there's also this one too:
here i think we have the big ol' fallacy of "No True Scotsman." The UCC can't be Christian because we all know Christians are exclusive. They all are pro-life, conservative, and believe the same thing. WRONG!
Why then do some expressions of Christianity get more access than others? I keep coming up against the same objections to my theology time and time again, namely that it doesn't sound too "Christian." when pressed further, most ppl will articulate that i don't match up to the conservative Christian stance, since that is the percieved majority.
Funny thing is, the Pew Forum ran a survey that found
"the spiritual roots of the religious right and left to two broader faith communities. On the right, white evangelical Christians comprise 24% of the population and form a distinct group whose members share core religious beliefs as well as crystallized and consistently conservative political attitudes.Whoa?! Progressives outnumber evangelicals? Well, that doesn't make sense! Well, we know that every Christian believes the bible is the Word of God and reads it literally.
On the left, a larger share of the public (32%) identifies as "liberal or progressive Christians." But unlike evangelicals, progressive Christians come from different religious traditions and disagree almost as often as they agree on a number of key political and social issues."
On matters of faith, fully 62% of white evangelicals say the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally. In contrast, only 35% of the public including just 24% of Catholics and 17% of white mainline Protestants share this literal view of the scriptures, with most believing that although the Bible is God's word, not everything in it is literally true. (from the same survey)Well butter my butt and call me biscut! The majority believes what I do, that the bible isn't COMPLETELY the word of God but contains it. As Karl Barth put it "when we read the bible we aren't reading THE word of God, we're reading FOR it." This is what it means when ppl answer that the Bible is the "Living Word of God." Much different than a static literal "Word of God." stance. This view has also been backed up last year as I and others in my class had to do church surveys for our "Church and the Human Sciences" class. Some took theological inventories as part of this survey, and they too found that churches largely view the bible like this... this comes from an American Baptist, two UCCers and a Methodist. My inlaws church also did a survey like this and they posted the results!
Well, we know all Christians are dogmatic and completely tribal, excluding all other faiths. The Pew Forum also found that"Many Americans Not Dogmatic About Religion" crap! They even found that Most Mainline Protestants Say Society Should Accept Homosexuality and that they believe "Other Faiths Can Lead to Eternal Life."
So why then, with all this "objective evidence" (HI SABIO ;-)) do these stereotypes still exist? Well, because of access to media thanks to morons like those at CBS who only want a pre-packaged "Pop" understanding of Christianity. Also because the more conservative segment of the religion would rather call the liberals "not Christian at all" as evidenced by this post by Shane Vander Hart. That argument makes me very very sad yet I hear it time and time again from the right seeking to pull the rug out from under their own brethren.
There is not just one view on Christianity, but multiple streams, theologies, views, denominations, and debates that have been going on since the founding of this religion. I like what a character in Defiance states about Judaism and what they traditionally do on Passover: "We will sit around and argue just has we have been doing for thousands of years." I like this idea! If you look closely enough, you'll find that every religion is doing this. That's one claim I can stand by. Even Islam, which claims that the Koran is the indisputible word of God has denominations, namely the Sunni and the Shi'ite. We can throw in the Sufi's as well, crazy mystics are always muddy'n the religious waters ;-)
I fit directly into a particular sense of what it means to be Christian. I'm a Mainline Protestant who used to be Catholic (largely Jesuit trained!). Science as always been held in high regard, the Bible has always contained stories... even though I once thought Jonah was literally swallowed by the whale. Now that I'm older I can use form criticism and see what is myth and what is not. I don't fit into a conservative understanding of Christianity nor do i have to, as it is not the only understanding out there.... so please stop acting like it is.