For some reason, Christians continue to allow the most insane people speak for them and their Christ. This situation is intolerable. For the last few years, one of the craziest fundamentalist groups, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, has published a yearly list of the Top 10 Anti-Christian Acts of whatever-year-it-happens-to-be, and in response, Uncle Slappy has let me compile and publish my own list of The Top Ten Instances of Christians Shooting Their Own Religion in the Foot.

2011’s CADC list includes such notable fringe theories as ‘Obama’s not a Christian’ and the old standby ‘ACLU and 9th Circuit Court are evil.’ The list is so insular that it not only fails to range outside the United States, but it also has only a few items on it that are not related to their core, limited, small-minded agendas. In fact, Christians in other countries face daily dangers for their beliefs and the CADC list belittles the plight of those who actually work and live where their religion makes them a target — not to mention those who are targets of Christians here in the U.S.

Since the CADC has decided to continue to be ridiculous, let’s start with some incidents that didn’t make our list but are ludicrous enough to get included as notable mentions:

  • Ted Haggard went on Celebrity Wife Swap and changed wives with Gary Busey. For the record, I couldn’t have made that up if I tried. Ted Haggard is as much a detriment to Christianity in his infamous afterlife as he was as a prosperous, drug-using, adulterous mega-church pastor. When will he stop? Ted, you’ve clearly wandered into Blagojevich territory. May you wander out as soon as you can and live the quiet life that we all desperately want for you.
  • Florida’s Lt. Governor calls upon Christians to ’step up’ and lead the country. Here’s the thing, 98% of politicians are some form of Christian or Catholic. If it’s not that high, it is certainly well beyond super-majority. So Christians are already leading the country. Maybe that’s the problem? I suppose the Lt. Gov. means certain kinds of Christians or some other seven mountain nonsense. Whatever the case, if the theory is that Christians are getting their butts kicked by the secular world, the really interesting and much overlooked thing is that it’s Christians who are doing the butt-kicking.
  • Jesusween! The craze that is sweeping the nation! Maybe not. It used to be that Christians would co-opt pagan holidays as a way to become the dominant religion. Now we try to replace anything we don’t like with completely made-up, lame alternatives. If you don’t want your kids to celebrate Halloween, that’s cool, but don’t make crap like this up. At the least, make up cool stuff instead. I have no respect for this phoned-in, franken-named attempt. What’s next — Easter Peeps too demonic? Try new Jesuspeeps!

2011 was no better a year for tolerance and sanity than 2010. The following 10 items have been faithfully gathered from the news during the past year and are presented for your consideration. If you are a Christian, please, please, please stop letting people like those listed or the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission speak for you and represent your faith.

10. Vatican’s chief exorcist claims that Yoga and Harry Potter are the work of the devil. Humanity is wonderfully diverse and full of stories and traditions. Is it possible that both things are the work of the devil? Sure, anything is possible. What is more likely, however, is that some small-minded stuffed shirt decided that he didn’t like those things, is so deluded as to think that everything not of the church is the work of the devil, or frankly cannot see the good in anything and is generally no fun at parties. After all, once you get past the ‘I’m the Chief Exorcist of the Catholic Church’ line at a party, it’s all pretty much downhill.

9. Harold Camping predicts the end of the world too many times. I feel really bad for the people that Harold fleeced. What is a real shame is that Harold himself doesn’t seem to. Being a religious person is wonderful. Convincing others to give you their life’s savings because the world will end and they need to tell everyone is despicable. I hope Harold had some asbestos underwear for his own world’s personal end.

8. For the life of me I’ll never understand the obsession that Christian leaders have with homosexuality and their having the right to marry, adopt children or even exist. Can you explain it to me? This is a nonsense issue that has no bearing on society at large other than as a positive. It is a positive thing for homosexuals to be able to claim the same rights as married couples. It is a positive thing for gay couples to be able adopt otherwise parent-less children. It is a positive thing for all people to work in situations free of discrimination and abuse. Yet still some otherwise-reasonable people take this one issue and blow it into a cyclone of irresponsible statements and harmful actions. Last year Pope Benedict XVI said that gay marriage is a threat to the future of humanity. Really? Is there really going to be a gay revolution where straight is the minority and children are never born? Or how about Cardinal George’s assertion that the Chicago Gay Pride parade and the LGBT movement in general could morph into the Ku Klux Klan? When you say crap like that, there is a reason that you become marginalized. People know when you’re taking like an idiot.

It’s one thing to claim that all these things will lead to a morally bankrupt society. As an opinion goes, it’s still silly and wrong, but it at least has some tiny modicum of thought behind it. To suggest, let alone yell from the rooftops as Pam Olsen does, that gay rights are actually responsible for natural disasters like fires, tornadoes and floods is utterly beyond reason of any kind.

