Dear humanity: "people of faith" does not refer only to Christians. Thanks.

This website from care2.com links to a booklet using Christian principles to illustrate how environmentalism is a Christian issue and why followers of Christ need to care about the environment. The campaign is a great idea, except for one thing: the Care2 e-mails and website refer to the campaign being geared toward "people of faith" and "G-d's creations" and "believers in G-d."

Christianity is not the only faith nor the only group of people who believe in G-d -- this is especially true considering the booklet itself comes from the National Council of Churches. They've generally been a very inclusive and pro-interfaith organization, and they certainly don't tend to be folks who hold the view that Christians are the only valid faith or the only true believers.

The booklet itself is great, and I'd recommend checking it out. The NCC folks who launched the campaign seem to have been really clear that it's geared toward Christians and is rooted in Christian theology. Apparently though, the Care2 people think "Christian" is a dirty word or something. I'm wondering if maybe they thought "people of faith" was more inclusive than "Christian," but the way they use it, it's actually just offensive, since you then click through to a book that's clearly Christian. Why not just say that it's a Christian campaign?


1 comment:

Molly said...

This is working both ways, as seen in the comments to this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRpeSZyNEpI

It's from the First Freedom Campaign, and in it, actor Catherine Dent (I didn't say actress!) talks about the importance to her of religious freedom.

Most commenters assume this is code for her being a fundie (and homophobic) Christian, but there's nothing in the spot that indicates such, and if you go to the web site firstfreedomfirst.org, you can see that they really do seem to be about separation of ALL religion and state. Partner organizations include HRC, GLAAD, the American Atheist Organization, the American Jewish Committee, the UUs (what a surprise there) and a whole lot of other, extremely liberal appearing groups.

So yes, "people of faith" is becoming such a code phrase for "Christian" that even when that's not what's meant, that's what people are assuming, and it's going to cause a problem for folks like the First Freedom Campaign, who really do mean ALL people of faith...or lack thereof, they're inclusive.

(In doing a little searching on Ms. Dent, I ran across an evangelical blog that mentions "benevolent tolerance" towards Jews. Um...thanks? what)