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So, I'm driving home from the library and have a big, honking (EMPTY) SUV in front of me with the following sticker on the back window:

1 Hammer
+ 3 Nails
4 Given

And there's a cross and what looks like barbed-wire all around it. (Crown of thorns.) Now, granted, I have no belief in deity and pretty much loathe all organized religion, but COME ON! How is that respectful of the story of Jesus? How is that acceptable? So that got me to thinking...

Oh My God. Well, not *my* God, because I defy him and all his works.
(For new folks, that's from "Buffy.")

Now, this is not meant as a Christian bashing post. At all. Because the text? The whole mission-statement that Jesus laid out?

1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
2. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
3. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...
4. Turn the other cheek
And the biggie:
5. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Summed up = be kind, follow the golden rule - #1, quit putting on airs - you both pull your pants up one leg at a time. No one is better than any one else.)

See how nowhere up there did it say: hate queers, blacks, Muslims, Jews, or that women should stay at home, that Corporate greed is good, or how Americans need to go to war in Iraq.... We'll get to that in a bit. Back to the selling-out of your faith. Or maybe not *your* faith, but you get my meaning.

So why not go all the way with this whole horrific/bloody imagery? Because The Passion of the Christ wasn't explicit enough, nosiree! How about bumper stickers with buckets of blood, and a rubber ducky and sponge? "Get washed in the blood of Christ!" Or better yet, a picture of Jesus, face contorted into horrific agony, and a picture of someone super-imposed with a beatific grin plastered on their face. (Almost orgasmic.) His Agony = Your Rapture!

On our drive through the Deep South earlier this month, we saw small, washed-up towns with stores displaying signs that read: "We Believe in Christ. If you don't, Keep driving." Yes, Jesus was nothing if not exclusionary. We turned the radio on to catch some "local color" and heard some half-wit (quarter-wit, we later determined) talk about how evolution was a lie because... where were the half-monkey/half-men walking around? o_O Like this dip-wad expects to find monkeys in the jungle with an abacus and a Day Planner. You know, as proof. And caller after caller just sucked this up. "Yes! Oh, Laws, Praise Him!"

I've suspected for several years, and have been proven right over and over again that the majority of "Christians" have absolutely no clue about their own faith. Signs? God/Jesus said quit asking for them - they're offensive to Him. Public displays of your "faith" or praying out loud to the irritation of others to show how "righteous" you really are? Jesus mocked you and said it was displeasing. Then there was that whole, crazy thing where Jesus spent a few days telling people how awesome and loved the downtrodden and lowest of mankind was. How special they were. How those who HAVE should care for the HAVE NOTS. And went so far as to say that whatever you DID to the lowest common denominator (be it good or bad) was like doing it to the Big Guy - Jesus. I'll let you draw your own parallels to the Republican Party's starvation and denying basic human services to these Least of These of Jesus'. Can't wait for Rove to meet His Maker.

Jesus was big on NOT bragging. On NOT trying to prove how righteous you were. I'm not going to get into Pharicees vs. Sadducees, jots and tittles. But Jesus was BIG on praying in "secret," on quiet reflection, on modesty. There's this word... humility?

Big, nasty SUV, monster sticker that covers the back window making sure you know that they love Jesus. Did you know? We're righteous. Are you? And the driver of the car could have been a lovely person. But dammit, if you are going to FOLLOW a faith, can you please LEARN it? I wonder how many of these "Christians" voted to block gay marriage? Jesus cared a LOT more about poverty than homosexuals. Mainly because in the New Testament? JESUS MADE NO REFERENCES TO GAYS. Talked a hell of a lot about the poor and sick, though.

Now, Paul? Once. But Paul ain't Jesus. I wonder how many of those people with those bumper stickers, T-Shirts, etc., voted for Bush. Voted for legislation to deny poor people an education. Health care. Clean frickin' air and water.

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me."

I've met a lot of people that claim to be "Christian." I've only known of a few that actually were.

Wearing a T-Shirt with his name doesn't make you one.

Buying a sticker for your car doesn't make you one.

Man, just showing up on Sunday and nodding along doesn't make you one.

Keeping the least of our fellow humans in suffering and pain should automatically exclude you from the roster.

