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Christianity's 5 Most Popular Scapegoats

Scapegoat illustration, durantelallera / Shutterstock.com

Scapegoat illustration, durantelallera / Shutterstock.com

Within Christianity it’s easy to criticize. Here are some of the most common scapegoats:

1)  Conservative Fundamentalists

Christianity’s negative public image is — sometimes rightfully — blamed on these people. Perceived as being exclusive, resistant to change, addicted to power, and very aggressive, they’re characterized as anti-women, anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, and anti-evolution.

Ten years ago the top scapegoat would’ve belonged to ‘Progressive Liberals,’ but what a difference a few years make. Despite the dramatic change, we can often be guilty of blaming fundamentalists just as easily and unfairly as they used to blame others.

A Convenient target, we often use them as a punching bag. Many theologians, bloggers, pastors, and leaders have become obsessed with fighting and arguing against fundamentalists, and it ultimately becomes a distraction. It’s so easy to focus on those we disagree with that our entire faith becomes a set of reactions to our opponents instead of a life lived promoting the Gospel of Christ.

Mom, Mick Jagger and Me

Tripp Hudgins and his mom, Debby, laughing. Photo courtesy of the author.

Tripp Hudgins and his mom, Debby Hudgins, laughing. Photo courtesy of the author.

“Talk to me about your mother.”

Such ominous words.

But talk to you about her, I will. And it's not gonna be pretty.

You see, my mother isn't perfect. Her love may be perfect, but she's not and like everyone else on the planet she has hurt the ones she loves the most in the very act of trying to love them.

It's Mother's Day this Sunday and we'll honor our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, spouses, grandmothers and, and, and...We'll honor women and men who have mothered us. And we should.

It's not easy work and Lord knows that Freud has helped us pathologize motherhood. In turn we have idolized motherhood and mothers. Neither approach works. Not really. So I would like to propose a via media for Mother's Day.

Every Sunday as I'm driving to the church I serve I call my mother to check in. She lives by herself and I worry. I'm her son. I can't help myself.

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