Category Archives: Christian attitudes

The Oppressed Christian?

In the early days of this blog, I think I may have posted a few times on the prevailing view of supposedly well-educated U.S. citizens (and probably those of most Western nations) toward Christianity. More on that in a moment, though, after I ridicule off-the-deep-end evangelistic former child star Kirk Cameron for his take on his own “crucifixion” for his beliefs.

Cameron is a moron. He left his critical thinking at the door a long time ago (if he ever possessed it), a fact made most obviously when he did a video with another loonball Christian about how the banana is “the atheist’s nightmare” because it somehow proves the existence of God. (Here on YouTube, and also here)

I’m a Christian. While I don’t know the precise nature and scope of God, I do believe in Him and that Jesus was His son (whether literally or spiritually) in whom was vested God’s power and the ability to grant salvation to all humans, among other neat skills like healing and making wine out of water, both of which would come in handy at a lot of parties (oh, Jesus made jokes, people, and I love my savior; don’t go pointing sacrilege fingers at me if you’re Christian).

None of these beliefs of mine, however, interfere with my belief in (and respect for) science. I simply have faith that there is a spiritual realm and a temporal one, and you can’t prove or disprove one with the other.

People like Kirk Cameron, though, make people like me look bad. And believe me, there are many people like me. Some 20 percent of the U.S. populations considers itself “unchurched” now (that doesn’t meant they’re all atheists; some of you evangelical atheists out there need to read about those stats more closely), so it’s clear that the church in all its forms has failed miserably to move with the times (regardless of the specific faith). And move it must, the Christian church being one of the most notable these days, as it always has in the past, adapting and evolving many times, no matter how many Christian leaders try to convince people otherwise.

Cameron thinks he’s being crucified for being called out on his homophobia, a bigotry which is entirely out of step with Christian love and acceptance of people where they are at. (By the way, in fair disclosure, I’ve had some out-of-step opinions about same-gender relations in the past on this blog, but even though I no longer see it as a sin…even when I did, I didn’t see it as worse than any other sins we all commit.) Cameron is, again, a moron. Also a slightly blasphemous moron, since Jesus and a whole lot of other people endured Roman crucifixion, and based on what I’ve read about it, no level of public ridicule compares to that suffering. So, suck it, Kirk Cameron.

Now, that said, I am going to continue to hold to a theory that I’ve espoused before on this blog, and that is that Christianity gets the side-eye a lot from other people, even people who sometimes attend Christian churches. So, if the name “Jesus” comes out of my mouth, I can pretty much anticipate that many people in hearing distance are going to tense up. If I discuss my faith or the value I see in it, I can expect that I will get a lot of ridicule, whether spoken or unspoken.

And I don’t just mean from atheists; this cuts across most lines. Moreover, this kind of attitude is generally reserved for Christians. Sure, plenty of racist, demagogic, jingoistic bastards look askance at Muslims in the United States, but what I’m talking about are the more educated and/or “aware” people, who don’t judge any other religion (Wicca, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) and often express curiosity about them, but openly show disdain toward Christians, even when said Christians aren’t behaving badly.

Kirk Cameron is wrong that he or Christians in general are persecuted in the United States. Far from it. They still hold great gobs of influence and don’t have to worry about being strung up for their beliefs. But it is true that, much like the notion that white men are the only group you can joke about safely now (somewhat true), Christians are one of the few religious groups you can make open fun of with little chance of blowback (unless you’re in the rural portions of the Bible Belt, perhaps).

I say this not to defend Cameron, who had earned all kinds of reasons to be made fun of because there is little thought or logic behind his statements. I say this to remind everyone that Christians are people, too, and most of them aren’t going to bite.

Or even try to convert you.

So let’s band together in making fun of Kirk Cameron, if nothing else.

A New Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, reportedly in Heaven,
hollowed be thy name.

Jesus’ cred undone,
by callous Christians,
putting petty desires front and center.

Give us this day our daily dread
as we bask in cruelty
and co-sign the cruelty of others

And let us not head toward redemption
but push others under the bus.

