Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Why I'd Like To Apologise For Being British...

Meg and I went to church tonight to hear a visiting preacher I've never particularly got on with. I was looking forward to an interesting sermon, while I may not like him personally, he certainly is entertaining to listen to.

Well, I wish I hadn't gone. The evening ended with my wife being upset because he made comments during the sermon/talk about "american republicans" and "american christianity" that were huge generalisations. Basically he was advocating the idea that you can't be a republican and a christian, and if you're both AND american, you're basically in the wrong.

It's funny, because I think if I ever live in America, I'll probably vote Democrat personally, but the sweeping generalizations he made tonight about Republicans, and American Christians in particular, I couldn't let go. I went to talk to him afterwards and made a polite comment that he might want to think about the generalisations he makes whilst in the pulpit, as he can never tell who's in the audience, as he upset my republican american wife, and he came over to talk to her and asked her what she'd read, as if she was uneducated simply because she was american. He then proceded to try to get her to agree with him, and not once did he apologise that he'd upset her or offended her feelings.

I honestly felt ashamed to be british at that point. It's not that I'm Republican, in fact some of what he said I agreed with tonight, it's just the way he demonised republicans that upset me. Why as Christians do we feel the need to justify our "position" by slagging someone else off?!

I just don't understand it. There's a kind of arrogance that sweeps over us when anybody threatens our point of view, or chooses to disagree with us, that to justify ourselves or our viewpoint, we have to climb over everybody else's, or tell them how wrong "they" are?!

Where is that in the Way of Jesus?

When did the pulpit become an opportunity for us to slag off the people we disagree with? Shouldn't we be teaching what Jesus taught in the way we live, to love our enemies? Surely we can agree to disagree because in the end, we're brothers and sisters who follow our Master?

When did following Jesus or preaching become about scoring points?

I just really don't understand it. Since I married an American lady, it's really opened my eyes to the amount of taunts, jokes and general anti-americanism there is in this country, and I just don't think there's a need for it at all. In fact, it's bordering on racism at times.

So, for all you republican americans out there in britain, I want to apologise. I am ashamed to be British tonight. I might not always agree with you, but I promise not to demonise you. At least tonight proved to me that I do actually really love her, because I'll defend her against arrogant people, even if I don't hold all of her views myself! I'm off to stew in my own irritation now....


  1. Whether you're democrat or republican, it really doesn't matter, JM. Both sides are guilty of 'being accepting' of the other, but only until someone disagrees with them.

    And yes, in England there is the general idea that Americans are ill-educated, gun-toting, fight-for-your-rights kind of people. Really, that's only the Texans. :p The people from Maine and California are much more civilized.

  2. I don't understand the parallel this man was making between political views and Christianity. One could infer that he felt Republicanism was akin a type of extremism that only fanatics would engage in. Or maybe he's an Obama mentalist. I've talked to a few of his fans and nearly had my head torn off when I even hint at anything negative, like his policies on abortion. But I digress.

    Like you JM, I feel inclined to apologize (sic :p) to Margo because this man is English and don't wish to be tarred with the same brush.. we're not all bastards in this country, are we?