Saturday, May 03, 2014

Christians rejecting Christ, part 9349

"When I give food to the poor, I'm called a saint. When I ask why they are poor, I'm called a communist." -Archbishop Dom Helder Camara.

The Atlantic's website had a really interesting article regarding US Christians, Jesus and the death penalty. It cited research related what American Christians thought Jesus Christ's opinion on capital punishment would have been.

Personally, I suspect he would've been against execution for two reasons. First, he was, unlike so many Christians in this country, consistently pro-life. And, he had first-hand experience of how easily an innocent man can be murdered by the state.

But that's not the part that really intrigues me.

The article cited polling which found that only 10% of American Christians as a whole (and only 2% of Catholics) believe Jesus would've supported capital punishment.

Yet the Pew Forum found that a comfortable majority of white Christians supported the death penalty. Smaller numbers of black and Hispanic Christians supported the death penalty but the figures (in the 35-ish percent range in both cases) were still several times higher than the number who thought Jesus Himself would support the practice. It found that 71% of Republicans, the party most associated with the fusion of Christianity and politics, supported the death penalty.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe Christ would have opposed capital punishment. The overwhelming majority of Americans claim to be Christian. The overwhelming majority of those Christians reject the position that they themselves believe their own Prophet would've taken.

I used to assume that religious beliefs instructed personal beliefs. Increasingly, I'm starting to think that one's personal beliefs dictates one's religious beliefs more than the contrary.

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