Voting for a man that makes all of the above happen, and sullies the name of a wonderful philosopher who tried to help the poor (and if you believe the tale, ALL of mankind - not just the rich, white ones) should also exclude you from the roster.

Those of you out there that DO believe in Christ? That DO want to be good Christians? Learn your religion. Take it back. The philosophy is a good one. But for now, your religion has been hijacked by mean, cruel people who preach exclusionary politics, separatism, hate, and bigotry. Go read the Sermon on the Mount. It's all you need to know. Some of the best, most lovely prose out there.

Christian means Christ-like. Period. If you're not trying, you aren't one.

For the record? I'd love for this to get spread everywhere. I'd welcome an open debate/discussion on religion. I will not tolerate hatred, bigotry, or name calling in the comments. Feel free to quote scripture aaaalllll you want. I can guarantee that I can palaver with the best of them.


( 125 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 28th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
But here's the thing about that religion there, that gets the folks all confused. It's got this whole moral hazard thing going down. Jesus suffered for your sins. So, really, I guess if you're a Christian you don't really have to, right? As long as you profess love, you're covered and don't really have to do all that humility stuff he talks about.
Jun. 28th, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
And it's funny you mentioned that bit: about the whole "I proclaim faith, I'm good to go" mentality.

Because when Jesus was preaching on the earth? When he had his robes rolled up, hunkered down, talking to the masses? It was all about works. Not in: fill enough ticky boxes and you get in, but more like: God gave you the very breath you breath. From clay you were made. How about you frickin' put your hand out and pull up your brother? Share a bite. Hug a child. Quit competing with your fellow man on who shows Me their love more. There's a sick guy dying behind you.

And it just furthers my point that people who claim to be Christians don't know their own religion. They pick and choose what they want to believe, mold it to suit their needs, and call it a day.


And as to the suffering of sins, it kills me that the cross has such importance, when the pain felt for the sins of mankind happened in GETHSEMANE. How he died was insignificant. All the bloody cross imagery makes me think of scare tactics employed by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC)
It amazes me how many people claim to have found Jesus and lost everything but his picture.

Sue. You just typed the greatest line of the 21rst century. Do you know that?

WHy can't someone make bumper stickers that say: If you use the word "hate?" You AREN'T a Christian.

Or something. Quarter-wits make my head ache.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 12:16 pm (UTC)
JESUS MADE NO REFERENCES TO GAYS. Talked a hell of a lot about the poor and sick, though. Now, Peter? Once. Peter ain't Jesus.

Oh oh oh, but you see, he was Inspired, and therefore, his Word is as good as the Word of God. (Note the capitals)

I really want to send this to the Christian group who called me gay for pointing out that literalism is just another form of interpretation and therefore, they cannot say that they are the absolute right, and besides, the quotes you use to justify some of the things you're saying mean different things when taken in context...

But I'm sure they blocked my e-mail.
Jun. 28th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
You can send this anywhere you want.

And I would be curious to see how many of those folks (who take the "literal" words of their books, books that have been translated from a translation of a translation, etc.) are able to to read Greek. Or ancient Hebrew. And have copies of the original translation from the old scrolls.

Because if they aren't? Their whole "literalism" is absolutely moot.

And I just realized: Peter is a Fanfic Writer.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
Amen to all of that. Why is it that the many "religious" people are the ones who are the most judgmental? I don't get it either.

So sorry that you've never met the priest at my church. The priest is a she, has two kids, has best friends who are gay, talks about cute guys, but always, always does the good deed and doesn't want to get credit for it. Talk about living the way one should. Talk about role model for my kids too.

Is the Jewish faith better equipped at dealing with gays? It's just that my sister-in-law was joined with her partner, the service being done by a rabbi. It was so moving.

Didn't the Governor of Texas just sign some bill in a church? WTF was that all about anyway? Am I opening up a can of worms?
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, but I defy the Gov and all his works. Ha ha! What an ass. Kinky Friedman for Guv!

Now, I do *know* people who are thoughtful and reflective and live their life as Christians. One of them isn't one by name, but she's more christ-like than most people on the earth.

