March 2019
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prompts: what angers me in religion / desperation-fueled religious phases / what is the bible?

icon: "ma'at (photo of a scale with a feather on it, and underneath it the word "Ma'at")"

from topaznebula: What about [Christianity] and its followers makes you mad? Why? Have you chosen to abandon that religion and/or part of that religion and/or it's followers, why or why not?

What infuriates me is when people use a religion as a weapon - any religion, but since I know so much about Christianity, that one upsets me most. There is no fuckin excuse for trying to control other people's behavior with Christianity, for instance, as the Bible makes it extremely clear that your job as a follower of Jesus is to deal with your OWN shit. The bible says don't judge, deal with your own flaws first (and you'll never run out), use the bible as a mirror, work out your own salvation, love is the highest commandment and if you do that the others don't matter, etc. Instead, 'Christians' do not try to grow and change, they don't bother checking themselves before trying to fix others, they use the bible as a lawbook with which to justify their behavior and condemn others, they don't do any real work at all for their 'faith' and they sure as fucking hell don't bother to love. They're rotten little abominations and they disgust me. I can't say if I have abandoned the church, as if I were to find a church that actually lived up to the radical self-examination, generosity, and compassion that Jesus taught, I'd be very excited and probably add Christian to my self-labels again. However, while I check every time I come across a new church, I doubt very much that I will ever find one that is not rife with oppression. So, I keep Jesus as a part of my life, and I take inspiration from parts of the Bible*, but I do not engage with the church. As for its followers, I feel great love and admiration for ones like Jimmy Carter and bell hooks, but the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians I would call whitewashed tombs, and I want nothing to do with them. Failing to be compassionate and growthful is far more shameful if you are claiming that as your life path. Wanna be a selfish stagnation? Go ahead, but don't dare claim that you give a shit about what Jesus taught.


from darkestgarden: could you say that any of your spiritual or religious phases were fueled by desperation of some kind? if so, what was the nature of the desperation? how did it help or hinder your growth?

Hmm, I guess when I was trying new churches and spiritual groups constantly that was fueled by desperation. I yearned for community. I don't think it had any significant effect on my growth one way or the other. I never sought out spiritual things as a solution to a problem in my life though, not that I can remember. I looked for healing but as a support for the processes I already had going. I think I always hoped for something shockingly life altering to happen to me with organized religion, but ultimately my choice to seek was for its own sake and not for what it could bring me.

*I was about 19 when I realized that the bible is not a book of answers nor is it pure truth, despite being told that it was those things. It's 'good for teaching' like it says (that is the boldest claim it makes about itself), and that's it. It became much more useful to me when I stopped trying to use it like a search engine and instead used it to spark deep reflection. Honestly any book with enough words and not too much repetition would work this way, even the dictionary. I've read the bible cover to cover three times, and read parts of it upwards of eleven times. It's not a primary tool of mine now but when I come across a discussion of a part of it I tend to reflect on it for some days, examining the falseness that the church has invariably attached to it and tumbling the real meaning over in my mind. If logic worked on prejudice, I could talk all Christians out of their oppressive bullshit.

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silviarambles ══╣╠══
I grew up Roman Catholic and I come from THE Catholic place, Rome. Everything I dislike about the Church is contained in one word: hypocrisy. My family is very religious (even if not the obnoxious kind), my country is MILES away from being a secular state, and every time I go back to Italy I feel like shaking people and saying 'Can't you see the hypocrisy of this all?'. It isn't even Christianity itself, it's the Church and what Christians made of it.
slinkslowdown ══╣╠══
Go ahead, but don't dare claim that you give a shit about what Jesus taught.

I couldn't agree more.

I've got friends who belong to various types of Christianity and thankfully, they all fall in line with what you say here a Christian should be.
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
excellent choices by you, then! :D
slinkslowdown ══╣╠══
To be honest, I couldn't keep somebody in my life that was a judgmental asshole, especially if they use their religion as an excuse for it.
meri_sielu ══╣druid/treehugger╠══
I completely agree with so many of your points here, it's one of the reasons I realised very quickly Christanity was not my path because the core values I had learnt about what a Christian should be did not fall in line with what I was experiencing whenever I met one. Of course not all Christians are ignorant or bad but the ones that are really give the rest a bad name. :( Much like anything I suppose though...
belenen ══╣sceptical╠══
Yeah, I feel ya. It's hard to see anything valuable about a religion supposedly based on love that spends the majority of its efforts on infringing on the will of others.
planetgeorge ══╣╠══
That's an excellent post! I have a problem with people who call themselves "Christians" but they're nothing more than judgemental assholes. Whatever happened to love your neighbor as you love yourself, or do unto others as you would do unto you? The last 3 years I was in Florida (before I moved to PA) I attended a Southern Baptist church and although the sermons weren't all fire and brimstone, there were some old school people there who believed if you broke any of the rules, you were going to hell.
coexist by unknown
author_by_night ══╣coexist by unknown╠══
I've known a lot of Christians who aren't like that, but many who are, and what's scary is how many are actually nice people... until their mouths open and suddenly all this homophobic stuff comes out. It's like, you believe in love and peace and being a good person... until someone's gay? Or nonchristian, for that matter?

The thing is that because I wasn't really raised Christian (though I wasn't raised not Christian either - my parents never really cared either way), I didn't even realize so many Christians thought like that. I delved into Christianity for Jesus, not to hate homosexuals or tell people they were going to hell. It's not entirely why I stopped going to Church, I think I'd even go again if I found the right one, but it didn't help. I went to a religious school and we had to study the Bible, and... I loved what I studied. I just didn't love the politics that sprang from it.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Ugh... tribalism and Sturgeon's revelation.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.