Religion can completely shape how a person acts, behaves, looks, and thinks. It can dominate every single aspect in a person’s life and be their motive for every single thing they do. For some, religion is a passion, and they can make a career out of it. For others, religion has absolutely no purpose, meaning, or reason to exist in theirs or anyone else’s lives. The problem is, Christianity is still the major religion that rules and dominates our society.
Obviously, things aren’t as bad as they used to be even scant decades ago. However, religion, specifically Christianity, still plays a huge part in motivating the way people vote and the way political leaders make decisions. This is normal and expected; religion is the way some people shape their beliefs. However, there are often many common misconceptions about Christianity. There are literally countless religions in the world, however Christianity seems to be the only one that is ultimately true to many people in our country today.
If you denounce God or are open about opposing the church, you still face a lot of backlash from your peers and society. Obviously, not all Christians are bad people, and not all good people are Christians. It’s important when believing in something to continually question it so as to not blindly follow a flawed perception. However, many religious leaders are reluctant to share several religious beliefs with their followers.
In no way are we trying to bash anyone’s religion, but it’s important to not always ignore the bad parts of a religion that people may base their life off. Here are 15 dark facts Christians don’t want you to know:
15. About One In 50 Priests Is A…
Unfortunately, one of the worst truths about Christianity that we only recently discovered is that 1 out of every 50 priests is a known pedophile. This doesn’t mean that if you gathered up 50 priests that at least one of them has to be a pedophile, rather, about 2 percent of all priests, including cardinals, have been caught, convicted, or confessed to the sexual abuse of a child. The even scarier part is just how willing the church, specifically catholic churches, have been to cover up these scandals. And these aren’t even just alleged, many priests have confessed and even been convicted in some cases. It’s horrible to think of all the families who have given their trust in their church and religious system, only to be involved in a horrific crime committed against an innocent loved one in their life.
14. The Church Often Denies Science
One of the biggest flaws of the church and Christians alike is their continual denial of science in all aspects. It begins with the bible when it states that you should not breed two different animals, mix different types of seeds, or wear clothing of two different cloths. These things don’t seem “scientific” in themselves, but they do show just how willing the church is to deny scientific experiments. We’ve been mixing seeds for centuries now, attempting to genetically modify various crops to see what results we can get. And if you’ve ever looked at a clothing label, you’ve participated in the mixing of various clothes. But even more serious than these small bible verses are the continued denial of evolution. Evolution is scientifically proven and creationism is not. You would think that would be enough to denounce creationism and only allow evolution to be taught in schools, however, people continually campaign to keep religion in the school curriculum. Let’s not even start with religious and political leaders alike who spend their lives denying climate change.
13. The Bible Condones Slavery
The bible talks about slavery a couple times, as seen in these verses:
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Peter 2:18)
“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, (21) but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two since the slave is their property.” (Exodus 21:20-21)
Just from these select few bible verses alone that touch on slavery, we can make a few observations. We are told some rules about how to have a slave and how to treat a slave, but not once are we told that it is bad to have slaves in the first place. You would think that owning another person would be in the top list of things not to do, but instead, we are told having slaves is fine as long as you follow their rules.
12. The Church Has A Long History Of Threatening People For Money
The church has often used manipulation tactics in order to get money from scared individuals. One of the most iconic instances of this happening was in the 1500s when church leaders used to make people pay for their dead loved one’s sins so that the dead person would be able to move from purgatory to heaven. After we die, little is known about what happens to us and where we go. The church saw fit to convince those in mourning that their deceased loved one was in purgatory and the only way for them to move on was for the living to pay their debts. This was a horrible example of exploitation in order to gain money. Unfortunately, hundreds of years later, similar things are happening. Sometimes religious leaders offer spiritual cleansing or various products like healing holy water at high prices, only for people to realize it didn’t work after they already paid out big.
11. The Bible Says Wives Should Be Submissive
The bible is definitely one of the most sexist pieces of literature ever created. One of the most obviously sexist verses is Colossians 3:18 which states, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” Obviously, the word submit can be used loosely and it is up to the woman how submissive she’d like to be. But at the core, this is a sexist and offensive verse that some Christians might not want you to know about.
If a woman wants to be submissive and let her husband make the big decisions and be “in charge” of their relationship, that is her choice, but stating that it is a rule for all Christian women is not acceptable. This gives an excuse for some Christian men to be abusive, whether it be physically or just emotional manipulation. While obviously not all Christian husbands are like this, it is a verse that has definitely had negative effects by being printed in such an influential book.
10. The Bible Wasn’t Written By God Or Jesus
One thing that Christians might have you believe is that the bible was written by God himself or Jesus, depending on what brand of Christianity or religion they believe in. the truth is, however, that the book was written by neither, but rather someone that nobody knows. Many state that Peter or Paul may have been responsible for the book; however, whoever created the bible is up for debate among religious scholars everywhere. This makes what is stated in the bible not credible. However, people still follow the words and rules blindly, without questioning the flaws and contradictions riddled throughout the scripture. There have been so many different versions, rewrites, and various authors that in the end, what is the truth of the religion? The book is a set of stories and rules, but if they’re all different and open to interpretation, how can you say there is one truth to one religion?
9. Televangelists Are Making Millions
Just like everything else in our fame-obsessed world, Christianity has some familiar faces that lead the movement. Televangelists are all of the religious people you see on TV preaching their beliefs to viewers willing to listen. They are supposed to be people who speak the truth and lead us to the light. But one thing Christians might not want you to know about is all of the scandal and abuse within the world of Televangelists.
