Does Christianity have a narrow view of morality and ignore real evils while accepting imaginary ones?
I return once again to examining the ramblings of Chaz Bufe, atheist, anarchist, Communist philosopher, and week-end blues guitar player.
He wrote up a tract entitled 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity. I have taken it upon myself to consider each one of his reasons in turn so as to determine if it is a legitimate reason or not. So far what I have discovered is a man who is bitter against the Roman Catholic Church and has self-inflicted blindness to the severe problems of his own chosen worldview of atheistic anarchy.
Points 11 and 12 are short and contain similar complaints, so I will consider each one in turn.
11. Christianity has an exceedingly narrow, legalistic view of morality. Christianity not only reduces, for all practical purposes, the question of morality to that of sexual behavior, but by listing its prohibitions, it encourages an “everything not prohibited is permitted” mentality. So, for instance, medieval inquisitors tortured their victims, while at the same time they went to lengths to avoid spilling the blood of those they tortured—though they thought nothing of burning them alive. Another very relevant example is that until the latter part of the 19th century Christians engaged in the slave trade, and Christian preachers defended it, citing biblical passages, from the pulpit. Today, with the exception of a relatively few liberal churchgoers, Christians ignore the very real evils plaguing our society—poverty; homelessness; hunger; militarism; a grossly unfair distribution of wealth and income; ecological despoliation exacerbated by corporate greed; overpopulation; sexism; racism; homophobia; freedom-denying, invasive drug laws; an inadequate educational system; etc., etc.—unless they’re actively working to worsen those evils in the name of Christian morality or “family values.”
12. Christianity encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils. Organized Christianity is a skillful apologist for the status quo and all the evils that go along with it. It diverts attention from real problems by focusing attention on sexual issues, and when confronted with social evils such as poverty glibly dismisses them with platitudes such as, “The poor ye have always with you.” When confronted with the problems of militarism and war, most Christians shrug and say, “That’s human nature. It’s always been that way, and it always will.” One suspects that 200 years ago their forebears would have said exactly the same thing about slavery.
As I have noted in previous entries, Chaz has what some would call “issues” with Roman Catholicism. It has impacted his psyche so much that his perspective on Christianity remains quagmired in the 15th century. Even though the Inquisition hasn’t operated for a few hundred years, Chaz still maintains a jaundiced view of reality concerning the historic Christian faith, and of course shuts his eyes to the actions taken by leaders of modern secular societies, motivated by atheistic anarchist philosophy, who “force” their views of the world upon the populace by “special” means.
Chaz’s complaint this time is that Christian morality is narrow and legalistic, and as a result, Christians have a warped sense of right and wrong. Christians focus on imaginary evils, as Chaz claims under number 12, while ignoring real evil like sexism.
Some quick thoughts in response:
First. I find his comment against Christians under number 12 to be fantastic. Chaz writes, When confronted with the problems of militarism and war, most Christians shrug and say, “That’s human nature. It’s always been that way, and it always will.”
Wait a second. I thought Chaz affirmed biological evolution? Isn’t it human nature – yea, the very Darwinian explanation about human life – that we are to fight to survive? According to Chaz’s world view of Darwinianism, how else could humanity even emerge from our primordial ancestors to be what we are today unless we took aggressive attitudes to stand and fight against those other life-forms that threatened to wipe us out? Pacifism and anti-war slogans are insufficient means to bring about evolution on Chaz’s anarchist planet.
Moreover, Chaz is an atheist. Why is he concerned with the moral right and wrong? I hate to beat the proverbial dead horse, because I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but if the world sprung into existence by random processes and all biological life, including human, is a product of unpredictable naturalism, why should Chaz even care about right and wrong? Who is it that declares what is right and wrong according to Chaz? Individuals? Societies? Cultures? Who has set the morals from which Chaz, sitting upon his anarchist high horse, can pass judgment upon us goofball Christians? I thought Chaz was attempting to argue against restricted, narrow, and legalistic morality? Yet here he is wanting everyone else to conform to HIS perspective on morality. What a phony hypocrite.
Take for instance his complaining about homelessness and those suffering in poverty. As a materialistic atheist, why should Chaz care about such individuals? For all he knows their condition is brought upon them due to natural selection. Perhaps those individuals are mentally weak, what the old eugenists termed, “feable-minded,” and their poverty and homelessness is the means by which evolution selects them out of the population so as to strengthen it? How could Chaz know one way or the other?
That is not to say Chaz is an immoral person, or atheists in general are unethical. The difficulty is with the justification of his chosen perspective on life. Sure, Chaz the atheist can live in moral uprightness toward his fellow man, but his world view of atheism, built upon the tooth and claw of Darwinian evolution, provides no sound reason as to why he should, and it certainly doesn’t provide him with a gavel to use against the behavior of those people with whom he disagrees.
Second. It is a fact of historical note that Christians theists are the ones who addressed those societal ills Chaz lists way before atheists ever did. The Salvation Army tackled homelessness, as did George Mueller when he started his orphanage. Many Christians both in the north and the south addressed slavery before the Civil War began, and it was the steady activism of evangelical Christians in England led by William Wilberforce who eventually got the slave trade abolished.
Most of the other so-called societal problems Chaz claims Christians ignore are not really genuine social problems, but matters of personal, philosophical opinion. Over-population, ecological despoliation brought on by corporate greed, sexism, and homophobia, are extremely exaggerated as products of hysterical liberals, if not entirely fictional to begin with.
Ironically, as Chaz complains how Christians ignore serious evils in the world because of their narrow morality, in reality, it is those folks who agree with Chaz’s socialist perspective on society who are the most intolerant and narrow. They are the ones who insist upon special sensitivity training of those who do not think the same way as they do on a given position. Anyone who disagrees with their views are labeled a bigot and is made to take diversity training so as to get into line. Think about the militant gays demanding everyone applaud their sodomy or else have their businesses shut down and assigned to reeducation camp.