I fully believe that followers of any religion or worldview should be treated equally and with respect. This is true no matter how ridiculous your beliefs are. Whether you are a young-earth-creationist, a Scientologist, a Muslim, a Mormon, or a believer in astrology or crystal healing, you should be allowed to hold and practice your beliefs. That being said, this is only possible if those who hold each belief do not impose them on others. No matter how positive you are that your beliefs are 100% accurate, you don’t have to try and force others to agree. Arguing and debating is healthy, but only when each party is willing to do their best to listen to and understand the other side. You don’t have to “respect their beliefs”, but as long as the beliefs aren’t harmful, the person should be treated respectfully. After all, we are all just doing our best to accurately understand and interpret the world around us.Read more
The day has finally arrived! My time at my Christian college is finally coming to a close. I’ve finished my tests and papers, and in a week, I’ll be graduating. To take a break from writing, this week I am sharing with you my favorite quotes from Hitchens’ God is Not Great. Enjoy! Read more
I know that one can control their being an atheist more than they could control being gay. We don’t have any control over our sexual orientation. But the control that we have over what we believe is more complex than “none at all”. In my opinion, I can control what I read and what information and arguments I choose to expose myself to. I can deliberate on what makes the most sense, or if I see some sense in both sides of an argument, I will usually choose to dig deeper on the topic until I find a more concrete answer. What I can’t control is what conclusion I come to.Read more
In the fall of 2017, I went to a talk at school called Homosexuality and The Christian. It was a small informal thing in the student union, held by a resident director. She talked from personal experience, saying that she had close friends and family members who were gay. She went on about how to deal with “same-sex attraction” as a Christian, reiterating the views of a Christianity-homosexuality scholar named Matt Yarhouse. I believe that he ultimately advocates for celibacy if one is same-sex attracted and it disobeys one’s religion, and he suggests that one can find companionship with friends and in the church, and of course, in Jesus Christ himself. Read more
Luther’s Small Catechism is a required reading for the confirmation class that every LCMS teen needs to take (against their will) in order to be a confirmed adult member of the LCMS church (which I am, unfortunately). It’s included in the Book of Concord, which is a complete collection of the confessions of the Lutheran Church; everything in the Small Catechism is to be taken as true (or at least the student should say they believe it) in order to be confirmed. So let’s take a look at what my entire family and I (and my fiance) agreed to when we became members of the LCMS! (I just picked out the worst bits and pieces to actually discuss, but feel free to read the whole thing here.)Read more
Most of the time, when I hear the word “autonomy”, it’s being referred to as a negative thing. Almost everyone I know has a pretty steadfast “Jesus take the wheel” mindset. They let go of their worries, send up some prayers, and let God take care of the rest. It’s not their problem anymore, nor should it be. If something doesn’t work out, they simply say that it wasn’t in God’s plan for them and that when he closes one door, he opens another.
The idea of autonomy gives many Christians the impression that if they don’t give control to God, then they are playing god in their own lives. They have taken over the god-role and are assuming that they have that omnipotent amount of control and the freedom to do whatever they want. And putting yourself in God’s place is a way of idolizing yourself and your power, which of course goes against God’s very own ten commandments.
This, however, is not how I see autonomy. Read more