I see absolutely no evidence of this.

Yes, you’ve said that.

But as I’ve stated, my claim that the non-religious are more compassionate is directly tied to my claim that the non-religious are less xenophobic.

I have no trouble accepting that nominal Christians are just as compassionate toward members of their own congregation as any atheist would be.

But my contention is that they’re less compassionate when it comes to outside groups — particularly people of other religions and of other sexual orientations. Discriminatory xenophobia is the opposite of compassion.

And the claim that Christians are more xenophobic is one that I can provide you evidence for.

I could point you to the evidence which shows that America’s Christians are less tolerant of gay marriage and gay adoption than are America’s non-Christians.

I could point you to the evidence which shows that America’s Christians are less tolerant of people of other faiths.

I could point you to the evidence which shows that America’s Christians are less tolerant of people of other races.

Now, I will grant you that the types of xenophobia exhibited by America’s Christians varies across denominations. The white evangelical Protestants are by far the most xenophobic when it comes to race and religion (the Catholics are holding strong on the homophobia, though).

But then, white evangelical Protestantism is the largest denomination of Christianity in America. They are the group which half of America’s politicians are beholden to.

…people are turned off to organized religion. It’s part of a modern backlash against religion.

Yes, they are. What’s your hypothesis for why that backlash is happening?

I’ve put forward an explanation — younger generations are put off by the xenophobia and the hypocrisy and the lack of compassion.

Last year, I read an article by a young man named Sam Eaton, a millennial Christian who says he looked around his congregation one Sunday morning and found that he was one of only very few young people there. In the article, he identifies twelve reasons why he believes young people are abandoning the church. Among those reasons, he cites hypocrisy and corruption and lack of compassion.

To conclude, Christ-likeness is often reduced to a set of moral imperatives — be kind, forgive, be compassionate to your neighbor, be like the Good Samaritan.

Yes, I agree, that is generally what people mean when they use the term “Christ-like.” Certainly, it’s how I was using the word.

This is merely a restating of OT law.

It’s not often that I presume to contradict priests on Biblical knowledge, but I will object to this.

OT law says: don’t slap. But those who do slap, should be slapped back as recompense.

This differs from Jesus, who says don’t slap, and don’t slap back. Turn the other cheek.

And yes, I suppose I would agree that what I mean by “Christ-like” is akin to being like the Good Samaritan, but the Good Samaritan is a New Testament parable, is it not?

The law says, “thou shalt not murder. But I say to you that if you even call your neighbor fool, you are guilty. […] Even if you consider adultery in your heart you are guilty”.

Jesus was internally consistent with what he did. He did not merely do good, he was good in the thoughts and intentions of his heart. He would not think evil.

Well, so the story goes. My own view is that Jesus was a man with an imminently admirable pacifistic philosophy, but he was still just a man. I don’t accept the supernatural claims, and I don’t accept the claims that his thoughts were 100% pure. I don’t even think we should necessarily accept that Jesus actually said all of the quotes that are attributed to him by the Bible. The Gospels are, after all, secondhand accounts written decades after the fact.

But that’s getting off-topic.


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