Being a Prophet Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Even if you’re a self-appointed one, like myself, you’re not going to be popular. That’s because being a prophet means saying things that people don’t want to hear. Most of the time, I avoid this by talking about people who will never read this blog; people who, if they knew me, would probably consider me a heretic. But, it’s like Jesus said,“Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns, among their relatives, and in their own household. I don’t have trouble with relatives, at not with the ones who read this. It’s the hometown bit that gets me. When Jesus said that, he was talking about his own physical hometown. That’s bad enough, but when you’re a blogger, your hometown is the internet and that’s everywhere. I say all this because I wrote an article Wednesday that whose success was…, underwhelming. The post in question is titled Crank Up The Outrage Machine and in it I called out my brothers and sisters on the left for acting like the people on the right, who they are fighting. It’s not that I got slammed by people upset about what I said, it’s that I got hardly any response at all. I know that sounds crazy but, here on the internet, there are only two ways to know you’re being effective:

  1. Numbers. That’s a biggie. It’s why all of us bloggers (well, this one anyway) have multiple analytics systems to track the number of visits to our site, where they came from, how long they were there and what they looked at. If you average 150 visits a day, then one post garners 1000, you know you struck a chord. I wasn’t looking for a 1000 hits (well, I kinda was), but yesterday’s mediocre showing was disappointing.
  2. Comments. This is actually bigger than numbers, because it means you moved someone enough that they decided to weigh in on the conversation. Except for the part where traffic means you get to post ads, I’d rather have comments over sheer numbers any day.

I know it’s a little arrogant to call myself a prophet and I certainly don’t put myself up there with Jeremiah or Isaiah. I’m more in league with Hosea (the one that married the hooker) or Joel (my namesake and kind of a cranky old dude). But, hey, it’s my website (literally, I own it) and I can say whatever I want. Today, I want to say this: we, on the left, are getting entirely too much like the Religious Right and it needs to stop now! Don’t think so? Check out this article from DailyKos, titled “You Cannot Be A Republican And A Christian. Sound a tad familiar? If not, let me refresh your memory with a couple of oldies but goodies. First up is this post from our good friend, Doug Giles. You know Doug, he’s the pastor who encourages fathers to teach their daughters how to shoot so they defend themselves from overzealous boyfriends. Read it (well, at least as much as you could stomach)? Good, then there’s this little ditty from our pal, Rick Santorum. Rick said in a speech at the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life

” Is there such thing as a sincere liberal Christian, which says that we basically take this document and re-write it ourselves? Is that really Christian? That’s a bigger question for me. And the answer is, no, it’s not. I don’t think there is such a thing. To take what is plainly written and say that I don’t agree with that, therefore, I don’t have to pay attention to it, means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian. That’s sort of how I look at it.

When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned Christendom, in my opinion. And you don’t have a right to claim it.

Did you get that? He doesn’t use the actual words but the gist of it is that, unless you believe exactly as he does, you’re not a Christian. Now, go back and look at that DailyKos piece again and see what you think.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t point out hateful speech when we hear it. We shouldn’t ignore injustice when we see it. We shouldn’t be silent when we feel someone is perverting the Gospel. What I am saying is we shouldn’t be using their tactics against them; it turns us into what we’re fighting against. That’s just wrong. And, I don’t care if it’s coming from a place of love or hate, wrong is wrong.