in politics, religion

American Christianity has failed at its core mission

I was raised in a conservative Christian church in Massachusetts. The more time I spent in a conventional evangelical environment, the more it seemed to me that the things the church prioritized weren’t very aligned with the teachings of Jesus.

Over at Sojourners, Stephen Mattson agrees. He’s penned a scathing indictment of “American Christianity”:

Because while the gospels instruct followers of Christ to help the poor, oppressed, maligned, mistreated, sick, and those most in need of help, Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.

I wish Mattson was more clear about his definition of “Christianity” here, but the article otherwise captures exactly how I feel. The fact that the American Right has supported policies and candidates that neglect the most needy in our society has been a heartbreaking development for me.

I hope the message of peace, hope, and love becomes an idea embraced by all political parties, and soon.

  • ctrlX

    Thank you. Fortunately or unfortunately, we started off as a nation that leaned on the rules and obligations of the religion more than the message and dogmatic truth, based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, replaced the message. I was schooled by Jesuits, who as we know, may not have the best history when it comes to tolerance and understanding, but they evolved. Reason, compassion and truth were three of the things I learned from them.

  • Michael May

    Thanks for this, Dave. I was also raised in a conservative church and grew increasingly skeptical about many of the messages I heard regarding how we were to interact with other groups. I’ve held onto my faith, but like many Christians, I wrestle with doubt and it’s especially disheartening that the dominant view of Christianity in the public square seems to be what Mattson describes.

    I always listen with interest whenever the subject comes up on the Slashfilmcast and I appreciate your thought and honesty when you talk about it.

  • sanford943

    Not sure how you feel about a belief in God, but you might find this interesting. He has four videos He has 4 chapters. I am sure you can find the other two if you are interested. At least watch the introduction. He went from a very religious mormon to being an atheist

  • Tyler Ayers

    Protestant Christianity at least has been hijacked by snake-oil salesmen and big business in the U.S., for a long time now. I am really now going back to kind of the Values arguments of the 90’s… How to teach values, liberal education, civics, ethics, etc.. Maybe we lost the path back then, and are now seeing the consequences when we start doubting what is true and a lie, what is a basic honesty. All goes back to education in the end perhaps.. How important that is, maybe that is where we have to rebuild and start anew.