Sunday, April 25, 2021



Perhaps this is most suitable for a Sunday. I was just startled by this post on Facebook:

Please join me in praying for these Maryland representatives today. To access the page with active links to sign up for a daily reminder to pray for our public officials and/or to contact these lawmakers and let them know you are praying for them, visit here:

It was accompanied by photographs of the state representatives in question.

Somehow it came across to me as a collection of WANTED posters. I didn’t find it comforting or inspirational. In fact, it felt more to me like a threat.

Let me clarify, I don’t think it was meant as one.

Something inside of me has become more and more wary of evangelical religion to the point where I wince and pull myself back from public expressions of this kind of Christianity. Maybe from any kind of Christianity.

Readers of this blog know that I go to church and struggle with and care about issues of faith. I’m not anti-religion. I’m not anti-Christianity.

But American evangelical Christianity has become so intertwined with support for guns and authoritarian politics, along with attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, to name a few. They uphold a status quo of systemic racism. They cover up sexual harassment and abuse. They equate a certain cultishness of the Republican party with religion.

They think that Christ’s mission on earth has to do with American exceptionalism.

So now when I see an overt declaration of Christianity I feel it as a malevolent force. And that’s sad. I honestly don’t want to feel that way. But after years of seeing support for things I loathe and attacks on things I earnestly believe in, I have come to have a Pavlovian sort of reaction: this is danger. Protect yourself.

Intellectually I don’t think it’s fair to paint everyone in this category with the same brush. But this is a visceral response which is rooted in many years of observation. It’s possible I will meet individuals who are not like this. I’d be willing to sit down and talk. 

But when this particular brand of Christianity thrusts itself into the news and my social media feed I will probably continue to recoil and feel an automatic urge to protect myself and the people I love. 

If you want to pray for your state representatives you should feel free to do so. Or you can be like my Unitarian mother and “think good thoughts” for them. It’s not my intention to discourage anyone from prayer. If anything, pray for everyone and everything without judgement. Pray that you will act in love to all of God’s creation.

Or simply think good thoughts and live those thoughts. Let your life be love and action without judgment.

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