The guy working the cool, macho thing in this video is one Doug Giles and, believe it or not, he’s a pastor. I’m not joking, he’s actually senior pastor of Clash Church between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. If I sound surprised, it’s because I am. No matter how many people I come across claiming to be a Christian who say and do some of the most un-Christlike things, it still astounds me when I do. Take this video, for instance. In it, a pastor and his daughter talk, cool as cucumbers, about killing people who, they believe, pose a threat. Giles is ultra-conservative and, like many in that camp, he seems to be afraid of everything. He sees sex-crazed young men who want to do terrible things to his daughters. Muslims are all violent fundamentalists who want to either kill or convert his family and loved ones. Homosexuals are hell-bent on shoving their “lifestyle” down our throats and are working like mad to “turn” our children gay. When you really begin to listen to what Giles and those like him are saying, their macho, tough-guy image falls apart. I mean, really, if you were that tough, you wouldn’t be worried about all this stuff.
One of the accolades I’ve seen heaped on Giles is that he’s an excellent communicator. On that, I have to agree. The man is a very good speaker, he’s media-savvy and he can turn a phrase (he referred to Terry Jones of Koran-burning fame as “Yosemite Sam’s cousin from Light-A-Fart Fellowship in Shag-Your-Cousin, Florida”). The only problem is his message. It’s about as far from the one Jesus preached as you can get. Jesus said to love everyone; Giles spews hate about gay people, Muslims, anti-hunting activists and pretty much everyone who disagrees with him. Jesus said to turn the other cheek when someone attacked you; Giles’ answer is to get a bigger gun. I could go on, but you get my point. I wish it was just a few nut jobs like Giles that said all this stuff, but it’s not. I hear similar things at work, at the store at church and, worst of all, out of my own mouth. I’ve lost count of the comments that made me cringe as I said them. Maybe it’s time to get the log out my own eye. Then, I can work on other people.