hate from afar

I would think with all of the things that have happened in the last couple of years with people doing all of these varying things to end hate and violence and all of these things, that people would get it, but there’s one type of hate that I really believe is here to stay.

To preface the rest of this blog, your author (me) is a christian. I’ll give you a moment to process.

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It started with my normal routine of checking on my timeline. I scrolled back a few hours and ran into this post here.

First thought, “Goodness, what on earth? Strong opinion, but ok…” Thought a lot of things. There are plenty of organizations — even Christian ones — that would just give the money or whatever without having to send a box of bibles, but even if they did, it’s part of their faith. I think if someone is going to adhere to their faith, then good for them as long as they don’t ignore obvious needs. In this case: don’t send a box of bibles when people are freezing and starving; it is better faith to just send them food and blankets and maybe a letter.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

That’s James 2:14-17 and it’s pretty black and white about situations like this. It’s foolish and frustrating to people around you when they need things like clothing or food or basic things for you to go “We’re praying for you”; give them an effin’ blanket.

I went to this person’s timeline to look at things and try to figure out where they are coming from. Again, because I believe that understanding is important; people listen to those that listen to them. This is some of what I find:

So much hatred from what I can see. Mind you, I understand frustration. I understand wanting to cockpunch people for being idiotic, but just all of the intensity of just hostility to christians. I’m not a fan of hating whole people groups or religious sects or things like that because I understand that people are individuals and should be given their own merits as such.

Honestly, I was hurt. It sucks knowing that they are saying all of these mean-spirited and disparaging things about me (since I’m included in that group, by definition to speak of one member in terms of that group is to talk about all members of that group. “Christians are stupid” means that all people known as Christians are stupid regardless of individual merit since they are addressed as a group and there is no modifier like “some”).

I was going to write a full rant, but since I tweet a stream of connected thoughts, I’ll post them all here for you. It’s more stream-of-consciousness than anything. I removed hashtags to make things easier to follow.

I can understand where @japanphotos is coming from, but as a Christian, I wouldn’t have sent a bible to people who are hungry and need food. It sucks, honestly. Nothing but anger and frustration and I haven’t even met him yet. We may have been friends otherwise. I mean, I don’t even know what to say sometimes. I’ve never let being a Christian give me a reason to hate anyone. At the same time, people seem to come up with more reasons to hate me sheerly on religious reasons even if I’m a cool guy otherwise. The kicker to all of this is that the people that hate me so much from afar are atheists. I mean, wouldn’t a non-religious person find a reason other than religion to be angry at someone? Wouldn’t there be further analysis? I think it is pretty obvious that some people, even well-meaning people, can be stupid, Christian, or both at the same time and just because someone is religious does not mean they have to be mean, pushy, forceful, unloving, or greedy, but you’ll never know and the reason you won’t know is because, without any further information, you make them an instant pariah in any way u can. I guess I’ll just have to take it in stride and let you hate me if you want. Even all the way from Japan or wherever else in the world u r. Sometimes, the way everyone else reacts, I should be afraid to walk up to someone who knows I’m a christian and even ask change for $1. I have to chuckle; I bet the same people that would roast me for being a christian were on the bandwagon for the NOH8 campaign…

I would say I’m mad, but more than that I’m hurt. Not surprised, not even shocked, but hurt. I wonder if I should even be that considering the following:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

John 15:18-21. Mind you, this was being applied to the current “church establishment” at the time, but obviously religious people weren’t the only ones that hated this Jesus guy, so let’s get that out of the way…

You know, in spite of however I feel about it, I can’t say I wasn’t warned. I’m being warned right here, in black and white, that it’s going to be a fact of life as long as I’m alive and I’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it. Do I think that makes me special or a martyr? No. Not even close. At least people aren’t (yet) throwing rocks and shooting at me because I’m a christian, but it means that I’m just going to be another one of them even in the world of social media.

Awesome.

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