Friday, August 1, 2014

An uncharacteristically religious and political post...oops.

This morning, I was reading a thread about the two American health care workers who are being transported via isolation plane back to America for treatment in Georgia (near the CDC). These workers contracted the ebola virus while helping patients suffering from the virus in West Africa. For those who might be living under a rock, or refusing to watch the news/read Twitter/check Facebook, the virus is rampantly spreading across West African nations, and is being touted as the worst outbreak in years. That being said, fast-forward to this morning.

The thread was via WBAL and the post mentioned the two Americans and how they are coming back to America even though they have this deadly virus. It asked readers to respond to the question, "Should people who are ill with a virus that is known as being highly fatal come back to the US?" (Ok, it was something like that, but you get it.)

The responses ranged from, "yes, we can give them better medical care" to "no they shouldn't, it's too much of a risk." Then there were these responses:

"Yea great idea, just send the presidents Air Force one plane over to pick them up."

"Take them to the White House."

Wait? What?

A lot of people posted about how this happens in movies and everyone dies, so I kind of threw out those 
posts because movies are sensationalized and, oh yeah, we live in real life.

The reason these posts really bothered me is because (I am generalizing here, so please bear with me) the people who posted these responses are probably conservative, and therefore, probably Christian (again making assumptions, but I have a point, so hang on). These posts are part of a greater problem about conservative Christianity in America (oh, and I am Christian (Catholic, so some Christians probably say I am not Christian)). The problem being the lack of compassion, of living a life of Christ, that these people display.

People can disagree with the President, but to wish him ill? To wish him dead? That sounds Christian to me. The man is a husband and a father, and people wish him dead. Christians wish him dead. 

I guess I missed that sermon in the Bible, "love one another unless a person isn't a race you like, a gender you like, a socio-economic status you like, etc..." 

My biggest issue with this form of Christianity is that it isn't Christian at all. Christianity says love another. But only if you check the right boxes. Only if you fit a certain type. And Christ just didn't preach that.

The Christ in my Bible said to embrace the weakest and poorest of these. He healed the sick (and even hung around lepers!), he loved the poor, he embraced the outcasts. He didn't reject or judge or hate. He rejected the "eye for an eye" and said "turn the other cheek." (He even said that divorcing your wife makes her a victim of adultery, so maybe we need to look at that divorce rate a little more closely...)

My point is: how Christian are you being when you hate blacks, homosexuals, poor people, immigrants, and any person who fits in a category that you aren't in? You can't be.

Until you extend the mercy and compassion that you give to an embryo at conception to every single person regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, circumstance, or creed, you cannot rightly say that you are acting like Christ. Because Christ loved all. Christ accepted all.

"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5: 45-48)


  1. Amen, Sister. This is exactly why I have my own issues with buying into any particular religion. I kind of think religion is the evil because people use it to justify their ill and hateful actions. Killing and terrorizing others in the name of their God. But I believe in God and I don't believe He will judge any of us for our religious choice as long as we live a life of compassion, love, and acceptance.

  2. I think I would respond to this in three parts.

    1) Your line of reasoning goes as follows: "This person was hateful against a Democrat, he must have been a conservative Christian." I think you reveal a lot of bias in that vein. Now, to be fair, roughly 75% of Americans identify as Christian, so it’s not entirely impossible that the people making those comments did so as well. On the other hand, when people wished President Bush had choked to death on pretzels, I doubt anybody thought, “Oh, those progressive Christians! So hateful!”

    The association would seem to be “Conservative = Hateful,” which is blindingly unfair.

    2) Let’s assume you’re correct, and the quoted writers do think of themselves as conservative Christians. They ought to be called on their sin and corrected for it. Bearing such hatred in one’s heart is no small matter (Matt. 5:21-26). Still, we all depend on the grace of God and the blood of Christ for redemption. My sins are not lessened because they aren’t as visible. Theirs are not magnified because I don’t struggle with those sins. Yes, we must confront sin, but we must do so in love, in an effort to help our brothers and sisters. Naked contempt does not go far in restoring a believer to right fellowship.

    All the same, perhaps these people do call themselves Christians fruitlessly. Jesus himself said many who called on His name would be cast away (Matt. 7:21-23). If this is the case, it hardly seems fair to condemn a group because of those who shamelessly abuse the name. If someone stole your car and then ran over pedestrians, should you be held accountable for their crimes?

    3) You say, “Christ accepted all.” I think you misunderstand Jesus. For example, Jesus was often condemned by the Pharisees for spending time with tax collectors and sinners. Yet Jesus responded, “It is the sick who need a physician, not the well.” (Luke 3:27-32) Note that he doesn’t ignore the sin of these people, but calls them to leave it behind.

    Consider also the case of Zaccheus. After meeting with Jesus, Zaccheus not only repented of his sins, but sought to repay those he wronged above and beyond what the Law required. (Luke 19:1-10) Contrast that with the money changers Jesus violently drove out of the Temple (John 2:14-17), or the Pharisees He regularly accused of being vipers. He did not accept all. He accepted those who believed in Him, those who turned from their sins.

    Yes, Jesus loved the whole world, giving His life for the sake of all mankind, and He calls on his followers to love all the same. Loving the way Jesus did does not mean turning a blind eye to sin. The world says that it’s hateful to condemn sin; in many cases the world even celebrates the very things God condemns in scripture. God had no kind words for those who would deliberately confuse good and evil (Isaiah 5:20). It’s not popular to recognize sin for what it is. We do a great disservice to those whom God calls to repentence when we ignore, excuse, or even celebrate sin.

    I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)