Am I being unfair to Christians?
There was a comment that appeared in one of my articles which I felt needed to be personally addressed, due mostly to the fact I’ve been asked similar questions before. These questions usually devolve into simply “why do you have to pick on MY religion”, and I thought it might be fair to answer it as candidly as I can, to avoid looking as though I may be unfairly picking on one specific religion. Here is the quote:
Why do you insist on bashing Christians? If you don’t believe in God that’s fine, but why insult those who believe? I don’t believe in insulting you for your belief, don’t insult mine. Christmas is a Christian holiday because we celebrate the birth of Christ! If you don’t believe in it why do you take off work for Christmas, all of you who don’t believe should work! We as a Country have compromised on so much that we have lost focus! A company named Tyson has dropped celebrating Labor day and recognized a Muslim holiday. Why is no one complaining about that? Labor day is a day to recognize the CHRISTIAN men and woman who built this Country, who LABORED hard for all of us. And one more thing, are you gay? Yes, it is unnatural to be with the same sex, take religion out of it if you want, but it’s still not right! I care about you as much as any one else and I hope the best for you! I pray you find truth in your journey here on earth! God bless
The anatomy of such questions is usually identical. They boil down to two propositions: 1) that Christianity (or any other religion) is being maliciously attacked without provocation, and 2) that I should be thankful they exist. From the perspective of a Christian, I can understand how it might seem as though I unfairly single them out. The fact I do is due is not to any specific prejudice, but because it is the dominant religion which exerts the most influence on my life and culture. It would be like asking a cheetah why he pursues the gazelle; there is no malice in his actions. The cheetah is driven by instinct, and also by the fact the gazelle is one of the few plentiful sources of food, and even the seemingly savage way in which he attacks his prey is only due to his need to survive.
Christians may occasionally feel as though they are being singled out, but in actuality, the cultural and political dominance they have secured makes any small assault bounce off their seemingly invincible armor coating. They seem frightened these attacks are personal, but pointing out the hypocrisy, cruelty, and sheer impossibility of the claims made by religion serves not to damage the individual believer, but the belief itself. It isn’t Christians I have a problem with; it’s Christianity. If that sounds a little weird, you’ve obviously never been vacationing in foreign country as an American. The hostility they encounter in foreign nations is not directed at them, but rather at the institution they represent. Much of the world hates America, but still love Americans.
As for the second point, I will go on record and state I am not grateful for Christianity. Part of me still resents when works of ancient philosophers and thinkers were almost entirely destroyed by the early Christian church, which chose to erase everything in the past which conflicted with their world view. Archimedes is said to have discovered the principles of calculus almost 2000 years before Newton, but his writings were erased and rebound as prayer books. The fact remains Christianity robbed the world of progress for almost 1700 years, and has been adamantly fighting progress ever since. Think of all the great minds through time that were extinguished in the hot flames of heretical punishment. Today, the fact stem cell research is still illegal is only a small demonstration of the Church’s increased insistence that progress and discovery are bad.
So why pick on Christians? Sure, the Muslim world may be a terrifying place for many people. It does not change the fact the Western world still has the religious leash of Christianity around its neck. If Islam became the dominant religion of the North America, you can bet I would be ‘picking’ on them more.
I do offer a question in response to your question, dear sir: If the conviction in your religion is so strong, why do you care what I say? If you are in the right and I am in the wrong, why should you feel oppressed by my apparent babbling? A part of you might be thinking the reason you care is your wish to have my soul saved, but surely that isn’t the only reason. Like most religious people, you seek a homogony of thought. You may secretly doubt even the least fantastic claims of your religion, and find comfort in the fact a vast majority of others feel as you do. It may appear shocking to you, but my belief is strong enough I would not change my mind even if every single human being thought differently than I. The conviction there is no God does not stem from the beliefs of my parents, friends, or neighbors. They are my own. Once a person comes to realize the universe is not controlled by a ‘parent’ in the sky but rather by simple natural laws, any other proposition to the contrary seems both childish and mundane. It would be akin to believing once more Santa is real.
I offer to you the idea it is the homogony of your beliefs that makes you secure, and not the inalienable truth of your religion. If you did believe Christianity was undeniably true, then there would be no need to worry about the likes of me. You will see with time, however, more and more human beings will come to doubt the incredible claims made by your holy book. It’s only a matter of time.