Friday, August 04, 2017

Christianity And Bigotry

There are all sorts of people who identify Christianity with bigotry. They understand how a mentality gets transmitted through generations. They do not understand why the mentality originated in the first place.

The early Christians were in no way bigots. Instead they faced bigotry from the Roman Empire, which thought that Christianity and all sorts of other things were primitive superstitions. And yet Christianity outlasted the Roman Empire.

Are there Christians who are bigots? Of course there are. But they do not begin to own bigotry. I have found exceptional bigotry in all sorts of people of the materialistic persuasion. The worst of these were people who called themselves “skeptics.” These people were of the opinion that anyone who has spiritual or religious beliefs is a lunatic, an idiot or a conman. This justified them in exceptional viciousness.

Their beliefs are not even rational. If people are responsible for their actions then anyone, including a “sociopath” or a “narcissist” can choose to act rightfully; and if some people cannot choose to act rightfully whatever they do then people are not responsible for their actions. At least with Christianity there is the concept of grace and forgiveness. With such people there is no such a concept. Which means that they, if given power, would behave in a worse manner than would the Christians. And from what I've seen they would do just that.

I have seen unbelievable bigotry in all sorts of people of the materialistic persuasion. They really think that the bulk of humanity are lunatics and fools. If there is such a thing as narcissism, I can think of no more glaring narcissism than that.

I for one am not a bigot at all. I started out as a militant atheist. But I've had many experiences with less than a billionth chance of happening whose only possible explanations are religious and spiritual ones. And no, I am not stupid either. I finished University of Virginia when I was 18.

Now there are many people who have had a negative experience of Christianity. In most cases, what they were dealing with was Phariseeism. There are many men who thump the Bible to control their wives but do not do what the Bible tells them to do and treat them rightfully in return. It is wrong to get one's opinion of Christianity from the actions of such people. A true Christian would call such people on their sin.

I have had a brilliant mathematics teacher named Henry Biddle. He was a devout Christian, and he told me that there was no contradiction between science and Christianity. I knew another man who had written a book about how the theorems of modern science are compatible with belief in God. None of these men were bigots, and none of these men were fools.

Then we see people saying such things as that reason is a higher function and emotions are a lower function, and that religion and spirituality are for idiots and lunatics. These people are the true idiots in this case. Logic is a method, not a worldview. The correct place for logic is to investigate the universe. It is not to demonize or pathologize everything else. A truly logical person, when faced with evidence, will consider the evidence and correct the worldview. A person who denies the evidence in order to keep his worldview has no business claiming to be logical.

Nor do I get my views on the subject from the “patriarchy.” There have been a number of Christian women whose opinions I have listened to and respected. None of these women were stupid, and none of these women were weak. All of them were strong individuals. And all of them had very good reasons for believing what they believed.

Now there are any number of women of materialistic persuasion who think that they are strong people. Some of them are; but they do not begin to own strength. Once again, I have seen great strength in any number of women of Christian persuasion. And most of them – as well as any number of other genuinely strong women – have no use for militant feminism.

What, really, holds a greater promise: A mentality that demonizes certain people and says that some people can only be evil whatever they do, or a mentality that promises redemption for all sinners? What, really, holds a greater promise: A mentality that calls all sorts of people misogynists and racists who aren't, or a mentality that teaches men and women to be good to one another? What, really, holds a greater promise: A mentality that claims to be rational but is in fact irrational in every possible way, or a mentality that recognizes that such beliefs are in violation of most basic reason?

I would follow someone who is actually great. I would not follow one or another crackpot theory. And Jesus was a greater person than all of us taken together, and I would far more readily follow Jesus than I would follow Catherine McKinnon or Sam Vaknin.

So no, the claim that all Christians are bigots stands rejected. There are all sorts of people – both men and women – in Christianity who have a very good reason for believing what they believe. It is valid to expose people to conflicting viewpoints; it is not valid to consider one's attitude to be rational when it isn't or to portray people as bigots who are not. Any mentality can create bigots. That is not the nature of the mentality. Many Christians have a very valid reason for believing what they believe, and it is wrong to accuse all of them of bigotry.


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