In the early days of this blog, I think I may have posted a few times on the prevailing view of supposedly well-educated U.S. citizens (and probably those of most Western nations) toward Christianity. More on that in a moment, though, after I ridicule off-the-deep-end evangelistic former child star Kirk Cameron for his take on his own “crucifixion” for his beliefs.
Cameron is a moron. He left his critical thinking at the door a long time ago (if he ever possessed it), a fact made most obviously when he did a video with another loonball Christian about how the banana is “the atheist’s nightmare” because it somehow proves the existence of God. (Here on YouTube, and also here)
I’m a Christian. While I don’t know the precise nature and scope of God, I do believe in Him and that Jesus was His son (whether literally or spiritually) in whom was vested God’s power and the ability to grant salvation to all humans, among other neat skills like healing and making wine out of water, both of which would come in handy at a lot of parties (oh, Jesus made jokes, people, and I love my savior; don’t go pointing sacrilege fingers at me if you’re Christian).
None of these beliefs of mine, however, interfere with my belief in (and respect for) science. I simply have faith that there is a spiritual realm and a temporal one, and you can’t prove or disprove one with the other.
People like Kirk Cameron, though, make people like me look bad. And believe me, there are many people like me. Some 20 percent of the U.S. populations considers itself “unchurched” now (that doesn’t meant they’re all atheists; some of you evangelical atheists out there need to read about those stats more closely), so it’s clear that the church in all its forms has failed miserably to move with the times (regardless of the specific faith). And move it must, the Christian church being one of the most notable these days, as it always has in the past, adapting and evolving many times, no matter how many Christian leaders try to convince people otherwise.
Cameron thinks he’s being crucified for being called out on his homophobia, a bigotry which is entirely out of step with Christian love and acceptance of people where they are at. (By the way, in fair disclosure, I’ve had some out-of-step opinions about same-gender relations in the past on this blog, but even though I no longer see it as a sin…even when I did, I didn’t see it as worse than any other sins we all commit.) Cameron is, again, a moron. Also a slightly blasphemous moron, since Jesus and a whole lot of other people endured Roman crucifixion, and based on what I’ve read about it, no level of public ridicule compares to that suffering. So, suck it, Kirk Cameron.
Now, that said, I am going to continue to hold to a theory that I’ve espoused before on this blog, and that is that Christianity gets the side-eye a lot from other people, even people who sometimes attend Christian churches. So, if the name “Jesus” comes out of my mouth, I can pretty much anticipate that many people in hearing distance are going to tense up. If I discuss my faith or the value I see in it, I can expect that I will get a lot of ridicule, whether spoken or unspoken.
And I don’t just mean from atheists; this cuts across most lines. Moreover, this kind of attitude is generally reserved for Christians. Sure, plenty of racist, demagogic, jingoistic bastards look askance at Muslims in the United States, but what I’m talking about are the more educated and/or “aware” people, who don’t judge any other religion (Wicca, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) and often express curiosity about them, but openly show disdain toward Christians, even when said Christians aren’t behaving badly.
Kirk Cameron is wrong that he or Christians in general are persecuted in the United States. Far from it. They still hold great gobs of influence and don’t have to worry about being strung up for their beliefs. But it is true that, much like the notion that white men are the only group you can joke about safely now (somewhat true), Christians are one of the few religious groups you can make open fun of with little chance of blowback (unless you’re in the rural portions of the Bible Belt, perhaps).
I say this not to defend Cameron, who had earned all kinds of reasons to be made fun of because there is little thought or logic behind his statements. I say this to remind everyone that Christians are people, too, and most of them aren’t going to bite.
Or even try to convert you.
So let’s band together in making fun of Kirk Cameron, if nothing else.