Evangelical Christianity's Love Affair With Ronda Rousey Reveals Its Hypocrisy

Feb 18, 2015; Glendale, CA, USA;  Ronda Rousey talks about her upcoming championship fight during media day for UFC 184 at Glendale Fighting Club. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-221624 ORIG FILE ID:  20150218_gma_aj4_027.jpg

For a while now, I’ve witnessed my Evangelical Christian brothers and sisters bowing at the sacred altar of Ronda Rousey.

I’ve watched them genuflect in reverence at her growing legacy of domination in her field.

I’ve seen their breathless adoration and effusive social media praise as they speak of her now-expected savage dispatch of her latest opponent.

I’ve watched their enthusiastic public invitations to pay-per-view church parties where Rousey and others will do the work of beating and bruising one another into submission.

And this week I’ve once again witnessed their giddy exhilaration in the wake of another of her brutal displays of physical dominance over another woman.

I’m always surprised (and entertained) at how out of character this is for these fanboys and girls, since I know them so very well.

You see, these are many of the same folks who spend the rest of their daily lives as the self-ordained Morality Police; always lifting up the “authority of Scripture” and leveling great consternation and judgment at those whose choices they’ve decided are morally corrupt.

For example, these are the very men and women who are often the most outspoken critics of the LGBT community, who continually and passionately claim to be using the words and underlying principles of the Bible as justification for their hateful biases against them. They are the ones who so proudly, quickly, and matter-of-factly condemn others to eternal damnation simply because, The Bible.

Yet these same self-appointed righteous defenders of the faith who daily lambaste the gay community on the grounds that God is horribly offended by their very existence, regularly revel in the gory brutality of the UFC/MMA world, as if God is somehow pleased with it all. In other words, they can finesse the idea of sin when it suits their Saturday night schedules. They can bend the moral rules if they want to see a good brawl. They can conveniently set the Bible down when they want blood.

The twisted logic on display here, is that it’s somehow Biblically and morally acceptable for two women to beat the Hell out of one another, just not for them to love, marry, and have families with one another.

As a matter of fact, if Rousey came out as a lesbian this week, that news would cause her loyal, vocal Evangelical fan base to head for the hills, screaming. Nevermind that Jesus speaks far more frequently and explicitly about violence than he ever does on sexuality, or that the vicious displays of force which comprise the totality of Rousey’s sport are about as compatible with Jesus’ teachings, as a vegan with an Angus cheeseburger. These truths are of little concern to the faithful here, not because they want to diligently obey “God’s Revealed Word” or because they seek to fall in line with “the full counsel of Scripture”, as they so often would have us believe.

Obedience to Jesus gets put on hold when the fight’s on. Then, morality becomes a far more subjective endeavor. Then, Scripture becomes much more malleable. The stark line between good and evil suddenly gets pretty darn muddy when we want to see someone’s arm ripped from its socket.

Many Evangelicals often ask me, “Do you really think Jesus would be present at a gay wedding?” I can’t be absolutely sure, but I’m willing to bet he’d be much more likely to be there, than he would be Octagon-side watching two women break each other’s jaws (but maybe I’m missing something in my hermeneutic).

The simple truth is, it turns out that otherwise traditional, conservative, Evangelical Christians really like to see two people kick the snot out of each other, and they really don’t give a damn what Jesus thinks about it or whether to not it reflects the Gospel. I would just like them to admit it. I’d like to see them acknowledge how they partially champion Scripture and selectively uphold virtue.

When it comes to their preferences, their entertainment choices, and their celebrity worship, all this talk of sin or morality or Biblical living or God’s wrath which they normally specialize in gets tossed out the window. They want Ronda Rousey to physically destroy her opponents with great, bloody ferocity, and they want to wildly applaud it all surrounded by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ—along with beer and some avocado dip.

And they should.

