I can't really call this logo ugly, but it's certainly not ... pretty. And some of that was intentional, but most of it was born out of a need for a brand mark that should only ever function as a footprint for others to add their own interpretations onto it, because really — how can there ever really be a single interpretation of an entire faith?
My history with religion is complicated, as is every gay kid's growing up in a conservative community. My faith in God is complicated, in the same way that just about every person on this planet's faith in God is complicated and deeply personal and fundamentally subjective. Both of these — for me at least — are continually evolving as I learn more about the history of Christianity and other world religions. More discoveries about the times described in scripture are made almost daily, and even those alter our perceptions and understanding of Biblical texts.
But regardless, there are two things that have always stayed with me and informed my life, even as my faith in organised religion has wavered sometimes withered away: First, "whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets." And second, endeavour — throughout each and every day — live your life so that others may witness Christ through your actions. I don't care as much about Christ's divinity and the miracles he's said to have performed as much as I care about the teachings of Jesus, the prophet. From his sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule about compassion and love is — for me, at least — the single most important principle of Christianity, and indeed most other world religions. It's also the hardest principle to live by, quite ironically.
Studies are showing that, in most first world countries, followers of organised religion (most notably all Christian denominations) are decreasing in number at an alarming rate. Another study shows that Christians aren't so much disappearing or abandoning their faith; they are actively choosing not to list their affiliation with organised religion. And, really — who can blame them? Fundamentalist cults are picketing the funerals of dead soldiers or blaming natural disasters on minority groups. And at the other end, Christians spend their time painting the fundamentalists as an embarrassment while loudly denouncing everyone else not joining in as the wrong kind of faithful. Not including Pope Francis, when was the last time a group of Christians made news headlines for their unselfish acts of compassion and love? I know that sounds quite critical (and maybe even hypocritical), and maybe it should.
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