Good Christians

I have become weary and sickened by the increasingly strident Christian-bashing that has become prevalent in modern society.

It is as if secularists and other non-Christians wish, consciously or unconsciously, to create “the new Jew”, a pilloried social leper upon whom it is considered healthy, wholesome, and even dutiful to heap scorn and ostracism. My sense of respect diminishes when people whom I might otherwise admire – and those whom I grudgingly respect even while wildly diverging from their thinking – when they play the “evil Christians” card. It is really so beneath them, but paradoxically, for these mostly bright folks, their prejudices seem to be reflexive and mostly unconscious. Seems that it’s time for some reflection and consciousness-raising.

Most of us have this tendency to revile “an Other”, in the process elevating ourselves, but danger flags should start flying when the media and other expectedly responsible, rational  sources typically and as a matter of course begin a program of social bashing .  A fishy stench is very much in the air when this kind of thing occurs, and sensitive, conscientious noses will scent it out.

So these are my feelings:

I was raised by Christians, fed, sheltered, educated and loved by Christians. – a huge number of us can say this, so it is the height of arrogance and selective amnesia to behave as if Christians are some foreign, exotic – and evil – species whom our daughters must never marry. I myself was a Christian for some 28 years. I therefore feel that this new wave of “anti-Christianism” is as mean and nasty as it it unjustified and disturbing.

A truism must be invoked here: Christians are people. As with most other people, they live in society with more or less success, with more or less helpfulness. They are people. They ought not to be vilified or ostracised – except for anti-social behavior that would result in anyone else being marginalized. Discernment in this area is crucial, as is recognizing the huge spectrum of belief in Christianity, for example, the unbridgeable gap that exists between emergent Christianity,  liturgical Christianity, “biblical”/evangelical Christianity on the one hand, and fundamentalist Christianity on the other. Only when these inter-religious differences are known and recognized can an observer make any claim to fairness and objectivity. It takes a little homework. But so does any worthwhile effort to keep a society aligned  with justice.

The following is a link to an article – a Buddhist appraisal of some local Christians, written by an ordained priest of the Jodo Shinshu (“Shin”) sect:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/01/14/the-christians-i-know/

It makes beneficial reading for those who wish to be socially apt, realistic, and compassionate – that is, for those whose conscience rebels at participating in the creation of any “new Jews”,  be they Christian or otherwise.

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