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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.

 
 

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  1. rhelm

    December 2, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Andy,
    I absolutely agree with you. I am always a little amazed at the “we’re doing this out of love” excuse. When Christians picket abortion clincs or “rally” for against certain causes then are shocked when there is a reaction.
    It is all part of the “I want to be (or at least claim to be) persecuted for “the faith” syndrome. It is organized condescention to make our selves appear (at least in OUR eyes) better than others. It is an adrenaline rush I am sure but it does little for the cause other than rally the other side and substantiate that religious fantatics are indeed religious fanatics.
    I they wanted to go to show love they probably should have brought coffee, donuts (or tofu and carrot sticks since it was in Northern Calif) and sat with them trying to understand “them”.
    I remember the flak I got for doing an outreach in a large night club. It all came from Christians. Someone asked what I was planning on doing if someone lit up a cigarette… my response was “try to find an ashtray”. It’s really not that hard to connect is it?
    U. Randy