I believe in the credo of Jesus' philosophies, I just don't believe in deity.
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:14 pm (UTC)

can I get a witness???
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
Sing it, sistah.
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, solo, mio....
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
Word. Can I print this at and throw it at certain people?
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
Feel free. I just got off the phone with my husband and we're thinking of creating an anti-religion religion. Where no one joins but you send me all your money. It's like regular religion, but without any effort!
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Jun. 28th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
I realized this was required.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
I... I have nothing further than a glitter pony and cake made of pony.

I offer them unto you. In servitude.

(OMG, shareable????)
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Jun. 28th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
Had a VERY long convo with a friend of mine about Christianity. He does all kinds of things that his faith would consider immoral (but which, incidentally, I wouldn't). When asked to explain this, he tells me that all people are sinners, and therefore one cannot expect to be perfect, but only to try to do good things. In theory, he's big on not judging others, but in practice, he does it constantly. The man takes pride in aspiring toward elitism and aristocracy. There is no humility in him.

Christians baffle me. It seems that for a people who have such a strict moral code - or seem to - they just never practice what they preach. That original sin thing, what a loophole. I don't believe in morality having loopholes, y'know? I think what's right and wrong is 100% solid, and when you do something wrong, you have to ask forgiveness, instead of morality going - oh, well, you tried, I guess it's okay. And if you don't ask, then yeah, you're being a bad person. End of story.

Am I stricter than Christians? O.o
Jun. 28th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
it's interesting to bandy about the word "Christian" in the first place. It was created as an insult to the scattered few who clung to the man's teachings 10 years after his death. It literally means to follow Christ.

Not some random man's thoughts on Jesus' teachings. Not the Pope's or Mormon Prophet's or (the very thoughtful and lovely) Bishop Spong's interpretations of the text.

TO FOLLOW CHRIST. Which means you are a SERVANT of your fellow man. That leaves no room for feelings of superiority, of entitlement. Your job (should you choose to accept your mission) is to help better those around you. You don't get to pick and choose who gets to "benefit" from your help.

That being said: I mentioned above in a different thread, that if Jesus himself came to one of the Mega-Churches with everyone in their "fines," he'd be barred from entering because of his dreads, his stench, his clothing, his lack of a purse. These same "righteous folks" deny basic care for the Blessed Meek and Poor.

So I laugh at the term "Christian" being used in conjuction with those folks, like your friend. (No offense meant.) Because they couldn't be further from it. They have reverted back to being Pharisees. (the very people who kept the word of Jesus from being preached.)

See, I like *your* moral compass. Simple, fair.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
And? Another reason why I'm glad I don't still live in the deep South, even Atlanta-style deep southishness, and don't discuss my liberal beliefs with my family. 'Cause I'm all confused by all the exclusionary stuff any everyone looks at me like I'm weird.

The day planner bit cracked me up, man. Cracked.me.up.
Jun. 28th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
We almost had to pull over on the drive, we were laughing so hard. And that's when Mr. Stoney came up with the idea of two half-wits reproducing and somehow (he's detailing the math portion of this equation) creating QUARTER-wits.

And they are taking over!! *trembles*

And let's not forget that Jesus' girlfriend (many say wife) was a whore. And offered the same eternal life he expected to two criminals next to him. And they weren't rich, white Republicans with wives in the D.A.R.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
Crap. Romans. Yes, that's Paul who wrote about men lusting after one another, and masturbating, to boot. HORRORS! He said ONE thing in First Timothy about pimps and whores, and equating them with liars. Ooookkkeeeee. Some folks like to translate whores to homosexuals. There were probably some male rent-boys then, but not common.

That's the book the "leaders" love because it commands followers to pray for the leaders of their couuntries (essentially) to do good on our behalf.

It's also where he says women should learn in silence. Don't see folks following THAT one. Or brothers marrying their dead brother's wives.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I would call myself a Christian, but I certainly wouldn't call myself perfect.

Now, I do believe in a deity. I also believe in other people's right to believe in other deities than the one I choose. I believe that God does listen to our prayers, but that he doesn't always choose to answer us. I don't believe in those people who say that God speaks directly to them because, let's face it, he got one of his angels to talk to the mother of his son. What makes them more special than Mary, huh?

I'd never advise anyone to take the words of the Bible literally, and I hate what is done in God's name. All I can do is take comfort in doing what I can to help others - I have given all I have to those who needed with no return apart from a sense of having done good by them, and I will continue to do so. To me being a Christian isn't what you say, or even what you believe.

