Sunday, February 03, 2008

Why are some churches so appalling?

I was shocked to read last week that a radical American church planned to picket Heath Ledger's memorial service because of his portrayal of a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain.

Members of the church (which I won't name - they don't deserve any publicity) said Ledger is now in hell. These so-called Christians have shown absolutely no respect for a family that’s coping with a terrible loss. They are insensitive, uncaring and totally devoid of any sympathy for grieving friends and family. It's Christians like these who make a lot of people question whether there really is a God. Who would want to believe in a God who has followers like this? One journalist wrote:

"Further comment feels unnecessary, other than perhaps to wonder whether the "church" will ever realise that their continued existence is the most eloquent argument against the existence of any deity. And then to accept the answer would be a no."

The appallingly sordid bad taste of a group of people who bring shame on the whole body of Christ is a shocking reminder that people will judge Christianity by what they see - Christians! And in this instance what they see even makes other Christians sick.

John wrote that "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:8). If these so-called Christians don't know how to show love, respect and kindness to a family which has just suffered a tragic loss then they have demonstrated to us all that they don't know God.

1 comment:

ntbrierly said...

Actually I don't think the news is as bad as it might seem...this group is so extreme that I don't think many Americans, whether Christian or not, think that this is characteristic of Christians as a whole. We live in a country where 30-40% of the population goes to church more than once a month. So many of us are familiar with more normative forms of Christianity. Despite what the propaganda from the Christian nationalists might have you believe, the US is overall a very Christian friendly country.

This group is not only extreme, but stupid. They are also known for protesting outside of military funerals (because of the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy re: gays). This is totally shooting themselves in the foot, because the percentage of Christians is much higher in the military than in the civilian population. So they are completely ticking off their own constituency.

So, yes, this group is appalling, completely tasteless, and entirely unChristlike.