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I confess I probably have carried a grudge towards the Christian religion for most of my life. Even when I was confirmed, I stated as honestly as a Quaker (more about the Quaker truth testimony) that I was agnostic and only joining the church because my mother wanted me to.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Christianity or Christ or the Bible. It has nothing to do with Christians or Christianity, but all to do with me. I just can’t believe Christ is the only way we get to heaven.

It also frustrates me when people pick and choose scripture to promote prejudice. If someone views the Bible as God’s infallible word, God has made many rules 99% 21st century Christians break. Yet there’s always a verse or two to use against gays and their desire for equal rights, etc.. I always feel like saying, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”

It’s sad because the hypocrisy of some Christians has turned many away from it. The constant capture-and-convert attitudes of conservatives led many to reject a path with Christ for a more compassionate and accepting faith. Though the only real commandment Jesus gave us was to love one another, many Christians and non-Christians alike see it practiced as void of love.

Whether it’s the Dalai Lama or the Druid prayer, I often feel the goal of love is more genuine. This will anger people; I know that. Just for the record, I’m not anti-Christian, I’m anti-intolerance and anti-hipocrisy.

Today I played with the idea of creating a word to describe the type of Christians who are polluting Christ’s love with their own agenda. My made up word of the day is “xianophobe” and can be either lighthearted or heavy hearted, whichever works best for the reader.

xianophobe: (x-chin’-o-fobe’) Those who fear Christians who practice Christianity without adhering to the teachings of Christ. The “x” replaces the “Christ” to emphasize the lack of Christ in some Christians’ lives. Where many homophobes will claim they are Christian and not homophobes, xianophobes will honestly and confidently admit to xianophobia. The origin of this word goes back to a WordPress blog entry in March 2007. It is a play on the popular Christian idea that there can be no Christmas without Christ (thus making X-mas a non-holiday). The inventor of the word xianophobe wanted a word that clearly stated the reason many people have a fear of xians. The epidemic of xianophobia is a necessary innoculation to most displays of intolerance and is therefore an asset to both church and state.

 

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I spent 44 of my 45 years on this planet as a Christian. Somehow I managed to be a Christian for all that time who didn’t know what Ash Wednesday meant.¬† All I knew about Lent was it arrives¬† with Easter. As for the ashes, I grew up a member of the United Church of Christ so we didn’t practice the Ash Wednesday ritual. Still I’m a Christian and you would think I would know.

One great thing about the internet is the information right at our fingertips. Enter a word into the search box at Google and voila! Everything we wanted to know about the pre-Easter traditions are just waiting to educate us. Here’s what I learned.

Infoplease’s explanation of Ash Wednesday was short but very helpful. It reminds Christians of death. It also tells them to feel sad about their sins and the need to be a better person.

Christ on cross

As for Lent, the forty days should be spent with prayer and penance and, also, preparing for Easter. Since I’m still Christian according to the “books” (as a member of a local UCC church), I could still follow this practice. I’d like to, but perhaps by mixing in something Pagan. I always liked the abstinence idea at Lent, but rarely, if ever, gave up anything. Though I’m a week late, I’d like to do something with that concept. Infoplease explains the fasting that took place in the early years of Christianity. Fasting would be a waste for me; I wouldn’t last 4 hours, never mind 40 days. What else can I do?

I’ll take this to my paper journal and get update here after.

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