I’m not going to tell another Christian that participating in or watching the sport is a moral failing or a sign that they are out of alignment with God’s will at all, or that being awestruck or starstruck by Ronda Rousey’s personality or prowess is somehow a deal breaker to Jesus. That’s not really what this is about. This is about the inconsistencies that show up whenever we rush to condemn others and strain to justify ourselves. I’m not going to tell someone that he or she can’t be both Christian and a UFC fan because I simply don’t believe that. (Telling anyone they can’t claim Christ based on any qualification would be pretty ridiculous, now wouldn’t it?) That’s Jesus’ business.

I just want these Evangelical brothers and sisters to own their hypocrisy. I’d like them to acknowledge that yes, they too can be accused of playing fast and loose with Scripture when it suits them in all sorts of ways. They too “pick and choose” from the Bible when their likes require it. They too, willingly stand in opposition to portions of the Word of God—and are perfectly fine doing so.

I’d like to see those who often act as if they are holier-than-thou, admit that they are actually far more thou than all that.

Christian, you can have your UFC and your Ronda Rousey worship and your bloody Saturday night blowouts. Just don’t claim any moral high ground while you do it; don’t paint yourselves as sole bastions of pure Biblical living (and don’t make excuses where Jesus is pretty darn clear on smack downs and beat downs).

And maybe have a little more mercy and tolerance for those you believe are somehow living in a way that diverges from select Scripture verses. Because when it comes to that stuff, well you’re right here in the same rickety boat with all of us, friends.

Perhaps we should just allow people to live free of having our legalism thrust upon them, and choose to love and bear with people even when we disagree with them and their choices?

That might be a worthy fight for all of us.

Pass the avocado dip.

 

 

 

48 thoughts on “Evangelical Christianity's Love Affair With Ronda Rousey Reveals Its Hypocrisy

  1. Very interesting – the logic here would apply to men fighting as well, and the bizarre delight that men and women take in watching such events.
    Thanks for your comments on this – goes a long way to enlarging the conversation about a lot of issues that are in fact related.

  2. How about Boxing? Football? (high school and college football deaths every year in the US match or exceed MMA deaths in its entire history). Or how about bicycling? (more blood spilled on the pavement in the major Tours than in the “cages” of MMA – did you see any of this year’s Tour de Crash, uh, de France?). Why MMA, John? John, I mostly love your writing and admire your courage, but you just plain lost me on this one.

    Back to my list… How about automobile accidents? You want to decry violence? …while we have lowered automobile fatalities by about 18,000/year from a generation ago, the number is still over 30,000/year nowadays. Think there is anything less awful to see in every day garden variety auto fatalities than in MMA?

    I felt on this one that you are furiously painting yourself into a corner by being unable to give your favorite topic a rest. It’s kind of a random reach to grab MMA and bash it to have another context to write on sexual orientation. On which, by the way, I agree with you. Maybe after you’ve watched a few more MMA matches through with some of your troubled, hypocritical Evangelical friends, you’ll see it in a different light? If not, let’s at least acknowledge the horrific violence we all accept on an every day basis in life and other sport. And we have choice on what events and channels to watch!

    • You miss the fact that the deaths you spoke about were accidental, unplanned deaths, many of which could have been avoided by not drinking, wearing a seat belt, etc. The difference with MMA, boxing, and so forth is that the goal of the two opponents is to INTENTIONALLY hurt the other person—and whoever delivers the most mayhem wins.

    • I’m not understanding your comparison of MMA to sports like football, or car accidents. There’s an obvious difference between the two: in the former the violence is premediated and planned (i.e. it’s the whole reason people watch and revel). In the others, any violence is circumstantial and unintended (i.e. no one wants to see people die in a car crash). You can see the difference between someone accidentally wrapping their car around a tree, and people deliberately pummeling each other senseless, right?

    • Automobile accidents are accidents.. Mma fighting is a sport in which people beat each other.. On purpose. He could’ve focused on other sports such as fball, but his focus is on MMA. That’s his topic if you read the title.

  3. Don’t know you John but I’m going to assume you are gay. This is all your bias opinion and brutal attempt to defend your biblical immoral lifestyle. I am a Christian and I never feel the need to defend myself for my actions or lifestyle. Deep within you must know your going against Christian values or you wouldn’t feel so defensive.

    • “I am a Christian and I never feel the need to defend myself for my actions or lifestyle.”

