Christianity Is Not
I'm a 17-year-old atheist who ought to be doing homework, as it is 3:00 A.M. Instead, I think I'll debate with myself whether Christianity has given today's society absolutely nothing of value.
First of all, Jack Chick comic book tracts are an excellent source of humor.
Secondly, and more importantly, the much-touted virtue of America, Capitalism, harkens from the Christian work ethic.
Now, Capitalism is not exactly a good thing. Our capitalism could use one bugger of a lot more socialism. (This should not be taken to mean that I am a Marxist or any other kind of socialist; socialism doesn't work. Then again, neither does pure capitalism, as history has demonstrated.)
You, being an educated person, will probably have heard of Max Weber, a noted sociologist. He wrote a work entitled "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism."
You will also indubitably know of John Calvin (shudder). The Calvinists preached predestination, most especially as concerned with heaven and hell and who goes where. Naturally, they wanted to know. So among other things, they chose wealth as a sign of God's favor: and therefore, because they believed that God made the "elect" wealthy, they worked hard, they were highly thrifty, they amassed wealth and did not spend it.
To cut things short (as it is 3:00 A.M., remember), this philosophy gradually produced entrepreneurism. From that harkens a form of capitalism that is as close to "pure Capitalism" as you will find. If you want details, consult Weber; he's probably more erudite on the subject than I am (at this stage of my education).
So we have Christianity to thank for current Capitalism (and a highly fundamentalist brand of Christianity, at that).
Of course, the question of whether and to what extent Capitalism is a good thing is a wholly different one.
Hey, thanks a lot for tempting me to spend a whole hour on the Chick web site the other night, reading all the halloween tracts that you're supposed to give to little children when you hand them their candy. This way, the children of the unchurched will get to hear about Jesus, too, says Chick. I especially liked the one with the pumpkin-headed guy who bursts in the room just in time to stop that straw-man Satanist from sacrificing a cat -- by cutting everybody into little pieces with a chain saw!
Example of Jack Chick's Evangelical Christian propaganda.
Is this where twisted kids get the idea to sacrifice cats on Hallowe’en?
That one was a real hoot -- I guess: I wouldn't know. I'm not the type to indulge in stuff like that or the Inquisition or the Crusades or the Auto-Da-Fé! But that pumpkin-head was just so weird looking that I can't get the picture off my mind!
Oh, although the web site hypes this as a "takeoff on secular horror films," the tract itself says nothing about its being a takeoff or a spoof or anything remotely resembling fiction. Nothing!
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