Byron Williams: Inconvenient love in the public square | Chroniclers
Journal of Byron Williams Winston Salem
Many centuries ago, what is commonly referred to as “Christianity” seceded from the teachings of Jesus. More than a distinction without difference, it reflects the way in which the first co-opted a name to become a religion dominated by the search for insularity.
The definition of Christianity is amorphous, with a myriad of sects and doctrinal distinctions. It is difficult to get a convincing answer to the question: What does it mean to be a Christian?
Early Christianity was a rebellious underground movement until the Roman Emperor Constantine made it his religious practice in 312 CE and his successor, Theodosius I, made it the official religion of Rome in 380 CE.
As the influence of Christianity spread, it was a religion subservient to the Roman Empire, hardly resembling the radical teachings of Jesus. It is this brand of Christianity, which has its roots in the Roman Empire, which espouses dehumanization.
This is not indicative of all churches that identify as âChristianâ, but it is large enough to establish a credible sample size.
Contemporary Christianity in the public arena, especially in many fundamentalist faiths, can be fraught with theological prejudices:
âI don’t like black people; I don’t like Jews; I don’t like Muslims; I see women as second-class citizens; I don’t like gays; and I have a Scripture that justifies it, âthat’s how we think; and this is where dehumanization gains moral legitimacy. As Reverend William Sloane Coffin lamented: âFundamentalists use the Bible like a drunkard uses a lamppost – always for support and never for enlightenment.