- Religion and Philosophy
Why is Christian bashing in?
Why is Christian bashing in?
I spend a lot of time in forums and reading blogs. My husband always says the sentence 'I love my computer because all my friends are living in it.' was coined for me. But I don't tell people very often that I am a Christian. Why? Because I am sick of being insulted. Christian bashing is in, on the internet and on the forums. There are myths around about being a Christian and certain labels are put on people that confess to believe in God. So what are these labels, you ask? Lets look at some common myths about Christians that I have encountered personally and what I personally think about them.
Myths about Christians
1. Christians believe that God created the world in literally 6 days and 1 rest day.
The vast majority of Christians I know actually believe that God created everything through evolution. For us, the reports in the biblical book of Genesis are about the 'Why did God create?' and not about 'How did God exactly create?' Big Bang and Evolution are two theories (they are called theories by the scientists for a reason, btw) that for us are a good way of explaining how things came to be as they are today. Believing in these theories doesn't take anything away from believing in God, it enhances it by seeing and admiring how well he has everything ordered.
2. Christians are pro-life, even to the point that they kill abortionists.
I am pro-life, BUT I will and have always defended the existence of a legal abortion under certain circumstances. And just for the record, I certainly would never kill anybody because I don't agree with what s/he is doing. I am also against the death penalty, for this and other reasons. Back to abortion. I am a trained nurse and have seen with my own eyes women who use abortion as a way of contraception. I still remember one woman saying calmly to me, 'Oh, we are just not good with the whole contraception thing, if anything happens [read, when she got pregnant], we just let the doctors take it away.' It was her 8th abortion and she was in her early thirties. Yes, I am pro-life, but I repeat, I am also in favor of having the possibility for woman to have a legal abortion, just not for convenience reasons or because they are too lazy to take care of contraception. Which brings me to the next point:
3. Christians are against contraception.
Most Christians I know of actually use or have used some form of contraception. Because avoiding conception is not the same as killing a life that has just started.
4. Christians believe that being gay is against God's will and an 'abomination'.
Again, there is a very vocal but small minority that actually condemns the homosexual orientation per se. These people believe that homosexuals have to be 'healed'. Another, unfortunately less vocal, minority, believe that God is an inclusive God, rather than an exclusive one. The majority of Christians are caught up somewhere in between. The whole subject is very, very much loaded with emotional baggage and lack of understanding of biological facts, but for another look at how Christians think about homosexuality have a look at this wikipedia article
and this web site of an English Christian movement for Inclusiveness.
5. Christians want to force everybody to believe what they believe.
Actually, I feel very much forced and threatened by atheists who tell me a) what I believe and b) why I shouldn't believe it. Few of them actually take the time to discover what I DO really believe, a lot just ass-u-me that they know what I believe and condemn me for their own prejudices. Personally I stay with this words of St. Peter: 'Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect'. That means not to bash people with a Bible and my convictions over their heads but to wait until they ASK.
6. Only Christians go to heaven, everybody else will burn eternally in hell.
Another favourite of mine. I am deeply suspicious of people that 'know God's will for others'. God is God and judgement is to be left to him. But if you ask me personally, I am convinced that there will be an awful lot of Jews, Hindus, Muslims etc etc - and even the odd atheist in heaven, as weird as that may sound for some... In the end God is bigger than our understanding of him. And whilst Christianity is the way that works best for me, I don't believe it is the only way to God.
Have I forgotten something?
Just leave me a comment and accuse me of it. But if you have read until here and if you, for a moment, have left your prejudices about Christians on one side, than you might actually discover that Christians are not the homophobe, blood-thirsty, abortionist killing creationists that many atheists want you to believe that we are. Most of the Christians I know, and I include myself here, are just trying to live God's will in our lives to the best we can without having to give up our intellectual integrity or our compassion for every human being, including atheists.