      R-i-i-i-i-i-h-t. Just keep on telling lies to yourself about yourself honey and before long you will be perfect. A Christian is a person who knows their sins and confesses them. Go find yourself a mirror and take a hard look at yourself. You are, right now this minute, in danger of BECOMING Christie:

    • Don’t know you Debbie and so I’m not going to assume anything about you, not even whether you are a Christian as you say. All I can know from what you write here is that you like to pass judgement on other people you don’t know. I’d like to know the better side of you, because I believe there has to be one that is much better than that.

  4. thanks John…

    I was actually physically sickened once…in the before…when I heard 2 men who are openly “out” as evangelical christians and who also pretty much look down on everyone else they know nearly squeal in glee as they described their latest viewing experience of this stuff.

    I was horrified…and got nauseous…and then was told that it was not my place to judge them (which I hadn’t)…

    and then later was told by one of them post transition…well, you know that part already.

    really good article and its only weakness is that you couldn’t make it any simpler for those who are just not quite able to get the point you’re making.
    thanks <3

  5. Pretty broad sweeping strokes here brother. I’m a conservative evangelical Christian and have never heard of Ronda whoever, nor do I see much value in the violence of UFC fighting. I also am a Christian not because I think or even want to try to be better than anyone, but rather because I know just how abhorrent I am relative God’s perfection and I NEED a savior to stand in the gap to keep me out of what I do believe is a very real hell.
    While I appreciate your general message, and if you could demonstrate that specific people calling themselves Christian are calling out on both sides as you claim, I’d probably stand by you. As your post stands, though, by using a very general term like Evangelical Christians you included me and commenced with a description that doesn’t at all fit me. Please, if you have some specific concerns, then call out names and hold those specific people to account. Instead your post seems to have the intent to try and disparage Christians and perhaps Christianity and all that goes with it (eg the Bible) because of a small group of outspoken people. I’m not mad, it makes me sad because people read articles like this and think that somehow you are invalidating a wonderful and very valid religious perspective.

  6. I really don’t know who Ronda Rousey is (never heard of her)… but, I do know quite a few MMA competitors… so, are you saying that these competitors cannot be true Christians?? How about football players? That’s a pretty aggressive sport too. What sports does the Bible promote as “Godly” and which are denounced… cuz I haven’t read about it. Though, there is a lot written about what God thinks about the LGBT lifestyle, and whether we like it or not, accept it personally or not, God speaks about it and He’s not a big supporter. He does indeed love the sinner but hates the sin. So I don’t really think it’s appropriate to compare what someone does as a sport/profession to how someone lives their lives smacking the face of God saying they know better. It’s not a very strong comparative argument.

  7. John. I am taken aback. I had no idea that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals were in love with Ms. Rousey. Perhaps that is because i do not follow kick boxing, regular boxing, fake professional wrestling, etc.

    However, now that you mention it, I grew up in an area near Nashville where Live Studio Wrestling was popular in local communities. Of course, it is fake as a $3.00 bill, but I seriously doubt that most of the people who showed up knew that. They thought all of the fake punches, flips, and mayhem was actual fighting, when any sane person knew that it was simple, rehearsed, and choreographed acrobatics. If all that stuff were real, ambulances would be required after every match. What you have to understand though is that most of the people who showed up to watch those wrestling bouts were Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who populated towns dominated by numerous fundie churches.

    When I was a kid, I went to one of those wrestling matches at a National Guard Armory in my hometown, and it was weirdly hilarious to watch the old, fat, fundie women in the audience (who obviously thought the wrestling was real fighting) in a totally agitated state of blood lust and screaming at the tops of their legs: “Git him!!! Rip his head off!!! Yank out his eyes!!!” However, being good fundies, they were very careful to avoid things like: “Kick him in the nuts!!!!” That would have offended Jesus because every fundie knows nuts are a forbidden body part, never mind that Jesus knows what nuts are—because he invented them.

