Social justice Christian? Right wing fanatic? Death penalty proponent, or death penalty protestor? The media doesn’t always show it (okay, it NEVER shows it), but there’s actually a wide array—huge!—of Christian thought out there. Nadia Bolz-Weber is a good example of that. Some folks call her the devil, while others think her work with misfits of all stripes is a God send. I got to talk with Nadia on the phone the other day, and would love to share some of that conversation here.
In a dichotomous church world of traditional/conservative, weird/liberal, how do those in the latter camp resist the urge of a sort of reverse snobbery?
I don’t know that I’ve ever really resisted it. It’s still there, but it’s in bad from to assume I’m right about it. I feel it and think it, and I’d be lying to say I didn’t. The problem comes when I think God agrees with me or is co-signing on it, or it’s somehow the prophetic thing to assert that my snotty opinions are God’s truths. What is lacking on both sides of the equation—fundamentalism of the left or fundamentalism of the right—are two things that I won’t do without in my life anymore since I was raised in a fundamentalist setting, and those two things are joy and humility. I don’t see a lot of joy and humility being allowed when your main thing is holding some sort of line. I saw an advance screening of the Selma movie and it was incredible. I put up on Twitter the next day that I couldn’t wait for the rabid liberals to tell me why me thinking the Selma movie is amazing actually makes me a horrible racist. There is incredible pridefulness in social media. You aren’t really allowed to say if you like anything, because immediately someone will have some article about “What Selma got wrong.” It’s unbelievably prideful. You know, I enjoyed the movie and thought it had a lot to recommend it. But there is a lot of joy stealing out there in terms of no one being allowed to say they think anything is good, because someone will immediately come place themselves above you, saying “here’s why you got that wrong.” It’s not helping anyone. With Charlie Hebdo we’re talking about freedom of expression, but how much is that limited at this point because you’re afraid you might use the wrong word or say the wrong thing? It’s crippling.
You can read the rest of my interview with the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber here.