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JLeslie's avatar

Christians: would it make you very nervous if Christianity was no longer the majority religion in America?

Asked by JLeslie (55347points) April 26th, 2010

If so, what do you think would be different? What specifically are your fears?

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49 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Sorry to answer first with a non-firsthand experience question, but I have a relevant anecdote… New Mexico has a sizable Sikh community in Espanola just north of Santa Fe. In the process of planning the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast (sponsored by the company I worked for), which involved a highly convoluted seating arrangement process that would leave 40 percent of the guests in a banquet room separate from the main banquet room where the governor was going to be speaking, one of our company’s executives expressed heightened concern that “there would be more Sikhs than Christians at the favored tables.”

Catholics, by the way, have long been admonished to support efforts to “keep it Catholic” whether that meant an educational institution or other sphere of influence.

Facade's avatar

Nope. I’m not a Christian because it’s the “it” thing to do.

JLeslie's avatar

@kevbo can you explain what you mean by the “keep it Catholic” an example maybe?

Cruiser's avatar

Being an ex-patriot Catholic, I think it would make more people nervous that you lump all Christians together. God forbid you associate a Baptist with Catholic fundamentals and ideals or visa versa! and then the fight started

cfrydj's avatar

For those of you who think something along the lines of “yes” to this question, keep in mind that right now is your opportunity to respect and uphold minority rights (same-sex marriage, etc.) in case someday you find yourself in the minority and are looking for your own rights to be respected.

CaptainHarley's avatar

God is still God. He needs neither a majority of voters nor help from individuals/groups to make sure things turn out the way he/she wants them to.

As to supporting minorities, of whatever stripe, I consider the human race as one huge family. We are all equal in the eyes of God and the law, and whatever gives people a bit of happiness in this crazy world is something I’m all for.

JLeslie's avatar

Honestly, I hold Catholics in a separate category. Every Catholic I know feels disliked by the other Christian faiths, and they all seem to have incredible tolerance and respect for other religions in my experience. They also grasp the idea of separation of church and state very well for the most part. Catholics rarely get to vote for Catholics, so I think they get the minority perspective.

Qingu's avatar

@CaptainHarley, actually, in the eyes of God and the law, women are worth about 2/5 as much as men. Unbelievers/foreigners can also be enslaved for their lifetimes (as opposed to believers), and in some cases need to be genocided.

emergence's avatar

I’m not Christian, but I would be concerned if Islam became the majority religion because of their attitudes and beliefs toward “non-believers” and I wouldn’t trust that Islamic law wouldn’t be implemented in government.

Nullo's avatar

Not nervous. Sad, perhaps.
I would start to get nervous when they started legislating against Christianity, though.

cazzie's avatar

Oh my… this sooo reminds me of the movie… Life of Brian.

kevbo's avatar

@JLeslie, I guess it’s primarily a cause for Catholic education, which would mean making Catholic doctrine part of the curriculum for all students (regardless of their belief, I suppose) and ensuring the faculty is comprised predominately of practicing Catholics. Here’s a Google search with more examples.

Regarding Catholics and other Christian religions, my experience as a former practicing Catholic (and now during Catholic weddings and funerals that I happen to attend), is hearing the message that Catholicism is Christianity’s one true religion and path to salvation. There are even official prayers for the reunification of the Catholic church (meaning bringing the Protestants and Eastern Orthodoxers back into the fold). Only Catholics get salvation, so they say.

I didn’t realize until very recently that Protestants look down on Catholics and believe they won’t be saved because they don’t have a direct relationship with God. Comical.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Qingu

I have no idea where you come up with this BS, and I really don’t care, but you need to be aware that you are becoming tiresome with all the untruths and cynicism.

Qingu's avatar

I’m more than happy to quote chapter and verse, @CaptainHarley.

Though in your defense, it appears I was incorrect about the 2/5 figure. As it turns out, per Leviticus 27:2, women are worth anywhere from ½ to ⅔ of what a man is worth, depending on age.

Other verses for my “BS”: Leviticus 25:45, Deuteronomy 20:10 and onwards, and of course the entire book of Joshua.

Of course, I’m not surprised that a Christian is totally unfamiliar with the content of his holy book.

