Why don't I have a custom title by now?!
Caffeine Freak said:
To me, if you say you're a Christian, it's still rather vague and doesn't really mean much unless you clarify it somehow or elaborate further.
Heck, I consider myself a Christian Atheist.
I don't believe in the existence of the supernatural or divine. However, culturally I've been immersed in Christianity, what with it shaping so much of the landscape (churches, etc.), history, and even language. Also, on the social and philosophical aspects, I think Jesus was mostly right. Coincidentally, those are precisely the points on which those religious Christians completely ignore the words and acts of their Messiah.
Jesus hanged out with pariahs, hobos, whores and criminals, and treated them with respect. He admonished people not to kill an adulterous woman, calling these murderous self-righteous bullies a bunch of hypocrites. He disliked greed, and promoted sharing and paying one's taxes dutifully. The only people he seemed to have really, truly disliked were merchants.
If you strip away the religious baggage, Jesus Christ was pretty much a hardcore communist.
But American Christians tend to forget about all that. They don't see Jesus as that weirdo who washed the feet of beggars and told wealthy people to abandon all their riches. They see him as a doorway. The key is to call him "my Lord and Savior", and tada, you can enter paradise. The rest is irrelevant. The New Testament is useless drivel; what matters is the Old Testament because it's the one in which it says gay people are yucky. And also, there are two kinds of people: the reprobates who are predestined to go to Hell forever so who cares about them; and the elect who are predestined to go to Heaven so you know they're okay dudes. And to know which people have God's favor, you can just look at their situation: if they are wealthy, it's because they are favored by God, and therefore you know they are among the elects. If they are poor, it's because God hates them, and therefore you know they are among the reprobates. The wallet is a direct measure of someone's sainthood; this is why "In God We Trust" is written on banknotes.
Caffeine Freak said:
'Christian' can be substituted for 'Protestant' and 'Catholic', which by themselves encompass a gigantic portion of the population. Not to mention the dozens of different subdivisions and branches of each of those. It's not much of a stretch for most people to throw Mormonism in there as well.
You forgot the Orthodoxes. And Catholics aren't really subdivided; unless you make a division between lapsed and practicing.