Wednesday, December 31, 2014

“Comfortable Myths” And Why Christianity Isn’t One

Benjamin Corey

The other day I wrote a post called Why I Couldn’t Be An Atheist Even If I Wanted To, where I wrote about some personal reflections and emotions that I experience when I consider the vastness and complexity of the universe. It wasn’t so much a post about atheism as it was a post about what I feel– I’ve worked hard to build as many bridges with atheists as possible, so I definitely wasn’t looking to pick a fight when I wrote it. All in all, the response from my atheist friends was kind and thoughtful, as usual. However, also as usual, there are a few who make unhelpful comments– probably because they didn’t read this post before commenting.

At this point in my life, comments don’t bother me that much. Heck, I’ve got the religious right putting out books warning parents to keep their kids away from my friends and I, so a stray comment usually doesn’t bother me that much.

Except, one stayed with me and I’ve been pondering it for days. The commenter was dismissive, calling my belief system a “comfortable myth,” that they didn’t need.

Here’s what bothers me about calling Christianity a comfortable myth: following Jesus isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. If anything it has made my life more difficult and far less comfortable than what it could be.

Comfortable myth? I wish that were true. Here’s what a comfortable myth would look like to me:

“Do whatever you want. Take care of number one, and don’t feel guilty about it. Live your life now– and make sure you don’t shortchange yourself.”

That would be a comfortable myth. That would be a narrative that would be easy. It’s even the narrative I’m daily tempted to live, but fight with ever fiber in my being.

But the one I’m living now? Nope.

For someone to say that Christianity is a comfortable myth could only mean two things:

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