In reaction to the Religion News Service article “Poll shows Christianity good for the poor, bad for sex,” I want to comment on the quote: “In six of the 16 areas, sizable numbers of Americans said Christianity had little or no impact, including the environment, business ethics, civility and substance abuse. Americans were roughly split, at about one-third each, on Christianity’s impact on racism.”
While I find this statement disturbing, I don’t find it surprising. As a life-long environmental activist, I have observed, with great frustration, how apathetic and slow the institutionalized church is towards creation care.
Though there are some evangelical groups starting to catch onto the importance of creation care, why haven’t churches been quicker to embrace environmentalism as a religious issue?
Many Christians accept the misguided assumption that “if the natural world is destroyed, it is God’s plan, and who are we to disagree?” This myopic view is not only selfish but also dangerous. This explains why so many American Christians are global warming deniers.
In his highly respected book, “The Nature of Prejudice,” Gordon Allport presents the belief that regular churchgoers are made up of two basic categories of members: those who are sincerely concerned about their own spiritual growth and self-improvement and another group who go to church to present a positive image for the public to observe. As it relates to racism or prejudice of any kind, the latter category often displayed prejudice, while the first category was more tolerant. Unfortunately, the “show Christians” are often more public and create the image of the faith as a whole, for me at least.
And finally, the finding that Christianity has a negative impact on sexuality only seems reasonable to me. A faith that is so often based on fear and guilt can’t help but instill these same feelings into the sexual mindsets of its adherents. When fear, self-loathing and guilt enter the bedroom, pleasure and spontaneity flee out the back door. Sex becomes an obligation and not a joy.