Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just wondering…

There are two people in my life right now that I choose to spend as little time around as possible. And if I could, I’d choose never to be around either one of them at all. They are two people whose behavior can at times be so ugly and so un-Christian-like that I can hardly tolerate the little bit of time I’m forced to be around them.

Both are family members, one by blood and one by marriage. And both of these people never miss an opportunity to let anyone around them know what “good Christians” they are. But from what I can see, these two people claim “Good Christian” status solely on things like how many times they plant their butts in a church pew and how well they can spew cherry-picked Bible passages in people’s faces, because when it comes to walking the walk, these two people are the antithesis of what I have always believed a good Christian to be.

All of this got me to wondering. Why is it that:

· Some of the most hard-core, in-your-face “Christians” today are also some of the people who have done the most despicable things in their own life and sunk to low points most people don’t even know exist? And why is it that when so many of these people find God they automatically assume that everyone else has conducted their lives as horribly as they have and thus need to be saved? And why do they feel it is their duty, as “Good Christians” of course, to be the ones that must do the saving? Does it not occur to these so-called “Good Christians” that there are people who have done their best to lead moral lives from the get-go and don’t want or need to be saved? Now don’t get me wrong here, kudos to anyone who has turned their life around and become a fine upstanding, decent human being, that’s absolutely wonderful and quite commendable, but for those that “find God” and think it’s their mission to save everyone else from being the lowlife they were, spare me. I am not looking to any person for salvation. That is between me and my God.

· And why do many of these same people assume a “better-than-you” arrogance once they’ve claimed “Good Christian” status? And how is it that once that “better-than-you” attitude is adopted, they then feel justified in condemning and oppressing anyone they judge to be a lesser human being? Wasn’t humility one of the greatest lessons Jesus taught his disciples?

· And since when did planting one’s fanny in a Church pew or spewing cherry-picked Bible passages qualify anyone for sainthood? Doesn’t one also have to walk the walk? One of the so-called “Good Christians” in my life is also one of the biggest racists and homophobes I know. Some of the ugly stuff that comes out of his mouth simply boggles my mind, and yet he goes to church at least 3 times a week and points that fact out to anyone who’ll listen.

· And don’t these people know how highly personal faith or lack of faith is to most people? I have always believed that religion is an extremely private matter and I find anyone who gets in my face and tries to push their beliefs onto me highly offensive, rude, and out-of-bounds. My immediate reaction is to shut down and seek the nearest escape route.

· And why is everything so black and white in so many of these people’s world? Life’s problems are just too complex to be solved by a one-size-fits-all solution. And yet the cold absolutism of many of these people’s convictions leaves no room for intelligent debate. In fact there is no room for ideas that conflict with their own. Trying to talk to people who are that close-minded is like trying to breathe in a room with no air. Impossible.

· And why do so many people believe that merely saying something makes it so? A big red flag goes up the minute someone tells me that he/she is a good Christian. A good Christian doesn’t have to tell anyone they are a good Christian, it should be obvious in the way that person conducts his/her life.

· And what’s with the authoritarian, force-fed type of Christianity that has become so prevalent among so many of these so-called Christians today, including the two in my life? So much of what Jesus taught was taught by example, not by force.

I guess there is no better time to see people’s true colors than when life is at its most difficult and challenging. And if ever there was a difficult and challenging time in my life, it is now. Ever since my mom’s accident and subsequent brain injury, I have gotten quite the opportunity to see the two “Good Christians” in my life up close and personal, and it hasn’t been pretty. It really is amazing what times like this reveal about one’s true character, regardless of how many times they go to church or spout passages from the Bible. Share


Anonymous said...

So, I'm guessing the questions, as asked, were actually rhetorical, but I think I get the answer anyway.

One of THE MOST COMMON logical fallacies I see occurring in discussions about GLBT issues and rights and activism is the concept that everyone has the same shared experience. The only experience I can speak to with any real knowledge is my own. The same is true of everyone. But we assume that everyone else experiences things just as we do. So, they assume that gay folks really FEEL straight (cause, hey, "I" do), but must choose out of it. Or, some ex-gay folks who may believe themselves to no longer be gay (or, perhaps they were bi and ignoring an aspect of their sexuality) assume not only that their "success" is true (which, maybe in some cases it can be), but that it must be possible for everyone.

As for "good Christian folk", when the OCA was trying to pass an anti-gay proposition in the late 90's, things kind of exploded in the state. People would literally beat activists on their way to or from church.

In the end, the only thing you owe anyone is civility (and from the sounds of it, I imagine you could muster a heck of a lot more than these individuals can). I think avoiding such people when possible is completely appropriate, and I'd just do my best to avoid the topics in the meantime. Some people are open to change. Some people aren't. Don't let the latter waste your time and energy.


Chimera said...

You only have two of these in your life? Lucky you!

"Ever since my mom’s accident and subsequent brain injury, I have gotten quite the opportunity to see the two “Good Christians” in my life up close and personal, and it hasn’t been pretty."

If they are good friends with your mom, and they're forcing themselves on you in coming to see her, and she wants their company, then grit your teeth and hang on!

If she doesn't want their company, game over! Just refuse to allow them into your presence. You can especially refuse them your hospitality.

"Does it not occur to these so-called “Good Christians” that there are people who have done their best to lead moral lives from the get-go and don’t want or need to be saved?"

No. Never.