Tag Archives: America

This Is Not Normal

It has been a week since Donald Trump became the president-elect. In that week, protests have erupted across the country, hate crimes are rising, people are making plans to move to Canada or Mexico, women are looking to get IUDs, couples are getting married, and division has arguably never been more blatant or destructive in this election cycle.

I’ve heard the endless mantra of “We need to be united.”  First of all, it’s really difficult to be united when the president-elect is a person who built his entire campaign on dividing people. It was always us vs. them, “them” being any group that Trump thought a particular audience was afraid of. When I hear, “We need to be united,” I’m really hearing, “Get in line.” I’m hearing, “Conform.” Now, I know that President Obama has said to be unified, and I’m not sure what exactly he means by that, but I know that his role is a unique one. When I hear “unify” from someone random on Facebook, that’s when I’m hearing, “Stop criticizing Trump and Trump supporters.”

That’s not what unity is. Unity is not when one side of a divided pair shuts up, while the other gets to run the show. Frankly, I don’t know how we can be unified right now, because it’s like our values are on total opposite sides of the spectrum. A Trump presidency looks like it’s going to be about restricting women’s rights, gutting healthcare, demonizing Muslims and Mexicans, restricting LGBTQ rights, denying climate change, and so on. What can we unify around? People who voted for Trump are either racist, are willing to tolerate racism, or deny that a Trump presidency is even racist at all. The same goes for sexism. Freedom of religion seems it will only apply to Christianity. Good healthcare is not nationally recognized as a basic human right. WHERE IS THE COMMON GROUND?

People are also saying, “Protests didn’t happen when Obama became president, so accept it and move on.” Okay, so people weren’t necessarily flooding the streets like they are now, but for his entire presidency, they were questioning whether he was born in the United States. That’s definitely a form of protesting the election results. For 8-freaking-years. Also, after every election, there are groups that don’t want to accept the results. It’s just what humans do when something happens they don’t like. However, there is a big difference between the national reaction to Obama and Trump, because TRUMP IS NOT A NORMAL PRESIDENT. I’ve heard the word “normalization” a lot recently with Trump coverage, and that’s exactly what’s happening. The media is normalizing Trump and treating him like he’s just your run-of-the-mill president-elect. Yes, he’s a bit of an outsider, but there’s a silence about just how outside-the-norm he is. What do I mean by that? Here are just a handful of reasons:

The typical “accept and move on” response to the peaceful transition of power following an election does not work in the situation America finds itself in. That’s why we’re having these protests. It is the peoples’ way of shouting, “This is not normal.” Eventually, the protests will stop, but we will need to keep shouting through our actions and activism during Trump’s entire presidency. Even when good things happen, we can’t forget that this is not normal.

Because once we start believing it is normal, America, as we know and love her, is dead.

 

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The Day After

I’m still in shock. I don’t want to read any articles, watch any videos, or do anything that would allow my mind to accept this as reality.

But I have to. We all have to. Trevor Noah put it best: “Feel discouraged and upset, but don’t let it turn into fear, because fear is what Trump uses.”

Trump won because of fear. Fear is the enemy of love.

Even though it seems like we’re doomed, it’s not really over. Love can still win. Our job now is to protect those who suffer under a Trump presidency, including those who voted for him. That’s what loves does.

God give us strength.

#neverforget

Today, I was met with a story about how yesterday, a Sikh man in Chicago was brutally beaten and called “Bin Laden.” It sickens me that this type of violence has always been hand-in-hand with September 11th, that after the attacks fourteen years ago, attacks on anyone who “looked Middle Eastern” skyrocketed, and American citizens of Middle-Eastern descent were essentially kidnapped by their own government and viewed with suspicion. I also read a blog post on Patheos that sums up exactly how I feel:

But on this day, as a Christian, there are some other things I want us to never forget about 9/11 and the retaliatory War on Terror that happened in response.

On 9/11, 2,977 innocent Americans were killed by terrorists.

In the 14-year war on terror, 5,280 American soldiers were killed because of our country’s response to the 9/11 attacks.

Conservatively, reports estimate the War on Terror claimed 1.3 million lives in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Our war killed 5 percent of the Iraqi population, people who had zero ties to what actually happened on 9/11.

Our war killed at least 465 people for every person who died on 9/11. Some estimate we killed 670 or more per person.

