Irresponsible leadership and the 700 Club, Canada.

I’m not a big fan of Christian television. I find the programming to be a vapid form of “feel good” Christianity that is more about ratings than it is about anything Jesus would want to talk about. Most of the shows are also so right-wing, fundamental Evangelical in nature that I can’t stand anything they have to say.

The 700 Club, Canada, is a perfect example of this horrid, Christ-distorting theology. I don’t watch it, but recently caught the few opening moments of the show that aired immediately after the horrors that occurred in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The hosts comments after his perfunctory prayer were remarkably stupid, even for a show as inane as this one.

“This isn’t the time to blame the leaders” he said.

What in God’s name was he thinking? Oh, right, he was thinking about how blaming the leaders would make him and his right-wing Evangelical fold partly responsible for the murderous actions of the shooter that was inspired by Donald Trump. (sorry, I can’t bring myself to call him President, as that would put him in the same category as Barrack Obama, whom I respect greatly)

Yes, that’s right. I firmly believe that the host’s desire to avoid blaming anyone was because, deep down in his little hateful heart he knows that his leaders are complicit in motivating the shooters. After all, by fawning over Donald Trump and adopting him as an honourary “Kristee-an” the extreme Evangelical right has aligned itself with a leader that insults all races but his own, and openly incites violence against anyone not as white, or heterosexual, or rich as him. Thus, they have aligned themselves with a malicious, narcissistic “person” who just happens to be the leader of a large and very misguided nation. It only follows that fellow evangelical Christians who host national TV shows would wish to ignore their complicity in Trump’s evil.

I can’t do so. I can’t let fellow followers of Christ do so. I have to hold leaders like Trump accountable. I also have to hold leaders like the hosts of the 700 Club, Canada, accountable.

So I did.

I sent them an email, messaged them on Facebook, and posted the same message on Facebook and Twitter as well. And I’m sharing it with you.

Mind you, I wrote my note before realizing that they were trying to hide from their complicity in the crimes, so I missed out on that. Still, I did my best to hold them accountable, and to spread that message of accountability further, which is why I ranting away here.

Here’s what I wrote:

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, you opened your program with prayers for the victims. One of the hosts then went on to say not to blame leaders for what had happened, that it was an evil spirit, or the evil spirits of the day.
I was shocked at this comment. Leaders must be held accountable for what they say and do. Recent shooters and perpetrators of violence have directly implicated and quoted Donald Trump as their inspiration. Think about that. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, has repeatedly incited violence, spoken ill of minorities, and done everything possible to further the agenda of White Supremacists.
By inviting your viewers to blame an evil spirit and not hold an irresponsible leader (and not just Trump, but many others) you are doing a disservice to Christ and to God.
As a leader within my church and my community I hold myself fully accountable for everything I do, say and am. I also expect that my congregation and all those I come into contact with would also hold me to account.
Your comments were irresponsible and ill-suited to servants of Christ. Jesus did not blame evil spirits. He held the leaders accountable for their actions and the poor example they set. I ask that you look into your hearts and consider your words and actions. You have committed a grave error in telling your viewers not to hold their leaders accountable for their actions. Whether it’s Trump, Trudeau or a local leader like myself, we must not ignore their words or actions. When they bless the people they serve with wisdom and Christ-like leadership, they are to be praised and supported. When they sow the seeds of hatred and model the worst human behaviour possible, as does Donald Trump, they must be held responsible.

We all are leaders, whether we like it or not. Whether it’s in our small circle of friends or in front of a national audience, we all have the power to influence others, for good or for bad.. As such, we have great power. And great responsibility. If we can’t be held accountable for how we lead people, then it’s better to just shut up and say nothing.

100% Italian, Born and raised in Canada, Presbyterian Pastor, Maker, Singer, Writer, Musician, Theatre, Married, Father, Learner, choosing Love, he/him