Why is it that churches seem so determined to ruin Christianity?

Ruth, Sophia and I recently attended an "infant dedication" at a Foursquare Church. Dedicating your newborn to raised in your faith with the belief of a loving God is an idea I understand, and for the most part approve of. I wholeheartedly believe this to be the intention of the parents who were dedicating their baby. The thing that scares me however is the venue. I will freely admit to having a problem with the Foursquare denomination and all the the related Pentecostal and Charismatic belief systems. I went into this worship service fully expecting the sermon to be wholly objectionable to any thinking person, but in fairness it was not at all objectionable, mostly because it was utterly lacking in content. I don't really like what I consider to be the touchy-feely style churches, I consider them shallow, and to encourage neediness for emotional and religious experiences, which therefore attracts the sort of people who are incapable of living without continuing maintenance of their pseudo-christian religion. Ultimately speaking, however, my distaste for certain churches and worship styles is as much preferential as intellectual, i.e. I don't like them, but they are no greater evil than most self-help books. Slightly harmful nonsense. Enough so that I don't personally want to be involved, but not so much so that such places should be abolished. Maybe.

Sophia got bored midway through the sermon (she wasn't the only one), so I took her into the foyer so she could move around a little. We weren't all that comfortable putting her in the nursery with the other toddlers, so I stayed with her, and to pass the time I picked up a few of the pamphlets to peruse. Then I realized, that even if the current sermon was bland pablum, this church hated science, freedom and reason like so many others do nowadays. There was the flyer for the Creation Museum, because evil scientists are lying to us. Even though the Bible never says how old the Earth is, nor does it disclaim Darwin, many modern conservative "Christians" have decided that Science is trying to lead us all into the very hell it doesn't believe in. Let me assure you that science did not start this war against religion, it is not interested in its continuation, and it is only a few isolated (though famous) scientists who have taken up the battle and attack the concept of a god, when they should attack the bigotry and hatred of those who claim to be God's followers instead.

The second pamphlet I picked up was for something called Covenant Eyes. Initially I thought it was a new religious optometry clinic. Maybe they used John 3:16 for the the eye exam, and blessed the glasses to keep customers from looking at women lustfully. Stranger things have happened. The reality in this case, though maybe not stranger, was even more disturbing. Covenant Eyes provides a service where they install spyware on you computer, e-mail a list of all websites that you visit to an "accountability partner" (not sure where this overlaps with both voyeur and big brother), and even highlights the suspect websites so your partner knows where to go to see the really nasty porn that you found. Of course the altruists who operate this website wouldn't charge to help keep us weak men safe from the naked women who want to prey on our eyes, would they? Well it must be more expensive to spy on people than I thought because this service will cost at least eight bucks a month, plus a dollar-fifty to block rather than just snitch on you when you visit a snatch website (sorry, horrible dirty pun, I just couldn't resist, I need Covenant Fingers to keep me from typing such naughty things). Almost ten bucks a month to provide a service that is free from a number of other sources (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and OpenDNS, not to mention most web browsers provide at least some tracking). Ruth astutely pointed out to me that they've found a way to turn a profit from their customer's sins, seems at least a little wrong to me. The website has an unattributed quote: “It's been a good way to build and keep the trust level in my marriage.” I'm sorry friend, but if you need to install software for your wife to trust you, then you've got far bigger problems in your marriage than what websites you're looking at.

The last thing I looked at is of the same ilk as the previous one. An organization called Avenue, which claims to be a "Resource for Sexual Integrity" (does that make it sort of like Viagra? It's a sexual resource for structural integrity). I'm unclear if this organization is aimed at men who look at pornography or gay men in heterosexual marriages, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to "help" either category. The pamphlet lists all the detrimental effects of men's "preoccupation with sex," yet somehow they seem to me to be the ones preoccupied. I have a feeling that they think about not thinking about sex more than most men would ever actually think about sex. They also seem oblivious to the fact that shame is what becomes destructive far more often than sex itself. Christian men and women have been lied to for so long, being told that men who look at other women are sinning and must not love their wives enough to stay "pure." For a christian woman whose husband's eye strays to generic-sex-site.com it becomes more than just a matter of potential jealousy, it becomes a betrayal--adultery even. And the christian man who just wants to see a little skin is left being told, and feeling like, he has torn out his wife's heart and irreparably damaged their marriage. So he lies, hides it, and begins to do actual damage to his relationship. Something that may have been harmless has become a major wedge in a marriage, one which any number of religious fanatics and charlatans are more than happy to help repair, which they do by reinforcing the initial lie, that all sexuality outside marital and or procreative is sinful, even if it only occurs on a computer screen or in a book. Of course women are not free from these people's vile teachings. They help women learn if their husbands should be trusted again, and teach them how to find out if he's returned to his old sinful ways. Apparently women don't have the freedom in these peoples minds to be the ones involved in this rampant sexuality. Which is worse: to teach men that they're crap for being sexual, or to tell women that they simply aren't sexual--these are their husbands sins, never theirs? I'll admit that no one should commit adultery, but every sexual behavior short of that needs to be discussed and decided on by the two people in the marriage (or better yet, before their married), never by self-righteous morons claiming to have some insight or knowledge of Christ's will. Pardon me, but they don't know shit about what God wants for you or your marriage. I have a feeling God smiles more on a loving gay marriage (it is the love of two people that consecrates the marriage, not the gender of the people in it) or an "open" marriage than He ever would these on damned shame peddlers.

Churches like Faith Center Church (efaithcenter.com) should not be abolished. They should die of neglect. People should stand up for themselves and their rights and freedoms. Jesus told us to love God and our neighbor, why do these idiots complicate that with anti-science, anti-sex, and anti-freedom?