And the faithful will go to church, and have a big fat meal, and pray and worship and watch TV. And many, if not most, of them will simultaneously be in favor of discriminating against gay people, deporting “illegals,” repealing the ACA, reducing food stamps, hating Muslims, and continuing tax breaks for the rich.
I ask you, what is it that makes these people Christians? Really I already know the answer. Nothing. They are NOT Christians, even though they go to church and pray and worship and eat big meals on Easter. Jesus taught people to help the poor, feed the hungry, heal the sick, welcome strangers, and love their enemies. He told them that if they want to go to heaven, they need to give all their worldly goods to the poor. That they should pray in secret. And turn the other cheek. That it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
I’m atheist, and while I don’t believe Jesus was a deity, I have a lot of respect for his teachings. And I try to follow them, because they’re good ideas. I have some trouble with turning the other cheek, but I respect it as an ideal.
If going to church made people good Christians, they wouldn’t need a new testament and they’d really need to call themselves something else. Churchists, maybe. Spending an hour a week in a specified building and reciting incantations to ward off evil is not what Christianity is about. It’s about what’s in your heart. And how to treat other people. And being inclusive and compassionate. It is NOT about hating everybody who isn’t like you and trying to control them. I believe a little less church attendance and little more humility, acceptance and care for others less fortunate would go a long way to help Christians get the hypocrisy out and the teachings of their Savior in.