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Your Thoughts About Christians and the Christian Faith

Hi, I just joined We Make Zines a few days ago...I've been making zines for about 17 years. I am a Christian and wonder why more Christians don't use this medium. I am also kind of a square peg in a round hole in the Christian world for a lot of reasons, and I often wonder what non-Christians think about Christians/Christianity and why, and am considering making a zine about that. Would you share with me any stereotypes of/experiences with/thoughts about Christians themselves and/or the Christian faith in particular? I am not going to debate anyone, so don't worry about being negative...I am really just interested to know what kind of impression Christians/Christianity have/has on non-Christians, and zine writers are great at sharing their opinions ;-) Thanks!

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I'm a Jew, and I don't care about other religions (or non religions) until they start saying that I should change and be like them. In America, Christians have unearned and unacknowledged advantages, and they flip out if anyone challenges their supremacy and they are wished a "happy holiday" in retail stores instead of a "Merry Xmas."

I also find that a lot of people who say that they can't stand religion really just mean that they can't stand Christianity, and actually don't know much about other religions.
Again, I feel like this is a misconception. Yes, most of the things that you mention are views based on Christianity. Most of these actions were taught to us through the bible and a lot is from history also (you should look it up if you're confused about anything). But I'm not standing in the corner of time square screaming at Prop 8 potentials that God will comdemn them. That's not what Christianity is about. It's about love and acceptance and showing everyone else the love that God has to offer.

I feel the anti-abortion movement is a completely different subject. It's about a baby's life not about what God has to say about it. Yes, there will be plenty of Christians in that fight because we were taught to cherish life, not destroy it. But you are under this mindset that Christians are trying to make that decision for everyone when it has a lot more to do with safety and right and wrong than it has to do with faith.

Now I do agree with you on the subject that church and state should not be even close to each other as we are a so called "free" country. I feel as though people should be allowed to make choices by themselves without restrictions. But I don't think it should be blamed on Christianity.

Dan 10things said:
Meaghan Schaible said:
Also, there is a miscoception (I feel) that Christians force their religion on everyone. Yes, there are some radicals out there that will shove it down your throat and annoy the heck out of you but not all Christians are that way.

I don't think it's a few radicals at all. When you look at some pretty big issues like gay marriage, don't ask don't tell in the military, stem cell research and abortion, there are more than just a handful of Christians trying to force the rest of us to live under their religious-backed positions on these issues. Those "defense of marriage" propositions have passed in a lot of states with majority votes and the backers and supporters are Christian, not some radical minority. The anti-abortion movement is almost solely Christian-based, Christians continuously try to make tougher laws to limit a woman's right to choose and have access to safe, private, abortion procedures (the latest being a new law intimidation in Oklahoma where women seeking abortions are to be forced to reveal an array of personal information, such as the state of their relationships, how many children they have and their race, which will be posted on an official public website). Bush's Christian-based stance on stem cell harvesting forced us into a national policy that limited a lot of research funding. There's tons more examples. It's not that Christians are forcing the bible upon us, getting yelled at by the guy with the cross when you walk down the street is no big deal. It's that they are forcing religious positions through our countries' legal and legislative systems upon us, which is much more sinister, unethical, and totally against the ideals this country was founded upon. But since Christians are in the vast majority in the US, this will continue, other religions and non-religious folks will constantly have to deal with faith-based initiatives, positions and laws being forced upon them, even though we supposedly have a separation and church and state in the USA.
"There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross." -Nietzsche

We should keep in mind that what's presented as Christianity today is a distortion of the original. It's the nature of movements to be coopted, defanged, and eventually institutionalized.
The historical Jesus was the closest thing to an anarchist the world had seen up to that time. He came from the poorest segment of society, worked as a cabinet-maker at a time of economic depression in his society; lived as a homeless vagabond like others of his stripe (like John the Baptist), and talked AGAINST the churches and institutions of his time.
Both the Protestant evangelists of today with their ethos of money, and the Catholic Church, which preaches against wealth but has accumulated quite a store for itself-- and a powerful institution-- can't be said to truly represent Jesus's teaching. Yet, despite the hypocrisy and corruption, people are attracted to something about it-- which I think is still the original guy, as obscured as he is by those speaking in his name, from Paul on.
Remember he argued against rigid law-- he represented a revolution against the angry legalism and rules of the Old Testament, as well as against of course the Imperialist Empire of his day-- which is why he was crucified.
The psychedelic rants against Empire/Rome/"Babylon" in Revelation by a very wacked-out John the Seer could as well be applied to the American Empire today.
Some interesting sources to the real, historical guy, see John Crossan and Garry Wills. Or for a take on the original Christians and their communal ways of living see Kautsky's "Foundations of Christianity."
How does one fight co-optation? That's been one of my themes about DIY. Examine history and you'll see it's happened all over the place.
Just my two cents. . . .
first of all, I'd like to state that I was raised Christian, VERY Christian, as my grandfather is a minister, so I don't want anyone telling me I don't know what I'm talking about.

