Mar 4, 2010
commented on Meanwhile in Texas: "American Taliban" Isn't Hyperbole Anymore
I have a little unease over "renounce these wackos or I'll think you're one of them."
But at the same time, I guess my response to that is this:
From the outside, you look like them. You use their rhetoric, you speak their language, you carry the same symbols. It's not my responsibility to clear your name and investigate the differences between you so that I can correctly categorize the eleventy different varieties of Christian. It's not that I have some *right* to think all Christians are the same. It's just that people are *going* to, no matter how much it bothers you.
You can't stop people from looking at the common symbols, language, and culture, and making an association. And if that association bothers you, then make it as clear as you can how different you are from them, because you can bet your bippy the Repent Amarillo folks are not going to; your reputation is useful to them as cover. They have a vested interest in being considered mainstream Christians, in insinuating that the Bible really teaches and Christians really believe what they say. Repudiate them for USING you, if for no other reason. They're not just damaging your reputation, they're stealing it for their own uses.
I don't get all high-dudgeon when someone can't tell whether I'm a Wiccan, a Heathen, a plain old pagan, or a Satanist, and when someone does something really stupid in the name of witchcraft I step up and say, "Hey, I'm a witch and that was really stupid, K?" When someone says, "I had a bad experience with a pagan," I say, "I'm really sorry. That person was acting wrong."
It may not be my job to make sure everyone understands I'm not 'one of those pagans', but it's certainly a smart decision if I want to be taken seriously and if I want others of my faith to be.