Friday, April 24, 2009

Ignorant 'Christians' PISS ME OFF!

If you are a non-believer like me then I know you will be able to relate to this one. Please know that this does not apply to all people who consider themselves Christians. I know many people of the Christian faith who get it and are smart, sweet, caring and act in the manner most resembling the Bible character Jesus. It isn't them I am about to rant in a very offensive manner about. It mostly applies to the backwoods, totally ignorant and completely tactless ones. The type we are unfortunately overrun with here in Alabama. You know...the snake dancin' kind?

Earlier this week I bought some chickens from the friend of a friend. For the longest time I had been wanting to stop at this place because there are all kinds of interesting animals out there and I wondered if she ever sold them. I never saw any signs and so never stopped.

I mentioned to my friend that I was looking for some baby chicks and she said she knew the people who lived at that place I had been wanting to stop at. She goes to church with them. Now, my friend is an open lesbian and so I thought if the people at her church accepted her then they would probably be pretty cool folks to buy some chickens from. Boy was I wrong.

After a tour of the farm and as I was about to take my leave the question of religion came up. The chicken lady said, "Where do you go to church at?" "Oh fuck," thought I.

I always dread that question because I know what will follow. A sermon. Which I am not inclined nor interested in listening to. And my rebuttal (cuz I ain't gonna take that shit from nobody) which always pisses people matter how polite and reasonable I attempt to be.

I am an Atheist. I was an Atheist when I was a kid even though I thought I believed in god because my family believed in god and I was scared of not believing in god. The concept of hell and the boogey man is terrifying to a child. I always thought church was about as exciting and inspiring as having a lobotomy. 'ZZZZzzzzzzz.' "Is it 12 yet"..."I'm hungry and there's good food at home"...."I wish the preacher would shut up" know what I'm talkin about?

I finally realized I was an Atheist when I was about 25. And when Marilyn Manson stormed and shocked the MTV Music Awards in 1998 by singing "The Beautiful People" on stage in a topless,assless leather bustier with fishnets and high heels well, I knew it was for me. Remember what Chris Rock said afterwards? "Run to church right now! Get your asses in church or yer a goin to Hell." Man I though I'd die laughing.
If you haven't seen that here it is.

"I don't go to church," I said. "Why not?" chicken lady asked. Why is it they think they have the right to keep asking questions after you have answered the first one. Why can't they let it go at that? You know, live and let live and all of that? It's disrespectful to prod someone about their personal belief system. How would Christians like it if I started prodding them and attempting to convert them to my system of non-belief? Not too much I'd wager.

"Because I am not religious. I am Atheist. I don't believe in God." I told her. I mean hell, she asked, right? Now she switched from asking questions to condemning me straight to the firey pit. "Oh yer a goin ta hell and its'a gonner be so hot down'ere yer just gone burn to a crisp. And that's forever and ever and ever", chicken lady pronounced confidently and with a righteous gleam in her eye. She was like the female version of Reverend Billy Ray Collins on the John Boy and Billy show. She was truly that comical. It was hard not to laugh.

When she stopped to catch a breath I said, "Wow, you really believe that a 'loving God' who went to all the trouble to create us hapless humans, when none of us asked for it, would really burn us forever and ever and ever? And, since you want to talk about this, the word hell when translated back into Hebrew is Sheol which means 'grave'. It has nothing to do with a firey pit or anything of the like."

"Don't matter none whether we asked for it or not. God created us and he gave us free will and yer a goin ta hell for not believing", said chicken lady. "Free will huh?" I asked. "How is it free will if I choose not to believe and get burned forever for it? Sounds more like mafia fire insurance to me." She looked confused at that analogy so I explained further. "You know, where the mafia tries to sell you insurance and if you don't buy it they burn your establishment/home down?"

"Well yer still a goin to hell," said chicken lady.

I told her I would send her a telegram in Heaven to send me an Icee. She said that wouldn't be possible. I said I might rethink my position then and just when she looked hopeful that I was ready to swallow her viewpoint hook line and sinker and was getting ready to go chalk another one up for her Pearly Gate tally I said, "Not really I was joking!"

