I don’t understand.
I have a lot of friends who are devout Christians. Regular church goers. From them, I learned compassion, the need for reaching out in love, to recognize my own failings and to forgive others theirs. From them, I learned about devotion to family and to community, and I saw modeled what can happen when you open your life and your home with warmth and acceptance.
I saw the effects that love had on the “less fortunate”, the abandoned and forgotten, the ignored and ashamed. That love was like water to a dying flower.
But I have seen these same strong, loving people turn a blind eye to truly evil voices in their own community, staying silent when the prominent voices of faith in our country say vile and untrue things.
The body of faith in this country is not monolithic. And I know that each person has his or her own voice, and relationship with God. But I am shocked and dismayed at the persistent silence from these good, loving people when faith leaders say divisive, hateful things — horrible things about poor people, women, people of color, Muslims.
Where are these loving people when lies are being spewed? I admired John McCain when he stood up to the woman at his town hall who called Obama an Arab, a Muslim. He told her that she was wrong, that Obama is a good man, a decent man. I’d like to see even a modicum of that pushback from any of my Christian friends.
When black kids are shot dead in the park for playing with their toys? Where is the Christian love? When people who need financial assistance are demeaned and degraded by laws restricting them to $25 a day — where is the Christian love?
Why doesn’t somebody say something?
Where is the same Christian energy that sends people on mission trips to Africa? To Appalachia?
Whether they know it or not, the Christians I know in real life are examples to the people around them. They talk about being a witness to God’s love, and yet when those of us weakened and humbled by devastating circumstance need someone to speak up for them, they are silent.
I posted pictures of roses every day for 18 months straight, and had dozens of followers and encouraging comments.
I posted stories about societal woes for a few months and every one of those loving encouragers disappears.
I’ve heard the phrase “hard times reveal true friends.” It’s borne out in my personal life, but I was naively shocked to see people disappear completely right when the least of their brothers need support and love and encouragement.
I don’t think everyone should agree with me. I don’t expect everyone to have the same values. But to have the same cast of characters vanish every single time a racial or social equality issue comes up…that’s pretty telling.
It just makes me sad.
One of my Christian friends posted the following article. Based on the title, I thought “Oh, good, a break through!” but I was wrong.
It’s not an admonition to honor the president because of the morality of doing so, and it’s not a reminder to defend him against scurrilous attacks, it’s “honor the president because the Bible tells us to.”
The Bible also tells me that if my husband dies, I must marry his brother. Sorry, not happening.
Where is the love? Where is the compassion and forgiveness? Understanding? Isn’t that what God is?