That being said, I have no problem with Christianity. I have a problem with Christians that try to shove their beliefs down my throat (and I know that's not everyone, or in fact the majority) or tell me I'm going to hell because I have premarital sex or whatever. I can respect a fair amount of their views- waiting for marriage is completely cool with me. There are way too many kids out there having sex too soon and it's emotionally damaging a lot of the time, so if you want to wait for the perfect person, power to you. But if I'm of legal age and in a long term relationship, it's my business. Just like waiting is yours. I can't accept the people that are against gay marriage.

I don't identify as Christian, because honestly, I don't feel like I have to. I don't need anyone to pray to, I believe I control my own fate and if I want something, I'd rather go out and get it instead of praying. (I'm also aware there's a lot of people that do both, like my mother, but I just don't feel the need.) (This being said, if I'm in a really tense situation, I do find myself reverting back to "praying", though it's mostly a general plea to the universe instead of God.)

I have studied many religions in school, and I believe they can be a wonderful and healthy practice. But things often go too far. People get angry. Religion causes murder, for goodness sake. And I think that's ridiculous. How can another person believing something HURT you? And religion mixing with politics is a whole other can of worms.

Basically, I'm not going to tell anyone their beliefs are wrong until they tell me mine are, and even then, I'd probably just shrug it off. It's cool to be passionate about what you believe in. Go for it. Doesn't have anything to do with me.

All my words may be used, and I'd be interested in reading a Christian zine as long as it's not preaching to me. :)
It seems that the main problem most here have with Christianity is the "shove down my throat" characteristic. Obviously for hundreds of years Christianity has been the vehicle for explaining the world around us and informing us of the proper way to live daily life (but really mainly as a means to subjugate the working class). I feel that many now believe we're in (or on the cusp of) a post-religious society. However, I don't feel that that means we're past a life where our world-view is handed to us for the benefit of the rich (and/or powerful).

While many of us have problems with Christianity isn't government-sponsored science, 24 hour news, big biz entertainment, and so on the same thing - a vehicle of informing us of the world around us and the proper way to live? I don't think the Christian belief is offensive, but how it's often practiced is (In fact, believe it or not, I call myself a Christian). Anything that's a part of the superstructure of the establishment is offensive (especially typically to zinester types). Most organized Christianity is so obscenely obviously part of this oppressive structure, it becomes easy to pick on. And that's fine. Just don't forget to pick on FoxNews.

I apologize for only staying marginally on topic, being so long winded, and sounding so high-falooting. My zines sound nothing like this.
Meaghan Schaible said:
But I'm not standing in the corner of time square screaming at Prop 8 potentials that God will comdemn them. Most of these actions were taught to us through the bible and a lot is from history also (you should look it up if you're confused about anything).

Personally I find it far worse to propose, push, fund and vote for legislation that forces the rest of us to live our lives under your religious positions. Yes, I've read the bible many times and was raised Christian, you definitely can justify homophobia, racism, sexism and even being against stem cell research and a woman's right to choose by the bible, and plenty of people do, but the bible is a bunch of made up stories written by old men to assert order and control over the masses. While you can choose to live your life by it's teachings, you shouldn't force others too.

I feel the anti-abortion movement is a completely different subject. It's about a baby's life not about what God has to say about it.

No it's not, that's your Christian perspective and it's not the perspective of science, American law or the majority of Americans. It's a perfect example of the problem, because of what you've been taught, which is incorrect, you think your position is a moral position. Funny too, because it's a moral position for people on the opposite side of the issue, only they have science, law, and an interest in women's equality and rights backing their moral position, you have what... some old white guys saying a clump of cells isn't a fetus, it's a baby? That's why people like the scientist who responded are so frustrated by Christians. Christians can ignore the science and dislike our laws all they want, no one is forcing them to have abortions, but trying to force the rest of us to live under the Christian view on this issue is both morally and ethically wrong, and it's downright un-American.

