I don’t normally engage other Patheos contributors, but sometimes, just for fun, I like any readers to experience my poor choices in real time. Consider this a work of translation with commentary. Here we go:
“Progressives keep promising conservative evangelicals they’ll be our friends if only we stop harping on sex and serve people. The problem is that every time evangelicals try to serve people, progressives want to harp on sex.”
Translation: We don’t see this as a discrimination issue, but as something having to do with…sex. (Irony meter needle just moved a bit).
Oh, and we never promised friendship. No, we promised the unconditional love one still maintains for the ignorant uncle/cousin/sibling that shows up each Thanksgiving to drunkenly regale us with their insight—that, my friend, you certainly have. You’re welcome.
The writer then goes on to talk about Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, and their medical charity work in New York during the Covid-19 outbreak. He’s upset that the media and other critics were suspicious of their work because of their views toward the LGBT community (Let’s just say…not affirming). He’s upset these critics thought Samaritan’s work might then be biased or prejudiced against that community. He notes:
“The substance behind all this sound and fury was, of course, the fact that Samaritan’s Purse holds a traditional Christian view of sex and marriage and requires its members to subscribe to that view. One does not have to be a fan of Franklin Graham’s political activism (I am not) to see how overwrought this objection is. It amounts to a demand that Christianity as all churches have understood it until the last few years be expunged from public life.”
Translation: Just because we don’t accept those people as (Fill in the blank) or feel they should have the same rights as we do, and have felt that way for centuries, that doesn’t mean we would actually treat them differently.
Exactly. I mean, why in the world would anyone think such a thing? After all, analogically, just because many white people have viewed black people differently for centuries, thought them inferior, and felt they shouldn’t have the same rights as themselves, they have never, ever, actually treated them differently, right? Right. Got it. Makes perfect sense.
Seriously though (Stepping back into reality), the criticism doesn’t amount to expunging anything. It amounts to believing that when a group says they do not believe a certain segment of humanity should have the same rights, or be treated the same as their group, we should take them at their word. We should believe them. Thus, we should also monitor them because they may in fact discriminate. Logic. History. Stuff like that.
“It is an obsession with sexual issues bordering on paranoia—a John Nash-level fixation not content for Christians to quietly do good work in a community while keeping their views to themselves. No, this progressive pharisaism considers the mere touch—nay—the presence of Christians with aberrant sexual beliefs as infectious; more so even than the pandemic Samaritan’s Purse spent months fighting.”
Translation: We don’t like being called out, or monitored for, our prejudice or discriminatory beliefs and practices, which are based on…wait for it… “an obsession with sexual issues bordering on paranoia…”
The poor writer doesn’t seem to realize that others pointing out discriminatory beliefs and practices and their criticism of such, has nothing to do with sex in general, gender, marriage, or sexual orientation. It has to do with treating people fairly (whatever the underlying issue) and making sure those who don’t believe in doing that, in fact, do it anyway. It is the writer who has made this about sex, not the critics.
“There are two lessons we should learn from this spectacle. The first is that all the op-eds calling on evangelicals to drop the culture wars and get down to the real business of serving people were so much smoke-blowing. Christians have served people in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic—spectacularly and selflessly, in fact—and progressives still hate us.”
Well, “hate” is a strong word. Pity’s more like it. Christians have, indeed, served people in the midst of this pandemic. That they have done so, is in spite of, not because of, any discriminatory, prejudiced, or hurtful beliefs held by some of them. Again, by analogy, imagine we were to find that a clinic set up by a white supremacy group had not discriminated against black people. Are we to now praise them for that? Ummm…no. Would we have monitored such a group? You bet. Inhale that smoke.
“The real demand here is not that we stop obsessing over sex but that we conform our beliefs about sex to the new political orthodoxies. This we cannot do…”
Translation: What we want is for people to conform to our political orthodoxies, which are discriminatory, unfair, ignorant, hurtful, and…wait for it…obsessed over sex (My irony meter needle is now spinning wildly).
The writer needs to understand the difference between those who obsess over discrimination, unfairness, prejudice, and a destructive intolerance, and those who obsess over sex. In his post, he clearly reveals which one he’s obsessed with. I doubt that was his intent, but, oh well. Paging Dr. Freud.
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