Editor’s Note: The subject of the post is a variation of a question I often got when Dan Dennett and I first embarked on our study of non-believing clergy: Why do you care so much about this? Lots of formerly religious people – clergy or otherwise and Christian or another religion – probably have their own answers to this question. /Linda LaScola, Editor
By Bruce Gerencser
Bruce, If Christianity doesn’t matter, why do you bother with it?
On one hand, Christianity doesn’t matter. The Bible doesn’t matter. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, the Church, none of it matters.
If Christians want to worship their God, I have no objection. I subscribe to the “live and let live” school of thought. Each to his own. May Jesus be with you. May the force be with you. May nothing be with you. I don’t care.
I do care about the influence Evangelical (and conservative Catholic) Christianity has on our culture and government. I do care about the damage done to society in the name of the Christian God. I do care when people are hurt, maimed, and killed in the name of the Christian God.
When Christians want to turn the United States into a theocracy, it matters.
When Christians want their religion to have preference over any and all others, it matters.
When Christians demand atheists and agnostics be treated as the spawn of Satan, it matters.
When Christians attempt to teach religious dogma as scientific fact in public schools, it matters.
When Christians attempt to force their religious moral code on everyone, it matters.
When Christians attempt to stand in the way of my pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, it matters.
When Christians abuse and molest children in the name of their God, it matters.
When Christians wage wars thousands of miles away in the name of their God, it matters.
When Christians mentally and emotionally abuse people, it matters.
When Christians expects preferential treatment because of whom they worship, it matters.
When Christians support fascism, white supremacism, and anti-LGBTQ policies, it matters.
As long as Christians continue to force themselves on others, and as long as they attack and demean non-Christians, it matters.
As long as pastors and churches get preferential tax code treatment, it matters.
As to whom you worship and where? It doesn’t matter.
As to what sacred text you read and follow? It doesn’t matter.
I want all Christians to have the absolute freedom to worship their God.
And I want that same freedom to worship another god, or NOT worship any God.
And as long as that courtesy is not extended to me and to every human being on the earth,
**Editor’s Question** What about Christianity, or another religion, matters to you, and why?
Bio: Bruce Gerencser lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have 6 grown children and 12 grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for 25 years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. He left the ministry in 2005 and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. He is also one of the original members of The Clergy Project, which began in 2011. He blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, where the above post originally appears. It is reposted with permission.
>>>>>>Photo Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg#/media/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg; “<a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Devils-from-Rila-monastery.jpg#/media/File:Devils-from-Rila-monastery.jpg”== ; By Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Istorija umetnosti, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4848708