I got to talking with a friend of mine yesterday (a gay Catholic – explain that one to me) and happened upon one of my oldest and most favorite grievances. Shitty Christians.

As everyone knows by now, I’m a pretty rabid antitheist. But just because I generally dislike religion and all its accoutrements doesn’t mean that there aren’t gradations in my animus toward a belief in God.

After all, some religionists (e.g. Mother Theresa) genuinely embrace the tenets of what they claim to believe in and employ that belief to a better end (e.g. helping sick people).

However, there is an enormous amount of really shitty Christians out there. I mean “really shitty” in the sense of (a) they have no fucking clue what they really believe in, (b) don’t adhere to generally any of the tenets that they claim to believe in, and (c) employ their quasi-belief to bad ends.

For example, how many adulterous, premarital-sex-having liars can you think of that really hate gay people?

I rest my case.

I could go on for hours on this topic but the main thrust is that it doesn’t piss me off as much to be faced by a Christian who (a) is actually knowledgeable about their religion (with such knowledge not coming from the likes of megachurch hucksters like Creflo Dollar and Joel freaking Osteen), (b) abides by the actual tenets of their chosen religion, and (c) puts their belief to good ends.

Who doesn’t like the sight of a cute lil’ Amish buggy strolling down the road once in a while? They’re just so precious.

The other kind of Christian I mentioned before is a million times more irritating.

Anyway, that’s my tirade for the morning. I’m thinking about writing a book along these lines, entitled:

“You’re A Shitty Christian And God Hates You”

Catchy?

Edit: Hmm, what about this version:

You’re A Shitty Christian.
P.S. God Hates You.
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  1. Jann says:

    Please read up on Mother Teresa, she is not such a shining example:

    Christopher Hitchens was the only witness called by the Vatican to give evidence against Mother Teresa's beatification and canonization process […]. Hitchens has argued that "her intention was not to help people"[…]. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn't working to alleviate poverty,” says Hitchens. “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I'm not a social worker. I don't do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church.’"

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa

    • Metavirus says:

      you have to love hitch. the guy has such immense balls. i hope to someday be in a place where i can speak in the vatican against a beatification. awesome!

      to the substance, i understand where you're coming from and generally HATE aggressive proselytizing in the guise of charity. that said, there is something to be said for the good effects of a perhaps corrupted motivation. at any rate, she's far less irritating than, e.g., Joel Osteen :)

    • schu says:

      Of course she does it to glory God but it the results of what she does that is important. How many of you social workers do it for the money? How many of them would live in the conditions that these people lived in. And if they did does that mean that they did it only for the love of money? Like statistics, short line quotes can be twisted to prove anything. One of my major themes has been on the labeling of some religious leaders as Christian because they say they are but who cannot live the life, walk the walk, are even talk the talk.

      • Jann says:

        The key point is "she wasn't working to alleviate poverty". And not only did she not intend to do so, she didn't. She thought poverty and sickness were a gift from God, a great opportunity to show your faith. Sure, in a way this is walking the walk. But people should realize which walk it is.

        And it really isn't only this quote. More from Wikipedia:

        Her philosophy and implementation have faced some criticism. David Scott wrote that Mother Teresa limited herself to keeping people alive rather than tackling poverty itself.[33] She has also been criticized for her view on suffering: according to an article in the Alberta Report, she felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus.[34] The quality of care offered to terminally ill patients in the Homes for the Dying has been criticised in the medical press, notably The Lancet and the British Medical Journal, which reported the reuse of hypodermic needles, poor living conditions, including the use of cold baths for all patients, and an approach to illness and suffering that precluded the use of many elements of modern medical care, such as systematic diagnosis.[35] Dr. Robin Fox, editor of The Lancet, […] observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment.[36]

        Yes, she gave people a roof over the head. But the notion that she contributed to reducing poverty or disease is not based in reality.

  2. Mark says:

    "For example, how many adulterous, premarital-sex-having liars can you think of that really hate gay people?"

    Plenty. And they are all fundamentalist Christians. And a lot of them are in Congress.

  3. JACQUE SUE DENNEY says:

    when i first got on facebook one of my 'christian' relatives said she was going to unfriend me since i didn't have a relationship with christ(im a pagan)….my only reply was how christian of you…

  4. schu says:

    I can relate to that. You can chose your friends but you are given your relatives.

  5. Metavirus says:

    Interesting. I never saw this perspective. Thanks for enlightening us.

  6. schu says:

    Sigh, you keep harping about how she wasn't working to alleviate poverty, why do you think she was? The Catholic Church does not want to make her a saint because she "alleviated poverty" but because she was a role model for them in working to bring the poor to her church. The Catholic Church does not care about alleviating the poor or they would not keep such obscene amount of wealth in their coffers to blind the masses. If you want to attack her and the church for what they do, fine. But it works better if you attack them for what they are not doing rather than what you perceive that they should do.

  7. gregoryp says:

    Jann you have an interesting perspective. I've always admired and cherished Mother Teresa as one of the great humans of all time. If there was a heaven she would probably be the only human I've ever heard of that actually deserved to go there. I think she did a tremendous amount of good in her life that overcomes the disservice she did by pushing Christianity. On the other hand though she was actually living life the way that Jesus taught by tending to the poor. I've always felt that if you were going to call yourself a Christian you should at least follow Jesus' teachings. I don't think he ever called for the elimination of poverty. Probably never occurred to him (if there ever was a real Jesus) or the people who wrote the gospels that these things were possible.

