Religious Intolerance in Advanced Societies How Christianity Is Being Made Irrelevant
Merry Christmas! Today Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Christ. Yet here in America, where we cherish our religious freedom to do so, I sense a slow shift toward religious intolerance.
Currently in media, public debates, and intellectual discussions, the mention of God, the devil, an after life, or the origin of life as described in the Bible is ridiculed and scorned. The general sentiment of mainstream Western culture is, “Do you really still believe in childish fantasy?” And most of us who do believe are gradually silenced. We go to church on Sunday, but as soon as we walk out, it seems that we are hushed into silence and a quiet denial of our beliefs.
Advanced societies have championed valuable civil liberties including equality, freedom, and law and order. And another—religious tolerance—where governments refrain from forcing the populace to practice a particular religion. However, I see religious tolerance creating a culture that glorifies the intolerance of religion. It is a silent movement to make religion, specifically Christianity, irrelevant and absurd. In today’s article, I protest this trend.
How Is Christianity Being Made Irrelevant?
Here are four ways I see that Christianity is being attacked on an intellectual level in order to make it irrelevant in our society:
Science. People point to advances in scientific study to disprove certain Biblical claims.
Tolerance. In the name of religious tolerance, people claim it is unfair that the principles of one book are deemed correct, and all the rest are wrong.
Common sense. It sounds unreasonable that some Biblical events or principles could even take place, like the parting of the Red Sea, or an all-powerful, all-knowing God answering the prayer of a sinner.
Violence. It is sometimes said that religion is the cause of discrimination and violence. And if we remove it, we can remove those injustices.
Why Christianity Makes Sense to Me…
As a doctor, I have seen patients die right in front of me. The body goes limp, the heart monitor flutters, and the person is pronounced dead. Then what? Does that soul cease to exist? Atheists believe so. Other religions have their own explanations. Science proposes its own theories. The Bible also has an explanation, and that’s the one I choose to believe. In fact, I believe all of its teachings.
The founders of our great nation at no time attempted to make religion, particularly Christianity, irrelevant or invalid. Even those who were not Christians did not ridicule religion. On the contrary, they revered spirituality and included organized religion in the fabric of our nation. George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” Religious freedom was protected by denying the government power to dictate the practice of one religion.
Yet in America today, saying Merry Christmas has become an act of defiance. The politically correct way to say it is Happy Holidays, so no one is offended. Wow. Why can’t we just respect each other’s beliefs? One of my colleagues is a Hindu physician. The Hindu faith recently observed a significant religious holiday, Diwali. I told her Happy Diwali. She will tell me Merry Christmas. We don’t ridicule each other; we respect each other. That’s how it should be.
So on this highly celebrated Christian holiday, I want to tell you what Christmas is, in case you don’t already know. As a Christian, I believe there is one God. He was born and laid in a manger in Bethlehem 2,015 years ago. His name was Jesus. When He was 33 years old, He died on a cross and three days later rose from the grave. The Bible teaches that when we believe in this sacrificial act of love, we gain eternal life. The Bible tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” So Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of God on earth.
If someone does not believe in what I’ve shared, that’s okay. In free societies, the intellectual community must give people room to practice their own religious beliefs, of course as long as human life and dignity are respected.
So, to you and your families I say, Merry Christmas!
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