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Martyr Mentality

By Monk_XP (aka Monk) ~

I know this deeply religious girl (read: so full of “faith” that she’s emotionally and mentally unstable and should be committed for her own protection) that thrives on drawing attention to herself and shocking people by the depths she’s going to to make sacrifices for “god.” Telling her she’s stupid (something I’ve done several times, from the perspective of a “fellow Christian” [she doesn’t know I’m an atheist…she’d never speak to me at all then]) only increases her fervor and reinforces her idea that she’s truly doing what god wants. She tells me that god speaks to her. When I ask her how, she says she just “knows” things when she has quiet time. Please. It’s amazing to me that god always tells her exactly what she wants to hear, tells her to do those things that she wants to do, all while claiming that she really doesn’t. It’s the height of narcissism. I call it a “martyr mentality” because I know that that is her ultimate desire and goal…the one thing that would let her serve god and glorify herself to the maximum (which is her main goal, whether she’ll admit it or not).

This girl’s behavior is self-destructive and idiotic. She was a year from graduating college, but walked away from a full-ride scholarship and took a year off from school to do a mission trip in a 99% Muslim country in Africa! Neither she nor her companions could speak more than a few words of the local language, but she’s sure they did some good. Sure they did…they managed to survive, undetected, by the anti-Christian government (good for the missionaries!).

While in Africa, she developed a staph infection that she brought home with her. Rather than go to the doctor, she lived with it for two months, because she didn’t think going to the doctor was necessary (read: waiting on god to heal her). I finally convinced her to go, and the antibiotics cleared it up shortly. Good thing “god” sent me to tell her to go to the doctor, right? What a bunch of crap!

When she came back home, she finished her last year of school (on her own dollar)….sort of. She got to graduate and holds a degree, but she neglected to take one class that would have given her a certification that would have opened up incredible doors for her down the road. Why? You guessed it. To go on another idiotic globe trot!

She was dating this guy and they agreed to break up because their “spiritual mentors” told them to (WTF does that even mean?). Even though they’re not dating, she says they’re going to be married some day, because it’s god’s plan (god told her so)…the time’s just not right at the moment. She also thinks that this (or any other) young man wanting to marry her must ask her father’s permission. I pointed out to her that she’s throwing away every right women have fought for over the centuries and is willingly making herself property, but she insists on doing this. I asked her what she’d do if her father said “no” (because it’s “god’s will” that she should marry that guy), and she said her father wouldn’t say no, because it was “god’s will” and he’d make it happen! But, when pressed, she said she’d obey her father, because god thinks that’s a swell thing to do, too. Since her father does NOT want her to do ANY mission trips (she’s willfully disobeying him here), I asked her why she’d obey him on one matter and not the other…wasn’t that wrong and inconsistent? But she just got angry and wouldn’t talk to me except to say that it wasn’t the same. Of course it’s not the same…she wants to do one and not the other…THAT’S the difference! Ugh.

Lest you think she’s a cultist, she’s not. She’s mainstream Southern Baptist! The most infuriating thing is that, no matter what you tell her, no matter how good the advice, she will do the opposite and call it “god’s will.”

This is a girl that was not always like this, and that I used to care for a great deal. Now, I am by turns full of pity and disgust for her. I’ve tried to help her. I’ve tried to advise her. I’ve tried to make her see the madness, but I get it thrown right back in my face…and she thinks I’m a believer! I’d hate to see how she’d act if she knew I was really an atheist…

Now, she’s off globe trotting again, and I am done trying to help her (or any other religious fanatic). I don’t think I’ll try to deter Christianity in anyone unless they specifically ask me directly…which won’t happen, because basically no one knows I don’t believe.

Anyone else encountered anything like this? Seen this sort of “martyr mentality”? Why would someone young and privileged like her do these sorts of irrational things? I think it’s largely brainwashing, but I also think ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes was right when he said that “we’re so comfortable, we’re miserable.” Religion has always drawn the miserable masses. I just wish I could make her (and others) see that you can have a good life without all the insanity. Maybe some day.