There is a reason why I am reluctant to identify as a Christian and much prefer to be identified as a follower of Jesus. The reason is that most every time a self identified “Christian” opens their mouth, something stupid rolls out.
Take, for example, this ridiculous movement within conservative Christianity to force “Christian” prayer – which, presumably, always begins with one hand thrust into the pants pocket and the words, “Father, I just wanna…” – into schools, the Ten Commandments into public buildings, and “restore the faith of our founding Fathers.” Never mind that our founding Fathers were largely Deists, not Christians. Never mind that, for Christians, Jesus’ Great Commandment to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul and love our neighbor as ourselves is explicitly violated when we attempt to jam our understandings of God down someone else’s throat by placing the Ten Commandments in a public space, to say nothing of the fact that for Christians Jesus’ Great Commandment trumps the Ten Commandments of the Hebrew Scriptures. Then again, loving our neighbor is really difficult and precludes judging our neighbor, while the Ten Commandments offer up endless possibilities for judgment, which these small-minded Christians so prefer to love. Finally, it seems to me that forcing people to pray in school rather contradicts Jesus’ instruction to go in our rooms and close the door when we pray, in secret.
You see, for most of the mass of people who identify as “Christian,” it really isn’t about Jesus at all. It’s much more about building power and ruling the world, never mind that Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth and the first shall be last. It’s not about faith, either, it’s about a God who is so powerless, so effete, that God needs human beings to set things right on God’s behalf. It’s not about love, no matter what Jesus says, because all we really need Jesus for is our ticket to heaven and then we are apparently free to go about imposing our will on others with impunity. It’s not about faith, either, it’s about logic and argument and backing people into corners. Nor is it about truth, but rather it’s about a revisionist approach to just about everything in order to achieve our rightful place at the right hand of Jesus in heaven – even though Jesus himself said that particular place wasn’t his to grant.
Christianity has become something the first Christians would hardly recognize, as any reading of the early Church Fathers and Mothers would readily attest. That may be why most conservative “Christians” have done away with all of Church history prior to the Protestant Reformation, as if Christianity spontaneously appeared around 1530! It seems we are at a point in Christian history where whoever shouts the loudest, regardless if they have anything to say, wins. That’s not something I am particularly interested in wasting my time on, because it seems to me to be the religious equivalent of professional wrestling. I’ll take a pass, thanks!