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Offending Christians


Garnet
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Another thread in here reminded me of something I had posted last November on another forum. We were talking about offending Christians and it triggered this cathartic post on my part:

 

I'm less and less concerned about offending Christians because it's been my experience that, for the most part, they are not at all concerned about offending me. I've pretty much laid down the law with my Christian family that if they broach the subject with me, I will no longer hold back my views. I've warned them, as charitably as I could, that I will state my views plainly and that those views are likely to be offensive to them. I've also stated that I will no longer bring up religious issues so it's up to them whether or not to risk offense. For the most part, my family respects that and other than the occassional invitation to church when I visit, they pretty much don't talk about religion with me.

 

Nevertheless, I see in Christians (generalization, I know) a kind of naive arrogance where their foremost goal is to witness and evangelize regardless of the situation. The naivety comes in when said witness is surprised when I react negatively. For example, my mother's recent funeral. It was a Christian funeral. I expected this because the majority of my family is Christian and I do understand their need for comfort in their religion. What I didn't expect is an incident between myself and the pastor conducting the funeral. I must emphasize that I am completely outed with my family as an atheist and also with this particular pastor as this is not the first time I met him.

 

When Mama died, I pretty much held back my grief while I engaged in a whirlwind of activity to finish a project at work and make travel arrangements etc, etc. My mourning was lost in busy-ness. However, at the service, as soon as I saw her coffin, the stark reality of her death struck me upside the head and shook me to the core. In that metal box were the remains of a strong woman, a good mother and one of my best friends. I realized then that I would never hear her voice, see her beautiful eyes and silver hair or feel that special, comforting way she had of laying her hand on my forearm. Yes, I was glad that she was finally, finally out of pain. But my own needs and grief welled up and I could no longer hold back or be strong myself. I sobbed througout the ceremony and clung to my sister like a child.

 

After the ceremony was over, I was in some semblance of control but it was a very fragile thing. I approached the pastor, with my sisters and brother, to thank him for conducting the ceremony. He put his arm around me, murmured some consoling words...and then asked me if I'd considered the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. I stiffened, shrugged off his arm and said that I would prefer not to discuss it right now. He pressed the issue saying something like you really ought to consider it after all you do want to join your mother in heaven, don't you? Fortunately for him, one of my sisters pulled him away from me and my eldest nephew, who is 6'2" and built like a brick shithouse, pulled me away and called in a couple of my uncles, also large sturdy men, for assistance. It is somewhat difficult to remain angry or engage in a confrontation when one is being bear hugged and petted and consoled by a group of large men all of whom I suspect are still quite capable of bending iron bars with their bare hands.

 

I share this story to illustrate why I feel that Christians are not entitled to any extraordinary courtesy from me. Every single bloody Christian in my life has pulled some kind of similar stunt on me. The only reason my family has stopped engaging in witnessing to me is because I demanded it. I will give courtesy when I receive it, otherwise fuck 'em. They don't get a free pass and I'm taking my seat in the front the the bus.

 

I find that I'm having difficulty letting go of this one. It still infuriates me. I don't know if it's because it's all wrapped around mourning for my mother or something else. But I've found that I've become more bitter and more angry about Christianity that I've ever been in my life. I would like to think that at some point, I'd mature past the anger. But so far, it ain't happenin.

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Why is it assumed to be "mature" to "get over" being angry at Xianity? Why is anger always thought to be beneath good, "civilized" behavior? Why must we only assume peacefulness to be the only ethically acceptable alternative?

 

If something is objectively wrong, possessed of a foul nature, it deserves only our scorn. There is nothing to be gained and nothing to prove by "getting over it" or ceasing to hate that something. Of course, spending all one's time wrapped up in that hatred is just wasteful and unproductive, but if the subject comes up, a good and healthy hatred is in order - and is normal.

 

That said, I'm not caught up in pretending I'm "over" my hatred for Xianity. It's sick trash and deserves only my loathing, and I shall express that loathing if the subject of Xianity comes up. I'm also getting over something that needs to be gotten over - fear of offending Xians. Xians, by and large, don't care if they offend someone with, for example, anti-gay remarks or nasty comments about other religions, so why on earth should I, as a non-xian, constantly defer to them, as if their beliefs somehow convey superiority on them?