    I know nothing about Ms Rousey or her religious affiliation—absolutely nothing at all. However, I would guess that she is some stripe of fundie because fundies are instructed to always avoid taking pleasure in the activities of people who are not ONE OF THEIR OWN IN-GROUP. If that is the case, and again I don’t know, this here anthropologist knows exactly why they are so taken and entranced by Ms. Rousey. She is the “Superfundie” like Superman in the comic book, and she stands for truth, justice, and the fundie way. Each octagonal bout is seen as a highly symbolic, microcosmic battle between the “good of fundiedom” and the “evil of the world.” What you have to understand is that fundies are angry people who believe that they are united with God in hatred for most of mankind. They want to beat someone up. They need to beat someone up. They need to see their perceived enemies bleeding and in Hell. And hey!!! If Ms. Rousey is up against some woman with a Latino name, that is all the better because it is symbolic of the Great American conservative battle between God-loved white America and Satan-loved bronze-skinned illegals from south of the border. In their minds, that 31-second knock out by Ms. Rousey last night was seen as the perfect embodiment of what they would like to see happen to every Latino illegal in the United States—and if they can just get Ted Cruz in office as President, then he will just as quickly dispatch the entire Latino menace—thus assuring a lily white America dominated for all time with Jesus-blessed names like Jones, Brown, Smith, Robinson, and Williams. No. The Pavlovitz family—while looking white—is not really an American white family. People of Eastern European extraction are only marginally to minimally white. Your name has to be “Robert the Bruce” and hootman to be truly, truly, truly white in the United States—and probably in the messed up fundie mind.

  8. Is it sinful that God and Jacob wrestled then? Leaving him injured too. Genesis 32:22-31.
    I do agree that “worshiping” her is an issue though, but that’s true about any sports team, or hobby, interest, etc. I don’t think finding interest in “violent” sports is necessarily sinful.

    • That biblical story has absolutely nothing to do with 21st century people beating the snot out of each other for cultural entertainment.

      And why put the word ‘violent’ in scare quotes? What isn’t violent about repeatedly punching someone in the face until they roll on the floor bleeding, or until they lose consciousness?

  9. I had never heard of this Ronda person, so I did a quick search. The first thing I found was a quote she gave in an interview about how she had as much sex as possible before a fight because it raised her testosterone level. She is unmarried. This is a strange person for any “Christian” to admire. I am glad you are calling them out on their hypocrisy, but unfortunately, I believe you are absolutely right, and they will justify this in their minds. I sometimes despair at what is considered to be Christian in this day and age.

  10. John 2:13
    When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

    John 2:14
    In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.

    John 2:15
    So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

    Jesus was no pacifist. You’re twisting the scriptures as much as those you accuse. Mote, speck an’ all that.

    • God may not be a pacifist when it comes to the harm caused to people living in this world, but I am sure he loves pacifists and the idea of pacifism because it is his future promise to us: “The LORD will mediate between nations, and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more.” Isaiah 2:4. And, “ Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. “ Micah 4:3.

      Pacifists and those who pursue peace as a goal are a blessing to us in this current time which glorifies violence, revenge and the means of war.

    • God may not be a pacifist when it comes to the harm caused to people living in this world, but I feel confident he loves pacifists and the idea of pacifism because it is his future promise to us: “The LORD will mediate between nations, and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more.” Isaiah 2:4. And, “ Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. “ Micah 4:3.

  11. You are correct sir. I always wondered why it is so easy for them to be the moral compass for others but not themselves. I wonder why it is so easy to use the bible to hate others when Jesus only talks of loving one another.

  12. My brother surrendered to preach at a very young age. He is a Southern Baptist minister. His interest in extremely violent movies was always a mystery to me. I have found “salvation” in progressive Christianity. Thank you for being another voice of truth.

  13. “I just want these Evangelical brothers and sisters to own their hypocrisy.”

    So well said. When I followed the Evangelical/Fundamental teachings, I was the queen of beat you over the head with the bible to show you your wrong lady. I was mean, judgmental, and had a nasty attitude to boot. Religion and all of its trappings turned me into a mean monger. My family tried time & again to rescue me from this, but it never worked. It wasn’t until my life completely fell apart, and I lost everything that I woke up to the truth of how wrong I was. In the process of all of that happening I was openly ridiculed by my church leadership. I was told that if I was more obedient my life wouldn’t be that way. I was laughed at, and when I asked for help from them I was refused it. I am not ashamed to say that being like that wasn’t living at all.

