Its a challenge for a Christian like myself to come to a country which is publicly far more Christian than the UK (or most Western European countries) and yet which often seem to hold values that seem so un-Christian to me. As I said in a previous post, one solution is just to say that many Americans have got the wrong idea of Christianity and leave it at that. Its easy to condemn some of the more blatant arguments of the Christian right. If New Orleans was hit by floods as an act of God for its sinful gambling, how come Las Vegas has been spared? (Perhaps because its in a desert?). Do those who condemn homosexuality on the basis of Leviticus also argue that a rape victim should have to marry her attacker? (See Deuteronomy 22: 28-29).
But Im starting to wonder whether this is too easy an answer. Can you just separate out the good and bad sides of Christianity so easily? In particular, how many of those who dedicate their lives to helping those in need also hold some very reactionary views? There have been many (often justified) criticisms of Mother Teresa, but where are the secular or liberal Christian Mother Teresas? There are some, but Im not sure that there are that many. Roy Hattersley (an atheist, but not anti-Christian,) was saying the same thing a few days ago(see http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1567604,00.html) .Do you need a certain black-and-whiteness in your beliefs to commit yourself to this extent? Im not sure of my answer at the moment.