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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
(12:44 AM) | Stephen:
Time For Christians to Act Like Grownups

I don't usually participate in the comment threads at Eschaton, because once I type a few words, several more comments have been added. Getting a whole post done puts me 10 comments behind at least, and I just don't have the ability to really follow it all.

But Atrios posted about religion again tonight, and I was curious about what the comment thread would look like. The reason for the post was that Jesse Lava of FaithfulDemocrats.com was unhappy with Atrios saying that religious language is "gibberish" to him.

In the comment thread there was the usual "fuck the fucking religious people those fucking fucks and their fucking hallucinations and fucking hate blah blah blah" and "oh come on people you need to respect me if you want my vote and why are you all so mean anyway blah blah blah." Plus some really funny stuff about The Life of Brian and hiney farina.

I don't feel that I can really speak to Atheists since I'm not one. But as a Christian - as a progressive Christian, I guess - I really feel the need to speak out to other progressive Christians.

Here's the deal: the world does not owe you respect, it does not owe you courtesy, it is not required to give your beliefs a hearing at all, let alone a fair one. There are 4 billion people - at least - who are not Christians in this world, which makes them the majority. Most of the happen to believe that whatever it is they believe is the correct way, the most logical way, the most beneficial way for human beings to believe. I know that Jesus had a plan to see his teachings and belief in him as Christ spread across the whole world to every person, but his followers - you and me - have managed to muck it up pretty badly.

The campaign to identify America as a "Christian" nation has succeeded as well as it did for the European nations. These nations have quite a long history of spreading Christianity at the point of a sword or a gun. They have a long history of subjugating people of other colors and basing that upon verses in the Bible. And America's current misadventure in the Middle East is not helping at all.

That people from other religions commit atrocities is beside the point. That we can point to the Ottoman Turks or present-day radical Muslims just doesn't matter. Their bad behavior doesn't justify ours. Jesus was pretty clear that Christians are to respond with love and compassion, especially in the face of persecution and abuse. We can either show love and compassion to our fellow human beings, or we can complain that some bloggers don't show us enough respect for our beliefs, but we can't do both, at least not at the same time. So grow up and start becoming more concerned about what you are doing for the sake of Jesus than what others are doing.

A note about persecution: Believers are persecuted in China. They are persecuted in North Korea and Sudan. Believers, especially Christians, are not persecuted in the United States. The existence of someone who doesn't believe in Christianity is not "persecution." That an Atheist or Buddhist is able to express his or her views in a public setting is not "persecution." When laws are enacted to more closely align our legal code to a particular interpretation of the Bible, that is most definitely not "persecution."

Get. Over. It.

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