28 March 2006

...a declared war?

There has been a lot as of late on the alleged war on Christianity. [see here, here, here, and here]

All of the rhetoric, if you look even at a glance, is coming from the Christianists on the right. The Left seems to keep the faith by acceptance of others religious beliefs and quietly trying to live the words of the gospels. The Right constantly is preaching their wisdom of exclusion and hatred. They refer continually to the United States as being founded as a Christian nation. Nothing seems to be further from the truth:

A few Christian fundamentalists attempt to convince us to return to the Christianity of early America, yet according to the historian, Robert T. Handy, "No more than 10 percent-- probably less-- of Americans in 1800 were members of congregations." Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular

They play the victim of persecution and apostasy. No one is giving them their due and everyone is attacking them for their beliefs. It seems to me that it's just the other way around. By their pronunciations of victimhood they are trying to put the blame on everyone else for what they perceive as the decline of the US. They don't see that their line of thinking and acting is what is putting the face of derision on what has been the dream of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, et.al. These men meant for the US to be a haven for all beliefs, thoughts and religions for the greater good.

The title of the reference above refers to the Treaty of Tripoli, still in effect, that was approved during the final days of George Washington's presidency and into John Adam's. It was ratified by the Senate on June 7, 1797. John Adams viewed Christianity with a more constricted eye:

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

The acrimonius [or is it sanctimonius at this point in his situation] words of Tom Delay [DeLay Says Justices 'Don't Get' Criticism] ring soundly of this victimness.

"Our faith has always been in direct conflict with the values of the world," DeLay said. "We are, after all, a society that provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage, and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition." [March 28, 2006]

However, if you read carefully, you can see the solution to the problem in his own words.

"Our faith has always been in direct conflict with the values of the world...." Yes, and if this is true, what does it really tell you, Mr. Delay? Could there be something wrong if it is in conflict with the rest of the world? Is the rest of the world wrong? Are only you and your cohorts right? Does no one else have a chance? Do you doom everyone who doesn't think the way you do to the violence of "the cross?" It seems ironic that a religion whose messiah preached peace and acceptance began in such a violent way. And to say that it was his choice to die this way, as many Christians believe, makes no sense.

Christianists do not have a market on tolerance and acceptance. It is contrary to their very nature. According to religioustolerance.org they are unaccepting of any other belief.

Conservative Christians viewing non-Christian religions:

Their beliefs differ:

Many conservative Christians are exclusionists (i.e. they believe that their own denomination and those who agree with them are the only valid faith, while all other groups are in serious error).

Some are inclusionists (i.e. they believe that their group's beliefs are fully true, while all other groups only have part of the truth).

They see their own faith group, as based upon the Word of God as expressed in the Bible. Generally, they believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. Most believe in the traditional Christian belief that an individual will be sent to Hell when she/he dies if she/he has not first repented of their sins and then been "saved" by trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior, while still alive. This would include essentially all members of non-Christian faith groups and many members of Christian denominations.

They may view other world religions as one of the following:

only partially true, or
mostly worthless, or
influenced by Satan or
actually controlled by Satan, or
a variety of Satanism.

In addition, many conservative Christians do not recognize other Christian denominations as being truly Christian. This is seen in their local ministerial associations which are frequently separate from the mainline/liberal Christian ministerial group in the same city. It is also seen in their attacks on more liberal Christian denominations and on new religious movements which teach beliefs that are different from their own, and at variance from historical Christian beliefs.

By "non-Christian" they mean anyone not believing the way they do. Catholicism is Christian. United Church of Christ is Christian. Unitarian Universalist is Christian. Oh, and by the way, Catholicism is the largest and number one religion in the US at 62%! Does this make the US a Catholic nation like Italy, France, or Spain?

just asking...

No comments: