Why I Hate the Phrase: “True Christians Don’t Do That!”

It never fails. Any time a situation arises where a Christian, or group of Christians, is in the wrong Christians come out of the woodwork to distance themselves.

 

“A True Christian wouldn’t do that!”

“As a True Christian, I’m appalled and I wish you wouldn’t call these people Christians.”

 

Listen, folks. There are over 40,000 different denominations of Christianity. Each one values certain verses from the Bible more than others. Some denominations are more progressive and value the “nice” verses more than they value the “bad” verses. This does not make the more progressive denominations more or less Christian than the others.

 

The only thing most denominations agree on is that Jesus died for the sins of humans. If someone believes that they are Christian. Whether they support gay marriage or not isn’t a determining factor. Whether they charm snakes, believe in faith healing, disallow women from wearing pants, etc. isn’t a requirement for calling oneself a Christian. It may be a requirement to be members of certain denominations, but whether someone is Pentecostal or Methodist, they still fall under the umbrella of Christian. Whether they embrace or disregard Leviticus they are still Christian.

 

Stop saying “True Christians would never do that!” Christians do all kinds of things. Our prison systems are full to the brim with Christians. You don’t get to tell them whether or not they are allowed to call themselves Christian. If they believe Jesus died for their sins they are Christian. You can scream they aren’t Christian until you’re blue in the face, but they still are.

 

If they use the bible to justify their bigoted actions, they usually have verses to back it up. You don’t get to decide their interpretation of the bible is wrong. Just the same way they don’t get to determine your interpretation of the bible is wrong. There is no way to determine which denomination is following the bible the correct way. There is no one correct way to follow Christ. If there was 40,000+ different denominations wouldn’t exist.

 

Chances are they don’t think you are a True Christian, either. Can you guess why? Maybe because you aren’t following Christ the way they are. Funny how that works, huh?

 

Stop telling atheist not to call people you don’t like Christians. We’re tired of being dragged into this debate amongst the Christian community over which denomination is the right one. You’re all wrong.

No True Scotsman: From ISIS to Westboro to Saturday Night Live

Moderates have funny logic. “ISIS and Westboro Baptist Church are not “real” christians or muslims.”…”Sure, just like Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon are not “real” SNL’ers; who am I? Just some Earthling who watched an episode once.”

 

It’s quite puzzling to me why so many people act like moderates have a more respectable opinion  than fundamentalists when it comes to understanding what the holy books say. Who is going to know more – fans or super fans? Isn’t that all ISIS is after all? They really love the Qu’ran and its teachings, and now they want to turn reality into their mythological world where women are to blame for all problems (similar to the Biblical world). The majority of people who are religious moderates have never read their holy book, at least not in its entirety. Moderates claim that fundamentalists are radicals, but what they really are saying is their religion is radical, when it is followed in a fundamental way. Moderates, why do fundamentalists and cult followers have such similar behavior patterns? In other words, why is it that the closer one follows your holy book, the more delirious one appears to become?

 

Let’s look at a few other examples to demonstrate how ridiculous it is that people believe moderates have a better understanding than fundamentalists.

 

If you wanted information about Saturday Night Live, would you ask someone who watches a couple episodes a year or would you ask Will Ferrell?
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Social Identity: Indignation Without Responsibility

© David Teachout

One’s social identity is basic to building a self-narrative, the means by which individuals project their stories for viewing by others. Consider social identity like a stain-glass window, it allows a person to see inside but only through the selected colors by the person who built it and often the window as a whole pictorially represents a story of some kind. The extent or fullness of that story is dependent upon a person’s felt need and broader social context. If there’s not much inquiry going on, internally or externally, there’s not much need to devote time and energy to fully articulate the details.

 

For Americans especially, social identity has become largely conflated with the notion of self, so much so that when discussing other people we view them primarily and initially by political affiliation, sexual identity, or career choice. Who we talk about is no longer an issue of finding out how the various aspects of a person’s life join into a complex whole, interacting in various social contexts. Instead we talk about “the democrats” or “the republicans,” “the gays,” “religious believers” or “nones,” and there’s an increasing call by fair-minded liberal activist groups to broaden out the terms for sexual and gender identity. This tendency to fine-tune our social identity has led to a bizarre social reality where a term that used to classify a group has become so particularized that it can almost be said to belong to a single person. For a people who loudly and vociferously hate labels, we are decidedly dedicated to making more and more of them.
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Craig Hicks: Consumed By Rage

The tragic and detestable murder in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015,  of 3 young Muslim students at the hands of Craig Hicks has presented a critical opportunity for us to examine the rhetoric used in the ongoing debate between theism and atheism. This happening as it did, in the wake of the controversy caused by President Barack Obama acknowledging that atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity forces to the fore the need for clarification.

 

Does religion cause atrocities? There have been volumes written to answer this question with a resounding “yes” (perhaps most notable of these is God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by the late Christopher Hitchens, whose book reads like a Ciceroesque polemic against religion). It is an easy talking point for atheists: the atrocities committed during the crusades, the inquisition, the Muslim expansion shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, The Reconquista, The 30 Years War, The Holocaust, the human rights violations and war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians, almost everything the Catholic Church has ever done (like raping children and working to cover it up, or discouraging condom use in AIDS-ravaged parts of Africa, using Church resources to advocate and facilitate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda), 9/11, and so on. Theists are always quick to counter with examples like Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, The Kim regime of North Korea, Stalin, Hitler (who was a theist and had close ties to the Catholic church, and whose anti-semitism was nothing new in Europe and derived from medieval Christianity), and coming soon to an apologetics forum near you, Craig Stephen Hicks.
Continue reading “Craig Hicks: Consumed By Rage”