Essay:Don't Allow Fundamentalists to Ruin Christianity For You
When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the theory went that a Communist Revolution would not be possible in a society which had not experienced an industrial revolution. The reasoning behind this is that with industrial revolution, comes the creation of the proletariat - the industrial working class. Without the proletariat to overthrow the capitalist bourgeoisie, a communist revolution would technically be impossible. In October 1917, Russia underwent her Revolution despite the fact that the industrial proletariat was a minority when compared to the bourgeoisie. Stalin attempted to resolve this problem by industrialising rapidly in the 1930s in order to fit the model of a Communist society. Marxist theory is open to interpretation and as such the Bolsheviks, the main ones being Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, interpreted it in their own way to fit 1917 Russia.
The Bible is a written piece documenting the life before and after Jesus Christ filled with teachings to be treated as fact. The Bible is open to interpretation in the same way that Marxist theory is. This is not an opinion, this is a fact, and even Conservapedia recognises this. On userpages of Conservapedians, the userboxes reading "This user believes the Bible is to be read in a literal and straightforward manner" is acknowledgement of the fact that the Bible is open to interpretation. Most, if not all Conservapedians have this userbox sporting their userpages, showing they choose to interpret the Bible literally.
Having spent some time surfin' through Conservapedia, I have become worried with the position of Christianity in society by the users, sysops, admins, etc at Conservapedia. One man particularly comes to mind. While I do believe that Andrew Schlafly is a Christian and not simply using the religion to further his own reactionary agenda, he represents a generation which takes the Bible incredibly literally. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but because of the nature of the Bible, it often leads to dangerous consequences, editing wars and somewhat childish namecalling and labelling for the groups which Schlafly doesn't agree with - the obvious ones being homosexuals and what Andy brands as "liberals". People like Ann Coulter who hold what can be called - in the most polite terms possible - fucking stupid insights into non-Christian groups represent a fundamental Christian approach which is dangerous to the wider community. These people push their religion on others, and hold a viewpoint that their religion is unilaterally better than others.
When extreme opinions like these are expressed, it reflects badly on others who belong to the same school - in this case Christianity - regardless of how literally they may take the Bible and stick to such a traditional extent. If one believes in hardline, by-the-Bible, Christianity, then it should not be forced upon others. Christians do NOT have the right to force their religion upon others, and the Bible should not be used as an excuse for this. By all means, they have the right to tell others about their religion and what it's done for their lives, but in the way Mr Schlafly does with his complete ignorance and intolerance for everything else, makes others look bad.
Quoting from Mr Schlafly in a debate over World History Lecture Nine:
“”"You didn't admit that some languages are superior to others, and you still won't admit it. Superior not just "on what criteria you choose," but overall. You're just babbling nonsense to deny that. It would like a mathematician pretending that some numbers are not larger than others. Some are. Ditto for religion, as you won't admit that some religions are superior (and more truthful) than others. Some obviously are. If won't admit things that are obviously true, then there's little point in trying to hold a logical discussion with you. First open your mind, please, for your sake.
|—Andy Schlafly on Conservapedia, 6 April 2009 (EDT)|
This is a typical Americentric "America rules the world" viewpoint. Statements like this one embarass not only Mr Schlafly, but Conservapedia itself, and the message which it's trying to promote. More importantly, it may cause potential Christians or people who are already Christians to become disenchanted with Christianity. The statement itself is simply flawed and moronic because you can't make it "obvious" that one country's language or one person's religion is better than another's. Fair enough, Mr Schlafly can probably speak English well in real life - his "Schlaflyism" spelling errors are most likely attributed to typing quickly - but the reason why to him American English and Christianity are "better" than other languages is because he was born in America ("allegedly" if you want to poke fun at him for his article on his President.) and grew up speaking American English. If you were born in Somalia and spoke Somalian, you'd think this the better language.
Ann Coulter (again)
“”"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
To force an ideology upon an unwilling individual or group is wrong, and doing so will repress the individual or group's real opinions, not allowing them a say; welcome to a dictatorship.
I'm agnostic, but I can honestly say I have great respect for people who can hold such strong religious beliefs. I'm not talking about bigots like Andy Schlafly or Ann Coulter, but people who are open minded enough to accept that there are alternatives to Christianity yet still retain their faith in a proud and above all dignified manner. Don't allow traditionalists to force their beliefs on you, don't allow the idiotic statements they make apparently based on their religion to affect your interpretation of it, but make up your mind for yourself.