Stop Caricaturing Christians: An Open Letter to John Pavlovitz
Dear John Pavlovitz,
I recently read your impassioned Huffington Post article “White, Conservative, Christians Friends: I Wish You Were Really Pro-life,” in which you argued that conservatives — in particular, those who reluctantly vote for Donald Trump because of his pro-life position — are not acting in good conscience. As you say: “You see, it’s not that you’re really pro-life, you’re pro-straight, white, Christian fetuses.”
Since your view of pro-life Christians isn’t novel among progressives, I’d like to briefly share my own experience.
As an undergraduate college student at a diverse secular university, I have a lot of good friends who are not straight, not white, not Christian or not from America — and many who aren’t pro-life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I know that these are real people — who have things that real people tend to have, like pasts, futures, loves, emotions, kindness, generosity and sincere beliefs. I know this because I have met them — they are my friends.
The primary difference between most conservative reluctant-Trump-supporters, conservative Trump-opponents, and liberals does not lie primarily in heart or caring, but in factual belief.
I also know that, for the most part, my Christian-conservative-pro-life friends, acquaintances, colleagues, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family (some of whom are planning to vote for Trump, and some of whom most definitely aren’t) are kind, loving, helpful and generous people who hold their beliefs sincerely, who possess and express genuine love for people of those outsider groups you described in your article. I disagree with most of them on some things, but this much I know.
Because I know this, I know that the primary difference between most conservative reluctant-Trump-supporters, conservative Trump-opponents, and liberals does not lie primarily in heart or caring, but in factual belief — differences of opinion on things like: effective public policy, the definition of justice, unintended consequences, the situation in Asia Minor, the existence of a hell, the question of whether a few million unborn lives (the majority of them non-white, by the way) is a fair price to pay to keep Trump out of the White House — things like that. Things real human people are prone to disagree on.
You, on the other hand, write as though you don’t know any conservative Christians (white or otherwise). If you do, you should direct your open letters to them (real people) not storybook villains — a sorry bunch of Bible-thumping, racist, xenophobic, Muslim-hating misogynists who bully homosexuals and, apparently, even ridicule obese people. Liberals like you often wonder why the conservative retrogrades of America never respond to your impeccable logic and luminous reasoning. They never respond because you refuse dialogue with them, preferring to direct your invectives at demons of your own imagination.
Of course, storybook villains do exist. If one of them ever reads your article, I sincerely hope they will take it to heart, acknowledge their hypocrisy and change their ways. I hope they will become genuinely pro-life, put aside their prejudice and hatred, their absurd, ignorant tribalism, and fight to save the lives of everyone — starting with the most vulnerable.
And I wish you would do the same.
A fellow Real Person
Sid Cynewulf is the pseudonym of a real college student foolishly double-majoring in unrelated fields. He further cuts into his sleep time by writing the occasional column.