This is nice. Andrew Sullivan has a suggestion to exempt those wanna-be terrorists, the Hutarees, from the fold of the faithful.
Surely we can all assent to the notion that a Christian militia of the type now accused of planning domestic terrorism is not Christian. This is why I call them Christianist. Anyone planning to murder innocents by way of IEDs cannot plausibly call himself or herself a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.
Good thing he threw in that specific bit about IEDs, or I’d have to mention all the innocents slaughtered in Christ’s name since, oh, the Dark Ages. They are spared by a technological technicality!
But OK, if we’re going to redefine Christians, let’s go all the way.
Anyone denying the evidence of the world around them, like, say, a creationist, is a Christianist.
Anyone who denies the joys of sex and abstains because they think God likes them celibate is a Christianist.
Anyone who uses their religious affiliation as a tool to acquire temporal power is a Christianist.
Anyone who prays in public is a Christianist.
Anyone who uses their faith as an excuse to peep into their neighbors’ bedrooms and tell them that they’re doing it wrong is a Christianist.
Anyone who begs for money so they can convert other people to their Christian faith is a Christianist.
Anyone who thinks women should be a subservient sex is a Christianist.
Anyone who threatens others with the wrath of God is a Christianist.
Anyone who believes that Jesus manifests himself in this world via magic tricks, like turning crackers into flesh, is a Christianist.
Anyone who believes that all they have to do is have faith in Jesus, never mind what they do in life, in order to get into heaven is a Christianist.
Anyone who uses the phrase “God and Country” non-ironically is a Christianist.
Anyone who hides behind their religion to rape anyone else is a Christianist.
Anyone who shelters a religious rapist is a Christianist.
Anyone who complains about those lazy poor people getting health care and food stamps is a Christianist.
I could go on and on, listing lots of things that I think are foolish and reprehensible, and declaring that those who hold those views are not True Christians.
Unfortunately, I think that it all means that there aren’t any Christians anywhere, and they’re all damned dirty Christianists. I can’t tell them apart from the Christians!
I’m afraid the Hutarees were Christian, real-live testifyin’ preachifyin’ Jebus-lovin’ Bible-readin’ Christians. They weren’t Andrew Sullivan’s preferred version of Christian, but then, a weird gay Catholic has about as much authority to define who gets to be Christian as an obnoxious and flamingly anti-religious atheist.