More than loaves and fishes, more than water into wine, more than healing the sick, or feeding the poor, or forgiveness for sin, Christianity in America is becoming associated with hate.
The other day, we featured the video of a guy who declares Cheerios to be “the treat of the homosexuals”, setting a box of Cheerios on fire with a propane torch.
The video is great, because the torcher is a goober in a pink shirt whose act of zealotry seems to be met with a near-instant response from nature—or Karma, God, whatever—a gust of hot midwestern wind that quickly sets the lawn of GM’s headquarters on fire. In an accidental moment of cinematic genius, The Cheerios Torcher flees the scene, commanding his comrades to hurry up and get in the car.
The video quickly went globally viral, and in response, evangelical Christian blogger Fred Clark perfectly summed up the reasons why The Cheerios Torcher is a symbol of how evangelicals are viewed in modern society. In a blog on Slactivist, Clark notes that most people assumed The Cheerios Torcher to be an evangelical preacher, or at the very least a Christian, though nowhere on this video is it stated that he is. Clark explains:
So why did everyone assume that this man was an evangelical Christian?
Because he’s anti-gay.
More specifically, because he’s disproportionately concerned with being anti-gay and he’s choosing to express that concern in a goofy, obnoxious and destructive way.
Clark continues with a plea to evangelicals, and Christians in general:
Please let that sink in. Please contemplate what that means for the witness of evangelical Christians in America in 2012. Please consider what that means for the reputation of the church.
That’s three “pleases” there, because I am begging — I am begging my brothers and sisters, my fellow evangelicals here in America, to step back and think about how we got to this sorry state of affairs.
That video? This is who we are now in the eyes of the world. And they are not wrong to see us this way.
And, as Clark points out, “Everyone was right” about The Cheerios Torcher being an evangelical.
If you are a Christian, it is time for you to speak out against the intolerance and bigotry coming out of your community. It is time for you to stand up for your neighbors and declare that this is not to be done in your name. It is up to us to put a face of love, acceptance and equality onto Christianity.
This is a call, folks, from a respected man within your community, begging you to see that more than loaves and fishes, more than water into wine, more than healing the sick, or feeding the poor, or forgiveness for sins, Christianity in America is becoming associated with hate.
Read Setting the World on Fire for Jesus by by Fred Clark
Also read 10 Things I Wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality by Jim Rigby