It’s one thing for one’s life to be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. It is real. I have seen remarkable transformations of people’s hearts, character, behavior, and spirit take place in the lives of friends, acquaintances, and strangers. That being said, I’ve yet to see Christianity do much to transform one’s intellect, one’s height, or one’s intrinsic capacity for empathy or logic:
Black women have great faith in God, but they have a twisted understanding of His role. They do not pray for strength or courage. They pray for results: the satisfaction of immediate needs. One of my clients was a black woman who prayed in a circle with her accomplices for God’s protection from the police before they would set out to commit a robbery.
The mothers and grandmothers pray in the hallways–not for justice, but for acquittal. When I explain that the evidence that their beloved child murdered the shop keeper is overwhelming, and that he should accept the very fair plea bargain I have negotiated, they will tell me that he is going to trial and will “ride with the Lord.” They tell me they speak to God every day and He assures them that the young man will be acquitted.
Before you dismiss the observer as a hateful racist hater, consider that as a public defender of liberal persuasion, he not only spends more time than anyone reading this with low-income Africans attempting to help them, but has probably bled a considerably greater quantity of hearts-blood over their fates as well.
There was a fair amount of talk about EQ a few years ago, and there is an increasing amount of discussion of pathological altruism. What is gradually becoming apparent to me is that Western civilization not only requires a base level of intelligence, but also a base level of empathy. Any population group with an average level of either intelligence or empathy that falls below that level is not going to be able to participate in European civilization or sustain a reasonable facsimile on its own.
Christianity certainly helps support the development of empathy in an individual by providing a strong rational justification for it, but it observably does not create it ex nihilo in the human breast. I suspect it would be eucivically useful if there were standard tests for empathy as reliable as those for intelligence.