Donze Defends Christianity

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Donze Defends Christianity

by Ari Armstrong, February 23, 2000

Terry Donze, my friend in the Libertarian Party, took issue with a paragraph I wrote in an article about the new year. Donze said,

Hello Ari,

You are doing a great job with the CO Freedom Report, but I have to take you to task on the following in your Y2K predictions discussion:

"Christians have been claiming Jesus is coming back any day now, for the last 2,000 years. By most interpretations of the myth, Jesus/God will destroy the present earth and make it anew."

Ari, this is an insult to all Christians, including me. You charge one of our strongest beliefs to be a myth. Later in your article, you discuss "so far as overcoming racial, ethnic, and sexual bigotry, we're on roughly the same page, and I hope the libertarian movement leads the way in moving past all bigotry." What about the religious bigotry you are showing? Shame on you.
TD

I was raised in the Christian religion and I maintain good friendships with many Christians, Protestants and Catholics alike. I find wisdom in several Biblical texts, particularly Proverbs and Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes). I also oppose many Christian doctrines and I'm horrified by parts of Christian history, such as the Inquisition and the Crusades. I'm a strong advocate of freedom of religion, and an equally strong advocate of separation of church and government.

I didn't write anything that Donze should have found offensive. My honest and reasonable belief is that the Christian doctrine of the Second Coming is a myth. That's not bigotry, that's just an honest difference of opinion. Similarly, Donze isn't a bigot for believing Zeus is a myth or that reincarnation is a myth.

I realize that many of my readers are Christians. I certainly don't want to offend those readers, but I do want to retain my ability to respectfully disagree with Christians on a variety of cultural issues. The Libertarian Party and the broader libertarian movement is joined by persons of all religious and spiritual persuasions. That's great! I don't have any political disagreements with libertarian Christians, except perhaps on the issue of abortion, which is for me challenging. But I believe political change must be rooted in deeper cultural change, so I will comment on broader cultural issues on occasion.

Incidentally, the term "myth" is not inherently pejorative, and I did not intend it as such. The Oxford defines "myth" as "a purely fictitious narrative usually involving supernatural persons, actions, or events, and embodying some popular idea concerning natural or historical phenomena."

Unfortunately, some Christians use the doctrine of the Second Coming as an excuse not to get involved in political change. "Jesus is coming soon anyway," I've heard, "so what's the point?" Even though early Christians expected the prompt return of Christ, my church taught that it's impossible to know when Christ might return (assuming one buys into that idea). He's waited 2,000 years, so he may wait another 2,000 years. So, Christians, I encourage you to advocate a libertarian society in which the freedoms of all religious, spiritual, and intellectual groups are respected.

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