I stumbled onto an article by my colleague Benjamin Dixon on his blog at Patheos.com entitled Everything Wrong With Modern Christianity in a Single Facebook Post. After debating for weeks over whether everything he described is only a problem for “modern” Christianity or Christianity in general, he recommended that I write about it and make our conversation public. So here goes.
This is the image that triggered Ben’s original article:
While my friend attempts to lay this ridiculous and insulting meme at the feet of “modern” Christianity, the truth is that this is not just a modern phenomenon. This type of belief goes back to the very beginning of Christianity. In fact, this is religion in general. Religion always asserts that a god is somehow on their side and that he is going to destroy their enemies.
Religion has been the excuse used to start wars, spread empires, plunder the poor and oppress one’s enemies. Just because certain types of Christianity is nice and sanitized today doesn’t separate it from its past and current baggage.
I agree with Ben’s general premise about how fundamentally different people are who look at this stupid meme and either find joy or sorrow. I just don’t think this is something that we can lay at the feet of one particular brand of religion. This is the problem of all faiths.
Just look at the comments on this thread:
These people are rejoicing over the death and destruction caused by wars caused by greed and the desire to maintain power. They happily credit these atrocities as victories by their god. The fact that they cannot see this for what it is but prefer to wrap it in religion speaks to how dangerous religion can be.
We can’t only look at the leaders who manipulate their flocks and blame them for the sickening crimes committed in the name of money, power, and religion. At some point, you have to look at the people who are ignorant enough to believe their lies. Now tell me why religion always has an unlimited supply of people ready to believe anything you say as long as you wrap it in the name of their deity?
I’ll answer my question. It is because religion breeds followers who are taught to reject reason and critical thought in exchange for blissful ignorance. Included in that ignorance is this unacceptable notion that god would smite thou enemies, the heathen, and the infidels all so that you can feel important.
Is it me or is every religion trying to re-brand itself to be peaceful because society has rejected its violent-laden fundamentalism. Despite your best efforts, Ben, fundamentalism remains. Fundamentalism is the purest form of one’s faith. You said yourself that you were often regarded as a heretic because you don’t subscribe to the orthodox beliefs.
So I apologize, Benjamin. I don’t think this one Facebook post tells us everything wrong with ‘modern’ Christianity. It tells us everything wrong with religion because this is in every religion.
I will await your response.
Featured image: Patheos