What I like (and dislike) about Christianity and faith
What I like about Christianity is the hope that it gives people. I mean without the hope of something better on the other side, someone watching over you, or a meaning behind all of this pain, how scary and depressing would this world be???
For the vast majority of the people on this planet a "God" is necessary. My brother often says that Christianity and other religions are for the weak -- for those individuals that can't face the thought that there is nothing that is going to save us -- except us. That sounds a bit condescending, but it isn't meant to be. In most respects, I think that faith is good for people. It makes them more accountable for their actions, more prone to assist and aid others in the name of their God, more peaceful, and sometimes even more happy.
Where I find religion to be bad for people is when wars are waged in the name of a God, where people of different races and sexuality are excluded and considered impure, where other belief systems are denounced because they are different, and, most offending, where individuals who know that people of religion can be manipulated by using their fear of their God against them.
If you don't think individuals of faith can be easily manipulated, you need only look to Christian Evangelism for your proof. How many "ministers" or "preachers" have you seen claiming that they talk to God and therefore you should give them money to support their church, only to catch them in a hotel room with a hooker or wearing some stunning new piece of jewelry? If you don't think that people of faith can be easily manipulated, just look at how the Vatican and the Roman Church have used people for centuries! If you don't think that people of faith can be easily manipulated, just look at our most recent presidential election -- 4 million Evangelical Christians made the difference. Enticed by ballots to outlaw homosexual marriages in their state, Christians acted in a Christ-like manner to prevent individuals who love each other from joining into the same loving bond that every heterosexual has the priviledge to make. Jesus was a real man that preached love and acceptance and now his word is used to practice exactly the opposite.
If you want to talk yourself up as being a Christian then walk in his shoes -- Christ needed virtually nothing materially, why don't you try it? St. Francis de Assisi has forever earned my love and respect because he did exactly that. It wasn't about the size of the church or how many members it had, but about LOVE and his God. Whether I believe in his God or not, I have to respect that -- and I do.
I didn't mean for this to get into a rant again, I apologize. I just type what the voices in my head tell me to. More on this discussion later.