One of the hardest questions I always get is: “Pat? Are you a Christian?” I honestly never know how to answer that question.
I believe there’s a God and I’m not Him. I believe his Son died for my sins. I believe I should always try to do what’s right and moral.
But do I know the Bible, scripture, and verse? Nope. Do I attend church every Sunday? Nope. Do I surround myself with solely other Christians? Nope. In fact, some of the people I call “friends” have very checkered pasts.
So I don’t know. Am I a Christian or aren’t I? No clue. Do I want my faith to grow and be healthy? Absolutely.
But the reaction I’ve seen from some of Roy Moore’s supporters on social media has shaken my faith. Especially some of the reactions I’ve seen to the accusers and the attempts to justify away, Roy Moore’s admitted behavior in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Sadly, many of those reactions have come from people I look to as principled Christians, for guidance.
The first four accusers in the Roy Moore case didn’t seek out the media. The Washington Post sought them out. After several interviews, the women still didn’t want to go public. It wasn’t until the Post pressured them with 30 corroborating witnesses, did the women relent. These women are in their 50s. They never said a word, as Moore progressed through his career. Every indication is, that they intended to take their burden to the grave with them, like so many women unfortunately, do. Yet, even under those circumstances, they were blasted on social media as liars, women of ill-repute, and “probably paid off”.
One in 6 women in this country, will be a victim of some type of sexual abuse, up to and including rape in her lifetime. Think about that for a moment. One out of every six women that reads those attacks on Roy Moore’s victims on social media, either has been or will be, a victim of sexual assault.
And people wonder why women are hesitant to come out.
The other issue that’s I believe, speaks to our moral equivalency as a country, is the numerous times I’ve been told that whether or not I believe it to be immoral for a 32-year-old man (who admitted to) dating high school girls, doesn’t matter due to the fact that the Bible doesn’t specifically prohibit said behavior. As I said above, I’m no Bible expert, but I believe that there’s no specific prohibition against slavery in it, either. It strikes me as moral relativism to imply that an issue that the Bible neither condemns nor condones, must therefore, condone it by default.
I was originally angry with all of the division over the Roy Moore issue. Division over what amounts to a mere 1/100th of the US Senate. But now, I’m just heartbroken.
Heartbroken over watching friendships dissolved over the issue. Heartbroken at the moral relativism. Heartbroken at my wavering faith. And especially heartbroken for the women who are survivors, yet remain in their own, silent hell, afraid to speak out and having each attack they read on the accusers feel like another twist of the knife.
Whatever side of the issue you’re on, whatever your faith, I implore you: Before hitting “send” on that next post on social media, try to remember that others are lurking and reading. Ask yourself if you would say the words to a survivor of sexual or domestic abuse. Ask yourself if you would say the words to a newcomer to your church.
I’m not a very good Christian. I’m a broken, and sinful person. I’m flawed beyond belief. And if someone like me can consciously make the effort to be more gentle in my approach, I would hope that those I look to for spiritual guidance can do so as well.
Let’s stop hurting each other. Intentionally or not.