Pharyngula

Christians behaving badly

It’s ben a terrible couple of days for Christianity — I’ve gotten an awful lot of e-mail reporting indiscretions by those trusted members of the clergy.

I should clarify something, though. Many people assume I post these little tales of deplorable behavior by the religious in some misguided effort to show causality, that I’m trying to argue that they do these wicked things because they are Christian. This is not correct. It’s far, far from the truth — I know many good people are also Christian or Jewish.

The point is simpler: Christianity claims to be a force for morality which encourages good behavior on the part of its practitioners. It’s quite clear that it is not when even its clergy seem unable to find their religion to be a source of moral suasion. Religion doesn’t make you bad, necessarily, but it sure doesn’t make you good, either.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian, OM
    November 29, 2007

    I’m sure wnelson will be the first to let us know when somebody’s dying grandmother is told she’s going to hell because she never taught kindergarten or put out a house fire.

  2. #2 Prior Aelred
    November 30, 2007

    Well there are “Christians” (a word ruined for many of us in the Reagan years) & there are people who try to follow the teaching of Jesus.

    Book:
    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/reviews/370

    author points out that she hates the same people that Dawkins (etc.,) hate (if not for all the same reasons)

    Spinoza pointed out that experience teaches us that observant Jews and Muslims and various kinds of Christians can be upright and moral people who are good citizens and faithful friends (he didn’t mention “excommunicated” Jews who were believed to be atheists, but we can guess that one — everyone who knew said he was a good man).

    I think Nony Nony makes a very good point, some people are so infantile that they need very strict rules if they are going to do anything good at all & while there are obviously charlatans, I think it is also true that some people can be very schizophrenic when it comes to beliefs, depending on the circumstances (again, inconsistency may well be a symptom of immaturity, learning what values system is appropriate in what context being to maturation and integration).

    Must fundies are either ignorant, stupid, afraid or lying (or some combination of all of the above).

    Of course, I’m an Episcopalian, so what do I know (as a priest told one woman in an inquirer’s class, “Episcopalians can believe anything, but most don’t.”)

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