‘Repugnant’ Parts of Christianity

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | ‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion’

The columnist that authored this blistering review of the new _Chronicles of Narnia_ movie wrote a lot that was response-worthy, but perhaps this was the part that rankled me most:

bq. Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to?

Why is personal sacrifice so repugnant to some people? Grant that a large portion of the world’s population has no recognition of its sinful nature, does not recognize or acknowledge that anything is wrong with their lives. Hence, why should some nameless, faceless God, at whose very existence they scoff, offer up His Son, a part of Himself, to take some unknown, unacknowledged penalty for an evolved race of _homo erectus_ with non-existent sin natures? There is no problem, there is no need, so of course there is no personal request for such sacrifice. Such individuals are answerable only to themselves, for there is no other authority but to make sense of the world as one perceives it and to live as ‘rightly’ as one can. Rules and morality are derived from personal observation, shaped by experience and interpretation as founded upon circumstance and perception. It is an ever-changing, always-twisting, perpetually-shifting code of ethics with the self as the focal point (for what other focal point could possibly make sense in a world in which God does not exist?). Self is set up as the ultimate god, personal need is disavowed, disregarded, disdained; hence, the idea that someone else perceives a need in self, it is the worst sort of insult, to offend the sensibilities by suggesting that self might possibly not be as perfect as one perceives self. In a world with no God, where self _is_ god, notions of perfection and imperfection have no meaning, except as someone else defines them. There is no final destination, no higher goal, except to live life as one pleases, to do what feels good, and to reject, ignore, and deny that which does not fit this ideal conceptualization of the world. A perfect God is, therefore, offensive and repugnant because the existence of such insinuates, nay, directly states, that the world is not perfect, that self is inherently flawed, that self is, in actuality, answerable to something higher than self. This is hateful, intolerant, distasteful, for it violates and shatters the illusion that one has only to live for oneself in order to attain happiness and enlightenment. People would much rather live in their carefully crafted glass houses of personal illusion than admit the existence of a God to whom they must one day answer, and Christianity is, therefore, terribly repugnant.

One thought on “‘Repugnant’ Parts of Christianity”

  1. I know for most Christians this isn’t a problem, but for me, one of the problems lies in the idea of a persons wrongs being washed away by the actions of someone else. If I do wrong, it is my sin, and no one else should be able to step in and take the fall, which Christ does. That doesn’t match well with my idea of justice, each person getting what he has earned, deserved. I guess it all comes down to the equality of sin. Everyone is a sinner in Christianity, so the person who took God’s name in vain is just as much doomed as the person who raped and murdered 14 japanese tourists. Personally, I don’t beleive for other reasons, but I think this disparity causes a lot of non Christians to distance themselves. They think that people such as Hitler should pay a steeper price for their sins than just a change of heart and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice.

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