and ignoring what it says. This is coming from a liberal who, regardless of her personal stance, most likely votes for liberal politicians, who more than most likely vote for abortion/murdering babies. Now, where in the Bible did she get that murdering God's most innocent and precious creation is ok? Interesting, she didn't include that scripture. Hello Kettle, this is Pot. You're black. 

This same topic came up around the '08 election and I wrote a heartfelt post (actually far better articulated than this one) on how I feel about it. I really can't understand someone telling me what kind of Christian I am, in this case with no knowledge of how my money is used, especially when they support something as hideous as abortion. No crime could be more wrong in my eyes than the murder of an innocent baby. I don't know how she sleeps at night, much less has the balls to publish an article claiming conservative Christians practice "bad Christianity" for opposing giant tax hikes. How utterly hypocritical? I'm pretty certain that baby murder isn't considered "good Christianity." 

And with that, I'm going to close. Partly because my blood pressure is up again. Partly because nap time is over. Honestly, I just needed to get that off my chest. I'm happy to hear others' thoughts as always, as long as they're not attacking or name-calling (ie- "bad Christians"). Offer facts, even opinions, but do so respectfully. And thanks for reading my rant.

**Update- check out some of the great comments at the bottom of the article pointing out that God wants us to give to the needy of our own free will and not because a government has first taken from us (and lots of other good biblical evidence objecting to the article's stance). And you may see a comment or reply posted by 'theluckiest.' That's me!

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