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Opinion

Critics of ‘organized religion’ too often attack Christianity, Christians

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April 28, 2010

No “National Day of Prayer?” I’m ok with that, because people who believe certain things shouldn’t have to have a specific day put aside to pray to God. Oddly enough though, why is it that when something tragic happens, people who claim to not have religion hold certain people “in their thoughts and prayers?” One thing I’m not ok with, is this one-way street mentality that I’ve seen in many of the columns published here in the Voice this year. It’s something that I’ve seen so, so much ever since my first day here at UW-River Falls. Why is it, 99 times out of a 100, people discuss having a problem with “organized religion,” and then single out Christianity? Here’s what I think, my friends.

The “one-way street” mentality that I was talking about refers to people that claim to be “agnostic,” “atheist,” or perhaps have their Facebook religious views set to “All you need is love.” Honestly, I have no quarrels with people who choose not to be “religious.” That’s the beauty of our country. However, I’m sick of this category of people attacking Christianity. It’s a two-way street. If you fall under this category, maybe you should look in the mirror before you become so vocal. People over-generalize Christians so, so much. It’s offensive to assume that all Muslims are extremists and terrorists, right? Of course it is.

So why do you not think it’s just as offensive and unjust to do the same to Christians? It’s a sad thing, but people kill, steal and lie in the name of Jesus all the time. So, when a “Conservative Christian” politician ends up being anything but, or someone goes into a church and slays an abortion doctor, stop coupling these people with other Christians. When critics “discuss” Christianity, all too often it’s in either a hostile or condescending tone. I’ve said this in previous columns and it’s relevant here, too;  people too often hear/see the loudest, most obnoxious person of a group, whether it’s political, religious, whatever, and generalize the entire cluster of people. Not to call her out specifically, but Ms. Lindberg stated last week “There seems to be a large contigent of people, especially in the rural Midwest, who don’t see how Christianity is already too large a part of our government’s workings.” Are you kidding me? That’s because this is where you live. I invite you to go live in the Carolinas, or “rural” Georgia for a year or two and compare the attitudes to this area.  The ‘workings” of Christianity in this nation are stifled constantly by different trends in the media, our schools, and numerous other aspects of our daily lives.

I want to address the “separation of church and state.” Now, honestly, as a Christian, I don’t want the government to make Christianity an obligation in our country. It kind of would defeat the purpose of free will. However, I’m sick of people citing the SOCAS as being in the Constitution. It’s not. Yet, in two of my college classes, I’ve had professors say that it is. Why? It’s one of those things that people aren’t going to question, because it’s apparently a fact that doesn’t really need to be checked. The phrase comes from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the “Danbury Baptist Association” in 1802. He refers to having a “wall of separation between church and state,” which obviously, people have made their own, but wrongfully cite it as being in the Constitution. People argue it’s implied, fair enough, but don’t get bent out of shape when people might argue that certain Christian principles are “implied” in our government.

What’s my overall point in saying all of this? Don’t get upset when people advocate for something such as a “National Day of Prayer.” Don’t like it? Don’t partake.  When doctors can’t explain why a terminally ill patient is healed, or when someone else stares death in the face and survives, why is it so irrational for people to rely on prayer? It’s a powerful thing. Look at the people of Haiti. Exactly one month after the earthquake hit, 1 million people gathered for “3 days of fasting and prayer.” When a devastated nation and its leaders call on God, it’s obviously a government forcing their citizens in a certain direction, right? Wrong. Perhaps it should be called encouragement. It’s encouragement to look beyond ourselves. Remember, it’s all too true that “People often confuse religion with God, and end up walking away from both.”