Several televangelists have been accused of sexual abuse of minors, manipulating audiences to pay for false products, and just being plain greedy. One of the most well-known televangelists, Pat Robertson, who is on The 700 Club, is worth around $30 million! That is more money than any person could ever need, so it seems a little contradictory for such a devoted Christian to live so lavishly while children are still going hungry in our own country.
8. The Bible Says…
Even though what is written is definitely up for interpretation, it can be incredibly challenging for even the most well-versed Christian to defend some of the horrible stuff written in these religious pages. That is especially true for what is written about rape in the Bible. In nowhere on any page does it say you just shouldn’t rape anyone under any circumstances. Instead, it gives you a few guidelines:
“If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NAB)
“Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.” (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
7. They Used To Kill Witches
One of the most atrocious acts committed by the church throughout history was the use of witch trials to convict women of ridiculous crimes. Throughout history, mental illnesses and basic human desires acted out by women have been seen as attacks on religion. If a woman was a little more hysterical than others, she was accused of being a witch. If a woman was sexually promiscuous, she was a witch. If a woman stood up for herself against her husband, well, she was a witch. If a woman wasn’t happy enough, she was a witch. Nowadays, being called a witch isn’t so bad, but as recent as the 1940s, if you were called a witch, you faced imprisonment and possible death. It’s unsure of just how many people were murdered between the year 1200 and present time when witch trials were common; however, it is estimated to be between 40,000 to 50,000 people.
6. Jesus Was Not White
Cameras were only invented recently, and paintings are pretty unreliable, so trying to figure out what a person born before 1800 really looked like is extremely challenging. Jesus is a person who has been featured in various forms of art all throughout the world for the majority of recorded history. One of the biggest debates about Jesus is what he actually looked like. Many people in western countries depict him as having fair skin and blue eyes. Although we can’t say for certain this isn’t what he looked like, most of the information we have around him points to the idea that he was probably a person of color. He was born in the middle-east, not in any European country. There is no way he would be born with European features, such as fair skin and hair. However, the depiction of Jesus as white in various art is mainly because people throughout history did not feel comfortable with worshiping a person of color.
5. The Bible Says Menstruation Is Disgusting
There are very few people in the world who would say that periods aren’t a little gross at times. Every biological woman experiences menstruation, so something that affects half of the population should be normalized and seen as a basic health process that women go through. It’s not always pretty, but no one should ever be made to feel ashamed, dirty, or embarrassed about it. However, the Bible definitely shames women for having their period. Leviticus 15:19-22 states:
“Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening. (20) Anything on which the woman lies or sits during the time of her period will be unclean. (21) If any of you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. (22) If you touch any object she has sat on, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.”
4. Abortion Is Actually Acceptable In The Eyes Of The Church
The bible does not state anything at all about abortion. It does not say the actual word, and it does not even have any sort of translation, or another similar word open to interpretation about the subject. Even the pope just as recently as last year gave permission for leaders to forgive abortions. Obviously, the bible states that you shouldn’t kill. It doesn’t say anything about raping or owning slaves, but it does say you shouldn’t kill. However, in order to determine whether or not abortion is murder, you have to determine at what point life begins. Some people would say conception, therefore abortion is murder.
However, The Bible actually states that when a baby takes its first breath is when life begins, meaning that terminating a pregnancy is not abortion. Many feminists and women’s rights advocates believe that sometime between the second and third trimester, when the baby is no longer dependent on the mother’s body to live, is when life starts. However, the bible is even more liberal than that and doesn’t believe it starts until birth. This completely discredits pro-life advocates everywhere who use the bible as the purpose for blocking women’s safe access to abortion.
3. There Is No Factual Evidence Proving Any Of It Is Real
One thing that Christians, religious leaders, and religion advocates would never want you to know is that there is absolutely no proof that any of what the religion preaches is true or factual. Just because it has been taught and practiced throughout history does not believe that it is true. There is no proof that when we die we either go up to the sky to live peacefully or down into the ground to burn in Hell. This does in no way mean that anyone who believes in religion is wrong- just that when you can’t prove your beliefs to be true, they should not be used to block certain laws, let alone be taught in school as the one true way. Religion is still something children should learn about, but they should be taught about all religion, both the good and bad parts. Instead of preaching gospels to children, we need to teach them things that are scientifically proven, like evolution.
2. The Bible Says Women Shouldn’t Talk In Church
Women have come a long way in terms of equality throughout history. There used to be a time when women couldn’t even vote, but just last year we came close to having our first female president. However, going back to the bible, it’s clear that there are still things holding women back and people who believe that someone with a vagina should not be treated the same as someone with a penis. Corinthians 14:34-35 states that:
“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak but must be in submission, as the law says. If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church.”
You would think the bible would advocate for women to learn more and be active participants in the church. Instead, it makes it seem as though they’re not wanted there in the first place.
1. The Church Exploits The Fears Of Their Followers
We’ve already discussed how the church has a bad history of exploiting people for money. But even worse than that, the church has a history of taking something much more valuable from people; their time. People have devoted their lives based on the fear of things taught in the bible and by preachers all over. People are taught to do what the church says or else they’ll go to hell. If you rape a virgin, you’ll have to pay her father. If you beat your slave too hard and they die, you’ll be punished.
Christians spend their lives doing what they think is right because they’re scared of going to hell but not of hurting other people. Everyone should be taught to be a good person and do the right thing because their negative behavior will have effects on the people around them, not because their negative behavior will have bad effects on themselves. This is why so much corruption lives inside the church. Some Christians are taught to protect themselves but not other people.