    Bless you for speaking up and letting people know that there is a better way to live. I don’t really share my story, nor do I feel a need to. But, every once in awhile I dig it up and give a few pieces of it out.

    Finally, if we ever think there is any good in living like that you can think about my story. I no longer have any faith. I have a serious distain for all things god and jesus, I want nothing to do with any church ever again, and I believe that Christians are hypocrites and bigots.

    Yes, abuse has very serious consequences to those it is inflicted upon. How do people rest at night when they knowingly do this to others? I don’t know, but I am glad I see it for what it is now!

    • Dang. Sorry. What an awful experience. I guess it is finally time to put up my famous (in other quarters) story about how fundies are expected by the fundie clergy to leave their churches in a Supernova and do it in a particular way that they have pre-programmed you to do it. as one last gasp of faith in the fundie system. I know hindsight is 20/20, but your pastor was probably pleased that you took the agnostic/atheist route because that is what the system programs you to do. If you had really wanted to do rebellion and do it right, I would have recommended that you show the middle finger to your old preacher and congregation by defecting to a nonfundie church—effectively saying: “I choose Jesus over you, and I am going to church over here now.” It really, really, really looks bad for the fundies when one of their own decides to leave the fundie craziness behind but holds onto Jesus and goes to another church. It screams to the whole world: “Y’all fundies ain’t good enough for me”—and outsiders notice it—and think bad things about fundies and the fundie way. In my opinion, it just kills their preachers—like putting out a lit cigarette on their face and spitting in their eye.

      Unfortunately, when you take the agnostic/atheist route, their preachers can sit back, gloat, and say: “See there. I knew she was not a real Christian all along. She might have fooled other people, but she sure didn’t fool me. She’s going to Hell now—and it serves her right—just the punishment she deserves. And do you know what else, when that first moment of disbelief in our system came to her, the little stupid performed right on cue, submitted to our system one last time, and did what we had programmed her to do all along—commit one last enormous, monumental act of faith to our fundie system. Man, did we ever screw her!!!”

      Lesson: Never leave a fundie church on THEIR TERMS. Do it on your terms alone and do it in a way that will be the most publicly damaging to the reputation of your former preacher, his congregation, his church, and the overall fundie system. It shines a bright light on their evil that the whole world can see, and it damages them badly. Well, Martina McBride knows how:

      Visit us over at the “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism” blog:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      And raise some hell for Jesus!!!

      • Thank you for your reply, I will check out your blog. I most certainly feel no need to do anything in spite of or, for them to prove myself. Second, I am not even sure if I believe in God, the bible or the church. But to be honest, I don’t give it much thought anymore. I do not apologize for that because I know what I have been through, and I know that it may change. Even if it doesn’t, I won’t end up in hell, because there is no such place. Thats another lie that the church has instituted to promote fear, keep attendance up and keep getting money from people.
        My eyes are wide open to the lies of the church, the hypocrites they are and the bigoted teachings that they teach. But, the irony is I used to be one of them. So, if I criticize I can only look inwardly, and know that everything they are, I was. And I was better at it than any of them! 🙂
        I owed it to myself to teach myself about the truth of what I had been in. I also think that karma is real, and while I never, ever wish bad on another human being, I do know what they have coming to them if they keep wounding people.

        Again, thank you for your reply, and I look forward to reading your blog!

    • Hi Free Woman, I’m sorry for what you have experienced in your life. Know this, Jesus and the scriptures you were familiar with didn’t teach them to be like that to you. I pray that God finds a place in your life to truly reveal himself to you and not in a labeled Christian group. I hate having to admit it, but religion sometimes ruin ppl lives. But what I will advocate is that Christian means to have a relationship with Christ and believe in Him. One day , he will come back. I pray today that he helps you heal from your experience and did his Grace. I love you and wish I could do more in your specific life to help. It’s why those that have a true relationship with Christ will want to help you.

