Mudcat Café message #1421033 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77771   Message #1421033
Posted By: Don Firth
25-Feb-05 - 05:11 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Religious Left
Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
Okay, I'll stick it right out there for Jim or anybody else to knock off.

There was a couple who used to live in the same building my wife and I do. They attended a very hard-charging evangelical church in downtown Seattle. They spent most of their evening hours in Bible study. They were quite concerned with the salvation of their souls. And peripherally, the souls of other people. Salvation, to them comes (only) though accepting Christ as your Savior and being "born again." He fastened on Barbara and me as particular friends in the building because he knew that we both attended church (although he didn't know that the church we attend is regarded by some other churches in this area as "so liberal it's 'un-Christian.'" How's that for judgmental?). Anyway, one day, while Barbara was at work, he dropped by our apartment and exploded in rage and disgust. Why? He had been walking in the nearby park, and he saw to guys walking along holding hands. He went up in flames, and he dropped by because he had to vent to someone, and he figured I would be a sympathetic ear.

I listen to him rant and rave, and although I didn't agree with him (why the hell should it matter to him? It doesn't really affect him in any real way whatsoever), I sympathized with the fact that he was upset by what he had seen, but I offered no expression of agreement. He just assumed, and although I probably should have made my position clear, I didn't because I knew his mind was set in concrete on the matter and I didn't want to start a pointless feud with him. Okay, fine.

I have heard this same man express disgust and contempt at the number of homeless people he sees around Seattle. "Why don't they get a job!?" he intones repeatedly, apparently ignorant of the fact that most of these people did have jobs, but lost them when they were exported, then lost their homes because they couldn't afford the high rents in this city, and most of them are desperately seeking work.

So this is just one guy. What does that prove, you ask? Nothing, really. Butó

Of a fair number of conservative Christians that I am acquainted with, I find this attitude pretty damned typical:   if it's anything of a sexual nature (teen pregnancy, abortion, gayness), it sends them into an absolute tizzy; and if someone's fallen on hard times, the person is somehow to blame for his or her own misfortune. Let them suffer the consequences!

This strikes me as a distinct lack of what is generally known as "Christian charity."

I make a generalization:   within my experience, conservative Christians tend to look inward and are primarily concerned with the state of their own souls, with some peripheral concern with trying to save the souls of others, because that earns them brownie points in Heaven ("His mind is so set on Heaven, he is of no earthly use!"). Liberal Christians tend to look outward and are not just concerned with the well-being of others, many of them do something about it. I can give you a long list of what my "ultra-liberal" church does, but I'll leave it at that unless you want details.

Your mileage may vary, but that's been my observation.

Okay, let me have it! Do your worst!

Don Firth