Last week, Kimberly Hyatt of Patheos asked why Christians are mean in “Look at the Christians: See How Mean They Are”. “Perhaps it is past time for us to stop focusing on what others are doing or trying to do and start taking responsibility for our own actions and their consequences.” This is always true and no Christian can really disagree with such a statement.
We know or should know that we are responsible for our actions and their consequences because it was the kind of thing Jesus spoke about in parables and elsewhere. It is a essential theme of Christianity that what any person does says has consequences; repentance, forgiveness by God and man, death and judgement, Christ’s death for our sins, these are all about the consequences of what we say and do and how we or God handle them.
For Hyatt, the question came up as a response to the way Christians dealt with the recent Chick-fil-A/gay marriage kerfuffle. Christians who oppose gay marriage are mean. She polled and other religions were not seen as so mean. The accusation of meanness has had other applications. Christians who oppose abortion are mean in that they are not considering the plight of the woman with an unwanted pregnancy, considering only the death of the unborn in our moral equation that sums all up into abortion as sin. Our response to the woman is mean. Perhaps it is conservative Christians who are the most mean. Stressing work over welfare is mean. Calling for smaller government and fewer entitlement programs is mean. Observing a distinction between legal and illegal immigration is mean. The death penalty is mean. Compassionate conservatism was an attempt to divert the accusation of meanness. Consider how well that went.