      I don’t care to argue with others, because I’ve recently learned that the Spirit reveals God’s wisdom more and more each time we seek Him, vs the knowledge of men where following Jesus makes no sense. For those saying evangelicals, I’m not sure what it means. But Christians and non believers are alike in many ways. We are human and have to live in the same world having the same flesh. We all need to understand that Jesus came to be us, and also lived here too. If ppl choose to follow Him plz don’t judge them. If you follow Him you know we are called to witness through love and our examples.

      I pray everyday for the mistakes I make. I pray for all Christians, those that did know of his name , and for those who don’t believe. If you are gay I’m sure you fall in either of those. Today I pray specifically for you Free Women for your heart and eyes to see Jesus again regardless of the circumstances and that he gives you peace in Him. In Jesus name glory to God, AMEN

  14. I love sports. Not so much MMA but when nothing else is on … I’ve watched. Lots of these MMA athletes hail from other sports at high levels – pro football, college wrestling, Olympic athletes, and individual martial arts traditions. Lots (most?) of them show tremendous respect for one another after their bouts. And, as in other sports, many of them know and love our Lord. Top athletes becoming idols occurs in any/every sport. Your MMA UFC connection with Jesus, Evangelical hypocrisy, and sexual orientation seems a long, weird reach. Egg. May I suggest fewer, more thoughtful posts? I think you have the potential of being a very important voice. If you don’t render your writing irrelevant with pop off rants.

    • Brian: If you do a search of Ronda Rousey, I don’t think she will fall under the category of someone who “knows and loves our Lord”. She has admitted to some very immortal behavior by Christian standards. I believe that was the point John was making — that some Christians are willing to set aside their morals and continue to admire someone who has shown immoral behavior in their personal life (Tiger Woods being a perfect example). I personally don’t get why anyone would want to watch a sport where the main goal is to injure another person. It makes no sense to me. But when that person also admits to immoral behavior, as Ronda Rousey has, you have to question the hypocrisy.

    • Up yours Brian—whatever yours happens to be. I bet you and all your fundie friends would love it if John had more thoughtful posts that did not go against the fundie grain and show how corrupt and bankrupt your fundie belief system has really become—and yeah—if you could convert John—he might really be a great voice for you and your Lord Satan in this world. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you because John has your number, all your fundie friends number, and the number of your Lord (a.k.a “His Ass Holiness”). Jesus has John’s back, and you and your kind ain’t got nothing left but misery in this world because your rapture is really “the Rupture” and the rupture is coming soon. Praise Jesus and let her come!!!!

      • Oh, and I feel really sure you would love it if John made less frequent posts. Dream on!!! Young people are abandoning your churches in droves because the real Jesus no longer lives there—if He ever did, and they are smart enough to know it. Do you know where you guys really screwed up? You screwed up by teaching scripture to your children. They take the words of Jesus, his actions, and his deeds literally and seriously, and they know that your churches are as far from those words as the east is from the west. They also take the words seriously when Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” They know young Earth creationism and hundreds of other things fundies believe are not true—and that Jesus would have nothing to do with those lies that you believe—and they do not want any part of them either. They want Jesus. They just do not want you, your bankrupt churches, and their sold out, evil belief system.

  15. Here is a right hook to your jaw Andy. How did Jacob wrestle with God, when the Bible also says that no one has ever seen God at any time? Remember that the Bible is inerrant by simple reading, there is no such thing as Biblical interpretation, and what it says must be taken literally—and God and everyone else knows that people who wrestle lock up with their opponent in full sight of their opponent. Have a nice day.

  16. I am a little baffled here. I don’t recall Jesus ever having been shown to be at a gay wedding or an MMA (gladiator fight/arena). Placing all Evangelicals in that same category is like placing all LGBTQ folks in the same category. There are still people with integrity in both camps. Blanket assumptions nearly always get it wrong.

