I'm reading about the terrorist attacks on women's care clinics in Georgia, and about the crazy asshole who interrupted his own grandmother's funeral to spew hateful dogma at his own relatives, the fallout around that crazy Florida pastor who wanted to burn Korans and now, being clearly alarmed that the national dialogue is centering around things that aren't him for a change, just hung an effigy of Obama from a tree like a good little KKKer, and, well, pretty much everything here.
These are your littermates, Christians. These are the folks who are the real face of your religion. These are the ones you must distance yourselves from constantly. These are the people who you must make excuses for all the time. These are the ones who make you cringe--and these are the ones who tell the rest of us that your God can't possibly be real, and that your holy book can't possibly be true.
I really think that one reason I deconverted is that I was just too embarrassed to be associated with people like that in any way, shape, or form. I just have too much dignity, too much self-respect, to be part of a movement that produces people like that so often--so many broken people, obviously damaged, obviously egotistical, obviously blind, obviously arrogant, obviously controlling, obviously oblivious. But to say so gets a flurry of "You can't judge a religion by a few bad apples!" and "but it's still true, so you have to follow it or go to hell blargharghaghaeghaghghargh!"
As I've said before, if the Christian faith just produced arrogant, cruel blowhards sometimes, that'd be one thing. If behaviors like these were clearly a misinterpretation of the source material and quickly condemned and put down by the rest of the herd, that'd be all right. Adherents of every faith and those who follow no faith, if honest, would agree that every group has wackos in it. But when violent, controlling assholes like these have supporters--and when their antics actually do have cherry-picked Biblical support--that's when you realize you've hitched your wagon to a dying horse. That's when you realize your holy book is nothing but a pack of lies that can easily be made to support any abuser's agenda. And that's when you realize that controllers and abusers simply love the Bible for how easily it can be made to fit their needs.
How do I know the Bible isn't real? Because it so often creates situations like these, and people like these. Continue to make apologies for them, and get those ass-kissing puckers nice and warmed up, because as Christianity becomes more and more polarized, you'll be doing a lot more of it, Christians.
Do I judge a religion by the number and severity of wackos it produces? Yes, yes I do. And I'm not ashamed of that, and neither should you be. If someone came out with a diet system that only seemed to produce fat people, I certainly wouldn't try the diet. If someone came out with a pain-managing exercise that only made inflammation worse, I wouldn't do the exercises. If someone made a self-help system that quickly became correlated with suicides and hospitalizations, I certainly wouldn't listen to it. The modern Christian religion, if taken to its logical end, produces extremist wackos. The only way you can avoid falling into the pit of extremism is to distance yourself from the source material so much you aren't actually following it anymore. At that point, why bother with it at all?
Christians already do something like this when they talk about other religions, such as Islam or Wicca, by the way. They already know that a religion's loudest voices are the ones to judge the religion by. These assholes are the ones who are NOT being silenced and set right by the majority; they are the ones who are NOT being put down like the rabid dogs they are. They are the ones who speak for the religion's logical conclusions. And they are the ones we must listen to when we judge a religion's usefulness to the world.
If Jesus really had been God, he would have found a way to write a holy book so clear and easy to understand that nobody would ever miss his point. That so many people can utterly miss the point of morality and goodness by following the Bible tells me that it has no intrinsic morality or goodness in it, and that its followers are just people like anybody else, with no particular divine grace or sanctity in them and no particular divine intelligence informing their actions. (It's actually kind of beautiful.) There is no dignity in associating with an idea that produces barbarity and cruelty with such stunning frequency. We should not be ashamed for callin' it like we sees it.