Left, Right, and hate...

A study of who "hates" more, those on the political left or the right.

I think the results extend to the theological as well. From my own experience going through seminary with the evangelical/liberal American Baptist Churches and then moving towards historic Christian faith while in Clinical Pastoral Education I can at least anecdotally say that I have encountered more derision from those who claim a theology of "tolerance" than any other kind of person, even those who weren't Christian. I suspect that many conservative or traditional Christian students who have run the gauntlet of life in a mainline seminary or CPE would say a silent "amen" as well.

I remember Clinical Pastoral Education and a discussion about the historic position of the Church regarding gender and ordination. I explained where I was moving and began to explain some of the reasons when a UCC student got a snarl on her face and said "That's just bull****"." So much for listening and responding to ideas with ideas. What was worse was that the director of the CPE program, a Lutheran clergy, was too cowardly to intervene, having been so cowed by years of feminist rhetoric that he could not even stand up for civility in disagreement.

In seminary I remember being called out by a female professor for the crime of not adding the word "sisters" to a Bible passage that read ironically, "How good it is for brothers to dwell together in unity..." Never mind that as Baptists we were supposed to have the freedom of handling the Scriptures for ourselves, or even that it was clear, and had been since those words were first penned that they included everyone. Those were logical, thoughtful, arguments that were met with anger justified (from a white woman who had graduated from both Wheaton and Harvard) by her "oppression. "

The truth is when people come to Orthodoxy they often discover the first place in their whole careers where they can breathe free air and not have to tip toe around the politically correct and emotionally brittle hardliners that dominate so many Christian communities today. It can be just a relief to hear God described as "Father" without anyone scrunching up their faces. Imagine believing what the Church has always taught without fear of a hysterical attack. It's why so many have come, why it takes them a while to understand they have nothing to fear, and why they think they've discovered the haven of their souls after years of voyaging on stormy seas.

No comments: