When I was a kid, I listened to my mom bitch, every year, about the Christmas Christians. It bugged her that during the year we faithfully went to church three times a week and then when we’d have our Christmas service, the church would be so packed the regular congregants couldn’t find a decent seat in our sanctuary. To be clear, she wasn’t complaining that we couldn’t find a seat. She is a good and charitable Christian.
What bothered her was that she knew these people weren’t actually Christians. She wanted them to come all year round and if I know my mom (and I do) I’m guessing that she trapped several of them after those services and did her damnedest to convince them to come back the next week. I don’t know if she was ever successful at it, but I bet that didn’t stop her, year after year.
At the time, when I’d listen to her complain about the Christmas Christians, I thought to myself, “Well, at least it’s something.”
And now, as an adult, I know what that something is. These are the kind of Christians that have run our political system into the ground. Oh, I know that there are many other kinds of Christians who have ruined it for everyone. But the Christmas Christians are the masses. They are the ones who, as one of my favorite adages goes, “know just enough to be dangerous.”
In other words, these are the type of people who think of themselves as Christians. They hold a handful of beliefs and judge people who don’t behave the way they do. But these people are dangerous. They are the one-issue voters. They are ignorant and foolish. They don’t understand the spirit of the law, only the letter. (And I’m guessing they don’t understand what that last sentence means.)
Christmas Christians ruin it for everyone. They are dangerous and foolish. This year in particular I think we have all felt the effects of the Christmas Christians. They are, in part, who help vote in the crazy politicians under the guise that these politicians are Christians. When many real Christians understand that those politicians are evil and will do more harm than good. Christmas Christians vote in people like Rick Perry, who attack women’s healthcare under the auspices that he considers abortion murder.
But the clinics and organizations who they are attacking also do cervical cancer screening, find funding for mammograms, provide pre-natal care, birth control, and test for STDs. (I know, I know, MORE SINNERS!)
But wait, perhaps in some cases it’s not sinning. What about women who find out their spouses have been cheating on them and suddenly need to flee their homes with no money? They need to get tested. What about women who find themselves single mothers in an instant and are struggling financially and can’t afford insurance? What about a teenager who thought the boy she loved, loved her back and suddenly found out that he didn’t? Or perhaps, he’s just too immature to take care of her and he runs. But she doesn’t want to have an abortion, so she needs prenatal care.
I know that if you put a face on the real people, most decent people, even the Christmas Christians, would say that they deserve help and we should not deny healthcare for them. Well you know, here’s my face. I’m one of those people. And in visiting those clinics, I’ve seen their faces. And they are every color, every age, and every walk of life. I don’t know their past histories. But I do know that they are grateful, as I am, to be receiving the kind of healthcare that we all need.
We live in the richest country in the world, and yet rich and powerful people are working against the poor and the struggling. That’s not Christianity. That doesn’t sound like a Christian country to me. It sounds like the devil is at work in the hearts of the politicians who would use the passions to ignite fierce anger against people who are just like you, struggling to keep afloat and doing the best they can with the hand life dealt to them.
I know I’m setting myself up to get a lot of shite from my (handful of) Christians readers who also like these policies and politicians and who also go to church every week. But I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the masses who help vote in the crazy because of one or two small issues that they feel so passionate about, and can’t see the forest for the trees. Anyone who understands Christianity knows that there are a lot of gray areas in the bible. The bible gives a lot of specific direction and then veers off in another direction. There are lots of Christians out there who prefer to follow the gray areas, allowing love and compassion to rule, rather than going around setting down judgment on people with whom they disagree.