Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How left-wing Christians have failed - but could recover

This is how 90% of Gay people see ALL Christians -- and Jesus.
I have to say, the times in my life when I've been closest to losing my faith have been those times I've relied on left-wing (liberal, progressive, etc) Christianity to teach and guide and protect me.

That seems strange, considering I'm a Gay person -- someone who is traditionally thought to count on and need the left-wing world for my emotional, spiritual, and even physical safety.

After all, the political and religious right-wing, with its idolatrous worship of power and hate, and its masturbatory spirituality, has made billions of dollars and earned hundreds of millions of votes getting already-prejudiced people to their checkbooks and to the polls to agree that Gay people like me must be stopped (even at the cost of our lives) from "destroying" everything "good and decent" in the self-loving delusions of right-wing Americans. The secular and religious right-wing has guaranteed in my life that I've been denied employment, housing, family protections, union protection, decent medical care, and even the truth about who I am to God and what God thinks of me -- all because it believes me (as it used to believe people of African descent) a better scapegoat than an ally. And all that because of the sexual orientation God created me with.

But in steps left-wing Christianity to my rescue -- sort of. 

Sort of.

Like men who define "being a man" as whatever they've decided is "opposite female" (and not just its own manly thing), too many of the left-wing have simply defined being "good" or "progressive" (etc) as whatever they've decided is "opposite right-wing" (and not just their own lefty thing).

So, since the right-wing practices exclusion, the left-wing decides being left-wing means all-inclusion.

Since the right-wing practices disciplined hate, the left-wing decides being left-wing means undisciplined love.

And since the right-wing obsessively clings to the Bible (their version of it, anyway), the left-wing decides being left-wing means letting go of the Bible.

All sounds good. And often done from a good heart, to be sure.

Unfortunately, though, simply living life as opposite whatever crapola the right-wing has invented to torment the world with today doesn't really work real-world. Instead, it just denatures the truth and effectiveness of the whole left-wing philosophy -- and leaves those counting on left-wing values at the curb. 

I've been in left-wing churches, for example, that continued to allow an unrepentant child molester to remain in their church -- and therefore around their little girls. Why? Because to even lovingly kick his rear end out would mean being exclusionary/right-wing, right? And heaven forbid a left-wing group of people exclude even someone who's actively harming the weak or vulnerable, because exclusion is what right-wingers do all the time, right? No, the decision was made to continue including this evil man in their fellowship, to put their anti-right-wing living ahead of the safety of their daughters.

I've also been in left-wing churches that continued to allow people who spout anti-Gay teachings into positions of place, teaching, or authority in their fellowship -- so anti-Christ hate becomes part of their church's left-wing message not only to those hidden and known Gays in their congregation, but also to the greater Gay (and straight) community. Why? Because to tell Gay-haters to stop representing Jesus Christ as a Hater would be an unloving/right-wing, right? And heaven forbid a left-wing group of people not lovingly ignore the damage done by those who participate in driving Gay people into alcohol/drug abuse, self-hate, God-hating religions, and suicide, because letting people keep hurting other people means "we love everyone", right?

And left-wing churches that proudly leave the Bible on the recycle can are a dime a dozen, these days. So while the right-wing has falsified the Bible and its message through mistranslations and misinterpretations that distort and lie about what God thinks of war, wealth, Gays, women, the poor, and so on, left-wing Christianity has "countered" that by simply refusing to take the Bible seriously. In fact, there's a whole left-wing academic industry that puts out great scholarly works that do nothing more than assure the left-wing that Jesus was nothing more "embarrassing" than just a Really Good Guy (and not that unscientific God-person the right-wing believes He is). So, while the world is starving for the God-strength justice, comfort, and truth found only in the Bible, left-wing Christianity passes out fliers telling people food is oppressive.

