Wednesday, July 27, 2005

America's Paradox

Thanks to Mister Crunchy for leading me to an interesting article concerning the values the majority of Americans say they hold and their actions, 'The Christian Paradox'.

"...therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior.

Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion—say, giving aid to the poorest people—as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior?
...nearly 18 percent of American children lived in poverty (compared with, say, 8 percent in Sweden). In fact, by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose—childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool—we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin. "

Much of my negativity with religion, Christianity in particular, stems from this very issue. I presume it is much easier to give the talk, than to actually follow through with your convictions. I do know people who certainly do not follow this model. They actively live their beliefs and I can respect that greatly, even if I don't agree with their beliefs.

My core philosophy is that we all live together on this planet and we should treat each other respectfully and try to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Before kids, I was much more involved, and as the children need me less and less I plan to get back into volunteering. Right now I am focusing on raising adults who will carry on my philosophy to treat others respectfully.


Michael said...

I read the Harper's article. Pfft. Another leftist excuse to attack Christians. Pick a point - teenage pregnancy, for instance. Christians eith want abstinence taught or don't teach about sex at all, stick to math and science. Instead, they teach Suzy how to put a condom on a cucumber and then wonder why she gets pregnant. And somehow that's the Christian's fault. Or take the divorce rate of the Dutch - they legalized gay marriage so long ago, the term means little to them anymore. The marriage rate is even lower over there as most people don't get married at all, they just cohabitate for 3 to 7 years together and move on. Cohabitation couples aren't even counted in the divorce rate. No surprise that the few people still getting married over there are committed, but the number of people getting married is dropping. And somehow that's the fault of the American Christian, too. Charity giving? Please - I've been overseas, and the only aid ever seen over there comes from American Red Cross and Christian churches.

If the article were written more to challenge Christians to do more Christian things, I'd certainly applaud it, but it's nothing more than a thinly disguised liberal hit piece on Christian conservatives.

If you want to see what Christianity is all about, go to any church and ask what volunteer positions are available. My church has 6000 people currently serving in local and international ministries, but could easily use another 6000. That's Christian love.

If you look for hypocrites, you'll find hypocrites, but there are plenty of the genuine God-loving service-oriented Christians out there.

Courtney said...

I specifically said there were examples of those following their doctrine. However, I completely disagree with this article 'blaming Christians'. I think the point is if more people practiced what they preached, maybe our country would be a better place. Not that I agree with the philosophy that religion = good society. But I do think the core values are sound.

And I know what christianity is all about, I was raised in the faith.

Michael said...

No argument with trying to spur Christians to do better (Hebrews 3:13). The secularist article opposes any Christian actions, then blames the Christian for not accomplishing what they themselves opposed. The article is secularist tripe.

And "raised in the faith" is a meaningless phrase and says little about you personally. It just means you were exposed to Christianity when you were young.

Courtney said...

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available that are non-secular. I don't understand the comment 'if you want to see what Christianity is all about'. I have seen and it's not that I don't agree with the values - I just don't believe in god. It's really that simple. And I'm also not interested in bashing Christians. I just believe that people should live what they believe. Or at least try to.

Michael said...

If you don't believe in bashing Christians, why post a link to an article that bashes Christians?

The article fails to tie Christianity to the ills they complain about, while separately oppose efforts by Christians. America has a large Union membership; perhaps teenage pregnancy is the fault of unions. Many Americans watched "The Wizard of Oz" - perhaps the rising divorce rate is the fault of winged monkeys.

Christian churches are actively working to fix the ills mentioned in the article. Bashing those same churches is just that - bashing. Christians are trying, have been trying for centuries, and will continue to try.

Courtney said...

And this is the point I tried to make earlier- I don't believe it to be bashing christians. And just as you see the world through your own beliefs and opinions, I see the world through mine.

Courtney said...

Saying that I'm linking to an article that is bashing christians is like me saying you're bashing atheists by posting an article about a book. I think I'll start being offended by your beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I too certainly don't respect Christian beliefs. Their man-god was far too stupid to be the messiah. Being motivate to help others simply because their imaginary sky pixy commands them to do so is entirely the wrong reason. People should help others simply because it is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

If "Christians" spent half as much time on their own sins as they did on everyone else's they'd all be perfect.