This week, I finally did something I have been wanting to do for a long time: I put “atheist” on my Facebook profile. It was less of a dramatic coming-out than I had anticipated; to see it, you would have to go to my profile and scroll through my “About” section and find it listed under “religious views”. I could have made it into a post that will show up in people’s News Feeds, but I didn’t find that necessary. I did, however, follow a number of atheist pages, and maybe one day I’ll share some of their posts for all my friends to see.
Before I did this, I went through and purged some of the more extreme conservatives from my feed. After I was done, I was glad that I might finally be free from seeing another person sharing blog posts from Matt Walsh in my news feed. My former college classmates or church members always shared some really peculiar things, but Matt Walsh’s content was always the worst. After my first review of his writing two years ago, I decided to return to the conservative political commentator’s blog to see what he’s been up to.
The first post that caught my eye on Walsh’s blog was entitled “WALSH: The Left Is Outraged Because Mike Pence’s Wife Got A Job At A Christian School“. (Note: I leave the link in so that you may follow along if you want and so that I don’t take him out of context, but consider that if you click, you are giving him a view, so if you don’t want to boost Matt Walsh’s stats, you might just consider staying here and reading my summary instead.) In the post, Walsh explains the recent headline, in which Mike Pence’s wife Karen got a job as a part-time art teacher at a Christian school. The controversy comes from the fact that the Christian school doesn’t admit openly gay students.
Before I go on, I feel that I must clarify: Matt Walsh might seem, for the most part, a pretty logical guy. The problem I see is that he doesn’t consider the morality of his “logical” beliefs. In the post on Karen Pence, he logically explains that we shouldn’t be surprised to see a Christian woman working at a Christian school with Christian principles. In theory, this is fine. But in essence, his argument is that what “The” (evil) “Left” has always wanted is for each person to keep his or her religion to him or herself, and now we are, in a way, persecuting Karen Pence and her Christian school because we’re trying to stop her from living her life and practicing her beliefs. In his words,
“But in the case of Karen Pence and her new employer, they are doing exactly what the Left demanded. This school is merely trying to operate by biblical principles within its own walls and on its own property. It is a Christian school simply being a Christian school. It isn’t bothering anyone. It isn’t invading anyone’s home and lecturing them about their sexual behavior. It isn’t preventing anyone from working or living or enjoying their lives. It is just saying, very reasonably, very unobtrusively, ‘We are going to conduct ourselves according to Christian moral tradition. If you don’t want to accept that moral tradition, then by all means go somewhere else.'”
I’ve said before that it is really repulsive that Christians try to say that their rights are being taken away when we tell them that it’s wrong to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. Like Matt Walsh said, all we “Leftists” have ever wanted was just for people to keep their religion to themselves. Honestly, if people could really put this into practice, we’d all be fine. But if being a Christian requires you to tell people what to do with their bodies or with their significant others, then you’ve crossed the line because that no longer counts as minding your own business. If you’re anti-gay, don’t be gay. But don’t tell other people whether or not they can be gay. After all, there are gay Christians who have reconciled the two ideas, and if they’ve done that, then it’s no one’s place, even as a fellow Christian, to tell them what is and isn’t okay within their own religion.
I recall something I saw once on Facebook: “They tell us we can love whoever we want, but we’re not allowed to love Jesus!” No, that’s not what that means. When “loving Jesus” means “forcing people into conversion therapy” or “refusing to acknowledge the rights of LGBTQ+ people” then that’s not okay!
Matt Walsh has, in his post, caught on to the fact that we atheists are upset by the concept of it being a “real Christian school” (because to him, a real Christian school is anti-LGBTQ+). He says, “If you have a problem with this policy, you have a problem with Christian schools per se,” and, “The Left, as we’ve seen, hates the fact of Christian schools. Really hates it.” He is right for once.
You can see, if “Christian” means “discriminating against something that people have no control over” then yes, I do have a problem with it. And this is not to mention my own personal beef I have with Christian schools after my four years attending one, thinking that it wouldn’t be too Christian without requiring students or faculty to sign a confession of faith like Karen Pence’s school does.
But in the two days since I read Walsh’s posts and writing my final draft of this right now, the hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools has exploded over Twitter after Mike Pence tweeted that “The criticism of Christian education in America must stop.” I must say, this is one of those moments when I am extremely proud of Twitter. But I am more ashamed of Christian schools (and they are oh, so much worse than the Christian school I attended) than I have ever been before.