I know you are out there. I know too many decent, open minded Christians to suggest that Christianity is inherently bad. I know too many that pay greater heed to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount than to the more exclusionary words of Paul. So many of you see your faith (as recommended in the Bible) as a private journey and do not foist it on others. So please, don’t be too hurt by what I am about to say.
You guys really need to step up. Not all of you, I know a few that are courageous and stand between the fearful, hateful and bigoted members of your flock and the rest of us. To those of you who do that, thank you. Many of you, however, are almost dangerous in your passivity regarding the behavior of that brand of Christian. Here is why you need to stop that.
I can guess what your response is going to be: “but we’re not like that.” That’s great, really it is. Because you shouldn’t be like that. You should also know that is not enough. It’s awesome to know that you aren’t bigots, that you aren’t homophobes or psychotic zealots out to convert all others at all costs, and really, I am grateful that you let us all know you are out there. When you do that though, you are not standing up for us, you’re defending yourself.
For the record, because you really need to know, at the moment you are not the one that needs defending. At the moment they are not attacking you because they are having way to much fun attacking us. So far. It is only a matter of time. Eventually, to paraphrase Martin Neimoller, there will be no one to speak for you. Make no mistake, these kind of people, the kind of people that advocate the beating and rape (literal and metaphorical) of a child would love nothing more than to wipe those different from them off the face of the Earth given the opportunity. Eventually they will have to turn around and test “their own” for ideological purity.
If you want to make sure that is never a possibility you have to do more than look at me and say “they don’t speak for me.” You have to look at them and say “You don’t speak for me.” You have to call them out on that most basic lie and the thing you should be most upset about, their claim on your faith. Until you do that, they will continue to threaten the rest of us and to tarnish you.