It's what you do.
Jun. 28th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
BWAH to the icon!! YOU may not take the Bible literally, but MILLIONS of people do. Correction: they pick and choose portions to fit their agendas, and then take them literally. Otherwise they would own slaves, beat their children with iron rods, make their wives walk behind them.

But people believe that Jonah was LITERALLY in the belly of a whale. That the earth was LITERALLY covered in water, so deep that all creation drowned (why we aren't overrun with aligators and snakes everywhere is beyond me). And these people, who just swallow down the hate/non-thinky/random bit whole from their preacher without bothering to ponder, question, research... THOSE are the folks I'm bothered by.

Folks (like you) who live the message? Those folks I adore. Because the message is a good one.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
Ahhh..thanks for the reminisce down memory lane..all the reasons I was overjoyed to leave oklahoma.

Sadly, I found that the northeast is exactly the same except you also have muslims and jews being just as exclusionary and showy. Acck.

All very good points. Nicely said.
Jun. 28th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
Clearly you should move to California. ;)
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Jun. 28th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
Damn good rant!
I love it and nodded along with it and read all the comments and then just *sigh* because...

Organized religion seems to have this built-in seperatist and exclusionary thing going for it that, no matter what, leads to this sort of 'holier than though' bullshit.

I mean - we're pagan in the loosest sense of the word. We think highly of the earth and try to follow the idea of 'if it harms no one...' But man.

Go to a pagan festival and listen to the hate! Once things get organized and public, seems like it's just human nature to start doing the one-upmanship of xianity.

So, *sigh*. Do unto others, judge not? Lovely things that everyone should try to follow. 'God Hates Fags' posters at the funeral of a boy who was beaten to death? Just...sickening.

I'm going to pass this around, myself.
Jun. 28th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
ANd I'll go on record as vehemently believing that their is a HUGE difference between RELIGION and SPIRITUALITY. HUGE.

That churches SELL Bibles. Or bookmarks about Jesus. Or pictures of him. Shouldn't all of that be given away? That preachers are paid (and MAN. They live HIGH on the hog down here) when the apostles (according to their stories in the Bible) gave up everything for the greater good?

God Hates Fags. Somewhere a butterfly caught on fire from that hate. Bleh. It *is* sickening.

Feel free to spread the o_O.

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Jun. 28th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
If the real Jesus (not the buddy Jesus that all Christians pray to) ever showed up, you can forget about the mega-churches. He wouldn't even get past U.S customs. Anyway, I found your posting to be especially prescient against the background of budget cuts.

I think that the Christian's renewed vigor of wearing their religion on their sleeve is a direct result of how they perceive the world around them. The Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's of the political landscape have been beating them over their empty little heads for so long, with their spiels about the "evil liberal media" and "liberal activist judges legislating from the bench", that they now believe in them without question. It may even make them feel rebellious, and that they are running against the grain of the status quo. But, without realizing it they are actually being manipulated by them.

Nothing creates a power base quite so well as starting class warfare. That is to say, go hate gay people because they are the enemy. They are the one's ruining the country, not us filthy rich folks who are robbing your retirement funds blind. Go hate the Muslims, they don't believe in Jesus and eventually they will drive a plane into a building or something. They are the ones beheading people, not us rich bastards who profit from sending your sons and daughters to die in our wars.

But I digress since all I really wanted to say is that I think your suggestion about learning their own religion is spot on. I remember being in church once when I was young, and the minister was expounding on that very topic. He said that some people would brag to him about reading this or that book of the bible. He would then ask them what they had learned, and would discover that they missed the point entirely. They only read the Bible because they believed it made them a good Christian, but they didn't really read the bible to learn how to be become a good Christian.
Jun. 28th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "Buddy Jesus." With his light brown hair, Romanesque nose and blue eyes. WOW. *Just* like all the folks who live in the Middle East! Man, I'm so glad to see your name in this post: I can always count on you to bring the funny and smarts.

Your point about them feeling a bit rebellious for going against the purported "status quo..." See, that just feeds into the roots of the religion. "We're just like Christ's early followers! They were stoned for believing! They were persecuted for wanting to stick to their morals! We're just like them, Praise Him!"

