More reasons why I am not a Christian

religion and morality


I am no longer a practicing Christian, but I have some respect for the founder of the religion; he said some very profound things about how to treat other people, and how to think about our lives on earth.

Which is why I am so charmed by this comment, made by Stephen Colbert:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Like most people, I love the idea of altruism. Sometimes I’m actually altruistic myself. I spent three and a half years of my life as a Peace Corps volunteer, which I suppose counts for something, but I have to admit it wasn’t exactly like spending time in prison; I had some pretty entertaining times in Morocco and Tunisia, and quite a few laughs.

Sometimes I try to help the needy. I contribute what I can, when I can. A British friend in Morocco gave me advice on how to deal with the armies of beggars there: “Choose one whom you see every day. Give him or her some money on a regular basis. You will have done your duty.” I still remember this. There’s one homeless woman in downtown Providence who sings and preaches on the street corner, and who always smiles when she sees me and says “God bless you.” I give her money when I have a bit extra.

But I’m also very selfish. I think of my own needs before those of others.

I am very far from being Christlike.

Which is why I shudder with revulsion when I watch and listen to the soldiers of the Christian Right – people like the repugnant Pat Robertson – spout all kinds of hate and nonsense.

They claim Christ as their lord and savior, and then they act as if the New Testament and all of the things Jesus said and did were irrelevant.

They have created a religion in their own image.

They can have it.

As Ringo Starr said to the followers of Kahili in the movie “Help!”: “Get sacrificed! I don’t subscribe to your religion!”


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

4 Responses to More reasons why I am not a Christian

  1. starproms says:

    Thank you for the reminder of ‘Help’. I loved that film when it first came out and since. Loved the sayings in there and often find myself saying ‘Kayili’ like Eleonor Bron in some of my ‘mad’ moments! As for Christ, well, he’s wonderful isn’t he, but why didn’t he write anything down?

    • I wish Jesus had written his own book too. Ah, well. As for “Help”: this also is one of my favorite movies. There’s a wonderful moment – I’m sure you remember it – when she saves Paul from death, and looks into the camera, and says in her low soft voice, “I am not what I seem.” Wonderful!

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