Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The religion of the self

I was raised Christian. I grew up around radicals and undereducated, self-righteous hatemongers. One of the most common faux-intellectual arguments I found disseminated in so-called Christian book and video stores was that of the "religion of self."

The basic idea behind the religion of self argument was that questioning Christianity, wanting scientific or empirical explanations for phenomena, or even reasoned explanations for policies of exclusion; all of these things led to atheism, the so-called "religion of self," focusing on the immediate and the human aspect instead of the spiritual.

However, let us take a look at the concept of a religion of self. The basic idea spread by Christian organizations is that questioning faith means turning away from God, and that such an action leads to debauchery and hatred. Unfortunately, the evidence does not support these statements. Rejection of mass-produced Christian doctrine has tended toward acceptance and protection of your fellow people, including self-sacrifice for the betterment of all instead of the betterment of select groups.

From the Boy Scouts to Chick Fil-A to the Salvation Army, national and international Christian groups have chosen to discriminate against gays, races, and more. Directly contrary to the preaching of love toward all peoples, sinners or saints, these groups choose instead to propagate hatred and inequality.

From an even-handed perspective, the title of "religion of self" belongs more to fundamentalist religion than to atheism. These "born-again" radicals ignore sections of the Bible that disagree with their prejudiced world views, picking and choosing only the verses that they like in order to build their own religion that runs directly contrary to the original Christian doctrine. Christianity has gone from asking God to forgive your murderers, and has moved on to telling God that your murder of an innocent is justified, and then ordering God to send those you killed to Hell.
The presumption of humans that they not only know every nuance of God's plan, not only can speak for God, but can actually instruct God on how to act, how is this anything other than a religion of self?

To speak exclusively of Christianity, since I don't have in-depth experience in other fundamentalist religions, these self-centered and hateful doctrines are condoned by the vocal minority yet are not universally decried by those Christians who do not believe the same. Atheism and the demonized "religion" of knowing right from wrong are not the religions of self, they are the religions of wholeness. Christians who stand up for equality are demonized and attacked by the radicals, yet the rest of the moderate or liberal Christians do not stand up for their fellows.

Christians, answer me this: if it is a sin and evil to share love with everyone, to look upon all humanity as your family, then doesn't that mean, by that definition, that Jesus Christ was the most vile sinner of all time?


  1. Exactly! Jesus LOVED ALL! We are ALL God's children and I am sooooooo tired of people claiming to "know" Him and then twisting His words and their meaning to suit their hate!

  2. Check this out: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/eagle-scouts-return-medals-over-organization-anti-gay-184508093.html

    Perhaps they read your blog! : )