Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Firm Grip of Christianity

While membership numbers for almost all Christian denominations in the western world have shown a slow but steady decrease over the past few generations, the Christian mindset still holds a lot of sway, particularly in the US. This holds true for believers and many non-believers as well. I must admit frankly that I find this very galling.

It's not uncommon for readers leaving comments on this blog and many of the others that I read regularly to suggest that people like me, Bruce, Lorena and others like us would be better people who led more fulfilling lives if we would turn those lives over to Jesus! The very fact that we refuse to take this course simply means we're arrogant, selfish, and deluded.

Mind you, our blogs are NOT advertisements for Christianity. We state up front that we are not Christians or, at least, not fundamentalist Christians. Yet, Christians see nothing wrong with leaving comments of their own religious testimony. They see nothing wrong with attempting to browbeat us into submission. Worse yet, most of their brethren see nothing wrong with this tack as well.

HOWEVER, if we write about our objections or criticisms of Christianity, well that's altogether different. We're chastised for expressing OUR opinions ON our OWN blogs. We're accused of attacking and railing. We're charged with being insensitive to other people's beliefs. We're told we aren't walking our talk.

To my way of thinking, this represents a double-standard. Christians are free to go where they want and to write or say what they want and it's all good. It's their right. It represents their convictions. But this same standard does not seem to apply to those of us who are not Christians.

If we visit a Christian blog and leave a comment about our personal beliefs, more often than not, we are labeled trolls and banned from leaving future comments. If a Christian visits a non-Christian blog and leaves a comment about their personal convictions, they are merely sharing their perspective and many, many people will defend their right to do this. Same situation -- different rules.

If a Christian blog features posts questioning or attacking Taoists, Muslims, agnostics or atheists, most people will say it is within their purview to express their opinions as they see fit. If a Taoist or non-Christian blog features posts questioning or attacking Christians, people tell us that we're out of line and we should stick with our prime subject matter. Same situation -- different rules.

If a Christian blog or commenter expresses the opinion that non-Christian belief systems are destroying the world, many people again will defend their right to state this unequivocally. It seems that the vast majority will bend over backwards to agree that such subject matter is fair game. If a non-Christian blog or commenter expresses the opinion that the Christian belief system is destroying the world, we're accused of painting with too wide of a brush. Such subject matter is NOT fair game and we are criticized for even bringing it up in the first place. Same situation -- different rules.

Like I said, I find this double-standard very galling, to say the least.

6 comments:

  1. Most Christian people I talk to seem to think that Christianity is "self-evident". So if it is not "self-evident" to you it is because you are deceived, blinded, etc.

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  2. I suppose you & I are even worse because it was ONCE evident to us and then we turned our sinful backs on it. Of course, people like you are the worst of all -- Man of cloth takes cloth to cleaners and doesn't return to pick it up. :-D

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  3. To hopefully help Gavin and Amy a bit, we have to remember that Christianity is a religion and Daoism is a "spirituality."

    Okay, so Daoist practitioners around the world are now in arms over that comment… Daoism cannot be explained in human terms. The best we can say is that it is a “world-view”, a “universe-view”, a philosophy, a moral code, a sense of being, an understanding and contentment with everything, an interpretation of our perceptions.

    One can be Christian and Daoist at the same time. The Dao Te Ching talks about “The” Dao… perhaps this can be conceptualized as the Holy Spirit, maybe even the Trinity! But as I indicated, it is even more… it is the trinity, you, me, everybody, and everything.

    In religions there are those that belong and those that do not: Christians and pagans, Jews and Gentiles. Everyone is part of the Dao.

    My Christian religion builds upon my Daoism.

    Saying that The Dao brought us Jesus Christ does not violate any core concepts of either “camp.” Perhaps He was the physical embodiment of Dao. More than our savior, more than God’s son.

    If you believe it, Daoism has been and always will be. Christianity has a firm beginning and an end.

    The Christian bashing that has been presented recently on this blog is a bit harsh and I do not agree with everything. But, I believe the author is attempting an honest academic exercise: a comparison of the teachings of two texts. Once we move into the New Testament things will be different. I swear the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount are straight from Daoism.

    One does not need the Bible to be Christian; one does not need the Dao Te Ching to be Daoist. They are both guides, written by humans with divine inspiration. I believe these inspirations were (are) one in the same.

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  4. One does not need the Bible to be Christian

    Would you care to expand on this novel idea? How does one come to Christianity and Jesus, if the story of the faith and the Jewish carpenter had never been told?

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  5. I have an answer but it will take a lot of time and text to clearly explain myself. My employer would prefer that I add value to the company. I will get back to you within a few days :)

    By the way, I am pleased at your passive and kind approach to your direct responses to comments on your blog. I get the feeling that you read them, think deeply, and respond deeply. The alternate being getting working up, yelling, etc... thanks!

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  6. i support the right to express whatever opinions people want on their blogs, and commenters expressing their views as well.

    the reason christians get so up in arms about people questioning their view is, i expect, because it's so personal and pervasive to them. christians, at least the passionate ones, live life with only their religion in mind, and let that religion take over every aspect of their lives. (not a practice i recommend) so, while you may say "christianity is responsible for a damaged society," what they hear is "the way you're living your life is damaging society." (which may or may not be true, but either way they take it as a personal attack) it's annoying, to say the least.

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