I pick on religion a lot. I should probably mention that I acknowledge that religion has been responsible for encouraging some of the best in people, as well as providing an excuse for them to indulge in their worst instincts.
Religion can bring out the very best in people. It can bring out a goodness in people that even they didn't know existed. It can inspire, uplift, and solace. I know this, and I don't say that often enough. For those who believe, their belief can support them in the face of unimaginable catastrophes.
And there are good people in those ranks. A whole lot of them.
It's just that it's mostly the worst of religion in the UsofA is that's on public view these days. The loudest voices are the crazy ones.
*Sigh.* Even when I'm trying to prove I'm not an anti-religious hatemonger, I start ranting and almost prove otherwise. But, I'm not.
I just think that, while it's all very well for the meek to inherit the earth, I think a few of them would like to wait out their inheritance without fear of being tied to a remote fencepost and beaten to death by ignorant, drunks. Or, you know, being tied to the bumper of a truck and dragged for a few miles until their body starts to come to pieces. I'm thinking, James and Matthew probably wanted that. I'm not making charges that Christianity killed them--but it has to be said that most of the hate-talk I've heard for the past ten years comes from the 'Christian Right.' They do, at least, encourage this kind of brutality by dehumanizing and demonizing the populations they select as targets.
So, you liberal, unbigoted, or at least tolerant Christians? You might just mention, the next time the occasion presents itself (god forbid), that Jesus Wouldn't Do That.