Our war displaced 3 million Iraqi people.

Our war created 2.5 million Afghan refugees.

Read David Henson’s full post on http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2015/09/things-to-neverforget-on-911/

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Will we continue to blindly flaunt our patriotism and say “Never forget,” but so easily forget what we’ve done? Are 2,977 lives worth more just because they were American? Haven’t we had our fill of revenge?

5 Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From Murder

We’re getting political again here, folks. This is a satire I wrote for my Literary Humor Writing class. 

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The world is a dangerous place. Though the lamestream media doesn’t cover it, every day young people are murdered in “safe” places by insane criminals who are more than likely part of gangs and/or terrorist cells from “no-go zones.” As a parent, you love your kids and want to keep them as safe as possible. Therefore, it only makes sense that the more guns around your kids and the more experience your kids have with guns, the better adapted they will be to defend themselves when the race war inevitably begins (thanks, Obama). The following list will provide you with comprehensive ways to educate them on how to protect themselves when they get their first gun on their fourth birthday.

1.Teach them about safety from a very young age

A child is never too young to learn about safety. Many people go to shooting ranges to hone their skills, but even smaller kids can benefit from lessons. Exercise your constitutional freedoms by holding “Mommy and Me” classes in your backyard where infants can gather and learn how to load, clean, disassemble, and reassemble a variety of weapons in a matter of seconds. Babies already take swimming lessons as young as 6 months; why not bring guns – humankind’s greatest form of self-defense – into the mix?

2. Make safety fun

A big problem with making society safer is the unfair stigma and censorship surrounding guns. Making safety as fun as possible will help make young kids less afraid of what should be their best friend. Change up classic lyrics and sing along to child-friendly songs like “Turkey in the Straw, Because I Shot Him,” “Itsy Bitsy Spesco Falcon,” and “Ba Ba Beretta.” Repetition is key, so sing these tunes as frequently as possible so the concept of safety is imprinted on your child’s mind clearer than the red dot of a sniper’s rifle.

3. Envelop them in safety

You can never be too safe. Everyone knows the more guns the better. Decorate your home with wallpaper printed with gun images so your young ones can feel the cold-steel embrace of ammunition at all times. Duct-tape guns under tables, chairs, beds, and inside cupboards. This will desensitize them to the rampant anti-gun messages that the media constantly shoves down their throats. Come on, Stallone, Bullet to the Head? Why not Bullet to the Head, Back, Face, and Torso?

4. Confront people who want your kids dead

It’s hard to believe, but there are groups solely dedicated to making the world less safe. Confront these dangerous lunatics by approaching them carefully with your guns and staring at them without speaking. If you do speak, make sure you shout, so they know just how important kids’ lives are to you and how upset you are that they are supporting mass murder. If they are still not responsive, consider waving your weapon around in case they didn’t see it. The presence of guns will ease everyone’s worries and will no doubt help facilitate a civil discussion.

5. Defy attempts to make your community less safe

No gun-zones? What is this, communist Russia? Or London? Set an example for your kids by refusing to enter any business unarmed. Who knows when an al Qaeda or hoodied gang banger might leap through the window at Dairy Queen, showering down a storm of bullets upon the unsuspecting crowd? Show your children that you love them by proudly displaying your semi-automatic at any and every location, including fast food restaurants, salons, libraries, and aquariums. If the business in question refuses to serve you, you now know who in your community hates children and wants to see them all dead.

Why Are American Christians Supporting Israel?

About 20 days ago, a major conflict broke out between Gaza and Israel. Rockets are fired. People are dying. As of June 26th, 1000 people in Gaza have been killed and 42 Israelis, two of whom were civilians. These numbers may not be accurate as it is difficult to recover bodies in Gaza because of the rubble, and there is another source that says 3 Israeli civilians have been killed. In terms of defense, Israel has the Iron Dome and an early-warning system that alerts its citizens to incoming strikes. Gaza has…nothing. Israel warns Gaza citizens that bombs are coming by calling phone calls, sending text messages, and dropping non-explosives that “knock” on a roof, warning of a coming strike, but Palestinians are not satisfied with these claims. Some talked about how they were given ten-minute warnings, but others they knew were not. There is also just nowhere to go once they are warned; many have died while taking shelter in churches and government buildings, even a U.N. shelter. 

