Christian mentality showing

It’s only necessary to look at the personal, seemingly malevolent sarcasm of Frank O’Brien’s June 23 letter, “Right to express religious views,” and Jennifer Kim’s June 23 letter, “Mild wisecrack in comparison,” to see what is wrong with the Christian mentality.

O’Brien, in particular, insists that he doesn’t see a necessity in taking seriously the views of Amy Chavez in her June 1 column, “Everyone’s own path to enlightenment,” yet he clearly feels the need to write a long letter on the subject. Hamlet might say he “doth protest too much.”

It’s interesting to note that both O’Brien and Kim make Drusilla de Lanor (June 13 letter, “No offense taken to ‘that guy“) out to be oversensitive for accusing Brian Redmond (June 9 letter, “An offensive religious reference“) of bullying. This is a twisting of De Lanor’s words, as De Lanor in fact is talking about Redmond’s appearing to play the victim.

Jesus was a historical figure, and deserves no more or less respect than anyone else, regardless of how many artworks he’s in. (Including those made when nonreligious subject matter would entail a quick trip to the stake.)

After all, how many people would descend into apoplexy if they heard Epicurus called “that guy in the Garden” or John Cleese called “that funny bloke from Weston-super-Mare”?

Chavez’s article is actually a fairly accurate description of the phenomenon of Western Zen Buddhism. O’Brien’s view of such accuracy as “derogatory” is fairly typical of the postmodern multiculturalist tendency, where all religions tend to stick together and accuse every rationalist of bigotry as a way of silencing dissent.

jim makin

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Spudator

    Christian mentality? That’s funny; although I’m not a Christian myself, it’s always been clear to me that Christianity, like all faiths, is an expression of one’s spirituality, not one’s mentality.

    Oh well, there’s nothing like a good straw man argument if you want to beat up your opponents. To be fair to Jim Makin, though, he does at least pull his punches a bit by merely misrepresenting belief in Jesus Christ as an interest in the deeds of some bloke from history. If he were one of those more rabid atheists that are constantly trying to convert us to their own Godless mentality these days, he’d be slandering Christians as superstitious primitives who effectively believe in sky pixies or flying spaghetti monsters.

    There again, the over-the-top straw man arguments like the flying spaghetti monster one are always so obvious, aren’t they? Maybe Makin’s subtler, more insidious approach is the cleverer way to discredit Christians.

  • Roan Suda

    Jim Makin, a one-man campaign (I won’t say “crusade”) against all those wicked, benighted Christians, has once again sallied forth into the selectively generous pages of the Japan Times. Ho hum…My only objection is to his bit of pseudo-learning regarding Shakespeare. It isn’t Hamlet who speaks of “protest” but rather his mother, and the verb in this case does not have its modern meaning. Queen Gertrude is referring to a lady in the play within a play who, she thinks, is making too emphatic a vow. Hmmm…Earnest Mr. Makin might want to meditate on that: Methinks the gentleman doth…