Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Amen to Margaret Renkl and NYTimes Letter Writer
Margaret Renkl, Catholic and contributor to the NYT op-ed page:
A letter to the Editor in the NYTimes in response to Renkl's Op-Ed piece:
In the world of apostolic betrayals, it’s Judas who gets the headlines, but the everyday believer is more apt to fall in line behind Peter. Coldly handing Jesus over to his death in exchange for 30 pieces of silver was an over-the-top, cartoon-level move, but Peter’s terrified denial of the man he believed to be the savior of the world? That one seems immensely human to me.
I have a lot of sympathy for Peter these days. Here it is nearly Easter, and for the first time in my life I don’t want anyone to know I’m a believer. To many, "Christian" has become synonymous with angry white voters in red hats….
By any conceivable definition, the sitting president of the United States is the utter antithesis of Christian values — a misogynist who disdains refugees, persecutes immigrants, condones torture and is energetically working to dismantle the safety net that protects our most vulnerable neighbors. Watching Christians put him in the White House has completely broken my heart. Were I a true Christian, I would, with no little mortification, tell these red-hatted Christians what they could do with their heartbreaking Christianity.
Organized religion has always been tainted by Molièrelike hypocrisy. We get enough of that in soulless politics; no need to add more of it to what should be — to what is advertised as — a soulful experience.
The utter shabbiness of that claim has forever been exposed in hateful, Christianity-endorsed Trumpism. Thus were I a true Christian, I'd go by "Jesusian" or some such alternative religious identification.
For much like Margaret Renkl, I wouldn't want anyone to suspect I'm a believer in the brazenly hypocritical rot of Trumpian Christianity.