Living in Paradise

Hating Christianity?

Hating Christianity?

A friend of mine was telling me the other day that her daughter hates Christianity. If she walks into a restaurant and sees a cross on the wall, she will leave.

I thought back to the scene on the Omen, an old horror movie, where a couple tries to take their child, Damien, to church and he reacts so violently that his parents, totally mortified, remove him quickly from the holy structure. Turns out he is the spawn of the devil, which made for a fun movie and a valid reason for him not wanting to be dragged into a place where his enemy was being worshipped.

I’m reasonably sure that my friend’s daughter is not the offspring of Lucifer. No Rosemary’s Baby there. And my friend insists there was never an incident in a church or with a religious figure to fuel her daughter’s antagonism.

So, I ask myself, why would someone have such strong feelings against Christianity? And why does it feel like more and more people are portraying Christians as evil people – kooks who support wild conspiracy theories and practice unspeakable acts on others.

Even if you don’t believe every single word in the Bible, which was written 2000-plus years ago in a different era, by men. And even if you have questions about the story of Jesus rising from the dead and also bringing others back to life, Christianity is a pretty cool belief system.

A friend of mine called it a roadmap for a good life.

First it teaches tolerance. Love thy neighbor as thyself. It doesn’t say love thy white neighbor or love thy black neighbor as thyself, it basically says we should love everyone. That’s a tall order, given the way some people act these days. But that’s the message. It doesn’t include these words, but they are part of the package: treat everyone with respect and dignity and in a manner in which you would want to be treated.

It says don’t commit murder, steal or desire what belongs to another. It says don’t lie. All reasonable moral requests.

Buddhism also has five basic precepts: refrain from taking life, stealing, acting unchastely, speaking falsely and drinking intoxicants. Except for the part about alcohol consumption, I’m sensing a familiar refrain here.

In the Islamic belief, Muslims donate a fixed portion of their income to community members in need. And during Ramadan they share the hunger and thirst of the needy as a reminder of their religious duty to help those less fortunate.

With these standard bearers, why would anyone be opposed to Christianity or any religion that had concern for others as a principal tenet?

At our little island church, kindness toward others is a hallmark. We raise money for the needy. We help out each other in desperate times.

My guess is that it’s not religion that’s the problem, but the people who abuse its tenants for their own bad ends – not for the benefit of others. That could have turned off many people to the word “Christianity.”

Commentator Tucker Carlson has another theory as to why Christianity seems to be getting a bad rap these days. His may make more sense than mine.

He says that Christianity has become an object of hate for liberals, in particularly, not “because it’s repressive but because they are.” A kind of religious whipping boy for the power hungry, as it were.

Tucker says that “Christianity describes a universal brotherhood of man, [in which] every person [is] created in God’s image and therefore, for that reason, morally equal. That is gravely disempowering for the left. If all people are morally equal, you can’t really divide your population by skin color. You can’t really set one group against the other. You can’t tell one group you’re better than that group, you’re worse than that group. That’s not allowed. So, in order to allow it, you have to erase Christianity, and they’ve been working on it for a long time.”

So, I asked my friend about her daughter.

“She always likes being in charge and acts like she knows more than the rest of us,” the woman told me.

“That explains it,” I told my friend. “It’s not that she’s anti-Christian. It’s that she’s a liberal.”