These attacks are based on the claim by Israel’s prime minister that Hamas uses civilian buildings to hide weapons. Hamas denies this. Israel has not allowed independent investigators to research its claims. Let’s say for a moment that Hamas is lying and there are weapons stores in civilian buildings. What is Israel’s plan? Destroy everything just to be sure?  I understand that Israel has a right to defend itself. However, because of their superior weaponry and defense system, Israel is bringing a gun to a knife fight and innocent men, women, and children are the ones paying for it. 

According to Israel, there are no “civilians” or “civilian buildings.” Basically, with how it is playing out, any home or structure is considered a potential threat and can be destroyed without consequence. Mosques, schools, hospitals, factories, stores, sewage lines…in 2009, the same thing happened, and the destruction cost about $1.9 billion. The commanding officer in the south of Israel was quoted on the first day of those bombings, saying that the goal was to “send Gaza decades into the past.” After the attacks ceased, any and all aid was orchestrated by Israel and with the blockade from 2007 still in place (though Gaza has essentially been under Egypt/Israel control since 1967), Israel essentially controlled the speed at each Gaza would be able to recover. The strip is basically a large prison, where almost half of the inmates are under 14. 

These are the facts. It would be difficult to prove them wrong. 

I’ve had a couple of conversations about this recently. First of all, everyone seems to think that if I don’t support Israel, I’m supporting Hamas. I rarely align myself with nations or governments, I prefer to support people. Like the ones being killed in Gaza. I don’t see this situation as a “choose one or the other” type of deal. I am aware that neither party is “innocent.” I’m not trying to prove that Hamas is going to be the savior of the Middle East. That’s not even at issue here. 

Second of all, there is this puzzling belief that Israel is somehow “noble” and playing fair by the laws of war. There’s a lot of, “Israel doesn’t do that,” and “Hamas does this, which is bad.” Yes, using suicide bombers is not good, it is an act of terrorism. You know what else is not good? Using children as human shields, which Israel has been accused of doing now and also in the past. Israel, of course, denies this. This recent slew of bombings has also gained a lot of criticism because of the sheer intensity of violence against a strip of land that could fit inside New York City and is home to almost 2 million. About 800 tons of bombs have hit Gaza. Kind of unnecessarily brutal. 

Let’s step back. Why is this important to Westerners, specifically Christians? There’s this concern that if we do not support Israel, God’s wrath will fall upon us. Ok, so, there’s some references in the Bible about not going up against the Hebrews, God’s chosen people, so I get that. But does that mean specifically the country of Israel as we know it? A lot of bad stuff went down in those ancient days, with the Hebrews constantly turning against God, coming back, turning against God. Eventually, God was just silent for like 400 years, and then Jesus came. When He showed up, the Jews were all happy. Yay! He’s going to get rid of the Roman empire and we’re going to be on top again, just like God promised! However, they missed the point. God never meant His kingdom to be a physical one, but a spiritual one. That’s what all the messages, all the signs, all the prophets, were pointing to. Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom. When the Jews discovered this, they turned on Jesus. They murdered God. This was not the end of the story though; Jesus came back and this was the beginning of the spiritual kingdom of God, right then and there. Transformation was already beginning in those who accepted Him and the disciples were sent out to bring as many people as possible into this kingdom with them, Jews or otherwise. People spread out. It’s not like they all huddled together and set up a new country for themselves. Even if they did, if things started to turn bad, we wouldn’t hold anyone at fault for backing away and refusing to support something that was no longer Christ-like.

So why are we so afraid to stop supporting Israel? Israel, whose Ministry of the Interior has a history of discriminating against Christians, from making it hard for Christians to go through the visa system to forbidding Christian missionaries from teaching. For decades, churches are regularly defaced and burned. Messianic Jews have an especially rough time in under Israeli rule, as they are perceived as being traitors to their religion. Most Messianic Jews are very quiet about their beliefs and do mission work discretely. 

Again, is this me saying that Israel is the worst country ever? No. Is it any better in other Middle Eastern countries? Muslim countries? Probably not, though ironically enough, Christians seem to fare much better in Gaza than in Israel, according to The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation which was founded to “inform American Christians of the plight of Palestinian Christians. For more information on the relationship between Hamas and Christians, read here: http://www.hcef.org/publications/hcef-news/790793540-christians-in-gaza-history-and-struggle.

