After I wrote this I realized that many of the posts on my blog are angry. I’m not mad all of the time. I think I just am driven to write more by anger than by other emotions.
Two days ago, World Vision took an extraordinary step, opening employment to gay Christians who were either abstinent1 or in a committed, married relationship. Those, not coincidentally, are the same rules for non-gay people who work there.
Today, the decision was reversed.
I’m not even sure what to say. I’m angry. I’m angry that I once supported a Church so out of touch with reality and bent on twisting scripture to prop up their bigoted views. I’m angry that I’ve defended people who say they don’t hate gay people, they merely hate their actions. I’m angry that—once upon a time—I said those kinds of things too.
When Allison texted me to tell me of the reversal, all I could think to say was “I hate Christians.” That’s what I replied back, and for a moment, it was absolutely true. Of course, I don’t hate Christians. Some of my very best friends are Christians. I used to be a Christian.2 When I step back and look at the world, some of the most amazing things are being done by Christians in the name of Christ. World Vision is one of the organizations doing these amazing things. I don’t hate Christians, in fact I love them. However, every day I do hate Christianity (or at least this warped, hateful version of it) more and more.
I hate the double-tongued exhortations that you can’t pick and choose what you believe in the Bible, uttered by men who wouldn’t dare ask a woman to be silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). How do you dance around that fucking scripture? See also, 1st Corinthians 7:27; 1st Peter 3:3; Matthew 5:34; Matthew 6:6; Matthew 5:323 ; and Luke 14:33 for just a few more examples of scriptures Christians are happy to pick and choose.
I hate that the idea that Bible should be taken literally still permeates our culture in the face of ever-expanding mountains of evidence to the contrary. Some of that evidence, by the way, is not evolution or the undeniable, very old age of the earth—compelling though those are—it’s that the Bible itself was written by various people, who were not the writers most think they are, sometimes hundreds of years after events had supposedly transpired. At best the historical accuracy of the Bible is anything but certain.
(Edit: If you want an interesting discussion on the literal interpretation of the Bible, check out Rob Bell’s extensive series What is the Bible?)
I hate that so many Christians love to trample on the freedoms of others (ensuring Sharia law is banned, preventing gay marriage), yet cry “persecution” the second they might lose something they shouldn’t have had to begin with (Christian-led prayer in public schools, preventing gay marriage).
I hate that even more Christians sit by silently while the vocal minority (of Christians) put their God to shame.
I hate when people call America a “Christian nation.”
And I hate when the dominant religion in America turns its back on its own. I hate when Christians rally in support of an organization that doesn’t want to provide abortion-preventing birth control.4 I hate when the moral outrage of the moment trumps the need (not to mention the Biblical call) to serve the needy.
I haven’t considered myself a Christian for a couple years now. But I should still be able to love Christianity. I should still be able to respect Christianity. But I don’t. I want to. And maybe I do respect the Jesus ideal. I believe that the Jesus that the Bible talks about would be angry as hell at the behavior of those who bear his name. You may disagree, but at least I can be confident in the fact that neither of us knows the answer to that.
I don’t want to end on a angry note. I still love Christians. I still love each and every one of my friends (who run the spectrum from more atheist than me to more Christian than Christ).
I love you all. And now that I’ve vented. I’m less angry. Now I’m just supremely sad.
Actually, I’m not sure about if abstinent, Gay people could work there or not, but I’m assuming so because it would make sense. And yesterday they made sense. ↩
These days I’d say I fit somewhere in between an agnostic and a seeker of God, if you are curious. I plan to write more about that at some point. ↩
One verse I am happily ignoring. ↩
And just move right on along if you want to talk to me how birth control is abortive, most of it isn’t. ↩