As I listen to Evangelical America today, I recall the Tony Compolo quote:
I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.
I am reminded of the people who raged because so many marched wearing pussy hats to protest the sexual assaults by men on women and girls. One woman in Franklin, Tennessee who owns the knitting shop refused to sell yarn to create pussy hats because she said the protest movement was vile, vulgar and evil and against her Christian values of “mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding, and integrity.” Hang on a minute… what does the sexual assault on millions of women and girls have to do with mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding, and integrity? How is protesting it vile, vulgar and evil? Is it the word ‘pussy’? Like the word ‘shit’ in Tony Campolo’s quote?
Why are many Christians more triggered by words that offend their personal self-righteous propriety than actions that destroy the lives of millions? How is that Christian? Because in the end, are they more upset that they feel the words affect them personally… their own self-righteous sense of tradition, propriety or insular, white-bread, McReligious experience?
As Christians, we are expected to show God’s love to humanity, to stand up for the downtrodden. But it seems these days, unless many Christians feels the direct, physical, PERSONAL impact of rampant evil, they ignore it and instead raise their battle banners against the perceived evil they’ve created to insulate themselves from ‘the Other.’ If the Other is another skin color, they are often viewed with suspicion and sometimes hatred, all in the name of Christianity. If the Other is an immigrant, same story. If the Other is a woman or girl, she must have done something to invite the sexual attention. If the Other is someone’s kids starving or fleeing a murderous government, well they’re not “MY kids…”
Should those who scream about Christian integrity while ignoring real evil be called soldiers in the Lord’s Army? Hardly. I’d submit many Christians are simply mercenaries, out to battle for whatever brings them the biggest sense of personal esteem. And anyone can buy the services of a mercenary if the payoff is large enough. ANYONE.
So, are those who claim the name of Christian going to be more concerned about the plight of the powerless, victimized by evil in the world… Or will they wail and gnash their teeth about how they’re traumatized by perceived slights against self-righteous personal propriety?