JLeslie's avatar

@kevbo I have no problems with religious schools, if a Catholic prefers their children go to Catholic school it makes perfect sense to me. I just don’t want religion in the public schools, most Catholics I know agree with that sentiment. However, most of the Christians around me in the bible belt want prayer back and school, and hate how things are “changing.” Oh, and they still have corporal punishment in the public schools (I mean I was shocked that still exists in America when I learned this a couple of years ago), which to them seems to be part of their religion or something. They complain that the kids can’t have any fun anymore in school, because they can’t have a Christmas party, all sorts of ridiculous in my opinion. Why can’t you still have a party?

Another thing is a lot of people talk about getting rid of the public school system or vouchering it to death. Here they could care less if the population gets educated, they only care about their own kid. This would essentually turn the country into the third world. If you look at Latin America it essentially is a Catholic education, because most of the good private schools are Catholic, and the public schools aren’t very good, and the average education is fairly low in the countries (not all countries, I think Colombia is very educated from what I remember, Mexico has an average of a 5th grade education, not sure of the rest). So, if you take away from the public system, you probably will turn the country into a religiously educated country I’m thinking. Even people outside of the faith might send their kids to the better schools which might be religious (I actually had a guy who worked for me who was Catholic, but when he lived in Mexico he went to the Jewish school, because that was the better school). But, again, I don’t hear my Catholic friends pushing for these things, just the Christians.

Qingu's avatar

I’ve never met a kid who would describe a Christmas party as “fun.”

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Qingu

Just like the jihadists, anyone can justify anything out of a “holy book.” Quoting out of context from the Old Testament does not impress me. It simply makes you look shallow and naieve.

JLeslie's avatar

I like when @Qingu quotes the bible.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Oh well, birds of a feather, eh? : D

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Not sure what that means? I could not quote the bible if I tried, and @Qingu and I disagree quite often.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Well GOOD! There’s hope for you yet! : D

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley he does it typically when Christians are ignoring the very book they are touting, it makes sense.

zophu's avatar

Christianity has been less popular than Monetaryism since the invasions. And before that, there were only native American religions. Faith in a non-existent God, faith in a non-existent value of currency—both religions. And Jesus has never been more popular than the designated metal or paper of the time. Hell, now it’s almost all just digital numbers. There’s your most popular god, and its religion.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@zophu See? You really don’t understand, do you? Jesus and God have no interest in, or need of, popularity contests. God is indifferent to assertions that he does not exist, although I’m sure they sadden him. People take some culturally imbedded verse from the Old Testament and quote it out of the context of the whole bible, and say, “See! The bible says you should do this or that or the other thing.” It’s possible to take virtually any book and find something to take out of context that will lead intellectually challenged people to conclude the book is nonsense. It takes an intellectually honest, patient man or woman to read the entire bible and suspend judgment until understanding comes.

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley I went back to your first answer. It seems you believe that since God has the answers, a plan (not sure of a better way to word it) you are not concerned if the majority of people in the country are Christian or not. Do I have that right?

zophu's avatar

@CaptainHarley You can find true wisdom in a rock if you think about it enough.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Um… kinda. Let’s see if I can explalin this.

If God really IS God, then his/her existence does not depend upon us believing on her/him. God is both pre and post-existent, thereby knowing all things. God gave us free will for his/her own reasons, so although God has a plan for the universe, WE can exercise that free will to slightly alter that plan, particularly where our own futures are concerned.

The number of christians is far smaller than the number who profess to be christians because God holds christains to a far higher standard than she/he does non-christians. So it is HIGHLY unlikely that christians have EVER formed a majority in this Country… or in any other.

The job of a christian is to set an example of what God wants us to be, so that others will see this and ask “Why the joy? Why are you different?” It is NOT the job of christians to go on television and work people up emotionally to the point where they avow themselves “cured” of lothesome diseases. God calls christians to lead by example, to love him/her with all their hearts, to love their fellow humans as much as they love themselves, and to “help the widows and orphans in their distress” ( i.e. people who are hungry or who have no home or who have few clothes, etc ). He/she does not call christians to become embroiled in politics, although I’m certain she/he does expect us to vote, if we live in a democracy. Christians are expected to live simply, rendering respect to those to whom respect is due, and honor to those to whom honor is due, and to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

Does that help at all? : )

Cupcake's avatar

It’s an interesting question, @JLeslie… kind of like asking a white man what it would feel like to be a black woman. Most would have no clue.

