05 September, 2009

America: The Christian Nation That Rejects Christ

This nation full of Christians is full of a bunch of Christian hypocrites. Read this article by Bill McKibben in Harper's Magazine.

Here are some highlights from the article (written in 2005) to encourage you to explore the depth of how little Christ means to American Christians:

McKibben notes that "somewhere around 85 percent of [Americans] call ourselves Christian. Israel, by way of comparison, is 77 percent Jewish."

Still, he wonders:

"But is [America] Christian?" ... "What if we chose some simple criterion -- say, giving aid to the poorest people -- as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they'd fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?"

We find that, "by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose -- childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool -- we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin."


* "Despite the Sixth Commandment, we are, of course, the most violent rich nation on earth, with a murder rate four or five times that of our European peers."

* "We have prison populations greater by a factor of six or seven than other rich nations."

* "Having been told to turn the other cheek, we're the only Western democracy left that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is theoretically strongest."

* "Despite Jesus' strong declarations against divorce, our marriages break up at a rate -- just over half -- that compares poorly with the European Union's average of about four in ten." ... "[C]ompare our success with, say, that of the godless Dutch, whose divorce rate is just over 37 percent."

* "A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to get into heaven. Jesus did not say he should invest, spend, and let the benefits trickle down; he said sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. Few plainer words have been spoken. And yet, for some reason, the Christian Coalition of America -- founded in 1989 in order to 'preserve, protect and defend the Judeo-Christian values that made this the greatest country in history' -- proclaimed last year that its top legislative priority would be “making permanent President Bush's 2001 federal tax cuts.”

*A "furor erupted last spring when it emerged that a Colorado jury had consulted the Bible before sentencing a killer to death. Experts debated whether the (Christian) jurors should have used an outside authority in their deliberations, and of course the Christian right saw it as one more sign of a secular society devaluing religion. But a more interesting question would have been why the jurors fixated on Leviticus 24, with its call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They had somehow missed Jesus' explicit refutation in the New Testament: 'You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.”

McKibben comes to his own conclusions.

My conclusion: Were there a heaven, nearly all American Christians could get in only by killing Saint Peter and rushing the Golden Gates.

Which it seems very likely they would do, given the above.

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