2016-06-30
In the introduction to our Jesus Quiz, we promised (tongue-in-cheek) to "pigeonhole you, reducing you from a complex, nuanced person to a simple caricature." Judging from the responses we've gotten, we kept our promise.

What's fascinating is not so much that people disagreed with some of the caricatures--by definition, that should happen--but WHY people disagreed.

In the "Jerry Falwell Christian" boards, a number of users bristled at the notion that believing in the literal truth of the Bible meant you were politically conservative:

Leeeala: "I myself am a "radical, vegan, liberal college student who believes in the divinity of Jesus."

Truthseeker: "How did a New Age, born again, Mormon end here? Just because I believe most of the Bible, watch "Touched by an Angel" and enjoy contemporary Christian music? Isn't it ironic that I would land in this category along with fundamentalists that are often threatening hell fire and damnation to Mormons!!"

Nine19: "Hate the label! I am a dirty hippie liberal Christian. What? Just because I believe the Bible to be the Inspired word of God, I am put on the same level as Jerry Falwell? Peace, love, dove, baby."

Msj: "I am PROCHOICE, LIBERAL and despite some of his flaws, I like BILL CLINTON!....what is important is that I believe [Christ] died and rose again and serves as a living sacrifice for our sins. I don't think that alone makes me like Jerry Falwell."

Meanwhile, over on the "Hillary Clinton Christian" message board, Woody posted this message: "Boy do I feel out of place! I'm a member of the NRA, and I'm a Hillary Clinton Christian? Don't tell Charlton Heston, ok."

To be sure, there were plenty of people who did fit in their cubbyholes--conservatives in the Falwell category, liberals in the Hillary category (and plenty of people who had never heard of Jerry Falwell).

But to a great degree, people were saying that having a personal connection to Christ spanned personality type and ideology. This contradicts the way Christians are often depicted in the media and by politicians.

It also means there may be more room for dialogue than many assume. The big issue for most Christians is their relationship to God, the Bible, and Christ, not their place in the culture wars. With that hope, we've created a new discussion topic called United in Annoyance With the Quiz. Go with good humor.

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