Let me preface this by saying as a pacificist mostly, I’m not condoning any harassment, intimidation or violence of any kind. But we’re going to have to start pushing back and stop turning the other cheek against Conservative Christians. It’s less than three weeks until the 2022 General Election and the Republican Party is in tandem with strict Christians to implement a Christian theocracy.
It’s almost ironic this is falling on the autumn lives of the Baby Boomers. They spent half their lives worried about a Soviet-Communist take-over of America, they destroyed America themselves. And the push to drive Christian-based teachings in every facet of America has drove more people away from the church. One of those was the inclusion of “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Another was the switching of a phrase in the Bible in 1946 in which the scripture from Leviticus 18:22 that “You shall not lie with a boy as with a woman” to “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman.”
This past Saturday, I caught the last hour or so of a LGBTQIA Pride event in Tahlequah, Okla. Now, Tahlequah may not be a liberal paradise but it is one of the more left-leaning liberal communities in the state. And the event was family friendly in a city park not far from Northeastern State University as well as the downtown area so there was a lot of traffic to see the event as they passed by.
If I had to guess, I would say when I was there, it was about 75 people in attendance. That number may not be big and there could’ve been more there at the beginning as I caught the last of it. But I realized that the mere sight of young children would make some pastor’s sermon this Sunday. “There’s no hate like Christian love” as the saying goes.
But it’s this intimidation that has made the Christian Right move up throughout the decades. When I was growing up, I went to a small hair salon to get my hair cut. One day, the proprietor’s father was there. He looked like a typical northwest Georgia person, but when he saw me, it was like his face turned to anger as he got a little too closer than he should have as I waited and started questioning my faith. He was also spitting tobacco juice in a Dixie cup. I think the proprietor knew that something wasn’t right and playfully called her father away. I’m thinking he could’ve been drunk as well or a little buzzed.
It’s not too uncommon for many southern preachers to indulge in some “vices” as they’re all sinners. But the issue angered me because it wasn’t his right to ask. It also was a very personal question to immediately assume something. But this is the tactic that many Christian people have used over the years. They would pass out those hand-held copies of the New Testament at school and community events, even getting up in your face or obstructing your way.
We’re taught to be courteous as it’s mostly older men or women who area always popping up at county fairs and other community events, but I don’t like this tactic. You shouldn’t be afraid to go to some community activity without some Aunt Bea character hounding you down wanting to know if you’re baptized. I don’t like it when Jehovah’s Witnesses bring their kids with them so they know people won’t scream obscenities at them. One of the JW congregations nearby has gotten the idea and just sends out mailers. That I don’t mind at all. If they have the means and time to send out letters, then do it. I usually just toss them in the trash. But I also think it’s dangerous in this day and age to go knocking on someone’s door.
I stopped going to church at a very young age. Why? I was bored. But I realized I didn’t really believe a lot of what was being said. All I saw was mostly a bunch of people dressing up to sing songs and to show off their kids like they’re accessories instead of off-spring. There’s too much showboating in this world and putting on airs. And one of those places is some churches.
One day, my mom stopped going to the church. I think it was because the town was very critical of women, even in the early to mid-1990s who got divorced. But also, the church had its own issues. They had hired a secretary who wasn’t a member of the church. Why? Because she was going to hear some things that as a member, she didn’t need to.
The hypocrisy was all over the place. But one evening, someone showed up at the door. He was a man in his late 50s or early 60s and he had just wanted to know why my mom had stopped coming to church. (And to inquire why I wasn’t going). I had to be 16 or 17 at the time. His demeanor was very passive-aggressive as he said, “We don’t like it when people stopped coming.”
Well, maybe you should find out why. There was a previous issue with the pastor or youth minister getting involved in an extra-marital affair. I’ve heard this is very common in many churches. I’ve heard it from other former pastor wives that they are taught to “forgive” their husbands for their “affairs.”
Looking back, I should’ve gotten up and walked out of the salon and I should have told the guy on the front porch he can get in his car and leave. I don’t know why we tell people to turn the other cheek and let people speak this way when they wouldn’t reciprocate it. Ironically with the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws, I think people have realized that things have backfired. You show up on the wrong doorstep and you’re looking down the barrel of a gun.
I’m not advocating violence but it’s time to give back what they give. The next time someone tries to hand you a New Testament book, reject it if you don’t want it. If someone shows up at your door, don’t pretend you’re not home. Just tell them you’re not interested. And if someone seems intimidating, call the police. Or at least threaten to call the police if they don’t leave you alone.
Douglas Wilson, a pastor at the Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho is trying to make it a “Christian Town” which sounds as creepy as it is. The town has a popular of about 25,600 and even more in outlining areas who use town facilities. Wilson believes slavery was good for the people who were enslaved. And like a lot of “Christian” people, he thinks government should adhere more to Bibilical laws and regulations.
We have pastors saying the government should just re-instate Donald Trump as President and do away with elections. They’re also saying all LGBTQIA people should be executed. It’s way past the time to stop being nice. Jesus took a whip and starting pushing money changers out of the temple. Even he had a cheat day. If this was any other religion using bullying and intimidation to come after your family, your kids and loved ones, you wouldn’t be so docile in your reactions.
With less people claiming a religious affiliation now more than any other time, it’s time people realize there’s more of us than there are of them. The only reason we let these people still spew their hatred and intimidate is because we’re too worried about how someone will view us. Stop trying to please people who will never want to be with you as you are. They just want to make you into the people they want to be superior over. Once you realize that a lot of people want to see you fail instead of succeeding, you’ll realize who your real friends and loved ones are.
What do you think? Please comment.