Every cause has its Village Idiot

SarahBeth Caplin

This semester, I decided to do something a little different and take three courses on religion and how it relates to our modern world. Needless to say, the discussions have been interesting and, at times, very intense. I have listened to brief testimonies of people who grew up in religious homes (mostly Christian), only to shed those beliefs once they entered college. As provocative as they are insightful, the common thread linking those stories was hypocrisy in their respective churches that eventually drove them away from their faith.

I think anyone who claims to have faith should show evidence of it in their daily lives. Sadly, many people don’t, and I can’t say I blame anyone who decides to bow out of religion altogether.

Religion is the root of all evil, some will say; however, I hear more people using negative examples of Christianity to explain their distaste for religion than any other faith. Have we all forgotten that Christianity isn’t the only religion whose message gets perverted by extremists?

It doesn’t matter what religion we’re talking about; a generalization is a generalization, and a stereotype is a stereotype. Both are harmful and, for the most part, unjustified. Every tree has its bad apples, and every cause has its village idiot. We can only pray that the people responsible for doing a disservice to their faith see the light. We should strive to bring true, genuine examples of what we believe to everyone we know. This is how hearts and lives get changed: by being open to educating ourselves and letting go of past grievances based on isolated incidents that cloud our judgment.

Yes, there are many annoying Christians dominating the media who deserve the criticism they get. There are plenty of hypocrites who almost make me feel ashamed of my faith. But please, in spite of all that, realize that judging Christianity by the poor example set by your pastor, a politician, or any other celebrity is just as dangerous and harmful as judging all members of other religions for the negative examples in those communities. Not all who are persecuted in the name of religion are persecuted in the name of Christianity. Education is the tool for ending discrimination and stopping the spread of lies.

SarahBeth Caplin is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].