Sunday, February 28, 2010

again with the sodomy

A friend of mine recently linked to an op-ed from the New York Times called "Learning from the Sin of Sodom,"  by Nicholas D. Kristof that might have you shaking your fist just a bit less vigorously towards the masses of those calling themselves Christian in America.


I have no idea how the New York Times typically "leans" or where this dude puts himself, weltanschauung-speaking,  but he seems to be eerily echoing something I once stole from another dude to write about on this blog when he says that the sin of Sodom mentioned in the Bible was not that they were all a bunch of homosexuals, but rather that they were rich and didn't care for the poor. He doesn't stop there, though. He goes on to point out that - like it or not - some (well, a lot, even) of the Christians in America and around the world seem to have taken this little lesson to heart and have been behaving less like dinkers and more like Christ (my words, not his). 


Kristof suggests that public opinion about Christians in America has been tainted by "preening television blowhards and hypocrites who seem obsessed with gays and fetuses" and has less to do with reality than politics. How's that for a flip-change? He ends with a challenge, saying that "if secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality". 


I generally tend to think that a lot of the negative press is well-deserved, given the public face that "Christians" present to the world. But given that the public face of any group is always going to be comprised of people who in some way or another enjoy power, this isn't all that surprising (or unique). The suggestion that the obnoxious loud people do not define what Christianity actually means is sort of a no-brainer, but from time to time it's nice to hear it. 


I was talking to Christopher John of Stabilo yesterday and he referred to a "groundswell" of like-minded folks who, sick of pretending to know everything and ignoring the stuff that really matters, are starting to walk another path. 


My previous post referred to people who speak grace into my life and pull me back from the brink. Although I've lived my life thus far deeply embedded in the North-American-Protest-Evangelical culture and have seen my fair share of its ugliness, people like Christopher and Kristof are those voices whispering hope. 


Maybe, just maybe, we can change. So be it. 

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