Is Christianity Inherently Good?
I posted the comment below in response to a blog http://www.custercountynews.com/cms/news/story-718827.html with a common theme: the great wisdom of our founding fathers (U.S.) in recognizing Christianity as our guiding principle (even though what they often said was more deist than Christian and some were no doubt paying lip service to God as men in politics often need to do).
The blogger sets up his thesis, first, with his knowledge of what was in Washington’s mind, ‘With the clear understanding that God governs over the daily affairs of man and rules over the destiny of nations, Washington avowed shortly thereafter in his inaugural address [then Washington’s words], “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…”
The blogger’s thesis fairly developed in these two paragraphs:
“Our Founding Fathers never intended for the Constitution to be twisted by our court system to impose an atheist-humanist dominion as the foundation of our laws. The Constitution of the U.S. certainly protects the freedom of citizens to openly practice any (or no) religion—providing that such practices not express themselves in deviant or socially violent behavior.
These protections, however, were never intended to oblige official governmental indifference toward Christianity, or worse yet, create hostility toward Christianity. In fact, Christianity, whose moral virtue was well recognized for promoting benevolence and good-will toward those of other faiths, was deemed to be an essential foundation for true pluralism, or true religious tolerance. There is significant legal support for this guiding principle, including Charleston v. Benjamin, 1846 (Christianity was cited as that “Noble safeguard of religious toleration”) and Lindenmuller v. The People, 1860 (“This liberty of conscience in matters of faith and practice is entirely consistent with the existence, in fact, of the Christian religion”).”
My comment on the blog
Struggle though they might, those who would have freed us entirely from religion’s intrusion into politics in the Continental Congress couldn’t overcome the religious fervor of those who would impose religion upon us.
Christianity has had a better upside than it might have had; in seeking to do good without proselytizing it has achieved it’s greatest accomplishments.
Whether it’s a good idea to let religion hold sway over a civilization, though, can be considered clearly from the perspective of Christianity’s brethren religion, Islam. Would we want our institutions all beholden to Islam? Surely, if we were all born in a Muslim country, most of us would be Muslims.
Humanism puts people ahead of religion and religious dogma. When you look to the Middle East you might well think those countries could use a little bit of that. Islamic nations didn’t have the Enlightenment that Christian Europe did. In the Middle Ages, Christianity put upwards of 500,000 to death for their variance in belief from strict dogma. The humanist Enlightenment allowed our humanity to come through to overcome that mindset and helped Christianity to see the error of it’s ways.
Christianity like Islam and every other organization or institution isn’t good no matter what it does, rather it is good when it chooses correctly to be good and do good.
Entry filed under: freethought.