Christianity and the Modern Girl

Christianity and the Modern Girl

Warning: It’s not a pretty picture.

I’m worried about Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She seems to have no moral center. Sanders has been the White House’s water carrier for the president’s cruel and misogynistic attacks on women. It makes sense to turn to her. Can you imagine Sean Spicer trying to defend the latest round of tweets? I fear he’d implode before speaking. Sanders is in every way cooler, calmer, and better at taking fire from the press. But why on earth would she agree to do it? I could understand if she were simply deflecting the issue, but she is vigorously defending the president. She says he is right to do and say the things he does. Can she really believe that?

Sanders is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, southern Christian minister turned politician turned pundit. Sanders was brought up in a Christian household. Her father campaigned on Christian values in the past two elections. But I see no evidence of those values in her words or her actions. I grew up in Mississippi, surrounded by churchgoing Christians. When I attended church, as I often did when I was younger, I went to the Baptist church near my childhood home. The primary lessons of the southern Christian church are as follows:

  • Accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior and you’ll have everlasting life.
  • Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

I can’t know who’s living in Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s heart, but I don’t believe Jesus would defend the hate tweets that fly from our president’s fingers whenever he watches too much cable television. And I don’t know how she can square this behavior with the Golden Rule of treating others as you’d want to be treated. Jesus advised turning the other cheek. Sanders says it’s better to strike back. Unfortunately the visible and vocal Christians in the modern world seem to agree with Sanders. This is the face of modern Christianity: angry, twisted, defiant, and full of hate.

I know there are people in the pews every week who don’t live their lives this way, but in their silence they are complicit. Christians cannot claim the moral high ground when they spend so much time defending the indefensible. This is why so many people have abandoned the churches of their childhood. The stink of hypocrisy is too strong to bear.

Christians who don’t support the president’s personal attacks should speak up now and loudly. Otherwise the rest of are stuck believing that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the natural outgrowth of a Christian upbringing. Here is a woman who defends brutishness, refuses to stand up for what’s right, and will say anything to keep her job. That she does it so well is not a testament to her character. If this is what it means to be a Christian in the modern world, then Christianity is an idea whose time has passed.

 

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Tiffany Quay Tyson

THE PAST IS NEVER, a southern gothic novel steeped in local lore, is available now. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance deemed it an Okra Pick. Tyson's debut novel THREE RIVERS was a finalist for both the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and now lives, writes, and teaches in Denver, Colorado.
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2 thoughts on “Christianity and the Modern Girl

  1. I agree with your post with my whole heart.

    For months I’ve been trying to write something about this very topic. And writing, and the teaching of it, is my trade. But, despite my normally loquacious (ha!) self, I’ve been stunned into silence.

    Beyond stunned. I’ve been broken.

    I do consider myself a Christian, but I most certainly did NOT vote for Trump.

    I’ve been horrifically grieved by watching his actions, and those of Christians supporting him. I’ve seen otherwise good (and I’m talking about REALLY good, as in their actions, not just words, by virtue of fostering/adopting/LOVING children–including me– of other races from throughout the world, amongst a profusion of other kindnesses and acts of tremendous empathy) people vote for him.

    People in my own family in the South who said, “We don’t like Trump, but it beats the alternative.”

    Really? REALLY?

    I have 2 daughters and I shiver and feel physically Kicked. In. The. Gut. when I consider what example this is setting for them, when the president of the US is allowed to speak and do such immensely disrespectful (if not downright illegal, as in assault) things to women (and minorities and those with disabilities, etc.).

    It’s appalling and one of the most frightening things I’ve ever encountered. I know that in Kentucky, my home though I’m no longer there (ironically, I’m currently in Washington, DC before heading back to Alabama), many folks voted for him out of complete and utter terror that if they did NOT vote for him, they would have no jobs. (Not that that makes it right.)

    I don’t, however, think the end justifies the means. Even if Trump were able to secure a massive amount of new coal jobs (which I don’t believe he will), is that worth enabling an abuser, a bigot, a racist, a misogynist?

    And not just enabling him, but buttressing and vaulting him up to the highest post in the US, if not the world?

    I do not want to be hateful to anyone. Ever. Certainly not to the hard working people in Kentucky, or my family members, or fellow Christians. I try very hard to live a life of love, kindness, and empathy at all times. I do not want to sit in harsh judgement of others when I don’t have the full picture of their lives and the “why” behind their choices. I comprehend that life is more nuanced and multi-faceted than that.

    BUT…there are blatant wrongs of a magnitude that force us to speak up. Like Trump.

    So, now I’m in the gathering stage. The contemplating stage. Hoping to find the correct words that won’t inflame an already tenuous situation, but that might help those currently supporting Trump see the damage he has wrought.

    I want what I write to be done in love. I want to utilize what cerebral prowess I still have left (after my mind being blown open by the viciousness of Trump) to choose my words so carefully that they might truly make a positive difference to someone instead of adding to the chaos, despair, and inherently fractured nature of the US today.

    But I absolutely hear you and concur and THANK YOU for writing this. This is a strong catalyst for me to finish writing what I know I need to write.

    Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Wow! And thanks for responding. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble writing what you want to say in a powerful and compassionate way. You’ve done that here. Like you, I was raised in the working class south. My father was an ironworker. He knew Trump’s message would resonate with blue collar workers, though it certainly didn’t resonate with him.

      I don’t think there’s any hope that the coal industry will come roaring back, but I surely do agree that the displaced coal miners and other blue collar workers need new and better opportunities. I don’t have the answers to fix that problem. Unfortunately neither do the people in power on either side of the political aisle.

      Good luck to you. And thanks so much for this incredibly thoughtful response.

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