Why, In Spite of it All, I am Still Proud to be a…

in-spite-of-it-all

In spite of it all…

“It.”

What is “it?”

You know… or maybe you don’t?

It = racist people who don’t think they’re racist, but do think they’re Christian.

It = churches that contribute to the systemic injustice against blacks, immigrants, LGBTQ persons.

It = pastors who are men, but who think women shouldn’t be.

It = the response, “all lives matter.”

It = the idea that our right to bear arms is more important than _________ (insert killing children, spraying bullets in a nightclub or movie theater, or whatever else comes to mind)

It = believing we should bomb our enemies and death-penalty our criminals

It = Christian leaders backing a man for President who has so many issues he wouldn’t qualify to serve as an Elder in any of their churches, let alone be the leader of the free world

It = not mourning #orlando properly, by ignoring the hate-crime aspect of it

You know, “it.”

In spite of it all, I am still proud to be a Christian.

“Christian.”

What is “Christian?”

You know… or maybe you don’t?

Well, maybe none of us knows.

But I sure don’t see “it” as being very “Christian.”

These days, “Christian” means everything… and it means nothing.

Originally, “Christian” = someone who follows Jesus.

To follow a person = trust that their pattern of life, and way of being, is better.

Why am I still, in spite of IT all, proud to call myself a Christian?

Because Jesus–the one I follow, because I’m “Christ”ian–was awesome.

The founder of my religion?

Showed partiality to the poor, the outcast, the oppressed.

Partiality? #blacklivesmatter

The founder of my religion?

Restored dignity to those on the margins.

Dignity? Immigrants and poor people are not lazy.

The founder of my religion?

Favored the weak over the powerful.

Favored? The rich should not get richer, while the poor is getting poorer.

The founder of my religion?

Elevated the humanity of women.

Women? That’s right, they’re not here to serve or “complement” men.

The founder of my religion?

Didn’t get in to bed with political elites.

Political? Oh yeah, he was political alright.

But never for gain. Always for good.

The founder of my religion?

Put an end to the myth of redemptive violence.

Redemptive violence? Believing that violence can be solved/fixed by more violence.

You see, Jesus was awesome.

Lots and lots of churches and Christians hardly resemble him anymore.

But at least I know…

…deep down…

that the founder of my religion had something else in mind.

We’ve lost it along the way and screwed it up real good.

But in spite of it all,

I am still proud,

that the founder of my religion was a socially progressive bad-ass

who favored the poor

fought for the marginalized

elevated women

advocated for peace

and abdicated power.

So yeah, I’m proud to be a Christian.

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