 

Fuck them and their religion, and if they get pissy about a remark I should make or the fact that I'm not one of them, fuck them twice over :vtffani:

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Hey Garnet,

I am saddened by your loss and the bullshit that went along with it at the funeral. I offer my condolences. I am at the point in my life right now where I take the Clint Eastwood approach to Christians, as in "Go ahead make my day." I welcome all evangelizers and door knockers. I too am very angry at Christianity also but for a different reason. Christianity took one of my best childhood friends and turned him into a soldier for Jesus and he will no longer speak to me. My only crime is the fact that I don't adhere to his particular cult. I came of age with this guy and we were like brothers, and now he this Jesus Bot who lets his preacher do his thinking. He became born again at some fucking Kenneth Copeland Revival many years ago. It has just been unbelievable watching this happen to a friend who I once shared so many great times. He now considers me, one of his best childhood friends, just a part of his evil past he tries to repress. God Damn I am pissed that religion did this to someone I once loved to hang out with.

 

 

By the way you should check out the Mid Michigan Atheist meetings. There is one this Sunday June 24th at 5pm at Oodles of Noodles on Trowbridge Rd in E. Lansing. They are a really good time and they have a hell of a buffet.

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... Xians, by and large, don't care if they offend someone with, for example, anti-gay remarks or nasty comments about other religions, so why on earth should I, as a non-xian, constantly defer to them, as if their beliefs somehow convey superiority on them? ...

 

They don't even have to go so far as to make anti-gay or anti-other-religions remarks to offend me. I find the very suggestion that I and all humans are so "sinful" as to need "salvation" or otherwise deserve eternal torture offensive in the extreme. What a horrible way to view humanity!

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Hatred will tear you apart, harboring feelings of hatred towards something for an extended period of time is in my opinion a very very bad thing. It solves nothing. I wouldn't equate it with ones level of maturity though it's just a natural human emotion.

 

Garnet, I read what you wrote. It's horrible what that pastor said to you he should have given you the respect you deserved and allowed you to mourn in peace.

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Hatred will tear you apart, harboring feelings of hatred towards something for an extended period of time is in my opinion a very very bad thing. It solves nothing. I wouldn't equate it with ones level of maturity though it's just a natural human emotion.

I don't think that statement is universally true, Kirangel. I would agree that a real hatred of a person can be self destructive, for that goes against our innate sense of community with others. But to hate something like christianity as an institution is fully justified. Hatred in that sense can be inspirational.

 

While I don't hate christians as people, I absolutely hate what they believe, just as I would with nazism or slavery. Christianity is a false, foul, malevolent belief system, and I will not disguise my contempt for it. While I can be forgiving of those who would try to re-evangelize me, I will nonetheless give them no quarter.

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I don't think that statement is universally true, Kirangel. I would agree that a real hatred of a person can be self destructive, for that goes against our innate sense of community with others. But to hate something like christianity as an institution is fully justified. Hatred in that sense can be inspirational.

 

While I don't hate christians as people, I absolutely hate what they believe, just as I would with nazism or slavery. Christianity is a false, foul, malevolent belief system, and I will not disguise my contempt for it. While I can be forgiving of those who would try to re-evangelize me, I will nonetheless give them no quarter.

 

Absolutely :)

 

Loving too much also solves nothing. Doing the right thing at the right time is usually the only way to accomplish anything. Love and hate needn't figure into it at all.

 

Taking the appropriate attitude towards something is a step in the right direction. A vile religion like Xianity deserves no more "love" than Nazism or Communism. And I can find plenty of Nazis and Communists who are nice people overall but nonetheless ascribe to a wretched idea that needs to be stamped out and destroyed utterly.

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Piprus, thank you for that answer. Something did not ring true in Kirangel's post but I could not put my finger on it. Under "Any gods" Kirangel says "sure." In that context, it seemed like Kirangel is condeming hatred for one reason only: To protect his/her god against the unbeliever. It's a subtle form of evangelization, an attempt to push religion without being noticed. That is why I think your answer is so appropriate.

