Thursday, August 19, 2010


When Christians say that their faith is under attack - often in headline letters, CHRISTIANITY UNDER ATTACK! - I often find on examination that what they really mean is "Cultural support for Christianity is under attack." Which doesn't sound anywhere near as dramatic, though it may be a bad thing in its own way.

We live in a postchristian culture. This distributes unevenly, and some places and subcultures still offer considerable cultural support for the faith. But I'm from the leading edge of places that offer little cultural support, and much dismissiveness, for Christian belief. Get used to it. We've had much worse to deal with over 20 centuries.


Texan99 said...

I come at this from the opposite direction. I was raised without a faith, and in a time when more and more people were getting comfortable with opening rejecting any faith. When I came to the church rather late in life, I expected to be in a minority. So it's always a surprise to run into someone who admits to being a Christian, or even is willing to be polite about my faith. It's better behavior than I often indulged in during my youth.

Donna B. said...

Experiences differ so much, don't they? I was very religious for a long time, but alienated from the organized religion of my parents. That church has changed a lot over the years and I still attend on some family occasions.

I tried several denominations over the years finally settling on Catholicism, and raising my children there.

Nowadays it might be fair to call me an unbeliever, though serious doubter might be more accurate. But I live in an area where one's job and/or social status would be threatened were one to express such doubt.

And I'm a little disturbed at the pressure Obama is being put under to declare a belief. I know a lot of it appears to be coming from the "is he a Muslim" crowd, but I think that's a subset of the "does he really like America" group. The truth is that across the nation our politicians are under a lot of pressure to declare themselves Christians and even more pressure to declare a belief, with some being far more acceptable than others.

Keeping all that in mind, Christianity IS under attack by outspoken arrogant atheists with big microphones and amplifiers. I blame Darwin. And Bush, of course.

karrde said...

As long as you mention Obama, I think he is a narcissist in the sense meant by the ancient Greeks. He is in love with his own image.

He may be nominally Christian. If so, it is a pattern comfortable with the teachings of Rev. Wright. (Prophetic about perceived present evils, probably imagining devilish conspiracies among men, yet not seeing the behavior of real evil spirits, nor seeing the evil of cursing fellow-men while claiming to worship God.)
Outside of that mention, I understand that the phrase "post-Christian" means that culture has kept the sense of wrongdoing and salvation therefrom, but lost sense of Supernatural as both external reality and potentially active Agent in the Natural world.

The sages and doyens of Present Knowledge formulate their measures of good and evil by things seen in the present and the recent past. The moral sense they use contains scraps of knowledge gained from the Christian Age, but not in a manner that answers to a coherent Moral vision (either Christian or non-Christian).

There appear to be vestiges of belief in God as the Ultimate Caregiver, a being to beseech comfort from great calamities happen.

I don't know if the past Christian Age was as purely Christian as modern believers seem to remember that it was. But it was qualitatively different from the current Age.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My take has been that Obama sees himself as a Kwisatz Haderach, able to unite the poles in his one glorious self: both black and white, American and internationalist, elite and victim, capitalist and socialist,Christian and Muslim. He and his supporters would put that less negatively, but say much the same. His autobiographies revolve around questions of identity, and end in synthesis, in good dialectical fashion.

But I don't think the synthesis is there (I question whether Hegelian dialectic ever ends in actual synthesis). I think it's just pieces left hanging, saying "me too."

That is what I have believed. But Occams's Beard over at Neo's has a darker view that I don't have a good counter to.

Multiple comments between 1/4 and 1/2 way through.