I am not your stereotypical white Christian.
From Wikipedia: “In social psychology, a stereotype is any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.” Examples given include cops eating donuts and boys playing video games.
If I am correct, the stereotype of a white Christian these days is someone who:
- Voted for and continues to support Donald Trump
- Is afraid of or dislikes Black people
- Supports building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico; wants to deport a large number of immigrants and wants to severely limit immigration
- Is openly hostile toward gay people
- May be a closet supporter of the KKK
There is probably more. Help me fill in the gaps.
I submit that this stereotype actually fits only a minority of Christian people, and that those it does fit are in violation of basic Christian principles.
- Who you voted for and why is your business and not mine. I won’t criticize you for your vote. I do believe that many people who voted for President Trump did so more as a vote against Hillary Clinton rather than in favor of Trump. The Democrats gave Trump the election when they nominated Clinton. However, President Trump does not represent what I believe are the core principles of Christianity.
- Christian people are actively working to reconcile Black and White Christians in the hope that doing so will lead the way to a broader reconciliation across the nation.
- Being opposed to immigration is contrary to Jesus’ teaching about loving your neighbors and to much of the Bible’s instruction to take care of strangers. We need to set our fears aside and trust in God.
- While it is true that many Christians believe that practicing homosexuality is a violation of God’s law, they do understand that it is mentioned in the same Biblical lists as gossip and pride. There is no excuse for being rude to people.
- We are all made in the image of God. We are to love everyone and to hold no group as more honorable than any other. That includes people of all races, faiths, and persuasions. We are to be welcoming, kind and gentle toward gays, Muslims, gossips, corporate directors and panhandlers.
While there are Christians who are very fearful and are therefore very defensive (and some times offensive), please don’t lump us all together in one large group and then dismiss us. We can be loving and understanding and sometimes even helpful.