Political Correctness: A Mask For Theophobia
The Politically Correct preach tolerance and open-mindedness; but, in reality these charitable thoughts are only for select groups. It is acceptable to openly and frequently deride Christians. And, working in education for these 24 years, I've heard hate-filled speech and bigoted thoughts plainly expressed -- from my own colleagues. And this, my friends, is another point of bullsh@*% I find in political correctness: tolerance for certain groups, intolerance for others.
Hollywood and the entertainment industry are notorious for their open hatred of Christians. Over the years, there have been hateful movies released, TV shows with negative portrayals of Christians, musicians with hate-filled imagery, and currently a spate of authors attacking Christianity. Radical secularism and hostile atheism are an alarming trend in our culture today. A recent example, as shown in the picture for today's blog entry, is from a Belgian commercial that aired in September on the country's main TV channel promoting the youth channel Plug TV. The BBC, in reporting the Catholic Church's protest of the blasphemous portrayal of Jesus, describe the commercial like this:
The ad shows a long-haired hippy Jesus grooving along as he tries to get into a nightclub and is refused entry by the bouncers.
Jesus makes the sign of the cross and sweeps aside the bouncers, shrinking them so they are left in his wake as dwarves.
This Plug TV version of Jesus then drinks whisky at the bar and magically turns two brown haired frumpy women into blonde babes wearing bikini tops and red horns.
The Jesus character then disappears into a huge limousine with the women but his attention is distracted by an advertisement for Plug TV before he is recalled by God who is standing on a cloud, wearing a T shirt with "Number one dad" written on it.
The God figure tells Jesus off for wanting to watch Plug TV as well as everything else - saying "you still want more".
Gee, I wonder how this would have gone over in the Muslim community if the commercial had used Muhammad instead of Jesus. Interestingly, I don't recall seeing news reports of Belgian Catholics rioting in the streets or firebombing buildings ...
At work, one of my colleagues is so politically correct it hurts! She is ever vigilant in proper language (or, for those of us of the politically INcorrect persuasion, "doublespeak"), yet over the years her occasional comments about religion in general and Christians in particular serve to prove that she actually hates religion and Christians. But, she is oh-so-careful to speak properly about other groups.
For example, J will be sure to always talk about our "African-american" students, but at least has twice made the assumption that a disruptive Black student in her class must be a gang member. When a kids' weekend drinking party culminated in a stabbing, her first question to me was if the kids were "city or county kids." (For non-St. Louisans, the "city kids" are Black city residents who participate in St. Louis' desegregation program, attending our predominantly White suburban schools.) My response: "Well, J, White or Black, it doesn't matter. They're all OUR students, right?" Her eyes widened a bit. I then added: "Just for the record, it was the White county kids that were involved." Her face showed sadness and concern. How sad. Such politically correct disciples will feign love for all, but obviously for J and her ilk, it is worse when a White county kid gets stabbed than it is when it's a Black city kid.
(Another time the discussion of the label of "African-american" came up at lunch in our department. There was the usual Kumbayah talk about how that was a more proper term to use. And, then, as we all got up to return to class, one of the PC devotees made a remark about how one of the "African-american" Rams football players always dated White women. Sadly comic-like, she had just argued vehemently for proper labels, but could not see her obvious prejudice towards interracial relationships! I kid you not! This kind of lame-brain PC rhetoric goes on, and the PC disciples are completely blind to their own hatred and ignorance!)
J gets upset at the start of every school year when kids meet before school at the flagpole outside, hold hands, and pray for our nation and our schools. This is the annual, nationwide "See You At The Flag Day." J apparently doesn't like that our Constitution protects the kids' right to do so. When J bemoaned the event yet again one year, I explained to her that the kids were within their constitutional rights to meet. The Supreme Court has said that students can do so, so long as the event is not during school hours and no school staff members are leading the event. And, yet, when Muslim students during Ramadan were wanting to have a room available to them during lunch, since being in the cafeteria made fasting more difficult, J was all for that. I told her about something I had read in the paper in another part of the country. Muslim students were wanting to have a room with prayer rugs available to them during the school day, where they could meet during prayer time. (I believe Muslims pray five times a day, everyday, and not just during Ramadan.) J had no problem with that. And, she was obviously miffed when I pointed out that THAT was bias -- she was incensed at Christian kids meeting BEFORE school to pray at the flagpole, but she was supportive of public schools providing prayer room and rugs for Muslim students for use DURING the school day.
In similar situations, J has continued to express negative and biased thinking towards Christians, making her an interesting study in what I will call "theophobia." Now, there actually is a psychological diagnosis called "theophobia" -- fear or hatred of God. There are people who need to seek treatment for this phobia. However, I would like to do with this term what has been done to "homophobia."
We should use "theophobia" to label anyone who makes disparaging, bigoted and ignorant remarks about God and people of faith.
The Media is the worst culprit of theophobia. Whenever an issue of religion comes up, it seems they find the most ignorant, paranoid and hate-filled wackos to interview. In recent years, the Media have hijacked the term "evangelical" and warped its meaning to refer to the far-right conservative voting block, totally ignorant of what "evangelical" actually means. If I recall my Sunday School lessons well, evangelism is sharing Jesus' message with others. Technically, then, all Christians are evangelicals, for we are all called by Jesus to spread His Word to all the world.
I am a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (Lutheran-ELCA), and yet there are some in my denomination that are wanting to distance themselves from what the Media call "evangelicals." They worry that using "evangelical" in our denomination's name might lump us together with the far right. In the last presidential election, they were somewhat insulted that the Media and political pundits talked as if all Christians were conservatives, ignoring the fact that many Christians are liberals. (Of course, these people that worry about being misidentified as an "evangelical conservative" are liberals.)
When and how did "evangelical" become such a pejorative term-- even among Christians?!?
Will "evangelical" become another word that goes through the same metamorphosis in meaning as "gay?" That label first was a word that meant "happy, gleeful, joyful." Then, it took on a pejorative nature, being used as an insult towards homosexuals. After that, the homosexuals took the word and began to use it to identify themselves, thereby sanitizing the word.
Will Christians in like fashion embrace the moniker "evangelical", similarly removing the stigma it presently has?
~K MacGinn, Hummers & Cigarettes