It's really odd to me that people get offended by my comments on this site when I imply -- apparently subtly -- that I think Christianity is "better" than other religions. Writes Mike Guitiz on this post about public execution:

I read many of us claim to be Christians. That torture and public executions are for savages. Like the public execution of the child killers in Iran recently, who were flogged and hung. Who the hell are you to claim to be so much better than any other race, creed, or faith. They did what they saw fit. We on the other hand just let "Mrs. Terri Schiavo" die slowly. My, how Christian a people are we!

Posted by: Mike Guitiz at March 27, 2005 08:13 PM

Who do I have to be to claim that my faith is "better" than another? Don't most substantial and consequential spiritual belief systems directly assert that they are superior to any other? Christianity is the same in doing so, and a Christian will necessarily believe that non-Christians of whatever religious/irreligious stripe are wrong in their thinking.

Thinking that your system is true and others are false is a sort of "better"-ness, but in a very objective fashion that doesn't track Mr. Guitiz' connotations. It's not that I think that if one were to compare the various costs and benefits of Christianity, atheism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddism, etc. -- like comparing health plan coverage -- that Christianity would come out on top. To a believer, that sort of comparison is meaningless. Likewise, the wordly "results" of the belief systems -- such as Terri Schiavo's starvation and Iranian executions -- are meaningless. To the believer there is no comparison to be made, because one system is true and the others are mere figments of imagination. It's pointless to argue over which is "better" when only one is real.

I don't see why this assertion is offensive to anyone, considering how common it is. Yes, I believe that non-Christians are going to Hell because they have rejected Christ. I am only going to be admitted to Heaven because I have accepted Christ, not because I'm holier or smarter or "better" than anyone else in any way. That doesn't strike me as an arrogant position.

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