Not one, but two, front page articles from today’s local paper highlight the personal failings of those ruled by their religion. And those two stories seem to predominate the online discussion on the paper’s website.
First, a local minister, taking advantage of all the good will flowing towards Navy SEALs in the aftermath of the bin Laden execution, gave an interview in Saturday’s paper about his service in the SEALS program. Turns out he made it all up. After the interview hit the paper, a real SEAL called him on it, and he ‘fessed up.
“We deal with these guys all the time, especially the clergy. It’s amazing how many of the clergy are involved in those lies to build that flock up,” [retired SEAL Don] Shipley said.
I’ve seen lots of people over the years who feel compelled to pad their resumes. This kind of story appears often in the news. But I had no idea that Christian ministers did this on a recurring basis to “build up the flock”. Though I’m not surprised. Lying for Jesus is deemed OK in some circles of Christianity, so I suppose those at the top might feel the added need to give themselves a push in the eyes of their congregation while doing the same for Jesus.
Right below this story was one about the gay student at Messiah College, a local Christian school just south of Harrisburg. Apparently he thought, being gay and out of the closet, that a so called Christian college would treat him with the love of Jesus, openly embracing him. Apparently, he thought wrong.
In October, his wallet, student ID and room key were stolen.
Then, he said, he received a death threat on Facebook.
A few weeks ago, he found his replacement ID cut into pieces and covered in urine.
Isaiah Thomas, an openly gay student at Messiah College, said he plans to transfer at the end of this term.
“Messiah College has not been the most warming place at all. At all. It’s been very hard,” said Thomas, a 2010 graduate of Harrisburg’s SciTech High on a full scholarship.
Thomas said most students have welcomed him. Others have made him feel unwelcome, singled out and worse.
“I’ve had a professor who actually called me an abomination in class,” Thomas said.
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, that an institution of higher learning dedicated to Christian love could be so bigoted. Again, I don’t find it surprising.
There is nothing about institutionalized Christianity that would give any gay man or women a sense of security. Messiah seems to be no different.
[College Provost Randy] Bassinger said Messiah had gone out of its way to reach out to Thomas.
That’s probably true. I’m sure it’s not normal Messiah College procedure for student’s ID cards to be torn up and pissed on. So someone went out of their way to reach out to him.
So. What is there about religion that brings out the worst, the hypocrisy, the bigotry in those that spout religion so fervently?