Most of you know that I was raised a Catholic. Few of you know that I once considered entering the priesthood, or that while I was in elementary school, I went to 6 a.m. mass every morning by myself for a year. I read the bible and memorized the ten commandments and the eight beatitudes. I will never forget many of the teachings of my family, or the priests in our parish.
My daughter is a minister in a small Christian church. Although today I am one of nearly 75 million Americans who refuse to be a member of any organized religion, my daughter and I share a common belief: most Americans who claim to be Christians do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Evangelicals call themselves ‘Christians;’ they are not. They are religious extremists who use religion for their own advantage.
Most evangelicals continue to support Donald John Trump. This is proof that these fake-Christians are hypocrites. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ you cannot support a sexual predator, a liar, a racist, or a man who openly promotes anger, hatred, and violence. Today, with his failure to address the coming pandemic quickly and aggressively, he is also guilty of the murder of hundreds of our nation’s people.
Let me add to this a fallacious claim by DJT and evangelicals that the United States is the “greatest country in the world.” It is not. We are no better, and in some cases worse than other developed nations. We have many problems; problems which prevent anyone from claiming that we are a “great nation.” As long as there is widespread racism, greed, a government which ignores the needs of the people they were elected to serve, primarily healthcare, poverty, and homelessness, we are at best an average nation of diverse people.
Along with that thought, no one can claim that Christianity is the one true religion. It is one of the religions practiced in America, one of many, and all are protected by the first amendment.
Finally, some facts. The fastest growing number of people related to religion are called “Religion None.” I am a member of that group. I share the beliefs of 75 million other men and women who refuse to allow a man or woman standing behind a pulpit telling me how to live my life. If religious leaders cannot answer my questions satisfactorily, I refuse to accept their suggestion that I become a member of their congregations. I do believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, but believe him to have been a prophet, not the “Son of God.”
In America, Christian churches are experiencing fewer new converts than other religions. Younger Americans are less likely to become members of any organized religion, and those who do choose a single faith are statistically more likely to accept the Religion of Islam and Buddhism than others.
The ‘Christian Religious Right’ is one of the greatest dangers to the future of the nation of our founding fathers.
The Truth Lives Here
Op-ed by James Turnage
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