First, I am a little nervous about posting this.
Over on Loren’s One Diverse Comic Book Nation he bravely confessed to an ism he is trying to overcome. And I applaud this, because frankly, it’s about the only “ism” I have seen that people don’t seem to feel the need to overcome.
Why am I nervous? I is one. I hang out at a lot of comic themed places on the net. Most of my regular haunts are pretty left leaning, so to speak. And one thing I have noticed, is that they are all full of fairly open minded people who don’t like predjudice and phobias. And yet, it’s more than easy to find a thread that might initially having nothing to do with Christianity suddenly get turned into an opportunity to bash Christians.
In comics I can think of about three Christian characters off the top of my head (Wolfsbane, Nightcrawler and David from Strangers in Paradise). I could maybe expand it to six if I open it to TV and movies. I can recall heroes having to square off against religious bigots and religious motivated villains in comics, television and movies more often than be friends with them. At best, Christians are becoming comic relief. And a lot of people seem to feel that this is okay. Somehow, we Christians all deserve to be lumped into one category.
It’s always a bit frustrating to me that people who will make every effort to remind people that most Muslims are not terrorists, gay men are not pedophiles, most feminists don’t hate men, etc. rarely, if ever, have a problem with assuming all Christians approve of blowing up clinics, killing doctors who have performed abortions, killing gay people, etc. I know quite a few Christians. I know not one that approves of Fred Phelps and his anti-gay “church”. I know not one that celebrates or approves of killing doctors or blowing up clinics. I admit, i do know a few that think all feminists hate real men.
And yet, if Pat Robertson says something stupid? It’s held against all of us. An Imam can espouse killing cartoonists (and start riots) and we have to remember that not all Muslims agree with that Imam or the thousands of rioters. Pat Robertson (stupidly) suggests a meteor might strike Florida and Christians are suddenly threat number one. Don’t misunderstand here, it is important to remember that the majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Especially here in the U.S. where violence by a Muslim is rare, and pretty much all Muslims living life like most of, trying to make a living and just get along without to much trouble. But the people who wear kid gloves for every single possible ism, suddenly feel okay taking the golves off for Christians.
Now, having said all that? I actually understand why many people have trouble with Christianity. I realize that much of the public face in America and much of the western world has been aggressive about things it does not agree with. In the past, they have been mightily intolerant (especially of the gay community) In more recent years, the conservative Christian community has tried to adopt more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell”, which is entirely unhelpful. Many people, such as Jerry Falwell, have routinely denounced groups across the board, such as “The Feminists” for their evil supposed “anti-Family agendas”.
Even more so, many people have faced heartless and cruel rejection for not being what their family, friends and Church expected of them. So certainly, I understand that between personal experience with unloving family members, friends and Churches who rejected them for not falling into “place” makes it hard. But you know? I have had bad experiences with most racial groups, the gay community, feminists, atheists, (and yes ->)Christians and dancing leprechauns. You know…I really feel it’s my job to not let the bad moments distort how I view those groups in general.
Am I asking that much that I not be judged by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell?