Top 10 things about Christianity that kick ass
I've come down pretty hard on Christianity here in my column. Easter is coming up, so I figured that an about turn-of-face would make for some interesting reading. I remain firmly agnostic, but this time of year invites the celebration of the sacred. Thus, I present (drum roll, please)
The Top Ten Things About Christianity That Kick Ass!
10. The Holy Catholic Church
Whether they are burning heretics at the stake or embracing evolution, you cannot beat the Catholics for sheer surprise value. The Pope has a new video out on VH1 and MTV (edited for nudity, nonetheless), proving that when it comes to adapting to changing times, the Catholics are tops! Beat that Judaism!
9. The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)
I imagine Satan and Jesus sitting next to each other in Limbo, watching TBN. They are laughing hysterically, with Jesus asking Satan to think up new tortures for the heretics on TV begging money from their audience. Satan has big plans, involving donkeys, molten steel and hypodermic syringes. They laugh together.
8. Southern Baptist Choirs
My religious upbringing was eclectic, swinging from Mormonism to Episcopalianism. However, the thing that stuck with me most was the sheer joy of the Southern Baptist choirs. If you must worship, do so with song, preferably with bongos, and a wild organist. Music is holy, don't you know?
Christianity is a community-based religion, unlike say, Zen. An individual is encouraged to study and pray, but the communal meeting of kindred people is a central focus. We have so much to learn from each other, and Christianity acknowledges this with celebration, dedicating an entire day to communal worship and sharing.
6. The Crusades
They happened, good or evil. Many come down on the Crusades for their sheer abandon in wasting holy Islamic sites. Rightfully so. However, I can't imagine such a movement today, where soldiers are motivated by their pure religious devotion to leave home and hearth to tear shit up. Granted, the Crusades ended poorly for Christians, but at least they cared.
5. John 8:32.
"Ye shall know the truth, and it shall set ye free."
This passage is incredible. The search for truth (whatever your truth may be) is a process, and the process, freedom. Taken outside of a Christian focus, this is incredible advice. Search for your truth, and you will end up only finding yourself, and freedom.
4. 'Blessed are the Meek'
Unlike the Roman and Greek religions, Christianity places emphasis on those who are disenfranchised. The meek are in the service of God, and their lives as significant as that of the rich. It doesn't matter how many cows you have to sacrifice, as long as you are striving for heaven. Powerful ideology that makes as much sense now as it did 2000 years ago.
Despite Christianity's firm foothold in modern-day America, it is a religion of rebellion. From the first Christians who met with secret handshakes, to a pissed-off Martin Luther, it is a religion that celebrates individual faith and the importance of the individual working towards a greater good. People were fed to lions for this heresy. I have no complaints.
2. The Holy Trinity
Although stolen wholesale from earlier religions, the Holy Trinity is a fascinating concept, defying human comprehension. God exists both as the father, the son and the holy ghost. Such incomprehensibility challenges simple human reason and encourages a new understanding of the nature of God. This alone is food for thought for anyone, of any religion.
1. The Mystery of Faith
This is it. Do you believe or not? I chuckle at the Creation Scientists who struggle to prove the existence of God via Geology. By definition, a God of Faith must not leave any evidence of his handiwork, or Faith would be unnecessary. Virtually all religion boils down to this: "Do you believe, or not?" There is no proof, either way. It is the contemplation of the unknowable that drives us to new truths, beyond concrete human knowledge. What a goal.
So, the agnostic speaks. I fully respect all religions for their aim, and do not want this to seem a recommendation of Christianity. There are incredible faults with Christianity, as with all works of men. However, with Easter upon us, I encourage everyone to look at the stars and ponder. I again state that life is infinitely beautiful, and infinitely shrouded in mystery.
Brad Wallace is a molecular and cellular biology and creative writing senior. He can be reached at Brad.Wallace@wildcat.arizona.edu. This column is dedicated to Micah and Keith.