LZ Granderson is one of my favourite journalists and this week he has gracefully and unapologetically called out Christians who use their faith for hate and fear.
For all of the rhetoric about Christianity being under attack in this country, oftentimes it feels no one does a better job of hurting Christianity than the people who call themselves Christians. Especially after a national tragedy.
How right Granderson is. When Jerry Newcombe found a microphone to let us all know that the non-Christian victims of this past Friday’s tragedy in Colorado were going to “a terrible place” I was once again left simply shaking my head. It’s been asked before, but is it possible to be completely shocked and yet not all surprised all at once?
Newcombe is the kind of evangelical leader who makes being an atheist easy. Whenever these guys hit their pulpit and spout this rhetorical nonsense I give myself a pat on the back for being too smart to be influenced by them. If it weren’t for hateful fear mongers like Newcombe (as well as the usual suspects Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, and so on) perhaps Christianity would quietly fade away. But in truth I wonder if without these guys would Christianity not actually flourish and truly be the religion of love that so many believe it is? I honestly think it might.
Granderson is a Christian whom I believe would agree with me that Christianity could be huge and positive if it weren’t for the fear factor exploited by so many powerful Christians.
I have a problem when a disaster claims innocent victims or causes a great deal of pain and loss, and instead of showing compassion, these so-called leaders of faith say the gays did it. Or the liberals. Or that gem Falwell served up — the ACLU. That kind of rhetoric not only violates Christ’s greatest commandment — to love — but is completely illogical.
But the truth is that having a religion that flourishes and spreads love is not what the Falwell’s and Robertson’s of the world actually want. What do they want? They want power and money (not necessarily in that order). Long ago manipulative people figured out that faith and fear were two things that could be exploited for financial gains; and even worse – that faith and fear can be exploited together to bring in money hand over fist.
This abuse of power and fear makes me feel even stronger about my lack of faith and pride in my atheism. Yes, these guys are the minority but they are a loud and powerful minority and I am done tolerating people who spread hate. Life is too short to focus on hate yet it’s what guys like Newcombe are selling. But I guess they wouldn’t be selling if people weren’t buying.
**I apologize for any writing/grammatical errors. I am taking an intensive French course this summer and I am finding French grammar bleeding into my English but I guess that’s the price I have to pay for attempting to become bilingual.