This post, despite it’s title, should not be offensive to anyone regardless of religious affiliation, or lack of religious affiliation. So keep reading!
There is a thing that I’ve found myself referring to a lot lately, but I came up with the idea a long time ago. I refer to it as “the Jesus/Christian Paradox.” What it is, is when someone starts to get backlash, because their followers/supporters/fans are assholes, and not based on their own merit or lack thereof. If you listen to most of what Jesus said, it’s pretty non-controversial, and while there are many amazing Christians, there are a few that are so irritating, that they make us not want to associate with the term anymore. It’s not really fair to Christianity on the whole, but we feel the need to go far away from it. Like the Westboro Baptist Church, they’re just so far from what we consider reasonable, that we want to disconnect.
When I first came up with this concept, it was after having spent a few years disliking Joss Whedon. For a while, I thought he was a talentless hack of a writer, and then I watched some more of his shows/films and realized, he is a talented writer, but I hate his obnoxious fans who would tell me how he’s the most brilliant and innovative writer because he killed Buffy. He wasn’t the problem and it took me a while to realize that.
In the last year, I’ve referred to Boston sports teams (and I stand by it) as being guilty of this Jesus/Christian Paradox—most sports teams might be. Then there was Oprah, after the week of talking about whether or not she’d be running for President, I had to explain to several people who hated her for it, that she hadn’t said anything, it was her fans that were driving the hype.
Now, it’s Black Panther. I just watched a video about how the hype is dampening excitement for some. I think the creator of the video does a pretty fair job of not blaming Marvel or the cast and crew for the issues. It falls onto the fans, followers, supporters, whatever the term is for them.
We need to properly advocate for what we think is best, and I think being over-zealous, becomes a massive turn off for most, and ends up having the opposite result intended. Jesus said things that can be appreciated whether you’re Jewish, or Buddhist, or Atheist, but we really don’t see that in modern society. Christianity doesn’t seem to mean following Christ’s ideas any more, and is in many cases a status symbol, and a necklace you wear, while you attack others and use him as the excuse. The Patriots play football well, whether you love them or hate them, they’re pretty good at the game, and for the most part the really obnoxious team members get weeded out, and they’re probably a bunch of otherwise average guys, but we think of the fans crying when they lose, or being assholes when they win (btw, the reaction I saw on Facebook after their Super Bowl loss was better than any other experience I’ve ever had with their fans).
So, try not to judge someone (or something) by it’s fans, but by its content. At the same time, fans, try not to be obnoxious. Ok?