Skip to main content

Christian Indifference

By Carl S ~

There are pains that don't go away. You know what I mean. All you have to do is watch survivors of clergy rape or any rape and read about or listen to their experiences. Some survivors are over 80 years old. And fundies like to say they're being persecuted! Anyhow, grievances aren't welcome nowadays (except on TV “reality” programs.) And we're expected to be forgiving (let's not forget forgiving). And we don't want to offend anyone, do we? How boring!

I occasionally have feelings of what once felt like betrayal, at a picnic with my spouse's family. You know how you sit around small talking and confide with family members? An in-law mentioned “God” and asked if I believed in “him”, and I said “No.” Another in-law heard me, and came over. This was my first close encounter with fanaticism. Someone else joined in, so I was trapped between two fundies. Bystanders listened. This went on for some time. I left that room, and went to cry in another, out of frustration. You know what I mean? But it wasn't the assault on my conscience I remember most. It was the silence of my spouse all the while this went on. She just sat there and said nothing, didn't tell them to leave me alone. When I went outside, she didn't join me. Years later, I'm thinking this was due to childhood indoctrination: she was taught you don't interfere when “authorities” are “correcting” someone who questions “the Faith.”

After a while I came for the meal, and everyone behaved normally. This 'afterwards' reminded me of when I was young, of those verbal fights at night, when some family members would get drunk, uninhibited, and attack each other by bringing out their resentments and grievances. The next morning, they behaved as if nothing had happened. Drunk on booze or drunk on Jesus, I guess the pattern is the same.

Anyhow, my stifled emotions could not be held in check for long. When we got home, I let loose out of frustration. No apologies. This was a rant about fanatical beliefs and attacking my morality. When I was done, I looked at my spouse and saw indifference. Add to this, discomfort at my speaking out, as if I was wrong to do it. But that's old history. We've been living hundreds of miles from those relatives for (“How long have we been here now dear?”) almost 19 years now.

Update: Just this summer, six of those original relatives were on their way to a national park and stopped by for a get-together, sharing experiences, photos; as if they'll never change. We went for dinner at a local restaurant, my beloved treating. They went on their way, time constrained and with so much to see. None of that “God-talk.” In a way, this wasn't a surprise; I'd spent part of those intervening years sending them my and others postings from this site. All's well that ends well as a truce, I guess, or as my generation would say, “Cool it.”

Oh I know that old “Blood is thicker than water” saying. Somehow that didn't explain enough about these situations. No, they had to do with me being an 'outsider.' So many years later, I feel that's where I still am and always will be. I think it must be like this in every believer + nonbeliever marriage. The family clan's religion reigns supreme.

Recently, I found an applicable quote from Freud. “A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.” To that, I will add, cruel. So I'm thinking. If you're an atheist or agnostic and you marry an evangelical or fundie, you have to live with t

It kinda explains how so many of god's saved people, with cold indifference, stood by and watched their Jewish neighbors being hauled off to whatever fate awaited them. If you can't convert them, who cares? I understand one of my distant relatives was Jewish. If so, she might have died in the Nazi extermination camps. Would pro-life Christians oppose abortions if Muslim fetuses are aborted? Hmm.

“It’s very common to hear people say, ‘I'm rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. ‘I find that offensive.’ It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?” So I've developed the bitch attitude to religious sensitivity of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry, who said, “It’s very common to hear people say, ‘I'm rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. ‘I find that offensive.’ It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?” (Gervais says the same with fewer words.)

Maybe you think I'm bitter and angry from all the damage cold Christian indifference is causing societies. Who wouldn't be? There are ways I deal with it. Given enough time, people are almost forced to come around. (I just happen to be impatient.) Things like abolition, the vote for women, acceptance of equal rights, gay rights, stuff like that, are now accepted by the majority. It's like, “of course, what's the big deal?” Sure, human rights are still being rigidly opposed or ignored by the righteous, and so we have to vote out of office whoever advances their agendas, lest they dominate us. The same rigid believers don't care, and would be happy if non-believers “go back into the closet and know their place.” Change takes time. My spouse isn't one of them, and I doubt her family would challenge her love for me today, by repeating their past behavior, even though she's been raised to sit quietly while god's chosen experts tear into anyone who implies they're no morally better than this atheist.

