There is an line of thought on Letter to a Christian Nation (Sam Harris) that I find an interesting point about Christianity.
Harris makes a point about how the Christian Right in the US spend much effort campainging on what might be seen as marginally morally important campaigns particularly concerning sexual morality and promoting pro-life ideals. While someone on the Christian right may not see this as a marginal issue, it seems ephemeral an issue to the more important global issues of human rights abuse and poverty. Christianity (or bettter put, Christians) have the flaw of overemphasising these self-indulgent national issues over the global human catastrophes.
A lot can be said about Harris’ argument, one can direct it in many ways, and as such, pull it apart in many ways also. Responses include:
i. The critique of Christian-believer behaviour says nothing about the character of Jesus
ii. This only applies to a sector of the Christian contingent
There is, however, a very powerful thought in this line of argument. Something we often forget are things distantly in the past, to which some or many are still affected by. Often, the issues in the public’s consciousness only involve those issues which are directly or closestly reminded to them.
Stephen Fry made the point once that the plight of HIV/AIDS victims are slowly becoming forgotten by many. It is seen less as a problem compared to something like obesity. There are various reasons for it, one, is the newness of it fading as years passed.
HIV/AIDS is becoming slowly forgotten, and we often need reminding about global poverty. Indeed there are many campaign issues in the world, and I suppose, there are so many that we often must dedicate ourselves only to a few. Those few that we consider are often those that have immediate or distant impact upon us (breast cancer, for instance). Otherwise, they are then dismissed and forgotten.
That seems to be the most salient point about Harris’ appeal to the poor moral sentiment of Christianity in his Letter.