Just read an article in a local newspaper about why Christians feel offended when their faith is questioned. The person quoted Dawkins and said something about how delusional religion is. But some of his critiques on faith were pretty fair – historical issues, repression of ideas, pedophile priests hidden and vouched for, etc.
However I do believe Christianity should be more open to critique, if it is going to survive in any meaningful and transparent way. I have been writing this blog for about 5 years now and my whole thing is about asking those questions and seeking some tough answers; Christianity isn’t easy and it shouldn’t have to be to be ‘useful’.
Christians need to start getting used to their faith being criticized, namely when it comes to the academics of it. Christianity is rooted in history so by that it is something that enters scrutiny automatically; plus it seems to be quite political for years in Europe and now in America. We cannot be sensitive when our stuff comes under fire, because maybe it needs to be challenged (to be refined). Maybe the Christianity we inherired from years of torment in Europe and the early America’s is not (a) the same intent as to what the gospels were meaning to capture or (b) needs to change since it is lacking meaning or even truthfulness.
I get why we are sensitive, our experiences with Christianity are nothing like that which it is vilified for. However if we sit by and think this has nothing to with us then we are part of the problem, not the solution. The Catholic institution hid pedophiles and then even let them re-enter population with nothing more than some ‘counselling’ – this cannot be tolerated. Many Evangelical institutions are pro life but at the same time ‘anti-abortionists’ resulting in some discourse that lends itself to violence…we need to speak out against this attitude. Christianty finding itself attached to issues of pedophilia, violence against another, or even greed needs to be addressed and not forgotten…because it wasn’t us. I am starting to believe it is us – saying nothing is just as culpable.
I think we should be sensitive when insulted obviously – but not when something we believe or support makes no sense…then we should open our ears and enter the conversation more fully.