The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (7/16/16)

What does a person say when the entire world seems consumed by hate?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I wish I had great words of wisdom, but every damn word I try to write seems nothing but empty.  I know only one thing, and I hope everyone will take this to heart:

If the only way we ever learn to define our “self” is via antagonism toward a perceived “other,” then we truly have no idea whom we truly are.

Below, I have laid out a number of articles representing either arguments against or for such an antagonistic mindset.

I have been asked regularly how I define the GBU categories.  Here is my rationale:

Good – Posts with excellent content which contain a positive argument.  These posts are not based in critique but in an argument from a positive premise.

Bad – Posts with excellent content which feature a negative argument.  These posts are based in critique, and work to expose the darkness while pointing towards the light.

Ugly –  Posts that contain content that is simply hateful, disturbing, or otherwise odd and unworthy of praise.  I include this to remind us all that Christianity is a complex religion with a great deal of corruption and injustice therein.  We must own and oppose these influences within our walls, instead of only ever talking about the evils without.

The Good

  1. In the wake of yet another terrorist attack in France, anti-Muslim rhetoric is again at an all-time high.  A friend recently provided me with this enlightening look at Sharia, outlining what it does and does not mean.  For me, this article is a stark reminder why xenophobic arguments and antagonism are rooted in ignorance and privilege, things we as Christians ought to strive to avoid.

  1. This is perhaps the best summary I have seen regarding the coup which takes place in Turkey.  A well-stated case for why this entire series of events was a zero-sum game.

  1. Rebecca Traister has written an article outlining the seeming clear connection between Patriarchy and mass violence.  This article serves as a well-argued, yet stark reminder that Patriarchy truly does hurt everyone.

The Bad

  1. Nicholas Kristof has written an excellent article on white privilege, and why we need to realize that racism is a deep-seated, systemic problem that we contribute to and perpetuate.

  1. Beverly Gooden has drawn an enlightening juxtaposition between police violence and domestic violence.

  1. Roque Plana has highlighted the disturbing trend of police killing of several Latinos.  The reality of police corruption is complex, and we need to be taking a serious look at these cases and bringing them into the light.  The fact that these cases often fail to make national news media, Plana argues, stands as a stark indictment of just how little the American public in general, and the news media specifically, regard the Latin community.

The Ugly

  1. A terrorist attacked the Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France by driving a delivery truck into the crowd, killing 84 and wounding over 200 more.

In response to this attack, Newt Gingrich said the US should interrogate every person of Muslim descent in the US and deport anyone who believes in sharia.

I want to be clear.  This is hate, and it is morally wrong.  For those professing to be Christians, xenophobia has no place within our moral beliefs.  Sharia does not have a monolithic meaning for all Muslims and those promoting a fear based rhetoric would do well to do their homework before arguing for exclusion and discrimination based on personal ignorance of the teaching of Islam.  I advise starting with the post provided above.

  1. South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, is again on the brink of war.  Civil unrest is rocking the country as thousands are displaced from their homes.  This region has been marked by ethnic cleansings and war for decades and the tentative peace it had obtained seems to have once again given way to aggression.

  1. Once again, someone associated with Trump has demonstrated utter ignorance.  This time, his top military advisor apparently has no clue whom the current leader of Iran is.

  1. Facebook has a serious diversity problem, and according to some critics, it seems entirely uninterested in remedying the issue.

  1. Christianity Today recently published this anti-LGBT article by Duane Liftin.  Most notable about this article is the degree of historical revisionism Liftin is willing to resort to in order to denigrate the LGBTQ+ community.  His statement that the anti-desegregation sentiments within Civil Rights era Christianity were not based on moral or religious conviction is laughable.

As many have point outed, this court transcript from Bob Jones’ well known Supreme Court case, shows just how deeply racism was embedded in the mentality of white Christianity and why one cannot separate moral and religious arguments from this racist rhetoric.

Concluding Thoughts

I am entirely sick of hearing hateful rhetoric.  I’m sick of people using empty rhetoric and lame excuses to defend hating, denigrating, and excluding other people.  I am especially tired of hearing this nonsense from fellow Christians.  Please, stop.

Love your neighbor, Love your enemy, Love, Love, Love.  There is nothing more central to the Christian faith, the ethic of the cross, than LOVE.  And as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13, all the knowledge and rhetoric in the world amounts to precisely a heaping pile of crap if it is devoid of Love.

And thus I want to be clear, there is no place for those who carry the cross of Christ to engage in racist, xenophobic, homophobia, Islamophobia, and ethnocentric arguments.  White Supremacy and Patriarchy run entirely contrary to the witness of the crucified God.  So please, my dearly beloved fellow Christians, I implore you, drop the Us vs. Them nonsense, our hypocrisy is showing.

**Cover Image from**.

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