A, um, benefit of being Anglican is the free newspaper. I do read it, ’cause it comes to my house and then ends up sitting on the table ’til I read it while I’m eating breakfast. After than, it lines the rabbit cage.
Most of the time, it’s like flipping through a yearbook; I get to look at pictures of priests that I know, and see what other churches look like inside. There’s rarely anything to capture my attention.
The March issue of The Anglican, the Diocese of Toronto’s paper, has an article on page 5 entitled They Know Not What They Do (click on the link and scroll down a bit). I read it. The whole thing. Several times.
Why is it that the guy who writes “f*** Christianity” on his Facebook page is ignorant, but the guy who accuses the Facebook guy knows exactly what he’s talking about? How is it that us believers think we know more about Christianity than the non-believers? What gives us the right to assume that the non-believer hasn’t read the Bible, or that he hasn’t experienced Christianity as much as we have?
Perhaps it was Facebook Guy’s experience that made him write such a thing on his Facebook page. Perhaps he attended church with someone who, like Amit Parasar (the author of the article), decided that only one point of view mattered. Perhaps Facebook guy/friends/family has been insulted or abused or even murdered by Christians who claim to be upholding the teachings of Christ.
Maybe, Facebook Guy knew exactly what he was doing.
The title of the article, for those of you who aren’t intimate with the Bible, comes from Luke 23:34. It’s what Jesus says to God just before the people crucify him; the quote is actually preceded by “Father, forgive them”. I see quite the difference between having a chat with your father just before someone nails you to a cross, and suggesting that a religion propagated by St. Paul might not be one’s cup of tea. I think only the former rates a plea for forgiveness.
I hope Amit Parasar keeps reading; when he gets to the next book, he’ll come across a new commandment which Jesus (you know, the dude that we follow) gave us. Jesus told us to love one another as I have loved you. He suggested people might identify his disciples by the love they showed for one another.
I don’t recall any commandments about denying intellectual respect to those who don’t agree with you.