May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don’t dis them that brung ya to the dance

If you are against Christianity, yet care about children, charity, humanity, love, the old, the homeless, and the sick, why?

Secularists, in whatever form, anti-traditionalists, atheists, communists, statists, pagans, all claim to be charitable, care about the sick, the disabled, the mentally ill and the rest, at the same time saying hateful things about Christians. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about the ancient world, especially about the ancient Mediterranean; their beliefs and behaviors.

In the pagan world infanticide, murder, slavery, letting the sick, poor, old people and children just die because of they were of no value or use, was the way of philosophy and life. Women had fewer rights than male slaves.

We in the West have the opposite view and practices. It all began because of what Jesus taught. Jesus Christ said to let the children come to Him, “Jesus took children in his arms and blessed them. ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them.’ . . . And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.”   Even the Disciples were against this. Children at that time were seen as a burden, another mouth to feed. Girl babies were often left to die or outright killed right after birth, and any baby not seen as fully healthy was killed. Many were abandoned. As a result, over the centuries, abandoned children were taken care of by Christians. Christians created orphanages or cared for them in their own homes (precursor of the foster care system) rather than buy into the notion that children were of no value. Those against Christianity will point out all the failings of orphanages and foster care. I can only suppose then they approve of leaving abandoned children to die.

Leaving children to die, not seeing the worth and sanctity of human life extended to all people. Life had no value. Murder was acceptable. Infanticide was acceptable. Abortion (as it is now) was acceptable; thousands were slaughtered in the arenas of the Roman Empire, and human sacrifice was acceptable all over the world. Jesus taught all life was sacred. This was antithetical to the pagan beliefs of the time. Secularists and atheists claim to care for people. This is a Christian belief. Secularists and atheists being true to their rejection of Christianity, to be true to their beliefs, would advocate for murder, infanticide and human sacrifice.

Before Christianity marriage was for political and child bearing reasons. Men wanted an heir, and women’s purpose was to have babies. They were baby factories with no rights. Unmarried women were often, if not usually, prostitutes. Temples were glorified brothels filled with prostitutes. Jesus had many women followers, cared and ministered to them against the norms of His society. Jesus had women spread the news of His Resurrection. The early church met primarily in homes, usually run by women. In that society, such things were just not allowed. Women weren’t even allowed to speak in public, but in Christian services they were. Are atheists and secularists for the abuse of women, forcing them to be silent, forcing them into prostitution?

Marriage was not between equals in pagan society as it is now. Based on Jesus’ teachings, the Apostle Paul wrote extensively about the equality of women in marriage, that men should love and listen to their women, should share equally in the marriage. Divorce then was a one way street. The man could just throw his wife out on the street with no possessions or money; that was divorce. A husband could commit adultery as long as it wasn’t with another man’s wife. Not out of any concern for the wife, but because the wife was property, and adultery was using (stealing) another man’s property. Plus there were plenty of prostitutes around, so it was just insulting to use another’s wife.

Slavery was the social norm of the day. It was until the 19th century. It was Christians, using the teachings of Apostle Paul and Jesus that put into practice the notion that we are all created in God’s image, so all equal before Him, and so to each other. In pagan times one was free man or slave (or woman). It was Christians that fought to free slaves all over the world. Do atheists and secularists endorse slavery, or embrace the Christian belief and practice that men are equal and slavery is evil.

There was no such thing as charity and compassion. There was no caring for the sick, poor, or homeless. If one were in such a condition, it was punishment from the gods. Based on Jesus’ teaching, Apostle Paul said, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”. At that time looking after others was thought of as useless and a waste. The thinking of the time was that the poor and sick should be left to die if they can’t work. They weren’t worthy of help. Jesus showed compassion for the sick and poor. If atheists and secularists so reject Christianity, then they reject the notion of caring for the sick and poor, like those before Christianity did.

There were not charitable organizations before Christianity introduced them. There wasn’t any charity at all. Jesus said, “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” An absolute contradiction to the mores of the time. Rejecting the teachings of Christianity, would secularists and atheists reject charities for the sick or the homeless, the poor?

Part of caring for the sick was the creation of hospitals, that didn’t exist in pagan times. Atheists and secularists accept this as just a part of modern society. Schools, the idea that everyone, even women, should be taught, regardless of class or ethnicity, was a Christian development and practice. Before Jesus Christ, education was only for the sons of free men. There was of course push back against this, even among Christians, but the idea became the reality we have today.

Art, music, architecture, literature all benefitted and improved as a result of Christianity. That’s a whole other posting. My point here is atheists and secularists all embrace, practice and benefit from the beliefs and sacrifices of Christians. Maybe they should reconsider their wholesale attack on Christianity since it is what gives them their own sense of humanity, care, compassion and love. Such things did not exist before Jesus Christ. Don’t dis them that brung ya to the dance.

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