I saw a post from a former pastor of mine. I consider him a friend and mentor – at least, I considered him one. It’s a confusing thing. I still love and respect him, admire much of his character and have nothing but the deepest appreciation for the things he has taught me over the years. But, I feel conflicted, too. Our ideologies are not the same, and though I have faith in God, I would no longer characterize myself as a fundamentalist Christian in any form. Over the past few years my friend has become increasingly more vocal in political and religious matters, something I will certainly never criticize, however it has highlighted the rift that is between us when I compare what we think and believe. He is unabashedly both conservative Right and conservative Christian, even when those two viewpoints are in direct contention. More recently, he has taken to bashing both the Left and the Islamic religion, often conflating the two in order to make a skewed point. Given his background as both an IBM engineer and a teacher of Philosophy, I have no doubt he understands faulty logic- but he no longer pays heed to that in service of rhetoric. This depresses me. There was a time when he measured the character of a person by when they were willing to keep their mouth shut. Have we moved so far past civil discourse that even good men step over the line to protect what they see as their way of life? Is the perceived threat to Christianity, whether it is by political, social or religious agenda so great that we must forget our principles?
I hope not.