?

Log in

Religious truths - Stomping Grounds
January 23rd, 2012
08:39 pm
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Religious truths
I used to call myself a "Christian sympathizer." But the actions of many Christians make it difficult for me to have much sympathy for them any longer.

I hasten to add that I know many fine people who are Christians, including some of my best friends in the world. This is not surprising, since although the US is in no sense a "Christian nation," it remains the majority religion by far. I'm quite certain that the vast majority of people calling themselves Christians (as well as the majority of people calling themselves Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or whatever) are basically good people. And that fact made me hesitate to share the links I'm about to, for fear that my friends would feel I was indicting them.

But then I realized that the sort of people who are indicted by their own words and actions in the links I will share are not the sort of people who are my friends, and my friends are wise enough to recognize that; and hesitating in that manner is exactly the wrong reaction, the reaction that those who abuse their religious privilege would want.

So, first, an explanation of the Jessica Ahlquist story and some "Christian" responses to it. And, second, a long and painful image illustrating the sort of recent events that have pushed me to no longer remain silent about religion.

And now you will understand if you see me wearing a t-shirt that reads "Evil Little Thing."

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:litch
Date:January 24th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
want some coal?

here's a story for a small town (Bastrop, Tx) paper about a local pastor who was arrested for animal cruelty.

http://bastropadvertiser.com/2012/01/20/pastor-arrested-on-cruelty-charge/

The part that bugged me was the comments, several members of the congregation jumped on full of condemnation and anger. Not at the preacher, at the paper for publishing it.

Go down to comment 19 or so and there are extensive details from the cat's owner.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 04:48 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's really at the point for me where I can only shake my head at each additional specific incident. The pastor in the story you cite, assuming the facts are as reported, is just one person who did a nasty thing; in almost any such circumstance, the person will have condemners and defenders. I don't see any indication that the pastor did it because of religion... now, if the cat had been allegedly possessed and the pastor had killed it to cast out the demons, that'd be another notch in religion's bedpost.
[User Picture]
From:cmdrhobbes
Date:January 24th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for posting this. My wife and I have been having discussions (not arguments, since both sides aren't irrational fuckheads) about this subject. She's religious but not nutjobby about it, and I am of course an atheist. Since I started reading Reddit (and r/atheism) I've become a little more vocal about my atheism, and this gives me something to explain to her why I am moving that direction.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
Good luck. I suppose if somebody asked me why I'm more vocal now than before, the answer would be, "I started paying attention."
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
Also, if you want top-notch material (at the risk of heightened blood pressure), the greater part of the blogs at freethoughtblogs.com are excellent.
[User Picture]
From:st_rev
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
I like the way that long and painful image ends.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
It all comes down to Bieber!
[User Picture]
From:cubes
Date:January 24th, 2012 08:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
I want to respond to this, somehow, but I am having trouble finding words.

"I'm sorry" doesn't really do it, that sort of behavior is not my brand of Christianity at all, but I guess I am somewhat guilty by association.

I can, as a Christian myself, try to be an example counter to the ones you've pointed out here, and speak out against it myself as well.

It makes me very sad that this is done so blantantly in violation of some of the most fundamental tenets of Christianity as I understand it, but I suppose if one sees one's enemy as truly evil and unworthy of the basic respect accorded a fellow human being, this sort of thing is fair game no matter what side you're on.

I crige when I see this level of hate flying around, regardless of where it's aimed. I cringe even more when it comes from the majority, the "Christians", not only because it's such a twisted (again IMO) interpretation of what we're supposed to do and be, but also because we do have the power and the privilege to make it horribly, tragically bad for the victim.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Cubes, thank you for the sentiment. I wish more Christians were like you (and like my friend Mike on Facebook), willing to say out loud that this sort of behavior is not okay. It's all too easy to see how the people I'm pointing out are secure in the knowledge that they're in the majority and don't feel the need to hide.

