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These articles pay a great deal of attention to bad stuff that Christians and Christian groups do or have done. Why?

What Christians tell us

In all Christian countries, and Countries with a Christian tradition people get told a great deal about those good things that Christians do. Spokesmen from churches tell us frequently, and spokeswomen also tell us occasionally as do the Websites of those organisations. Radio and television stations tell us together with their websites how good they think Christianity is, newspapers and journals tell us together with their websites, books tell us. In countries where religious education is allowed teachers at schools tell school kids how good they think Christianity is officially. In countries where religious education is not allowed teachers at schools tell school kids how good they think Christianity is unofficially. College lecturers also sometimes tell students too much about how good they think Christianity is.

Christians we can respect

There are and always have been Christians we can respect and who really try to love their fellow human beings. Atheism Wiki doesn’t need to tell you, if you are in a country with a Christian tradition you already know. Individual Christians and Christian groups sometimes sincerely work to help poor people for example. Religious Charities aren't always as good as secular charities. People helped too often have to listen to preaching as well as getting whatever the charity provides. Then those forced to listen to preaching get to feel guilty about doing stuff that breaks Christian morality but does no harm. Too many Christian based schools and orphanages have practised child abuse, see Child abuse by the Irish Roman Catholic Church for examples. There are good Christian charities but by no means all are good.

Dependence on religious charity

Adam Lee writing about the United States [1]

For whatever harm they cause, churches are often the only provider of vital services in disempowered communities, whether it's running soup kitchens, offering job-training programs, or providing space for political organizing. If the atheist movement tears down these churches' beliefs but makes no attempt to replace the services they provide, we are worse than useless.

Dependence on churches for important services is bad for many reasons. In communities where the service provider is intolerant people belonging to different religions from the service provider may be excluded from services they badly need. People belonging to different Sects and denominations of the same religion may also be excluded. People may be reluctant to go to a church for help because anything connected with the Christian religion makes them feel sinful over harmless things they enjoy.

Atheists may be forced either to do without services they need or to keep quiet about their atheism and act as if they believed. There are church groups where people can be openly atheist and get help without discrimination, at least in the UK there are. I don't know about the USA. By no means all Faith based help is given freely to Non-believers. I spent a year in a Roman Catholic convent school where I had to pretend I believed in God. That's one of the unpleasant memories of my youth.

It's important that at least some atheists work with organisations that provide services religious groups traditionally provide. If atheists are involved in helping discrimination becomes less likely. Also religious belief is declining in the west while atheism is increasing. If atheists don't take up the challenge and help with those services there may be less for everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. Ideally atheists are best working with secular charities but you know your own locality better. You do well to go with what works in your area.

Countries without a Christian tradition

If you are in a country without a Christian tradition please remember there is a good side to Christianity which these articles don’t show. At least there’s a good side to Liberal Christianity.

References

  1. Things the Atheist Movement Has Done Badly (and How to Do Them Better)

Pages in category "Christianity"

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