I'm from the Midwest (as you all know), so it's not a surprise that I was raised in a conservative Christian church. I haven't denied my religious upbringing; I still consider myself a Christian. But what irritates me most about the version of Christianity the world sees -- Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, Laura Schlessinger -- is so far from what I believe God stands for. Religious tenets intertwine with politics, with sociopolitical climates, and with the economy, and that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to ethics. But I think, as McKibben points out in his article, that Scripture is so often used to further individuals' wealth or social position and so rarely used to help the poor or the suffering. The U.S. response to Hurricane Katrina, anyone? The repeated attempts to block gay marriage, anyone?
What I took from this article is that if I consider myself a Christian person, I'd better start spending more time on others and less on myself, lest I become like a rich, comfortable suburbanite in his megachurch, basking in God's message as long as he gets to keep all his money from the new Bush tax cuts.