For those reading the last post, it was indeed a very good discussion. Let us not end such a thing with the ending of that post. Let us continue with a new post. There is a need for myself to clarify a few things, and in doing so, I hope that all readers will learn more about both themselves and the person that I am.
I am not a Christian. I stopped following that path (never really followed it) during the eighth grade. I kept it inside of myself until I blurted it out in the middle of social studies. We were debating how best to counter Saddam Hussein, a dictator. Being the foolish idealist at the time, I figured that convincing the people to rebel against their leader would work (just take a few aside, and plant ideas in their minds and hearts). Then he did. The teacher said, “Let us stop thinking like Christians for a moment…” I at that point was no longer a Christian. I blurted that out, and….. well…. The school I went to was in a town with multiple churches. You can guess how my fellow classmates took it: not very well. One told me that it meant I had no soul. Others tried to “save” me. I countered the question about believing in God with, “Do you believe in yourself?” A teacher misinterpreted it as me asking if the person believes they have the power of God. Thinking back, I now find such a thing quite amusing.
What was meant by that question of mine was the matter of self-reliance. Are you going to use your faith as a crutch in life, or are you going to finish that prayer at last and do something yourself to change the situation you are in? The whole non-Christian thing started off on an amusing note. We were discussing the U.S. Constitution in the seventh grade. We were going to be tested on it, and would have to pass it (mandatory in other words). We noted that the President, when elected, would often place their hand on the Bible as they were being sworn in. We asked what would happen if the President in question was not a Christian. I figured, “Why not find out…..” I figured that as President, I would simply follow the tradition, not out of agreement, but out of respect for it. I of course no longer have any aspirations for the Oval Office, especially since I now understand how the responsibility for any government can not be placed upon the shoulders of one official alone.
I sympathize with those outside of Christianity. I truly do. I know how Wiccans are often discriminated against. I have heard stories of lesbians getting beat up. I know how horrible such things are. However, I also see a precedent emerging that is quite dangerous.
In the beginning, Christianity, before it obtained the official title (right when it was hijacked by the Roman Empire), was discriminated against by religious leaders who felt their power base being threatened. It then eventually obtained dominance and became corrupt in a sense as those claiming to be a large part of that group started imposing their doctrine on everyone else. There were factional splits due to those with slightly more courage, such as Martin Luther, who did not like what he saw with the Catholic Church, and never intended to break away from them (it simply happened as a result of leadership feeling threatened…. after all, they wanted control). There are individual Christians who are quite close minded. I also recognize however that there are those who have very open minds as well.
Here is where I see the problem: points of view being crammed down other peoples’ throats in the name of tolerance. If we as a society can not convince people on our own that being respectful of others’ beliefs and values is a good idea, then we as a society have problems and will eventually fail as a society. We should not resort to laws forcing ideals down the throats of others. Like Jesse Ventura, I agree that morality can not be legislated. Why? We all have morals: they just do not match with every individual.
The link in the last paragraph may appear bigoted at first glance, but think about it for a moment. A business may refuse to hire somebody based on a Christian perspective, yet Christian churches have to hire those who are not Christian? Wait a minute? Is that not a double standard? As someone who is not Christian, I would not want to work at a church as I have no intention on joining the faith, which is the only reason one would want to go to one on a regular basis. I understand why the proverbial boot of a non-Christian is being thrust upon Christians: out of fear that they may lose ground in the fight for their rights. However, take note: I am not for Wiccan rights. I am not for gay/lesbian rights or womens’ rights. I am for everybody’s rights!
I find things being done to those outside of a rigid Christian perspective to be horrible. What worries me is that those fighting against bigotry are becoming bigots themselves against Christianity in general and jumping to conclusions that are quite dangerous in the long run. Allow me to explain….
Justin Breithaupt is a good friend of mine. I once asked him, “You do realize I’m not a Christian, right?” He says, “Oh yeah…” and moves on. What? No comment on how I shall burn in Hell? Nothing saying I am evil for not believing what he does? Take note that I am not an atheist either. I consider myself mostly neutral, but if I had to pick a side, I would choose Discordianism. I may not be as devout as I would like to be since I do not eat a hot dog every Friday, but I would proudly declare myself one of the few, the proud, the chaotic at the same time. The point is, we are both able to work together somehow. Did he discriminate against me as a non-Christian when I inquired about a notebook computer with set budget (it was fairly high)? Did he screw me?
If anything, I would say he screwed himself. He found a wonderful ASUS notebook online that had plenty of power to it. Dual core AMD Turion64 X2, nVIDIA GeForceGo 7600 (256 MB DDR RAM… and PCI-Express too), 120 GB Hard Drive, DVD-RAM Drive, 1 GB RAM, and other goodies were discovered online, and he charged me way under the budget amount. I was impressed, so I overpaid him. 😉
He runs a business called Computer Rescue. Through that business, he has migrated people away from Microsoft-based solutions. He used PCLinuxOS to do this as he found it to be the best at the time. He attempted to communicate with their forum in the past, and was attacked due to openly being a Christian, and having said content on his website, despite the fact that it was his site, not theirs. I suggested earlier that Breithaupt’s business be added to their list of OEM companies, but found out later that said post was deleted. He was not the only person attacked due to a “social issue.” Take a look at this video, and you might see what I mean.
How did you like that? That did not seem very nice, did it? I became so concerned, that I came very, very close, to asking the PCLOS group if they were going to do the same thing to Justin that they did to Lewis. I will not specify what I meant by that. Those on the developer mailing list of that distribution will more than likely know what I am referring to.
My apologies for getting off track. Now where was I? Ah, yes, discrimination against Justin for being honest about his beliefs. If one feels they are being attacked, what happens? They attempt to defend themselves of course. Another individual would later go on and on about Justin being crazy due to his beliefs. Justin at times does have difficulty clearly stating what he means, so he will come off as arrogant or bigoted at times when he is simply being honest. Remember the saying about honesty being the best policy? Well, that assumes that said honesty is clarified in the first place and is not misinterpreted. On that end, he does need some work. I feel a future podcast coming on……
Anyway, this shall conclude this post. Let the discussion continue.