2018-06-07 – I kinda got into it with a liberal Facebook group the other day.
They posted a graph purporting to show that white Evangelical Christians have no redeeming qualities. The “population” was divided into different types of haters. The charitable category was shown as 0%. So I called BS. And the members of the group came down on me. In response, I questioned whether the members had any friends who were Evangelical Christians. I questioned whether they ever looked at news sources that might be sympathetic to Evangelical Christians. And on and on.
As is typical with social media, the whole argument was fragmented. Comment. Counter comment. Counter-counter comment. It rarely goes anywhere. So I wanted to pull together a more cohesive argument here.
The problems with painting all Evangelical Christians as hateful are many. Here are three.
First, it is not true that ALL Evangelical Christians are hateful. I don’t even need statistics on this one. Some are hateful. Some are charitable. And some, probably most, don’t get into political arguments at all. Painting ALL Evangelical Christians as hateful is pure bigotry—like any characterization of ALL blacks, or ALL Hispanics, or ALL Jews, or ALL gays, or ALL Muslims.
One of the members of the liberal Facebook group I was “trolling” accused me of false equivalence. This was BS, too, because I had pointedly said that I thought that the sins were not equivalent. But that still doesn’t make ALL Evangelical Christians haters. There are many who truly live Christian values. There are many who have not sold their souls.
So how do we communicate with the truly righteous among the Evangelicals? By lumping them in with the soul-sellers? I think not.
Second, when we communicate on social media, we have multiple audiences. The members of this liberal Facebook group may think they are talking only to like-minded people. They are not. The group was a public group. Anyone can follow it: liberals, right-wingers, undecided. The undecideds might find anti-Evangelical bigotry distasteful. Right wingers can (and will) copy your statements and publicize them as evidence of leftist “elitism.” If you don’t think this is true, I suggest you follow Breitbart. A pretty large fraction of their stories are of this type. This is how they stir up their base—with our own words (if our words are elitist, as these were).
Third, there’s the numbers. Remember that Hillary actually won the popular voted. We are the majority in this country. Trump won only because the Electoral College is skewed to favor . . . Evangelical Christians (among others). They are not all bad. Wouldn’t it pay to woo a few to vote for Democrats. People don’t vote for you if you call them stupid and hateful. We don’t have to win ALL of them over. We’re never going to win ALL of them over. But we could win SOME of them.
If we’re not stupid. If we live our values and not just talk.