Christian faith

Faith, Juxtaposed

The front entrance of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Augusta, Ga. that was vandalized overnight is seen Tuesday morning July 21, 2015. The Church's pastor, Rick Sosbe, and his fiancee, Michael Rhen, recently became the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Augusta-Richmond County following the recent decision by the US Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. (Michael Holahan/Augusta Chronicle)

“To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn―in other words saying ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ I’m sure―and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity―right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity―has come to?”

Pastor Rick Sosbe

‘Tis a fair question. And even the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer must pause to check his tongue; quite clearly this is not what Christianity itself has come to. Still, though, Pastor Rick asks a fair question.

And here is another question: Many on the American political right wing rushed in the wake of the Mother Emanuel massacre to dismiss white supremacism and characterize the killings as an attack against Christianity. Would they be so kind as to condemn this attack against Christianity? Sure, nobody’s dead, and that’s all to the good. But in this case it’s a real, actual, genuine attack against Christianity, so … you know … Hello?

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Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Church With Openly Gay Pastor Vandalized With ‘You’ll Burn'”. The Huffington Post. 24 July 2015.

Benen, Steve. “The Charleston massacre wasn’t about ‘religious liberty'”. msnbc. 19 June 2015.

Clarkson, Frederick. “Charelston Massacre an Attack on Christianity? Yes, But Not How the Christian Right Says”. Political Research Associates. 24 June 2015.

The Tragedy of Bigotry

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 9 March 2015.At a time when Jesus is entirely absent from the American Christian voice, Chris Sosa wants to lend them a hand in empowering their bigotry:

Feigning respect for someone else’s sacred text as a moral guidebook doesn’t just reinforce bad ideas, it’s not even effective. Right-wing Christians already know that most liberals don’t actually care what the Bible has to say about moral values, science or even literal history. When secular liberals attempt to argue with devout believers about the actual content of sacred texts by claiming they actually mean the inverse of what’s on the page, it comes off as absurd. No one wins.

This sort of aid and comfort for bigotry is simply unwelcome. The fact is that Christ is entirely absent from Christian bigotry against homosexuals, and nothing will change that, not even Sosa’s abject hatred toward Christians:

The next time someone tells you that the Bible condemns your entire existence, consider responding: “You’re right. And I, along with millions of open and affirming people across this great country, do not care. You shouldn’t either.”

While it is true that Jesus said nothing about gays whatsoever, the alleged Savior did speak much of compassion. And as Sosa’s solution is not to appeal to the Christianity of Christians, but, rather, to demean his fellow human beings’ faith as utterly meaningless, it is pretty easy to say with absolute confidence that we do not need this manner of hatred in our lives.

Chris Sosa is a bigot. Chris Sosa is part of the problem.

There are plenty of things about Christian faith requiring some sort of reassessment in the twenty-first century, but there is already too much coldhearted indifference on the table. Then again, I suppose this is what is valuable to Chris Sosa, so it must be worth something. ‘Tis a pity in that regard, as it is worth more than he would afford his Christian neighbors.

Or maybe he is just hoping to justify his hatred. Either way, Sosa’s advice is worse than useless; it is dangerous.

But, hey, what is danger unto a Christian? No big deal, as long as your name is Chris Sosa.

I mean, hell, even Christ was gay. But that matters none to bigots, as Mr. Sosa has so coldly reminded.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 9 March 2015.

Sosa, Chris. “Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People”. The Huffington Post. 14 April 2015.

A Quote: Good Ol’ Fashioned, Honest-to-God, Real Holy Sh*t

And TV preacher Pat Robertson heard from a viewer this week who asked why her ailing husband's condition hasn't improved despite intense prayer: "Robertson responded that the woman's husband probably isn't a faithful Christian and may actually want to be sick: 'There are some people, you know, they enjoy their sickness. That is terrible to say but that is their excuse not to compete, 'well I'd love to compete but my lumbago's got me so I can't do it.'"

Talk about a gem. That’s a real quote. Then again, of course it is. This is the Pat Robertson we’re talking about. Brian Tashman has the brief on Robertson and the faithless, as well as the mildly uncomfortable video. And Steve Benen has the weekly roundup of the goings-on at the intersection of God and State.

Now, if someone could only point us the way to the intersection of Pat Robertson and Reality. Or maybe not; there are some things and places in this world we just don’t need to see.

“There are some people, you know, they enjoy their sickness. That is terrible to say but that is their excuse not to compete, ‘well I’d love to compete but my lumbago’s got me so I can’t do it.'”

Of course, he’s Pat Robertson, so, yeah. He knows. Right? Right?

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