I'll add, for the benefit of my other friends, that I don't expect every one of you to condemn this behavior out loud, turning this post into a litany of "me too" comments. I'm just trying to heighten awareness.
[User Picture]
From:cubes
Date:January 24th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
In case you aren't aware, there are many, many Christians who would consider me just as evil & worthy of condemnation for even thinking this way.

I know plenty of people (I hesitate to call them friends, we're just involved in some of the same community things) who would think far less of me (and/or try to talk sense into me, and/or outright shun me) because I am not what they consider a "Bible-believing Christian" -- a term which, much like "pro-life", clothes a remarkable level of intolerance and exclusion in a term that no sane person (or, in this case, good Christian) would want to not be.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, I'm aware. One of the bloggers I follow is intending to do a documentary on the hostility and threats, sometimes to the point where a family will move away, directed toward those who are on the "wrong" side of church/state cases -- whether they are atheists, Jews, or just the "wrong kind" of Christian. So I've heard plenty of stories in that vein. To say nothing of the fact that some (most?) of the original beneficiaries of freedom-of-religion statutes were Baptists in a sea of Puritans, or similar situations.
[User Picture]
From:luagha
Date:January 24th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"If the majority thought that everyone had to dye their hair brown, or that all witches should be burned at the stake, the majority would not rule."

BUT the government CAN make you buy the brown hair dye whether you want it or not. (If you're too poor to buy it you'll get a subsidy.)
[User Picture]
From:litch
Date:January 24th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*eyeroll*

this is why we can't have reasonable political discussions

---

you really believe healthcare and hair color are equivalent?

How many people do you think have gone bankrupt because of hair care expenses?

If you can't afford hair care do you think the government will pay for an emergency stylist?

grow the hell up
[User Picture]
From:dougo
Date:January 26th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The government can make you buy a war in Iraq whether you want it or not.
[User Picture]
From:luagha
Date:January 26th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
And if you're too poor to buy it, they'll borrow a trillion dollars to fund it!
[User Picture]
From:rfrancis
Date:January 24th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think you know my take by now. (It rhymes with "feeple buck".)
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, but we steal have to deal with 'em. 'Cause dang, there's a bunch of 'em.
[User Picture]
From:rfrancis
Date:January 24th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
To expand slightly, my thinking is "the message is great; the recipients aren't always listening carefully (or at all)." Or, you know, something like that.
[User Picture]
From:dougo
Date:January 26th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Steeple fuck?
[User Picture]
From:teal_cuttlefish
Date:January 24th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My daughter and I discussed the "evil little thing" story and I ordered a T-shirt for both her and I. Going through that image made me feel ill.

Icon for the type of people depicted in your image and threatening a girl's life for her insistence on her freedom from religion.
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 24th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I haven't bought a T-shirt yet, but I'm either going to, or I'll just donate to the scholarship fund. (I do have a lot of T-shirts already...)

I wish I could say this was an isolated incident.
[User Picture]
From:teal_cuttlefish
Date:January 25th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
Unfortunately, we both know it is far from an isolated incident.

I thought the T-shirts were reasonably priced and a big chunk of the price went to the scholarship fund, so I splurged.
[User Picture]
From:gookachu
Date:January 26th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
the icon pretty much expresses my sentiments on most religion.

i've spent much of my life studying religion, reading just about every holy text and world mythology i can get my hands on. ironically, it's led me to the point i'm at now: i'm not atheist, or agnostic, i'm apathetic whether god(s) exist or not; i just _don't_care_. i think, we as a human species, if we're to grow up as a species, and become more than meatbags of mostly water, should as ourselves whether we _need_ god(s) or not?

the new atheists bother me just as much as whacko fundies do. the new atheism is just as much dogma as any fundamentalist religion. the paraphrase a great movie, "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."
[User Picture]
From:elthar
Date:January 27th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm afraid I can't agree with you on either point. I care whether or not there are any gods, because I care about the truth of the universe; and there is no atheist dogma, "new atheist" or otherwise. That's kind of the whole point.

Where I do agree with you is that it would be nice not to have to care. But so long as so many people are trying so hard to inject their religion into others' lives... I care.
Powered by LiveJournal.com