John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Snagged From Tygermoonfox - Religious Feathers May Be Ruffled

I just found a very interesting article by a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian, wondering "Why Do They Hate Us?" Since this seems to tie in nicely with my Evangelists and Anti-Evangelists post from the other day, I think I'll take some time to comment on it.

Now, I have been known to stand up and brand a certain variety of Christian as "evil," but it's important to note that it is not because they're Christian. [1] I have an aunt who's a nun, and I love her dearly; a late uncle of mine was Catholic priest and was eventually buried in a monastery in the Catskills, where I met some of the nicest, kindest people I ever have. One of the first ever jungloids is another Catholic priest, and he is a great guy whom I am priveleged to know.

The people I am referring to here are the sort of "Christian" who has more in common with the 9/11 hijackers than with any missionary -- and there are lots of them in Virginia. What makes these people evil is that they are xenophobes -- they hate anything that is different from themselves -- and their particular sense of identity comes from the trappings of their church. These evil "Christians" are not necessarily evangelical ... but the two groups sure seem to overlap with alarming frequency.

Frankly, I don't hate evangelicals ... but at the same time, I generally won't willingly share their company, and here's why:

For all their talk about love, they sure don't seem to care much about ME.

Most of the ones I've met want to tell me all about God, about their relationship to God, what God means to them, how God has changed their life, and so forth. Very rarely do they ask what my views are on the subject, and when they do, it's just to give them an "in" to get them started on why I'm wrong.

And of course, if I don't immediately jump in with a few "Rah, rah, God!" comments, they assume that I don't believe in God, I think they're idiots, and that I loathe and despise them and would love nothing better than to destroy them and all that they stand for.

In short, if I'm not their twin, then I must be their antithesis. There are only those two proscribed roles for anybody in their universe, so what I really am, just doesn't matter.

And well, if they don't give a scratch about me, why should I waste my finite attention span on them?

Can't Sleep ... The Atheists'll Eat Me

A trap that the article falls into, however, is the same trap that anybody who's identity is wrapped up in a group falls into ... which is the "Everybody Hates Us" trap.

Lots of atheists are convinced that the government is a hairline fracture away from being taken over by frothing fundamentalists who will hunt them down and exterminate them. But on the other hand, lots of Christians (and evangelical Christians in particular) are convinced that the government is a hairline fracture away from being taken over by frothing secular humanists who will hunt them down and exterminate them.

Doesn't this suggest something to you two?

What really concerns me the most about this is the psychological concept of projection -- i.e., that which you fear or hate the most about yourself, you project onto everyone around you. Could it be that the Christians who are paranoid about the humanists are just naturally assuming that humanists will do what the Christians themselves would do in their place? Could it be likewise reversed?

Pluck out that beam, bruthahs and sistahs!

The reason religious freedom is right there in the First Amendment, bigger than life, is to prevent Protestants In Power Persecuting Catholics, Catholics In Power Persecuting Catholics, Christians In Power Persecuting Pagans, Buddhists In Power Persecuting Hindus, etc., etc., ad nauseam. For cryin' out friggin' loud, why should we need such a provision in the first place? It doesn't hurt me if the guy next door believes in God, doesn't believe in God, believes in Anubis on Wednesdays, or Just Doesn't Care. As long as he keeps his hands to himself about it, it's none of my beeswax. [2]

Anyway, I guess I've sorta had my say on this subject for now; in fact I've probably said too much as it is. I'm sorry if my hasty use of the epithet "evil" has rubbed any of my friends the wrong way, particularly my Christian friends. It is to some extent a linguistic problem ... when somebody's entire Sense of Self is wrapped up in their self-label of "Christian" but they are still vicious, hateful people, what should I call them? Should I start using the terms "gChristians" and "bChristians" to distinguish between the good ones and the bad ones?

Gah! I have no idea.

-The Gneech

[1] For the record, I have also been known to stand up and brand insistence on literal interpretation of the Bible as idolatry, but that's a subject for another post.

[2] My mother loves to relate anecdotes of being persecuted by Protestant teachers because she was a Catholic growing up. Sometimes it was just being singled out for lots of raps across the knuckles with rulers; sometimes it was deliberate and systemic sabotage of her grades ... giving her failing marks when she got perfect answers, etc. Now, while my mom is prone to blurring lots of details about things, I find it unlikely that she is outright lying about this. So my question is, WTF is that about??? But there are lots of behaviors I can't fathom, no matter how I try.
Tags: deep thoughts, rant
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