For those of you who didn’t grow up in the church, the more traditional version…

“Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

Dear Vatican: Shut Up!

Dear Pope Benedict and the rest of the gang at the Vatican:

Although you have a long history of covering up pedophilia among priests and ignoring their victims, you seem to have a major bug up your butts regarding homosexuality (no pun intended). I find this interesting, given that pedophilia is non-consensual and abusive, and homosexuality is a grown-up decision.

In any case, after reading this article about how gay marriage somehow threatens the very future of humanity, I can only conclude that you are all hopelessly and irrevocably out of touch.

I mean, it’s not that I’m asking you to accept homosexuality on a personal basis. I’d just like you to leave everyone else alone about it and stop making it out to be so apocalyptic.

First, homosexuality has existed for millennia upon millennia and society hasn’t crumbled because of it. There have been times historically when societies long gone have accepted the practice and even celebrated it at times, and I don’t recall a single one of them collapsing because of man-on-man or woman-on-woman nookie. I’m pretty sure that legalized same-sex marriage won’t destroy the fabric of society either.

In case you haven’t noticed, homosexuality has been an option for people for a long time in the privacy of their own homes, cars, bath houses, hotel rooms, etc. Despite this, the vast majority of people choose the opposite gender. This despite having access to same-sex relationships since before pharaohs started having their scribes put down important information like grocery lists and newsletters in stone with the aid of chisels and hieroglyphs.

Even with a more open acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality in more recent history, after a long stretch of burning people at the stake, incarcerating them or shunning them because of homosexuality, people still overwhelmingly choose traditional female-with-male sexual relations.

I really don’t see that making same-sex marriage legal and official is going to suddenly make people abandon in droves the traditional sexual instinct for the opposite gender. We’ll still have the overwhelming majority of people choosing the traditional route of marrying a person of a different gender. And then probably divorcing. And remarrying a couple times. And having kids as part of that dance. A few of them might even stay together.

But really, heterosexuality hasn’t done much to guarantee family stability or healthy relationships in all of recorded history, so I don’t see why you think same-sex marriages can make things any worse.

It’s kind of like your fretting over the use of contraception. Despite its wide availability, people still (*gasp*) continue to have babies. We’ve got what…7 billion people on the planet now? Are you really concerned we’re going to run out of humans because of a relative handful of gay or lesbian marriages?

Stop hitting the communion wine so hard, have a fucking smoke or a nice meal or something, and calm the fuck down.

Stick to misrepresenting Jesus’ message at the pulpit and leave society to the people who are actually in touch with it…and with reality.

Burn That Book!

My brothers and sisters in Christ…

We all know the insidious power of the media to corrupt the minds of young and old. And so I know that you, like me, despise books that fail to promote the values we hold dear as true followers of God and Jesus.

We won’t stand for the distribution of a book that features incest and adultery. We won’t tolerate a book that condones the conquering of sovereign nations on the basis of religious zealotry. We won’t sit idle while people sell and promote a book that uplifts the weak, poor and sickly over the needs of the strong, wealthy and attractive. We will shout from the rooftops against a book that advocates communist-like sharing of wealth and equal dispersal of money to all in need.

My friends, I know of a book that does all this.

And more.

For hundreds upon hundreds of pages.

The Bible.

For the good of our noble, true and powerful Christian cause, we must destroy all copies of this vile publication immediately.

I realize this will leave a bit of a void in terms of reading material for good Christians. Thankfully, I have a series of 12 books (one for each apostle) to fill that need. Just send me $999.00 for the full set.

What Would Jesus Invest In? — Be Fruitful and Multiply…But Only If You’re White — Jesus: Founder of the Tea Party — The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, But Don’t Let Them Have It Just Yet — God Loves a Good Capitalist — Sex the Right Way: You Can Rape Your Wife But Don’t Touch Another Man’s Butt — Shoot All the Scientists — The Last Trustworthy Jew Was Paul the Apostle — Thou Shalt Not Kill…Unless It’s a Negro or Queer —  Thou Shalt Not Steal…Except From Your Employees — Jesus Loves a Good Profit Margin — God Wants You To Keep All Your Money So That the Godless Heathens Can’t Use It

Lack of Focus

Or, perhaps, the title of this post should be “The Wrong Focus.”

