Sitting here trying to come up with a reason, any reason, why I would want – during Holy Week no less – to read Newsweek’s cover story this week where Andrew Sullivan lectures us at length about how Christians should properly follow Jesus and how the church is terribly out of line with its Savior.
It’s curious how conservative Christians who hold definite beliefs about Jesus and His church are denounced as unthinking and rigidly dogmatic. But here we have Newsweek giving Mr. Sullivan their front page to do just that. The issue features Portlandia Jesus standing in the middle of the street in Times Square looking like he’s staring at a huge Juicy Couture advertisement. Apparently Hipster Jesus wears his crown of thorns when he’s out and about on the town, and despite being all wise, doesn’t appreciate that standing in the middle of Broadway is not wise.
And Tina Brown, in her introduction to the story, also sets the record straight for all believers as to who Jesus is. She informs Jesus “never spoke of homosexuality and abortion.” Indeed… except when he made it very clear in Matthew 19 that humanity is created male and female, each is for the other, and the man is to leave mom and dad and cling, not to his spouse generically, but to his wife. He doesn’t leave much room for homosexuality. He also emphatically guided us on how we should think about abortion in Luke 17, saying that for anyone bringing harm to a little one, it would be better for them to be thrown into the sea wearing a large, cement necklace. Strong language. And abortion is designed to bring lethal harm the littlest of these.
Brown then wonders “why religion has been so thoroughly hijacked by political hucksters and ‘faith-based’ hypocrites bereft of basic humanity.” Bereft of basic humanity? Seriously?
- Does she mean all those churches who feed the poor and dispossessed every day in nearly every major city in the United States?
- Or those churches that responded to the victims of Katrina faster, better and more personally than anyone else, including the government?
- Or those churches that host various 12 Step programs for those struggling with addictions on any given evening in their classrooms?
- Or those that provide day schools for all manner of children, including the poor, and often at financial loss?
- Or perhaps she meant those crazy Catholics that run very efficient, effective medical care to the indigent through their wonderful hospitals in every major US city?
It is as if the new DailyBeast/Tina Brown Newsweek is telling orthodox Christians, “don’t read our magazine because we will only ridicule you and your faith in our pages.”
At least, that’s message I get.