How Christians Disagree

How Christians Disagree December 1, 2011

Who’d have thunk it?  Some people did something ridiculous because it’s god’s will.

A small Pike County church has voted not to accept interracial couples as members or let them take part in some worship activities.

Members at a business meeting decided to put the matter before the whole church. Last Sunday, nine people voted for the proposal and six voted against it, Harville said.

Other Christians disagree, but read the article and take special note of how they disagree.

“It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form,” Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, said of the vote.


“It sure ain’t Christian. It ain’t nothing but the old devil working,” Harville said.

The devil?  Horseshit.  It’s full-on believers in Christ thinking they know god’s will and deciding that god’s will is compassionate no matter how inhuman.  If there is a devil, I’m content to believe those people are it, but let’s not imagine for even a moment they’re not Christians.  Lots of Christians supplant human decency with whatever arbitrary command they think is god’s will.  How many of the believers saying racism is un-Christian, for instance, have no truck whatsoever discriminating against gays to honor the good lord?

There’s not a single believer quoted in the whole article saying something like “Man, that seems awfully pointless and lacking in empathy.”  Nope, it’s an echo of the way Christians always resolve moral disagreements: by repeatedly insisting that they’re the ones who really know the will of god for all he same reasons their opponents believe the same. And they somehow expect to resolve their moral differences this way.  This is the problem with religion (well, one of many problems).  There is no conclusion so inhuman or so at odds with basic competence that faith cannot be used in its defense.  Religion gives strength to any opinion, including opinions so stupid they find support nowhere else but in the unflinching (and uncritical) certainty of faith.

There are conclusions about the world and about morality that have been discovered and confirmed through reason, and sometimes Christians luck out and stumble onto them through faith (while FSM-knows how many others stumble into sanctioned lunacy through faith).  But it’s wrong to say that faith is a reliable way to get there, and by pretending like it is, whether you’re a Christian or an atheist trying to be diplomatic, you’re breathing life into the force that keeps our society at odds by lending credibility to ideas that make the world a shittier place – ideas that would otherwise be rightly thrown away.

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