  17. I am not sure which is odder: 1) that you would measure all evangelical Christians by the Rousey standard; or 2) that Rousey is an idol of (some) evangelical Christians (or people who claim to be or are assumed to be….). I am fairly well informed. I am a believer in Christ. I know who Rhonda Rousey is, but I have never seen Rousey and “Christian” in the same sentence, paragraph (or even article). I am not claiming it is not possible. I will assume that you have and that you also know (intimately well, as your article seems to suggest) the people that do put those associations together. It’s just that I am probably more knowledgeable than most people who would call themselves evangelical Christians on the topic of Rhonda Rousey because I know people (personally and well) who are Olympic level wrestlers, and it is hard not to be aware of the world of MMA/UFC (in a sort of train wreck kind of way) as a result, but I am no fan. I wonder… if I knew a blogger or two who were charlatana (or who I thought I knew well enough to call charlatans), how credible a broad sweeping article might be if I concluded all bloggers were charlatans?

  18. Wait, Jon. In all seriousness; help me understand this post. I love your writing even when I don’t agree 100% with you. You make many valid points in your writings and I find myself pondering new ways to look at things and praying through what I’ve always just accepted as truth (as a Christian who was raised as a Lutheran, married a Lutheran and we both became Baptist, then transitioned into FourSquare Gospel and eventually settled into NonDenominational ‘I just love Jesus’, who still embrace the full expression of the spiritual gifts).
    But this time it seemed like a stretch to me that you would include all Evangelicals in the mix of those who enthusiastically endorse this female wrestler (whom I had never even heard of). You said, “For example, these are the very men and women who are often the most outspoken critics of the LGBT community, who continually and passionately claim to be using the words and underlying principles of the Bible as justification for their hateful biases against them…”
    Do you think a Christian can be an Evangelical (not a ‘Fundamentalist’) and yet not be an outspoken critic of the gay community or stand on their own high moral ground while doing the very things they condemn in others? What has your experience been?
    There seemed to be an edge to this post that I haven’t seen in your previous posts. I’d like to understand why/what I don’t understand/what I’m blind to…
    Thanks.

    • As I’ve shared in the piece, my experience is that many modern Evangelicals who support, patronize, and celebrate UFC, are some of the same otherwise hardline Biblcial believers who use the Bible as their justification. When it comes to violence, however, they become very selective with regard to Scripture.

      I’m questioning a religious hypocrisy that says it’s OK for two women to be violent toward one another, but not to love one another.

      It’s certainly not all Evangelicals, but the ones to whom it refers, certainly know.

      Thanks for reading!

    • You are making two mistakes here Susan:

      1) Real Christians are people who do not “stand on high moral ground.” They recognize that their moral ground is no higher than that of anyone else because they are human and susceptible to the same mental, physical, and emotional problems–and failures that Christians and non Christians experience in this life. Standing on high moral ground is the pride tht goes before the fall.

      2) There is no real difference between Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. Check it out here:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/christian-fundamentalists-and-conservative-evangelicals/

      • dover1952,

        1) I used the phrase “high moral ground” because John used it in his post. So I agree with you here.

        2) I followed the link as you suggested. Depending on how you answer the author’s questions, he will label you. It made me realize just how much I dislike labels.

        Have you ever used a Brother label maker? When I worked in an office I printed labels for my manila folders and hanging files. I would categorize each piece of paper based on the content and then drop it into the appropriate folder. Using a label maker helped me organize the volume of paperwork I dealt with every day. I’ve come to realize that we all can unwittingly become “label makers”. We categorize people and drop them into their appropriate file in our minds: Republican, Democrat, Egalitarian, Complementarian, Paedobaptist, Credobaptist, Feminist, Homosexual, Transgender, Charismatic, Fundamentalist, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, etc.

        No matter what I personally believe about any of these groups or issues, the only ‘label’ I should ever make for a person who would align themselves with one of these categories is “Made in the Image of God”.

  19. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  20. Well put. The hypocrisy of some “Christians” has given all Christians a bad name. In a “live and let live” world, that’s fine. But when some cherry pick the Bible to oppress others while ignoring inconvenient parts in their own lives … well … its enough to make me want to support a Constitutional ban against bacon. 🙂

    https://613test.com/2016/08/27/god-hates-bacon/

  21. Why don’t you just write a one line article that reads I think God hates sports and by the way I’m gay? What an idiotic argument!

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