Archive for November, 2008

A Tale of Misguided Christian Fundamentalists

20 Nov

As of late, I have been off the anti-religious bandwagon. On the whole, I think belief in the supernatural is a useful shorthand for grappling life’s biggest questions: those of meaning, purpose, and morality. But there are limits to its usefulness.

Today I watched a young fundamentalist Christian woman recount how she and her group were physically attacked for willfully venturing into one of San Francisco’s best-known openly gay communities and holding a public prayer and worship service “to love them.” A hostile crowd quickly gathered around the team, and what began with taunts and jeers ended in a quasi-riot, with the crowd resorting to dousing the Christians with hot coffee, hitting them, and blowing whistles in their ears. Eventually the police had to escort the Christians out for their own safety.

What saddens me is that these fundamentalists seem misguided enough to believe that their actions were noble. That being attacked for proactively antagonizing a community openly hostile to them was the result of anything other than their own stupid choice. That searching out enemies of the church and igniting their hatred is any more noble than the pathetically xenophobic superbowl riots.

It is inexpensive to note that the effort by the Christians did little more than provide them with an adrenaline rush, inflate their sense of self-righteousness, and piss off a bunch of San Franciscan homosexuals. That these fundamentalists knew beforehand their efforts were bound to be fruitless casts serious doubt on their motivations: were they really sincere Christians trying to save souls?, or were they just a rowdy band of religious marauders trying to scare up a cheap adrenaline rush?

I’m not condoning the behavior of the attackers, but I am accusing the Christians of lugubriously bemoaning getting only what they asked for. I hope my Christian friends will join me in condemning this stupidity.