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.