What do evangelical Christian public figures have to offer the world that is unique to them?
Is it modesty? No. Carrie Prejean (the former Ms. California) posed nude years ago.
Is it family values? A look at Mark Sanford and Jon & Kate Gosselin suggests otherwise. Divorce occurs more often in “born-again” Christian families than in the general population.
Is it honesty? Sarah Palin has told lie after lie after lie.
Mark Galli of Christianity Today is disturbed by this:
This is coupled with the long-standing evangelical myth that there should be something different about the Christian. A look. An attitude. A lifestyle. Something noticeable, something that causes the unbeliever to pause and wonder, “What does that person have?” Because it is such an integral part of our evangelistic method, we spend enormous amounts of psychic energy trying exude that something.
But we find, more days than not, that there’s not much to that something. We drop our coffee and blurt out a four-letter word, or we drink too much at the office party, or we fail to enquire about the welfare of a neighbor who just discovered she has cancer. Most days, we seem to be no different from the rest of humanity.
He goes on to say that while he may be a better person himself for being a Christian, “I’m always running into non-Christians who appear to be as patient, caring, kind, and compassionate as I am.”
Which I gather is not surprising to most atheists. No religion has a monopoly on morality. Belief in God doesn’t make you behave any better than a rational person who opts not to believe. There’s nothing special about Christians in that regard.
Instead of coming to that conclusion, though, Galli ends on a platitude:
… What we [Christians] offer the world is our broken lives, saying, “We are sinners saved by grace.” What we offer the world is Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Which isn’t saying much to non-Christians who don’t buy into that story, anyway.
What do atheists have to offer the world that is unique to us?
The first thing that came to my mind: A rational outlook on life that is based on evidence and not thinking we know all the answers to the big questions in life.