 

Garnet, about no longer being super-sensitive around Christians. I agree. If they claim a right not ever to have to hear beliefs they disagree with, then so do we. Unfortunately for them, this forces them to suffer in silence about our eternal damnation to hell because their religion forces them to believe this.

 

It's like a local atheist said he debates with Chrisitians. He tells them that they have everything to lose while the atheist has nothing to lose. I asked how the Christians respond to that and he said their eyes just sort of glaze over. I can guess what the Christians are thinking. They are thinking: One day every knee shall bow and THEN this atheist will no longer gloat over me.

 

Because, yeah, demanding respect is inevitably seen by some Christians as gloating.

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You can hate they way someone does something, you can hate how people suffer because of the way they force their beliefs on you. But holding onto it and letting it consume you is what I was talking about. Hatred for something may be natural but if you linger on it and concentrate on it it's a bad thing.

 

Hating Christianity as an institution is pointless, whether you think it's justified or not. It serves no higher purpose to hold onto it, to sit in your room angry at the way things are.

 

I'm going to have to disagree, I think holding onto it is dangerous. It has the power to blind you just as much as the Christians beliefs blind them.

 

eh, maybe I am generalizing too much maybe on a smaller level it's okay but I've never seen it end up being a good thing when people linger on it, when they can't let go even in the case of hating for something they see as a good cause.

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Hating Christianity as an institution is pointless, whether you think it's justified or not. It serves no higher purpose to hold onto it, to sit in your room angry at the way things are.

And you are the end all and be all of answers Kir? It is justified even if you deny that fact. For someone who knows no fundys you really have no place to say who's justified in "hating" or having strong contempt for the cult. People have been scarred by Christianity.... Many people have, and damn sure have the right to detesting the lie and working to rid the world of the dangerous mindset called "Christianity". Hate is a strong motivator, and it can be used in positive ways. It's what's behind people who've been oppressed to set themselves free.

 

 

What's your view on ideologies that enslave people? You believe people should just learn to live with and accept terrorizing mindsets? Roll over and just accept things as they are instead of trying to attempt to educate and change? Where's your anti-T, I'm interested in your recovery stages from the cult.

 

Christians "hate" more then any other group of people I've met. They can reap what they sow as far as I'm concerned. What Garnet went thru is tantamount to egregious emotional abuse. These types of stories capitalizing on peoples loss and grief with mind fucking instill a rage in me that I doubt I'll ever get over. This pastor is an evil professional abuser as far as I see it, and deserves nothing but hate and contempt.

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You can hate they way someone does something, you can hate how people suffer because of the way they force their beliefs on you. But holding onto it and letting it consume you is what I was talking about. Hatred for something may be natural but if you linger on it and concentrate on it it's a bad thing.

 

Hating Christianity as an institution is pointless, whether you think it's justified or not. It serves no higher purpose to hold onto it, to sit in your room angry at the way things are.

 

I'm going to have to disagree, I think holding onto it is dangerous. It has the power to blind you just as much as the Christians beliefs blind them.

 

eh, maybe I am generalizing too much maybe on a smaller level it's okay but I've never seen it end up being a good thing when people linger on it, when they can't let go even in the case of hating for something they see as a good cause.

I think you may be thinking more of an obsession, in which case you would be correct. But obsessions can spring from an unnatural love or passion for something as well, just as we have seen in many christians. They become devoted to matters of practicing their religion to the exclusion of any other wholesome thing in life.

 

I am not consumed by hatred of christianity, it does not preoccupy me, I don't build my lifestyle around it, I don't invest a lot of time or money pursuing it, I don't lose sleep over it, and I don't exclude people from my life except for fellow christianity-haters. I simply hate it, that's all.

 

Nor will I throw up my hands and say it's pointless. Ex-C net and other sites that are anti-christian serve not only as meeting places for like-minded people to communicate, but to curious outsiders as well. Undoubtedly that leads to questioning, and inspiring christians to dare to get out of the cult.

 

So Kirangel, if you think those of us who hate the christian religion are nothing but ruminating, embittered, self-imploding, alienated people, you're quite wrong.

