Christians should really be renamed, collectively, "The Undecided." The Christian religion is notorious for its varying accounts and assertions about what happened in the past, and what will happen in the future. There are various sects i.e. Protestants, Catholics, Lutherans etc. None of which can agree, even on simple points of their religion, yet they are all classified as being Christianity. I cannot possibly take a religion seriously, when I get wildly different answers depending upon the particular church door I knock on.
A few months ago, there was a fairly prominent Christian group within America that began making claims about the end of time, Judgement Day was coming, and those that have not been saved, would be banished to Hell for all eternity. The Christian community was divided, some bought into this extravagant view, while others denounced it. This of course, never happened, but what bothers me most is when I discuss this event with Christians, they claim to be separate from this group of world-ending-followers. They make statements like "they are crazy!" "That's not what Christians believe," and "I never believed in that." My problem with all of this, is that Christians are refusing to accept responsibility for their even more eccentric group of followers. The reality is that Protestants believe Catholics to be wrong in how they practice their religion, Lutherans believe that Methodists are a bit crazy and "have it all wrong." So how is this group of world-ending-followers any different? They all call themselves Christians, and as such, need to take responsibility for all of their followers.
Islamic followers have struggled with this very issue, as Islamic extremists are blamed for many terror attacks around the world, they are still considered followers of Islam, however, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and very against violence. Likewise, there have been a number of terror attacks in the name of Christianity, most notably, the recent attack in Norway. Interestingly, the whole of Christianity was not to blame (in the public's world view) for the attack, but Islam still struggles today to clear its name from its association with terrorism.
This all brings me back to the title of my post "Why Christianity is Likely to be the Worst Religion on Our Planet." This all seems to come down to interpretation. It seems that every Christian interprets the Bible differently. This difference is not so widespread with other religions. In my experience, you are much more likely to get the same answers about a person's religion if they consider themselves anything other than Christian. Ask two Muslims their religion's view on gay marriage, ask two Buddhists their religion's view on gay marriage, ask two Jews their religion's view on gay marriage, and you are likely to get similar answers within religions. Ask two Christian's their religion's view on gay marriage, and the answers you receive are likely to be wildly different!
It's difficult enough as it is to argue rationally with someone that is not rational, but worse yet when the irrational people can't keep their stories straight.
If you are religious, and especially a Christian, I hope that you do not take offense to my writing, but rather, consider it a critical review of how your institution conducts itself. We are all in need of a little self-review every now and again, and all too often the majority groups are too privileged to ever critique themselves, or receive a critique from others. I hope you will consider these points, and use them to make the world a better place, with or without religion.
-The Atheist Physician