An exchange on my Freethought Examiner article “Pope further damages Church reputation with Shroud claim” brought up a recurring issue regarding religion and culture: To wit, what is “your” religion and/or culture? Is it really “yours?” Did you create it? Or was it put upon you from the outside?
In the latest incident to remind me of this semantic debate, an angry ranter repeatedly posted remarks that, by my disbelief in fabulous biblical and Christian fairytales such as the Shroud, I was somehow hurting “his” faith and making him hate “his” culture. Among other less polite remarks, including disparaging Jews, he raged, “I am fed up with constant spitting on my culture.”
I asked him:
Why is it “your” culture? What were your ancestors before Christianity was forced upon them? And who forced Christianity upon them? Who created Christianity? Are you sure you know? Even the New Testament claims Christianity was created by those very same “Israelites” upon whom you are casting aspersions.
Indeed, what is “our” culture? Is it that of an invader religion that decimated our ancestors, to the tune of some 250 million worldwide over the period of nearly 2,000 years? My genetic heritage is mostly Swedish, Scottish and English, all of which were at one point pre-Christian but were converted largely at the end of a sword, fanatic followers of Christianity slaughtering thousands upon thousands while compelling them to worship the god and godman of a completely foreign culture.
Although I was born and raised a Christian – in a very mild form of Protestantism, but coming from a Puritan family that had arrived in America in 1630 – I relate to the pre-Christian cultures of my genetic ancestors and consider Christianity an invader cult that destroyed my religion and culture, and massacred thousands of my peeps.
If anyone should be angry, it is not those who blindly follow an intruder religion but those whose ancestors were slaughtered in droves at the hand of that same, violent faith.
Whenever you angrily bring up “your” culture while defending Christianity, please keep in mind that “your” religion is responsible for the murders of millions of people from my culture and that of many others, including your own ancestors as well.