Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do not confuse my message

I receive a large volume of well intended but essentially off target email from Christians. About three quarters come from fundamentalists and tend to be angry rants. The rest are from what I would call well meaning Christians who are concerned with my soul. The one thing they tend to get wrong is that I am a strong advocate of the right to practice ones religion without interference from the State. They tend to think I want to do away with all religion, which is just wrong. I believe Freedom of Religion to be a fundamental human right. It is one of the reasons I object so strongly to any attempt by Christians to turn America into a theocracy. Americans must be free to practice their religion, or lack thereof, without interference from the state. Many Christians don't understand this point. They interpret Freedom of Religion to mean Freedom to Dominate, which just pisses me off.

There are places where the practice of religion is restricted. Mainstream Baptists has an short post called The Cost of Discipleship. It focuses on the price which Christians must pay when trying to practice their religion in China. I find the situation horrific and would not wish anything like it here in America.

In China, being a Christian can become a costly experience. Witness the case of Ms. Li Huage, who was arrested and sentenced to ten days for allegedly "disturbing public order." for being a Christian. The report continues

She is now detained in Ying An Lu Detention Center, Wancheng district, Nanyang city, Henan province. Her husband, pastor Dong Quanyu was released March 16 after serving a ten day sentence for an "illegal religious gathering." "Ms. Li was beaten heavily by the PSB officers on March 16 outside the detention center before she met with her released husband," CAA says in a report obtained by ANS.

It boggles the imagination, doesn't it, to consider how many American "Christians" would endure such things simply in order to attend Church. Most American Christians would rather sleep in on Sunday than make their way to the House of God. Maybe that's why Christianity in America is waning and Christianity in China is growing.

The cost of discipleship is high in China. And low in America. And if somethings cheap we all know no one wants it.

To put it bluntly - I would fight any attempt to move in this direction. We all should.

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Anonymous said...

It's the "either your with me or against me " mentality in which there is no middle ground. I don't care if anyone prays in school (silently) as long as it isn't school sponsoed or makes anyone who doesn't want to participate feel obligated or uncomfortable.
Anyone can believe in any god/gods they want as long as they don't proselytize to me. And I reserve the right to consider them silly superstitious people revel in the supernatural (read fantasy); but I don't want to stop them from practicing their religion. -J

Intergalactic Hussy said...

When I was in school (public), they call it "a moment of silent meditation"... better than "prayer" but I just used that time to count the ceiling tiles... :)

I just find it ironic how we are the untrusted group... they believe in folktales!