A few folk who have been reading my blog have recently complained that my language is offensive and one even accused me of using “offensive” language to affect an “edgy” or “trendy” veneer. Some have called me out in public, a couple saved their scolding for private messages offered in “Christian love”. I’ve been thinking about these critiques a little bit…
What y’all may find offensive in my use of coarse language is not a gimmick to make me seem edgy or trendy. As a middle age mamma of an inner-city teen, I can tell you for sure (just ask my kid) that I am about as far from trendy or edgy as can be. No f-bombs or ass-hats are gonna make me the least bit”trendy”, especially not to a Christian readership.
No, the language that seems to bother a few folk represents the raw, unfiltered thoughts and emotions that percolate up when I encounter what I find to be offensive –
such as the intolerable, inexcusable willful ignorance of some,
such as people calling themselves Christian and whipping up hate and fear in the name of Christ,
such as the blasphemy of claiming that a collection of books written by men somewhere around 2,000 years ago can be understood at the literal, factual and final word of God,
such as obsessing over SOME “biblical laws” while mindlessly discarding others,
such as holding a death grip on a handful of laws so that compassion is bruised and turning blue as she gasps for air,
such as fixation on church law that alienates anyone who looks, thinks, feels, prays or loves differntly than you.
These, my friends, are the some very things Jesus preached against and liberated us from when he submitted to the violent authority of this world in radical love.
If you are more offended by my faithfully raw language than the twisting of scripture to provide justification for oppression then I promise you that I find your way of talking and thinking as deeply offensive as you do mine.
When you use words like “love the sinner and hate the sin” or “biblical marriage is between one man and one woman” or, oh, I don’t know “you and your so-called partner are abominations straight from hell” – well sisters and brothers, it is your minds and mouths that need a good application of Dove.
And for the those who were most offended by the title of my “Washed in His blood my ass” post, I can promise you that I find penal substitutionary atonement to be about the most nauseatingly offensive theology of our twisted species so my words barely begin to convey my ongoing repulsion of hearing Christians claiming that our God would need or require such horrific violence to square the deal between us.
I am real, I am transparent to a fault, and in my little, fumbling way I am faithfully trying to holding up a light for the world to see. Sometimes when this little light of mine shines just so it reveals some down-right ugliness in the world. When I throw some careful theological reflections, passion and prayers into the salad bowl, once in a while I’m gonna come on out and say it just like I’m thinkin’ it. As a writer, the only thing I know to do is write the truth as I understand it. If you find my language more offensive than evil perpetrated in the name of God then I think it’s you that has some thinkin’ and prayin’ to be about.