And they are NOT. I mentioned this above, but the modern day religious wackadoos are the new hybrid of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They're just too thick to realize it and feel shame.

Your last sentence is perfection.
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Jun. 28th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful. We've been discussing some similar issues on my church's email list recently. A good friend of mine, who's very engaged in working for peace/justice issues (especially related to Africa) posted in an absolute fury about charismatic televangelist Benny Hinn going to Nigeria for a crusade and then complaining that he didn't make enough money, when there's an on-going conflict in the north of the country in which people are still dying. My friend comes from a charismatic/fundamentalist background, and still respects some elements of that, but this like this frustrate him more than anything, because he knows the mindset that they come from. And that's another reason that I love my church so much (I should post about it sometimes) because we're all refugees from other churches trying to rise above our baggage and just love Jesus and treat people well and be honest and loving with each other. I'm totally not saying we've arrived or anything like that, but it's the most truly accepting Christian community I've ever been a part of, and reminds me every week why exactly I still believe in this stuff anyway.
Jun. 28th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, Benny Hinn. He's up there with Robert Tilton, one of my faves. That assguy started his broadcasts with "Godliness is profitable," which is a bastardization of an actual scripture. Niiiice.

It always seems that the folks who "get" it, who *want* to be good Christians end up in churches like yours. Try and keep it small, and as little organization as possible, and it should stay perfect. :-D

You've used some important words there: ACCEPTING, Treat people well, HONEST, LOVING.... Can't go wrong with that attitude. Seriously.

Thanks for piping up. I love hearing what people think about religion.
Jun. 28th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
A Thought or Two
Okay I'm an African-American, ex Roman Catholic (try saying that 5x fast), I gave up Catholicism and organized religion at 14. That was 18 years ago. Since then I've read the entire Bible, and the entire Koran, more than once. It doesn't take that long and once you've read these books you have to wonder if some of alleged faithful have ever cracked them open. I'm not saying I'm an expert just that at least I took the time read. That bumper sticker just makes me sad. Christ's death as I understand it, did not give the faithful carte blanche to exclude everyone, run roughshod over those who are different, and then get into heaven because they believed. I used to to work for a pro choice non-profit and there were days I had to wear Kevlar to work because the "Christians" were coming. Now I don't presume to know what God wants, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. Isn't the aim of a good Christian to christ-like? When Jesus went among those who the Church rejected. Nowhere in the Bible does it say he shunned, excluded, or hated. Did he not offer himself so that there would be peace? I believe that peace is not merely the absence of war or violence, but a state of harmony. Protests and bumper stickers do not create peace. Christ did not advertise his virtue he embodied it.
Jun. 28th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of people may READ it, but they don't try and STUDY it. Which is a shame. Because there is a lot of bunk in there, (my all-time fave is the story of Lot. Offering up his virginal daughters so he can hang with the Angel.) and there is some of the most lovely prose ever put to papyrus.

Years ago I taught a gospel doctrine course, where we took apart the old, and then new testaments and studied the history of the people along with it. Greek, Hebrew, Roman... It was fascinating. But people don't take the time to do so. Ultimately, i tried to teach my class that the New Testament boiled down to one important principle: Kindness. That's it. See if you can find that in 10 percent of the churches around today. Just simple, unadulterated kindness.


Thanks for speaking up. Oh, and as to the aim of a good christian to be christ-like, I'd say that you shouldn't even CALL yourself a christian unless you try and get that Christ-like part down - or make it a daily plan, you know?
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Jun. 28th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)

Jun. 28th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Hee!! *bows*
*waggles tushie at you*
Jun. 28th, 2005 08:12 pm (UTC)
Spot on rant.

I was raised Christian, until I realized one fine day what utter dribble the whole scene was. I've encountered one or two people who I would consider *true* Christians. The kind that follow their faith, but don't press it upon others. The kind that want equality for all. The kind that spend their time helping out others. Those people? I can respect those people.

The thing that truly bugs me is how Christianity is the new morality. You can't have any sense of the latter if you aren't apart of the former.

Jun. 28th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
your last two sentences! YES!

