After reading the lengthy anti-Jo Stuart diatribe by Randall Aguilar of Flower Mound Texas, I had to go back and re read Jo’s piece myself because I didn’t remember it being anything like the anti-Christian rant that this obviously irate gentleman describes. And after reading it again, two things became apparent. (1) It wasn’t anti-Christian, and (2) Mr. Aguilar is obviously one of those folks with a hair trigger sensibility who won’t tolerate anything negative being said or even vaguely implied about any aspect of his faith. If he’s looking for a reason why there IS in fact a great deal of criticism being directed at Christianity in the U.S. these days, he need only look to the open hostility of his letter to A.M. Costa Rica as part of the problem.
Beyond that, he should take into consideration the large scale politicization of Christianity that has taken place in America over the last 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision and the LGBT community’s emergence from their traditional sociopolitical closet. What’s afoot is a religious crusade against reproductive choice, gay rights, and even the very scientific foundation that defines our knowledge of who we are and where we came from. In short, it’s a frontal attack by extremists on the separation of church and state. How can Mr. Aguilar expect that there won’t be a strong reaction against a campaign of that duration and intensity?
Intolerance and extremism only serve to expose the vast majority of honest, hard working, God-loving, moderate Christians who do NOT subscribe to these increasingly unpopular views, to unjust criticism and reverse intolerance that they don’t deserve. That’s undeniable. But it’s also undeniable that equally undeserved attacks on someone like Jo Stuart over IMAGINED slights, and the unwillingness of Christians like Mr. Aguillar to recognize where their real problems lie, combine to assure that the internecine conflicts that typify the American Christian and conservative movements today will continue unabated, and will in fact worsen as the American electorate moves further and further away from the policies being pushed by the Christian right.
But what can one expect when religion becomes political? Politics is based on cooperation and compromise over questions of the laws of the land, (or used to be, anyway), while religion is based on religious teachings, obviously. And any challenge to Christian teachings, which is unavoidable when Christians insert their beliefs into the political arena, is considered heretical. Period. Even when/especially when the laws of the Lord, as they’re interpreted by Christian conservatives, stand in clear conflict with the laws of the land, religious crusaders will stand firm and will treat attempts to defeat their religiously inspired legislation as an unpardonable attack on their faith. Jo Stuart is not the problem. Christians like Mr. Aguillar need to stop looking outside of themselves for the reason their house is in conflict.