On the Christian Bubble, and Being the Bad Guys

HERE GOES—I MEAN AMEN

(Editor’s note: This piece originally ran at the Troubler of Israel blog at Patheos.)

A recent episode of the Disney Channel cartoon show, “Doc McStuffins,” which is aimed at preschoolers, depicts a lesbian couple (who are dolls in a little girl’s imaginary world) teaching kids about emergency preparedness, specifically what to do when there’s an earthquake.

One of the show’s writers, Chris Nee, is in a same-sex relationship herself. “My son has two moms,” she says, “and it’s a huge part of my life as a human being and it’s been an incredible part of the way that I see the world and the way I see characters and the way I want to create characters who are incredibly accepting of each other and whatever is happening in their life.”

Incredible, indeed.

Wanda Sykes, a lesbian actress who plays one of the show’s characters, tweeted “So proud to be in this episode. Love is love!” And of course, LGBT activist group GLAAD praised the episode, urging viewers to “thank Disney for elevating LGBTQ voices.”

Christians, there is an earthquake underfoot, and it’s past time to have an emergency preparedness plan. We’ve got to abandon the illusion that we can let the dominant culture raise our children, and still expect them to be meaningfully Christian. This is the choice before parents: You can diligently and wisely regulate what your children consume, or you can bid them adieu. From the moment they can walk and speak, this world begins trying to make disciples of them. It wants nothing less than their souls, and it’s not afraid to fight dirty, using cute, bulbous-eyed digital cartoons as propaganda.

The “Christian Bubble”–that infamous dome of spiritual insulation in which so many of our parents raised us–is no longer optional. Children in preschool simply aren’t ready for the debate over homosexuality. They don’t even know what sexuality is. They don’t think on a rational level, nor are they aware of abstract concepts like teleology or natural law. They simply aren’t equipped to defend the older, Christian picture of the world against the ascendant mystery religion of sexual identity. To them, everything with a smile and primary colors is right, and the other side knows this. The dominant culture wants concepts like “two mommies” and “two daddies” lodged deep within the consciousness of children, shaping their worldview before they’re equipped to make an argument for or against it.

This is how it’s always worked. Anyone who has pored over the arguments for homosexuality–not the legal arguments for same-sex “marriage,” but the philosophical and social arguments in favor of homosexuality as a positive good and a basis for family–knows they’re rubbish. When the dust settles, the case for accepting and “celebrating” same-sex relationships has never and will never be a rational one. It is emotional, built of beaming stock photos, upbeat music, and a glib disregard for the consequences for children growing up with two parents of the same sex, and the grim reality of the gay lifestyle.

Children make decisions, associations, and evaluations based almost solely on emotion. But taking refuge in the “Christian Bubble” must mean more than switching off the Disney Channel or installing a filter on your Internet-connected devices. It must also involve a re-catechesis of adult Christians who never really grew up–who never learned to think very far past their emotional responses. And make no mistake: We’re losing this group, because it takes more than emotions to take a stance you know will make you appear mean.

I’m thinking mainly here of average Christians whose unspoken moral maxim in life is to “be nice.” These are wonderful people. Many of them are by nature quite conservative, too. They’re not blue-haired, never-shave-my-pits social justice warriors. They love Jesus, and they love people. But the moment someone comes into their life and says, “I’m gay, and unless you affirm that, you hate me,” they crumble. The moment they see a happy-looking family with two moms or two dads, they melt. Like children, they lack the ethical or intellectual resources to take a moral stance that will get them called hateful.

That’s why, if we don’t want everything we teach our kids in the “Christian Bubble” to burst on contact with the world, we have to do more than teach them the tenets of a Christian worldview in safety. We have to do more than expose them to the biblical vision of sex before they get the world’s vision. We have to do more than show them how to think rather than emote. We have to teach them, when the time comes, how to cheerfully play the villain.

Most of us who grew up in Christian homes have been okay for decades with being seen by unbelievers as goodie-two-shoes. Everyone knew we didn’t “drink, smoke, chew, or go with girls who do,” they thought we were squares, and we were okay with that. W.W.J.D., right?