No one I have talked to has brought up the fact that there are Christian Palestinians in Gaza. The history of Christianity in Palestine goes back thousands of years; it is widely thought that the first person to reach Gaza was Philip, a disciple of Paul. When Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, there were 10,000 Christians. By 2007, that number was reduced by half. When Hamas came into control, the number reduced even more. Now, there’s only about 1500 or so, probably less. There is often tension between Christians and Muslims within Gaza, but both groups are suffering due to the Israeli bombings. Israel does not care any more for Christians than it does for Muslims. Everyone is a potential terrorist and this is war. 

 

So, basically what can be drawn from what I’m saying here is Israel is certainly not treating Christians well or any better than their neighbors. So why are American Christians so adamant in supporting Israel? As a nation? As explored above, “Zion” and “the people of God” are not defined by a geographical region, but by their commitment to Jesus Christ. “Zion” is referred to in the New Testament as a ‘daughter’ whose “king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” Zion comes up again in 1 Peter 2:6, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” So if asked if I support Zion or Israel as a spiritual kingdom, then yes, to my last breath. But if asked if I support the State of Israel as established in 1948, then, no, I do not. Do I support the individual people who live within Israel’s borders? Yes, I do, but I do not support actions carried out by individuals that result in unnecessary death and destruction. 

In the end, it does not really matter what I think, or what any American Christian thinks. We get our news filtered through various media channels, all with their own agenda, all trying to get us to side one way or the other, while in reality, there is no  clear “side.” Alex Awad, a Christian pastor at East Jerusalem Church, puts it best: “The Christians in the west, most of them, they don’t know the realities here. They don’t know who is occupying who, who is oppressing who, who is confiscating whose land, who is building walls to try and separate people from one another.” 

I know I don’t know everything, but I know enough to question America’s commitment to Israel and my fellow Christians’ support of the country. I know I don’t have to “pick a side.” I just have to care about peace like a river and righteousness rolling like waves in the sea. 

Sources: 

http://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-dahiya-doctrine-comes-gaza/8006

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28503420

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/israel-airstrike-warning_n_5614085.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-report-accuses-israeli-forces-of-using-palestinian-children-as-human-shields-abusing-children-in-custody/

http://citizenactionmonitor.wordpress.com/tag/israeli-citizen-violence-against-palestinians/

https://hippasus.wordpress.com/tag/how-big-is-gaza-compared-to-new-york-city/ 

http://972mag.com/israels-not-so-stellar-record-on-treatment-of-christians/43325/ 

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/rel-christians.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/kosher-jesus-messianic-jews-in-the-holy-land/265670/

 

Strangers in a Strange Land

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They fled poverty, corruption, and abuse to our country, a land that cried,

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

When they came to our country, we called them terrorists and thieves. 

By the color of their skin, we judged them all. By the language that they spoke, we called them all drug lords, human traffickers, and alien. 

It didn’t matter to us that they did not have the luxury of time to go through a system that takes decades for the best of men and women to go through. 

It didn’t matter that they loved America or freedom enough to pay taxes to a country they weren’t even legally recognized by. 

But the greatest injustice was when they sent their children to us, an act of desperation, and we spewed hatred at them. 

We slammed the door on the least of these. Called them selfish and spoiled when they wouldn’t eat food that made them sick. Blocked their path and forced them to return to crowded shelters. 

We made every excuse we could to not treat them as men, women, and children, but as security risks, as potential disease-spreaders, as animals. 

God have mercy on America. 

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Why I Love America

Equal laws protecting equal rights are the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country. –James Madison

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political. — Thomas Jefferson

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It’s difficult for me to be patriotic. I’m never filled with pride at the mere sight of a waving flag. I never liked “pledging my allegiance” to anything other than a cross or my fellow human beings every morning at school. I never bought the whole “America-is-exceptional” story. I know too much history and read too much news for that.

It’s difficult for me to be patriotic. At least according to the definition that society has crafted over the years.