Some of the most fervent people pursue their missions from entirely the wrong standpoint, and so it is with many conservative, fundamentalist Christians, because they aren’t really as focused on the fundamentals as their descriptor would suggest.

See, my problem with the “fundies” isn’t so much that they want to promote biblical ideals and Bible-based behavior as it is that they put at the top of their agenda subjects on which Jesus didn’t really focus and/or that are only hinted at vaguely in the Bible…while also putting at the bottom of their priority list those things on which Jesus spoke most clearly and directly.

So, on the one hand, they’ll pick out a Bible passage about ancient punishments for hitting a pregnant woman in the belly and killing her unborn child, along with God’s words in the Book of Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” and say, “See! God hates abortion! Let’s go have a huge campaign against women controlling their own bodies and hijack freedom of choice and science while ignoring more pertinent issues that affect more people.”

Never mind that causing the death of a woman’s fetus in an act of violence or irresponsibility was a crime because it assumed the woman wanted to give birth and you took that away from her (i.e. took the life that she had charge of). Also never mind that the quote from Jeremiah is about foreknowledge and foreplanning on God’s part, not about when life begins. Never mind that Jesus never once mentioned anything about fetuses, and his words are the ones Christians should focus on most.

And then, on the other hand, with poverty rising, kids and adults going without food, healthcare becoming increasingly inaccessible and the rich hoarding more and more of the money just because they can (even though they don’t need that much), you’ll see fundies cringe at any notion that even hints at socialism or talks about fairness and sharing, even though Jesus spent huge gobs of his time talking about economic fairness and taking care of the less fortunate.

Not to mention the fact the early Christian church essentially practiced communism, or something very close to it.

But they’ll ignore that and point to his parable of the talents and claim Jesus was a free market capitalist even though the parable is talking about spiritual growth and responsibility, not wealth creation.

Shaking my damn head…

Book of Addenduma, Chapter 1, Verses 1-15

It frequently comes to pass that a psycho extremist well-meaning and devout Christian will share with people, via street corner, Twitter, Facebook, blog, television program, radio program and/or the seat across from you on the bus or subway train…well, that something or another is terribly sinful in the eyes of God or incredibly pleasing in the sight of God (despite being very mean and hurtful to others).

It may occur to you at these times (or to other people whom you respect) to perhaps challenge said individuals to provide evidence from the Bible to support that such things are actually mentioned by God and/or His various agents through the ages, or that they are in line with Jesus’ teachings, or both.

If you do this, or encourage such actions by others, you are clearly a Christian-hating douche and should burn in the fires of Hell. Or perhaps you are a vile and wicked Muslim, who should first be tortured by government officials for simply existing, and then sent to burn in the eternal fires of Hell in that special corner God set aside for Hitler, abortion providers, followers of Islam and the makers of Teletubbies (especially the “gay” one).

I know it’s confusing to you, but what most Christians fail to note when providing such abusive soul-saving advice and guidance is that the pastors, Christian pundits and general whack-jobs…er, self-styled theologians who can’t even read Greek, Latin or Hebrew…um, fervent evangelists who taught them what was sinful and what was good (that doesn’t appear in the regular Bible and are in line with the new covenant set forth by Jesus) comes from a special book.

I mean, you can’t expect them to teach only from the source material that everyone has access to, can you?

Anyway, this special book was discovered by U.S. theologians around the same time politicians conveniently forgot that the Founding Fathers really weren’t all that religious and church-minded and started adding things like “In God We Trust” to the money and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1940s and 1950s.

This book, I am happy to reveal to you hellbound heathens, is the book of the prophet Addenduma, who was provided with revelation from God in the year 56 A.D. and was aided by his trusty apprentice prophet Miscellanephat and their alien canine sidekick Randomog.

