Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Twenty Ways to Answer a Fool [pt. 6]

Does Christianity breed authoritarianism?

Again, we pay a visit to Chaz Bufe, the Christ hating anarchist, and his 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity. With this post, we come to Chaz's 6th complaint against Christians, that Christianity breeds authoritarianism. I won't provide his entire point because it is rather lengthy, but I will hit on some of the more salient thoughts Chaz provides:

6. Christianity breeds authoritarianism. Given that Christians claim to have the one true faith, to have a book that is the Word of God, and (in many cases) to receive guidance directly from God, they feel little or no compunction about using force and coercion to enforce "God’s Will" (which they, of course, interpret and understand). Given that they believe (or pretend) that they’re receiving orders from the Almighty (who would cast them into hell should they disobey), it’s little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers. This is most obvious today in the area of sex, with Christians attempting to deny women the right to abortion and to mandate near-useless abstinence-only sex "education" in the public schools. It’s also obvious in the area of education, with Christians attempting to force biology teachers to teach their creation myth (but not those of Hindus, Native Americans, et al.) in place of (or as being equally valid as) the very well established theory of evolution. But the authoritarian tendencies of Christianity reach much further than this. ...

This Christian hatred of freedom of belief—and of individual freedom in general—extends to this day. Up until the late 19th century in England, atheists who had the temerity to openly advocate their beliefs were jailed. Even today in many parts of the United States laws still exist that forbid atheists from serving on juries or from holding public office. And it’s no mystery what the driving force is behind laws against victimless "crimes" such as nudity, sodomy, fornication, cohabitation, and prostitution. ...

If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian "morality," you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life.

Just like rank hypocrisy dripped from his points charging Christians with egocentrism and arrogance, so to with this post. Here we have a Communistic sympathizing anarchist whining about Christians being authoritarian and poking their noses (and guns) into areas where it doesn't belong, when Communists wrote the book on authoritarianism and nose (and gun) poking. Even more amusing is Chaz's employment of the term "police state" to describe alleged Christian authorities forcing their laws onto everyone else. Chaz's list becomes more laughable with each of his reasons we examine.

I won't bore you with how Chaz's arguments for anarchism can be stripped naked and shown to be utterly ridiculous in the bright lights of historical fact. I have already done that enough in some of my previous posts. I do wish to address a couple of Chaz's charges, however.

First, I stated way at the beginning when I took up critiquing Chaz's 20 Reasons that his venom is spewed more toward Roman Catholicism than biblical Christianity. I am not sure of Chaz's motivations, but I would venture a guess that much of his anti-Catholicism is due to personal experience. Perhaps he grew up in a rigid Catholic home. Maybe he attended parochial schools and suffered harshly under the dictatorial enforcement of brutish, man-like nuns who slapped his palms with a ruler if he stepped out of line. What ever the case, the typical anti-Christian bigot like Chaz wrongly equates his negative personal experience with a religiously authoritarian group who pay lip service to a warped understanding of Christian faith with true, biblical Christianity.

This again shows how Chaz is genuinely ignorant of what he criticizes. The Christian faith presented in the NT does not promote this horrible authoritarianism Chaz so disdains. As a matter of fact, I would probably stand beside Chaz and offer my criticisms of all the Catholic evils perpetrated over the centuries as well. However, the heretical deviations of the Roman Catholic Church from true biblical Christianity does not equate true Christianity, as does any religious group who claims allegiance to Jesus Christ and the Bible, yet advocates some perverted abstraction of Christianity. Fred Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" group in Kansas is a Baptist variety of what I mean. If you are going to be critical of Christianity, you must deal with the founding documents and what they teach, not the twisted interpretations of those documents by individuals who merely wish to abuse them for their own purposes.

This is why it is vital for Christians to have 1) a high view of scripture as a revelation from God, 2) a working knowledge of scripture and what it actually teaches, and 3) engage in the proper handling of God's Word when interpreting it as Paul explained to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:15).

Also, Chaz reveals a little bit of his agenda with his comments. Notice that the key example he provides supposedly demonstrating the authoritarianism of Christianity has to do with sex. I won't go into a lot of detail here, because we will address Chaz's sexual hang-ups in a future critique, but suffice it to say he desires a life that allows him to engage in any guilt free sexual vice he so chooses without impunity and severe consequence, especially for himself. That is why he adds on the little comments about abortion and abstinence, and then adds on a little bit later about the "victimless" crimes of nudity, sodomy and fornication.

If you are an anarchist who wants to be able to copulate with any person (or animal if we want to be purely consistent with our beliefs) of your choice, and a divine authority reveals that such reckless behavior is not only an act of disobedience against His sovereign law, but also destructive to your personal life and the life of the persons involved with you in this behavior, as well as the potential offspring, I can understand why Chaz doesn't care for Christianity. In reality, it reveals utter selfishness on the part of Chaz. In a manner of speaking, he is sexist pig; a misogynist. In his worldview, he should have easy access to women made available for the feeding of his sexual appetite.

But refusing to submit to God's authority on this matter won't change the fact that a cascade of problems begin rolling down when a person pursues sexual perversion with foolish abandon. In spite of all the complaints, those problems make a person responsible and beholden to all sorts of authorities (child support laws and medical bills for sexually transmitted diseases for example). Like all sinners in rebellion against the true knowledge of their creator, Chaz views God's authority on the matters of sex as binding and preventing him from being fulfilled. But in reality, God's authority concerning sexual relationships is a matter of love, because God wants the best for men and women. God's law not only confirms His holiness and the behavior He expects from mankind, but it also protects men from the disastrous harm that could befall them.

Next Up: Is Christianity Cruel?



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