Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fascinations

I'm fascinated by Christians.

I'm fascinated by their rituals, by the beauty of their music, by their literary traditions. I'm fascinated by the idea of charity, by their capacity for forgiveness, by the longevity of their faith. I'm fascinated by their belief in something that runs so contrary to logic and reason, by their insistence that they alone know what is best for the rest of the world, by their confusion of fear and love. I'm fascinated by the paradoxes in the Bible, by the wanton cruelty that their God displays, by the evils they perform in the name of the Lord.

I'm just fascinated by them.

I will never be a Christian. I wouldn't convert even if Jesus Christ Himself appeared to me and commanded me to do so. I will never marry a Christian, nor do I have any close friends who are Christians. I find their narrow-minded judgments to be mildly annoying, the way an irritating laugh is enough to put me off a giggler.

But at the same time, I can't seem to get enough of Christian literature. I'm currently reading two books right now, one of which is a transciption of conversations between theologians, rabbis, priests, writers, artists, etc about the Old Testament. The other is Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, which explores what it means to be a good Christian. I tell myself that I'm reading this purely as research for my novel (which I kind of am, I guess), but I find myself drawn to these kinds of books, despite the fact that I don't think they provide any real insight into life, the universe, and everything. Rather, they are modern interpretations of one of the oldest books in the western world, the Bible.

I think that it's probably the Bible that truly interests me, but in an almost-anthropologic way rather than a spiritual one. The Bible is probably the most important document to our society, and its language makes its way into our colloquisms, our political language, and our identification of who is "good." (What makes a Good Samaritan, a label coined by the New Testament?) But at the same time, I don't agree with most of the major points of Christianity, I have no interest in ever attending church, and I resent the attitude which which most of those who do choose to go to church treat the rest of us.

But, goddamn, I'm fascinated by Christians.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please don't judge all of us by the obnoxious ones who get all the attention. But you're right, at the very least they're interesting.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Unfortunately, I've had some extremely negative experiences, but I should clarify and say this: the Fundamentalist Christians are the ones who put me off. Most of the rest are pretty easy-going.

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