Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Religion, I guess?

I've been discussing religion a lot lately, for some reason. My thoughts keep coming back to one thing. 
(This may be a poor example, being as I wasn't alive in this era, but I think it works; let me know if it doesn't.)
I would imagine that some of the worst racism of the time happened during the Civil Rights era, because white men were afraid that black people would acquire human rights. It serves to reason that some of the most ridiculous generalizations were occurring at that time; one black criminal commits a crime, so all black people are criminals. The best way that black people fought this was to stand up and prove these generalizations wrong; Martin Luther King, Jr., with his brilliance, compassion and gravitas comes to mind. 
There are a lot of generalizations being made about Christianity right now; one  wingnut murders a doctor, so all Christians are murderous crazies. Inevitably, at this point in the conversation, someone declares that this is a gross generalization and that not all Christians are insane terrorists. 
So why the hell haven't the sane Christians stood up and said that this is not an accurate representation of themselves? Take, for example, Catholicism (which, to be fair, serves my point the best). Most, or at least a huge amount, of American Catholics are pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and anti-child molesters; why aren't these Catholics standing up and presenting themselves as a better representation of Catholicism? Force people to acknowledge that not all Catholics are bigots. 

1 comment:

  1. Your civil rights example works. I lived through it and what you describe is pretty much correct. MLK was smeared and demonized and also considered a criminal by most of the racists (who needed him to be a criminal to continue their denial of equal protection). Those of us who were not racists recognized him as a wrongly maligned hero to his cause.

    The current situation is similar, but many of us criticizing Christians over the recent assassination of Dr. Tiller know that the villains are not all Christians just the Christofascist Storm Troopers of the Religious Wrong.

    I'd like to hear more Christians telling us that they don't approve of these methods and the Religious Wrong does not represent all Christians. I believe that this is true, but it would be good to hear it from more than just Frank Schaeffer.