Skip to main content

What Are Christians Really Like?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

I recently came across some survey results which were very confusing. Christians regularly point to their alleged more noble characteristics, especially when evangelizing. Christianity makes them better people they tell us. They point to their selfless concern for others, their compassion, tolerance, and unerring sense of fairness and justice. You know, that attitude of love thine enemies and treat others as you would have them treat you. In Luke 6:27, for example, Jesus admonishes his followers to, “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you…” In light of this, I find those survey results seem to suggest a disconnect between how Christians describe themselves and what their opinions say about them.

The survey, by Washington Post/ABC News found that Christians were, by wide margins, more supportive than the non-religious of the CIAs recently revealed treatment of terrorism suspects.

Among the non-religious, 72% said the treatment amounted to torture, while just 39% of white evangelicals thought it was torture. And, while 41% of the non-religious thought the CIA treatment of prisoners was justified, more than two out of three white evangelicals thought it was justified.

According to an article by Sarah Posner for ReligionDispatches.org at the Univ. of Southern California, “Majorities in all three of these Christian groups believed the torture ‘produced important information that could not have been obtained any other way," even though the Senate report debunked that claim. (The three Christian groups were white evangelicals, white non-evangelical Protestants, and Catholics.)

Christians were, by large margins, more supportive than the non-religious of the CIAs recently revealed treatment of terrorism suspects.So, compared to the non-religious, Christians were much more likely to support the CIAs treatment of suspects, were far less likely to call that treatment torture, and most thought that treatment got important intelligence despite the Senate investigators’ findings to the contrary. Hey, wait, where’s that famous Christian tolerance, compassion, and sense of justice I spoke of in the first paragraph? Aren’t these survey results the reverse of what we should expect from enlightened Christians?

Then again, these numbers do suggest a basic paranoia among Christians that we have come to expect; an “us against them” mentality. And, they do lend weight to the theory that Christianity is declining rapidly in Europe mainly because people have less to fear there because of much better social safety nets than we have here in the U.S.

I am reminded of the former Vice President Dick Cheney’s statement on the Guantanamo detainees, that he wasn’t interested in the courts trying them (which would be the fair way of dealing with suspects), he just wanted to keep them off the streets. When Christians feel threatened, all that niceness gets swiped off the table. It’s like Cheney couldn’t imagine himself being in those prisoners’ shoes – accused, with no opportunity to defend himself - because god is on his side.

It seems that if we want to know what Christians are really like, the last people we should ask are Christians themselves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo

ACTS OF GOD

By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro