The War on Women & Hateful Christians.

Christian protester

Nothing sparks the powder keg of my passion like women’s issues. Particularly the cause of women without a chance. Women so disproportionately matched by their circumstances.

I love prostitute women.

Single moms.

Incarcerated women.

Addicted women.

Abused women.

Gay women.

Trafficked women.

Uneducated women.

Poor women.

Women who’ve had abortions.

Hurt women.

I have the hardest time loving privileged women. Like me. Especially privileged angry women.

I was drawn to the allegations of a “War on Women” because something rings true about it. I began researching the claims, genuinely ready to be educated…….recruited even. Quickly disillusioned, I unearthed a lot of political propaganda, a multitude of neon posters yelling about reproductive rights (“If I wanted the government in my womb, I would #$&% a senator”), and an army of privileged angry women. Keeping it classy.

Belligerent wit hasn’t proven effective in catalyzing change. It looks clever and feels good in a crowd though.

Pro-life legislation isn’t an attack on me. Abstinence education is not an affront to my freedom. I realize some women feel oppressed by such policies, but I’m not one of them. This war is not on me.

One site claiming proof of the GOP’s War on Women cites the Republican disdain for the Girl Scouts as evidence: “The Republican-Christian authoritarianism mindset does not like empowering women and it is absolutely horrified by the idea that impressionable young girls should get uppity notions which can only turn them into anti-religion, baby-killing feminazis.”

After several searches, I honestly wondered two things.

Is this war really on the Bible and its teachings?

This sign was a bit of a give away.

war on women

When did civility expire?

Civility and conviction aren’t mutually exclusive. Ever.

—————

To be fair, Christians may have taught the world how to do extremism so poorly. We show our hind parts on any number of issues. Our dogma – a blend of hypocrisy, ignorance, and savage cruelty – absolutely runs counter to the faith we claim.

I am convinced nothing is more detrimental to the cause of Christ than hateful Christians.

hostile Christian

So, while I am disturbed by the vicious intolerance for Christian beliefs, I am not surprised by it. I feel it a bit earned. And I feel it a bit my responsibility to help fix it. I hope you do too.

That doesn’t mean I don’t actively advocate for my beliefs. That doesn’t mean my convictions are lax. It means they will always be tempered by compassion.

The pro-choice proponents and I disagree about when life begins. Gay couples and I have different beliefs about marriage. But our differences don’t negate the command to love. Genuinely and well.

That’s the real change agent.

Forgive me if my approach seems overly simplistic. Pollyanna-ish. Passive. Impractically idealistic. It even seems a little like that to me. But the most time-tested document of all history says love is revolutionary.

I happen to believe it.

Here’s an idea. How about if we extend the same grace we want? That’s how grace works. By definition it is undeserved and is incapable of being partial.

jesus rally

—————

Now about this war on women…

I do believe it’s a thing. But in a different context than I found. I was hoping to find a healthy discourse around the impossible circumstances of single mothers in America.

  • “…single mothers with dependent children have the highest rate of poverty across all demographic groups.”
  • “The poverty rate for single-mother families in 2013 was 39.6%” with more than half living in extreme poverty.

I was hoping to find a fruitful discussion about violence against women.

  • “More than one in three women will experience rape, violence, and/or stalking at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes.”
  • “About three women are killed by their partners every day.”
  • “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44.”

I had hoped to discover efforts aimed at abolishing sex trafficking in America.

  • There are “800,000 people trafficked across international borders every year; 80% are women and girls.”
  • “There are 100,000 to 300,000 underage girls being sold for sex in America.”
  • “1 out of 5 pornographic images is of a child.”

Sadly, that’s not what I found.

Instead, I found a mob of privileged people – on both sides of the aisle – wrangling about rights. While little girls are servicing men in dark hellholes around this country with little hope of escape.

So, if you want to talk about a war on women……let’s talk about a war on poverty. Let’s talk about a war on sexual exploitation. Let’s talk about a war on abuse.

Sign me up for that.

Otherwise, I’ll pass on the witty neon poster.

[Images: Danny Hammontree, Peace Education Center, hissingteakettle, and philippe leroyer]

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