Christian “Vitriol” Recognized by Reasonable Christians

I’ve been saying for months (as have agnostics and atheists) that the worst abusers of commenting and blog privilege on the Internet have been Christians, those called “attack dogs of Christendom” by their own. See this article at Christianity Today which claims

A troll through the Internet reveals websites so drenched in sarcasm and animosity that an agnostic, or a follower of another faith tradition interested in what it means to become a Christian, might be permanently disillusioned.

None of the major figures of American Protestantism in the past quarter-century have been spared from attack, from Billy Graham to Rick Warren, from Tim LaHaye to Robert Schuller. The attacks, moreover, are not reasoned or modestly couched criticism, but blasts of ire determined to discredit beyond redemption the targets of the criticism.

The angriest websites are those belonging to small, but disturbingly visible, fundamentalist Protestant groups outraged that fellow Protestants appear to be holding out a welcoming hand to Catholics or Orthodox Christians.

The two things I would disagree with is CT’s characterization of these fundies as a “small” group in comparison to other Christians and their belief that LaHaye, Warren, and Schuller are even in the same league with Bill Graham!! First, such vocal fundies are by no means small in number. They’re everywhere, and are even within larger, seemingly more progressive churches. Second, LaHaye deserves to be dissected in the press for the irreparable damage he’s done to Christianity through the fundie political fantasies found in his fiction. Warren markets Christianity, he doesn’t disciple and Schuller is just “positive thinking” as replacement for Gospel. These three are “Pop Christianity” at its worst. But I do agree that reasonable Christians should tackle these issues, not the “I am always right, you are always wrong” fundamentalists. In fact, according to the article, these people aren’t even criticized for their abysmal distortions of the Gospel but for their ecumenism of all things. They can’t even get the criticism right!

No doubt Christian fundies will see this as “proof” that they are in the right in voicing their opinions because, frankly, they like the publicity. They love to feel persecuted by everyone else. Those who use the persecution argument at every turn are usually the ones Jesus WASN’T talking about (see Matthew 5:10). In fact, they aren’t being persecuted for righteousness sake, they are being persecuted for being assholes! Being as annoying as possible is not the way to get people to listen to you and is really schoolyard bullying tactics. I just do not understand why the most vicious and vocal fundies cannot recognize how they are harming their own cause. Sociopaths don’t know this either. I think it’s called extreme narcissism.


2 thoughts on “Christian “Vitriol” Recognized by Reasonable Christians

  1. I also find it interesting that LaHaye is lumped in with the others. I read the first book of “Left Behind” and portions of the other books, and the attitude that is behind the fundamentalists attacking is the same attitude found in those books — LaHaye just came across as someone who is really looking forward to being proven right and watching all the others burn in hell. Not only that, but all the characters were two-dimensional, and lacked any shades of gray.

    And, as you said, that’s why LaHaye is criticized, because of his distortions. And the fact that he’s feeding a large segment of the population with this … well, crap.

  2. Heather,
    Yes, I found it odd to say the least. I tried three times to read the series but could not get past the awful writing. Why do Christians have to write so badly? I think there’s an article or two out there explaining why. I’ll have to look it up again. Would make an interesting topic.

    I suppose I keep bringing up the issue of vitriolic Christians because it happens so dang often. Sad.

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