If I call it a lifestyle will the bigots back off?

I posted something on my blog and Facebook about Easter. It was nothing incredible or controversial. Just a little statement about my Christian faith, in honor of the holiday. No big deal.

Or so I thought. 

Since then, I’ve received no less than 6 emails and at least as many private Facebook messages from people who say they are everything from “sad” to “disappointed” to “disgusted” by what I wrote. They are “surprised” to find out I’m “dumb enough” to be a “religious nut case”. Most of them promised never to read/listen/view my material ever again. I am, because of my faith, a “retard”, a “f*cking idiot” and a “blind” member of a “cult”. I’m told, by these several individuals, that they thought I was smart and independent but now they’ve lost all respect for me because I am, it turns out, in the words of one particular guy, a “brainwashed sh*t head”. They wish I could “keep that fairy tale sh*t to myself”. One person simply messaged to say “WTF are you serius [sic]?!! That’s garbage…. You’re a dumb ass lol!,”

 Well, it’s hard to dispute that thoughtful perspective, don’t you think? 

See, here’s the thing: I’m not surprised by this. In fact, I can tell you with one hundred percent sincerity that any time — seriously, I mean ANY TIME — I say anything about my spiritual beliefs, I am guaranteed to hear from at least one or two snarky bigots. It could be something as simple as me starting my show with a story that begins “So I was heading home from church yesterday and…”

That’s enough to spark a prompt email from someone looking to start a substantive theological discussion: “You go to church??? Haha church is stupid!!!”

 No, really, that’s a verbatim email I got a few weeks ago.

Now I rarely bring any of this up because I don’t want to validate these backwards buffoons by responding to them. Also, I don’t want to seem like I’m painting myself to be some sort of martyr. I’m not. There are real martyrs out there, I’m definitely not one of them. I just say things and random anonymous trolls insult me for it. Boohoo, right?

But I mention this today because 1) The messages/emails were particularly vitriolic and venomous, even by modern standards, and prompted by an extraordinarily uncontroversial statement and 2) I want secularists and left wingers to stop hiding from the fact that the real bigots and prejudiced dirtbags are on their side. There is something in your worldview that produces this, neo-liberals, and it’s time for you to own up to it.

My faith is not just an opinion. An opinion is “the Godfather is a good movie”. It’s not just my personal “taste”. Taste is “I like hot sauce with every meal”. It’s not just a “belief”. A belief is “I think there are microbes on Mars”. My faith is my identity. It’s who I am. I’d die before I’d give it up. I wouldn’t die for hot sauce or my De Niro DVD collection. I don’t identify myself by my belief in space creatures. But my faith is my IDENTITY. Do you get it? If I called it my “lifestyle” would you afford it the same respect you afford sexual proclivities? What if someone posted on Facebook discussing their homosexuality and a bunch of people messaged him saying they’d “lost all respect” for him, and now found him to be “disgusting” and “stupid”? I imagine those people would be liable for hate crime prosecution, and you’d be the first one at their door with your pitchfork and your hangin’ rope. 

Look, if you hate me or insult me because of my Christianity, you are a bigot, an intolerant neanderthal, and a hypocrite. But go for it. And, please, if that’s your attitude, stop reading what I write and listening to what I say. Go away. Do me that favor. But while you hide in that nice little bubble, at least face yourself. See yourself for who you are. You’re too scared to confront conflicting ideas, but are you man enough to confront yourself? You’re hateful, prejudiced and bigoted. That’s you. Time to own it.

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21 Responses to If I call it a lifestyle will the bigots back off?

  1. KLewis says:

    Well said, again. Thank you.

  2. tosca83 says:

    I loved your Easter posting. I shared it on Facebook. So, not all of us are rude, hypocritical folks. Thank you for your humorous and intelligent blog.

  3. Michael says:

    Luke 6:22, 2 Timothy 3:12, Philippians 1:29. The Bible is pretty clear that to follow Christ means being despised by the world. If you’re getting hate mail for your beliefs then that means you’re probably being bolder in your faith than me, and I admire you for that. I hope you keep it up.

