Thursday, October 28, 2004

"I'm a Christian"

Nearly everyone I know is Christian, Jewish, or very anti-organized religion. The Christians are mainstream/line Protestants, evangelical Protestants, or Roman Catholics - many of whom don't realize that the word "Christian" applies to Catholics.

The Catholics might be onto something here. I've begun to hate the word "Christian". When someone describes him- or herself that way, I'm immediately turned off. I make assumptions: Evangelical! Conservative! Judgemental! And, yes, I note the irony here.

There are 50 million mainline Protestants in the U.S., 65 million Catholics, and 40 million evangelicals. Evangelical denominations are the only Christian denominations that are showing any real growth lately. I don't know if there's anything I can do about that scary trend, or about Americans' related need to see everything in very simple black-and-white. I hope that I can do something about the fact that "Christian" is starting to sound like a dirty word. (And researching the figures in this paragraph was incredibly depressing.)

I hope I can help remind people that 50 million of us are like this. We can see shades of gray. We value context. We don't blindly follow our leaders. We don't vote en mass.

I'm thinking of doing that November Blogger novel thing.