I asked her why she did believe in God and she stood there dumbfounded for a few minutes (apparently no one ever made her question her own blind belief before) and then she said, "There's been so many things that's happened in my life that could only be god. My son survived an auto accident and that could only have been god. And we got the bible that tells us everythang," she told me. I asked her if her son came straight home after the accident. She said "No, he spent a lot of time in the hospital." I asked her if she didn't think maybe medical science had a lot to do with his recovery. She said "NO," . "What else?", I asked her. She couldn't think of any more 'miracles' from her own life to try and convince me.

At this point I made my exit as politely as I could by saying, "It's been real nice talking to you and thanks for the tour of your farm."

I can't for the life of me figure out why people in 2009 still believe in an imaginary sky wizard. I don't begrudge them their belief. Not at all. They, like me, are free to believe or disbelieve whatever they want. But many of them don't respect the right of others to believe or disbelieve as they want. The self-righteous ignorant are dangerous. People like them start wars over a fucking idea or belief. "My gods bigger than your god" type shit. Things that aren't even tangible or proven to exist and millions die and our whole damn state and much of the country is controlled by them.


UPDATE: My first cousin who is a good Christian and who I love absolutely to death just wrote me and said: "You didn't finish the story....did she sell you baby chicks or not, you heathen?" (Long live Novella!)

Yes, she sold me 10 chickens. They should'a been free after I had to listen to all her unprovoked proselytizing. I wonder if a Christian will go to hell for selling an Atheist chickens?


Ben said...

I know how frustrating these conversations can be, all too well. These "because it is" arguments will not be tolerated anymore. Have hope Loretta, we are out here. The questioners, the critical thinkers, and the free. We must change this anti-intellectualism mentality, to one that requires truth and understanding. Maybe you can't change the minds of those with the lights off, but you can educate the untainted minds. The next generation it awakening, or maybe just me.

Laura said...

Wow! Thanks Loretta! Everything you said pretty much sums up how I feel about church people! I agree not all are that bad but SO many are! It really pisses me off for anyone to ask me something so many assume we all believe the way they do..Especially a freaking stranger..I so enjoy reading your blog! I think you should write a book!!!

Brian said...

Next time a Bilble-beater asks where you go to church, answer, "the Church of Satan, of course"... it's great for the laughs. Especially if you're buying live animals, I would think.

Loretta Nall said...

LMAO @ Brian....You know Brian I may just have to try that.

Anonymous said...

I think you summed it up with your comment about how she probably has never been challenged in her belief before. That story is amazing, you have the intellect and wit to easily not back down like so many do.

Nicki said...

I consider myself to be Christian, but honestly asking about one's religion is a very personal question and I have no bones about telling anyone so if or when someone should ask.

My relationship with God is no one's business but mine and God's. :)

Nicki said...

Addendum: I thought you might find this funny ... a Pagan friend of mine likes playing with people when they ask him, "Sir, have you found Jesus?"

He always replies, "What, you've lost him AGAIN?!"


Loretta Nall said...

Nicki I wish everyone of any faith would adopt your attitude. It is such a personal thing. I always do my best to avoid the topic because I know how it will turn out...but like you said..."If you ask me"....

Colin Broughton said...

I was adopted at 6mo by fundamentalist Baptists.
I had been a fervent Atheist for some time, and when I was around 12, I read Bertrand Russel's essays. Berty really resonated with me, especially his stories about his ultra-religious grandmother.
The whole experience has me convinced of a strong genetic factor in religiousity.
Anyway, the shit really hit the fan around when I was 13. My parents got around to asking me a direct question and received a direct answer. For the rest of my childhood, I must have had a 666 tattooed to my forehead!
BTW all 4 of my kids self-identify as Atheists.

Anonymous said...

Incoming obligatory theology discussion:

The sad thing is that, if she told you what you say she told you, she understands her faith far less than should ever be allowed. And if they can't understand exactly what they believe in, how can they believe in it? This lady doesn't believe in the God and Jesus of the bible (or the Heaven and Hell of the Bible). She believes in the concepts she's heard about in movies and hymns.

Hell, translated as "grave" means just that. Death. In fact, it is translated as such into "death" in several other portions of the Bible. Further, there's a much deeper concept to a hellish death than merely dying. A fiery pit does in fact exist, but it's not the same thing as Hell, and that's where a lot of folks who don't put in the time to study theology get confused. They mix the two together. The fiery pit is the current prison of the angel Azazel (to be released during tribulation) and where he will be returned. It's also believed that Lucifer and the beast (which are kind of two entities but not exactly) will also meet their end there.

