Less there be any confusion, I am strongly pro-Christian. The fact that I am not personally a Christian (or a Buddhist, or Muslim, or Hindu etc.) does not mean that I have a negative attitude about religion. I think people should be able to practice any religion they want in their home and would never dream of taking any rights away from people who do so.
Jesus Christ, assuming he existed, appears to have been a person of incredible selflessness. And while I don’t necessarily believe he was a perfect human being, there are worse people to pick as role models.
It’s just that Christianity imposes such powerful controls on behavior. When I think about what Christianity demands from its followers, it is almost overwhelming. A group of people willing to give away literally everything they own, going about helping the least among us, the poor, sick, and disenfranchised, turning the other cheek when struck, never having a bank account or a car loan – I mean, it’s incredible. And genuinely admirable. If you’re willing to do all that, then I accord you the highest respect. You’ve earned it.
The only people I might take issue with are people who do whatever the hell they want to do and then call themselves Christians. Sometimes, people even have the gall to tell other people what they should do and demand governmental laws protecting their special privileges, etc. Jesus wasn’t big on lobbying, either, at least in the Scriptures I read. Actually, he didn’t even like church, and certainly never went into one. For one thing, the guy was Jewish.
Some folks will say that’s expecting a little too much. We’re not perfect.
I get that, but then I didn’t label you a Christian. You did. So if you’re not trying to behave like Jesus, what does being a Christian even mean? Can it mean “acting in ways precisely opposite to Jesus”? Because that makes no sense. You can’t say “in the name of Jesus Christ, fuck immigrants!” Do you understand why that doesn’t make sense?
Anyway, if you want to act like Jesus, you’ll get no argument from me. Good on you. But hopefully you’ll take some effort to think about what “acting like Jesus” would actually mean.
Good luck out there.
This is Joe Green's blog.