Twice in the last few days I've been reminded that I should update my blog. I suppose that means I have at least two fans - or at the very least two people who use my posts to try and figure out what's clanking around in my head. I've been working on an entry about the artist Willem de Kooning - whom I've never understood but have recently taken a liking to - but those in the know realize that if I'm posting about artists it's my favorite form of escapism, and then they go snooping around to find what I'm escaping from.
But, I have found something worth writing about: a book. Yesterday whilst digging around at the Lincoln Public Library for a copy of the Rule of St. Benedict ( for some totally unrelated art research) my eye was drawn to a copy of a book titled I'm Fine with God... It's Christians I Can't Stand By Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz. I like Bruce and Stan. I've read their stuff on several occasions and rarely been disappointed. They write in salty, crunchy, little tidbits that are concise and thought provoking. Their books are set in friendly fonts with side-bars and interpolated quotes that make it easy to read a paragraph or two and come out with a thought to mull over until you can pick up the book again. They tackle rough ideas with grace and humility, and put smiley faces on the covers. They Rock even when I don't agree with them.
This book, I'm Fine with God... It's Christians I Can't Stand , caught my eye and instantly appealed to the misanthropic mind-set that I occasionally fall into. Several times in the last few months I've felt the sting of being 'out Christian-ed' by others of my own faith. The old quote from M Girl bubbles up in my mind:" If these are my Christian friends, no wonder I like to hang out with the heathens." The trouble is, I know where that road leads. If a faithful Christ-follower does that - especially without proper support and a super-solid base then it is pretty easy to slide on off to start acting and then thinking like one of those 'heathens'. So, I get back up and keep trying even though you all know that I've given up on being a NCL (Nice Christian Lady).
Back to the book: I haven't finished it yet, but I have found that their clear explanation of how Christians brought about the disdain of the rest of the American culture onto ourselves by imposing our morality, politics and family structures on others without first transferring our internal Faith in God pretty enlightening. Sections on paranoia, Modern-day Pharisees, and having our fringe be our front-men are well done. Now back to the Chapter titled: I'm fine with God... But I can't stand Christians who think science is the enemy."
I think I should buy a few copies of this book, and hand them out with encouraging smiles when I encounter brothers and sisters in Christ who make me feel like I don't measure up because I don't act, talk, or believe exactly as they do.