Saturday, March 29, 2014

holding children hostage

The recent debacle with World Vision's hiring practices is a perfect example of what's horrifically wrong with the mass-consciousness of so much of the so-called Christian church in America.

For those unaware of this evidence that the grinches have grinched their way into power, what happened is that the Christian-based child sponsorship program World Vision decided that they were no longer going to preclude married gay people from being hired by their more than 40,000-employee organization.

The fit hit the shan.

A whole bunch of ostensibly-Christian people screamed bloody murder, and about 5,000 of them withdrew their $35-a-month sponsorships of needy children around the world, resulting in what would have been about a $2.1 million loss for the organization over the next year. I say "would have been," because within 48 hours World Vision  flip-flopped a reversal, and a whole bunch of smugly self-satisfied people called back in to renew their support.

Now, you may disagree with me on some of my opinions on gay rights. You may think that blah-blah-blah traditional-marriage blah-blah-blah etc. is the most important thing in the world (despite your apparently blasé attitude toward divorce, you hyppo-potanical land masses!), but that's not the issue, here.

The issue is, as Rachel Held Evans so succinctly put it, that this response "reveals the fact that that your sponsorship isn’t really about the child and the community your sponsorship helps; it’s about you. It’s about feeling good about the face on the refrigerator, regardless of whose face it is."

That, to me, is what a LOT of North American Protestant Evangelical culture is about: it's about feeling good not just about the face on display on your refrigerator when your likewise "Christian" buddies come over for your alcohol-free parties and pop into the kitchen hoping to sneak one of the beers you most likely hid down in the crisper, under all that kale... it's about feeling good about yourself in general, by creating an elaborately-structured in-group from which to vilify the vast, tainted majority.

Your righteous indignation isn't a virtue. It's embarrassing. It's sickening. It's anti-Christian, and you should shut your faces like right now.

Honestly, you make me want to do what Elizabeth Esther (another Christian-blogger friend of Rachel Held Evans) did when she heard about the World Vision thing and write a blog post that includes the word "fuck," directed at anyone who'd stop paying to feed a malnourished child just because the person doing the feeding might be gay.

Why did Elizabeth Esther write the word "fuck," and why would I want to echo her?

For the same reason, I think, that she quickly removed the post from her website: because using the word "fuck" around people who build their sense of identity by excluding anyone whose moral behaviors they consider un-Christian is an immediate, one-way ticket to out-grouping/scapegoating/villainization by those same people. And being excluded by the excluders might just be a sign that you're on the right track.

Unlike Elizabeth Esther, I don't make my living floating around at the fringes of Christianity, selling books to people who wield their wallet-power by not buying your book unless they agree with every one of your (visible) life-choices (ask my buddy, who got pulled from most of the Christian bookstores after he got a divorce).

But also unlike Elizabeth Esther, the word "fuck" isn't really part of my personal lexicon.

So I will say, instead, to all those people who got on their high horse about World Vision's policy change and then held the nutritional health of thousands of children hostage so that they could feel like the good guys:

Screw that. And may the ineffable God (whomever that is) damn that attitude of yours to hell (whatever that is) forever.

6 comments:

  1. Is an in"eff"able God also able to use the 'eff' word? Probably, is my assessment of the nature of the God of love and JUSTICE and Judgment. He may need it as He separates the wheat from the tares.

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  2. Classic knee-jerking. It would be hard to say how many of them are Christians, but of those who consider themselves Christians, to those I would say, "stop reading the Gospels like a lobotomized monkey, actually read them and understand them – loving your fellow human being is supposed to be unconditional. Look up the word unconditional."

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  3. Frustratingly, the tactic worked ... and the Christian bullies are emboldened to carry on with their small-minded, bigoted, and misguided mission of morality policing. The Christian Taliban wins another one.

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    Replies
    1. They oughtta get t-shirts made, Darren.

      Delete

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