Saturday, May 10, 2003

Letting the Lunatics Take Over

Gil Smart relays a conversation he's had with a minister:

On and off this week, I've engaged in a back-and-forth with a local UCC pastor who agrees with what I've had to say about Santorum, though he's reluctant to say so from the pulpit. I find it kind of sad, I guess, that he fears some might get up and walk out. He's probably correct in his fears, of course. Which makes it even sadder.

He was also upset that I, along with many other media types, permit the religious right to speak for all Christians. That, he believes, "is exactly why the weasels run rampant."

I suppose I am guilty of this; I suppose a lot of journalists are guilty of it. But the problem, as I perceive it, is that the more moderate Christians who might abhor the religious right's attitude rarely stand up to refute it.

I know there are Christians out there who are angry that the religious right is being permitted to define the "Christian" agenda. I have heard from many of them; they grieve over what they perceive to be the misreprensentation of their beliefs.

But unless they do something to stop it, that misrepresentation will continue.

I've been puzzled for some time why Christians seem to be tolerant of the fact that Jerry Falwell is the media face of Christianity. I'm not exactly sure there's all that much they can do about it, but I'd be pretty livid if my deeply held beliefs were represented by someone like that. Of course Falwell and his fellow travellers do have a genuine following, but their brand of Christianity is highly overrepresented on TV - sort of like the the way prosecutors are kind of overrepresented by really really angry blonde women.

But, if the pastor is too afraid to even speak up to his own congregation, what does he expect?