Thursday, January 26, 2017

American 'Christianity' Has Failed

Despite my upbringing as a Roman Catholic which included daily mass, serving as an altar boy for ten years and raising to the 4th Degree in the Knights of Columbus, I now consider myself to be a "None."  Some ask why.  The answer is actually pretty simple.  Between the continued moral bankruptcy of the Catholic Church hierarchy and the continued aiding, abetting and protection of predator priests and the behavior of most likely a majority of those who call themselves "Christian" while supporting everything that is the antithesis of the Gospel message, I have come to see Christianity, especially American Christianity, as a toxic evil.  Yes, there are church soup kitchens and some charitable works, but those positives pale in comparison to the hate, fear, selfishness and hypocrisy that are now the hallmarks of Christianity.  The support of Donald Trump in the last election by 81% of evangelicals and reportedly a majority of Catholics underscores this reality.  Most of the truly decent and moral people that I know are not active churchgoers.  Most, like myself could be better described as Nones.  A piece in Sojourner looks at the failure and ugliness of American Christianity.  Read the whole piece.  Here are excerpts:
American Christians — particularly white evangelicals — continue to sing the words: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …” but fail to realize the shameful irony that they’re largely responsible for refusing shelter and opportunity to some of the world’s most helpless and oppressed people.  This represents a predominant theme of Westernized Christendom: proclaiming Christian rhetoric while actively — or passively — practicing the opposite in reality.
Because while the gospels instruct followers of Christ to help the poor, oppressed, maligned, mistreated, sick, and those most in need of help, Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.
If Christians refuse to help and actually use their political advocacy and opinions to further hurt refugees, immigrants, women, foreigners, minorities, the poor, the oppressed, the persecuted, the sick, the LGBTQ community — and aren’t abiding by the golden rule of loving their neighbors as themselves, then who exactly are Christians supposedly loving?
What benefit are Christians providing their communities, and what good are they contributing to the world around them? Because in America, it appears that the sole purpose of Christianity is to selfishly protect people’s own self-interests instead of sacrificially serving others.
The election of President Donald Trump has proven that numerous Christians are more worried about power, influence, and control than the gospel messages of humility, generosity, ministering to others, and love. . . . . it should be sobering for Christians to realize that that many who claim to follow the Prince of Peace, the Healer, the Light of the World, supported policies that are bringing darkness and pain to so many people.
These presidential orders, which will refuse help to many of the world’s most vulnerable individuals, are what many Christians voted for. . . . . love, joy, peace, happiness, and self-control are notably absent from the current administration. . . . The gospel of Jesus has been traded in for a narrative of fear. 
[W]hile there might be political, economic, financial, and safety reasons for implementing policies that harm people and refuse them help, there are certainly no gospel reasons.

No comments: