jooles34: (Default)
[personal profile] jooles34

It appears I have a serious malfunction in my personality, and that malfunction is that I am a Christian. Yes, I am one of them. This means that I am anti-women’s rights, anti gay rights and intolerant of everything that isn’t nice, straight, vanilla and white. It also means that I am completely stupid and devoid of any rational thought.

Totally sounds like me doesn’t it?

I am frankly getting a little tired of all the shit that is hurled at Christians. Now I am the first to say that there is a shit lot wrong with a lot of organised religion, and have rallied against it with the best of them, but please don’t tar us all with the same brush. If I said some of the things that get routinely said about Christians and Christianity about any other religion, I would be lynched and de-friended by everyone I know, and rightly so too. There is no excuse for it. But apparently, you can say what you like about Christians, because hey, they are all stupid and no one really gets hurt right?

There a lot of problems caused by religion, I do not deny this at all, but there are a lot of us out there who are intelligent, open, accepting and loving so please stop assuming that all Christians are intolerant idiots. No one of any faith or religion is all the same way. You get the fervent extremists in every religion and they are all as bad as each other. Just because they have the loudest voices, do not lump us all together. Did you do that after 911?

Oh, and while we’re at it, I am sick of being called stupid because I have faith. And before you bring out the “of course you are, there’s not proof of God’s existence therefore you must be stupid to believe” argument, well, that is why it’s called faith. The clue is rather there in the word I feel. I don’t need proof, I just believe.

And because I believe and because I have faith does not mean that I do not question things and simply buy everything I am fed. Once again, so not call me stupid, I’m sick of it. And I love debate. In fact the religious gin-fuelled debates I and two of my old friends used to have became the stuff of legend. One was a practicing, took it all very seriously Christian, one was a lapsed Catholic and there was me. But it worked because we all completely respected each other’s views, never once told the others that anyone was wrong and never tried to get either of the others to think the way we did.

And I live by that. I will never force my religion down someone’s throat as long as no one tries to tell me I shouldn’t believe.

Or fucking call me stupid.

P.S. My other religion is Timelord, and because I have a sense of humour I don't feel blasphemous saying that.

Date: 2012-02-19 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As I've said elsewhere, it's the intolerant bigots who give religion a bad name and they're the ones who get all the publicity. Those of us who don't believe know damn well there are plenty of sane and sensible believers around, but they rarely get heard.

I don't give a damn what people do and what they believe in, just so long as they don't shove it down my throat or expect special privileges, like the case today of the care worker refusing to work Sundays, or the one from a while ago of the registrar refusing to conduct civil partnerships. Religious rights do not trump the equality laws of this land.

Date: 2012-02-19 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally agree with everything you say... just because I believe (and gladly testify to what this God I'm 'imagining' has done for me), I hate the whole being called stupid thing.

I'm 39 and I did not give up my common sense when I became a Christian 25 years ago... I can still think for myself but yeah, just because they don't believe, we are the 'stupid' ones.

Thanks for putting into words what I've been feeling!
From: [identity profile]
I've left a comment on your fb already, and I totally agree with you. It makes my teeth itch when people post sweeping statements made to inflame their fb feed (All men are bastards, all people on benefits are scroungers, all feminists are humourless etc).

All of the Christians (and other monotheists) that I know are tolerant, clever, and fabulous people. Yes, there are loud and embarrassing nutters in all faiths (have you seen the idiots that they roll out when doing pagan features on the telly? *shudders*), sadly they scream the loudest and people tend to think of them being advocates for the faith they represent. People have got used to reading the hyperbole and ignoring the source documentation.

And smug atheists can fuck off. They make me as annoyed as those idiotic fundamentalists (emphasis on the mental). Faith is not a 'stupid' thing, that's just like playground taunts, like there is something deficient for feeling that there is more to the world than we can see. GAH! *ranty*

Date: 2012-02-19 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
WOW you just said exactly what is in my brain!!! I feel like that so much lately, it's ridiculous. And yet the 'religious right' are SO VOCAL they are the ones getting all the press - and the ones giving us such a bad name :(((((

And angelkitty talked abt smug atheists - I agree with her sentiment they can fuck right off.

OMFG srsly do not get me started on this I'll get all ranty and cranky >:(

Date: 2012-02-19 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can I just point out that not all of us atheists are smug - we are just as entitled to debate and to discuss as believers are. But a lot of us object to the seemingly instant privilege afforded to religion. Extremism on either side is unhelpful.

Date: 2012-02-19 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

By 'smug atheists' I meant those really annoying people who do the verbal equivelant of a pat on the head and a 'Calm down dear'. Those are the ones that make me want to strangle them.

People who are able to have a respectful debate/discussion are fabulous!

Date: 2012-02-19 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I frequently break the exhortation not to discuss religion and politics in a built-up area between the hours of dawn and dusk! My Facebook friends list includes a vicar, a couple of Quakers and a number of fairly devout people of different faiths. The discussions tend to be very interesting and no one bears a grudge ...

Date: 2012-02-19 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2012-02-19 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have no problem with Christians who follow the word/works of Christ.

I have huge problems with Christians who blindly follow the word of the church.

I was about 7 when on the steps of our local church I in my white ankle socks and doily on my head, asked my mother, 'Why do we have to pray indoors? Didn't God make all of the earth?'

My mother promptly took off my head gear, shoes and socks and we walked to the park across the street and spent an hour talking about how Christ would spend the day.

Date: 2012-02-19 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I, although a militant atheist, don't care what people believe. I care how people behave. Unfortunately you can only judge that on a case-by-case basis. Experience has taught me that a spiritual label is no good indicator of the behaviour you can expect from someone. You get really nice people and complete fuckwits on both sides.

And if you want to feel persecuted, try being 'spiritual but not religious' *everybody* hates them!

Date: 2012-02-19 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ditto this :D

Date: 2012-02-19 07:59 pm (UTC)
shadowcat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowcat
Stuff like this is why I have stopped posting much of any consequence to my FB. Half of my relatives are ultra conservative "Christian" and the other half are split between Pagans and Atheists. I got tired of getting slammed for not taking sides. I'm an Egyptian Witch, but I think that all faiths have a right to exist in peace and not be lumped together no matter what happens. I was raised by my Nana and Papaw who were not only very Christian, but my Papaw was also VERY cowboy in his beliefs and actions. However, I was lucky because his adopted brother was also the blood brother of an Apache Holy Man. When I decided I wasn't meant for the Christian faith and started looking for other spiritual ties, my grandparents supported me no matter what.

Every time I see people attacking each other in the name of faith, I think of the examples that my grandparents set for me. They are the examples of Christian faith that I hold up.

I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this kind of ugly, prejudicial bullshit. *hugs*

Date: 2012-02-19 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been mulling this over for quite a while this afternoon, and one conclusion I've come to is that one of the things that makes me really angry is the way that some people so horribly misuse/misquote someone who - if he was a real person (and I incline to the view that he was) - seems to have been a thoroughly decent bloke.

I've done a lot of biblical study in my time (the disciples of source and textual criticism I leant through it have been massively useful in so many different ways, as well as being fascinating) and enjoyed it but when I see so much stuff (always horrible and intolerant) being based on the teachings of the disgustingly mysogynistic Paul, then I really start spitting feathers. He never met Jesus (holding someone's coat while they stone someone who did meet him doesn't create much of a link imho) so why on earth is so much weight placed on what he says? And so much of the really awful stuff finds it roots in his writings.

It's the awful perversion that we see so often of fundamentally decent teachings of a clearly very decent person that really riles and upsets me.

And taking the creation myths of the old testament as literal truth is another one that winds me up.

It interests me that the part of the myth that the fundies always quote is the one about Eve being created from Adam's rib to be is helper, so denigrating the position of women for ever more (thank you source P, otherwise known as the 'Priestly' source, c. 750 BC), whereas the same people totally ignore the alternative version (source J, probably some 200 years earlier) which tells the simple and beautiful story of god walking in the garden of eden in the cool of the day and moulding man from the earth itself. That one never gets a mention because the god it descibes is far too human and down-to-earth, literally, to be of use in their arguments.

And don't even get me started on the anti-women priests brigade.

Date: 2012-02-19 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I get tired of this as well. And I'm Jewish! Observently Jewish. As a person of faith, I'm tired of not only beomg told that believers (of any faith) are idiots but that because some Christians are bad/evil/homophobic/anti-women, that if you are any sort of Christian you are supporting these practices.