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And you are the end all and be all of answers Kir? It is justified even if you deny that fact. For someone who knows no fundys you really have no place to say who's justified in "hating" or having strong contempt for the cult. People have been scarred by Christianity.... Many people have, and damn sure have the right to detesting the lie and working to rid the world of the dangerous mindset called "Christianity". Hate is a strong motivator, and it can be used in positive ways. It's what's behind people who've been oppressed to set themselves free.
Just felt that bore repeating. :)
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Yes, hatred is a very powerful motivator.

 

 

 

"Roll over and just accept things as they are instead of trying to attempt to educate and change?"

 

If you are lost in hate you cannot educate or change them. What are you personally doing to change it?

 

I would no sooner destroy a town that has people living in peace just because some of them are bad and bring pain into the place then I would try to get rid of Christianity.

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Well, one thing that has already made me feel better is that not one single person in this thread has accused me of over-reacting. When I have shared this experience with Christians, the reaction has been some version of "Why were you angry?" :help:

 

Interesting discussions about anger and hatred. I'm angry at the way I've been treated by Christians, but I don't hate them or the religion. I will say that I think Christianity is a load of harmful nonsense. I really can't think of anything or anyone I truly hate...well...except for rhubarb...maybe. Lots of things do piss me off, though.

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If you are lost in hate you cannot educate or change them. What are you personally doing to change it?

 

I would no sooner destroy a town that has people living in peace just because some of them are bad and bring pain into the place then I would try to get rid of Christianity.

 

 

 

:twitch: You must have me confused with Christians, Where have I (Or anyone for that matter) stated I would destroy a town and why would you compare that to ridding the world of a dangerous dogma? Do you know who Ted Haggard is, Pat Robertson... do you have any idea how many fundamentalist Christians they recruit for their "army of god"? You still come across as an apologist to me. Where is your Anti-T posted again?

 

 

What Personally have I done....educating anyone that attempts to convert me. I also support and promote Ex-Christian.net, Americans United against Church and State , Rational response squad and The ACLU .... Yourself?

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Well, one thing that has already made me feel better is that not one single person in this thread has accused me of over-reacting. When I have shared this experience with Christians, the reaction has been some version of "Why were you angry?" :help:

 

Interesting discussions about anger and hatred. I'm angry at the way I've been treated by Christians, but I don't hate them or the religion. I will say that I think Christianity is a load of harmful nonsense. I really can't think of anything or anyone I truly hate...

 

I don't think Victims of Fundy dogma react enough. Pastors believe they can say and do anything to anyone because they are pastors. It gives them an excuse to be mean I guess. They say some of the most hateful crass things I've ever not had the pleasure of hearing. I detest the dogma and hate how indifferent to abuse it makes people. I will always hate it and I view most believers as trapped in fear. Fear of Hell, Fear of being outcast, Fear of disappointing an imaginary being, Fear of individuality, and so forth.

 

It's the promoters of fear (Pastors and dogma leaders) That I hate. They lead the sheep to live in fear. They are opportunists who say things when people are at their most vulnerable. When people are suffering horrific tragedies of monumental proportions such as the death of a close loved one. These people take glee in pain and destruction. They rejoice at the fact that non-believers burn for eternity, they rejoice in the fact of the thought of people being left behind in pain and suffering. They almost have happiness in their voice as they talk about the emotional blackmail.

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I don't think you were overreacting either. It's mindboggling how clueless Xians can be about why some of their actions might piss anybody off. It's kind of like the asshats who come to the Lion's Den, post the same PRATT's and insulting arrogant garbage that's been posted there before, and then don't get how come everybody's mad at them.

 

Some rambling thoughts about anger, in no particular oder:

 

In discussions about anger, I always get the sense that people fear it. Already in this thread the connection has been made between anger and hatred; why is that? Do the two equate? Does anger inevitably lead to an all-consuming, counterproductive rage? Is denial or rejection of anger an effort to stem the personal march towards hatred? (Or am I just blowing smoke out my ass here?)

