Love thy neighbor

Posted 12/29/20

Gina Carano, star of the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, got herself into some hot water recently when she refused to put her pronouns on her Twitter profile

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Love thy neighbor

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Gina Carano, star of the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, got herself into some hot water recently when she refused to put her pronouns on her Twitter profile. Believers say this practice of telling everyone your preferred pronouns is necessary lest you commit the terrible sin of misgendering someone who identifies with a gender other than the one they were born with.

By not having those pronouns in her profile, apparently Carano was somehow promoting transphobia. Unbowed by the mob’s demands, Carano mocked them by adding the pronouns “boop/bop/beep.”

Now there are calls to have Carano fired from the show. Carano didn’t in any, way, shape or form express derision toward anyone in the trans community. She just failed to affirm her conformity to the progressive liberal faith, and by that omission, she was, in the minds of adherents, saying she wanted all trans people to be put to death … or something.

This is one example of why people are saying more and more that progressive liberalism has become a religion. Besides its displays of dogmatic reproach of anyone who challenges its orthodoxy, it demands overt loyalty pledges to its central tenants — and viciously condemns those that don’t offer them.

For over six years now, I’ve lived in small communities full of people who adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Yet, I am not a Christian. In all this time living among people dedicated to a faith I don’t share, I can’t think of an instance where I felt unwelcome or even rebuked over that difference.

I have had a few Christians ask me what church I go to or invite me to join them at their preferred service. After explaining that I don’t go to any or politely decline their invitations, I’ve never had a single one treat me any differently.

I don’t want to paint everyone on the left as being intolerant fanatics. That would be as untrue as suggesting all Christians treat non-Christians like myself with respect and tolerance. Some Christians can be hatefully judgmental, and many liberals are kind and tolerant of those with whom they disagree.   

I’m speaking here more of what’s generally referred to as “cancel culture,” which is quite pervasive today. Though this mob proclaims itself to be the defender of tolerance, it sorely fails to live up to that value.

Even when it comes to issues in which Christians are said to be intolerant, they show more patience than those in the cancel culture mob. Many Christians believe homosexuality to be a sin. Yet, I’m sure two men or two women holding hands could walk safely down the street in downtown Powell. I’m not sure that someone wearing a Make America Great Again hat in downtown Portland could do so

Christians today not only seem to practice what they preach, they display a commitment to a wider range of values, including compassion, forgiveness and charity.

One of the defining characteristics of the cancel culture mob is its complete lack of forgiveness. Earlier this year, the Washington Post published a hit piece on a woman who wore blackface to a party two years earlier. She had apologized at the time, but the Post ran the story and she was subsequently fired from her job.

Meanwhile, a communication executive at Boeing resigned after an employee complained about an article he wrote in 1987 that said women should not serve in combat. He said he had since changed his mind on the topic, but whether it’s a tweet last week or an editorial 33 years ago, the progressive mob will burn you at the stake for your sins all the same.

There’s also something to be said about the way Christians embrace charity. While the progressive mob is happy to tax the rich to pay for social programs, their zeal for voluntary giving is not as great. A 2017 Philanthropy Panel Study found that, while 62% of religious households give to charity, only 46% of nonreligious households do. Religious households’ annual giving amount is also more than double that of their nonreligious counterparts. 

Christianity has certainly had a bloody and intolerant past. Yet, it’s the Twitter mob today conducting witch trials and pouring judgments on anyone who doesn’t worship at their altar.

While these mobs claim to champion diversity, it’s only skin deep, and its divisiveness creates a monoculture hostile to anything outside it.

In Christian communities, multiple churches with greatly divergent takes on the teachings of Christ peacefully exist side by side, and someone like myself who doesn’t worship Christ at all can find a comfortable place in such a community. 

While I don’t share your faith, I do share the values so many of you remain sincerely committed to. For that reason, I’m quite grateful to call Christians my neighbors. A community is not bound by its shared religion and politics. It’s bound by its shared values in charity and good will, and that’s where diversity flourishes.

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe and loving Christmas.

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