As a member of a religious minority, I know how it feels to have my bosses set my coworkers against me, to have them tell me that they don’t want to be friends with me because I’m going to hell, to not be able to take my religious holy days off of work, to have to jump through hoops to fit my religious calendar into my school/work schedule, to not be able to shop in a grocery store or eat in a restaurant on a Christian holiday, to have my faith and its history ignored in social studies classes, etc. I don’t think most Christians can imagine how that feels.

snowberry's avatar

@Qingu I do know a bit at least, of how women were seen and treated in the Old Testament. It’s not pretty. I first learned this from reading Why Not Women by Cunningham and Hamilton. It’s fascinating reading, and it’s also very disturbing.

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Honestly, not really.

Picture it – 20% of the country is Jewish, 20% percent Muslim, 20% Buddhist, 20% Christian, and 20% other. Your local community might be 90% non Christian, the teachers in the public schools are mostly non-Christian, many times during elections for political representatives there is not a Christian running for office in your district, for senate, for Governor, for President. Do you feel comfortable? Or, is it strange to you to now be the minority? Does keeping religion out of politics become more important to you?

CaptainHarley's avatar

As I said above, christians have always been a minority.

zophu's avatar

@CaptainHarley Your mind might break if you ever realize that things exist only because we believe they do. You’re not looking at anything but a bunch of lines with the occasional dot right now. Or are you?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@zophu Do you want to discuss String Theory??

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Christians are a minority in the US?

zophu's avatar

@CaptainHarley Was that a joke about my lines and dots reference, or do you have a point to make?

cause I don’t understand the string theory. it seems really presumptuous though.

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley I get what you are saying that people say they are Christians when they don’t meed your standard of calling themselves Christian, but that does not answer my question really.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Look… only God can say who is and who isn’t a christian. But if love is the center of christianity, as I am certain it is, something is greatly amiss. We are told that one of the ways to tell when people are christians is that they love one another. Do you see this in the US today? Somehow I don’t THINK so. Christians are admonished to “love your neighbor at least as much as they love themselves. Do YOU see this very often in the US? Me either!

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley So, I am going to assume from your answer you are fine with separation of church and state, secular public school, and voting for non-Christians.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@zophu

A joke? Not at all! I thought that’s what you were referring to.

zophu's avatar

@CaptainHarley If you follow this philosophy of yours too well, you’re going to accidentally not be religious anymore.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Indeed I am! On the school issue, I have a real problem when teachers dinigrate christianity ( or any religion, for that matter ), but other than that, I have no problem. As a matter of fact, I intensely dislike it when certain so-called “chrisitians” try to insert “creationism” into the school curriculum.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@zophu

I have never considered myself to be “religious.” : )

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley No one should be denigrated, of course I agree. Honestly, in school I can’t undertsand religion really coming up, except in a comparative religion class. Thanks for clarifying.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

I would love to see the schools offer courses in spirituality, comparative religion, and the history of religion.

My pleasure, my friend. : ))

Qingu's avatar

“Christians have always been the minority.”

I love this… it’s really the best thing about your religion. Well, the cutest thing. How because your founding myth involves a powerless underclass, you get to say Christians are everywhere and always a powerless underclass. Plus you have that whole Calvinist “elect” theology going, I’m assuming.

It serves so many purposes. It’s always convenient to play the victim card. It lets you wiggle out of any attempt to criticize the actions of Christians as a whole (because the Crusaders or Medieval theologians obvioustly weren’t “real Christians” despite much more thoroughly following the Bible than you do, apparently)

I hear this all the time from Muslims too.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Qingu

Now you’re simply throwing stones along with “religious leaders” from many ages. Ever hear the old ryme about “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never harm me?”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from dictrion. Not at all, in fact it would be welcomed. Just another fig ripening on the tree. I may not be here when the tree ripens but it means I won’t be sleep in death long before the Lord of Host closes the curtains on this horse and pony show :-)

zophu's avatar

You can’t run from what the word Christianity means to the world, and to history, regardless of what it means to you. The fact will always be, Christianity was developed, spread and maintained ultimately for the purposes of exploitation, oppression and control. Whatever spirituality you have linked to the religion or any version of it only suffers because of it. Claim it for yourself if you must, but understand that wise Christians are wise in spite of their religion. Don’t poison the minds of others. Especially not children.

If you have any respect for science, do your research on the history of religions. Look at the parallels between the god Jesus Christ and gods more ancient than that. You’ll find that even in ancient Rome, scholars were aware of the many gods who had died for three days before resurrecting, gods that were born under certain stars, born of a virgin mother, etc.. You learn that all of these stories descend from astrological traditions and were developed into religions over time, exploited by oppressive rulers to control the spirituality of entire populations. It can’t be hidden from you, all they can do is lull you to sleep. Wake up.

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