Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“We Pretend We Are Christians”

prayer_peek Preference falsification as seen in the wild:

We are agnostics living deep in the heart of Texas and our family fakes Christianity for social reasons. It’s not so much for the sake of my husband or myself but for our young children. We found by experience that if we were truthful about not being regular church attenders, the play dates suddenly ended. Thus started the faking of the religious funk.

It seemed silly but it’s all very serious business down here. We don’t go to church or teach or children one belief is “right” over another. We expose them to every kind of belief and trust that they will one day settle in to their very own spirituality. However, for the sake of friends and neighbors, we pretend we are Christians. We try not to lie but rather not to disclose unnecessary information. As the children are getting older, this isn’t so easy for them and an outing is probably eminent.

This may be more common than many people would guess and applies not only to religion, but politics as well.  Timur Kuran has some interesting writing about preference falsification and religion in the Muslim world. 

Whenever the benefits of faking belief exceed the costs, expect to see it becoming more commonplace.

1 comment:

thinking said...

In the story about the family faking Christianity, what is sad is that the Christians around them would in essence ostracize this family if they knew they were not Christians.

That's not true Christianity, IMHO. Too many Christians just want to hang out in their Christian ghettos, as Francis Schaeffer called them, where they just want to wall themselves in with other Christians they deem acceptable. That of course is the antithesis of how Jesus lived, and the opposite of what he taught.