Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not about the truth, huh?

I was in a bit of an evolution-creationism discussion earlier today, which is somewhat funny since my scientific knowledge on these matters is not close to what it should be. In the context of that discussion, here is a comment that was in a response to me:

Us Christians are ONLY told to SHARE the Gospel NOT CONVINCE anyone that it is true.

While people can hold whatever religious views they wish to hold so long as they are not violating the rights of other individuals, in the context of the discussion at hand, I responded:

Yet, you seek to "disprove" science by pointing out its gaps, which, if such a futile tactic actually worked, would leave only one default explanation for the origins of the world. You're right though. You are not out to convince that your version of things is true, only every other possible explanation is false. Gee, sleazy telemarketers are more subtle than that.

I thought God hated liars and hypocrites, or is your kind of hypocrite somehow exempt from His wrath?

Even in the broader context, I do not believe this statement to be true. I spent fourteen years living in the Midwest and my dealings with fundamentalist Christians were such that everything about religion was about seeing the truth as they see it. My experiences were more inline with what Andrew Sullivan discussed in The Conservative Soul and the fundamentalist mindset than a friendly, cordial exchange of ideas.* As I said, sleazy telemarketers are more subtle.

I was also smeared (at least I believe I was) as an anti-Christian bigot, which is funny because I always thought that the difference between people like the person I was having the discussion with and myself is that I am more than capable of leaving well enough alone and not using the force of government to soothe my aching feelings. I'm sure my gay friends will know exactly what I'm referring to, although I wish they didn't have to.

* For what it's worth, I recognize that there exceptions.


KipEsquire said...

"Us Christians are ONLY told to SHARE the Gospel NOT CONVINCE anyone that it is true."

There is a difference between "sharing" my corned beef on rye with you and convincing a legislature to ban your vegan restaurant as an "abomination" in an attempt to "defend traditional lunch."

East Coast Libertarian said...

Great analogy Kip.

Tony said...

I expected to comment just on the story. In a moment.

Kip's vegan-meat analogy is perfect. As a vegan, the only time I ever share my thoughts on veganism with people is when they ask. Even then, I'm only interested in sharing my thoughts on why I choose it for myself. I don't think I'm better because of that, of course. If nothing else, it's just good marketing.

As to your entry, absolutely. I've encountered this, as I'm sure most people have. It's almost always the unquestioned regurgitation of whatever the Bible says. I get blank stares when I challenge this with all of the requirements of the Bible that we no longer follow or are explicitly outlawed. How is selectively choosing what's left not enforcing one's own opinion?

Jonathan said...

ECL, your legal insight/opinion is requested, sir.