I recently had occasion to encounter religious bigotry in a family member upset over my past blogging about Pentecostalism in America. As a Pentecostal, this family member is naturally not open to honest inquiry about religious prejudice, so I searched my blogs using the word Pentecostal, and came up with three posts over the last seven years that might have set her off.
The most recent, Christian Jihad, was about indoctrination through such venues as Good News Clubs, that -- wrongly in my view -- are allowed to use public schools after hours to, "generate support for murder of non-believers worldwide." Another, Satanic Panic, is about the neopentecostal holy war made famous by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The third, Cashing in on Hate, discussed the charismatic pentecostal network behind lethal homophobia.
Recalling a visit long ago to this family member's home where I shockingly discovered a blackboard in the family room covered in phrases like, "smite the heathens," I began to appreciate the awful burden her children have had to overcome. It also gave me a greater appreciation of the roots of resentment that recently surfaced in her otherwise inexplicable behavior. Sowing discord, it seems, disturbs the minds of the instigators as much as those they target.