Sometimes when I'm talking to someone who's not a Christian, I get this thought in my head that goes something like, "I wish they'd just read the Bible. I won't push it, because I don't like religious debates, but it'd be really nice." Then I think that they'll be fine, I leave it alone, it's okay. Really, it's not that important to me to get them to read the Bible.
But other times I get that exact same thought in my head when I'm talking to OTHER CHRISTIANS. The "Has this guy ever considered reading the Bible?" thought. And that's bad.
I got in an almost-debate with a guy at lunch today, it started with an innocent conversation but basically lead up to how kids in colleges were being "forced" to read the Q'uran. First off, I doubt this was true. But even if it was true, I thought it was okay. I mean, they're not forced to believe in what it's saying, they just need to know about what the Islamic religion is all about. We should all know what the Islamic religion is about, for many reasons.
So the other guy makes a statement about how, "If they were forced to read the Bible, people would be up in arms" and I said that was because it'd be too easy to push religion on kids, and it's not really necessary. We live in a Christian nation where most students know what Christianity is about. Having some christianity in a general religion class is important, but it's not as important as covering Islam, because the general population just doesn't know about it. In music classes, why don't the cover the backstreet boys? Because kids already know about it. I told him we already lived in a Christian nation, and I was really bothered when some Christians acted like we were being freaking oppressed and persecuted for beliefs. We're not being fed to lions anymore, it's time to admit this. Other groups aren't so lucky.
He got all upset about how the world was ending or something, how kids in school aren't allowed to write reports about Jesus, how they bleeped out the word "Jesus" on The View or something once, I stopped listening. Whatever. Basically, his point was that society is going downhill fast and he even quoted George Washington as saying something about how we never should have taken the Bible out of public schools, I don't even know.
I'm always bothered by the whole "prayer in schools" movement. A lot of what bothers me is just mis-education... members of my faith seem to think that a kid will get taken out and shot if he thanks God for his crappy school lunch, which isn't true. Prayer is very legal in schools. Kids can pray, they can pray in groups, teachers can pray alone, kids can bring Bibles to school, it's all very okay. What isn't legal is a teacher leading his class in prayer, and let's face it, why would anyone want a teacher to lead a class in prayer? What if the druid teacher thought it was okay to lead her class in prayer? Wouldn't that just thrill some right-wingers? heh.
And this is where the Bible comes in. One of my favorite stories is the one where Jesus is asked what the most important thing for us to do is. He lists two things. First, we must love God. Second, we must love our neighbor. Not convert our neighbor. Not make sure our neighbor is sleeping with members of the opposite sex only. It just doesn't come up in the conversation. What does come up, in another chapter, is how we are supposed to convert our peers first by living as examples of what God wants us to be. After we're living as examples, then we can use some words, but sparingly. How is, "Kids, we're all going to pray to MY God NOW because we can." loving a neighbor? It's being pushy and disrespectful. Yes, you might get a convert in there somewhere eventually, but was it really worth your soul?
Priorities, people! It says it in the Bible, if you've ever read it, you'd know!
So now I'm tiffed at my religion again, and I just wish I could meet some vocal Christians who aren't crazy. Who believe that seeking God for ourselves is the most important thing. Who aren't afraid of letting homosexuals teach our kids, because for God's sake, even if homosexuality is a sin does anyone have any idea how low it ranks on the "list of shitty stuff you can do"?
I just had a long conversation with my sister about how her college group tried to get "or sexual orientation" put on the topeka law about how you can't evict someone from rental property because of race, sex, or religion. The topeka board members were threatened in their homes! Hundreds of otherwise perfectly normal people turned out to say Topeka was going to hell for this. It made me so made, and worse, ashamed to be a Christian, because these people can't listen to themselves and think about what they're doing to their neighbors and brothers and sisters.
I want to go up to 100 Christians and ask them if they think that's right, because in my heart I'm trying to believe that those hateful people are just a vocal minority giving us all a bad name.
But I'm sometimes afraid of the answers I might get. And it makes me sick to even think about it.