  4. Laura Smith says:

    I too shared your Easter posting. It was probably the most eloquent description of the meaning Easter I have ever read. Thank you for your wise words, your humor and your “vision” of our society today. I can’t think of a better way to start my day than with a good cup of coffee and a Matt Walsh post. Keep ’em coming!

  5. Julie says:

    I just discovered your blog, and I’m already a fan. Well said!

  6. Theresa says:

    Dude! You have taken my breath away with this stellar example of modern-day apologetics. Keep facing them down. Your voice is SO NEEDED.

  7. Ann Marie Estridge says:

    I loved your Easter posting as well. I live this posting even more. It’s like putting a mirror right in their face to take a good hard look. Keep up all that you do!!!

  8. nancyo says:

    The only thing that might make your critics even madder is if you told them you’ll pray for them.

  9. Douglas says:

    Spoken like a true prophet! Well done! I’ve just discovered your blog. I’ll be back.

  10. David Albert says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a week but I have to say that yours is one of the sanest voices on the Internet. Keep up the great work!

  11. lorraine shelstad says:

    I just found your blog. It’s great. And so true. Why is it that there are so many prejudiced bigots who make these rude comments about Christianity? I will post your blog on my facebook page, too and hopefully, it will make some people think. Thanks.

  12. Brian Rust says:

    Spot on.

    If we are going to start winning…we need to make them play by their own rules. Alinsky style:

    the fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

  13. Rebecca Gari says:

    I’m new to your blog, and I check in almost everyday now. I also happily shared your post on Facebook. I appreciate your work – you cut right through the fluff of an issue and address its core. Keep up the great work!

  14. Michelle says:

    Friend sent me your blog and I appreciate this post. I get a more subtle response from friends who are not Christian when we get in theological discussions. I finally responded to one of them, “it’s interesting how you want the conversation to end with me respecting your beliefs, but you think it’s fine to not respect my beliefs.” We don’t have to all agree, but we should respect each other.

  15. Liam Gray says:

    I was put on to this post by a friend. This is something I myself have been struggling with for years. People pass judgement without thinking or understanding. They just hate and Hate and HATE blindly and no amount of reason, discussion, or civility changes it. The experience must’ve surely sucked for you, but in a way I am glad you went through it. Because reading this has (in a silly way) helped strengthen my convictions. Its a relief knowing its not just me. I understand your pain, power through it brother. God Bless!

  16. First, you blog is AMAZING! Second, I totally agree with this post! I’ve made it a point recently not to let it go when I see anti Christian bigotry and to call out people when they do it. It’s rampant and totally accepted in our culture today. Keep up the good work!

  17. veryprofane says:

    “I want secularists and left wingers to stop hiding from the fact that the real bigots and prejudiced dirtbags are on their side. There is something in your worldview that produces this, neo-liberals, and it’s time for you to own up to it.”

    Maybe I’m missing something here. I’ve only read a few of your blog posts and find them to be well reasoned and thoughtful, until I read the statement above. Are you suggesting “real” bigots and prejudiced dirtbags can only be aligned with having a secularist, left winged worldview? Are the folks who follow your dogma and participate in similar distasteful tactics not as “real” as the jerks who attacked your beliefs? Wouldn’t you agree that the only thing that needs to be owned up to is the fact that there are jerks in this world and they aren’t exclusive to any particular worldview or political affiliation?

  18. susanbotchie says:

    anyone who is for-real in Christ will not spout bigoted things – and if he or she does slip-up, that person, sooner or later, will own up. meanwhile, worldlings spout all kinds of trash & feel no remorse – oftentimes, the worldling gets his or her cookies off running someone down.

  19. Andy Brandt says:

    Very well said

  20. Kristen says:

    Loved your post Matt and this Beatitiude came to mind immediately when I read it :Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10. If you’re a Christian you can pretty much expect this every time you open your mouth and speak about God. Sad.

  21. I do think you are writing really amazing stuff on your blog. I hope you keep it up. Sometimes I wish you spoke with a little more love, BUT sometimes people need to hear the hard plain truth. If they get to scream and shout, we should be able to as well.

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