But this new role as evildoer, bigot, and hater, assigned us so recently by the dominant culture, is knocking us off balance. The masses of kindhearted Christians who’ve gotten through life by being nice can’t withstand the social sting of losing that image when their classmates or neighbors find out they think same-sex relationships are immoral. I’ve seen it again and again. And it’s persuaded me that lived Christianity requires a functional category for being The Bad Guy. 

We must be ready to be called Troublers of Israel, disturbers of the goodly peace and pious picket fences of the new American dream depicted on “Doc McStuffins.” Believing the things we believe about God and creation is the new counterculture. And those beliefs call us to embrace our role as social deviants, just as the namesake of this blog embraced his. Because when you live in a society that calls Baal God and Yahweh an idol, you won’t be very popular. But you will be right.

Image copyright Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Illustration designed by Heidi Allums.

G. Shane Morris is assistant editor of BreakPoint Radio.


Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BreakPoint. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Phoenix1977

    “But this new role as evildoer, bigot, and hater, assigned us so recently by the dominant culture, is knocking us off balance.”
    Yet Christians addept quite well to that role. I suggest you take a look at the movie in the following link: http://winq.nl/articles/227366/nieuw-zeelandse-pastoor-homos-mogen-trouwen-maar-schiet-ze-daarna-wel-dood

    Sorry the text on the website is in Dutch but the clip you should be able to understand. The man you see is called Logan Robertson and he is a minister in the Westcity Bible Baptist Church in Auckland, New Zealand. And he did not say this in the privacy of his own home or anything where he might not know he was being filmed. No, he said this during his sermon in his church.
    And for those of you having trouble with the New Zealand accent, he simply says he has no problem with same-sex marriage as long as the gays are being shot in the head when they kiss during the ceremony.

    This is a Christian minister, calling for deadly violence against LGBTs from the pulpit during his sermon! And you ask why LGBTs consider Christians to be evil?

    • Just One Voice

      Thanks for sharing that. I understand where you’re coming from, especially in light of this minister, and parts of your own past that you’ve shared. That guy should lose his job ’cause that simply is NOT Christian teaching.

      I only wish you (and many others) wouldn’t lump all Christians under the same umbrella. There are plenty of us who are trying desperately to show grace, mercy & love in the midst of all this chaos.

      Does that mean we have it all together? Of course not! God knows how often I’m tempted to call names, throw a childish tantrum and basically just give in to anger.

      Anyway, I still pray for you and others I know of that have experienced evil at the hand of “Christians”. Have a great weekend!

      • Phoenix1977

        “That guy should lose his job ’cause that simply is NOT Christian teaching.”
        He probably will because he’s been arrested for hate speech and inciting violence against a protected class.

        “I only wish you (and many others) wouldn’t lump all Christians under the same umbrella”
        And why shouldn’t we? It’s not like the average Christian is more tolerant towards LGBTs. The only difference is that this minister calls for violence. But how is killing us physically any different from trying to break us in reperative therapy? Or trying to condition us negatively with electroshock therapy? Or trying to keep us from being happy with the one we love?
        Every Christian is constantly trying to change LGBTs. Some do it with trying fo convert us “lovingly”, others with force and a small group with violence. But in the end the result is the same: the destruction of LGBTs. This minister at least is open about it.

        • Just One Voice

          The end result is the same, huh? Well I’m sorry, but from where I sit, that’s just not true. I (and several others I know) do not wish the destruction of LGBT’s.

          So there’s reason number 1 to your question of why shouldn’t we lump all Christians under the same umbrella. Just like all LGBTs aren’t violent, neither are all Christians violent, or wishful of destruction on other groups.

          I’m sorry. I cannot discuss averages until there’s a valid study to quote. So your statement that dismisses the average Christian as being intolerant is out.

          Imagine a world where every single person that tries to disrupt anothers’ way of life (no matter how or to what degree) is labeled with hate & bigotry. Well gee, that would be everyone! Since we all disagree with other ways of life to some point or another.

