Saturday, July 20, 2019

My New Favorite Bumper Sticker -or- Why I Have Given Up on Religion

      I love bumper stickers. Certainly many of them are mundane and forgettable, but occasionally I run across a gem. My favorite, up until recently, was "Against abortion? Don't have one." I appreciate the general theme that what another chooses to do is none of my business.
     My new favorite appeared within the last week, well worn on the back end of a pick-up truck. Fortunately we were detained at a traffic light long enough for me to see it clearly and remember it. Here you go:
I like your Christ.
I don't like your Christians.
They are so unlike your Christ.
      Before you freak out, send me hate comments or get defensive, I know plenty of fine folks who identify themselves as Christians who are quite Christ-like. 
     What I have no patience for is Christians complaining that they are being persecuted in a country built on freedom of religion. It appears to me that those Christians want the freedom for themselves, but not for anyone who looks or believes differently from them. Alas, freedom doesn't work that way. Also, supporting Trump and his racist and lying ways only makes the Christians referenced by the bumper sticker appear even more "unlike Christ." 
     I am not an atheist. I believe in a higher power. I have a very rich and satisfying spiritual life, thanks to over three decades of recovery in a 12-step program. I was raised in an ultra-conservative religious sect, have passed through several others, and even worked in a church office for six years. I can even state that the church office job was the best one I ever had--I loved it. I've made many good friends through my previous religious associations. But I can also state that in all my working years, the most abusive behavior ever directed at me was by a few "Christian" church members.
     I believe that Christ gave us an excellent example of how to live well. It is unfortunate to me that at this point in time, I would be uncomfortable being labeled as a Christian. And lastly, I want to throw in the gentle reminder that the United States is NOT a Christian nation. It is a very blessed nation where, at least for now, one can practice any religion (including none) that one so chooses. 
     No labels please,

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