Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sweet Charity

The Rev. Franklin Graham, as quoted by Katy Pownall, AP:

"I want to help people physically, I want to help them with their hurt, with their pain, but I want to do that so I can tell them about God's son, Jesus Christ. The conversion we do is through persuasion, through reasoning. ... They will receive material help from us regardless.''
Forget everything you have been told about Christian Love. There are Christians out there doing wonderful works out of a pure desire to help their fellow man, but the credit goes to Human Nature not the the influence of Religion. This quote exposes the twisted logic of evangelism which, starting with Paul, has lied, deceived, tricked and eventually tortured people into Believing. Another notch on the crucifix!

I remember an office mate (stop me if I have told this story before) who was involved with church affiliated youth home. She really cared for those children and worked tirelessly. One day, after enlisting some assistance (or was it a donation?) from another co-worker, she thanked him for his support. His reply floored me. He said, "Anything to stop another abortion." He didn't give a rat's ass about those abandoned and abused kids. There was no Love there. All he was interested in was scoring points with Jesus.

70-80% of the US population considers itself "Christian." Almost half of these are what George Barna calls Notional Christians - they like the idea of God and being Christian but it has no real impact on the way they live their lives. Fair enough. Intuitively, that feels right. He divides the rest into Born Agains and Evangelicals by what they claim to believe (Biblical accuracy, belief in Satan, etc) - as good a method as any, I suppose. The elite group is the Evangelicals at a mere 7% of those surveyed and adhering to the strictest set of beliefs. I am pretty sure that my Mr. Holier-Than-Thou, above, made the cut. My point here is that if Mr H-T-T represents the most "serious" group of believers , than it is time for sensible people to re-examine the special status we routinely grant Faith in our public discourse and start calling a spade a spade.

Alternatively, Mr Barna may be ideologically blinded and his precious little Evangelicals (along with the "Reverend" Franklin and "Saint" Paul) represent the group farthest away from what their Creator intended. If this is the case, all those Notional Christians were right all along in demonstrating that love and compassion do not require absolute adherence to the Nicene Creed. Of course, if that is the case, what exactly do we need Religion for?

No comments: