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Saturday, July 20 2024 @ 06:20 MDT

Religious Right Strikes Back?

Jason ramblingSome time ago I commented on the Tories attempt to enshrine bigotry in the guise of religious freedom. Recently an anonymous commenter to this blog added his/her thoughts on the matter (29 November 2006). The commenter states that I don't understand Christianity and that in the long run the non-Christians are doomed to failure.

First off, there is little consensus amongst the various Christian sects as to what constitutes a Christian. Some sects preach that you're doomed to eternal hellfire unless you are a part of their particular brand of Christianity. Others are less belligerent and state that you only must believe in Jesus and lead a good life. Either way, how a particular Christian decides to run his/her life is really their business. Generally I have no problem with what Christians believe or how they worship. I also understand that Christianity, and other religions, are exclusive clubs that tend to exclude non-believers. I have no problem with that either.

My predominant issue with Christianity are it's adherents attempts to force their beliefs on other people. They continually try to use the state to legislate non-Christians into the Christian faith. This is where the commenter fails to understand the nature of democratic government. By definition, democratic government must be inclusive of all people, regardless of faith, belief or other distinguishing characteristic. This is where Christians seem to have the problem. They want everyone to have to obey the rules of their exclusive club, even if other people don't want to. In turn, they want to only obey the rules of their exclusive club. It seems to be a one way street for these people.

Now do I believe that these views are the views of Canadian Christians in general? No. I suspect that the vast majority of Christians in this country tend to the middle of the road. They're not out to force their religion on others as they wouldn't like the reverse to happen. It's a small minority of Christians that want to force us to their particular view. The problem for them of course, is that apart from some big picture stuff, they can't agree on what that view is. In a way this is what is saving the rest of us from a theocratic tyranny. Combined with the entrenchment of human rights in the constitution (including, I might add, freedom of religion) the Christian right will have a tough time implementing it's agenda.

The next question is will Christianity win out in the long run. Current stats would suggest no. Looking at the census data from Stats Can show that Christianity is in decline in Canada. As a percentage of the population, Christianity has shown a 6.5% drop in numbers over the 10 year period 1991-2001. Though evangelical churches are reporting increases in membership, this is due to people switching from the more main stream Christianity sects and not to a shift in non-Christians "seeing the light". In fact, Islam and people with no religion are where the increases are in Canada. If the drop continues at the current rate it will only be about 40 years until Christians are no longer the majority religion in the country.

So in general, religion is on the decline in Canada, which doesn't bode well for the commenter's assertion that the Christians will win in "the long run". Though this decline might explain the theo-con's hatred of education, since education has long been the bane of religion, though that's a topic for another time. I suspect as Christianity's influence in government gets even less than what it is now, the leaders of those churches will try even harder to get the state to force people into their pews. I wish them luck.

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Religious Right Strikes Back?
Authored by: Anonymous onFriday, December 01 2006 @ 05:19 MST
Your anonymous commenter's arrogant assumption that there is a single, correct, interpretation of "God's Word" - as transcribed from goodness knows how many dusty old scriptures written between 1,500 and 4,000 years in the past is as astonishing as it is arrogant.

I am constantly amazed at how these people can argue that there is a "legitimacy" to treating others as less than full citizens, based entirely upon their particular interpretation of scripture.

For a religion that rose from the persecution of the declining Roman Empire, it seems a trifle ironic that today they would treat others in a fashion so similar to what their forebears experienced at Roman hands.

- Grog
http://crystalgaze2.blogspot.com