I’ve become one of those Christians who doesn’t often admit to being Christian, especially to people I don’t know or who I’m meeting for the first time. When it does come up, I follow my revelation quite quickly with. “But I’m not one of thooooose Christians. I’m not a “happy-clappy”. I support equal marriage and a compassionate, humane welcome to asylum seekers. I actually think about what my beliefs reveal about the kind of god that I think God is. …Oh, and I don’t refer to God as ‘he’.” It’s a bit sad, really, that I’ve felt the desire to add a disclaimer, to distinguish myself from the media brand of Christianity.
Many of you may have seen this clip of Bill Maher a few months ago, just after Bin Laden was found and executed. We don’t get much American-news footage here in Australia, but I picked this up on Twitter. What we did get was footage of thousands gathered in New York rejoicing at the announcement of Bin Laden’s death.
Conversely, I saw this TED talk from 2 mothers who each had sons killed in the attacks – one was in a building, one was hijacking a plane. But the mothers found common grief in the injustice of their sons’ deaths. So I think we can agree there was a mixed-bag of emotions and reactions.
What I noticed about Bill’s clip, was that it is so brutally honest. As harsh and inflammatory as his comments may have been to some, I find myself thinking the same way sometimes. I found myself reminded by Bill saying, “Do not repay evil with evil,” and “Do not take revenge against someone who wrongs you”. I know I’m supposed to read the Bible to get that stuff into my head, but there’s something about hearing someone say it in the context of a current and controversial issue that makes it stick a whole lot more for me. Where on Earth did we get the idea that some kinds of killing, or torture, or violence is okay?
I’m not condoning or condemning Bill’s approach to his thoughts on the issue. But I think it’s safe to say he’s not tarring every Christian with the same brush.
Let’s chat honestly and constructively. What was your reaction to the killing of Bin Laden? Is it legal? Does it fit with your Christian ethos? What was your reaction to the reaction? What does it mean to be known to be a Christian? What does it look like? Does it matter? Do you care? How does your faith inform your reactions/thoughts/opinions on current events or issues?