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Why Christians have a bad name in my book

24 February 2005

Kristel made a valid point in the comments about me tarring all Christians with the same brush. True. I am guilty. I now judge Christians the same way most people judge minorities. When someone says they are a devout Christian, I laugh and immediately think they are rigid, right-wing hardliners with a totally distorted view on reality and that they are too weak to take a stand on things so they refer to the Bible to tell them what to think. A little harsh indeed. In fact, I know it is completely wrong.
But here in England there has been a lot to do recently about Christians 'standing up for themselves' and claiming they are being marginalised by society. Or a lot of articles about things happening abroad.

For example:

- Anglican Church demands an apology from the American Anglicans for appointing a gay bishop and threaten to start their own church unless the Americans admit they were wrong and that they have caused people and the church harm.

- A Christian organisation tells a charity not to accept £3000 because it was raised by people from Jerry Springer, The Opera.

- Christians held a wake with chanting and candles at BBC buildings around the country when the BBC aired Jerry Springer, The Opera (I dedicated a post to this before) and demanded their money back. When told that the BBC also airs songs of Praise to cater for Christians, they said that was nothing but normal but Jerry Springer was not normal. Most of these people had not seen the Springer Opera but were told by their church leaders to protest against it. Only after the church leaders said people should protest did people start protesting.

- MasterCard and American Express no longer accept people paying for porn with their cards after Christian pressure groups threatened with a boycott. This is not just a few marginal Christians, this is millions of people believing they have the right to decide what I can and can not buy with my credit card. Who decides what porn is? Is a vibrator porn? Or a dildo? Or maybe massage oil with sensual scent to it?

- Which brings me to the point of dildos & vibrators: they have now been banned in the state of Alabama after Christians filed a successful complaint. Not allowed to use or sell them.

- A school in America had a tradition of almost 100 years where on 1 day the boys dress up as girls and vice versa so the girls get to feel what it is like to be the one buying their 'special friend' candy and ice cream. But 3 Christian parents complained this custom promoted homosexuality in young children and that it was deplorable and disgusting. And they managed to convince the school to cancel this tradition.

- There are more Christian hate sites out there than there are porn websites. To me, this means that millions of Christians rather spend their time condemning other people's lifestyles than they do improving their own or helping to ban world hunger or poverty. This is very sad. That people think they have the right to tell other people they are wrong based on a bundle of pages.

This is only what I have picked up on in the last month or so.
This does not make me feel happy and certainly does not make me think that Christians are being marginalised. With the rise of George Bush, it has now become fashionable to be a right-wing Christian and deny other people the right to have other beliefs. If you don't belong to one of the minorities under thread, it is perhaps hard to see why I am getting scared these days. But as a gay woman, Christians like the above are a major threat to me, my lifestyle and other gays and lesbians across the world. Our freedoms and rights are being denied and we are being marginalised again by people who think it is right to judge someone and take away their basic human rights. When people like George Bush and John Howard (PM of Australia) say they will defend Christian values by banning equal rights for gay people, this gives me a very sad idea of what Christian values are. Are Christians so feeble in their faith that in order for them to be able to keep to it, they need to wipe out people who think differently from them? Is their faith in their own God not strong enough to survive opposition? What ever happened with Improve the world and start with yourself? He without sin cast the first stone?

I admit this I am probably just as wrong in feeling this way about all Christians than they are in feeling this way about everyone who is not like them. I know nice Christians. But more and more I find that I shy away from Christians so that I wil not have to defend myself, my lifestyle or the fact that I actually enjoyed Jerry SPringer, The Opera. I am not waiting for a moralistic debate when I go to the pub, I just want a few beers. And, wrong or not, when someone tells me he/she is a devout Christian, I am very wary and try to stay well away from anything that might be even remotely controversial. That makes for very strained conversations that I don't enjoy so it is just easier to stay away from it altogether. So if you are a Christian, don't tell me and we will get on fine. I won't tell you I am an atheist either so that makes us even.


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