Why “The Religion Of Love”?

heart_peanuts-8081-EditI’ve had a couple of correspondents ask me what I mean by the phrase “the Religion of Love.” I admit this reference might not be obvious, so allow me to explain. I use “the Religion of Love” as a facetious reference to Christianity, in much the same way that some critics of Islam (many of them Christians, please note!) use the phrase “the Religion of Peace” to refer to that religion.

The reason I do this is because Christians talk as though their religion is all about love … including quoting heavily from 1 Corinthians 13, as though that one chapter of one epistle from one apostle somehow encompasses the entire religion. But then, after propounding on how much they “love” everyone, they go off and do a lot of harsh, intolerant, violent, and insane things to others, in the name of the religion they claim is “Love.”

This is, of course, quite obviously inconsistent on their part, but for the most part, they don’t really care that it’s inconsistent. Some of them are even able to rationalize away the stark failure of “the Religion of Love” to implant “love” into its believers, such as this (WebCite cached article):

How can Christianity be a religion of love when “Christians” so often condemn those whose lifestyle and views differ from their own?

Christianity is a religion of love because Jesus reveals God to be Ultimate Love. The spiritual journey is one of our learning to “bear the beams of love.” That process of transformation is what we traditionally call sanctification, or growing in holiness.

It’s OK — you see — that followers of “the Religion of Love” so often fail actually to be “loving,” because — you see — they’re really trying hard at being “loving” and — you see — you can’t just expect them to be truly “loving,” quite yet; that — you see — would be asking far too much of them. (The poor things!)

That one trite and insipid example is more than I can take, all by itself. Spare me the twisted rationales and the moronic excuse-making. Let’s face facts: Followers of “the Religion of Love” are, all too often, quite the opposite of “loving.” It’s best to admit that, stop excusing it, and start doing better. Until then, I will continue to use this phrase when speaking of Christianity. (Especially since there are so many Christians who, themselves, love to refer to Islam by the snarky phrase “the Religion of Peace.”)

Photo credit: iseethelight.