This week’s question: “Why do you guys single out Christianity?”
As far as I know, the arguments presented in this column only go after the most basic understanding of what God is supposed to be. We never discuss arguments relating to the validity of a particular faith, the historicity of religious figures or the origins of religious sects. We like to focus on the simple claims that one can know God exists, that He does in fact exist and that it actually matters that He exists. We talk about religion in general as a social phenomenon — a curious thing that affects the world around us in seen and unseen ways.
Probably the reason people assume we are attacking Christianity is that most of the arguments we encounter and address usually come from apologists of the three major Abrahamic religions. It is not surprising, then, that if I reject the claim that God exists, the people that come to the defense of the claim actually end up defending not just God, but their faith as well. For me, all I require is basic proof that a god does in fact exist. Theists, on the other hand, want to defend their own personalized god, an iGod.
It is not enough for them that a god just is. They need the god that actually cares about what we believe and do. Me? I’m a PC kind of guy, puto et consulo, the best thing to ward off an Apple from ruining my soul.
David Urzua is a fifth-year philosophy major.
The simple truth of the matter is that the writers of this column are exposed to Christian faith far more than we are faced with any other belief system. Because of the very nature of the column — it answers questions — it is nearly inevitable that our answers will reflect the questions we receive and the readership to which we are speaking. I have not to date received a letter from a Sikh, Taoist or Hindu, but get more than my share of attention from Christians and Muslims.
But aside from practical concerns, the amount of attention I pay to different faiths is still going to vary in intensity. I am not so foolish to say that all religions are equally harmful and I certainly do have my least favorites. I dislike the Mennonite church quite a lot, because many of them indoctrinate and refuse to educate children, prevent abused spouses from achieving divorce and otherwise poison members’ minds with sexist or esteem-destroying nonsense — like, say, the existence of original sin. But the harm that’s done by Mennonites is minor due to their tiny numbers and lack of influence. I see other religions as much greater threats to societal, scientific and moral progress of humanity. Islam and Christianity — with their memberships numbering in the billions, widespread political and social acceptance and particularly brutal, violent holy books — are going to draw most of my ire. Why discuss a leaky faucet when the ship of reason is constantly being gouged by icebergs of ignorance?
Connor Oakes is a third-year political science major.
I try to go out of my way in these articles to not single out or even address Christianity when I can avoid it, but I am certainly not going to deny that I pay a good deal of attention to it in my day-to-day life. If I didn’t live in America and I didn’t see and feel the effects of Christianity every day, I wouldn’t care about it as much as I do now. However, I am not trying to imply that Christianity is just some victim of circumstance coming under fire here. I single it out because it has earned the level of respect I hold for it. While there are some religions out there that are simply worse than Christianity — like Mormonism or Scientology — the big “C” isn’t all that far ahead of them.
Whether or not the individual practitioners of the religion sympathize with the more barbaric tenants of their holy text, the church system has hindered the progress of human rights and scientific advancement for over a thousand years now. Anyone that can find it within themselves to subscribe to a system with such an abhorrent past — and a text which must be either evil or misleading — is deserving of criticism, even if only on the basis of their willingness to follow something without any concrete evidence. Christianity, put simply, is a nuisance, and you can’t sit and ignore an itch without it eventually driving you insane. Christianity’s reach spreads much too far to ignore it and let it go unopposed, especially when it tries to touch our government or education.
Cameron Moody is a second-year computational biology major.