Dear Christians: Please Start Stripping C-cards

A Case of Mistaken Identity

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Here’s a disclaimer: One thing that atheists tend to leave out when talking about Christianity is the immense diversity of it, either because they don’t know, or because they are attempting to focus on one aspect of it. You can see Christians out there like Ray Comfort talking about why evolution is false because bananas, and that is ridiculous indeed, or Donald Trump, most recently seen proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the US, but there are also Christians who are openly queer and fight for equality, like my friend Eliel Cruz, or people like my friend Stephen Erich, who works in Cambodia because he uses his faith to mobilize himself to help others.

I believe these are different kinds of people, while some still may overlap. But here’s the problem: They both call themselves, and each other, “Christians”. Let’s take a look at what that means.

If an accurately broad description of the word “Christian” is not, “a person who, insofar as it is possible and reasonable, implements the characteristics or principles of the teachings of the first century philosopher Jesus in their life”, I don’t know what is.

So I guess my question to Christians (the awesome kind) is: Why do you continue to call these people Christian? They clearly haven’t earned that title as nothing in their character is at all similar to Jesus. He was busy giving away free healthcare and getting crucified rather than call down a legion of angels to save him.

Furthermore, many country leaders, including Barack Obama, have said that we should not view something like ISIS as in any way indicative of Islam, and really, not even think of them as Islamic. Well, if ISIS isn’t Islamic, then Donald Trump surely can’t be a Christian. On multiple occasions, he’s tried to remind us that he’s worth 10 billion dollars (he’s worth 4), and I seem to remember Jesus saying something about it being really really really hard for rich people to get to heaven.

Why do you continue to call these people Christian? They clearly haven’t earned that title as nothing in their character is at all similar to Jesus.

One final example would be The Westboro Baptist Church. This would be a job for them. You know why? Because, hate them as much as I do, they would have the strength to strip some C-cards. “Oh, you’re gay? NAH, SON! Gimme dat C-card!” I feel very uncomfortable right now saying that other Christians need to follow the example of The Westboro Baptist Church, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

You don’t get to just have any old values and say that you follow a person that exemplified the exact opposite values, because that’s not how words work, and the longer moderate or progressive Christians keep these people around, the more it makes you look uber bad. Keep in mind, religions are much different than nationalities or races. The religious community gets to decide what being a Christian is, and it can decide when someone is no longer that thing.

So, Christians, I would appreciate it if you thinned the herd a bit and started stripping some C-cards. You will thank me for the suggestion later. Feel free to start with yourself if you happen to be a billionaire douchebag pushing war and preaching hate…don’t see any of those around here.

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3 thoughts on “Dear Christians: Please Start Stripping C-cards”

  1. Christians inside see the “good and bad”, but outsiders just see the one thing, christianty is Jewish 2.0 and Islam is Jewish 3.0. You are the same religion and the very fact of all the different major divisions and minor variations, all demonstrate the falsehood of there being one true faith at all. people are good or they are not, doing good for it’s own sake is better than a reward later.

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  2. “You are the same religion and the very fact of all the different major divisions and minor variations, all demonstrate the falsehood of there being one true faith at all.”

    You’re certainly right about that, I believe. What we do about it is another story. You’re not going to wrest these belief’s from the hands of the believers, so that’s not really a productive battle to be fighting. What you can do, however, is teach them how to be good with their belief, rather than bad. If I could teach other people to be good like my Christian friends who dedicate their lives to other people in service of a god I don’t believe in, I would, because what matters most is being a good person.

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  3. Christians do what you are suggesting all the time. They say, “Those people aren’t true Christians,” implying that they are false Christians or Christians in name only. Additionally, individual congregations or denominations do excommunicate believers. I could agree that they don’t excommunicate believers often enough and I think the reason is that if one denomination exiles a believer, that believer will move to another denomination or even start up their own. I can interpret the motives of churches negatively and say that they don’t excommunicate often because they want to keep as many cult followers in their congregations as possible giving them their money. On the other hand, I can interpret the motivations of churches positively and say that they are trying to follow Paul’s advice about not fighting within the church about inconsequential doctrines, but rather focusing on saving souls. Now what is the line between inconsequential disagreement and heresy (Christians have asked for two thousand years)?

    In your own broad definition of what a Christian is, anybody who can show that they are trying to follow Christ can be called a Christian. Jesus’s teachings were to a group of non-orthodox Jews about how to live in the end-times. This is not directly applicable to people today, so all modern believers must glean principles from Jesus’s words and apply them to their own lives. Different believers will focus on different principles and consequently interpret the entire Bible slightly differently. It’s not that some believers are following the principles Jesus set forth while others are just doing their own thing and disregarding Jesus’s words. Today, many people hold that the principle of love should be the primary principle all Christians follow, but many Christians have held the principle of saving souls as the primary principle (such as Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Inquisition). You are proposing that the most peaceful religion is the best, but didn’t Jesus say that he didn’t come to bring peace but the sword?

    My point is that I don’t think that such a thing as “true Christianity” exists. You’re suggesting that Christians start stripping C-cards from others, but Christians have never stopped doing that; they just might do it within their congregations rather than in the media. I think the attitude of “we are the true Christians” is negative and leads to conceit and dogmatism, which lead to Christians being overzealous and annoying. This is just something to consider, but I as an atheist try to encourage Christians to be humble and accept that their loving interpretation of Christianity could be false and Donald Trump’s bigoted interpretation of Christianity could be true. If all Christians had that level of humility, then they would also be able to admit the possibility that their belief in Christ could be a false belief and would hopefully be less obnoxious in their evangelism. I do think that we (Christians and atheists alike) should condemn bigoted Christians, not for their lack of true Christianity, but for their bigotry.

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