In the midst of the overblown coverage and social media spats over Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner, a particularly cruel meme has emerged.
The notable thing about this meme is that it isn’t a conservative slam of Caitlyn and the LGBTQ community. It’s a “liberal” slam of conservative commentator, Ann Coulter.
Not a slam of her less than balanced reporting.
Not a slam of her frequently mean spirited commentary.
Not a slam of her less than rational political outlook.
Not even a slam of her cold hearted views on the poor.
The meme (below) pokes fun at her looks.
That’s right: appearance shaming.
Seriously, either stop calling yourself a Christian or stop sharing the meme.
There is nothing loving about this meme. It is mean spirited. Contrary to what the opening line seems to indicate, the intent is not to defend Caitlyn Jenner, the intent is clearly to make fun of Ann Coulter.
Christians, of course, do mean spirited things. Just look at our long and bloody history. There’s no denying it. But, when you are intentionally being cruel, you are not following the teachings of Jesus.
When you share a meme like this, you are sinking to one of the lowest common denominators of human instinct. You are responding in kind rather than responding in kindness.
If you would like to call yourself Christian, you don’t get to justify behavior that is intended to harm someone else by saying, “Well, they are a big meanie.”
As a matter of fact, Jesus taught us to love our enemy, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the clever and witty, for they shall right the world.” He said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy,” and, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.”
So, stop it.
This meme is not only the opposite of being merciful, it is never going to lead to any peacemaking. In fact, it’s much more likely to lead to increased conflict and disdain.
Jesus frequently called out people’s political perspectives and didn’t hesitate in condemning unloving actions. But, from the records we have, he never did something simply to intentionally hurt someone or to ridicule them because “they are a big meanie.”
So, if you want to give Ann Coulter the what-for about her ridiculous political positions or to call her out for actually being a big meanie – go for it! (Please, go for it).
And, continue to call yourself a Christian.
But, if you insist on sharing memes like this?
Consider supporting Mark’s blogging. Help create a market for Progressive Christianity. Not through big publishers or big denominations, but through the grassroots. We need to encourage the growth of progressive Christian voices in the marketplace. Even a dollar will help.
Facebook continues to make it increasingly difficult for me to let you know about new blog posts like this. Please consider signing up for my mailing list where we can insure you are notified.Just click here!
Mark is a co-founder of The Christian Left. Come and join the conversation!