Number of non-believers threaten Christians in poll

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Published 2009-05-20T00:00:00Z”/>


Jen Siino

I’m a short, brace-faced, four-eyed Italian bitch. If you’ve been reading my columns for the past year you’ve probably noticed I call myself a lot of things. I’ll call myself nearly anything; except Christian.

I know what you’re thinking: “Great. Another member of the liberal media here to spew anti-religion on us.” I beg, though, stick with me, because here’s the kicker: I’m pretty close to Christian, just not quite.

I went to a Catholic church intermittently as a child and was in the Christian club at my high school. I’m dating a Christian guy and even go to church with him every once in a while.

My reason for avoiding the label is not that I lost Christianity. Christianity lost me. And, for once, I’m not alone in my logic.

The 2009 American Religious Identification Survey showed that the number of non-believers more than doubled between 1990 and 2008 and the number of adult non-believers has increased from eight percent to 15 percent.

Apparently organized religion has lost all these people as well.

However, I’m not sure that shunning religion entirely would be beneficial for society.

I think, essentially, Christians have the right idea. That’s kind of like saying that the only kid who actually made his way to the starting line on the track automatically takes first place, but still, it’s something.

Those basic Christian ten rules of “don’t steal, cheat, commit adultery, etc” and other more generalized “don’t be a dick” guidelines are a pretty good start for how people should live their lives.

The problem that I have &- and I think a lot of other people agree &- is that the term “Christian” and the terms “conservative” and “Republican” have become inexorably intertwined. Whether this co-mingling is valid is another argument for another day.

One of the main problems I have with Christianity or, more accurately, the modern interpretation and culture of Christianity is that it allows no room for progress or development. To be Christian you must believe that the word of God is infallible.

However, if you look at the thing most Christians hit you over the head with, it’s this little short story called the Bible, which has two big chapters: The Old Testament and the new one &- both written by men.

If we know one thing about humans it’s that we’re definitely fallible. I mean, I know I’m making a mistake writing this column because for the next 24 hours I’ll be bombarded with emails and comments about my lack of knowledge and general ignorance.

My question is, if God knows he’s not fallible and that men are, why would he take his infallible word to an inadequate translator? If God is capable of creating the universe, he could create a list of perfect rules that are untouched by human hands.

And yet, he didn’t. So the Bible must be flawed in some way. This seems like a logical conclusion, and yet Christians will continue to adamantly argue.

Most Christians think the Old Testament is kind of crazy &- it’s the one where they tell you it’s good to stone people and what not. Christians say, “oh yeah, well, that one got a little out of hand; but the new one is better and more reasonable.”

If the first one was perfect, why do you need a new one?

Once you corner a Christian with this line of logical reasoning, they leap to faith. Or I guess more accurately make a leap of faith, but either way they’re stretching.

Christians argue they don’t need logic because they have faith. These are the same Christians who go to church and tithe because it makes them look charitable. These are the same Christians who carry a Bible and quote passages such as “love thy neighbor,” only to turn around and beat gay people over the head with judgments. But it’s OK for them to judge people because they have faith it’s what God wants.

This kind of hypocrisy is what I hate about modern-Christian culture, and it is the reason I will never call myself a Christian.

I think Gandhi had it right when he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

If Christians could ever get back to the basic, moral principles on which their religion was founded and stop the silly war over the interpretation of the Bible &- which I consider to be a collection of metaphorical stories with nice moral lessons &- I would join them in a heartbeat.

From my readings I have deduced that the basic idea at the core of Christianity is that, as humans, we need to do right by each other and find a higher purpose for our existence. If Christians could take this core value and build a movement that is more about love an acceptance and less about arguing and judging, I’d be right there with them.

For now, I guess I’ll have to remain a marginalized citizen and a subscriber to my own interpretation of a historical document.

Jen Siino can be reached at<a href= “javascript:void(location.href=’mailto:’+String.fromCharCode(109,97,110,97,103,105,110,103,101,100,105,116,111,114,64,116,104,101,111,114,105,111,110,46,99,111,109)+’?subject=re%3A%20Number%20of%20non-believers%20threaten%20Christians%20in%20poll’)”>[email protected]</a>

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