Support the Café

Search our Site

Why are Christians so un-Christian?

Why are Christians so un-Christian?

Amanda Marcotte sees how conservatives both claim Christ and vilify the poor in contradiction to the teachings and example of Jesus and wonders why this is so?


In an age where your average Republican politician is thumping the Bible with one hand and trying to strip food from the mouths of the poor with the other, it’s become a sad cliché to point out how little the most outspoken Christians have in common with their charity-preaching, forgiveness-loving messiah. It’s only gotten worse in recent years, with the followers of the man who cured lepers threatening to shut down the government if Obama insists on giving more people access to healthcare.

But while a nudge and a laugh at the silly Christian hypocrites is a good time, it’s worth looking deeper at what’s really going on with the parsimonious haters of the poor who claim to speak for Jesus. The fact of the matter is that right-wing Christians refuse to see their differences with Jesus as hypocrisy. To really understand how religion works in the world of politics, it helps to understand that it’s usually more about rationalizing what you already want to believe than it is about actually studying your religious texts and drawing intelligent conclusions from it.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Adam Call Roberts

JC Fisher, I think the confusion comes from the rhetorical switch from one definition of ‘Christian’ to another. One may be a Christian in the sense of identifying as one, but not a Christian in the sense of not following Christ’s teachings.

Likewise, someone may be a citizen of the United States yet be “un-American” at the same time.

If we’re trying to construct a logical argument, then yes, it does appear to be a fallacy. But if we’re simply speaking rhetorically, even most of the “no true Scotsman” examples you hear in Intro to Philosophy make sense, and are comprehensibly to most audiences.


“Our fundamentalist neighbors who wrap selves in religiousity, are NOT Christian.”

Many secular people (especially of an anti-theist bent) see this as the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. I never know quite how to respond to this—any ideas?

JC Fisher


Micah got it right: Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. It does NOT matter what one says about Jesus, death on the cross, or Eucharistic participation. Our fundamentalist neighbors who wrap selves in religiousity, are NOT Christian.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café