I like the words to a John Prine song.. "throw away your paper, move to the country, buy you a home. Have alot of children, feed them on peaches, Let them find Jesus, on their own"
I enjoy John Prine (my wife is a big fan of his work).
I think alot of the bashing of Christians is brought on by themselves. The double standards, the better then you attitude... It's to be expected when someone comes across like that.
I recall a metaphorical and prophetical teaching from Scripture about eyeballs, and the attached concerns of plucking a dusty mote from another's eye, whilst ignoring the 2x4 plank embedded within one's own (which tends to illustrate not only the failings of double-standard pious hypocrisy, but as well the blurred perspective attendant such an impairing obstruction).
I have true empathy for my sensible and compassionate Christian friends and acquaintances, for they always cringe and express their outrage (or regret) whenever some nutty televangelist, faith-based special interest group, or impassioned church leader stirs the pot of religious division with some regrettable (or really, really stupid) claim/allegation/observation/conclusion of informed and inspired evangelical "truth".
How many self-professed Christians routinely defend themselves in saying; "Pat Robertson; or Jerry Falwell; or James Dobson; or Ralph Reed; or Rick Santorum; et al...certainly doesn't reflect MY Christian values!"
Ya know, I'd like
to believe them when they say so. Really
I would. I know but a few that are sincerely earnest when they publicly disclaim those particularly visible zealots. But then I see public opinion polls that address the very same outrageous (or dumbfounding) position, and note that the overwhelming majority
of self-described Christians actually do
favor (or align with) such perspectives/policies.
Same-sex marriage (and concommitantly, equality in legal/civil rights for homosexuals) is an especially divisive topic today in the U.S (and a lovely motivational tool to energize the "evangelical base" to "action").
Attendant claims of (generally paraphrased):
"Legalized gay marriage will destroy the traditional family
Same-sex marriage has been legal in the state of Massachusetts for about three years now. Is there any
evidence of decay in "traditional families"?
Has the divorce rate suddenly risen there?
Any increased incidences of spousal/child abuse, rape, or murder?
Have families stopped going to their traditional houses of worship (beyond contemporary trends)?
Do "traditional" marriages report any higher instances of infidelity, unhappiness, or incompatibility in the last three years in Mass.?
If the claims of outspoken and politically/socially motivated Christians were legitimate, there should
have been (by now) a veritable explosion (implosion?) of debauchery/denigration/degeneration evidenced within traditional families by now in that heathenized State of moral decay.
"Marriage has historically always been between a man and a woman
True, but not entirely so, and not always with the same attached sensibilities we apply today.
"Historically", religion has routinely persecuted homosexuals, with all sorts of nice examples of thusly implied illness, demonic possession, heretical rebellion (against a given deity's proscribed "rules"); with faith-based "healing" utilizing pious scourging, torture, and righteous execution - as sanctified remedy for such "deviant/aberrant" behavior. Kinda tough to have a same-sex marriage if being homosexual alone is enough to get you ceremoniously maimed or dead.
Lest we forget that in but a few cultures in just the last century or so, marriage was no more than a legally-binding civil contract, wherein the woman was essentially connubial property - with no legal or personal rights of her own to claim or assert (especially from a religious perspective).
Christian Scriptural "history" accounts of many notable polygamous marriages (one man, many women), absent any notably attached sin (in and of itself) or impropriety ("offense" to God) within the regard of a circumspectly judgmental (and ghost-writing) deity.
And so it has been throughout most of recorded history...
[I still have to wonder...do some homosexual men choose to become celibate Catholic priests, or do some Catholic priests simply "choose" to become unchaste (and sometimes homosexual) pedophiles?
"Christians aren't perfect...just forgiven".
Unbelievers forget that convenient dismissive "truth" sometimes...]
But hey...I digress...;-)
Suffice to say that in my estimation, religious hypocrisy invites (and even necessitates) circumspectly applicable scorn, derision, and heuristically hammering ridicule whenever it's opportunistic whack-a-mole head pops up for appropriately heretical thrashings.
You mention the "better than you attitude
" that some intemperate (yet smug) Christians wield as weapon in self-gratifying hubris and pride. No doubt, this is most evinced by "true-believing" evangelicals. But know - that I know - some Christians that do not
(nor would not). It's not so much the the humbly reverential "I wish that you were joining me on heaven
", that is rarely expressed - it's the zealously self-assured and spiteful, "Too bad you're going to Hell
" venom that both kills the message and damns the message-bringer at the same time.
I dunno, but heretical unbelievers see far
too many Christians parading about with a chord of wood in their own eye sockets, generously offering to remove that speck of sawdust that brings just enough tears to our own eyes for their "caring" attentions.
As you observe, both the irony and hypocrisy are impossible to avoid, or ignore...