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I Don’t Hate Christianity

I Don’t Hate Christianity January 14, 2022

People new to my work may think I hate Christianity. I don’t. There are aspects of it I despise, but there is also great beauty in the faith. Like most things, it’s a mixed bag.

Some may also think that I hate Christians. Again, I don’t. I cohost podcasts with Christians. My parents are Christian. Some of the people I respect the most are Christian pastors (shout out to Adam Ericksen).

My issue is never with individual people, or even the faith as a whole; my issue is with the toxicity of any system that causes harm. Christianity, in many ways, has become such a system. That is, the version of Christianity we find so prevalent today.

For instance . . .

As an open bisexual man, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t celebrate the LGBTQ community. And yes, I said “celebrate.” We don’t want to be tolerated, we want to be celebrated for who we are.

As the uncle of two beautiful Black girls, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t fight racial injustice. And yes, I said “fight.” It’s not enough to “not be personally racist.” Silence is compliance.

As the father of a beautiful young girl, I despise any version of the faith that doesn’t champion women’s bodies and sexuality. And yes, I said “champion,” mainly because of how toxic the purity movement has been proven to be.

As the friend and confidant of non-Christian people, I despise any version of the faith that teaches the eternal suffering of those who aren’t Christian. More harm has been caused with hell as a justification than we’d ever like to admit.

For me, these are non-negotiables. I’m sure there are others, but these are the big ones. Most other things – debates about theories of the atonement, discussions about Christology, hermeneutical methods – are things we can agree to disagree on. That is, unless your theologies cause actual harm to actual people. It is at that point where I have to stand up for the ones being harmed.

This may make it seem like I hate Christianity. To that I ask: If your Christianity is causing harm, how Christian is it? To my mind, it’s not Christian but anti-Christ. As in, antithetical to the teachings of Christ. That, I do hate.

I hate xenophobia. I hate racism. I hate bigotry. I hate misogyny. I especially hate it when Christianity is used as the justification for any of these.

Is “hate” a strong word? Yes. But shouldn’t we hate these things? Jesus seemed to, and he was rarely one to mince words.

So, if your faith lacks the basic ingredients for love – empathy and compassion (to quote Derrick Day) – then your faith is hardly Christian. Again, that I do hate.


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About Matthew J. Distefano
Matthew J. Distefano is an author, blogger, podcaster, and social worker. He lives in Northern California with his wife and daughter You can read more about the author here.

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