Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We Just Can't Win

Yesterday I got a few flame comments on two blog entries.  Go read them here and here.  Afterward I was talking about the comment and Christianists and atheists and people who are douchy and people who are nice and loving.  I've started commenting on some more blogs.  I've been re-posting Joe.My.God's Holy Crimes lists from day to day.  And my friend said something about Westboro Baptist Church and what certain fundamentalists have done to Christianity.  If you read the comments on the Holy Crimes entries (including some follow up comments to what I've said) it's clear that people associate Christians of any stripe with, well, Christians of any stripe.

There are the people who've turned love into hate (see the above video!) and peace into making war to make peace.  And then you have the crooks.  And the people who abuse the relationships that the Church has given them in whatever manifestation it takes.  And that's what people see.  And we just can't win.  We can't have an aggressive media campaign that says "We're not like them!"  We can't get on top of the Christianity game and actively fight the Christianists to beat them into submission.

And I don't think we're supposed to.  I think that's kind of the opposite of what we're supposed to do.  The Christianists have power because they seek it, rather than resisting the temptation to have power (when really we don't at all).  As I follow Christ I know God who became man (giving up power), was born in a lowly state (not into power), had no place to lay his head (didn't acquire or seek power), and gave up his life (didn't take on power at the end).  I think the way to show what we believe it to live it.  To be friendly and love people.  And really loving people means respecting the dignity of every human being.  And seeking Christ in all persons.  That doesn't mean don't talk about our faiths; my friend Dan (from yesterday's quote of the day) and I talk about faith all the time, mostly in the form of questions, since he doesn't really identify with a faith tradition.

Instead I think we have to wait for the Lord.  And keep working for justice and doing service work and loving all people.  Really loving them...and that means not calling names, folks!  On Advent 1 the Vicar preached at St. Paul's Chapel and talked about staying awake and working to be ready for the judgment day....and that every day is judgment day.  Every day there are actions that we take where we choose to do good or not.  And I try (and fail miserably, often!) to not seek control or dominance of others.  Wait for the Lord!  Keep watch.  His day is near.


  1. Joe-
    Our sermon this past Sunday focused on the billboards that call to "keep Christ in Christmas" and the silliness of the season. The priest felt the same as you (and I agree) - living into the word of Christ, rather that simply talking it up, is a far more powerful statement.

  2. Brandon -

    Thanks for the comment. Jon Acuff did a post about saying "Happy Holidays" that has some great comments. It's at Excellent stuff...and I think I'm going to have a blog entry on Christmass day about Christ and Mass.

  3. Haha, that is good. For me, the one qualifier for Christmas cards is that they say Merry Christmas!

    PS- if you're ever in Philadelphia, feel free to visit us at St. Luke and The Epiphany.

  4. Well, for Christmas cards, of course!