Now I do agree with you on the subject that church and state should not be even close to each other as we are a so called "free" country. I feel as though people should be allowed to make choices by themselves without restrictions. But I don't think it should be blamed on Christianity.

I don't understand your logic. You think because we are a free country our government should align itself with one religion, Christianity? There's so much wrong with that. How are we free to choose if our government is endorsing your wacko fairytale? And hell yes we should blame Christians for trying to force their religious views into the laws that govern us all. Absolutely. It's unethical and it's exactly the opposite of the principles this country was founded upon. Believe whatever fairytale you want, but keep it away from me, my family, my schools and my government. Religion is a personal choice, the biggest problem with Christians is they don't get that. They seem to want to force us all to hear their crazy message and live under the crazy tenants of their religion.
King Wenclas said:
"There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross." -Nietzsche
We should keep in mind that what's presented as Christianity today is a distortion of the original. It's the nature of movements to be coopted, defanged, and eventually institutionalized. The historical Jesus was the closest thing to an anarchist the world had seen up to that time. He came from the poorest segment of society, worked as a cabinet-maker at a time of economic depression in his society; lived as a homeless vagabon.

I get what you're saying, but I'd argue that the early version of who Jesus was you refer to possibly (probably?) never existed. At best, the stories you're referring to are still from 300 years after he supposedly died and by that time had been through a very long game of telephone being told verbally and passed down through generations before ever being written about. There is a complete lack of writing about Jesus during his lifetime or the 65 year after his supposed life, which is troubling. By the time Paul was writing about him it was 65AD, it's quite possible Jesus was just made up and a conglomeration of a bunch of previous religious myths. The son of god born on earth, crucified for our sins, risen from the dead, etc. stuff had all been part of previous religions and gods for thousands of years. Christian holidays often fell on previous Pagan holidays. It all seems very borrowed and adapted. I'm not convinced he's a historical person, there's a good chance he's fictional, like most of the Bible. It's a great story though, and I think there were some wonderful moral lessons laid out in the Bible even if it is a piece of fiction.
Okay, first of all, I don't think the abortion issue has much to do with this. This discussion will go crazy if we add it in there.
But I just wanted to mention, as a different opinion-- I'm not a Christian, but I do feel that a baby is a baby, no matter how early on. However, I'm not exactly anti-abortion-- I am for MYSELF, but it's not my business what other women do. However again, I think unless you've been raped, you're 12, or the baby is going to die anyway/harm you, then you should handle it in an adult and responsible way which, to me, doesn't just mean getting it sucked out of you.

Dan 10things said:
Meaghan Schaible said:
But I'm not standing in the corner of time square screaming at Prop 8 potentials that God will comdemn them. Most of these actions were taught to us through the bible and a lot is from history also (you should look it up if you're confused about anything).

Personally I find it far worse to propose, push, fund and vote for legislation that forces the rest of us to live our lives under your religious positions. Yes, I've read the bible many times and was raised Christian, you definitely can justify homophobia, racism, sexism and even being against stem cell research and a woman's right to choose by the bible, and plenty of people do, but the bible is a bunch of made up stories written by old men to assert order and control over the masses. While you can choose to live your life by it's teachings, you shouldn't force others too.

I feel the anti-abortion movement is a completely different subject. It's about a baby's life not about what God has to say about it.

No it's not, that's your Christian perspective and it's not the perspective of science, American law or the majority of Americans. It's a perfect example of the problem, because of what you've been taught, which is incorrect, you think your position is a moral position. Funny too, because it's a moral position for people on the opposite side of the issue, only they have science, law, and an interest in women's equality and rights backing their moral position, you have what... some old white guys saying a clump of cells isn't a fetus, it's a baby? That's why people like the scientist who responded are so frustrated by Christians. Christians can ignore the science and dislike our laws all they want, no one is forcing them to have abortions, but trying to force the rest of us to live under the Christian view on this issue is both morally and ethically wrong, and it's downright un-American.

Now I do agree with you on the subject that church and state should not be even close to each other as we are a so called "free" country. I feel as though people should be allowed to make choices by themselves without restrictions. But I don't think it should be blamed on Christianity.