Oh, and I grew up in a FIERCELY fundamental religion, and my sisters and I are the only ones out of the bunch to not be practicing our faith. And there is such sorrow for us, because of COURSE we'll never be happy, because we aren't celebrating and participating in the joy that is organized religion.

And that bothers me on such a fundamental level. On the surface, I know that the *thought* is: I have found such happiness with Jesus. You think you're happy, but if you just accepted him into your heart... And the surface of that is they love me and want joy for me. I appreciate that.

But underneath? Is a condescension that is disgusting to me. I think most people don't THINK about that part, but the idea that I can NEVER be complete, NEVER know joy or peace because I don't sit on a friggin' pew and sway to the "spirit?" Gimmie a frickin' break.

And, um... so what about a tribesman in Africa that thinks Jesus Christ is some herb for salad, but he's a lovely man who cares for his people, his family, lived a simple and honest life... And he's burning in everlasting hell-fire according to these yahoos because he got gored by a Rhino before Mary and Paul from the missionary foundation of Bumfug, Alabama didn't get there with their bible story cards?

Wow. And I ranted again. :-D
... - xtrustno1x - Jun. 28th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for writing this Laura. I was nodding my head throughout this...
Wearing a T-Shirt with his name doesn't make you one.

Buying a sticker for your car doesn't make you one.

Man, just showing up on Sunday and nodding along doesn't make you one.

I was just apalled that you saw those signs in the South. It just boggles the mind. Although, I have found the most unforgiving, ignorant and judgmental people in church, but then, Jesus did say that he came to heal the sick, and those people are definately sick. Christ's words in practice isn't ugly, exclusive, nor is it defined by hatred. I believe you're right. If someone is a Christian, you can see that faith outwardly, through what they say and do. I don't mean a faith based on works, but I'm talking about the "fruits" of a Christian.

For me, as a Christian, it's been interesting reading this because it's helped me think about my relationship with Jesus. It's been a hard walk for the last few years because I have been feeling like my life has not been characterized by grace and love, but judgement. I think of my failure to live a Godly, Christian life is because the condition of my heart hasn't been healthy. I'm insecure, selfish and proud, but I thank God that He's in my life because despite all of that He still loves me and always will. His Love is not about self-flagellation, hating myself or hating others. I believe that Jesus's blood and sacrifice is an important image because it reminds Christians to live with love, humility and grace.

Anyway, I think I'm just babbling now. Again, thanks for posting this Laura. *hugs*
Jun. 28th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
Love, love, LOVE you, my kako.

But keep in mind that for the times you want to beat yourself up for being perfect? No one will EVER be. It's impossible. But the thought? The attempt? There's goodness in THAT.

And without the ebb and flow in your life, the good punctuated with the bad, you'd never recognize one from the other. I often wondered if we were supposed to fail on occassion (back in the day when I counted myself among the ranks of the believers) only to GET what the whole redemption/forgiveness/contrite spirit was all about.

if you ate ice cream everyday, you'd get numb to the taste. It's all a part of the great scheme, and you'd be spitting in the wind to expect yourself to be anything but what you are: a human trying to get to the end of the path.

And let me tell you: little things like gossip, snark, judgement of daily things? They ain't ruining you. (I know what you are talking about, sweets.) You know what's bad? What's REALLY bad? Pedophiles. Murderers. Abusers. Thinking yoru neighbor is a shit because they don't take the trash all the way out, or the intern in your office is a dumb-ass isn't BAD. It isn't EVIL. It's human, and the whole point of life is to try and end up the best human you can be. It's all you can hope for, so take a deep breath, remember that there are no Great and Immortal tests, only the little challenges you make for yourself.

But most importantly? You're loved. And life is sweet.

*hugs you so tight and never lets go*
... - mskakaako - Jun. 28th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
Amen! So to speak! And the perfect post on something that drives me insane. People flinging their bigotry and hate about while pretending to be pious, drives me up the wall. It makes me want to stone them and set them on fire like the good Christian girl I am.

Jesus was a hippy, man, he was not the establishment. Boo! And of course literal interpretations are more fun because that way you can cherry pick and put more empahasis on bits and just damn well interpret it as you please instead of bothering to look at the philosophy behind it all, because that would be hard work and then people would have to look at themselves instead of waving their fingers at their neighbours. Their sinner neighbours! Which is exactly what you said but I'll say it again, but lamer.

