Bad religion

America, we have a problem. We preach about being the land of the free and the home of the brave, but subtle forms of discrimination still sway national discourse to this day. One such form is religious discrimination, and it doesn’t always take the form you might envision.

Nowadays, there is an unfortunate, growing trend of labeling all Christians as conservative, judgmental bigots. This is simply not true.

This is just as bad as assuming that all Muslims are terrorists, or that all Jews are good at handling money. The difference is that these stereotypes are deemed offensive and generally frowned upon by popular society, whereas depicting Christianity as a myopic and deprecating religion has become common practice.

As in any cultural group, the loudest, craziest voices get the most attention. The actions of certain pastors or congregations should in no way represent the ideology of the whole. In fact, one of the great things about Christianity is the wealth of diversity to be found within. In each denomination – even within each congregation – there are members with opposing and varying political views. Not every church is trying to pray the gay away or save the heathens from hellfire and damnation, and we certainly aren’t all trying to shove the Bible down people’s throats.

Herein lies the inherent hypocrisy of religious stereotyping. Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded, but these accusations themselves make the deliverer guilty of the exact same crime. These generalizations are unfair to progressive and conservative Christians alike.

Religion in any form can be a beautiful thing. At its core, organized religion is about connecting with others to embark on age-old journeys of communal discovery. It is a quest for knowledge and understanding, a foundation for moral tenants and a sense of human purpose.

That being said, religion can easily be corrupted. Throughout history, awful things have been done in the name of every religion – including Christianity – that no one is proud of. All we can do is accept our faults and move forward into a better tomorrow. After all, we’re only human, trying to interpret the will of a higher power. Everyone does this in their own way, and making prejudiced generalizations only makes for a more divided world.