Some folks who criticize my writing are people who have the same views as mine on most issues.Â They are Christians who share with nonbelievers concern aboutÂ social justice, gay rights andÂ women’s rights on the abortion issue.Â Â Their comments go something like this, “IÂ have the same problems you do with the right wing of the faith.Â I amÂ not one of them.Â So why do youÂ lump Christians like me in withÂ the ones I could not possiblyÂ agree with?”Â
Their criticism is valid.Â The problem comes from the vast arena called communications.Â One of the oldest rules in the media is that storiesÂ which confirm sterotypesÂ makeÂ great news item.Â
SomeÂ examples of Christian sterotypes that have been in the news recentlyÂ are Terry (burn the Korans) Jones, the late Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard andÂ Â Fred Phelps.Â These are all representatives of the Christian right, but they have come to represent “Christians” in general.Â Â
The Christian right’sÂ anti gay rights and anti women’s rights are out of step.Â I think youth are leaving Christian churches in general because theÂ faith is associated with its right wing, notÂ its left.
It was not always this way.Â The Catholic church some decades ago carried the image of social justice.Â Today it’s activities toward social justice are virtually never mentionedÂ they do not match the current sterotype.
It will beÂ hard to change the current Christian sterotype because the large demoninations have, within themselves, both left and right wings.