Note to Christians--Stop Whinging!

Learn this word and stop doing it!

The British have a wonderful word that I’d like to see become part of the American lexicon: whinging (win’ jing’). To whinge is complain in that special whiny, moaning, woe-is-me way that makes everyone around you want to encase you in cement and send you to visit Mafia dons reposing at the bottom of the East River. It often connotes those who equate some small complaint with an international plot to destroy their personal happiness and undermine Western values. (As if the universe actually cares!)

Among the novelty gifts one can procure in the UK are signs that say “No Whinging!” I wish I had bought a few when I was there a few weeks ago, as I have a great desire to post them in American churches, the US Congress, and in the corporate headquarters of Fox News. In the name of preserving Christianity, the political right, the conservative blogosphere, and Catholic bishops simply won’t let go of the idea that insurers should be required to offer birth control services and that hospitals operating as public institutions should be required to comply with the law. They continue to whinge despite the fact that no physicians are required to perform procedures they find morally objectionable, and despite the fact that the vast majority of Catholics and Catholic hospitals support both current policy and President Obama’s proposed insurance requirements.

Right-wing whingers have recently upped the ante and incited the Ditto Heads by repackaging public health policy as a wholesale assault on Christianity. In a failed 48-51 bid to overturn the policy, the retiring Olympia Snowe was the only Republican to vote in favor of requiring insurance coverage for contraception. Conservative “journalist” S. E. Cupp­–read Ann Coulter wannabe–made the incredulous claim that the “liberal media” (the what?) is engaged in a plot to “overthrow God and silence Christian America for good.” (Query for Ms. Cupp: If God is omnipotent, does God need humans to implement the Divine plan?) Tom DeLay–now there’s a moral pillar for you!–also believes there is “a war against Christianity” being led by liberals. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council agrees.

For God’s sake–stop whinging! This isn’t 3rd century Rome, though there are certainly a few self-proclaimed moralists I’d gladly nominate to become Purina Lion Chow. 75% of all Americans identify as Christian. Christians are, to use a Congressional term, a super majority, and Christian morality is as close to the default position as anything can be in our politically divided republic. Once again a vociferous small group of erstwhile guardians of public virtue have constructed mountains from molehills. By most objective standards, Christian values are triumphant. Marriage? There are 58.9 million married couples in the United States–just 150,000 are gay. Abortion? There were 4.1 million live births in the US in 2009 and 1.21 million abortions, the latter a slightly higher percentage than the 25% of non-Christians in the country, so there a few backsliders in the mix. 90% of Americans believe in God and 68% of Americans claim they pray daily, the ban on school prayer be damned. (Even Fox News says that fewer than 10% of Americans never pray.) A Gallup Poll shows that 91% of Americans think that adultery is wrong.

I notice that conservatives don’t blame the liberal media for the fact that 69% of Americans believe that divorce is acceptable. That may have something to do with the fact that divorce rates are 50% higher in red states than in liberal blue states! It’s so much easier to whinge over the fact that 60% of Americans think premarital sex is fine, 56% think that homosexuality is a private matter, that around 2/3 of married Americans commit adultery, and that a whopping 99% of American women use birth control at some point in their lives. And isn’t this what started the latest round of whinging in the first place? So here’s my retort to complaining Christians: clean up your own house and stop whinging!

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