We have a church group in NZ that is growing in leaps in bounds, mainly Maori and Pasific Island groups who are being suckered in and paying huge amounts of their cash each week to Brian Tamaki, an Armani suit wearing slicked up peddler. And here is a group who are the put upon in society going out of their way to find another group in society that they can pick on, marching on parliament and now going into politics as a way to stop civil rights for gays all in the guise of 'protecting the family'. It's all a bit sad what ignorence and fear drives people to, especially when they've been told that they're automatically right just because of what name they label themselves, no thought needed.

But I'll shut up and just applaud you some more. Sing it Sister!
Jun. 29th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC)
GAH!! I hate those types of outfits: because the Maori can't POSSIBLY know joy or live a good life without Christianity (and with all that pesky money) right? Bleh!

Let's go find some missionaries to beat up while we're in San Franigan.

*flings bigotry and hate to bigots and haters*
*realizes steak knives are NOT bigotry*
*hides from the police*
Jun. 29th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
Lookie what I found!

Seemed appropriate, considering. ~smirk~
Jun. 29th, 2005 10:24 am (UTC)
Jun. 29th, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
This is why I, baptised Christian at six months old and raised Protestant, converted to Unitarian Universalism at the age of nineteen. UU, at least, is still in touch with the true meaning of the love and acceptance that Jesus preached. Unfortunately, Christianity in general no longer seems to relate to its original spirit, and that makes me sad. These people who claim to be Christian and profess hatred-- well, that just makes me angry. It's not how it should be, and we don't have the power to make them see that, and that is thoroughly depressing.

I'll link to your post, though.
Jun. 29th, 2005 10:28 am (UTC)
Thank you for coming over and putting down your $.02.

I have all of these swirling thoughts about how the Pharisees and Sadducees have morphed into the current Religious wrongRight, and something in there about the forest for the trees and...

And it can be depressing, but I know there are people who just put their head down and TRY. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Agnostic, Atheist... There are good people in the world, regardless of the ticky box they check on apps.

I think a large part of the problem is the absolute lack of civil discourse on the matter. Religion's greatest flaw is in thinking They Are Right. *fingers in ear, lalala* And everyone else either has it wrong, or are slightly off. Which this post could fit right into, now that I think of it...

But public and civil discourse is key. So thank you for speaking up, and feel free to talk over here all you'd like. I encourage it!
Jun. 29th, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)

You've said all the things I've always said, thought and felt about "Christians". Jesus was a groovy guy who I totally can get behind. It's his followers that I can't deal with.

Jun. 29th, 2005 10:30 am (UTC)
Exactly. The followers afterward (although the intent was good) are definitely having a severe case of Head In Ass. Not all, but it sure seems like a vast majority. Of course, this is true of all religion, not just Christians.

There was a time when people enjoyed philosophising, discussing, hearing and speaking. Where did that go?

(Thanks for coming over. Feel free to chat away on this post - religious discussion is my kink.)
Jun. 29th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
*sigh* If only...

I'm a most imperfect Christian, though I do try, and often and often I see people who claim to be Christians foaming at the mouth about one issue or another. And it just seems to me that a God whose most central tenet is love would be most angry about hate.

As for the head-nodding, there's religion and then there's faith; the two often overlap but are not the same. Pity there isn't more faith in religion.
Jun. 29th, 2005 10:39 am (UTC)
If there was anything I could stress to my Christian friends, is to stop expecting your own perfection. You'll never achieve it. But you aren't meant to in this life, according to The Man himself. That's where Grace steps in. (That's the biggie, right? And then comes the humility and peace?) The whole point is to TRY. And you'll fail, make no mistake. But. I'll quote Romans 5:3 to you:

"..glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience."

And patience-->experience-->hope-->love.

As to the lack of faith in religion, I think it's due to centuries of abuse of it's followers. A particular religion isn't salvation, isn't redemption. YOU are in charge of that, for those who believe in this idea. I take away from what Jesus said that your personal relationship with him is that: personal. Of course, there are also those rituals that require others (baptism), but who you are to God? It's all up to you.

And to me? That's pretty awesome for you guys.

I'm so glad you came over to talk about this topic. Feel free to speak up all you'd like.
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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