 

Something I've noted is how easy it is to dismiss someone by telling them, "You're just angry." I don't know how much of the dismissal is in the word "just" or in the word "angry", but in either case the implication is that somehow the state of being angry at something or someone automatically makes a person's POV meaningless or without merit. Which is utter bullshit, in my not even remotely humble opinion. For my own life, I've noted that it's always been far more detrimental to myself to stuff or deny anger when it arises than it has been to express it in some healthy way.

 

A personal anecdote about anger: Fundy-Boy Ex (FBX for short) once told me that anger was a choice. He told me this on the phone one day, a month or so after he'd dumped me. He was frustrated with me because I was still angry with his various misdeeds, a scanty month after they'd finally come to light. He didn't understand why I would still be angry with him for his overall dishonesty and asshattery, and for his total lack of remorse about it. He didn't even seem to understand why it should have hurt me at all. What I figured out was that he had a vested interest in whether or not I was angry at him: my anger likely made him feel guilty about what he'd done, and he didn't like that. His need not to feel guilty was, of course, more important to him than any pain or damage he may have caused, or any feelings I might have about it - including anger.

 

If I remember right, before the conversation was over I managed to tell him he was a douchebag (or something like it) and that I was better off without him. He didn't like that either, but whatever. I don't have any sympathy for douchebags anymore myself. It just doesn't make sense to me not to call people on their crappy behaviors, especially when said behaviors are damaging to other human beings. Anger is one possible feeling about that, and I don't intend to be afraid of it.

 

My $.02, adjusted for ego inflation. ;)

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I know about jive ass Preachers and the shit they like to pull. The preacher that married me and my wife many years ago pulled a really cute stunt. We had been married for about a year and she was pregnant with our first child. We had been a little slack in going to church for a while and he came over to the house to get us back on the right track.

This asshole told us that if we didn't start back to church regular and start paying our tithes as we should that God would cause our child to be born dead or really screwed up! Scared the hell out of the wife and pissed me off! But hey, he was a man of God and I was only lowly dog shit, so what could I say? This incident is just one of many reasons why over the years I have come to question the "Good Book" and all the fairy tales their in! My wife still trys to go to church and such, but she seems to be pretty much beaten down by the whole mess. She went to a Pentecostal church a few years back and had a spiritual experience. She has bad knees and ol preacher boy laid it on thick that day and she was healed! She came home all exicted talking about it and how her knees no longer hurt and how she had been healed. I listened to her story and told her that we would see. I know how the human mind can play tricks on you and fool you. Happened to me, but that's another story for another day. Any way the first day was great for her. Then after a couple of days the pain came back with a vengance. I guess she back slid and God got pissed off and took his miricale back! That wasn't very nice, now was it? Course we all know it was psychological to begin with. Miricales, BAH!

I have got to the point that when someone starts telling me about how great God is, etc. I want to choke the shit out of them! It's really hard not to hate the idiots!

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I would no sooner destroy a town that has people living in peace just because some of them are bad and bring pain into the place then I would try to get rid of Christianity.

 

And that's your problem - good thing you weren't the British PM during the Blitz ;)

 

Bring pain? What pain is there in enlightenment? We're not talking about killing all the Xians - just their religion. The sooner this dualistic, oppressive madness is overwith, more freedom will be had for people's souls.

 

You may not have had bad experiences with the deathcult - good for you. Not everyone else is so lucky.

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I really can't think of anything or anyone I truly hate...well...except for rhubarb...maybe.

Well, all I can say to that Garnet is that once you've wrapped your lips around a properly prepared slice of rhubarb pie, you'll think differently. :grin:

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It's the promoters of fear (Pastors and dogma leaders) That I hate. They lead the sheep to live in fear. They are opportunists who say things when people are at their most vulnerable. When people are suffering horrific tragedies of monumental proportions such as the death of a close loved one. These people take glee in pain and destruction. They rejoice at the fact that non-believers burn for eternity, they rejoice in the fact of the thought of people being left behind in pain and suffering. They almost have happiness in their voice as they talk about the emotional blackmail.

