I’ve made no secret of my belief that most conservatives aren’t really Christians. I’ve actually coined a phrase for what they follow; I call it Republicanity. It’s just never made a whole lot of sense to me how people who seem to be so judgmental, hateful and intolerant can claim that they’re “followers of Jesus Christ.” Especially when you consider the fact that Jesus (if you believe in him) stood for basically the exact opposite of all of that.
What sounds more “Christ-like” to you?
- A man who welcomed people of all color, religions, sexual orientations, genders and backgrounds with open arms and in peace. – or –
- A man carrying a loaded AR-15 on his back condemning homosexuals to hell, angrily attacking Muslims and spewing vile hatred towards anyone with which he disagreed.
Now, tell me, which sounds more like a typical conservative?
That being said, as many of you might have known, when the movie American Sniper was released it spawned quite a bit of a political controversy. Then again, what doesn’t turn into a political controversy nowadays?
Personally, I chose to view the movie for what it was – a movie. While I might not agree with everything Chris Kyle said or did while he was alive, I’m certainly not going to talk ill about someone who faced situations in war that I couldn’t probably even imagine having to go through. With Kyle no longer here to defend himself, I simply chose to take the high road.
Well, Christian chaplain Randy Beckum decided to use the attention American Sniper had generated to make a point about how too many people are drawn toward violence more so than they are peace. For his example, he pointed out the massive box office success of American Sniper against another movie that was released around the same time, Selma:
As you know two movies came out recently. Selma, the story of one of the 20th century most influential Christian leaders, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led a non-violent movement that changed the course of American History forever. And American Sniper, the story of the most deadly Navy SEAL sniper in American history. Selma has made 29-30 million so far. American Sniper made over 103 million in the first 4 days. Gives you an idea about who our heroes are. I don’t think it is an under-statement to say that our culture is addicted to violence, guns, war, revenge and retaliation. Unfortunately, so are a lot of Christians.
While I can see why some might have taken offense to that, was he really wrong? And while it might have been a bit ill-advised to compare the two movies, considering the left vs. right political debates surrounding them, the point he was trying to make was that as a society we seem to flock toward violence much more often than we do toward non-violence.
The reason why we know Chris Kyle’s name isn’t just because he was a member of our military who was tragically murdered; we know who he is because of how many people he killed while he was deployed. Each member of our military has their own experiences while deployed to war, but I don’t see us making many movies about those who served bravely without taking lives.
Again, I believe his point was to emphasize how we should focus more on love, compassion and acceptance rather than hatred and violence. Which, in my opinion, is supposed to be the message of Christianity.
Well, apparently not for some “Christians.” Following this sermon it was announced that he would no longer be the vice president of MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Community Foundation. It seems that instead of focusing on his message of peace, acceptance and love – some felt he went out of his way to try to politicize his sermon.
Yeah, because conservative religious leaders never do that, right?
This is just another example where conservatives apparently didn’t like that a religious leader actually dared to, you know, act Christ-like. After all, how dare he try to preach love, acceptance and peace instead of the usual brand of conservative “Christianity” which is often comprised of hate, judgement and violence.
Watch Beckum’s sermon below: