Right-wing Christians are all racist. That’s what the BBC’s ‘Good Morning Ulster‘ programme proclaimed last week on the run-up to the Royal Wedding as they discussed the impending union of whitey Prince Harry and mixed-race Meghan Markle. Comedian Nuala McKeever quipped: “I do laugh to think ‘I wonder how a lot of right-wing Christians are coping with fact he is marrying a black divorcee’.”
The comment went unchallenged.
She wasn’t sneering at Christians, note: left-wing followers of Jesus are some of the loveliest people on the planet, if not the loveliest. It was those bigoted, Brexit-supporting, gay-bashing, abortion-loathing, Trump-adoring, Thatcher-worshipping right-wing Christians – you know, those lemon-sucking, finger-jabbing puritans who understand everything about God and own every Christology and know all the theology there is to know because it’s all right there in black-and-white in the Bible.
But right-wing Christians don’t like the ‘black’ bits of the Bible: no, they only do the white because therein lies purity and holiness, perfection and sinlessness, justice and judgment. They don’t do much compassion or mercy, because, well, that’s just mush: God is love, sure, but He is a very, very particular kind of love, and He wants that love very properly defined and if you don’t get the right definition you’re going to hell.
These right-wing Christians are passionate about purging and smiting, cleansing and condemning: it’s all so much more satisfying that feeding the hungry and housing the homeless. They’ve never noticed that the Church is made up of different races, different classes and different cultures: they are all so wrapped-up in their comfy middle-class white-supremacy theology that the thought of Jesus being brown simply never occurred to them. As long as men marry women and those women submit to their husbands and make sure they change the nappies and do the ironing and get dinner on the table all shall be well, for therein lies domestic harmony and marital contentment as the Lord ordained.
And never forget that they reflect the image of God: their morality has been tried and found impeccable; their witness of truth infallible. These right-wing Christians reflect the natural order of domination and submission in the name of Christ. They conspire with capitalism to construct a global utopia of economic, political, spiritual and psychological control for the good of all mankind. If you’re not with it, you’re against it. Your rights and freedoms are defined in and by the Word of God, and if you follow that to the letter you shall know a thousand blessings, but if you disobey, you shall be cursed by greed and gluttony, self-absorption and sexual perversion.
Right-wing Christians don’t like self-righteous womanist comedians, because the right doesn’t do joy: dourness is divinity; happiness is heresy. They loathe liberals, deplore progressives and view all expressions of worldly fraternity with deep moral concern. They love their right-wing brothers and sisters, of course, because, well, they are right: they are discerningly fundamentalist, kosher and orthodox about every jot and tittle of Scripture. Authoritarianism is God’s way and moralism is Christ’s way. They revel in adversarial relationships because if you hate them it is a sure sign that they are right, because Jesus warned that the world would hate them because of Him, so the more they are hated, the closer they are to God.
And right-wing Christians have no truck with people of other faith traditions, whatever the colour of their skin. To cultivate cross-cultural relations is to corrupt God’s plan of social order: there can be no truly mutual relation with foreign beliefs or tribal customs, for these are primitive and inferior. To be right is to be faithful; to be a right-wing Christian is to be…
…loving, creative, liberating, healing, prophetic, resisting, reflecting the incarnate Spirit of Jesus who was not and is not contained solely in any man-made philosophy or political ideology or narrow theology; and whose gift of salvation is completely colour-blind. He even has time for mean-spirited comedians.