Recently I did a minor good deed for a complete stranger, and after thanking me he said, "You must be a Christian." I’ve been told that before, and it always irritates me. The next time I’m going to say that no, I’m actually Jewish/Hindu/Buddhist/Muslim/Atheist. I’d like a reaction to that. Would you still invite me to the church you created in your basement? Would you throw my five dollars back at me? Were you mistaken?

Technically, I am "Christian." But that’s not what makes me a good person (at least I try). You’d think the world could tally up the pedophile priests and figure that out for themselves. You’d think we could look back on the Nazis, the witch-burners, and the Spanish Inquisition, which basically introduced systematic torture and fascism to the world, and come to the conclusion that Christianity does not equal goodness, kindness, giving, or peace on Earth.

My brief Sunday school education did teach me that the basis of Christianity is good deeds, charity. A collection plate to benefit the leaky church roof means nothing to me. Preaching charity once a week does not erase the history, the past two millennia, of Christianity’s flaws, and actions speak louder than words. No one and nothing is perfect. And the next person out there to give their time or money really will be a non-Christian. And what will you say then?

I believe in being good, doing good, for the sake of it. I believe in genuine charity and karma. I don’t do it to get me somewhere better in the afterlife or the next life I do it to make this life better for the people I share it with and for myself. I’ve been the person who needed the help. Now I’m the person who can give it. So the next time someone wants to thank me, I don’t want them to ask if I’m a Christian. I want them to know I’m just a fellow human being.

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