Christians the ones practicing tolerance |

Christians the ones practicing tolerance

I find the caricatures of evangelical Christians lampooned on the Opinion page amusing and entertaining. However, I think this tedious drumming by the so-called tolerant, progressive, freethinkers in our community actually serves a valuable service in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. The faithful in their parodies are a bunch of simpletons from the Bible belt, taking marching orders from the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Yet, I do not know a single Christian who fits that description.

If I did discover that folks I “hang with” proved to be “guilty” as charged by the local intelligentsia, that would not present a problem. You see, in the Christian faith we practice tolerance. It is common to find Christians engaged in controversy over the Harry Potter series or disagreeing over the views of Falwell. Christians can be vegetarians or meat eaters, soldiers or pacifists. They may be Democrats, Republicans or apolitical. There are core beliefs common to all, but these “questionable matters” offer Christians ample opportunity to love one another.

With the more liberal types, it is another matter. In those circles there is no dialogue, only dogma; no dissenting opinion, only lock step uniformity. For example, you will never see a “stay at home mom” as the president of NOW or hear a pro-life delegate address the Democratic National Convention (they do exist). No, there will never be a political moderate editing The Nation or an objective discussion of school vouchers within the NEA. If you don’t believe that, just ask the outspoken feminist and lesbian, Camille Paglia. She deviated from the Northeastern liberal creed a few years ago and has been excommunicated.

So, I welcome these flailing attacks. They make authentic Christianity appear winsome to the undecided, who expect anyone espousing the Bible to be a half-wit or a monster. Fair-minded readers will understand that these crabby writers deserve our compassion rather than condemnation. Our fundamentalist Fabians in Nevada County mean Christians harm, but we love them and welcome the few valid criticisms they raise. After all, the Christian life is one of change and progress.

Vance Salisbury

Nevada City

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