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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Thirteen Ways Catholic Christianity Influences Daily American Life

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#1. Christianity is the basis of Western culture. “Christianity has, for more than seventeen centuries … has been a major determinant of Western culture….”

#2. Christian values inform all aspects of life. “Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not)….”

#3. Christianity infuses even secular culture despite all efforts to the contrary. “Christian dominance has become … invisible … the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate….”

#4 Catholicism is the basis of all forms of American Christianity. “One [example] of institutionalized power … is the dominant Western form of Christianity that came to power when the Romans made Christianity the official religion….”

#5. Schools are Christian institutions. “Christian institutions have also played a deep, founding, and shaping role in U.S. school systems.”

#6. Prayer in public schools and the knowledge of the Ten commandments are important to Christian education. ”[P]ermitting prayer in schools and … posting of the Ten Commandments … lay the groundwork for more oppressive laws….”

#7. Christianity teaches that there is no compromise between good and evil. “A major Christian belief … is that everything not associated with good and Godliness is connected to the devil (Satan)….”

#8. The word Crusade still resonates with the notion of noble goals. “The word “crusade” … resonates with images of good white Christian knights fighting against evil.”

#9. The Blessed Mother still prevails as the model for all Christian womanhood. “Mary … exhibits as much transcendence as a woman can achieve as a passive and virginal (therefore perfect) receptacle for God.”

#10. The hierarchical model of Creation in which humanity rules over nature is still in place today.  “[W]e must free ourselves from the restraints [Christianity] has imposed … so that we can establish … mutuality, cooperation, sustainability, and interdependence with all life.”

#11. Most modern holidays have Christian inspirations, even the “secular” ones. “Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian.”

#12. The “capitalist” or free market system is a product of Christianity. “[C]apitalism [came from a] Christian culture whose prime focus was individual salvation….”

#13. Christian morality still informs the present economic system that is opposed to socialism. “Our challenge is to reject … Christian morals by … building an economic system … based on mutual support, cooperation and a commitment to meet people’s basic needs.”

— Edwin Benson, Return to Order, 13 Ways Christianity Influences Daily Life that Secularists Hate, June 23, 2021

Quotes, I believe, were excerpted from the Christian Hegemony website.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Rachel

    Cross reference with the Southern Baptist post.Religious people with a totally simplistic and delusional view of how important they are.

  2. Avatar
    dale m.

    Who is Edwin Bensen kidding ? His list speaks of sheer ignorance. Just another Trump wanna be … Just look at his list starting with …

    Sure. America started out as a Christian Empire under Christian culture. But if you’re going to point that out OWN IT ALL !!! America started out as a massive Christian Slave Empire of some 1 million Indigenous slaves and over 3 million African slaves. All for a white population of some 15 million Europeans. One slave per family. SO OWN IT !!!
    Does that include the slaves of American families ?!?
    Hard not to agree on that one as Paganism infuses all Christian culture as well (the phrase “Pagan Christian dominance” might be most appropriate).
    Agree
    Agree. And American education is totally in the crapper because of it.
    Agree
    Wrong. There is plenty of Christian compromise. Hellooooooooo ,,,, who voted for Trump ?!? Louder please !!!
    Such as enslavement. Genocide for resources. Noble ……
    Lack of sex education often shows embarrassingly …..
    Model needs to be tossed, replaced or updated to the 21xt C.
    Mary Anning Day ? Newton Day ? Darwin Day ? Oh yes. Totally biblical.
    NO! NO ! NO ! Not even close. And the total rejection of Darwin’s great theory “NATURAL SELECTION BY FREE ENTERPRISE COMPETITION” only deepens one’s concern about the outright lies of Right Wing Socialist Fascism. Think about it. With the return of their Dear Leader, “Jesus the Christ”, what’s going to happen ? The death of the Free Market. The end of Capitalism. The end of money. Everyone forced under the rulership of a monolithic Devine, utopian one Party apparatus. The Party ruled by one man who will portray Himself as a God on Earth. How many tyrants have run that cycle ?!? Christianity as the forerunner of Free Enterprise Capitalism …….. MY ASS !!
    Christianity is NOT OPPOSED to any form of socialism. It eats, breathes and pisses Right Wing socialism (Fascism). What we have in the States are 2 radically DIFFERENT TYPES of socialism armed to the teeth against one another. Count me out. I prefer Canada’s center Capitalism with a social conscience. Some might grudgingly, at least in my camp refer to it as {Left of center capitalism]

  3. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Now see, different people interpret things differently. Bensen is right about a lot of those points. The problem is that he thinks the continuing influence of Christianity on modern Western culture is an overall good thing.

    I’m not ready to subsume my being for the good of the state or the people, but damn, do we really have to have an oligarchy here in the US? Must we really have so much money in the hands of a tiny fraction, with so many people struggling to put food on the table and shoes on the kids, month after month? I don’t actually begrudge anyone riches per se, but I’m very unhappy with the economic system that absolutely keeps ordinary people as downtrodden serfs. The American Dream has become the American Nightmare over the course of my life. The Christianity I was raised with (1960s/70s liberal West Coast US Catholicism) was adamantly against the situation we have now in the US, because it subtly and cleverly denies the dignity and restricts the agency of most of our citizens.

  4. Avatar
    Steve Ruis

    Ugh, what planets did she say she was from. Just look at “#13. Christian morality still informs the present economic system that is opposed to socialism. “Our challenge is to reject … Christian morals by … building an economic system … based on mutual support, cooperation and a commitment to meet people’s basic needs.”” Is she aware that we have a “pay as you go culture” that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your needs or mine. Either pony up the money to survive, or starve. This is the system she is supporting.

    And re “One [example] of institutionalized power … is the dominant Western form of Christianity that came to power when the Romans made Christianity the official religion….” She doesn’t seem to mention all of the changes made by Christian bishops to acquire the state power they lusted after and then to maintain it. Almost all of the aspects of current church services were adopted at the behest of the Romans, including preaching, pulpits, church music, clerical garb, separation of clergy from the lkay members, etc.

  5. Avatar
    BJW

    Now, I have to admit that I wonder what will happen to our country if the Dominionists have their way. Seriously. They seem to think all their problems will be solved by Christians being in control. And yet, whichever group gets control is going to find out that other Christian groups are unhappy with that. If our country wasn’t going to be a Gilead and suppress our rights, I could enjoy the fighting between Catholics and Protestants. While I can imagine power sharing, I seem to remember that there is deep antipathy between them. Unfortunately, the rest of us will be controlled or dead by then.

  6. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    I’m going to have to study those authors who are bragging about the Catholic influence. And they can ask my barrio neighbors about how they and the local ” vatos” and ” cholos” have Benn ” blessed” by the Roman Catholic Church !! In the meantime there’s this news only breaking out in the mainstream media today : 751 children’s bodies found on the property of a Catholic- run Indigenous Residential Religious School. The Roman Catholic officials took the headstones away when they abandoned the land. This ” school” operated from 1899 to 1997. These unmarked graves are popping up all over North America, now that people are actually looking for the missing children !:. And the Dept. of Interior will be investigating cases here in the U.S.,finally. Would you believe, the Canadian government is actually suing the survivors of those schools ?? It’s in both the Indigenous news sites as well as Canadian. Opus Dei is an unseen power broker, meddling in American band foreign countries. Look into them, it matters. Trump’s administration, including judges he appointed, are Opus Dei members( Bill Barr). I wouldn’t underestimate these evil characters. They aren’t down for the count !

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser