So, the difference between and hockey mom and a pitbull…. lipstick! I hope the title was tantalizing enough to draw your attention. It’s hard to believe that the first time I ever paid attention to that catchphrase in its entirety was twelve years ago! Then Republican Governor Sarah Palin was the witty, intelligent, beautiful, successful, traditional, and modest vice-presidential nominee: the definition of Christian counter-culture and an automatic and, therefore, a natural target for all sorts of slander.
I can still see her on the screen saying, “What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?… The lipstick”. She was militantly Pro-Life, accented by the fact that she had a child born with trisomy and a daughter who had a child out of wedlock; Sarah was a strong proponent of 2nd Amendment rights and religious freedoms and unapologetically Pro-God and Pro-Country. Governor Palin was the kind of gal that would have Tim “the Tool-man” Taylor grunting for hours at all sorts of Americana!
Now before you think this is a post about politics, let’s discuss the pitbull and the hockey mom for a moment. Governor Palin was a self-described hockey mom, shuttling her kids from one sports event to another and basically in charge of her children’s educational and social calendar. She remarked that the only difference between this quintessential American matriarchal figure and a pit bull is just the lipstick: hockey moms have frazzled hair, are knee-deep in messy breakfast dishes, piles of dirty clothes, smelly kids and soiled uniforms, and the only distinguishing characteristic from an animal used as home security system: the lipstick.What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?... The lipstick - @SarahPalinUSA Click To Tweet
The media, needless to say, had a field day with her! Overnight, she became the dumbest, dullest, simplest, and most malleable mind in America (as they always attack your education and lack pedigree). Not to mention sexually backward and “anti-women”. That, in essence, is what the world thinks of Christian women and of Christians in general: dull-witted, naïve, gullible, and possessing a natural propensity to a “herd mentality”. For Sarah Palin had to change to be touted as a bulwark of “what it means to be an American woman” would be, as Pink would say, is “everything you are”.
Too many times, as Christians living in this Post-Modern, Post-Christian society, we believe that the only way to get ahead at best, or tread water in the least, is to turn ourselves into whatever the culture expects of everyone; assimilate into automatons repeating whatever the mantra of the moment is. Christians have grown comfortable with the idea of a compartmentalized “weekend only” Christianity. just don’t tell your friends that you’re going to church unless it’s those new hip churches where the pastors wear baseball caps on the pulpit and everything is a sports metaphor. Unfortunately, we do little to help our own cause.
Although there is little we can do to address people’s ill-intentions and predispositions, what they readily do see of Christianity is this watered-down, teeth-less, “prosperity now” approach, that leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth even before they even encounter an actual Christian face-to-face.
I find it humorous. While this new spirit of the age preaches individuality and free-thinking and “everyone is right in their own way” they’ve built in an interesting little caveat. It doesn’t apply to a Bible-based Christian worldview or a wider Judeo-Christian worldview.
The days keep coming and I get older and older. I realize just how very little I have in common with the majority of the people around me. The freedoms that I learned about as a schoolboy has become adulterated into obscenities. Too many people take vile personal licenses and call them “rights”.
So what if they call you names if they make fun of you? What if they ridicule you, belittle you, overlook you, and yes, persecute you!?The Western Church knows little of persecution. We think that hostile leftist politicians are the coming of the Antichrist while our brothers in the 10-40 Window put their lives and those of their families on the line every single day taking a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Other not-so-pretty things
Therefore, if your Christianity rubs people the wrong way, don’t stop. If the only redeeming characteristic about you is the lipstick, let it be; if they’re looking at you and wondering “what is Jesus doing adorning the face of that pit-bull?”, give Him praise. Let it be your testimony, that while you were yet a sinner, Jesus died for you (Rom 5), for me, for them, for us!
Therefore, wear your Christian peculiarity not with pride. The world encourages its inter-sectional herds it has created to be proudful. We do it with humility and grace. Give thanks that God saw it fit to save you. Tell them that they too can be wearing the lipstick on their face, all they have to do is ask Jesus to come into their hearts and do a miraculous new work in them.
There’s a bumper sticker out there somewhere that says “Not perfect, just forgiven”. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, or any other politician professing to be Christians are not perfect. Not by a long shot! However, neither are their accusers! We should not see what’s “peculiar” about Sarah Palin as an insult. Not as an insult to us. It is an opportunity for rejoicing. Firstly that we were different enough where people actually noticed. Secondly, we were counted worthy to suffer ridicule for His namesake.
And Buckley’s cough syrup?
If being a Christian was easy, everyone would be a Christian. “It’s not that Christianity was tried and found difficult; it’s that it was found difficult and [therefore] left untried”. Chesterton’s quote reminds me of the Buckley’s cough syrup commercial, “tastes awful and it works”. Every day Believers are called “bad” Christians. As Christians ourselves, let us not go along with the chorus and take a holier-than-thou victory lap for ourselves. But rather, come alongside each other and support those Christians. Remember, the accusation is not of looking like the world. The crime is of trying to hide behind their Jesus lipstick and failing miserably. I’m sure you can relate.