7. Then there were the sex scandals. Sadly, there’s never any shortage of this kind of scandal. This past year a Pennsylvania priest was arrested in possession of child pornography. A South Carolina preacher was accused of kidnapping and rape behind his church. Not to mention that Eddie Long has finally felt some small measure of shame and has stepped down as the pastor of a mega-church due to a sex abuse scandal. (More likely, others actually felt the shame that Eddie Long seemed impervious to, and made him step down. However it happened, I’m glad.) Some will find the highlighting of these things to be distasteful. I find the actual acts to be far, far, far more distasteful and worthy of condemnation.

6. Christians for a Moral America prayed for the death of singer George Michael. When has it ever been moral to pray for someone to die? Honestly, they should go back to where they first learned about Christ and ask to be better educated on what their religion stands for. In the meantime, I’ll tell you what I’m praying for — I’m praying that the Christians for a Moral America actually become Christian and work to bring healing and peace to those around them instead of acting like religious hit-men praying for the death of people they have never ever met.

5. Speaking of following in the footsteps of Christ, do these priests feel ANY shame in fighting all the time? Let alone fighting where Christ was allegedly born? I suppose not, but I sure would start to re-think having priests of that sort in my denomination. Fighting with broomsticks in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. You just… you just can’t write comedy like that. What a bunch of maroons!

4. I thought that racism was “over” now that we’ve elected one African-American President of the United States? So how is it then that this former Church secretary was fired because of her interracial marriage? Funny how this racism stuff keeps creeping up in this allegedly post-racial society. I guess some people will only go into the future kicking and screaming.

3. A California couple enlisted a fellow church member to beat their teen for possibly smoking. I have a teenage son. I know how difficult it is to endure some of their behaviors. But listen, the line gets drawn at the point of mental and physical abuse. I hope that they throw the book at these parents and the Church enforcer. I suppose the teenager in question should just be glad that he wasn’t ‘Kidnapped for Christ‘  and sent to a shameful boot camp where what we call abuse is what they call entertainment. But I’m betting he’s just glad right now that he’s not getting beaten.

2. Self-proclaimed ‘Christian-warrior’ charged with firebombing a Mosque in Oregon. Cody Crawford was reported as saying, “You look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too.” This is what happens when idiots continually spout out nonsense about Obama being a secret or not-so-secret Muslim. (AS IF THAT IS AN INSULT OF SOME KIND OR A BAD THING IN ANY WAY, EVEN IF HE WAS A MUSLIM, YOU IDIOTS!) My heart goes out to those Muslim brothers and sisters who were impacted by the firebombing. Thank God no one was hurt.

1. The BBC exposed a 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic Church in Spain. This comes sadly on the back of many other such scandals over the years. At this point, there’s a decent case that society might well be better served without the Catholic Church’s existence. To be clear I’m not saying that, just that with scandals of this scope, one finds oneself posing the question at least. What is also perfectly clear is that the Church’s sweep-it-under-the-rug-and-pretend-it-didn’t-happen strategy isn’t working anymore, as more and more of these revelations of corruption come to light. Perhaps the Church needs to go to confession?

There are many, many instances of Christians and people of all faiths sharing, helping and doing good work all around us each and every day. Unfortunately, as you can see from the list above, clearly not everyone is focused on the same goal. It’s a pretty reliable measure of thumb that the louder someone yells about the “evil” of the people not of their faith, the more skeletons they’ve got piled up in their own closet.

Motes and beams, people. Motes and beams.


Discussion (4) ¬

  1. Rob

    And the amusing thing, Halloween was ALREADY co-opted (abbreviation of All Hallow’s Eve). So it’s a co-opt of a co-opt of a co-opt. I think. My head hurts now.

  2. Diego

    I think you’ll find that in most of these examples. the Christian ‘leadership’ are already marginalized and should not be considered representative of the majority.

    The exception being homosexuality. To turn your argument around, I’ll never understand why people choose to bend over backwards (puns!) to support a demographic based entirely around a behavior. Sure, they can be happy with each other and I support their pursuit of happiness but not at the expense of rewriting society. What’s next, are we going to change the rules of society for pedophiles? Oh wait, psychologists are trying to reclassify them too…

  3. Rob

    @Diego

    Or even bending society around obvious delusions. Oh wait, it already does that with religious privilege.

  4. red

    Rob stole my comment about the fact that Halloween started as a Christian celebration. Why don’t the “Jesusween” people look into church history and have an All Saints’ Day party? Or do like the Lutherans and celebrate Reformation Day!

    As to the gay question, I’m a Christian, and pretty conservative, at that. And I personally feel that all this effort that the right wing is putting into marginalizing the homosexual community could be better used by addressing issues that are actual problems for the values that they (the right wing) supposedly support. They don’t want homosexual marriage because it goes against “family values”? How about addressing domestic violence, which IS actually against family values! Or tracking down pedophiles! Or…dude, I could go on but I won’t.

    Sometimes my fellow Christians drive me up the wall. (For the record, my church will accept you regardless of your sexual orientation.)

Comment ¬

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