Why Do White American Christians Do What They Do?

By | July 26, 2017

I don’t think I understand white Christian Americans anymore.JesusFacepalm3-e1341060999857

I was born white.

I was born American.

I became Christian in my teens.

I’ve tried to live a Christian life, and with that in the context of being both white and American.

Mistakes were made. 🙂

But in all this, I was never, ever told or taught that the essence of my being a *good* white Christian American was to hate someone else for reasons they could not affect or reasons that did not matter.

I don’t get–ABSOLUTELY do not get–my Christian brothers and sisters advocating and celebrating direct harm to my fellow humans (and brothers and sisters!) who are gay or lesbian or queer or transgender or bisexual or intersex or … otherwise human.

There is nothing in the teachings of the Church and nothing in the Bible that tells us to hate people in the first place, and there is nothing directly from Jesus or Paul that tells us to hate and exclude people, and to celebrate their harm.

Nothing.

Not in the red letters, and not in the black.

You can quibble on whether in *your* version of Christianity that *your* God will exclude them from heaven.

But nowhere are we as Christians told that hatred towards those we do not understand is a godly value.

Nowhere are we told as Christians to harm our enemies.

Nowhere are we told to uphold hate and fear as values.

What is wrong with you, my brothers and sisters? When did you decide to embrace hatred and fear, and how do you square it with your Sunday morning praise and worship?

  • sootfoot5

    It may not explicitly be in the black letters, but Moses’ people were taught that they were special. When you, as a people believe you are special, then there is no limit to the harm you can do. Thus, thru out the Old Test God’s believers came thru every war and plague unscathed which again would lead future Christians to believe they were the chosen people and that everything they did was in the glory of God. It was not until Jesus gave the Sermon from the Mount that Christians were given the lessons of turn the other cheek, love thy neighbor, etc. but today people have conveniently turned away from Jesus’ teachings. But “He who is the faithful witness to all these things says “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come Lord Jesus, Come!”

  • Paul Littlefield

    I, too, am mystified. I suppose it has to do with feeling powerless and looking for ideas to bolster one’s ego. I know it also has to do with the wrong kind of fear of God–focusing on how powerful God is while forgetting how loving–and manufacturing rules to bind God’s power to keep him under control.

    There is also a strong sense that _other_ people need to behave so that _I_ can be safe, which is why there is so much hypocrisy involved, as well. We all know how helpful it is to focus on everyone else’s specks when we have a plank we want to ignore! Having someone else to look down on is a wonderful tonic for feelings of insecurity or worthlessness.

    Yet I can’t point my finger, because if I do, there are three pointing right back at me. I am ashamed to admit how long it took me to grasp the meaning of “Forgive us _our_ sins as _we_ forgive those who sin against us.” But we ignore “As you treat the least of these, who are my brothers and sisters, so you treat me,” at our peril. And besides, if God was willing to suffer and die for my sake, how can I possibly believe that he could fail to value equally all the other souls that he created?