Stereotypes Of Christianity


Hannigan talks about her experience with acting

Kamryn Hannigan, Staff Writer

As a 17-year-old Christian girl who grew up surrounded by pop culture, naturally I have always had a certain affinity for Taylor Swift. Even as a slightly more mature young adult, I follow her new music and keep up with Swiftie news. Now imagine how my little-girl heart hurt when I saw the music video for her new song, “You Need To Calm Down,” where she portrayed the Christian community as a mob of angry southern baptists holding hateful signs attempting to oppress innocent people. I suppose I’ll call that for what it is. A logical fallacy. (Strawman, look it up.) And it stung to be thrown into a group with these monsters by someone that I used to look up to.

According to my peers, I am a Bible wielding, church-going, LGBTQ+ hating hypocrite. The Christian community remains painted in the washed-out watercolors of dark ages gone by. The world hangs a metaphorical “beware of Christian” sign on every light post and bulletin board it can featuring the church as a group of judgmental narcissists who have a problem with everyone but themselves. 

But I am not here to trash Taylor Swift’s new songs or even complain about what’s wrong with society. I simply want to correct some misguided assumptions about the Christian community. 

Something that weighs heavy on my heart is the idea we hate the LGBTQ+ community. This is, of course, the church’s own fault. When this alternative culture hit the mainstream, the Christian community felt uncomfortable. Instead of responding with love, we responded with confusion and outrage. That was wrong, and I am sorry. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry that my community has made you believe that you aren’t welcome. 

I stand upon our values, and I believe what the Bible says is the truth. However, the Bible talks about union a handful of times compared to the pages and pages instructing us to love. We are not to ignore what the Bible tells us is right and wrong of course, but the second greatest commandment is to love others. Despite differences and barriers and social classes, we are called to love. The Christian community does not hold the authority to condemn people on their decisions, especially when they do not pertain to us. We are only called to love and lead by example. 

Secondly, I’d like to touch on the wide belief that Christianity comes with a rulebook three thousand pages long. The Christian community is exceptionally good about preaching what we’re against and what we can’t do, and in the midst of the do’s and don’ts, we forget about our many blessings. Instead of harping against premarital sex we should be telling the beautiful story of why we wait. The story of a covenant between two people and a loving God that wants the sweetest and most sacred gift for his children. Something designated for two people that were literally made for each other by a Father with a perfect plan. 

Instead of preaching what we can’t do on a Friday night, we should be telling the world about our father who wants nothing but joy and light for us. Surprise, God wants me to have fun. He wants me to spend a Friday night out with my friends – laughing and living. Maybe this doesn’t include vaping, which is apparently all the rage now, and drinking, but even if the Bible didn’t talk about how our bodies are temples these things are still unhealthy for us. God is just being the good father we know him to be and trying to protect us. 

Being a Christian isn’t about all the things we can’t do. It isn’t about being perfect, and if it was I would be the first to fail. Christianity isn’t about following a rulebook and who people love certainly doesn’t make or break their ability to have a relationship with Christ. Too often I see people turn from the Church because they think what they’ve done or how they feel disqualifies them from the grace of God. But it doesn’t. We, the Church, want them. God wants them. 

This is me taking down my “beware of Christian” sign. This is my love letter to a world that assumes I hate it.