It’s always interesting to see how other people perceive your work, especially topics as divisive religion and politics… which, of course, is the very core of Being Christian. In December, the book was reviewed on Amazon. The review was, as an author, tough to read. I am, of course, proud of my own work and, while I didn’t want to jump in an defend myself and risk looking like I couldn’t take the flack, I was delighted to see the talented, intelligent Leah Burton jump in and offer her thoughts on the negative review.
The result is a spirited debate that opens with Burton’s thoughtful response:
A “review” of this length demonstrates a defensive passion. It is clear that this person has missed the entire scope of the book. Those of us who research Christian Dominionism and understand that they are extremists know that the only fiction in “Being Christian” are the characters. Dominionists are not mainstream Christians. They are the John Haggees, the Ted Haggards, the Billy & Franklin Grahams…and many, many more. These folks have co-opted Christianity and created a bible-based cult of Sheople who believe that they must follow the dictates of their leaders if ever they are to achieve ever-lasting life and total redemption. They demand that the “right kind of Christian” are those who are “born again/saved” and who profess to have a personal relationship with Jesus. In fact, they produce through the use of “Statements of Faith” that require adherence and a signature.
Are some portions of this book shocking? Inflammatory? Radically racist? You bet! Sadly, it simply reveals the despicable under belly of the Dominionist sect. This is not contrived, it is fact and the whole purpose that the author intended is to expose that heinous behavior and shed light on these frauds who gain in wealth while trashing the teachings of Christ.
I, too, am a Christian and it is past high time that other mainstream Christians wake up and smell the abuse and quit embracing anyone who self-identifies as Christian in name only. Go back to your bible. Pay attention to the news and check out the infestation of Dominionists in your neighborhood – then you will have good reason to be indignant.
Just because the story of this sanctimonious, self-serving, snake oil salesman named Christian Hilcox is disturbing to you – don’t shoot the messenger. Go to San Antonio and sit in John Haggee’s Cornerstone church on Sunday (if you can find a seat among the 22,000+ Sheoples in weekly attendance) and listen to his anti-Semitic sermons of “Love, Love, LOVE Israel – Jews? Not-so-much!” Google, Lou Engle, Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, C. Peter Wagner, “Jesus Camp” the docufilm…just to name a very few of these false prophets…and really listen to them as if Christ was sitting next to you – and then you tell me how much you would be compelled to defend.
As a Christian – these extremists insult me. They offend all the teachings of the New Testament including kindness, compassion, do not judge, treat each other as we would treat ourselves and embrace all. They are frauds and false prophets, and you my dear, are enabling them to continue to shame those whose faith is from the heart. Is “Being Christian” a provocative read? Indeed it is…and a crucial lesson for those of us in this country who – while Christian – still support Freedom over Theocracy.
Mahatma Gandhi nailed it when he said, “I like your Christ. It is your Christians that I do not like. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”.
The entire conversation is definitely worth reading, especially because it highlights just how snake-like and perversive the extreme Christian right can be.