“To my LGBTQ friends: does the act of apologizing for another person’s oppressive act serve as a meaningful substitute for your pain, or is the value in simply someone acknowledging the pain. Or something else?”
Now, I’m not gay, so the question isn’t addressed to me, but I have an answer anyway. And, that’s while the first two maybe true, I lean more toward “something else”. What I’m beginning to think is that all these apologies from people who really don’t have anything to apologize for is huge Jesus Juke. Now, in the past, the Jesus Juke seemed confined to more conservative Christians but recent events concerning the LGBT community, progressive Christians have stepped up with their own version of the Jesus Juke. Take a look:
If you can’t read it, here’s the text: “Missiongathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who DENIED rights and equality TO so many in the Name of God.” Missiongathering Church is from California and has a sister congregation in Charlotte, NC whom they worked with to put this billboard in on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte. MGC originally posted the billboard in California after the passage of Propositition 8 back in 2008, so don’t get your panties in a wad thinking these Cali fruit loops are butting in; as I said earlier,they have a connection to NC. But, the question remains, is this a Jesus Juke? Fortunately, Jon Acuff has given us a checklist and you know Christians love a checklist:
- Does it promote shame? I think calling your opponents narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive and manipulative might meet that criteria.
- It doesn’t lead to good conversation. Read the comments on The MyFOX8 page and make up your own mind.
- Is anyone ever been Juked to Jesus? I’ll let Acuff answer this one: “I once tweeted, “No one’s ever said: ‘The way you bitterly mock other Christians helped me begin a life-changing love of Jesus’ (Be kind).” I wrote that because I wanted to remind us that our jerkiness never led folks to Christ. I don’t think our jukes do either. I don’t really see it as a conversion technique. It’s more of a conversation killer technique.” In others words, being a jerk doesn’t really help spread the gospel.
So, is the Billboard a Jesus Juke? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. I’ve long said those of us on the left need to speak up and let the world know that all Christians aren’t fundamentalists Baptists. On that end of things, this billboard does an excellent job. But, we also need to speak up without coming across as condescending assholes. Here, the billboard falls short in my opinion. Whenever you oppose something, there is always a danger of turning into what you’re fighting. I’ve been down that road and it’s not pretty.
I don’t think the sign needs to come down, but we do need to be ready for some backlash over it. And, not whine about it when it comes.