So, this afternoon, I discovered – and facebook posted – Dan Savage’s latest outreach effort. He’s joined up with a number of progressive (or, at the very least,
not batshit crazy moderate) Christians who are trying to speak up and not allow the batshit crazy among them to highjack the conversation about what Christians do and do not believe.
One of my former students re-posted the link from my page and posited a question to his friends (most of whom are, I’m assuming, like him; fundamentalist, evangelical Christians). Understand that this kid is someone for whom I have a healthy dose of respect; we disagree about nearly everything, but he’s a thinker, and he’s curious about the world and willing, I think, to modify his beliefs to accommodate new information.
Clearly, though, his friends are not. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A:
A couple of observations here:
First, wow. It doesn’t MATTER what we think? Uh… okay. I could stop right there. I mean, really; here’s a perfect, real life, from-the-horse’s-mouth example of people trading their intellect (and, not for nothing, the difficulty that comes from having to wrestle with the nuance that hard questions ask us to appreciate) for religion. “NOPE! I get to hate gay people and never question the rightness of it again. Says so right here!” Alrighty, then.
Second, WOW. What kind of hubris is required for someone to say that they KNOW what God thinks?! So much for being humble before the Lord, huh?
Finally, this whole exchange (which was “liked” several times after I took the screen shot) prompted me to private message my student to ask if I could jump into the conversation (see above, re; respecting him and his way of thinking). He asked me not to; he wanted to keep the conversation to his Christian friends, and I had to admit that I, too, was curious to see what they’d say without the big, bad atheist stirring up their pot. We ended up having a lengthy private conversation about the nature of the Bible and how people do or do not interpret its various edicts. As a consequence of that, I’ve come to understand that I still disagree with him on just about everything, but he’s reinforcing that my respect for how he comports himself with those who disagree with him is well founded.
*this will likely be edited to continue the conversation as more of my student’s friends chime in. Watch this space.