Being a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or an atheist doesn't make you a bad person, being a bad person makes you a bad person. And since most of us lie somewhere on the spectrum between angel and devil, we would all do well to be a little more tolerant and forgiving and a little less judging of our fellow humans, regardless of how or if they affiliate with a religion.

Date: 2012-02-19 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love my Christian friends, especially the Monk that's currently studying at the Vatican. I'm his "token Witch" *LOL*. Everyone needs something to believe in, even if it's non belief. But no one has the right to tell anyone else what those beliefs should be,

IF someone of another faith is annoying, I always remind myself that it's that person that's the problem, not the belief itself.

Date: 2012-02-19 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This. Absolutely.

This means that I am anti-women’s rights, anti gay rights and intolerant of everything that isn’t nice, straight, vanilla and white. It also means that I am completely stupid and devoid of any rational thought.
Some Christians are like that. But then again, so are plenty of non-Christians. And just because I'm a Christian it doesn't mean that I am any of the above-mentioned.

I may have issues with some of my church's teachings (I would describe myself currently as a semi-practising Catholic) but I feel that my faith has helped to shape what I am and make me a better person.

Date: 2012-02-19 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not for one minute trying to twist or misinterpret what you say, but I am always very wary of the argument that religion makes someone a better person. That immediately sounds to me like all non-believers are on a loser before they start and can't live decent, honest lives. I try to treat people as I'd like to be treated myself, which seems to me a reasonable tenet to live by.

And I detest the way that people up in court try to use religion to prove they are A Good Person Really. There has been a spate of teachers up in court where I live accused of sex offences. All have played the religious card.

Like you say, Christians and non-Christians can be equally intolerant or bad ...

Date: 2012-02-20 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wouldn't want anyone to think that I meant non-believers can't lead decent, honest lives. I just meant that I, personally, found the practice of my faith helpful in keeping me mindful of trying to be the best I can be in the way I treat other people. Which is kind of a convoluted sentence, but I'm not feeling particularly eloquent right now!

Date: 2012-02-20 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Even though I'm officially atheist at this point (grew up generic conservative Protestant, went through a pagan phase in my 20s) I generally avoid any sort of organized atheism. And it's precisely for this reason. I'm a pluralist, not an anti-theist. Ugh.

Preventing religion from having control over civic life doesn't necessitate preventing religion. Fundamentalism and biblical literalism, maybe, but not a belief that harms no-one and often gives great comfort and a sense of purpose for its believers.

Date: 2012-02-20 10:45 am (UTC)
aoifes_isle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aoifes_isle
I generally go for religion should be a personal thing. What I object to are the street preachers who harass me or the obnoxious almost cultish christians who come door to door and won't leave me alone. It's the fact that when on a ward a christian lay-preacher is allowed to corner me while I'm incoherent and recovering from a seizure, but it takes a high-ranking chaplain interfering to get a suitable text in for me to read. It's the one woman on the check out desk wearing a crucifix in the library who goes off-duty just when you approach with a stack of religious texts from other faiths. It's the nurse who offers to pray for me and won't take no as an answer. The senior nco who orders me to deconstruct my altar and the officer who I can see wanting to slap me down for pointing out politely what I have is permitted in the rules; the same pair ordered us to church which is now not an order to be given. It's the stalker I keep having to change phone numbers to escape who deluges me with "christain" messages. Secular services to remember the dead of many faiths which are painfully christian, and for which the only defense is "that is how it has always been".

I apologise if I'm one of the people who has made you feel uncomfortable, Jooles, but the christians I described above are the ones I run into over and over again. They're who I think of when I hear the word. I can't apologise for disliking them, for wanting them to shut up, but I will try to stop generalising.

Date: 2012-02-20 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am a Christian and I believe and have faith and I also get angry at soe of the things people say. *hugs you* My faith has helped me through a very hard time in my life and I will never change my belief in Jesus or my faith no matter waht any one says. you are in no way stupid and not one has the right to say such things about you, you are a better person for your baliefs and faith, I applaud you for standing up and saying what others might not dare to.

Luv and hugs

I will never de-friend you no matter what, My frinedships are presious to me and I do not take them for granted (even those I haven't met face to face yet)


jooles34: (Default)

March 2012


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