Being an agnostic, belonging to a family of agnostics, having lived in a community of non-Christians, having dated a recovering Christian for two years, and having friends who don't believe in Christianity, I just wanted to share my perception of Christianity and its Adherents. Now, I know that there are many types of Christians from Catholics to Mormons, from Episcopalians to 7th Day Adventists, from Unitarians to Jehovah's Witnesses so I don't want to lump them all together. But, I'm sure we can all agree, that there are some things in which all Christians, if not all religions, have in common. Which brings me to my first point: that there are so many different sects of Christianity. From a non-believer's point of view, this is implies something not omnipotent and omniscient in the message of the Bible. There are some Christians who don't take the Bible literally, but interpret what the Bible says differently. And there are Christians who do take the Bible literally, and yet they still interpret it differently. That implies to the non-believer that perhaps God should have used a different form of communication so that His message came across more clearly and timelessly to His creations. Considering how God expects His flock to believe and behave a certain way, why is there so much controversy between different sects of Christianity? This has historically been a source of strife i.e. The Reformation. Why didn't God plan better to prevent massacres committed by his followers against his followers? Some Christians reconcile this inconsistency be claiming the some Christians aren't true Christians, but that, to a non-believer, doesn't reconcile the inconsistencies of the Christian religion at all and just perpetuates the "We're the ones who are Righteous and everybody else isn't" attitude of monotheists. I perceive Christianity as very morbid and violent religion. I have read the Bible and was made to attend church as a kid. For a little while my parents took me to Catholic Church. The call and response parts of Mass seemed, to me as an 8 year old, like brainwashing that happened in cartoons and movies. And right above the priest's head was a statue of an emaciated and almost naked man who appeared to be very sad, hanging from an ancient device of execution with blood dripping from his fatal wounds. At many of the church services I attended, the reverend or priest or pastor or preacher read from the Bible. I heard stories of God killing the first born of every Egyptian, of Him manipulating Abraham to kill his son but then stopping him at the last moment (which seems awful to me), of thousands of Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea, of God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah and turning Lot's wife into a pillar of salt for looking back (which I thought was pretty mean), of God commanding his followers to commit genocide, and many other stories that didn't sit well with me. And I see many churches and Christians adorned with decorative versions of the device used by Romans to execute many thousands of people. And dying on the cross wasn't a pleasant way to go by any means. Many non-believers and I don't understand the logic that Jesus died for our sins. To me, that doesn't make sense. Jesus knew he was God's son, he knew he was going to die for our sins, he knew he would be resurrected and go to Heaven. So what was so bad for him about dying, other than the temporary physicl suffering? There have been many thousands if not millions of people who have died much more agonizing deaths than Christ did, and some of those people were at the hands of his followers: i.e. torture and burning at the stake. Why did Christ's temporary death (3 days) cleanse our sins? Where is the logic in that? For me, there isn't any. In fact, it makes very little sense at all. As I pass churches, some of them as large as the Denver Convention Center, and just as opulent, I wonder about how the tithes are used. Considering what the Bible said about rich men entering into Heaven, and that what I thought the purpose Christian and church organizations was: helping the needy, disaster relief, and charities, I wonder at why the money the raised is used to construct such huge, elaborate, and expensive buildings. I thought that Jesus and the Apostles were simple men who taught about evils of wealth and extravagance. And as I click through the channels on cable, I see the tv evangelists and commercials for the Lord's Prayer in a necklace or other Christian-centric products wanting your money and I know it isn't for good works. I've read the stories of huge tv evangelists being investigated, indicted for tax fraud or just outright fraud. I've seen pictures of their multi-million dollar personal estates. As a non-believer I hear the message of Christianity of love, acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness but I see the actions of hate, self-righteousness, and knowing many in this nation who are conservatives are also Christian and its generally conservatives who are proponents of the death penalty, the inhumane treatment and lack of human rights extended to the prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, and of wars against such places as North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and nations whose cultures aren't Christian. From what I perceive as Jesus' message of peace and love, these don't seem like Christian stances on these issues. The GOP is also the party that represents the KKK, white supremacists, and other right-wing extremist fringe groups and organzations with which I would assume that Christians wouldn't want to be associated. Another inconsistency I see is the refusal of some Christians and Christian sects of certain scientific facts which refute the claims of the Bible, such as evolution* and the age of the Earth (evolution is not a theory but an observable scientific fact, The Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is a theory to explain observed evolution). Some Christians claim that the 6 days in which the Universe was created is not literal, to a non-believer this seems like blurry rationalizing of a glaring inconsistency in what is supposedly the infallible Word of God. And since the advent of telescopes and the subesequent knowledge gained from their use, we know that there are hundreds of billions of stars in just our galaxy alone, and billions of galaxies in the observable Universe. What we know of the requirements of life, even with the most conservative figures, we can safely assume that there is life on other planets. Did Jesus die for their sins? Did they get a copy of the Bible? Or, like New World, African and Australian indigenous peoples, are those who died or die unshriven and ignorant of the Word of God going to burn forever in Hell? Which leads me to the message of fear spread by evangelicals that those who don't accept Jesus as their Savior will burn forever seems far different than the embodiment of unconditional love and mercy that is the Christian God. This is not only repellent, but hypocritical, to me as an agnostic. There are also the historical inconsistencies: like incorporation of pagan holidays, rituals, and symbols into the Christians faith. Christ wasn't born on December 25th yet that's when most Christians celebrate his birth. Christ is often represented as a white man, yet white people have never and still do not occupy the Middle East. These are just some of the inconsistencies and hypocritical attitudes and behaviors that I and many others who are non-believers perceive about the Christian religion. There are more which I do not have the time or memory or space to go into here. To us, generally speaking, Christianity is a religion which promotes love, acceptance, and forgiveness but only for its own members; it indirectly promotes homophobia, racism, war, and state-sanctioned exections; denies the validity of ceratin fields of science except for it when that science can be construed to its own ends, or technological conveniences; refuses to see itself objectively or from outside of itself; is morbid and uses fear as a tool to control people; and its adherents believe without any doubt that it is the one true religion, so all others are wrong, and therefore it has the righteous authority of God to promote itself and the beliefs of its adherents, make it as the accepted normal, and force its values into the rule of law. That has been my perception of Christianity.