A Bitter Harvest of Hatred | Sojourners

A Bitter Harvest of Hatred

One of my minor claims to 15 minutes of fame was appearing on a national network talk show where the host was Pat Sajak of the very popular game show Wheel of Fortune. Ever since, I have entertained fantasies of creating a sensationally successful new game show for the insatiable appetites of the American public. I finally have an idea for a new game show. It's called Will the REAL Christian Please Stand Up? It ought to be a sure-fire winner because so many people have been practicing some form of this game for such a long time.

The concept is simple. Place Christians of diverse views and perspectives in a gladiator's arena like the ones with the Christians and the lions in ancient Rome. Promise an enormous prize (such as, for example, political power or cultural domination). The announcer declares that the prize can only be won by the group who most successfully attacks, vilifies, demonizes, and discredits all the other players in order to win the title of "Real Christian." The Game Judges (the secular media?), who cynically care little about any of the contestants or their views, seek to keep the audience entertained by fomenting the most controversy and noise possible and from time to time declare a temporary winner.

As a Christian woman, I have seen and been tempted by this game all too often - both as a Christian and as a woman. People who ought to share some fundamental values and behaviors rooted in their common confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord lunge, instead, for each others' throats with labels, false assumptions, oversimplified generalizations, and personal attacks. Some even seek victory by declaring that Christians who do not share their specific political or ideological views are not Christians at all. Or if there are Christians who do not agree with me, some suggest, they must be corrupt, evil, misguided, duped, or duplicitous, pretending to be what they are not so as to mislead the unsuspecting. Videotapes,

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1995
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