fromsunandsea said: What ever happened to make you hate Christianity so much, I am truly sorry for it.
Thanks for the condescending message. I don’t hate Christianity though there’s only one problem with someone doing so. More on that in a bit. I simply disagree with it, its tenets, and most importantly, its effect on people. Children are indoctrinated at a young age and are kept away from certain books, movies, tv shows, and truths. Those children grow up to be closed-minded people like yourself—taking it personal when someone doesn’t believe as they do. All the while these people think they’re right; they boast of having a personal relationship with the creator of the universe and pretend to be privy to his overall plan (e.g. when the world is going to end and how). If that example sounds too over the top, just think of Perry Stone, John Hagee, and all of the other doom-and-gloom preachers out there—both on and off television. To address your comment: nothing happened. I simply questioned whether Christianity was true. I figured that if it’s true, it’ll prove itself true and god will prove himself real. The complete opposite happened.
Ultimately, I pity you. There’s so much to experience, so much to learn, so much to consider; unfortunately, you cling to the religion your parents taught you or perhaps the religion that’s most familiar to you because of where you live. Take your condescension and your myopic view out of my inbox. And before you ask why I think you’re closed-minded, consider the following: only a closed-minded person would jump to the conclusion implied in your statement. Rather than asking why I’m not a Christian, you immediately turn to the assumption you find most comforting. That’s the mark of someone who has lived a sheltered life—kept from an understanding of alternative views. That’s no way to live. There’s only but so many places you can go, so many people you can befriend, so many people you can love and ultimately marry. Your options are narrow. The irony: Christ promised freedom yet his people are in prohibitive chains. I would tell you to unshackle yourself, question authority, and so on, but you seem to be the type that has learned to love her chains.
Assuming someone hated Christianity, they’d have good reason. As mentioned earlier, Christianity has detestable tenets. Even more deplorable are its stories (e.g. Jephthah sacrificing his daughter (Judges 11:29-40); the slaughter of the Canaanites, Amorites, Jebusites, etc. (Deuteronomy 20:16-18 to be read in conduction with 7:1-2); the slaughter of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:3)). It’s fine to believe these people were utterly evil and thus deserving of punishment. However, unless one believes in the odious notion of inherited sin, nothing justifies the slaughter of their infants and children. If you’re for animal rights, how can you condone the fact that livestock was killed simply because it was owned by people your god considered enemies?
That dubious notion of inherited sin is precisely what’s used to make sense of Jesus’ sacrifice. On Christianity, all seven billion of us descended from a couple. The man belonging to that couple offended god and thus, all of humanity fell into sin. Every generation since has been contaminated, so to speak. Jesus’ sacrifice only makes sense in light of inherited sin. It follows that even if you ignore the verses above because they’re in the OT, that same egregious notion that’s found in the OT is also found in the NT. Furthermore, even if you brush the OT aside and say that that was the law and that we’re now living under grace, it doesn’t change the fact that your god condoned rape, murder, pillage, and so on. When was any of that ever okay—especially for a god who is supposedly love!?
Earlier I mentioned indoctrination. Unfortunately, that’s not the only crime perpetrated by your religion against children. Children have died during exorcisms. In one case, an 8-year-old boy with autism died during an exorcism (read here). Autism has nothing to do with demons. Had his ignorant parents understood that, he’d still be alive. Children have also died due to belief in faith healing; they’ve died of treatable illnesses because their parents had faith in a nonexistent god rather than having trust in proven medicine. If that isn’t enough, priests and even Protestant ministers have turned their suppressed sexual desires toward children. They’ve molested them. Nothing justifies what was done by certain priests, but they aren’t allowed to have a wife or have sex. Perhaps they weren’t always pedophiles, but when you have such restrictions, you will target the vulnerable. If you’re not Catholic, that still matters!
Lastly, Christians seem to live in an alternate reality. Creationists are rampant in this country; they’ve even built a museum complete with ridable dinos! They march on gay parades; they protest outside of abortion clinics. Christians in this country are marching against science, progress, and (gasp!) democracy. They call this a Christian nation as if Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists, etc. don’t share the soil with them. They stand for legislation that’s restrictive to groups they don’t like. That’s not only discrimination, it’s prejudice. The majority of pro-lifers are Christians. Pro-lifers want to ban abortion as if banning abortion has positive effects; it doesn’t (read here). There’s also the fact that your ministers censor information—especially when it runs counter to their beliefs. Bart Ehrman puts it succinctly:
I regularly and consistently get two questions from members of the audience. The first is, “If this is the view widely held among scholars, why have I never heard it before?” I’m afraid that this question has an easy but troubling answer. In most instances the view of Jesus that I have is similar to that taught—with variations here or there, of course—to ministerial candidates in the mainline denominational seminaries (Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, and so on). So why have their parishioners never heard it before? Because their pastors haven’t told them. And why haven’t their pastors told them? I don’t know for sure, but from my conversations with former seminarians, I think that many pastors don’t want to make waves; or they don’t think their congregations are “ready” to hear what scholars are saying; or they don’t think their congregations want to hear it. So they don’t tell them.1
Of course you’ll think it’s enough to assert that Christianity does a lot of good. There’s no denying that though I think acts of kindness are sullied when ulterior motives are present—and Christians definitely do good with the ulterior motive of converting people; they’re usually vulnerable and easier to preach to. Also, be thou reminded:
You don’t get to advertise all the good that your religion does without first scrupulously subtracting all the harm it does and considering seriously the question of whether some other religion, or no religion at all, does better.2
When considering all this, I wouldn’t see a problem with someone hating Christianity if not for the fact that it’s an integral part of some people’s identities. Therefore, in hating their religion they might feel warranted in feeling that you hate them. Christians, in my experience, have a lot of difficulty distinguishing between themselves and their religion. To oppose their religion is to oppose them; to mock their religion is to mock them. That shouldn’t be the case, but I don’t see this being remedied anytime soon. So though I harbor a strong dislike for your religion, I stray from saying I hate it because I don’t hate Christians and I don’t want them to think that I do.
Excuse the elaborate reply, but I felt it necessary. You lack an understanding of atheists. I’ve already overstayed my welcome and thus, I won’t get into the reasons why I’m not a Christian. The reasons are multifarious and as such it’s simply too much to summarize. If you’re interested in my reasons, consider some of the discussions I’ve had with Christians throughout this blog. Some of my reasons are explicit enough.
1 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, p.130. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2014. Print.
2 Dennett, Daniel Clement. Breaking The Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, p.56. New York: Viking, 2006. Print.
This right here. These are the conversations that enlighten and illuminate what lurk behind the rampant science illiteracy which plague our society still. I could write an entire book on my life and what being raised amongst fundamentalist “right-wing” Christians has done and not done for me in my life. However, the above response is pretty thorough regarding my daily feelings of disappointment regarding how deep the indoctrination goes regarding religion - Christianity specifically - but religion and belief systems in general.
I can’t recommend enough: these related posts from my archive.
I’ve stated countless times that I do not attach myself with “ists” or “isms.” I do not categorize myself as anything other than a human being for which our species has dubbed the name homo sapien. The only natural “ism” I truly support and promote is humanism; and as a parent, my mantra has and will remain encouraging my children how to think, not what to think.
And naturally, the only “ist” I am, by complement of evolutionary biological development, is a scientist.
Detachment is a privilege held by people who aren’t targets.
"why are you so emotional about this" - unaffected people
read this. write it on your hand. repeat it to yourself.
so you can never ask me that again