My excitement over next week’s Reason Rally continues to grow, particularly over the recent news that members of the Westboro Baptist Church will be attending. As you may not be aware, this is the Christian group famous for picketing the funerals of dearly departed kittens and puppies, usefully informing the world at such events that God hates America, fags, and polyester.
So why am I in such a tizzy? Because other Christian groups besides Westboro plan to attend the rally too.
You see, Christians disagree with the declaration that atheism is reasonable, and they’re coming to argue it is Christianity that’s reasonable. I’ve noted before that such a position contradicts their own scriptures, not to mention the teachings of their major theologians. Nevertheless, I propose we take them at their word and provide them the chance to demonstrate the rationality of their beliefs – demonstrate, that is, to their fellow Christians!
The elephant in the Christian church is its thousands of sects, many of whom hold long-standing, diametrically opposed beliefs which all cannot be true. Such a situation seems inexplicable for an allegedly reasonable religion like Christianity. After all, other, far younger enterprises that are based on reason and evidence – science is a good example – for the most part lack this splintering. So, the Reason Rally is in reality a fantastic opportunity for these Christians to resolve their differences in polite, meaningful, and reasonable exchange. Does God really hate gays? Is America irrevocably doomed to damnation? Will my wearing a cotton shirt, wool shorts, and a silk tie offend the Almighty? I’m sure such contentions questions will be reasonably settled by reasonable Christians who, after all, worship the God of Reason.
The stakes are high. Christians certainly don’t want to ward off potential converts with contradictory messages. Besides, does not the Bible warn of other gospels that put us under God’s curse if we were to be misled by them? Dispelling false Christian doctrine once and for all would pay huge dividends in souls saved. Finally, billions speaking in a unified voice would set Christianity apart from its squabbling cousins and provide powerful evidence of its veracity.
Let the first test of Christianity’s reasonableness be whether it can convince its own adherents to shed incorrect gospels and unite behind a single doctrine. This achievement seems trivial for a religion that’s truly reasonable, one headed by a deity who is supposedly no author of confusion.