I will share excerpts from this holy example of God’s WordTM from time to time. For now, just a little bit from Chapter 1, verses 1 through 15:

1: Lo, for the words herein written by Addenduma are true and correct, for he is pleasing in Mine eyes and certainly not drunk on new wine (nor the old in broken bottles) and he hath neither lain with Miscellanephat nor known Randomog in the manner a man should know a woman after proper courtship and transfer of ownership from her father.

2: Indeed, Addenduma may hath lain once or twice with Miscellanephat and Randomog but that is not unpleasing in my sight for he said he was very, very wroth with himself and abased himself before Me and reminded Me that I had overlookethed the liaisons between David and Jonathan.

3: And forsooth, verily and huzzah! (or perhaps Yahoo!), as we are on the topic of congress, or knowing, or getting busy, or doing the horizontal hora, let it be known that a man should not lie down with another man, unless the man being laid with looks convincingly like a woman and his/her clothes were already off by the time the layor discovered a penis hanging from him…or her…or, whatever.

4: There is no particular reason for this. For I the Lord simply find it aesthetically unpleasing, though I have naught to say about woman-on-woman for it is very pretty in the sight of men.

5: About those women. Thou shalt not lie with a woman during her time of issue with blood nor shalt though even think of having sex with her during that time even though it is a necessary and harmless biological function and I often make her pillows of small soft pleasure ‘twixt her thighs rumble with pleasure during this time and ignite her desires. Thou shalt not do this because it is icky in my sight, though you no longer have to make her stay outside your home when Aunt Flow visits.

6: Speaking of sex, and the holy aftereffects thereof when you abstain from contraception, as I have commanded, you may not abort any pregnancy at any stage after conception for any reason. This is because I give souls to every collection of cells that stands a strong chance of going nowhere developmentally speaking and has nothing resembling human neurological function.

7: Oh, I never mentioned anything about not using contraception? My bad. That was supposed to be in Leviticus. Thou shalt not use contraception. I also waste my time putting souls in every sperm and every ovum because I’m inefficient that way.

8: Thou shalt not make note of the fact that most sperms and ova are never used and your body will shed them or consume them. Also, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

9: And no, thou mayest not pleasure thyself with thy hand or any foreign object, for I hate masturbation, even though it is never really mentioned in the Bible at all. Why? Do you want me to turn you into a pillar of salt or kill the first-born of your family? If you need a reason, see verse 7, you heathen.

10: Porn is evil. Even when it involves fully consenting adults in a safe and non-abusive environment and doesn’t degrade women. Unless the producers tithe 10% of the gross revenues post-production to Me.

11: Sex is evil. Even with your spouse. Unless you are trying to have children. I only made sex feel good to trip you up and send more of you to Hell. It’s getting crowded up here in Heaven and I really do not likest most of thou. Or thee. Or y’all. Or whatever.

12: Ignore any anachronisms in the Book of Addenduma. My beloved prophet’s mind sometimes travels to the future to gather the holy guidance he needs to put My will to these parchments, which may not stand up to the scrutiny of carbon dating, for carbon dating is a tool of Satan and his minions the evolutionists.

13: Free-market laissez-faire capitalism practiced within a non-inclusive, non-representative pseudo-democracy must be your way, for it is My way, and it’s My way or the Gehenna highway.

14: Thou shalt not gather in protest of the 1% who hold the majority of the wealth and withhold it from 99% of the population, for I the LORD never told you when the meek would inherit the Earth. But not now. Certainly not yet. Soon, though. Maybe.

15: Thou shalt only vote for the Republican Party in the United States, and suitably similar parties in other nations, for the Democrats are of less pleasing character to Me than the scum on your shoe after stepping on a diseased slug that was having sex with an earthworm on your rain-soaked driveway right in the middle of a puddle of oil and antifreeze.

God Is Good. Well, Not *THAT* God…

In the aftermath of the terrible killings in Oslo, Norway, there is a clear take-away message that I’m getting, and I’m so glad that right-wing pundits, conservative nutjobs and Tea Party members, among others, are brave enough to share this insight:

If a Muslim kills folks, it’s clearly terrorism, and also proof that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is obsessed with taking over the world and crushing the United States to dust.