  8. @hippocampa says:

    The slip you are making of course is the same as theirs, namely, that you claim to know what God's mind is by saying "God hates you". To me, as an non-US agnostic protestant, any claim to know God's mind is blasphemous. It doesn't offend me by the way, since you don't believe in God, blasphemy has nothing on you and I am sure you are not trying to offend me, since you don't know me or my beliefs.
    Which leads me to the second slip you are making whic is that you appear to have a fixed idea in your mind about what a christian should believe (e.g. the ref to your gay catholic friend) and then you hold them to your beliefs about their belief and imply they're inconsistent? I find this rather dogmatic.
    Anyway, I completely share your sentiments about fundies, any fundies, be they christian, muslim, atheist or whatever.
    Cheers.

    • Metavirus says:

      i see what you're saying although (1) "god hates you" was meant as more of a literary statement. i do not of course believe in god so certainly don't actually believe that god hates anyone, because i ultimately don't believe that a god exists. (2) i don't have any fixed notion of what a good christian should be; what i am asking is for christians to hold christians to the standard of christianity that they themselves profess to believe in, e.g., don't lie (because you say you believe in the commandments), don't have sex before marriage (because you say you believe in the bible) etc.

      • schu says:

        I agree wit your point about Christians holding other Christians to the standards of Christianity. One of my major points in my observations is that the media wants to identify anyone who declares themselves a Christian as a Christian. They do not ask for verification of their status. The Mormon Church, the Jehovah Witness are not Christian because the do not believe that Christ died for the redemption of their sins. And the believe that only a certain number of people can be saved. But the media calls them Christian. Most of the people who post on this board are not Christian, but that is fine since they do not call themselves Christian. While it is true that we are not perfect and we are always striving to reach a Christ like life it is a bit much to be claiming to be the spokesman for family values while working on ones third marriage.

      • @hippocampa says:

        "what i am asking is for christians to hold christians to the standard of christianity that they themselves profess to believe in, e.g., don't lie (because you say you believe in the commandments), don't have sex before marriage (because you say you believe in the bible) etc."
        See? that is what I meant with what you believe what christians should believe in. I don't adhere to what you just professed I should believe in, and I am a Christian. :)
        Thanks for replying.

  9. schu says:

    By the way God does not hate anyone, but views a lot of human behavior with a great deal of sorrow. Those who claim that "God Hates (fill in the blank)" speak for the devil.

  10. Metavirus says:

    I really have to say how great it is to have such a reasonable-mindedchristian like you on Library Grape. We've collected quite aninteresting mix of folks here, no? Would you ever be interested indoing a guest post once in a while?

    • schu says:

      Might after I survive college level algebra! If I can learn how to write an APA paper, last years achievement, I surely can learn how to do a guest post. One of the major positions on my faith is that a persons belief in God, or his lack of belief, is between that person and God. There is no room for a Pope, the Saints, a council, a church, a politician, etc. This means that you must study and examine you beliefs regularly, and that you do not always find yourself in agreement with the mainstream, especially if they are following a charismatic leader with faulty theology and a personal agenda.

  11. Metavirus says:

    If I can say so, this country needs a lot more humble, caring andrational christians like you

    • schu says:

      We are out there, and there are a lot of us. But we are not news worthy. Most of us do not believe in rocking the boat, We try to live the life that the Lord shower us in our hearts to live. Since such dull every day activities are general boring the news does not cover us. But look at the food banks, the shelters, the church benefits and you will find us working steadily behind the curtains. The court advocates, Habitat for Humanity, etc. While I do not personally agree with the Salvation Army they do good work. While I have huge theological differences with the Roman Catholic Church I do have to admire the priest that works the street helping the common man with his problems. We do not need the televangelists that collect millions and keep 40 to 50% for living expenses. Power and money corrupt everything that it touches, and without a church board to over see them they always seem to become corrupted. .

  12. NotSooFast says:

    WiseMonkey ventures into Atheistland to see what wisdom he can glean from its inhabitants.
    [youtube CLsanX4ZMxQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsanX4ZMxQ youtube]

    • schu says:

      Interesting, but it still underlines one my basic points, that you cannot scientifically prove the existence, or none existence of God because you cannot have a test case. And we all would get along better if the extremists that the media labels christian were called to task for their non-christian beliefs and actions.

  13. DoYouHateMe says:

    It is sad to see so many people who are misled into thinking that televangelists are a true representation of Christ. They are usually the worst example that we as Christians can give non-Christians. Metavirus, could you start a dialogue with [email protected], who is a pastor and radio talk show host (and has been for about 15 years at least)? He would be a really great addition to your thinking. He is not nicer than God. But you’s really have to try hard to curtail the profanity. He might not be able to dialogue with you too long if your tongue is continually in the gutter (or the trash). He is willing to call a spade a spade about Christianity. Don’t give up on God because of some schmuck you saw on tv. Try reading the Bible and judging Christ on that, not His lousy ambassadors.

    • Metavirus says:

      my post wasn’t about televangelists. it was about the millions of everyday christians who talk sanctimony out of one side of their mouth (about gays, abortion, etc.) while doing all sorts of hypocritical things out of the other (premarital sex, divorce, adultery, etc.).

      here’s a good way to frame it:

  14. DoYouHateMe says:

    My last sentence stands. Thanks for curtailing the profanity. Just because there are hypocrites in Christianty doesn’t make it false. Whole denominations (like the Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc) are usually a waste of time. Try http://www.kgov.com. Also, Jesus is the only religous leader who repeatedly warns others about His own followers. No other writing of faith that I know of does that. BTW, divorce, though accompanied by bad effects on both parties and the kids, is not a sin in the Bible when it is for adultery; in one case I can think of it was commanded by God. See http://kgov.com/bel/20130117, or http://kgov.com/bel/20061110.

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