Three Poisonous Vestiges of Christian Implementation That Live On

Here are three poisonous vestiges of Christian implementation* that people who are no longer in the faith still often exhibit:

The protestant reward ethic.  There was nothing wrong with the protestant work ethic initially, especially when one had a guaranteed way to be a gainful member of society.  When there was a farm there were avenues to be productive by default.  In industrialization where there were jobs as well.  But as time went on implied reward for hard work became part of this ethic.  Eventually the rewards were seen as more important than the work.  A person who is working a tough retail job will be looked down upon in church while a person who got an easy better paying job through connections won’t be (little wonder working class people have been leaving the church).  If you can’t find a job you’ll be treated very bad in the church, particularly if you’re male.

Intolerance.  The intolerance and pettiness of Christian implementation is alive and well in those that have left the faith.  Now these people are just directing their intolerance different places.  Take the flak the moderators of the anti porn subreddit are getting.  Or how shallow and vapid our celebrity culture is and how gleeful we all are to pounce on anyone who offers an opinion that differs from our subculture’s dominant narrative.  The punk live-and-let-live ethos was never a part of Christian implementation (at least in America where people were Christian by default) and unsurprisingly is not part of post-Christian culture either.

Loaded metanarratives.  Most stories are not neutral spaces, particularly the important stories in our lives.  They are are loaded.  There is a right side and a wrong side to them and you’d better expend all your effort making sure you get and stay on the right side of them.  The most obvious of these is the Christian story which presents you with the right side (heaven) and the wrong side (hell), and a choice.  What happened in the late 1800’s is evangelists had sons who went into advertising.  Now the stories involved always being the bridesmaid and never the bride, just for not using the advertised mouthwash.  Because of the massive amount of money to be made, the best of art and science got poured into advertising and it became so good that rebellion became commodified.  Consumer culture may be even more pernicious than religion because by design it doesn’t allow doubt, but does so by making you think you’re thinking for yourself.  The shame and rejection once characterized by hell is mediated through peers channeled from the mass media.

* I say Christian implementation because people defending the faith seem to think that Christianity was pure and got corrupted and thus the corrupted element (including Christians’ behavior) doesn’t count for anything when ascertaining the value of the faith

 

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