Reading the column “Does Jonathon Van Maren Speak For The Faith Community” there are several points I must disagree with Mr Archer on.
Foremost is the fact that whatever Van Maren and his acolytes may be, they are clearly and undeniably NOT Christians. They cannot even be said to be christians.
Van Maren and his acolytes are like those who claim or are said to be christians, who harangue people with their raving diatribes about the need to keep Christ in Christmas when they should be focused on getting Christ into Christian, into themselves, into their behaviours, into their lives and into their souls, their essence.
Van Maren quotes from the bible and evokes God as the authorities for his pernicious teachings, malignant ideology and repugnant behaviours. While that may allow him to claim to be a Biblian or a Goddian it has nothing to do with being Christian.
Being Christian requires one to base how one lives on the teachings of Christ, a reality that most of those who like to label themselves Christians forget or more likely ignore or live in denial of.
Why “… forget or more likely ignore or live in denial of”? Christ taught not just through his words but through his actions, the way he lived his life. He did not judge, or hate, was about forgiveness – no matter what the trespass – about sharing with those in need [and not simply the crumbs left after one had all the luxuries and toys one wants), he was not about things and possessions but people’s needs, about loving thy enemies, about not throwing the first stone, about loving thy brothers (fellow man) as thyself, about doing unto others as you would have done unto you.
In other words: struggling to live the teachings, the actions, the life of Christ requires a great deal of those who seek to be Christians. It is far, far easier to call yourself christian than it is to be Christian.
Mr Archer questioned why the leaders of the Christian community are silent on Van Maren and his acolytes. The answer is that those he refers to as the leaders of the Christian community no more practice and live as a follower of Christ (and thus are no more Christian) than do the preponderance of those who lay claim to being Christian.
Which is undoubtedly why Ghandi observed: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Christianity exists only where it is practiced. Tao of James
Mr Archers second major error was in calling Van Maren and his acolytes bullies. They are not bullies who bullied. They are thugs who assaulted – traumatized – children with pornography (obscene [abominable; disgusting; repulsive, depraved ] drawings, photographs, or the like). Thugs whose actions make them child abusers.
Recall that child abuse includes the emotional mistreatment of children. So any act or series of acts of commission that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child is child abuse. These acts can occur in schools or communities the child interacts with.
The images Van Maren assaulted and caused harm to the students with were more traumatic and potentially damaging than simply exposing himself to the children would have been.
Worse, Van Maren and his acolytes committed this act of assaulting the students minds for their own self gratification. The only purpose for placing their pornography where children would be assaulted by the pornography was to attract attention to and for themselves. The kind of ‘look at me’ attention grabbing behaviour one would expect from the 5 and 6 year olds Van Maren and acolytes assaulted with their pornography attention grabbing display.
Van Maren and those who helped him perpetrate his harmful and abusive treatment of the children should be charged with child abuse and have their names placed on the appropriate local, provincial and national registries of Child Molesters.