Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Sometimes I write satire. The other day a Christian apologist decided they needed to "call me out" on Twitter, asking why people were "hyped up" about this Phil Vischer guy, who was obviously just "a leftist doing leftist things." He prefaced his remarks by letting us know he had attended Fuller Seminary. How this factored into his pursuit of 'leftists' remains unclear.
I responded semi-graciously, but also a bit befuddled. "Leftist" typically means "communist," and my communist resume is embarrassingly short. My response was also pretty short, because... Twitter.
So I decided this 'serious' accusation needed a more lengthy, 'serious' response. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.) Below is my formal response to the accusation of 'leftism.' (I have changed my accuser's name to protect his innocence.)
Dear Senator Joseph McCarthy,
By ‘leftist’ I assume you mean ‘communist.’
No, Senator McCarthy, I am not, and have never been, a member of the Communist Party. I am a red-blooded Christian American, committed to Jesus and free markets. Mostly in that order.
After much self-reflection, I recognize how you might have come to this false conclusion. After all, at one point in my youth I had two roommates, and we shared some expenses and food. But I have repented of that. I also in my youth enjoyed listening to the Christian rock group Resurrection Band, whose band mates were members of an actual Christian commune in Chicago. I have repented of that also. And, since we’re on the topic of music, my family really enjoyed the late 70s Christian band 2nd Chapter of Acts, which was problematic both because they chose as their name the most ‘leftist’ chapter in the Bible, and also because their harmonies were so tight and hairstyles so similar it was difficult to discern with any confidence which one was the boy. I now realize boys with high voices and long hair are yet another step on a slippery slope toward socialized medicine.
Not only have I rejected these potentially ‘leftist’ Christian influences, I have removed the entire 2nd chapter of Acts from my Bible, lest it causes me to stumble and arise one day wearing Bernie Sanders mittens purchased on Etsy. Which is, if we're honest, probably a communist sleeper cell. (Etsy, that is. Not Bernie Sander’s mittens. Wait, scratch that. They’re both communist sleeper cells.)
Do not worry, sir, I am no Hugo Chavez. I will not attempt to nationalize our industries, ruining our economy. Neither will I follow Chavez’s lead and import so many hippopotamuses for my personal menagerie that their excrement disrupts the natural ecosystem of our rivers. Oh, you didn’t know about that? Clearly you don’t host a podcast with a recurring segment entitled ‘News of the Butt.’
On second thought, isn’t protecting our ecosystem ‘leftist?’ Scratch that. I just ordered two hippos on Etsy. I only pray they’re not communists.
I apologize for any statements I may or may not have made that caused such concern and required our mutual attendance at this hearing. Thank you, Senator McCarthy, for giving me this opportunity to clear my name, and, particularly, for using your patriotism and intellect to keep the American church communist-free.
Fuller Seminary must be proud.
(Note: I've been notified - multiple times - that the hippo thing was Escobar in Colombia, not Chavez in Venezuela. My mistake! I'm not changing my piece, though, because it's funnier this way. Chavez can sue me for hippo defamation.)