Which all means -- what? It all means that if I as a Gay person go to right-wing Christianity, I'm going to:
  • Be among people who would actively harm me or others who are weak or vulnerable
  • Be among people whose "Jesus" message includes hate against Gay people; and, 
  • Be among people who don't put forward the real truth of God, and God's power, and God's values, as given to us in the original languages and historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of the Bible, because it doesn't fit how they want to see the world.

And if I as a Gay person go to left-wing Christianity? Well, that means I'm going to:
  • Be among people who would actively allow others to harm me or others who are weak or vulnerable, in order to remain "inclusive";
  • Still be among people whose "Jesus" message includes hate against Gay people, in order to remain "loving"; and, 
  • Still be among people who don't put forward the real truth of God, and God's power, and God's values, as given to us in the original languages and historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of the Bible, in order to be "smarter" than that silly stuff right-wingers hold on to. 
And you know what? To me -- and to millions upon millions of other Gay people -- that's just not enough of a difference to mean that modern left-wing Christianity is any less full of unsafe crap than right-wing Christianity. It just means that if you're a right-wing Christian, you're going to be unsafe and expect me to see you as unsafe, but if you're a left-wing Christian, you're going to be unsafe and expect me to see you as a hero.

And -- truly -- that's a sorry shame, because it hasn't always been that way. And truly it's not supposed to be that way, at all.

The values of speaking truth to power (in our fellowships, and not just in the voting booth), of standing up for the oppressed and vulnerable (in our fellowships, and not just in academia), of recognizing and acting against enemies because we're loving them and praying for their hearts to change (in our fellowships, and not just in other countries), and more -- all, all are God's values, and all are demonstrated and talked about over and over and over again in the Bible.

And you know, those are all left-wing values, as well. Problem today is that modern left-wing Christianity has become as complacent and attached to the world as left-wingers in general. A hundred years ago, lefties put their lives and fortunes on the line for the oppressed, making mistakes -- sure -- but still doing their best standing up for what was right in the Name of God -- while today most lefties just want to go home, write a check to some political organization, and show up to church and congratulate themselves for not being right-wingers. A hundred years ago, lefties still understood that doing things God's way was THE way to get justice and goodness in the world -- while today most lefties think the best way to be a good Christian is to dump everything that marks one as a Christian (including everything the Bible -- "that silly little book of myths and stories!" -- has to say about Jesus and so on).

The "fix" for left-wing Christianity to be anything more than narcissism (and any more real than right-wing "Christianity" is), then, is for left-wing Christians to once again: 
  • Take back the Bible from the right-wingers and the trashing they've given it, and start preaching its real godly message to the world again (sorry, but little academic-focused, middle-class, friendship book clubs just aren't cutting it);
  • Start promoting Jesus for all his Godly Goodness to the world again, and stop being embarrassed that your religion has a REAL GOD who does REAL GOD THINGS (even when your other secular lefty friends try to shame you for it -- grow a spiritual backbone, for heaven's sake!);
  • Start looking for Jesus coming back to wipe away all the injustice and evil lefties hate, and stop living as if human politics -- even left-wing human politics -- can do more than band-aid the mess this world is in;
  • Start handing out inclusion and protection from the ground up, keeping safe and helping heal those who are the "least of these" (including, but not only, Gays) first, and not helping perpetuate their harm by assisting and comforting those who hurt and abuse them (take a new look -- that may be one of those instructions your left-wing Christianity left out). 
  • Get off that easy-think-that's-really-no-think B.S. that says being "good" is just a matter of saying "yes" when right-wingers say "no", and "off" when right-wingers say "on", because it just makes left-wingers look like educated-idiots, and does nothing to improve what left-wing Christianity produces. 

In other words, left-wing Christians need to start being the real followers of Jesus their spiritual ancestors were, and that the Bible calls them to be. Until then? Sorry -- it's pretty, and I'm sure it makes you happy. But still not real. Not safe. Not Christian.

This article written by Lynne at No Junk. Just Jesus. You can contact Lynne at