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Silver Lining

“God hates f**s...therefore I abhorred them.” - Westboro Baptist Church slogan.

The above quote is seldom taken as an offense to homosexuals, and with most people labeled with a negative connotation. Many would even call the members of the Westboro Baptist Church insane for preaching this apparent nonsense. However these people are merely misinformed, not insane. These people are called radicals, and they do not exist only within the Christian realm, let alone the religious realm altogether. They are a product of sheer misguidance, and surprisingly they believe what they are saying is morally sound. Many prominent irreligious groups and individuals cite this cult of radicals to further corroborate their assertion that all religious folk are complete morons. These critics fail to realize what amiable principles most religious people have. Given there are some indifferent people, and conversely harsh radical extremists, there also exists a peaceful medium. A person who truly follows a religious doctrine will balance it in a dichotomy with the secular world. They will stay politically correct and not become hypocritical; they will disagree yet not argue or attack. It is unfortunate that a small minority of religious followers have recently ruined it for the rest, and with any hope, reports like this will encourage people to stay open-minded, and to not immediately regard religious believers as being primal.

“In-your-face” Christians (‘Christian(s)’ indicates any religious group/individual) serves an appropriate title for radicals. To measure the severity of an in-your-face Christian is superfluous; no matter what they do, they still occupy the same religious caste. From a suicide mission to a sarcastic insult, anything goes. Everybody who is bitter toward religion would agree that in-your-face Christians have crashed the religious “high” that so many used to share. In-your-face Christians are extremely hypocritical, and constantly judge other people for their mistakes. It is as if they believe they have never done anything wrong, and this superior attitude can really get on one’s nerves. Fortunately for the rest of society, these people hang out in packs and often seclude themselves from the normal world. Homosexuals, proabortionists, and people who use contraceptives had better be warned, these people hate twenty-first century liberalism, even in its most moderate form. They are so close-minded that any person who has submitted to reason cannot get a word in edgewise while speaking their views. Thus, religion is not the problem at all, these people are the problem.

Next, there is the “Christian atheist,” or the person who claims to believe in a religion, but continues to live life without its ethical constraints. These people are equally as detrimental to faith as the in-your-face Christians are. Believing in God, to them, is simply assigning them a label. They share a characteristic with the radicals in that they are hypocritical, however they are more indirect about it. They party and drink and have sex and do drugs and cause social problems within their families and cliques. They will attend church occasionally, maybe once or twice every couple months, but as the sermon goes on they fall into an involuntary sleep-state. They will listen to the words of the pastor, but will not interpret them or apply them in life. When asked about their faith, they will give an empty response which only resembles surface-level comprehension, if any at all. An irreligious figure will look at the common Christian atheist and generalize their behavior with the whole group.

Lastly and most importantly, there are the “Christlike” Christians. Following the Golden Rule, they usually exhibit respectful behavior. No matter what background one comes from, sexual preference, or thoughts on social issues, these people will look upon him/her no differently. Christlike Christians can make friends with just about anybody. They stay clean from drugs and sex and harmful actions of that sort, but are not goody-goods or buzzkills. Their faith improves their standard of living. Usually, they do well in school or at work, and in a secular environment they keep their religion to themselves. If asked, they will explain their beliefs and maybe even why they believe them, but will never force their beliefs on anybody or judge them for not being the same. The way they view in-your-face Christians and Christian atheists is the same as any other sensible person: with discontent. Any Christlike Christian will tell you that the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the Christian crusades were irrational and outright wrong. They are no different from anybody else in the world, and are not afraid to admit they certainly are not perfect. They make mistakes and do the wrong thing sometimes, the only difference from the prior two categorizations is that they have come to accept that it is impossible to be perfect. They are not hypocrites, and that is what the world must realize. Christlike Christians are the epitome of true religion at its finest. They are the silver lining within a cloud; a hidden beauty nestled between two less-attractive layers.



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