PHILADELPHIA––If a visitor to the DNC judged Christianity by the most visible adherents on the streets of this city, or their analogs at the RNC in Cleveland, rather than the few preachers who took the stage as part of the official proceedings, they might mistake it for a hateful faith obsessed with visions of fire and brimstone.
The Christians most motivated to turn out with signs and aggressively proselytize emphasized neither love nor forgiveness nor food for the hungry nor clothes for the naked.
Instead they touted the vengeance of an angry God.
For passersby who live in secular enclaves or subcultures, these may well be the most consequential “real life” encounter with Christians they will have this year. And that is a shame.
I haven’t been a regular church attendee since childhood. But by virtue of 13 years of religious schooling I know a great many Christian families and individuals. And they could not be more different than their most vocal co-religionists. Their Christian faith causes them to be more kind, loving, forgiving, and guided by their consciences than they would otherwise be. They are far more concerned about helping and loving their neighbor than condemning him. They are horrified by the claim that God intended AIDS as a judgment against gay people.