Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christians Who Don't Believe In The Separation Of Church And State Are Not Really Being Christ Like

I respect atheists who lead a good life because they simply choose to, rather than because of the fear of some sort of atonement should they not behave themselves. Often atheists believe there is no god because it is a belief that is both logical and intelligent, especially given the alternatives demonstrated in the myriad of evil doing that has transpired in the name of organized religion. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, something that in present day America seems to be a dying concept even though the idea surely demonstrated the often ignored brilliance of some of our country's founders.

I was raised an Irish Catholic and now generally think of myself as more agnostically or open theism inclined then Catholic when it comes to matters of spirituality. One of the main reasons I stopped being a practicing Catholic was because I had a difficult time reconciling how religious people, especially Christians and Catholics could justify violence, vilifying the weak, poor, killing, hating gays, war and all the other evil they promote in the name of Jesus as being something that Jesus would approve of under any circumstances. In my limited understanding of Christ's teachings modern Christian dogma seems to be completely contrary to Christ's actual teachings and more often than not a justification for widespread hypocritical behavior. Like other progressives I have often wondered how all this hypocritical behavior, lying, killing and promotion of violence by these righteous Christian folks could ever be justified as being Christ like.

Gregory Boyd is a theologian and failed Catholic who now preaches and writes extensively on how Christians have it completely wrong if they believe that the mixture of church and state is acceptable behavior. Boyd in fact says that mixing the two is the opposite of what Jesus would want them to do. Boyd's book, The Myth Of A Christian Nation: how the quest for political power is destroying the church, caused quite a stir when it was first published in 2006. He was called a heretic by his fellow Christians and generally attacked by those on the political right, a sign that he must be preaching something intelligent. Boyd believes that Christians who think Jesus would approve of war and violence of any kind are missing Christ's message.

Although I don't agree with everything Boyd says during the three part interview below from the Charlie Rose's show in 2006, I think that most of what he says about present day politically involved Christians if pretty much directly on point, and worth the time to watch.

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