Christian principles include loving thy neighbor, compassion and understanding, and not bearing false witness (lying). All of these principles are systematically violated by "True Christians"--those infected with the Christianity Meme.
Since the Christianity Meme draws heavily from the Bible, many of the ancient writings become invalided by scientific discovery. Consider the once-held Christian belief that man was the center of the universe--the pinnacle of creation. Modern astronomy has shown that our small planet circles an insignificant star in an insignificant galaxy. After questioning the tenet, Galileo was forced to recant the truth because the Christianity Meme held more power. It took the Roman Catholic Church 400 years to apologize to (the long since dead) Galileo for its mistake. (This one event effectively kills the argument that the Church must be used for an infallible interpretation of scripture, though the Christianity Meme would like you to believe otherwise.) See "Galileo: the real story" for a more thorough discussion of the event.
Today, the "debate" about creationism is alive and well because the Christianity Meme is in conflict with the rival meme of Evolution. Science has long since disproved creationism and the biblically supported notion that the universe is about 10,000 years old. Evolution is able to completely explain the mystery of life without requiring divine influence. Far from conceding defeat, the Christianity Meme continues the promotion of this antiquated (and false) explanation and directs "True Christians" to suppress the rival meme. Consider the August 1999 action by the Kansas school board in the removal of evolution from public school curricula. See Christianity Meme in the News for more.
It is not difficult to find other topics on which the Christianity Meme begs to differ with fact and reality. Promotion of falsehoods is the same as bearing false witness, an act explicitly prohibited by the Ten Commandments. Thus, following the Christianity Meme leads to immorality as defined by Christian principles.
The Christian principles of loving thy neighbor, compassion and understanding, and not bearing false witness have all been violated by the Christianity Meme's response to homosexuality. The Christianity Meme has made an enemy of gays and supports a holy war against them. Persecution of gays is encouraged by True Christians as a blessed means of venting hatred. Various myths (lies) continue to be spread about homosexuality to vilify gays, arouse mistrust, and rally support for Christian causes. Gays are labeled as pedophiles, immoral, or diseased with AIDS. Homosexuality has been blamed for "the breakdown of the American family", "the decline of morality", and even unwanted teenage pregnancy. The Christianity Meme supports a view that the only acceptable homosexual is one that has "accepted Jesus as his personal savior" and ended his "life of sin". The Christianity Meme supports the use of "conversion therapy" as a loving Christian response. In reality, conversion therapy is a form of brainwashing that is extremely harmful to the "patient". Its use has been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association. (See the Human Rights Campaign Fund's "Responding to Anti Gay Change Ads" (a PDF file).) Additionally, "True Christians" have directed vast amounts of money and effort toward defeating gay rights initiatives around the country, including, in many cases, explicitly excluding gays from hate crimes legislation.
Given this climate of homophobia, is it any surprise that the suicide rate among gay teenagers is disproportionately higher than their heterosexual counterparts? Perhaps murder should be added to the list of ways in which the Christianity Meme violates Christian principles. Is there anything moral about this response to homosexuality?
American Values and Ethics
In many cases, the propagation of the Christianity Meme is at odds with American values and ethics. The People for the American Way have kept watch and chronicled the threats to American values and ethics by religious groups and others. Here, we describe the Christianity Meme's suppression of fairness, equality and freedom of expression, separation of church and state, and abuse of political power. When pressed, "True Christians" will tell you that American principles are less important than the moral principles of Christianity. If there is a perceived conflict, most Christians will consciously violate American ethics. These same Christians have been elected to positions throughout American government and are working on the Christianity Meme's behalf to tear down its obstacles.
Fairness, Equality, and Freedom of Expression
The American tenets of fairness and equality are at odds with the Christianity Meme's desire to infect hosts and suppress competing views (memes).
We have already chronicled the Christianity Meme's response to gay Americans--the chosen enemy of the Christianity Meme. The response has, at times, included the introduction of unconstitutional laws barring political participation by gays. Gays are frequent targets of hate crimes. Gays cannot openly serve in their country's armed forces, nor do they have the right of (secular) marriage with the person that they love. Gays are often without workplace protections, fair housing rights, or even the right to raise their own children in many cases. As a result of this systematic attack on gays, they have a second-class status in America--a far cry from "liberty and justice for all".