If a Christian kills a bunch of folks, it’s simply a sign he was slightly too aggressive in expressing his understandable bigotry and/or he isn’t practicing his religion properly.

Thanks for clearing that up, folks. I feel so much better now.

Advantage Atheists?

As my post a few days ago makes clear, I see parallels often between fundamentalist Christians (or any religion’s fundies, really, I guess) and hardcore atheists.

Let’s face it: Both groups have their aggressive and argumentative evangelists, and are every bit as annoying as their mirror-image dogma-pushers.

Looking more broadly, rank-and-file Christians and rank-and-file atheists (that is, the ones who just aren’t that into converting folks or really fretting about differences in thinking) generally don’t care about their “opposite number.” Really, the average atheist can get along fine with the average Christian and vice-versa.

Yet, I have to admit that the advantage may go to atheists in one respect. Specifically, in that group of people who are serious about their beliefs (religious or non-religious) and like to espouse their opinions but aren’t trying to convert anyone. They’re the people who are just trying to prove to everyone else they’re right and looking for as much validation as they can from like-minded folks and don’t care whether you convert to their side. In fact, many of them would prefer that you didn’t because they want to continue to dislike you.

Because in that subset of Christians and atheists, they are often trying to explain things and defend positions about things like morality, environmental issues and the like. And frankly, the people who take the Bible too seriously are way more annoying and off-the-rails wrong about issues like those than are atheists using science and logic as their foundation.

Not that this realization makes atheism in any way enticing to me. Why would it? I already have made peace between faith and reason in my life. Between spirituality and logic. Between the ethereal and the carnal. But it does make me wish I could do more to shut up the embarrassing folks who keep trying to justify so many wrong attitudes in life with the Bible, citing damn near every part of it except for Jesus’ teachings.

Common Ground

I welcome spirited debate at times (and like to passively watch it occur at times) with conservative Christians and with atheists.

Lord knows, I’ve pissed off both groups, which in my mind tells me I’m doing something right.

But it occurs to me lately that both groups share some similar problems in their approach (which often makes it impossible for me to talk intelligently with some of them): Problems of context and translation.

That is, when they either go on about the inerrant nature of the Bible or the ridiculousness of its teachings, they often pay no mind to that fact that the words that they either uplift or denigrate are not always what they think they are.

Translations are sometimes not accurate, owing to a lack of precise words to capture the original meaning in English or other languages…as well as to the fact that English itself has changed since the days of the first King James Bible. Also, context is key. Teachings in the Bible were often designed for the society of the times, and it does no one any good to either shoehorn them into doing something they aren’t meant to do or can no longer achieve…nor is it good to act like they were never meant to adapt to realities of a changing world.

But hey, on the bright side, at least the most obnoxious fundies and the most aggressive atheists are working from some common falacies.


What the Hell Is a Christian, Anyway?

Hey, I’m posting something! Yay, me!

Of course, it isn’t any topic I’ve had rattling around my head for weeks, but it’s something. Then again, my other blogs haven’t gotten the full attention they should either.

Anyway, today’s post comes by way of a couple things I saw on Twitter.

One was a person who tweeted a famous quotation by Mahatma Gandhi in which he essentially tells Westerners: I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.

Another was a tweet with much the same sentiment by another person in my timeline that said something like: There a couple of things that are totally incompatible: Christianity and Christ.

Both observations are totally on the mark.

It’s pretty hard to look at Jesus and say something like, “What a jackass.” Even being followed and doted upon by some, there is nothing in the chronicles of his life that shows him to be arrogant or cruel. He has his harsh moments and times when irritation gets the better of him, but his life was one of uncompromising love and compassion. He promoted social justice, he healed, he taught and did all sorts of other things (many of which we really don’t value in society, quite frankly) that were more important to him than comfort, ego or adulation.