          Who’s really focused on hate, disruption & destruction? Especially if it isn’t fast enough for the Christian religion to be gone tomorrow?

          • Phoenix1977

            “Well I’m sorry, but from where I sit, that’s just not true. I (and several others I know) do not wish the destruction of LGBT’s.”
            Than why keep trying to change us. Why not simply accept us for who and what we are and leave us be? Why constantly trying to make our lives difficult and miserable?

            “So your statement that dismisses the average Christian as being intolerant is out.”
            From a Christian point of view I can understand that statement. So why not be your own study? Why don’t you go out some nights to some gay bars and ask people there about their experience with Christians? Just don’t be shocked if very few people have positive stories to tell you. If they want to talk to you at all. I’m not the only gay man who keeps Christians at arms length.

            “Who’s really focused on hate, disruption & destruction? Especially if it isn’t fast enough for the Christian religion to be gone tomorrow?”
            What do you expect? 2000 years of trying to eradicate all opposing views tends to make some enemies. And the LGBT community definitely does not consider Christians to be friends.

          • Just One Voice

            Well, speaking for myself, I’m not trying to change you. I cannot change you or anyone else; only myself. Let’s quote Stephen Covey, “If I want my situation to improve, I can work on the one thing I have control over – myself.”

            Let’s also quote Chuck Swindoll (no need to quote the entire attitude part, just the end): “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you, we are in charge of our attitudes.”

            So, shall I choose to assume that all LGBTs are angry, hateful & have an extinction wish for Christianity? 🙂 For the record, I’ll continue doing my best to show grace.

            Heh, again, I wish people would return the favor and not throw loose labels on other groups. But yeah, reality is, that’s just wishful thinking unfortunately.

    • cbarr

      and so in which world do you live where all is in sync and absolutes? But it is ok to propogandize to children? I’ll take Christs’ truths anyday, straight from the Bible. And for you….a great line from Pastor Rick Warren which addresses the misnomer of many, the media: “Church is not a hotel for saints but a hospital for sinners’.

      • Phoenix1977

        “”Church is not a hotel for saints but a hospital for sinners’.”
        With a minister like this that would be very much like the Dutch “Levenseindekliniek” (a euthanasia clinic).

    • AnotherMike

      @Phoenix1977 – And if Mr. Robertson is a Christian minister, then he should repent for his words and his message both before God and his congregation and seek forgiveness for followers of Christ are not the sword, followers of Christ are to be the hands, feet, and mouths to deliver the Gospel of Christ to a fallen world.
      But the article by G. Shane Morris is another wake up call to followers of Christ who may not yet teaching their children to know God and what He has done for us. Teaching truth and the ability to discern truth. Teaching critical thinking while being broken in a world filled with broken people.
      Because if we as followers of Christ do not go back to the Creeds and Catechisms not just for our children but also for ourselves we are not doing as God commanded, which is another way of saying we are sinning, to which we must confess, repent, ask for forgiveness, and start obeying. The world is not above fighting dirty as G. Shane Morris states. If we love our children we should feel righteous anger, seek godly ways of deflecting the dirt and filth the world would teach, indoctrinate, brainwash our children and show them Christ instead. If we do not, then where is our love for our children?
      Insofar as Christians being evil, we are. That is the reason why Christ came down from heaven, took the form of a man, lived the life we ought to live, and died on the cross as a propitiation for us by taking our sins against God onto Himself so we can be called sons and daughters of God for those who place their trust in Him. And we know why we place our trust in Jesus because of the resurrection showing everyone that He is the Lamb of God who will one day judge the living and the dead (the redeemed and the unredeemed).
      So while Christians are evil so are everyone else. Point fingers at each other is not going to solve anything, it just continues the deception.

      • Phoenix1977

        “Point fingers at each other is not going to solve anything, it just continues the deception.”
        There is no deception. Fact is in more than one church open violence against LGBTs is preached. Fact is more than a few Christians are not above open discrimination against LGBTs. Fact is more than a few LGBTs have been bullied into an early grave by either suicide or open violence by Christians.
        So you can either teach your story about hatred, bigotry, violence and even death or you can teach them about love, civil rights and equality. I know which story I would want children to learn and that is not the story children heard in the sermon in Auckland, New Zealand.

