Sunday, May 13, 2007

Who's in charge, here?

I found this story interesting. It's about the rising number of books by atheists that are in direct opposition to Christianity. It's claimed that Christian militancy is the primary cause. Christian militancy causes me to be in opposition to Christianity sometimes, too. It causes me to ask, "Who's in charge, here?" Who's in charge of Christianity?

Who gave the Christian militants the authority to speak for all of us?

Or is it, rather, that no one directly gave them the authority...that instead, our silence (the silence of the majority) gave them the authority.

Who gave Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps and others who manipulate religion to promote their political agendas the authority to go on national television and speak for all Christians? Not me. Neither of those guys speak for all. So perhaps, our collective inability or unwillingness to speak against them and to promote our own ideals has given them a free ride.

The article also discusses how now, at long last, a calmer and more reasonable dialogue has come about. I'm very glad this is happening...but why did we have a heated situation to cool down from in the first place? Perhaps if others of us had a voice, or an opportunity to speak, we could have had this sort of civilized conversation to begin with.

One of the interesting things in the story came from the guy who wrote "I Sold My Soul on eBay." He said Christianity would be more appealing to him if it accounted for science and reason, if it didn't see those things as threatening. He also said it would be more appealing if he saw churches where men and women had equal roles, and if they weren't so obsessed with conversion but focused on expressions of love and compassion (the things Jesus told us to do). Well certainly these churches exist. There are those of us around who are part of Christian communities that aren't threatened by science and reason...who see that they work hand in hand with theology...and communities that give men and women equal roles....and communities that focus on expressions of love and compassion.

Where is our voice in the conversation?
Where is our platform?
When do we get the opportunity to speak up?
How do we create our opportunity?

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