Letter To My Christian Brethren: A Christians Call for Reform in His Faith

(Irshad Manji began her book The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith by addressing her fellow Muslims with an epistle.  I was struck by this letter’s honesty and forthrightness and because of this have lifted parts of it and replaced the words Christianity for Islam, Christians for Muslims, etc...(Manj’s words are bold mine are not). I sincerely hope she does not mind the fact that I have borrowed her words then altered them in order to make my own point but my heart and mind resonated with them as I read them and felt the need to share the thoughts and feelings they brought up here.)

I have to be honest with you. Christianity is on very thin ice with me. I’m hanging on by my fingernails, in anxiety over what’s coming next from the self-appointed ambassadors of God.

In this letter I’m asking questions from which we can no longer hide.  What’s with the strong anti-Islam streak in Christianity?  How can we be so sure homosexuals deserve ostracism - or death - when the Bible states that everything God has made is “good?”  Of course the Bible says more than that, but what’s our excuse for reading the Bible literally when it’s so contradictory and ambiguous?

If we don’t speak out against the imperialists within Christianity, these guys will walk away with the show.  And their path leads to a dead end of more vitriol, more violence, more poverty, more exclusion. Is this the justice we seek for the world that God has leased to us?  If it’s not, then why don’t more of us say so?

What I do hear from you is that Christians are targets of intolerance, injustice and even persecution. Shouldn’t Christians that invoke the Bible to justify hate toward homosexuals, Muslims, etc be themselves open to judgement.  Or would this amount to more injustice?  What makes us righteous and everybody else worldly?

You may wonder who I am to talk to you in this way.  I am a Christian Refusenik.  That doesn’t mean I refuse to be a Christian; it simply means I refuse to join the army of automatons in the name of God. I take this phrase from the original refuseniks - Soviet Jews who championed religious and personal freedom.  Their communist masters refused to let them emigrate to Israel.  For their attempts to leave the Soviet Union, many refuseniks paid with hard labor and, sometimes with their lives. Over time, though, their persistent refusal to comply with the mechanisms of mind control and soullessness helped end a totalitarian system.

Not solely because of September 11, but more urgently because of it, We’ve got to end Christianity’s nationalistic totalitarianism, particularly the gross civil rights violations against homosexuals and religious minorities. You’ll want to assure me that what I’m describing in this open letter to you isn’t “true” Christianity.  Frankly, such a discussion wouldn't have impressed Jesus Christ, who said that religion is the way we conduct ourselves toward others - not theoretically, but actually. By that standard, how Christians behave is Christianity.  To sweep that reality under the rug is to absolve ourselves of responsibility for our fellow human beings. See why I’m struggling?

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