        • AnotherMike

          Phoenix1977 – Actually I would want teach about what God has done for us through Jesus Christ because that is of greater importance than anything else. However, If this is something you disagree with then you disagree. Several things come to mind with your statement and one of the first is do you have the facts that back up your assertion that a few LGBTs have been bullied into an early grave by either open violence by Christians, because if it done by people who claim to be Christians then I would venture to say two things: 1) you apparently do not know what Christianity teaches and how people who have given themselves to Christ are commanded to live; and 2) not everyone who claims Christ follow Him. After all, one cannot claim to follow someone and then not do as He commands.
          If Mr. Robertson claims Christ as his Lord, then (based on the video) what he taught to others is counter to everything Christ taught so it begs the question is he a follower of Christ (actual) or is he just someone who claims Christ and then does and says what he wants? This is something he needs to address. You and I will make judgments as which category we think is falls under but in making our judgment we need to know the foundation. The foundation I seek to make my judgment in this instance comes from Matthew 7:1-5. What is yours?

          • Phoenix1977

            “The foundation I seek to make my judgment in this instance comes from Matthew 7:1-5. What is yours?”
            My foundation is reality and how quite a few Christians act. No offense, but talk is cheap. I don’t care what people say; I care about what they do. And fact is Christians, throughout history, have shown a tendency towards violence towards everyone thinking differently, including LGBTs. And about your other question (” Several things come to mind with your statement and one of the first is do you have the facts that back up your assertion that a few LGBTs have been bullied into an early grave by either open violence by Christians”): yes, I do. It is something that happened in my own direct surroundings. Not only did the “mother” of one of my classmates (and I use the quotation signs very del
            iberately here) convince her son it was better to commit suicide as a virgin than life as a gay man, but one of my Christian neighbors was very recently convicted to 12 years in prison for the attempted man slaughter of his 17 year old son, who he perceived to be gay. The only reason this boy lives is because his mother was screaming in the street and my ex and me managed to pull of her husband just before it was too late. And not that it really matters, but the boy wasn’t even gay to begin with, just a little effiminate.
            So, yes, we disagree. I don’t think we could disagree even more on this subject, even if we tried. I truly don’t care what your Jesus taught you because for some reason not only does a large number of you refuse to live the way you were taught but they even manage to convince themselves, and others, they are doing the right thing by bullying, harming and sometimes even murdering gay men and women. One of the major issues of corrective rape comes to mind: a practice in Central Africa, sanctioned by local priests and bishops, where gay women are raped repeatedly until they learn to enjoy being with a man again. A practice sanctioned by the church!

    • David Curlin

      Where did you dig this up? There is also Westboro Baptist Church. this type of conflation would be like a Christian pointing out a homosexual pedophile and asking, Do you see why Christians think homosexuals are evil?

      Almost every Christian I know struggles with the tension of how to express love without condoning behavior. Most of the same sex couples I have met have been very nice likeable people who I have enjoyed. It would be very easy to affirm them and yet in doing so I would be participating in a lie destructive to the couple, the kingdom of
      God and my own soul.

      • Phoenix1977

        “Most of the same sex couples I have met have been very nice likeable people who I have enjoyed. It would be very easy to affirm them and yet in doing so I would be participating in a lie destructive to the couple, the kingdom of
        God and my own soul.”
        Which is exactly why true friendship between LGBTs and Christians is virtually impossible? Because why on earth would we, voluntarily, spend time with people who do not accept us for who and what we are?

  • cbarr

    thank you ….a terrific, insightful article…..the education system has rapidly been over-taken, along with our culture (mostly long lost)….time for Christians to re-examine who and what they are and stand tall in Christs’ truths and learn to to defend it.

  • JP

    i think may be a bit of a context problem here. I.e. when you speak of troubling Israel, what do you have in mind as “Israel”? if you mean “the people of God”, and so the church, trouble away. If you mean the wider secular culture, you may as well save your breath.