After sharing a story on Facebook about a church who kicked out a family who supported their gay daughter, I got this private message from a very good friend.
I’m going to start in on you how I feel you have singled out Christianity as THE religion to bash. All religions have their bad kids Christianity is no exception. Atheism or whatever you call yourself I’m sure has a small percentage of bad apples.
I cant believe you don’t rip the Muslims for the shit they cause…
I really think you got a chip on your shoulder with Christianity, but I really think its probably more its the “thing” or religion to bash right now.
Sorry but in my opinion of you Ed, it just doesn’t fit you.
You are not walking the walk of tolerance. I grew up in a Christian family that always thought Baptists were crazy….
We had a short instant message conversation, but I think my few sentences deserve a better more thoughtful reply. So here we go –
I’ll start with the Muslim accusation.
Worldwide, Islam accounts for about 23% of the population (Christianity clocks in at about 34%). In the US, about.8% (that’s point eight percent – less than 1%) of the population is Muslim compared to 77% that identify as Christian (by the way, that’s down from about 79% in 2010).
I was raised a “cultural” Christian among a vast majority of a population that was also Christian. With a barely notable exception of a few, the bulk of all elected officials in all levels of government are Christian. Chances are there are more Christian churches in your town than libraries.
Why don’t I pick on Muslims? Because their religion doesn’t have as much of an effect on my life and the lives of my friends and family as Christianity.
I (mostly) single out Christianity for my ire, outrage, snark, and mocking because of the very vocal and very public actions of many of that religion’s adherents. If these issues were isolated to a few squeaky wheels I don’t think so many young people would be leaving church behind. Clearly – to me – Christianity is losing the cultural and societal importance it once held, and for good reasons.
there are 50 shades of Christians, I think you try to lump them all into one shade – black – therefore you are wrong
According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 Christian sects (73 Muslim sects). Remember when you lumped all Muslims into the same group as the assholes who murdered Americans and non-Muslims? Remember when you said, “If Islam isn’t bad, why don’t the moderate Muslims speak up?” The answer to that question is the exact same.
I’m not even sure you know what you mean when you say “extremists” unless it means the ones that have the loudest voices.
46% of Americans believe in a 6 day creation. 32% believe in theistic evolution. Only 15% accept a non-deity evolutionary process. Who are the extremists?
Support of gay marriage (or, as I prefer to call, marriage equality) is split almost 50-50 among Christians. Who are the extremists?
The extremists seem to be the ones who keep quiet and tacitly let the loud mouths define the argument. That makes the loud mouths the winners. Christian media (television, radio, print) is ripe with the type of Christianity that I oppose.
Whenever a Christian person or organization does any of the following, I will comment –
- insists that their creation mythology be taught as scientific fact in public schools
- misrepresent the historical foundations of our country as anything other than secular and enlightened
- deny civil and political equality to gay men and women
- use their religious texts as evidence and support for civil legislation
- define Christianity for all Christians
- insist that they can use the public square and public dollars to support their religious expression
I come from a tradition of cultural Christianity – the kind of Christians who get most upset with my opinions because they insist that they aren’t like those other Christians. I have also been one of those other Christians – the loud mouth who frames the debate. I know those people, and they are worthy of scorn.
* Facts and figures come mostly from Pew Research and Gallup. No facts or figure came from Wikipedia0