I recently posted some thoughts about Indoctrination and brainwashing relative to how people perceive Christians. I wrote: "Since becoming a Christian I notice a lot of pejorative language about what we believe and how we act. Here is one example: kids in a Christian home or whom attend a Christian church are being "brainwashed.'"
I mused for a short while about the pejorative language people use when describing Christians. You don't get the same reaction when people talk about other religions, that is for sure. There's just something about the name of Jesus that makes people instantly angry.
I did receive a comment responding to the short opinion piece, but I deleted it. The comment was angry, angry. You'd think I'd just ordered a jihad against the person's children. When I read down to the part where I was accused of genocide, I just pressed delete.
But since then, I have been musing not only on the language people use when describing Christians, but the anger in which this language is couched. Witness Howie Carr's editorial in the Boston Herald a week ago. Let's see how many denigrating stereotypes we can find in his very angry piece:
Howie Carr: "The Huckster was doing all right, I suppose, once one got off the main roads and into the red-dirt redneck districts [ONE] where, as H.L. Mencken once put it, the howls of holiness are heard in the woods. But overall, the “Christian leader” [TWO! scare quotes] seemed to know that the wheels were coming off his rusty pickup truck. [THREE] On the Friday TV liveshots he looked spooked, like one of his favorite snakes had just bitten him [FOUR]...It’s one thing to speak in tongues, [FIVE] it’s another to speak with a forked tongue [SIX]. But his constituency doesn’t care. They just want to hold up John 3:16 signs in the end zone at football games during the point-after kick. For some of them, “Deliverance” isn’t a movie, it’s a way of life. [SEVEN] They cheer at the end of “Easy Rider.” [EIGHT] Teeth are considered an optional fashion accessory. "[NINE]
Boy, Howie sure is happy that Pastor/Governor Mike Huckabee came in third. Nine stereotypes in less than 150 words. I wonder how happy he is about the guy who came in fourth? Or fifth. He must save his real invective for those guys. It couldn't be just because Governor Huckabee is a Christian, is it? Naw. Howie must have good reason to call the Governor a brainless liar. He just forgot to include the evidence in his piece.
Having hailed from the Boston region myself, and having moved into the very areas where Howie assumes snakes and toothless idiots stumble around holding John 3:16 signs, I can assure Mr. Carr that the folks around here are nice, industrious, pleasant folk who have all their limbs and teeth, do not own a Ronco Total Squirrel Fry-o-Lator and do indeed believe "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Even for Mr. Carr. Especially for Mr. Carr.