Heresy on the BBC

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 30 January 2008 0 Comments
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Have you read Letter to a Christian
by Sam Harris? If so, I think many of us would
like to learn what you think of his seemingly well thought out
arguments in condemnation of religion.


I think Sam Harris has a great deal to say to
America and I am pleased that he is writing. People need to hear
the criticism of an honest atheist who is not afraid to speak his
mind about what Christianity has come to mean to him. The public
face of Christianity in America is already something with which I
do not want to be identified. So many people who call themselves
Christians are aggressive, hostile, closed minded and insensitive
to anyone with whom they disagree. The public face of the
Christian Church today is still both anti-female and
anti-homosexual. Yesterday the public face of Christianity where
I grew up was pro-segregation and anti-black. I reject the
Christianity that Sam Harris rejects. The big difference is that
I am aware of another and quite different Christianity. Sam
Harris does not appear to be so. When I wrote A New
Christianity for a New World,
I tried to spell out what that
different Christianity might look like. I believe it makes for a
far greater and richer dialogue to engage the criticism of Sam
Harris than to do what so many Christians seem to me to do,
namely to search the Scriptures to find a way to give biblical
authority to their latest prejudice.

John Shelby Spong




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