Christianity may be rightly considered one of the most crucial factors that have been shaping the contemporary society. As Christianity remains the widespread religion, followers of which may be found in every corner of the world, it still influences different societies in different countries despite the scientific and technology progress. Nowadays, Christians are the Europeans, the Americans as well as the population of Central Africa, whose cultures are extremely different. Nevertheless, all the people who identify themselves as Christians or confirm the Christianity’s impact on their thinking and worldview share similar values and principles that determine their behavior. These people are the ones, who form the society and develop it in accordance with their desires and goals. It is obvious that Christianity, hence, affects the culture and society globally. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that some Christian prolife views negatively affect the society. Christianity is alien religion for many people who worship it and its views on abortion, women position, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia negatively affect our society.
Christianity and the Position of Women
I think that gender inequality is one of the most serious problems of the contemporary society. Essentially, law enforcement and officials provide both women and men with equal opportunities. However, certain patterns of thinking and behaving regarding women are present in the mind of many people. These stereotypes do not allow viewing women as separate and independent individuals, whose mission is not to serve their husbands.
The verses concerning the role of women say that women and men are not equal and cannot reach equality. For example, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16). The matter is that Christianity promotes patriarchic culture where males rule and females serve men’s needs. Though there are a number of female characters and symbols in the Scripture and other writings, the men’s power dominates over the women’s. Women are allowed to attend the church and pray as well as to become the heads of religious organizations and cults. Nevertheless, women’s goals have to be determined to improve males’ lives and bear the children. The position of Bible regarding women is clear: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
There are several negative consequences of gender inequality, suggested by Christianity. Firstly, the fact that person is being neglected and discriminated due to her gender. The individual’s rights and liberties must not be denied in any case, especially, when it comes to their freedom of decision-making and independence. Secondly, gender inequality provokes conflicts within families and societies weakening their economic and political power. According to the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality,
Examples include gender pay gap, occupational segregation, denial of promotions to leadership, glass ceiling in different professions, increased casualization of women workers and feminization of poverty, trafficking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings, violence against women in domestic spheres, work place and public spaces, and lower levels of equation and work opportunities. (2011)
The effects of gender discrimination stop the progress of the society and make its population unhappy and conflicting; therefore, the Christian themes regarding males’ domination over females form patriarch culture and negatively affect the society.
Abortions and Christianity
Humans are imperfect beings, who do not always behave ethically and make right decisions. Because of human indignant behavior, abortion has always been a painful issue for all the groups of the society. Though the laws do not forbid abortions and let women decide their motherhood, Christianity pressures the issue of abortions.
As it was mentioned above, the Bible says that childbearing is a women’s function that should help the society grow. "Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3). In addition, God helps the preborn children: "You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret" (Psalm 139:13, 15). God guides people from the very beginning of their lives: "You have been my guide since I was first formed . . . from my mother’s womb you are my God" (Psalm 22:10-11). "God… from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace" (St. Paul to the Galatians 1:15). These verses confirm that child is a blessing in Christianity, which means that no abortion should be allowed.
The most important thing is that Christianity deprives people from the right to control their body and parenthood. In case abortion is forbidden, the woman is treated as an object aimed to bear and bring up the child. Thus, abortion makes the subject (woman) be treated as an object, whose duty is to look after children regardless of personal desires and views. Abortion is an important tool of adjusting population’s quantity been either allowed or forbidden in accordance with certain social and demographic situation in a society throughout the centuries. A New Zealand Resource for Life Related Issues confirms that abortion depletes the next generation of liberals and eventually makes the population more conservative. Therefore, Christianity forbids abortion and deprives people of their rights as well as weakens the economy.
Christian culture assumes that God is almighty, omniscience and omnipotence being that controls everyone and everything. Only God decides who should die and who should survive. However, such beliefs lead to negative consequences regarding the individuals’ lives and the entire society. The main thing is that people give to some Supernatural Power or Transcendent Being opportunity to guide and control their body and mind. The issue of euthanasia represents the problem of Christianity, in which the followers must follow the will of their Master, though He gave to them freedom of choice and creativity.
Euthanasia gives to people the opportunity to decide whether they want to keep on fighting for their lives or die. When people are dying from incurable illnesses and suffering from pain for years, they usually pray to the Lord so that He would relieve them of pain and make healthy. Nevertheless, the Lord does not usually come to help His dying children and keeps silent. It is awful that people cannot make decisions by themselves as they think that the Lord should guide them. Because of this, people neither die without pain nor utilize their freedom. According to Pereira,
The United Nations has found that euthanasia law in the Netherlands is in violation of its Universal Declaration of Hyman Rights because of the risk it poses to the rights of safety and integrity for every person’s life. The United Nations also expressed concern that the system may fail to detect and to prevent situations in which people could be subjected to undue pressure to access or to provide euthanasia and could circumvent the safeguards that are in place. (2011)
This means that the issue of euthanasia covers many advantages and disadvantages. However, euthanasia forbids the discrimination of people who are suffering and dying, including the minimization of harm to the economy and the ill people’s relatives. As Christianity neglects people’s lives and freedom concerning their possibility to make choice, its impact on society is rather negative.
Christianity suggests strictly defined position of men and women. Men should love women the same as Christ loves church, while women should serve and help men. Christian policy regarding sinful same-sex unions is quite simple and obvious. It is worth remembering the story about Sodom and Gomorrah (Powell 2011) and the Romans:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:26–27 KJV)
The gay or lesbian relationships are considered wrong, immoral, and sinful according to Christian Scripture and morality. However, if people cannot build traditional relationships, they should not be rejected the right to love and get married. The discrimination of people with non-traditional sexual orientation destroys the society’s democracy and freedom. People should be able to control their life, preferences, and interactions with others by themselves, as it promotes to liberty, political and economic stability of a society. Christian traditional views on marriage and family do not follow the needs of contemporaries and distract society from its logic and harmonic development.
Christianity has shaped and transformed the entire western culture and formulated its principles, values, and purposes. Christianity discriminates the individuals, who do not follow the traditional idea of patriarch society and the God’s will. Abortion, gender inequality, euthanasia and same-sex marriage remain disputed and complicated issues, though more and more people tend to believe that Christianity negatively affects the contemporary world regarding the above-mentioned themes.