Earlier this month, I saw a headline for a local that said “Christian Pastor Gets 90 Years for Molesting Young Parishioners.” I guess my first thought should have been how sad and shocking, but this is American—there’s nothing shocking about a kid(s) getting molested by a pastor…heck, it’d be more shocking if they weren’t.
So what was my first thought? I wonder if I’ve been to that church. Like a lot of Americans, I have a thirst to be connected with whatever is on the news; I want to be able to say “I went to that church!” Alas, however, I have never visited the church; what’s more, I’ve never been molested—by anyone, let alone a minister.
Sometimes I worry if the fact that I’ve never been molested even makes me a true believer; it’s like a rite of passage these days. It also gives you the ability to have a better testimony, which is important in the evangelical communities.
Am I the only one who feels left out for having nothing more impressive to say about why they believe in God, except to say that their life is just better having hope in something then nothing?
On rare occasions, I’m at Christian type rallies that have people giving their testimony, and it’s like everyone is trying to top the next. You never have a guy up on the stage saying, “Well, gee, I guess I just believe because I was raised Christian, and I just never liked the alternative choices to believing.” It always starts with someone who was abused in some way (though usually it was by their parents), and through Christ they were able to forgive and move on and now their life is perfect—they even have a white picket-fence. The stories get more and more dramatic until you reach the last person whose life was so messed up you want to vomit and then kill yourself—usually it’s also bizarre; something like, “Well I was living a life of sexual sin. You see I was a lonely cattle rancher and one day got so lonely I started raping the cows.” And then at the end they sum up by saying, “I realized only God could stop me of this sin” and while everyone else is applauding and crying, I’m always feel like the lone person saying, “No—actually the only thing that could stop you from raping the cattle is moving to the city and going to a shrink.”
I’m tired of the spectacle that modern Christianity tends to bring back; I want the old, stripped down version where people had simple, humble stories to tell about how God works in the average life.