Being patriotic is not about denying the fact that America has a dark past and continues to portray itself as a savior of the world while playing the same game that all empires have played for thousands of years. For me, patriotism is about holding America to the standards that the founding fathers established. They may have been a group of old, white, and most likely racist men who would be shocked at cars, the Internet, women’s rights, gay rights, and so on, but they were smart enough to know that America would change. Their values were purposely vague, and I believe that’s because they knew that the America they founded would not be the same America hundreds of years later. A lot of people make a big deal about “what the founding fathers intended,” but if we asked them, they would probably throw their hands up in the air and say, “That doesn’t matter now! Things are different. Why are you asking us? We gave you some guidelines, now make it work.”

Patriotism is also about unity. There are two things I cannot stand: 1) Questioning someone’s religious devotion based on politics and 2) Questioning someone’s patriotism because of their politics. Assuming someone is not outright saying, “America is the worst. It shouldn’t exist. I revoke my citizenship,” they are most likely invested in politics and what is going on because, ultimately, they love their country and the people in it. You can say, “Your idea is terrible for America, mine is better,” but DO NOT say, “You hate America, and that’s why you have this idea.” A bunch of conservative pages on Facebook featured two pictures, one of President Bush and one of President Obama, and were trying to make a statement about the “difference” between the two’s patriotism. This was on the Fourth of July. That is a very low blow and the Fourth is not the day for partisan politics. Come on.

I love America because it is my home. Something about this country drew my ancestors from Europe, Japan, and Okinawa, and something about it is keeping me here. I have been given great opportunities and because I love America, I want to make sure that everyone gets those same opportunities.

 

 

 

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The Middle East is erupting. There are politicians running around and promoting going to war. Again. To not go to war is being painted by some as a cowardly move, to appear weak. To be strong, we have to kill. We have to blow things up. It doesn’t even matter that we acknowledge how terrible war is, it kind of makes it worse, at least in my mind. We know that war is hell, and yet we still encourage it.

I absolutely hate going to church services that revolve around Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. I hate that the American flag is placed in front of the church alongside the Cross. Why is being loyal to your country so synonymous with being willing to go to war for it? Why isn’t avoiding war, negotiating with hostile nations, and doing everything that can be done to save lives, something that is seen as admirable? And I’m not talking about just American lives. We are responsible for the deaths of so many because we are literally sending out robots to do the killing for us. As if by washing our hands of it, much like Pilate did when he handed Jesus over to the crowd, we are somehow avoiding the damned spot of guilt?

America loves to compare itself to other nations in terms of how “merciful” or “noble” we are. At least we haven’t killed as many as (insert other nation here). Sure, we go to war, but it’s for (insert reason here), which is a good reason. And then we have the audacity to get upset about gay marriage because America is a “Christian nation,” and letting gay people get married isn’t “Christian.” Because the internship of Japanese-Americans, nuking two Japanese cities, and participating in any war that results in the deaths of innocents is Christian. We haven’t been a Christian nation for a long time. Were we ever? America was born from war.

I’m not saying that I wish America never existed. I’m saying we’re not a Christian nation. It’s kind of impossible to be “Christian” and a “nation” in the same sense that all other nations have existed. America has literally been described as an empire. Rome was an empire, too. Maybe we’re like Rome not because “debauchery” exists, but because we wage war to spread our message of democracy. Alexander the Great did it. Genghis Khan did it. Jesus…did not. People expected him to do it, but He didn’t.

I’m also not saying that I don’t respect soldiers. They do what I could never do. I do believe that as a nation, we are grossly unequipped to help returning men and women, because we don’t fully explain to them what war really is. Commercials show strong, sturdy units, and the military is based on the principle that there are no individuals, there is only the group. You work together. But that’s not how the world really works. You can’t ignore your individuality and your own responses to the absolute horror that war is. When you come back, how are you going to deal with it? With continuing your life as an individual, in a nation that is obsessed with individual rights and individual happiness? We’ve seen what happens when soldiers return and they aren’t treated like heroes. The aftermath of Vietnam is notorious for its lack of parades and celebration of victory that WWI and WWII produced. Vietnam vets were bitter and angry. They didn’t know how to handle what they had gone through in a society blissfully unaware of the realities of war. Are parades necessary to somehow justify what soldiers have done in order to survive? That they’ve killed, but it’s different than murder? But what if a soldier doesn’t really believe that? Soldiers are part of a system that is inherently violent and inherently based upon not loving your enemies, but killing them, so how do we deal with this fact?

