Thursday, December 14, 2006

Andrew Sullivan on Christianism

Andrew Sullivan just published a great post explaining his definition of "Christianist" and why he believes that many people take offense to it. I believe in a universal truth represented by the Catholic Church, which illuminates the nature of God and points toward how we ought to interact with our neighbors. Of course, my faith also teaches that each individual must freely choose to accept faith. This, I think, is the main tension between what I consider authentic Christianity and Christianism. Although I believe that Christianity is universal and want everyone to believe in it, I cannot force my faith upon them, especially through the use of state power.

I think that I first articulated this general principle about six or seven years ago, but only in the last couple of years have I been able to firmly hold the political positions that it requires. I really do not want to be in favor legal abortions because each one is a tragedy. Homosexuality seems very foreign to me, but I accept that it is real so I have to support some version of gay marriage to grant everyone the same basic legal protections that I enjoy. It has been tough for me to come to hold these positions, but they are pretty much the only option if I want to be honest with myself.

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