THIS is the evil of christianity, Kir. Are you listening? Instead of trying to lift people up, Fundieland grabs vulnerable people in their time of need and despair, shakes them like a terrier shakes a caught rat, and infuses them with their ugly, malicious doctrines of unwarranted guilt, shame, and fear. The result is a beaten, broken human being who looks to a non-existent saviour for a false hope. And all the while being deceived into giving money to the cult, to the glory of its invented saviour and his earthly minions. Money that in many cases would be better spent on basic shelter, clothing, food, and self-improvement. If you have not seen such machinations at work, Kir, open your eyes and look a little closer, as I have. Then maybe you'll understand our contempt.

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If you are lost in hate you cannot educate or change them. What are you personally doing to change it?

 

I would no sooner destroy a town that has people living in peace just because some of them are bad and bring pain into the place then I would try to get rid of Christianity.

 

 

 

:twitch: You must have me confused with Christians, Where have I (Or anyone for that matter) stated I would destroy a town and why would you compare that to ridding the world of a dangerous dogma? Do you know who Ted Haggard is, Pat Robertson... do you have any idea how many fundamentalist Christians they recruit for their "army of god"? You still come across as an apologist to me. Where is your Anti-T posted again?

 

 

What Personally have I done....educating anyone that attempts to convert me. I also support and promote Ex-Christian.net, Americans United against Church and State , Rational response squad and The ACLU .... Yourself?

 

 

The town story was supposed to make a point that yes there are bad Christians who are obnoxious, try to profit off of the religion, and end up causing emotional pain to others and sometimes worse. There are also kind Christians who have the right to quietly worship in peace who do not run around shoving their beliefs down other peoples throats. Then there are those who rely heavily on the religion because it makes up their social network and provides emotional support for them. Some people need a God or two to to help them cope with their lives. So what I was saying is that I would not try to disband Christianity because of the positive effect it can have on peoples lives. I would never take that away from anyone, the world is difficult enough as is.

 

I have talked to a few Christians about their methods of proselytizing. I'll get into debates with them and present my views but never with the goal of trying to convince them that they're wrong.

 

Anti- T???

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I would like to think that at some point, I'd mature past the anger. But so far, it ain't happenin.

 

I'm trying to get a handle on the things that have been said in this thread about anger not being bad. I know what it's like being so angry at a person that I really want to hurt them and practically can't think straight. That tends not to be very productive. I don't think I've been like this since I was perhaps ten. "Blind with rage" might be an appropriate term. I don't think I've actually ever seriously hurt anyone beyond bruises and scratches. But I can see that if an adult got like this that it would be dangerous for anyone or anything within striking or shooting range. Surely this is not the kind of thing people in this thread are saying is okay?

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The town story was supposed to make a point that yes there are bad Christians who are obnoxious, try to profit off of the religion, and end up causing emotional pain to others and sometimes worse. There are also kind Christians who have the right to quietly worship in peace who do not run around shoving their beliefs down other peoples throats. Then there are those who rely heavily on the religion because it makes up their social network and provides emotional support for them. Some people need a God or two to to help them cope with their lives. So what I was saying is that I would not try to disband Christianity because of the positive effect it can have on peoples lives. I would never take that away from anyone, the world is difficult enough as is.

 

I have talked to a few Christians about their methods of proselytizing. I'll get into debates with them and present my views but never with the goal of trying to convince them that they're wrong.

Kirangel, we have heard this "good christian-bad christian" argument before. Yes, there are kind christians. And kind muslims. And kind Buddhists. And kind atheists. At the end of the day, the christian message remains the same: "God loves you, but only if you accept Jesus as the blood sacrifice for your sins (because you were created by the omnipotent god who knew beforehand that you would be born sinful and therefore cursed by this god and deserving of eternal damnation, etc. etc.) What "positive effect" could such a damnable doctrine have on anyone's life outside of fostering complacency and obedience to the dictates of church elders?

 

If you enter into debate with these fools about their proselytizing with no goal in mind, what would you be debating about? Or is it that you're not really debating or confronting, but enabling?? Really, Kirangel, I'm not understanding here. Do you take a position, or are you trying to fence-sit? I just would like to know where you stand. Are you an apologist, or what?

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