I know I'm probably on the late train with this post, but maybe my posting will draw attention back to this thread. Or not... I'm kinda just trying to get more involved with posting. Anyways, my entire family is Christian... but my views are a little confused because in my family I have both sides of the spectrum: racist, sexist, ignorant, white Christians as well as open-minded, non-judgmental, forgiving Christians. I can never fully say that all Christians are bad or narrow minded because, so long as my grandmother is alive, that is simply not true. She's quite literally accepted people of every race, gender, and sexuality into her home, on drugs, homeless, whatever. And never for the sake of martyrdom. She simply knew it was the right thing to do. Because of her, I try to give every Christian a fair chance. Because of her, so long as they mean it, any Christian who accepts people as who they are can be in my life.
A huge contributing factor for me leaving behind Christianity was that you are always answering to another authority. You are never simply acting good to be good, you're acting good to get into Heaven. Your motivations are flawed to the very core in that they are for yourself and not others. And when you do wrong, you don't answer to yourself or even to God, you answer to your priest, to your peers, to your family. They shun you and shake their heads when it's not between you and them, and they are in no position to judge. Where you steal, they cheat. Where you lie, they're greedy. They have no ground to stand on, and I think too many Christians forget that. I think that this religion is organized for repression, not growth. For judgment, not acceptance.
And frankly, when it comes down to it, no form of spirituality should be so strictly organized. The only rules are basic: don't hurt, don't steal, don't rape. Beyond that, no human has the right answer because that's what they are: human. That's the problem with Christianity as a whole - it's too damn sure about everything.
Obviously I could go on about this for hours... so I'm gonna go ahead and stop myself here and see what the responses are like...