More Mean Christians

A friend posted this billboard the other day; he saw it as he was driving through Georgia. “Every Tongue Will Confess Jesus is Lord Even the Democrats”. The word “Democrats” is in red, as is the pitchfork next to it. This is implying (I know you get it, but I want to be crystal clear) that Democrats are Satanic (clever, aren’t they?). Somebody with money to burn paid a lot for this billboard to be placed there, and the information I read said that previous messages on this same billboard had messages supporting Pres. Trump (some calling him the messiah), Gov. Kemp, and Qanon. You get the picture.

Why do people who say they follow the Prince of Peace so often behave so badly? It’s one thing to disagree politically; we do it all the time, and while it can get testy, it should never devolve into meanness. And yet it does. Now, if you are a fascist or a supporter of tyranny or Qanon or are a satan worshiper, I can understand how being mean could come so easily. After all, there are some belief systems that are based on being mean to people. But saying you follow Jesus and then treating people like this? I guess I am naive, but that doesn’t work in my vision of the world. And yet, we see it all the time. 

Sen. John Fetterman is getting care for his depression; Donald Trump, Jr. calls him a vegetable. Sen. Mitch McConnell falls and injures himself; people post videos of actual turtles falling down steps. It starts when we allow kids to laugh at other children who get hurt on the playground and continues when we allow bullies to hurt other students. This mean behavior may be indicative of the human character, but it is also taught and permitted by uncaring adults. If you work for a company and say racist things, you should be fired. If you demean women, you should be fired. It isn’t “canceling” – it’s the way we deal with inappropriate behavior. But meanness? How do we deal with that?

I’ve been in the church for a long time and have seen my share of mean behavior. Whenever this happens, I have pointed it out to the person in private and explained why it is never okay for a Christian – or any person who claims to be a good person who believes in God – to behave in this way. That behavior doesn’t just reflect badly on the individual doing it; it makes the rest of us look bad, and it insults God. The last 10 years have shown just how mean Americans can be, and a lot of the culprits identify as Christians. I don’t know about the God you worship, but the one I worship doesn’t take kindly to that behavior. Do it at your own peril.

Prayer – We will never be perfect in the way we treat each other, God of compassion and kindness, but we are trying. Show us how to love one another the way You want us to love ourselves. Amen.