Google and white Christians’ search for ‘persecution’

Google and white Christians’ search for ‘persecution’ April 2, 2013

Sunday was the birthday of Cesar Chavez. He’s kind of a big deal — a hero for me personally since he championed the rights of farm workers and I eat food almost every day.

Chavez was a church-going Roman Catholic — a member in good standing of Team Christian.

Now, the rules of the Game clearly state that any snub or slight, however minor, against any member of Team Christian is grounds for Outrage. And collecting Outrage points is even better than winning.

Chavez’s birthday, March 31, is thus a good date for savvy players of the Game to keep in mind. Did the godless liberal media fail to honor this distinguished member of Team Christian on his birthday this year? If so, don’t miss the chance to collect those Outrage points.

Unfortunately for Team Christian players, Google honored Chavez with a lovely Google Doodle on its homepage. Such respectful tribute to a devout Christian is a nice gesture, I suppose, but respectful tributes don’t win you any Outrage points. This would all seem terribly deflating for players of the Game — like when the store clerk says “Merry Christmas,” depriving you of the chance to rack up some War on Christmas Outrage points — except that, by a happy coincidence, Passover came early this year. And that meant that this year, Cesar Chavez’s birthday also happened to be Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday is, of course, a very important day for Team Christian. It’s a high holy day, meaning all Outrage points get doubled with the 2x HHD bonus. And guess what? Google’s lovely doodle honoring Cesar Chavez meant that Google didn’t have a doodle Sunday honoring Easter.

Score! Chaching!

It might seem preposterous to you that Team Christian would try to pretend that Google’s honoring of a Christian hero constitutes some kind of horrific insult to Christianity, but I would remind you that nowhere in the rules of the Game does it say that Outrage points cannot be awarded for preposterous and imaginary reasons.

Ed Stetzer acknowledges that it seems contradictory to collect Outrage points over this notrageous doodle, noting that “Chavez might be a better representative for Jesus than the Easter Bunny, since he shared Jesus’ love for the poor and marginalized.” But he concedes that it’s all in the Game. And since he works for Team Christian, he prudently joins in their criticism of Google rather than following that train of thought to consider whether or not “Jesus’ love for the poor and marginalized” might maybe perhaps also be more important than the never-ending quest to accumulate Outrage points.

Morgan Guyton does follow that train of thought in a post titled “Why Google’s ‘War on Easter’ is offensively Christ-like.” Guyton notes that this whole Game and the obsessive collecting Outrage points seems to go against everything Jesus lived and said and demonstrated (most notably on, you know, Easter):

I don’t think Chavez would be “profoundly insulted” as a Christian by Google’s choice to feature him on Easter. If he were still alive, he would exploit it as an opportunity to talk about Jesus. People who are truly humble don’t need to be theatrically self-effacing; they use the spotlight to testify about the cause they serve. I don’t think Jesus would be offended by Google either, because Jesus’ ministry constantly put the spotlight on people who were ignored and left out, like the migrant farm-workers Cesar Chavez fought for.

… When your understanding of holiness is disembodied of your relationships with other people and defined exclusively in terms of a spiritual “cleanliness” by which you sacrifice earthly pleasures to honor a God who cares about His “glory” more than the people you’re ignoring, then it’s impossible to avoid being poisoned by a self-righteousness which ironically mocks God more than the reckless, undisciplined, debaucherous sinners Jesus ate and drank with. One of the things that many of today’s evangelicals share in common with the religious authorities who [opposed] Jesus is the way that their piety is built upon pitting love of God and love of neighbor against each other. How dare you talk about farm-workers today! This is the day to honor Jesus (and me since I’m His most zealous defender!).

The Game would be funny to watch if it weren’t making so many people so miserable inside and outside of the church.

Christians will never be happy until they stop being the kind of people who, as TBogg put it, “can’t sleep at night because they can’t wait to see how the world will offend them the next day.”

Christians will never be Christian until they stop being that kind of people.

I’m starting to think that the Easter Vigil John Shore describes, involving the ritual burning of our resentments, isn’t just a good idea, but a necessary one. During Easter, and the rest of the year, we can collect resentments or we can practice resurrection. We cannot do both.



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