, , , , , ,

“There was only one true Christian, and he died on the cross.”- Friedrich Nietzsche (Not a fan, really, this is just for context)

So, it appears that a particularly scummy piece of antisemitic garbage has decided to take advantage of the Anthony Weiner debacle to promote his Jew-hating views, telling Weiner that atonement “is only found through Jesus Christ”.

Not surprisingly, said piece of garbage has a track record of saying things like this, as ThinkProgress reported:

This isn’t the first time Mohler has landed himself in hot water over rhetoric toward the Jewish community. During a debate on MSNBC in 2002, Mohler told host Phil Donohue that all Jews must accept Christ for salvation, and that a Nazi prison guard would find salvation before any Jewish person who does not accept Christ as their savior.

What bothers me about this though, almost as much as the antisemitism in his horrid statement, the erasure of Christians who get embroiled in similar situations of varying degrees worse and less worse than Weiner’s, is that I know that as soon as I wake up tomorrow, my Christian friends will be all over this story, not just to decry his behaviour (which any decent person should) but also to proclaim that obviously, he (Mohler) is not a True Christian™, because they’re Christians and they would never say such horrible things about Jews. I hesitate for half a second to remind them then, that almost every historical Christian figure from Paul and beyond can’t possibly a Christian by that criteria, and then remind them anyways. They may also say that No True Christian™ would never commit adultery, so Newt Gingrich and his ilk don’t count either.

I’ve lost patience with my Christian friends after many instances of this, to the point where I almost wonder whether it is worth it to be friends with them if they’re going to keep this up. I really do try to understand where they are coming from. If I could expel Ben Stein, Linda Lingle, Ezra Levant, Anne Applebaum, Paul Wolfowitz, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and many other rotters from Judaism with the flick of my hand and a declaration that their Jewishness was a load of pig fat, I would do a backflip. But I acknowledge that as long as they identify as Jews, it’s not my place to tell them they’re not True Jews (That’s up to JeworNotJew.com, heh) What’s interesting is that the question of who is a Jew dominates many conversations, but it appears to be much simpler for Christians, you must identify as a Christian and accept Jesus as your savior and worship him. That means, regardless of actions, regardless of how badly you don’t want to be associated with them because all you share is a religious label, it ain’t Kosher to say that their behaviour means they’re not Christian. It’s not only unfair, it’s vaguely Pilate-esque, washing your hands of their behaviours because they didn’t meet your pristine definition of Christian.

It’s also very sinister, because it deeply denies the stranglehold that Christianity has on American culture and politics. Apart from a handful of Jews, an Atheist or Agnostic now and then, and maybe a Buddhist or two, almost all American politicians are affiliated with some branch of Christianity. I cannot fathom a Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Atheist president of the United States of America. On most college campuses, there’s a plethora of different Christian groups (Who are, at UM, extremely aggressive and obnoxious with their campaigns for conversion)  and almost always just one token group for Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, or other groups, who do not engage in aggressive, in-your-face, often rude campaigning to join their group and their religion. This is not, contrary to what many naive people believe, due to Christianity having many different branches. Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, in fact, no mainstream religion that I am aware of, is monolithic. This is just one example of many of how Christianity has dominated American culture, lock stock and barrel. There are many others. I think to my own life for an example, I not only need to live in a city which is queer friendly to feel safe, I need to live in a city in order to have access to a thriving Jewish community I can turn to and feel at home with. It is no coincidence that many Jews flock to cities and shun suburbs and small towns. I remember stories of my relatives, rich, wealthy people, who could afford homes in suburbia, but chose to stay in large cities, because they feared the consequences of moving to a community where they would be alone and powerless. This is a manifestation of both the “inner ghetto”, which Jews build around themselves personally to preserve their culture and their safety, and the “outer ghetto” forced upon Jews by America’s Christian culture. There are many other examples, exhaustively so, about the ways in which Christian culture in America dominates and subverts all who are not Christians, enough to fill several volumes. So I’ll rest and get to my ultimate conclusion:

When my Christian friends deny that Mohler and others like him are Christian, or insist on an always-shifting idea of what makes a True Christian™, they deny that culture’s harmful effects on non-Christians in America, and erase the responsibility of Christianity’s impact on our culture and politics, for better or worse. I know it is an ugly reality for people you share an identity and a religion and a culture with to embarrass you. Rather than dismissing these monsters as not True Christians™, wouldn’t it show greater fortitude, greater strength, more Christ-like traits, to own up to what these men and women say and do, and say, “Yes, they are Christians, and so am I. What can I do to make sure that this is not the face of Christianity in America? What can I do to make sure my religion does more good than harm to marginalized groups? How can I make sure that this is not acceptable in my religion?”

Consider it please.