Bob Bixby Profile picture
19 Nov, 19 tweets, 3 min read
I wish I could write in such a way that would persuade at least some of my friends on the Right that their Evangelical leaders’ machismo toward Covid precautions is not just a matter of difference of opinion, but unwise (which is another way of saying, “not very Christlike”).
One leader has declared to the cheers and ballyhoo of adoring patriots:
“Americans need to be planning to celebrate the biggest Thanksgiving Feasts they can manage. Invite extra friends, serve extra stuffing and gravy and pumpkin pies,
fill every glass with some good wine, and then bow our heads in humble praise that all that we have is from Christ.”
The BIGGEST FEASTS and EXTRA FRIENDS because authorities are requesting smaller and fewer! This is clearly, they say, a threat to our Christian faith and liberty.
So, eat up! In big crowds! Ah! This fires up the blood of the loyal foot soldiers and makes the nice Christian ladies swoon. It’s very American to like strong men even when they’re stupid. And Evangelicals seem to know this more than anyone.
It’s also very hard to think a third way when everything is stated in binaries and one side is “humble praise” and the other is lecherous liberalism. But there is a third way to think for those of us who agree that “all we have is from Christ.”
If all that we have is indeed from Christ and we truly believe it in humility, we could also choose to forgo the big and fancy and cooperatively act in a way that contributes to the mitigation of a virus (which I’m currently dealing with in my house!)
and does not come off as belligerently political to our unconverted neighbors. And when you can get this sick (as I’m finding out) and it spreads so easy what value is there in being belligerently political?
Unless being belligerently political is how we of the Christian faith in America must prove to ourselves that we are brave because it never crossed our mind that bravery might consist of not dancing mindlessly to the tribal war chants of political ideologies.
And unless we are ensconced in the syncretism of Americanism/Christianity that arrogantly dismisses what the rest of the godly in the Church of Christ around the world think (and they do not think as highly of us as we think of ourselves) because we are, well, Americans who
believe that American exceptionalism also applies to our Americanized Christian values and our conceptions of patriotism. Otherwise we might be inclined to — using Saint Paul’s words — “live quietly” this Thanksgiving season and go smaller and fewer in our gatherings for the
sake of others. But if we persist in the melding of our chest-beating American individualism with the rhetoric of Christian warfare, pretending that every slight against our American traditionalism is a blaspheme against the God of Israel, then, by all means,
let’s do very large in-your-face feast complete with greasy food that’s bad for our health so that we not only expose ourselves and others to the virus, but weaken our immune systems in the process.
But I speak as one that knows people who have died by this awful thing, some who might die of it, and others miserably sick with it.
That makes me very unAmerican, I suppose, in that I might be inclined to support any effort to enhance a mitigation of the virus, no matter how infinitesimally small it may be. And now that I have it in my own household I am fully aware that this thing is very dangerous.
Why would I be cavalier about passing it on to anyone? Unless, of course, it is my patriotic duty to snub common sense just because common sense comes from the authorities. Furthermore, I admit that my unAmerican view may also be warped because I know people
who have actually suffered for Jesus. And, guess what? They are not Americans who were denied a chance to gorge on tryptophan in a large group.
I am, however, American enough to embrace plurality, so I accept that many evangelicals want a syncretism that calls for politicizing Thanksgiving by going big and bowing before the Christ of the World with sincerity and purity of motive even though they have sacralized
tradition and endangered more people. But others may want to have a quiet, apolitical thanksgiving meal with an intimate group, conscious of the thrilling reality that Jesus is not American and therefore may accept our sincere gratitude on Monday just as well as Thursday,
with Wonderbread and ham just as well as with Turkey and the fixings because He truly transcends our petty tribes and causes the rain and the sun to shine on both the wicked and the just, caring for the physical health of both patriots and everyone else.

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More from @bobbixby

20 Nov
Thread: “I’m NOT going to wear a mask! Only 2% of those who get it will die!” This was loudly declared in a public eatery by a Christian pastor at a conference I attended recently. This seems to be perceived as an infallible argument against all measures to mitigate this disease.
But, I wonder if we exercised our imaginations just 2% more if we’d understand that 2% and 2% are not always the same, especially depending upon one’s perspective. In other words, 2% is a little or a lot depending upon many other variables.
I’ve tried to explain this to my son by this admittedly over-simplification.

Imagine that you are the captain of a ship with 200 passengers. As the captain you are responsible for the welfare of all 200 lives. It is presumed by the code of shipping that you will protect the
Read 23 tweets

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