I’m building a website with launch-pad style lessons to get people interested in expanding their horizons and learning new things. Part of the Humanities section includes Religion, and I’ve been building introductory pieces on the 6 major religions. My goal is to make sure each is seen positively, so we can learn to love each other more and glory in our similarities.
I started with Buddhism, usually seen as one of the most peaceful of all religions. A picture of happy monks and resources full of enlightened and loving Buddhists were easy to find, and the lesson came together quickly. I then moved to Islam, one of the most misunderstood and often demonized religions. (It was hard to find quality videos from actual Muslims through all of the Christian-made anti-Islam videos on YouTube.) What I found was a rich history, beautiful culture, and peaceful doctrine. I felt good, and love, while accumulating my resources, and I was happy with the results which would hopefully inspire others to learn more.
All was going well, until I reached Christianity.
Previously, these launch-pad lessons would take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to put together. Christianity took over 2 hours. This was not because of the wealth of information out there, but because I was trying to avoid bias and present each religion with positive, encouraging resources. I had a hard time finding any. I consider myself to be a Christian because I try to adhere to the teachings of Jesus (though, this apparently is not the definition of Christianity as per mainstream Christians, which is focused on adherence to a set of doctrines they have deemed appropriate, regardless of their relationship to Christ himself), so I had a great incentive to find videos and websites which would portray Christianity in the loving and enlightened way I was able to find with the other religions I had done.
What I found were a myriad of Christian-made videos and sites that grudgingly touted themselves as the only true religion in a “my God can kick your god’s butt” sort of way. There were so many videos from Christians explaining why the other religions were evil. To be fair, there were a number of anti-Christian videos as well, but those were from atheists, not from other religions who profess love to all. I had to look hard for the resources I did find, and even then was not 100% pleased with the results, as I still had nothing which promoted love and acceptance from a Christian point of view.
What I witnessed was an online crusade of sorts, with a lot less blood, but not any less hate. I did find a host of videos from the LDS Church, but since they are not technically considered Christians by other denominations for the reasons stated previously, I felt it unfair to use their videos to promote Christianity when Christianity itself rejects them.
I came to a conclusion. If I were to start over again in my search for religion based on the information available to me on the internet, I would not choose Christianity.
Based on the facts of history and the fruits of labor via Google and YouTube search, Christianity fails to promote love, understanding, self-analysis, betterment, and enlightenment. I look at Christ’s teachings, and the results of them in his followers, and feel sad for him. In the realm of great prophets, he stands to be the least respected by his own people. I’m not talking about the “radicals”, etc which we find in almost all religions, either. I’m talking about the main body of followers. In Christianity, Jesus is merely an idol to be worshiped, not a God to be feared, or leader to be followed, or prophet to be believed, or even a respectable guy to take advice from.
So, maybe it’s not such a bad thing that Christians don’t consider me one of them.
At least Christ can consider me truly his.