Hell is separation from God, whild Heaven is to fully be in his presence. The idea is that (for believers) earth is as close as you can get to hell or (for nonbelievers) as close as you can get to heaven in life. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven onto the earth (see also: Job). The good parts of earthly life are considered to be from God-- the hope, love, grace, mercy, peace, etc. Hell would be like earth only without anything good. That may not sound so bad to the "fire and brimstone" crowd, but I'd consider it to be far worse when you start to think about it. Heaven would be like earth but without anything bad and WAY more of the good.

Now the concept of free will and sin and not going to Heaven comes from original sin. As long as we were innocent, as God created us, we were able to be in His presence. But once we gained knowledge of good and evil, it was possible to sin, as we knew that what we were doing was wrong. God's presence is such that we cannot be fully in his presence if we are imperfect. And as imperfect beings who couldn't live within the presence of God, we couldn't be allowed to live forever as we'd destroy the earth and each other. So that's where death comes in. And while it wasn't impossible for us to attone, it did take an act of great personal sacrifice to redeem ourselves enough to make up for the imperfections. After time, humans lost sight of that in giving of offerings. This is where the story of Jesus comes in. An act of pure love and selflessness that was so great that it could attone for the sins of the world-- past, present, and future-- as long as folks wished to accept it.

He's not an "imaginary sky wizard." Rather, a being different from ourselves. I even believe he has limitations. You can't believe in the fundamentals of Christianity without believing that he has limitations or at least some form of rules. He is the Creator, and it's that simple and that complicated.

Of course, this is a heavily simplified version, but try to get someone like the person you described to wrap her head around THAT one.

And if anyone ever asks me... I believe in God because I've studied it for some time, and it doesn't seem all that impossible to me. The God I've come to know isn't the crap pushed by your typical crazies who think they're Christian. I also am willing to admit that there are some things that exist which lie beyond my own complete understanding and the generally accepted rules. I try to remember that you can't apply physical rules to a metaphysical being and that fact alone may make it impossible to ever explain. But I also don't believe in luck or coincidences. And when I look at the world around me, I see far too many things that an atheist might describe as such-- perhaps scientifically and perhaps not, but still coincidence and luck.

Anyway, if you want a good laugh, go rent Dogma and watch Matt Daemon play a fallen angel who converts a nun to atheism.

Loretta Nall said...

Really enjoyed your comment AlaMod.

Anonymous said...

Alamod, you sound like an Episcopalian -- I've never met a more intelligent, accepting, clear-thinking bunch of folks in my life who still identify themselves as Christians. Almost makes me want to go to church, if just to be around them. :P

Anonymous said...

One question...

Who or what authored the DNA code in the first cell?

As every living cell utilizes DNA & thus the code was written before the cell.

This question is primarily for the "anti-intellectualism mentality..& one that requires truth and understanding".

As honestly searching for the truth, is the only way one will ever begin to find the answers to to this worlds most hidden secrets.

Take into account all the data, everything you know & ask yourself that simple question...Who or what wrote the DNA code?
As it is impossible for the code to write itself without first being programmed to do so.

And while you read this message, the living cells in your eyes are processing...a written code.
A code you didn't didn't write.
A code you and I will never be capable of writing. is there...working behind the make every single cell live.

Anonymous said...

Durka Durka, Mohammed Jihad! -South Park

Lots of people, having fun. Nobody worshipping mudgod! - Drinky Crow

-Everything you need to know about religion.

Vape_1:29 said...

I stumbled across an article you might find interesting.

We Love Religion, But Not Forcing It On Others!

- Also enjoyed your comments,
For being one who knows WHY they believe WHAT they believe.
In the manner of...

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
- But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who
asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect...


2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
- Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.

This IS church.

Loretta Nall said...

anon....why does a 'being' have to be responsible for authoring the DNA code? Who authored the DNA code for the god you believe in? If you say no one, that god has always been, then isn't it also reasonable and just as logical to assume that no one or nothing 'authored' any DNA code?