11/3/12

Which Jesus Do You Believe In?

John Blake's article for CNN.com had one of the most revealing titles I've seen in a long time: Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus? Um, neither. Of course, if you can get past the title, Blake's article contains some interesting food for thought:
Here's a presidential election prediction you can bet on.

Right after the winner is announced, somebody somewhere in America will fall on their knees and pray, "Thank you Jesus."
And somebody somewhere else will moan, "Help us Jesus."
Yep. And like Blake points out, they will be directing their prayers to a very different sort of Jesus. Christians cherry pick the parts of their bibles that are most consistent with their own preferences and discard the rest.

The thing is, I'm not sure we should get past the title. Blake's article does not seem to take into account how many Americans do not believe in any sort of Jesus. Not only are there practitioners of many other religions who do not recognize Jesus as the sort of figure to which one might pray, but there are millions of atheists for whom prayer is the ultimate exercise in futility. As one such atheist, I have to wonder why CNN.com is running articles like this.

Viewed through this lens, Blake's article merely strengthens the already problematic sense of Christian privilege that pervades this nation (i.e., the tendency of many Christians to assume that everyone else is just like them). So much for religious diversity, huh?.

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