Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christian Memes: What Do We Really Believe?

Tis, the season for cable and local news outlets to dust off their file footage from the previous years war on Christmas stories. I'm not particularly concerned with the validity of their claims; maybe there is a cabal of Atheists and secular progressives trying to diminish Jesus' role in the holiday season: that may be true. As nefarious as that sounds, I'm more concerned with the apparent lack of faith some of my fellow Christians seem to have when it comes to matters like these.

At the beginning of the school year a similar religious phenomenon happens: Facebook memes about Prayer and God being removed from school spread like wild fire. The law is very clear in these matters anyone who wishes to pray can do so without fear of punishment by an authority figure. The law prohibits someone employed by the state or federal government from leading a prayer and potentially endorsing one religion over another. 

The fact that our schools no longer have structured prayer has been used (by some) to explain the decadence in our society. There's not enough hard evidence to support that claim; correlation doesn't always equal causality. Even if someone could prove that the removal of prayer is the underlying cause of our moral erosion, it doesn't solve the problem of Christians who subscribe to the idea that an omnipotent God could be limited by man's law. 

After every new school shooting memes like the one at the top of this post dominate space on newsfeeds and timelines across social media. The logic is very easy to refute. If you read (and believe) the first verse of the Bible: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Any Christian who believes that the same God who protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedego from being consumed by fire, protected Daniel in the lions den, and provided for his people for 40 years in the desert has to listen to a law written by a man who will wither and die needs to get a bit deeper into the word. 

Before there were politicians, school boards, or people to worship him God created everything. When Christians subscribe to the kind of faulty logic these memes offer they sound more like nonbelievers than our Atheists brothers and sisters. How can you believe Jesus overcame the grave and washed our sins away, if you don't think he can get past a hall monitor?

These memes offer a glimpse into the psyche of those who invest in them. It's easy to share a catchy meme, but much harder to come to grips with the evil in our world. The free will we exercise to worship (or not worship) is the same free will that allows someone to open fire on children. It's not easy accepting the terrors of life. There's a season for everything and this too shall pass, but until then I will do my best to fight what I perceive to be the dumbing down of God's people by overly simplistic social media memes.