Churches have traditionally enjoyed tax exempt status and a lower standard of responsibility for where their money is spent. Few people who tithe know anything of where their money goes. Various laws, such as the Blue Laws of the Southern United States promote Christianity by encouraging church attendance (by discouraging alcoholic bingeing on Sundays). Capitalistic America has little need for religious-based restrictions on when business can be conducted. Christian senators have sought to pull the plug on the National Endowment for the Arts which has sometimes funded artistic efforts that mock Christianity.
Separation of Church and State
In an effort to infiltrate and gain control of various institutions, the Christianity Meme has made countless attacks on the separation of church and state. Lead prayer in public schools, display of the Ten Commandments, swearing-in on the Bible, and nativity displays. While "True Christians" will say that the country was founded on Christian beliefs, the truth is that far more important in the Framer's minds was the tyranny of the Church and the abuses done in the name of Christianity. Again, the People for the American Way has kept watch over the issue of church-state separation.
Abuse of Political Power
At its heart, Christianity is about power. For centuries, the church has been the seat of all power. Kings, queens, and other heads of state all bowed to the church. The framers of the American constitution sought to make a separation between church and state and empower each individual equally. The Christianity Meme has had to adapt to this new environment. The epitome of this evolution is the Religious Right--a political machine of gigantic strength and proportions. Where there is power, corruption is not far behind. Recent examples of abuse of political power include the following.
- Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition has illegally misused his tax-exempt status to support political candidates.
- Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition has repeatedly misrepresented the size of its constituency.
- Various Christian organization's support for political candidates is portrayed as being the choice that God himself would make.
- Various attacks on minority rights by popular vote of the majority, including the 1999 same-sex marriage decision in Hawaii.
Because True Christians are willing to blindly accept direction from God, unscrupulous religious organizations use this willingness to manipulate their followers in the political arena. This is a clear violation of equality and an abuse of political power.
Abuse of power is rarely restricted to the political arena. The Christianity Meme helps create an environment that is ripe for abuse.
A theme of Christian dogma is that the individual is weak and powerless--especially when he has not given his life over to God. A person's intelligence and wisdom is but a joke to God, who is all-knowing and all powerful. The individual must pray to God to obtain desirable outcomes. Some churches have suggested that the notion of free will is illusory--effectively making everyone one of God's puppets.
The Christianity Meme must work at destroying the power of the individual so that it can make itself indispensable to him. This is an effective technique used in cult conversions. See "Joining a 'Cult': Religious Choice or Psychological Aberration?". An unempowered individual can be easily manipulated by the unscrupulous.
Control via Conditional Love
Christian love is usually conditional. It is given freely to those under the power of the Christianity Meme and denied to those who are not. The New Testament is used to woo new hosts, but the fire and brimstone of the old testament is cast upon the Christianity Meme's enemies.
Religious Indoctrination of Children
Religious indoctrination of children is desired by the Christianity Meme for life-long control over them. Such indoctrination not only teaches falsehoods, but it severely impairs a child's ability to think for himself. Indoctrinated children will grow up to be adults who are easily manipulated by unscrupulous religious leaders. Religious indoctrination is effectively crippling. It is a form of child abuse.
Tacit Approval of Acts done in the name of God
An unspoken Christian principle is not to question the beliefs or actions of other Christians. The mind set is that God acts in mysterious ways, ultimately God will judge everyone, and it's not going on in my sect. This attitude creates an environment where any act--no matter how evil--can be done with impunity. This attitude is partly responsible for the continuing abuses listed on this page.
Tithing is an Inefficient use of Charitable Donations
While Churches are set up as charitable organizations, they bear large, unreported overheads to parent organizations, building funds, and entertainment expenses (such as choir robes, bells, and organs). True charitable organizations, which report their income and expenses, and do not support the propagation of the Christianity Meme, make much more effective use of donated money.