I don’t know. But as Christians we have to stop treating war like it’s something God would approve of. I know, I know, in the Old Testament, God sent His people into war, and I know it’s risky to draw a  line between the Old Testament and the New, but the fact of the matter is, it’s called the NEW Testament for a reason. When Jesus died and resurrected, everything changed. Including the idea that war was something we would be commanded to participate in. Jesus did not go to war with those who wanted to kill him. He did not raise his whip against the people in the temple who were selling and buying. He overturned their tables, he overturned the system, and when He willingly went to His death, he overturned the entire system of blood-for-blood that the world has completely bought into.

I credit my thoughts on this to the book “A Farewell to Mars,” by Brian Zahnd. It’s pretty much blowing my mind.

Photo: http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/079/5/0/19058_war_is_hell_horst_faas_by_americanrussian-d5yo5r4.jpg

Is It Worth It?

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..my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it? Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support? Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church? Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?

            -Rachel Held Evans

I’m exhausted.

Every day, through news and through people I know, I see a divide growing between “Christian love” and actually daring to love. It’s become an act of rebellion against fellow Christians to stand up for LGBT, for pro-choice, for strangers in this strange land, and even for the poor.

The title of the article Rachel wrote (from which the above quote is from) is called “How evangelicals won a culture war and lost a generation.” This is what Christianity in America has become. A war. Love looks like a sword, but instead of destroying powers and principalities that oppress, that sword is slicing through people and then the wielder dares to say “I love you.” It’s become more important to “make a stand” than to serve the needy. World Vision did not reverse its decision to hire married homosexuals because it had a change of heart. Thousands of Christians were “making a stand” and threatening to abandon their sponsorships. Pastors exhorted their congregations to “make a stand” and stop financing World Vision. Sure, there are other organizations that do similar work, but isn’t that more about how you feel than anything else? You abandon one child to just pick up another? So everything is fine? WV admitted that the reason they backed away from their revolutionary decision was because they had not considered/consulted their partners and their supporters. They had not expected that kind of fury to rise up from the ranks of kind, selfless Christians and actually threaten the state of their organization.

This is the biggest news in the culture war as of late, but there are others. I have seen the film “Noah” simultaneously mocked, and from others shunned as demonic. None of them have considered that perhaps this movie was not intended for them. Perhaps it was intended for an audience that is sick and tired of white-bearded and (frankly) boring Sunday School stories, and is more accustomed to action heroes who cut instead of pray their way through evil and do things that most of us would regret later. Russell Crowe’s Noah is more than a little rough around the edges and the religion of his cinematic world looks like more like Wicca than Christianity, but what the hell, is this surprising? This is a world that is further from the Ten Commandments than the number of years the US of A has existed, and it’s a world where there is little to no divide between the spiritual and physical realms. Is Noah supposed to just fold his hands and sadly shake his head while outside his door humanity is raping and murdering itself into oblivion? This generation is moving farther and farther away from traditional Christianity and as my family has said, perhaps this movie will at least get their attention again.

The war rages on. Discussions on abortion are littered with words like “murder,” a clear attempt to consciously or unconsciously shame those struggling with the decision. Behind closed doors, I have seen discussions where the abortion topic is saturated with unveiled death wishes upon pro-choice women, name-calling like “bitch,” “slut, ‘whore, and “c–t.” There is no distinction between women who voluntarily have abortions with those who have to choose between preserving their own lives, or inflicting both their death and the death of their child upon their grief-dizzied families. To these people, anyone who has an abortion is a murdering whore, or at the very least, an ignorant, selfish victim of politically-liberal ideals.

My convictions continue to separate me from supporters of “traditional” evangelicalism. I have had my Christianity questioned in ways as direct as being told I am “straying from the straight and narrow,” to micro-aggressions such as vague questioning of how anyone could be a Christian and believe what I believe. I am terrified of attempting to go to a church because I have no idea what kind of opposition I might face when my beliefs inevitably come out. I am not alone in this increasingly bitter pulling away from evangelicalism and instead of looking inwardly, I find that Christians are blaming the generation they are losing, claiming we are losing our morals, becoming infatuated with “political correctness” and “liberal propaganda,” or are just plain stupid.

Maybe we’re just fed up with being told we have to rally against our neighbors in order to be a good Christian.