Making Ourselves Comfortable on the Fringe

I don’t have anything against kooks per se.  They can be valuable indicators, both leading and trailing.  And their fringe beliefs and wacky conspiracy theories are the salt around the margarita glass of political discourse.

But Christian kooks become a problem because they make it easy for the mainstream media to make us all look bad.  I wish they could keep their kookiness on the down low and not let themselves be used so readily.  I know I should be mad at the press too, because they’re the ones who are so eager to use the words “conservative Christian” in the weirdest context possible.  But please, my fellow Christians who happen to be a little more out there, have some awareness of what’s happening when you deal with the press.

Case in point, a CNN story on Christians living “off the grid”; withdrawing from secular society into fundamentalist enclaves.

Like other conservative Christians in this growing movement, Brother Gregory believes that Christianity has strayed too far from its roots, and has given its role in people’s lives over to the government — as with welfare programs or health care.

“We are not living off the grid as much as we are creating a new grid, a more wholesome grid,” he said.

“We are following a different path that we think is healthier, promotes better families, and better communities.”

He doesn’t believe a church needs four walls and a roof. Rather, a church is people who believe in taking care of each other — living under the biblical principles of faith, hope and charity.

“Christians should be looking for a way to take care of one another without forcing their neighbor to contribute to their welfare. In essence that’s coveting your neighbor’s goods through the agency of the governments you create.”

And that is a sin.

As far as their fundamental (heh) philosophy, there’s not a whole lot to disagree with.  And the commenters on this story seem way more screwed up hateful than the people they’re commenting on.

But we’re living in a world where influential elements are trying their best to marginalize Christians already.  I wish we wouldn’t make it so easy.

2 thoughts on “Making Ourselves Comfortable on the Fringe

  1. The comments on this story are so hateful. It makes me utterly depressed that people look with such angry hearts on people who are trying to live honestly and love their families and are willing to stand up for the rights of unborn babies. Yes, they are a little eccentric, but I think I would have more in common with them than many people who live in mainstream American and spend their free time watching “Big Brother” or “The Bachelorette” on television. Tell me, who has a greater grasp of reality?

  2. Yeah, whenever people say others live in a bubble, they usually mean it in a derogatory way, but I don’t have a problem with bubbles, generally speaking. Because we all live in our own bubbles to a certain extent–I certainly don’t spend all my time with people who disagree with everything I say and hate all I hold dear. But if you asked those Christian secessionists if they were living in a bubble, they’d probably be self-aware enough to know they were, and were doing so very deliberately. If you told the commenters on that story that they were living in their own self-reinforcing bubble of conventional wisdom, they’d probably disagree vehemently. I’m sure they think they’re the most cosmopolitan, worldly-wise people around, never realizing that their perception of their intelligence depends a lot on the knowing nods of their echo-chamber friends.

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