I have very rarely been “dissed” to my face for being openly Christian. I’ve certainly been present to listen to others complain about various classes or factions of Christians (“those fundamentalists…”) but in my admittedly limited experience, honestly, the rudely anti-religious or anti-christian are not more prevalent than the occasional thoughtless or selfish Christian. I have not yet visited anywhere that really experiences religious persecution!
Eugene Crosser June 10, 2018 16:11
Perhaps because you treat religion as a personal thing (which it, arguably, is), and do not write blog posts about Christ like that guy? Likewise, I am non-religious, but I don’t find it appropriate to talk about that unprovoked, or to argue with (or “persecute”) believers…
Alan Cox June 10, 2018 16:49
I normally get into entertaining rows with ‘fundamentalists’, over the fact they aren’t fundamentalist, because a fundamentalist goes back to the original sources not the interpretations of them. They might be King James bibleists but that means they worship an old English propaganda text 8)
Funnily enough I’ve met some real fundamentalists (one of whom for example learned Hebrew so he could read the OT properly) - and they tended to be quite different.
Michael K Johnson June 10, 2018 16:53
+Eugene Crosser Personal in the sense of autonomy yes; but most religions are explicitly social not personal. Many religions (Christianity among them) make universal truth claims. For a believer, it’s not a kindness to others to fail to at least mention these truth claims. The unkindness is in how they do so, such as whether they respect your autonomy.
I haven’t posted much solely about my faith, but it has certainly come up. I don’t see that my faith is more or less personal than my other thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, nor that it is an inappropriate topic to share generally.
It isn’t clear to me whether you read Robert’s post, though. I assume by “that guy” you are referring to his integration of his faith into his blogstream. My comment about not being persecuted—and, in fact, everything else I wrote in my respones—was agreeing with him, not arguing. He said he hasn’t been persecuted. If it sounded like I was disagreeing with him, I’m not sure what the point of disagreement would be.
Ultimately, I won’t proselytize you, and you are free to ignore any religious content I post. But I’ll still feel free to post religious content when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say. ☺
Michael K Johnson June 10, 2018 17:17
+Alan Cox That seems pretty much spot-on to me! I grew up in the real fundamentalists, the ones who wrote The Fundamentals from which the epithet “fundamentalist” was derived… And yes, learning greek and/or hebrew was not that unusual. (Also, “young earth” was generally considered poorly aligned with the bible. While some used the King James, they said they used it because they already knew where its major flaws were. I never encountered the concept of the flawless KJV.)
I think the real problem that engendered the epithet was that one of the core principles of The Fundamentals was essentially that “anything really important is easy to understand” which got twisted by a small but sadly vocal minority into “if it seems obvious to me, it must be obvious to everyone, so anyone who disagrees with me must be an idiot at best and probably willfully so,” and well, see where we are now. ☹
Daniel L. Johnson June 10, 2018 22:15
A lovely conversation!
In my life, the christians I have cherished are those who are willing to be found wrong. Yesterday, for example I read a long essay arguing thoughtfully against “Intelligent Design Theory” in which the author at one point says, “…I was a vociferous anti-evolutionist.”
And he cites “powerful…evidence that living organisms have evolved.” And quotes Richard Dawkins, “…biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
Clearly, the author has become convinced that both things are true. Such a swing of conviction is possible only for someone who is able to be found wrong.
As a fundamentalist, I spent my first quarter-century learning what is right; I’ve spent the last forty years discovering the vast universe of my ignorance. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”
My experience is that what we advocate verbally, though important, does not influence people as much as what we refrain from saying, and doing.
Rick Troth June 11, 2018 19:03
Years ago, I made the mistake of identifying myself as a “fundamentalist Christian” to my new office-mate. A couple weeks later, people had gotten to know me. One of the data center operators pulled me aside, “You are a fundamental believer. When you call yourself ‘fundamentalist’, people conjur up images in their heads which mean something very different.”, as evidently my office-mate had done and told the whole office.
Daniel L. Johnson June 11, 2018 19:10
A very nice suggestion!
Alan Cox June 11, 2018 19:18
+Rick Troth it’s a huge problem for Muslims too. The fundamentalists are frequently the most moderate because they don’t accept all the piles of local cultural traditions attached to it, yet say fundamentalist and people think AK-47s and suicide bombers
Imported from Google+ — content and formatting may not be reliable