On the other hand, you have his so-called followers, who are often judgmental, narrow-minded, not inclusive and totally against reaching out, lifting up or teaching other people. I mean, there are Christians who try to spin the Gospel into something that supports rampant, greedy, free-market capitalism. How much more twisted out of shape (and away from the message) can a “Christian” be?

The trouble is that most Christians don’t act a bit like Jesus Christ. They don’t even try and they really don’t want to. I include myself in that to some degree. I mean, I like the idea of being more Christ-like, but it’s hard. It’s so much easier to live in the moment or get caught up in the rat race or to snark about people. Still, I’m way more Christ-like than the Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter types.

So there’s that.

I don’t think one has to perfectly emulate Christ (or come close) to be a good Christian. Most people I know who are good people (religious or not) are flawed and screw up a lot. But they try to have their hearts in the right place, which is more than I can say for some of the most vocal so-called Christians who litter the media coverage out there on various issues.

So, I thought that since “Christian” is such a loaded term these days, how about I make some new designations?

Christ-like Folks

Good luck finding one of these. They exist, and some of them might work or live near us, but they are few and far between and often because they do their kindnesses quietly and without desire for thanks, we don’t notice them being Christ-like. But there are some who are hard to ignore because of the scope of their work. I think Mother Theresa was a very Christ-like person. So too was Mahatma Gandhi (actually, for the record, his name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; the “Mahatma” is an honorific), and he wasn’t even Christian. But somehow I don’t think that kept him out of Heaven.

Christ-loving Folks

I see myself and many other Christians whom I respect in this category. We admire and respect Jesus’ teachings, and many of us believe he is the son of God and our savior, and we try to do right. When we don’t, we try to be honest with ourselves that we fucked up. We try to do better, and we hope that one day we can get over ourselves long enough to be Christ-like instead.

Christian Posers

These folks think they are doing good, and they see themselves as either Christ-loving or Christ-like, but they just don’t get it. They try too hard, and they take aggressive and off-putting postures. They lecture and harangue people, or they are so blindly earnest (with no critical thinking to back up their faith) that they don’t probably do much to advance the Gospel. I suspect that many of the people they win to Christ are, sadly, also doomed to be Christian Posers. A lot of evangelical types fall into this camp. They are so busy trying to score points with God and Jesus by “doing the right thing” that they often don’t end up doing the right thing. They are the kind of people who would rather tell people they need Jesus or will go to hell (and honestly, they say this out of love because they believe it and don’t want that to happen) than to actually help people in day-to-day needs and let Jesus show in their actions, which is far more likely to win people to the notion that Christ (and by extension Christianity) have personal value to their lives…as well as being the sort of thing that Jesus actually told people they should do (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, etc.)


Just like in science fiction and fantasy stories, where a humanoid is something that looks human (or at least has a sorta human shape) but isn’t, so too is a Christianoid someone who sounds like a Christian and looks like a Christian (of one of the types above) but really isn’t. These folks go through the motions but don’t even have the misplaced passion of a Christian Poser. They go to church either because they feel they have to or because they see it as a way to be connected and network. I think many Christianoids think they are in a faith walk, but really they’re just doing an empty and soulless routine. They are the true zombies of the Christian world. Whereas Christian Posers are often lulled into unsound religion doctrine because they don’t examine the source or search their own hearts enough, Christianoids follow the drum beat simply because it’s the easiest course for them. Both groups, though, form the infantry and support base for the people below…


Every person who sees a natural disaster and proclaims it as God’s judgment for sinful behavior, every person who would kill a physician or care worker to protest abortion, every person who glories in war instead of seeing it as a necessary and rarely-to-be-used evil, every person who thinks they know who’s going to Hell, every person who puffs out their chest and lets the world know just how righteous they are, every person who oppresses a group and calls it God’s will…and so on and so on…these are Christo-Scum. I would call them antichrists but really, those would be the people who actively oppose Christ’s message. Christo-Scum are those who use Christ to justify their evil. They lift up his name but pervert his teachings. Frankly, I think I respect an antichrist more than I would these ass-hats.