Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Role of Hate Speech in Christianity

I woke this morning to a story on NPR about a Christain group in Maryland trying to say that hate speech legistlation that includes gays and lesbians in the protected groups infringes on the rights of Christians. This man being interviewed (and I'll have to listen to it again) seemed to be saying that limiting hate speech against gays was the first step on the path to eliminating Christianity-- that Christians are nothing without their hate.

It makes me sad that I'm a Christian now. I think I could claim more of the moral high ground back when I was an athiest. I just can't get behind the idea that in order to be Christian, it is necessary to be hateful.

I wish I had the answer for how not to have a nation full of people who are ovewhelmingly defensive and self-righteous. I myself am feeling more defensive and self-righteous every day.

I want to say that people should follow their conscience, but so often their consciences aren't that reliable. (Like whenever they disagree with me.)

But aside from the fact that so many people are wrong in their beliefs, shouldn't we really find a way to coexist in spite of differences? Shouldn't we be able to honor the loyal opposition instead of painting them as demons and traitors?

I know I certainly don't feel like a demon and a traitor. I don't feel like a dupe of "liberal media bias." I don't feel that I have fallen prey to "the homosexual agenda." I do feel invisbile and powerless. And I don't feel that proud of being a "person of faith" at the moment.

You never hear about the reasonable Christians in the news. Never hear about what's going on with the UCC churches, or other liberal protestant congregations. There's not a peep about the Unitarians or the Quakers... those of us hanging to the left fringes of Christianity. Why aren't we noisier? Why aren't we as press-worthy?

Jesus is on our side. I know it. Let's start the Crusades again. I hear they were fun.


Blogger ~jeanne said...

I would agree with you that you never hear about reasonable Christians in the news. I am especially frustrated because I learned in my most recent history class that Christians are the ones who worked to end slavery and worked to give women the right to vote! They were the ones who created all the Progressive Era movements that outlawed child labor and created hour limitations for work and minimum wage laws. It was only in the 50's, when the US opposed Russia's "godlessness" by owning our "godliness".

Those Christians from the 1800s through the early 1900s remembered what they were about, what Christ was about...holding our hands out to the least of us, breaking bread with the neediest, and welcoming the most oppressed people into our homes.

It was not until American Christianity became somewhat of a state religion in the 50s that it forgot its roots. At least in the US. And isn't that what we came here to escape in the first place? A state-sponsored religion?


11:27 PM  
Blogger Sam Buchanan said...

I think you need to read Reclaiming the Word Christian.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Paul L said...

Kiara -- I thought of your post when I read this other post here: http://badbadbadger.blogspot.com This link is to a letter a relative of the blogger's recently dead husband sent to him shortly before his death.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Paul L said...

Actually, this is the better link: http://badbadbadger.blogspot.com/2005/07/ive-always-relied-on-kindness-of.html

8:43 AM  

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