Feel free to not avoid offending. Everyone's offended by some things. Offending people raise social consciousness. They even make us laugh at our own beliefs and biases by pointing out how ridiculous they are. Just don't become accustomed to those Christian frigid fists. Don't be bullied.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE FRIGHTENING FACE

By David Andrew Dugle ~ O ctober. Halloween. It's time to visit the haunted house I used to live in. When I was five my dad was able to build a big modern house. Moving in before it was complete, my younger brother and I were sleeping in a large unfinished area directly under the living room. It should have been too new to be a haunted house, but now and then I would wake up in the tiny, dark hours and see the blurry image of a face, or at least what I took to be a face, glowing, faintly yellow, high up on the wall near the ceiling. I'm not kidding! Most nights it didn’t appear at all. But when it did show itself, at first I thought it was a ghost and it scared me like nothing else I’d ever seen. But the face never did anything; unmoving, it just stayed in that one spot. Turning on the lights would make it disappear, making my fears difficult to explain, so I never told anyone. My Sunday School teachers had always told me to be good because God was just behind m

The Blame Game or Shit Happens

By Webmdave ~ A relative suffering from Type 1 diabetes was recently hospitalized for an emergency amputation. The physicians hoped to halt the spread of septic gangrene seeping from an incurable foot wound. Naturally, family and friends were very concerned. His wife was especially concerned. She bemoaned, “I just don’t want this (the advanced sepsis and the resultant amputation) to be my fault.” It may be that this couple didn’t fully comprehend the seriousness of the situation. It may be that their choice of treatment was less than ideal. Perhaps their home diabetes maintenance was inconsistent. Some Christians I know might say the culprit was a lack of spiritual faith. Others would credit it all to God’s mysterious will. Surely there is someone or something to blame. Someone to whom to ascribe credit. Isn’t there? A few days after the operation, I was talking to a man who had family members who had suffered similar diabetic experiences. Some of those also suffered ea

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo

Why I left the Canadian Reformed Church

By Chuck Eelhart ~ I was born into a believing family. The denomination is called Canadian Reformed Church . It is a Dutch Calvinistic Christian Church. My parents were Dutch immigrants to Canada in 1951. They had come from two slightly differing factions of the same Reformed faith in the Netherlands . Arriving unmarried in Canada they joined the slightly more conservative of the factions. It was a small group at first. Being far from Holland and strangers in a new country these young families found a strong bonding point in their church. Deutsch: Heidelberger Katechismus, Druck 1563 (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I was born in 1955 the third of eventually 9 children. We lived in a small southern Ontario farming community of Fergus. Being young conservative and industrious the community of immigrants prospered. While they did mix and work in the community almost all of the social bonding was within the church group. Being of the first generation born here we had a foot in two

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

Reasons for my disbelief

By Rebekah ~ T here are many layers to the reasons for my disbelief, most of which I haven't even touched on here... When I think of Evangelical Christianity, two concepts come to mind: intense psychological traps, and the danger of glossing over and missing a true appreciation for the one life we know that we have. I am actually agnostic when it comes to a being who set creation in motion and remains separated from us in a different realm. If there is a deistic God, then he/she doesn't particularly care if I believe in them, so I won't force belief and instead I will focus on this one life that I know I have, with the people I can see and feel. But I do have a lot of experience with the ideas of God put forth by Evangelical Christianity, and am confident it isn't true. If it's the case god has indeed created both a physical and a heavenly spiritual realm, then why did God even need to create a physical realm? If the point of its existence is to evolve to pas