“Coexist” and It’s Copycat Brother “Contradict”
Recently, it has come to my attention that a symbol is going around the internet playing on the classic “Coexist” symbol. This one, however, “Contradict,” points out that all the religious symbols on the page contradict each other:
There are a few variations of this new knock-off and I can’t speak on all of them. Please take into account that my focus is on this one in particular.
The main tenant of contradictmovement.org is that not all religions can be true because quite a few of them contradict each other. The man who originally created this image, Andy Wrasman, has a blog right here on wordpress. Andy is well-educated, and unlike many who argue similar causes, claims to actually have studied world religions. He wholeheartedly believes that Christianity is the true religion and that no others are true. The only education he values is that of knowing God. He wants to write a book on world religions and why they all contradict each other and Christianity is the only one that’s right. He states that “The message can be shared in numerous ways as the Holy Spirit leads, but there is a desperate need at this present time to contradict the popular misconception that all religions are true and in fact, lead to the same end goal.” Now here’s where it gets complicated. In one of his blog entries, he discusses the idea that truths may be found in all religions. “If Christ’s claim is true that he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), then all truth would be God’s truth, no matter where it is found.” So, here he goes contradicting himself now. Because according to him, not all religions are true, but if all truth is God’s truth, then it follows that all religions are true because they are the truths of man born in the image of God. Or is it, rather, that none of the truths of man are truths because human beings cannot conceive of God’s truth? “The world cannot accept Him [the Spirit of truth], because it neither sees Him nor knows Him … But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 14:17; 16:13) If supposedly no one but a Christian born into God’s light can know the truth, why are we even talking about it? Everyone else is just an idiot, right? Just pity us poor fools and leave us be.
Which leads me into the original–Coexist. For the record, my definition is taken directly from Yahoo answers, which is probably taken directly from dictionary.com or wikipedia or something like that. The coexist bumper sticker 8 or so different symbols that either are or are around the letters that create the word coexist. The meaning of coexist directly from dictionary.com is: 1. to exist together or at the same time. 2. to exist separately or independently but peaceably, often while remaining rivals or adversaries: Although their ideologies differ greatly, the two great powers must coexist. The eight symbols come from various ideologies and religions. The first is a crescent moon with a star this symbol is used a vast variety of things from islamic symbols to symbols used on flags. The second is a peace sign a symbol for peace. The third is the letter e with male and female symbols incorporated into it. The fourth is the star of david used in the flag of jerusalem and also a religious symbol for the jewish. I believe the fifth is the letter i with the dot as a pentagram a symbol used with Wiccan and witchcraft. The sixth letter is the letter S with a ying and yang symbol behind it. Ying and Yang are a representation of perfect balance or equality used in Chinese Philosophy. And last the Cross or crucifix this symbol is used for the belief that jesus christ is our lord and savor the cross is what jesus was nailed to as a form of punishment called cucifixion hence the name crucifix. The meaning of the sticker is to bring people together no matter what background you are or what your idea of what is and what isn’t. The meaning is just to learn to coexist accept other people for who they are.
So why is any Christian challenging the “coexist” movement? I respect that Christians are pointing out the conflicting viewpoints, but I don’t think anyone who believes in “coexist” claims that there aren’t conflicting viewpoints. They’re not even really saying that people who believe there is only one truth have to believe in multiple truths. It simply says learn to live together. It is my understanding that Christ was a proponent of people learning to live together, to love, and to give help to all those in need, regardless of their background. So, I have to ask, like I so often do of Christians, would Jesus really be happy with people joining a mass counterstrike against “coexist?” Pointing out differences is one thing, but this movement screams of elitism by referencing the Bible. By saying Christianity is the only truth (just like other religions state they hold the only truth). Again, I don’t care if you believe that’s true. There are plenty of wonderful people in the world that hold that belief. But by spreading around this counterstrike, so obviously derived from “Coexist,” you are making the statement, whether directly or indirectly, that you are somehow better than everyone else, that divisions and differences make it impossible to live together. This, my friends, is the downfall of civilization. If we cannot live together despite our differing beliefs, our increasingly popular and diverse society will crumble at our own hands.
It’s funny. I mean, yes, most religions contradict each other in one way or another. Division, in this manner, was created by design as various cultures have different needs and seek different answers. But they also have a lot in common. Reincarnation, God in human form, sacred texts, a spirit world, body mutilation, and the afterlife are just some of the general categories these items fall into. “The Golden Rule”, “Love thy neighbor,” and “Speak Truth” are prolific in numerous religions. The differences are superficial really compared to the unifying role of commonalities. I could never go into all of the commonalities. I have neither the time nor the patience. But let’s just look at some of the key deities for example. In comparing Jesus, Mithra, Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Hercules, and Krishna, many have at least one thing in common. Commonalities include being born near the holiday we now call “Christmas,” being born of a virgin mother, leading a life of toil for mankind, having nicknames like “mediator”, “light bringer,” and “savior,” having died and risen to become a pioneer of human kind, and given commemorative meals. It’s fascinating, really, how much we all have in common. So why are we all out to destroy each other?
Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc. Most are “the only truth” to countless people. And it’s fine to believe that. But, what’s not fine is not allowing others to have their individual beliefs in the truth. Who cares if they’re wrong? Is it really hurting you? Only if you fight them. Only if you threaten. Only if you belittle, offend, annoy…There’s a saying that hate is like a burning coal you are intending to throw at someone. The only one who gets burned by holding onto hate is you. This isn’t necessarily hate, but it’s close-minded. The Contradict movement is, for all intents and purposes, a bully. And yet, look at how many previously bullied people who have now found God are getting behind it. And before you go and argue that Coexist people are bullies, too, here’s a reminder–they aren’t expecting you to do anything but let people live out their own lives, as ignorant to your version of the truth as they want. It is a wise man who realizes that action speaks louder than any amount of scripture reading and referencing ever will.