I don't understand your logic. You think because we are a free country our government should align itself with one religion, Christianity? There's so much wrong with that. How are we free to choose if our government is endorsing your wacko fairytale? And hell yes we should blame Christians for trying to force their religious views into the laws that govern us all. Absolutely. It's unethical and it's exactly the opposite of the principles this country was founded upon. Believe whatever fairytale you want, but keep it away from me, my family, my schools and my government. Religion is a personal choice, the biggest problem with Christians is they don't get that. They seem to want to force us all to hear their crazy message and live under the crazy tenants of their religion.
star blanket river child said:
I think unless you've been raped, you're 12, or the baby is going to die anyway/harm you, then you should handle it in an adult and responsible way which, to me, doesn't just mean getting it sucked out of you.

Wow, harsh. So... my wife got pregnant before we were married. She was on the pill and taking it very responsibly, but still got pregnant. It happens sometimes. At the time we were poor, in school, and living in a studio apartment in a somewhat sketchy city neighborhood (high crime and assaults = low rent). We spent many weeks thinking about our future, discussing our options, wondering how we could financially support a baby and go to school, whether we could raise it in our tiny cheap studio, if it was safe to do so, would I have to drop out of college and me getting a full time job, and just what the future would be like for both us and our potential kid. It was not a light-hearted decision like you suggest, we came to the very adult and responsible decision to have an abortion, something to this day I think was the right decision. It's complete bullshit for you to say that decision wasn't responsible when you haven't walked in our shoes. I'm actually offended at your level of ignorance. And you obviously do not understand either what having an abortion does to the woman physically or emotionally for you to so callously describe it as you have here.

By all means, speak for yourself and your own feelings. But please do not assume the decisions of others, because they aren't what you would have done, are not adult or responsible. Because in this case, you are completely wrong.
The fact is that there ARE non-Christians who oppose abortion from a libertarian and/or scientific perspective. Even when it is very small, the zygote, fetus or whatever you want to call it is not the mother's body. It has totally different DNA, and may even be the opposite sex. Technically, it can be called a parasite I suppose, with the mother's body being the host...but BORN children for many years are also parasites/totally dependent on an outside source for life, and it is not legal to kill them.
hey. I did speak for myself. I said, "I am against abortion for MYSELF, but other women can do what they please." this is my opinion. I'm on the pill, and if I were to get pregnant, I would take what I feel is responsibility. I know the pill isn't 100%, and I'm taking that risk by being sexually active.

and actually, I do understand, more than you'd think. my best friend had an abortion, and I saw quite close up what it does, which is partially why I am against it. that may be why I'm speaking a little harshly- it still stings how many young friends of mine have had abortions because they were careless. not that I'm saying you were careless. it seems like you just got unlucky, and did the right thing for your situation.

again, I am not condemning what other people choose to do. I'm sure that was an extremely painful decision for you and your wife, and I'm sorry you had to go through it.

Dan 10things said:
star blanket river child said:
I think unless you've been raped, you're 12, or the baby is going to die anyway/harm you, then you should handle it in an adult and responsible way which, to me, doesn't just mean getting it sucked out of you.

Wow, harsh. So... my wife got pregnant before we were married. She was on the pill and taking it very responsibly, but still got pregnant. It happens sometimes. At the time we were poor, in school, and living in a studio apartment in a somewhat sketchy city neighborhood (high crime and assaults = low rent). We spent many weeks thinking about our future, discussing our options, wondering how we could financially support a baby and go to school, whether we could raise it in our tiny cheap studio, if it was safe to do so, would I have to drop out of college and me getting a full time job, and just what the future would be like for both us and our potential kid. It was not a light-hearted decision like you suggest, we came to the very adult and responsible decision to have an abortion, something to this day I think was the right decision. It's complete bullshit for you to say that decision wasn't responsible when you haven't walked in our shoes. I'm actually offended at your level of ignorance. And you obviously do not understand either what having an abortion does to the woman physically or emotionally for you to so callously describe it as you have here.

By all means, speak for yourself and your own feelings. But please do not assume the decisions of others, because they aren't what you would have done, are not adult or responsible. Because in this case, you are completely wrong.
If I have anything to say about this as the original poster, I would love it if this does not take a turn into an abortion debate. I wish I hadn't even put my very brief comment into the mix.

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