Thursday, February 02, 2006

On Christian asses

Read Blog Meridian's take on the faux controversy over a movie about a missionary. The first sentence explains my title, and the rest of the post fills in blanks.

A Reverend and president of Central Baptist Seminary has decided to get peeved about the casting of a gay man who stands up for equal rights in the role of a Christian missionary who died on a mission to the middle of nowhere. Peeved, if by "peeved" we mean that he agrees "we must not overreact." He even goes so far as to acknowledge that "it would probably be an overreaction to firebomb these men’s [the actors', directors', and producers'] houses." If peeved does not adequately describe a person who would consider the possibility of arson, we must search for superior terminology.

Blog Meridian explains the various verses which the Reverend considers and rejects as appropriate for this circumstance, until the good Rev. determines that casting a gay man as a missionary is like "preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received," rewriting the words of one you accept as the Son of God. The punishment? Being "accursed."

I can't say that's a punishment that sounds so scary, given that I'm about as scared of curses as I am of zombies or the Rapture, but the good Rev. certainly makes it sound scary. He concludes his examination of whether it is valid to apply the term "gospel" to a movie about someone not descended from God by explaining cryptically "If so, then we know what is required of us."

Voodoo? Exorcism? Firebombing? Manimals?

Yes, Revka, it's nice that Christians would never threaten violence over an act of free expression. Yes, Mike, it's nice that the actors, directors, and producers of this movie won't be beheaded for their blasphemy.

But is that really the standard our nation, or Christians living here, want to be held too? "We're not as bad as Iran or the Taliban!" is not a cheer I'd choose for myself, any more than "Our respect for the rights of our citizens is greater than the Soviet Union's!" is an inspiring way to think about the creeping loss of civil liberties of the last few years.

The point is, it's nice to see Blog Meridian, a Wichitan, a Christian, and a blogger, talking sense about the Bible, society, and how they relate. That anyone is talking such sense gives me hope, that Kansans are doing it makes me feel warm inside.