Christianity V. Empathy
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All of these rationalizations are inescapably callous.
To the degree that this is a Christian nation, it is also one that lacks compassion. Beginning with the abhorrent institution of slavery through today with our aggressive corporate, greed-based culture, and two terrible decade-long wars in the Middle East, this country has not displayed empathic tendencies at home or abroad. Our United States, with its 247 million Christians, is impacting the world and the direction of history more than any other country today. American culture has been so steeped in this toxic doctrine that we have developed into a nation that tolerates the intolerable. It’s a doctrine that instills a “save yourself” mentality. It says, “Christ is compassionate, so we don’t have to be -- if you want mercy, ask Him for it. Don’t look at us.”
But if we are to survive as a human race, for which compassion is so fundamental to our collective strength, growth and enlightenment, then we must leave the concept of hell behind. If we cannot openly recognize that we owe our salvation only to our ability to love and care for each other and the planet that sustains us, then we are doomed to create hell on earth.
Pepe Lopez Waldron is a Brooklyn-based writer.