Bruce Horst, the former Christian who shed his faith after seeing evangelicals’ knee-jerk, spiteful, anti-WWJD reaction to the Affordable Care Act, recently recounted a time nearly eight years ago when he attended a Tea Party gathering.
It didn’t go well. In fact, he had a much better experience visiting the folks who were members of the newly formed (oppositional) “Coffee Party.”
In one meeting, the people were outraged. The topic of discussion was how ‘we’ were going to protect ourselves from ‘them.’ The people were extremely fearful.
In the second meeting I attended back in 2009, I met people with this same belief system [where greed was bad, humility was good and forgiveness and turning the other cheek were virtuous]. They would never call other Americans ‘the enemy.’ They would not mock the weak or the poor or demonize the outsider. There were people there who had committed their lives to help those ‘others’ regardless of the hardships it would cause them in their own lives. They considered themselves the servants of all. They were fearless. They exhibited a belief system which I immediately recognized as worthy of committing my life to, and I have.
In Horst’s mind, the people who didn’t publicly identify as Christians were acting much more like Jesus than those who wore their faith on their sleeves. He saw the hypocrisy and knew he didn’t want to live in a world where the Christianity defined by Tea Party members came to dominate our politics.
Like I said earlier, it wasn’t this experience that led Horst away from Christianity for good, but it sure as hell nudged him down that path. He eventually became an atheist.
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